Tag Archives: weight loss

Help others by helping yourself!

 

DO WHAT YOU LOVE

summer health

What does it mean to be a Team Beachbody Coach? It means earning an income while you help yourself and others live healthier, more fulfilling lives. It’s being passionate about helping to end the trend of obesity in this country. All by doing what you love—staying fit and healthy, while inspiring others to do the same.

The inspiration doesn’t stop at helping others: you can become a leader – but you are also lead by your team.  You are held accountable when you hold your team accountable.  If you have trouble staying on task – what better way to stay the course than to have others look to you for motivation and encouragement?  I don’t have time to work out every day. I don’t always eat right. But, by helping others get started on their path to a healthier life, I keep myself going.  I can relate. I can empathize.  I can sympathize. I can help others get through their challenges AS I get through mine.  We do this together.  I rely on my team as much as they rely on me.  When I see someone struggle – or fall off track – or give up, I help them get started again.  And, with that, I also start over. I am encouraged by my team’s success…and I am motivated by my team’s failures.

Whether you’re already a “product of the product”—someone who’s found success through one of our world-class fitness solutions or products—or whether you were inspired by watching a friend or family member transform their lives the same way, becoming a Coach will reward you in ways you never thought possible—physically, personally, and financially.

Think you’re up for the challenge? Click below and start creating change—in your life and in the lives of others—today. You can be part of something so big, it’s changing the world, one healthy decision at a time. How cool does that sound?

Sign up here!

Here are some quick pictures of where I’ve come from in the last few years:

weight loss diet
Here’s another…I dreaded having my picture taken!

 

Six months…down 25 pounds

 

DennisAndStacyInFrontofHill1260x840FINAL

 

 

How to Lose Weight, Not Muscle

 

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Losing weight and gaining muscle can often seem at odds. You’ve heard the classic advice: If you want to shed pounds, you have to eat fewer calories while burning more of them. If you want to gain muscle, you have to do just the opposite, increasing your caloric intake while working your muscles hard. So is it possible to attack the two most popular fitness goals at the same time? The answer is an unequivocal yes. Just follow these three simple rules.

 

Skip the Long Runs
If you want to lose fat, don’t go the aerobic route, say researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, in Louisiana. Their study comparing the weight-loss results of people who did aerobic workouts while dieting with those who only dieted found that steady state cardio (think: jogging, stationary cycling, rowing) added almost nothing to the weight loss equation. When it comes to shedding pounds, you want to be the hare, not the tortoise: A 2011 Australian study found that shorter, tougher workouts (e.g., sprints, intervals, high-intensity strength circuits) consistently resulted in significant fat loss. Added bonus: Working out at a high intensity specifically targets abdominal fat—the most insidious kind that wraps around your internal organs, increasing the size of your belly and your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer.

 

Don’t Starve Yourself
If you want to lose fat, you have to cut your caloric intake. But if you also want to also maintain (or even build) muscle, cutting a little works better than cutting a lot, according to Norwegian scientists. Their study found that strength-training athletes who cut calories by 30 percent saw no change in muscle mass, but those who cut calories by just 19 percent were able to increase their muscle mass while also leaning out. Shoot for losing no more than 1 percent of your bodyweight—or roughly 1 to 2 pounds—per week, suggest the researchers.

 

Prioritize Protein
You need protein to build muscle. If you want to lose fat at the same time, you may need even more: A 2016 study found that overweight men on an intense fitness routine and a calorie-restricted diet were able to gain muscle over a 4-week period—but only if their protein intake was high. Protein should make up slightly more than one-third of your total caloric intake. Don’t want to do the nutritional math? Eyeball it: Meat, fish, poultry, and other protein should take up about a third of your plate at each meal.

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Authors

Andrew Heffernan CSCS, GCFP

Will alcohol keep me from reaching my fitness goals?

 

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Ask the Expert: Will Drinking Alcohol Hurt My Results?

By Steve Edwards

When it comes to getting fit and healthy, alcohol is one of the first things you’re told to eliminate from your diet. Yet studies regularly show that those who drink live longer and healthier lives than those who don’t. So, what’s the deal? Is alcohol a magic potion for a long and healthy life, or is your fitness the only thing it’s going to take the edge off?


Woman Sunning Near a pool with a Glass of Wine


The consumption of alcohol in some form or another has been around since the first caveman left some fruit in the sun too long, causing it to ferment (what a crazy night around the fire that was). Since we’ve always had it and, if history is any indication, we always will, we should have a strategy about how to use it.

What is alcohol?

Alcohol starts out healthy enough, as a plant, where it’s the byproduct of the decaying process (fermentation). Although it’s technically a depressant, its effect on the human body manifests as making you feel giddy, powerful, and awesome on the dance floor. And because it’s natural, you know, like tobacco and opium, it’s got to be good, right? Oh, wait. Maybe not.

And just like other natural things, the food industry has found unnatural ways to create alcohol that tend to be cheaper and even less healthy. But, I’m nitpicking because ultimately alcohol is alcohol. You’re going to get hammered whether you drink Night Train or single-malt Scotch—although all the chemicals in the rotgut might give you a worse hangover.

Glass of LiquidAnd for you out there who think you’re beating the system with your Diet Coke® and rum, alcohol has calories. A lot of them. At 7 calories per gram, alcohol has more calories by volume than both carbs and proteins and slightly less than fats. (Plus, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine,1 drinking diet soda with alcohol could get you drunk faster.)

More importantly, these calories have no food value. That’s right. Nada. Zilch. You’re adding calories to your diet, the only performance enhancing quality of which is to help you brag about yourself down at the pub.

The big question people usually ask me is whether or not they should drink alcohol while doing P90X®, INSANITY®, or one of our other boot camp–style programs. When you’re trying to change your body, the crux is making the nutritional switch from high-calorie/low-nutrient foods to low-calorie/high-nutrient foods. Since alcohol is a very high-calorie/no-nutrient food, you can see why it never ranks very high onMichi’s Ladder.

Keep in mind that we’re not telling you to abstain from alcohol forever. We’re advising you cut down on it—or completely cut it out—while you’re trying to transform your body.

What about all the studies showing alcohol is good for you?

The lifestyle studies that show up on the wires almost ubiquitously champion alcohol consumption because moderate drinkers always outlive everyone else. In fact, one major study showed that even excessive drinkers lived longer than teetotalers. There is no scientific surface explanation as to why this would be the case, so most experts chalk it up to lifestyle. Those who drink tend to be less stressed about life, in general, and stress is intricately linked to shorter life spans.

This is why our nutrition guides also generally give parameters for moderate drinking. If it makes you happy then, by all means, don’t quit. Just learn to be a healthy drinker.

But as I said above, when you’re doing one of our programs, the rules of nutrition shift slightly. You’re pushing your body harder, so it behooves you to keep nutrition tiptop. Furthermore, if you can’t go 90 days without a drink, you might want to consider your relationship with alcohol. It is, after all, an addictive substance.

The Dark Side of Drinking

And on that topic, alcohol has a dark side beyond calories. It can easily lead to an excessive path. If you’re a clever writer, you might make a nefarious career out of being a boozer, but it wreaks havoc on most of us.

Behavioral issues aside, let’s take a quick look at how alcohol can add up from a dietary perspective. A 12-ounce beer is about 150 or so calories. Ditto a 5-ounce glass of wine. One shot (1.5 oz) of the straight stuff has between 85 and 115 calories, depending on what proof it is.

Man Lying on the Floor next to a Glass of LiquidUnfortunately we tend to have more than that one serving. Often a lot more. Those longevity studies give the best numbers to folk who have 1–2 drinks a day, not those taking the Silver Bullet Express to every sporting event on TV.

When you pound a twelver during a weekend double-header, you’ve done serious dietary damage. Factor in that in our tendency to offset a drunken state-of-grace with greasy indulgences and it’s easy to see how Monday Night Football® at Cheers might result in unnecessary roughness. And despite the advice you’ll get on Good Morning America®, a quick jog the next day is not going to fight the beer belly you’ll get from those binges.

So the short answer here to whether it’s okay to drink when you’re working out is, “Sure. In moderation.” If you don’t already drink, I don’t think you need to start, but if you’re already a drinker, limit your intake and take the occasional time off, especially if you’re into a serious training cycle.

Do that, and I’ll raise a glass to you!

 

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Leptin, Hormones, Hypothalamus, and Resetting Your System

 

What is Leptin?

So…this might be a lot for you all to take in: Leptin, hormones, hypothalamus, immune system, thyroid, weight loss / gain, energy levels, nutrition, health, fitness. Yes, it’s all intertwined.  I believe that most people know this to be true, yet few are willing to do much about it.

I’m taking part in a 6 Day Reset – where I am addressing my health at a hormonal level.  It’s more than just being healthy on the outside (weight, muscles, endurance and such). It’s also about being healthy on the inside (energy, mental state, and brain function).

Click HERE to get more information on the 6 day reset.

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What is Leptin?

The short answer is: it’s a hormone that comes from your hypothalamus.  If you remember, the hypothalamus is something that I’ve been researching and teaching about for over two years now.  It’s what regulates your hunger, thirst, mood, relationships, and sleep.  That’s sums up who we are, doesn’t it? The hypothalamus is regulated by glucose and sends out hormones to the rest of our system.  Leptin is created there…in the hypothalamus.  Read more about my findings and beliefs concerning the hypothalamus here.

Read more about Leptin herehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptin I’ve spent most of my day researching this for you. Basically – it’s the hunger hormone. It tells us when we are full.  It regulates appetite to achieve energy homeostasis. In obesity, a decreased sensitivity to leptin occurs, resulting in an inability to detect satiety despite high energy stores.

The purpose of Day 2 of the 6 Day Reset is to fix this imbalance or decreased sensitivity.  We need to reset our brain…don’t think “I have no will-power” or “I just can’t seem to put the fork down,” think “what’s going on in my brain that is making me keep eating?”  The thing is, it’s an addiction.  It has to do with dopemine and our nutrition.

What peripheral systems (non-Hypothalamus) does Leptin effect?

Circulatory, reproduction, bone, brain (hippocampus), and the immune systems are affected by Leptin in a variety of ways. Wikipedia says, “…, chronically elevated leptin levels are associated with obesity, overeating, and inflammation-related diseases, including hypertensionmetabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.”  

Thyroid, gut, heart, brain…what else is there? This stuff is for real, and it’s important to not develop a decreased sensitivity to Leptin…and if you already have, there’s a chance to reset!

You need to RESET your relationship with FOOD

How? If you specifically fight belly fat, it very well could be something as simple as too much fructose in your diet.  Fructose? That’s the stuff in FRUIT.  That’s what makes fruit sweet.  Can you get too much? Yes and no. The interesting thing I just discovered is that about 60% of adults have difficulty processing sugar from fruits: FRUCTOSE.  And the thing is, it’s added to a lot of processed food.  First: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. Yes, that’s right. That’s why people were taught to believe that HFCS was “good” for you – the sugar comes from fruit, so it can’t be all that bad, right?  Well, if you’re not burning off that extra fructose, or if you have trouble processing it on your own, it WILL turn to fat.

Here’s how to reset your sensitivity to Leptin:

  1. Stop eating fruit for three days.  No sugar, no fruits, no added fructose, no sweets.  Try to keep your fructose levels to less than 20 grams per day.  Some veggies (true veggies, not tomatoes) will still have some fructose.  That’s okay.  But stick to true veggies.  True veggies are foods without seeds (this is debatable, but just for now, humor me).
  2. Eat protein with your first meal.  Eggs, meat, tofu, etc.  Give it a go.  If you need ideas of high-protein foods, just Google it!
  3. Eat at least one pound of vegetables eat day…for three days. Again, real vegetables are key here.
  4. Increase the good fats: coconut oil, fish, avocados, olives.
  5. Eliminate alcohol for three days.

You can always look into Leptin food lists, hormones in the body, and fructose intolerance.  The findings are interesting.  You can get lost in the research, but if you believe that you have these issues…it’s worth the look.

It is important to know that everyone is different. While some will respond very well to this reset, some will need an extra boost.  Ask me for more information on Leptin, the hypothalamus, and how nutrition can reset your entire system.

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GOAL TRACKER

 

Self-Sabotage

 

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Self-sabotage.

What is it? Seriously, what does that even mean? Does it really mean that people would actually stop themselves from being the best they can be?  How does something like that even get a name?

If we were created to be amazing, awesome, and fabulous…why would WE be the ones to stop ourselves from reaching that potential? Why do we self-destruct? How are we so good at procrastination when it comes to our hopes and dreams? Our goals?

I would think (hope) that no one would intentionally self-sabotage, that no one would consciously make that choice. But, what IS it? What causes those habits and inner voices to take over our will-power and natural instincts to be great?

self-sabotage, self-destruct, procrastination

How is self-sabotage creeping in?

Mostly, self-sabotage comes in the form of procrastination and talking yourself out of reaching goals. It undermines our potential. We believe these acts to be helpful – to be saving us from some disaster, but in the long-run, these acts lead to us wanting more, being discouraged, and losing ourselves.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

You imagine yourself being healthier. Not even losing weight or body-building…but just being healthier because it’s good for you. It’s the right thing to do. Perhaps you would like to stop eating sugars, or maybe it’s processed food that you want to cut out. Dairy? Alcohol? Something as simple as chips?

Of course there is always one more event, one more birthday party, one more holiday that’s just around the corner.  For me, every Wednesday at work is treat day. Every. Single. Wednesday.   There are doughnuts, cupcakes, cookies, Chex Mix, bagels and cream cheese, more cookies, pita chips, hummus, dips, crackers, banana bread…oh – and the occasional fruit and veggie tray (and those all come with dips and sauces).  But seriously, it’s every Wednesday. Then, there are the staff birthdays.  It seems like we might go a month or two with no birthdays, but then (like April) there are five in a row…almost every other day we are having special treats.

And, it’s not just healthy habits that I’m talking about.  I am talking about finding the perfect relationships (just when you find a good one, you do something stupid that causes it to end before it ever really starts). Or maybe it’s your job…you know, staying where you are even when a GREAT offer comes along; it must be too good to be true, you’re comfortable where you are, you’ve made such good friends, it’s close to your favorite bar…

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Here’s what I’ve learned about Self-Sabotage and Self-Destructing behaviors:

1. The first step is to recognize it. Spot it.  Call it out: why am I thinking this way? Is there really a lot of risk involved, or am I just being a chicken? Why am I procrastinating? What are the effects of procrastination?

2. Try to understand the message. What is your conscience trying to tell you? Is it throwing up a red flag of “OMG, you better stop right now!!!”  or is it just a yellow “hey, use a little caution here, friend” type of flag?

3. Perhaps you are experiencing the “upper limit problem.”  Are you getting comfortable with your current level of success? Are you afraid of failing? Are the risks not worth the possible outcome?

Once you figure out the why of that negative self-talk…it’s easier to start on the why not?!

I encourage you to Google images for self-sabotage.  I keep trying to think of words to describe all of the Google images that come up – but that’s just it…a picture is worth a thousand words. Just go Google it.

This website is an amazing source of information. Check it out!

Here is another great article about self-sabotage and how it can ruin a perfectly good plan.  Click here.

If you are looking to better yourself, reach your goals, be the amazing person you were meant to be…follow this blog, friend me on Facebook, comment below. I’m here to be your encourager!

Low Fat Diet

 

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I’ve written about Low Fat Diet trends before, but I think this topic warrants a second visit.

When did the low fat diet become trendy?

For many decades now, the health authorities have told everyone to eat a low-fat diet. Doctors, nutritionists, dietitians…they claim that a diet low in fat will keep people from getting fat.

At the time the low-fat dietary guidelines were conceived (1977), people thought that saturated fat was a significant cause of heart disease. Saturated fats are the fats that are solid at room temperature (yes, like coconut…THE health trend of this decade). Here is some great information about saturated (and other) fats…that may or may not be interesting to you. I guess it depends on your family history and current health / medical recommendations.

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Saturated-Fats_UCM_301110_Article.jsp

Basically, low fat has been the cornerstone of healthy eating for several years.

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Why are we getting fat while eating low fat?

With the recommendation of staying away from fats, many people and organizations have also moved away from meat, eggs, and full-fat dairy products (high fat) and moved towards grains, legumes, fruits (low fat, high carb)…and vegetables (always a good choice).

These low-fat  guidelines were based on weak evidence, and many respected scientists objected. They believed that moving to a low-fat diet could have unforeseen consequences.

Recently, the “science” behind these ideas have been disproven.  Many high quality research studies show that there is, in fact, no association between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. If you REALLY want to see the science behind these studies, this is a good place to start:

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract

Here’s another study summary:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9635993

Chances are, you won’t read (or even click) those links, but yes, they are official studies that say…there isn’t much correlation between fats and heart disease.

AND…of course, there are still studies and such that claim that saturated fats ARE harmful.  Here’s one that leans toward limiting fats: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Saturated-Fats_UCM_301110_Article.jsp 

 

So…what does that mean for you?

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Low fat or high fat diet?

I’ve seen pictures of my family in 1977: there were some heavy people.  There were some “big” people. However, it was nowhere near what we see today.  When did the obesity epidemic start? Around 1977.

Here’s the bottom line:

When you stop eating “fats”, you often stop eating proteins. Proteins are important. More on that next time.

When you eat low-fat foods, they are made to taste better with sugars and artificial flavors.

If you stop eating animal fats, you often replace that with vegetable oils…these are thought to be much worse for your overall health. Processed seed- and vegetable oils ar unhealthy, loaded with Omega-6 fatty acids and trans fats that can contribute to disease. And, they are often GMO…also not good.

Moderation is key!

I know that you know that already.  Eating pounds of butter is terrible. Eating pounds of grapes is also terrible. Eating a diet that you can’t maintain is terrible.  Eating Fettuccine Alfredo (2 cups) and a slice of garlic bread at 54 grams of fat isn’t going to kill you.  Eating that every day is terrible.   Taco Bell’s Supreme Chicken Fajita and Bell Grande Nachos: 64 grams of fat.  That might be too much even on a good day. Terrible. But, we still do it.

Eat vegetables, eat some fruit, eat some whole grains…everything in moderation!

Side note: Trans fats resemble saturated fat in consistency and shelf life, but the chemical composition is still very different. While saturated fats are possibly harmless, trans fats are highly toxic and should be avoided.

Here is some more information (mostly the same, but a little different…)

 

Diet Pills

 

The truth about diet pills

I’m coming from experience in wanting to shed some unwanted weight quickly.  I gained 75 pounds with my first pregnancy…and eventually lost most of it.  I got all but 5 or so off.  That being said – I had started off at 103 pounds.  At 5’2″ – that’s a good weight for me.  So…I got up to 178ish. AND… that was in 1997! So, I was in my early 20s, worked out 5 times a week, lived off of popcorn and margaritas, and just lived life.  After getting pregnant, I ate everything I could. Five or six slices of pizza was not an issue. I was pregnant, for Pete’s sake! I was eating for two! I kept peanut butter and jelly mixed together in the fridge for a quick fix.  I kept melted ice cream and peanut butter mixed together in the fridge for a midnight snack. I drank juice like it was going out of style. And – I ate a lot of everything! But – that was 17 years ago.  Fast forward to pregnancy number two: I was almost 30 now, weighed in at about 110, and was determined not to balloon up to 180. However…although I ate fairly well, got some exercise, and tried to not indulge…I STILL got up to 180! 180 on a small frame is a lot! I was in pain. My hips and legs kept me from every being comfortable.  Still, I lost most of it…getting down to about 112.  Not to shabby.  Then…I turned 35.  I started gaining without being pregnant! With two kids and a full-time job, I didn’t have time to exercise (or so I believed) and I was stress eating all of the time.  So, I got up to 140.  Otherwise healthy, the weight just wouldn’t come off. I had all of my systems tested…and they seemed to be working fine.  I was just getting fat.

Then…baby number three at 39 years old.  And yes…I got up to 180 again! Even though this time, I knew I would have trouble getting it off – I gained weight like it was nothing!  After the baby…I was determined to get back to 140 – at least. So I did. Then I got down to 130ish. But – I could not lose any more.  I looked at diet pills – but my husband wouldn’t let me try any.  I thought about sneaking them, but if something bad were to happen, no one would know. I needed to get my blood sugar, my weight, my moods, and my sleep back under control.

My husband and I decided that I wouldn’t take any fad diet pills. That I should stay away from all of the dangerous options out there:

Concerning ingredients to watch for in diet pills:

Ma huang/ephedra/ephedrine/pseudoephedrine – Ma huang, a species of ephedra, frequently contains ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, which can affect the nervous system and result in high blood pressure, increased heart rate, irregular heart rhythm, heart attack, stroke or death. Ephedra has been banned in the U.S.

Bitter orange/synephrine – Bitter orange contains a chemical called synephrine, which is similar to ephedra and can cause increased heart rate, headaches, vomiting, insomnia, high blood pressure, fainting, heart attack and stroke.

Sibutramine – Sibutramine is a powerful stimulant that may significantly increase the risk of heart attacks, arrhythmias or strokes, in addition to causing a long list of side effects. It was removed from the market in 2010. Several weight-loss drugs have been found to be illegally spiked with sibutramine.

Fenproporex – Fenproporex is a stimulant not approved for use in the U.S.; it is converted to amphetamine in the body and may cause heart arrhythmias and possibly even sudden death. It may also be addictive.

Phenolphthalein – Phenolphthalein is an ingredient that was in some laxative products until 1999, when the FDA declared that it was “not generally recognized as safe and effective.” It has been found to be a hidden ingredient in several weight-loss pills.

There are lots of scary stories out there: people die!

Best diet / Quick weight loss

What is the best diet for quick weight loss? No such thing.  Think of diet NOT as a way to lose weight, but as a way of eating. Eat for nutrition…eat for energy…eat for health.  With healthy eating, hard work, exercise, and some will-power, I did it.  I might not ever get down to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I’m happy where I am right now.

I work out for 30 minutes a day, I juice, I eat right, I feed my family right, and I occasionally cheat with chocolate and peanut butter…but that’s okay.

Fast weight loss diets don’t work…they won’t last…you can’t sustain the requirements.  Think of the best diets to lose weight fast as the best way to gain back fast…the best diets to set yourself up for failure.  Rethink diet! Eat real foods, exercise, and stop eating sugar.

As for diets that claim to work fast…for real. I challenge you to stop eating sugar, processed foods, and junk for two weeks.  See how much weight you can lose.  Stop eating chips, fast food, restaurant food, cheap breads, snacks, and soda…even diet soda…for two weeks.  You’ll drop pounds. I promise.

Thankfully, a well balanced diet requires none of those ^^ ingredients.  If you are looking for quick weight loss, the best diet… join us on our next Clean Eating Challenge.

You can do it, too!

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14 Day Clean Eating Challenge!

 

The Best Diet … Counting Calories

 

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Counting calories can be very complicated. There are so many things that go into figuring out how many we are supposed to have daily, how much each activity burns, and the “good vs. bad” calorie…where do we even start?

Calorie Counting through the Ages

Although it may seem like you’ve been counting calories forever…it’s a relatively new idea.  Around the beginning of the 20th century, scientist Wilbur Atwater created a machine that burned and measured food ashes to find out how much energy was released and how much energy was in the food. This was the beginning of a calorie – and counting them.

Is there a difference between different types of calories?

Pretty much, a calorie is a calorie.  Some foods might make you feel fuller – so you will consume fewer calories, but overall – the energy needed to burn the calorie is the same.  A calorie of celery is the same as a calorie of chocolate.  Common sense tells us that there is a lot more celery in one calorie than chocolate. Carbohydrates and proteins have four calories per gram. Fats have nine calories per gram. Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram.

Eating foods high in fat – or drinking alcohol will cause you to use up your calorie allotment much quicker. Say you eat eggs and bacon, with a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast…and you’re wanting to lose weight by only consuming 1200 calories per day…you’ve used up most of your calorie intake by 8:30 am.

  Where “a calorie is a calorie” doesn’t apply

Different foods product different effects on the body – some foods cause the body to release hormones that say store fat…some say release sugar…some say build muscle. Different proportions of fat, carbs, and proteins will result in different amounts of lost weight.

Why It’s Hard to Keep Count of Calories

 Most Americans claim to count calories – however most calculate incorrectly. People either have no idea how much calories they need daily or how much they are actually consuming.  We need about 2,000 calories on average to maintain life.  If you consume more calories than you burn – you are going to gain weight.

Restaurant entrees and bigger portions make it more difficult to gauge the calories in a meal. For example – most people are able to guess about how many calories are in an egg or an apple. But, lasagna, apple pie, omelets, and a cheeseburger? People greatly underestimate the calories of these dishes.

Calorie Counting Alternatives

Start counting calories burned for workouts.  We usually pay attention to our heart rate, time, or distance during exercise.  We should look at how many calories we are burning.  Instead of saying, “I’m going to get on the treadmill for 30 minutes.” We should say, “I’m going to get on the treadmill until I burn off 300 calories. (which is a soda and an extra slice of cheese on a sandwich)”

Here are some tips on what to do instead of counting calories:

  • eat smaller portions. 
  • choose foods that use more calories. (high-fiber, protein foods)
  • make sure you consume the right kind of calories. (nutrient rich foods instead of sweets and alcohol)

Don’t worry so much about counting calories. Consider making your calories count!

What can you do if you’re convinced that counting calories is the way to go? Read this!

What are the benefits of Coconut Oil?

benefits of coconut oil, coconut oil

What are the benefits of coconut oil?

We’ve all been hearing about how amazing coconut oil is for our body, mind, skin, and overall health.  I’ve heard that it can cure cancer, obesity, thyroid disease…etc. But, really? Is any of that true or is it just another band wagon that health and even food chains love – as sales seem to pick up dramatically with any new “discovery”.

 

The first thing to look at is clinical trials vs. testimonials. There are few clinical trials that would support (or really spend the money to find out) the truth behind these types of health claims.

 Continue reading below…

What Is Coconut Oil?

Pure virgin coconut oil, containing no hydrogenation (the process of adding hydrogen to make a liquid fat hard), contains 92% saturated fat — the highest amount of saturated fat of any fat.

Coconut oils are saturated fats that are technically oil – but can be liquid, a mix between liquid and solid, or solid – depending on room temperature.  The oils that we are most familiar with are animal products and also contain cholesterol. Coconut oils do not contain cholesterol.

One interesting difference between coconut oil and other oils is that coconut oil has an unusual blend of fatty acids – which might offer some health benefits. But, just because coconut oils comes from plants does not mean that they are healthier than other oils.

Another fact that many people may not realize: all fats have the same number of calories per gram.  Oils don’t contain any vitamins or minerals.

Is Coconut Oil Better Than Other Fats and Oils?

Coconut oil is better for us than butter, but it is still a saturated fat that needs to be limited.

All Fats are not Created Equal

Many believe that the short-term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil is a more “healthy” form of saturated fat compared to trans fat. Depression and increased cholesterol is linked to trans fatty acid use. It could be that the liver will immediately convert these types of fat into energy opposed to storing it as fat.

What Do People Claim that Coconut Oil Does?

Does Coconut Oil Controls Weight?

Some testimonials show that with coconut oil use, a reduction in abdominal weight occurred. Since coconut oil is easier to digest and is claimed to protect the body from insulin resistance – working one to four teaspoons into your daily diet may have some benefits.

Does Coconut Oil Ease Digestion?

Digestive issues and bloating have also been shown to improve with coconut oil. Candida, parasites, and bacteria all cause digestive disorders – and since coconut oils are said to have anti-microbial properties, you might find relief.

Does Coconut Oil Manage Type 2 Diabetes?

Manage might be a strong word…but a recent study by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research discovered that insulin resistance might be avoided through the use of coconut oil since the fats in coconut oil are easily absorbed into the cells where they are converted to energy instead of stored as fat. Fat can increase insulin resistance – which leads to Type 2 Diabetes.

Does Coconut Oil Support the Immune System?

Coconut oil  is a healthy fat (including lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid) which contain antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral properties. These of course boost the immune system. Interesting to note that many products also contain healthy acids.The body turns this fat into monolaurin –  which is claimed to help heal viruses such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, helicobacter pylori and candida.

Does Coconut Oil Boost the Metabolism?

There have been some reports of studies done that concluded the increase of metabolism with the consumption of small amounts of coconut oil. I couldn’t really find information that supported these claims – as far as any science-based facts…just that those who consume coconut oil seem to be thinner than those who don’t.

Does Coconut Oil Slow the Appearance of Wrinkles?

I’ve used coconut oil for a moisturizer and hydrating treat for my skin, too. Hydrated skin is less likely to sag and wrinkle – just a little goes a long way with this moisturizer. I would recommend that you stick with virgin organic – with nothing added.

Does Coconut Oil Stop Sugar Cravings?

Since coconut oil tastes very coconutty – it’s a nice little treat instead of hard candy, candy bars, or other sweets (cookies, jelly beans, etc). High quality fat is more satiating than carbs, so by cutting down on sugar you will feel less sugar cravings. Something yummy to try is one teaspoon of coconut oil mixed with a high-quality Dutch Cocao.  It’s super yummy and good for you – better than processed sweets.

What are Uses for Coconut Oil?

What are some of the other uses for coconut oil? Share! I’d love to hear what else you all have come up with for this amazing “new” product.

 

 

What are Probiotics

 

What are Probiotics?

What is a Probiotic?

Certain yeast and bacteria are healthy organisms that can improve health. These are commonly known as probiotics.

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How do we consume probiotics?

Supplements and food sources are two ways that we ingest probiotics. Yogurt, cheese, fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are ways that humans have been consuming probiotics for centuries. Recently, we have started consuming probiotics via supplements.

You should always supplement your probiotics with prebiotics and enzymes! Did you know that? What are prebiotics and enzymes – fuel and carriers for the probiotics. You can get them all naturally in one healthy shake…combined with 70 superfoods…shop HERE!

What do probiotics do?

Over 500 different types of bacteria and yeasts live in the digestive system.  They keep the intestines and colon healthy. Also, probiotics (these organisms) assist in digesting food and help the immune system function.

How do probiotics work?

Science is showing that some digestive disorders occur when the balance of bacteria becomes uneven: when there is more bad bacteria and less good bacteria. Infections, poor diets, and antibiotics can lead to this problem, but also any damage done to the intestinal lining – like after having a virus or pH issue. Probiotics help restore the proper balance.

Probiotics and the Immune System

The immune system is another delicate part of our body. The immune system is what fights viruses, bacteria, infections, “bugs”, and disease. Probiotics help maintain a healthy, strong immune system by offering challenges to the system in healthy ways. With extremely good hygiene (like we have in The United States), the immune system is never truly challenged. That leads to an increase of autoimmune and allergic diseases. Introducing friendly bacteria may help challenge the immune system without compromising the person’s health.

Probiotics could help with many health issues

Science is discovering that gut health is the root of multiple diseases and issues – and that with a quality probiotic regimen, these issues are / might be helped if not “fixed” all-together.

  • childhood diarrhea
  • eczema associated with cow’s milk allergy
  • diabetes
  • antibiotic-associated diarrhea and infectious diarrhea
  • necrotizing enterocolitis, a type of infection and inflammation of the intestines mostly seen in infants
  • immune system
  • pouchitis, an inflammation of the intestines that can follow intestinal surgery
  • ulcerative colitis
  • migraines
  • thrush
  • cradle cap and dandruff
  • vaginitis and yeast infections in women
  • “jock itch”
  • athlete’s foot and toe fungus / including nail and nail bed issues
  • the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
  • bacteria related diarrhea
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • food and environmental allergies
  • gas
  • constipation
  • weight loss
  • acne
  • psoriasis
  • brain “fog”
  • candida
  • asthma
  • heartburn
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • bloating
  • bad breath
  • sweet cravings
  • joint pain
  • sinus congestion
  • ear infections
  • strep throat
  • colds
  • itchy ears
  • itchy eyes
  • hair loss
  • vision problems
  • Autism
  • leaky gut
  • Celiac
  • indigestion
  • PMS and menstrual issues
  • cavities
  • blood sugar issues
  • as a supplement to HIV, cancer, MS, Lupus, etc. treatments

Can you believe that list?!?

Now do you see that your total health begins within the gut?

By starting a simple supplement…these issues might be helped or eliminated from your life.  Please ask me if you have any questions!

Cautions About Probiotics

Few people experience side-effects from taking probiotics. Humans around the world have been eating foods with probiotics for centuries.  If you do have any side-effects from probiotics, it’s more likely than not to be die-off symptoms. Die off symptoms are an increase in the effects of candida and an imbalanced system as the bad yeast and bacteria die off.  For example – if you suffer from eczema, as you kill off the yeast that causes eczema – that yeast will work its way out of your system.  As the yeast dies, it will release toxins that will make the eczema worse for a little while.  Using a detox is useful to lessen these symptoms.