Archive for the ‘Healthy Eating’ Category

The Secret to Dieting Success? Sleep

March 13, 2018

Why-Sleep-Is-Important-for-Weight-Loss
Sure, eating less is the main driver of weight loss, but nailing the right amount of shut-eye each night helps too

Spring is fast approaching. For many of you, that means a race is on the horizon, so it’s time to turn up your training, dial in your diet, and rebuild your trail legs. But as you begin this performance-minded overhaul of your waking hours, you should also consider the one-third of your day where you do nothing at all: your sleeping hours.

“I often find myself in this dilemma where I could wake up early and go for a run or I could get an extra 20 to 30 minutes of sleep,” says Chris Winter, a sleep researcher who consults for various professional teams and author of The Sleep Solution. “Most days, I’d probably be better off getting the sleep.”

Roughly 40 percent of us don’t get seven or more hours of sleep. But logging shut-eye is associated with better fitness and athletic performance. Winter, for example, conducted a study that showed professional baseball players who didn’t get enough sleep had shorter careers in the majors. One reason may be that sleep helps you recover from hard training. “The lion’s share of growth hormone secretion happens during deep sleep,” says Winter.

And while eating less is generally agreed to be the main driver of weight loss, fixing your approach to sleep may actually be one of the easiest ways to cut weight. The number of sleep hours you get is a strong predictor of what and how much you eat. People who slept five hours or fewer, for example, consumed nearly 700 daily calories more than people who got a full night’s sleep, according to research. That’s about seven pieces of bread, three PowerBars, or a McDonald’s quarter-pounder with fries that can up and vanish from your daily diet.

“When a body is sleepy, you try to eat to stay awake,” Winter says. Blame biology. When you’re sleep-deprived, the appetite-regulating hormone leptin drops and the hunger hormone ghrelin spikes. You’re most likely to crave calorie-dense, high-carb foods—stuff like tortilla chips and granola bars—over vegetables.

Incremental weight loss and muscle gain is more important now than ever as you start to ramp up your training. According to research, most people end the winter nearly five pounds heavier than they started it. That extra flab doesn’t just affect your health—it can kill performance. Data from marathon runners even shows that higher body-fat percentage is tied to slower finishing times, even when you’re talking only five pounds.

So get some sleep. The simplest way is to make your bedroom feel like a cave.

#1. Darken Your Room

If you can see anything at all in your bedroom at night, it’s too bright. Light is the main disruptor of the sleep process, Winter says. The solution, he says, is to buy blackout curtains for your windows and rid electronics from your bedroom (or, at least, put tape over their lights). If it’s still too bright, use a sleeping mask.

#2. Kill the Noise

If you fall asleep to the din of Netflix, you’re setting yourself up to have your sleep interrupted, and that can blunt recovery-enhancing processes like growth hormone release, Winter says. Set your TV on a sleep timer. If your room is still loud—looking at you, apartment dwellers—invest in earplugs.

#3. Turn Down the Thermostat

“There’s new research that says temperature may be just as important as light in controlling sleep patterns,” Winter says. Cooler is better. Aim for 66 degrees: A study found that people who slept in a 66-degree room not only slept better but also boosted their ability to metabolize fats and sugars.

 

Written by: Michael Easter
https://www.outsideonline.com/2283696/easiest-way-fix-your-diet-sleep

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How Shame Affects Eating Habits

August 20, 2017
Eating certain foods quickly can become a conditioned pattern around feelings of shame—and the anxiety of being found out.

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A common expression of shame is eating certain foods secretly and fast when nobody is around. This habit may continue for many years, not because we like the experience of eating in this way (few do), but because it lets us fool ourselves into believing that we have not eaten anything “forbidden.” Often, these eating habits become a conditioned pattern, with underlying feelings of shame—and the anxiety of being discovered—present all the time.

Often, these eating habits become a conditioned pattern, with underlying feelings of shame—and the anxiety of being discovered—present all the time.

The first thing that we can acknowledge is that this hidden secret of “not being or doing enough” is extremely energy consuming. Becoming aware of the ways that shame plays out in our own experience is the first step toward learning to treat ourselves more gently.

What types of awareness are helpful?

  1. Becoming aware of repetitive thoughts that go through the mind when life becomes difficult. Often, they are lingering self-doubts, such as “I’m unlovable,” “I’m helpless,” “I’m inadequate,” “I’m a failure.” “I’m basically alone,” or “I don’t belong.”
  2. Learning to identify the different manifestations of shame. Sometimes shame shows itself as “the inner critic” (or self-blamer) or “the pusher” (for whom nothing is ever enough).
  3. Being mindful of shame in the body. Downcast eyes, lowered head, and unstable posture are all natural expressions of shame. Other physical sensations that occur with shame include warmth, or heat and blushing.

How can we work with shame and build more shame resilience?

The first step is to keep shame from growing. Secrecy (taboos), silence, and judgment are three fuels that help shame to grow exponentially. Breaking the silence and challenging taboo thoughts about eating are essential parts of the healing process.

The second step is to focus on our common humanity. Human beings are born with the wish to be loved, and we need each other to survive. Therefore, we all seek approval and feel social shame when we perceive that we do not fit in. When you understand that we are all struggling with the same feelings and fears, you can connect with our common humanity.

Breaking the silence and challenging taboo thoughts about eating are essential parts of the healing process.

The third step is allowing the discomfort to be present. It takes courage to expose your hidden stories to the light because it is much easier to hide in the dark. Mindfulnessaddresses each moment-to-moment experience with curiosity and openness, no matter if there are negative core beliefs or shameful experiences.

Additionally, bringing compassion and kindness to the situation can ease the suffering that results after self-criticism. Consciously breathing or softening into the tensed areas can increase your tolerance for these painful situations.

Finally, you can offer yourself words of care and kindness for being in a difficult situation. Talk to yourself as you would talk to someone you love, such as your child or partner. What would a very compassionate friend say to you in this situation? Compassionate and soothing gestures can support you in finding inner warmth as an antidote for the harsh and cold words of shame.

Written By  | July 27, 2017
Sourced from: https://www.mindful.org/shame-affects-eating-habits/
Photo sourced from: http://schaamte.be

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Grilled Calamari with Roasted Capsicum

May 21, 2015

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Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Amazing Chicken

April 9, 2015

hi

Which Is Worse: High Fructose Corn Syrup Or Sugar?

March 1, 2015

VBK-SUGAR_260868fWhile both sweeteners really aren’t great, high fructose corn syrup, which is found in a wide variety of highly processed foods and beverages such as baked desserts, salad dressings, ketchup, sodas, and ice cream, is the slightly more dangerous choice.

Too much of any sugar is bad for you—in excess, it promotes insulin resistance, weight gain, and inflammation that contributes to chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer. From a health perspective, some experts say HFCS (which is, obviously, derived from corn) is no different than table sugar (which comes from sugar cane and sugar beets), but there’s one difference between highly-processed HFCS and regular sugar that gives me pause: Some forms of HFCS may release more fructose within the body than does sucrose, or table sugar (which pales equal parts glucose and fructose). Glucose triggers feeling of fullness to help keep you from overeating, while fructose doesn’t.

Worse: a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition found that HFCS is significantly more toxic to female mice than table sugar is, harming their reproductive health and shortening their lifespan. Other animal studies suggest that high intakes of HFCS can slow brain function, impairing memory and the ability to learn.

There is also an environmental impact to consider, as the government-subsidized growing of corn requires large amounts of fertilizer and pesticides, and depletes the soil of nutrients.

Though some manufacturers, like Hershey, are doing away with HFCS in favor of ordinary table sugar, many still favor HFCS because it tastes sweeter than regular corn syrup, helps maintain a long shelf life for their products, and, until recently, has been relatively inexpensive. But there are better, healthier ways to add flavor, like a splash of maple or glucose syrup or adding vanilla or cinnamon.

Regular sugar can add to the pleasure of eating in small doses, but we consume far too much of it. In fact, the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar daily, most of that coming from sugar-sweetened sodas, grain-based desserts such as cookies and cake, candy, energy drinks, ready-to-eat cereals, and yeast breads. So when you’re reaching for a snack, read ingredient lists carefully to avoid added sugars as much as possible. Or stick with naturally low-sugar options like air-popped popcorn, plain Greek yogurt, sorbet, and dried fruit.

Article sourced from: http://www.prevention.com/food/high-fructose-corn-syrup-versus-sugar
Written by Andrew Weil MD

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Baked Trout

February 19, 2015

baked trout

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week -Sprout Salad

February 5, 2015

sproutsalad

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Guacamole Stuffed Burgers

October 23, 2014

imagesServes 8

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 900g ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped coriander
  • 1 small green capsicum, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method

1.      Heat the grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the lime juice, shallot and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

2.      In a large bowl, mix together the meat with the garlic, coriander, capsicum, chili powder, cumin and salt.

3.      Divide the ground meat into 8 even mounds. Split each mound in two and form two thin burger patties, one patty slightly bigger than the other.

4.      Dollop a spoonful of avocado in the middle of the smaller patty, spreading it out slightly but making sure to leave a little rim around the edge of the meat.

5.      Set the larger patty on top and fold/pinch the edges together and shape the burger in your hands to form a tight seal around the guacamole.

6.      Repeat with the remaining burgers.

7.      Grill the burgers 5 to 7 minutes a side or until cooked to your liking.

8.      Serve with hot sauce or salsa on top, alongside a green salad.