Fat Burning Foods

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could eat and the foods you eat help you burn fat?  What a concept…but there are foods that help you lose weight.  Some foods either help you build muscle, some promote fat burning, and some simply use energy (burn calories) just to digest them!  Keep in mind that that muscle tissue is metabolically active so the more muscle you have, the more you burn fat as it increases your resting metabolism.  In other words, because muscle needs a lot of energy to maintain, the more muscle you have, the more you are burning fat at rest.  This is why it is vital that you get enough protein in your diet so you don’t waste your muscles away.  Let’s have a look at some of them and how they work:

  1. Whey Protein: builds muscle; burns fat
  2. Eggs: builds muscle; burns fat
  3. Lean meats: build muscle; burns fat
  4. Almonds and other nuts: builds muscle; reduces cravings; burns fat
  5. Low fat dairy; builds bones; increases metabolism
  6. Coconut Oil/MCT oil; burns fat
  7. Avocados: burns fat; reduces cravings
  8. Berries; improves satiety; prevents cravings (also powerful antioxidant)
  9. Celery; takes more energy to metabolize than what you have ingested
  10. Peanut butter; boosts testosterone which builds muscle and burns fat
  11. Dark chocolate (70% or higher cacao): encourages fat burning; reduces cravings
  12. Fatty fish (herrings, mackerel, salmon, tuna); builds muscle; burns fat
  13. Green tea; increases metabolism; burns fat (also great for immune system)
  14. Grapefruit: burns fat; regulates blood sugar and metabolism
  15. Chili peppers; boosts metabolism
  16. Beans and legumes; builds muscle; burns fat; helps digestion
  17. Apple cider vinegar: burns carbs; burns fat; levels blood sugar
  18. Lemon water: burns fat; makes you feel full
  19. Oysters: Regulates appetite

So try to add as many of these foods in your diet and let’s burn some fat!!!  What can it hurt?

What Exactly is Ketosis and is it Good or Bad For Me?

When you eat carbohydrates, they break down into glucose which is the main source of fuel for your bodies.  If however you eat very few carbs and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can be converted to blood sugar), your body will look for alternate ways to get energy from and it starts to produce ketones.  Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. They are then used as fuel in the body, including the brain. This is important because the brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day.  It’s a common misconception that the brain needs carbs. The truth is that the brain happily burns carbs when you eat them. But if you don’t eat too many carbs, the brain is happy to burn ketones instead.  Your body cannot run on fat alone, it can only run on glucose…or ketones.

On a ketogenic diet your entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat.  Insulin levels become very low and fat burning increases dramatically. It becomes easy to access your fat stores to burn them off.  This is obviously great if you’re trying to lose weight, and studies show that ketogenic diets lead to more weight loss.  Being in ketosis also reduces hunger and cravings so you lose weight effortlessly and even reverse type 2 diabetes.  Also, by giving your body and brain an almost unlimited supply of energy, you can increase your physical and mental endurance.

Some people think that ketosis is extremely dangerous.  However, they might be confusing ketosis with ketoacidosis, which is completely different.  While ketoacidosis is a serious condition caused by uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a natural metabolic state.  In fact, ketosis and ketogenic diets have been studied extensively and shown to be very safe for long periods of time.

So how do you get your body into ketosis?  Cut the carbs!  Remember that everything, with the exception of meat and fat, is a carb which breaks down into glucose.  So how many carbs per day can you eat and still get into ketosis?  Approximately 20-50 NET carbs.  NET carbs are not the same as TOTAL carbs.  For example, fiber is a carb but the human body doesn’t absorb and it requires no insulin to metabolize and thus it has no glycemic response, so we subtract it from the total carb.  So if your bread has 30g total carbs but 5g of fiber, the net carb is only 25g.  You would be amazed at how many carbs you are eating if you are not counting or cutting them.  Other carbs that have no glycemic effect are sugar alcohols (xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol etc) which are used as a calorie free sugar substitute.

It is important to check your ketone levels by using Ketone sticks or “ketostix”.  You can get them in the drug stores.  You pee on the stick and it turns a color.  Basically the more ketones that are in the burning, the darker red-purple the stick will turn.  There is a chart on the bottle so you see if you are burning negative, small, medium or large.  If you are negative, you are not in ketosis and are not burning fat this way.  This is the best way to know if you are eating too many carbs or not eating enough good fats.  I find when I add MCT oil, I burn larger, faster.  You can put the MCT oil (which comes from coconut oil) in your shakes, drizzle it on steamed veggies or use it for your salad dressing with vinegar and spices.

So, get into ketosis…it’s good for you!

What to Look For in a Low Carb/Low Sugar Protein Bar

When hunger hits and it’s not meal time, I go for a protein bar.  Since I follow a low carb diet, I only buy bars but there are many very healthy bars that are not so low carb but are all natural, made from raw ingredients which include nuts and seeds, dates etc.  For the purpose of this article, I am going to stick with the low carb protein bars.  So here is a list of things to look for in a low carb, low sugar bar:

  • Protein content: This is the first thing I look at.  I look for a minimum of 20 grams of protein.  The higher the protein the more filling it will be and will keep you fuller for a longer time which ultimately reduces your  cravings as well.  Protein has a high thermic effect which means it requires a lot of energy to break it down. This means that up to 30% of the calories you consume from protein are used in the digestive process.  Most proteins come from milk and whey so they are not good for anyone who has a lactose intolerance.  For those of you with this issue, you would have to choose a vegan or vegetarian protein bar
  • Low sugar/Low carb: This is the 2nd thing I look for.  You would be surprised how much sugar are in some bars.  Most of the vegan bars are high carb but they are good carbs.  So to get a low carb bar you will most likely have to get one made from dairy/whey.  It is important to understand the difference  between total carbs and NET carbs.  Most low carb bars use sugar alcohol (xylitol, sorbitol, erythritol) etc.  Sugar alcohols always end with “itol” where sugars end with “ose” such as sucrose, fructose etc.  Sugar alcohols cannot be absorbed so they pass through the system and do not have a glycemic response, meaning that they do not require insulin to be metabolized.  Also, many low carb bars contain a high amount of fiber which like sugar alcohols, are not absorbed by the human body.  They pass right through, so…we can subtract them since neither of them have a glycemic response.  As an example:  Let’s say the bar has 28g protein, 17g fiber and 10g sugar alcohol.  28-17-10=1 NET carb.  This one carb left over has a glycemic response and is the only carb you count for your daily carb amounts.
  • High fiber: As mentioned above, the higher the fiber content the lower the total carbs. Also, fiber is great for blood sugar balance
  • When you’re choosing a protein bar that is quite low in total carb count, then they often will contain sugar alcohols. While many people will have no problem tolerating these, some people experience bloating, diarrhea, cramps, and bad gas as sugar alcohols draw water into the bowel. You will have to try them out for yourself to see if you react this way, but if you don’t these can be a very helpful fat loss aid. If you suffer from chronic constipation, they may be helpful for you

There are many high protein bars that are low carb and low sugar.  You have to learn how to read the labels to know.  Some of the low carb/sugar bars would include the Quest bars, B-Up bars and Oh Yeah ONE bars but there are many, many more to choose from.  Enjoy a guilt free snack that provides great protein and fiber without the guilt of carbs!

 

 

Low Carb Diets Equal Better Sex!

I have heard from numerous people that once they go on a low carb diet, their sex drive increases dramatically.  At first I wondered why but then after thinking about it I can name a few reasons:

  • Following a low carb diet means that you are eating more fats (good fats). Fats are responsible for the manufacture of hormones including testosterone and estrogen.  Increased testosterone means increased sex drive
  • An eye-opening study published recently in the Journal of Clinical Investigation shows that sugar overloading shuts off a gene that helps control estrogen and testosterone levels, zapping your sex drive
  • Good fats provide more energy than any other food group so you feel more energized to engage in sex
  • Low carb diets elevate mood which puts you in the mood
  • High blood sugar negatively effects mood, energy level, and, hence- interest in sex
  • Diets high in sugar also cause fatigue, making active sex seem draining. High levels of carbs and sex just don’t mix
  • Like sex, low carb diets are stimulating. Eating the right amount of carbs creates incredible energy
  • Eating too much glucose and fructose causes us to gain fat which in turn has been shown to shut off the sex genes
  • Chronic high blood sugar from your old way of eating contributes to neuropathy (nerve damage) and impaired blood circulation, both of which lead to a decrease or delay in erections, lubrication, genital sensation and orgasm
  • When you lose weight, you feel better physically and emotionally. You have a new body and are less inhibited
  • Excitement about your results and achievements causes an even stronger drive for enjoying life and ultimately the love-making in it

Bottom line is that dieting impacts both physical and mental health.  You need the energy to have sex and if you are not in the right frame of mind you will not desire sex.  So, follow the low carb diet for just one month and see what happens to your libido!  It’s certainly worth a try don’t you think?

Cauliflower Mac ‘n Cheese

I got this recipe from foodnetwork and will absolutely try this one!

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt, as needed, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar, plus 1/2 cup for topping the casserole
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

Special equipment: 8 by 8-inch baking dish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water with salt.

Spray the baking dish with vegetable oil spray.

Cook the cauliflower in the boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and pat between several layers of paper towels to dry. Transfer the cauliflower to the baking dish and set aside.

Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan, and whisk in the cream cheese and mustard until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese, salt, pepper and garlic and whisk just until the cheese melts, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, pour over the cauliflower, and stir to combine. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake until browned and bubbly hot, about 15 minutes. Serve.

Recipe courtesy George Stella

10 Bizarre Weight Loss Tips That Really Work

Reader’s Digest published an article for bizarre weight loss tips and believe it or not, I have heard of most of them and they do have some science behind them.  Here is the list they put out:

  1. Sniff a banana, apple or peppermint: The more frequently people sniffed, the less hungry they were and the more weight they lost—an average of 30 pounds each. One theory is that sniffing the food tricks the brain into thinking you’re actually eating it.
  2. Eat a bigger breakfast than dinner: According to the physicians of The Doctors, in a recent study one group of obese women consumed 700 calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch, and 200 at dinner. Another group ate the same foods but had 200 calories in the a.m. and 700 at night. After 13 months, the big-breakfast eaters shed 18 pounds, while the big-dinner eaters lost only about seven.
  3. Tie one on: “A number of French women wear a ribbon around their waist and underneath their clothes when they go out for dinner. It keeps them conscious of the tummy—particularly if the ribbon starts to feel tighter as the evening goes on!”
  4. Hang a mirror opposite your seat at the table: One study found that eating in front of mirrors slashed the amount people ate by nearly one-third. Seems having to look yourself in the eye reflects back some of your own inner standards and goals, and reminds you of why you’re trying to lose weight in the first place.
  5. Take a picture of your food: Rather than writing down every morsel, take a picture of it; a visual account may help curb your intake. “Snapping photos and then looking back at them can make people stop and think before indulging.”
  6. If you must eat candy, stick with wrapped candy: People ate 30 percent less candy when they had to unwrap it first, a Swiss study found. Peeling off the wrapper requires effort, which can make you eat less.
  7. Light a vanilla scented candle after your meal: The aroma has been shown to dampen dessert cravings. One group of 160 volunteers actually lost an average of 4.5 pounds each by wearing vanilla-scented patches.
  8. Surround yourself with blue: There’s a good reason you won’t see many fast-food restaurants decorated in blue: the color functions as an appetite suppressant. Researchers have found that people eat 33 percent less in a blue room; the bluish light that results evidently makes food look less appealing. So eat on blue plates, dress in blue while you eat, and use a blue tablecloth. Avoid red, yellow, and orange; studies find they encourage eating.
  9. Turn the lights up and the tunes down: Restaurants don’t just dim the lights to create a romantic atmosphere; they do it so you order more food. Low lighting lowers eating inhibitions. As for music, soft tunes playing in the background actually encourage more leisurely chewing and goes against hurry-up, stress-related, mindless eating patterns.
  10. Eat 3 fewer bites of your meal: One less treat a day, or one less glass of orange juice. Doing any of these can save you about 100 calories a day, and that alone is enough to prevent you from gaining the two pounds most people mindlessly pack on each year.

Fit to serve: Brown Butter Cake

Ok I have to try this recipe…looks so yummy!

Diabetes Diet

sponge cake 2

Low Carb Brown Butter Cake

Ingredients:

2 cups of (4 sticks) unsalted butter melted and lightly browned

6 large eggs

2 cups of finely milled almond flour

2 cups of sugar substitute

1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of sea salt

Directions:

1.    Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 10-inch spring-form pan with butter.

2.    Melt and lightly brown the butter in a saucepan and allow to cool completely.

3.    Beat all the eggs and sugar substitute in a stand-up mixer on high until mixture is thick and a shade of pale yellow, about 6 minutes.

4.    Add the almond flour by ¼ cup increments into the egg and sugar-substitute batter folding gently with a rubber spatula. *Do not over stir, mix only to combine

5.    Once the batter has been mixed add the now cooled melted brown butter gently fold into the batter until fully…

View original post 53 more words