Healthy Fats


Have you ever heard the saying “everything in moderation”?  Well, there is some truth behind it when it comes to what you eat.  Take fats, for example — a lot of people believe they need to cut out fats from their diet completely or only consume “low fat” options.  This is not completely true.  Our bodies actually need “healthy fats” in moderation.  Learn more about this and the best sources for healthy fats below.

The 5 Best Healthy Fats for Your Body

Are you afraid of fats? If so, you’re not alone. Fat in foods has been vilified in America for the past few decades, as low-fat and non-fat foods became the norm, and we were told that a low-fat diet would help us get the body we want. In fact, it’s one of the biggest nutrition lies that the public’s been told.

In other parts of the world, fat has always been welcome at the table. In the U.S.? We’re only now realizing the truth: Not all fats are created equally. Our bodies need fat — more specifically, they need healthy fats.

How Did We Get Here?

How did fats get on the naughty list to begin with? Post-World War II, research began emerging that seemed to link foods with saturated fats, like eggs and red meat, to coronary heart disease. By the 1960s, the American Heart Association had recommended that people reduce their fat intake, and in 1976, the U.S. Senate held a series of committee meetings, “Diet Related to Killer Diseases,” on the topic. Subsequent food guidelines advocated for eating less saturated fat and more carbohydrates. The war on fat had begun.

While the guidelines advocated for more carbs in the form of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, what the average American understood was that carbs — any kind of carbs — were good (even refined carbohydrates!) while fat was bad. The food industry pounced: High-carb, low-fat foods became the norm. Grocery store shelves and refrigerators were soon lined with low- and no-fat items that were packed with sugar — because without any natural fat, a lot of favorite foods just didn’t taste good anymore. Not coincidentally, both a sugar addiction as well as an obesity epidemic in America began soon after low-fat diets became the standard recommendation.

The problem? None of the studies actually linked high-fat diets to heart disease. The science just wasn’t there. In fact, numerous studies have since debunked the myth. It’s been proved there is no evidence that dietary saturated fat increases a person’s risk for coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease.

Additionally, a seven-year study of more than 48,000 women showed that low-fat diets don’t lead to more weight loss or less disease. And yet another study found that, when subjects ate either a Mediterranean diet, low-fat diet or low-carb diet, those following a high-fat, low-carb meal plan not only lost the most weight, but also drastically reduced their bad cholesterol levels.

It turns out our ancestors were right all along: Healthy fats can be good!

The 5 Best Healthy Fats for Your Body

Not all fats are created equal, but the ones below pack a lot of punch. From lowering bad cholesterol and helping shed excess weight to giving you shiny hair and healthy nails, your body will reap the benefits of these healthy fats.

1. Avocados

The benefits of avocados are so numerous that they’re one of the healthiest fruits you can consume. They’re rich in monounsaturated fats, which raise levels of good cholesterol while lowering the bad — talk about a double-whammy. Avocados are also packed with the benefits of vitamin E, which help prevent free radical damage, boosts immunity and acts as an anti-aging nutrient for your skin.

Plus, it’s chock-full of healthy protein; in fact, it has more than any other fruit. For pregnant women, avocado is also one of the great folate foods, as this vitamin can help reduce the risk of birth defects.

Get more avocados in your diet and try one of these avocado recipes. Or use it to cook with by adding avocado oil into your kitchen. It has a mild taste that won’t overpower dishes the way other oils might. Its high smoke point of about 520 degrees means that it’s suitable for grilling or frying. And because it isn’t solid at room temperature, it’s a tasty choice to drizzle on salads, sandwiches or veggies.

2. Butter

We’re all familiar with “butter-like” substances; margarine, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and all those other “vegetable oil spreads” found in stores. But real butter — preferably raw or from grass-fed, organic sources ­— is what you should reach for.

Another victim of the war on fat, butter’s experiencing a comeback as a healthy fat as the benefits of butter become more widely known. The omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids found in butter help your brain function properly and improve skin health. More importantly, these two fatty acids are considered essential, meaning the body needs them but can’t produce them on its own; they must be derived from food sources. Butter’s also rich in fat-soluble vitamins and trace minerals, including beneficial selenium, a powerful antioxidant.

Because of its low burning temperature — about 250 degrees Fahrenheit — butter is not great for cooking at high temperatures. To use it at high temperatures safely, butter must be emulsified by melting the butter over low heat until the milk and butterfat separate, and then pouring out the milk solids. Since much of butter’s decadent taste comes from the milk solids, however, the downside of emulsifying is that the taste just isn’t the same.

If you want to save yourself the trouble and still get that buttery flavor, instead use butter in baked goods and spread on fresh-baked bread (including gluten-free varieties) or add a dollop to roasted veggies.

Meanwhile, the Indian version of butter is quickly becoming a favorite across continents. Ghee, or clarified butter, is simmered to bring out butter’s naturally nutty flavor, leaving it with a high smoke point, making it ideal for cooking at high temperatures. Ghee benefits include being loaded in fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E. These types of vitamins are best absorbed by your body when they’re in a fat substance and then stored in your gastrointestinal tract, keeping your metabolism and digestion on track.

Another ghee benefit? It’s lactose- and casein-free. If you suffer from lactose sensitivity or intolerance, ghee is a fantastic alternative to butter. Its high levels of vitamin K2 also helps strengthen bones, while the fatty acids found in it improve digestion and reduce inflammation. No wonder it’s been used for thousands of years!

You can make your own ghee or buy it in stores. When purchasing it commercially, look for organic or grass-fed cultured ghee. This healthy fat remains fresh for several weeks at room temperature. Increase its longevity and keep it spreadable by storing it in the refrigerator.

3. Coconut Oil

One of my favorite oils because of its numerous benefits — did you know you can use coconut oil on your skin and coconut oil for your hair — the benefits of coconut oil are many. It’s rich in medium-chain fatty acids, which are easy for your body to digest, not readily stored by the body as fat and small in size, allowing them to infuse cells with energy almost immediately.

These fatty acids also improve brain and memory function. Plus, the high amount of natural saturated fats in coconut oil mean that it increases good cholesterol and promotes heart health, while the antioxidants found in coconut oil make it an effective anti-inflammatory food and help reduce arthritis.

Adding coconut oil to your diet is easy; I love using it for cooking and baking, or even applying it directly on my skin. Beware that when cooking directly with coconut oil, the flavor can be a bit overpowering for some. If that’s the case, try using less of it. It’s also important to note that, at room temperature, coconut oil is solid, so it’s not the best choice when you need a healthy fat in liquid form, like as a salad dressing.

When choosing a coconut oil, I recommend extra virgin varieties, as refined or processed coconut oils can eliminate many of the health benefits.

4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil benefits are so profound that any diet should include it. First, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is great for heart health. In fact, a 2013 study found that when people supplemented a Mediterranean diet with extra virgin olive oil, it reduced the incidence of heart attack or dying of heart disease, probably due to its high levels of monounsaturated fats. The high amount of antioxidants in EVOO means it protects your cells from damage. It also helps improve memory and cognitive function, and works as an anti-inflammatory. Since so much disease stems from chronic inflammation, this is a biggie!

Unfortunately, buying this healthy fat isn’t as easy as just grabbing the first bottle you see. First, note that I recommend only extra virgin varieties of the oil. This means no chemicals are involved when the oil is refined. Unfortunately, many common brands are fake olive oil! A 2011 study by UC Davis found that many top-selling brands failed the standards for extra virgin olive oils; lawsuits against olive oil companies have followed suit.

Some tips for recognizing real EVOO are to beware of any brand that costs less than $10 a liter; look for a seal from the International Olive Oil Council; check the harvesting date on the label; if it’s labeled as “light,” “pure” or a “blend,” it isn’t virgin quality; and finally, opt for dark bottles, as they protect the oil from oxidation.

EVOO isn’t recommended for cooking at high temperatures because of its low smoke point, but it’s terrific for making salad dressings or drizzling over breads or cooked foods.

5. Omega-3s

Why are omega-3 fatty acids considered essential? Because the body isn’t capable of producing them on its own. Therefore, we must rely on omega-3 foods in our diet to supply these extremely beneficial compounds.

There are actually three different types of “omega-3s”: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). The preferred sources of omega-3s are DHA and EPA, the kinds found in seafood sources like nutritious salmon and sardines. ALA, on the other hand, is found in some plant foods, including certain nuts and seeds, as well as high-quality cuts of meat like grass-fed beef.

The human body is able to turn ALA into usable DHA and EPA to some degree, but this isn’t as efficient as getting DHA and EPA directly from food sources that provide it. Even after extensive research, it’s not totally clear how well ALA converts into EPA and DHA or if it has benefits on its own, but health authorities, like those at Harvard Medical School, still consider all sources of omega-3s crucial in the diet.

Historically, we’ve seen that populations that consume the most omega-3 foods, like people in Okinawa, Japan, live longer and healthier lives than people who eat a standard diet low in omega-3s.

The best omega-3 nuts to consume are walnuts while seeds with the most significant omega-3 nutrition include chia seeds and flaxseeds. Many vegetables, especially green leafy ones, are good sources of ALAs. Some of the vegetables highest in omega-3s include Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach and watercress.

Because there is such debate over waters being contaminated with toxins and pollutants like mercury, many people find it hard to get enough omega-3s from eating fish, nuts, seeds and veggies only. This is one reason why some people prefer supplementing with fish oil in addition to eating some omega-3 foods.

The difference between “fish oil” and “cod oil” can be confusing. Fish oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, but it doesn’t have much vitamin A or D. On the other hand, cod liver oil is lower in omega-3s but very high in vitamins A and D.

What is the ideal kind of fish oil if you want to supplement your diet? I believe that the best form of omega-3 fish oil contains astaxanthin (a powerful antioxidant that also helps stabilize fish oil), so my preferred choice is fish oil made from wild-caught pacific salmon, which has high levels of DHA/EPA and astaxanthin.

So, when it comes to getting enough omega-3s into your diet, I recommend eating plenty of omega-3 foods and also supplementing in most cases. Through a combination of both, my advice is to make sure you’re getting at least 1,000 milligrams a day of EPA/DHA and about 4,000 milligrams of total omega-3s (ALA/EPA/DHA combined).

With so many choices and benefits available, healthy fats are primed to become a staple in your diet.



Sitting Too Much Could Lead to Health Problems

Many people have jobs where they are sitting down for the majority of the day.  Besides back problems, too much sitting now allegedly causes or contributes to other health issues.  The article below dives into this topic and offers methods to counteract too much sitting and how to eradicate sitting for too long.  For some, sitting down most of the day at work might be unavoidable.  However, if you do other things suggested in this article you can find a happy balance.

A Science-Backed Remedy for Too Much Sitting

Too much sitting doesn’t just put you at risk for bulging disc and tension headaches — it’s now considered as dangerous as smoking. (1) But guess what? You may be able to eliminate your increased risk of early death caused by too much sitting at work by exercising one hour a day.

That’s the verdict a team of scientists came to after publishing a paper reviewing 16 other studies looking at more than 1 million people’s sedentary behavior and death risk. That news may come as a wave of relief, especially if you’re reading it, well, sitting behind a screen.

The researchers found that at least an hour of moderate-level physical activity a day (things like cycling at about 10 mph or brisk walking) could cancel out the increased risk of death associated with a sedentary lifestyle. For the purposes of this study, they found one hour of exercise canceled out the negative effects of sitting 8 hours a day, something that’s all too common in office settings. The study found exercising an hour did not completely eliminate the risk associated with increased sitting due to too much TV time, though. (2)

Too much sitting is now linked to a host of diseases, including diabetes, certain cancers and heart disease. And get this: We now know about 300,000 cases of dementia could be prevented each year if everyone lived physically active lives. (3)

Main Takeaways of the Too-Much-Sitting Study Series

  • People who sat for 8 hours a day — but were physically active — enjoyed a much lower risk of death compared to people who sat for fewer hours a day, but were not physically active. This drives home the importance of physical activity, no matter how many hours a day you sit. The benefits of exercise are far-reaching.
  • Physical inactivity costs the world economy $67.5 billion a year in lost productivity and healthcare costs.
  • Physical inactivity is linked to more than 5 million deaths a year.
  • A minimum of 1 hour of physical activity a day eliminated the increased risk of death associated with sitting for 8 hours a day. That’s powerful!
  • People who sat for long periods of time and also lived inactive lives faced the greatest risk of death.
  • Only about 25 percent of people in the study met the minimum one-hour-a-day exercise threshold to eliminate the risk of death associated with sitting 8 hours a day.
  • This study suggests the World Health Organization’s guidelines of 150 minutes of physical activity per week is simply not enough for office workers or others who are chronic sitters.
  • 80 percent of students worldwide are not getting the WHO’s recommended 150 minutes of weekly moderate intensity exercise. (4)

Too Much Sitting: Can Exercise Really Fix Reverse the Damage?

While the large review study we discussed earlier provides science-backed inspiration to get moving, there’s conflicting evidence regarding how big of a role exercise plays in reversing the damage created by too much sitting. For instance, the American Heart Association says exercise isn’t an antidote for too much sitting and that we need to find ways to reduce sedentary time, too. (5)

That same idea is echoed in a 2014 report published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, where researchers discovered that two hours of sittings erases the cardiovascular benefits gained from 20 minutes of exercise. (6)

In 2015, Toronto researchers published another large review study and concluded that too much sitting is detrimental to your health, regardless of exercise. Of course, exercising helps blunt the effects, but not completely, according to this study.

Another interesting nugget of data to come out of this study? Prolonged sitting (characterized as 8–12 hours or more of sitting a day) increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 90 percent. (7, 8)

In other words, it’s not one or the other. We need to exercise more and sit less if we want to live. It’s really that simple.

How to Eradicate Too Much Sitting

With too much sitting now as life threatening as smoking, we need to take every opportunity to get more movement into our lives. That doesn’t mean you have to sign up for marathons, but it does mean that sitting too much needs to be avoided at all costs.

Employ my exercise hacks, for instance. Even fidgeting at your desk, standing up for part of your workday, walking during your kids’ dance or soccer practice, or squeezing in a quick burst fit workout when you’re really time strapped helps. Here are some other ideas:

Final Thoughts on Too Much Sitting

Avoiding too much sitting can be quite a task, particularly for people who commute to office-based jobs. But when you look at the statistics — that physical inactivity is now blamed for 5 million deaths a year — it’s clear we need to get up and moving however — and whenever — we can.

It’s not all or nothing. Even if you can’t exercise an hour a day, doing any form of physical activity can help blunt some of the damage done by excess sitting.


Leaky Gut and Its Triggers

For those of you who suffer from leaky gut or are at risk for it the foods you are eating could contain ingredients that are contributing to that.  Eating “clean” is a goal everyone should have, but we know that comes with challenges so the convenience of other foods/meals sometimes outweighs that goal.  Some ingredients that contribute to leaky gut may surprise you because of how common they are.  Learn about 7 additives that trigger leaky gut and how to avoid them in the article below.

Food Additives that Trigger Leaky Gut

If you are dedicated and serious about healing leaky gut and autoimmune disease, I need you to know about a recent study that IDs seven food additives that trigger leaky gut, or at the very least contribute to the condition.

So what, exactly, is leaky gut? Known in the medical literature for more than a 100 years as “intestinal permeability,” in my opinion, many modern doctors don’t know how to ID and treat leaky gut. That’s a shame because it’s believed to be at the root of  which is at the root of many diseases.

Signs and symptoms you have leaky gut include inflammation, joint pain, inflammatory skin disorders and rashes, food allergies and sensitivities and all sorts of other health problems.

According to a study published in a Norwegian medical journal this process “is implicated in the onset of disease include several acute and chronic pediatric conditions that are likely to have their origin during infancy” and has been linked to: (1)

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Eczema and psoriasis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)
  • Type 1 diabetes

Basically, leaky gut results and autoimmune diseases arise when the tight junctions that protect the intestinal mucosa are damaged. This allows bacteria, toxins, allergens and carcinogens that normally protect the gut and immune system to leaky through and set off autoimmune diseases.

Processed foods may seem like a cheap and easy fix, especially when you’re pressed for time. But mounting research shows some of the most common additives we often overlook on ingredients lists could be unleashing digestive distress and beyond. As it turns out, these food additives impact the intestines in a way that promotes the development of autoimmune disease symptoms. So if you’re dealing with inflammatory disease, skin issues, brain fog or many other autoimmune disease issues, it’s time to make focusing on processed food ingredients part of your action plan.

7 Food Additives that Trigger Leaky Gut

In the study, the research team examined the effects of industrial food additives used in processed food. Specifically, they wanted to see how these ingredients impacted the intestines and on the development of autoimmune diseases — conditions in which the body attacks and damages its own tissues. These food additives are added to processed foods and drinks to improve taste, smell, texture and shelf life.

And what did scientists find? “…a significant circumstantial connection between the increased use of processed foods and the increase in the incidence of autoimmune diseases.”

Published in Autoimmunity Reviews, researchers uncovered evidence that processed foods weaken the intestine’s resistance to bacteria, toxins and other hostile nutritional and not nutritional elements. This increases the risk of autoimmune diseases. (2)

“In recent decades there has been a decrease in incidence of infectious diseases, but at the same time there has been an increase in the incidence of allergic diseases, cancer and autoimmune diseases. Since the weight of genetic changes is insignificant in such a short period, the scientific community is searching for the causes at the environmental level.” — study co-author Aaron Lerner, MD

Here are the 7 food additives that trigger damage in the tight junctions of the gut, according to the study: (3)

1. “Meat Glue”

Otherwise known as microbial transglutaminase, this special enzyme serves to hold proteins together. (Hence the name meat glue.) It’s often used in imitation crab meat (it could be landing in your beloved California sushi rolls!), fish balls and to improve the texture in meats like ham and surimi. (4)

It’s also approved for use as an enzymatic binder to form smaller cuts of meat and poultry into a larger serving of meat. (This even includes some steaks.) Derived from fermented bacteria, a non-pathogenic strain of the organism Streptoverticillium mobaraense, it’s considered safe by the Food and Drug Administration, although other studies would suggest otherwise. It was only approved for use in 1998, so it’s a relatively young food additive.

Thankfully, this food additive that triggers leaky gut is not exempt from labeling, although it is sometimes called TG enzyme.

Another label warning sign? Products formed from pieces of whole muscle meat, or that have been reformed from a single cut, must disclose this fact on their label, as part of the product name, for example, “Formed Beef Tenderloin” or “Formed Turkey Thigh Roast.” (5)

If you eat meat, I always suggests finding a local organic, pasture-raised operation to support. Form a relationship and ask if any food additives are added to the meat.

2. Sugars

Glucose was found to increase gut permeability and produce changes in distribution of the main protein of the tight junction in the human cell line Caco-2, indicating intercellular leakage.

Americans increased use of sugars results in higher levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Once formed, AGEs increase inflammation, which can further exacerbate leaky gut. (6) We now know the sugar industry scandal that involved tricking people into thinking sugar was healthier than fat. This demonized natural, healthy fats and increased sugar in processed foods. As always, use my tricks to kick sugar addiction and drastically cut back on sugar and you’ll be much healthier in the end.

3. Sodium 

A high-salt diet does more than affect your heart. Turns out, it’s also blamed for loosening up those tight junctions that keep your gut function strong and health. Interestingly, a high-salt diet could be behind a spike in autoimmune diseases. Excess salt can actually impact your innate immune system, causing macrophage dysfunction. We need some salt to live, but in general, Americans are getting way too much.

In a recent mouse study, increased salt concentrations actually seemed to trigger neuropathy in those with multiple sclerosis. So to hack your immune system, make sure you’re not eating too much salt. Cutting out processed foods will definitely help. More than 75 percent of Americans’ salt intake comes from processed foods. (7)

4. Emulsifiers

You may have  heard that a common food additive is tied to colon cancer. (8) Emulsifiers like polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose (often known as cellulose gum) are used in things like nonorganic dill pickles, frozen baked goods, non-dairy creamer and more. They’ve also been linked to metabolic dysfunction, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease. (9)

Emulsifiers are added to most processed foods to improve food texture and extend shelf life. But it also throws off healthy levels of intestinal bacteria, triggering chronic, low-level inflammation that promotes colorectal cancer and leaky gut. It seems  emulsifiers act like detergents to disrupt the mucous layer that lines the gut. (10)

5. Organic Acids

Researchers investigated the potential risks of using these solvents in food and beverages. Specifically, alcohol and its metabolites impair the junction barriers need to prevent leaky gut. Researchers say acetaldehyde, which is produced as the liver processed alcohol and is a contributing factor to hangovers, may be to blame. (11)

Acetaldehyde is also found in fermented foods, but in my opinion, I’ve seen great gut improvements when patients work fermented foods into the diet. (Of course, you can experiment to see how your body feels with or without fermented foods.)

6. Gluten

When I work with patients, I tell that it’s imperative that they remove gluten and grains from the diet. (Once your gut is healthy, you can add back in grains that have been fermented and sprouted to eat occasionally.)

Researchers of the food additives that trigger leaky gut study also say gluten is a no-no. They noticed increased gut permeability when immune cells are exposed to gliadin. (Gliadin is a class of proteins in wheat and are a component of gluten. It helps give bread the ability to rise during baking.) (12) Gluten often hides out in unexpected places, including sauces and gravies, where wheat flour is used as a thickening agent.  And please note that even organic wheat contains gluten.

7. Nanometric particles

Nanotechnology is a booming business in the food world. A more than $7 billion business, to be exact. And estimates suggests 40 percent of food industries are using it. (13)

Use of nanoparticles in food and food packaging is skyrocketing in America. Nanotechnology encompasses taking a material and unnaturally making it tiny, with dimensions between 1 and 100 nm. But at these dimensions, the materials may take on unusual physical, chemical and biological properties and functions that are remarkably different from those the original size of the compound, the study authors explain. They can behave in unexpected ways once inside human cells.

So why are we using them in food? Nanomaterials improve the taste, color, look, uniformity and texture of foods. Nanomaterials are also used in food packaging to help bottled beverages prevent CO2 loss. Silver nanoparticles are also embedded in plastic to kill bacteria. (14)

But these nanoparticles are also linked to DNA and cell damage. Titanium dioxide is the most common nanoparticle in food. Manufacturers use it most often to make things like powdered donuts and salad dressings bright white. It also makes gummy bears opaque and enhances colors. (15) We don’t really know what the long-term impacts of eating nanoparticles are, so I avoid them at all costs.


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Fad Diets and The Risks

We all have at least heard of popular diets like Atkins and South Beach before, and some of you have maybe even tried them.  Our guess is that they didn’t provide you with the exact results you wanted or expected.  Why is this?  Well, unfortunately, fad diets bring a lot of dangers and risks with them.  Learn what those dangers are and why these diets don’t always work in the article below.

Dangers of Fad Diets

The vast majority of adults have been “on a diet” at some point in their lives, usually with the hopes of losing extra weight. One look into the plethora of diet advice and dietary plans available today, and it’s easy to feel instantly overwhelmed by information, much of which is contradictory. From diet pills to juice detox diets, today fad diets are everywhere. But are these quick-fix, often extreme diets effective, and more importantly, are they even healthy?

Most nutrition experts agree that the biggest problem with fad diets is that they’re not sustainable. Sure, you might be able to exclude entire food groups for a period of time or survive on way less calories than your body really requires, but the honeymoon phase with all-or-nothing dieting hardly ever lasts for long. As you’ll learn more about below, fad diets can also pose risks for side effects.

Dangers of taking dietary advice to the extreme — even if the person giving it to you is qualified and has good intentions — include slowing down your metabolism, increasing anxiety or stress over your food choices, and sabotaging your energy levels due to a thyroid imbalance. To be clear, making certain changes to your diet, such as cutting out processed foods in place of eating more real foods, is usually very wise and unlikely to cause any problems. But it’s also important to realize that every person is different, so a diet that works for your friend or doctor might not be the best fit for you.

The bottom line about fad diets? Instead of turning to fad diets in order to lose weight quickly, I recommend practicing patience and putting your effort toward taking the long-term approach to developing healthy, sustainable eating habits.

What Are Fad Diets?

What are different types of fad diets?

According to the Association of UK Dietitians, “A fad diet is the kind of plan where you eat a very restrictive diet with few foods or an unusual combination of foods for a short period of time and often lose weight very quickly. However, most people then get fed-up, start over-eating and choose less healthy foods and pile the pounds back on.” (1)

Fad diets are considered those that tend to become popular for a given period of time, such as several years or even decades, and then become replaced by yet another dietary theory, which might even be very different (or completely opposite) compared to the preceding diet. Fad diets typically fall into one of two categories: low-carb/high-protein or high-carb/low-fat diets.

Examples of popular fad diets include:

  • Macrobiotic Diet
  • Atkins Diet
  • Ornish Diet
  • Zone Diet
  • South Beach Diet
  • Master Cleanse Diet
  • Vegan Diet or Vegetarian Diet
  • DASH Diet
  • Even the Paleo Diet and Gluten-Free Diet — which have become increasingly popular in the past five to 10 years — are considered to be “fads” by some health researchers

What is the meaning of “food fad”?

Fad foods are those that are promoted as “magical fat-burning foods” that will quickly and easily lead to weight loss or health improvements. It can also be a fad to avoid certain foods or ingredients, a type of severe limitation. One example is excluding a whole food group, such as carbs or all dairy products. Food faddism often promotes eating mainly one type of food or certain foods only in particular combinations.

What is the meaning of faddism?

Faddism is a trend that encourages people to seek and adhere briefly to a passing variety of unusual diets, beliefs, regulations, etc. (2) Fads are usually tied to conformity, fitting in with a crowd or peer group, uniformity, and belonging. Other definitions include “a tendency to like a style, activity, or interest for a very short period of time.” (3)

By definition, faddism does not last. According to research done at the Boston University School of Medicine, most people are not aware that diets very rarely work for more than several weeks or months. Dieters are usually unaware of the facts pertaining to how dieting impacts their health or why fad diets fail so often. Studies have found that approximately: (4)

  • 98 percent of people who lose weight on a diet gain it back within five years.
  • 90 percent of people who lose weight gain back more weight than they originally lost.
  • Only 5 percent to 10 percent of dieters maintain weight loss that’s greater than 10 percent of their initial weight.
  • Some of the reasons that diets seem to fail so frequently include people losing willpower or motivation and returning to their old habits, people getting sick of feeling hungry and tired due to deprivation and feelings of restriction, and due to changes in “internal cues” (hormonal signals) that drive the desire to eat.

4 Dangers of Fad Diets

1. Might Leave You Fatigued, Hungry and Weak

Because fad diet plans are commonly marketed to people looking to lose weight, they’re often restrictive and low in calories. Not eating the appropriate amount of calories that your body requires, based on variables like your level of activity and genetics, can really backfire, however — such as by pushing you into a metabolic state that’s often referred to as “starvation mode.” Remember that just because the number on the scale might drop, it doesn’t mean this is a good thing. A reduction in subcutaneous adipose tissue (body fat) is associated with  improvements in markers like insulin sensitivity, but weight loss alone might mean you’re losing mass from other areas that you don’t want to be.

Many studies have found that chronic dieting and over-exercising have negative affects on your metabolism, hunger levels, energy, mood, sleep, hormone/reproductive health and body weight. Drastic and fast weight changes can even cause loss of tissue in your vital organs, decreased bone density and muscle wasting. (5) In addition, cognitive processes (like thinking, coordination and memory) are likely to become sluggish and foggy if you’re not properly fueled, which can cause moodiness, fatigue and muscle weakness.

A low level of ATP production (adenosine triphosphate, which is the chemical energy that powers your cells) will send signals to the brain that something isn’t right. All of these things pose negative effects on your resting energy expenditure and might even increase risk factors for metabolic problems like thyroid disorders.

2. Can Negatively Impact Hormonal Health and Your Metabolism

Under-eating for your body’s needs can trigger a primal drive to increase calorie intake quickly. When you don’t respond to these signals, studies have found that it’s possible to experience a slowing down of your metabolism, which actually makes you likely to gain weight. (6)

Fad diets that cut calories too low can decrease your ability to use energy (calories) from the foods you eat because this sends hormonal signals to your body to try to preserve energy due to perceived starvation (a lack of food). Some of the fad diet dangers associated with under-eating for longer than a short period of time (such as several days) include trouble sleeping, infertility, acne, increases in body fat, reduced strength and even depression.

3. Can Increase Stress, Guilt and Anxiety Over Food Choices

In the past, following yet another “failed diet” attempt, you might have noticed that both your mental capabilities and mood suffer. One thing to ask yourself is how “black and white” your thinking tends to be when it comes to your food choices. If you believe that only one type of diet (the one you’re currently on) is the best, the be-all and end-all of health, then it’s easy to become judgmental. And this judgment not only extends to other people who don’t adhere to the same diet, but can also be turned against yourself, causing guilt when you “slip up.”

Studies have found that dieters often feel guilt or shame about “falling off the wagon,” and that shame associated with eating behavior is the strongest predictor of eating disorders (like binge eating, anorexia or bulimia). (7) So if you find yourself feeling guilty, anxious or out of control around food — or telling the world about your current diet success and preaching to others that they need to follow suit — it’s time to rethink your approach to “healthy” eating.

4. May Be Ineffective and a Waste of Your Time!

It’s tempting to buy in to the idea that one particular way of eating, one food group or one form of dietary restriction is “good” — the answer you’ve been looking for — while others are “bad.” But it’s a lot smarter to keep an open mind and remain flexible. After all, even if studies support the benefits of certain diets, it doesn’t mean they’re completely necessary or helpful for everybody, considering we are all a bit different.

For example, if you have an allergy, intolerance or sensitivity to something like dairy or gluten, it makes sense to avoid these foods. But if you feel perfectly fine while eating them in moderation, especially if the rest of your diet is balanced and shows no signs of causing you any health problems, then it might be a waste of effort to avoid these things completely. Always keep in mind that fad diets tend to hype people up and make them believe that they must follow this one specific diet or else danger is coming. But as Alan Levinovitz, an author on dietary culture and religion professor at James Madison University, puts it, “When you bring certainty to [nutrition] science, you end up lying about the certainty of the science, you end up exaggerating the scope of the claims. In science, exaggeration is just deception.” (8)


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You Can Boost Your Metabolism

The body’s metabolism does more than affect how one processes food and nutrients. A “slow” metabolism could be the result of many things including your genetics.  The good news is there are little things you can do to “boost” your metabolism to feel better and help you lose weight.  Read about them below and try them for yourself! Contact us with any questions you may have as well.

6 Natural Metabolism Boosters

Can you really boost your metabolism? When most people think of what it means to have a “high metabolism,” they picture someone who’s “luckily” naturally thin. We assume these people can maintain a healthy body composition mostly due to their genetics, despite whether they try to eat a healthy diet and exercise or not.

While a properly working metabolism is definitely important for preventing unwanted weight gain, boosting your metabolism is also critical for many other bodily functions related to maintaining general health.

What does “metabolism” really even mean? Technically, metabolism is all of the chemical reactions that take place in a living organism every day to keep it alive. Our metabolism is the process of the body turning calories we consume into usable energy. Calories (also called kilojoules) are really a measure of energy, and our body depends on getting enough of them to keep us functioning in all aspects of life.

Every single system within the body, from the endocrine system to digestive system, is linked to our rate of energy production at the cellular level. A strong metabolism is tied to more than a svelte body — it’s beneficial for immune function, lower rates of infectious and degenerative diseases, fertility and a healthy sex drive, lean muscle mass, having more energy and vigor, brain functionality, longevity, and much more. Your brain is actually one of the biggest benefiters of a strong metabolic rate, since its energy demands are extremely high — approximately 16 times more energy is needed to keep the brain working than to support skeletal muscle! (1)

Your metabolism naturally slows steadily after age 40, which means you need to proactively add certain metabolism boosters into your daily life to keep yourself feeling and acting young.

Are You in Need of a Metabolism Boost?

Your metabolism is determined by several factors, including your genetic makeup, body composition (percent of muscle mass and fat), gender, hormonal health, level of activity and age. Some of these factors are within your control (like muscle mass and activity level, for example), while others are not (genetics and age). Luckily, there are some proven metabolism boosters that can kick-start the body into using calories more efficiently, protecting the body from disease and slowing down signs of aging.

Your metabolic rate determines how well you can “burn” calories, and this has a big impact of on your appearance, mood and energy levels — which is why most of us strive to achieve a higher metabolism. If you fear that you’re “just one of those unlucky people” with a slow metabolism, you’ll be happy to know that this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, studies have shown that people who identify themselves as having a fast metabolism don’t actually differ that much in terms of calorie expenditure compared to others who assume they genetically are at a metabolic disadvantage. (2)

How do you know if you’re in need of a boost to your metabolism? Here are common signs you’re suffering from less-than-ideal metabolic functioning:

  • ongoing fatigue
  • cold body temperature, frequently feeling cold
  • thinning hair on your head
  • cracked, dry, skin
  • low libido and poor sexual health
  • irregular periods
  • slow-growing, brittle fingernails
  • trouble sleeping through the night
  • constipation and slow-moving bowels
  • bloating after eating
  • mood disorders like anxiety and depression
  • frequently urinating
  • struggling to lose weight
  • excessive thirst and dry mouth
  • trouble concentrating or brain fog
  • allergies and hypersensitivities
  • low energy levels
  • low motivation for physical activity
  • getting sick more often

How Diets Can Sabotage Your Metabolism

Healthy metabolic function is one of the body’s ultimate forms of protection — and we need to consistently eat and rest enough to keep ourselves thriving. While cutting or counting calories is usually most people’s go-to approach for attempting to lose weight, taking this too far can have a negative impact on metabolism, ultimately backfiring in terms of fat loss.

On a cellular level, the pathways of your metabolism rely upon your nutrient intake. You need to obtain various nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, trace minerals and vitamins, in order to produce energy that is then used by the body to synthesize new tissue and proteins in the form of nucleic acids. While calorie intake varies from person to person, we all need to meet our needs in order to supply the necessary chemicals that are used for building, upkeep and repair of all body tissues. Very low-calorie diets miss key nutrients, which robs the body of raw materials like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus or sulfur, which are supplied in carbohydrates, lipids, protein and water from our diets.

Weight loss potential decreases when your body becomes convinced that you’re starving and deprived of calories. Even though you might intentionally cut calories and work out more, the body can’t tell the difference between starvation done “on purpose” and the kind we experience during times of famine. Dieting over and over sends the signal of deprivation and starvation to your metabolic hormones as well, which means you unknowingly hold on to every precious calorie you eat in order to ensure survival!

In addition, to support a healthy and stable weight, one of the most compelling reasons to work on increasing your metabolism is that this keeps us from prematurely aging and getting sick often. When you have a sluggish metabolism, the body’s natural defense mechanisms and levels of immunity drop, as you become more susceptible to lurking viruses, yeasts, fungi, parasites and bacteria that surround us.

Too little energy (calories) coming in means the metabolism has less fuel to work with. You’re more likely to deal with the common cold, reproductive problems, mood changes or various infections when your metabolism slows down, since this is a sign that the body is putting its limited energy elsewhere. When there’s only so much energy to go around, we have a built-in system that ensures we devote our energy resources to essential daily functions like keeping our hearts beating, lungs breathing and so on.

6 Practical Metabolism Boosters to Practice Now

1. Stop Dieting! Give Your Body the Calories It Needs

If you’ve ever been on a diet in the past (and who hasn’t?), you probably noticed yourself becoming moody, tired and possibly even sick more frequently. These are signs of your metabolism becoming more sluggish. On the other hand, keep your body properly fueled and it will perform much better in all areas of life.

As explained above, if you live in a calorie deficit because your exercise level is too high and food intake is too low, your metabolism gets the message that it must slow down all functioning to conserve energy. You can wind up entering a catabolic state known as “starvation mode” that causes hormonal and cellular changes that drive up your hunger and thirst, while slowing down your fat-burning abilities and muscle growth. I recommend you stop counting calories and instead focus on nutrient density.

Eating enough every day, especially when you consume calories from a variety of unprocessed whole foods, is critical for cognitive, hormonal, sexual and digestive health. People who are well-fed and avoid yo-yo dieting often experience better digestion, positive moods and more motivation, stronger desire to be active, better mental health, stronger sex drive, and more stable blood sugar levels. Eating enough usually means you have more motivation to be active, gain strength and muscle mass quicker, and feel less fatigued. (3)

Another benefit of eating enough calories every day for your body’s needs is that you’re much more likely to have a healthier relationship with food. Being deprived can increase cravings and preoccupation with “forbidden” foods, while practicing balance and moderation allows you to make better decisions related to healthy eating long term. You’ll have the ability to go longer periods without needing snacks and without any noticeable discomforts, less mood fluctuations, fewer energy changes and better digestive function when you work on boosting your metabolism by eating enough.

One of the best ways to make sure you keep your metabolism humming along is to eat consistently throughout the day, not skipping meals — like skipping breakfast — in an attempt to cut calories. This is especially true for breakfast, which is a meal that has been tied to better weight and mood management. Meal timing can look differently for different people, some choosing to eat three square meals a day with fewer snacks, while others prefer eating smaller meals but more often. Either approach is OK as long as it keeps your energy, blood sugar and hunger levels stable.

2. Get Plenty of Rest

There’s a proven link between a properly functioning metabolism and getting adequate sleep and rest — lack of sleep can mean lack of weight loss“Running on fumes” can seriously slow down your metabolism since the body works to conserve energy when it’s fatigued. Make it a priority to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night in order to keep hormone levels in check, including cortisol, which leads the body to store more fat. High cortisol levels associated with a lack of sleep are tied to poor mental functioning, weight gain and becoming more resistant to insulin that controls blood sugar.

Another way to maintain hormonal balance is to rest enough between exercise days. Overtraining repeatedly causes fatigue, muscle loss and a lower metabolic rate, not the opposite as you might think. Exercise impacts your hormonal status, and intense workouts without rest elevate cortisol levels. This winds up impairing insulin sensitivity, stalling the body’s ability to recover from workouts and damaging the processes that repair and build healthy muscle tissue.

3. Try High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Exercise of any kind is important for keeping metabolic function working into older age. Some studies have found that while metabolism usually declines as someone gets older, this isn’t necessarily the case if you stay active and maintain muscle mass. A 2001 study published in the American Journal of Physiology showed that there wasn’t a significant difference in resting metabolic rate between groups of young and older physically active men who were matched for exercise volume and estimated energy intake. (4) A decline in metabolism seems to be related most to age-associated reductions in exercise volume and calorie consumption but doesn’t always occur in men who maintain exercise volume and eat enough to support their needs.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT), a form of exercise that features intervals that vary between all-out effort and short periods of rest, is known to especially jump-start metabolic functioning better than steady-state workouts can. Quick bursts of intense exercises — such as sprinting, cycling, or burst training and plyometrics — help the body continue to burn calories even after your workout is over, a concept known at the “afterburn effect.”

One of the best things about HIIT workouts is that they require less time than traditional cardio workouts, yet they have more profound benefits. Several studies have investigated the effects of calorie expenditure and fat loss in adults practicing HIIT workouts and have found that while HIIT typically burns fewer calories during the actual workout when compared to steady-state cardio exercise, HIIT can result in more fat loss due to its overall effect on metabolism. (5)

This phenomenon is due to the way the body uses higher levels of oxygen to recover following intense physical activity. HIIT burns more fat over the duration of the day, builds more muscle and improves metabolic function compared to steadier exercises. These workouts are also effective for improving cardiovascular function, helping with insulin sensitivity, lowering cortisol, and improving respiratory endurance and stamina.

4. Start Lifting Weights

Lifting weights can help speed resting metabolic rate because it builds lean muscle mass, which naturally uses more calories than body fat does. To gain muscle means to increase the amount of metabolic work your body needs to do daily in order to just keep you going, since muscle tissue is more active than fat is. (6) Find a way to practice resistence training regularly, whether this means trying CrossFit workouts or simply using dumbells and performing body resistence moves at home. If you are trying to gain muscle quickly, I recommend ideally doing heavy weight training of six to 12 reps, five days a week for 45–75 minutes.

5. Avoid Inflammatory Foods

Certain foods slow down digestive processes and increase free radical damage, which is the cause of aging. You can think of these as “metabolism death foods.” The body recognizes processed and inflammatory foods as toxins, and therefore eating these triggers your innate immune system’s fight-or-flight response, which increases stress hormone production and slows down metabolic functioning. Sadly, even some foods that seem “healthy” are the culprits for unwanted weight gain, thyroid dysfunction, ongoing fatigue, hormone imbalance and digestive distress.

I recommend avoiding the following foods as much as possible:

  • sugary drinks (including soda and juices)
  • processed foods made with grains, especially the kind that contain gluten (including wheat products like bread, pasta, cereal, crackers, muffins, desserts, flours, chips and granola bars)
  • refined vegetable oils
  • artificial sweeteners and ingredients
  • low-quality dairy and animal products (the kind that are not grass-fed, pasture-raised, raw and organic)

6. Add Metabolism Power Foods

Certain foods might help the body use and expend energy better. This has to do with the thermic effects of some foods, meaning the body works harder to break down and metabolize certain fat-burning foods, in some cases because the food has a warming effect on the body that uses up calories.

Eating enough protein, for example, is tied to a strong metabolism, as are some spicy foods and also drinking natural forms of caffeine in moderation, like coffee or tea. Packing in healthy high-protein snacks and sources throughout the day — in the form of wild-caught fish, cage-free eggs, grass-fed beef or raw dairy products, for example — is one the simple metabolism boosters that also keeps you full for longer. Protein is beneficial for keeping energy and blood sugar stable while also helping build calorie-burning lean muscle mass. (7) Eating foods with protein naturally forces your body to use up more calories during the digestion process than when you eat carbs.

Green tea is another healthy addition to your diet, since its consumption has been considered a natural metabolism booster for centuries thanks to special antioxidant compounds in addition to low levels of caffeine. Garlic is another food that acts as a thermogenic in the body, which revs up the metabolism’s heat-producing effects. It’s also tied to lower blood sugar levels and less fat accumulation thanks to a compound called  allicin.

Naturally warming foods like cayenne pepper, chili and other spicy ingredients are known to increase heat in the body thanks to an active compound called capsaicin. There’s evidence that warming spices like cinnamon, pepper and ginger aid in lipid oxidation, which is the process of burning fat for energy — obviously highly desirable when weight loss is the goal. These antioxidant-packed spices also might help decrease appetite and slow the growth of fat cells.

Lastly, let’s not forget about apple cider vinegar, one of my favorite ingredients for digestive health and balancing blood sugar.

Source: Dr. Axe

Sugar Is In More Foods Than You Think

Sugar (artificial and real) is the culprit behind a lot of negative health effects like cavities and weight gain.  A lot of people try to monitor and control how much sugar they take in in order to lose weight or just feel better from the inside out.  However, sugar is hiding in more foods than you think. Learn for yourself below and ask yourself if you are consuming too much sugar.

Hidden Sugar Foods to Avoid & Healthier Alternatives

Today, the average adult living in the U.S. consumes about 22 teaspoons of added sugars every single day, including from hidden sugar foods they might actually believe are “healthy.” Compare this to the amount of added sugar recommended by authorities such as the World Health Organization and American Heart Association: no more than six teaspoons or about 100 calories a day of added sugar for most women, or nine teaspoons (150 calories) per day for most men. (1, 2) This equates to no more than about 5 percent to 10 percent of total calories, which in many ways in still a significant amount.

While there’s lots of conflicting theories about which type of diet is healthiest and most likely to protect against chronic diseases or obesity, limiting your intake of added sugar foods turns out to be one of the few things nearly all health experts agree on. The U.S. Department of Agriculture states, “Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. This does not include naturally occurring sugars such as those in milk and fruits.” (3)

Added sugar intake is a real problem in most industrialized nations and, due to how cheap it is to produce, today even less developed nations too. Consuming lots of added or hidden sugar has been found to be associated with problems including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer, high blood pressure, and cognitive disorders, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Sugar is now even linked to cancer and many other conditions tied to impaired immune function.

If you’re already convinced that kicking your sugar addiction is well worth any extra effort or trade-offs involved, the next step is to learn just how to do it. Below you’ll learn more about hidden sugar foods to carefully avoid, various names that hidden sweeteners and processed sugar now go by, and healthier low-sugar alternatives to start exploring instead.

10 Places Sugar Is Hiding in Your Diet (Hidden Sugar Foods)

Studies and surveys have found that the major food and beverage sources of added sugars for Americans, whether they’re aware of it or not, are:

  • regular soft drinks/sodas, energy drinks and sports drinks
  • candy
  • desserts or snacks, including cakes, cookies, pies and cobblers
  • refined carbohydrates like sweet rolls, pastries and doughnuts
  • sweetened teas and fruit drinks, such as iced tea, fruit punch, etc.
  • dairy desserts, including ice cream

These sources of sugar might seem pretty obvious, but they aren’t the only foods responsible for world’s increased sugar consumption. Added sugars are found in thousands of common food and beverages found in most grocery stores, including “natural” and organic foods sold at health food stores. Most research suggests that for both genders and nearly all age groups, a combination of sugary non-alcoholic beverages (e.g., soft drinks and fruit-flavored drinks) and processed grain products (e.g., sweet bakery products) are where the highest percentage of hidden sugars are found. (4)

Here are 10 of the most common “healthy” foods that actually have lots of sugar hiding in them: (5)

  • Cereals, including hot cereals like flavored oatmeal
  • Packaged breads, including “whole grain” kinds
  • Snack or granola bars
  • “Lower calorie” drinks, including coffees, energy drinks, blended juices and teas
  • Protein bars and meal replacements
  • Sweetened yogurts and other dairy products (like flavored kefir, frozen yogurt, etc.)
  • Frozen waffles or pancakes
  • Bottled sauces, dressings, condiments and marinades (like tomato sauce, ketchup, relish or teriyaki, for example)
  • Dried fruit and other fruit snacks
  • Restaurant foods, where sugar is used in sauces, various desserts and dressings for extra flavor

What makes avoiding sugar so confusing or difficult for most people is this: Not all sugar is inherently bad, and not all types of “sugar” are created equal. Something important to point out here is that added sugar is the real problem, not sugar in the form of fructose found in things like fresh fruit.

Fructose, the type of natural sugar found in modest amounts in real foods like fruits and even vegetables, is generally not something to worry about when consumed as part of a balanced diet because it’s metabolized differently than when ingested in high amounts from processed foods. In fact, studies show that people consuming more of these fresh plant foods experience increased protection against many of the same diseases that added sugar contributes to (heart disease, cancer, etc.).

The real problem lays in consuming hidden sugar foods like sweetened yogurts, cereals, snack bars, juices and other drinks that contain lots of refined “white” sugar and very high amounts of fructose. The primary difference between something like fruit and soda is this: Processed foods supply lots of sugar in the form of ingredients like high fructose corn syrup or maltodextrin, without also providing you with fiber, healthy fats or protein to slow down sugar absorption.

It’s estimated that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) alone now accounts for nearly 40 percent of all caloric sweeteners used in the U.S. HFCS is especially common in sources of “empty calories” like soda — including diet soda — sweetened teas, desserts and candy. (6) As of 2004, the average American got roughly 8 percent of his or her total energy intake from HFCS compared to 17 percent from all added sugars combined (about 377 calories per day/person). Processed sweeteners like HFCS and other isolated sugars have been found to be sweeter and less expensive than other added sweeteners (such as honey), allowing food and beverage manufacturers to increase the sweetness of their products at very low cost. This has led to an increase in the intensity of sweetness in many foods, increased calories consumed from sweets, and higher chance for sugar dependency or “addiction.”

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Source: Dr. Axe

Don’t Know Why You’re Hungry?

Do you experience feelings of hunger when you think you shouldn’t be hungry? There might be a reason that’s never even crossed your mind.  It could have to do with your environment, diet or your own body.  Consider everything mentioned below, and if you have questions or think this applies to you let us know and we can help!

Why Am I Hungry? Weird Things Stoking Your Appetite

“Why am I hungry … like all of the time?” Is that a question you’re asking a lot lately? That’s because weight loss is a bit more complicated than “calories in, calories out.” While that is certainly important, getting your hormones under control is key to stifle an out-of-control appetite.

Luckily, you’re not destined for a life of counting calories (and feeling starved all the time). Eating well, exercising and moving more during the day are key ways to lose weight. But there are other ways to start chipping away at those last few pounds, too. Here are some weird things that make you hungry. And how to start taking steps to reverse overeating …

Why Am I Hungry? 3 Weird Triggers

1. Salt

Eating salt makes you thirsty, right? Nope. A team of researchers from Vanderbilt University found that while excess salt intake can make you thirsty initially, after that your body actually starts producing and storing more of its own water. This forces the body to actually use a lot of fuel to break down muscle mass, fueling your hunger. This breakthrough finding changes what we know about salt and hunger and sheds new light on overeating and its harmful side effects. (1)

If you’re looking to lose weight fast, getting your salt intake under control is key.

2. Air Conditioning

There’s also a theory that air condition primes our body for overeating and weight gain. People seem to eat more in cold temperatures. Why? The body’s trying to stay warm. I get using air conditioning to avoid extreme and dangerous heat, but I wouldn’t make air conditioning a habit if you’re trying to lose weight.  (2, 3)

3. Certain Drugs

Certain medications could be fueling your appetite. Some allergy meds, insulin, steroids and even some blood pressure meds and anti-depressants are known to trigger hunger and weight gain. While you shouldn’t just get off of your meds without talking to your doctor, healing leaky gut can go a long way in actually reversing allergies and a long list of other symptoms. (Rather than just covering them up.) Working on gut repair can begin the process of healing the root cause of many ailments.(4)

How to Get Your Hunger Under Control

You can take several approaches to get reset your food cravings — and finally have some solutions for your “Why I am hungry?” question. You may want to work with your doctor to ID any hormone imbalances. But regardless of that, here are other things you can do:

Final Thoughts On the Question, “Why Am I Always Hungry?”

  • There are a number of surprising things that could be causing you to overeat.
  • Too much salt doesn’t make you thirsty, it actually triggers your body to produce and store more water, which takes lot of energy and makes you even hungrier.
  • Getting enough sleep, eating foods that balance your hormones and choosing appetite-suppressing foods and spices can help you avoid overeating.
  • Simple smelling grapefruit essential oil can actually help promote weight loss and lower hunger levels.

Source: Dr. Axe

Why Haven’t I Lost Weight? -Ask Dr. Infantino

“I haven’t lost any weight. What am I doing wrong?”

Weight loss plateaus happen to the best of us. Even if you’ve been doing absolutely everything you’re supposed to, you may still find yourself glaring at the number on the scale and wondering what in the world went wrong. Take a deep breath. The most important thing to do in these situations is assess your recent health choices and be honest about it. Equally as important, you should answer the question, “How long have I been on this plateau?” If it has been less than a week, you need to be patient for a bit longer before you freak out, or even worse, give up.

If it has been more than two weeks, then you should carefully consider every aspect of your daily living. What have you been eating? Have you been eating too much or too little? Yes, not eating enough can stop you from losing weight! Have you been drinking water? Avoiding refined sugars, grains, and processed foods? Do you exercise? How often? Can you increase the intensity of your workouts? What about your stress and sleep levels? Remember those can affect your weight as much as anything else. And finally, do you know what a healthy lifestyle includes? Having correct info makes a huge difference! If you’re still unsure what you should and should not be eating, sign up for a Free Weight Loss Package. We’d love to meet you in our clinic and answer any of your questions.

6 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight

Ask anyone about weight loss and they’ll say–most likely–that it all boils down to eating less and exercising more. Well… that’s not exactly how it works. We’ve helped hundreds of people lose weight, and here’s a list of the top reasons it’s so hard for you to drop those pounds—even if they try to eat less and exercise more.


1. Your body is polluted with toxins.

The world is full of fertilizers, dyes, enhancers, and all sorts of chemicals. Together all of these are basically poisonous. The toxins interrupt the way your body digests, stores, and processes food. With so many toxins in the body—it’s no wonder you can’t lose weight.

You can rid the body of harmful chemicals by detoxing a few times a year.


2. Your body has been commandeered by yeast—aka Candida.

The prevalence of sugars and simple carbs in our diets is an open door to Candida. A huge percentage of the population that is fighting the never ending weight loss battle is unknowingly fighting Candida, and losing.


Rid your body of yeast and take control of the your weight loss, once and for all. The process is relatively simple. It kicks off with a cleanse, followed by five weeks of clean, healthy eating. It’s not uncommon for patients to lose anywhere from 20 to 75 pounds in this short time frame. Learn more about cleaning at our free weight loss class.


3. You’re eating too much fruit.

It’s easy to think, fruit is a natural, healthy snack—but then accidentally overindulge on fruit. It’s funny to think someone could eat too many pieces of fruit, right? But consider how many calories are in a handful of grapes verses a handful of broccoli florets. At the end of the day calories still count for something, so remember to eat fruit responsibly!


4. You’re dehydrated.

We could write about water every week, and probably still not be able to stress how important water is in the weight loss process enough. You’ve seen the diagrams showing the percentage of the body that’s made up of water. Additionally, the digestion system needs water to function. You can keep toxins and fat at bay with water. Plus water helps curb hunger pangs. The only thing left to say is to “drink water” for weight loss, and watch the results happen.


5. You’re not sleeping enough.

Lack of sleep puts your body into a carb- and fat-craving survival mode. A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who slept fewer than four hours ate 300 more calories and 21 more grams of fat the next day.  To fix this, try to seven and a half hours of sleep every night.


6. Your Thyroid is the culprit

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck. It produces hormones that control the speed of your metabolism.  People with an underactive thyroid tend to have a very low metabolism, thus one of the most noticeable symptoms of hypothyroidism is weight gain and difficulty losing extra weight.


If you’re in the Phoenix area and having trouble losing weight, come into our office to try our Weight Loss Package. Click HERE to learn more about the package.

6 Ways to Consume More Water

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re one of the people out there who knows how extremely important water is—but unfortunately doesn’t seem to get enough of it. Short of sitting down and chugging several cups of water, what should a person do to intake enough water?


We have six great, easy-to-implement suggestions for how to drink more water:


1. Drink a full glass every time you brush your teeth.


2. Keep a water bottle in the car and in your purse. Make sure it’s a high quality polycarbonate bottle so no chemicals leach into your water from the bottle. Plastic bottles are especially dangerous.


3. Drink a cup of water before each meal. This not only serves to increase your  water intake, it also helps limit your food intake. Of course, it’s also best to just drink water with meals. Water is the ultimate beverage regardless of what’s for dinner.


4. Bring a water bottle with you during all workouts. Sip often. It’s best to avoid being thirsty. Thirst is a sign of being dehydrated.


5. Drink water after every time you visit the loo. It’s a simple principle of water in, water out.


6. Dress up your water. Use a straw, squeeze in a lemon wedge, and add your favorite kind of ice. If you love pebble ice, keep it stocked in your freezer. It’s a simple way to make your water seem more appealing.


It’s common for people to dislike water. If you’re one of those people, consider how important water is to a proper-functioning body.


– Aids in digestion.

– Speeds the metabolism.

– Cleanses the blood.

– Regulates hormones.

– Helps keep the kidneys clean and functioning effectively.

– Helps keep skin clear and youthful looking. Reduces the formation of wrinkles.

– Prevents constipation.

– Regulates body temperate.

– And more.

The body is about 90% water, so it’s no surprise that proper water intake can help in each of those ways.


Of course, the quality of water is also important. It’s best to drink purified or natural mineral water. The body needs the minerals, but none of the chlorines and chemicals used to clean and maintain most municipal water sources. If you don’t have access to natural mineral water, it’s best to invest in a high quality water filter.


Make sure to get enough water. You get about 20% of the water necessary through eating a healthy diet. After that, most people need eight to ten glasses of water a day.


The beautiful thing about drinking the appropriate amount of water, is that it will make you feel so much better that you’ll naturally start drinking enough water without thinking about it.


Water is magic that way.