First, the definition of net carbs is to only count cabs that affect blood sugar. To figure net carbs, start with total carbs and subtract dietary fiber, alcohols, hydrogenated starch, hydrolyzed glycerne. The number that results from the subtractions is total net carbs. But there is a danger that has been recently brought to light. Some low-carb sweets rely on sugar alcohols, which are slowly digested carbs that have no impact on insulin levels but can, in excess, wreak havoc on the digestive tract.
Now, food manufactures are substituting sugar with sugar alcohol maltitol and claim it’s not a carbohydrate because it doesn’t increase blood sugar rapidly. But it is a carb and does contribute to your total energy intake.
Good carbs such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans are rich in fiber and can lower cholesterol. According to Dr. David Katz of the Yale school of Public health, “Diets rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates, found in fruit, vegetables, beans and whole grains, have been shown to be associated with longevity, lasting weight control, reduced risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and gastrointestinal disease.” In other words, he goes on, “Steeply cutting carbs is a step in the opposite direction from healthy eating.
Serotonin is brain chemical linked to mood and appetite control. The brain needs carbohydrates to make serotonin. People on very low carbs diets do not produce enough serotonin to maintain a healthy mood. The primary source of fuel for the brain is glucose (blood sugar), but it can also run on ketones – produced from the incomplete breakdown of fats. However high ketone levels in the brain suppress serotonin levels, which can cause mood swings and hunger. Women are particularly prone to depression from a high protein diet because they naturally produce less serotonin than men.
Complex carbs are high in water and fiber and low in calories. They take up a lot of room in the gut so you don’t get hungry as fast.
The problem arises when individuals substitute simple carbs for complex carbs – when cakes, baked goods, and simple carbs equate with whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. We take a middle ground stance here – with 40% of calories coming from whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Here’s an example of how bad a product can be when it tries to take advantage of the net-carb craze. Regular potato chips are bad enough when they contain the following: Potatoes, vegetable oil and canola, corn, or cottonseed oil and salt. Now here is a list of ingredients on a package of potato chips with low net carbs: Soy protein blend (soy protein isolates and concentrates), corn, vegetable oil, soybean or sunflower oil, oat fiber, salt, whey, maltodextrin, buttermilk solids, monosodiumgultamate, whey protein concentrate, onion powder, tomato powder, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil, corn starch, lactose, disodium phosphate, natural and artificial flavors, garlic powder, dextrose, spices, lactic acid, sodium caseinate, red and green bell pepper powder, sugar, citric acid, artificial color including yellow 6, red 40, yellow 5, blue 1, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, and nonfat milk solids. Need we say more?
As fish became more popular, much of it is now raised in fish farms. Now comes the largest study yet. The results are that farmed fish often have dangerous levels of poisons like PCBs and dioxin (the same chemical that poisoned the Ukrainian opposition leader: Yurichenko. It disfigured his face badly). Scientists examined 700 farmed and wild fish from North America, South America, and Europe looking for 14 organchlorines thought to cause cancer and birth defects. All fourteen were present in North American, European, and South American farmed fish, and in higher amounts than in wild fish.
The source of the toxins appears to be the fish food. Organchlorines are fat soluble, so trivial amounts of toxins in small plant-nibbling fish become concentrated in the fatty tissue of larger fish. Comparing the safety of wild fish to farmed fish, the EPA suggests that it is safe to eat wild fish eight times a month, but farmed fish only once or twice a month. And fish from farms in Scotland and Northern Ireland (among others) are so contaminated that they should not be eaten more than three times a year.
Fish is an essential part of our diet, just as it was for our ancestors. Be proactive in seeking out the healthiest types. Some stores now sell fish raised organically in fish farms. When in doubt, ask you local meat and fish counters to get those brands; many store co-operate. More than one-third of U.S. lakes and nearly one-quarter of its rivers are under advisories for mercury, dioxins, PCBs, and other pollutants. The EPA advises people to not eat fish taken from these sources.
You’re probably one of those people who think that the only way you can lose weight and get in shape is to join a gym. We’re not going to lie to you. Of course you’ll lose weight faster and get in shape quicker, but it’s not the only way. We’re going to give you lots of alternatives to getting fit without ever setting foot in a gym.
Other forms of exercise include calisthenics, dancing, isometrics, stretching, and yoga. Regardless of the activity or activities, you must make exercise a priority in your life – as important as your work or sedentary hobby. It must be something you can do five days a week. Having a partner will give you a greater sense of responsibility – since you’d let them down if you did not show up. Simply by increasing your current daily activities you can gain the same benefits as taking on a new exercise regime. And it’s easier to increase an existing activity than integrating a new one. If you find something that brings you joy it will be that much easier to continue.
Following is a list of activities that burn significant calories. Figures show calories burned in one hour:
Running (10 mph) 640
Horseback riding 480
Hand mowing 462
Farm work 438
Swimming (slow) 300
Bicycling (slow) 210
You can beat cravings by giving your brain what it really needs, rather than succumbing to your initial hankering…
When you’re sad you reach for sugar candies. Better bet – high fiber fruits and a graham cracker. When you eat sugar, your body releases the hormone insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin boosts the availability of the amino acid Tryptophan in the brain, where it’s used to manufacture the neurotransmitter serotonin, which improves your mood. Serotonin is so vital to emotional balance that many antidepressants work by preventing its readsorption. The effect, however, is extremely short-lived, and sweets rarely provide you with any additional nutrients besides calories. High-fiber fruits like berries, apricots and grapefruit along with a graham cracker or other low-cal carbohydrate will satisfy your sweet tooth for far fewer calories. The additional fiber slows digestion, prolonging the serotonin boost from the graham cracker. Recent research also indicates that omega-3 fatty acids may help relieve symptoms of depression; they’re found in walnuts, flaxseed, and fatty fish such as salmon.
When you’re anxious or angry you reach for pastries, doughnuts and other high-fat sweets. Better bet: celery sticks, pretzels, carrots. When you’re anxious, your stress response system kicks in. Your adrenal glands release certain hormones that increase levels of galanin, a brain chemical that stimulates your appetite for calorie-packed foods. The same thing happens when you’re feeling anger, although there’s one important difference. Anxiety inspires eating right away. But people won’t reach for food until after anger peaks. In other words, it’s the post-argument stewing you have to worry about, in terms of your waistline. In lab animals, the more galanin that’s produced, the greater the weight gain. In humans, stress-induced pounds are often concentrated in the abdomen. Unfortunately, the stress-response system is ingrained; the only way to turn it off is to reduce your anxiety or your anger level. Whether that involves taking a 15-minute break, breathing deeply, or heading off to the gym is up to you. If you absolutely must grab something to eat, choose hard, crunchy, low-cal snack foods. Apples, jicama, pretzels are all good choices. The act of chewing helps relieve tension in your facial muscles.
When you’re bored you reach for whatever’s available. Better bet: a balanced snack. Typically, boredom is just mild depression in disguise. What you’re feeling is a lack of connection with yourself or others.
Sugary snacks don’t provide the long-lasting energy you need to perk yourself up. Instead, snack on a complex carbohydrate such as whole-grain crackers and a protein such as turkey, low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese. The combination will stabilize blood sugar but still satisfy your serotonin needs.
When you’re happy you reach for pizza. Better bet: low-fat cheese and whole-grain toast. A recent study showed that pizza is a top pick for people in happy moods. But that’s not just because it’s a perennial party favorite. It contains the proteins gluten and casein, which research shows stimulate the production of endorphins. And it is the endorphins that fuel feelings of euphoria.
However, pizza is not the only source of these two endorphin-promoting compounds. Gluten is found in breads that contain wheat flour, and casein is found in dairy foods. Choose high-fiber whole-grain breads instead of refined-flour products to increase your intake of fiber; the added bulk will help you feel fuller faster. Low-fat dairy foods such as reduced-fat cheeśe are diet-friendly casein-packed picks.
Knowledge is king. When you know the source of your cravings, and prepare in advance by having healthy alternatives handy, you’re more than half way home. And remember, science says that if you eliminate a specific food or food group from you diet, you’ll lose your desire for that food in just 12 days. I know you can hang on that long. If you need support and inspiration, look to my book, The Perfect Day.
It’s all about taste, isn’t it? You could complain about eating foods that are good for you when they taste lousy. Well, there’s one more excuse you won’t be able to use any more. It’s amazing what a little bit of creativity can do to the taste of food. Try these favorites and see for yourself. Tastes needn’t rely on fat and sugar.
1 – Canned chilies: Add whole chilies to a grilled chicken sandwich or diced chilies to soups, scrambled eggs, pita sandwiches, or sprinkle on tortillas.
2 – Dried cranberries. Great in marinades for baked chicken. Add to quick bread, spinach salads, chicken salads, and rice dishes.
3 – Portobello mushrooms. Marinate and grill like a hamburger, slice grilled and add to salads or pasta dishes, or use instead of meat for sandwiches.
4 – Canned roasted red or yellow peppers. Add to a grilled cheese sandwich, blend them with some cayenne and drizzle over a creamed vegetable soup, egg dishes, pasta sauces, or add as a topping with cheese for crackers.
5 – Fresh cilantro. Add to fruit or tomato-based salsa to accompany fish or poultry. Add to curried chicken salads with celery, apples, and grapes. Add to a bean burrito, fruit or vegetable salads, vinaigrette dressings, black beans, or rice dishes.
6 – Red onions. Slice thin and add to salads, sandwiches, bean dips, or egg dishes.
7 – Honey. Drizzle over yogurt, warm brown rice and pistachios or sliced apples. Sweeten mashed sweet potatoes with honey. Mix with mustard, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, and herbs as a marinade for chicken.
8 – Fresh parsley. Mix with lemon and pepper and drizzled over grilled fish. Mix with minced garlic and whole wheat breadcrumbs or wheat germ for a savory crust for potato dishes or chicken. Mix with oil and garlic for a pesto sauce for mashed potatoes.
9 – Mint. Add to chopped tomatoes and cucumber, rice dishes, and beans.
10 – Sun dried tomatoes. Use in pasta salads, sandwich spreads, vegetable dips, or as an extra topping on pizza. Mix into sautéed zucchini or as an accompaniment to grilled eggplant. Blend with olives, garlic, and balsamic vinegar to make a spicy spread for grilled vegetable sandwiches.
11 – Fresh ginger. Combine with curry to flavor chicken, add to hot or iced tea, use to season steamed vegetables such as pea pods or carrots. Use as a topping along with green onions on roasted fish. Add to stir fries, tofu dishes, or salad dressings.
12 – Horseradish. Use in potato dishes, vegetable dips with dill, vegetable or chicken wraps with fat-free sour cream, spicy soup like gumbo, turkey burgers, cold potato salad, or cold green beans.
13 – Lemon. Add grated rind (called zest) to fruit salads. The juice can put a tangy taste in couscous, gazpacho, and dressings, and can be used as marinade for fish.
14 – Fresh herbs. Fresh always taste better than dried. Add fresh basil to pasta, tomatoes, or other vegetables, bread dough, or even mango slices. Fresh rosemary accents any meal, as well as pasta dishes, roasted vegetables, lima beans, peas, or squash. Fresh dill is an excellent flavor for fish, chicken, omelets and other egg dishes, salads, beets, cabbage, potatoes, or cucumbers. Fresh orégano is excellent in Italian, Greek, or Mexican dishes.
15 – Hoisin sauce. Use as a glaze with garlic, cilantro, and ginger for chicken. Add to steamed green beans.
16 – Pine nuts. Add a few to stuffing, pesto sauce, pilafs, and fillings for poultry or vegetables such as eggplant, or large zucchini.
17 – Crushed red pepper flakes or Tabasco. Sprinkle on pizza, pasta dishes, salads, or soups. Add to olive oil or sour cream dips, rice dishes, or bean salads. Mix into cornbread batter or bread dough.
18 – Tamarind. Add to mixed steamed vegetables, fresh orange juice, salad dressing, and sauces for fish.
19 – Salsa. Make your own by experimenting with grilled corn, vine-ripened tomatoes, garlic, red onions, and chilies. Or try fruit salsa made from mango, jicama, and black beans. Try adding rice wine, vinegar, fresh mint, lime juice, fresh herbs, avocado, or cilantro.
20 – Sherry. Add a tablespoon to soups, sauces, marinades, or fruit glazes.
As the recipes here show, you can make food deliciously flavorful by adding a number of low-calorie ingredients.
It may sound incredible, but drinking water can burn calories! Tests were conducted on subjects designed to measure changes in expired air. Simply put, by analyzing the subject’s breath, researchers were able to determine how fast they were burning calories, and whether the calories came from fat or sugars (glucose). Test subjects did not eat or drink for 90 minutes prior to the test.
Tests results showed that within ten minutes, energy expenditure increased. At thirty minutes, the metabolic rate was 30% above normal and the increase persisted for up to ninety minutes. The total thermogenic (calorie burning) response was approximately 25 calories. Considering the fact that water is very inexpensive and poses no toxicity risk (if purified), test results suggest that as much a 100 calories can be burned by drinking 16 ounces of water four times a day.
Further, it is postulated that even more calories can be burned if refrigerated water were used, since as much as 40 %of the calories burned in the experiment were used by the body warming the water from room temperature to body temperature. Remember that the definition of a calorie is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one liter of water by one degree Celsius. So, raising the half-liter of room temperature water (22 degrees Celsius) to body temperature (37 degrees Celsius) burns about TA. calories. Drinking refrigerated water (4 degrees Celsius) would burn an extra nine calories per glass.
While, at first, these numbers may seem insignificant considering the average American diet consists of 2,200 – 2,900 calories, the results over time are far from insignificant. Burring 100 calories per day equates top 3,000 calories per month and 36,000 calories per year. That is the equivalent of 10 pounds of body fat per year! The researchers estimate dropping another three to four pounds per year use refrigerated water.
Men and women reacted differently to test. Women responded to the increased metabolic rate by burning carbohydrates, while men primarily burned fat. Finally, researchers compared the thermogenic effect of water to ephedrine. One group of subjects drank 1.5 liters of water (three sixteen ounces glasses). The other group consumed 50 mg. of ephedrine three times a day. The water provides 60% of the thermic effect of the powerful (and dangerous) supplement.
I once heard that you can break a habit by not doing it for 12 days. Even if these foods are among your favorites, remember that you can break the habit quicker and easier than you think. Try supplanting a habit – that’s where you substitute something good for something bad – it’s even easier:
Pasta: It may be fat-free, but it contains 40 grams of carbs per level cup. That’s enough to set off an insulin reaction and throw the appetite into over-eat mode. Add half a cup of low-fat vegetables to increase fiber and slow digestion.
Grapes: Because grapes contain little fiber and lots of glucose, they can both cause an insulin reaction and trigger the release of endorphins, thereby continuing the eating process. Chooses bananas, apples, and strawberries that have more fiber and more fructose – a slower reacting sugar.
Instant White Rice: Is rated 91 on the glycemic scale. With no fiber due to refining, it breaks down quickly into glucose, causing an insulin reaction and stimulating the appetite.
Non-Lean Red Meat: A six-ounce serving of filet mignon can yield as much as 26 grams of fat. Use eye of round, or flank steak. Stay away from ground beef.
Cream Of Wheat: Is a fat-acting, high-glycemic carb that is usually accompanied by cinnamon, added sugar. Try oats, cream of rye, and oatmeal instead.
Fruit Juice: Juices are devoid of fiber, which makes the sugars absorbed quickly into the system. Further, many liquids exacerbating hunger, rather than satisfy it.
Raisins: They are too dense in carbs compared to other fruits (about 65 grams per half-cup).
Bagels: A single bagel yields about 40 grams of carb; a large one 75 grams. Rye bread and oat bread are better alternatives (both are low on the glycemic scale).
Rice Cakes: While plain ones are low in calories, most come coated with cheese, caramel, or apple flavoring … and it’s hard to stop after just a few. Rice cakes are higher than white bread on the glycemic index, so they won’t help to curb the appetite. Cold Cereal: Most cereals are loaded with sugar. Only the high fiber, no sugar added cereals help suppress appetite.
If you want to lose weight at a reasonable rate, a rate at which you can keep it off, here are some perfect programs for you … Aim for an amount of exercise that will burn about 300 calories each workday (or 1500 calories each work week). If you eat the same amount of food, you will lose almost 1/2 a pound per week (one pound equals 3600 calories). Here’s how you can do it using a variety of techniques: Go with a colleague to a high-rise building and walk the stairs for 15 minutes (150 calories). That would still give you a half hour for lunch. Walk to the bus stop or your car by going the opposite way around one square block -15 minutes (55 calories). Walk after dinner 30 minutes (110 calories). Total 315 calories burned per day, 1575 calories during the workweek. That equates to a weight loss of a little less than a half-pound a week, or 22 pounds a year!
If you throw in even one day a week at the gym (on the weekends or on less stressful days) – treadmill for one half hour (170 calories); weightlifting for one half hour (250 calories) – that’s an additional 420 calories burned. Adding that to the 1575 calories burned during the week, you get approximately 2000 calories burned per week, or 29 pounds lost per year. Each additional day per week you go to the gym burns another 6 pounds per year. You can clearly see that even the smallest efforts add up to impressive results. Don’t try to lose it faster; the body goes in to starvation mode and stores fat more readily if you try. The slower you lose it, the more assurance you’ll keep it off.
Join an aerobics class, volleyball club, basketball team, racquetball league, tennis team, or kickboxing – at work or YMCA, or neighborhood. All of these combine working out with socializing. There’s another synergy. You go and continue to go because of the support and because you don’t want to let a friend down.
Remember that besides laughing, exercise is the only activity that both releases endorphins and helps you burn calories. If the gym is not an option (cost, distance,
initial level of discomfort), start at home. You can do pushups – either on your knees or fully extended; sit-ups with legs hooked under the sofa; squats using a chair for balance; or ride a stationary bike. All of the above can even be done watching TV (yes, TV is good for something). Use the commercials for sit up and push-ups, and the stationary bike for the programming.
Start the day right and you’re half way home. It’s tough to do something bad after doing something good for yourself and your body. Here’s my list of the most important:
1) Eat a big breakfast, predominately made up of protein.
2) Never wait until you are hungry; by then, you have low blood sugar and the brain is screaming for food – especially in the form of sugar. Eat snacks consisting of nuts and seeds, low-fat cheese, and dried or fresh fruit during the day. According to Dirk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, High-protein and/or high fiber snacks eaten thirty to forty-five minutes before main meals can reduce appetite. The tyrosine and phenylalanine in the protein is converted in the brain (within one-half hour to forty-five minutes) to norepinephrine -an appetite-inhibiting neurotransmitter.
3) Eat one or two vegetables with every meal. (Please don’t count French fries as a vegetable).
4) Get your calcium from soymilk or dark green vegetables. Avoid regular milk.
5) Don’t eat any potatoes except yams. White potatoes have a glycemic index higher than table sugar.
6) Eat a high quality protein with every meal. Only eat extra lean meats and poultry from organically grown, free ranging animals.
7) Keep grain to a minimum- even 100% whole grains.
8) Eat a variety of nuts and seeds as snacks throughout the day, along with some fruit. Never eat fruit with your regular meals, but only as snacks.
9) Drink 8-10 cups of water per day – but not within 15 minutes before or after eating; otherwise, the digestive enzymes in your saliva in your mouth is diluted and the digestion process is delayed.
10) Remember that fat-free usually means lots of sugar – a bad trade off. 12) Try making smoothies out of different fruits and vegetables. Use a variety but keep fruits and vegetables separate. Different combinations may taste so good you’ll eat (drink) more of them. ONLY IF your juicer leaves the fiber in.
Ask yourself the following six questions. They will help you find out if your body has trouble managing carbohydrates….
1) After eating a full breakfast, do you get hungrier before it is time for lunch than you would if you had skipped breakfast altogether?
2) Do you get tired after eating a large meal or find that you get sluggish and/or hungry in the afternoon?
3) Have you been on diet after diet, only to regain all the weight that you lost and more?
4) Does stress, boredom or tiredness make you want to eat?
5) Do you sometimes feel that you aren’t satisfied, even though you have just finished a meal?
6) Do you find it harder to take off weight – and keep it off-than when you were younger?
If you answered, “yes” to three or four questions, you have a carbohydrate addiction that may be greatly affecting your life. Obviously, by cutting back on simple carbohydrates, you can avoid the insulin reaction. While that may be difficult to accomplish fully, you can immediately add protein – meat, poultry, fish, cheese, eggs or tofu – to your diet. Proteins reduce carbohydrate craving. Also, when cabs are eaten at the same time as protein, the rate of absorption of the carb slows down to the rate of absorption of the protein, thereby minimizing the insulin reaction.
How to Choose Healthy Carbohydrates:
The more quickly sugar enters your bloodstream; the more your insulin rises. By making proper food choices, you can largely control your insulin levels. Bu choosing the right food isn’t always simple. Some foods that don’t taste sweet at all, such as white potatoes, raise your blood sugar and insulin levels dramatically, while other foods that taste sweet, like sweet potatoes, have less effect.
The main way to determine how fast a given food elevates your blood sugar and thus insulin, is to know the glycemic index of the food. But knowing a food’s glycemic index is not enough. A better idea is to look beyond the food’s glycemic index and examine what is called the glycemic load (GL). This is the number of grams of carbohydrate in an average portion of the food multiplied by the glycemic index. The GL provides a rough measure of how much insulin your body is going to need to digest a given food.