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Everything You Think You Know About Healthy Eating is Wrong and it’s Making You Fat and Tired

Oh my gosh – nutrition and diet info is everywhere!

And each expert and association tries to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to help you. Right?

Well, maybe…

Everyone has heard (and maybe lived through) the intense focus on how much you eat. This has gotten way too much attention because while this does affect your weight and energy level, it’s certainly not the “holy grail” of health.

Let’s focus a bit more on the often overlooked (and proven) benefits of what you eat and drink and how you eat and drink it.

What you eat and drink

The “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important. Don’t get me wrong limiting calories, carbs or fat can certainly help you lose weight but that’s simply not the only factor for long-term weight loss and maximum energy for everyone.

When the intense focus on how much we ate didn’t work in the long-run it wasn’t really a surprise. We kinda knew that already, didn’t we?

You can certainly still continue to count your calories, carbs, and fat but don’t forget to also pay attention to what you eat.

Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” foods). This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness.

Every day this is what you should aim for:

  • A colourful array of fruits and veggies at almost every meal and snack. You need the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

 

  • Enough protein. Making sure you get all of those essential amino acids (bonus: eating protein can increase your metabolism).

 

  • Healthy fats and oils (never “hydrogenated” ones). There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential” – you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain as well as to be able to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins from your uber-healthy salads. Use extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, eat your organic egg yolks, and get grass-fed meats when possible. You don’t need to overdo it here. Just make sure you’re getting some high-quality fats.

 

How you eat and drink

Also pay attention to how you eat and drink.

Studies are definitely showing that this has more of an impact than we previously thought.

Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues? Do you drink your food?

When it comes to how you eat let’s first look at “mindful eating”.

Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savour every bite. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.

This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes.

This can also help with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less. Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full?

Thought so!

We also know that more thoroughly chewed food is easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.

And don’t forget about drinking your food.

Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a fabulously easy and tasty way to get in some fruits and veggies (hello leafy greens!) but drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness.

Don’t get me wrong a green smoothie can make an amazingly nutrient-dense meal and is way better than stopping for convenient junk food – just consider a large smoothie to be a full meal not a snack. And don’t gulp it down too fast.

If your smoothies don’t fill you up like a full meal does try adding in a spoon of fiber like ground flax or chia seeds.

 

Summary:

Consider not only how much you eat but also what and how you eat it.

 

Recipe (Smoothie meal): Chia Peach Green Smoothie

Serves 1

handful spinach

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 banana

1 chopped peach

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Add ingredients to blender in order listed (you want your greens on the bottom by the blade so they blend better and have the chia on the bottom to absorb some liquid before you blend).

Wait a couple of minutes for the chia seeds to start soaking up the almond milk.

Blend, Serve and Enjoy!

Tip: Smoothies are the ultimate recipe for substitutions. Try swapping different greens, fruit or seeds to match your preference.

Bonus: Chia seeds not only have fiber and essential omega-3 fatty acids but they contain all of the essential amino acids from protein.

 

References:

The Astounding Benefits of Chia Seeds

http://summertomato.com/wisdom-wednesday-salad-dressing-is-your-friend

https://authoritynutrition.com/20-reasons-you-are-not-losing-weight/

http://summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2

 

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Three Ways to Avoid Overeating at Meals

Sometimes those holiday feasts are just amazing.

And it’s not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance.

It is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days.
But it doesn’t always stop there.
Sometimes we overeat on regular days.  Or at regular meals.  Or All. The. Time.

Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals.

(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)
Tip #1: Start with some water 

When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.
But did you know that it’s possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger?  Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.
Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten.
And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (…just sayin’).
Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.
Win-win!
Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”

You’ve heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?
This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.
Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.
Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful.  Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture.  Breathe.
This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.
When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.
So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.
Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.
Tip #3: Start with the salad
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.
But don’t start there.
(Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).
Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.
Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller.  They’re “satiating”.
And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.
Summary:
Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.
Recipe (Water): Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas
If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:

  • Slices of lemon & ginger
  • Slices of strawberries & orange
  • Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
  • Chopped pineapple & mango
  • Blueberries & raspberries

Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning.  They’re already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.

References:
https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-of-water/
http://summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal

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What is Metabolism?

 

This word “metabolism” is thrown around a lot these days.

 

You know that if yours is too slow you might gain weight.  But what exactly does this all mean?

 

Well technically “metabolism” is the word to describe all of the biochemical reactions in your body.  It’s how you take in nutrients and oxygen and use them to fuel everything you do.

 

Your body has an incredible ability to grow, heal, and generally stay alive.  And without this amazing biochemistry you would not be possible.

 

Metabolism includes how the cells in your body:

  • Allow activities you can control (e.g. physical activity etc.).
  • Allow activities you can’t control (e.g. heart beat, wound healing, processing of nutrients & toxins, etc.).
  • Allow storage of excess energy for later.

 

So when you put all of these processes together into your metabolism you can imagine that these processes can work too quickly, too slowly, or just right.

 

Which brings us to the “metabolic rate”.

 

Metabolic rate

 

This is how fast your metabolism works and is measured in calories (yup, those calories!).

 

The calories you eat can go to one of three places:

  • Work (i.e. exercise and other activity).
  • Heat (i.e. from all those biochemical reactions).
  • Storage (i.e. extra leftover “unburned” calories stored as fat).

 

As you can imagine the more calories you burn as work or creating heat the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off because there will be fewer “leftover” calories to store for later.

 

There are a couple of different ways to measure metabolic rate.  One is the “resting metabolic rate” (RMR) which is how much energy your body uses when you’re not being physically active.

 

The other is the “total daily energy expenditure” (TDEE) which measures both the resting metabolic rate as well as the energy used for “work” (e.g. exercise) throughout a 24-hour period.

 

What affects your metabolic rate?

 

In a nutshell: a lot!

 

The first thing you may think of is your thyroid.  This gland at the front of your throat releases hormones to tell your body to “speed up” your metabolism.  Of course, the more thyroid hormone there is the faster things will work and the more calories you’ll burn.

 

But that’s not the only thing that affects your metabolic rate.

 

How big you are counts too!

 

Larger people have higher metabolic rates; but your body composition is crucial!

 

As you can imagine muscles that actively move and do work need more energy than fat does.  So the more lean muscle mass you have the more energy your body will burn and the higher your metabolic rate will be.  Even when you’re not working out.

 

This is exactly why weight training is often recommended as a part of a weight loss program.  Because you want muscles to be burning those calories for you.

 

The thing is, when people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down which you don’t want to happen.  So you definitely want to offset that with more muscle mass.

 

Aerobic exercise also temporarily increases your metabolic rate.  Your muscles are burning fuel to move so they’re doing “work”.

 

The type of food you eat also affects your metabolic rate!

 

Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolize your food.  This is called the “thermic effect of food” (TEF).

 

You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently.

 

Fats, for example increase your TEF by 0-3%; carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%.  By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate.

 

Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow.  By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off.

 

And don’t forget the mind-body connection.  There is plenty of research that shows the influence that things like stress and sleep have on the metabolic rate.

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to metabolism and how so many different things can work to increase (or decrease) your metabolic rate.

 

Recipe (Lean Protein): Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken Breasts

 

Serves 4

 

2 lemons, sliced

1 tablespoon rosemary

1 tablespoon thyme

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)

dash salt & pepper

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive old

 

Preheat oven to 425F.  Layer ½ of the lemon slices on the bottom of a baking dish.  Sprinkle with ½ of the herbs and ½ of the sliced garlic.

 

Place the chicken breasts on top and sprinkle salt & pepper.  Place remaining lemon, herbs and garlic on top of the chicken.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Cover with a lid or foil.

 

Bake for 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  If you want the chicken to be a bit more “roasty” then remove the lid/foil and broil for another few minutes (watching carefully not to burn it).

 

Serve & enjoy!

 

Tip: You can add a leftover sliced chicken breast to your salad for lunch the next day!

 

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-energy-balance

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/10-ways-to-boost-metabolism/

 

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Posted by Greg | No Comments

BATTLE HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN

10 Tips to Beat Holiday Weight Gain

battleholidayweight

  1. Don’t go to Holiday parties hungry – always eat something healthy right before leaving your house.
  2. Don’t eat too many sweets. You will probably have SOME sweets this holiday season, but try to limit the number to two per week.
  3. Don’t skip out on exercise. The best way to BATTLE the extra calories this season is by hitting the Gym two to three times per week or at least by go for a walk after dinner.
  4.  Ask if you can bring the salad. Make it delicious and filled with fibrous, water-rich foods… and light on dressings!
  5. For every item you drink, drink 1 cup of water after. Limit sugary and alcoholic drinks.
  6. Enjoy the fixings, but… Try to keep your plate half (Fresh) fruit and veggies.
  7. Action plan for your indulgences.  Did you know that the exercise equivalent of adding a slice of low-carb cheese cake to your regular diet is around 550 Burpees!
  8. Use your Tech.  Try tracking your nutrition in a food log app such as MyFitnessPal.
  9. Look up menus. When going out to eat, look up the nutrition information online ahead of time and pick a dish with a lean meat item.
  10. Experiment with healthy dishes at home. Indulged over the weekend? Make sure to pick RIGHT back up on your healthy routine and don’t let it run over into your regular life!

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Gut Permeability and Your Diet

More and more we are hearing about food allergies and food sensitivities.  Because they are such common conditions, it is important to understand the difference between the two and what the health issues are which surround them.

The difference between food sensitivities and food allergies

Though on the surface food sensitivities and food allergies may seem like the same thing (they can even cause some of the same symptoms), they are, in fact, two different conditions.

The least common of the two is a food allergy.  A food allergy will bring about a response from the immune system that can impact several different parts of your body.  Food allergies can be life-threatening.  Food sensitivity or food intolerance symptoms are less serious but are more common, being typically confined to the digestive tract.

foodallergies

The gut connection

When you have a food allergy, your body essentially treats the food as something that is threatening to your body and therefore mounts an attack against it.  The reason for the attack is that particles of that food and other molecules have traveled from the intestines into the bloodstream; but they are not supposed to be there.

How did they get there?  Through what is known as a leaky gut.  A normal, healthy intestine has walls that are tight, allowing only small molecules such as vitamins, simple sugars and amino acids to pass through it.  But when the gut becomes overly permeable, larger molecules, toxins, bacteria and bits of undigested waste pass through into the blood stream.  These molecules are not supposed to be in the bloodstream at all.

The result is that this triggers a response in the body, and the large molecules are treated as foreigners, triggering an immune reaction leading to digestion problems, autoimmune diseases and additional food allergies.  If your body begins producing antibodies to certain foods and food groups, then those foods will be treated as pathogenic by your body.

What are the causes and symptoms of leaky gut?

There are many causes of leaky gut.  These include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin
  • Alcohol and caffeine
  • Antacid medications
  • Food additives
  • Allergies to food
  • Stress
  • Infections within the bowel itself
  • Diets high in refined flours, sugars and other processed foods
  • Candidiasis
  • Antibiotics

If you have leaky gut, you may experience a range of symptoms such as fatigue, joint and muscle pain, pain and bloating in the abdomen, skin rashes, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and depression.

The solution

The good news is that if you think you have leaky gut, there are several action steps you can take to begin healing.  The key is to remove anything that may be contributing to your condition, while at the same time feed your body what it needs to begin repairing the damage.

Try the following suggestions to start on the road to healing and health:

  1. Eliminate alcohol and caffeine from your diet.
  1. Stop using all anti-inflammatory drugs.
  1. Chew your food thoroughly and take a digestive enzyme to aid digestion.
  1. Take probiotics to increase the number of friendly microbes in your intestines.
  1. Eat at least nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
  1. Stop eating refined, white flour, sugar and processed foods.
  1. Drink plenty of filtered water.
Posted by Greg | No Comments

Recipe Round-up for Grain Free Holiday Cookies

Grain Free / Gluten Free – NOT Calorie Free

Please keep in mind as we go through this holiday season that just because something is grain free or “Paleo” it is NOT calorie free. In fact some of these “treats” may actually be higher in calories. You still want the bulk of your diet to be made up of protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.

rose-shortbread-cookies-grain-free-www-savorylotus-com-1-2

Even though grain free treats may be higher in calories they are a better choice for most for several reasons…

  • More satisfying due to higher fat content so you eat 1 cookie versus 4-5.
  • Do not contain gluten, which can increase inflammation and contribute to symptoms such as: depression, anxiety, headaches, digestive upset, joint pain, and the list goes on and on.
  • Lower in carbohydrates because they lack grains helping to minimize the spike of blood sugar.

Remember not all calories are created equal…

Be Mindful

When you are looking at recipes be mindful of the ingredients, mainly how much sugar it calls for. Most of the time you can reduce the sugar in a recipe and it will still taste great!

For example if a recipe calls for dark chocolate chips and ½ cup of honey or maple syrup, I will reduce the sweetener down to ¼ cup, as the chocolate chips contain sweetener as well.  I have found that my new taste buds don’t handle a lot of sugar at one time very well. The only time I usually don’t do this is if I am taking it somewhere.

Also be mindful of how much nut flour and nut butter you are consuming this time of year. The calories can add up fast and for some people nuts can increase inflammation and exacerbate symptoms especially those that are autoimmune in nature.

The holidays can be very busy with to-do list a mile longJ Often times we are putting food in our mouth unconsciously simply because it is there. Indulge in those things that are truly worth it to you and pass on everything else. If you take a bit of something and it doesn’t taste good to you or you can tell that your body doesn’t like it then stop eating it! You aren’t offending anyone by politely declining foods.

I encourage you to stop…slow down…be mindful…and practice self-care this holiday season.

 

NOW ON TO THE GOOD STUFF!

 

Recipes for Grain Free Gluten Free Holiday Cookies

Chewy Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies from Multiply Delicious.

Cranberry Ginger Cookies from Civilized Caveman.

Chocolate Puddle Cookies from Plateful.

Dark Chocolate Salted Truffle Cookies from Paleo Parents.

Easy Chocolate Turtles from Detoxinista.

Grain-Free Shortbread Cookies from Detoxinista.

Gluten Free Almond Cookies from Taste of Home.

Paleo Chocolate Chip Blondies from Ditch the Wheat.

Paleo Girl Scout Cookies: Samoas from Elana’s Pantry.

Paleo Iced Gingerbread Cookies from Beauty and the Foodie.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies from Elana’s Pantry.

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How to Build a Bigger Booty through Exercise and Diet

IMG_9680

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– Want to sculpt and tone your booty
– Get lean, add muscle and increase your metabolism
– Work well in a group/ team setting
– Able to dedicate 30 – 45 minutes to working out a minimum of 3 days a week
– Live in the South Brisbane / Logan area
-Willing to listen, apply and change your body
– don’t mind getting your hands dirty and working hard!

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Sugar: Is it a Toxic Substance?

I don’t think it is a secret to anyone that the incidence of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer is higher than it has ever been and continues to rise. I hope at this point we can all agree that our diet and lifestyle directly correlate to these statistics. In the early 1980’s, about one in seven Americans were obese, and almost six million were diabetic. Fast forward to the early 2000s, when sugar consumption peaked due to the “low-fat” craze we went through, and one in every three Americans were obese—and14 million were diabetic.
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“Sugar: The Bitter Truth”

On May 26, 2009, Robert Lustig gave a lecture called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” which was later posted to YouTube. The video has since received over 800,000 views.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

Lustig is a specialist on pediatric hormone disorders as well as a leading expert in childhood obesity at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. Lustig takes a pretty hard stance against sugar, calling it a “toxin” or “poison.” In addition, he refers to sugar as “evil.” He is not only referring to the white granulated stuff but also high fructose corn syrup, which Lustig argues has become “the most demonized additive known to man.”

He brings up a critical point in relationship to the calories in sugar. Lustig says, “It has nothing to do with the calories. It’s a poison by itself.” From his point of view, sugar should be thought of as something that is killing us, like cigarettes and alcohol. His argument implies that sugar is the likely dietary cause of several chronic diseases: heart disease, hypertension, and many common cancers. Based on Lustig’s information, our excessive consumption of sugar is the primary reason for the increase in numbers of obese and diabetic Americans in the last 30 years.

Lustig argues that refined sugar (sucrose) and high fructose corn syrup are equally bad. Both do not provide us with any protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, or fiber.

Sugar’s Effect on the Body

Consuming sugar (fructose and glucose) has a large impact on our liver. Drinking sugar in a liquid form from fruit juice or soda will have a greater negative impact on the liver than if you eat an apple. The liver also controls much of our body’s natural detoxification system. Because of the way our bodies metabolize fructose and high fructose corn syrup, eating these “toxins” may lead to fat build up in our livers.

This fat accumulation could then lead to insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes). Insulin is the hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to the foods you eat (particularly carbohydrates) to keep blood sugar in control. Over time, your cells can become resistant to insulin causing the pancreas to pump out more and more insulin. At some point, the pancreas can no longer keep up and blood sugar becomes uncontrollable, which is then full-blown diabetes.

Move Towards Better Health

The first step in moving towards better health is to remove ALL high fructose corn syrup from your diet. Once you have done that, focus on eliminating calorie-filled, sugar-filled beverages. Instead, focus on eating nutrient-dense foods (protein, vegetables, and healthy fats) and drinking more water.

Look better, feel better, and remove the “toxic” substance sugar from your diet.

– Greg

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www.FitBodyFitnessTraining.com