Myth – In order to get really big, you have to eat a super-high-calorie diet

Myth – In order to get really big, you have to eat a super-high-calorie diet

Well, that’s true; you’ll get really big if you eat a super high-calorie diet, but you’ll look like the Michelin Man’s fraternal twin. However, if you want to get big, lean-tissue wise, then super-high-calorie diets are probably not for you unless you are one of those very few people with metabolic rates so fast you can burn off these calories instead of depositing them as fat. Unfortunately, studies show that, in most people, about 65% of the new tissue gains brought about by high-calorie diets consists of fat! Of the remaining 35%, approximately 15% consists of increased intracellular fluid volume, leaving a very modest percentage attributable to increased lean muscle mass.

According to a number of scientific studies, only about 20% to 25% of increased muscle growth stems from increased protein synthesis. The rest of the muscle growth is directly attributable to increased proliferation of the satellite cells in the basal lamina of muscle tissue, and dietary energy (calories) is not a key factor in the differentiation of these cells into new myofibres (muscle cells).

Of all factors determining muscle growth, prevention of protein breakdown (anti-catabolism) seems to be the most relevant, but adding adipose [fat] tissue through constant overfeeding can actually increase muscle pro- teolysis (breakdown). Furthermore, additional adipose mass can radically alter hormone balances which are responsible for controlling protein breakdown in muscle. Insulin balance, for one, which partially controls anti-catabolism in the body, is impaired by consistent overfeeding. So much for the eat-big-to-get-big philosophy!

Stay away from the super-high calorie diets unless you’re a genetic freak, or you’re woefully lean and don’t mind putting on fat [or you’re using appropriate pharmaceutical supplements].

Stop These Top Food Sensitivities for Beginners

As the age old adage goes, you are what you eat.  Many individuals simply do not realize, however, how true this saying really is.

Each of us has unique body characteristics. We each use our bodies in different ways. Some of us exercise regularly; some of us never do. Genetics and age also plays a part in overall health. Therefore, a food that might cause side effects in your neighbor may not affect you at all. On the other hand, ‘something you ate’ may be the cause of that nagging problem that has been hindering your workout or your overall well-being.

So, Stop These Top Food Sensitivities for Beginners and let’s discuss 10 food side effects that may surprise you

  1. Stress

Many of us turn to so-called comfort foods during times of stress. However, the experts suggest doing otherwise, and for reasons more so than just maintaining a good figure.  The majority of common comfort foods include caffeine, sugar, processed foods, saturated fats, refined sugars, salts, alcohol, and tobacco, all known to create further stress in the human body.  These foods enact a stimulant-like effect in an already overloaded system, furthering the physical symptoms of stress.  Known as sympathomimetics or pseudo stressors, these foods may bring psychological comfort momentarily, but in the long run, these foods stress the body’s processing abilities and cause the individual to consume more of these types of foods, creating a cycle of poor nutrition and a stressed system.

  1. Insomnia

The inability to sleep at night, while sometimes caused by external factors, may be intricately linked to your diet.  Diet experts list certain food ingredients that often interfere with the ability to sleep, including:

  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Fatty foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Common food additives such as MSG and other artificial flavorings

By cutting down on these items, especially prior to sleep, individuals may find a full night’s rest much easier to come by in the future.

  1. Sleepiness

Other foods are known to induce sleepiness.  For some individuals, eating these foods at work or the office can make the rest of the day a living nightmare of lethargy and nodding off at your desk.  Many of us are familiar with the effects of Thanksgiving dinner. We stuff ourselves with turkey and all the trimmings, and then feel the urge to lay down for a quick nap. Aside from a full stomach creating a feeling of satiety, which can lead to the desire to sleep, turkey has high levels of tryptophan, an ingredient that causes sleepiness. Many other foods do as well, although not all foods that can induce sleepiness include tryptophan. Foods to watch out for include:

    • Cheese
    • Milk
    • Yogurt
    • Turkey/Poultry
    • Tofu
    • Honey
    • Almonds
    • Bananas
    • Rice
    • Beans
    • Oatmeal
    • Papaya
    • Hummus
  1. High Blood Pressure

The dangers associated with high blood pressure are well known. Food and food ingredients known to contribute to high blood pressure include:

  • Salts
  • Red meats
  • Foods high in fat
  • Foods high in sugar

It is interesting to note, however, that dark chocolate, although high in sugar, potentially lowers blood pressure, as reported by researchers in the Aug. 27, 2003 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

  1. Kidney Stones

Any individual that has experienced kidney stones can attest to the pain and discomfort this medical problem can cause.  If kidney stones are common in your family, or you simply want to do what you can to avoid them, watch out for:

  • Salt
  • Rhubarb
  • Fructose
  • Apple juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Peanuts
  • Soy foods
  • Beets
  • Spinach
  1. Memory Impairment

Over time, many individuals notice increasing memory difficulties. While much is yet to be learned about age-related memory loss, it has been reported that certain foods seem to exacerbate gradual memory loss and cognition impairment, including:

  • Saturated fats
  • Trans fats
  • Shellfish
  • High cholesterol food
  • Organ meats (liver, kidneys, etc.)
  1. Tooth Staining

Believe it or not, very few people have truly white teeth. Genetics, aging, and certain medications can affect tooth color. Most of us have teeth in varying shades of yellow. However, a huge industry has grown up around teeth whitening, as many individuals desire what has come to be known as the ‘celebrity’ smile. Our teeth respond to excellent home oral care, but brushing and flossing alone may not be enough to achieve the pearly white appearance you desire.  Certain foods have long lasting staining properties that brushing along may not be able to erase, so if you want whiter teeth without visiting the dentist, be sure to take good care of your teeth at home and avoid:

  • Berries
  • Curry
  • Coffee
  • Cola
  • Teas
  • Red wine
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  1. Thirst

The truth is that few of us are adequately hydrated. Add the stress of our environment, pollution, poor nutrition, and poor lifestyle choices, and it’s easy to see how dehydration can occur. Certain foods as well are known to cause thirstiness, which can further dehydrate the body and cause headaches, low blood pressure and other much worse conditions.  Foods contributing to thirst include salty, fatty, spicy and sugary foods and drinks.  The best option for overcoming any form of thirst should always be water. Your internal organs, digestive system, skin and overall bodily functions will thank you.

  1. Nausea

Aside from alcohol, there are some relatively unknown foods that have the side effect of nausea in a large number of individuals.  Foods containing yeast, gluten products, and lactose may contribute to nausea, and a simple avoidance of these products is the best way to solve the problem. Yummly has great recipes of yeast free, gluten free, lactose free containing foods, obviously these are all carbs, because meats don’t contain the above.

  1. Water Retention, Bloating, or Swelling

After a large meal, many individuals will experience some form of bloating or feeling excessively full; however, certain foods, even in moderate intake, are known to cause extreme water retention and bloating in people.  These foods include:

  • Caffeine
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • High sodium foods
  • Chocolate

How can you know which foods may be triggering your unwanted symptoms? Trial and error. Simply remove the suspected food from your diet and see if your symptoms improve or go away completely.  You can even skip the whole elimination process on your own, and go have testing done.  The tests are called Food and Environmental IgG & IgE Testing – An ELISA analysis to determine IgG and IgE antibody levels for specific food and environmental allergens.  If you are in Ottawa, I send all my clients to Ottawa Integrated Health Centre.

Do women need strength training exercises?


Do women need strength training exercises?

The number one persistently persistent myth is weight training bulks women up. Nothing could be further from the truth. The only things bulking women up are those biscuits, breads, and bagels.

Lifting heavy weights benefits women and is one of the best ways to increase strength, while simultaneously improving muscle tone. Here are the top 3 myths:

Myth 1: Strength training causes women to become larger and heavier.

The truth is strength training helps reduce body fat and increase lean tissue. Muscle takes up less space than fat. Muscle is also 100% more metabolically active, and along with diet and the appropriate amount of cardiovascular exercise will help to accelerate your weight loss. The payoff…you’ll be leaner, more toned, and defined.

Myth 2: Women should avoid high-intensity or high loading training. Women are typically encouraged to use limited resistance, such as light dumbbells, in their strength exercises. Women need to train at intensities high enough to cause adaptation in bone, muscle, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. When exercise intensity provides insufficient stimulus, you’ll gain insufficient benefit. To gain maximum benefit from strength training, women should often perform their exercises at or near the repetition maximum for each. Lifting heavy weights will produce the firm, fit, and cellulite free looking body that most women covet.

Myth 3: I exercise so I can eat whatever I want. This is another big myth. Listen, exercise is no substitute for poor nutrition. Contrary to popular belief, you simply cannot eat poorly and exercise the poor choices away in a thirty minute jog on the treadmill. Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way.

How can I use sensory adaptation to eat healthy?

Sensory adaptation is the tendency for sensory receptors to have decreasing responsiveness to stimuli that continue without change. This is why you stop smelling your own perfume or cologne, or those in the city get used to the sound of traffic. It also applies when eating; you get less and less pleasure from every bite of a food following the first bite, the introduction to a new flavor.

You can remember this phenomenon to remind yourself that the large bowl is not going to be more goodness, but rather more of something that is losing goodness, and manage your portion sizes. However, there is a positive spin to this phenomenon as well. You can use it when you are trying to have less of something or more of something in your diet. Just start and see if it gets easier. Especially, if you are busy with other things, you will likely be able to drink more and more water, noticing it less and less.

Diet Myth Busted – Don’t Eat After 6 PM to Lose Weight

Don’t Eat After 6 PM to Lose Weight

Pros:  You will lose weight.  You’ll cut your calories, if you don’t make up for them during the morning or afternoon.  You’ll get your body use to not eating after 6 PM, which normally makes you more head strong.

Cons: To create an anabolic environment in order to promote fat loss, you must feed your muscles every 2-3 hours.  Fat loss is different from weight loss.  Weight loss is a general term that means your losing body weight.  The type of body weight that you want to lose is not muscle.

Not eating past 6 PM, can work for a short while, if you want to quickly lose a few pounds. However, not eating after 6 PM, until you wake up the next morning, in the long run will notably cause muscle breakdown, which may lead to your fat loss coming to a stop. You don’t want to sabotage yourself in the long run.  Your body does not like trickery and with every wild thing you throw at it, be prepared to feel the homeostatic compensation of your games.   There are many different ways to drop weight and lose muscle… too many,  and the smartest strategy is to keep things progressive and phase in the way you lose weight, which gives your body and mind a chance to keep up. This is sustainable fat loss and weight reduction.

What should I do if I’ve overeaten?

The best thing to do is MOVE ON.  We all have days when we eat more than our bodies need, that is the rule, not the exception.  In two decades of practice as a nutrition counselor, I have never met someone who did not lose weight because of ONE episode of overeating.  The trouble starts when one episode stretches into an entire day, week, month – you get the picture.  You do NOT need to go on a very restrictive program to compensate for over eating.  But you should try to think about the circumstances that led up to the overeating — Too much tempting food around?  A stressful personal or work situation? Being too restrictive with your weight loss program so that it is very hard to maintain? – So that you can try to understand the behavior and practice correcting the response the next time around.