Exotic Kopi Luwak Coffee for Weight Loss?

Kopi-luwak-dietCoffee lovers the world over rejoice the first time they drink a cup of Kopi Luwak coffee. This coffee has an unbelievably rich and strong taste with an aroma that will make you think you are in heaven. This coffee made its North American debut on the Oprah Winfrey show and since then the demand for it (despite its enormous price tag) has been staggering.

So What is All the Buzz about Kopi Luwak coffee?

Some people think that the allure of Kopi Luwak coffee is the process that is used when roasting the beans. Others are convinced that it is so desirable because of its price. You can never underestimate the magic of marketing. Still  others believe that it the taste of this delicious drink that makes it so popular.

What exactly is Kopi Luwak Coffee?

what-is-kopi-luwakThis delicious beverage comes all the way from Sumatra where it is harvested on one of Indonesia’s more than 13,000 islands. Kopi is the local Indonesian word for coffee. The word Luwak makes reference to the mammal responsible for its production, the civet.

This coffee is very smooth and the beans that make it can only be roasted very lightly. There are a few different types of of Kopi Luwak blends. These include Liberica and Arabica. The type of blend you get is largely dependent on the type of cherries the civets have eaten. Though the taste may vary from batch to batch, the magnificent aroma and the coffee’s general lack of a bitter taste remains stable across all the blends.

But the thing that most coffee lovers rave about the most is the taste of Kopi Luwak coffee. When you drink it for the first time, you are immediately surprised by the flavour of caramel and chocolate  you are tasting. These are not added tastes, however. They come naturally from the coffee beans themselves. This is not like any other coffee you have tasted before. Yes, you can buy lots of coffee with those flavours added to them. But this is an unnatural process. Kopi Luwak comes with these flavours completely naturally. In fact, many Kopi Luwak lovers say that the coffee is so smooth and naturally sweet that they can drink it without any added sweeteners at all.

How did a coffee hailing from Indonesia become so famous?

civet-kopi-luwakThe reason this coffee has shot to such fame most likely has to do with the way it is processed. The procedure is very complex. The first thing that occurs is that the civet, a small mammal that resembles a rat which is indigenous to Indonesia, eats some of the ripest coffee berries it can find. the berries then pass along the digestive tract of the civet and go through a variety of chemical processes for a day or two. During this time, the beans are fermented by the stomach acids and enzymes found in the civet’s stomach. Scientists believe that it is this process which is responsible for removing the bitterness from the end result — the coffee beans.

After the civet has finished eating its fill of coffee cherries, it defecates and what it leaves behind are beans which still contain layers of juice from those very coffee cherries.

These are then gathered, washed and put into the sun to dry just like all other coffee beans are when they are being processed. It may be hard for people to believe but this what Kopi Luwak goes through before it ends up on your kitchen table.

Is Kopi Luwak Really That Expensive?

Most people are completely shocked when they find out how much a pound of Kopi Luwak costs. It is widely agreed to be the most expensive coffee in the world. These beans sell for, on average, about $600.00 per pound. In Vietnam, a small weasel produces a coffee that costs up to $3,000.00 per pound. In cities like New York, one cup can cost between $30 and $90 per cup. One of the reasons why this coffee is so expensive is because the crop is only produced once per year. All of the work is done manually by Indonesian laborers.

So Does Kopi Luwak Coffee Help You Lose Weight?

But in terms of losing weight, Kopi Luwak will not help you lose weight any faster than green coffee bean extract which is found in most diet pill supplements. Because the coffee itself has a fairly low level of caffeine, it will not rev you up like other caffeinated beverages. I would not place a lot of value on Kopi Luwak if you are looking purely for weight loss benefits. You will get more of a kick from drinking just regular caffeinated coffee each morning with your breakfast. If you are looking for something to help you lose weight, save your money and don’t bother with Kopi Luwak coffee. It is too expensive and you will probably not see any tangible weight loss from drinking it.

Whole Fruit v/s Fruit Juice – Which One Should You Choose?

If you’ve looked at a lot of healthy eating websites you’ve probably noticed that almost all of them promote eating whole fruits but very few of them recommend fruit juices. You might be wondering why this is the case. The reason for this is fairly simple. It doesn’t matter what kind of fruit you are juicing, the way to get the most nutrients from any kind of fruit is by eating the whole fruit.

The great nutritional benefits of the skin of fruit.

fruits-basketThere are some fruits that are just hands-down extremely healthy to eat. These include fruits such as blueberries, figs, apricots, apples, grapes, raspberries, pears and strawberries. Each one of these fruits gives you an enormous amount of biological benefits every time you eat them. But the thing that gives you the most bang for your buck is the skin of the fruit.  This the place where the fruit interacts with the rays of the sun as it is growing and this is where it stores most of its nutrients. The pigments which are the things which give the fruit its wonderful color are great sources of things like carotenoids and flavonoids which have been scientifically proven to help decrease the risk for developing cancer. Grapes are also noteworthy for helping give protect

ion against ultraviolet light. But when these fruits are turned into juice, it is not always possible to save the skin in the process.

How do you choose between the two?

Fruit-Juices

You will find choices between whole fruit and juice in almost every dining establishment you go to. You might reasonably think that drinking a glass of juice is a great idea. But when compared side by side, juice has more calories per serving than a piece of whole fruit. It has less fiber and water-soluble vitamins per serving and it often contains added sugars. If it is not labelled 100% fruit juice then it is safe to assume that it contains other additives, usually high-fructose corn syrup which is loaded with calories. So, one 8 ounce glass of orange juice will likely have about 120 calories when compared to just an orange alone which will have only about 60 calories. Because of the extra fiber contained in pieces of whole fruit, you will feel fuller for a longer period after you’ve eaten this than you would if you had just opted for the glass of fruit juice.

The dietary fiber contained in whole fruit will also help keep your digestive system ticking along at a good rate and stay in balance and will help to lower your cholesterol naturally. Eating a piece of whole fruit will also help control your blood glucose levels whereas drinking a glass of fruit juice will most likely cause your blood glucose levels to rise dramatically.

It is true that fruit juice can definitely soothe a craving for something sweet but this is likely because the juice itself contains a lot of added sugar.

But if you must drink fruit juice here are a few tips to help you cut down on the calories in them.

  • Just fill your glass ⅓ or ½ full. If you have to go back for seconds, take a glass of water.

  • Give a glass of chocolate milk a try instead of a glass of fruit juice. You will get some sweetness from the chocolate used in the milk without a lot of those extra calories and you will get the benefit of having a glass of milk.

In an interesting study conducted at Harvard University researchers found that people who drank fruit juice were more susceptible to developing Type II diabetes. They also discovered that eating whole fruits lowered people’s risk of developing Type II diabetes.

The study which was published in the British Medical Journal in 2013 looked at data which were gathered from 1984 through 2008 and included about 13,000 participants.

The scientists paid close attention to the overall fruit consumption taken in by each of the participants as well as monitoring consumption of specific types of fruit and other fruit juices in particular.

The participants who ate at least two servings of whole fruits per week were shown to reduce their overall risk for developing Type II diabetes by as much as 23%. This was a dramatic difference from those participants who ate fewer than one serving of whole fruits each month. The opposite effect was seen in those participants who drank more than one serving of fruit juice each day. The team of scientists discovered that just swapping out 3 servings of fruit juice per week for a piece of whole fruit helped people to reduce their risk of developing Type II diabetes by about 7%.

Based on this study alone, it’s easy to see that the benefits of eating whole fruit so dramatically override the benefits derived from drinking fruit juice that one would almost say there is no contest. This is a very piece of valuable information for anyone who has a weight problem who has been diagnosed as being pre-diabetic. My personal take on this is that if you have received a diagnosis of being pre-diabetic you should do everything humanly possible to keep yourself from moving into the diabetic category. Diabetes is a very serious illness and many people erroneously think that if they have Type II diabetes that it’s not “as serious” as the disease that people who have to “take shots” is. But, Type II diabetes is even more dangerous for precisely this reason in my opinion. Many people who have Type II diabetes do not take it seriously enough. They don’t monitor their blood glucose levels enough or follow their diets closely enough and it is precisely this group of people who go on to develop serious diabetes complications such as liver failure or blindness.

What is a Good Nutritional Diet Plan For Women?

If you’re a fan of the Food Network, you might feel overwhelmed with the thought of trying to embark on any kind of a nutritional diet plan. Especially if you’re a woman.

I’ve been trying out different diets for years, trying one “fad” diet after the other and never getting very far at all until the past few years. What changed for me? I decided to go back to the basics and eat very simple but easy to prepare food. I also took another look at the American Diabetic Association’s food guide. So, though when you look at television and even flip some diet cookbooks, try to remember that healthy eating can honestly be relatively easy and uncomplicated.

You can actually base your diet around starchy foods like pasta, potatoes and rice. As long as you add lots of fresh fruit and plenty of veggies you will be okay. Don’t forget your protein at lunch at dinner. In my opinion, protein is the building block of any healthy food plan. It’s what allows your body to build lean muscle and lean muscle is what burns fat. Your diet will also need to incorporate dairy products such as milk and cheese but there are lots of low-fat cheeses to choose from and 1% fat milk is always your best friend. It will fill you up without piling on lots of extra calories.

Consuming a healthy diet is all about balance and portion size. This means that you will have to choose from a wide variety of different foods and drink lots of fresh water. If you live in either England or the United States where the average person is either overweight or clinically obese, you may find yourself doubly challenged. This can be difficult especially if you eat a lot of fast food or processed food. If you are spending long hours at the pub each week tossing back lots of ale, then you’re also going to have a hard time consuming a good nutritional diet plan.

The Different Food Groups

Nutritious foods are divided into five different categories and they are:

  • vegetables and fruit

  • grain products

  • milk and dairy products

  • protein (meat and fish)

  • oils and fats

But I don’t want to eat fats and oils, I’m on a diet! you might be saying to yourself. Oils and and other healthy fats are very important to your body. Your body must have a certain amount of fat in it if it wants to process other foods well. You don’t need a lot of fat or healthy oils, but you do need some. Don’t entirely limit fat and oil from any weight loss diet.

Fruit and Vegetables:

Fruits-and-VegetablesBecause fruit and veggies are such a vital source of minerals and vitamins, a health nutritional plan will include about five servings of each per day. Research has shown that people who do consume this amount of fruit and vegetables significantly lower their risk for both heart disease and stroke. A portion of a fruit might be as small as just one medium sized banana. Alternatively, just one slice of fresh pineapple can count as one serving. So, you don’t have to be eating oodles and oodles of fruit and veggies every day if that’s not your thing. It’s certainly not mine. I actually don’t like fruit or veggies very much but I eat them now. You will find that if you start to incorporate small bits of fruits and veggies into your diet that you will be able to work  yourself up to the five servings per day with minimal fuss. If you swap out your morning donut for a small tangerine, you’ve added one serving already!

Starchy foods

starchy-food-in-your-dietAbout ⅓ of our daily diet should be made up of starchy foods. That means it is fine to go ahead and base your meals around starchy foods like potatoes and pasta. Potatoes are also rich in fiber if you don’t remove the skin. So when you bake a potato, go ahead and leave the skin on and eat it. It’s good for you and if your potato has been baked in an oven rather than a microwave, it will taste delicious.

If you’re going to eat pasta, switch from white grain pasta to whole wheat pasta. This will bump up your protein level enormously and remember what I said about protein? It is the building block of every balanced nutritional plan.

Meat, fish, eggs and beans

nutritional-diet-for-womenMeat, fish, eggs and beans are all excellent sources of protein. In addition, they also provide a hefty amount of vitamins and minerals your body needs. Meat contains iron and zinc and B vitamins. In fact, meat is one of the best sources of vitamin B12 — no need to take a B12 vitamin if you’re eating at least one serving of red meat per week, well-cooked, of course.

Fish is also very high in protein but even more importantly, if you are eating “oily fish” such as sardines or salmon, it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. You should try to have fish about twice a week.

Milk and dairy foods

milk-dairy-productsMilk and other dairy products are also excellent sources of protein. Dairy products also contain calcium which is needed to strengthen and keep bones healthy. You will definitely want to enjoy reaping all the benefits of dairy products in your diet without the added calories it can bring. So choose either 1% milk or skim milk. Cheeses like cottage cheese and 0% fat yogurt (Greek yogurt) are also high in protein without the extra fat content.

Fats

In general, most people who live in western countries consume way too much fat and sugar. Processed foods are saturated with both of these things. The more processed food you can avoid, the more successful your diet plan will be in the long run. That being said, fat is an essential component for every single diet and every person needs to consume a certain amount of fat each day if they want to remain healthy. But do you know that there are different kinds of fat?

Saturated fats, the kind found in things like cakes, sausages and pie (think solid when chilled) are high in cholesterol and ultimately clog your arteries leading to heart disease. These should be avoided at all cost, if possible.

Unsaturated fats such as olive oil, the type of oils found in nuts and avocados are good for you. You can use and eat these liberally without worrying too much about what they are doing to your body. When you are dieting, though, it is best to measure them.

Diet in Review: The Retrofit Diet

retrofit-logoPeople who subscribe to the latest in weight loss technology, the Retrofit Diet, are in for a very pleasant surprise. This diet plan is most assuredly different from almost all those I’ve ever come across. It gives subscribers access to a whole team of health experts and utilizes the very latest in technology to help people not only reach their goal weight but keep it off. The program is designed to take a year to work through as it guides you to a total weight loss of about 10 to 15%. But the most important thing about the program is that it teaches you the tools you need to know in order to keep the weight off once you’ve finished the program.

To accomplish this, each participant is assigned to a registered dietitian, a behavior coach and a physiologist. These professionals work with the subscriber and with each other to make the most of the subscriber’s experience and help them achieve their ultimate goal which is sustainable weight loss.

The subscriber accesses the program via video conferences which are scheduled for their convenience. These video conferences are specifically designed to help keep the subscriber on track and motivated to work through the program. There are also regular follow-ups done via email.

The program has been designed to make the most of the newest technology. Each participant receives a FitBit which is a wireless device which tracks your activity levels through the day. They are also given a Withings Wi-Fi scale which can calculate the participant’s body composition. All of this data is used by your coaches to calculate your body composition and help you succeed. These are the tools which help you and your coaches evaluate what is working in your program and what is not so that tweaks can be made along the way.

Advantages Of Retrofit Diet:

The biggest advantage is the extremely highly personalized service that each participant receives. Participants also engage in weekly meetings which helps them feel accountable. The program also offers an extended maintenance phase so that clients will not regain all the weight they have so arduously just shed. The program has been created by a team of highly respected medical professionals and each coaching team consists of highly educated and well-trained experts. The program addresses the various challenges both physically and mentally when it comes to weight loss recognizing that these two facets are integrally linked with each other. Experts are also available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to address any questions or concerns that a participant might have. The program is highly regarded because it teaches clients how to set reasonable goals which are attainable. Additionally, if you do not reach your target weight in one year, the company will provide you with a second year’s subscription at no additional cost. The video conferences are carried out via reputable companies such as Skype.

Disadvantages of Retrofit Diet:

This program is not ideal for people who only want/need to lose a minimal amount of weight. It is not ideal for people who are unfamiliar with video conferencing technology such as Skype. Also, it is a bit pricey in my opinion.

What is the diet and exercise program like?

One of the first steps that new clients will take is adjusting their diet so that it includes only the optimal number of calories on a daily basis. Clients will be taught how to measure and weigh their food properly so that they are eating the proper portion sizes. Each client will take a 50 question intake quiz so that their eating habits can be assessed as well as their likes and dislikes. This will help their dietitian and the client come up with a food plan that the client will be able to follow and enjoy. Among the questions the client is asked by their dietitian is to name their biggest nutrition challenges and suggest some ways of dealing with them. The next step will be to change one or two small things each week so that the client does not become overwhelmed with too many changes at once. Each participant also receives a cookbook which is loaded with healthy recipes. Because no clients are allowed to begin the program without first completing the 50 question intake quiz, count on that as the first step of the process.

The second most important component of the program is for the client to understand why they eat what they eat. This work will be done with your behavior coach as the client begins to identify the different stressors in their life which act as the triggers for overeating. They will also work with their coach to come up with tangible ways to cope with those stressors and stressful situations. The personalized meal plan which is developed with take all of those stressors and stressful situations into account. So, for example, if you normally eat large portions you will be asked to purchase a set of smaller dinner plates or will be taught how to use your own hands as a way to gauge portion sizes.

Each participant is taught that exercise is an integral component to an effective weight loss plan. In this regard, each client is also asked to take a quiz with regard to their exercise habits. Using the FitBit which is provided, the client will determine their baseline activity level. Once this information has been gathered, the client will work with their physiologist to learn ways to increase their fitness levels by about 10%.

For a person who is extremely sedentary, this might mean they have to increased the number of steps they take in a day. Once that has been achieved moderate aerobic exercise will be introduced usually in the form of walking each day. While these changes may seem small, every change adds up in the long run.

Conclusion

The Retrofit Diet plan is the most comprehensive and personalized diet program available today. It offers the same services as any online program or weight loss clinics which are medically supervised. Having access to a team of wellness and fitness experts will help each client address all the confusing aspects of weight loss. This goes far beyond just the issues of diet and exercise. But the most important aspect is that the diet is designed to help clients succeed in not only losing their weight but keeping it off for a lifetime.

The 10 Most Destructive Nutrition Lies Ever Told!

Gym-MythsIf you follow mainstream nutrition guidelines you will almost certainly have come into contact with some nutrition lies over time. I thought I would write a short blog piece about the most destructive nutrition lies ever told. But, in my experience, these lies are only the beginning.

1. Eggs are not good for you

One of my biggest pet peeves is the way that certain nutrition professionals have demonized foods which are incredibly good for you. The worst example of this which comes to mind has to do with eggs. Because eggs contain cholesterol, at some point in time, nutritionists thought it was best to tell people not to eat them in order to decrease their risk for developing heart disease.

eggs-harmful-effectsRecently, however, research has shown that eggs’ cholesterol really does not raise the LDL (bad) cholesterol in human beings. In fact, new research shows that eggs raise the HDL (good) cholesterol and HDL cholesterol is highly linked to reduced risk for developing heart disease.

So, when you really consider eggs, you soon discover that they are one of the best nutritious foods you can eat. They contain many, many nutrients along with some unique antioxidants which help protect the human eye. Recent studies have also shown that people who eat eggs for breakfast lose considerably more weight than those who eat a bagel for breakfast.

2. Saturated Fat is terrible for you

Several decades ago, some folks made a decision that the apparent epidemic rates of heart disease which had cropped up was being caused by people eating too much fat, especially saturated fats. This conclusion was reached based on studies which had been carried out which were, in fact, highly flawed. The decision was also based on political decisions which have since been proved to be entirely wrong.

In 2010, a comprehensive review was conducted which took a second look at 21 epidemiological studies which included almost 350,000 participants. They found no link between the ingestion of saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. None.

So, we are now left with the idea that saturated fat elevated a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease which has somehow evolved into conventional thought and “wisdom”. In actuality, consuming saturated fat raises the body’s HDL (good) cholesterol and causes changes to occur in the body’s LDL (bad)  cholesterol taking it from being small, dense bits to larger bits of cholesterol which are much more easily passed through the circulatory system.

3. Everyone should eat grains

grains-weight-lossWhy would it make sense to anyone that everyone should eat diets based primarily on grains? Agriculture has been a fairly recent addition to human evolution. Prior to the development of an agrarian society, humankind relied solely on protein. Our genes have not evolved that quickly.

When compared to other foods such as vegetables, grains do not contain many nutrients. They are also rich in something called phytic acid which attaches to minerals in the human gut and prevents the body from absorbing them.

In western diets, the most prevalent grain consumed in western diets is wheat. Modern wheat now contains copious protein known as gluten which has recently come under fire for causing a host of sensitivity in many, many people.

If you are gluten-sensitive or even gluten intolerant, eating wheat can cause many problems such as loose stools, bloating, pain and tiredness.

4. Eating extra protein harms your skeletal system and kidneys

High protein diets have been blamed for causing kidney disease and osteoporosis.

While it is true that eating great amounts of protein can increase the excretion of calcium from the bones, this is only a short-term effect. In studies that followed participants consuming high protein diets over a longer period of time, the effect was exactly the opposite. Over the long-term, protein was shown to improve skeletal health and decrease a person’s risk for fracture. Other studies have not found an association of kidney disease being caused by high protein diets either in people who are otherwise healthy.

5. Low-fat foods are what you should eat

low-fat-food_pyramidHave you ever eaten anything from which all the fat was entirely removed? Probably not. If you have, then you would know that it tastes just like cardboard. Not that I’m a regular consumer of cardboard. But trust me, when I say that no one would ever want to eat food after all the fat  has been removed. Food manufacturers have known this for a long time and so when they remove the fat from the food they are making, they replace it with other things to compensate for the loss in taste. These other things include sweeteners. This is usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup  or an artificial sweetener such as aspartame.

And although one would think that if you’re dieting, eating a food which contains aspartame is better for you than one that contains natural, refined sugars. But the evidence is beginning to mount which says that aspartame is NOT good for you. In fact, quite the opposite. It has been linked to obesity, depression, metabolic disorders such as Type II diabetes, heart disease and premature death. So unless you are a Type I diabetes, the kind of person who should not use sugar at all, you should decrease your intake of aspartame and replace it with sugar, just in smaller amounts.

6. Carbs should be your largest source of calories

In mainstream thought, dieticians and nutritionists say that everybody should follow a low-fat diet and consume about 50-60% of their daily food intake in the form of carbohydrates. This type of diet will serve up a lot of grains and sugar but include very few fatty foods such as eggs or meat. This is an excellent diet plan for people who are naturally thin. But what about us larger girls?

For anyone who has any kind of metabolic disorder such as Type II diabetes, a diet like this can be dangerous. This debate has been studied conclusively many times in randomized controlled diets. Each study has reached the same conclusion insofar that a low-carbohydrate, high fat diet is the best one to follow.

7. Vegetable and high omega-6 oils are best for you

Many people have touted polyunsaturated fats for a long time claiming that they decrease the risk for the development of heart disease. But in this case, it is important to point out that not all polyunsaturated fats are created equally. There is a big difference between omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are very anti-inflammatory and will decrease your risk for developing many of the diseases which are associated with inflammation. As well, human being need to consume these fatty acid oils in certain ratios. If the ratios are off, problems may ensue.

The best source for omega-6 fats are found in processed seed and/or vegetable oils such as corn oil, sunflower oil and soybean oil. Prior to recent times, humans did not really have much access to omega-6 fats. Only modernization and processing has made that possible. But recent research which has looked at omega-6 fats when compared to polyunsaturated fats, has found that it has a direct link to heart disease. Lesson learned? Eat your omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, tuna, cod and sardines. Cut back on your omega-6 fats found in a variety of different oils.

8. Low carbohydrate diets are bad for you

Low-Carbohydrate-DietPersonally, i believe that if everyone switched to a low-carbohydrate diet many of the common health problems seen, certainly in the western world, would eventually go away. Following a low-fat diet in cases like this with Type II diabetes and heart disease simply will not help. But low-carbohydrate diets have repeatedly shown better results.

Every time a low-carbohydrate diet has been studied with controls, the data have shown that these diets reduce fat more quickly than diets which are low in fat and calorie restricted even when the participants are allowed to eat as much as they wish. Low-carbohydrate diets also lower blood pressure quickly and significantly. They also improve A1C readings in people with Type II diabetes quickly and significantly. They increase the amount of HDL (good) cholesterol in a very short period of time. They also lower triglyceride levels significantly. And even more significantly, the studies showed that the diets were easier for people to stick with over a longer period of time because the participants were not hungry all the time. More participants were able to make to the end of each of the studies.

9. Sugar is bad for you because it only contains empty calories

sugarThis is definitely true. Sugar has very little nutrient content and contains mostly empty calories. But that’s not why it’s bad for you. Sugar affects your metabolism in ways that set you up to gain weight rapidly and develop metabolic diseases like Type II diabetes. This is because it has a very high fructose content. Fructose is metabolized in the liver which turns it into fat and then secretes it into the blood. This eventually leads to high triglyceride levels and higher cholesterol. It also causes a resistance to the natural hormones which are insulin and leptin. Resistance to these hormones are natural stepping stones toward developing obesity and Type II diabetes. Eating sugar will set off a vicious cycle in which you crave more sugar and then eat more and then crave more and so on.

10. Eating high fat foods makes you fat

While it just seems logical that if you eat foods which are high in fat, you will get fat yourself, the bottom line is that the process is not as simple as all that. Although fat contains more calories per gram than a carbohydrate does, high fat diets do not, in and of themselves, make people fat. People who eat diets high in fat and high in carbohydrates get fat but not because of the fat they are eating. In fact, it has been shown scientifically that people who follow diets which are high in fat but low in carbohydrates lose more fat than people who follow low-fat diets alone.

Raw Food Diet For Weight Loss – Should You Try It?

raw-foodsMost people have heard about raw food diets for weight loss at least at some point of their weight loss journey. What they may or may not be able to figure out is how they work and IF they actually work. Is it really possible to lose weight on a diet consisting of only fruits and vegetables which also tells you that you can eat as much of those foods as you want?

Though it may  seem impossible to believe, this is true. Unless you are into the habit of eating endless quantities of cashew butter and sweet dates all night long, you will not gain any weight if you follow this diet. Whether or not you will actually lose any weight will depend on how much exercise you do. No weight loss plan is effective unless it combines a change in eating lifestyle with an exercise plan.

So, if that’s true, your next question will likely be, how does this weight loss plan actually work? I will still be putting food into my mouth, won’t I? Won’t that alone cause me to gain weight?

This diet plan works for many different reasons one of which has to do with enzymes. The different enzymes in your body regulate and control everything your body does from handling speech to dealing with hormone outputs. Enzymes also play an important role in  helping us digest our food and metabolize it. And, raw food contains many, many different enzymes. If we are receiving good nutritions from the food we are eating, we will be much less likely to overeat in order to try and compensate for that.

The second reason this diet plan works is because it is an alkaline diet. All alkaline diets assist in the removal of waste products and toxins from your body many of which are contained in your fat stores. As your body begins to release these toxins, it will also begin to shed fat stores. This is one of the reasons that so many people are unable to lose weight because the extra fat they are carrying actually protects their body from any kind of immediate health crash. In cases such as this, it may be as simple as finding a way to balance your Ph.

Traw-food-for-weight-losshe last reason that raw food diets work so well is because the vast majority of food when it is in its raw state is not high in calories. This means that it is very possible for you to eat as much food as you like, until you are completely full and still lose weight while doing so.

Raw foods also contain a lot of fiber which will help you become more regular and will eliminate a lot of intestinal sludge. Your body will easily recognize raw food as a source of “real food” and will be able to process and metabolize it without any difficulty at all.

What Am I Allowed To Actually Eat?

The beauty of this weight loss plan is that you are allowed to eat almost anything from the vegetable and/or fruit food groups. This also includes some sea vegetables and some nuts and seeds which have been soaked. Once you really sit down to think about this, the selection of food in which you can indulge is almost endless. All you have to do is take a walk through your local supermarket’s fresh fruit section and you will see.

raw-food-dietAll the recipes that will be at your disposal will cover the gamut of everything from a simple salad to a gourmet meal as well as almost everything in between. It will be very important for you to consume plenty of fresh greens every day because they are alkaline. These will help clear out your intestines because they act like a broom in your intestines. As you progress along with your diet, you will want to be eating 50% green vegetables and 50% fresh fruit.

Another way to enjoy this wonderful diet plan is with juicing. You can find tons of juicing recipes on the internet and juicing machines are relatively inexpensive and very easy to use. Once you start juicing, you’ll never stop. Most of these machines are very user-friendly which means they are easy to clean. Nothing worth than a juicing machine that is difficult to take apart and get clean.

How Does The Health Community Feel About Raw Diets For Weight Loss?

Many professionals in the health care field believe that a raw food diet is very beneficial for weight loss. This is part of the reason that almost every day you hear some new piece of information in the news about the benefits of raw food diets. Despite this, though, there are still many skeptics who don’t consider this to be a good diet to follow on a long-term basis.

Where Are Good Recipes To Be Found?

You can find many raw food cookbooks in your local bookstore. There are also dozens of websites which have delicious raw food recipes. You will find that, with time and experience, you will be able to concoct your own wonderful recipes. It just takes a bit of imagination!

8 Super Foods for Weight loss

Do you remember when you were a kid constantly being told by your mom to eat  your fruits and vegetables? I certainly do and boy, oh, boy, do I regret that now. Of course as I matured, I came to have a new appreciation for my fruits and vegetables. But since I’ve been on my weight loss program, I’ve also come to realize that there are 10 super foods which you must incorporate into your diet if you want to lose weight. Yes, we all know how important it is to limit the number of calories we take in on any given day but losing weight also has a lot to do with what kind of food you consume as well.

Learning to eat in a whole new way can really be challenging so go easy on yourself. As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day!” and neither were your thighs. If you’re like most women you’ve been gaining weight a slow, but steady pace probably since university. And that’s exactly the way you’ll have to lose it — at a slow, but steady pace.

So, exactly what are the 10 wonder foods to eat to facilitate weight loss? The following list includes some of the most delicious food that you can consume almost to your heart’s desire and without any guilt whatsoever. Enjoy!

  1. wonderfood-broccoliBroccoli: This leafy green vegetable is excellent in soups, steamed or even just raw. It provides an excellent source of both calcium and fiber and will help you stay feeling full for long after you’ve finished your meal. You can toss it onto a salad and then add just a teaspoon of sesame dressing and voila! you’re finished.

  2. superfood-cabbageCabbage: I love cabbage rolls and love to add fresh cabbage to many of my home prepared dishes. This wonderful vegetable is blessed with many antioxidants and vitamin C so it helps provide a great foundation for your immune system. You can cook cabbage up with apples and some ginger and you will get a delicious applesauce. It can also be used for Thai wraps instead of lettuce. This will give you an extremely low calorie meal which also will give you  a great health boost.

  3. wonderfood-CauliflowerCauliflower: If fighting off cancer is one of your worries, then add lots of cauliflower to your diet. This wonderful cruciferous vegetable comes packed with lots of vitamin C and it is highly rich in folate. Because of the folate which helps prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida in fetuses, cauliflower is an excellent vegetable for pregnant women to eat. You can steam it and then mash it as a delicious alternative to mashed potatoes. It is delicious when eaten raw.

  4. superfood-grapefoodGrapefruit: Grapefruits are so delicious that sometimes I just peel one and eat it like I would an orange. They provide lots of heart health advantages and even help stave off the development of atherosclerosis, or cardiovascular disease. Grapefruits contain large quantities of potassium, vitamin C and folic acid. They also contain a soluble fiber called pectin which is what protects against heart disease. If you’re looking to add more lycopene into your diet, opt for grapefruit.

  5. wonderfood-spinachSpinach: Oh, spinach has got to be my favorite vegetable. These delicious leafy greens pack a wallop in terms of their nutritional content. Folic acid, vitamin K, vitamin C and beta-carotene and lutein. You can throw all your vitamin supplements away if you add spinach to your diet just twice a week. It`s very easy to swap out your old favourite romaine lettuce for some fresh spinach. Just wash it and spin and top it with some fresh pomegranate seeds and some walnuts and you have a delicious salad. It can be easily used in a breakfast omelet — add some reduced-fat feta cheese and some tomato and Greek olives and you’ve got a wonderful Mediterranean breakfast in no time.

  6. superfood-lettuceLettuce: This is one of the best, diet-friendly foods you can eat. Lettuce provides an excellent source of vitamin B as well as folic acid. It also is, pound for pound, one of the best sources for manganese which is known to regulate blood sugar. If you’re going to use lettuce, opt for the dark leafy kind rather than just plain iceberg lettuce which has virtually no nutritional content at all.

  7. superfood-radishesRadishes: Radishes are fantastic sources of folic acid and antioxidants. They also contain lots of sulfur compounds which are extremely helpful in aiding with the digestive process. If you’re going to use radishes in a salad be sure to also use the greens. These little powerhouses contain about six times the amount of vitamin C as the root, the radish itself.

  8. Protein: Adding protein to your diet is not only smart, it’s essential if you want to lose weight. Protein comes in a variety of forms. I personally like to eat quinoa which is an ancient grain that is loaded with protein. I cook mine up with some chicken broth, and toss in a handful of chopped walnuts and some sultana raisins. Yummy. Eating protein at every meal, whether it is in the form of a hard-boiled egg or some turkey slices is what will hold you until it’s time to eat your next meal. Protein has also been found to help with mood stabilization and protect brain functioning. Because it is very low in calories it is easy to add to almost every meal. If you have some protein with your meals, it will keep you satisfied and you will be much less likely to snack between meals.

Getting the proper nutrients is essential to maintain your good health. This is true whether you are on a diet or not. But adding some of the above foods to your diet will help you achieve a slimmer waistline and boost your energy levels.

What In The World Is The Honey Diet?

Last week I was sitting in a coffee with my best friend and she casually asked me, “So, have you heard about this new thing called the Honey Diet?”  I must admit I was quite taken aback. I told her that I had not heard of it before and asked her what she knew. She didn’t know very much. She said she had just heard some people talking about it earlier in the day at work. So, I went home and got on the Internet and started looking.

I thought I had seen every fad diet in the world before but this one absolutely floors me. It says that the vast majority of nutritionists and dieticians all agree that eating food which comes straight from nature is the best way to go. Agreed. But this is superseded by an author from the United Kingdom who is promoting a natural food diet which utilizes — you guessed it. Honey.

According to the author, dieters are to take one tablespoon of honey which has been mixed with some water and either drink it straight down or mix it with some yogurt. Now, I love putting raw honey on my Greek yogurt every morning but it’s not because I think doing so will help me lose weight. It’s because it tastes better that way. The author of this diet goes further to make the claim that doing this will help with, of all things, fat burning.

mike-mcinnes-honey-dietThis author, a gentleman by the name of Mike McInnes claims that since honey is a much healthier form of sugar everyone should replace ALL the sugar they eat with honey. This includes replacing even artificial sweeteners with honey. He says that doing this will eliminate your sugar cravings entirely.

I’m not sure that this would be a good idea for anyone who has Type I diabetes and who relies on artificial sweeteners. But I digress. There is certainly truth to the fact that added sugars found in most processed foods contribute greatly to the obesity and disease problems in the world today. Certainly the diets of the vast majority of people in North America leave a great deal to be desired. But, simply replacing refined sugars with honey will NOT help you lose weight. In fact, if you don’t cut back on the amount of honey you eat (compared to the amount of refined sugars you normally eat) you will gain weight.

Mr. McInnes recommends that people consume a low-carbohydrate diet that contains no added sugars except for honey. But eating a low-carbohydrate diet in and of itself is enough to help you lose weight. Even forgetting about the honey. There is simply nothing magical contained in honey that will make a person lose weight. This diet is completely bogus.

honey dietYes, honey is an all-natural product. But it is nevertheless a simple sugar just like regular table sugar is and brown sugar is and maple sugar and molasses are. Absolutely no research has been carried out which supports any of the claims made about this diet.

One tablespoon of honey has about 64 calories. If you want to get more nutrition from what you’re eating, have a small apple with the peel left on or a serving of fresh berries. You’ll get all the nutritional value from either of those choices and they’ll taste just as sweet.

As everyone knows the best way to lose weight is to control the number of calories you consume in a day and eat a moderate amount of protein at each meal. Exercising regularly is also crucial to sustainable weight loss. If you want to speed up your metabolism, try some interval training. Going on yet another fad diet like the Honey Diet will not give you the long-term results you are seeking. The only way to get those is the change your eating habits and your exercise behaviour.

All that being said, I am not the least bit surprised to hear about yet another fad diet on the radar just before Christmas. Every year at holiday time, a new one rears its ugly head promising a quick weight loss fix and swearing that you will lose three or even five pounds per week! Just in time for the holidays! The promoters of these diets always make them sound so easy. Drink our special drink, mix our special powder into your glass of water and starve yourself most of the day. Yes! If you do those things, you will most likely drop a few pounds in the few weeks that you can maintain the diet protocol. But once you go back to your regular eating patterns? I can not say this enough and I feel like a broken record most of the time. But the only way to really lose weight that you will be able to keep off for the rest of your life is to change your eating habits and your relationship both to and with food.

The Truth Behind Low Carb Diet!

The Basics Of A Low Carbohydrate Diet Plan

Low-Carbs-DietThe Atkins Diet, the Paleo Diet, and more are all centered around one thing; low carbohydrates. There is a very good reason for that. One of the biggest problems that you can face when losing weight is taking care of your sugar problem. A low carb diet does that, but there is a reason why you can make it work even better for you. I’ll show you how.

Everyone has a friend that has told you about some low carb diet that has changed their life. In the past 20 years more and more diets have popped up and it’s easy to dismiss them as “just another trend.” Rather than just blindly ignore all carbohydrates, you can select the right ones and make use of the fat burning power that complex carbohydrates have.

What Should You Eat?

As little carbs as possible, but the carbs that you do take in should all be complex carbohydrates. Think about these:

  • low-carbohydrates-diet-planWhole Grain Breads (Bagels, Toast)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Legumes
  • Nuts

Overall, here is a larger list of everything that you should consider:

  • Proteins
  • Pork
  • Grass fed beef
  • Whole eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Asparagus
  • Kimchee
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Lentils
  • Black beans
  • Red beans
  • Soybeans

All of these should work out to less than 100 grams daily. Once you start staying under that level, your body will go into ketosis. Ketosis tells your body that it should start running off of fat instead of carbohydrates. Fat burning 24 hours a day will change the way that you see weight loss. Up to 10 pounds a week is easy when you are running in ketosis.

Making The Switch

Switching over to a low carb diet can be a hassle for a lot of people. The key is that you should gradually cut out different kinds of carbohydrates. This can happen in a couple of different stages:

  • Cut out sodas, refined sugar, juice, etc
  • Switch to whole grain options and add more legumes
  • Gradually increase your protein and healthy fat intake, while reducing the number of overall carbohydrates

The Benefits

The largest benefit that you are going to notice with a low carbohydrate diet plan is the weight loss aspect. It is almost unbelievable. The Bulletproof diet is one of the most extreme that cuts out all carbohydrates and it gives people 1-2 pounds a day of pure fat loss. The longer you stick with it the more weight you can lose, since your body will get used to running off of fat.

Energy is also a big factor. Refined carbohydrates give your body lots of energy, but then you have to deal with the crash that comes after. That crash also leads to fat storage. By limiting your carbohydrates to slow burning carbs, you will be taking in food that will give you energy for hours.

Any Risk?

None. You are eliminating the thing that causes the health problems, not adding them. There is, however, a risk of low energy levels if you cut them out completely. Some people have a need for carbohydrates to maintain their body. Don’t give up too quickly, though, since it can take a couple of weeks for your body to make the switch to fat burning.

The Popular Plans

  • The Atkins Diet
    • The Atkins diet was incredibly popular in the 1990s and today. It was the originator of the low carb concept and it works well for a lot of people. It features a very strict period that progressively teaches you how to find the proper level of carbohydrates for your body that won’t cause you to gain weight.
  • Slow Carb
    • Tim Ferris invented the Slow Carb diet and explained it in his book “The 4 Hour Body.” He recommends cutting out carbohydrates completely, except for that which is found in certain food products like beans and sweet potatoes.
  • The Paleo Diet
    • The Paleo diet is an interesting concept that focuses on using the diet that would have been similar to that of our Paleolithic ancestors. No grains, no refined foods, no fruit. This falls into the low carbohydrate category whether it wants to or not. This is popular among athletes, which tells you that you can still have plenty of energy without carbohydrates.

Tips

  • Take a day a week to eat whatever you want. You’ll reduce your insulin resistance, make sure your hormones are at the right levels, and actually lose a little bit more weight. Don’t worry about damaging your diet too much with this day, because after the first one you’ll learn your lesson about eating too unhealthy.
  • As a rule, avoid any white carbohydrate and any carbohydrate that can be white. This will help you decide whether or not you should have it.
  • Don’t buy foods that you shouldn’t eat, even if you plan on saving them for a future cheat day. If it is in the house, you will eat it. Simple as that.
  • Create a group of meals that you can eat on a regular basis. You probably eat breakfast alone, so make a good meal that has zero carbs and you can enjoy every day.

Why I Recommend It

It works. There are few things that work better than low carb diets. It is also one of the only things that I have ever managed to stick to. An addiction to carbohydrates is one of the most detrimental things to your weight loss. Cutting them out solves that, but it isn’t always easy.

This is a kind of diet that you can stick to for the rest of life if you like. Once you lose the weight you want, it can be pretty easy to gain it back, I know I’ve had that happen more times than I care to count. By sticking to a low carb diet, you can keep fat off and feel fantastic without ever having to deal with a strict diet again. In fact, you can even stop counting calories and not worry about it as long as you restrict your carbohydrates. Eat all of the healthy fats and protein you want. You won’t ever run into any problems.

OatMeal Diet for Weight Loss?

oatmeal-dietI’m sure that when you were a kid your mother served you oatmeal sometimes for breakfast. Many of us grew up eating that every morning as a staple before  heading off to school. This is because oatmeal is one of the most nutritious and least expensive foods you can eat. Eating a bowl of oatmeal every morning for breakfast can actually help you lose weight. It is a wonderful source of protein and is low in carbohydrates. It also contains a large number of vitamins in every bowl.

Health benefits of oatmeal

The best health benefits is that oatmeal is made from whole oats and whole oats are among the world’s best source of soluble fiber. If you are eating a bowl of oatmeal every morning you can put your metamucil away forever. Eating oatmeal will also help keep your cholesterol levels under control and this will help reduce your risk for developing cardiovascular disease.

How can eating oatmeal help with weight loss?

Oatmeal for weight lossNo dietitian or nutritionist would ever tell you that you can use oatmeal as your so source for vitamins and nutrients especially if you are trying to lose weight but it is possible that adding oatmeal to your daily diet will help expedite your weight loss.

Because oatmeal contains so much fiber, it will promote a feeling of fullness after you have consumed it. This feeling will stay with you for several hours thus reducing your impulse to snack or fill up on other junk food. This high level of fiber means that oatmeal is also a naturally low-fat food. Oatmeal will also slow down the absorption rate of other nutrients into your bloodstream.

Because most people eat oatmeal as part of their breakfast meal, eating a high-fiber meal at breakfast can also aid with weight loss. People who eat a regular breakfast have been shown clinically to lose pounds and keep them off faster and better than those people who do not eat breakfast each morning.

Are there other ways to incorporate oatmeal into my diet?

Yes, adding oatmeal to the rest of your daily diet is quite simple and easy. You should not feel limited at all to just eating it at breakfast time. Ground oatmeal can always be added to many different kinds of recipes and/or  baked goods.

If you are eating oatmeal on a regular basis, you are providing your  body with more than an adequate amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which every human body needs in order to function properly. Oatmeal also contains many complex carbohydrates along with iron and protein. Substituting your regular meals for 3 meals of oatmeal each day will help you lose between 3 and 5 pounds per week.

What do I need to follow the oatmeal diet?

In order to follow the oatmeal diet you need to stock up on fat-free skim milk, lots of fresh fruit, lots of raw vegetables and some oatmeal bars. These should contain a minimum of 12 grams of whole grains per serving. You will also need a pen and some note paper.

During the first seven days of your new oatmeal diet, you should only eat oatmeal. You will be allowed one half cup of oatmeal at each meal. In the beginning you should not use any kind of quick oats or pre-prepared oats, only use whole oatmeal. If you are thirsty, you can drink ½ cup of fat-free skim milk with your meal. Keep track of everything you eat and/or drink on  your note paper.

You should plan to follow this oatmeal diet for a minimum of one month. During this time each of your three meals per day will consist of ½ cup of prepared oatmeal. You can substitute some instant oatmeal if you like but only do this is the total fat and sugar content of the package is less than 60% of the whole meal. Each serving of instant oatmeal should be less than 300 calories. You should plan to consume no more than 1,000 to 1,300 calories each day.

If you find that you are  hungry between meals, you can add a healthy snack such as fresh strawberries or seedless grapes. You can eat about ½ cup of either fresh fruit and/or fresh vegetables as your snack. Most people have the most success snacking on things like sliced green or red peppers, sliced carrots and cut-up cucumber. Fresh oranges and bananas are always a good choice as a healthy snack.

The worst part of following a diet like this is dealing with the monotony of eating the same food every single day for thirty days. It can be very depressing sometimes. If you are finding it hard to cope with this facet of the diet then be sure to add some fresh fruit to your bowl in the morning. Go for a run after lunch or go to a bookstore for some distraction You can take some comfort in knowing that the thirty days will pass relatively quickly. Just hang in there. It will be worth it.