Why Diets Fail and How To Succeed

Habits That Stick

A large part of the reason  most people are not  able to follow a plan is they have not developed  habits that stick.

When I say habits that stick I am referring to the default habits that contribute to long term success.

These sticky habits become the new default to fall back on. With continued growth new set points will be achieved closer to the goal.

There are going to be steps backwards, but the person continues moving forward  because they have a new setpoint to work from. They know their goal is only met by moving forward each day.

Everyone these days is on a diet or doing a thirty day challenge, but what happens after that diet or thirty day challenge ends ?

They have reached the top of the mountain after thirty days, but have not built the habits to support this way of life for an extended period of time. Because the habits have not been built people typically return to their default habits.

This is typically where the wheels come off the wagon and there is a binge. The binge results in a return to the old default habits, and weight gain happens again.

After feeling guilty for going back to their old habits the person goes on another diet or thirty day challenge and cycle is repeated.

Each time a person goes through this weight loss and gain cycle they become more metabolism adapts better making fat loss more difficult.

Naturally the person thinks they need to restrict calories further and exercise more, but that is only digging a deeper hole. This cycle is  dangerous  mentally and physically.

When The Perfect Ruins The Good 

If the only thing you have been for the past twenty fives days is perfect and suddenly you slip up. That air of perfection is out the window, and your hashtag privileges are revoked on instagram I hear.

Short term goals should be easy right ?  why couldn’t I be perfect for a month ? insert the other common negative self talk here.This   fosters a very negative mindset, and can create unnecessary stress around food.

I always tell my nutrition clients, we aiming for progress not perfection. Think of achieving  a goal like a run,  it is a marathon not a sprint. You learn a lot from the journey to your goal.

Managing small setbacks allows you to handle larger setbacks with a positive mindset to keep moving forward.

Evolutionary Software

Biologically  humans are not hardwired for long term goals. Our survival from an evolutionary standpoint was regulated moment to moment.

Your physiology is only concerned with keeping you breathing and living until the next moment, hoping you will procreate if you are healthy enough.  

You body only cares about the short term because as hunter gatherers you could  potentially die at any moment. The system that regulates this is the fight or flight stress response.

It is responsible for making sure you get out of that stressful situation alive at any cost necessary to the body. To make the stress hormones needed to ensure your survival your body steals the precursors to all the other hormones. Sorry but low testosterone doesn’t matter if you are dead.

This short term hard wiring is also why you crave sweet foods.The sweet foods provide the feedback to your primal brain that this is a safe, dense source of energy.

We get the signal to eat as much of this food as possible , because it won’t be around for very long once the seasons change.

These are the kind of short term hard wiring that helped our species evolve, however this is not the best system for managing long term goals.

A Better Approach

Make sure that the habit you are adopting is small enough that you can not fail. It should almost be insulting how simple it is.

Instead of trying to complete the habit seven days a week start with  three days a week, think marathon not sprint. Build up over time and work your way up to seven days. Don’t try to start the race the race at the finish line.

The beauty of this approach is that  there is no end date or  abrupt ending. When these challenges and diets end they leave people without another path to follow except another thirty day challenge or diet.

The habit based approach to  health is focused on compacting all the small changes into something much bigger, and learning from the journey along the way. The longer path may be windy and difficult to stay on at times, but it will take you much further if you stay on it.

There is no judgement or perfection prioritized. It is about progress pure and simple. People experiencing smaller struggles and setbacks along the way helps to develop a stronger constitution and an ability to  handle larger challenges.

Keep  yourself accountable to someone else. Enlist a friend to help keep you on track or have them complete the habits with you.

Things such as sending picture messages or making a facebook group can be great for accountability. There are also habit tracking apps as well.

Once you have a habit down and it becomes autopilot, it is time to adopt  a new habit. With my clients I have noticed that most people do very well with a new habit every two weeks.

If a habit is more challenging, lay the groundwork for an extra week to make sure it is solidified before moving forward.

To make sure the habits stay interesting and things don’t get boring  cycle between nutrition, sleep, exercise, stress management. If every habit you adopt is related to nutrition it is much easier to burn out and lose interest. Make improvement to all areas of your life to reap the health benefits.

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.

 

Evolve Nutritional Therapy Strategy Session


Name *
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Are You Chasing The Magic Bullet ?

There is very a popular idea in the fitness and health industry that “miraculous” shortcuts exist. These shortcuts  require little to no effort, but  produce remarkable results.

This is the magic bullet theory that we have been sold. The magic bullet rests on the idea that there is one exercise, superfood or supplement can transform your body composition and dramatically improve your health. 

This style of thinking about health and fitness leads people  down a path that always ends in frustration and confusion.

The idea of the magic bullet also leaves people looking for the easy route and shortcuts or hacks  instead of working hard and showing dedication to something they value. 

The instant gratification we all experience is more the norm than the exception. We want fast results and immediate gratification with as little work as possible.There is endless information at our fingertips twenty four hours a day.

We can stay in our car and pay for food through a through window. We are impatient  and want all the results as quick as possible with as little work as we can get away with.

There no surprise we treat our health and fitness the same way. There is always the next big supplement, superfood or fitness hack that allows you to opt out of the hard work. I don't think we should cut corners when it comes to our health. 

Frankly there is no valid shortcut, hack or magic bullet when it comes to optimal health. If there was a magic bullet someone besides the infomercial guy at midnight selling fat burning supplements would know.  

There absolutely are more efficient and intelligent ways to train and fuel your body. The missing part of the shortcut that no ones discusses is dedication, hard work and consistency. The magic bullet is just that: dedication and consistency.

Somewhere along the way as a society we learned to shy away from hard work. Getting uncomfortable and putting the time in to get what you deserve became viewed as a bad thing.

Every kid gets a trophy these days, and this is leading to a skewed perception of real life and how the world really works. 

The fact in life is  not everyone gets a trophy for their efforts. Some folks are just going to be stronger, more attractive and smarter.

This is the way the genetic cookie crumbles, your genetics are not a choice, but hard work and persistence  is a choice you make everyday!

 From successful business owners to phenomenal athletes who are asked about their path to greatness, they all share something in common: Hard work and staying consistent day after day, whether they felt like it or not.

No one has ever achieved something amazing because they found the shortcut, hack or easy route. As long as each day you commit to getting better and showing up you are on the path towards a better version of yourself.

The best part is to transform your body or health you don’t need to buy anything. You just need to make the decision that you are ready and committed to changing what you are not happy with.

Being dedicated and making changes is going to be difficult at first. It will feel like you HAVE to go to sleep earlier, eat cleaner or  hit the gym after work.

Your focus  will be on what you have to give up for these new habits. When these habits become part of your life you longer think about, the mind starts to shift and something interesting happens.

You start to view these habits as something you GET to do. You begin to think about what you are gaining from these habits. You start to build your own resistance to those temptations, and  you gain momentum heading towards a better version of yourself.

If your goal is to get as healthy as humanly possible and reach your fitness goals  I am going to give you the recipe to achieve this  below this will require dedication and being consistent, but these are the true magic bullets:

Eat nutrient dense whole foods that improve your health , and consume these foods everyday. Eat enough food to support your daily activity level and reach your goals.

Match your activity level to your food intake. Eat  less of the foods that you know are holding you back from reaching your goals.

If you are eating a squeaky clean paleo diet, but are still  eating a full jar of almond butter every two days be honest with yourself about your negative habits.

Exercise intelligently and  consistently. Do not be afraid to work hard and feel some discomfort, this is where you will grow physically and mentally.

When you exercise strive to work harder than you did yesterday. Be honest about where you are in your fitness journey and realize too much and too little exercise are sides of the same coin

.Find a good middle ground between pushing yourself and throwing up during your workout. 

Sleep 8-9 hours every night in a pitch black cool room. Sleep will help with any health or fitness related goal.

You will not always hit the mark on this, but make it a priority and shoot for the 8-9 hour mark. Even if this means you spend this much time in bed get in the habit of being in bed earlier and getting away from electronics. 

Develop a stress management practice that you enjoy and can stick with long term. It doesn’t have to be fancy: go for a morning walk, think of five things you’re grateful for or create a vision of what you want your day to look like, meditate, or go to a yoga class.

Get deep into your thoughts and away from electronics and other people if you can.

Take time to recover from exercise and work on mobility. We all sit too much and our poor movement patterns reflect this, it will only get worse unless you work on it.

Recovery and mobility work improves training and everyday movement. Greater mobility allows you  move efficiently and work harder in the gym while staying pain free.

Move more often throughout the day. We are designed to move at various levels of intensity throughout the day.

The time spent in the gym is relatively short and intense. Many of us are missing the other end of the spectrum which is low intensity movement. Take movement breaks and stretch, go for walks or hikes, sit in a squat position for a bit or roll around on a foam roller. 

If you do the above things consistently, frequently and for as long as you can, your health, fitness and body composition will speak for itself. This is as far from the magic bullet as you can get. No miracles, hacks or shortcuts to be found here. 

It is simple but it is not easy, and will require sacrifice. Nothing worthwhile comes easy, and your health is worth while.

When it comes to your health I urge you to stop looking for the magic bullet, hack or shortcut and realize, you know what needs to be done. Start today with one better decision and begin building momentum towards better health.

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.


Evolve Nutritional Therapy Strategy Session


Name *
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Phone *
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Paleo and Vegans: More In Common Than You Think

My journey into nutrition and a healthier lifestyle began with veganism. I saw the documentary “Forks Over Knives” and it opened my eyes to the poor foods I was eating on a daily basis.

I felt much better as a vegan than I had in the past, but I experienced some drawbacks too. This was a vast improvement from how I had eaten my entire life, but knew that I could feel better.

As I learned more about nutrition and wanted to improve how I felt. I decided to switch to vegetarianism with a lot more fish and eggs in my diet. This was another improvement and I felt much better than when I was vegan, but knew that I was not done tweaking.

I heard about the paleo/primal lifestyle from a few different people who had great success. After learning more about the paleo principles I decided to give it a try.

When I removed grains and processed carbohydrates from my diet and ate more vegetables and healthy fats, it was the best I ever felt. I no longer required that afternoon coffee and was able to finally drop the excess body fat I struggled with since an early age.

Even within the ancestral template I am still tweaking how I eat on a daily basis these days. I have experimented with a very low carb ketogenic diet, and a higher carbohydrate with white rice and white potatoes. I continue to make switches in my nutrition and lifestyle on the quest to improve how I look, feel and perform.  

Everyone has their own journey into a healthier lifestyle and it requires tweaking and experimenting to see what works for them.

Many different factors including goals and genetics, climate and stress dictate how a person can optimally fuel themselves.  What could be perfect for one person is a disaster for another, nutrition is highly individualized.

Paleo, Vegan, Primal, Weston A Price, Vegetarianism - everyone has a dog in the fight for diet supremacy. Anybody who is dedicated to a diet is looking for dramatic changes in the food industry.

For the whole foods movement to gain steam the diet dogmatic folks will need to put aside the differences, and focus on what we can all agree on. Only by banding together can we actually make a difference in our broken food system.

Whether Paleo or Vegan the only way we are going to make a ripple in the food industry is if we realize together we are much stronger  than we are separated. We are going to need every comrade possible to go against the food industry and elicit any change.

We all have a roadmap to optimal health, and similar goals at the very end of the path. How we get there may differ, but we’re all going to the same place and face the same struggles along the way. This blog post is going discuss what vegans and paleo folks have in common.

Let Hunger Guide You, Not Calories

To get rid of the obsessive nature around food, we need to get back in touch with our innate hunger signal.  People worry too much about counting calories and grams of fat.

When people are are eating a healthy diet with adequate protein, fat and lots of vegetables chances are pretty good you will naturally be in a caloric deficit.

In both the vegan and paleo camps there is a an emphasis on eating when you are hungry and not eating when you are not, pretty simple. 

We have built in mechanisms that regulate our food intake.  This way of using hunger allows us to eat until we are full and not overeat.

Excessive Sugar Intake Is Unhealthy

There is no debate that excessive consumption of added sugar is bad for us all. Sugars such as high fructose corn syrup, evaporated cane sugar and agave are very harmful and are widely used in packaged foods. Sugars are empty calories, and a metabolic toxin.

Most people are not going out of their way to consume excessive amounts of sugar, but because it is a staple in processed foods, people are consuming more than they think.

The best way to ensure you are avoiding sugar is to eat foods that come from nature, no package or label necessary. Also make sure to read labels and become learn the different names for sugar there are over 56 names!

Fermented Foods and Gut Health Are Important

The importance of having a healthy gut is really on the home front of health these days. Having a healthy gut biome is crucial to the overall health of everyone!

One of the best ways to support the healthy bacteria in our stomach is to consume probiotic rich fermented foods such as kraut, kimchi, beet kvass, fermented vegetables and kombucha. There has been some interesting information about eating prebiotic rich foods.

Prebiotics give your body the necessary terrain to grow these beneficial bacteria. These prebiotic foods are rich in resistant starch which is resistant to digestion in the gut and passes through to the colon undigested to feed the healthy bacteria.

The microorganisms in our gut have far reaching impacts on the body from our moods, energy and cravings to immune system health.

Processed Carbohydrates Should Be Reduced

There are plenty of healthy cultures from around the world that consume a  diet consisting mostly of carbohydrates, however those carbohydrates are from natural sources, not a factory.

Carbohydrates are a hot button topic in nutrition, but even the low carb evangelists can agree that unprocessed sources are less detrimental to health than processed carbs.

There is a lot of debate about carbohydrates all over the internet, but no one can argue that processed carbohydrates are calorically rich, but nutrient poor.

On the other side vegetables and natural starches are nutrient dense and do not have a ton of calories. If you are interested in a more extensive discussion of carbohydrates check out my blog post:

http://www.evolvenutritionaltherapy.com/eat-to-evolve-blog/2015/1/7/are-carbohydrates-bad-for-you-

We All Need Healthy Fats

Fats play pivotal roles in cellular membrane composition, energy, neurological and blood sugar health - we can all agree these are very important. Whatever way you choose to eat, healthy fats are a basic requirement  for health.

Some of the largest sources of fat in the paleo and vegan communities are the same: coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds avocado oil and coconut products.

Obviously a vegan would opt to not consume some of the fats in the paleo community such as butter and grass fed beef, yet both  choose to avoid the highly processed man made oils such as: corn, soybean, canola, margarine and hydrogenated oils.

We can all agree the we need these natural fats that come from nature to make us healthy, and that the man made fats deteriorate our health.

Health Expands Beyond Just Nutrition

When it comes to looking, feeling and performing at your best certain aspects of life  are just as important, if not more so than nutrition.

Nutrition is a vital component of optimal health, but a healthy lifestyle goes beyond just food. To be truly healthy you have to have a healthy lifestyle, not just three nutritious meals.

We are designed to move frequently and at varying intensities. Exercise means different things to different people, but we all require and benefit from it metabolically and psychologically.

Sleep and stress management are other components that play a huge role in our health and are frequently looked over. I feel that sleep is the most overlooked aspect of health and the benefits of quality sleep are astounding when you read the research.

Another area that has been widely discussed in the health and wellness realm for the past few years is stress management.

You can have the best diet in the world, but if you are a stress ball your health will suffer. Too much stress can cause poor digestion, blood sugar problems, adrenal stress and sleep problems. Taking 20 minutes day to go for a walk outside, meditate or engage in some stress reduction will work wonders for your health.  

Coconut Is Back On The Menu

For a period of time everyone was avoiding coconut products because of the saturated fat content that supposedly caused cardiovascular disease.

We have since learned coconuts are among the healthiest foods on the planet, and do not damage our health or cause cardiovascular disease.

The medium chain triglycerides (MCT) and lauric acid from coconut have a wide variety of benefits  such as neurological health, joint health, energy, weight loss, heart health and also heart health.

Supplements Can Not Take The Place Of An Healthy Diet

With the current state of our soil and the way animals are raised there are certain nutrient deficiencies that we are going to have despite our best efforts.

Other nutrients are very hard to obtain in adequate amounts from whole foods. The smart use of supplements can be a good insurance policy for the hard to get nutrients.

When it comes to vitamins, minerals and other nutrients whole foods are the best option. Whole foods are very complex, and there are many enzymes and certain vitamins that play a crucial role in the effectiveness of nutrients.

Far too often the focus  is on an isolated nutrient while ignoring the other reactions in whole foods that make a nutrient useful. Supplements should be used to help with an already healthy diet, not in place of it.

Dairy Is A Grey Area Food

Dairy is one of the grey area foods that some people do fine with, but others react negatively.There are sects of vegetarianism and paleo/primal communities that have adopted dairy.

Those who are adhering to a more traditional paleo and vegan lifestyle will avoid dairy products. With the  widespread avoidance of dairy, many great dairy free alternatives have come to surface that meet the needs of paleo and vegans alike.  

Coconut milk, almond, cashew and rice milks have all come to be popularized

Vegetables Are Important For Optimal Health

Vegetables are universally accepted as a health food by everyone Paleo to Vegan. When it comes to nutrient density eggs and organ meats are two of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, but not everyone will eat grass fed liver.

People from every style of eating are far more willing across the board to consume vegetables to improve their health.

Vegetables are calorie for calorie some of the  highest foods in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The high nutrient content combined with fiber and being lower in calories makes them a perfect weight loss food and good for overall health.

Whole Foods Are More Nutritious Than Processed Foods

We have evolved over the ages eating real nutrient dense foods that come from nature. These foods are very rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and enzymes. these natural foods are alive.

A large portion of our diet in this day and age is not real food. Chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavorings, food dyes, processed oils, artificial sugars are not a food.Yet we eat an astounding amount of these "non foods" daily.

These foods are very nutrient poor, but calorically rich. Our body has a brilliant communication system between the brain and  gut that allows us to eat enough to be nourished, and turn off hunger afterwards.

The signal from the gut tells the brain that nutrient needs are met, and to turn the hunger signal in the brain off. But when we eat these “dead” foods our gut does not receive the nutrients it needs and keeps the hunger signal in the brain turned on.

This hijacking of the hunger signal makes overconsumption a regular part of the day. Over time this repeated over consumption of these high calorie low nutrient foods leads to obesity and metabolic problems.

There Are A Wide Variety Of Diets That Are Healthy

In nutrition dogma runs rampant and people become so entrenched in their personal  beliefs that they end up giving the one size fits all “magic bullet diet".

We all have different genetics, needs, goals  and stresses that should shape our nutrition. There is a lot of  debate about which diet is “the right” diet, but more importantly it needs to be asked what is “the right” diet for you.

When it comes to leading a healthy life it needs to be viewed as a  marathon not a sprint. The style of eating that you can do consistently, that makes you look, feel and perform your best is what works for you.

There are certain things that we all know are bad for health and should be avoided such as excessive sugar, hydrogenated oils and processed foods.

Hydrogenated and Man Made Trans Fats Are Harmful

Trans fats do occur in nature, but for our purposes I’m talking about processed man made trans fats. They are unnatural polyunsaturated fats that are chemically altered to resemble saturated fats, but without the benefits of saturated fats.

These polyunsaturated fats are chemically altered to become hydrogenated fats by exposing them to excessively high heats (damaging), pressure (damaging) and hydrogen gas with nickel.

By making these unnatural hydrogenated fats they resemble saturated fats in texture, and can last much longer on a shelf. Sounds like a healthy thing to consume right ? Rhetorical question folks.

These foods are highly inflammatory due to the unnatural omega 6 fatty acid content. The overconsumption of these fats has been linked to higher small dense LDL particles which are damaging, and lower fluffy HDL cholesterol particles which are healthy.

There have also been links to metabolic damage and adipose tissue around the abdomen. Avoid these oils at all costs.

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.

 

Evolve Nutritional Therapy Strategy Session


Name *
Name
Phone *
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Why You Should Eat Your Carbs At Night

Everybody has heard the common wisdom that you should consume the majority of your calories and carbohydrates early in the day.

The reasoning behind this  is simple, when you consume your calorically and more carb dense meals earlier in the day you have more time to burn those calories off.

Going against the grain is pretty typical here on the Eat To Evolve blog. Contrary to popular belief there is a good amount of evidence that consuming the majority of your calories and carbohydrates specifically at night is more beneficial than having them earlier in the day.

I read about this theory from leaders in the fitness and nutrition industry Nate Miyaki and Jason Ferruggia.

I’m well aware that this goes directly against what you have been told by folks in the health fitness industry, but if they were right more folks would be walking around in great shape.

If something is not working for the majority of people the approach needs to be changed, not clung to with the vulkan death grip.

In this blog post I’m going to explain the benefits from a scientific, evolutionary and willpower  standpoint of why eating the majority of your calories and carbohydrates at night time can help you reach your health and fitness goals.

Follow The Evolutionary Leader

One of the most innate reasons for this style of eating is our evolutionary patterns of fasting and feeding. As early man we regularly spent the day hunting, fishing, gathering  and tracking animals and highly active.

Many times these hunts were done in a fasted state without food relying on stored body fat as fuel.

Digestion is an energy intensive process ,and these fasting periods allowed our early ancestors to be more active and alert without being slowed down by a full stomach.

Our ancestors would return home with the days gathering or catch ready to feast. During the night was leisure time spent with others  feasting on the food caught or gathered throughout the day, allowing them to relax and refuel for the next days hunt.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying I want to live exactly like a caveman I love the my iphone, fridge and hot/cold running water.

However from an evolutionary standpoint we are hunting and gathering in the  form of going to work and training in the gym these days.

We should follow evolutions lead, eating lighter during the day and use our nights to feast and recover from the days activities in preparations for the next.

We are designed for this style of eating, people want to typically eat bigger at night anyway, and from a practical and sustainability standpoint it fits most peoples lives very well.

Win Against Willpower

How many times have you heard of someone going off the rails eating a ton of cookies or a pint of ice cream at breakfast or lunch?

it’s not common, and the main driver behind our decision making is our willpower. Our willpower is a limited resource that we expend throughout the day with every decision we make.

By the end of the day most people have emptied their willpower piggy bank with countless decisions.This decision fatigue  is why the cookies and ice cream binges happen at night,  we have the least willpower to resist ben and jerry or the keebler elves.

We still operate on the same sacrifice and reward systems that have helped us survive for thousands of years. With this evolutionary framework we have the basic hard wiring to overeat and store excess energy as body fat for times of famine.

The problem with this evolutionary framework is we rarely have famine, but food is available everywhere. We should construct our diet in a way that allows us to fulfill this need to eat large while not consistently overeating all the time.

Folks are are going to be able to eat lighter during the day, and make much better food choices if they know that they are going to get to eat a larger more satisfying meal at night.

On the opposite side it is going to be more difficult to feast all day, and then eat lighter at night. Larger meals at breakfast and lunch are going to leave you feeling sluggish and make it more difficult to focus and get things accomplished.

Looking at things from the practical side most people are not as hungry during the day when they are working, moving and handling stressful situations.

Folks are going to be the hungriest at night time after they have completed the days endeavors and are ready to relax, eat and prepare for the next day.

This larger meal at night time with denser carbs also triggers that satisfaction we are looking for, reducing the cravings for processed high sugar desserts.

Have Your Cake, And Burn It Too

Naturally most folks are going to eat a dinner that is larger than lunch or breakfast because they get to cook and eat it with no time constraints or stress around the food.

Being extra hungry is typical if this meal is following a hard trip to the gym or an athletic endeavor. The body has the need to restore the glycogen your muscles burned during your exercise.

This means that by consuming those carbohydrates later in the day post exercise, you will use them to repair and restore before any are allowed to get stored as fat, unless you eat significantly beyond your needs.

By eating lighter during the day and avoiding dense carbs you allow the body to take advantage of fat burning hormones for a longer stretch of time as well.

You can have your carb cake and eat it too, gluten free hopefully. Think of eating light during  as your fat burning portion of the day.

Try to consume proteins, healthy fats, non starchy vegetables in your fat burning portion of the day. At night time after a day of activity or a hard training session at the gym again consume protein and safe starches (yams, potatoes, sweet potatoes, taro, plantains, white rice) and some veggies and smaller portions of fat.

You should match the amount of carbs you are consuming to your activity level to prevent fat gain.These night time carbs allow you to build muscle, repair and refill the tank for the next day.

There is the long standing misnomer that eating bigger at night time will lead to fat gain, but we have come to realize that food choices, total calories and macro breakdown as a whole for the entire day are what is most important.

Each individual meals numbers don’t matter nearly as much as the numbers as whole at the end of the day.

Improve Your Sleep

By keeping those larger more carb dense meals at night time you can relax and digest while winding down for the night and getting ready for bed.

Try to eat two hours prior to your bed time to give adequate time for digestion before sleep. In the same way that the larger meals early in the day will make you tired and sluggish, this same reaction can be used to improve sleep. Below I’ll explain why this sleepy reaction dense carbs can happen.

The neurotransmitter serotonin is converted into the hormone melatonin which is needed for falling and staying asleep. Tryptophan is an amino acid that needs to cross the blood brain barrier for conversion into serotonin which becomes melatonin.

Other amino acids compete with tryptophan for entry across the blood brain barrier and into pineal gland making it less available for uptake.

The release of insulin in response to carbohydrate consumption drives these competing amino acids into the cell and makes the tryptophan more available with far less competition.

If you are eating a low carb diet and find that you are in a bad mood and are suffering from poor sleep it would be a good idea to try doing some denser carbs at night and see if sleep or mood improves.

Maybe pick a day and do a clean carb refeed meal for this purpose.

Enjoy Yourself Socially

Nobody wants to be the person who continually orders salads whenever they are out to dinner. We want to enjoy ourselves, be social and have a larger more relaxed meal when out with people.

Good food and great people are meant to be enjoyed together. Think steak and potatoes or sweet potatoes if you will.

This goes hand in hand with the psychology of our sacrifice and reward centers, it is much easier to eat lighter and healthier during the day if we know that our reward is going out at night with loved ones.

The key here is to make this way of eating fit your life not the other way around. When folks start allowing their nutrition plan to rule their lives it is going to be a recipe for failure.

You may gain some short term success from the diet quick fix, but the long term lifestyle changes win the race.

What Does This Approach Look Like ?

Depending on what your goals are a morning fast may provide benefits for you. Black coffee or with a few added tablespoons of heavy cream can help with extending fasts.

You can have lunch be our first meal of the day, or If you have no interest in fasting make your breakfast a protein and fat only combination such as eggs and bacon or eggs and ½ and avocado.

For lunch it should consist of a solid proteins source, non starchy veggies and some healthy fats.

You could even include a serving or two of fruit in this eating lightly stage. Some folks perform much better in the gym when they have some fruit beforehand but you will have to experiment to see if this works for you.

At night time use the tendency to eat more calories and carbs to your advantage by eating mostly protein and denser carbohydrates at this stage.

Try to avoid a ton of fats in this meal as we are looking to purposely spike insulin and drive amino acids into the muscle and recover and get ready for the next days hunt or work

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.

 

Evolve Nutritional Therapy Strategy Session


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Name
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Are Fats Bad For You ?

Dietary fat is one of the most hotly debated macronutrients, period. People will go to extremes either avoiding fats or eat a diet that is mostly fat based. Whether people would like to admit it or not, we require a certain amount of dietary  to be truly healthy.

As a society we have a lot of negative perceptions about dietary fats, that are based on bad science from many years ago.

The unfavorable opinion of fat is still around today because people were told growing up by teachers, doctors, parents  and our government that fat is bad for us and causes heart disease.

The unfortunately we were encouraged to ditch the healthy natural fats in exchange for hydrogenated processed fats that were made in factories.

We have since learned that the natural fats such as butter,coconut oil, grass fed beef and other sources of saturated fat are restorative to our health, while the vegetable oils that have been recommended can wreak havoc in the body.

This low fat diet in conjunction with highly processed carbohydrates and sugar has sent  our health as a society down the drain.

Alzheimers, Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and many other neurological disorders are all on the rise, even though we have followed the low fat, high processed carb recommendations.

If something is not working it is time to step back and take a look at the approach and see what’s broken. This blog post is going to explain what fats are, what they do in the human body to promote health  and why all fats are not created equal!

Macronutrient Bad Boy: Fats

Along with proteins, carbohydrates and water, fat is a macronutrient that the body requires in larger amounts. Minerals and vitamins are micronutrients meaning that they are essential to health, but required in smaller quantities than macronutrients.

Fats comprise roughly fifteen percent of our body weight. Animal and vegetable sources of fat provide a dense source of energy in our diet, and are required for optimal health.

Many of the foods that contain the largest concentration of fats come from animals, but there are some great plant sources too. Some of the richest sources of dietary fat are: Grass fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil,  coconut flesh, cream cheese, avocados, sour cream, full fat cheese, bacon, dark chocolate and whole eggs.

Fats and oils (named lipids) are a grouping of  fatty acids made from carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Fatty acids are molecules made up of a chain of carbon atoms.

These chains contain one to twenty four carbon atoms, and are categorized based on the length of the carbon atoms and degree of saturation.

The Different Players

Some of the most important roles of fats in the body are that they:

  • Provide a longer burning source of fuel for the body

  • Play a role in healthy skin and hair,

  • Supports the immune system,

  • Make up cell membranes  

  • Precursors to hormones,

  • Insulate our internal organs

  • Are required for the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K)

  • Contribute to neurological health, mood and anxiety.

We have a wide variety of natural fats that help support our health, along with other man made fats that damage our health. It is an important distinction to make and understand which ones to eat, and which to ditch.

Fats To Think About:

  • Saturated Fats

  • Monounsaturated Fats

  • Polyunsaturated Fats

  • Trans Fats ( there are natural and man made trans fats)

Saturated Fats

Lets start with the most controversial fat in our society. It has  been demonized and widely avoided by many folks.

For years we have been told that saturated fats will cause higher levels of cholesterol which in turn will clog arteries causing heart disease, but this is far from the whole story. 

Some very short studies lasting a few weeks showed that greater intake of saturated fats did raise cholesterol, HOWEVER many long term studies with over 350,000 participants didn't show a correlation between saturated fats, blood cholesterol and cardiovascular disease in the long term. A few weeks is not a long enough time to make a conclusion on a study like this.

Foods that are the richest in saturated fats are coconut oil, coconut flesh/milk, full fat  dairy, beef tallow, palm oil, grass fed beef, lard, duck fat, chicken fat and whole eggs (yolks), butter, ghee, lamb and pork.

Saturated fats are:

  • the main structural fats in the body

  •  make up the majority of the fatty acids found in cells

  • helps incorporate calcium into bones

  • aids in cardiovascular function

  •  supports a healthy immune system

  •  transports the fat soluble vitamins A,D,E and K around the body.

Saturated fat are the best choice to cook with because they are very stable and do not go rancid easily. The oils are solid or semi solid at room temperature and are found in animal fats ( butter ghee, tallow, duck fat, lard) and tropical oils (coconut oil, red palm oil)

Monounsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated fats are the one fat that everyone from paleo to vegan folks can agree on for the health benefits! The best sources of monounsaturated fats are macadamia nuts, olives and olive oil, avocado, pork fat, chicken, almonds, eggs yolks, and duck.

Monounsaturated fats are also a primary structural component of the body, and are known for:

  •  Positive effects on cardiovascular health

  • reduce oxidative damage

  • decrease inflammation

  • decline in LDL and Triglycerides

  •  boost the production of HDL and help immune function.

These fats are relatively stable to cook with at lower heats, but saturated fats are the best for anything above low/med cooking.

These fats are liquid at room temperature and do not go rancid easily. Olive oil, almond oil and avocado oil  are monounsaturated fats, but use for very low heats or cold uses to preserve the health benefits.

Polyunsaturated Fats

There are two different types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Polyunsaturated fats play a main role in cell membranes and regulating functions in the body as well.

Polyunsaturated fats help to regulate the inflammatory and anti inflammatory reactions in the body. Most people who eat the standard american diet get an overabundance of omega-6 fats and far too little omega-3’s leading to chronic inflammation from the diet.

By reducing the intake of vegetable oils and omega-6 rich foods, and increasing the intake of omega-3 rich foods you can reduce inflammation dramatically.

There are six different omega-6 and omega-3 fats, but there is only one essential omega-3 and omega-6 fat. This means that these two essential polyunsaturated fats must be obtained from your diet, while the body can manufacture the other needed polyunsaturated fats on its own.

Polyunsaturated fats are relatively unstable and go rancid much easier than any of the other fats. The oil sources of polyunsaturated fats (all vegetable oils) will always be liquid at room temperature.

These fats should not ever be used for cooking they are very easy to damage with heat and become much more inflammatory in the body.

Essential Omega-6 Fat: Linoleic Acid (LA)

This essential fatty acid can be found in small amounts in fruits and vegetables, grains meat and in larger amounts in poultry, nuts and seeds.

Unfortunately the largest concentration of these essential fats are in vegetables oils such as canola, cottonseed, sunflower, safflower and soybean.

The major problem is that these oils are highly processed, and are damaged very easily by heat when cooked. When these processed oils are cooked with they become much more inflammatory to the body.

When vegetable oils are consumed in excess without adequate omega-3 fats it creates an inflammatory cascade that contributes to chronic diseases.

We need both omega-6 and omega-3 fats in the diet, but they are required in a much more balanced ratio than the standard american diet provides. When you stick to the whole food sources of Linoleic Acid this problem is avoided.

Arachidonic Acid (ARA)

Arachidonic acid is a longer chain omega-6 fatty acid that our bodies can make from linoleic acid (LA). ARA can also be found in large amounts in animal foods such as egg yolks, chicken, beef and pork.

It can be found in our cell membranes and plays a role in messages sent between cells. ARA contributes to the growth of muscle tissue and skeleton. You will not normally hear a lot about Arachidonic Acid but it plays a big role in health.

Essential Omega-3 Fat: Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA)

ALA can be found in plant sources such as walnut and flaxseed. Your body will convert ALA into the very important omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

The conversion rate of ALA to EPA and DHA is very very poor so it is a much better bet to get EPA and DHA from the dietary sources such as  such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, bass , oysters and lower concentrations is grass fed beef and ruminants.

While the ALA is the essential fat, it is the EPA and DHA that we derive the benefits from. What creates a problem is the extremely low conversion rate of ALA to EPA and DHA.

In many people the conversion rate varies from 0.5-5% , this conversion also depends on other nutrients such as B-vitamins and Zinc which most people are deficient in.

Nature Made: Trans Fats   

There is a clear distinction that needs to be made between the two different types of trans fats: those from nature and man made artificial.

The main source of natural trans fats we eat are in the form of  Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) from grass fed animals and grass fed animal products and in much lower concentrations in grain fed animals. Our body can also manufacture CLA from other natural trans fats.

Some of the known benefits of natural trans fats are lower risk of heart disease, improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity which can help prevent and to some degree manage diabetes, there is some evidence that CLA can even help those who are obese lose weight.

Man Made: Trans Fats

The man made trans fats are found in processed foods such as fast food, butter substitutes frozen dinners, candy, chips, doughnuts and margarine.

While man made trans fats vary slightly in their structure from natural trans fats that slight difference creates big problems in the body.

These artificial trans fats:

  • damage the lining of blood vessels

  • create inflammation

  • decrease the omega-3 conversions

  • damage cardiovascular health

  •  increase the dense damaging LDL particles

  •  decreasing the anti inflammatory HDL cholesterol particles.

    There is nothing remotely good about the man made trans fats, they only damage our health.

The Takeaway

People want dietary fats to either be good or bad for us. it would make things much simpler, but when it comes to nutrition there are a lot of factors to consider.

Making those stark good/bad statements with no context and poor science is what got us into the health predicament we are in.

The fact of the matter is that natural fats have been a significant source of energy in our diet for many ages.

Agriculture dramatically changed the balance of macronutrients in our diet, grains, sugar and processed carbohydrates soon became a significant portion of our diet.

We were fooled into thinking the same fats that fueled our healthy robust were going to raise our cholesterol and give us heart disease.

In response to this new information about saturated fats causing heart disease we switched to either no fats diets, or used highly processed vegetable oils, hydrogenated oils,  margarine or  butter substitutes that have all been proven to damage our health.

Overconsumption of these processed oils is linked to heart disease, inflammation and neurological disorders, go figure.  unless we start to makes changes to our current diet, our health will continue to degrade.

To get things moving in the right direction we need to move away from the man made fats and incorporate the healthy fats nature provides.

The majority of the fats we consume need to be from natural sources and not man made. 

We need to avoid processed vegetable oils, while consuming the natural sources of omega-6 fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds in moderate amounts.

The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA should be consumed regularly along with the Omega-6 fat Arachidonic Acid (ARA). If nothing else remember fats that come from natural sources are healthy while fats that are made by man damage our health.

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.

 

Evolve Nutritional Therapy Strategy Session


Name *
Name
Phone *
Phone