Harmonize Fitness
menu
Harmonize Fitness

Diet

Diet

Does portion control work?

DSC_0129
views
104

I see many people who are not professional athletes and who don´t compete trying to be perfect counting calories, most of them just want to lose weight and get in shape. If the goal is just to get in shape and sustain it, then it´s not necessary to be perfect counting calories or macros. The best tool to use here is portion control.

Having a clear idea of portions will make it easier for us to achieve our goals and we´ll be considering what´s important.

Focusing on the most important things is the best way to achieve our goals and finding ways to make it simple will reduce stress and obsession, portion control is one of those things, as I´ve said before it is better to count macros than to count calories but weighting our food every meal is impossible so a way to get it done is with portion control.

Knowing how a portion size really looks like and getting it accurate is hard at the beginning, most of us are really bad at portion sizes we don´t know how a cup of rice or 4 ounces of meat look like and if we take our plate and take a look thinking on portion control and we measure it we´ll find out we´re eating more than we need, this may be one of the reasons why we can´t achieve our goal.

Portion control gives us the opportunity to focus on macronutrients, as we know now each has its function and job in the body, it´s easier to adjust how much we eat of each food so if we need to lower carbohydrates we can reduce portions or add some protein according to our goals.

Portion control is the amount of food we eat, we can weight our food or use some simple rules that we can find on the internet like 3 ounces of meat is the size of a deck of cards, half cup of oatmeal is the size of a hockey puck, one cup of broccoli is the size of a baseball. With time you´ll get familiar with sizes and you´ll be able to “eye ball” all your portions and get them more accurate with time.

Portion control can also help us reduce the amount of unhealthy foods and keep those in check while increasing healthy foods, this can make it easier for us to start making the right choices by changing or substituting some unhealthy foods for healthier options.

It´s easier to keep portions under control when we´re eating at home or when we prepare our meals but it can get more complicated eating out and specially this days when packages are bigger and when we have the chance to make our meal bigger for some dollars more in fast food chains.

Buffets are a great way to eat healthy and control portions, when we eat out we can ask for one portion of carbohydrates and double protein with some healthy fats we can choose what we want to eat, and in restaurants we can tell the waitress to change fries for salad or to give us only half portion of carbohydrates.

As always don´t get obsessed with this use it as a tool and guide to keep the amount of food you eat under control but don´t try to make it perfect, perfection will stress you, make the best you can and enjoy your meals, if your meals are healthy you don´t need to get obsessed or stressed, if you don´t see results just reduce the amount of food to lose weight or increase it to gain muscle, the most important macronutrient you need to focus a little more is protein, you need to consume enough protein and even when you´re losing weight you want to keep it high.

You also need to consider the macro ratios you are following, if you go with a balanced diet between carbohydrates, protein and fats or if you prefer keto, don´t forget that fats are higher in calories compared to the other 2 macros and it will keep you full longer.

If we get obsessed and want to be perfect we are only making everything harder that it actually is, we need to know how a portion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats look like according to each food and use it as a guide. Keep things as simple as possible by avoiding all unhealthy foods like junk, sweets, processed and refined foods and stick to whole fresh foods, from there we just use portion control as a guide for each meal.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Diet

Why is it so hard to eliminate process foods?

8_papitas
views
110

Have you tried to eliminate sugar and processed foods from your diet? Was it easy or hard?

It´s hard to stop eating junk food and sometimes it seems that those cravings for sweets, junk and fast food won´t go away. All those foods high in sugars, trans fats and chemicals have the same effect on our body as brain and alcohol does, they turn on the pleasure respond on our brain making us addicted to them and create a habit which is why sometimes we find ourselves eating them without making a conscious decision and with this foods our cravings will continue over and over.

What would you think if I tell you that our will power may not be strong enough because of the effects this foods have on our brain? This is why I said in later posts that if we´re dealing with obesity or overweight it´s not our fault but we are in control and we can make the choice right now of changing our life, this is also why it won´t be easy.

The more we eat this foods the more we´ll crave them, some years ago kids were not allowed to eat unhealthy foods unless they had finished their meal and the amount of unhealthy food we were allowed to eat per day was small. Children nowadays eat a lot of sweets, junk and processed foods, the amount of sugar and fats they´re consuming is terribly high and people is now considering ADHD, hyperactivity as diseases controlling them with drugs and most of the time this reactions are caused by foods, by high amounts of sugar.

There are so many people arguing about which diet is better, is it better high carbohydrate? high protein? high fat? it´s better vegetarian or vegan? this makes no sense to me when as far as I can see the biggest problem is in junk, highly processed and fast food. If we are not able to avoid all this foods there´s no reason to try different diets, first focus on avoiding unhealthy foods, once we do that then we can start adjusting our nutrition program to make it better for us, if we need to reduce carbohydrates we can do it, if we need more protein increase it, if we need more fat increase it but always considering our health as a priority.

Yes fat loss is simple and yes it´s simple to sustain those results if we develop the habits we need which is the difficult part. Our brain has been programmed to keep consuming those unhealthy foods, that give our brain that sense of pleasure and make us feel good and relax when we eat them. This short term positive effect on our brain which is a long term harmful habit creates a battle we need to fight when we want to lose weight.

This is the reason why developing the right mindset is key to achieving results and not giving up half the way, this is why we need to take enough time to develop the habits that are going to make almost effortless for us to sustain our results.

When we start changing our food choices to develop healthy habits we will have cravings, we will have the sensation or the “necessity” to have those foods, we need to avoid them as much as we can, I know it´s hard but don´t let your mind trick you thinking that you really need those foods and end eating them.

With time our body will adapt, when we start giving nutrients to our body it will also send us signals telling us it´s enough, we´ll feel full and satisfied. At this point where we´ve changed our nutrition program and now it´s based on fresh healthy foods it´s almost impossible to keep eating that much food so we won´t overeat.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Diet

Whole foods vs processed foods

10_jugo
views
191

We all know that sweets, junk, processed and fast foods are unhealthy, most of us do not give our nutrition too much importance until it´s too late but we all complain about how bad we feel, we don´t have energy, it´s so hard to concentrate on what we´re doing, we´re on a bad mood but we keep eating those foods that are one of the reasons why we feel that way.

There are 2 main differences between whole, fresh foods and processed foods:

1. Calories

Processed foods are calorically dense, a package of cookies can go from 400 calories to 600 or more and if you eat the whole box or bag you can add 1,000 calories to your diet because you can´t eat just one.

Whole fresh foods are lower in calories, there´s not a single food whole, fresh, natural that go over 100 calories without nutrients and you don´t overeat healthy foods so it´s easier to stay on a calorie deficit making fat loss or body recomp a lot easier.

2. Nutrition

Processed foods lack nutrition and it´s loaded with refined sugars, unhealthy fats, unhealthy seed oils, sweeteners and chemicals to make them taste delicious and create addiction.

Whole fresh foods are loaded with nutrients from fiber, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats everything our body needs to function properly, repair, recover and grow.

The reason why you can´t stop eating unhealthy foods and you gain weight is because of those 2 points, there are no nutrients in those foods so your body keeps sending you signals that it needs nutrients so you feel hungry, they are loaded with sugars, trans fat and chemicals that are toxic and harmful for your body and also creates addiction so you can´t stop eating them and they are very high in calories.

Whole fresh foods are full of nutrients your body needs to function properly and all those nutrients make you feel full, they don´t create addiction so you eat when you´re hungry and only as much as you need without overeating and they´re low in calories so you´re giving your body what it needs in less calories and it can function effectively, it knows what to do with this foods.

Not all of us need to follow restrictive diets but we all need to change our eating habits, avoid unhealthy, highly processed foods and eat more healthy, whole fresh foods, there are different theories and myths about which is the original diet, what our ancestors ate and some diets are based on them, I´m not really sure about that but what I´m sure is that they didn´t eat all those processed foods we eat nowadays our body is not designed to eat them and this is one of the reasons why we´re dealing with so many health problems, if we make a small change on the foods we eat our body we´ll thank us, we´ll feel a lot better and we´ll live better.

Here are some steps you can take to eliminate processed and refined foods:

1.- Eliminate all those foods from your house, office and school

2.- Buy healthy options like nuts, seeds, eggs, meats, fish, vegetables, water, coffee, tea, dark chocolate, full fat yogurt.

What you do is you swap those unhealthy foods for the healthy options, there´s no way to eliminate a bad habit or stop making an unhealthy choice so the way to do it is having healthy options and instead of making it easier for you to choose unhealthy options because that´s all you have available you now have healthy options. Make sure that the healthy options you buy you actually like them, there´s no reason to eat something you don´t like because it will make your diet a lot harder and you won´t stick to it.

When you start eliminating all those unhealthy foods i´s hard, the first days and weeks are though but with time it becomes easier. The best point about eliminating this foods is that you are eliminating added sugar and seed oils from your diet which are the ones causing bigger problems on your health, they are also the ones making it harder for you to lose weight once and for all.

Try the 2 steps I share with you for 3 or 4 weeks and let me know how you feel, also let me know by leaving a comment on Twitter if you are struggling with something so I can help you. I´m looking forward to help you improve your health, lose weight and live and amazing life.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

What does net carbs mean?

DSC_0385_fix
views
113

If you are one of those who are really aware of everything you are eating and you are more focused on macronutrients than just calories you may have heard or read about net carbs.

We know that not all calories are created equal, not all macronutrients are equal and there are also differences between carbohydrates. We also know that everything we eat has an impact on our body so if we have any health issue related to insulin and glucose levels then we need to pay close attention to the type of carbs we eat which is hard to do because there´s so much misleading information and it´s hard to read nutritional labels.

The type of foods you eat which include the type of carbohydrates you eat play a big role on how your body responds, it´s not only how much you eat but the quality of the foods you eat. They both matter.

Nowadays with so many of us looking for healthier options we can find so many healthy bars or healthy products with labels like high protein/low carbs, but this doesn´t mean that they are really “healthy”. There are some companies wanting to have an added value so they create products which are high in protein, low in carbohydrates and high fiber. This is a great strategy since we all know that fiber and protein are important but we know we need to keep carbs low especially when we need to have an eye on insulin and glucose.

As we saw in the importance of fiber post (click the link to learn more about fiber) fiber is a carbohydrates that is not broken down in the small intestine, it get into the large intestine where it is broken down by bacteria.

When we talk about net carbs it´s important to consider fiber because even when fiber is a carbohydrate our body can´t digest it so it doesn´t trigger insulin. So what you need to do to get net carbs is take the total amount or carbohydrates minus fiber, for example: if you have a snack bar which has 25 grams of total carbohydrates and 8 grams of fiber:

25 grams total carbs – 8 grams of fiber = 17 grams Net carbs

Those net carbs are the ones you need to consider because they will trigger insulin. Now there´s a problem with fiber, some companies use fiber sources that are not real or true fibers because they will trigger insulin, we will talk about this in other post to go deeper on which fiber sources are best.

High glycemic carbohydrates are most of the time low in fiber so when you subtract the total amount of carbs minus fiber you´ll end with high net carbs and it will create an spike in insulin, what you want is go for foods that have a lower glycemic index so that when you subtract the total amount of carbohydrates minus fiber you end with lower net carbs.

Now that you know what net carbs means which is actually simple you just need to understand the types of fiber some companies use and whether they can be consider as real sources of fiber that doesn´t trigger insulin or not which we will see on later posts.

There´s a lot of misinformation regarding to nutrition and fitness in general, you may get confused and overwhelmed with all of it so what you want to do is share with you the truth in a simple and effective way so that you can understand and apply all the information as it best serves you. We know it´s a lot of info but remember that you can come back as much as you need to read and learn more.

If you are starting your fitness journey and you´re looking for a simple step that can completely change your life just focus on avoiding all kind of processed, refined and fast foods and focus on eating whole, fresh foods like vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, nuts, seeds. All those unhealthy foods, we know which ones we´re talking about are the ones causing a lot of health problems so just by avoiding them you will see amazing results.

Let us know by leaving a comment on Twitter if you read the labels, ingredients and nutrition facts of the products before you buy them to make sure they are healthy or if you buy just buy the ones that say high protein or low-fat.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

What is the best diet?

10-BEST DIET
views
84

How many hours have you spend trying to find the best diet? You may have been searching the internet, read magazines, ask as many people as possible including friends, family, your doctor or health care professional you nutritionist or dietitian, etc.

Many of us spend too much time searching for the best diet to achieve our fitness goal, and just a couple of weeks or days after we start following one we find another so we don´t stay long enough with one diet to actually see how our body responds.

The truth is that there´s not a best diet for all of us, not a single diet will work the same and will give the same results to 2 or more people, we´re all different so we need to find what works best for us.

Even when the basics of nutrition apply to all, we still need to make some adjustments to create our own diet or nutrition program.

The first things to consider is to focus on eating whole, fresh foods and eliminate or avoid unhealthy foods like sweets, junk, processed, refined and fast foods is the first step. We´ve talked a lot about how refined sugar and refined carbohydrates are unhealthy and also how seed oils and trans fats are also unhealthy so by eliminating processed and refined foods you eliminate these unhealthy ingredients. Once you feel comfortable and you´ve develop the habit of eating healthy whole foods you can start making some adjustments to make your nutrition program better.

The second step is to decide which type of diet or which macronutrient ratio works best for you, you may want to follow a more balanced diet between proteins, fats and carbohydrates or you may want to follow a low carbohydrate-high protein or you may want a ketogenic diet, for this you need to make the adjustments necessary and set macro ratios according to our diet.

For a keotgenic diet fats can go from 70% to 75% with 10% to 5% of carbohydrates and the rest of protein, or you can follow a modified keto where you can have 60% fats 30% protein and 10% carbohydrates.

You also need to listen to your body and be aware of how it responds and how you feel with everything you eat, for some of us our body can´t digest or use properly some foods including healthy foods, for example some people can´t digest properly foods like cauliflower which can cause bloating or other side effects or some people can get allergic response to some foods like dairy so you need to pay attention to this and avoid them. There are so many food options available from where you can choose from for each of the 3 macronutrients.

If you consider the function of each macronutrient the best diet is one that focuses on real, fresh ingredients and avoid all unhealthy foods (sweets, junk, processed and fast foods) if you want to go to a more restrictive diet then a ketogenic or modified keto. One that is high in healthy fats, with the right amount of fiber, moderate protein and low carbohydrates. This type of diet will help to lose fat and maintain a healthy weight if this is your goal.

If you want to go even deeper and think about how your body works then you need to focus on micronutrients also which for me is the best way to go. Your body needs vitamins, minerals, amino-acids and fatty-acids, from here you need to think about each vitamin, each mineral, each amino-acid and fatty-acid here you need to consider the amount your body needs of each then you can look for foods that contain those nutrients and choose the ones you like more. This is what I consider nowadays for my diet 80% of the time (I also love some unhealthy foods and snacks so I have 20% free for those 😊). When you focus on nutrients you´re giving your body what it needs while enjoying life a lot more, you understand how everything works and you have more options from where to choose from so you eat foods you like and you can eat until you´re full so you don´t feel hungry.

You need to make sure that the diet or nutrition program is one that you can follow for long periods of time, for the rest of your life actually. This includes going out with friends or family, going on vacations or a job meeting or trip, someone cook for you or you cook your own meals. You need to consider all this and think about if you´re going to be able to maintain it in the long run and realize that you can still have your favorite meals, dishes or cheat meals every now and then (if there´s a way to prepare your favorite meal and dessert you can enjoy it a lot more).

It´s all about understanding how food works and how your body use it to maintain optimal health and support your fitness goals. When you understand how things work it´s easier to make healthier decisions knowing that you have the freedom to enjoy your favorite meals, snacks and desserts. It´s about feeling and looking great while having balance.

Let us know by leaving a comment on Twitter what diets have you followed and what where your results.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

DietHealth

What´s a ketogenic diet?

DSC_0380_fix
views
107

Have you heard about the keto diet? If you´ve heard about it but you´re new to it then this post will be helpful.

We´ve been told our entire lives that carbohydrates are the best source of energy for our body. But this is not completely true, ketones are another source of energy that our bodies can use efficiently.

A ketogenic diet reduces carbohydrates but you´ll find different macronutrient ratios because there´s not a rule to set a proper ratio, we´re all different and our lifestyles play a big role also. The goal of a ketogenic diet is to get into ketosis, this is possible by reducing carbohydrates, increasing fats and keeping protein moderate. Some people recommend 20% to 30% of carbohydrates, other people want to go lower in carbohydrates and recommend 5% to 10% of carbohydrates, 15% protein and 80% fat. If you go higher in fat and lower in carbohydrates it is possible to get into ketosis faster.

When glucose is available in the blood, the body will use that to make energy instead of using stored body fat.  When glucose is not available the body starts breaking down fat, and ketones become its primary fuel source.

When we lower carbohydrates blood glucose levels lower and the body´s glycogen stores are depleted. When blood glucose is low and glycogen stores are depleted it forces our body to use another fuel rather than glucose. The body naturally utilizes glucose whenever it is available in the bloodstream or from the breakdown of stored glycogen. By lowering the amount of glucose from food which are mostly carbohydrates and the amount of glucose stored as glycogen the body is able to start burning fat/ketones as its primary source.

In the presence of a low-carbohydrate diet, all healthy fats are easily metabolized and broken down, including saturated fats (trans fats and unhealthy vegetable and seed oils are not part of this, they are unhealthy fats and have negative effects for our health).

Ketogenic diets shifts the body from relying on glucose to relying on fat as its primary fuel, where we are in a state of ketosis, the body easily taps into fat stores when it needs energy. Before our body starts using fats efficiently it needs to adapt, this adaptation and switching from utilizing carbohydrates as its main source of energy to utilizing fat take some time. The period of adaptation varies from person to person, consider 4 to 6 weeks to give enough time for our body to adapt, it may adapt sooner, or it may take longer. The first days and weeks we may feel tired, unfocused, we may have headaches and other symptoms all related to this diet, this phase is known as the “keto flu”, most people give up during this period thinking that the diet is not for them.

The anabolic diet may be a good nutrition program for some people, but others may find it difficult to sustain, on the anabolic diet by Mauro Di Pasquale we follow a ketogenic diet for 2 weeks very high in fats and very low in carbohydrates to help our body adapts faster, on the second or third week on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) we change our macro ratios from high fat/low carbohydrates to high carbohydrates/low fat, making this two days or for some people just one day like a cheat meal or cheat day, I´ll explain more about this diet which I consider to be a modified ketogenic diet in other post.

If you want to try a ketogenic diet I do not recommend counting calories or trying to lose weight and reduce calories during the adaptation period, if you are training continue with your cardio and resistance workouts but you may need to lower the volume and intensity. Once your body is adapted you´ll shred fat faster and your strength and energy increase so you´ll be able to continue with your workouts and make consistent progress.

This diet has so many amazing benefits for health and we´ll be talking about it consistently but this does not means that you need to go keto. You can use it as a tool to lose fat and get lean, you can cycle it with a more balanced diet or you can stick to your actual diet if you feel great. Remember that it doesn´t matter which diet or nutrition program you are following you need to make sure you´re doing it the right way to avoid any problem.

As always before making any change in your diet and exercise program you need to talk with you doctor or health practitioner first, especially if you have any health issue.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

Paleo diet, is it the best one?

DSC_0129
views
134

What did ancient people eat? What did our ancestors eat? Many people claim that the paleo diet is the best ones, that´s how our ancestors ate but, is this true?

There´s a lot of research about what our ancestor ate, and there´s some research going on still but, there are also different diets claiming that each was the real, original diet of our ancestors and therefore it´s the healthiest one. But, from my point of view it´s really hard to know exactly what they ate.

Paleo diets are really simple, they eat fresh, whole, unprocessed foods. We can agree that this is a good strategy because most health problems nowadays are caused by our unhealthy lifestyles which include more sedentarism and highly processed and refined foods that contain sugar and unhealthy fats. From this perspective a paleo diet can be healthy.

I can´t deny the fact that a lot of people who follow this diet lose weight and their health improves and this is obvious because you are eliminating unhealthy, highly processed and refined foods that contain a lot of toxic ingredients for the body so the moment you eliminate this unhealthy foods you will start feeling better and losing weight. We also need to consider that by eliminating unhealthy foods you are eliminating inflammatory foods which also leads to health and weight improvements.

There are some points you need to consider, I´ve seen people following this diet to eat too much fruit, some of them adjust it or modify it to be a vegan or vegetarian paleo diets, some do not get enough protein and fats. Our bodies do not need high amounts of carbohydrates so I don´t consider eating too much fruit to be beneficial, we do need veggies because those are the ones that contain more micronutrients but we also need a moderate amount of protein and especially healthy fats. The macronutrients ratio is something I consider for making sure that you are giving your body the nutrients it needs and in paleo diets in some cases they just focus on food you can eat and the ones you need to avoid without paying too much attention to macro ratios.

We´ll talk on other post about the quality of protein and why it´s better to get it from animal sources so if you want to follow a vegan paleo diet make sure that it is well created and that you are getting the nutrients you need.

The paleo diet is a great option when used as an elimination diet, when you have health problems whether physical or mental going throw an elimination diet helps you target the foods that are causing problems like dairy, grain, gluten, etc. As you´ll see in the next paragraphs the foods you eliminate on this diets and the ones you can eat make it a good option.

Foods you can eat on a paleo diet:

Meats, beef, chicken, fish, eggs, poultry, pork, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, spices, herbs.

Foods to avoid on a paleo diet:

Dairy, grain, legumes, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, sugar, trans fats.

The problem you may find with this diet is that it´s limited as with many other diets, you can eat dairy, grain, legumes which can´t be consider as bad or unhealthy foods.

It doesn´t matter which type of diet you are following whenever you eat foods that come in a package you need to check the ingredients, there are products sold as “paleo, vegan, keto, etc” but if you read the ingredients you´ll find that they contain some ingredients you are trying to avoid.

As always, the best you can do is give it a try for a couple of weeks and see how you feel and if you are able to maintain it long term. If you really want to maintain optimal health and a lean physique you need to find a diet that works for you so if you are not able to maintain it long term figure out ways you can modify it or if you don´t feel comfortable with it try other diet.

As I mentioned before this diet is a great option as an elimination diet, to use it this way follow the paleo diet for a couple of weeks, 2 or 3 weeks and then start adding foods one at a time, for example add dairy and see how you feel, add legumes, grains; this way you can find out which food is causing you problems and you know what to avoid.

If you´re tried this diet before you are on it let me know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if it was easy for you to make the change and which food you found most difficult to eliminate.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

Vegan and vegetarian diets

DSC_0143
views
159

As you may know by now I don´t like diets and I don´t even like to use the word diet. For me that makes it harder mentally and emotionally it gives our brain the idea that we will eliminate our favorite foods for a period of time and that it will be tough. We´re sending the wrong message only with words.

Even when I don´t like the term diet there are so many out there and some of those are the vegan and vegetarian diets.

There are differences between vegan and vegetarians, vegetarians do not eat animals, meat, chicken, fish, etc; their diet is based on vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, nuts and some of them consume eggs and dairy.

Vegan is a more strict vegetarian diet, they don´t consume any animal product and animal derived ingredients so all meats, poultry, fish, etc are out also eggs and dairy, honey and any other product that comes from animal.

In most cases the reason why people decide to go vegetarian or vegan is for environmental reasons, vegetarians are against killing animals and that´s why they can have dairy or eggs, vegans go deeper and not only go against killing animals they really consider the conditions in which all animals are treated and that´s why they also eliminate eggs and dairy.

When someone following any of this diets tell me that their reason why I respect their ideas and decisions, when their number one reason is environmental I´m totally accept it, it´s great to have people that care for the animals and environments but when some of them tell me that it´s for health reasons I totally disagree because many of them consume a lot of junk and refined food which are unhealthy.

They don´t eat meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy, etc; but they eat patatoe chips, cake, fries,  (it´s funny how they say they´re vegans and watch them eat cake, cookies or some other processed food made with animal derived ingredients).

All the added sugars, chemicals, extra ingredients, flavors, etc; contained in processed food are so unhealthy and are the cause of some health problems. You need to be clear on your reason why you are following a certain diet and be aware of what you´re eating this is why reading labels is important. If your reason is health then it may be better to eliminate all junk, processed and refine foods and stick to whole fresh foods, once you are comfortable with this you can adjust your diet to make it better for you.

For people who follow this diets I do think they´ll need to use supplements for the nutrients they´re not getting from animal products, our bodies need proteins and the proteins or amino-acids that can be found on animal products are not the same to the ones find on vegetables, the amino acid profiles are different. At least the amount of food needed is higher.

If you have a really good reason why you want to follow one of this diets give them a try but don´t forget that your health most be a priority, if you follow it just because someone lost a lot of weight and that´s your goal it may not be the best option for you. There are so many ways to achieve the same results, there are different tools and strategies you can use to get to your goal so don´t stick with just one diet , give it a try and if you don´t like the way you feel then try another one.

If you are following any of this diets for environmental reasons then that´s great, continue with it just make sure that you are giving your body all the nutrients it needs through food or in case you need some supplements find the one that are best for you and also be aware of the products you are consuming, make sure that they are vegan or vegetarian.

Talking about the environment there are other ways to help a part from avoiding animal products like walking or using a bicycle instead of the car or finding ways to use our car less, reducing the amount of waste, etc.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Diet

Why we need to focus on macronutrients over calories

10-BEST DIET
views
172

Most people are not aware of the impact food has on our health and the importance it has not only on fat loss, some of them start paying attention to it just to lose weight and they go crazy counting calories, for me that´s not the way to go or to live.

We know that all macronutrients are different so the popular saying of “calories are calories” is not true, all calories are different and they all have a different impact on our body this is why we need to focus on macronutrients and not only calories but even when we need to focus on macronutrients we don´t need to get obsessed and count, track or weight everything we eat. It´s about understanding each macro, identifying foods or learning which foods go in each macro and having a clear idea of how much we´re eating with tools like portion control.

Every macronutrient has its own function in your body and you need them in different ratios but how you set those ratios is important, when you only focus on calories you can achieve those same calories with different ratios and all those different combinations of ratios will have a different impact on your body and the macro ratio you´re getting may not be the best for you.

When you focus on macros you´re considering what´s more important, you´re making choices based on the function of each macro and from there you design your nutrition program based on which macro your body needs more and which one less.

Now that you focus on eating healthy, whole foods and you know that it´s more important to focus on macronutrients you need to know which foods belong to which macro which we will see in other post to go deeper and then you can learn about portion control which we´ll also see in other post also.

The reason why you don´t need to measure everything you eat when you focus on macronutrients is that you are giving your body the nutrients it needs to work, function and perform great and all those foods loaded with nutrients will make you feel full and satisfied, it´s harder to overeat when you eat whole fresh foods and consider macros first. What you can do is have a clear idea of how much you´re eating with a tool I mentioned earlier in this post called portion control. It´s a guide for you to know how much you need to eat of each macro.

If you want to think about calories or macros to reach your fitness goals whether it´s fat loss or muscle growth when you focus on calories you are restricting yourself and not paying attention to what´s more important, to how things work and how your body responds to different macronutrients, at the end of the day macronutrients are the ones that get the job done, if you just focus on calories you will plateau even if you keep adjusting calories, focusing on macros give you the chance to adjust your macronutrient ratios as you progress without hitting plateaus and you are making sure that your body gets everything it needs to work efficiently and sustain your goal.

Focusing on macros and setting macronutrients is a more advanced level compare to just counting calories but is the right thing to do. You need to understand how each macronutrient works, have a clear goal and be able to measure your progress, protein is needed to repair and build tissue, also for hair, nails; fats are needed for energy, cells and hormonal function, carbohydrates are needed for fiber and energy. This are the basic functions of each macronutrient explained in a simple way.

To set your macronutrient ratios you need to consider your daily activities and workout, if you have a 9 to 5 job where you spend most of the time sitting in front of a computer you don´t need a lot of carbohydrates compared to someone with a more active job.

Your lifestyle, genetics and other factors play an important role when designing your nutrition program, you need to be true to yourself and modify your diet each day according to the activities, some days you may spend a lot more time sitting at the office doing paper work and other days you may be more active.

Now, you can´t forget that the most important step to consider is t avoid processed foods that contain unhealthy oils and added sugars so you need to keep this step always first and from those healthy foods then you focus on the nutrients your body needs and adjust them.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

DietSleep

How food impacts sleep

DSC_0412_fix
views
171

One of the biggest problems for most of us that affects the quality of sleep and our weight is food. Do you love late night snacks? Do you love eating something before going to bed?

If your answer is yes which I think so, you are not alone. I used to love those late night snacks and for some time I chose ice cream which you may love too but what we eat, when we eat and how much we eat all have an impact on the quality and quantity of sleep.

The first point I´m going to mention is that you don´t want to go to bed hungry and you don´t want to go to bed full.

I mentioned before that food is fuel and information for our body, if we want our body to function and perform as best as possible we need to give it the information it needs, the nutrients it needs. Your gut is connected is connected to your brain and the immune system so everything we eat has a huge impact. Unhealthy highly processed foods increase stress on your body because your body doesn´t know what to do with them, the moment it ends with digestion there´s nothing it can use to function properly and all that foods end up being toxins and the amount of time it took your body to digest it is just a waste of time and energy.

I´ve also talked about the circadian rhythm, the internal clock in your body and how you need to make sure that you keep that internal clock in sync so that melatonin is secreted at the right time to fall asleep an get high quality sleep and when you wake up you feel rested. This clock is also important during the day to keep you awake and it also helps with the digesting process. Your body and brain know that at night in darkness it´s time to repair, recover, grow and get rid of toxins, during day and light hours it´s time to digest and stay alert.

For all this reasons I don´t recommend eating right before going to bed, when you go to sleep you want to make sure that your body is not working on digesting food because it has other jobs to do, if you go to sleep after having a meal your body will be digesting all that food and it won´t be working on repairing, growing and getting rid of toxins. You may have some trouble to fall asleep and you may not get a good night sleep. But you can´t go to bed hungry because it will also be hard for you to fall asleep.

Since sleep is important for optimal health you want to make sure that you get enough high quality every night and what you eat has an impact on the quality and quantity of sleep, what you eat, how much you eat and the time are all important. Having a schedule or a daily routine is a better way to call it will make it easier for you to improve sleep so here are some steps you can take:

1.- Have your last meal 3 hours before going to bed. This way you make sure that your body is not working on digesting food and it´s ready to sleep.

2.- Try the 80% rule. Do not eat until you are full, eat until you feel 80% full this gives your body enough time to digest food without work overload.

3.- Prioritize whole, healthy foods. You want to make sure that your body can work properly on digesting food that it can use the nutrients and information from the food properly.

This steps are simple to follow but will give you great results, food and sleep are crucial for maintaining optimal health and making it easier to lose weight and maintain a great physique but, you may not be able to get the 7 to 8 hours recommended so you need to make sure that you got other healthy tools you can use to make sure that the amount of sleep you get every night is the best quality possible. These 3 steps help you with that.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you thought about the relation between food and sleep before reading this post and if you have any sleep problems that could be related to what you eat.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam