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Diet

If it fit your macros (IIFYM)

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If you´ve been following bodybuilding or the fitness industry in general you may have heard some girls and guys following the “if it fit my macros” type of diet or nutrition program and most of them are fascinated with it.

For this diet strategy you need to understand what macronutrients are, we talked about this on a past post (click this link to learn more), for now we´re going to keep it quick and simple, macronutrients are divided into 3 categories, proteins, fats and carbohydrates this are the 3 macros that our body needs in big quantities.

Any diet that you want to follow or most of them are based on different macro ratios, for example a high protein diet is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fats, a keto diet is based on high fats, moderate protein and very low carbohydrates, in the case of IIFYM most of the time people follow a most balanced approach between the 3 macronutrients, to follow this the priority and focus is on macronutrients, not on calories so you need to find out what are your needs for each macro and make sure you hit those numbers every day. Lets say you need 45 grams of fat per day, 122 grams of protein and 183 grams of carbohydrates per day, once you got this numbers you only need to make sure that by the end of the day you meet those needs.

This diet or strategy is a great way to make your diet is sustainable for long periods of time even if you are losing weight because it gives you the opportunity to fit it unhealthy foods, you can have your favorite snacks, meals or desserts as long as you are able to hit your target for each macro, it gives you a lot more freedom. The problem is that a lot of people use this diet to fit in a lot of unhealthy foods, most of their foods choices come from fast food and highly processed foods, the reason for this is that they only focus on hitting those numbers, they´re only interested on hitting the macros and they don´t consider quality of food this is why they can eat pizza and donuts or ice cream for dessert every day, however the problem with this is that those unhealthy foods won´t make you feel full, the impact on satiety is not the same as the one you get from eating healthy foods.

Even when this strategy is a great option for weight loss, we can be pretty sure that if you hit your macros every day you will achieve your goal whether it´s weight loss, muscle growth or maintenance, so if your goal is only to build the physique you want then IIFYM is a great option, but if you´re also considering overall health then you need to think about food quality.

The benefit of this strategy is that it´s flexible and it gives you freedom, you can actually use it with different diets, if you´re vegetarian or vegan, if you´re keto you just need to do the math to get your macros according to your goal and the diet you want to follow and from there you can decide if you want to focus on healthy foods most of the time or if you want to eat more unhealthy foods.

We do need to mention that quality of food does matter, if you get all your macros from unhealthy foods you will get results regarding weight loss, muscle growth and maintenance, but with healthy sources you´ll get better results, some foods even when they help you hit the target for each macro are poor quality or incomplete sources so you won´t get the same positive impact and the impact on hormones is really different between healthy and fast foods or processed foods.

When you focus on healthy foods most of the time you´ll achieve your fitness goal and also improve your health at the same time, there are so many healthy options for each macro. If you want to get the best benefits then using IIFYM and focusing on quality of food, making healthy choices most of the time is the way to go, remember that you can fit some unhealthy snacks and desserts or even meals just don´t do it every day, this is what makes your diet flexible and sustainable.

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

Portion control

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There are so many strategies you can use to make sure you´re eating the right amount of food, one of those is portion control.

One of the most common fitness goals is weight loss, followed by muscle growth, obesity and overweight is still a huge problem and it´s getting worse. One of the reasons why is because portions are bigger and bigger, companies make bigger portions and they trick you with the small and medium sizes so that you end up buying the bigger one. With this increase in sizes we´ve also increased the amount of food we consume per meal even when we cook at home so having an idea of how much we´re eating and how much we actually need as a great strategy for weight loss.

You may had even try to lose weight before maybe more than once so I´m sure you´ve followed the most common advice “eat less – move more”, I´m sure you´ve also heard about portion control. Some people just get crazy counting calories and they find it easier to stay on track by controlling every portion of food they eat.

From what I´ve seen, this strategy is used more by girls who are losing weight, some guys also follow it for weight loss. This strategy can be used to help you stay on track on your diet by having a clear idea of how much food you can eat for each macronutrient. We all know that if you eat more you´ll gain weight and if you eat less you´ll lose weight. The problem is that since portions nowadays are really big we are completely misguided on how a single portion of each macro looks like. There are different ways you can keep track of portion control when you´re cooking and preparing your meals, one is using your hands as a guide and the other is using your plate. I consider using your hands as the best strategy because there are different sizes of plates and this can create confusion.

To use your hands there are certain guidelines for example: a portion of protein is of the size of your palm for girls, a portion of vegetables would be the size of your fist, for carbohydrates it would be one cupped hand and for fats it would be the size of your thumb. For guys you can go up to double of each. When you´re eating out most people who are following this strategy find it easier to order half of the portion.

For some people even this guidelines can be confusing so getting help from experts is important, nutritionist or dietitians can show you what a portion of each macro looks like, when you´re seeing it in front of you it´s easier for you to get a more clear idea so that you can stay on track.

If you measure this you´ll find out those portions are small considering what you´ve been eating, so when you start a diet and follow this guidelines you can feel hungry almost all the time because you´re eating way less and considering that you are making two changes at the same time it makes things harder. I´m considering you were eating a lot of unhealthy highly processed and fast foods so the first change is avoiding those unhealthy foods and eating healthy ones and the second change is eating less.

When you start this change, if after a couple of weeks you find it really hard to stay on track then you need another strategy that helps you improve your hormones and metabolism to get rid of those cravings and hunger so that it´s easier to lose weight.

For some people strategies like counting calories, points or portion control alone work great to lose weight and keep it off, for others we may need some more strategies that help us improve our health and at the same time lose weight.

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

Exercise

Can you outexercise a bad diet?

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You may have asked yourself this question more than once, and maybe you´ve even searched it on the internet or talked about it and probably you ended up confused. Some people say that you can out-exercise a bad diet while others say it´s impossible, for me, it depends.

If your goal is to lose weight as long as you maintain a calorie deficit you will lose weight it doesn´t matter if you´re following a clean diet 100% of the time or if you´re eating unhealthy foods. At least at the beginning every one can lose weight just by eating less, but with time for some people it gets harder and harder to maintain the calorie deficit needed to continue losing weight and one of the reasons is that unhealthy foods are not as satiating as healthy whole foods, most of the highly processed foods are very high in calories so you don´t get to eat a lot of food while whole fresh foods are lower in calories, have more nutrients and are more satiating which gives you the opportunity to eat more while maintaining a calorie deficit.

Now, we need to mention insulin, people who are insulin sensitive will find it easier to out exercise a bad diet while people who are insulin resistant won´t be able to out exercise a bad diet. Our metabolism also plays an important role, people who have a fast metabolism or flexible metabolism have more freedom on their diet, they can eat a lot more unhealthy foods and exercise and still get amazing results while people with a slow metabolism or inflexible metabolism won´t get a positive result.

Hormones and metabolism play and important role on how food and exercise affects our body, the healthier we are the more freedom we have and the chances of out exercising a bad diet are higher when it comes to fitness goals like weight loss, maintenance or muscle growth.

Achieving a fitness goal like weight loss, muscle growth and maintenance is completely separate from optimal health, even when you can out exercise a bad diet and achieve your fitness goal that doesn´t mean you´ll be able to maintain optimal health just by exercising while you eat unhealthy foods. Every food choice has an impact on our health, the more unhealthy foods we eat for longer periods of time the more damage it does to our body and sooner or later we´ll pay the price. When it comes to health, we can not out exercise a bad diet.

I understand that we all want to enjoy life, we want to eat our favorite meals, snacks and desserts, this is why I always say to avoid them as much as possible, if you can choose healthy options 80% to 90% of the time and eat your favorite meals 20% or 10% of the time you´ll be fine. Also I need to mention that the healthier you are the more freedom you have, if you are on a healthy weight considering body composition, if you are fit and lean then you can have more of those foods you like, if you´re not as healthy you may need to be a lot more disciplined on all 4 principles of fitness for a couple of months so that you get healthier and then you can have more freedom.

We also need to mention the other 2 principles of fitness, sleep and stress. If you´re working on them making sure you keep stress levels low of follow strategies that help you lower stress every day and if you get enough high quality sleep the chances of out exercising a bad diet are higher. High levels of stress and poor quality or lack of sleep have a huge negative impact on our health and fitness goal, they affect negatively both of them so if you can lower stress and get high quality sleep every night your body is working properly which gives you the opportunity to have some unhealthy foods without getting a huge negative impact.

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 microbiome

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If you´re really committed to improve your health, brain and look as best as possible then you need to focus on your gut.

Our digestive system impacts our overall health, there are millions and millions of bacteria living in our gut and they are the ones digesting food and controlling more processes so that everything in our body is functioning properly, when our gut, when the digestive system is not healthy this puts at risk our health physical and mental.

Do you know that all those microbes or bacteria living in our gut have a lot to do with your weight, with metabolism, with the functioning of your brain, with your immune system? Our lifestyle has an impact on these microbes and in this case the most important one is our diet. The standard American or western diet is based on unhealthy oils and fats, refined sugars, added chemicals to add texture, flavor and long lasting products which for our body are toxins, this damage the microbiome. You may have heard that taking antibiotics or acid blockers is bad for your stomach, well, eating all these processed foods is also bad for your stomach.

We can come up with 2 different scenarios here, some people have too few bacteria in the intestines and others have a lot of bad bacteria, this 2 causes a lot of problems and intestinal disorders like leaky gut or irritable bowel syndrome now this can get worse leading to inflammation and it can keep getting worse with health problems like depression and even cancer.

There are 2 steps you need to take to improve the health of your gut one of those steps is avoiding foods that cause damage and the second step is to add foods to your diet that keep your gut healthy.

The foods you need to avoid are:

1.- Unhealthy seed oils

2.- Flours (with the exception of nut flours like coconut and almond fluor)

3.- Sugar, refined carbs

4.- Antibiotics

5.- Acid blockers

The foods you need to include in your diet are fiber, fermented foods and probiotics, some examples are:

1.- Avocados

2.- Broccoli

3.- Berries

4.- Nuts and seeds

5.- Beans

6.- Lentils

7.- Oats

8.- Kefir

9.- Sauerkraut

10.- Probiotics

These are some examples of foods you need to avoid and the ones you need to add to your diet, there are more options as to what you can eat, remember to put especial emphasis on the ones you need to avoid, if you add healthy foods but keep eating the unhealthy ones those foods will keep damaging your gut.

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 impact of food in mental health

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When we think about food and diet mostly we relate it with weight loss, some of us muscle growth and health, especially diseases like diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc; but we don´t think or relate food with our brain or mental health and it has a huge impact.

Many people is diagnosed with mental diseases like depression, anxiety, ADD, PTSD, OCD, but a lot of people suffer of symptoms from any of this and have not been diagnosed. I´m not saying that by being diagnosed you need to take drugs which I don´t recommend, this is the last option when you´ve literally tried everything else. Now I need to mention that depression, anxiety, PTSD, and some other mental illnesses could be cause by an accident or a situation the person went through and if it´s not treated it will get worse and worse over time. It´s really important to talk with an expert, but life is hard and we all go through situations that lead to depression or anxiety or other and we can all do something to improve and start feeling better and it all starts with our food choices.

Food is a great strategy to help us cope with the effects or symptoms of mental illnesses like the ones I´ve mentioned before, certain foods can make the symptoms worse while others can lower them down. We can see this on a day to day basis just be aware of how you feel after a meal, be conscious of what you´re eating and how you feel after, you´ve probably been on a bad mood more than once, if you eat unhealthy foods and even certain foods that can be considered healthy they can make your mood worse and if you eat certain foods that contain certain chemicals and micronutrients they will make you feel better.

For some people processed meats can make their symptoms of depression worse, if you´re on a bad mood turmeric can help improve it and it´s also anti-inflammatory. Berries are one the best fruits rich in antioxidants that also are very beneficial for your brain.

Food also has a huge impact on dementia and diseases like Alzheimer´s and Parkinson, certain diets like ketogenic have been used to treat Alzheimer´s when it actually started as a treatment for epilepsy.

We´ve talked before about inflammation and how certain foods cause inflammation, this occurs not only in our body also in our brain and this is how some diseases develop, inflammation in the starting point, we´ve also talked about insulin resistance which is when our cells start ignoring insulin signaling, this also happens in the brain and it´s also the starting point of many diseases.

Diet can reduce or increase inflammation and it can also improve or worsen insulin resistance. We know that certain foods are unhealthy and we need to eliminate them for a period of time and then avoid them as much as possible, those foods are unhealthy seed oils, flour (nuts flours are the exception), sugar and certain carbohydrates. This foods cause inflammation and raise insulin and when we eat them continually it leads to insulin resistance. So a way to start is avoiding this foods.

If you want to take this one step further you can try an elimination diet, you´ll need to eliminate grains, dairy, gluten, sugar for a couple of weeks which cause a lot of problems for many people and slowly start introducing them one by one. One week add grains to your diet and be aware of how you look and feel, stay with it for a couple of weeks, then add dairy and also be aware of how you look and feel, continue.

Now, if you want to improve your brain you need to consider that what you need to eat to improve it is as important as what you need to avoid, if you eat a lot of berries but you´re still consuming unhealthy seed oils and sugars you won´t get the benefits, in fact those unhealthy foods can have a greater impact.

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

Fats and the brain

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How many times have you heard that fats are bad? You will gain weight? You will increase your risk of diseases? We need to clarify this.

Yes, some fats are bad and unhealthy those are the trans fats which are the fats that are used by food chains and processed foods. Vegetables or seed oils are also unhealthy and toxic for our body and brain. So this are the fats you need to avoid but saturated fats and unsaturated fats have been involved is so many myths and lies, to keep it simple here those two types of fats won´t make you fat and are not unhealthy (if you want to learn more about fats click this link).

Our body needs health fats and our brain needs healthy fats too. As we´ve seen on the last post a diet high in carbohydrates that keeps insulin high for long periods of time leads to insulin resistant and this impacts our brain, it´s not only that unhealthy fats and carbohydrates deplete our body from nutrients they also create so many problems by depleting our brain from energy.

You may have heard of MCTs oils, Omega 3s, EPA and DHA, this are all healthy oils that our brain needs to function properly. Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats, fat is important for brain cell membranes, our brain uses certain fats especially DHA to build cell membranes and EPA is key for mood. Healthy fats are necessary so that our brain works properly, if our brain works properly we are able to concentrate on what we´re doing perform as best as possible, make better decisions.

MCT oils are medium chain triglycerides that have many health benefits including your brain. It is extracted from coconut oil and some dairy options also contain this type of oils. This type of oil is one of the best options for weight loss along with Omega 3 too. MCT is an alternative source of energy which can be used by the brain more effectively than glucose, while carbohydrates can create a lot of negative impacts on our body MCT do not go through the same process as carbohydrates, it´s easily absorbed and used.

When we follow a high carbohydrate diet and we keep insulin levels high for long periods of time our body becomes insulin resistant and our brain too becomes insulin resistant so MCTs are an alternative fuel that our brain can use effectively in the form of ketones, this is why ketogenic diets have become so popular to treat diabetes, Autism, Alzheimer’s not only Epilepsy. There are studies people with Alzheimer´s who were given MCTs improved short-term cognition and symptoms.

We´ve mentioned in other post that our body needs essential proteins called amino-acids and essential fats called fatty-acids and that reason why they are essential is because our body cannot produce or creates this essential nutrients so we need to get them through our diet. We need to eat foods that contain those nutrients, in this case healthy fats can be found in foods like fish, chia seeds, coconut oils, walnuts, avocadoes but most of us are deficient of this crucial nutrients and we consume a lot of food that our body doesn´t need like carbohydrates. There´s not an essential carbohydrate.

Making sure that we follow a diet that gives our body and brain the nutrients it needs is key to maintain optimal health and it will also help us lose weight and maintain optimal body composition. Eliminating or avoiding as much as possible foods that cause problems like sugars, trans fats and unhealthy seed oils is also important. Once you have your diet design you can add supplements based on what´s missing for example, if you don´t like fish you can take Omega 3, if you´re vegan r vegetarian you need supplements that give you all the nutrients you may be deficient.

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

Everything we eat impacts our brain.

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We all love food, at least most of us but how many times have you asked yourself how everything you´re eating affects your brain? We do know that diet is a crucial part for maintaining optimal health and a healthy weight, we´ve all heard that to lose weight we need to eat less, but whether you´re losing weight or not, every single food choice impacts your brain positively or negatively.

Even when you do need to eat less and move more to lose weight and it´s possible to get to your desire weight eating unhealthy foods it´s not healthy and there are many reasons why, one of those is the impact that food has on your brain. You can eat less junk food, do some exercise and you´ll lose weight but your hormones will be out of balance and this causes health problems, one of those hormones is insulin, too much insulin for long periods of time lead to health problems like insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity and it also affects your brain.

So many people is worried about their physical health, and they´re making changes to their habits and routines focusing on diet and exercise, but most people don´t talk about mental health and our levels of energy, how we feel, our mood are all impacted by what we eat even the symptoms of mental issues like anxiety, depression, ADD, PTSD can get worse or improve just by our food choices. Dementia, Alzheimer´s, Parkinson can also improve or get worse by our food choices. Some experts like to talk about Alzheimer´s as type 3 diabetes and they make a huge emphasis on how food can slow the disease and improve the symptoms.

We know that most of us follow a diet high in unhealthy foods, most of what we eat is highly processed and refined foods full of added sugar, unhealthy seed oils and chemicals that are toxic for our body, we eat too much sugar and it depletes our body from nutrients and we´re not eating enough of what our body needs. In the case of our brain too much carbohydrates simple or complex have a negative impact, if the brain becomes insulin resistant which is the result of high levels of insulin for a long period of time, when this happens insulin is not only affecting your body, it´s now also affecting your brain so following a diet that lowers insulin and increases ketones is beneficial for the brain.

Alcohol and smoking also impacts our brain negatively, so if we put everything together our unhealthy diet very high on sugars and unhealthy oils plus alcohol and cigarettes and not enough nutrients it´s not a surprise that we´re seeing mental health problems increase and they just keep getting worse.

The brain needs certain nutrients like MCTs and Omega 3 but most of us are deficient on this, coconut oil, fish, chia seeds are great options for healthy fats our brain needs. Unhealthy foods will deplete your body and brain from nutrients and will also cause damage.

If your brain is not working properly and efficiently it will have an impact on your life, if you don´t feel great, if your energy levels are not high, if you´re not able to concentrate, if your performance is not as best as it could then everything you do will be affected, you´re not making the best of every moment because your brain is not able to work properly.

Supplements play a huge role here, but before you consider taking supplements first you need to improve your diet, if your diet is not as healthy your body won´t be able to absorb and use the nutrients from supplements in an effective way. So get your diet right first and then add supplements as needed.

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

Supplements and health

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How many times have you done research to find out the best supplement that targets or works for your specific goal? How many times have you bought supplements just because someone told you or you heard that they make some kind of magic?

Unfortunately, supplements do not work by themselves, some research says most of them don´t work, some people do not recommend them while other research and experts do believe in them. My opinion, some of them work, very few.

As you may know by now I don´t like to take a lot of supplements, I prefer making sure that my diet is on point to get as much nutrients as possible. From my point of view and experience there´s no reason to take supplements or even worry about them if our diet is unhealthy.

Now, in other post we talked about supplements for fitness goals like weight loss and muscle growth so in this post we´re only going to talk about supplements for optimal health.

One of the most common supplements we all know is a multivitamin, we all know that our body needs certain amount of micronutrients which are vitamins and minerals, the problems with this is that most multivitamin brands the type or source of raw material, of vitamins and minerals that they use are not the best quality. There are certain sources or types that our body can not absorb and in most cases brands use this type because it´s cheaper. This is why some people say that supplements don´t work or that you´re only wasting your money because your body is not absorbing those vitamins and minerals so you lose all your money when you pee or sweat. We need to mention that supplements are expensive, most of them and if they use a good quality source the price will increase.

With multivitamins you´ll get almost the same amount of each vitamin and mineral, almost all brands are exactly the same, they are some brands that put more emphasis on some vitamins or minerals adding a little more but in general most of them are the same. If your nutrition is good, based on healthy and quality foods then you can get what your body needs through food for most micronutrients so it´s better to look for individual vitamins and minerals you may be deficient.

Many people are deficient on certain vitamins like D and K, some are deficient on certain minerals like Magnesium. Omega 3 is another supplement that can be really beneficial for people who doesn´t consume fish, and whey protein, casein, or collagen can also be beneficial for people who doesn´t get enough from food.

What you need to do is first talk with your doctor or health practitioner and find out which vitamins and mineral are you deficient and then decide if you want to add healthy foods that help you get to where you need or if you want to add supplements. In most cases creating a healthy diet is a great way to make sure you´re getting all the nutrients your body needs and it can be done by trying and adding foods you really enjoy eating and that contain certain nutrients, you combine those foods you enjoy eating and create a diet that works for you.

If you have any food allergy or sensitivity or there´s a food you just don´t like then this is when you can adjust and add supplements as needed. Nowadays there are so many options for supplements according to each type of diet. The type of diet you´re following also plays a huge role and the supplements you need, I do believe that someone who is vegan needs protein supplements since the protein they get from vegan sources is not the same quality and the body won´t be able to absorb it. Some who is carnivore don´t need protein supplements. Also we need to consider that each diet will give you more of some nutrients and low in others, people who are vegan will get different nutrition compared to someone who is carnivore. You also need to consider your drinks, if you drink just plain water or if you drink sparkling water, coffee or tea.

Even when the basics of nutrition apply to all of us we still need to be aware of how we feel and how we look and make the adjust necessary to optimize out health whether it´s through food or supplements.

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

Nutrition and your gut

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Most of us think about food and nutrition when we want to lose weight and we know that certain foods are healthy and others are unhealthy, but there´s a lot more going on in our body with the food we eat, every food choice we make has an impact on our gut and it directly affects our brain.

You may have heard that there are trillions of microbes living in our body, there are so many different types of microbes that live in our gut, this is what gut microbiome refers to which I´m sure you´ve heard about. This gut microbiome influences our appetite, inflammation, mood, immune system and brain. It has an impact on overall health physical and mental, it can be crucial when we talk about preventing diseases, how we can manage or control diseases, what´s the best treatment and even for longevity making sure that we have the best quality of life possible.

We know that our lifestyle plays an important role on our health but most of us haven´t think about the direct impact that food has on chronic and immune diseases, we don´t even think about what everything we eat impacts the way we feel a couple of hours later. We´re not aware of our body and what it´s telling us.

How many times have you thought about gut health? Gut health means that the stomach, intestines, esophagus are working in harmony when we eat and digest food, all the microbes that live there also play an important role on making sure that our body can digest food and absorb nutrients. When one of this is out of harmony or balance then we have an unhealthy gut. The gut communicates with the brain through hormones and nerves to send different messages and information.

A healthy gut can get out of harmony for several reasons like stress, lack of sleep and also our diet. If we eat unhealthy foods that create inflammation they will take our gut out of harmony, if you eat something and some minutes or hours later you feel heartburn, constipation, bloating this are just some of the symptoms that something you ate is causing problems in your gut so you need to find out what foods are causing problems and avoid them at least for a period of time.

If you follow an unhealthy diet for a long period of time then your gut gets out of balance and this can lead to leaky gut which is when the walls of the intestine that act like barriers and controls what gets absorbed into the bloodstream is not intact, it has cracks and this allows toxins, microbes and partially digest food to go to other tissues and this can cause inflammation and trigger the immune system to react causing other problems.

Consuming whole, fresh foods and making sure that you eliminate or avoid as much as possible flours (nut flours are the exception), sugar and unhealthy seed oils is always the best option. You also need to listen to your body , be aware of how you feel, there are healthy foods that can cause problems to you, you may feel bloated or experience any other symptom after consuming grains or foods that contain gluten, you may have problems with dairy, you may have problems with legumes or a vegetable like cauliflower.

If you want to improve your health you can starts by following an elimination diet, eliminate all foods that cause inflammation like grains, corn, gluten, dairy for some weeks or months and be aware of how you feel. Then start adding some of the options you took out one by one, add one and see how you feel for a couple of weeks, then add another one, this way you can identify which foods are causing your problems so you need to avoid for a longer period of time. Remember that there are foods that will cause inflammation, we´ve already mentioned this ones a couple paragraphs before: flours (except nut flours), sugar and vegetable oils.

Following a healthy diet is important not only for weight loss and maintenance but to make sure that you maintain optimal 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

Motivation

Food addiction is real

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For the past years our relationship with food has changed for the worse leading to different diseases and putting at risk our mental and emotional health. Food addiction is real and it´s making us sick.

Many of the health problems we´re seeing today mentally and physical are caused by food addiction especially sugar addiction the good news is that many of this health problems can be prevented.

The reason why sugar creates addiction is because every time you eat sugar blood glucose raises and insulin also raises to bring blood sugar down, this process leads to cravings and sugar also releases dopamine which is the feel good hormone before eating a meal, snack or dessert your get a sense of anticipation, you know it´s going to be good because you love that food and when you eat it you get that positive feeling, you feel good thanks to dopamine. Every time you eat you´re looking for that same feeling but if you eat the same amount you won´t get the same level of sensation or feeling so you need more and more.

We need to mention that processed foods not only contain sugar, they also contain more ingredients to make sure the products taste delicious and it creates addiction so that you can´t stop eating it.

Now there´s a huge problem, the reason I call this food addiction is that this not only happens with sweet foods like candies, sweets, chocolate, fruit; it also happens with carbohydrates like bread, cereal, pasta because they turn into glucose in your body. This is why when you want to stop the food addiction you need to stop eating all carbohydrates for a period of time and it´s hard because you´ll get all the withdraw symptoms of addiction.

When insulin is high it will make you store fat and it will make it almost impossible to burn fat so if your goal is to lose weight then you need to keep insulin low and the way to achieve that is by reducing sugar. When you eat sugar on a regular basis which is what most of us do, we eat sugar every couple hours because that´s what we´ve told then this leads to chronic elevated blood sugar and insulin which leads to diabetes, obesity, fatty liver and other chronic diseases. Sugar also depletes the body from nutrients and our body needs to nutrients to function properly so there are many reasons to eliminate processed sugar from our diet and keep carbohydrates low.

The huge problem is that sugar is in almost everything, so many processed foods have sugar so it´s not only candies, sweets or fruit juice, also chips, chocolates, bread, pasta.

The ways to find out if you are addicted to sugar is by answering the questions below:

1.- Do you find yourself thinking about food all the time? Especially your favorite snack or dessert?

2.- When you feel stressed, sad, overwhelmed, depressed or anxious you go for some unhealthy food to eat?

3.- Have you hidden your favorite snacks from friends or family?

4.- Have you ever thought about stop eating some of those foods because you´re probably eating too much?

5.- Have you ever use your favorite meal, snack or dessert as a motivation to finish some activity? When I finish this activity I will have a donut, pizza, cake, cupcake, etc?

If you answered yes to this questions then you are addicted to sugar and food so you need to start making some changes and when you start making those changes you´ll go throw a period of withdraw were you´ll feel anxious, you may have headaches, insomnia.

Here are some steps you can follow to stop that sugar and food addiction:

1.- Accept that you are addicted to food and that it´s within your control to make a change.

2.- Be aware of all the products and foods that contain sugar, this includes bread, pasta, cereal, fruit

3.- Make sure that you´re eating enough to feel satiated and full by eating healthy fats and protein

4.- Find something you love doing to release dopamine and make you feel good (eating unhealthy foods is not part of this)

I´ve never liked the word “diet” because it automatically sends a message to your brain that you´ll be eliminating foods, desserts and snacks you love for a certain period of time and this increases your cravings making it harder to stay on track and the worst part of this is that it´s not something you need to follow for a certain period of time, it´s for the rest of your life and it´s not eliminating foods, it´s about changing unhealthy ingredients for healthy ones. When you want to stop your food addiction you need to find healthy ingredients you can use to replace the unhealthy ones, this is what we´re going to talk about on future posts so make sure you´re following us on social media.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you´re addicted to food and if you´ve tried to change that before.

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