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Candida – What it is, what are the symptoms and how do we tackle it

What is it?

Candida is the most common yeast infection found in the mouth, intestinal tract and vagina

It is a fungus that aids in nutrient absorption and digestion when it is found in proper levels in the body. When candida overproduces and is left unchecked it can break down the walls of the intestinal lining and penetrate in to the bloodstream.

Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that this could have massive detrimental effects on your health and fat loss efforts.

Typical candida symptoms are:

  • Skin and nail fungal infections
  • feeling constantly tired and worn down
  • suffering from constant fatigue or fibromyalgia
  • digestive issues (bloating, constipation, diarrhoea)
  • autoimmune diseases
  • difficulty concentrating (brain fog)
  • irritability, mood swings, anxiety or depression
  • vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching
  • severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears

If the immune system is functioning optimally candida is rarely serious however if the immune system isn’t functioning properly the problem can spread to other areas of the body such as the blood and membranes around the heart and brain.

You have to think also that when overproduced candida breaks down the intestinal lining and enters the bloodstream. This unfortunately releases by-product toxins and other toxins from your system which will eventually cause leaky gut syndrome.

Now we run the risk of your body natural pH balance being upset which can cause candida to grow out of control, which creates a systemic problem. What is then required is for you body to start creating healthy bacteria and get back to a properly functioning immune system in order for the body to fight off this stubborn infection.

What can cause Candida infections?

  • high refined carbohydrate and sugar diet
  • consuming a lot of alcohol
  • taking oral contraceptives
  • a diet high in beneficial fermented foods
  • high stress lifestyle
  • Cancer treatments
  • taking too many antibiotics

Where do you start in killing off candida?

Firstly i would also recommend getting it tested via a blood test. The next step would determine whether you have gone for a blood test or not. Regardless of whether you have or haven’t gone for a blood test I would personally try a Candida cleanse for a week followed by a candida diet and supplementation protocol until symptoms start to improve massively.

Candida Cleanse

1-2 days – liquids only

  • vegetable broth from onions, garlic, celery, kale, sea salt and water
  • You need to make sure you drink plenty of water to rid of all the toxins circulating your body

3-7 days – Raw Salads

  • Eliminate grains, grains, sugars, starches and alcohol
  • Drink plenty of water again and eat fresh vegetables that have been steamed

Day 8 until symptoms dramatically improve

  • Still eliminate stage, alcohol and refined carbohydrates as these are contributing to the growth of candida in your body
  • Still stay on the fresh vegetables including carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale and asparagus
  • Add unsweetened cranberry juice
  • Add some dairy in to your diet

Supplementation + foods to include

  • Include coconut oil with meals and in to drinks as it can help fight candida due to its antimicrobial properties
  • Milk Thistle can help cleanse your liver from the prescription medicines you have been taking, environmental pollution, heavy metals as well as the remains
  • Apple cider Vinegar is a natural cleansing agent and can help kill and get rid of excess yeast in the body
  • Leafy greens can help alkalise the body which helps fight against the acidic nature of the candida growth. Greens contain high amounts of magnesium which is a natural detoxifier for the body, vitamin C which helps build the immune system, chlorophyll to cleanse the body and various B vitamins which help energise the body and iron to give your body the support it needs.
  • Flaxseeds and chia seeds contain something called Polyphenols which help support growth of probiotics in the gut and thus may help eliminate candida growth in the body.
  • Spices such as tumeric and cinnamon contain a act component called curcumin that has been shown to completely inhibit the growth of candida.
  • Organic meat containing healthy fats and a good source of protein is so important as factory farmed meats could actually feed the candida.

Like I said earlier in the post your first port of call would be a blood test to determine whether candida is rife with your body however if you decide not to go the blood test route I would recommend performing the nutritional protocol above or at the very least start including some of the foods and supplements recommended above.

WHY RAPID WEIGHT/FAT LOSS IS NOT ALWAYS A GOOD THING!!!

Thats right you’ve read it correctly and I firmly stand by this statement and I have done for a while. It is now an expectation that people should lose massive amounts of weight/fat in a short space of time.
 
This preconception is what is causing people to fall of the wagon when they are actually going about losing weight/body fat in the right way because the scales aren’t necessarily corresponding with the effort they are putting in.
 
Their preconception is based off magazines, their mates going on juice diets, doing slimming world etc……
 
The problem is that all these diets put you in a constant hypo caloric (reduced calorie) state. Basically the calories you are burning are not being met by the calories going in, therefore it is inevitable you lose weight.
 
To prove how bad this is I am going to use myself as an example.
 
On the 9th January this year I started a intermittent fasting protocol (don’t eat 1st meal until midday) as I was a good stone overweight and wanted a nutritional protocol which I knew would get some weight off.
 
It worked, but worked a bit too well. I lost the stone within 13 days!!!!! Now normally you would look at that loss and timeframe and get all your mates and family patting you on the back and congratulating you but heres the thing, I felt worse for it!!!!!!! Yeah I looked better in the mirror but day by day felt like shit as I was in a constant massive calorie deficit. To compound this I had started rugby again after our Christmas break, increase training frequency in the gym by at least 2 sessions so my output (exercise) had increased but my input (calories) had decreased!!!!
 
Looking back its the definition of madness!!!!!
 
-my sugar cravings increased
-I ended up binging at night
-i had no energy
-I had lost muscle without a doubt
-my overall behaviour was up and down
 
In other words I had got it wrong. Long term this wasn’t going to get me anywhere. It was ok for maybe a week or so but then I needed to change it up to something which brought about change in a more controlled way while supporting the increased exercise I was doing.
 
We as a society now are so obsessed with the scales and as a result pay very little attention to how we might be negatively affecting our hormonal make-up for the worse, decreasing our metabolism or absolutely hammering our adrenals for example. The internal mechanisms if healthy and functioning properly long term are some of the key ingredients to you looking fantastic in front of that mirror or in that ball dress or on the beach but unfortunately we want that weight loss yesterday and as a result we are willing to risk messing up all these internal mechanisms and ultimately making us more unhealthy and that task even harder.
 
It is never too late to do things the right way.

There is no magic pill or quick fix on your fat loss journey

Unfortunately I am the bearer of bad news!!!! However its about time that somebody told you the truth rather than letting these FAD diet companies feed you with a load of BS, telling you that this one pill or shake is the solution to re-starting your fat loss efforts, when in fact all it is, is an attempt to sell you their product and in the process make millions when in reality there is a much healthier way of going about things.

When starting your fat loss journey you have to be prepared to get out your comfort zone when you train and also you have to be prepared to make sacrifices.

As we all know this isn’t easy. Supplement and diet companies know this and as a result promise to give you a quick fix through their magic fat loss supplement, pill or diet.

Half the time its a load of BS and in truth all they are doing is putting you on a calorie deficit diet which you may lose weight on but in turn a S#*T load of muscle.

What ever happened to giving people nutrient dense foods and actually giving people the calories they need instead of constantly restricting them of nutrients, making them feel like shit daily which will eventually turn to them to the refined crap thats so abundant in our society.

The truth is that you just need to get your head down when you train and be prepared to do physically, mentally and nutritionally what yours family, mates and other peers won’t .

It takes a lot of physical and psychological preparation to get the physique you want from the off-set and consistently throughout but if you want your goal bad enough you will get there

If your head isn’t ready its no issue, you just aren’t ready to start your fat loss journey yet but stick with it because from experience there will come a time when you are ready physically and mentally and then thats where you make the most of the opportunity.

Pauls top 5 foods for increased fat loss

There are a lot of top foods out there however I have narrowed down 5 foods that I would encourage you to start adding in to your nutritional plan straight away.

 

Kale – This food is packed with nutrients as well as helping clear toxins from the body which in turn is putting you in a more alkaline state (perfect for fat loss). It also helps suppress appetite

Avocado – Mono-saturate which helps improve improve cell membrane and fat burning hormone integrity. You are also less likely to store fat and in turn speed up your metabolism

 

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Wild Salmon – Lets get this right from the start. The salmon you eat must be wild for you to get the full benefits from it. Wild salmon feed on something called Krill which gives it, its omega 3 properties, NOT pellets like you see and hear in the salmon farms. Wild salmon is packed in omega 3 which helps balance your 3,6+9 ratio’s. The omega also helps increase insulin sensitivity which is imperative for fat loss.

 

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Coconut Oil – As cooking oils go this is imperative for you to use with your meals, especially in the morning. Coconut oil is packed full of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) which your body preferentially uses for energy.

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Cinnamon – This great spice is not only great tasting but it also helps shuttle circulating glucose into cell membranes quicker meaning insulin hangs around the blood stream less frequently.

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Eating less just doesn’t cut it long-term

Its very rare that someone comes to me and I have to reduce their calorie intake. In fact the opposite is true. Most of the time I have to gradually increase what they eat on a daily basis.

Not giving your body the fuel it requires on a daily basis can have huge health consequences for the short and long term and generally starts a domino effect of problems which take time to reverse and change for the better.

I prime example would be what happens when you try a FAD diet.

1. first of all you are calorie restricted which means you lose shit loads of weight in the first fews weeks

2. Secondly you start to plateau. This is mainly because the body has now readjusted its BMR (number of calories your require to survive) in order to meet with its new calorie intake and therefore has learnt to be more efficient and store energy for when it needs it. (By the way being more efficient in relation to this point isn’t a good thing).

3. After 8-10 weeks or so you stop the FAD diet and go back to eating how you used to. The likely hood is that you are now eating more calories than when you were on your FAD diet and because your Basal metabolic rate has lowered to a much lower calorie intake all additional calories you are now taking are surplus to requirement and store as fat and get this you actually become heavier than when you first started the FAD diet!!!!

After a few weeks or months you look to start the next FAD diet and the process starts again. All in all you become an internal mess and you are just making results harder to come by.

This type of person who Yo Yo’s from diet to diet are then ironically after the quickest results which just won’t happen because you need to make yourself healthier before changes start to occur.

When anyone comes to see me and they call something a diet I get worried. Calling something a diet has a definitive beginning and at some point a definitive end. There should be no end. It should be a way of life.

If you are eating plenty to start with then you should find results easier to come by than someone who hasn’t been eating enough for the last 1-20 years of their life.

If you have been eating on a very low calorie diet for the past X number of years be realistic and don’t expect results to happen straight away. Start by gradually increasing what you eat week by week. This should in time make you so much healthier and then you just may be in a position to see some great body composition changes.

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