Thursday, June 6, 2019

Who Wants to Train Your Brain to Eat Less?









Who Else Wants to Train Your Brain to Eat Less?
You’re going along sticking to your diet when suddenly you hit a bump in the road.
Maybe you skip breakfast and wind up eating a double bacon cheeseburger for lunch
because you’re so hungry. Maybe you enjoy healthy dinners, but you snack on potato
chips afterwards because your stomach is rumbling.
Managing your weight is easier when you can control your appetite. Even if you’re a
healthy size now, your body will slow down as you grow older. That means you’re
liable to gain excess pounds just by eating the same amount as usual.
Remember that hunger starts in your brain and so does the solution.
Try these tips for training yourself to eat less.
Changing What You Eat:
1. Consume more fiber. Foods rich in fiber fill you up faster partly because they
tend to be bulky and take longer to chew. As a bonus, they’re often highly
nutritious and reduce your risk for many serious health conditions. Good
choices include most vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
2. Increase your protein. Protein also discourages hunger, and it helps you
conserve muscle mass. Muscles burn more calories than fat. Spread your
protein out in each meal and snack so your body can use it effectively. Choose
lean sources like low-fat Greek yogurt and most seafood.
3. Drink water. Sometimes we confuse thirst with hunger. Drinking a glass or two


water before meals may help you to reduce your portion sizes.
4. Choose solid calories. Fancy coffee drinks and cocktails make it easy to down
600 calories or more before your brain knows what happened. Food you chew
gives your brain more time to feel full.
5. Serve soup. However, the liquid in soup is a different matter, because the high
water content suppresses your appetite. Settle down with a bowl of minestrone
on a cold winter day.
6. Avoid artificial sweeteners. Using zero-calorie sweeteners can backfire.
Scientists believe they prime your brain to want to eat more because they’re
hundreds of times sweeter than sugar.
Changing How You Eat:
1. Act mindfully. Slow down and savor your food. You’ll digest it more completely,
and you’ll probably eat less.
2. Buy smaller plates. Several studies confirm that food looks and feels more
abundant when you place it on a smaller serving piece. It’s a simple way to
have your cake and eat lighter too.
3. Sleep well. One of the reasons why a lack of sleep can cause you to gain weight
is because you’re disrupting the hormones that regulate hunger. Get enough
sleep. Ensure that you’re sleeping well, too. Go to bed and get up at the same
time each day. Keep your bedroom as dark and quiet as possible.
4. Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help regulate your appetite in addition
to burning calories and relieving stress. It’s a powerful combination for anyone
who wants to make staying fit more pleasant.
5. Whittle your waist. The fat that accumulates around the midsection is
especially harmful, raising the risk for heart conditions, diabetes, and certain
cancers. There is also some evidence that it stimulates hunger hormones and
the accumulation of fat. Focus some of your activities on waist-trimming
exercises.
6. Seek support. The most effective fitness plans incorporate social support. Let
your family and friends know that you want to eat less and tell them how they
can help you. For example, find some lunch companions whose eating habits
will reinforce your healthy intentions.
It is possible to eat less and still enjoy delicious food. Small changes in the way you
eat add up to a big difference. Find the habits that work for you to satisfy your
hunger with fewer calories.   Your brain and body will adjust to and benefit from these healthy changes.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

How Food Affects Your Sleep





 Author Samantha Kent

Food fuels, comforts, and entertains. It fills a need, but its effects reach beyond just nourishment. The kind of food you eat and when you eat it can either help or halt your sleep. A diet rich in sleep supportive foods helps regulate and stabilize your sleep cycle. However, you’ll need to be aware of those that help, those that don’t, and ways to enhance your sleep experience.

What You Eat

Foods that Support Healthy Sleep
Our bodies can only be as strong as the food we put in them. Luckily, there’s a long list of foods that contain sleep-enhancing nutrients. Many of them contribute to the production of melatonin, a key sleep hormone.

  • Tryptophan: You’ve probably heard of this famous amino acid because of the traditional turkey at Thanksgiving dinner. While turkey is a good source of tryptophan, it has no more tryptophan, and less in some cases, than other sources such as oats, fish, nuts, eggs, and seeds. The tryptophan in these foods is used to make serotonin, which helps your body feel calm and relaxed in preparation for sleep.
  • Magnesium: Low magnesium levels are often associated with insomnia and other sleep disorders. To stabilize your levels add almonds, spinach, tuna, and avocados to your diet.
  • Potassium: Lack of potassium can cause muscle spasms and issues with the heart that disrupt sleep. Potassium-rich foods like spinach, lentils, and bananas can give you a potassium boost before bed.
  • Calcium: Calcium deficiency can cut into your sleep time as well. Make sure you’re eating plenty of dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese to stay balanced.

Foods to Avoid at Bedtime
There are also a few foods to avoid before bedtime. These foods alter the sleep cycle by blocking or interfering with the proteins, amino acids, and hormones needed to regulate your sleep.

  • Alcohol: Alcohol can be deceptive because it does make you feel sleepy at first. However, it changes the natural course of the sleep cycle by preventing the body from spending enough time in the deep sleep stages. In the light sleep stages, the body wakens more often, reducing the overall sleep time.
  • Caffeine: This one is no secret. Caffeine blocks sleep hormones and can continue to do so for four to six hours after it’s been consumed.
  • High fat and acidic foods: Foods high in fat and those that are acidic can contribute to heartburn and indigestion. The consequent discomfort can keep you awake for hours.

When You Eat It

Your body relies on consistent patterns to correctly time repeating behaviors like sleep. Eating regular meals that are evenly spaced helps your body recognize when it’s time to start the sleep cycle. Additionally, most people sleep better when their last meal of the day is light and eaten early. But make sure it has some healthy carbs. Studies have shown that a dinner rich in carbs can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Conclusion: Sleep Support Beyond the Kitchen

You can further enhance your sleep by making the bedroom a sanctuary. A cool, dark, quiet bedroom with a supportive mattress is perfect. If street light is a problem, try blackout curtains; noisy neighbors, invest in a white noise machine; overheating, turn on your ceiling fan or try a table fan on your nightstand.

It’s worth taking the time and investing a little money to give your body a chance to be at it’s best. With a healthy diet and supportive bedroom, you’re on your way to better, more restful slumber.
  The author's bio:
Samantha Kent is a researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favorite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face. 



Friday, April 5, 2019

Does fat really make you fat?






 Does Fat Really Make You Fat?
There is an age-old saying that the fat you eat is the fat you wear. With the rise of
new ketogenic diets where fat is the main nutrient, many people are starting to
question if fat really is the answer.
When it comes to weight loss or fat loss, the most simple and effective way to ensure
success is to moderate your caloric spread and maintain a consistent deficit. With
that said, that answer is not really why we're here - we want to know if consuming
more fat will make you fat.
Let's break this down and look at the details.
Fat Has More Calories Than Any Other Nutrient
This is one of the main concerns that may keep you away from eating fat. When we
look at the actual caloric energy received from carbs and protein (both 4 kcal per
gram) we see that fat has more than double the calories (9 kcal per gram) per serving.
With this in mind, it can be very easy to overeat on a diet that contains a lot of fat.
On the other hand, calories are not necessarily a clear indicator of weight gain - it's
just more complex than that. Just because fat has more calories does not mean that
by eating it you will put on weight.
Fat Is Very Nutritious
Fat is also very healthy for you - when you consume the right type.
Polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, omega fatty acids, unsaturated fats -


these are all really good sources of fat that you can find in many fat-rich foods like
nuts, fish, seeds and beans.
Consuming this type of food should not cause excessive weight gain.
So, Where's The Downside?
Yes, a diet that is high in fat can work, but it is really dependent on the actual person.
There’s a rule called the “equator rule” which roughly states that the closer your
blood relatives, historically, were to the equator the higher your nutrient demand for
carbohydrates would be.
Those from Caribbean countries, Mediterranean backgrounds, and anything close to
the equator will have a very good ability to metabolize (in general) carbohydrates. If
this population of people were to go on a high-fat diet, they may not experience the
same benefits that other blood relatives, like those of Scandinavian heritage, would.
Whenever you look at what food you should be eating, it’s always good to make an
objective assessment of where you came from.
Good food is good food, and this won't really change, but eating a diet that is as close
as possible to what your blood relatives would have eaten is going to allow your body
to function at the most effective rate possible.
Does Fat Really Make You Fat?
The consensus, then, is yes and no. The research will show that pretty much any
nutrient consumed in excess can lead to weight gain. The reality is we just don't have
enough human trials to definitively say that it will.
Your best bet is to always strive for moderation.
In most cases, the most effective macronutrient split is 50% carbs, 30% protein, and
20% fat.
Try sticking to those ratios for a while and then adjust as needed for your own body.
You’ll be able to tell if eating a higher percentage of fat works for you or if it makes
you gain unwanted pounds

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Pork Rigatoni Recipe





Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried whole grain rigatoni use gluten-free
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • chopped parsley
  • shredded parmesan cheese
Instructions 
 
1
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
2
While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, mushrooms and onions just until onions and mushrooms have softened and started to brown, about 5 minutes. Pour red wine over the top to deglaze the pan. Be sure to scrape up any of the brown bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan.
3
Pour in crushed tomatoes. Mix in cumin, salt and pepper. Add in pulled pork. Mix well. Continue cooking for 5 - 10 more minutes or until sauce is warmed through. Stir in cooked rigatoni. Mix well. Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and parmesan cheese. Serve.