Five Mindless, Harmful Eating Habits to Avoid in 2016

Once upon a time, the word “diet” was only associated with weight loss. Thank goodness, times are finally changing. In recent years, science and technology have taught us so much about all of the ways that nutrition and specific foods can alter the entire function and overall health of our human systems. We now know that the foods we choose to put in our bodies can positively or negatively affect so much more than just our weight, metabolism or cholesterol levels. We are quickly learning that we must view diet as an individualized, life-long health plan, rather than just a means to lose weight.

Of course most of us have experienced the feeling of wanting to shed a few extra pounds, especially after the holiday season. Unfortunately, many look to a quick, fix-it diet, creating a shock to their bodies. This often results in putting the lost weight right back on, confusing the healthy metabolic functionality of the body. To avoid this so-called yo-yo dieting and negative consequences to our health, let’s make 2016 the year to focus on a proper long-term nutritional diet that is right for our individual bodies by avoiding the following harmful eating habits that so many of us fall victim to:

Skipping breakfast – Talk about mindless! The mornings can be chaotic, whether we’re trying to get more zzz’s or we have children to feed, dress and get off to school before embarking on our adult responsibilities. Forgetting our own health needs can be very easy and skipping the most important meal of the day is a common one. Why is breakfast so important? This is the meal that ignites our energy, gets our metabolism going and kick starts our brainpower. Without it we can feel weak, tired and sluggish, all the while depriving our bodies of vital nutrients.

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source: http://themindfulcenter.com

Eating out of the package – We live in a packaged food society. Rushed eating or eating on the go can mean skipping the actual purpose of a meal, eating real food. Eating fake processed, packaged food heightens the possibility of eating more than one serving or consuming foods we didn’t plan on eating. Even if we are snacking on something healthy, like mixed nuts, eating more than a recommended serving can translate to consuming too many calories or too much fat (even if it’s the good kind). The best options for snacks and meals are to choose foods that actually exist in nature with minimal processing. Here’s a grocery store secret: Shop mostly around the perimeter of the grocery stores where all the fresh food is, instead of in the middle where all the packaged stuff is.

Eating foods that make you feel bad – Because our bodies all work differently, we each have different sensitivities to certain foods. Some foods make people gassy, some cause acid indigestion, some can lead to acne breakouts. While there are easy to identify reactions caused by certain foods, others can be harder to identify and can often lead to more serious reactions or damage to our bodies. Scientific research over the last few years has shown that foods such as gluten-containing grains, dairy and genetically modified foods (GMOs) to be among a few that are negatively affecting masses of people. In fact, studies have proven that there are dietary-related triggers of autoimmune reactivity, resulting in neurological, behavioral, dermatological, and gastrointestinal symptoms that can lead to autoimmune disorders.

Rather than continuing to eat foods that your body reacts poorly to, get to the root of the problem by learning what your specific triggers are. There are tests that can identify these triggers and reactivity to foods that your body should not consume. Cyrex LaboratoriesArray 3 accurately identifies gluten reactivity, measuring antibody production against nine wheat proteins and peptides and three essential enzymes. Cyrex Laboratories’ Array 10, a unique, revolutionary panel, measures reactivity to 180 food antigens in the cooked, raw, modified and processed form and monitors the effectiveness of customized dietary protocols. If you suspect you may have sensitivities or reactivity to foods, or you’d like to learn more about Cyrex’s Arrays 3 and 10, all you need to do is consult your doctor about how to get tested.

Too much dining out – Even when we think we are ordering smart, there are often hidden ingredients that can be counterproductive to our overall health. For example, you can order vegetable soup without really knowing what kind of flavor enhancers they included or how much salt was added. Don’t lose sight of the fact that restaurants want their food to taste good and keep customers coming back for more, so they tend to pack in excess amounts of sugar, salt, fat, and even synthetic coloring and flavoring agents. Cooking at home ensures you have a more complete understanding of what you’re putting in your body.

Buying no-no foods – Everybody knows that you should never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. That’s a recipe for disaster. Everything sounds good when we are hungry, thus making us more inclined to buy things that we know we shouldn’t. Out of sight, out of mind. If it’s not available to us, we can’t eat it. Try grocery shopping on a full stomach and focus on buying foods that are good for you, on your shopping list, and that you need—rather than the more indulgent items that catch your eye while you shop.

Today’s busy lifestyle makes it very easy to fall into a pattern of mindless eating habits that can be harmful to our health. Awaken yourself to your patterns and how your body might be reacting to different foods and eating habits. Let 2016 be the beginning of a healthier you!

About the Author

By Dr. Chad Larson, NMD, DC, CCN, CSCS, Advisor and Consultant on Clinical Consulting Team for Cyrex Laboratories.

Dr. Larson holds a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Southern California University of Health Sciences. He is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He particularly pursues advanced developments in the fields of endocrinology, orthopedics, sports medicine, and environmentally-induced chronic disease.

Countdown to the Marathon: A Runner’s Diet

Source: http://mashable.com
Source: http://mashable.com

COUNTDOWN TO THE MARATHON

Running a marathon, Like Boston or NYC which is coming up on November 1st, takes months of physical (and mental) preparation.

Hydration and nutrition are 2 critical pieces to ensure a successful and healthy race.

The week before…

  • In the week leading up to the race your diet shouldn’t change too much. As your training is likely decreasing you should continue to have a standard well-balanced diet with lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats.

A few days before…

  • In the days leading up, hydration should be the main focus. In order to ensure adequate hydration on the day of you should be drinking plenty of fluids (64-80 oz., or more depending on your workouts) consistently every day in the week leading up.

The night before…

  • The night before a race is a critical time to maximize your glycogen stores, which is the energy stored in your muscles. You’re going to want to plan on eating a high carb meal the night prior to ensure proper glycogen build up. You also want to avoid high fat consumption the night before. Our bodies can burn fat to use as energy however it is a less efficient fuel source. Studies show a high fat diet can decrease overall performance and decrease time to fatigue – meaning you hit the wall sooner.  Keep the high carb meal healthy with fresh marinara sauce, pasta and bread and a couple lean turkey meatballs.

30 minutes before… 

  • Immediately before the race (about 30 minutes) plan to have a small meal with simple carbs (low fiber) and protein. The simple carbs will break down quickly acting as an immediate fuel source to give you that burst of energy before tapping into your glycogen stores. Eating a moderate amount of protein (15-20 grams) prior to the race has been shown to increase performance and speed up recovery – win, win! Some of my go to recommendations are PBJ on English muffin, banana and Greek yogurt, fruit and granola bar (<4 grams fiber), or protein shake (10-15 grams protein) blended with fruit.

After you’ve completed the marathon…

  • For the best recovery post-race, load up on protein as soon as possible. I always encourage clients to have a protein bar nearby to consume after crossing the finish line. Lean protein and hydration is going to be needed to rebuild your muscle fibers in the days to come! Stay hydrated with at least 64-80 oz. of fluids daily and incorporate lean protein at each meal after the race.

unnamed-1Amanda Foti, MS, RD, CDN

Senior Dietitian

Amanda is a Registered Dietitian and a New York State Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist with a Masters in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She has broad experience managing disease with nutrition and lifestyle in the clinical setting, and extensive training in cognitive behavioral therapy in relation to emotional eating and weigh management counseling. Amanda currently works one-on-one with clients developing personalized weight management plans that address nutrition, activity and lifestyle.

The Negative Health Effects of Skipping a Single Meal

Less is more, right? Yes, if you’re talking about miles per hour when you get pulled over for speeding, but not in the realm of eating. Whether you’re a celebrity-diet fan or experienced a night of too much booze and Burger King, chances are you’ve heard of the term fasting.  Fasting may seem appealing when you’re in a crunch or trying to undo some serious damage, but think twice before you consider it.

plateHere’s what happens to your body when you skip a meal (yes, just a meal!):

Digestion Disruption: Our bodies are used to having food to digest. When you stop eating for a day or a meal, your body’s digestive system gets thrown off. If you aren’t eating, your body has nothing to digest. Help your stomach do its job- eat regularly!

Cortisol Chaos: By eating throughout the day, you can help keep your blood sugar in check. Skipping meals releases cortisol. Increased cortisol is closely tied to increased abdominal fat.

Mental Imbalance: Humans need food to survive, that’s not rocket science. When you skip meals, you can slip into a thought process where you convince yourself you don’t need food. Slippery-sloping into a thought process where food becomes a guilt-trip is a big no-no.

Onset of Overeating: Ever skip breakfast and then realize it’s halfway through the afternoon and you have yet to eat? What likely happens as a result? A huge dinner! Our bodies function best when fed in reasonably moderate amounts at spaced intervals. So slamming a huge dinner not only confuses your body but will likely result in an overconsumption of calories.

Fat Foraging: When we skip meals or don’t eat, our bodies go into “freak-out-mode”, aka starvation. Our bodies start to think we won’t be getting food. As a result, your metabolic rate is reduced for the time being.

If these are the repercussions of just skipping meals, imagine the scale of consequences when applying this to a day-after-day fast. The key to lasting weight loss results is investment of time and effort. Fasting may lead to temporary weight loss, but can result in long term damage. Stick to the old-fashioned hard work and healthy eating and you and your body will be much happier.

This article was authored by Michael Volkin, inventor of Strength Stack 52 bodyweight exercise cards and the all new Weight Loss Stack 52, the most fun and unique way to lose weight. Now in Australia

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