Healthy inside, healthy outside
You don't have to become a walking medical textbook, yet we believe that if you understand some of how your body works, it will help you to let us know how you feel, making it easier for us to help you.
Understanding your body is at the heart of a healthy lifestyle. If you learn to listen to your body, you'll better be able to blend the aspects of your life that go to make up your wellbeing.
Knowing your body systems and their basic function will help you to keep in tune and to keep healthy.
The systems that we tend to talk about when looking at diet and nutrition are: digestive, immune, circulatory, endocrine (glandular and hormonal) and urinary system.
The digestive system helps the body to break down foods into nutrients so the body can absorb them. The respiratory system provides oxygen to the blood, which carries it to all of your millions of cells. The immune system helps the body to fight infection.
How to Understand Your Body
At Nutrichef we talk about being healthy on the inside and healthy on the outside, so when we're trying to understand our bodies we look at measurements that can establish a basic level of health and fitness. These are indicators only and can't always tells us about any underlying conditions.
Your Weekly Food Diary
One great way to get to grips with what's going on is to write things down in a diary that records body measurements, diet and exercise. We've put something together for you to use.
Be sure to write down how you feel, as well as what you eat and drink and how much exercise you do.
Your Basic Measurements
Good measurements to take are neck, chest, waist, tummy and hips. You could also add thigh and upper arm. Any changes in these measurements obviously show change in body shape, but what we're more interested in is the amount of fat that we carry. When we talk about losing weight we're really talking about losing fat.
Most of us have an idea of what our ideal weight is, and we might nervously step on the scales from time to time to see how near (or far) we are from that goal, but a more meaningful mesurement is our BMI.
Your BMI - What is it?
BMI stands for 'body mass index' - a formula which relates your body weight to height, helping you understand if you're at a weight which is healthy for you.
Simply use one of our charts to locate your height and weight in imperial or metric, and then establish which range you are in.
What does it mean?
BMI of under 18.5: You are considered underweight. It would be good for your health if you put on some weight. Take care with your diet as you do.
BMI of 18.5 to 25: Ideal - you have a healthy amount of body fat. A BMI of 22 is associated with living longest and having the lowest incidence of serious illness.
BMI of 25 to 30: Between these values you are considered overweight. It would be good for your health if you lost weight.
BMI over 30: Your body is in an unhealthy condition, putting yourself at risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and some cancers. You should probably get some medical advice and lose weight!
Alternatively you can calculate your BMI: you take your height (in metres), square it, then divide your weight (in kilograms) by the answer:
Measuring your BMI can be a good indicator of body fat level, and the results obtained are often an important trigger to get people to improve their diet through booking a Nutrichef meal plan. However, people who exercise regularly will have a higher muscle mass, and will obtain a more accurate measurment of body fat by using a specialised instrument that passes a small current through the body.
Your pH Balance
Your body pH level is probably the MOST important thing you can monitor to ensure good health and wellness.The good news is - testing your pH is easy - and inexpensive - to do. And inexpensive. And you can do it in the privacy of your own home or we can do it for you at Nutrichef.
The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14.We get a value on this scale when we measure the pH of a liquid - in this case saliva.The point of measuring pH is to find out how acidic or alkaline that liquid is.The value of "7" is considered neutral, neither acidic nor alkaline. Values less than 7 are acidic, bad for you, while values above 7 are considered alkaline, good for you; the perfect reading for us is around 7.4.
By and large healthy foods tend to be alkaline and unhealthy ones acidic, get the balance wrong and we disrupt our immune systems, meaning that we are more susceptible to illness.
Your Vascular Age
"A man is as old as his arteries." - Thomas Sydenham, English physician 1624-1689
Most people only have a vague idea what's going on inside their body. We assume that if we feel healthy we must be OK. What many people don't realise is that in the case of heart disease, the biggest single killer in the western world, you can suffer as much as 75% occlusion of your arteries before you feel any adverse effects whatsoever.
At Nutrichef we have a machine that can look inside your body at your arteries and determines how healthy they are. It measures their stiffness and tone and estimates your vascular age by referring to known averages for gender, height & weight.
You can imagine what an incentive it is to change your diet if you get a result which suggests your arteries appear to be 20 years older than your actual age, so you shouldn't fear, as arterial stiffness is reversible through dietary change.