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Posts tagged "diet"

We’re all different, and you gotta do YOU.

YOU includes a history that you need to work with to make the best decisions for your body: the way you approach your diet and training needs to work for all of “you”.

Some people are totally amazing at moderation. They can have treats in the house, and eat them when desired, without finishing the whole box or bag. Others might struggle more with it, and having treats in the house is too much pressure for them. They might feel like willpower failures, but the truth is they aren’t. All it means is that in order to make the best decisions for themselves, they might need to be more diligent about controlling their environment. That’s empowerment, not weakness: a former alcoholic who refuses to keep booze in the house isn’t weak, but rather doing what they need to do. The same goes for people who might need to calorie count and those that don’t. Or those that need trainers/buddies to workout and those that don’t (sometimes you’re better off with friends and sometimes, it’s not the best for you). When you employ techniques, sometimes you need to base them on WHO YOU ARE. Not necessarily who you’d like to be. In short, it means keeping them realistic to your current situation.

If you can’t seem to commit to an hour a day, there’s nothing wrong with 20 minutes. If you can’t ever seem to make a morning workout, maybe a different time works best. If you have tried and absolutely HATE broccoli, there’s no need to eat it. There are far too many veggies in the world for broccoli to be the end all be all. Try something else.

I’d love to be the person who can keep treats in the house and never touch them. But I’m not that person. If I buy them, I’ll eat them. If I eat them, I often feel shitty on the inside and my workouts/life suffer for it. I’d also love to be the kind of person who loves going to the gym, but I’m not. At-home workouts are what works best for me, and I focused my energy on making them awesome with tools, research and by making my space conducive to home sweating. I used to feel guilty about this (as a trainer, I suppose it’s weird to hate gyms), but I realized there are loads of people like me who can benefit from at-home training experiences. I simply stick to what I do best and kick as much ass with it as I can.

In addition to your routines, your goals should also reflect your own self-awareness. My example would be the fact that I’m not pursuing goals related to incredible leanness, six packs or getting the lowest body fat percentage possible. For some (especially those competing), these are goals they attribute to success and they work really hard to get there. For me - due to my history- these are goals I attribute to disorder: it can be dangerous for me to focus too heavily on aesthetics or numbers. I don’t feel empowered when I micromanage my diet: I feel out of control. I don’t feel good about measuring my body fat percentage against other people: I feel obsessed. It would be very easy for me to pursue those goals, especially with the support I’d have from MANY awesome people. I even feel as though I “could” do it and keep my body in fairly good health too (or at least try). But because of my history - because of my self-awareness OF that history - I’d be poking a sleeping dragon. It wouldn’t be healthy for me to pursue those goals given my history with body image and food.

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Still think a calorie is just a calorie? Think again!

Not ALL calories are created equal, and while it’s an easy way for people to track their weight loss, the QUALITY of your calories has much more to do with success than how many you’re eating. 

1200 calories of pizza, beer and candy? Not the same as 1200 calories of hummus, spinach and lean chicken. Nutritionally, the latter is better for you: more vitamins, minerals and good stuff for your body to use. But it’s also processed more efficiently by the body: more of the calories get used, burned and can fuel your metabolism giving you an edge all day. Plus, the more fiber, veggies and lean protein you have in your diet, the less chemicals your body needs to dispense to break it down: less hormones released, fewer sugar crashes, and less fat storage. 

A new study has given more insight into which ‘diets’ may be best for weight loss (and by diet, I don’t mean restriction, but rather overall diet). They compared a low fat diet, a low carb diet and a low glycemic index diet. All participants followed their eating plans over a period of time, and then were measured for caloric output and weight loss. 

The result?

Those on a low FAT diet burned the least.

Those on a low CARB diet had the fastest initial effect… but had the lowest retention rate. It also raised the risk of heart problems in participants.

Those on a low glycemic index diet burned steady amounts with almost no adverse effects. It was also easier for participants to maintain over time. While the ultra low carb, Atkins-like diet had the greatest initial effect, it also had the lowest, long-term retention rate. On top of that, it increased the risk of heart problems. 

Very interesting stuff! 

The takeaways: those of you focused on low fat options may do well to add more fat into your diet: you need fat to burn fat (avocados, olive oil, nuts). While low carb diets are FAST, they tend to do poorly overtime: consider going halfsies and exploring complex carbohydrates to add into your diet (grains, beans, legumes). And EVERYONE would do better by eliminating processed, sugary and chemical foods.  

Read more via The New York Times.

Does Banning Toys Make Fast Food Healthier?

A new study of the fallout from the Santa Clara ordinance provides an answer: Maybe slightly. Under the law, franchise locations of national and global fast food chains located in the county were required to stop pairing kids’ toys with meals that contained unhealthy levels of calories, fat, sodium, sugar, artificial sweeteners, and caffeine. Affected fast food joints could choose to stop selling the toys in meals that don’t make the cut—or better yet, modify their kids’ menus to make them more nutritious. 

None of them chose the latter: No restaurants in the sample introduced healthier meal items or edited their meal formulations to meet the nutrition criteria. But one franchise location did increase its promotion of the healthier items already included on its menu, telling customers that only by buying those healthier meals could kids receive a free toy. Other restaurants in the study removed in-store promotion of toys, or eliminated toys from their business model completely.

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The Master Cleanse, the apple cider vinegar diet, the grapefruit-and-coffee diet…these are the kinds of bizarre, unhealthy, and icky plans that enjoy a surge in popularity about twice per year: once after the holidays, and again at that time of year cruelly known as “swimsuit season.”

Surely, there are better ways to lose weight than by slogging through cup after nutritionally-devoid cup of spicy, watery, maple-y lemonade? I asked a nutritionist to walk me through the ups and downs of yo-yo diets, and even give me some tips for the New Year.

Michelle Babb is a body-positive, food-loving registered dietician and a nutritionist in Seattle. She answered some of my questions about crash dieting, and offered some healthy alternatives to help you feel awesome and look great.

Why is crash dieting so bad for your body? Crash dieting has a negative impact on your metabolism. Being overly restrictive and severely limiting calories can send signals to the body to go into conservation mode. When your body is in conservation mode, the tendency is to hold onto fat, so it becomes much more difficult to lose weight over time.

What are some of the worst crash diets you know of? I’m opposed to anything that involves fasting, because that may lead to weight loss in the very short term, but people always gain it back when they start to eat food again. I also dislike the Master Cleanse, which involves drinking a mixture of lemon juice, maple syrup and Cayenne pepper. It’s not a healthy way to approach detoxification, and it can be dangerous. The worst crash diets are always the ones that focus on limiting yourself to one or two foods that are being touted as “weight loss wonders,” such as cabbage soup or cranberry juice.

What about cleanses? Are they different? There are a variety of cleanses, and some are healthier than others. The main goal of a cleanse should be to support the liver, kidneys and digestive system while reducing the toxic burden on the body. The cleanse I use with patients is a nutritionally supported 28-day cleanse, where I ask patients to avoid some of the common food allergens along with caffeine, alcohol and sugar, while eating a wide variety of nutrient dense foods (greens, broccoli, beets, yams, berries, apples, nuts, seeds, legumes, fish, etc.). While it’s common for people to lose weight while doing a cleanse, the real objective is to reduce the toxic load and restore balance in the body.

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Can you guess wha the number one predictor of future weight gain is?

Hint: It’s not the answer you might think. The number one predictor of future weight gain is…..

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Model Adriana Lima’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show diet lands her on 360’s RidicuList.

As you know, I do my best to make sure I never comment on other women’s bodies. I don’t believe in unhealthy body types. Rather I believe that unhealthy behaviors need to be addressed and discussed. I want to make it clear that my comments & opinions about the story above have nothing to do with what she looks like: there’s a lot of model hate out there, and while I firmly believe the fashion industry needs a good dose of reality (and a kick in the ass), I don’t blame the ‘players’. I blame the game. 

However, THIS certainly falls under unhealthy behavior. So discuss it we shall. 

Whenever I see stories like this, despite my inner bitchy, I always tend to sympathize with the models. I can’t even begin to understand the world they live in. If you think the pressure to look a certain way weighs heavily on the general public, models get it ten fold (believe me, I’m not walking around saying “Oh, poor pretty models. Life is so hard for them. Yada yada”. Rather, I think it’s too commonly accepted to see them as the aggressors in the unrealistic body war, as opposed to victims). They don’t set the standards: they’re hired because they meet them and they are expected to KEEP meeting them, long after they move into different stages of womanhood.

Not only do they need to walk the runway in front of thousands of strangers (getting pictures taken from every angle imaginable), but not fitting a certain ‘look’ could lose them potential work & sabotage an already short career. When a model doesn’t meet these incredibly high standards, she faces more scrutiny than the average person. It helps to understand this when approaching the world ‘models’ live in. It’s not the same as normal people’s. In real life, no one weighs you before you get hired and you don’t have hundreds of people nitpicking at every flaw on your body. You also don’t have competition around every single corner (even if you feel like you do, you don’t).

I’d lose my freaking mind. No thank you.

(Side note: it’s not just runway models. Fitness models also aim to look a certain ‘way’, and some get there using unhealthy methods as well. Plus sized models also have guidelines to follow. In any industry where your looks or physical attributes are on display, there is a pressure to fit a “mold” one way or another).

It’s true that some runway models are naturally thin, most have genetics on their side and most watch what they eat to maintain their “look”. But when they feel the need to go the extra mile and engage in an unhealthy lifestyle or regimen in order to keep their job? That’s a little scary. And when it’s so normal to them that they can talk about it openly and wind up on the Ridiculilst? That’s even scarier.

It’s important to remind people that this is NOT normal, healthy or okay behavior.

Over dieting & over restricting can cause brain damage, infertility, liver damage, decreased kidney function, hormonal issues, slowed metabolism, heart problems, hair loss and death. A diet like hers is dangerous, irresponsible and unhealthy, even for short spurts of time.

In other words: don’t have what she’s having & don’t do what she’s doing. K?

Any thoughts?

Listen up. Very important article, not only for those with serious issues & conditions relating to food, but even for those casual dieters out there.

Interesting and scary.

In December, 20 year old Glenn Wilsey just wanted to enlist. But at 260lbs, he did not fit the height & weight requirement to be deployed.

He was told he would need to drop 70lbs from his current weight, bringing him to 190. His mother alleges that he was given recruiter sanctioned advice to hit his goal as soon as possible. This included…

  • An extreme exercise plan that included 90-120 minutes of running every other day.
  • A strict 800 calorie a day diet
  • Recommended purging for larger meals.

For faster results, he also wore a wet suit underneath 2 sweatsuits AND wore a waist band during his workouts.

His mother was concerned about the extreme measures and had talked to her son repeatedly about the regime. She worried about his weight loss & health, but Glenn shrugged off her concerns.

“He’d say, ‘Mom, these guys know what they’re talking about.’ He believed what the recruiters were telling him over what I was telling him,” she said.

“At that time, he was also told, coached, suggested, prodded — whatever word needs to be used — that ‘If you eat a big meal, it is OK to vomit that back up,’”

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They Don’t Last.

They Make You Hungry.

They Make You Tired.

They Eat Your Precious Muscles.

Don’t diet. Make lasting changes. If you’re not ready to give up chocolate for life (and who the hell is!), you need to find a way to incorporate it IN your lifestyle in a healthy way.

Make smarter choices. Learn to eat better. Do NOT starve yourself. Exercise.

Some people like to diet the fat off first, then plan on hitting the gym. If you’re calorie restricting, you can end up with a metabolic meltdown and certain weight gain. Be smart.

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