Five Sneaky Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Weight

So you’ve made a commitment to live a healthier life. That’s fantastic! But why aren’t your results reflecting your hard work?

Many people who commit to a healthier diet find that they struggle to lose weight, or that they plateau after the first few weeks. Why does this happen? Let’s look at five sneaky reasons you’re not losing weight, and what you can do about them.

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#1: You’re making bad choices about what you drink (and I don't mean just alcohol).

You might feel conscious of your health for switching out your daily coke for a diet one instead, but the facts show that your new caffeine fix isn’t any better for your health. In fact, studies have linked the low-calorie sweeteners sucralose and aspartame to increased belly fat, and daily diet soda drinkers can gain nearly three times as much weight around their midsection as those who stick with water instead.

Think your morning coffee is a safe option? Only if you skip the cream and sweeteners! A latte habit can quickly set you back 200 calories per cup, so strive to wake up with black coffee or green tea instead. You should also make it a goal to drink a liter of water by lunch each day to fend off dehydration.

And yeah. Alcoholic beverages are carbs. So plan your day accordingly.

#2: Your carb-free diet is high in calories

One time-tested strategy for shedding stubborn weight is to cut carbs from your diet. But sometimes, that fat still won’t budge. If this sounds like you, part of the problem might be that you’re consuming too many calories from protein and fat. Banning bread from your plate but loading up on butter and thick cuts of steak will fill your body with more calories than you can conceivably burn in a day, which can stop your weight loss in its tracks.

#3: You're working out too hard and it’s making you hungry.

When you’re eager to reach your goal weight, it’s common to want to hit the gym hard. However, more exercise doesn’t necessarily lead to a slimmer figure- and I’m not just talking about gaining muscle weight.

The truth is, most people who love extreme workouts develop an appetite to match, and ending your endurance session with a monster meal can quickly undo the calorie deficit you worked for. That’s why one study shows that moderate levels of exercise are just as sufficient for weight loss as going all out. Likewise, it’s possible for excessive exercise to change your hormone levels and switch your system to burning muscle instead of fat.

If you’re not satisfied with your results so far, keep in mind that maintaining a healthy weight requires a balance between exercise AND your diet.

#4: “Hidden Carbs” are wrecking your diet

If you’re striving to follow a carb-free diet but aren’t seeing weight loss results, the problem might be that your diet isn’t as low on carbs as you think it is. ‘Hidden carbs’ abound in unexpected places like starchy veggies, alcohol and many sauces, and if you don’t take them into account, you’re likely going over your levels.

The solution? Track what you eat a little more carefully, and you can pinpoint your calorie bombs before they become a bigger problem.

#5 You’re snacking too much

When you’re trying to eat healthy, it’s easy to fall into the myth that snacking is good for you. Many of my clients tell me that they try to eat something every few hours to “rev up their metabolism,” but this practice just doesn’t stand up to fact. Instead, I’m a fervent believer that you should eat only when hungry and give up on mindless snacking for good.  

It’s important to let your stomach empty to the point you feel hungry between every meal, and many of us should give up snacking altogether. Trust your body to tell you when it’s hungry, and you’ll take in fewer unnecessary calories throughout the day.

In need of a Food Fix?

When it comes to optimizing your eating style for better health, there are plenty of pitfalls that can compromise your efforts. That’s why I created The Food Fix clean eating and weight loss system, a proven eating strategy that gives you the support and guidance you need to make a positive health change you can maintain for life. Learn more at foodfix.me.

Does the Ketogenic Diet Make Sense for Long-Term Weight Loss?

Everyone seems to be on a different diet these days. From the passionate paleos to the rigid vegans, it’s hard to know what’s best for your health. One eating trend that’s gaining traction is the ketogenic diet, a plan that claims consuming fat is the secret to weight loss. But is this diet sustainable in the long run? I’m here to help you find out.

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

The premise behind the ketogenic diet is that it causes your body to use fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates (glucose). While your cells typically convert carbs into energy, their absence causes cells to break down your stored fat for fuel instead. By turning this fat into ‘ketone bodies,’ you put your body into ketosis, an optimal fat-burning state. Once you reach ketosis, your body will continue to burn fat until you give it glucose again.

Following the Ketogenic Diet

Most people reach ketosis after a few days of eating fewer than 30 grams of carbs per day. To get in this state, your diet should be 60 to 80 percent fat, 15 to 35 percent protein, and just five percent carbohydrates. For most of us, that comes down to 20 to 30 grams of carbs a day.

Eating such a high-fat, low-carb diet requires you to eliminate many foods from your diet, including starchy vegetables, most fruits, dairy products, whole grains, nuts, beans, and all forms of sugar- natural and otherwise. Instead, you’ll fill up on meats, eggs, butter, oils, and fiber-filled veggies.

If you think that sounds difficult, then you’re correct. The average American diet is more than fifty percent carbs, so consuming just a fraction of that is far from easy. Lots of people struggle with the commitment of adjusting to a ketogenic diet. But is the effort worthwhile? In truth, I have significant reservations about the diet’s long-term health effects. 

Long-Term Effects of Keto Eating

At this point, there isn’t much research on the long-term effects of the ketogenic diet. However, the evidence we have shows that there is cause for concern.

For many, there seems to be a link between the diet and the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Those with kidney disease or diabetes should also be concerned, as following the diet can worsen health. Over time, going keto can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which is caused by excessive ketone production that causes vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and other adverse side effects.

Another drawback is that going keto limits your fruit and vegetable intake. If you follow this diet for months on end, you might start experiencing nutrient deficiencies.

My Take: Is the Ketogenic Diet Sustainable?

So, does it make sense to try the ketogenic diet? Following this plan long-term can be exhausting and limiting, which is why some people think the sweet spot is about six weeks at a time, several times a year. This puts your body into ketosis long enough to burn fat without increasing your risk of nutritional deficiencies.

However, a better strategy is to follow an eating plan you can stick with for life. With The Food Fix, I’ve created an actionable guide to improve your relationship with food. My program will teach you how to acheive a balanced, unprocessed diet that provides your body with exactly what it needs for better health.

Ready to learn more about The Food Fix? Visit foodfix.me to learn how The Food Fix can help you live your healthiest life.

5 Ways to Improve Your Morning Routine for Better Weight Loss

Let’s be real. Weight loss is more complex than counting calories. Instead, every decision you make throughout the day can influence your health, especially your morning routine.

What does it take to wake up on the right side of the bed and start achieving your health goals? Below, I’ll talk about the best five ways to improve your morning routine for better weight loss results.

Want to learn more ways to develop healthy routines? Check out The Food Fix, my clean eating and weight loss system designed to transform your relationship with food so you can meet your health goals once and for all! Go to foodfix.me for more info.

Don’t Check Your Phone in the AM

It’s no longer news that cell phones can suck away our free time, but early morning phone use can lead to weight gain too. Research shows that email notifications triggers feelings of stress. That’s because checking your phone first thing puts you in a compromised state of mind where it’s easier to give in to unhealthy foods or skip a workout. So do yourself a favor and keep your phone on airplane mode until you’ve started your day in a healthier way.

Eat a Protein-Packed Breakfast

Eating breakfast is important- but you’ll get the most benefit if you fill it with protein. Research conducted with teenage girls reveals that eating a high-protein breakfast reduced their food cravings throughout the day, and further studies found that eating protein early in the day led to less weight gain. I recommend starting your day with clean protein like hard boiled eggs, steel cut oatmeal, or Greek yogurt to tide you over until lunchtime.

Sip Water after Sleeping

Sleeping all night makes you dehydrated, so make it a habit to drink at least sixteen ounces of water when you first wake up, and strive to get in a full liter by lunchtime. Water promotes weight loss because it increases the rate at which you burn calories immediately after drinking it, and one study found that participants increased their metabolic rate by a third after drinking 16 ounces. Likewise, a big glass of water with breakfast can reduce your calorie consumption by 13%.

Move Before You Make Coffee

Exercise is excellent at any point in the day, but the benefits are profound in the early am. Physical exercise first thing in the morning can improve your fat burning potential because it steadies blood sugar levels, especially for those with diabetes. This helps you curb food cravings and leaves you with higher satiety levels throughout the day.  

You don’t have to fit in a full workout to get the benefits, just follow a 15-minute morning yoga routine or bike to work instead of driving. Even 15-20 mins of running or walking is better than nothing at all! Moving in the morning also improves your mood and helps you wake up faster, so you might manage to ditch the coffee altogether.

Pack Protein-filled Snacks for the Day

Midday munchies can strike at any time, so protect yourself from the temptation of the vending machine by packing healthy snacks to take to work instead. I recommend single serving packets of unsalted nuts, low-fat cheese, or healthy meats like turkey. Instead of slipping into a sugar coma after chomping down a candy bar, your body will get a boost of protein that keeps it focused and alert.

Improve Your Morning Routine for Better Weight Loss

Your morning habits set your mood for the rest of your day, especially when it comes to weight loss. Want to learn more ways to develop healthy routines? Check out The Food Fix, my clean eating and weight loss system designed to transform your relationship with food so you can meet your health goals once and for all! Go to foodfix.me for more info.

A healthy Super Bowl plan

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Super Bowl Sunday can be one of the toughest days of the year when it comes to eating.  With the unlimited spread of snack foods, giant hero sandwiches, pizza, wings, and not to mention beer, it can be pretty hard to defend those resolutions that were made just a few weeks earlier.  This year, however, with just a little planning, we can easily score big on taste without penalizing our waistlines.  

The Game Plan

Prior to Kickoff

First, ensure that you aren’t starving by the time your Super Bowl party starts.  Make sure that you eat regular meals (i.e. breakfast, lunch, and a PM snack) before you arrive at your party so that you can perform well at game-time.    

The Defense

As a Super Bowl party guest, you will be playing on someone else’s turf, and so you will need to be on the defensive.  

  • When you get to the party, hold off on hitting the food table.  Converse with the other guests, and grab a glass of water to help fill you up.
  • Allow yourself a small taste of everything at the party that you want.  After that, bench the fattier options, and send in the low-cal replacements.
  • Bring something with you.  Prepare a healthy dish such as a turkey chili, or arrange a colorful fruit or vegetable platter with a low-fat yogurt based dip.  
  • Bench the high-cal beverages.  Though Super Bowl Sunday may encourage loads of beer drinking, remember that one regular beer contains about 150 calories.  Try water, seltzer, or diet drinks instead.  If you feel you are missing out on the alcohol, try a wine spritzer (1/2 wine, ½ sparkling water), or even a light beer.

The Offense

If you’re the one throwing the party, you have the home field advantage.  Instead of putting out the usual fatty fare, surprise your opponents and slim down the options.

  • Though chili has a wonderful healthy base of beans and tomatoes, the beef, sausage, cheese, and sour cream can intercept your healthy eating plan.  Try choosing extra-lean ground beef or turkey, or opt for a soy crumble.  Try low-fat cheese and/or non-fat sour cream in place of the higher calorie condiments.
  • Instead of saucy, fried wings, try oven-frying some boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Cut the breasts into bite size pieces, dip them in egg whites or buttermilk, and dredge them in either breadcrumbs or cornflake crumbs.  Bake in the oven and serve with a honey-mustard or barbecue sauce.
  • Foot-long heros may be an old standby on Super Bowl Sunday, but the high-fat and high-sodium meats, the cheeses, the oil, and the mayonnaise (not to mention the sheer quantity), can easily add up to hundreds of extra calories.  Instead of buying the pre-made sandwiches, make a sandwich platter.  Arrange different lean meats like turkey, chicken, and ham.  Put out low-fat dressings and mayo, and loads of veggies.  Provide a variety of whole grain breads, wraps, and rolls.  
  • For a low-fat cornbread, use part whole-wheat flour, low-fat or fat-free buttermilk, and canola oil.
  • Bake tortilla chips or pita wedges and serve with low-fat dips that use fat-free or reduced-fat yogurt, sour cream, or cream cheese as their base.
  • Load your potato skins with salsa and a sprinkling of reduced fat cheese instead of bacon and cheese sauce.  Top with a small dollop of non-fat sour cream if desired.
  • Order pizza without cheese and ask for extra veggies.
  • Put out pretzels, popcorn, and baked chips instead of greasy potato chips.
  • Don’t forget the veggies!  Put out a big vegetable platter with a variety of cut-up veggies and low-fat dip.
  • Provide other drink options aside from beer.  Keep plenty of water, coffee, and diet drinks on hand.

Whether you’re at home or away this Super Bowl Sunday, you are now prepared to avoid getting sacked by those extra pounds.  Now all you need to do is hope that your football team is as prepared as you are.   

A walk down sugar lane

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Over three-quarters of packaged food in grocery stores today contains added sweeteners, making it easy to overindulge, even if you pass on dessert. Most Americans eat over 82 grams of sugar daily, which is triple the amount recommended by the American Heart Association.

Over one year, that equals 150 pounds of added sugars per person. Feeling gross yet?

Five Dangers of Added Sugar

Below are five health risks of overeating sugar and sugar substitutes.

#1 Driving Force Behind Type 2 (and Type 3) Diabetes

The results are in; eating too much sweet stuff raises your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC, an estimated 100 million Americans have the disease, and millions more are at risk. Insulin resistance is the trigger for diabetes, and foods filled with fat and sugar reduce your sensitivity to insulin, meaning your blood-sugar levels go unchecked.

Sugary drinks tend to be the most dangerous. When the British Medical Journal conducted an analysis of fruit juice and soda, they found that even eight daily ounces raised diabetes risk by 13 percent. Likewise, research published on PLOS One shows that every extra 150 calories of sugar (the amount in a single canned soda) every day increased diabetes risk by one percent, compared to just 0.1 percent for non-sugar calories.  

Now, new evidence from the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology shows that sugar-filled diets might increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, the link between insulin resistance and Alzheimer’s is so strong that some scientists are considering renaming the disease as ‘type 3 diabetes’.

#2 Promotes Addiction and Brain Fog

Eight times more addictive than cocaine. That’s what research from Princeton is reporting about the sinister side of sugar. Your body craves this sweet substance like it’s a drug because, well, it is. And like many other drugs, sugar only hurts your body in the process.  

The taste of sugar triggers signals in your brain that light up its reward pathway and create a surge of feel-good hormones. Too much stimulation reduces their effectiveness, meaning you start needing larger amounts of sugar to feel the same way. Likewise, sugar-induced insulin resistance weakens the synaptic connections between brain cells, leading to impaired cognition, higher depression rates, and emotional mood swings that leave you depleted.

#3 Develops into Dangerous Belly Fat

Eating refined sugar overloads your liver with fructose, and anything you don’t immediately burn is turned into fat- predominately around your belly. Not only does this leave you looking bloated, but it also leads to lingering health challenges. In fact, reports from Harvard reveals that abdominal fat can raise your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, and premature death.

#4 Triggers Premature Aging

Wrinkly, saggy skin is hardly the fresh start you want this year. Yet, sugary snacks might make it a reality. A study conducted at Dartmouth Medical School states that overindulging on sugar leads to glycation, a process where excess sugar molecules attach to collagen fibers, causing them to lose flexibility and strength. As a result, your skin loses elasticity and becomes more vulnerable to skin damage and sagging. A high-sugar diet also deactivates your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes, which leaves you more susceptible to sun damage and skin cancers.

#5 Zaps the ‘Good’ Bacteria in Your Gut

Your digestive system is a zoo of beneficial bacteria that keep things functioning as they should. Research funded by the American Cancer Society show that sugar alters gut bacteria in ways that affect mental performance and potentially raise toxin levels in your bloodstream. Because most sugars are digested without microbial help, these hungry bugs turn to nibbling on your intestinal lining instead. Permeating this barrier allows food particles into the rest of your body, which can cause inflammation and fungal growth like candida.

Further research from Tel Aviv University also shows that artificial sugar might promote the growth of harmful gut bacteria, which can lead to irritation, allergies and skin conditions, as well as digestive distress.