Month: August 2019

Coffee or tea? What is healthier?

Fortunately, it is not yet time for people to start clustering into groups that are separated by a preference for coffee or tea. Not to mention hooligans… although in our office things can get tough when a ‘coffee drinker’ decides to cut back and walks into a room with a cup of tea in his hands. It is clear that drinking coffee and tea is deeply rooted in many cultures, but which of the two is the healthiest?

I mainly drink coffee, but I also drink a number of cups of green tea every day. While reading the umpteenth research on ‘how healthy coffee is’ I read, I wondered if coffee is also healthier than tea. Because I have read at least as many studies about the positive effects of (green) tea on our health. I decided to list all the research results.

But first briefly about coffee and tea

Let’s start with the layman’s approach… both of which you buy at a supermarket, both of which you heat with hot water. So much for my consumer knowledge of coffee and tea. But I also went into the matter of organic origin, processing and origin. Just for fun… and let’s face it… with facts about coffee or tea you always do well on a birthday 😉

About coffee

Coffee is made from coffee beans, as everyone knows. But what not everyone knows is that the coffee bean is actually a fruit and the seed is actually a pit.

The coffee we often buy in the shop is composed of two different beans, namely Arabica or Robusta. Arabica has a milder taste and contains 70% less caffeine than Robusta.

Coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian shepherd who saw that his sheep became more cheerful when they ate the coffee beans. He had it drawn into the water, so he drank the first cup of coffee in history. It gave the shepherd a sense of clarity and satisfaction and soon the traders noticed this as well.

Since the 17th century, coffee has been widely distributed throughout the world, with the Netherlands being the first to bring coffee to Europe on a large scale. It was only in the 18th century that drinking coffee was really adopted in the Netherlands.

The health effects of coffee

The discussion about coffee does keep us busy. Many consumers have different opinions. I myself am also regularly warned about the dangers of coffee, but is that really justified? We start with the positive health effects of coffee, which have been more or less demonstrated by science.

Increased resistance due to the antioxidants
Improved athletic performance
Increases the level of alertness
Increases your metabolism, helping you lose weight
It contains essential vitamins and nutrients
Coffee reduces the risk of diabetes
Coffee reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
It lowers the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Coffee protects the liver (especially if you have drunk alcohol)
Coffee can reduce the risk of depression
Coffee reduces the risk of certain types of cancer
Coffee does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, but lowers it correctly!
People who drink coffee seem to live longer
Coffee contains the largest amount of antioxidants in the Western diet

 

And now the truth… can coffee be bad for you?

Yes and no… crap! Still no convincing answer. Still, on the basis of my research, I can clarify something. Coffee can cause insomnia and fears in some people. There are also people who are not very good at processing coffee, and this group of people are also better at leaving coffee standing.

But overall, coffee is perhaps the healthiest food in the western diet. In our diet we do not find any food source that contains as many antioxidants as coffee.

So is it unhealthy? No! It’s similar to nuts… for 99% of the population it’s very healthy and for 1% it can damage their health.

About tea

Tea, on the other hand, is made from the dry leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Originally tea comes from China. Thousands of years ago tea was already being drunk there. According to a Chinese legend, Shennong discovered tea in a forest 5000 years BC. Leaves of a tea bush swirled in a pan of hot water, after which the whole thing started to spread a pleasant scent.

Around 1610, the first small quantity of tea was imported into the Netherlands and only a century later did tea take refuge in the Netherlands. In the 18th century, just like coffee, tea became really popular.

Does it still matter which brand?

No, the brand itself doesn’t matter much. However, it is best to go for organic coffee or bean coffee, because these types of coffee are usually less processed. This increases the chance that most of the antioxidants are still in it.

The health effects of tea

All teas are associated in more or less different sizes with a number of important health effects. In particular, the antioxidants in tea are praised by science. For example, according to various studies, tea has the following effects on our bodies:

Increased resistance due to the antioxidants
Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
Less chance of certain cancers
You could fall off it (even if the question is whether it’s because of the water or the tea).
It could have a positive and preventive effect on some types of diabetes
It’s good for our eyes and could prevent and inhibit vision loss.
It would lower cholesterol
It lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s
There are many more (smaller) studies that have observed other health effects in people who drink a lot of tea. So you can say that tea is a healthy drink… or are there any disadvantages or even dangers?

Potential disadvantages/hazards of tea

Tea in its pure form is safe and healthy. You can drink it all day long with peace of mind. However, there are teas that can be unhealthy. In general, these are the teas that have additives to promote weight loss, for example.

Does it still matter which brand?

The brand itself does not matter, but in general the commercial teas have been processed in such a way that a large part of the antioxidants have been lost. So do you want to take full advantage of the health benefits of tea? Then use organic tea!

Conclusion: What is healthier? Tea or coffee?

The answer is that this shouldn’t have been a battle against each other, but a battle against all the other drinks! Both tea and coffee are an important source of antioxidants for our body and reduce the risk of a lot of diseases and ailments. Because of the caffeine in most coffees and teas, it is advisable not to drink both after 20:00. The exception to this is white tea, which contains only 15mg of caffeine per cup.

Decaf is better left to stand. It’s nice that it doesn’t contain caffeine anymore, but the disadvantage is that during that chemical process the antioxidants are also lost for a large part.

Then it only remains for me to write one thing… coffee drinkers and tea drinkers… get your hands in one! (sorry a little nerdy ;))

Healthy weight loss is not a trick!

Healthy weight loss is not for everyone, but being able to do it or not does not depend on your genes or physique. It is often due to the lack of motivation, perseverance and the noise of all marketing around diets. In practice, it is not that difficult to lose weight. In fact… you don’t even need a diet for it and it’s easier than it is! You just need to refresh your knowledge and implement it step by step in your life.

In recent years I have followed dozens of diets and I got to the point where I thought I had to accept that I wouldn’t be slim anymore for the rest of my life. I accepted my fate and bought some more comfortable clothes, so that in daily life I didn’t suffer so much from my excess weight. What else could I do? Want to follow another diet? Stop it.

But then… that annoying summer comes again or an outing with friends and family to a swimming pool and then I get very angry with myself again. I looked in the mirror and thought to myself… “How could you let it get this far? Look what you look like!”. Three years ago on holiday in Italy I thought the same thing and decided to make one more attempt to lose weight and this time I wanted to lose weight well, permanently and healthily, so that it would be my last diet chapter.

This is why I always failed

With retroactive effect, I am ashamed of my behaviour. I blamed everything and everyone for my excess weight… everyone but myself. It was my genes, the food industry, people who insisted on eating pie, bad diets and I even sold myself that I had ‘a heavy build’… as if that would give you a ‘big rumen’.

Now I realize that every diet could have worked… what am I saying?… I realize now that I never needed a diet! Just peasant sense, perseverance, discipline and an unsustainable motivation.

I’m going to explain to you how you can lose weight quickly and healthily, but if you realise and apply the following, you would be able to become slim even without all the tips. If you realise/apply the following, I guarantee that you will become slim. Don’t you realize it or don’t you implement it? Then I guarantee that you will remain overweight until you realize/apply it.

If there is a secret formula, this is it:

There is only one person responsible for what your body looks like…. you!
Tell yourself why you want to lose weight and decide that you never want to look the way you do now.
Make a promise to yourself that you will maintain the new lifestyle… whatever it takes!
Promise yourself that you will never think of an excuse not to do something that you know is healthy again.
Work consistently on your health and make it a habit you’ll never break again.
Never postpone a workout again and cancelling is out of the question!
If you want to lose weight healthily, there’s no such thing as a shortcut!

The only way to lose weight quickly and healthily

Losing weight is basically nothing more than a simple subtraction. Subtract the number of calories you consume from the number of calories you have consumed and the result of that sum will tell you whether you’re going to lose weight or not. If there is a negative number (i.e. less calories eaten than consumed), then you lose weight. If you have eaten more calories than you have consumed, then you will arrive. Guaranteed!

In that sense, it doesn’t really matter what you’ve eaten or what sport you’ve practiced. If it’s all about losing weight, this is what you need to know. Of course there is more to it if you want to do it in a healthy way and want the result to be permanent, but losing weight in the basics is simple.

The catch

If it was really that simple, wouldn’t everyone have to be slim for the rest of their lives? Yes and no. You’d expect it, but a lot of people just don’t have the discipline to actually do it and to maintain it consistently. And that’s not where the catch lies. But the snag of the simplistic method I described above lies mainly in the fact that if you simply eat less, two things happen:

Your body goes into the low-power mode and uses less energy, so the effect of your calorie savings is minimal.
Your body starts to break down muscle mass to generate energy, so your body will use less energy when you’re at rest, so you’ll be able to eat less before you get back to work.
If you want to lose weight in a healthy way, you will have to prevent both effects from occurring. Because the low-power mode causes your body to use less energy when you’re at rest, because your body thinks you’re going to starve. It is a survival mechanism that ensures that you survive longer if we have no or too little food at our disposal.

On the other hand, your body extracts proteins from your muscle mass in order to obtain the energy for itself.

So avoid (as much as possible) the fast carbohydrates. This will reduce your hunger and give you more energy to work out. It is important that you get some carbohydrates during the day. Here I have a Paleo food list. That’s a bit stricter than ‘just’ healthy food, but it does give you an idea of what you can and can’t eat. As far as carbohydrates are concerned, it’s fine to eat fruit and vegetables.

Eat enough protein

Research shows that especially diets with an increased protein intake are effective for weight loss and prevent the yo-yo effect. Logical when you consider that our body consists mainly of water (60%) and proteins (15%). Our body needs enough protein to function properly and we all eat far too little of it!

According to the guidelines of the nutrition centre, for example, you should get 0.8 grams per kg body weight of protein. Unfortunately, this is another ‘average’, because in practice it turns out to be so dependent on various factors, that it seems to be just a small part of the picture. And especially if you want to lose weight with proteins, you will have to get more proteins. My experience was that I lost the fastest weight when I got 30% to 35% of my calories from proteins.

The remaining energy is derived from (healthy) carbohydrates and fats. Don’t be afraid to eat fats! The healthy fats are not only healthy, but also necessary to lose weight. (We’ll get to the fats in a minute) .

Supplementing with protein shakes

I myself have noticed that I find it difficult to get enough protein without exceeding my caloric needs. That’s why I start with a protein shake every day. In the meantime, after a long search, I have succeeded in finding a variant that really consists of natural ingredients, namely this one.

They make sure that I am right on schedule at the beginning of the day, but there are many other advantages to it, namely;

It makes you fall off in no time at all.
It’ll make you less hungry.
It prevents you from losing muscle mass in the event of an energy shortage or in endurance sports.
It stimulates your muscle building
They contain a lot of vitamins and minerals
Our bodies need fats!

In recent decades we have been told that fats are bad for us and make us thicker and unhealthier. In reality, everything is based on one study from the 1970s and it has been misinterpreted. Not only was there no conclusive evidence, but since governments and medical specialists advised us to eat fat-free, we have become thicker and unhealthier than ever.

The big misconception was that fat was bad and unhealthy for us, while our body needs fat to function properly. And not only did we suddenly miss a very important building block in our diet, but we also started eating many more fast carbohydrates to fill the gap… say the one that really makes us fat!

So eat enough fat! You should get between 30% and 35% of your calories from fats. Read these two articles about healthy fats and unhealthy fats and are saturated fats healthy to learn which fats you need and why.

Never drink calories and light soft drinks

Almost all liquid calories cause a spike in your blood sugar and are full of sugars or sweeteners. Sweeteners may seem healthy, but it is becoming increasingly clear that they are often at least as unhealthy as sugar. Although the long-term side effects have not yet been sufficiently demonstrated, I would also be very careful with light soft drinks. Instead, learn to enjoy tea, coffee, water and natural flavor water (such as lemon water) more.

Oh… enuh… alcohol… is a n0-go! If there is a party and you want to join in a drink… choose a glass of red wine and limit the number to two.

Keep track of what you’re eating for a while.

I’m not really an advocate of keeping track of your diet, but sometimes it’s good to keep a finger on the pulse. I myself randomly keep track of what I eat for a day or a week. This allows me to make timely adjustments when I notice that the ratio between carbohydrates, proteins and fats is out of balance (40%/30%/30%), but also whether I still use enough calories compared to what I eat.

To measure that, I use two free Apps, MyFitnessPal for my food and Runkeeper for my cardio activities. These two apps also work well together.

Lose weight by moving

There are a number of smart marketers who have found out that people are especially reluctant to play sports if they want to lose weight. That’s why they call out cries on their sales page like “you don’t have to exercise to lose weight” or “you don’t lose weight when running”. As a result, they sell more products and the people who follow the program lose weight less well and healthily. I also believed this nonsense… just because I hoped it was true.

Of course I lost weight because of those programs, because I ate less than what I used. But after the diet I fell back in no time. Most of the time I had lost a lot of muscle mass after such a diet and I often started to look ‘thin’, according to my girlfriend. I was cannibalizing myself.

When I started losing weight in a healthy way, I first wanted to prove or disprove the myth of exercising. That’s why at first I didn’t change my diet, except that I ran three times a week. And I can already tell you that the conclusion is, that it does help! Read my blog ‘Losing weight with running’ here.

Cardio or weight training to lose weight?

Both! With cardio training you make sure your body gets in good condition and you stimulate the blood circulation in your muscles, while with power training you build up your muscle mass, which not only makes you look good, but also makes you less sensitive to injuries and increases your energy consumption in resting position.

I myself stick to the following pattern:

Monday: 30 minutes of running
Tuesday: 20 minutes of strength training (chest, arms, shoulders)
Wednesday: 30 minutes running
Thursday: 20 minutes of strength training (back, legs, belly)
Friday: 30 minutes running/45 minutes cycling
Saturday: 20 minutes stretching/stretching (later I want to do yoga)
Sunday: rest
By now I have lost enough weight and I’m going to turn the proportions around. So 3 days of strength and 2 days of cardio.

You might wonder how I got all this time… the secret to never ski a workout again, is to develop a habit/routine. I myself, as an entrepreneur, have a very busy life and to make time I have developed a morning routine. And that works fantastic! Also read this article: ‘Is getting up early healthy?’ Since I’ve included sports in my morning routine, I haven’t skipped a single workout!

At the beginning of my mission to lose weight healthily, I often trained after work. The downside of that was that I usually didn’t have much energy left at the end of the day, but also that I often had obligations such as dinners, birthdays, etcetera.

If you look at my schedule it might seem a bit exaggerated to train 6 times a week, but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s only since the last 50 years that we’ve been moving less. Before the Second World War we all moved a lot more than we do now. Not everyone had a car yet, so we walked or cycled to work. Many people had a physical profession, because at that time there were no computers. People walked from office to office for communication, from appointment to appointment (mostly near the office) or they had a profession, where they had to work with their hands.

Six times a week, half an hour of exercise is absolutely not extreme! It’s a necessary… I mean evil, but it’s more of a virtue. Sport and exercise are real stress killers!

P.S. did you know that running or cycling can even have a meditation-like effect on your brain and body? Talk about healthy weight loss 😉

Start…

As I have already indicated, motivation, willpower, perseverance and consistency are the most important factors for successful losing weight. Make sure you convince yourself that you really want this… and start!

In the meantime, we have developed our own program with kh-poor recipes and weekly menus. You can read more about them here.