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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

Diet

Why is it so hard to eliminate processed foods?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pam

Stress

How stress and food cravings are related.

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Stress is a huge problem for most of us and if you want to lose weight and you´re following any program but for some reason you can´t stop eating, stress may be the reason.

Stress makes you eat, you may have heard of emotional eating which is something I´m sure you´ve done, use food to cope with stressful and emotional situations. You don´t need to feel like a failure, guilty or ashamed, I´m done this too and a lot more people but if you want to lose weight and improve your health you need to change that pattern.

Now, I need to mention that overeating is not completely your fault. There´s a reason why when you feel stressed, down, depressed, anxious, bored you go for unhealthy foods, this foods are high in unhealthy fats, loaded with sugar and extra ingredients to make them taste delicious but they also create addiction, they make you feel good by activating the reward center of the brain but this only last for a couple hours and then you want more of those comfort foods creating a vicious cycle.

I´ve mentioned in a past post that stress is good and we need some of it, if stress is used the right way it actually shuts down appetite because your body goes to the fight or flight response and turns off some systems and functions in your body that are not necessary at the moment and one of those is eating, but the problem comes when that stress remains high. When this happens other hormones on your body are affected by the chronic stress, hormones like insulin, cortisol, ghrelin play a huge role on how much you eat and if they´re out of sync you eat more.

So stress affects your hormones which leads to food cravings especially unhealthy foods and all the unhealthy fats and sugar that those unhealthy foods contain also affect your hormones and cause addiction so both of this situations lead to a negative cycle of overeating which not only makes it impossible for you to lose weight but also to maintain optimal health.

There are 2 ways you can stop this negative cycle, one of those is by lowering stress and the other by changing your diet. Here´s one tool to help you reduce stress:

1.- Breathing exercises.- Taking a couple of minutes every morning or every night or even when you´re feeling stressed out to do some breathing exercises is a great way to lower stress. You don´t need to do anything complicated just stop what you´re doing and bring your mind to focus on your breathe, take a slow deep breathe in, hold it for a couple of seconds, and slowly breathe out. Dot his 4 or 5 times and you´ll feel more relax and calm.

Every time you start feeling stressed and you catch yourself eating, the moment you catch yourself ask if you are really hungry or if you´re feeling any negative emotion or stress, if you´re not hungry leave whatever you´re eating and take some deep slow breathes.

If you ask the question every time you eat you´ll find out that there are many cases that you´re eating to cope with a negative emotion, because you´re tired, bored or you´ve made it a habit but you´re not really hungry so if you´re not hungry leave the food down and go do other stuff.

To stop cravings by changing your diet here´s what you need to do:

1.- Eliminate all unhealthy seed oils, and sugar. For this you need to read labels if you´re going to buy food that comes in a package, make sure to read the ingredients parts because that´s where you find out if that product contains something you need to avoid. If you want to take it to the next level and get rid of those cravings fast then just eat healthy fats and protein, just eat meat, eggs, bacon and some nuts especially pecans, coconut oil and olive oil. Going carnivore for a period of time is a great way but it´s so hard to get through it so if you don´t want to go carnivore which I´m not recommending go for meat and healthy fats as I mentioned before.

Remember that if you want to make a change to your diet you need to talk to your doctor or care professional first.

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

Does portion control work?

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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 us to achieve our goals and we´ll be considering what´s important.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pam

Motivation

The unhealthy relationship with food.

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If there´s one thing that has got us into a lot of trouble and has increased diseases is our relationship with food. Whether you want to accept it or not, we all know that the high amounts of highly processed foods we eat are the ones making us gain weight and even when we know they are unhealthy we can´t stop eating them.

Not so long ago it was really hard to find food, some people in certain regions didn´t have access to food so companies started to look for ways to make food accessible to everyone and now we´re surrounded by food, unfortunately the food we´re surrounded by is cheap which makes it accessible but it´s also full of unhealthy oils, sugar and added ingredients to make sure the products last on shelves and since companies need to keep selling those products are also full of extra ingredients that cause addiction to make sure you keep eating them.

Food has become our way to cope with stress, depression, anxiety, boredom, anger and I can´t deny that it makes us feel good instantly but we´re not thinking about the negative impact it has on our health in a short and long term. Some of us think about this negative consequence but we can´t stop eating it. Here are some points or questions you can ask yourself to know if you have an unhealthy relationship with food:

1.- Do you think about food all the time?

2.- Do you eat when you´re feeling sad, stressed, overwhelmed, depressed, bored?

3.- You want to lose weight and you try the latest fad diet? You go through this over and over so you´ve tried more than one of these diets

4.- You start your diet and commit to only eating healthy or clean foods and when you eat an unhealthy food or snack you feel guilty.

5.- You eat based on your emotions and based on hunger?

If you answered yes to this questions or most of them then you have an unhealthy relationship with food, don´t feel guilty or like a failure because you´re not alone and it´s not your fault. The era or times we´re living now are what lead you to that unhealthy relationship but it´s withing your hands to change it. To change your relationship with food there´s one step you can start taking today:

1.- Every time you want to eat something, when cravings come or catch yourself eating stop for a moment and think about why you want to eat or why are you eating. Is it because you´re really hungry? Is it because you´re following a diet where you need to eat every 2 or 3 hours and it´s time to eat regardless of whether you´re hungry or not? Is it because you´re bored or stressed? Is it because you had a fight with a friend or family member? Because you´re stressed? Write in a piece of paper the reason why you´re eating, write everything you´re feeling in that moment.

2.- When you find yourself looking for something to eat stop and wait some couple of minutes, drink water, go for a walk and see if the cravings disappear.

This 2 steps may seen so simple but they are hard to put into practice, some of us are not aware at how many times we eat during the day this includes meals, desserts, snacks and in some of them we´re not even hungry. Being aware of when you´re eating and why is the first step to change that unhealthy relationship, then when you find yourself eating or looking for something to eat is better to drink water or tea o go for a walk to give some time and see if it´s really hunger or not, if it disappears you´re not hungry.

You also need to realize that yes you do need to eat healthy food most of the time but this doesn´t mean that you need to follow strict diets 100% of the time, it´s about making healthy choices most of the time but having the freedom to eat your favorite meal, dessert or snack and really enjoy it without feeling guilty or ashamed, without blaming yourself for lacking will power or being so weak. Focus on healthy foods and know that you have the freedom to enjoy those foods you love when you´re with friends or family or even when you´re on you´re own every now and then.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you have an unhealthy relationship with food and what action you´re taking to improve it.

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

Pam

Diet

Why is it so hard to eliminate process foods?

8_papitas
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Have you tried to eliminate sugar and processed foods from your diet? Was it easy or hard?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pam

Diet

Whole foods vs processed foods

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

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

1. Calories

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

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

2. Nutrition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pam