If you've ever wondered whether or not to reach into your wallet and pay for one of those high caffeine "energy drinks" that promise other health benefits as well, here's my simple advice--- Save your money.
The FDA is currently scrutinizing the industry given the recent reports of deaths associated with the super high levels of caffeine consumed by folks who won't stop at one can of the stuff--- if one is good, several are better they assume. A 16 oz can of one of these energy drinks runs about $2.99, a caffeine tablet is about 30 cents, and a 12 oz cup of coffee runs about $1.85 and has more caffeine than the energy drink. These drinks are no more than caffeine deliver systems. Although they purport to have scientifically proven health benefits along with the caffeine, there is absolutely no evidence that they do.
To try to snag you into buying one of these drinks, there's marketing hype about Vit B in the drink. Some of the drinks have 20 times the normal daily allowance. These are water soluble vitamins and if you don't need it, you end up with Vit B rich urine and a total waste of money.
Bottom Line Tip: Ask yourself why you're energy is flagging. Are you getting enough sleep? Exercise rejuvenates your energy level and improves sleep for a win win. A cup of coffee or tea is fine when consumed in moderation. Just don't load it up with sugary flavoring and whipped cream! Finally, there's nothing wrong with taking a 30 minute nap if you're really tired.
Hi everyone. New research has shown that the fructose found in processed and refined foods decreases hormones in the brain and body that help you feel satisfied, and the result is that your appetite actually increases leading to your overeating. The Yale U researchers noted that when the brain is exposed to this processed chemical (processed fructose) it alters the brain's ability to perceive fullness, and stokes your appetite so that you just keep eating.
In the editorial accompanying the article, it was noted that: "...the advances in food processing and economic forces leading to increased intake of added sugar and accompanying fructose in U.S. society are indeed extending the supersizing concept to the population's collective waistlines."
Bottom Line Tip: Pitch the Processed Fructose. Stick to appropriate servings of natural sugar found in fruit, preferably watery fruit like apples and citrus, to add a touch of sweet to your nutritional intake. Eliminate or greatly reduce refined sugar so that you don't get a double whammy of processed fructose as well as refined sugar hijacking your brain and packing on the pounds.
H everyone. One of my patients, Kris, who has posted on the discussion group about food and addiction, shared a brilliant way to look at navigating your cravings. She created an ingenious traffic navigation system. The metaphor works! She's using the "smarty pants" part of her brain (tap your forehead and behind it lies your prefrontal cortex, the brain center controlling impulses and the place that helps you stay organized, plan and stay vigilant throughout the day.)
She was having a particularly challenging week because of recurrent back pain (she's 67 yrs young) and the pain would lead to distraction and difficulty staying focused. That bad boy Tim Tation was always showing up to get her to cave to the crave. Instead, this is what she did in her own words:
"I got thru by using all the traffic signs - Yield not to temptation; Stop really thinking before choosing; No Merge knowing not to go there; Detour taking another route;Caution thinking ahead of past celebrations & planning for a healthy one this year (went out only once and chose the restaurant; had broiled crab; garden salad and double vegs rather than loaded potatoes; Right/Left & U turns making the right choice and Reverse when I had to."
Her descriptions led to great visuals in my head, and i hope in yours as well. Next time you're figuring out how to get through temptation, slam on those brakes, turn left and keep driving!
Hi everyone. This just in from two new studies looking at how long Olympic medalists live. There's happy news to share. They studied men and women over the years after their Olympic performances to find out which kinds of sports seemed to improve lifespan. Lo and behold, you do not have to run marathons, live in a gym or spend hours each day to live long and well. The studies showed that big time high intensity competitive activity was no better than less strenuous sports at increasing lifespan.
What does this mean to you? Research is now pointing to the recommendation that the consistent and regular practice of moderate intensity physical activity (like walking) is a critical lifestyle behavior contributing to health and longevity. This means incorporating more assuming the vertical (yep, get out of your chair) throughout the day and moving (walking, stairs) more is important. Combine that with scheduled time (30-45 mins) of deliberate cardio like walking/biking/rowing/swimming (add some intervals of intensity like picking up the pace, hitting that hill/incline) really helps to build a strong base of endurance and cardio health.
So take heart! Hit it today and stay on track with doable, practical and realistic moderate physical activity.
This was a very pivotal study and goes hand in hand with the new research on food addiction. In my book, The Hunger Fix, I noted that there is for many an issue cross addiction. This is very likely for compulsive overeaters. We have noted weight gain to the point of obesity in people who have ceased other addictions--- from smoking to alcohol and drugs. Researchers believe that all addictions seem to use the same neurobiological channels for activation. While one addiction is dominant, the others seem to be masked. Clinical investigation about this is now ongoing.
The bottom line for everyone is to beware another addiction rearing its head. Prevention and planning are so critical here.
Hi Jill and thanks so much for your posting. I'm laughing out loud because your story actually sent me down memory lane to a salted dessert with a different outcome. Years ago, I had been invited to speak at an event where the actress Sharon Stone was appearing. She invited me to dinner with her entourage and as I sat next to her, I observed her eating habits. This is a woman who has been blessed by good looks and has found creative ways to maintain them despite the typical challenges of aging. That night, she ordered and ate about 70% of her chicken and veggies. Then around came the dessert menu. Instead of passing it up, she grabbed it and knew there were two items that were wonderful and unique to this restaurant. She ordered both. I watched in fascination as she lined up both in front of her and then, one after the other, took a forkful of each high ticket calorie item and slowly savored. I mean it took her a minute or two as she rolled the food around in her mouth, closing her eyes and going off to "I'm loving this" land. What came next was the prize. After having finished her two forkfuls, she anxiously looked around for the waiter (who'd been instructed by her assistant to immediately whip the remaining desserts away once she had had one forkful of each). With no waiter in site, she went to Plan B. Grabbing the salt shaker, she poured a mountain of the white stuff on each dessert. Satisfied, she pushed them away and calmly went onto her conversation at the table.
Fascinated, i asked her about what had happened. Her answer was simple. She noted that she travels all over the world and wants to enjoy unique treats as she goes along. She also knows she'll overeat if the dessert is left in front of her. So she devised a plan to make certain the reward associated with the treat was destroyed by salt or just plain taken out of sight by the waiter. It's worked for her for years.
Jill, I think many people would not find a sweet-turned-salty as rewarding as sweet alone. I'm thrilled to see that this seems to work for you. Everyone's taste buds are unique to them and if this works to decrease the portion size then more power to you. Just don't overdo the salt either, which we need to watch as we age.
As far as healthy but not so tasty desserts, you don't have to be condemned to a life of bland desserts. Instead, check out the healthy fare at WebMD's Food and Fitness Planner as well as my new book The Hunger Fix. There are wonderful and simple ways to add delicious food enjoyment to healthier treats. Give it a try.
Everyone's looking for a way to feel full and satisfied without going overboard. Let's look at drinks. Which ones make you feel most satisfied and suppress hunger the most? Not sure? Researchers have discovered that it's not the thin and non-creamy drinks that we associate with being full. The creamier and thicker drinks win out. But wait. Is it the creaminess or the thickness or both that leave you feeling the like your hunger is gone and you are done already!
Drum roll: it's the thickness that wins out. So, the key is to create drinks that have a creamy and thick texture. Sounds like a protein smoothie to me. Now you can see why i love to use them for meal replacements in a pinch and/or a mid-afternoon snack. You can use whey, rice or soy protein powders.
Here's a favorite from my new book The Hunger Fix. Maintain an active lifestyle and you'll love this smoothie even more. The carbohydrates, protein and fats are high quality and will help satisfy and fuel you through your busy day. Enjoy!
Chocolate Cherry Almond Smoothie 1/2 cup almond milk 1 cup chopped cherries, pitted 1 tablespoon cocoa powder 1/2 ounce almonds, whole 1 scoop (24 g) whey protein powder 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed Makes 1 serving (about 11/4 cups) Per serving: 348 calories, 25 g protein, 33 g carbohydrate, 13 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 8 g fiber, 130 mg sodium View Thread
Hi everyone. For anyone considering weight loss surgery, or anyone who's had it, make sure you are aware of a problem that may crop up post surgery. This research is hot off the press. People who have had bariatric surgery, especially those with the classic Roux-en-Y bypass, may be at increased risk for addictions post surgery, including smoking cigarettes, alcohol and drug use. Here's what the study authors said: "Studies have shown that drugs, alcohol, and food trigger similar responses in the brain and that bariatric surgery candidates whose condition has been diagnosed as binge-eating disorder (BED) display addictive personalities similar to individuals addicted to substances. Therefore, alcohol and drugs (including nicotine) are likely to substitute for overeating following WLS [weight loss surgery." Make sure you have an excellent support team pre and post surgery to include a psychologist who can monitor any problems you might develop over time. Be honest about any addictive behaviors you may have prior to surgery and let your team know about this, as well as your genetic family history as it relates to addictions. In my new book The Hunger Fix which is all about the new science of food addiction, we really make certain people are aware of these tendencies toward cross addiction, and make everyone aware that you need to be vigilant about the possible emergence of these other behaviors. Meditating on a regular basis and daily physical activity are terrific to curb these tendencies and to keep people on track.
Hi and thanks for your posting. It's so important to honor that inner journey.
Regaining weight involves so many elements. I like to lump them into my template of MIND MOUTH MUSCLE.
Mentally, somewhere along the line, to gain weight, people feel overwhelmed, stressed, helpless, hopeless and defeated. You get lost and off track. You become more mindless and next thing you know your clothes are tight. This starts another vicious cycle of blame shame and guilt which stresses you and leads to more overeating. You stop exercising and drift.
Take a breath and a moment to think about all of this. In my new book THE HUNGER FIX, i outline how to identify deep mental themes that become road blocks. As well, overeating sugary/fatty/salty food combos also leads to becoming hooked and addicted to those products as well as the life that enables this overeating. In the book, i help you see that you can reverse this using science based tips and tools.
There's a great book by Frances Kuffel---Passing for Thin--- in which she identifies her own journey dropping 150 pounds. It's a terrific read and may also be helpful.
Hi and thanks so much for your posting. Night eating is a challenge for so many people. More calories are ingested after 5 PM than eaten all day by many people.
One of the keys to stopping this habit is to make sure to have a dinner finished up no later than 7:30PM-8PM and include lean protein and lots of fiber. That tends to be very satisfying and kills cravings. Next up, you need to get to bed around 10-11PM. The later you stay up, the greater the chance you'll eat more. Never ever go to bed hungry. Grabing a little protein (low fat cheese, a tbsp of peanut or almond butter, half of a Greek yogurt) does the trick quite nicely. The key is to avoid any bread products as well as any refined sugary carbs as they'll increase appetite and then you're in real trouble.