Fat and Fit?!

People are willing to believe without a doubt that our height is determined by genetics. So why are we not able to believe the same thing about weight? Many studies have come out to prove that weight is just as much genetically determined as our height. It is sad because from a very young age even doctors try to fit everyone into a chart of what is healthy, but they leave out that everyone is different and what is healthy for you might bit be healthy for me.

The Body Mass Index (BMI) should not be a standard because not everyone fits into that normal range. There are many people out there today that are considered overweight and even obese that are much healthier being at a higher weight, for some, fitting into that standard isn’t even possible because of their genetics. So why is there such a huge focus on BMI and where should the focus be? The focus should be on FITNESS! If you stay active and are fit, then your body weight shouldn’t matter. There is this notion out there that if you are obese than you are at greater risk of developing heart problems, diabetes, and even death. Well the truth of the matter is, there are more deaths from people suffering from anorexia and bulimia than those suffering from obesity. It has been proven that using fitness and lifestyle is a better way to judge a persons health. Not everyone is capable of being a size 4 without sufficient deficits in nutrition. We need to stop focusing on the weight itself and start focusing on healthy active lifestyles.

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Appetite VS. Hunger

There is a very significant difference between appetite and hunger and if people were able to tell the difference, we’d be a lot better off and we would only eat when we were actually hungry.

APPETITE: psychological desire to eat certain foods. Our appetite changes depending on the food environment and the eating environment.

FOOD ENVIRONMENT: The way food speaks to you with its size, shape, smell, taste, variety, packaging, and preservation.  All of these  play key roles in the amount and the types of food we consume. If something smells good we consume more or if we have a variety of choices we tend to eat more (on average people will eat more jelly beans out of a bowl if they are multi-colored then they would from a bowl of single colored jelly beans!). These food environments play with our wants and desires for foods making us eat more, and usually it’s not just extra carrots.

EATING ENVIRONMENT: How much we eat and how fast we eat based on our mood, expectations, money, light/sound, comfort, social setting, and proximity play a role in how much and what kinds of foods we eat. If you go to an expensive restaurant you eat course after course, they expect you to sit down and be eating continuously through the night, compared to fast food where they try to get you in, get you out, and replace where you were sitting with a new body, making you eat faster, and possibly consuming more. Proximity is a good way to judge appetite, if you crave something but it is out of your way, it’s your appetite talking, if you can’t go without something because your starving, it’s hunger.

HUNGER: Physiological sensation that prompts us to eat (Triggered by the hypothalamus in the brain).

When we are truly hungry we will practically eat anything we can get our hands on. The hunger hormone ghrelin does exactly what you think, it produces the feeling of hunger making you want to eat, ghrelin response a lot to meal schedules and goes up before meals and goes down after meals. After your meal leptin, the appetite-suppressing hormone kicks in, sending signals to the brain telling you that you have eaten enough.

If you follow your simple hunger cues and try to eat slower to give your hormones time to send signals from your stomach to your brain, you will eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.

Truths and Facts about Alcohol, it is not all bad

Although alcohol is looked at in a negative light in regards to health, it does have some beneficial qualities to it and it is not always such a bad thing. Always remember for everything, MODERATION IS KEY! So I wanted to clarify some of the positive and negative sides that alcohol has, to help clear up some confusion.

Alcohol undergoes absolutely no digestion before it is absorbed because it is passively diffused, making it the most efficiently absorbed substance that we put into are mouth. Once we drink it, an enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase, helps to neutralize the alcohol in our body.  Our liver produces enough alcohol dehyrogenase to neutralize about 1 drink per hour. But women, keep this in mind. YOU CAN’T KEEP UP WITH A MAN WHEN IT COMES TO DRINKING. Genetically, men produce more alcohol dehydrogenase than women do making it easier for them to neutralize alcohol’s effects. If we drink more than 1 drink per hour, alcohol enters the blood quicker from the small intestines, giving us the feeling of being drunk.

Alcohol also does have some beneficial qualities to it. The graph of cardiovascular disease compared to drinks per day looks like a j-curve. If you consume no alcohol per day you have a higher risk of getting cardiovascular disease than someone who has 1-2 drinks per day (1 for women, 2 for men). After 2 drinks per day however, your risk continues to increase. So having a drink after school or work won’t necessarily harm you. Now, this does not mean if you don’t drink all week and you can consume 14 drinks on one weekend, it is on a per day basic! Many people get confused on what constitutes a drink. So what is “a drink”? It is 5oz. of wine, 12oz. of beer, 10oz. of wine cooler, 1½oz. of hard liquor. And any one of these is as good everyday and another one. It is always said that it is only red wine and that is just not true. Yes, red wine is good for you because it also contains antioxidants, but in regards to cardiovascular disease it does not matter what your preference is.

The downside of alcohol is that it is a toxin and calories from alcohol immediately get converted to fat. And if it is consumed in excess not only can it cause weight gain, it can cause liver damage, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and an energy imbalance. So what is the right way to do this?

alcohol

Safe drinking tips:

  1. Only drink one drink per hour
  2. Eat a meal high in fat and protein before drinking to help to slow down the rate of absorption.
  3. Moderate consumption, 1 drink per day for females and 2 drinks per day for males

Don’t CHANGE yourself, change your PeRsPeCtIvE!

relativity

It has become way to easy for people to believe that if they change who they are that they will be happier. Everyone wants to be thinner, prettier, have her nose, or his muscles, but the truth of the matter is, even if you got them it would never be enough. People are never fully happy with their looks. It is extremely sad because everyone is unique and we often times forget about all the wonderful things we already posses. Everyone has something that makes them who they are, we all need to learn to love and accept ourselves for who we are before we can ever think someone else is going to respect us. You must give yourself respect first.

Think about what makes you, you. Why do you have friends, what do they love about you? Everyone’s unique qualities set him or her apart from the crowd. If you embrace and understand these qualities you can better express yourself to the outside world. Think really hard about what you like about yourself. Then use that to help brand you! Don’t dwell on your flaws because guess what? EVERYONE HAS FLAWS! So why would you want to classify yourself based on what you don’t have instead of what you do have? No one likes hearing what you don’t like about yourself anyway (besides plastic surgeons, who make their money based on your unhappiness),  and the more positive you are about yourself, the more confident you come off. Stop wasting energy focusing on what you hate and redirect your attention on what you have and love.

Fat Talk Free Week

For more information on Fat Talk Free Week visit their site at http://www.bodyimageprogram.org/ It will give you updates on the event, issues, their programs, and how to take action.

SNOW!

snowfall

We got our first real snow fall in Boulder today! I absolutely love the snow. Fresh snow makes everything look so pretty. Days like today are the best to stay in and cuddle up by the fire. It is perfect for relaxing and giving your body some time to rest. Relaxing is something that people just do not do enough. People feel lazy if they lay on the couch watching a movie in the middle of the afternoon, but it can be so nice to give your body that down time. We live such busy lives that once in a while having a lazy, low-key day can give you all the extra energy you need to make it through the rest of your week. We constantly push our bodies to the max, and with all the multitasking we do these days, are bodies are living over a 24-hour day.

So give your body the rest it deserves, put in a favorite movie, make yourself a cup of tea, and enjoy. Start that book you’ve had stuffed on your bookshelf since last winter. Think of it as a gift to your mind, body and soul. People are too stressed, give yourself a day for yourself and you can’t even image how much good it does for you. We are too worried about doing this and finishing that, we forget that we have to take time for ourselves too. It takes days like today, where you don’t even want to go out and run those errands, to remind us that sometimes staying in is exactly what we need to do.woman-drinking-tea

Healthy Eating Tips

Here are a few suggestion on how to start making little changes in your life to get your healthy on the right track.

  1. Eat BREAKFAST: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I know that you have been told that over and over but you need to listen! Breakfast not only lets you BREAKyourFAST but it jumpstarts your metabolism for the rest of the day. Even if it is not a healthy choice, something is always better than nothing in this situation.Breakfast
  2. Eat FIBER: Fiber is an important part of our diet that people don’t tend to get enough of. By eating plenty of whole wheat foods, fruits, and vegetables you can significantly increase your fiber intake.Fiber
  3. Eat COMPLEX CARBS: Carbohydrates are one of the few nutrients that we eat more than enough of, the draw back… we consume mostly simple sugars. The more complex the carbohydrate the longer it takes for the body to digest and absorb and the more beneficial it is to the body. Eat WHOLE wheat foods, the labeling industry has been tricking people into thinking some products are healthier than they actually are. Eating whole wheat helps get in that extra fiber that so many of us are lacking. WHOLE is the key word here though, if it says wheat, then it most likely isn’t whole. Look at the food label and under ingredients it probably says ENRICHED wheat flour.complex carbs
  4. Stay away from TRANS FAT: As much as you want to say “everything in moderation” try to stay away from trans fat as much as possible. People think that they aren’t consuming it when really THE LABEL LIES! Just because the package says 0 Trans Fat, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have it. Food manufactures have gotten around this because if a serving size contains less than .5 grams of trans fat per serving than they can round down to 0. Some companies have even made their serving sizes smaller in order to hide the trans fat in their product. So how can we see if there is any or not? Look at the ingredients, if it says hydrogenated or partially hydrogenate it has trans fat. If you can minimize your consumption of trans fat you can significantly help your body out.

Label

If Diets Worked There Wouldn’t be so Many of Them

Diets. A new better diet seems to come out every couple days, so how do you know which ones work? Here’s the deal, there is no healthy quick fix. The diet cycle is so unhealthy, and tends to cause a yo-yo cycle of dieting. People gain and lose weight rapidly, which is extremely hard on our body, making it harder for us to lose weight the next time. Sure many diets seem to work, while you are on them, but who wants to stay on a diet for the rest of their life? The trick is learning good eating habits. We need carbohydrates, fats, and protein in our diet. These macronutrients all serve an important function to our body.

Carbs give us the energy we need to keep going and are extremely important as a part of our diet. Glucose is our primary source of energy for our body. Eat carbs but make sure to eat more complex carbs, simple carbohydrates with a high glycemic index can spike our glucose and insulin levels. If you are running, playing soccer, or any other activity that is aerobic, you need carbs. Carbohydrates are the only macronutrient the body can break down during aerobic exercise.

Fat got this bad rap because it more energy dense than carbohydrates or protein. So people came out and said that fatty food is what makes you fat.  However, what was not stated is that fat gives us the greatest sense of satiety, thus, make us feel fuller for longer. People started eating low fat this and fat free that and you know what?? They tend to eat twice as much because it does not keep them full. Fat is good, just in moderation. Too much of anything is bad.

Protein is important to help heal and repair our muscles. Although protein can be broken down into glucose and used for energy, it is not the healthiest way to get our energy. Protein is the best way for us to get the essential amino acids our bodies cannot produce on its own. Meats contain all 9 essential amino acids and are complete protein sources. The only two vegetarian complete protein sources are through soy protein and quinoa. So, if you are a vegetarian you need to be especially careful to find complementary protein sources to make sure you are getting all 9 essential amino acids.

Just remember, our bodies need and want all of these macronutrients, we just need to be careful about how much we are eating. They are all good and necessary but too much of any good thing can be bad.

Half Full or Half Empty?!

happiness mainfesto

Positive thinking is one of the best qualities a person can possess. If you can find something good in almost every situation you are bound to feel better about the world around you and yourself. People always look at a situation from one angle and come to their one reaction and they miss out on MILLIONS of different opportunities and ways to handle the situation. Before judging a situation too quickly we really need to start taking a deep breath, stepping back, and reinterpret the situation at hand, come up with multiple options and outcomes and then, and only then decide on an the optimal decision.

One bad thing happens and people focus and dig into that bad thing and can’t see beyond it, but what people don’t realize is many times your reaction to bad situations is what helps build your character and bring about good and new opportunities. If you concentrate on that bad you might miss out on a whole lot of good. We need to stop taking life so seriously and take everything with a grain of salt. Every situation isn’t going to be ideal but if you can try and refocus your attention. You get to make the decisions in your life and you get to decide how to act and react to anything that comes your way. Try to think positively and remember that nothing is usually the end of the world. The world works in mysterious ways and everything works out the way it should. If something doesn’t go your way it is to give you the opportunity to take a different path and do bigger and better things!

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