3 Myths That Keep Us Fat

MP900409011-scaleMyth # 1 – You must count calories to lose weight

This myth has been busted by science time and time again. Here are the results from one study:

Over 12 weeks people on a low-carb diet lost 223% more weight than people on a low-fat diet.

Here’s the kicker… The low-carb group ate 63% MORE CALORIES than the low-fat group!

 

Myth # 2 – Exercise is the best way to lose weight

When it comes to losing weight, diet trumps exercise every time.

 

Now does this mean you shouldn’t exercise? Hardly. There are a zillion reasons to exercise,
starting with heart health and extending to a
reduction in the risk for diabetes, depression and
even cancer.

 

But if you’re looking to those 20 minutes three
times a week on the treadmill to help shed
pounds, forget about it. It’s not going to happen.

 

Myth # 3 – Fat makes you fat

Walter Willet, MD, PhD, is the head of nutrition
at the Harvard School of Public Health and
arguably the most respected nutrition researcher
in the country. Here’s what he says…

“The relationship of fat intake to health is one of the areas that we have examined in detail over the last 20 years. We have found virtually no relationship between the percentage of calories from fat and any important health outcome.”

Did you hear that? Percentage of fat in the diet is related to… exactly nothing. Not the risk for diabetes, not the risk for cancer, not the risk for heart disease and not even the risk for obesity!

5 Ways to Eat Healthy at Work

Healthy-Diet5 Ways to Eat Healthy at Work

1. Make it the Night Before

If you’re like many who have limited time in the morning and you know you’ll be rushing out the door-make it the night before. Throw a salad together with a form of protein, pack some nuts and or fruit and you’ve got a quick, healthy meal.

2. Take Leftovers

Don’t want to make anything at all? Just cook enough dinner so you have leftovers for lunch the next day. Put them in a Tupperware container after you’ve eaten at night and you’re ready to go.

3. Use a Blender

If your stuck in the office having a blender around comes in handy. In a pinch you can whip up a great smoothie simply by using whey protein, fruit and water or juice. It’s easy, quick and nutritious for when you’re short on time.

4. Keep Canned Tuna and Salmon at Work

If you’ve got limited choices and you know there is nothing else good around, go to protein from tuna or salmon. Make sure the salmon is wild, keep some mayo or mustard at work and have with crackers and or fruit. Tuna and salmon are 100% protein, will support balanced blood sugar levels and are easy to make.

5. Keep Temptations Away

So many office spaces these days are filled with bagels, chocolates, pretzels or other sugar-laden temptations that someone brought to work to share. The simple solution is to move these treats away from you so you can’t smell them or see them. The saying “out of sight, out of mind” is a cliché for a very good reason: It’s true!  Your number one goal is to minimize the number of temptations that surround you, as that’s the easiest way to guarantee that you won’t get off track.

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

Roasted Root Veggies with Turkey

 

 Ingredients

 

Instructions

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until well combined. Place in a baking dish and cover. Bake for 20 minutes, then bake uncovered for another 10 minutes to crisp vegetables.

 

Raw Kale Salad

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place the kale in a large salad bowl and add the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, garlic, and salt. Massage the mixture with your hands for 1–2 minutes to soften the kale.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.
  3. Allow the salad to rest and soften for about 15 minutes before serving. Kale salad is best if eaten the same day but can be stored overnight in the refrigerator.

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Slivered Almonds

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the almonds on a baking tray and bake for 6–7 minutes, until lightly toasted.
  2. In a sauté pan, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the Swiss chard and salt and continue to sauté until the chard is tender. Add the almonds and serve.

Chocolate Drizzled Winter Fruit

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Wash and pat dry pears.
  2. Quarter each pear
  3. Melt chocolate in a double boiler
  4. Take a spoon and lightly drizzle melted chocolate over each slice.
  5. Refrigerate for later or serve immediately

 From The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook

 

7 Weight Loss “AHA’S”

1. Attempting to lose weight by eating less and exercising more only works well if your metabolism is healthy and you have good adrenal function.

2. If you have a damaged metabolism (which most have from constant dieting) then caloric restriction and excessive cardiovascular exercise can lead to weight loss resistance.

3. High cortisol leads to problems with fat burning and low cortisol compounds the problem. Cortisol needs to be balanced in order to burn fat at an optimal level.

4. Missing even a few nights of good sleep can cause you to gain weight-lack of sleep changes the biology of fat cells. This is a great example of why it’s not all about calories. Even those eating a good diet but struggle with sleep and only get 5-6 hours will have a tougher time losing weight.

5. Women who crave sweets, chocolate and carbs just before their period are usually in adrenal exhaustion. When you crave it’s also a sign your blood sugar levels are not balanced. If you’re not balancing your blood sugar throughout the day you’ll have a harder time losing weight. Eating protein with each meal can help to diminish cravings.

6. High cortisol levels lower serotonin the feel good neurotransmitter and leads to over eating of carbs which can be reversed with amino acid therapy or adrenal programs. Low serotonin levels also impacts mood and how well you sleep.

7. Food intolerances play a major role in why many struggle to lose weight. Gluten and dairy are the top two culprits that cause gi issues like bloating, gas and inflammation in the gut. This leads to poor digestion and metabolic function.

 

New Drug for Hot Flashes

24 million women suffer from hot flashes and now there will be a new drug offered-should you take it? The drug called Brisdelle will be available in November 2013, is a non-hormonal medicine similar to Paxil. In clinical trials women having 10 hot flashes per day dropped to 4 after taking the drug for 12 weeks. Sounds pretty good right? But those taking a placebo dropped from 10 to an average of 5-6 per day.

Dr. Iffath Hoskins states the drug is known to have increased suicidal tendencies in women along with thinning of bones.

There are many other options for women I feel are much better than resorting to a drug with possible side effects. Working on dietary intake, exercise and stress management all support hormone balance. When more is needed bio-identical hormones are an excellent option. There are also many herbal products that can offer relief including maca, black cohosh and red clover.

As with many health conditions the question arises-do you want to get to the root cause of the problem or simply take a pill to mask symptoms? Addressing the root cause of hormone imbalances requires work and attention to what you’re putting in your body especially foods and liquids that create heat in the body such as alcohol and caffeine. Looking at stress levels and adrenal gland function is also related to hormone imbalances. Those with altered cortisol levels disrupt progesterone output and the progesterone-estrogen balance needed.

For more information attend Healthy Hormones Naturally on Aug. 7. Details on the classes tab.

 

Health Care VS Sick Care

If you’re a regular reader of this newsletter/blog you’ll know I don’t often talk about the health care system in this country. I’m usually giving tips on how to stay healthy, maintain your weight, etc. However after watching a program on CNN on healthcare and thinking about the extremely high premiums I pay as a small business owner, I’m writing about it. There are many opinions when it comes to health care but it’s clear we are living in a time where our health care system is actually a sick care system and it affects all of us. As Dr. Andrew Weil stated “lip service is given to preventative care practices.”  Yes we have made good advances in medicine that keep people alive longer but actually teaching and educating those on staying well and preventing disease is lacking.

A big part of the problem is how the system is set up. Dr. Don Berwick said “if we can begin to change from paying for volume and how much you do, to paying for outcomes-how well you do, how well the patient does-that will be a game changer.” “People would see now the money is in health and well-being and vitality, not in more, more, more.” It seems hard to believe but in some cultures years ago, you actually paid your doctor to keep you well, not when you were sick.

Years ago when I lived in Seattle I used to shop at Safeway grocery stores. Little did I know they are the model for controlling health care costs. At a time when health care costs have risen 30%, Safeway has kept costs at bay, without any rise at all. How did they do it? They provide financial incentive to stay healthy.

* Have a BMI under 30-save money

* Have your blood pressure under control without medication-save money

* Have your cholesterol under control without medication-save money

* Commit to a regular exercise program-save money

* Don’t smoke-save money

They’ve also created an environment which promotes health and well-being. As their CEO stated “you can’t talk about being healthy and not provide high quality food for employees.”

The statistics today are staggering. The amount of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer in this country is epidemic and some leaders feel it will crush our health care system. The latest report is that half of all Americans will be diabetic/pre-diabetic in the next 10 years-half!

Practitioners like myself that practice functional medicine which is looking at the root cause of a problem, not suppressing symptoms and looking at lifestyle factors know that prevention is where it’s at. Health care will never truly be health care until more focus is given to preventative practices-it will be what it is today-sick care.

Cleansing and Weight Loss

Cleansing and Weight Loss

You’ve likely heard of many types of cleansing programs and wonder are they good for me and will it help me lose weight. Cleansing and detoxification is a confusing subject for many and with good reason. You can look online and in stores and find many different ways to cleanse. Are they all good, can they be harmful, what will I eat, will I be in the bathroom all day? These are the typical questions that come to mind for many.

Cleansing has been around for centuries and is utilized by many cultures as a way to help strengthen the body and prevent chronic conditions. How? By removing toxins from the body and assisting organs that are often over-burdened. The goal of detoxification is to reduce toxicity which has been linked to chronic diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The body removes toxins through 5 major channels which include:

Liver, Lungs, Kidneys, Colon and Skin

A carefully designed program takes into account all of these major channels and gently assists in removing toxins thereby decreasing the toxic load of the body. When you decrease the toxin load you will often feel better and see a reduction in many kinds of symptoms including headaches, joint pain, fatigue, stubborn weight loss and more.

Cleansing and Weight Loss

How can cleansing the body help to lose weight? First understand that on a cleanse you remove all allergenic foods such as gluten and dairy. There is a connection between food intolerances and weight gain and when you remove foods that you are intolerant to you will often lose weight. Many are eating foods they do not realize they are intolerant to because they do not provoke immediate and severe reactions. Secondly when you remove these foods you are are decreasing inflammation in your body. One very well known doctor states an inflamed body is an overweight body. Simply by reducing inflammation you can effectively lose weight. Some of you may have heard of JJ Virgin and her book called The Virgin Diet. She points out that by removing 7 foods (which are allergenic) you can lose 7 pounds in 7 days. More and more research is pointing to allergenic foods and inflammation as to why so many struggle to take the pounds off.

Science is now also showing a link between toxicity and weight gain. Toxins affect our ability to lose weight because we store most of the toxins in our body in our fat. This affects metabolism and makes it harder to lose weight. Consider this study: In a 2003 researchers reviewed 63 scientific studies on the link between chemical toxins and obesity, and what they concluded was that pesticides and PCBs (from industrial pollution) are released from the fat tissue, where they are typically stored and poison our metabolism, preventing us from losing weight. This means people with a higher BMI store more toxins because they generally have more fat.

In another study the Environmental Protection Agency evaluated the levels of various toxins in fat tissue and found five of the most toxic chemicals humans have created were in 100% of all samples.

It’s clear toxicity is a factor that affects metabolism and weight loss. It is one reason many struggle to lose in spite of a good diet. It is also something everyone can benefit from even if you’re not trying to lose weight.

Click on the testimonials tab to read what others say.

5 Keys To Successful Weight Loss

Key # 1 – Regulate Your Insulin Levels

Insulin is your body’s fat storing hormone and when you eat high glycemic carbs like pasta, rice, potatoes, breads, cereals and sugar you are raising insulin levels. Too much insulin locks the doors to the fat cells, making fat burning next-to-impossible.You can regulate insulin by eliminating sugar and processed carbs, and eating quality protein, fat and vegetables.

Key # 2 – Lower Your Cortisol Levels

Cortisol is a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands. Those that are in a state of chronic stress will have elevated cortisol levels which make losing weight very difficult. High cortisol levels cause abdominal weight gain, cravings, mood imbalances and break down muscle tissue. Manage stress with deep breathing, yoga, exercise, adrenal supplements and proper sleep. Not sure what you’re cortisol levels are, get tested with a simple saliva test.

Key # 3 – DON’T Eat After 8 PM!

Most have heard of this before. Eating later at night affects digestion and metabolism as the body is trying to wind down and prepare for sleep. Satchin Panda, associate professor in the Regulatory Biology Lab at the Salk Institute told Fox News to burn the most fat try going 12 hours without food, like between 8 PM and 8 AM. “That should give your body enough time to burn all of the stored glycogen plus some fat every night”, says Panda. 

Key # 4 – Limit Snacks, Don’t Graze All Day

You’ve probably heard that it’s best to eat like a grazer, snacking every two to three hours, eating the equivalent of five to six “mini-meals” a day. The problem with this is that it affects insulin levels. “If you snack just as your insulin blood level is decreasing, it will promptly rise, even if you have a good snack such as fruit and nuts”, says Eduardo Castro, MD, a specialist in fat loss resistance syndrome (FLRS). Only snack if absolutely neccessary to get you to the next meal. Instead try drinking water or doing a stress management technique.

Key # 5 – Do a Detox

There’s been increasing concern in the health press about the ability of chemicals in the environment to trigger weight gain. Chemicals like DDE creates extra fat cells even when a baby is still in the womb. Bisphenol-A (BPA), phthalates (from plastics) atrazine (a pesticide), tributyltin (a fungicide) and thiocyanate (found in cigarette smoke) all have been implicated in fat gain. Doing a detox is a great way to lose weight and improve your overall health at the same time.

Controlling Cholesterol Naturally

Much has been said and written about cholesterol over the years. Lipitor and other statin drugs continue to be one of the top selling pharmaceuticals year after year.  Cholesterol is just one risk factor for heart disease but it gets the most attention. Another important number to know is your CRP level-C-Reactive Protein. This is a measure of inflammation in your body and it is a better predictor of a heart attack than cholesterol levels. It’s important to note just as many people die of a heart attack with low cholesterol levels as do those with high levels. Homocysteine levels are also important to know and often not tested. Those with high homocysteine levels need folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 to reduce the level. It’s not all about cholesterol but if you’re looking to control cholesterol levels naturally there are many choices for you below.

Natural Support for Controlling Cholesterol

* Phytosterols-plant sterolshelp to reduce LDL cholesterol and are able to block intestinal absorption of dietary cholesterol. Studies have shown when taken with omega-3 fatty acids, the combination was shown to reduce plasma total cholesterol by 13.3%, decrease LDL by 12.5% and increase HDLs by 8.6%.

* Soluble fiber-often a forgotten player, soluble fiber has been shown to be very beneficial in lowering cholesterol by binding to cholesterol and bile acids in the intestine. Good forms include oat fiber, prunes, psyllium seeds, broccoli, carrots, lentils, peas and beans. Shoot for 25-30 grams a day (soluble and insoluble fiber combined)

* Red yeast rice-this is rice fermented by the yeast Monascus purpureus. It has been shown to be effective for those with cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol levels. Red yeast rice extracts have been also shown to be well tolerated and do not cause side effects often found with stain drugs even though there are small amounts of naturally occuring statins found in it. It is best to include 100mg of CoQ10 when taking it.

* Niacin-is a member of the B complex family and shown to be very effective in lowering cholesterol. Niacin does more than just lower cholesterol levels, it also helps to raise HDL levels. It works by preventing certain enzymes involved in inhibiting HDLs from being removed by the liver. Liver enzymes need to be monitored if using high doses (2-3 grams daily)


Weight Loss Success

It’s late December and you know what that means. Millions will once again make resolutions and attempt to lose weight. What weight loss mantra will you follow this year? Does this sound familiar to you? All you have to do in order to lose weight is create a calorie deficit-burn more through exercise and consume less from food. Sounds so simple doesn’t it. Did you know that science is now showing there is much more to weight loss than simply playing the calorie game? What else affects your weight loss? Lots! Take a look at the following which all impact your ability to lose weight and keep it off:

* Sleep patterns-scientific research now shows those who have trouble sleeping, especially those who only sleep 5 hours per night have more trouble losing weight than those who get sufficient sleep.

* High stress levels-the stress hormone cortisol is proven to cause weight in the mid section. Cortisol also causes the break down of muscle tissue which is exactly what you don’t want and leads to cravings and poor moods.

* Food intolerances-these cause inflammation in your system and cause poor digestive function leading to bloating, gas and more. Gluten is the number one culprit in this category.

* Toxicity-not being able to clear toxins from your system also impacts your metabolism and how well you will lose weight. Toxins lodge in fat cells and slow down your metabolism by as much as 30%. These toxins are considered endocrine disruptors which play havoc with weight loss including thyroid function.

* Hormone imbalances-this includes insulin which is a fat storage hormone as well as grhelin- a stomach emptying hormone which fiber suppresses, thyroid hormones and estrogen and progesterone levels. In short, weight loss becomes much more difficult with unbalanced hormones.

It’s been proven that if we take a group of people and they eat the same thing, they exercise the same way-some will lose weight, some will stay the same, and some will gain weight. So you see simply looking at calories is just one piece of the puzzle.

My approach to weight loss is to never count calories, points or weigh food. Teaching whole foods with high nutrient density, getting rid of processed foods and looking at metabolic disruptors which stall weight loss are some of the major factors I teach along with education on the most efficient ways to exercise and the importance of putting on lean muscle tissue.

The weight loss world is filled with gimmicks, so called quick fixes and downright lies. The Crossroads To Health approach is backed by science, personalized to you as an individual and works not only on weight loss but also on improving your overall health.

Make 2013 your year to lose weight and keep it off for good!