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Month / February, 2013

How Many Calories Does it Take to Enter Starvation Mode! (Myth or Fact?)

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starvationmodeI doubt there is a term strewn around more loosely on the internet as the cause of stalled weight loss than entering “starvation mode”. Everyone claims that once you eat at a calorie deficit around or below 1200 you will suddenly push your body into the dreaded “starvation mode” where you supposedly hold on to every single calorie that enters your mouth. The commonly given solution then is to eat more food and the weight will start to come off. But is this REALLY the case? What exactly does it take for our bodies to enter starvation mode?

Of course this is not the case! You only enter starvation mode once most of your body’s fat has been oxidized, which happens at a very low body fat percentage; This begins the catabolization of lean muscle tissue. 1200 is not a magic number where you stop losing fat.  Most women hover around 20% body fat, so if you eat below 1200 calories for the day or two or three, your body will still have fuel as well as a lot of fat preserves to draw from to create energy and keep your organs functioning.

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The Breakfast of Thin-pions: How You Start your Day matters

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breakfast1What are you eating for breakfast or your first meal of the day? If it’s cereal, fruits and/or carb heavy like pancakes or bagels and cream cheese, you are setting yourself up for an uphill battle. Consuming those types of foods has been proven to lead to a cycle of eating habits throughout the remainder of the day that inevitably accrues more calories than choosing different foods as your first meal. I’ve already mentioned that sugary/carby foods equals cravings for more sugary/carby foods and quite quickly as well, as you are not satiated for long after consuming them.

But, there is a breakfast food that I know from first hand experience, and it helps that there are studies to back me up, that keeps me full for hours upon hours (we are talking approximately 5 to 6 hours, with no cravings to speak of and that is the “EGG WHITE”.

Now, why the egg white and not the entire egg? I cannot stress enough the importance of kicking unnecessary calories out of your foods. Foods that you can barely detect/taste and that are not essential to the meal should be GONE. For example, I used to eat my egg white omelettes with two  slices of spelt bread, vegan mayonnaise on each bread, tomatoes, a slice of avocado, salad and a high calorie dressing. This would add up to over 500 calories!

However, I noticed that when I would go out to restaurants for breakfast I would still immensely enjoy my egg white omelettes which would only be accompanied by a few slices of roasted potatoes, a light salad, and a cup of green tea, clocking in at around 200 calories or less. I would be feel equally satiated for a long period of time due to the high protein content of the egg whites and didn’t need the bread/mayo/etc for enjoy my meal.

Now, one of my methods of hunger training is to pare down my ingredients to 3 or 4 essentials and make up the taste with harmless spices/herbs. Eat this way for 3 weeks, which is the amount of time it takes to generally develop a habit, and you won’t even remember what you at first might think you are missing out on! Also, for those who absolutely need to have a sandwich of some sort, opt for roasted mushroom caps instead of bread for your egg white sandwiches!

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The Trick to Making Better Health Choices – Is Decision Fatigue Your Problem?

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candies

Candy and snacks are placed close to market cash registers to take advantage of shoppers’ decision fatigue

When was the last time you broke down and ate something you knew would set you back on your quest for thinner thighs/flatter abs? Or how about the last time you decided to skip a workout? If you can plainly recall these instances, I have the answer for how you can avoid making such bad decisions in the future.

The likely culprit for your bad decisions lies in two words: Decision Fatigue.

According to Wikipedia, In decision making and psychology, decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual, after a long session of decision making. It is now understood as one of the causes of irrational trade-offs in decision making. For instance, judges in court have been shown to make poorer decisions later in the day. Decision fatigue may also lead to consumers making poor choices with their purchases.

For example, you make decisions all day from what to wear to what to eat. If you’ve made the decision to eat healthy all day, come evening time decision fatigue might mean you decide to have a tub of ice cream or to skip exercise.

How do you avoid this problem them?

You make less decisions and do the better things earlier.

How do you make less decisions: You form habits. It takes approximately 3 weeks of constantly doing something or not doing something to form a habit or break a habit respectively.

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The #1 Worst Food for your Skin is…! (beware)

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agingskinfoodsDo you eat these foods that HARM your blood sugar and age your joints and skin faster?  Some are even deceptively marketed to you as “healthy” by giant food corporations.  Avoid or minimize these and look 5-10 years YOUNGER than your real age.

by Mike Geary – Certified Nutrition Specialist
& Catherine Ebeling – RN, BSN

 


Due to biochemical reactions in your body that occur with every type of food you eat on a daily basis, some foods age you FASTER than your real age, while other foods help to FIGHT aging.

Eat the wrong foods regularly, and you can look and feel 10 or more years OLDER than your real age (not fun!) … but eat the right foods, and over time, you can start to look 5-10 years YOUNGER than your real age.

Three of the processes that go on inside your body that have a MAJOR impact on your rate of aging are called“glycation”, “inflammation”, and “oxidation”.  When we talk about aging, we’re not just talking about wrinkles on your skin or how thick your hair is… we’re also talking about factors that you can’t see, such as how well your organs function, and whether your joints are degrading.

Yes, I’m sure you’ll agree this is much more important than just how you look superficially (although we’ll show you how to improve BOTH!)

With the title of this article, you might have guessed that obvious answers like sugar or trans fat would be what we talk about in this article.  Yes, those are bad, but I want to discuss another food that ages your body faster than normal… and it’s one that you might not expect!

So let’s dig right in and I’ll show you how your rate of aging can be directly related to the foods you might eat every day, and how to protect yourself…

Click here to find out what the #1 food that causes skin aging is

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Beyonce May Not Have a Thigh Gap – But She Probably Wants One!

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beyonce

Beyonce purposefully posing in a manner which gives the appearance of her having a “thigh gap”

Twitter was all abuzz after Beyonce’s Halftime Superbowl performance on Sunday, when a parody Twitter account in the manner of Fat Amy (the character in the movie Pitch Perfect played by Rebel Wilson) tweeted, “Beyoncé doesn’t have a thigh gap but shes [sic] considered the most beautiful woman in the world. Remember that when you feel bad about yourself,” according to The Globe and Mail. This was retweeted more than 800 times.

First of all, Beyonce is NOT the most beautiful person in the universe to everyone!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and while she may not be fat, it is possible that some people would prefer to have a more svelte and streamlined look that she sports (Heck, she probably even wants to lose some of the fat from her thighs given many of her album pictures/photos/videos airbrush the fat out of them. When Oscar Time/award season rolls around she appears drastically thinner and remember when she was set to shoot the cover of Sports Illustrated?

Perhaps this excerpt from an article written in 2007 will remind you.

Beyonce said she prepared for the shoot by being extra-strict about her diet, which proved especially difficult because the photos were taken right after Thanksgiving.”At dinner, I kept thinking: this extra piece of pie will show up,” she recalled. “I always make sure I celebrate it up, but I was so terrified with every little thing I ate this year.”All that discipline paid off, as she said she was pleased with how the photos turned out.”These are photos I can show my kids some day, so I can say, ‘See, momma was beautiful. Look how good I looked!'” she said.

beyonce_thighgapAlso, the article claimed that Beyonce has a lot of muscle and she is fit, not fat. I would say she is fit but she definitely is capable of getting a thigh gap when she loses some of her body fat. Remember when she lost 20 pounds for her role in Dreamgirls? Some might say she looked better thinner.

Finally, this article isn’t meant for you to feel bad about yourself when you look in the mirror, but to give perspective to those who desire a different look/aesthetic than Beyonce to know that it’s totally fine, especially when Beyonce herself seems to try to attain that exact same look from time to time!

You can change your body composition through diet/exercise as well as other hacks known to boost your metabolism and burn calories and do not have to settle with the bod you have now. Neither do you have to turn to starvation diet and anorexia or bulemia! It’s not an all or nothing type of situation. If you adopt the basic fitness advice I give here and in the book, as well as take advantage of the hacks that are available, then you won’t have to be stuck with having fat/thick thighs for the rest of your life.

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Hunger Training – How to Feel Fuller for Longer – While Eating Less

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avocadoWhat is Hunger training?

Hunger Training is a phrase I coined that is useful for individuals who have overeaten for most of their lives and therefore have trouble identifying when they are REALLY hungry. In many instances, we train our minds into thinking we are hungry when in actuality we are not. For example, you may thin that you are hungry around ‘breakfast time’, ‘lunch time’ and ‘dinner time’ simply because those are the times that you always eat.

If you think about the fact that some people don’t feel hungry as soon as they awake and can hold off on having an appetite hours later (til around 11 or noon) it is evident that there are no SPECIFIC times that you have to consume food.

The better way to eat is intuitively, and that is when your body/stomach gives you actual signals that you need food. Hunger training involves not only learning HOW to identify those signals, but helps those with messed up signals (e.g. – if you feel hungry EVERY HOUR on the hour) take a more nuanced and scientific approach to knowing when their bodies should need fuel.

I will talk more about hunger training in later blog posts, but for today I wanted to give you a quick tip for those of you who are having difficulty in feeling full for any length of time, especially if you have been trying to refine your diet and eat less.

The trick to feeling fuller for longer lies in the type of food that you eat. You might notice that when you eat junk food like potato chips, cake, french fries, etc. you feel hungry shortly after. That’s because sugar and carbs leads to an insulin spike in your blood which

The way to avoid the high insulin spike is to consume protein and fat instead. More specifically, consuming them together. Try to make sure you are eating lean protein like egg whites, chicken, real turkey and/or white fish daily for protein and avocado, olive oil and hummus for fats.

Additionally, fiber is great for keeping you full for longer so try adding ground flaxseed to your shakes and meals.

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