Reasons Besides Weight Loss To Cut Out Wheat And Grains

Health, Weight Loss 2 Comments »

One of the best and fastest ways to lose weight is to totally cut wheat and grains out from your diet.  But cutting out grains has lots of very surprising health benefits.

So if someone joins bootcamp with high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high inflammation, low HDL, high triglycerides, high LDL, and a lower belly bulge. Eliminate all grains and in 90 days they have lost 20 pounds of fat, blood sugars normalize, triglycerides drop dramatically, HDL goes up, LDL goes down, and c-reactive proteins (inflammation markers) drop.

If that’s not enough benefits for you… here’s some more!

Improve Rheumatiod Arthritis Symptoms: This is a big one for me personally. Get rid of grains and painful thumbs, fingers, wrists, and ankles clear up remarkably fast (getting rid of dairy and sugar will help too). Lots of people have found that once the conditions are gone, one serving of wheat will give them a painful throbbing in their joints that lasts for hours. No grains, no pains :)

- Reduction or Elimination of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

- Reduction or Elimination of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

- Improved Mood: Getting rid of grains will make you happier and will stabilize your moods. Did you know that wheat is a cause of a type of schizophrenia and bipolar illness?

Cut out wheat and you’ll cut out mood swings.

(More info on nutrition and mental well being: End Emotional Eating, Sugar Cravings Taking Over Your Brain, and Natural Nutrition To Fight Depression And Anxiety)

Fix Ulcerative Colitis: The stomach pain, gut cramping, and diarrhea from ulcerative colitis can be eliminated by cutting out wheat. Ulcerative colitis sufferers are negative for the antibodies for celiac disease and almost all their symptoms come from eating grains.

Higher Libido For Both Men And Women: Cutting out grains will improve sex hormones and endothelial response. (Endothelial cells are what line the inside of blood vessels. Improving endothelial response will result in increased bloodflow to genitals)

Clearer Skin: Eliminating wheat helps clear up eczema, acne, rashes, itching, and bags under your eyes. Sounds good to me!

People with celiac disease can DIE from eating wheat. What else do you eat regularly that can make you so sick and do so much damage to your body?

Cut out grains today and stick with it for at least two weeks. You’ll be so amazed at how much better you feel that you’ll never want to go back.

Study Review: Yo Yo Dieting Doesn’t Lower Cancer Risk

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“Yo yo dieting” is the phrase used to describe the results of typical starvation diets: whatever weight you lose, you gain it (or more!) back as soon as you start eating normally.

A study from Colorado State University looked at yo yo diets – they called it Weight Cycling – and found that dropping a lot of weight and then gaining it back is no protection against cancer risk.

Here’s the citation if you want to read the study yourself:

Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2011 Nov;4(11):1736-42. Epub 2011 Oct 7.
Weight cycling and cancer: weighing the evidence of intermittent caloric restriction and cancer risk.
Thompson HJ, McTiernan A.
Cancer Prevention Laboratory, Colorado State University

The abstract concludes: “Collectively, the data argue against weight cycling and indicate that the objective of energy balance-based approaches to reduce cancer risk should be to strive to prevent adult weight gain and maintain body weight within the normal range defined by body mass index.”

I repeat, to reduce cancer risk strive to prevent weight gain!

It’s like the classic advice that the best way to lose weight is to not gain it in the first place.

So instead of crash dieting, the best way to protect your health is to focus on finding a healthy way to eat that will lower your body weight into a healthy range and allow you to keep it there, without yo-yoing up and down.

 

Alcohol And Weight Loss

Health, Weight Loss 1 Comment »

This time of the year we can’t avoid Holiday parties and their evil twin “Alcohol”.

If you know me, you know that I am a big advocate of a balanced lifestyle. I preach moderation NOT restriction.

So without further ado, let’s talk a bit about our friend “alcohol”…

Alcohol And Fat Loss – What You Need To Know

One question that often presents itself to many dieters who are trying to shed their extra pounds is whether alcohol can be included in their nutrition plan.

Alcohol is something that most adults do like to indulge in from time to time – some more often than others ;)

So what’s the real deal about alcohol and your progress? Is this something that you can make room for in your diet or is it something that you need to give the boot?

Alcohol And Calories

The very first thing that you need to take note of is how many calories are found in alcohol. Alcohol itself contains seven calories per gram, whereas both proteins and carbs contain just four. Fat comes in at the highest calorie value per gram at nine, which places alcohol right in the middle.

But what’s often worse is what the alcohol is mixed with. If you’re drinking your alcohol with high calorie or fat mixers such as cream, sodas, or sugary mixers you could easily end up with a drink that packs in well over 300 calories per serving.

If you take in three or four of these over the course of the night, it’s really going to add up.

Alcohol And Fat Metabolism

The second important thing that you need to note is the impact that alcohol consumption will have on your fat metabolism. The minute that you put alcohol into your body, all fat burning is going to come to a halt.

Your body views alcohol as a toxin and as such, as soon as it comes in, it’s going to do everything it can to rid itself of this alcohol. No further fat will be burned off until it’s out of your system.

Only then will you start burning up body fat again. So if you consume quite a bit of alcohol one night, you can expect to see your rate of fat loss drop off for a significant period of time.

Alcohol And Your Recovery

Finally, the last important thing to note about alcohol consumption is the impact it will have on your recovery rates.

In addition to putting the brakes on all fat burning taking place in the body, the second thing that alcohol is going to put the breaks on is protein synthesis.

This means that no further lean muscle tissue will be built up as long as that alcohol is in the body.

Again, you can imagine what this is going to do to your workout goals.

So as you can see, if you want to be truly successful with your fat loss and workout program, it’s best if you can forgo alcohol for the time being. One drink every now and then may not hurt all that much, but if you’re taking in any more than this, it will definitely hinder the progress that you see.

Study: Eat More Protein, Lose More Weight

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This is an interesting study: Increasing protein intake improves weight loss and glucose metabolism in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Researchers compared a high protein diet (more than 40% of calories) to a standard protein diet (15% of calories).

After 6 months, the high protein group lost more weight and more body fat, and lost more off of their waists.

And as a bonus, the higher protein group improved glucose metabolism, which will help with further weight loss.

The Take-Home Message is: Bump up your protein intake to lose more weight and lose more off your waist.

Here’s a link to the abstract: Increased Protein Intake For Women With PCOS

The 10 Eating Commandments Of Neanderthin

Nutrition, Strategies, Weight Loss No Comments »

One of my favorite paleo/primal eating books is: NeanderThin: Eat Like a Caveman to Achieve a Lean, Strong, Healthy Body by Ray Audette.

In Neanderthin you can find the Ten Commandments of Eating Like A Caveman.  They are…

Thou Shalt Eat:

  • Meats and Fish
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Berries

Thou Shalt Not Eat:

  • Grains
  • Beans
  • Potatoes
  • Dairy
  • Sugar

If you want a few ideas of what to eat and what to avoid, I’m going to list a few options from each of the “commandments.”

Meat and Fish:

Beef, veal, lamb, pork, venison, chicken, turkey, ostrich, duck, pheasant, quail, rabbit, buffalo, moose, elk, seal, bear, squid, octopus, goose, oysters, clams, mussels, lobster, crayfish, hlibut, cod, salmon, eel, trout, bass, carp, sardines, tuna, whitefish, orange roughie, all other wild fish


Fruits:

Apples, cherries, pears, peaches, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, bananas, avocados, plums, olives, figs, dates, mangoes, kiwi, star fruit, pineapple, plums, pomegranates, passion fruit, peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines, tangelos, citrons, nectarines, papaya.

(Note: If you’re eating paleo-style to lose weight, minimize your fruit intake)

Vegetables:

Lettuce, cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, rhubarb, cauliflower, flowers, broccoli, asparagus, parsley, spinach, celery, carrots, onions, mushrooms, greens, tea leaves, radish, arugula, leek,endive, dandelion, brussels sprouts, artichoke, mint, basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, fennel, onions, garlic, shallots, bay leaves, cloves, saffron, and any other part of a plant that is edible raw.

(Here are some of my favorites: http://woldfitness.com/2011/06/8-salad-boosting-greens/)

Nuts and Seeds:

Almonds, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, acorns, hickory, filberts, macadamia, flax, sesame, poppy, coriander, celery, anise, caraway, chervil, cumin, dill, fennel, mustard, and any others that are edible raw.

(Note: Peanuts and cashews aren’t on the list!)

Berries:

Grapes, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, acai, boysenberries, strawberries, currants, and any others that are edible raw.

And now the FORBIDDEN FOODS, bwahahahaha!

Grains:

Corn, wheat, barley, rye, rice, oats, millet, and all products made from them.

(For more about the problems with wheat, check out:

Grains SUCK!

How To Make Paper Mache In Your Gut)

Beans:

All varieties of hard beans, lima beans, green beans, wax beans, peas, peanuts, chocolate, soy, fava beans, and all products made from them.

(More on soy: Soy, My Nipples, And Your Health)

Potatoes:

All varieties of potatoes and yams, beets, taro, cassava (tapioca), turnips, and all products made from them.

Dairy:

Milk, cheese, yogurt, whey, butter, and all products made from them.

Sugar:

Fructose, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, lactose, corn syrup, molasses, and all products made from them.

(For further reading: 99 Ways Sugar Is Poisoning You)

I hope these lists get you started thinking in some new directions next time you hit the grocery store or farmer’s market!

Neanderthin is out of print, but you might be able to find a copy on Amazon:

The Easy Guide To Coming Out As Health-Conscious

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Sometimes it can be hard to “come out” to your friends and family about your desire to live fitter and cleaner.  It can be hard to explain and you might sound judgmental about their lifestyles.

Or… they might start judging you.  Smirks, jokes, raised eyebrows, you know the drill.

When you embark on a period of change in your life, you will probably be moving away from the norms of your social circle and they will definitely notice you acting differently.  This feels like it can cause a lot of problems.

See, most people stay the same and don’t really want to improve themselves.  These people will reinforce your bad habits and bad behaviors.  (It’s like being a drug addict and hanging around other drug addicts, they will reinforce your old behaviors and not encourage you to change)

Before this starts coming off like a low-rent self-help course, here are some easy ways to “come out” to your loved ones about your desire to be fitter and healthier:

1. Tell The Truth.  Be honest about why you’re embracing a healthier lifestyle.  Examples: You want to lose weight, take up a sport, live longer

2. Focus On The Positives.  Too many people see a healthy lifestyle as a “give up/lose” proposition.  Such as, you’re giving up on delicious treats, TV time, sleeping in.  Instead, focus on the positives that you’re going to gain.  Example: You’re not giving up your morning muffin, you’re gaining a body that doesn’t have a muffin top.

3. Give Example Of Why.  Health and fitness as an abstract concept can be hard to grasp.  Instead, give a concrete example like: I’m hitting the gym four days a week on my lunch break so I’ll have the energy to actually play with my kids on the weekend.

4. Make It About You.  Telling your fat friends “because I don’t want to look like you” is not the way to tell them you are starting something new.  Instead, focus on youYour body, your health, your life.

5. Don’t Preach.  Eliminate the words “you should” from your vocabulary.  Don’t suggest that your way or your goals are in any way superior to someone else’s.  If you make people feel attacked, they will be unlikely to try to understand or embrace your choices.  (I’ve written about this before, check it out: Critical Fitness – Don’t Be A Jackass)

6. Show, Don’t Tell.  “Be the change you want to see in the world”  The sight of you being healthier, happier, leaner, and more energetic is a more powerful argument than all the words you could use.  Live you example and when everyone sees how happy you are, they’ll start accepting your changes.  (If they don’t, it’s probably because they’re jealous)

7. Ask For Company.  Recruit someone to go for a walk with you or to cook a healthy meal together.  It will give them a first-hand look at how you’re adding health into your life.  Not only will it help them to better understand your choices, it may inspire them to do the same!  (Note: Don’t have them overstep, it will have the opposite reaction.  Taking your obese father-in-law to a hot yoga class will make him feel silly and excluded.  Use your best judgement!)

8. Laugh!  When someone says “that clapping sound you hear when you run is your thighs cheering you on” just smile and laugh.  Appreciate the lighter side of things.  (Besides, you’ll have the last laugh!)

9. Share.  When you feel like you can’t explain well enough why you’re giving up grains and dairy, or why you’re swinging a kettlebell instead of jogging, just find a relevant article or video and pass it along.

10. Don’t Assume.  You might think that everyone will be negative about your new lifestyle.  But it might come as a nice surprise how many others will share in your decision to be healthier.  You’ll probably hear something along the lines of “That’s great!  I wish I could do that too!”

It’s not easy to make a big change in your life, the imagined added stress of having to deal with others’s reaction to it can stop you before you even start.

But with a little bit of tact you can help your friends and family understand the new joys you are finding in your healthier lifestyle – and maybe even inspire them to try something new, too!

So, don’t be afraid to “come out” and get the party started!

Fish Oil Research: Omega-3 Fatty Acids In Health And Disease And In Growth And Development

Health, Nutrition, Study, Weight Loss No Comments »

Our diets today are incredibly deficient in omega-3 fatty acids compared with the diets we were evolved to eat.

Research suggests that we evolved eating a 1:1 ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s.  Today, even a very healthy diet will have a ratio of 20:1, with unhealthy diets up into the ranges of 100:1!

Thus, the magic of fish oil and other omega-3 supplements isn’t that they ADD something special – it’s that they bring our bodies back into balance so we can have the health, energy, vitality, and weight we were designed to have!

A review study from the Center For Genetics in Washington D.C. looked at supplementation of omega-3s and found some amazing results.  If you are at all interested in your health, you’ll want to take a look at this:

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease platelet aggregation, blood viscosity, and fibrinogen. This means there is less plaque build-up in your blood vessels, which lowers your risk for heart disease and heart attacks.

Omega-3 fatty acids lower LDL (bad) cholesterol – again supporting heart health and proper blood flow.

Omega-3 fatty acids lower triglycerides in both normal people and people with genetic triglyceride problems. (Check out this post: Drop Triglycerides 93.5% in 21 Days!)

There is either no effect on HDL (good) cholesterol or else there is a slight increase when supplementing with omega-3s, so you don’t have to worry about the added fats from fish oil supplements having a negative effect on your HDL.

From the study: “eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the form of fish oils along with antirheumatic drugs improve joint pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis; have a beneficial effect in patients with ulcerative colitis; and in combination with drugs, improve the skin lesions, lower the hyperlipidemia from etretinates, and decrease the toxicity of cyclosporin in patients with psoriasis.” Which basically says that fish oil will make almost everything better! :)

Omega-3s have also been shown to decrease the number and size of tumors (cancer fighting) as well as increasing time before tumor appearance (cancer prevention).

DHA is also essential for the normal functional development of the retina and brain, especially in premature infants.

And one final bit of advice from this study: “Because omega 3 fatty acids are essential in growth and development throughout the life cycle, they should be included in the diets of all humans.”

I personally take both fish oil and the more potent krill oil as my omega-3 fatty acid supplements. For more information on krill oil and a great video explaining EPA and DHA, check this out: Krill Oil Explained

Here is the study reference for my fellow research geeks:

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 54, 438-463.
Omega-3 fatty acids in health and disease and in growth and development
AP Simopoulos
Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health, Washington, DC.

4th Of July Eating Tips

Nutrition, Strategies, Weight Loss No Comments »

I hope you’re having a great holiday weekend!

The 4th of July is a time to celebrate this GREAT Country we live in with your family and friends.

Most everyone will be celebrating at picnics and parties where you’ll be surrounded by high fat foods, sugary drinks, and killer desserts.

Essentially… Foods laced in a ton of FAT and SUGAR! Not the best environment for losing weight and sticking to a healthy eating plan.

Here are a few eating tips that will help you cut down on junk, yet give you the satisfaction of not totally depriving yourself:

1. Skip the hot dog and have a grass-fed hamburger instead.

2. Grill a chicken breast with a NEW seasoning or marinade.

3. Skip the bread with your burger.

4. Skip potato chips and choose veggies with a guacamole dip.

5. Skip high sugar desserts and make a dish of Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries and blueberries, it will have a red, white, and blue theme!

6. Skip the deep-fried fries or mashed potatoes and make a blue Okinawan sweet potato dish.

7. Make your potato salad with mustard instead of mayo.

8. Make a fresh salad with a ton of veggies and put the dressing in there lightly – oil and vinegar or balsamic vinaigrette. NO cream dressings.

11. Use smaller plates! Have big portions of healthy items and smaller of not-so-healthy.

12. Don’t hang out near the food table!  Play with the kids instead :p

13. Drink light beer, red wine, and skip anything with soda! Make a pact with yourself to have a glass of water in between each drink.  (For holiday drinking tips, check out this post: Ways To Beat A Hangover)

14. Bring a healthy dish YOU like and don’t go hungry.

15. Eat some healthy snacks before the party so you don’t go crazy once everything is out.

16. Send leftovers home with everyone else!

Use these tips to help you stay on the weight loss track :)

I wish you and your family a Happy & Safe 4th of July!

10 Ways For Men To Lower Estrogen

Health, Strategies, Weight Loss 1 Comment »

Estrogen levels in men are a hot topic in the news right now.

Men with high estrogen levels are more likely to store their fat in their chest and lower abs.  Plus it leads to some nasty health issues and chronic diseases.

Testosterone levels in men are 15 to 50% lower compared to 50 years ago.  (This probably leads to the saying “You’re half the man your grandfather was!”)

I’ve put together a short list of estrogen-lowering tips for men, check ‘em out:

1.  Eat organic, local, pesticide-free produce.

Preferably grown yourself or from a farmer’s market.

Pesticides and herbicides have been shown to increase estrogen levels.

2.  Eat organic, local, hormone-free meats.

Most commercially raised livestock is pumped full of hormones and antibiotics.

These hormones and antibiotics will raise your estrogen levels, damage your body, and lead to heart disease and cancer.

To really maximize the health benefits of the meat you eat, get grass-fed beef.

3. Avoid commercial protein powders for the reasons in #2

If the animal has been pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, it stands to reason that the milk from the animal will be full of hormones and antibiotics.

If you drink whey protein from an animal full of chemicals, your estrogen levels will rise.

4.  Avoid eating and drinking out of plastic

Plastic has been linked to increased estrogen levels.  Keep your food in glass containers and drink out of stainless steel bottles.

The worst plastic for you is type #7 (it has a little 7 on the bottom).  Avoid this plastic at all costs, don’t even use shampoo from type 7 bottles.

5.  Don’t eat “modern foods”

Almost everything that comes from a box, bag, or bottle is bad for you.

Follow the paleo nutrition rule: only eat what a caveman would eat.

All the chemicals and preservatives in modern manufactured foods will raise estrogen levels, make you fat, and lead to health problems.

6.  Eat tons of cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower have been shown to reduce estrogen levels.  A side bonus is that they are effective cancer fighters.

Tired of broccoli?  Here’s a list of other cruciferous vegetables:

  • horseradish
  • land cress
  • ethiopian mustard
  • kale
  • collard greens
  • Chinese broccoli
  • cabbage
  • brussels sprout
  • kohlrabi
  • broccoli
  • broccoflower
  • broccoli romanesco
  • cauliflower
  • wild broccoli
  • bok choy
  • komatsuna
  • mizuna Brassica
  • Rapini (broccoli rabe)
  • flowering cabbage
  • chinese cabbage
  • napa cabbage
  • turnip root
  • turnip greens
  • rutabaga
  • siberian kale
  • canola/rapeseed
  • wrapped heart mustard cabbage
  • mustard greens
  • tatsoi
  • arugula
  • garden cress
  • watercress
  • radish
  • daikon
  • wasabi

7.  Avoid alcohol

Alcohol is highly estrogenic.  A drink a night or a few drinks on the weekend will boost your estrogen levels and keep fat on your body.  Which leads to…

8.  Lose excess body fat

Most people forget that fat has an impact on hormone levels.

It is essential for men to get their bodyfat below 15% for health and to combat estrogen levels.

No booze, no junk food, cut the carbs, and do metabolism boosting workouts at least 3 times a week.

9.  Drink purified water

Water quality is getting worse and worse as it is recycled and chemicals are added.

Get a high quality water filter and use it for all of your drinking water, coffee, tea, and ice cubes.

For bonus estrogen fighting points, get a filter for your shower head as well.

10.  Get more sleep

Lack of sleep will cause your estrogen levels to rise.  Make a deal with yourself that you’ll be in bed early enough to get a full night’s sleep.

Darken your bedroom, avoid TV or computer an hour before bed, and don’t drink caffeine late in the day.

That’s it, 10 simple ways for you to lower your estrogen levels.

With low estrogen levels, not only will you be healthier and leaner, it will be easier for you to add muscle, recover from injuries, and have a great body.

 

 

 

Do You Use Food As A Reward? (How To Break The Cycle)

Nutrition, Weight Loss No Comments »

Do you ever hear things like this?

“Comfort food”

“Special treats”

“Reward meals”

What exactly is “comfort food”?

According to Wikipedia: “food consumed to improve emotional status, whether to relieve negative psychological affect or to increase positive feeling.

Comfort foods “improve emotional status” by turning on the reward centers of your brain.  You feel more like a winner after you eat your comfort food.

And, as Charlie Sheen will tell you, winning is addictive.

But the problem with comfort foods is that they lead to comfort bodies:

What if there was a way to turn OFF the food reward centers of your brain?

A way to turn down the need for the emotional lift that comfort foods can bring?

Turns out you can turn down your “neural response to visual food stimuli”:

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 May 5. [Epub ahead of print]
Neural Responses to Visual Food Stimuli After a Normal vs. Higher Protein Breakfast in Breakfast-Skipping Teens: A Pilot fMRI Study.
Leidy HJ, Lepping RJ, Savage CR, Harris CT.

This study used brain imaging scans to see if breakfast would alter brain activity in overweight girls and to see if additional protein would produce more alterations.

It did.

The group that ate a higher protein breakfast (50 grams of protein) had a much reduced food motivation and reward response.

What does this mean for you?

Eating a higher protein breakfast will help you stop viewing food as a reward.

Now, fifty grams of protein may seem like a huge amount (especially if you’ve been skipping breakfast)…

So I want to give you a simple plan that WORKS: It’s called 30/30/300.

  • Eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up
  • Eat at least 30 grams of protein in your breakfast
  • Eat at least 300 Calories at breakfast

Simple :)

Following the 30/30/300 plan will raise your metabolism, help you lose weight, and cut down on comfort food cravings.

For more info on food cravings and brain chemistry, check out these other articles from Wold Fitness:

Sugar Cravings Taking Over Your Brain

Are You An Emotional Eater? (Quiz)

End Emotional Eating