Top 5 Fat Burning Foods that Accelerate Your Metabolism.

Activating your metabolism can be challenging for some people. Sometimes the best way is to stick to and eat natural foods you can pick up at the grocers or supermarkets.

Fat Burning food 1: Salmon

Salmon is a great fat burner as it’s high in protein and rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids. The body can’t produce these naturally, so they do need to be introduced through food. It also has a good ratio of polyunsaturated, saturated and monounsaturated fats, which make it well balanced.

Fat Burning food 2: Oatmeal

Oatmeal can be used for breakfast as a healthy way to start the day. It also helps boost metabolism.

It contains good fats and is the source of glycemic carbohydrates, which are crucial for helping to incinerate your belly fat as they give you time released energy and help you store glycogen.

They are also high in insoluble and soluble fibers, which allow sugars to be released at a lower rate. Insoluble fibers help to move food through your intestines.

Fat Burning food 3: Vegetables

Vegetables contain negative calories. It actually takes more calories to digest the vegetables than the calories the vegetables contain. The reason for this is the high fiber content; it takes calories to process fiber.

Fat Burning food 4: Nuts

Nuts are high in calories so should only be eaten in small amounts 1-2 ounces this will ensure the right combination of good fats help you blast your fat away. Not only do they contain good fats as well as being high in fiber, they are also high in antioxidants such as vitamin E and selenium.

Fat Burning food 5: Flax Seed & Fish Oils

Flaxseed and fish oils are great supplements for anyone to take, because these oils contain omega 3 fatty acids which help speed up your metabolism.

These oils help the body to reduce fat and so they are a great food supplement to any diet. With these oils in your body you will be able to maintain strength levels whilst losing body fat.

Combining a healthy diet with exercise is what will keep obesity at bay. At Shudokan Aikido children can sign up from 4 years of age.

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Getting Kids to Eat

National 5 A Day Week has an important goal, getting people to eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

Meeting this goal will help you stay within the Food Guide Pyramid guidelines of eating 3-5 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruit.

But how do you get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, especially when they may only want to eat chicken nuggets and french fries and you are not supposed to force kids to ‘clean their plate’ or make meals a power struggle?

It can help to start early, offering your toddler lots of different types of foods and letting them see you eat and enjoy a variety of foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Although infants often get a lot of fruit and vegetable baby foods, once they start eating table food, what you eat is going to be a big influence on what your kids like to eat. If you rarely serve vegetables with meals or eat fruit, don’t be surprised if your kids develop the same tastes.

According to one study1, ‘children’s food preferences and food-intake patterns may be shaped largely by the foods parents choose to make available to children and persistence in presenting a food that initially is rejected.’

So offer your toddler and preschool age child a lot of different foods, even if he is neophobic, or quick to reject new foods, as it can help him learn to like a variety of foods. Remember that ‘if children have repeated opportunities to sample new foods, then at least some of them will be accepted.’ That may mean that you have to offer a small tablespoon size portion of green beans 10-15 times before your child will even try it.

The above study also found that ‘picky eaters were breastfed for fewer than 6 months,’ so breastfeeding for longer than 6 months may have the additional benefit of preventing kids from being picky eaters.

What if you didn’t teach your toddler to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables?

Is it too late?

Probably. Another report2 has shown that the ‘number of foods kids like does not change much from the age of two or three to age eight’ and that ‘new foods are often more likely accepted at age two to four than at four to eight.’

That doesn’t mean that it is too late to get your older kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, but rather that they won’t do it on their own and that you are going to have to work at it.

5 A Day for Kids

One trick that often works for both fruits and vegetables is to find foods that your kids already like to eat, like smoothies, muffins, yogurt, etc., and find recipes that allow you to add fruits or vegetables to them, like banana or zucchini muffins.

The easiest way to get some fruit into your child is to switch from soda and fruit drinks to 100% fruit juice. Although eating whole fruit is better because it also has fiber, 4-6 oz of 100% fruit juice for children 1-6 years old and 8-12 ounces for older children is an easy way to ‘eat’ 1-2 servings of fruit.

Remember that fruit snacks, even those made with ‘real’ fruit, fruit drinks and other snacks with artificial fruit don’t count as a serving of fruit.

Other helpful tips might be to:

  • let your kids pick the fruits they want to eat when you go shopping
  • mix fruit pieces in with yogurt or serve them with a dip
  • make fruit smoothies
  • offer a fruit salad, with a mix of watermelon, grapes, strawberries, etc. as a dessert or snack
  • make a snack mix with raisins, nuts and cereal
  • add chopped fruit, especially berries and bananas, to your child’s cereal
  • try dried fruits
  • mix in some chopped fruit with jell-o

Fruit isn’t usually the big problem though. Getting kids to eat their veggies is usually the bigger challenge.

Creative ways to get your kids to eat more vegetables can include camouflaging them in with other foods, like chopping up and mixing vegetables in with pasta sauces, lasagna, casseroles, soup, chili, omelets, etc. or adding veggie toppings to pizza. You can even find recipes for things like banana raisin pancakes, carrot beef meatballs or zucchini cookies, that your kids might enjoy.

It might also help to:

  • offer chopped veggies with a dip, like ranch dressing
  • serve vegetables as a stir-fry
  • let your child help prepare the meal
  • start a vegetable garden at home so your kids can eat the vegetables they grow or visit a farm or farmer’s market.

What about popcorn? Although often thought of as a grain, it is really just popped corn, which is a vegetable, right? Maybe. But popcorn is usually thought of as a starch or gain and doesn’t count as a serving of vegetables.

Getting kids to eat well, and especially eat fruits and vegetables is a challenge for many parents. To help prevent your child from becoming a picky eater, you should:

  • start early by offering a large variety of foods to your toddler
  • make mealtimes fun and don’t try to force your kids to eat things they don’t want
  • look for creative ways to offer your kids fruits and vegetables

If all else fails, consider offering a multi-vitamin and talk to your Pediatrician.

It can also help to learn about the serving sizes of fruits and vegetables so that your expectations aren’t too high. For toddlers, a serving of vegetables may be as small as a tablespoon per year of age and a 1/2 piece of fresh fruit. Older kids should eat 1 whole fruit, 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables or 1 cup of raw vegetables to count as a serving.

Shudokan Black Belt Academy – helping keep kids healthy – Aikido Nottingham

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5 Tips to weight loss

Monitor Portion Size

As you move to healthier food options, it’s also important to monitor portion size, explain the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While dishing up plates, make sure the portions are reasonable. Most foods have suggestions for the size of a portion, so pay close attention to these values. You may need to determine servings with a measuring cup or even a scale, since it’s almost impossible to “eyeball” it, especially at the onset of the changes. If your child is still hungry, he’ll ask for more.

Avoid Sweetened Beverages

Both the Mayo Clinic and the Weight-Control Information Network agree that limiting sweetened beverages can also encourage weight loss in an 11-year-old. Sodas, juices and sports drinks all contain sugar, which increases caloric intake and causes weight gain in a child. To manage weight loss, limit your child’s intake of sweetened beverages.

Eliminate Fast Food

The Weight-Control Information Network also recommends limiting fast food intake. Even healthier options at fast food chains can contain excess calories, so avoid eating at these establishments as much as possible. When you do find yourself at the drive-through window, order foods without mayo or cheese, and skip fried choices.

Increase Physical Activity

Much like dietary changes, an increase in physical activity should become a family affair. Go on bike rides together. Hit hiking trails as a family. Even go to the park to throw a Frisbee around. Anything that gets you and your children on your feet can increase physical activity, and thereby encourage weight loss. Have you thought about Martial Arts? The Shudokan Black Belt Aikido school is a family orientated establishment based in Sherwood Nottingham. Visit us at

Limit Television Time

The Mayo Clinic suggests limiting screen time for your kids. This not only includes television viewing, but also computer and videogame use. Two hours a day is more than enough time for you child to enjoy a videogame or TV program. This goes the same for you. Remember, this is a family affair.

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Teens and Diets

Teenagers require a healthful, balanced diet in order to continue to grow. Many studies report that frequent dieting by adolescents not only inhibits growth, but also appears to result in weight gain over the long term.

Why is this so? First, with respect to growth, teenagers require a balanced diet consisting of all food groups, as well as vitamins and minerals. Diets that promote one food group over another, or that exclude key vitamins and minerals, can do more harm than good in young people.

With respect to weight gain, one study from Harvard Medical School reported that dieting – which is essentially imposing restrictions on eating – tends to result in overeating between diets, which can lead to weight gain. Other research supports that new fat cells are more likely to be created through intensive overeating, than by eating at a consistent level. The evidence in the study was clear: equalizing for other factors such as growth and exercise, girls who dieted frequently gained an average of 1.7 pounds a year more than girls who did not diet. Girls who dieted sometimes gained 1.3 pounds more than girls who did not diet. For boys, frequent dieters gained 2.2 pounds a year more than boys who did not diet. The Harvard research noted the fact that dieters are more likely to binge eat than non-dieters as providing support for their conclusion.

However, the lead researcher on the study was careful to distinguish casual dieting from diets overseen by trained clinicians: “Although for children and adolescents who are overweight, diets carefully supervised by a clinician may be beneficial and appropriate, our results suggest that casual dieting to control weight loss in the long term is not only ineffective, it may actually promote weight gain.”

Any Diet is made more effective when combined with an exercise programme. Aikido Nottingham is a Clubmark accredited facility, the Shudokan Black Belt Academy is based on Haydn Road in Sherwood.

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How to get your child to eat healthy food

Patience and persistence are the tools for parents of a picky eater. Your tenacity to make nutrition a priority will pay off in the long run as your child grows and begins to form food associations, preferences and priorities. Your guidance and role modelling will be a positive and formidable influence. (but you can’t see it right now, so hang in there and don’t give up.)

Don’t despair. That leads to frustration and stress at meal times. That doesn’t help you or the child. Be patient there is no magic solutions because kids, like us adults, have different personalities, tolerance levels, patience, moods etc. So in other words, what works for one child may not work for another.

Introduce one new food at a time. Introduce it with another food they enjoy.

Don’t make your child clean their plate. Forget that old fashioned way of thinking. We now know that kids, especially under five, have a good sense of their hunger. They will stop eating when they are full. The portion size they were given may be too much for them.

Avoid bribing please! ie “If you eat your vegetables, you can have dessert later.” Think about the message that will send to your child. Dessert- reward, fun, happy, success. Vegetables, not fun, requires a condition in order to eat them, Multiple studies have shown that bribing kids doesn’t promote good healthy food preferences in the long run.

Just try to offer them one bite of the healthy food they don’t want to eat. If your child refuses, don’t give up or get mad. It just means they won’t try it today but that does not mean forever. Keep bringing that vegetable back to mealtime every several days or so.

Take advantage of other activities to expose your child to healthy foods outside of mealtime. Have them help you pick out the vegetables and fruits at the grocery store. Let them help prepare the foods, it can take kids 15 exposures before their curiosity is piqued enough to try a new food.

Be a fun healthy eating role model. The kids are watching you and paying attention. Pile on those veggies on your plate and let them know how delicious it is. A little extra acting is okay. You have an audience!

SHUDOKAN Aikido in Nottingham – helping keep children active and healthy


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Adolescent Obesity Should Not Be Taken Lightly

Adolescent Obesity Should Not Be Taken Lightly

It’s amazing to think that the amount of overweight adults has now reached one billion, and these include 300,000 who are suffering from obesity. And it is not just developed countries either, obesity is affecting un-developed countries too. There are many problems you can face if you are obese. These can include cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and even hypertension.

To determine whether you are suffering from obesity, it is quite an easy thing to work out. First you need to work out your own body mass index. This is determined by taking your own weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in metres. If your body mass index, or BMI, is above 30 then you are considered obese. If your BMI is between 25 and 30 then you are considered overweight but not obese. Obesity can cause all kinds of health-related issues and with the increase of adolescent obesity it is estimated that the population will suffer from a decrease in health in the future.

Obesity can also cause psychological problems too. Quite often, an obese person would not be as outgoing as other people. They can often be scared of what other people are saying or thinking about them. This can lead to problems such as depression and other psychological factors in an obese person. Also a low self-esteem is developed which causes people to shy away.

There are many reasons why the number of obese people in the world today is increasing that such a dramatic factor. The popularity of watching television or playing video games especially with the youth of today, leads to a lack of activity and general exercise. Also the increase of many fast-food restaurants, makes cheap, unhealthy food easily available. Many of these foods are high in fat and not healthy at all to eat.

It is vital, if you are suffering from adolescent obesity to get your health checked regularly. It is highly recommended that you start a healthy diet and fitness regime. This will help you to lose weight and become a more healthy person all round. Getting into a routine of exercise and eating healthy food will see your weight decrease and you will become naturally healthy.

Shudokan Black Belt Academy – helping keep people healthy – Aikido Nottingham

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The Benefits of Martial Arts for Kids

Admit it. When the going gets tough at home, we’ve all plopped the kids in front of the television and breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, we can get started on dinner, maybe check email or sort that massive pile of laundry.

But when your five-year old yells at you “Mom, Kids Rule!” or your ten-year old horrifies you with language that would make a sailor blush, you realize there must be something amiss with what these “family programs” really teach our kids. And sadly, its happening all over the media today, from sports to cartoons, and our children are learning things that we, as parents, vowed we would never teach them. Old fashioned values like respect and self-discipline, seems to have been forgotten, replaced by the dreaded “bling bling” pop culture of today.

Just the thought of your angelic three-year old morphing into a designer-clad, smart-mouthed, money-worshipping, me-obsessed, lay-about is enough to make any parent consider that threatening military school brochure, but there is a solution out there to consider.

Martial Arts training.

From Ninja Turtles to The Karate Kid

You and your kids have all seen the flying kicks, battle cries and mighty chops of their favorite TV characters, as they beat the bad guys to submission – but, you may ask, how on earth can these acts of violence teach my child anything worthwhile?

First, know that what you see on television (save perhaps the Karate Kid) is a far cry from what real martial arts are all about. The fact is, martial arts training is based on non-violence.

Originating in Asia (mainly Japan, China and Korea, although Thailand and Vietnam have their own practices as well), martial arts range from a variety of types and styles, all of which are based on well-rounded, moral teachings. The beauty of learning martial arts is that it encompasses not just the physical aspect of the “sport”, but mental and emotional lessons as well.

Comparing that to other kid’s activities and sports, where fierce competitiveness and “winning at all costs” seems to be the order of the day, it’s not surprising that many children grapple with issues of self-esteem and misplaced aggression.

Now imagine your child actually learning valuable life lessons, skills that he will take throughout life, laying the foundation for a happy, well-adjusted and fulfilled adult life. If only karate for kids was popular in the 70’s, when I was growing up!

The Advantages


o Aikido, and other martial arts for kids, builds confidence and self-esteem as well as self-discipline, respect, concentration and courtesy.

o Many martial arts schools also offer leadership courses for kids.

o Martial Arts is ideal for children who do not do well in team sports, giving them the ability to flourish this activity, while combining physical and mental practices.

o Many do not realize this, but it is a fact that martial arts training are safer than most school sports.

o Children with special needs, such as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), learning difficulties and hyperactivity are often recommended to participate in martial arts for kids because of the clear benefits in its structured training techniques.

The Shudokan Black Belt Academy Nottingham is an Aikido school that is both Sport England recognised and Clubmark accredited, giving you the confidence that you have put your children in the right hands.

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One in three obese by 2012

One in three obese by 2012 – study

One in three adults in England will be obese by the time Britain hosts the Olympics, according to a new study.

Almost 13 million men and women will be obese by 2012 based on current projections, researchers said.

Almost 13m will be obese by 2012 based on current projections

Experts from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London (UCL) examined data from Health Survey for England studies published between 1993 and 2004.

The proportion of men and women who were obese rose “significantly” over this period, from 13.6% to 24% among men and from 16.9% to 24.4% among women, the experts said. If this trend continues then 32% of men and 31% of women will be obese by 2012, they added.

Men and women working in manual jobs will be more likely to be obese, with 43% of this group expected to be carrying extra weight. Meanwhile, 35% of men and women working in non-manual jobs will be obese.

The researchers, writing in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, said: “If recent trends in obesity continue, about a third of all adults (almost 13 million individuals) would be obese by 2012. Of these, around 43% are from manual social classes, thereby adding to the public health burden of obesity-related illnesses.

“This highlights the need for public health action to halt or reverse current trends and narrow social class inequalities in health.”

The authors said the number of obese people was set to rise “dramatically” by 2012. “These increases will affect lower social classes to a larger extent,” they added.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “Obesity is the biggest health challenge we face – every year 9,000 people die prematurely. And many people simply just don’t know that being overweight can lead to major health problems including heart disease and cancer.

“The UK is leading the world when it comes to facing up to the problem and tackling obesity. From this autumn we have been aiming to change the way we all live our lives. The Change4Life campaign will help us all to change the way we eat, the way we exercise and the way we raise our children so we can prevent obesity and related diseases.”

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Shudokan Black Belt Academy, helping keep young people healthy – Aikido Nottingham

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Preventing obesity

The best way to prevent becoming overweight, or obese, is by eating healthily and exercising regularly. As obese children also tend to be obese in later life, it is very important for parents to set the right example to their children from an early age. See Change4Life for diet and exercise advice for all the family.

You can find more detailed advice about eating a healthy diet in the Health A-Z, including what you should be eating from the main food groups, and how much you should be drinking every day.

The Live Well section contains advice on:

NICE guidelines

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has produced a booklet about NHS care and treatment in England and Wales of people who are overweight or obese. It can be found at Treatment for people who are overweight or obese.

NICE has also published a booklet about the prevention of obesity and staying a healthy weight, for people in England and Wales. This aims to help you understand when you might need help and where you can go to get support. It can be found at Preventing obesity and staying a healthy weight.

Shudokan Black Belt Academy helping keep young people healthy – Aikido Nottingham

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Are TV and Video Games Killing Kids?

It’s shocking but true. The more TV you watch, the more overweight you’re likely to be. In a groundbreaking 1990 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, researchers determined that there is a strong positive relationship between television watching and obesity. Subsequent studies have linked TV to specific symptoms of obesity or being overweight, such as worsening triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and blood sugar control.

Why is this so? Put simply, the more TV you watch, the less likely you are to exercise. In the CDC study, which surveyed nearly 12,000 high school students, only 12% of students engaged in 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity three or more times per week. In contrasts, 70% watched over an hour of TV each day and 35% said they watched 3 hours of TV or more. And this was back in 1990, before videogame consoles became common household appliances.

Researchers at the CDC estimate that approximately 250,000 deaths could be prevented each year if people were more active, that is, if they were more physically active and watched less TV.

Why is this important for kids? Because kids develop habits and set patterns that will carry into adulthood. Inactive kids are likely to become more inactive adults. Active kids stand a much better chance of growing into active adults. And the health risks aren’t 50 years out either. A recent study by two doctors at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, published at the end of 2003 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that young adults, ages 18 to 30, with low fitness levels were three to six times more likely than fit participants to develop Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome, thought to be caused by excess weight, physical inactivity and genetic factors. One of the duPont researchers was quoted as saying: “There are long-term adverse health consequences for young adults [from] staying indoors and relying on video games and PCs for entertainment.”

The Shudokan Black Belt Academy is a great way to keep young people active. Aikido Nottingham can help.

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