Archive for the tag - eating

Myth: Healthy Outside = Healthy Inside?

Hey Davey,

I’m an 18 year old guy and I eat pretty much whatever I want. My diet consists mostly of chips, pizza, soda and other crappy food. Even though I have such a bad diet, my body looks great. I have a six pack and look really athletic. Do I really need to change my diet if I already look good?

From,
Ben

sixpackHey Ben,

Congratulations! You are one of those people who is blessed with a high metabolism and good genetics.

But keep in mind, what’s happening on the outside is really only part of the equation. While many people eat smart and work out to look a certain way, the best benefits of a healthy lifestyle happen on the inside. And just because someone looks healthy on the outside doesn’t mean they are healthy on the inside.

Decades ago, autopsies for U.S. military personal killed in the Korean and Vietnam wars revealed that many of these bootcamp graduates had plaque and fatty deposits in their arteries. Despite looking healthy and fit on the outside, many of these young people were severely unhealthy on the inside. On the outside, you might see an athletic 20 year-old man. But on the inside, his arteries looked like those of an overweight, 50 year-old heart attack victim.

Yes, a healthy lifestyle of eating smarter and moving more will transform your body. But transforming your body is about more than just your outward appearance. It’s like the difference between getting a car wash or a tune-up. If you want your car to be in good working condition, you need to maintain what’s under the hood! The same goes for your body.

But fear not: Having a healthy lifestyle and improving your diet isn’t difficult. And though it might not include a whole lot of chips or soda, it will include plenty of delicious foods that will energize and invigorate your body! If you need help or guidance, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter. It will give you all the tools you need for a complete transformation.

I hope that helps!

Love,
Davey

Is A Raw Diet Healthier?

rawdietI get a lot of questions about raw diets – and if they’re a health alternative or simply over-hyped.

As with most things in the health and fitness world, the answer isn’t cut and dry or black and white. If you’re looking for a simple yes or no, you won’t find it.

It’s accurate to say that there are aspects of a raw diet that are very healthy. Most raw diets are heavily plant-based – and most of us aren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables. Diets that include plenty of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables are associated with a number of health benefits.

Raw diets also eliminate most processed foods. As such, raw diets tend to have lower amounts of sugar, sodium and trans fats.

It’s also true that some foods are healthier when eaten raw. Heat can destroy some nutrients and reduce the benefits of certain foods. For example, the benefits of extra virgin olive oil are greatly reduced once it’s heated beyond 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, by eating raw foods, you never have to worry about charring meats – and the carcinogens created by that process.

However, not all foods are healthier when consumed raw.

David Katz, M.D., who is director of the Yale Prevention Research Center, notes:

Raw food advocacy ignores the fact that some foods are more nutritious when cooked. The nutrient lycopene makes tomatoes red. It is a potent carotenoid antioxidant, long thought to reduce prostate cancer risk, although that effect per se is in doubt. Lycopene is fat-soluble, and much more “bioavailable” – that is to say, available for absorption and making contributions to our health – when tomatoes are heated in combination with an oil. Tomato sauces with olive oil are ideal, and raise blood lycopene levels far more effectively than eating raw tomatoes.

There’s another reason we cook food. To kill harmful bacteria and thus prevent us from getting sick. Uncooked and unpasteurized foods are more prone to illness; as such, raw diets aren’t recommended for young children, pregnant individuals or the elderly. If you have a weak immune system or chronic illness, then a raw diet probably isn’t a good fit.

Nutritional deficiencies can also become problematic. Protein and calcium, for example, are commonly deficient in raw diets. While it’s possible to get a balanced diet while eating raw, the reality is most people are ill-equipped or lacking the time and effort to formulate a proper nutrition plan.

For most of us, it makes more sense to incorporate those aspects of raw dieting that are healthy and sustainable rather than following the diet fully and completely.

But what do you think? Have you ever tried a raw diet?

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

 

Study: Benefits of Eating Slowly.

In 2011, Joey Chestnut won the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest by eating some 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

With today’s fast-paced world and our busy schedules, we don’t always make time to really enjoy and savor our meals. In many cases, we’re eating in the car, between meetings or during a quick, 15-minute break from work.

The impact of rushed meals on our health isn’t good. Many studies have linked eating quickly to overeating and obesity.

One reason for this is pretty straightforward: There’s a lag between our stomach being full and our brain feeling full. During that lag, we often continue to eat – not realizing that we’re already full. The faster you eat, the more calories you can consume during that lag.

Now, in a study presented at the joint International Congress of Endocrinology and European Congress of Endocrinology, researchers have identified eating speed as a risk factor for type II diabetes. According to the study, fast eaters are 2.5 times more likely to suffer from type II diabetes than slow eaters – even after adjusting for other risk factors (like family history, education, exercise, body mass index, waist circumference, cigarette smoking and plasma triglyceride levels).

Though type II diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors, some 285 million people (and counting) suffer from the condition world-wide. As type II diabetes approaches pandemic levels, it’s important to understand all the risk factors – including, now, the speed at which we eat.

Moreover, from a spiritual perspective, I think it’s important to take time to enjoy your meal. Though I’m often guilty of wolfing down my food, eating slowly makes it easier to be thankful for the food you’re consuming. And such feelings of gratitude and awareness tend to go a long way.

What to Eat After a Workout.

I just read an e-mail from a confused blog buddy that needs some post-workout nutrition guidance. Here’s my best shot.

Admittedly, it can get confusing – especially when marketing comes into play. Dozens of workout shakes are pushed our way, not to mention a whole slew of protein bars. So what’s one to do?

First things first, there is one thing that you definitely don’t want to eat after you exercise: Fat. Even “good” fat. Obviously, all of us need fat in our diets, but immediately following a workout is not when you want to consume it. Fat slows down digestion – and after a workout, your body needs to be replenished quickly. This is why I tend to avoid “muscle milk” which is actually quite high in fat.

There are three things you do need after a workout:

  • Hydration – I prefer water.
  • Carbohydrates.
  • Protein.

And how soon do you need them? Very quickly. I try to get my initial post-workout feeding within 20 or 30 minutes of exercising. Definitely within 1 hour.

When it comes for protein, we know that not all proteins are created equal. You want a high quality protein that is absorbed quickly by the body. This is why I tend to mix some whey protein powder for my initial intake as a shake. I recommend that you try the same – whey protein (ideally, whey isolate instead of concentrate) is as good as it gets! If you need deeper guidance, find out how much protein you should be consuming over the course of a day.

You also need carbs. Thanks to the likes of Dr. Atkins, women and many gay men alike try to avoid carbs like the bubonic plague. But carbohydrates are super important to your post-workout recovery. In fact, they restore muscle glycogen – and if you don’t have carbs, your body may break down muscle to perform the same process. So, make sure your post-workout meal does contain carbs. There are several formulas to calculate the exact amount, but they generally point to a range of 30 – 70 grams, depending on body weight and workout length and intensity.

If you want to get fancy, try a chicken sandwich or egg white veggie omelet with toast. But really, a good protein shake powder will generally do the trick. You can even bring the powder with you to the gym – or leave a scoop in your protein bottle and just add water on your way home. It’s a great way to help you make the most of your workout and get the results you want!

What do you eat after you workout? Let me know in the comments below.

How to Eat French Fries and Stay Fit. Sorta.

No, you didn’t read the headline wrong. Yes, it is possible to eat french fries and stay fit.

Back in 2005, when I was living in New York City for the very first time, I went on a date with a guy named Mike. For our first (and only) date, Mike asked me to pick my favorite restaurant in the entire city. I choose Dallas BBQ, a soul food joint overflowing with fatty foods, high calories drinks and massive portions. When we got to the restaurant, Mike was appalled by the menu. He refused to stay – and instead, we ate a dinner across the street. Mike ordered a salad with no cheese, fat free dressing and a diet coke. In that moment, I knew it would never work out.

I understand that Dallas BBQ can’t be a staple food source for someone that is looking to stay healthy and fit – or for someone that is trying to release weight. But I also understand that life is about balance and moderation. If your self-imposed diet deprives you of the foods that you love, then it’s probably a diet to which you’ll be unable to stick. It’s just not sustainable.

So, I follow the 80/20 rule. I eat foods that are healthy 80% of the time. And 20% of the time, I allow myself to indulge in the foods that may not be particularly healthy – but that I love. Things like potato skins, vegetable tempura or french fries. The trick is moderation – and the 80/20 rule is a helpful guideline for striking that gentle balance. It amounts to 2 – 3 indulgent meals over the course of a week.

The 80/20 rule allows you to have your cake and eat it too. Literally. And that’s why I’m such a fan.

Do you follow the “everything in moderation” mentality? When it comes to diet and nutrition, what do you do?