MODERATION IN ALL THINGSMany of the ideas in this program, when taken out of context are completely unhelpful. When included within the entirety of the program, the result will be a healthy lifestyle, but there are certain keys to understanding how to apply these concepts to your own life. Firstly, you must realize that not everyone is the same. Everyone has different metabolisms, different nutritional needs, and will ultimately get different results. If something doesn't seem to work for you, fit it to make it work. There is no strict guideline for what one person should eat so experiment and find the balance that is right for you. You can't eat healthy and go out drinking three times a week expecting results the same way you can't eat poorly three days and healthy four days out of every week. Moderation & Balance are very important terms; keep them in mind if you find that you aren't moving in the direction of the body that you want. This program will give you a better understanding of how your body works and what it you need to do for it to work at peak performance, resulting in your full physical and mental potential. Be active so that it can work the way it's meant to.
READ LABELS WITHOUT A CALCULATOR NEARBYCalories are a way of measuring the amount of energy your body can get by eating a certain food. Some people need 2000 some need 4000, but your body needs them. However, counting them will do you no good. The reason being that the importance isn't the calories; it's how you get them. If someone decides that he or she must be on a strict 2000 calorie diet, without any other factors involved, there is a possibility of the following: "I already ate a 2000 calorie bag of potato chips, so if I get hungry I'll finish out the day with packets of Sweet n' Low ." The same goes for any nutrient, but I'm not saying don't look at the numbers. Nutritional Facts along with Ingredients and Key Words are the three elements on packaging to keep in mind when shopping. The amount of calories, fats (saturated and not), carbohydrates, vitamins, etc. are a good way of understanding which foods are good and which are not.
The ingredients list, if you know how to use it, is full of helpful information. First of all, it is in order of most plentiful to least plentiful. Thus, if "high fructose corn syrup" is listed first then you know there is more sugar than anything else in the food and you should probably stay away from it. Use the ingredient list also to watch out for "trans fatty acids" (i.e. anything with "partially hydrogenated oil" in it) and other unsavory ingredients.
Finally, there are key words to look for when you're shopping. For example, if a package says it is wheat, don't believe it. If it says whole grain or whole wheat then you know that it is all wheat and not augmented with white flour. Also watch out for the words "diet," "low fat," "low carb," etc,. Don't believe them until you read the label and compare it to others. Pringles™ boasts lower fat than other potato chips, but the fat content is still immense! Also make sure reducing carbs doesn't reduce other wanted nutrients, remember, whole foods are best. As for foods without labels, look up nutrition on the Internet to learn what vitamins are in Grapefruits and such and be aware of what you buy.
SHOP HEALTHY/REFORM YOUR KITCHENOnce you learn what to eat and what not to eat, apply what you've learned to what you buy at the store. Instead of buying lots of pre-packaged foods, try to make a switch over into buying better ingredients and cooking healthier. It takes just as much time to cook something that is good for you as it does to cook something that is bad for you. It all depends on which habits you have. While at the store, you can find lots of healthier choices or substitutes such as: olive oil (I prefer the spray kind) for butter, extra lean ground beef for regular ground beef, whole wheat grains (pasta-bread-tortillas) for white flour grains (pasta-bread-tortillas), etc. There are plenty of healthier choices at the grocery store. All you need to do is look around. Surround yourself with fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods and you will eat healthier by simply choosing better foods to snack on and healthier meals to cook.
THE SECRET TO STORING FAT: INSULINWhenever your body breaks down sugar, it releases insulin. Sugars are what make up carbohydrates. So, any time you eat bread, pasta, fruit, vegetables, candy, etc. your body breaks down these sugars to use for energy. Whenever it is too easy for your body to break down the sugars and it gets too much energy, it releases insulin telling your body to store that energy for later in the form of fat. Think of insulin as a messenger. When insulin is released into the blood stream, it tells your body to store fat. Greater amounts of insulin tell the body to store more fat, thus, if smaller amounts of insulin are released, the body will store less fat. The reason your body stores fat is that your body needs fat. Why wouldn't store something it doesn't need? It is important to give your body some fat during the day, just not a whole lot. And if you give your body what it need, it won't need to store fat for later.
GOOD CARB/BAD CARBUnlike many "Low-Carb" diets would like you to believe carbohydrates are not solely the answer to weight gain. They are a vital part of any diet. The importance is in which carbs you eat and how you eat them. Not all carbohydrates are created equally. I'm sure that everyone has heard about good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates. What does all of this mean?
All food raises blood sugar when we eat it, but carbs raise it the most, and some carbs raise it more than other carbs. Why do we care? Because high blood sugar is not a good thing for our bodies or for our health. Our bodies respond to a high dose of sugar with a high dose of insulin-a hormone which takes sugar out of the bloodstream and delivers it to the cells. We all need insulin, but we can have too much of it. And for many people, the mechanism that regulates blood sugar and insulin doesn't operate perfectly. Those people can wind up with both high blood sugar and high insulin and can be at risk for a number of health conditions, like Metabolic Syndrome and Type 1 Diabetes. Even in otherwise healthy individuals, the ups and downs of blood sugar can lead to cravings, mood swings, energy dips and weight gain. Most people have experienced the "sugar rush" of a high sugar food and the nasty crash that usually follows. That's why we don' want our blood sugar to go too high too quickly. A doctor friend of mine once told me that sugar acts like cocaine. It's crystallized and goes right to the brain and the more you have the more you want. A graph of blood sugar levels in our body should look like gentle ripples on the surface of a lake, not like pounding 15 foot waves in an ocean storm.
The Glycemic Index or GI is a measure of how much - and how quickly - certain foods raise your blood sugar. Remember that when trying to control weight it is important to keep blood sugar even. The higher the Glycemic rating on a food the more rapid the blood sugar rises, the more insulin is released and more fat is stored.
Examples of High Glycemic foods are breads, pasta, potatoes, sugar, cereal, bananas, watermelon, rice, rice cakes and many more. There are several recourses available but the main thing is to read labels. Look at how many Carbohydrate grams are in the food and choose wisely.