Monthly Archives for January 2014

Archives for January 2014

Is Brown Sugar Healthier Than White Sugar?

Brown Sugar

Brown rice is healthier than white rice. Whole wheat bread is healthier than white bread. So does the same logic apply to sugar? Is brown sugar a healthier alternative to white, table sugar?

The vast majority of brown sugar is simply white sugar with molasses added back in. Interestingly, molasses occurs naturally in sugar – but manufacturers bleach out the molasses to produce white sugar. White sugar is transformed into brown sugar by the reintroduction of molasses in carefully measured amounts to control the color and consistency. As such, it’s accurate to say that most brown sugar is even more processed than white sugar.

Because of the molasses, brown sugar does have trace amounts of certain minerals – but not in any significant quantity. There’s really no nutritional advantage between the two sugars.

Instead of trying to figure out which sugars are healthier, it makes more sense to spend that time and energy developing strategies for reducing added sugar from your diet.

Have You Thanked Your Body Today?

sev-fitspiration-2-deIf someone extends the simplest act of kindness to you by, for example, holding open a door, you’d probably thank them. It’s just common courtesy.

But what about something much, much bigger? Instead of giving up their seat on the train or letting you go first in line, what if someone – or something – did something truly extraordinary?

Each and every day, your body performs trillions of functions to sustain your life. It does this without a complaint or grumble. It never takes a day off. There are no vacations or overtime. There aren’t even any breaks. From the womb to the tomb, your body is your constant and tireless companion on this human journey.

But instead of thanking our bodies, we usually do the exact opposite. Have you ever looked in the mirror and hated what you saw? Have you ever ridiculed your body for being too fat? For having a big nose? For being too pale or too this or too that. The list is endless.

It’s like someone holding the door open for you and then punching them in the face. It just doesn’t make sense.

By replacing negative self talk with a more positive narrative, you begin to improve and repair your relationship with your body. And as you feed your body a diet of positivity, you’ll notice that it becomes much easier to make decisions that honor it. Working out and eating smarter become natural because your body deserves movement and nourishment. A healthier life becomes almost effortless.

So it all begs the question: Have you thanked your body today? If you haven’t, do it. Right now.

Should You Eat For Your Blood Type?

Blood-type-diet-proven-totally-uselessIn 1996, Peter D’Adamo released a book called Eat Right for Your Type. In it, the author prescribes a different diet for each of the various blood types. Supposedly, by following the customized meal plans, you’d be able to reduce heart disease, stress, cancer and more.

The book sold seven million copies. And, even today, the most popular Google search about blood type is “blood type and diet.”

So is D’Adamo onto something? According to a new study from researchers at the University of Toronto, the answer is a definitive “no”.

For the month-long study, 1,455 participants were recruited. Using a 196-item food frequency questionnaire, a score was calculated to determine each participant’s adherence to their blood type meal plan. These scores were then compared to cardiometabolic risk factors.

Researchers found that some of the modifications did have benefits. But that those benefits were entirely independent of blood type. Eating less saturated fat, for example, will help lower your risk of heart disease – regardless of your blood type.

On the flip side, some of the modifications could prove dangerous. One blood-type specific diet recommends the elimination of wheat. Unfortunately, by eliminating wheat, you’re more likely to develop nutritional deficiencies in fiber and vitamin B.

The bottom line: According to science, blood type specific diets are all marketing gimmicks and hype. Another fad diet debunked!

 

Does Running and Walking Burn the Same Amount of Calories?

Dear Davey,

I’ve always been told that it doesn’t matter if you walk a mile or run a mile. Regardless, you burn the same amount of calories. After all, a mile is a mile. Is that really true?

From,Jon

running-shoes-male_650x366Dear Jon,

Your question actually points to a very common misconception! Yes, a mile is always a mile. That doesn’t change. But the energy required to move your body across the distance varies depending on your speed.

In fact, there have been numerous studies on the topic including this paper from California State University. For the study, 15 male and 15 female college students were recruited. One day, participants ran a mile in 10 minutes. On another day, they walked a mile in just over 18 minutes. Afterwards, they sat quietly for 30 minutes.

The data was very clear. While walking burned 88.9 calories, running burned 112.5. Moreover, after running, participants continued to burn calories at a higher rate compared to walking. After the mile walk, 21.7 calories were burned. After the mile run, on the other hand, 46.1 calories were burned. In total, the run resulted in 43% more calories burned.

But wait there’s more.

The mile run took less time. And with our busy schedules, efficiency is certainly something to consider. If you want to get a lot of workout bang in a short amount of time, running definitely comes out on top.

The bottom line is that it takes more energy to move our bodies at high rates of speed. A more intense workout simply burns more calories. While walking is a great form of exercise – and certainly less likely to result in injury – it won’t result in the same calorie burn as a run.

Love,Davey

What’s Really In Chicken Nuggets?

Hey Davey,

I’m actually a bit afraid to ask… but what’s really in a chicken nugget? I’m afraid to ask because I really like them, but maybe it’s time for me to learn the truth.

From,
Ben

6a00d834520b4b69e20147e203ea64970bHey Ben,

While it sometimes seems better not knowing what’s in the food we eat, ignorance isn’t bliss. Once we know the truth, we can make smarter and better informed decisions about our consumption habits.

As it turns out, the University of Mississippi Medical Center did a study on fast food chicken nuggets to find out what’s really inside. By essentially performing a chicken nugget autopsy on two different brands, researchers discovered that less than half of a chicken nugget is actually meat. The remainder being a mixture of fat, connective tissue, skin, blood vessels and even bone. In fact, one of the chicken nuggets was 40% skeletal muscle.

While it’s all technically edible, it’s still pretty gross – and it’s not a healthy food choice.

According to one researcher:

Some companies have chosen to use an artificial mixture of chicken parts rather than low-fat chicken white meat, batter it up and fry it, and still call it chicken. It is really a chicken by-product high in calories, salt, sugar and fat that is a very unhealthy choice.

But wait, there’s more.

McDonald’s, in particular, has stirred up controversy for including Tert-Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) as one of their chicken McNugget ingredients. Although TBHQ is found in some other foods like Girl Scout Cookies and Quaker Chewy Granola Bars, it’s also petroleum-based and a lot like lighter fluid. The FDA limits its use to 1 gram per 5,000 grams in cooking.

For a full list of ingredients in your favorite brand of chicken nuggets, I recommend a quick Google search. Each company has the full ingredients listed on their website. While you may not recognize many of the ingredients by name, you’ll quickly realize that most chicken nuggets have a lot more in them than just chicken.

Love,
Davey

14 Healthy Tips – Not About Food Or Exercise.

Today’s guest post is by Davey Wavey’s good friend and spiritual weight release coach, Diane Petrella. Diane is also one of the contributors to The Davey Wavey Weight Loss Program.

bigstock-young-handsome-man-doing-yoga-28364720Happy New Year! Instead of making challenging resolutions (like losing those last 10 pounds or getting up for the gym every morning at 5:30 a.m.), I recommend starting the new year with a re-commitment to your overall health and fitness.

In honor of 2014, here are 14 of my favorite ways to recommit—that have nothing to do with eating and working out. Because while good nutrition and exercise are important, equally important are coping with stress to curb emotional eating, staying mentally focused on what you want to achieve, becoming spiritually grounded to trust yourself, and last but definitely not least, using the power of your mind to follow through.

1. Choose a theme for the year.

A theme (such as patience, forgiveness, courage, etc.) guides your growth and progress through the coming year. It becomes the lens through which you make choices. ??For example, if your theme for 2014 is self-compassion, think how you will bring self-compassion to your weight loss journey every day. If your theme is health-first, how does that affect your daily habits. See what I mean?

2. Ground yourself.

Breathing is one of the most powerful ways to manage stress and emotional eating triggers. Here’s an easy and effective technique called “Four-Step Breathing”:

Slowly take in a deep breath as you silently count to four.
Hold the breath for four counts.
Slowly release the breath as you silently count to four.
Hold again for four counts. ?Repeat several times.

3. Choose your words wisely.

Eliminate the following from your vocabulary: Try, should, can’t. These disempowering words add struggle to your weight-loss journey and weaken your confidence. For example:

Change: “I’ll try to take a walk today” to “I will (or, I won’t) take a walk today.”
Change: “I should eat a salad” to “It’s good for me to eat a salad.”
Change: “I can’t exercise this week” to “I choose not to exercise this week.”

In the long run, being positive and honest with yourself keeps you strong.

4. Use the power of your imagination.

Success is first created in the mind. Take five minutes every day to visualize what it looks and feels like to release the next five pounds. Or imagine yourself reaching your goal weight. Especially important is capturing the feeling associated with what you’re visualizing. This inner work ensures the outer work of your actions take hold.

5. Create your reality.

Don’t listen to those who say weight loss is “hard” and difficult.” Remember, the quality of your thoughts create the quality of your journey, so if you believe it will be hard, it will be.?? Choose to believe this instead:

“I reach my weight loss goals with ease and grace.”

Similarly, move from thinking you’re someone who “struggles” to lose weight, to believing you’re someone who is becoming thinner and fit. This simple mind shift makes a big difference.

6. Plant your intentions everywhere.

When setting passwords for sites or accounts you frequently access, choose words or phrases that inspire you and reflect goals you want to reach. For example:

Iluvmybody
Iweigh__lbs (insert desired weight)
Iamhealthy

You type these every day, right? So, instead of the same old password, each time you write these you affirm your intention to release weight and live a healthy lifestyle.

7. Stop complaining.

It can be tempting, but don’t join others in negative conversations about how “hard” it is to lose weight, how “bad” your body looks, or how “awful” it is to get older. These conversations poison your mind and body, shake your confidence and will become your reality unless you do not to participate in such talk.

8. Choose whether you “release” or “lose” weight.

I like to say “release” weight rather than “lose” weight—and people often ask me why. Practice this exercise to find out:

Get quiet. Close your eyes. Say to yourself a few times:
“I want to lose weight.” Notice the sensations in your body.
Clear that thought and then say to yourself,
“I want to release weight.”
Again, notice what that feels like. Open your eyes.

What did you notice? Many people feel a sense of lightness with “release” and some tension with “lose.” What did you experience?

9. Start a success journal.

Keep a notebook by your bed. Before going to sleep, write your answers to this question:

“What steps did I take today to care for my mind, body and spirit?

For example:

“I parked away from the store entrance to walk farther.”
“I didn’t beat myself up for overeating at lunch.”
“I took ‘Me’ time to read an inspirational book.”

Writing in your success journal trains your mind and brain to scan your experiences and find the healthy choices you’re making. Your attention shifts away from looking only at what’s “not working” to notice what’s going well. Your memory becomes imprinted with images of taking good care of yourself, inspiring you to keep moving forward.

10. Affirm good health.

Within your body and soul you already possess perfect health, unwavering strength, and profound wisdom. Affirmations help you to believe this on a deep level. Repeat these affirmations daily to call forth what’s already there:

“I am healthy. I am strong. I am wise.”

11. Embrace what feels hard.

Sometimes the most important thing to do feels like the hardest thing to do, especially when releasing weight. For example:

When you’re upset with yourself for overeating, speak to yourself with compassion.
When you feel demoralized about the time it’s taking to release weight, be patient.
When you feel shame toward your body, send it love.

Hard doesn’t mean impossible. It starts with a willingness to do what feels hard until it becomes easy.

12. Make it easy.

If you’ve learned to “reward” yourself for “good behavior,” or give yourself a treat for doing something challenging, this may feel counter-intuitive, but…

Start to take your accomplishments in stride. For example, after eating healthfully for a few days or exercising after work, respond as if this were a common occurrence. Say to yourself, “that felt so good” or “that was easy.” In this way you’re creating an inner vision of new habits being something you do naturally and easily rather some extra-special feat. Over time this outlook helps you weave new behaviors into your life as the normal course of events.

13. Ask your body what it needs.

Take some time today—every day—to get quiet, go within and ask your body what it needs from you. For example, close your eyes and draw your attention inward. Take a few breaths to settle yourself. Then, ask your body:

“What do you need today so you will feel loved and well-cared for?”

Listen and follow through with what you hear. Take that relaxing bath. Get up and go for that walk. Guidance that emerges from your body wisdom is more important than any information you’ll find elsewhere.

14. Think into the future.

Ask yourself:  “How do I want to feel one hour (or one day) from now?”

This powerful question helps you anticipate the results of your choices, guiding you to choose wisely. For example, before entering a food-challenging situation, imagine how you want to feel as you drive home. Taking a moment to close your eyes and visualize your desired result, and the feeling attached to that result, energetically aligns your mind and body to help you make choices that move you in that direction.

So, no matter how you feel right now and no matter what happened with your weight over the holidays, use one or all of these mind-power tips to recommit to your weight-loss journey. What is important is this present moment and the choices you make today. As Abraham Lincoln said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Here’s to creating a healthier you in 2014!

Fat Shaming Just Makes You Fatter.

o-FAT-SHAME-STUDY-facebookThere are many ways to motivate people to lose weight. But shame isn’t one of them.

That is, at least, according to a new study about weight stigma from a researcher at UC Santa Barbara. According to the findings, the media’s characterization of overweight people as lazy, weak-minded and self-indulgent may actually be contributing to the problem rather than helping to solve it.

For the experiment, women of various weights, shapes and sizes were divided into two groups. One group of women read a mock article titled “Quit Smoking Or Lose Your Job.” The second group read a mock article titled “Lose Weight or Lose Your Job.”

After reading the article, the women in both groups had to describe what they had just read. Then, each of the women was left in a waiting room for 10 minutes. The waiting room was stocked with a variety of pre-weighted snack foods and candies.

According to the data, the women who read the weight-stigmatizing article ate significantly more food than any other group of women. In a final set of questions, this group also reported feeling significantly less able to control their eating.

In other words, the negative messages that society creates about overweight people aren’t a motivating factor in weight loss. In fact, it seems that they have the opposite effect. It’s also not really a surprise, especially since overeating is a way for some people to feel comfort. Which leads to more weight gain, and then more shame and guilt – and then more overeating as comfort. It’s a vicious cycle.

Instead of shaming ourselves or other people into losing weight, try a diet of inspiration, kindness and love. If you want to make positive changes, let’s start with positive thoughts.

Does Eating Slower Help You Eat Less Food?

Dear Davey,

I’ve heard that eating slower helps you eat less food. Is that really true?

From,
Brad

Apr 12 303wolynskiHey Brad,

Your question doesn’t have an easy answer, but here’s what the latest science says.

In a recent study from the Department of Kinesiology at Texas Christian University, researchers examined the relationship between eating speed and food consumption in both normal weight and overweight or obese individuals.

For one aspect of the study, researchers encouraged the participants to eat slowly and put down their fork in between bites. The participants were told to enjoy the meal as though there were no time constraints. After comparing data to meals eaten at a faster pace, researchers found that only normal weight individuals ate fewer calories during the slower meal. For overweight or obese individuals, slowing down didn’t mean fewer calories consumed.

Why the difference? Researchers noted that the overweight and obese group at fewer calories than the normal weight group in the study, regardless of the speed at which the food was eaten. As such, the researchers speculate that overweight individuals may have been self-conscious during the study and ate less food – thus, skewing the results.

All of that aside, there are a few concrete reasons to eat slower. Weight aside, researchers found that both groups drank more water during the slower meal. And, both groups reported feeling full longer after the slower meal.

In other words, even if you don’t eat less during the slow meal itself, feeling full for a longer period of time could reduce the total amount of calories consumed during the course of a day.

At the very least, slowing down is a great way to better enjoy your meal. By savoring our food, we can make our meals something of a more sacred ritual. And if you view your meal as a sacred experience, are you more likely to reach for a nourishing and colorful salad or a soggy, microwaved Big Mac?

Love,
Davey

 

If You Workout, Can You Eat Whatever You Want?

20080812-phelpsIt’s a new year – and many people are making resolutions to exercise. Great! But many people mistakenly believe that working out is a free pass to eat whatever you want.

A few years back, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps gained a lot of attention for his alleged 10,000 calorie-per-day diet including lots of “pizza and pasta.” Most experts believe that Phelps’ actual diet is likely closer to 6,000 calories as it’s nearly impossible to eat 10,000 calories in a day.

Still… for the rest of us non-Olympians, Phelps’ legendary diet helps fuel the popular misconception that you can eat whatever you want as long as you exercise. Simply put, this is untrue.

On one end of the equation, each of us burn a set number of calories during the course of the day. If we exercise, we can certainly boost that number. At the other end of the equation, each us consumes a certain number of calories through the foods we eat. At the most basic level, if calories in is greater than calories out, we will store those extra calories as fat.

It’s true that regular exercisers have higher metabolisms and thus need more calories on a daily basis. Many people, for example, are surprised by the amount of food that I consume even though I’m just 155 pounds. But if I ate beyond my body’s daily caloric needs – even despite my rigorous workout routine – there’s no doubt that I’d gain excess fat.

And working out doesn’t prevent an individual from developing nutritional deficiencies. As such, it’s not a free pass to eat a diet of French fries and cheeseburgers. On the contrary, it’s still important to eat with health in mind – and it’s important to give your body the fuel it needs to power through workouts and maintain muscle mass.

Bottom line: The idea that you can eat whatever you want if you workout is a total myth. All of us, regardless of our activity level, must pay attention to the foods we eat.