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Diet

Food and inflammation

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How many times have you find out this year that someone close to you, family or friend or maybe someone you know a classmate or coworker was diagnosed with a chronic disease like Parkinson, Alzheimer´s, Cancer?

Nowadays we´re dealing with so many different chronic diseases to which there´s no real cure so the best step we can take is develop healthy habits that lead to a healthy lifestyle that can help us prevent as many of this diseases as possible.

We know that nutrition is key, food is not only fuel for our body, it´s information, everything we eat sends a signal to our body and that signal can be positive or negative. There´s researching showing that inflammation plays a key role on our health.

Even when inflammation is good, too much of it or chronic inflammation has a negative impact on our body and health. Inflammation helps our body heal wounds, this type of inflammation is good, it is helpful and we need it but when we follow an unhealthy lifestyle that includes lack or poor quality sleep, chronic stress, lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet all this leads to inflammation and when this happens over and over which is how we live, it leads to chronic inflammation this is very harmful for our body and cause health problems like insulin resistance, diabetes, and things get worse with diseases like heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer´s, Parkinson, Cancer.

What we eat impacts our gut microbiome (we´re going to talk about this in future posts) every food choice we make has an effect on our body, we know that unhealthy foods are bad for us but it ends there, we don´t ask ourselves what´s happening with the food we eat.

Unhealthy foods like highly refined and processed foods, fast foods that are high in sugars and carbohydrates, unhealthy oils, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, and many other added ingredients create inflammation. Your body and brain need specific nutrients for overall health, we won´t get into detail in this post (we will do as we keep sharing info with you) but your body and brain needs healthy fats, fiber, protein and micronutrients the problem is you´re eating too much of the wrong foods.

There are so many processes going on in your body every second and every choice you make has an impact, positive or negative depending on your choice healthy or unhealthy, respectively. Since inflammation is linked to chronic diseases and since there´s no treatment you need to focus on preventing them and for this you need to focus on lowering inflammation on your body. When I say lowering inflammation, I mean the harmful type of inflammation which is the one causing problems.

You can start making healthy choices today to start living a better life and improve your health, here are some steps you can take today:

1.- Avoid unhealthy foods.- We all know which ones, sweets, junk, highly processed and refined foods, fast foods. With this we want to avoid refined and processed foods loaded with sugars, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils, seed oils and added ingredients, etc.

2.- Choose whole foods, focus on consuming healthy fats, protein and healthy carbohydrates.

3.- Keep your carbs low.

This are 3 simple steps to start changing eating habits but there´s a lot you can do. Your health most be your priority if you want to live an amazing life, you all have the right to enjoy your life as much as possible and live a happy and fulfilled life, this is only possible when you are healthy and lean so that you can focus on your purpose. We will continue sharing information, simple and effective steps you can take to improve your life but at the end it´s up to you to use this information and apply it.

If you want the best for the people around you, for your closest friends and family you need to take time to work on yourself, if you feel great you´ll have the energy to share amazing times and moments with the people you love and care and you can lead by example.

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

Food and hormones – Ghrelin

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In the last diet post with talked about leptin and how this hormone is one of the reasons why is hard for you to lose fat and stay lean because you are not satisfied and you feel hungry. In today’s post we will talk about another important hormone that works together with leptin, this hormone is called ghrelin.

Ghrelin is the hormone that increases appetite, it tells us when we´re hungry and we need to eat which is the contrary of what leptin does. To keep it simple ghrelin is the hormone that makes us eat. This hormone can also be triggered by several factors and if we trigger it the wrong way it will cause so many problems and make it harder for us to lose weight and stay lean.

Some of our unhealthy habits are triggering this hormone the wrong way and one of them is lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep which increases ghrelin and this increases our appetite throughout the day and make us feel hungry so we tend to over eat.

Studies show that when people follow a weight loss program and reduce calories, ghrelin increases as a response of the body to protect us from starvation, the lower we go in calories the high this hormone goes and the longer we stay with the diet the higher this hormone goes.

So if ghrelin increases and leptin decreases it´s the best way to gain weight and it´s so hard to lose weight and stay lean, we need to keep ghrelin low and leptin high so that our brain gets the right message. We don´t feel hungry all day long and we know when it´s enough at every meal. There are some steps we can take to make this happens which are:

1.- Get enough good quality sleep every night, at least 6 hours per night and make those 6 hours of good quality.

2.- Follow a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate nutrition program at least for a period of time to improve insulin and which also helps to keep appetite more in control.

3.- Follow some type of intermittent fasting having 2 meals per day which also helps lower insulin which helps us lose fat and keep hormones more balanced.

As we´ve seen there are several things that come into play when we talk about getting in amazing shape and sustain it, it´s more about hormones, macronutrients and how everything works together. It´s not only about following a very extreme and restrictive diet low in calories, and just to lose weight fast which will cause more harm to your body, it´s about understanding how things work and doing the right things to be able to sustain your results.

Your body is a complex machine there are different systems and hormone working together and they need to work in harmony to the same goal not only to make your fat loss journey easier but for health reasons.

As we´ve seen, leptin and ghrelin are 2 important hormones that need to be working the right way if you want to lose fat and stay lean and one of the most important fitness principles that trigger them is sleep. If you don´t get high quality sleep every night these 2 hormones won´t be working properly and you have the recipe for weight gain. This is why it´s important to develop good healthy habits for the 5 principles of fitness not only to lose fat and maintain a great physique but for health reasons.

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

Food and hormones – Leptin

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Have you ever heard about leptin? Have you tried the leptin diet? if your answer is not then continue reading to learn about this hormone and if your answer was yes, also continue reading, you may learn something new.

Most traditional or commercial weight loss programs focus on calories, they make you follow diets too low in calories and the workouts are based on cardio or circuit training to lose as much weight as possible but when you stop following the program you start gaining all the weight back and the reason is simple, hormones and metabolism.

Our goal is to help you get an amazing physique and sustain it effortless and to do that we need to focus on what matters which is improving metabolism and hormones so that they work properly and give you the best results while improving and maintaining optimal health, leptin is one of those hormones.

Leptin is the satiety hormone and it´s job is to tell us when we´ve eaten enough and we need to stop. To keep it simple leptin tell us when to stop eating because we´re full. This hormone can be triggered by several factors and if we triggered it the wrong way by doing the wrong things then it won´t be doing its job effectively and if we add to this that some of our unhealthy habits are causing problems  like lack or poor quality sleep, which reduces leptin which is why we are hungry and have more cravings during the day and this is one of the short term effects of poor sleep.

When leptin is low it won´t send the message to our brain that we are full and we need to stop eating, on the contrary we will eat more in each meal and we´ll feel hungry throughout the day this is why weight gain is related to lack of sleep.

Fat cells increase leptin so the more fat we have the higher this hormone will be.

As with insulin there´s something called leptin resistance which is when our body produces too much leptin in this case the fat cells when we are obese or overweight and it gets to a point where the receptors block all that leptin so it can´t do its job and instead of getting signals that we are satisfied we feel hungry.

So as you can see, weight loss is not as simple as eat less and move more, yes it´s part of the equation but there are other things that come into play, what you can do to improve leptin, one simple step is start by getting enough high quality sleep every night, this is a simple tool that gives a lot of benefits and makes everything easier.

If you are overweight the best thing you can do is reduce insulin, we´ve talked about insulin in other posts and by improving insulin is easier to burn fat, when you start losing weight and getting rid of that excess fat, leptin also starts to lower, you can do this by trying some type of intermittent fasting like limiting your meals to 2 or 3 meals per day in an 8 hour window, another way is by reducing carbohydrates and follow a low carbohydrate, moderate and high fat diet like ketogenic for a period of time. Exercise also helps lower insulin specially HIIT.

What I recommend if your nutrition program is based on unhealthy foods, you´ll need to eliminate those unhealthy foods and focus on eating meals cooked with whole fresh ingredients and try intermittent fasting, go for 2 meals a day you can have breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner. Do this for 4 to 6 weeks and see the results and how you feel.

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

Food and hormones – Insulin

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With so many diets and a lot of contradicting information, myths and lies the best way to know what´s true, what doesn´t, what work and what doesn´t is to understand how things work. This has been my focus for the last years understanding how things work, to get in shape and sustain it and for this hormones play an important role, one of those hormones is insulin.

Insulin is a hormone that is produced and secreted by the pancreas following the consumption of carbohydrates. When we consume carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose which raises the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. The body cannot have a lot of glucose in the bloodstream so the pancreas secret insulin to take the excess of glucose from the bloodstream to the cells.

Carbohydrates are the primary trigger of insulin. Insulin blocks the utilization of fat as fuel and promotes its storage so when insulin is high fat is not burned, when insulin is low the body can break down triglycerides (stored fat) to be used as fuel.

When insulin is absent, or the cells are not responding to it glucose is not used efficiently and therefore cannot be utilized for energy. Under these conditions carbohydrate consumption causes blood glucose levels to skyrocket.

Insulin is related to diabetes which is a common disease that affects more and more people. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the hormone insulin is not working properly. There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Millions of people are diagnosed and in treatment of one of these types while many others are undiagnosed.

Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas which produces insulin cannot work efficiently resulting in insulin deficiency, with this lack of insulin the cells are unable to take up glucose,  blood sugar is high but it cannot get into the cells. This type of diabetes is generally treated with insulin injections which provide the insulin that the body needs to take glucose out of the bloodstream.

Type 2 diabetes is when the pancreas is still able to secret insulin, but cells are unable to respond to insulin and therefore do not allow glucose to enter. This is known as insulin resistance; it is the opposite of insulin sensitivity in which insulin easily moves glucose into cells. Individuals whit type 2 diabetes should aim to improve their insulin resistance.

In insulin resistance, cells do not respond efficiently to insulin´s signals to take up excess glucose, the pancreas secret more and more insulin to compensate for insulin resistance and manage blood glucose levels. Over time, this process leads to dysfunction and the pancreas is not able to secret insulin efficiently to maintain healthy levels of glucose in the bloodstream. Glucose then accumulates in the bloodstream which may lead to type 2 diabetes.

The hormone insulin is one of the most important when trying to lose fat and stay lean. Insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity will determine how efficient your body is at utilizing carbohydrates which can make your process simple or harder.

High levels of insulin for a long period of time is unhealthy and causes many health issues, every time we eat insulin gets high so one way to keep it low is following some type of intermittent fasting which we talked about in other post (click here to read that post), we can do this by reducing meals per day, instead of 5 meals per day try 2 meals. Another way we can keep insulin low is with a low carbohydrate diet, especially keto which is high in fats, moderate protein and low in carbohydrates since carbohydrates are the macro which spikes insulin.

High levels of insulin caused by unhealthy diets are the cause of most metabolic diseases so finding tools you can use to keep it low will give you amazing benefits.

In both type of diabetes and even when insulin injections and other drugs are the preferred treatment, I cannot stress enough the importance of making healthy lifestyle changes including exercise and nutrition. 

The importance of a healthy lifestyle that includes daily exercise and a healthy diet have a positive impact on our life and daily activities preventing some diseases and leading to a more enjoyable and meaningful life.

Before you do any change to your diet and lifestyle talk with your doctor or health professional. We all know which unhealthy habits we follow and which healthy habits we need to develop but we still need some guidance and know what´s the best way to do it for each of us and they are the ones that can help us create a plan that works according to our own situation.

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 carbohydrate cycling

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I know a lot of people who hate bodybuilders but no one can deny that when we talk about nutrition they really know what they´re talking about. They know different tools and strategies we can use to get in amazing shape, one of those tools is carbohydrate cycling. When I tried this tool I was amazed at how well it works, it´s great for fat loss without depleting carbs for long time and it´s great for muscle gains while staying lean.

All the tools or strategies I use and I share with you here are meant to make your life easier and give you amazing results and more importantly that you develop new good habits that lead you to a more healthy and happy life. Carbohydrate cycling is a tool you can use for either fat loss or muscle gains.

We can manipulate carbohydrates as much as we need, we´ve been told that we need carbohydrates because glucose is the preferred form of energy for our bodies, so if we reduce the amount of energy we give to your body we force it to use stored fat as energy.

This strategy can be use if you are following a balanced diet with moderate carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. Of course, in diets low in carbohydrates like ketogenic you need to be more cautious. The goal with this strategy is to lower carbohydrates at certain periods of time to lower insulin and also lower calories so that your body use stored fat for energy and increase carbohydrates on the right times to restore glycogen.

Carbohydrates cycling means that we increase or decrease the amount of carbohydrates we consume depending on our goal. We need to be on a caloric surplus to gain muscle and on a caloric deficit to burn fat, with carbohydrate cycling we can gain muscle without gaining to much fat and we can lose fat without losing muscle.

What we do in this strategy is set macronutrient ratios (I explain in other post how to set macros) and keep proteins and fats the same and we manipulate carbohydrates accordingly. To do this we have three carbohydrate days being: high carbohydrate, moderate carbohydrate and low carbohydrate.

Our workout program needs to be aligned with our nutrition program, high carbohydrate days needs to be placed on resistance training days and low carbohydrate days on rest days. We also need to consider calories but if we set our macros right then calories must fit into place.

It doesn´t matter if your goal is fat loss or muscle growth the principles of this strategy are the same, you can also use this strategy for body recomposition which is losing body fat and gaining muscle at the same time and have great results.

Body recomp is one of the hardest things to do and most people will say it´s impossible, the truth is it´s possible but it takes time. For guys who are starting their fitness journey and are new to training specially weight training and following a healthier lifestyle is easier to see their body changing. Gaining muscle mass and losing fat at the same time is easier when you are new to resistance exercise.

If you are not new you can still do it effectively but you need to be patient, it will take more time to see results but you won´t regret it. Carbohydrate cycling is a great tool for this by manipulating carbohydrates and calories to have some low calorie/low carbohydrate days and some high calorie/high carbohydrate days.

The whole goal of this strategy and all the others I share is to make any fitness goals simple and more enjoyable so that you get amazing results and sustain them in an effortless way and this strategy is not exception, following a low calorie diet is almost impossible for most of us for long periods of time, we get to a point where the calories are really low and we feel hungry all the time and we end up overeating and giving up.

Having low carbohydrate days with high carbohydrate days is the best option to make it easier for you to stick to a program without feeling hungry all the time and you are giving your body more calories and carbohydrates when it needs them so that you train hard in the gym and it can recover afterwards.

For any nutrition tool I´m assuming that your nutrition program is healthy, your diet focuses on whole fresh foods and you eliminate or avoid refined and processed foods as much as possible so even if I don´t mention to choose healthy options for any macro is because that´s obvious now.

If you have any doubt about this tool let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter, we´ll be glad to help.

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

An introduction to Intermittent Fasting

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When I decided to start my fitness journey a few years ago in almost all books and websites recommended having 5 meals a day or 3 meals and 2 snacks was the way to go so I followed this advice and to be honest it was so hard to get 3 healthy meals and 2 snacks 7 days a week. It was a lot of work and I needed to be strict with everything I ate until a couple years ago when I found about intermittent fasting and how many religions had used it. Once I started following a fasting schedule everything changed, it was a lot easier to get in shape and sustain it but what´s better is all the amazing benefits for overall health.

If you are looking for a tool that can make your life easier, that helps you get lean and stay lean and that is healthy, then intermittent fasting is what you need.

I can´t think about any other fitness strategy that gives you the freedom you need while getting or staying lean and that makes your life easier. It doesn´t matter how your days look like, I´m sure this strategy will work incredible for you, eating less meals reduces  stress, get you focused on what matters, gives you more freedom and you can enjoy life a lot more.

Intermittent fasting is an eating schedule, what this means is that you have your meals on a small period of time and you don´t eat for a long period of time, the small period of time when you eat is known as the eating window and the long period when you don´t eat is the fasting window, what´s great is that this gives your digestive system a rest which is amazing if you feel bloated or have any other digestive issues this may help.

When you want to lose fat it´s necessary to keep insulin low and intermittent fasting is great for this, every time you eat insulin raise so when you are fasting you have only 2 or 3 meals a day this is why it is so effective when you stop having breakfast or having lunch or dinner and you are in a fasted window your body increases growth hormone and keep insulin and cortisol down. Insulin and cortisol are two important hormones for weight loss and intermittent fasting is a great way to keep insulin low giving chance to growth hormone to increase.

Having 2 meals a day is the best option, most people prefer to fast in the morning skipping breakfast and have lunch and dinner, this is one way to do it. What works best for me is to have breakfast and lunch and skip dinner. Keeping the eating window around 8 hours and fasting for 16 hours is what works best for me.

You don´t need to worry about losing muscle, it won´t happen unless you fast for 2 or more days.

There are some goals you can achieve with ease using intermittent fasting, I recommend you focus primarily on one goal at a time and leave the rest as a bonus.

When fasting you can lose fat, maintain muscle mass while cutting and stay lean while bulking. This is the best strategy to adapt and fit into your lifestyle if you love to eat big meals, if you want to have the freedom to enjoy foods you love and want to stay lean all year give it a try.

When you are trying to make fitness a lifestyle it becomes so hard to fit 5 or 6 meals a day, plus one hour or more at gym at least 5 days a week into our busy schedule. This is one of the reasons intermittent fasting works great, you don´t have to stress out getting those 5 or 6 strict meals into our day, you only focus on 3 meals and no snacks in between, when you´re starting the biggest issues you have is hunger and that´s normal just give time to your body to adapt, don´t follow any eating window, do what works best for you, the first days when hunger appears have a piece of fruit or some nuts and seeds, you can have water or coffee if you are fasting in the morning and tea at night, those are the best options if you need some snacks, if you can go all the way to your meal without any snack that´s amazing.

Intermittent fasting should be easy and a way to have more freedom in the choices you make enjoying life even more so don´t stress, don´t overdo it and don´t over think. Don´t focus on any eating window and create yours, one that fit your schedule and daily activities.

Don´t forget to provide nutrients to your body, fasting gives you the freedom  to have big meals, enjoy your favorite foods and dishes (considering they´re cooked with fresh and healthy ingredients), go out to lunch or dinner with friends and family and enjoy the moment but if you cook try to make healthy  meals with healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates, you are only eating 2 or 3 meals you must be sure that your body has the nutrients it requires.

Be careful with how you organize your meals and your workouts, if you are training in the morning around 8 or 9 and your first meal is at 2 pm it´ll be harder to stay fasted, if your workouts are high intensity interval training for an hour or so it will increase your appetite, boost your hunger making almost impossible to fast, you need to fit your workouts in a way that they make fasting easier and that both of them, your workouts and your meals fit perfectly in your daily activities.

Intermittent fasting also gives us other health benefits as being more awake, more energized, more productive and focused throughout the day which brings amazing benefits to our life. This is a huge theme so in future post we will go deep on intermittent fasting and we´ll talk about the benefits and tips and strategies you can use it for your own goals.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you´ve tried intermittent fasting and what was your experience?

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

The problem with refined sugar

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Different diets come out and become viral, some guys try them while other critique them claiming they´re unhealthy, but millions of people consume high amounts of sugar per day and it seems to be the least of the matter.

Obesity and overweight are increasing and with that diseases like diabetes are raising too. I believe the cause of this problems is our lifestyle and one of them is the amount of unhealthy food we eat which has a lot of sugar and unhealthy oils. Sugar is everywhere even when it´s not listed as sugar in the ingredients, we´ll find it under names like dextrose or sucrose and many others. Other ingredients like high fructose corn syrup is also harmful and is in so many products. The amount of sugar contained in foods is so high and I´m not only talking about sweets or junk food, even in energetic drinks, cereals or healthy bars. Vegetable and seed oils are also a huge problem because they are found in so many processed and refined foods.

When you eat foods high in sugar, unhealthy oils and trans fats you´ll want to continue eating more of them because they are empty calories, there are no nutrients and there´s no way to stop your brain of thinking or sending signals that you are hungry until you give it the nutrients it needs.

This is what happens when you eat sugar, insulin is the hormone that regulates sugar by getting glucose out of the bloodstream to the cells, when you consume sugar the glucose in the bloodstream goes up and insulin goes up to regulate it and bring it down, over time your body gets tired and don´t know exactly what to do and the result is low blood sugar, this is the first step to diabetes, many people are on this level and don´t know it, your body sends  signals like cravings specially for sweets, everything we eat has an effect on your health and mood.

The spike of highly processed foods with hidden sugar is creating an obesity epidemic in many countries, around 30% to 40% of kids in some countries are overweight or have obesity and diabetes as they grow older the risk increases, diseases get worse and in some cases lead to death. The amounts of sugar consumed per day goes between 25 to 30 teaspoons a day sometimes even 35 teaspoons, that´s a lot considering that our bodies don´t need it.

I believe we can prevent some diseases and lower obesity and overweight by changing our lifestyle and developing healthy habits, just by changing what we eat the benefits are amazing, it´s not only about reducing calories, it´s about what we eat and the impact it has on our body and health.

As I´ve said before, this high amounts of sugar in our diets with the high amounts of unhealthy fats and oils plus the chemicals or ingredients added to those foods are the cause of many diseases and create a vicious cycle that is so hard to stop. We´re addicted to them.

The goal is to avoid as much as possible all unhealthy food, avoid sweets, junk, processed, refined and fast food and stick with real, whole fresh food, just by doing this the results in how you feel and how you look will be amazing.

There´s no reason to try to follow a very restrictive diet like low carbohydrate, ketogenic or any other if we still eat junk or fast food, once you eliminate or avoid this foods then you can start adjusting your nutrition program to make it better for you.

If you want to live healthier and happier and help all the people around you, you need to change what you eat and eating healthy food is the first step, reducing sugar and unhealthy oils is a most, they are the cause of many diseases now a days, but it´s hard to do. We´ve been consuming sugar for almost all our life so when we start to eliminate it from our diet our mind will trick us making us think that we need it, it´s like giving up any other addiction.

Even if you´re not following any famous diet like ketogenic or high protein, vegetarian, etc; when you eliminate or avoid as much as possible sweets, junk, processed and fast food from your nutrition you start living healthier and the results will come. There are some healthy carbohydrates you can eat which I´ll explain in other post, but for now, and to keep things simple you just need to know and understand that processed sugar is bad so you need to eliminate it from your nutrition program for your health and fitness goals, the best way to do it is by avoiding sweets, junk, processed and fast foods.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on if most of what you eat is whole fresh food or unhealthy highly processed foods.

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

DietStress

How food increases stress

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We all have felt stress, we can feel it in our body literally from our shoulders, back, head to our stomach, stress can come from outside sources, but it can also be increased in the inside. Have you ever stopped for a minute and think about how everything you eat impacts your body?

Everything you eat affect your body, from the inside out, how you look, how you feel, your energy levels, your ability to concentrate, your mood.

Our relationship with food has changed throughout the years, nowadays many of us use it as comfort food we´ve found it to be a great coping mechanism to deal with outside stress and pressure but we´re not considering that those unhealthy decisions are causing more problems. When we´re stressed out we´ll look for foods that makes us feel better and typically highly processed foods get this done, they makes us feel better by giving us a rush of feel good chemicals and then the crash comes, we want more of those foods and we end up in a negative cycle that keeps us feeling stressed and can even lead to depression.

Every time you eat highly processed foods your body doesn´t know what to do with them, it is not design to digest processed foods that lack nutrition and one of its responses is inflammation as a way to protect you from something harmful or toxins and your body sees those unhealthy foods as something that can be harmful for you.

Inflammation is a response of stress and even when you can experience inflammation for short periods of time nowadays you´re dealing with it for long periods of time which is chronic inflammation and chronic inflammation is related to many health problems like insulin resistance, obesity and others.

We all have suffered from digestive problems like bloating, stomach pain, cramps, heartburn and it can go to something worse like leaky gut the problem in most cases is an unhealthy diet. Most of us eat too much highly processed food every single day which doesn´t give our body the nutrients it needs to function properly, and they can cause more problems by putting our body in a defensive and protective mechanism.

Everything you put in your body will have an impact inside and outside of your body, we all know that highly processed foods are bad for us the problem is that it´s not easy to eliminate them from our diet or avoid them but you need to find ways to reduce them as much as possible with the goal of eliminating some of them completely of our diet (if you do this process the right way you won´t miss most of them 😊) , there are foods that will make you look and feel great and there are some foods that will make you feel bad; even whole, fresh, healthy foods. Some foods can make you feel bloated or you may have stomach pain like cauliflower in my case, some foods can cause acne like dairy in some people or peanuts.

If everything you eat has an impact on your body then food can cause stress if you make the wrong choices which most of us do by choosing unhealthy, highly processed and refined foods but if you make the right choices then food can lower stress, lower inflammation, food is actually medicine. What you eat alters your brain, your mind and research show that your choices in every meal can make depression and anxiety worse or it can lower them.

If you want your body to respond and perform at peak you need to make sure that you´re giving it the nutrients it needs and the ones that it can use more efficiently, you need to listen to it and make it as simple as possible. We get enough stress from outside sources, so we need to make sure that we don´t increase stress with what we eat.

For your next meal make a good choice, go for something cooked with fresh ingredients or go for a healthy snack like nuts and seeds and see how you feel.

We all know which ones are the healthy foods we should be eating so make a challenge, for this week eat only whole, fresh foods and avoid unhealthy highly processed and refined foods and focus on how you feel. Focus on progress not perfection, avoiding unhealthy foods is difficult so take it one meal at a time and if for any reason you make the wrong choice just move on and think about your next meal, with time you´ll develop the habit you need to make the right choice most of the time and you´ll see that you can still enjoy your favorite dishes and snacks. To make the challenge easier focus on just one meal, if you have unhealthy breakfast like cereal make it healthier by having some eggs cooked any way you prefer with healthy ingredients, you can use olive oils or coconut oil to cook them or if you don´t have time then focus on dinner and make sure you prepare your dinner with healthy ingredients.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you´ve ever take the time to think about how food make you feel, especially after a meal.

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 we need to know about prebiotics and probiotics

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Our body is full of bacteria, some good and some bad. Both play an important role on our health in general and they have different functions in our gut and digestive system.

Most of us do not pay attention to our gut health but if there´s something wrong it can lead to health issues that we never thought could be related. Some experts are talking about our gut as being our second brain and with so many new studies we can say that we need to focus on overall optimal health and that includes our gut.

Probiotics are good bacteria that live in our digestive system especially in our intestines and help with digestion therefore doctors and many people suggest them when we have digestive problems or after we take antibiotics which can kill the good bacteria. It´s important that we pay attention to the quality of supplements or products from where we´re getting probiotics because they are very fragile.

In some cases, like when we´ve been taking antibiotics taking probiotics supplements is helpful to repopulate the colon and they can also be helpful at preventing side effects of medications and they can help prevent issues on our digestive system.

Probiotics are found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir and tempeh.

Prebiotics are fiber that feed the good bacteria living in our gut. They help our good bacteria to grow and they are also helpful at supporting our digestive system, control our weight and overall health.

Prebiotics are found in foods high in fiber like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes.

Some people say that our gut is our “second brain” because of the communication between our brain and our digestive system, this two-way communication control our eating behavior, we can feel full, satisfied, hungry which has an impact on our weight and it also impacts the quality of sleep.

The gut has a big impact on your overall well-being how you feel, how you sleep, your energy level, how clear you think, your ability to focus and performance throughout the day.

A healthy diet based on whole, fresh foods that include healthy fats, healthy fibers, moderate proteins and low carbohydrates is a great option and according to the type of diet you follow you need to find foods that contain pre and probiotics or if you can´t get them through food you can use supplements.

Getting enough fiber from a healthy nutrition program is simple, vegetables, fruits and grains are some options for people following a ketogenic diet may be harder to get enough fiber since they eliminate all grains but vegetables are still an option, some fruits like berries and chia seeds.

For probiotcs many people have yogurt or kefir which are good options but some avoid them because they are high in carbohydrates, one option is to find yogurt or kefir options low in carbohydrates or vegan options for those who eliminate dairy of their diet then fermented foods are one options or taking probiotics from supplements is another option.

For the past months and year mental health problems have increased and many experts recommend changing the diet and improving gut health, people with depression and anxiety who focus on improving their gut health by increasing the intake of fiber, healthy fats, moderate protein and lowering processed and refined foods have seen positive results.

Prebiotics and probiotics play an important role on your gut health which is something we need to consider optimizing your health and not only focus on the 3 macros.

We´ll talk in a future post about the benefits or fermented foods and how they can help us lose weight, maintain a great physique and maintain optimal gut health.

If there´s something you want to know more about or if you have any doubts, questions or suggestions leave a comment down below and on Twitter, we want to hear from you (well, read from you) so that we can help you achieve your weight loss goal and improve your health.

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

Is fiber really important?

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We pay too much attention to the 3 macronutrients we´ve all heard about; fats, proteins and carbohydrates but we forget about fiber which is important for optimal gut health. I´ve seen so many people talking about all the amazing benefits of fiber while others do not consider it to be that important. From my point of view there are some reasons why it is helpful and beneficial.

Fiber is important and it´s possible that you´re not getting enough of it every day.

Some people consider fiber as one more macronutrient because of its importance and to make sure that they get the right intake.

Most of us when we start a diet or want to change our eating habits we think about calories or macros but it doesn´t matter which ones are we counting or focusing on we don´t think too much about fiber which is actually really important for our gut, not getting enough fiber daily has a negative impact on our health in a short term but also long term.

Fiber is a carbohydrate that is not broken down in the small intestine, it gets into the large intestine where it is broken down by bacteria. It can be divided into soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water, it can help lower glucose and blood cholesterol and it´s found in oats, beans.

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, it promotes the movements of material through our digestive system to feed he microbiome and it´s found on vegetables and beans.

Both have a lot of benefits making it an important part of our diet. There are so many benefits and it´s important for our health, especially our gut. Some of the benefits are that it elevates satiety which helps with fat loss, it lowers body fat and helps in managing diabetes and improving insulin sensitivity.

Vegan and vegetarian diets are great at keeping fiber intake high but they can be deficient in other nutrients which are also important for our health, people following ketogenic or carnivore diets can have more problems to keep adequate intake of fiber because they tend to avoid almost all carbohydrates.

Getting enough fiber daily is important but most of us do not get enough of it but it´s a big mistake to increase the intake considerably from one day to another which can promote bloating, cramping and other problems so you need to start increasing the amount of fiber you eat gradually so that the bacteria in your digestive system also adjust to the change.

It doesn´t matter which type of diet you follow you need to make sure that you give your body all the nutrients it needs from fats, to proteins and carbohydrates and by carbohydrates the more important being vegetables which are loaded with micronutrients and fiber.

Green and cruciferous vegetables are great options to add fiber to your meals and your nutrition program. Oats are also a great option if we´re following a more balanced diet, it is great for breakfast, legumes like beans, lentils are also a source of fiber.

Some people are intolerant to grain and gluten so you need to pay attention to your body, every time you make a change to your nutrition program you need to be aware of how your body responds and how you feel, we are all intolerant to some foods or we all have problems digesting some foods especially at the beginning when we make some change to what we eat, this can also happen with vegetables or when you start consuming healthy foods high in nutrients and eliminate or avoid unhealthy processed foods.

You need to be patient and make the changes slowly to give time to your body to get rid of all the poison and toxins and get use to a healthy diet.

You need to make sure that you give nutrients to your body, so you need to focus on getting healthy fats, protein and fiber which help you lose weight, maintain an amazing physique and also optimal health.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you are aware of getting enough fiber and how easy or hard it is for you.

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