The Kale Hater’s Guide

Are You a Kale Hater?

I have a confession to make. I’m heavily invested in a healthy, plant-based diet. At the same time, I admit that I’m one of those people who typically finds kale revolting. I’ve tried it in all sorts of dishes, and for me, kale not only tastes revolting, it ruins everything it comes in contact with. I don’t know exactly how to describe the bitter nastiness with family-friendly terms, so let’s just say that it tastes the same way I would imagine that refuse tastes.

If You Hate Kale, Eat Something Else

Disgusting Nasty Yuck Ih Smelly Terrible DI like lots of cruciferous vegetables, and that’s what kale is. I enjoy broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and even Brussels sprouts. Kale gives those kinds of healthy green vegetables a bad name. Sure, kale gets some good press because it contains fiber, may help lower blood sugar and blood pressure and even lower the chance of developing asthma, weak bones, and cancer. You know what? Spinach does that too, so if you really hate kale, you can eat something else.

Kale’s Not Even Always Healthy (Especially Raw)

Hey, you might even be one of those people who has a better excuse for avoiding kale than just the disgusting taste. According to a report from Oregon State University, the vegetable contains substances called progoitrin and thiocyanate ions. These can interfere with thyroid function in a couple of ways, so for some folks, large quantities of kale could actually aggravate the metabolic problems that their enduring this vegetable to avoid in the first place.

I admit that this is mostly only a problem when people eat large quantities of raw kale. It’s also troublesome when people suffer from an iodine deficiency or may have other thyroid problems. Most people won’t suffer from thyroid problems when they consume reasonable quantities and don’t skimp on the iodized salt or other source of iodine.

In particular, raw kale also has a tremendous amount of fiber. Some folks don’t have the digestive system to handle it, and they may experience bloating, gas, constipation, loose stools. I mean, kale is unpleasant enough going in, so why suffer when it comes out too?

Can You Cook Kale to Make it Taste Good?

The sulfer-rich glucosinolates are probably what tastes bad to you in kale, but these are the things that scientists believe contribute to the vegetable’s health benefits. Cooking reduces these compounds and may make kale taste better. The good news is that scientists also believe that eating kale will provide your gut flora the raw ingredients to produce them again. Only this happens in your gut, so you don’t have to taste them! So, go ahead and cook your vegetables to give your gut biome something to much on.

Consider preparing kale in these alternatives ways:

  1. Sauteed: You can try to slice the leafy part away from the rips. Saute them in a little olive oil with salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and if you like, a dash of chili or cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce. This makes the kale less fibrous and reduces the bitterness a bit.
  2. Marinated: You can simply marinate the leaves in Italian dressing or your own homemade concoction overnight. Personally, the first time I ever liked Brussels sprouts was when I had them marinated, so this process is pretty good at leaching out some of the bitterness of these kinds of vegetables.
  3. Simmered: You cut the leafy part into thin strips and add a bit to a soup or stew. Cooking should soften the kale and make the taste milder. If you’re not a fan of kale, just don’t go overboard the first time that you try it.

Yes, kale is really healthy. Also, you can feel smug when you eat it. You can also choose plenty of kale alternatives, including spinach, cabbage, bok choy, or Brussels sprouts. It’s hard to imagine that many people have a raw kale addiction, but if for some reason you do, be careful because it may impact your thyroid and digestion.

 

 

 

Are Keto Diets Safe? [Infographic]

Are Keto Diets Really Safe?

Following up on the earlier post that explored the questions of whether keto diets are healthy or unhealthy, we gathered so much information and feedback that it seemed important to share it. We even created an infographic about the safety of keto diets because it seemed like a good way to communicate some of the most important points.

Are Keto Diets Safe? The Infographic!

First, let’s look at some key facts about the keto diet.

Calories Still Matter

You can read any keto diet forum to find people posting about their failure to lose weight beyond the initial loss of water weight. Dozens of other keto fans will reply that the complainers are probably still eating too many calories a day to lose weight. Avoiding carbohydrates isn’t a free pass to eat unlimited calories and still lose weight, and everybody knows this. Dr. Atkins even posted about it in his book.

If the keto diet has any benefits, proponents say that consuming a lot of protein and fat help their cravings and encourage them to eat less. One has to wonder about the incredible keto diet failure rate if it really works that well.

Health Issues

You might want to read this study published on the National Institute of Health before you decide that a keto diet is safe for pregnant women. Tests performed on pregnant mice found significant differences in embryo’s organ development when the mother ate a keto diet vs. a more standard one.

The Diabetes Council went as far as to say as keto diets are inappropriate for pregnant women, nursing mothers, or people with kidney disease. Typical diabetes diets do limit carbs, but they usually allow more carbohydrates in one meal than typical keto dieters eat all day. Also, concerns have been raised about keto diets and hypothyroidism. Anyway, if you are pregnant or have another medical issue, talk to your doctor before trying a keto diet.

Are You Physically Active?

There have been some notable exceptions, but most people don’t perform as well on a keto diet. Almost everybody endures a sluggish period while they are getting used to this very low-carb diet as well.

One study on keto and physical performance found that it compromised peak performance and endurance slightly. Average participants in this study lost about five pounds, but half of that was muscle. While these may be risks worth taking for weekend warriors, they may matter a lot more to top-level athletes.

Gut Health

What you eat directly influences your gut biome health. A keto diet will absolutely make your digestive ecosystem less diverse. Of course, this may not be true if you manage to eat plenty of fiber. Since lots of high-fiber food, like starchy vegetables, are off limits to keto dieters, this can take some work. You can read what Dr. Kresser has to say on the issue here.

The Keto Diet is Strict and Often Results in Yo-Yo Dieting

People who are relatively healthy and not planning on getting pregnant might consider a keto diet. However, this diet is very strict. Carbs might be restricted to fewer than 20 grams a day. Two slices of bread, one banana, or a potato will cause you to go over. Since carbs hold onto water, eliminating them may help you lose five to ten pounds quickly, but again, that’s just water and not fat.

Then you get stuck, post on a forum, and everybody will tell you that you eat too much. Anyway, yo-yo dieting is a big problem, and when you fall off the wagon, you’ll tend to gain back more weight than you lost in the first place. Realistically, this is one of the biggest safety problems with a keto diet. It might help people lose weight and even balance insulin levels, if they can stick to it. Since most people won’t keep eating this way for the rest of their life, it can cause more problems than it solves.

Summary of Potential Negative Side Effects of a Keto Diet

This summary of possible keto diet negatives doesn’t include those negative side effects that people with health conditions might experience. That’s why it’s important to work with a doctor or professional dietician to manage any serious health condition. These are simply some downsides that reasonably health experience when they decide to follow a very low-carbohydrate diet plan.

The potential negative side effects of a keto diet are listed here:

  • Mental and physical sluggish feelings. While your body adjust its metabolism to a new way of eating, you will probably experience low-energy periods and what many keto dieters experience as brain flog. It gets so bad that some people describe the symptoms as the “keto flu.” These symptoms may go away after a few weeks, but it takes some people longer than others.
  • Changes in blood-lipid profiles: Some folks lower their cholesterol over time, but others find that their numbers actually get worse. Even though these low-carb diets call for eating a lot of fat, the kinds of fat you eat might play some part in the different results studies have found. In any case, you license to eat plenty of fat and protein isn’t the same as a license to eat a lot of saturated fat and processed food.
  • Nutrient deficiencies: Keto diet plans may come with advice to add extra supplements for nutrients and fiber. In my opinion, any diet that relies upon supplements to keep people from starving isn’t a great diet plan.
  • Might trigger ketoacidosis in vulnerable people: Most people don’t think that non-diabetics have a big risk of getting sick from changing the PH levels of their body chemistry. On the other hand, the American Diabetes Association says that plenty of type 2 diabetics have not yet been diagnosed. Again, it’s probably a good idea for most people to pass such an extreme diet as the keto diet past their doctor.

Negative Ecological Impact of High-Animal-Food Diets

Yeah, you already know that seven billion human beings can’t go keto. We’re trying hard not to preach, but you may want to read this article in Earth Island and decide if you want to be part of the problem or the solution. Is the keto diet safe for Earth? You have to know the answer to that question is no if you follow the keto diet by relying upon mostly animal-protein.

Of course, vegetarians and even vegans can enjoy a moderate-carbohydrate diet plan that offers them potential health benefits and more variety. Anyway, this discussion of the environmental impact of more keto dieting should really be the topic of its own article.

Is the Keto Diet Safe for You?

Limiting refined carbs, like cinnamon buns, makes sense for people who want to maintain or lose weight. Limiting entire food groups and restricting carbohydrates to unnatural levels at the expense of eating enough fiber hardly seems sensible. Even proponents say it works because — for them — it curbs cravings. Other folks would have their cravings cured better by a big plate of sweet potatoes.

While a keto diet may be relatively safe for some folks, it doesn’t work well for everybody, and for quite a few people, it may be unsafe. The best advise is to get a checkup first from your doctor and ask them about a diet plan that’s right for you.

 

 

 

 

Is the Keto Diet Healthy or Unhealthy?

Is Keto Healthy, and Are Carbs Unhealthy? We don't think so.

So, is the Keto Diet Healthy or Not?

You might remember that Dr. Atkins popularized low-carb diets a few decades ago, but you may not know that doctors first used these kinds of diets as long ago as the early 20th Century to help manage epilepsy. According to Harvard Medical School, keto diets may be an effective way to help reduce seizures, but is the keto diet healthy for people who simply want to lose weight?

A Brief Intro to Keto Diets

Just in case you’re not sure exactly what following a keto diet means, you can look at this graphic from Dr. Jockers. Basically, you reduce your carbohydrate intake to only five to ten percent of your total calorie consumption. About 20 percent of your consumption should come from protein, and the rest is fat.

Most people call a keto diet a type of low-carb diet, but you should also know that it’s also a very high-fat diet. By the way, Dr. Jockers is an advocate for his version of the keto diet, so you can’t say that we’re not fair and balanced here. He says it works, and this article doesn’t even argue that it might work. The point is that keto diets might be unhealthy and not work for you.

 

Why Do Some Doctors Say the Keto Diet is Unhealthy?

Dr. Campos, the contributor to the Harvard Medical School blog, isn’t such a fan and offered several reasons why a keto diet may be unhealthy as a weight-loss tool. Consider some of the doctor’s very sensible reasoning after observing his patients before and after trying a ketogenic diet for weight loss:

  • Yo-Yo dieting: A lot of the health problems with the ketogenic diet center on the basic premise of our diet failure infographic. The diet may mainly cause health problems because it’s notoriously tough to stick to over time, so it can contribute to yo-yo dieting, an healthy practice. You can’t underestimate how important it is to find a healthy eating plan that you can live with and not one that may help you shed a few pounds quickly and then regain it and more just as fast.
  • Initial weight loss with a keto diet is mostly just water: People tend to get encouraged by their initial results on the keto diet. Indeed, lots of dieters may lose about 10 pounds very quickly. The problem is that most of this first weight loss is just water weight because carbs hold water in muscle. When people don’t consume carbohydrates, the body sends this water away.

Are Keto Diet Fans Relying Upon Survivor’s Bias?

So, if most people can’t stick to this extremely low-carb diet much past the first loss of water weight, why do so many people strongly argue that a keto diet is healthy? Turn a critical eye to this thread on a popular Reddit sub about the survivor’s bias with the keto diet. The whole point of this diet is that if you reduce fat and protein and minimize carbs, you will continue to lose weight and cut cravings.

Yes, you can lose weight if you can stick to a keto diet. Short-term studies, at least, have also confirmed that low-carb diets may help with blood-sugar and cholesterol control. Does that mean that keto diets are healthy? Well, you can lose weight if you can stick to almost any diet.

You Can Lose Weight on Almost Any Popular Diet — Will it Last?

This report from a team of Canadian researchers found almost the same, average weight loss from common low-fat, low-carb, or other sorts of diet plans. They tested 48 different diets, including Atkins, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and Ornish. With a year, people on all of these different kinds of diets lost an average of 16 pounds, if they stuck to the plan with any regularity.

Most of these diets advertise more than 16 pounds of weight loss for very overweight people people within an entire year. The takeaway is that most people probably didn’t stick to the plans religiously, and of course, you should have your treats and cheat. This study would have really been golden if it would have followed up a year or two later to see if they had managed to at least maintain this weight loss or had regained weight and maybe even gained more.

If you Can’t Stick to a Keto Diet, it Doesn’t Work!

When people dared to say that a keto diet didn’t work for them, other sub members accused them of eating too many calories. Ah ha, so this diet really isn’t working to reduce cravings, and it still requires restricting calories. Again, the main point against the keto diet being healthy or effective comes down to this:

  • If you cannot stick to a diet, it doesn’t work.
  • If you need to watch your calorie intake, why not do it in a more pleasant, sustainable, and healthy way than eliminating entire, healthy food groups?

If the keto diet failed you, you didn’t fail. Apparently, it works for some people who enjoy eating lots of animal protein, but it certainly doesn’t work for everybody. Diets that don’t work for you are diets that make you fatter in the long run.

Other Reasons Keto Diets Are Not Healthy for Everybody

It’s easy to get stuck on the point that keto diets aren’t healthy because they are too hard to stick to and encourage yo-yo dieting. In the end, you lose a little weight and then fall off the wagon and end up gaining more weight than you lost. While some people say they feel satiated on the keto diet, a lot more people never curb their cravings. Again, those cravings simply mean that your body and brain are telling you that you need to eat certain nutrients, but they don’t always communicate in a way that you can interpret well.

Look, some people thrive on a keto or other low-carb diet plan. Because they can finally lose weight, the diet may even save their life. In order for that to be true, these folks have to be committed to their keto lifestyle and make sure they follow a good plan very well. If you’re interested in exploring keto diets, try that Reddit sub about keto diets that you can find linked to earlier in this post.

So, is a Keto Diet Healthy for You?

Really, you should not ask if a keto diet is healthy. You should ask if keto diet plans are healthy and sustainable for you. Before you decide to commit to a low-carbohydrate eating plan, consider some advice about red flags about keto diets from this nutritionist with a master’s degree in public health:

  • Be wary of keto diets if you’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or having reproductive or menstrual cycle issues.
  • Athletic and very active people tend not to thrive on low-carb diets, though there are some exceptions.
  • Low-carbohydrate intake can aggravate or even cause symptoms of hypothyroidism.
  • You’re only as healthy as your gut biome, and keto diets reduce the diversity of gut flora.

Anyway, if a keto diet works for you, that’s great. Sometimes, a short-term keto diet of only a few days can help people reset their appetite and lose a craving for carbs. It’s not something we tend to suggest as a long-term solution because it simply doesn’t work for most people for months or years, and you need a lifetime eating plan and not another yo-yo diet.

Tips to Eat 50 Grams of Cheap Vegan Protein a Day

Plant Sources of Protein

Can Vegans Eat Enough Protein?

First, you don’t have to be vegan to benefit from CravingsCured.com. Most of us here do lean towards veganism or vegetarianism for a variety of reasons. We’ve already discussed that protein deficiency can cause weight gain, and average people should plan to consume 50 grams of protein or more each day. Larger or very active people may need more. The point of this article is to explain that you can consume enough protein every day by relying upon cheap, vegan food sources, but you are free to select your own eating plan.

How Much Protein Should You Consume Each Day?

A good rule of thumb is to multiple your weight in pounds by .36. Using this formula, you would need 36 grams of protein at 100 pounds, and 72 grams of protein at 200 pounds. You can learn more about dietary protein recommendations at the National Library of Medicine page on protein too. Obviously, you should adjust that number based upon your activity level.

A Word About Complete Protein

You may have heard that most plant-based protein sources are not complete proteins. This is true, but it might not be as big a deal as was previously thought. In the old days, dietary writers would tell you that you had to consume a complete protein in one sitting or meal. These days, writers will usually tell you that you’ll be fine if you simply consume complete proteins in the same day.

Anyway, a complete protein has eight amino acids, but some kinds of food has less than that. These are examples of food combinations that will give you a complete protein:

  • Legumes and grains: There is a reason that rice and beans go together like peanut butter and whole-grain bread.
  • Legumes and seeds: Alternatively, you can combine nuts and seeds for a complete protein dish.
  • Quinoa, buckwheat, and hemp seeds contain a complete protein by themselves. Even though people use quinoa and buckwheat as grains, they are actually seeds. Soy is also a source of complete protein.

Of course, if you eat eggs and dairy products, you can get some protein from them as well. You may have heard that some vegetables, like broccoli, contain protein, and it’s true! However, broccoli doesn’t have enough of certain amino acids to be considered complete. You have plenty of reasons to enjoy broccoli, so you can always add seeds, whole grains, or a cheese (even a soy cheese) sauce to your vegetable dish.

Graphic Guide to Vegan Protein

Here’s a simple graphic you might refer to:

meat free_plant based protein

How to Consume at Least 50 Grams of Protein Each Day From Cheap, Vegan Sources

Let’s look at some examples of good food choices that will help you eat at least 50 grams of protein a day without relying upon animal protein or anything expensive or exotic. You also might be interested in this doctor’s take on ways to consume enough protein on a vegan diet.

Vegan Protein for Breakfast

Steel-cut oats and soy milk offers you over 13 grams of protein alone. Sprinkle in a tablespoon of ground flax or chia seeds for an extra boost. If you’re not a fan of oatmeal, you can also find other low-sugar, high-protein cereal choices at the store. As an alternative, two slices of sprouted grain or high-protein bread should offer you at least eight grams of protein. Go ahead and smear on peanut butter or even avocados, and don’t forget that sprinkle of seeds. Depending upon your protein requirements, you can try to aim for at least 15 to 20 grams of protein at breakfast.

Vegan Protein for Lunch and Supper

At lunch, you can start experimenting with buckwheat noodles, quinoa, or even that old standby of rice and beans. Broccoli with cheese sauce, or a salad that includes high-protein vegetables, seeds, and legumes will also serve you well. One favorite around here is a nice tofu stir-fry dish with vegetables. Alternatively, you can center your meal around potatoes or sweet potatoes by including high-protein toppings. Of course, you’ve always got the peanut butter sandwich on whole-grain bread as a backup.

Protein Boosts From Snacks

You can boost your vegan protein intake and curb cravings by choosing snacks wisely. Of course, a handful of seeds or nuts makes a good choice, but so does nut butter on whole-grain toast. Roasted chickpeas are a satisfying, crunchy snack you may enjoy. Of course, a reasonable amount of popcorn works well too.

Yes, You Can Consume Enough Protein From Vegan Sources

Really, if you focus on eating plant-based sources of protein, you requirements for fiber, fat, and other nutrients are likely to take care of themselves. If you’re pregnant or have other exceptional needs for protein, you might speak with your doctor or a nutritionist.

Tip: If you’re also worried about consuming B12 on a vegan diet, check this out.

 

 

 

 

You Might be Fat Because You Don’t Sleep Enough

Does Lack of Sleep Make You Fat?

Insomnia Makes Your FatDoes skipping a few hours with the Sandman make you gain weight? Yes, it probably does. It seems counter-intuitive. After all, if you’re awake, you could engage in activities that actually burn more calories than simply dreaming about doing things. However, that’s not really the way your body works. If you don’t let your body sleep enough, you’re going to experience some unpleasant effects, and one of them is weight gain and associated problems. Learn more about how a lack of sleep can make you fat.

How Sleep Deprivation Makes People Fat

It’s NOT Just Late-Night Snacks

The first explanation for how a lack of sleep can make you gain weight might be the obvious one. Who hasn’t woken up in the middle of the night and figured a late-night snack is just the ticket to help calm down? If you’re hungry or craving certain kinds of food, maybe you should eat something light.

Some good examples might include a serving of fruit or low-fat protein. In some cases, you might just be thirsty and need a couple of swallows of water. Be wary of drinking too much because that’s likely to cause you to wake up again for an urgent visit to the restroom. The problem is that once you get out of bed and start wandering around your house, the harder time you will probably have getting back to sleep quickly.

The Real Problem: Lack of Sleep Messes Up Your Hormones

You can find plenty of credible studies that find sleep deprivation and disturbances promote weight gain. Conversely, healthier diets and weight loss have even been founded to improve sleep. It’s a win-win situation if you can get your sleep and your healthy lifestyle to work together. With that said, it’s not always easy.

The lack of sleep changes your hormones. Men’s Health pointed out that this may work differently in men and women as well. In a sleep study of both men and women:

  • A hormone that stimulates appetite increased in the men.
  • A hormone that signals brains that people are full or satiated decreased in woman.
  • Either way, enjoy too little sleep for days caused cravings that were just about impossible to ignore.

You Might Not Feel Hungry; But You’re Eating More

You might not even consciously feel hungry, but you’re probably eating more when you lack sleep. In the study reported upon above, the people in the study didn’t say they felt hungry. However, they ate an average of 300 more calories a day. Over time, that 300 calories will add up and start packing on pounds.

That’s why it’s so difficult for people to understand that sleep deprivation is making them gain weight. They don’t feel hungry, but somehow, they’re still getting a message to eat more.

How to Cure the Sleep Deprivation Fat-Gaining Blues

Obviously, your first step is to figure out how you can get enough sleep. Most people need at least seven or eight hours a night. If you skimp once in awhile, you probably won’t suffer many ill effect, but the study found changes after only FOUR days of sleeping less than they should. If you can’t get to sleep, you might even visit your doctor to ask for some help.

If you’ve got to snack at night, stock the fridge with healthy snacks. A handful of grapes or nuts might be good suggestions. An entire pie is not such a great idea. You get the idea. Also, the researchers suggested some moderate exercise because activity can burn calories and may help you get to sleep faster.

 

 

The Diet Failure Statistics Infographic

The Diet Failure Statistics Infographic

Are pictures worth 1,000 words? Just to slam home the point that diets don’t work for most people, we’ve decided to create the Diet Failure Statistics Infographic.

Swipe This Infographic on Diet Failure Statistics (The Rules)

If you’d like to use this image about diet failure statistics for your own site, go ahead and copy-paste away. All we ask is that you include a link back to this website. Even better, let us know about it, and we might even reference your site with a shout back. If you don’t link back, that’s theft, so just do the right thing. You can link to this page, to the front page of CravingsCured.com, or to another relevant page.

The Diet Failure Statistics infographic:

 

Diet Failure Statistics
Cravings Cured : All Rights Reserved

Why are most diets so terrible? Check out our explanation of the reasons that diets make people fatter right here.

Sources:

If you’d like to learn more and see where we came up with our statistics about diet failures, here’s a list of sources:

UCLA Research on Diet Failure

Dr. Hyman

Why Most Diets Fail Within Seven Days

 

 

 

Demystifying Food Cravings: What Cravings Actually Mean

 What Do Food Cravings Really Mean?

What Do Food Cravings Mean? Earlier, Cravings Cured covered how your gut can actually send you food cravings because you’re starving yourself of certain essential nutrients. You may not interpret these cravings in the healthiest or most efficient way because you speak English, your gut speaks another language, and your brain’s translation program isn’t perfect.

Of course, no two people are exactly alike. Still, it’s possible to offer some tips that can help you listen to your cravings, satisfy your appetite, and start enjoying better health. To help demystify food cravings, it might help to look into the meanings of the most common food cravings.

Demystifying Common Food Cravings

Get started with these common food cravings and their possible meanings:

Curing Chocolate Cravings

Some people crave chocolate so much that they almost consider it an addiction. Certainly, you can satisfy a chocolate craving by adding unsweetened cocoa powder to many dishes, plant milk, and of course, coffee. Another tip is to buy a dark chocolate bar, break off a square or two, and then melt it in the microwave over a couple of handfuls of nuts.

Some deficiencies that can cause chocolate cravings include magnesium, some B vitamins, chromium, and essential fatty acids. It’s worth noting that chocolate also helps boost serotonin, so your craving could be emotional. If you’ve got the blues, you can find healthy ways to indulge in a bit of chocolate and spend some time relieving your stress in other ways.

Curbing Carbohydrate Cravings

If you’ve already looked around Cravings Cured, you know that we don’t think carbohydrates are the devil. Your craving for empty carbs and calories may simply stem from not eating enough healthy carbs, particularly those with plenty of gut-feeding fiber.You’re probably having trouble keeping your blood sugar in check, and the right diet can help minor issues with this.

These are some tips to help satisfy your carb craving while staying fit:

  • Discover whole and sprouted grains, tofu, lentils, starchy vegetables, and other sources of healthy carbs and fiber again.
  • You may lack magnesium and chromium, which also help balance blood sugar.
  • Make sure you’re hydrated and have had enough sleep.

Fried Food Cravings 

The most intuitively obvious reason for craving fried food is a lack of healthy fat. You might start by eating a portion or two of nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, fatty fish, or olive oil. If you want to fry food, try using a little bit of spray oil in the oven or a saute pan instead of several inches of deep-fry oil.

Red Meat Obsessions

People actually don’t tend to crave read meat as much as they crave carbs. That might suggest something about the importance of healthy carbs over dripping hunks of red meat. In any case, cravings for red meat are likely to stem from a need for health fat, iron, or certain B vitamins. Dark-green vegetables, legumes, and adding a bit of nutritional yeast to other dishes can help with this.

Salt

You need to consume some salt to stay healthy, so if you’ve been carefully avoiding salt, make sure you consume some every day. Otherwise, you may have a problem with an electrolyte imbalance because of a lack of B vitamins or even stress. Coconut water helps balance electrolytes. Otherwise, food with healthy fat and B vitamins, like nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Nutritional yeast also has a cheesy, salty flavor that most people like, and you can add it to vegetables and other dishes as a condiment.

What if Food Won’t Satisfy Your Food Cravings

If you eat an ample amount of healthy food, it’s likely you’re having trouble balancing your blood sugar because you don’t stay hydrated, need more sleep, or are struggling with stress or other emotional issues. In some cases, you may suffer from other medical conditions, so it’s not terrible advice to tell you to get a checkup if you suffer cravings frequently and simple dietary changes don’t offer any solutions. A doctor can test your blood sugar and other markers.

Your Two Brains: Why Your Gut Bacteria Matter for Weight Loss

Can Gut Bacteria Impact Weight Loss?

Yes, Walnuts Look Like Brains!

Scientists have known about the trillions of bacteria that live in your gut for at least a century; however, in those early days, they just thought the bacteria took advantage of free rent and board. Only recently, have doctors come to understand that the relationship between you and the incredible ecosystem that lives in your gut was a symbiotic one.

You feed your bacterial zoo, and in turn, you could say that your gut bacteria help to feed you. Does the unique balance of specific bacteria keep you lean or overweight? A few years ago, a lot of doctors would have scoffed at the idea; however, may of them are changing their mind.

Do Scientists Think Your Gut Biome Impacts Your Weight?

Some very credible studies say your gut biome may very well impact how hard or easy you find losing weight. Harvard Medical School reported on two studies of the impact of gut bacteria upon weight. One involved mice; however, the other one explored the impact of the gut biome on humans.

  • In the first study, scientist used three strains of mice. The first strain tended to be lean, but the second strain tended to get plump. The third group was bred to lack gut bacteria. When the researchers injected that third strain with gut bacteria from the lean group, they mice stayed lean. However, when they injected mice from the third group with bacteria from the plump group, the mice gained more weight.
  • A related study took the gut bacteria from two identical twins. One twin was lean, and the second twin was obese. When these bacteria were injected into the gut of two groups of no-bacteria mice, the results were predictable. The mice that got the lean twin’s bacteria remained lean, but the second group became plump.

Does Gut Bacteria Determine Your Destiny?

Your gut bacteria may have so much impact over your weight for a few reasons. Frankly, some bacteria are much better at breaking food up into suitable food to send back up into your bloodstream than others. If you’ve got too many of those efficient bacteria, you may fair well during lean times, but you’re probably not suffering from lean times. When overweight people contend that they have a harder time losing weight than leaner people, they’re often right.

Still, your gut bacteria don’t have to be your destiny. Dr. Mark Hyman believes you can change your diet to help promote the growth of more helpful bacteria that can crowd out the less helpful critters:

1. Eat More Omega-3 and Less Omega-6 Food Sources

He attributes one problem to an overabundance of Omega-6 vs. a deficit of Omega-3 fatty acids in typical diets. For instance, walnuts have a lot of Omega-3 fatty acids, so maybe it’s not even an accident that a walnut looks like a brain. It’s smart to eat them!

Other good choices include olive oil, avocados, other nuts and seeds. Also, you can’t depend upon every plant oil as a good source of Omega-3. Other fantastic gut food includes coconut oil, fatty fish, and butter from grass-fed cows.

2. Change Your Plate

One easy rule to remember is to consume at least 75 percent of your daily diet from plant-based foods. If you make that one change, you’re bound to impact your health positively.

What Does Your Gut Have to Do With Your Brain?

The headline promised something about having two brains. Well, the interesting thing about your gut-brain connection is that several times more nerves run from your gut to your brain than run the other way. That means that your gut probably spends a lot more time sending your brain information and possibly requests than your brain sends back.

Because of this collection of nerves and the way digestion works, many scientists have referred to the gut as a second brain. It’s likely that keeping your gut biome balanced can also help relieve food cravings and may even improve mood and other health issues. They don’t call carb rich food, comfort food for nothing.

Change Your Gut to Grow Lean Naturally

Your gut may be your diet destiny today, but you can impact it. Remember the study with the identical twins who have the same DNA but very different body types. Illnesses, antibiotics, and food choices have impacted your gut bacteria your entire life, but you still have some control.

 

Dr. Hyman’s Video on Gut Bacteria

3 Big Reasons Diets Make You Fatter

The Truth About How Diets Make You Fatter

Why Diets Make You FatSad but true, 95 percent of dieters fail. What’s worse, their stoic attempts to starve themselves by restricting all food or entire groups of food. usually end up making these dieters gain weight and lose lean muscle. In the end, the weight-loss diet has make them fatter than they were before they attempted to become more fit. If your diet made you fatter, you followed a bad diet. Take a moment to understand why.

Reasons That Most Diets Make You Fatter

Honestly, there are dozens of reasons that popular diets don’t work well in the long term. The reasons may also vary with the diet. These are the big three that most of the reasons can be categorized into:

1. You Restricted Calories Too Much

Lisa Young, an NYU professor, compared dieting to budgeting. She said that budgets should help you become more frugal as you learn to spend less money; however, you can reach a point where you don’t spend enough money to maintain some reasonable level of comfort and security. Most diets make you fatter for exactly the same reason.

You see, your body needs calories to provide the fuel that it uses to burn more calories. If you restrict you food too much, you won’t give your body the kindling that it needs to ignite the fuel it burns to give you energy. Basically, your body thinks you’re starving, because you actually are, and slows down in an effort to conserve precious fuel. In addition, your normal routine may seem like too much effort, so you may find yourself opting for Netflix instead of a nice walk in the sunshine.

2. You Can’t Stop Thinking About Food

You know what slim people don’t do; they don’t think about food as often as chubbier people do. Slim people may enjoy delicious food, but they don’t always dream about their next meal or snack. If nothing else, Cravings Cured hoped to underline the point that easy-to-fix nutritional deficiencies spark cravings.

If you’re dreaming pie right now, your body is probably crying out for some quick calories, fibers, and other nutrients that pie contains. Of course, you can find better ways to feed that craving than with piles of white sugar, but you’ve got to feed them.

3. Your Diet Doesn’t Feed Your Body

Your brain needs energy to function, your muscles need protein to maintain themselves, and your gut needs fiber to stay healthy. You can actually damage your body’s balance of microbes, hormones, and metabolism by restricting food too much and for too long.

Why do people create diets that mess with people’s health? That’s a question for another article; however, it’s obvious that the diet industry earns more profits when it keeps people fat than when they’re thin.

How to Fix Your Diet to Keep it From Making You Fatter

Most people can turn their diets into healthy eating plans that help them lose weight by following these three basic steps:

  • First, make sure you’re eating enough protein. Every cell in your entire body needs protein to function. Protein deficiencies can cause weight gain, muscle loss, and lots of other bad news. Typical Western diets contain enough protein, but that might not be true if you’ve been restricting calories or groups of food.
  • After you check protein consumption, ensure that you’re eating about twice as much fiber as the average American.
  • Finally, add a reasonable amount of healthy fat.
  • Typically, requirements for macronutrients like fat, fiber, and protein depend upon your  size, gender, and activity level, but you can easily research this information.

What’s a reasonable amount of calories to consume?This tips can provide rough estimates:

  • One rule of thumb says to multiple your goal weight by 100. If you hope to weight 120 pounds, you might try to eat about 1,200 calories a day. Typically, this formula was meant for fairly sedentary people. If you’re active at play or work, you’ll need to eat more.
  • Most nutritionists advise people not to drop their calories under 1,200 a day, so you may need to add more activity if you think you need to weigh less than 120 pounds. Few adults are actually overweight at 120 pounds, but people have different body types.

If you want to lose a lot of weight, like more than 10 pounds, I suggest setting goals of losing 10 pounds at a time. For instance, if you weight 190 and would like to weigh 150, set 180 as your first goal. Give your body time to adjust to a new weight and yourself a chance to celebrate. You might try to eat about 1,700 calories a day to see how that impacts the way you feel about food.

 

Protein Deficiency Weight Gain

How Protein Deficiency Causes Weight Gain

Pinto Beans - Great Source of ProteinIf you’re having trouble losing weight, suffer from cravings, or lack muscle tone, you might suffer from a protein deficiency. If you’re losing weight without consuming enough protein, you can bet that your starving body is cannibalizing your muscles.

That’s why your brain is screaming at you to send it more of this essential nutrient. The idea behind any solid weight-loss plan is to lose fat and not muscle. Protein deficiency can lead to weight gain, but even if it doesn’t, you can bet it is bad news. Every cell you carry around in your body needs protein.

You might want to glance at this article in Runner’s World about protein — or what it calls the “most important nutrient” that you can consume. They also include a U.S. Army study on protein, associating adequate intake with lower BMIs and other health markers.

How Much Protein Should You Eat?

The FDA says that most Americans eat enough protein; however, I wonder if this is really true.  They give a general guideline to consume 50 grams of protein a day for somebody on a 2,000 calorie daily diet. Of course, you need to adjust this for your personal body type, activity life, and so on.

If you’re the type of person who skips breakfast, eats a scant lunch, and is ravenous by dinner, you’re probably suffering from protein-deficiency cravings, so simply adjusting your consumption of this macronutrient could help you get your cravings cured.

I find that including high-quality protein in my breakfast is one of the most helpful things that I can do to curb cravings all day, and this has been backed up by research. A couple of eggs, fried tofu, yogurt, and soy milk are some suggestions. If you need something portable, you can plan ahead by boiling eggs or even just making a cheese sandwich with sprouted wheat bread. Also, slow-cooked oatmeal with dairy or plant milk and a few berries will give you what you need to keep your cravings subdued until lunch.

It’s Easy to Avoid Protein-Deficiency Cravings and Weight Gain

The FDA doesn’t say that you have to get all or any of your protein from animal products, though you need to eat a diet that works for you.In fact, their list of protein-rich foods doesn’t even list meat first. It lists legumes, dairy products, eggs, and grains over meat.

For example:

  • A cup of cooked lentils has about 18 grams of protein, so you can certainly enjoy plant-based sources of protein for some or all of your meals without suffering from a deficiency.
  • A cup of peas has nine grams, and even a cup of broccoli will give you 2.5.

In any case, a Harvard study linked protein from yogurt, nuts, and fish to less weight gain, and it also linked meat to more weight gain.

If You Eat Meat, Choose High-Quality Sources

Also, if you do eat a lot of meat, you are probably consuming more protein than you actually need and plenty of saturated fat and other unhelpful stuff. An 8-ounce steak is more than twice as big as a portion for most people. A typical four-ounce steak gives you over 20 grams of protein, so you probably don’t need to sit down at a restaurant and order a 12-ounce steak to fill your protein requirements for the day.

If you eat meat, it’s better to consider it a condiment for a stir fry, salad, soup, or other plant-based dish. That way, three or four ounces of meat, poultry, and seafood can give you a satisfying meal.