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Nutrition

Nutrition

The effects of junk and processed food on our body

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The convenience and price of this unhealthy food is what makes it an important part of our lives without considering the long term damage. The lifestyles we´re having this days are so unhealthy in many different ways, we spend most of our day sitting at the office, in the couch when we´re back home in the car to travel from home to the office and back home, our daily activities had reduced; the levels of stress keep raising caused by traffic, our job or school; and the unhealthy food choices we make every single day are killing us and are getting us sick and also our loved ones.

I understand that it may be difficult for you to cook every single meal and that´s probably the biggest reason why you buy fast or processed food, it makes your life easier, but… at what cost?

Food has a direct impact on how you feel it affects your mood, food is the cause of you feeling tired, lazy, depressed, anxious all this are short term reactions caused by unhealthy food, if you continue eating this type of foods your health problems will get bigger, you´ll gain weight, you´ll become insulin resistant and it can get worst turning into diabetes and other diseases.

I believe food is the cause of our bad mood, obesity, overweight and related diseases and also it´s the reason why it´s so hard to lose weight and keep it off, food affects your brain it´s more a mental battle and mindset which I´ll explain deeper in the next post.

What big companies are doing is create amazing marketing campaigns targeted specially to kids to buy their products full of chemicals that are harmful for our body and are killing our loved ones and the people we care about. Some of this chemicals are used to create addiction similar to alcohol and cigarettes so that you continue buying and consuming the product, all this companies are more interested on selling and money than on your health. The two biggest problems with this type of food are:

1.- They´re empty calories

Your body needs nutrients, your body does a lot of different processes every single day just to keep you alive, it tries as hard as it can to maintain you as healthy as possible and it has to work hard against all the stress and low physical activity plus a nutrition program that doesn´t have any nutrients. There´s no way for your body to function properly every day, to keep you healthy and to sustain a fat loss process when it doesn´t have the food it needs to support all that work.

This unhealthy foods are so high in calories and to low in nutrients, that´s why some people call them “empty calories”. All this empty calories full of chemicals to make you eat more of them do not give nutrients to your body, they´re just an excess of calories and energy that your body can´t use most of them as sugars and trans fats that your body store as fat.

2.- Your body can´t digest it and use it properly

This unhealthy foods are not real, fresh or natural, they are created or manufactured by companies so your body doesn´t know what to do with them, how to use them and it´s very hard to digest them. There are a lot of sugars, trans fats and chemicals that are poison for your body which are the ones that are causing diseases and increasing obesity, overweight, diabetes, cancer and the list goes on.

Every time you eat this foods your body needs to work harder to digest them so other processes in your body slows down to prioritize digestion and at the end there are no nutrients that can be use to sustain daily activities.

Once your body digest all that food it takes time to get rid of the toxic stuff and it´s not efficient anymore.

For me, health and weight come down to living a healthy lifestyle based on healthy habits that include working out every day, eating healthy foods and having the right mindset. If you treat your body right it will respond in the best way possible.

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

Nutrition

Is breakfast really dangerous?

17 I breakfast really dangerous 2
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I´ve heard a lot of people say that skipping breakfast is really dangerous for our health while other claim that having breakfast is dangerous and unhealthy. My opinions is that our choices for every meal are the ones that make it healthy or unhealthy.

Some new studies and research shows that it can be dangerous to have breakfast other studies shows that it is the most important meal of the day, a healthy pad to a great day and a great life. This are just myths created by the food industry to make you and I buy and consume their products. What companies want is to get money and the way to get money is by selling their products creating awesome marketing campaigns that convince us to buy and consume.

The problem is not breakfast, the problem is processed food in general, if for breakfast your having some cereal with milk or yogurt or some toast, fruit juice, maybe a bagel, or hot cakes with a lot of cream and marmalade; for lunch you go to any fast food restaurant and have a burger with fried potatoes and soda and for dinner you have some pork with sausages, pasta and mashed potatoes and for snacks you have some chocolates, candies or healthy bars then most of those meals are unhealthy not only breakfast.

If you have a healthy breakfast like some eggs with veggies cooked with olive oil, for lunch some cheese quesadillas, some chicken or fish and for dinner chicken, fish or pork with a big salad and guacamole things change. Even when you are having breakfast you are making healthier choices, you can have breakfast as long as it´s healthy.

What I found of this studies is that breakfast is based on high processed, high sugar and high refined carbohydrates and this makes  insulin goes high, every time you eat insulin raises and if you are having high carbohydrates or high sugar meals it increases even more which can cause diabetes on the long term, and most of those food contain many different chemicals as conservatives and trans fats to make the food taste good.

Other studies show that breakfast is related to overweight if you skip breakfast you´ll be overweight or obese and if you continue skipping breakfast it will be impossible for you to lose weight. Some others say that having breakfast will help you stay more focused and active during the day performing better and feeling more awake, being less irritable, and many other things related so you are making a bad decision for your day and your health when you skip breakfast.

In most meals you are consuming mostly empty calories and many chemicals which puts your health in risk it´s not only breakfast if you focus on giving nutrients to your body every meal it doesn´t matter if you have breakfast or not, you can have lunch and dinner or breakfast and lunch the goal must be to have healthy nutritious meals.

The solution they give for this is to avoid breakfast which is one option considering your other meals are healthy, another solution is to make healthy choices, if you have different options to choose from for 3 meals a day chances are that you´ll make better choices, it´s so hard to eat healthy when it doesn´t taste good but there are a lot of healthy recipes on the internet or books which you can use to create your own healthy meals.

Is it better to have breakfast or skip breakfast?

This type of studies and the awesome marketing strategies of the companies are doing a great job but don´t believe all that information, there are also some studies and research that shows that skipping breakfast is not as bad and that it has benefits to your health and with many studies showing different results, giving different recommendations where most of them are completely the opposite is what makes you doubt the information and it makes it hard to know what´s best.

There´s nothing wrong about skipping breakfast or having it, if you are hungry in the morning then have breakfast if you´re not hungry then skip it, it´s not a big issue. Whether you have breakfast or not focus on making every meal as healthy as possible which is what really matters, avoid process foods and lower carbohydrates, also avoid hidden sugars. It´s more important to give nutrients to your body in every meal, that´s what matters, what you eat will have a huge impact on your overall health and therefore on your life.

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

Nutrition

What we need to know about sugar

16 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 is increasing and with that diseases like diabetes are raising too. I believe the cause of this problems is sugar. Sugar is everywhere even when it´s not listed as sugar in the ingredients, you´ll find it under names like dextrose or sucrose. Other ingredients like high fructose corn syrup is also harmful and is in so many products. The amount of sugar contain in foods is so high and I´m not only talking only about sweets or junk food, even in energetic drinks, cereals or healthy bars.

When you eat foods high in sugar 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 you 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 your insulin goes up to regulate and bring it down, over time you create fatigue in your system and it loses control 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 you signals like cravings sweets, anxiety and depression, remember that everything you eat has an effect on your health and your mood.

The spike on 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 in some cases causing death in some of them. 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 our nutrition the benefits are amazing, it´s not about reducing calories, it´s about what you eat and the impact it has on your body and your health.

As I´ve said before, this high amounts of sugar in our diets with the high amounts of unhealthy fats 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.

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

There´s no reason why to try to follow a low carbohydrate diet or ketogenic diet or any other more restricting diet if you 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 need to change your nutrition program and eat healthy foods, this is the first step, reducing sugar is a most, sugar is the cause of many diseases now a days, but it´s hard to do it. We´ve been consuming sugar for almost all our life so when you start to eliminate it from your diet your mind will trick you making you think that you need it just when you´re 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´ll start living healthier, 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 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.

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

Nutrition

Is food addiction real?

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Are you addicted to food? Do you let food control your life? or you have control over what you eat? If you can´t control what you eat, if you can´t stop eating that cookie or donut or if you feel like you need to eat those sweets and junk food then you are addicted to those foods.

Now let me tell you that you are not alone, there are millions of people with this same problem and I was one of them, another point I want to get clear is that it´s not your fault. Stress, depression, anxiety and other emotions can trigger your need of this foods because they act like comfort food, they create a sense of pleasure and companies add some chemicals to create addiction and make you want more so you´re dealing with 2 factors that make it so hard for you to stop eating them, this is the reason why you can´t stop it.

If you are addicted to this food it´s a vicious cycle and it´s so hard to stop it, you need a lot of willpower to stop for a second to think and realize what you´re doing when you already know that those foods are bad for you, take a step back and choose a healthy option or just go away without it. Sometimes you´re doing it unconsciously because it´s a habit, it´s part of your life and you don´t even realize what you´re doing until you ate half of the package.

If you´re trying to lose weight this is a big problem because hormones like insulin are triggered making your fat loss harder. If you have a lot of weight to lose chances are you are insulin resistant this means that you body is not efficient using sugars, to be able to lose fat you need to be insulin sensitive and the way to do it is to avoid all this junk foods.

Now when you want to stop eating this foods you´ll notice it is so hard to do, you feel like you are starving or depriving yourself which is why you can´t stick to a very strict low calorie diet that eliminate all this foods plus some other healthy foods making it harder.

The best way to do it is to substitute foods, we´re dealing with two problems, first the pleasure respond this foods create on your brain and the addiction they create from the chemicals added, so you can start by substituting with foods that give nutrients to your body but also that get you satisfied and gives you a sense of pleasure making it easier for you.

Foods like almonds, nuts, pistachios and all different almonds are a great option, you can also have some cheese, look for the ones that are low in carbohydrates, plain yoghurt whole fat versions are also a great option always look for fresh options on your local market.

Developing new habits and changing your lifestyles takes time, if  you´ve been eating unhealthy foods for years it may not be possible for you to eliminate them from one day to another unless you have a really strong will power. There´ll be meals when you eat that cookie, the cake or that chocolate, don´t get obsessed with it just move on, if you realize that you´re making a bad decision half way through the donut just let it down and move on, choose a bunch of almonds for your next meal, take it one meal at a time.

Now another thing you can do is stop focusing on the mental battle you´re going through when you start developing good habits and focus on what you´ll gain, it feels great and amazing to have the body you always wanted, to feel healthy and energized and to be able to sustain that healthy lifestyle and that amazing physique without any diet, just by eating meals cooked with healthy products and you have the freedom to try many different dishes from around the world.

When it comes to health and fitness goals this can be two separated goals, it´s clear that if your nutrition program is based on sweets, junk, processed and fast food you´re not healthy even if you are skinny. It may be possible to lose weight eating this unhealthy foods but it´ll be harder.

Your body needs nutrients to function properly and if you are exercising daily to lose weight or reach any other fitness goal you need more nutrients to recover, repair and build muscle tissue or sustain fat burning.

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

Nutrition

The system is wrong

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Looking at how nutritionist or dietitians design diets for their clients and the food you are offered at hospitals I realize that the whole system is wrong.

Nutritionist and dietitians base their diets on the famous food pyramid we all know that recommend high complex carbohydrates and very low fat meals, this foods are the base of the pyramid but even when this foods have some fiber they´re not the best option.

For people trying to lose weight it´s obvious that they´re obese or overweight and the chances of them being insulin resistant are high meaning that their bodies do not use carbohydrates efficiently. The focus and goal must be to improve insulin making it easier to lose fat, once insulin is improved and the person is insulin sensitive meaning their bodies use carbohydrates more effectively it´ll be easier for them to lose fat consistently.

The best way to improve insulin is to lower carbohydrates, increase protein and increase healthy fats, the macronutrient ratios will depend on the type of diet the person wants to follow, a diet they can stick with for a lifestyle. The hardest part is always the beginning where people need to be more discipline and focus on keeping carbohydrates low  to improve insulin and start losing some weight.

Diets on hospitals are also based on the food pyramid which is not the best option. There are many studies and research done that proves that junk and processed foods and also simple carbohydrates and sugars are the cause of many diseases nowadays in hospitals most of the food is processed like bread, cookies, box juice, box cereal and the prepared meals are low in fats. Hospital diets are high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fats.

It doesn´t make sense to me that doctors, nurses, nutritionist and people who are supposed to take care of patients and who are supposed to help people live healthier, live better and live longer offer this meals. It doesn´t make sense to me why they keep treating the symptoms instead of looking for the cause, they treat the symptoms and hide the rest of the story. In many cases the cause of many diseases is our lifestyle, no physical activity, high sugars and unhealthy fats, high levels of stress and poor sleep. I believe that if we focus on improving our lifestyle and developing healthy habits we can prevent some of this diseases.

I´m not saying that we all need to follow a low carbohydrate diet or follow a strict ketogenic diet, what I´m saying is that some people won´t do well on a high or moderate carbohydrate diet so reducing carbohydrates for a period of time is helpful then a more balanced diet is best. Most people tend to have amazing results in a more balanced diet where carbohydrates are around 40% to 45% of total calories, protein 40% and fats 20%, this numbers will vary from person to person but can be used as a guide.

Living a healthy lifestyle is a most if you want to make the best out of your life. Nutrition and exercise are key for living healthy, our health most be our priority; making the commitment to live a better life  by developing habits that make our lives more enjoyable gives us more freedom and we make better choices. We can start making better choices by avoiding unhealthy foods like sweets, junk, processed and fast food. When we focus on meals prepared with fresh ingredients we can´t go wrong.

It´s not only about us, it´s about the people we love. If you want to take care of your family, your friends and the people you love you need to take care of yourself first. If you are healthy, if you feel great you can then help the people around you and inspire them.

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

Nutrition

The food pyramid

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Some years ago the USDA launches its food pyramid recommending people to consume 6 to 11 servings of carbohydrates from bread, cereal, pasta, rice and grains, while using fats and oils “sparingly”. What we need to do is to turn that pyramid upside down or at least reduce carbohydrates. We do not need all those servings of bread, cereal, rice, pasta and grains, if you are insulin resistant or diabetes it will be better to avoid them at least for a period of time. If you have fat to lose and you spend most of your day sitting on a chair at the office there is no reason why you should be consuming those amounts of carbohydrates.

I´m not telling you to eliminate these type of foods completely from you nutrition program or that you won´t eat any of them again. My objective is to educate you about the negative long term effects this products have on your health.

All this problem about the food pyramid, food groups, and how a healthy plate or dish must look like, started a few years ago when people in the industry blamed fats as being the culprit of many diseases, so companies took advantage of this and created “low-fat” products which are worst than normal versions, this “low-fat” products have more sugar to add taste and flavor. They also created amazing marketing campaigns to sell us their “low-fat healthy products”.

There were some few people on the industry trying to show the truth, trying to make people understand that fat is not the culprit, and that sugar was and is the cause of many diseases like high blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, etc. The problem here was that companies want your money, they live from your money and if they make you think they´re selling you healthy products you will buy them and sugar creates and addiction so by adding more sugar, they´ll make sure  you keep consuming their products.

With all this people fighting and creating campaigns in favor of sugar (most of them) and some in favor of fat, the food pyramid was launched as you can see in favor of sugar and blaming fats, when the food pyramid was launched and companies created their marketing campaigns we get bombarded with all this information about how bad are fats and this is when the problem got worse. More people got sick.

The companies will continue selling high sugar and highly processed products loaded with chemicals, it´s clear that we´re consuming a lot more carbohydrates than our bodies need, a normal diet nowadays is based on simple carbohydrates, trans fats and chemicals which is the worst combination.

Most people still believe and trust a 100% this food pyramid, doctors, nutritionist and people on the industry. What we can do is research, continue reading and find out what´s the truth and what works best for you.

I´m not telling you to follow a ketogenic nutrition program where healthy fats are between 70%, proteins 20% and carbohydrates 10%, I´m not telling to eat only fats and eliminate completely all carbohydrates, I´m not telling you to follow one diet that will work great for all people, I´m sharing with you all I know so that you can understand and find out what´s the best option for you. The food pyramid as we know it is not the best or healthiest option and it can cause more problems to people with insulin resistant.

Our body needs healthy fats, fiber and protein if we make our meals based on healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, nuts, fish, carbohydrates from different vegetables to get fiber and meat and eggs for protein we will feel a lot better and our health will improve.

Your health must be your priority, taking care of you and your body must be first, then you can help and take care of loved ones and people around you.

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

Nutrition

Should we count calories or macros?

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So many guys and girls get stressed counting calories or points, most people on the fitness industry are more interested on calories and that´s all they talk about, if we focus on nutrients, then macros are more important.

Counting calories is not the best option for any fitness goal, not all calories are created equal and each macronutrient has its function on your body even when they are all healthy options, it´s not the same to have some meat than to have rice or almonds, if you count calories you can´t have complete control of what you eat and what your body does.

Each macronutrient has its own functions which in conjunction helps our body to work and perform the best way possible. If you understand the job of each macronutrient, how you can manipulate them and how to set macronutrient ratios correctly you´ll see that it´s more important to set macronutrient ratios than to count calories.

If you only focus on counting calories your diet may not be adequate for you, if you are insulin resistant and you are only counting calories, your diet may be high in carbohydrates which can worsen insulin and make it harder to lose fat, if you are insulin sensitive and are very active you may need more energy at certain meals, just by counting calories you may be eating less carbohydrates than you need on the meals that are needed.

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 to get you where you want.

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 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.

We need to focus on health and from this stand point counting and setting macro nutrient ratios is more important than counting calories and it´s not that hard to do, you need to have a clear idea of what you are eating and the amount of food you are eating, then you need to know how much you really need so you´ll need to read labels and use tools like portion control for a period of time until you get used to how things look like, once you have an idea you don´t need to be measuring and counting everything.

Life is to enjoy it not to spend most of our time focusing on training and food, do not let you life revolves on counting food and the gym, do not get obsessed with it, you need to be more discipline at the beginning to develop good habits and to know what you are doing then you can have a lot more freedom. It´s easy to count macros, portion control gives you a clear idea of how much you are eating and it´ll makes your life easier, it´s more important to focus on the nutrients your body needs and the times it needs them.

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

Fitness goalsNutrition

Why low calorie diets don´t work long term

11 Low calorie diets
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Most people I know who want to lose weight think of it of diet and exercise, the most common advice we all know “eat less move more” but when they start following this advice with any weight loss program they realize how hard it is, some of them finish the program and lose weight but can´t maintain the results for long, other don´t finish the program.

Weight loss is not about eating less and following strict low calorie diets, when people need to lose a lot of weight their body don´t work the same as a lean person, their metabolism is slower, they are insulin resistant so their body can´t use carbohydrates efficiently and their hormones are not working in balance.

With all this going on if they follow a strict low calorie diet of course they will lose weight, sometimes a lot but as they lose weight they´re losing muscle mass and they´ll hit a plateau and get to a point where the calories are too low that is not sustainable. This is a short term solution that causes negative impacts long term.

You may also know that it is actually very hard to keep calories low and avoid certain foods, in most cases people who have been following unhealthy diets and make a sudden change won´t stick to a nutrition program for long, the more strict the program the less chances of sticking with them. Your body is used to all those unhealthy foods, they create addiction and a vicious cycle that is so hard to change, if they focus on making healthier choices without considering calories the progress is amazing.

The first step is to first develop the habit of eating fresh foods, meals cooked and prepared with fresh ingredients then you can manipulate macro nutrients according to your body.

Not all calories are created equal and each macro nutrient affects our body and hormones differently, low calorie diets do not consider this so they´re not considering what matters most.

Low calorie diets are a short term option, if you want to lose weight fast you can follow one of those traditional weight loss programs and you´ll get results but the problem is when you stop following the program and realize that you made more harm to your body.

As I´ve said before your weight loss goal must be set as improving body composition and a lifestyle change, in order to sustain your results you need to develop healthy habits based on what matters most, the 5 principles of fitness are key.

It´s important that you understand the function of each macronutrient and the impact it has on your body and also how the hormones of your body respond to each macro and their functions.

Losing weight, getting in shape, improving body composition and make it sustainable is more complex than just calories. You need to improve insulin sensitivity, keep insulin and cortisol low, increase growth hormone, keep ghrelin and leptin in balance, imrpove metabolism and this can only be done when you focus on macro nutrients.

Low calorie diets do more damage to all those hormones, they slow your metabolism, they keep insulin and cortisol high, growth hormone is low, leptin and ghrelin are not in balance as you can see it´s the opposite of what we want and the more you stay with those diets the more damage they do.

Weight loss is not about diets, there´s no reason to follow a diet for a period of time and then get back to where you began. It is possible to get in amazing shape and get the physique you always wanted and sustain it, it´s simple and effortless the key is to make it a lifestyle by developing good healthy habits based on the 5 principles of fitness.

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

Nutrition

What you need to know about portion control

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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 you to achieve your goals and you´ll be considering what´s important.

Focusing on the most important things is the best way to achieve your 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 your food every meal is impossible so a way to get it done is with portion control.

Knowing what 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 what a cup of rice or 4 ounces of meat look like and if you take your plate and take a look thinking on portion control and you measure it you´ll see you´re eating more than you need, this may be one of the reasons you why you can´t get to your goal.

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

Portion control is the amount of food you eat, you can weight your food or use some simple rules that you 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 you reduce the amount of unhealthy foods and keep those in check while increasing healthy foods, this can make it easier for you 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 you´re eating at home or when you prepare your meals but it can get more complicated when you eat out and specially this days when packages are bigger and when you have the chance to make your meal bigger for some dollars more in fast food chains.

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

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

Nutrition

Ketogenic diets

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We´ve been told our entire lives that carbohydrates is the best source of energy for our bodies. 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 macro nutrient 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 you lower carbohydrates blood glucose levels lowers and the body´s glycogen stores are depleted. When blood glucose is low and glycogen stores are depleted it forces your 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 are not part of this, they are unhealthy fats and have negative effects for your health).

Ketogenic diets shifts the body from relying on glucose to relying on fat as its primary fuel, where you are in a state of ketosis, the body easily taps into fat stores when it needs energy. Before your 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 your body to adapt, it may adapt sooner or it may take longer. The first days and weeks you may feel tired, unfocused, you 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 you follow a ketogenic diet for 2 weeks very high in fats and very low in carbohydrates to help your body adapts faster, on the second or third week on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) you´ll change your macro ratios from high fat/low carbohydrates to high carbohydrates/low fat, making this two days or for some people just one day 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´ll 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.

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Pam