Posts Tagged ‘Diet’

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Vanilla, Passionfruit & Raspberry Desserts

August 24, 2017

hi
Serves 4

Ingredients

200ml water
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
6 scoops Proti vanilla
4 passionfruit
1 cup frozen raspberries

Method

  1. Combine Place water and Greek yoghurt in a bowl and mix with a stick blender.
  2. Add Proti powder and mix carefully with a stick blender until smooth.
  3. Add fruit and stir through.
  4. Pour into serving glasses or ramekins and refrigerate for a few hours or until set.
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Why Ketosis Helps You Reduce Cravings & Hunger?

August 13, 2017

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If you’re embarking on a weight-loss journey, chances are you’ll run into the nutritional ketosis diet. But have you ever wondered if (and why) ketosis can help you lose weight? First, let me assure you that it can. In fact, even mainstream doctors are suggesting ketogenic diets for an entire host of patients, including those with metabolic syndrome. The beauty of the standard ketogenic diet—which consists of about 70 to 80 percent healthy fats, 10 to 20 percent protein, and 5 percent carbohydrates—is that you will not feel hungry or deprived.

Ketosis can also offer health benefits that stretch far beyond weight loss. This way of eating can be beneficial for people with mitochondrial dysfunction and cancer or for athletes looking to increase their athletic performance. Here’s why the ketogenic diet is a good choice for weight loss and overall health:

1. Ketosis will suppress hunger pangs.

Ketosis is a great appetite suppressant; if you are eating a standard (high-carb) American diet, you have blood sugar swings that can cause bouts of intense hunger—sometimes within as little as two hours of eating a meal! When you enter ketosis and start burning fat for fuel, your blood sugar will stabilize at a lower, healthier level. The healthy fat will be metabolized into ketones by your liver, and that will suppress your hunger via several metabolic pathways.

When it comes to most hunger pangs, we’re talking about ghrelin, not leptin. Ghrelin is the main hunger hormone and increases appetite. When you eat, ghrelin levels drop, if you are overweight they won’t drop as much as they should. When you start to lose weight on a non-ketotic diet, your body senses that it’s being starved and ghrelin levels increase. This is one reason regular diets often fail. The good news if you’re on a ketotic diet is ghrelin levels do not increase as you lose weight.

2. You’ll feel satiated and reduce inflammation.

Traditional diet-induced weight loss leads to increased hunger and reduced feelings of fullness or satiety. As you just read, it leads to increased ghrelin levels. It also leads to a reduced concentration of satiety peptides. These peptide hormones include glucagon-like peptide-1, cholecystokinin, and peptide YY. Ketogenic diets appear to suppress much of these responses by day three of your ketotic state. If you’re thinking “What can I eat that’s healthy and will reduce hunger pangs?” healthy fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter, and ghee will slow down the absorption of everything you eat so that you can go longer without feeling hungry. Alternatively, when we want “instant” feelings of satiety, it’s protein that wins (beating fats and carbs). Just be careful not to eat too much protein, as the amount you’re allowed on a ketotic diet is less than you might expect.

3. Your metabolism will get a friendly boost.

You’ll be delighted to know that you don’t have to count calories on the ketogenic diet. Simply eat until you’re full and try not to snack. Ketosis is a natural metabolic booster, so don’t be afraid of the “fat calories.” You’ll convert healthy fat to brain- and heart-healthy ketones and use them for fuel, while the excess is excreted in your urine. Metabolism is generally calculated in clinical studies with measurements of what is called a respiratory exchange ratio. On average, men burn an extra 450 kcals per day while women burn an extra 150 kcals/day in ketosis. This might not seem like much, but it adds up. Remember, don’t get obsessed with the amount of fat you’re eating. The fat turns into ketones, which are a nice, high-octane fuel for your body.

4. Cravings become a thing of the past.

When you burn fat for fuel, your blood sugar becomes more stabilized, and in turn, the lack of blood sugar highs and lows will rein in cravings for sugar and carbs. In my practice, I see that few people develop carb cravings or sugar cravings on a nutritional ketosis diet. If my patients or clients have cravings, I just have them take l-tyrosine and SAMe supplements as well as 5-OH tryptophan supplements—if they are not on antidepressants.

I hope I’ve demonstrated why ketosis can help you lose weight and just a couple of words of caution before we go. If you have type 1 diabetes or any other chronic medical condition, this is something that should be done only under medical supervision. In addition, it’s important to know that the ketogenic diet can be hard on conditions like leaky gut. I have my patients and clients “break ketosis” every two weeks to protect their gut. In general, this is a very healthy diet, and any symptoms of brain fog and sleep disturbance (if they occur at all) should clear up after the first two weeks.

As with all weight-reduction programs, if you’re looking to drop significant weight, it’s best to obtain medical clearance. And of course, listen to your body always. If you ever feel that something is wrong, do have a doctor check it out. Good luck!

Article sourced here: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/a-doctor-on-why-ketosis-helps-you-lose-weight

Binge Eating Disorder

February 21, 2017
Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Help for Compulsive Overeating

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All of us eat too much from time to time. But if you regularly overeat while feeling out of control and powerless to stop, you may be suffering from binge eating disorder. You may eat to the point of discomfort, then be plagued by feelings of guilt, shame, or depression afterwards, beat yourself up for your lack of self-control, or worry about what compulsive eating will do to your body. As powerless as you may feel about your eating disorder, it’s important to know that binge eating disorder is treatable. You can learn to break the binge eating cycle, develop a healthier relationship with food, and feel good about yourself again.

What you can do

  1. Understand the behavioral and emotional symptoms of binge eating disorder
  2. Recognize the factors that contribute to binge eating
  3. Discover the ways to break the cycle of binge eating
  4. Identify your binge eating triggers
  5. Start lifestyle changes that support a new relationship with food
  6. Learn how to help someone with binge eating disorder

What is binge eating disorder?

Binge eating disorder is a common eating disorder where you frequently eat large amounts of food while feeling powerless to stop and extremely distressed during or after eating. Binge eating disorder typically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood, often after a major diet. During a binge, you may eat even when you’re not hungry and continue eating long after you’re full. You may also binge so fast you barely register what you’re eating or tasting. Unlike bulimia, however, there are no regular attempts to “make up” for the binges through vomiting, fasting, or over-exercising.

You may find that binge eating is comforting for a brief moment, helping to ease unpleasant emotions or feelings of stress, depression, or anxiety. But then reality sets back in and you’re flooded with feelings of regret and self-loathing. Binge eating often leads to weight gain and obesity, which only reinforces compulsive eating. The worse you feel about yourself and your appearance, the more you use food to cope. It becomes a vicious cycle: eating to feel better, feeling even worse, and then turning back to food for relief. As much as you may feel powerless to break this cycle, there are plenty of things you can do to better manage your emotions and regain control over your eating and your health.

Signs and symptoms

If you have binge eating disorder, you may feel embarrassed and ashamed about your eating habits, and try to hide your symptoms by eating in secret.

Behavioral symptoms of binge eating and compulsive overeating

  • Inability to stop eating or control what you’re eating
  • Rapidly eating large amounts of food
  • Eating even when you’re full
  • Hiding or stockpiling food to eat later in secret
  • Eating normally around others, but gorging when you’re alone
  • Eating continuously throughout the day, with no planned mealtimes

Emotional symptoms

  • Feeling stress or tension that is only relieved by eating
  • Embarrassment over how much you’re eating
  • Feeling numb while bingeing—like you’re not really there or you’re on auto-pilot.
  • Never feeling satisfied, no matter how much you eat
  • Feeling guilty, disgusted, or depressed after overeating
  • Desperation to control weight and eating habits

Do you have binge eating disorder?

  • Do you feel out of control when you’re eating?
  • Do you think about food all the time?
  • Do you eat in secret?
  • Do you eat until you feel sick?
  • Do you eat to escape from worries, relieve stress, or to comfort yourself?
  • Do you feel disgusted or ashamed after eating?
  • Do you feel powerless to stop eating, even though you want to?

The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you have binge eating disorder.

Causes and effects

Generally, it takes a combination of things to develop binge eating disorder—including your genes, emotions, and experience.

Social and cultural risk factors. Social pressure to be thin can add to the you feel and fuel your emotional eating. Some parents unwittingly set the stage for binge eating by using food to comfort, dismiss, or reward their children. Children who are exposed to frequent critical comments about their bodies and weight are also vulnerable, as are those who have been sexually abused in childhood.

Psychological risk factors. Depression and binge eating are strongly linked. Many binge eaters are either depressed or have been before; others may have trouble with impulse control and managing and expressing their feelings. Low self-esteem, loneliness, and body dissatisfaction may also contribute to binge eating.

Biological risk factors. Biological abnormalities can contribute to binge eating. For example, the hypothalamus (the part of your brain that controls appetite) may not be sending correct messages about hunger and fullness. Researchers have also found a genetic mutation that appears to cause food addiction. Finally, there is evidence that low levels of the brain chemical serotonin play a role in compulsive eating.

Effects of binge eating disorder

Binge eating leads to a wide variety of physical, emotional, and social problems. You’re more likely to suffer health issues, stress, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts than someone without an eating disorder. You may also experience depression, anxiety, and substance abuse as well as substantial weight gain.

As bleak as this sounds, though, many people are able to recover from binge eating disorder and reverse the unhealthy effects. You can, too. The first step is to re-evaluate your relationship with food.

Binge eating recovery tip 1: Develop a healthier relationship with food

Recovery from any addiction is challenging, but it can be especially difficult to overcome binge eating and food addiction. Unlike other addictions, your “drug” is necessary for survival, so you don’t have the option of avoiding or replacing it. Instead, you need to develop a healthier relationship with food—a relationship that’s based on meeting your nutritional needs, not your emotional ones. To do this, you have to break the binge eating cycle by:

Cycle of violence

Avoiding temptation. You’re much more likely to overeat if you have junk food, desserts, and unhealthy snacks in the house. Remove the temptation by clearing your fridge and cupboards of your favorite binge foods.

Listening to your body. Learn to distinguish between physical and emotional hunger. If you ate recently and don’t have a rumbling stomach, you’re probably not really hungry. Give the craving time to pass.

Focusing on what you’re eating. How often have you binged in an almost trance-like state, not even enjoying what you’re consuming? Instead of eating mindlessly, be a mindful eater. Slow down and savor the textures and flavors. Not only will you eat less, you’ll enjoy it more.

Eating regularly. Don’t wait until you’re starving. This only leads to overeating! Stick to scheduled mealtimes, as skipping meals often leads to binge eating later in the day.

Not avoiding fat. Contrary to what you might think, dietary fat can actually help keep you from overeating and gaining weight. Try to incorporate healthy fat at each meal to keep you feeling satisfied and full.

Fighting boredom. Instead of snacking when you’re bored, distract yourself. Take a walk, call a friend, read, or take up a hobby such as painting or gardening.

The importance of deciding not to diet

After a binge, it’s only natural to feel the need to diet to compensate for overeating and to get back on track with your health. But dieting usually backfires. The deprivation and hunger that comes with strict dieting triggers food cravings and the urge to overeat.

Instead of dieting, focus on eating in moderation. Find nutritious foods that you enjoy and eat only until you feel content, not uncomfortably stuffed. Avoid banning or restricting certain foods, as this can make you crave them even more. Instead of saying “I can never eat ice cream,” say “I will eat ice cream as an occasional treat.”

Tip 2: Find better ways to feed your feelings

One of the most common reasons for binge eating is an attempt to manage unpleasant emotions such as stress, depression, loneliness, fear, and anxiety. When you have a bad day, it can seem like food is your only friend. Binge eating can temporarily make feelings such as stress, sadness, anxiety, depression, and boredom evaporate into thin air. But the relief is very fleeting.

Identify your triggers with a food and mood diary

One of the best ways to identify the patterns behind your binge eating is to keep track with a food and mood diary. Every time you overeat or feel compelled to reach for your version of comfort food Kryptonite, take a moment to figure out what triggered the urge. If you backtrack, you’ll usually find an upsetting event that kicked of the binge.

Write it all down in your food and mood diary: what you ate (or wanted to eat), what happened to upset you, how you felt before you ate, what you felt as you were eating, and how you felt afterward. Over time, you’ll see a pattern emerge.

Learn to tolerate the feelings that trigger your binge eating

The next time you feel the urge to binge, instead of giving in, take a moment to stop and investigate what’s going on inside.

Identify the emotion you’re feeling. Do your best to name what you’re feeling. Is it anxiety? Shame? Hopelessness? Anger? Loneliness? Fear? Emptiness?

Accept the experience you’re having. Avoidance and resistance only make negative emotions stronger. Instead, try to accept what you’re feeling without judging it or yourself.

Dig deeper. Explore what’s going on. Where do you feel the emotion in your body? What kinds of thoughts are going through your head?

Distance yourself. Realize that you are NOT your feelings. Emotions are passing events, like clouds moving across the sky. They don’t define who you are.

Sitting with your feelings may feel extremely uncomfortable at first. Maybe even impossible. But as you resist the urge to binge, you’ll start to realize that you don’t have to give in. There are other ways to cope. Even emotions that feel intolerable are only temporary. They’ll quickly pass if you stop fighting them. You’re still in control. You can choose how to respond.

For a step-by-step guide to learning how to manage unpleasant and uncomfortable emotions, check out HelpGuide’s free Emotional Intelligence Toolkit.

Tip 3: Take back control of cravings

Sometimes it feels like the urge to binge hits without warning. But even when you’re in the grip of a seemingly overpowering and uncontrollable urge, there are things you can do to help yourself stay in control.

Accept the urge and ride it out, instead of trying to fight it. This is known as “urge surfing.” Think of the urge to binge as an ocean wave that will soon crest, break, and dissipate. When you ride out the urge, without trying to battle, judge, or ignore it, you’ll see that it passes more quickly than you’d think.

Distract yourself. Anything that engages your attention will work: taking a walk, calling a friend, watching something funny online, etc. Once you get interested in something else, the urge to binge may go away.

Talk to someone. When you start to notice the urge to binge, turn to a friend or family member you trust. Sharing what you’re going through can help you feel better and discharge the urge to binge.

Delay, delay, delay. Even if you’re unsure if you’ll be able to fight the urge to binge, make an effort to delay it. Try to hold off for 1 minute. If you succeed. Try to stretch it out to 5 minutes. If you delay long enough, you may be able to avoid the binge.

Tip 4: Support yourself with healthy lifestyle habits

When you’re physically strong, relaxed, and well rested, you’re better able to handle the curveballs that life inevitably throws your way. But when you’re already exhausted and overwhelmed, any little hiccup has the potential to send you off the rails and straight toward the refrigerator. Exercise, sleep, and other healthy lifestyle habits will help you get through difficult times without binge eating.

Manage stress. One of the most important aspects of controlling binge eating is to find alternate ways to handle stress and other overwhelming feelings without using food. These may include meditating, using sensory relaxation strategies, and practicing simple breathing exercises.

Make time for regular exercise. Physical activity does wonders for your mood and your energy levels, and it’s also a powerful stress reducer. The natural mood-boosting effects of exercise can help put a stop to emotional eating.

Get enough sleep every night. When you don’t get the sleep you need, your body craves sugary foods that will give you a quick energy boost. Sleep deprivation may even trigger food addiction. Getting plenty of rest will help with appetite control and reduce food cravings, and support your mood.

Connect with others. Don’t underestimate the importance of close relationships and social activities. You’re more likely to succumb to binge eating triggers if you lack a solid support network. Talking helps, even if it’s not with a professional.

How to help someone with binge eating disorder

Since binge eaters often try to hide their symptoms and eat in secret, it can make it tough for family and friends to spot the warning signs. And you can’t always identify a binge eater by appearance, either. While some are overweight or obese, others manage to maintain a normal weight.

The warning signs that you can spot include finding piles of empty food packages and wrappers, cupboards and refrigerators that have been cleaned out, or hidden stashes of high-calorie or junk food. If you suspect that your loved one has binge eating disorder, bring up your concerns. It may seem daunting to start such a delicate conversation, and the person may deny bingeing or become angry and defensive. But there’s a chance that he or she will welcome the opportunity to share the struggle.

If the person shuts you out at first, don’t give up; it may take some time before your loved one is willing to admit to having a problem. And remember: as difficult as it is to know that someone you love may be have an eating disorder, you can’t force someone to change. The decision to seek recovery has to come from them. You can help by offering your compassion, encouragement, and support throughout the treatment process.

Tips for helping someone with binge eating disorder

Encourage him or her to seek help. The longer an eating disorder remains undiagnosed and untreated, the more difficult it will be to overcome, so urge your loved one to get treatment.

Be supportive. Try to listen without judgment and make sure the person knows you care. If your loved one slips up on the road to recovery, remind them that it doesn’t mean they can’t quit binge eating for good.

Avoid insults, lectures, or guilt trips. Binge eaters feel bad enough about themselves and their behavior already. Lecturing, getting upset, or issuing ultimatums to a binge eater will only increase stress and make the situation worse. Instead, make it clear that you care about the person’s health and happiness and you’ll continue to be there.

Set a good example by eating healthily, exercising, and managing stress without food. Don’t make negative comments about your own body or anyone else’s.

Related HelpGuide articles

Resources and references

Symptoms and treatment

Binge Eating Disorder – Learn about the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for binge eating disorder. (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

Compulsive Overeating and Binge Eating Disorder – UK-based eating disorder nonprofit offers information on the compulsive overeating and its causes. (The National Centre for Eating Disorders)

Binge Eating Disorder – Written for teens, this article describes the symptoms, causes, effects, and treatment of binge eating disorder. (Nemours Foundation)

Out of Control: A True Story of Binge Eating – A New York Times journalist recounts her own experiences with binge eating and how she managed to stop. (New York Times)

Binge eating support groups

Overeaters Anonymous – Find an Overeaters Anonymous group in your area and learn how the 12-steps apply to binge eating recovery. (Overeaters Anonymous)

Eating Disorders Anonymous – Find support and group meetings with other eating disorder sufferers in your area. (Eating Disorders Anonymous)

Article sourced here: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/eating-disorders/binge-eating-disorder.htm

Can You Get Too Much Protein?

October 18, 2015

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Can you get too much protein? Good question. With M&F and your gym buddies preaching the minimum of 1 gram per pound of bodyweight and a lot of mainstream media talking about the dangers of that standard, things can get a bit confusing. This two-part series, presented in easy-to-follow Q&A format, should help assuage your fears.

Q: This sounds stupid, but what is protein?

 A: Proteins are large molecules made up of chains of smaller molecules called amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids the body uses to make protein, and when you eat protein, your body breaks apart the aminos and sends them to whichever part of your body needs whichever type of amino.

Protein in general is an extremely important nutrient, and not just because you like big muscles. “In all cells of the body, proteins perform crucial functions and are present in numerous forms,” says Tabatha Elliott, PhD, who has studied protein extensively at the University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston). “Proteins form structural tissue [such as muscle fibers], blood plasma, enzymes, hormones, antibodies, hemoglobin, you name it.” Protein is also responsible for a host of other things, from making your muscles move to transporting other substances (such as vitamins and minerals) throughout your body. Without it, you would be practically unable to function.

In fact, people who don’t eat enough protein suffer a host of problems, namely wasting, where the body basically attempts to feed the protein hunger by breaking down muscles and other organs. Protein deficiency isn’t often a concern in meat-loving America, and it certainly isn’t a risk among those who follow a well-planned bodybuilding diet. Rather, mainstream nutritionists worry about the opposite “problem”: the health effects of eating too much protein.

Q: SO EXACTLY HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH? WHAT ARE THE GUIDELINES FOR PROTEIN?

A: There are a lot of ways to determine how much protein the average person should eat to remain healthy. It can get really complicated, so we’ll spare you the details and just tell you that, according to the FNB, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of protein is 0.8 gram per kilogram of bodyweight per day. That translates to roughly 0.4 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight for men and women ages 19—70. Sounds awfully low, doesn’t it?

 It gets worse. You’ll sometimes see the RDA for protein listed as 56 grams per day for men. This number was derived based on a bodyweight of 154 pounds for the average male. Anyone see a problem with that?

Q: MOST BODYBUILDERS WEIGH IN AT A LOT MORE THAN 154 POUNDS, DON’T THEY?

A: Exactly. The recommendations applied to the general public just don’t apply to bodybuilders who eat specialized diets and live radically different lifestyles than the average person. Occasionally, a nutritionist who’s more enlightened about the dietary needs of trained individuals will recommend around 0.8 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day.

That more realistic number comes primarily from the work of Dr. Peter Lemon, who reviewed research about protein intake and athletes’ dietary needs and concluded, in a paper published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism in 1998, that “dietary protein need increases with rigorous physical exercise.” The American College of Sports Medicine backs that recommendation, and it actually comes closer to the M&F-approved minimum recommendation of 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. Then again, we wouldn’t argue if you wanted to eat up to 2 grams per pound.

Q: IS TOO MUCH PROTEIN HARMFUL? IF NOT, WHAT IS EVERYONE SO WORRIED ABOUT?

A: That’s a really good question, for one main reason. There’s yet another recommendation the FNB releases: the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL), the amount of something you can ingest before experiencing negative results (anything from nausea to toxicity, or poisoning). However, and this is important, there is no UL established for protein. Why? Because, as the FNB reports, “There was insufficient data to provide dose-response relationships to establish a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for total protein or for any of the amino acids.” See that? They had no proof that eating more protein caused any problems. Dr. Lemon said something similar in the same review we quoted above: “Despite the frequently expressed concern about adverse effects of high protein intake, there is no evidence that protein intakes in the range suggested will have adverse effects in healthy individuals.”

 Since you asked, though, we’ll tell you why mainstream nutritionists have their boxers in a bunch. First of all, remember that they aren’t talking to you, the muscle & fitness reader; they’re concerned about the majority of Americans who spend much of their days sitting at desks, on subways or in cars, then sitting in front of the TV for the rest of the night. That’s an awful lot of sitting. For those people, consuming excess protein is just like consuming an excess of anything. Protein contains 4 calories per gram. If you eat too many calories, you’re going to gain weight, so a primary concern for nutritionists about so-called excessive protein intake is that it could result in obesity.

Then maybe your next question is something like: Great, so I have to worry about getting fat if I take a week off from training? Not exactly. The more muscle you have, the more protein you’ll use and the more calories you’ll burn overall. Plus, there’s a reason why we tell you to eat lean protein such as chicken and turkey breasts and top sirloin.

Q: WHY DOES M&F RECOMMEND SUCH COMPARATIVELY HIGH AMOUNTS OF PROTEIN?

A: We have a lot of reasons, but probably the most important one is this: It works to give you the physique you’re looking for. “Muscle growth happens when protein synthesis exceeds protein breakdown,” Elliott says. “The availability of protein plays an important role in that process, so it follows that increased amino acid availability—such as what is provided by the intake of dietary protein—will result in a greater anabolic response.”

It has been proven that the more protein you eat, the more protein synthesis occurs in your muscles. In a study published in The Journal of Physiology in 2003, researchers found that subjects who had been given an infusion of amino acidsexperienced a boost in muscle protein synthesis. No surprise, right? The amazing thing was that the rate at which subjects built muscle protein increased as the amount of protein in their bloodstreams increased. Therefore, the more protein you eat, to a degree, the more muscle you’ll build—all day long, with or without exercise.

We have other reasons for our recommendations, too. One of them is pretty basic: You’re most likely taking supplements (branched-chain amino acids, beta-ecdysterone) that boost protein synthesis, but if you don’t have a well of protein for your muscles to draw on, those supplements aren’t going to do much. Another reason is because there’s evidence that eating protein can keep you lean. For one thing, it’s the hardest macronutrient for your body to digest, which means your body has to use more energy (calories) to break it down. Protein also increases the amount of a hunger-blunting peptide called PYY in your bloodstream, meaning you won’t be hankering for munchies soon after eating a high-protein meal.

Yet another reason for our protein recommendations is more complicated, but no less rational. In fact, it’s all about ratios. In addition to deciding the RDA for nutrients, the FNB recently established what it calls the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) for protein, carbohydrates and fat to tell us what percentage of our calories should come from each. The AMDR for protein is between 10% and 35% of total calories. Now, to support the kind of body you’re boasting (or looking to build), you have to put down a lot of calories.

Our advice is generally that a 180-pound guy should eat 18 calories per pound of bodyweight per day, or about 3,240 calories. And that’s just to maintain his mass. So let’s do the math: Thirty-five percent of 3,240 is 1,134 calories of protein; divide that by 4 (the number of calories in a gram of protein), and you get 284 grams of protein per day. Divide that by our example’s bodyweight (180), and you get 1.6 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day.

It just goes to show that bodybuilders generally eat within the FNB’s acceptable range; it’s the FNB that’s not familiar with how much food bodybuilders need. Because you consume way more calories (sometimes almost twice the requirement of the average couch-sitter) per day, you have to eat that much more protein. Otherwise, as we discovered by doing more math, you’d be in for an equally fat gut. We plugged in the numbers to see what our 180-pound bodybuilder would be eating if he stuck with the RDA for protein and ate only 0.8 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. Since he’d be eating only 144 grams of protein, he’d have to fill his plate with something else—like, oh, 500 grams of carbs. Needless to say, that’s more than his body could use for energy, so all the excess would head straight for his fat stores.

Q: DIDN’T I HEAR SOMETHING ABOUT KIDNEY DAMAGE OCCURRING FROM TOO MUCH PROTEIN?

A: “The breakdown of amino acids results in the formation of ammonia,” Elliott says. “The ammonia is then converted to less harmful urea in the liver and is then passed through the kidneys and excreted in urine.” Because it’s the job of the kidneys to take away any excess protein that your body’s not using, mainstream nutritionists worry that eating excess protein could tax your kidneys. However, several studies have shown that this just isn’t the case. One study, presented at the International Society of Sports Nutrition’s annual conference in 2005, examined the diets of 77 resistance-trained males and then tested their blood for various markers of kidney health. The subjects ate about 0.8 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day, and their kidneys were in perfect health. Another study, conducted at the Free University of Brussels (Belgium), found similar results for people consuming roughly 1.3 grams of protein per pound. There is very strong evidence that athletes taking in more protein are actually using that protein, either to build muscle or to burn as fuel.

Q: WHAT ABOUT MY BONES? CAN’T HIGH PROTEIN INTAKE MAKE THEM BRITTLE?

A: Some studies have shown that high amounts of protein in the diet can increase the amount of calcium the body excretes, which could potentially lead to fractures and osteoporosis, but those studies mostly involved purified protein and not whole-food protein sources such as meat. “But I drink three protein shakes a day,” you say, panicking.

“Isn’t that purified protein?” We hear you. But the fact that you also eat whole-food protein sources such as chicken and steak should provide you with enough calcium-protecting phosphorous and other nutrients. That was the finding of one study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2003. Subjects were fed either a high-meat or a low-meat diet for eight weeks, and researchers found no difference in calcium excretion between the groups.

Still worried? A study at Warsaw Agricultural University (Poland) showed that a high-protein diet in rats actually increased bone mineralization, meaning the rats that ate more protein had stronger bones. Keep in mind that resistance exercise is one of the best ways to keep your bones strong.

So if you ever wonder whether the fit and prim woman at a neighboring table is gaping at your 18-inch arms or at the 18-inch steak on your plate, remember that although we may look like rebels, you can trust us. Everything we write is either backed by extensive scientific research or even more extensive anecdotal evidence. Plus, we practice what we preach, so that we can bring you the most up-to-date, trustworthy advice and you can build the most ferociously muscled body possible. To do that, you have to keep your protein intake on par: Consume at least 1 gram per pound of bodyweight per day of quality lean protein, and drink protein shakes around workout time to make your muscles—and the rest of you—happy.

That Sugar Film

March 29, 2015

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SO WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?

THAT SUGAR FILM is one man’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as ‘healthy’. Through this entertaining and informative journey, Damon highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves. THAT SUGAR FILM will forever change the way you think about ‘healthy’ food.

THE EXPERIMENT:

Damon only eats the perceived ‘healthy’ foods that are in fact laden with hidden sugars like low fat yoghurt, muesli bars, juices and cereals.

Visit: http://www.thatsugarfilm.com/

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

Spring Clean Your Life

September 14, 2014

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Spring is here, and I enjoy using this time of year to prepare for the renewal this season provides.

One of the things you can do right now for yourself is prepare for the upcoming opportunities of the new season. Spring often inspires us to increase our fitness levels, participate in more activities outdoors and embrace a healthier way of eating — more greens perhaps as local food becomes increasingly available. Use this time to prepare yourself for those opportunities by getting organized.

Clutter, which has likely been accumulating all winter long, keeps us from moving forward, it blocks energy, it stops our creativity and it weighs us down. The more we have in your home, car, office, hand bag, computer hard drive, the more energy we need to attend to those things. Organizing, decluttering and preparing will put you in a physical, emotional and spiritual space that supports you in the new changes you have the opportunity to make this spring.

Here are a few steps to follow if you want to change you physical and spiritual landscape and prepare for spring:

1. Eliminate and purge.

You can apply this principle to all of your living spaces, or you can choose to apply it one room at a time. Evaluate what you have and what you need, keeping in mind the 80/20 principle that suggests we use about 20% of what we have and essentially do not really need the other 80%. Decide what you longer need or what no longer brings you pleasure, and donate it.

2. Make function easier.

Once you’ve gone through the elimination process, create a system to keep things neat and organized. Pick the system that you’re most likely to stay with and is most effective for your situation. Here are a few options to consider: baskets, file folders, storage containers, or dividers. When organizing your things, keep the items you use most often easiest to access. For example, organize and sort your clothing by season — take out your spring and summer clothes and find a storage solution for your winter clothes. Sort items by their function and keep like things together. For example, create “stations” in your home. In my very small kitchen I have a smoothie station where I keep my Vitamix and several Mason jars containing the ingredients I use daily to nourish my body.

3. Create a donation bag.

Keep a bag or box to which you can add items you longer want. Instead of allowing drawers and closets to fill up throughout the year with things you don’t need or want, create a place in your home where you can collect these items and then donate them in the spring as part of your regular spring cleaning. Check online for nonprofit organizations that will pick up your donated items, including small appliances, from your home for free.

4. Eliminate clutter hot spots.

Flat surfaces, drawers, the back seat of your car and sometimes handbags can become repositories for all sorts of unwanted or unused items. Mail and paperwork are classic examples of the clutter that can accumulate easily when left unattended. Devise a system that works for you in addressing your mail and paperwork as it’s generated. Take a few minutes each week to place important documents in these files and recycle any unneeded paper, or, when possible, go digital, and file your documents electronically. By implementing a system for use and function after you’ve purged, you’ll likely feel much lighter, energized, renewed and inspired after your hard work, providing you with the motivation and energy to continue moving forward with your goals and embracing the newness of spring.

5. Upgrade your home’s energy.

Rearrange your furniture. Get a new houseplant. Play upbeat music. Open your window, even just for a few moments. Diffuse tangerine and peppermint essential oils. Invite new energy and life into your home to become a happier and healthier human being this spring.

By using early spring to organize your living and work spaces, you can position yourself to achieve the health, wellness and personal goals you’ve been working toward!

This article was sourced from: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12988/5-strategies-to-spring-clean-your-entire-life.html

Start Shaping Up

August 19, 2014

IT’S TIME TO SHAPE UPshapeup

As a nation, our waistlines are growing. Today, over 63% of Australian adults and one in four children are overweight or obese.

Unhealthy eating and not enough physical activity can lead to overweight and obesity, and an increased risk of developing a chronic disease such as some cancers, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Shape Up Australia is an initiative to help Australians reduce their waist measurements and improve their overall health and wellbeing. There are many everyday changes you can make to help you Shape Up and get on your way to a healthier lifestyle.


GETTING ACTIVE

Life can be busy, and it’s easy to think that there just isn’t enough time to be physically active.  But being physically active doesn’t mean you have to spend hours exercising each day or that you have to push yourself to the point of feeling exhausted.

There are great benefits to getting even a small amount of physical activity each day, both mentally and physically.  Being active gives you more energy, helps you sleep better, reduces the risk of depression and can help to prevent a range of chronic diseases.

You can start with small changes, like increasing the distance you walk by getting off the bus earlier or parking your car further away from the shops.  Gradually increase the amount of physical activity you do – it all adds up.  Aim for 30 minutes (or more) of moderate-intensity activity most days of the week.

If you’re worried you don’t have the time, keep in mind that you don’t have to do your 30 minutes (or more) all at once – combine a few shorter sessions of 10 to 15 minutes each throughout the day.  Those short bursts are just as effective as longer exercise sessions.

To get started, check out these physical activity tips or find activities in your local area using the activity finder.

GETTING PHYSICAL TIPS

Tips for being more physically active every day

  • The saying “no pain, no gain” is a myth.  Some activity is better than none, and more is better than a little.  But you don’t have to exercise to the point of collapse to get a health benefit.  Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, preferably all, days of the week.
  • Set a date for when you will start. Write the date down and stick to it.
  • Make time to be physically active and schedule it as you would an appointment.  The Shape Up activity planner can help you plan and track your activity.
  • Set short-term and long-term goals.  Make your goals specific, measurable and achievable.  Rather than a vague goal like “I will get fit”, try “I will walk every day for 10 minutes after meals” or “I will get off the bus/train two stops earlier than my usual stop”.
  • Build up gradually.  If you are starting a new activity or have been inactive for some time, start at a level that you can manage easily and gradually build up.
  • Choose activities that are right for you.  Do something that you enjoy or go for something different you’ve always wanted to try, such as walking, jogging, joining a team sport, taking a group fitness class, dancing, cycling or swimming.
  • Mix it up.  Consider changing your activities every so often to avoid becoming bored.
  • Plan physical activity with others.  This can help you stick to your plan and achieve your goals.
  • Do not give up before you start to see the benefits.  Be patient and keep at it.
  • HAVE FUN! Physical activity can make you feel good about yourself and it’s a great opportunity to have fun with other people or enjoy some time to yourself.

FINDING TIME TO GET ACTIVE

It can seem hard to find time for physical activity.  One solution is to look for opportunities to build as much physical activity into everyday activities as you can.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Rather than spend five minutes circling a car park looking for that “perfect space” right near the entrance, park five minutes away and spend that time walking instead.
  • If you arrive at a bus or tram stop early, why not make use of the time to walk to the next stop?
  • Walk rather than rest on escalators… it’s quicker so you’ll actually save time! (Or better still, use the stairs).
  • Work in the garden – get into some energetic gardening activities like digging, shifting soil and mowing the lawn to raise your heart-rate.
  • Clean the house! Activities like vacuuming, cleaning windows and scrubbing floors that raise your heart rate are all good examples of moderate intensity physical activity.
  • Park further away from work (or get off public transport a few stops early).  If you walk for 10 minutes to and from work, you’ll have done 20 minutes without even noticing.  Add a 10 minute brisk walk (or more!) at lunch time and you’ve met the guidelines for the day.

ACTIVITY INTENSITY

What is moderate intensity activity?

Moderate-intensity activity will cause a slight but noticeable increase in your breathing and heart rate.  A good example of moderate-intensity activity is brisk walking; that is, at a pace where you are able to talk comfortably, but not sing.  Moderate-intensity activity should be carried out for at least 10 minutes at a time.

What is vigorous activity?

Vigorous activity is where you “huff and puff”; where talking in full sentences between breaths is difficult.  Vigorous activity can come from such sports as football, squash, netball, basketball and activities such as aerobics, speed walking, jogging and fast cycling.

Note: If you are pregnant, have been previously inactive, or suffer from any medical conditions, it is recommended that you seek medical advice before commencing vigorous physical activity.

WHAT SHOULD I BE EATING

Eating a diet that includes a variety of nutritious foods every day helps us maintain a healthy weight, feel good and fight off chronic disease.

Best of all, healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard if you follow these seven golden rules:

  1. Drink plenty of water
  2. Eat more vegetables and fruit
  3. Watch how much you eat – even foods that are good for us, when eaten in large portions, can lead to weight gain
  4. Eat less processed food
  5. Eat regular meals – don’t skip meals – and always start the day with a healthy breakfast (e.g. a bowl of hi fibre cereal with sliced banana and low fat milk)
  6. Restrict your alcohol intake
  7. Remember that some foods are high in added fat, salt and sugar and so are best eaten only sometimes or in small amounts.  Examples include lollies, chocolate, biscuits, cakes, pastries, soft drinks, chips, pies, sausage rolls and other takeaways.

To help you eat well every day, check out these healthy recipes and snack suggestions, tips for staying on track when eating out, our guide to healthy eating on a budget, and tips for drinking to health.

Snack suggestions

  • Add fruit and yoghurt to low fat milk and blend them together to make a great tasting smoothie.
  • A slice of wholegrain bread or raisin toast with a healthy spread such as avocado or low-fat cream cheese, makes a filling, healthy snack.
  • A piece of fruit – like a banana or apple – can make a great “on the run” snack.
  • Instead of reaching for a chocolate bar or packet of chips, try vegetable sticks with low-fat hummus.
  • An occasional handful of unsalted nuts or dried fruit makes a nutritious snack.
  • Grab a tub of natural low-fat yoghurt and add your own fruit.
  • Air-popped popcorn with a sprinkling of salt makes a great afternoon snack.
  • When the weather is hot, fruits such as oranges and grapes make delicious frozen snacks.

Other useful links:

Australian Dietary Guidelines www.eatforhealth.gov.au

Stay On Track When Eating Out Fact Sheet

Your Guide To Buying Fruit And Veg In Season Fact Sheet

Information sourced from this Government Website: http://www.shapeup.gov.au/start-shaping-up

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Hungarian Mushroom Soup

June 26, 2014

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week - Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

May 29, 2014

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week - Roasted Garlic Cauliflower