Weight Loss

When it comes to eating fats these days the mantra has changed a bit from years past.  It used to be that “fat free” was the standard to follow if you wanted to lose weight…but not so much anymore.  Now we realize that “healthy fats” are an important part of losing weight…in moderation, of course. So what are the fats that we should be eating while trying to lose weight and exactly how much is okay?

There is a lot of misconception out there in regards to what healthy fats are, how much we actually need, and what is good for us (especially when trying to shed a few pounds).  First, let’s address what a “healthy fat” is and how much the average person needs. Healthy fats are found in many natural foods like fatty fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, beans, olive oil, eggs, etc. and the average person should have about 50 grams of “healthy fat” daily.  Now this varies depending on your size, dietary requirements and restrictions, and whether or not you’re trying to lose weight. It’s also expressed in a percentage in relationship to calories but 50 grams is on the lower end and a good average number.

There are so many different variations on the role of healthy fats In weight loss, it can be confusing and misleading in a lot of ways!

 

Now on to what you should be eating if you wish to shed a few pounds.  Many people think they have to completely cut out all fats in order to lose weight…not true.  What usually causes weight issues is actually too much sugar and starch (carbs) and not so many fats…unless you’re eating a lot of saturated (unhealthy) fats that is.  Healthy fats are essential for energy, for proper nerve and brain function, to support cell growth, and to help protect your organs. Fats also help the body absorb some nutrients and produce certain important hormones.  The key is to eat healthy fat options and NOT indulge in unhealthy ones.

So, what are some things to remember when trying to lose weight AND still eat healthy fats?  Here are a few tips and tricks for eating healthy fats while trying to lose weight:

  1. Not all oils are created equal:  Try using these oils for cooking and dressings…coconut, peanut, avocado, macadamia nut, walnut, olive, canola, and flaxseed.
  2. Natural fatty foods:   Use in moderation…avocados, whole eggs, fatty fish (salmon, herring, mackerel, tuna, etc.), nuts & nut butters (almond, cashew, walnut, peanut, etc.), seeds (flax, chia, pumpkin, etc.), beans & legumes (lentils, peas, etc.), coconut, full fat dairy (Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese, feta, mozzarella, Swiss, etc.), beef, chicken, and dark chocolate.
  3. Moderation is the key:  As with most things health-related…moderation, moderation, moderation!  Don’t have too many “natural” fats as this can put on weight and might cause cholesterol issues.  Still select lean cuts of meat and poultry and balance fat intake with proper nutrition in other categories (vegetables, fruits, healthy grains, etc.).  And always incorporate exercise daily into your routine as a sedentary lifestyle not only puts on weight and keeps it there but the negative health effects are numerous.

Eating healthy fats isn’t a license to overindulge and certainly not meant to give the green light to too many burgers, fries, and pizza nights.  There are still calories in healthy fatty foods, so counting those calories is still a part of balancing what you eat with what you do to burn it off.  Hopefully, this information provides you with a head start on understanding ways to incorporate healthy fats into your diet and maybe lose some weight in the process.

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With Pre-Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes becoming such an epidemic is taking control now and following a Diabetic Diet right for you?

An estimated 23.1 million people in the United States have currently been diagnosed with diabetes and the Center for Disease Control estimates that another 7.2 million have undiagnosed diabetes, while another 84.1 million adults have pre-diabetes.  Sound like an epidemic? Well, many healthcare professionals believe it is and if not controlled much better the statistics are only going to get worse. So, what do you do to avoid becoming one of these statistics? Try eating like you have diabetes and enjoy the benefits of what this healthy association with food brings you.

I have had diabetes for a couple of decades and my doctors believe that I actually was suffering from it long before being diagnosed.  I found out when pregnant with my first child I’m now insulin dependent as things have progressively become worse with my pancreas not producing hardly any insulin.  So…this means that I MUST eat a diabetic diet in order to stay healthy…but when you examine what a diabetic diet is you can see how it’s beneficial for everyone…diabetic or not.

 

In a nutshell, eating like a diabetic means that you’re having low-carb selections, plenty of protein, minimal healthy fats, and of course…avoiding sugar!  Well, believe it or not, this is easier said than done since nature provides plenty of “sweet” options that are healthy yet high in sugar. Many people think “avoid sugar” means to not put “the white stuff” in food and drinks, avoid regular soda, etc…but it also means avoid “natural sugar” as well.  Items like mangos, bananas, pineapple, cherries, grapes, and especially ANY dried fruits (drying concentrates the natural sugars in the fruit) are all naturally high in sugar and should be eaten VERY sparingly or not at all. Items that are high carbs and starches (wheat, rice, winter squashes, parsnips, potatoes, corn, etc.) also need to be greatly minimized in the diet or omitted altogether.  

It’s not always easy to know what to eat and what not to eat and there are literally thousands of diabetic diets, food lists, etc. out there that sometimes only add to the confusion.  The best way to look at “eating like a diabetic” is to help your body stay healthy and NOT cause yourself issues by incorporating some of the basic principles of a diabetic diet that are the easiest to follow:

  1. Avoid “the white stuff”…this means white flour, white rice, white root vegetables, and of course…sugar!
  2. Cut out sugary drinks…juices, sodas, energy drinks, coffee concoctions, and even those smoothies that do contain some healthy ingredients but usually a whole lot of sugar.
  3. Avoid artificial sweeteners…these are actually many times sweeter than real sugar and make your brain and body crave more sweetness…making cutting back exceptionally difficult.
  4. Eat items as they appear in nature…avoid packaged foods as much as possible as well as eating out too much.  Many times sugar and/or fats are used for better flavor (not to mention too much salt) and can cause multiple problems with keeping to a proper diet.
  5. Still, watch your calories…even if you’re eating healthy and like a diabetic you still need to watch how many calories you’re consuming as being overweight contributes to increased risk for diabetes.

Here are some specific food items in a “lowest to highest” layout that might help you better understand what I mean and give you a good head start to making changes:

Low Carb Vegetables

This list is roughly arranged from lowest to highest carbohydrate counts, but all are non-starchy and generally low in carbohydrates:

  •  Sprouts (bean, alfalfa, etc.)
  •  Greens – lettuces, spinach, chard, etc.
  •  Hearty Greens – collards, mustard greens, kale, etc.
  •  Radicchio and endive count as greens
  •  Herbs – parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.
  •  Bok Choy
  •  Bamboo Shoots
  •  Celery
  •  Radishes
  •  Sea Vegetables (Nori, etc)
  •  Mushrooms
  •  Cabbage (or sauerkraut)
  •  Jicama
  •  Avocado
  •  Asparagus
  •  Okra
  •  Cucumber (or pickles without added sugars)
  •  Green Beans and Wax Beans
  •  Fennel
  • Cauliflower
  •  Broccoli
  •  Peppers (all kinds)
  • Summer Squash (including zucchini)
  •  Brussels Sprouts
  •  Scallions or green onions
  •  Snow Peas/Snap Peas/Pea Pods
  •  Tomatoes
  •  Eggplant
  •  Tomatillos
  •  Artichokes
  •  Turnips
  •  Pumpkin
  •  Rutabagas
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Celery Root (Celeriac)
  • Carrots (use with caution)
  •  Onions
  •  Leeks
  • Water Chestnuts

 

  • Starchy (High Carb) Vegetables,  The main veggies to be avoided when reducing carbohydrates are the starchier vegetables:
  •  Beets
  •  Peas
  •  Winter Squashes (particularly acorn and butternut)
  •  Parsnips
  •  Potatoes (all forms)
  •  Corn
  • Plantains

Choose Low Sugar Fruit
Fruit is an area where some of the low carbs diet part company.  These are sort of arranged by sugar content, taking volume and weight into account. This is not an exhaustive list.  Good news: the fruits lowest in sugar are some of the highest in nutritional value, including antioxidants and other phytonutrients.

Fruits lowest in sugar

  •  Lemon & Lime
  • Rhubarb
  • Raspberries
  • BlackberrieS
  • Cranberries
  • Strawberries
  • Casaba Melon
  • Papaya
  • Watermelon
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Apples
  • Guava
  • Apricots
  • Grapefruit

Fruits fairly high in sugar

  • Plums
  • Oranges
  • Kiwi
  • Pears
  • Pineapple

Fruits very high in sugar

  • Tangerines
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Pomegranates
  • Mangos
  • Figs
  • Banana
  • Dried Fruit (dates, raisins, prunes, etc.)

It’s definitely NOT easy to always be so mindful of what you’re eating, how you’re eating, and when you’re eating…but it’s a whole lot easier to do it out of a desire to be more mindful and healthy than it is out of necessity due to a disease.  Even little changes can make a difference and the more you do it the easier it becomes…really!

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Your Metabolism:  What Helps & What Hurts

 

Metabolism…What is it?  What does it do? Well, basically, it’s the sum of everybody function…everything your body does.  Each time you eat your body breaks down the food into energy that keeps your body running. Everything from keeping your heart beating and your legs moving to your mind thinking and regulating everything happening in your body.  People with a fast metabolism burn calories at a greater rate and therefore require more calories…those with a slower metabolism don’t burn as many calories and need to watch how many they consume or the excess will be stored as fat.

There are several things that negatively affect metabolism, some can be avoided but some can’t.  Here are some things that negatively affect (or slow down) your metabolism:

Age:  The older you get the slower your metabolism naturally becomes

Gender:  Women have, on average, slower metabolisms than men

Body Size & Composition:  More muscle mass burns more calories, contributing to a higher metabolic rate

Hormonal Imbalance:  Estrogen in women and Testosterone in men decline as we age and slow metabolism

Poor Nutrition:  People who eat food high in refined sugars and/or saturated fat, and food with poor nutritional value tend to have a slower metabolism

Stress:  This causes cortisol levels to rise which can cause overeating and weight gain

Insomnia:  Sleep deprivation can cause a dysregulation of cortisol, insulin, and leptin…all negatively affecting metabolism

Chronic Diseases (Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, Cushing ’s syndrome, etc.):  These particular diseases slow metabolism as part of their attack on the body

Obesity:  This slows metabolism because obese individuals have a higher fat mass and a lower muscle mass and therefore a slower metabolism

Medications:  Several medications for chronic conditions can slow metabolism (antidepressants, insulin, steroids, hormone therapies, etc.)

Physical Inactivity:  Lack of exercise can cause fat gain and slow metabolism due to a sedentary lifestyle

 

On the flip side, here are things you can do to increase your metabolism and start burning more fat:

 

Eat Regularly:  Eating several small meals during the day is a good way to keep your metabolism running at top speed

Eat Plenty of Protein:  Have protein with every meal to feel full faster and stay full longer to prevent over eating

Drink More Cold Water:  It fills you up, helps you at less, and cold water makes your metabolism speed up as your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature

High-Intensity Workout:  These force the metabolism to run at a high rate and stay running high even after the workout is over

Build Muscle:  Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so building muscle can increase your metabolism in general, even when resting

Stand More…Sit Less:  Standing burns more calories and is better for posture than sitting

Green or Oolong Tea:  Both of these help increase metabolism and burn fat

Eat Spicy Foods:  Peppers contain capsaicin, a substance that can boost metabolism

Get Plenty of Rest:  A good night’s sleep keeps the body healthy and the metabolism running at its optimal level

Drink Coffee:  The caffeine in coffee can boost metabolism and promote fat burning (this does not include other caffeinated beverages)

Use Coconut Oil:  Replace other cooking oils/fats with coconut oil…the medium-chain fats in coconut oil can increase metabolism

Even if you are dealing with some of the things that typically slow metabolism, you can still do some of the beneficial recommendations to increase fat burning despite your personal health situation.  It’s never a bad thing to eat better, exercise a bit more, get better rest, and so on, which not only increases metabolism but contributes to a healthier body overall…and that’s the key to feeling better.  So happy fat burning!

 

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The Mediterranean Diet is an eating plan inspired by the diets of the people living in the Mediterranean region.  It’s been touted for years as having many health benefits…lowering the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, fighting certain cancers and chronic diseases, helping you avoid diabetes, and aiding in achieving weight management goals.  Plus, it’s easy, affordable, and delicious!

Is the Mediterranian Diet Right For You_

Many people are confused about what types of foods are allowed on the Mediterranean diet, so here is a brief overview of things you are able to eat on this plan:

 

  • Eat Freely: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood, and extra virgin olive oil.

 

  • Eat in Moderation: Poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt.

 

  • Avoid: Sugar, sugar-sweetened beverages, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils, and other highly processed foods.

 

Here is an illustration of the items on the Mediterranean Diet and how to eat them:

This eating plan stresses healthy fish (salmon, etc.), healthy oils (olive oil, etc.), whole grains (Quinoa, whole-wheat pasta, etc.), legumes (peas, beans, etc.), nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios, etc.), and fresh fruit (berries, apricots, etc.).  While all of these are very healthy options they do still have fats and calories to consider…so be sure to properly portion out items and accurately account for the fat and calories in them.

As with any diet or eating plan, please consider your personal health situation and any medications and/or supplements you take…and please speak with your doctor to make sure the Mediterranean Diet is a healthy and beneficial option for you.  Enjoy all that this plan has to offer for the benefit of your health and possibly in helping you drop a few pounds in the process. Happy Eating!

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Balanced Meal- Balanced Plate… What do these terms really mean?  Are they the same or do they represent different things?  Hopefully, We can clear up some misconceptions about these terms and aid you in eating better with the explanations.

First…Balanced Meals.  This term is thrown around all the time to explain how to eat healthy, whether, on a weight loss plan or a dietary requirement, balanced meals are important.  A balanced meal is one that includes one food from each food group…dairy, vegetables, fruits, grains, and proteins. Dairy is probably the category most often omitted mid-day and evening while vegetables don’t always make it into the morning meal.  In fact, vegetables are probably left out of many people’s diet simply because they don’t like them. The reason a balanced meal is so important is that each food group contains essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to keep your body properly nourished, healthy, and functioning properly.

Here’s an example of a day of balanced meals…utilizing the five food groups:

The one thing that’s a variable is fat…butter, oil, etc…it can be used in moderation but be careful to keep close track of it for a better health choice.

The Balanced Plate or “Plate Method” of healthy eating is similar to having a balanced meal except it’s more of a visual that you can use to properly portion out your meal.  This method says to fill ½ of the plate with 2 servings of non-starchy vegetables, ¼ of the plate with lean protein (about 3 ounces cooked) or another high-protein food, fill ¼ of the plate with a starchy vegetable or whole grain serving.  Dairy and fruits are in minimal amounts. This method allows for more of a specific breakdown of portions yet still allows you to choose what fills those portions. Here’s a typical “Plate Method” for reference:

Regardless of which plan speaks to you, the main focus is being aware of the foods you’re eating and the portion sizes.  It’s easy to eat too much and not properly arrange meals to incorporate all of the food groups, but hopefully, this makes it a bit easier to treat your body to a healthy meal.

 

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How to Read Nutrition Labels

by Michelle on April 10, 2018

Making healthier choices about the foods you eat requires more than discipline.  Fresh foods are of course the main part of a healthy diet, but when you do use packaged items it’s important to know how to read the nutrition labels on those items to ensure you’re making healthy choices.  Hopefully, the information below can make understanding things a bit easier.

 

 

  • Serving Size:  This shows the size of the serving the nutrition fact pertains to as well as how many of those serving are in the item.  Both the Standard unit of measure (United States) and the Metric unit of measure (international) are usually listed.

 

 

 

  • Calories:  These are the total calories per serving size.  This number isn’t the total calories in the item itself but the calories in each serving…so be careful to know how many servings there are in the item and multiply this number by the number of servings to get the total calories in the package.  The calories from Fat are often listed here as well; be sure to avoid Trans Fat.

 

 

 

  • Nutrients to Limit:  This is where things like Total Fat (separated into types of fat), Cholesterol, Sodium (salt), And Total Carbohydrates (separated into Dietary Fiber-see note below-and Sugars).  These items are things that many people need to pay close attention to and limit in their diets and the further separation in the Fat and Carbohydrate categories is valuable information to properly account for these items.  In particular, Diabetics need to not only look at the Total Carbohydrates but also what part of those carbs are Dietary Fiber and Sugar.

 

 

NOTE:  Dietary Fiber is a healthy and important part of daily nutrition and it needs to be in higher amounts than most people end up getting.  It’s listed in this section only because it plays a role in the Total Carbohydrate count.

 

 

  • Beneficial Nutrients:  Make sure to get enough of these items…Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron.  These important vitamins and minerals are crucial to health and we need them each and every day.  Many packaged items aren’t healthy but these days there is more of a focus on packaged “healthy” items for an ever-growing educated and health-conscious public.

 

 

 

  • % Daily Value:  The % Daily Value (DV) tells you the percentage of each nutrient in a single serving, in terms of the daily recommended amount. As a guide, if you want to consume less of a nutrient (such as saturated fat or sodium), choose foods with a lower % DV (5% or less). If you want to consume more of a nutrient (such as fiber), seek foods with a higher % DV (20% or more).

 

 

Remember that the information shown in these panels is based on 2,000 calories a day. You may need to consume less or more than 2,000 calories depending on your personal situation so adjust accordingly.  Also, when the label says “0g trans fat” but the list of ingredients includes “partially hydrogenated oil” it means the food DOES contain trans fat…but it’s less than 0.5 grams per serving. So, if you eat more than one serving size you ARE getting trans fat…proportionate to the Nutrition Information listed.  Use the Nutrition Facts label as the valuable tool it is to keep track of what packaged foods you’re eating so as to not derail your efforts. Remember…fresh is always best, but if a “healthy” packaged food is on your radar review the label and ingredients to make an educated choice.

 

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For years we have been taught that the food pyramid is the end all when it comes to proper nutrition. Is there still any merit to the food pyramid today?

I’m sure you all remember learning about proper nutrition in high school…and the Food Pyramid was a vital part of that education.  Have you ever wondered where that came from? The food pyramid was first published in Sweden in 1972 but there were only three levels on this first version and it led to some confusion.  The “newer” pyramid (or Westernized version) was introduced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1992 and was called the “Food Guide Pyramid”. It had more sections (six this time) that made it easy to understand what amounts of certain foods to eat daily.  These six levels broke down as follows:

 

Grains (bread, cereal, rice, pasta, etc.) Group:  6 – 11 servings daily

Vegetable Group:  2 – 4 servings daily

Fruit Group:  2 – 4 servings daily

Dairy Group:  2 – 3 servings daily

Proteins (meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, nuts, etc.) Group:  2 – 3 servings daily

Fats, Oils, and Sweets Group:  use sparingly

This 1992 pyramid emphasized the importance of eating balanced, varied meals by showing the food groups in a way so as to keep proper categories and inform people about the number of servings to have each day.  There were several problems with this version however which included…no one knew what a proper “serving” amount was, healthy fats were lumped in with unhealthy ones, and this version was heavy on carbohydrates (grains) which isn’t the healthiest way to eat for a variety of reasons.  There was also interference in this pyramid’s creation by the major food industry groups who, of course, wanted higher profits by promoting more consumption of their products.

The pyramid was updated in 2005 to show a better understanding of reducing the carbs/starches section and including some healthy fats but it was still essentially the same old pyramid with minor clarifications.  There was a newer and better way to arrange your diet just a few years away.

In 2011 a completely new arrangement came about…”My Plate”!  This replaced the “pyramid” visual of days gone by showing how to arrange each meal better on your plate with a proper proportion of food groups:  Vegetables, Healthy Protein, Whole Grains, Fruits, Dairy, and minimal healthy fats. Vegetables & Fruits are to be about half of the plate with Whole Grains and Healthy Protein are each one quarter.No version of the pyramid or plate can take the place of proper eating nor can it be adequately displayed in a graphic that everyone will comprehend…but seeing how to proportion food on a plate is a good visual to start with.  Everyone has dietary likes and dislikes, caloric requirements, as well as possibly having some restrictions, but learning how to eat properly and counting calories is vital to a healthy body. This is just a way to hopefully help you start to understand proper nutrition and to get you thinking about your relationship with food and health.  As always, please check with your doctor before making any major dietary changes to make sure they’re appropriate for your personal health situation.

 

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So where exactly did the idea of a 2000 calorie diet come from? We’re discussing its origin and merits on the blog today.

Have you ever wondered why the FDA uses a 2000 calorie per day standard as the basis for a healthy amount of calories and where that number came from?  If so, then you’re in the minority because many people just accept this number as what they should be eating without even questioning if it’s right for them.  Hopefully, I can shed some light on things and possibly give you some information to fine-tune your diet for better health.

2000 Calorie Diet

The 2000 calorie per day standard came about in 1990 when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that a caloric reference is included on the nutritional labels of packaged foods.  This turned into The Nutrition and Labeling Act and it was designed to standardize food labeling that previously had been at the discretion of manufacturers and individual states. The new Act meant that manufacturers had to list information like ingredients, calories, serving sizes, fat and sodium content as well as carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in reference to the “daily values”, which are the maximum amounts of recommended intake per day.  Prior to this Act, there wasn’t a standard caloric intake so the daily values were difficult to determine.

The FDA knew that caloric needs to be varied by gender, age, and activity level and they also knew they needed some sort of standard number to put on the label.  So the FDA looked to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) food consumption surveys, which reported caloric intake for men, women, and children. The surveys showed the following in regards to the average range of calories each category consumed per day:

Men:  2,000 – 3,000 cal./day Women:  1,600 – 2,200 cal./day     Children:  1,800 – 2,500 cal./day

To simplify the food labels the FDA suggested using a single amount on all labels:  2,350 calories per day (an average of all three categories). After some further research, arguments, and compromise the FDA concluded that the simplified number of 2,000 calories per day would be best as a reference for labeling as well as dietary requirements.  This nice, round number was a more effective tool for educational purposes, for reading labels, and understanding dietary requirements.

The FDA knew that some people would need fewer calories and some would need more for various reasons, but the 2000 calories per day was the best compromise to give away for manufacturers to provide the necessary nutritional information while still allowing for an adjustable reference.  How many calories you might need daily depends on several factors including age, height, gender, goal (weight gain, loss, or maintenance), medical conditions, etc. and there are many calculators online for finding the right amount for you specifically. Here is a good example of an easy Calorie Calculator you can use for reference:  http://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html

For example, an average woman needs to eat about 2,000 calories daily to maintain her weight, and 1,500 calories to lose one pound of weight per week. An average man needs 2,500 calories daily to maintain his weight, and 2,000 to lose one pound of weight per week. However, this depends on numerous factors…as well as what foods a person can and can’t eat based on medical conditions (Diabetes, Celiac, etc.) and medications (some have dietary restrictions).  As always, please consult your doctor and pharmacist whenever you embark on a new dietary journey for specific things you need to consider for your personal situation and any medications you’re taking. It’s worth looking into what your actual caloric needs are daily to give you a reference to make any changes you feel are necessary.

 

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The Ketogenic Diet trend seems to be taking off, But before you try it, there are many things to consider to help you decide if the Ketogenic Diet is actually right for you.

The ketogenic diet (or keto diet) is a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, a high-fat diet that forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates for fuel which puts the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis.  When in ketosis (fat burning mode) the liver produces ketones which become the main energy source for the body and this all revolves around the consumption of fat. This is based on the premise that your body was designed to run more efficiently as a fat burner rather than a sugar burner.

Ketogenic

When you eat something high in carbs (donuts, rice, bread, etc.), your body will produce glucose and insulin.

  • Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy so that is why it’s the preferred energy source for your body.
  • Insulin is produced to process the glucose in your bloodstream by transporting it around your body.

The problem is that when glucose is used as a primary energy source fats are not needed for energy and are stored instead.  Also, the body can’t store that much glucose and the extra glucose gets converted into fat which is then also stored. However, since glucose is the primary energy source when it’s turned to fat and then stored it doesn’t get used.  Instead, when the body needs more glucose for energy it signals the brain and you end up reaching for a quick shack of sugar, chips, etc. instead of burning the fat that is being stored.

So, this crazy cycle keeps going round & round until you’re carrying extra pounds and quite possibly addicted to sugar.  This is where the keto diet can help you become a fat burner instead of a sugar burner by training your body to stop relying on glucose and to start relying on fats.  This is the end goal of the keto diet but you don’t enter ketosis (fat burning mode) by starving your body…you enter ketosis by starving your body of carbohydrates and sugars.

You’ve most likely heard that we can go weeks without food but only a couple of days without water.  The reason for this is ketosis and most people have enough fat stored to fuel their body for a while.  This is great in a survival situation but terrible in everyday life. In ketosis the body produces ketones.  Ketones occur from the breakdown of fat in the liver, hence the importance of consuming enough fat daily. When you lower your carb intake, glucose levels along with blood sugar levels drop which in turn lowers insulin levels as fat cells release their stored water and then they’re able to enter the bloodstream and head to the liver.

The benefits of the ketogenic diet are many:

  1. Weight loss
  2. Better blood sugar control
  3. Improved insulin resistance
  4. Better focus
  5. Increased energy
  6. Better appetite control
  7. Improved Cholesterol & blood pressure
  8. Clearer skin

Here is a brief idea of what foods to eat for the keto diet and what to avoid:

Foods to Eat

  • Meats – fish, beef, lamb, poultry, eggs
  • Leafy greens – spinach, kale
  • Above ground vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower
  • High-fat dairy – hard cheeses,  high fat cream, and butter
  • Sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners
  • Other fats – coconut oil, high-fat dressing, saturated fats, etc.
  • Nuts & seeds – macadamia nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds
  • Avocado & berries – raspberries, blackberries, and other low glycemic berries

Foods to Avoid

  • Grains – wheat, corn, rice, and cereal
  • Sugar – honey, agave, and maple syrup
  • Fruit – apples, bananas, and oranges
  • Tubers – potatoes, and yams
  • Legumes

The general ratio of the keto diet is 70% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.  This means you’re getting your fuel from fats and you should start seeing the benefits of the keto diet in no time.  As always, check with your doctor if you have certain conditions before starting on the ketogenic diet. There are many resources for keto diet foods, shopping lists, recipes, charts, etc. online and just as many books available for you to review for details to start your journey.  Good luck and happy eating!

 

 

 

 

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It happens, we go on vacation, we overindulge on the weekend, and getting your diet back on track can be a slippery slope! Here are some terrific ways to get back on track quickly!

It happens to all of us at one time or another.  You do so well for so long on whatever diet plan you’re following and then something happens to throw a wrench in the works.  Be it a celebration, overwhelming temptation, or just boredom, we all have those moments when we throw discipline out the window and give in to that favorite comfort food that’s been calling our name.  This isn’t unusual, and in fact, it’s quite normal…the key is to not beat yourself up over a minor “flub-up” and to get your diet back on track right away! 

 

Here are some of the most common reasons we cheat on diets…try to be aware so as to better avoid them:

 

  • Not Eating Enough:  eating too little and going too long between meals causes dips in blood sugar and can lead to cravings & binges; plus deprivation causes the body to “hoard” calories when you do eat, slows your metabolism, and undermines weight loss.
  • You Want a Quick Fix:  there is no quick and easy way to drop pounds so expecting to lose weight faster than you gained it is an unrealistic expectation leading to failure; think instead about making healthier food choices and incorporating exercise into daily life to make health the goal and the rewards will come naturally.
  • Temptation by Family & Friends:  make it clear to family and friends that you’re committed to living a healthier lifestyle and while that means necessary changes you will still spend time with them and even eat out when the occasion calls for it; maybe even ask them to join you in your endeavors.
  • Skimping on Sleep:  new studies show that not getting enough rest can actually cause you to gain weight, as researchers suspect that a lack of sleep negatively affects metabolism; be disciplined about getting eight hours…sleep isn’t a luxury it’s a necessity for good health.
  • Calories Count…Portion Control:  calories are fuel for the body, plain and simple…so even a healthy food item is still one that contains calories and the size of the portion you’re eating needs to be monitored; be aware of what calories are in the foods you choose and also exercise caution with the portion size…extra calories turn to fat.

 

Creative Bioscience has plenty of products to help with appetite control, increasing your metabolism, detoxing your liver, and balancing your overall gut health.  You can read all about these products on our website www.creativebioscience.com  and see what each product is intended to do as well as the benefits of the product ingredients.  No product can do it all for you, eating healthy and getting exercise are the keys to not only weight loss but good health.  Supplements can help you with your efforts but they can’t do nearly as much as you have the power to do yourself. Remember to never let a stumble in the road, be the end of the journey.

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