Eating Stress-Free Burns more Calories

Having trouble losing weight and can’t figure out why? You might be engaging in stressed-out eating.

eating on the runWhat is stressed-out eating?

If you eat on-the-go while you’re in a hurry or running between meetings or classes, then you’re setting yourself up for extra poundage. The slower you eat, the faster you metabolize the foods you ingest.

It’s time to slow things down, relax and enjoy your food.

Monitoring your eating speed can also help you identify your relationship to food and emotional eating. This is where diet journaling comes in handy. By keeping a journal of your eating habits, you can help re-establish a healthy relationship with food.

You’ve seen those people who just wolf down their food without even tasting it or perhaps, even chewing it. Well, not only do you put an incredible drain on your digestive system and lose some of the nutrients from your food, but you set yourself up for weight gain.

In the 1800s in England, there was a man who developed a dieting system that required its participants to chew each mouthful of food for 40 times before swallowing. Now, this is the extreme, but by chewing your food slowly and thoroughly, you start the digestive process and relax the stomach to receive the food. This helps in the breakdown of the food and ensures you’re getting all the nutrients you can from your meals.

It’s important to be relaxed when you’re eating, because when you’re stressed out, you stimulate the hormone cortisol which is responsible for unsightly and unhealthy midriff weight gain. To your body, stress is stress and when it senses something is wrong, it will secrete cortisol hormone, which slows down your metabolism and tends to store what you’re eating as fat. It senses danger and that means famine. Digestion can even come to a complete stop, resulting in bloating, discomfort and constipation.

Here are some pointers from the book Slow Down Diet from Marc David:

  • Worrying about fat increases fat. Anxiety about weight loss causes your body to put fat on and retain it.
  • Slow down, relax your mind! This will burn food more efficiently if you breathe in more oxygen. So relax and take deep breaths while eating.

Here are some additional tips to help you get in the mood for food:

  • Take a look at the French, who have turned dining into an art form and whose lunches usually last for hours and hours.
  • Try reading a book or sharing your meals with family and friends with some relaxed conversation.
  • Create a comfortable atmosphere by lighting candles, laying the table and maybe even placing a vase of flowers on the table to instil calm.
  • You don’t have to dine out at a fancy restaurant to create the ideal mood for dining, just a few simple things like lighting and music can make all the difference.
  • Avoid eating in front of the TV or computer. If you’re watching an intense show, that stress will transfer to your body and it will sense that stress and your metabolism will slow down.
  • Breathe and savor each morsel.

By employing a few of these tips, you will re-establish a healthy relationship towards food and develop healthy habits towards eating.

Drink Water to Lose Weight

New research says that drinking water is the safest way to lose weight.

drink_waterWe’ve known for a long time that water helps to lose weight, so what’s so special about this new evidence?

It’s all about timing. The trick is to drink two 8-oz glasses of water before each meal. Now, I know what you’re thinking – that’s just a trick to fill me up before I start to eat. Well, it’s a bit more scientific than that.

Results published in the journal Obesity from a study conducted out of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg showed that participants lost an extra 4.5 lb compared to the control group.

This study was conducted on 48 overweight/obese men and women aged 55 – 75 who were on a calorie controlled diet. Half drank water before meals and half didn’t. After just three months, the water group lost an average of 15.5 lb compared to the control group who lost 11 lb. After a year of dieting and drinking water, the water subjects continued to lose an extra 1.5 lb and managed to keep the weight off compared to the control group who gained back about 2 lb.

While scientists can’t offer an explanation why water affects weight loss, there are a few benefits to following this advice.

  1. Drinking two 8-oz glasses of water before meals keeps you hydrated and you’re less likely to drink sugar-laden soda pop, juice or other beverages.
  2. Water helps rid the body of toxins that can build up and cause excess weight. It is also a sure way of keeping you regular.
  3. Most people don’t get enough water in their diet and suffer from dehydration, which leads to eating more and weight gain.
  4. Drinking two 8-oz glasses of water before meals is a great way to ensure you’re getting enough water during the day.
  5. Drinking two 8-oz glasses of water before meals is also a great way to suppress appetite and chances are, you will be too full to finish what’s on your plate.
  6. Eating high water content foods like fruits and vegetables is another healthy way to get enough water in your diet.
  7. Water is essential for delivering valuable nutrients to cells and organs in the body and helps in maintaining a healthy body.
  8. Drinking enough water is good for your nails, hair, skin and complexion.
  9. Drinking water is a surefire way to cure bloating.


Increase Fibre and Live Longer

If you’re going to make any changes to your diet at all, increasing your fibre is the smartest move you can make.

fiberThere are two forms of fibre – soluble and non-soluble. Soluble fiber comes in the form of fruits and vegetables and is called soluble because of its high water content. It is more easy to digest and travels through the system with ease. Non-soluble fiber like bran and psyllium actually requires a lot of water to help it move through the system. A lot of people make the mistake of eating more bran but not enough water and suffer the consequences – it can lead to cramps and digestive upsets.

A new study out of Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine that was presented at the American Heart Association’s Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism/Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention Scientific Sessions this year shows that a high-fiber diet can lead to healthier hearts and an improved quality of life.

“It’s long been known that high-fiber diets can help people lose weight, lower cholesterol and improve hypertension,” said Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, M.D., corresponding author of the study and chair of the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a cardiologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “The results of this study make a lot of sense because weight, cholesterol and hypertension are major determinants of your long-term risk for cardiovascular disease.”

According to the American Heart Association, a minimum of 25 grams of fiber a day is required to make any significant changes in health. The source of this fiber should come from natural sources and not processed foods or supplements designed to increase fiber intake.

“A processed food may be high in fiber, but it also tends to be pretty high in sodium and likely higher in calories than an apple, for example, which provides the same amount of fiber,” Lloyd-Jones said.

The study examined data from 11,000 adults who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. A mathematical formula to determine an individual’s risk of cardiovascular disease was used with these analytical factors from the survey:

  • Diet
  • Blood pressure
  • Total Cholesterol
  • Smoking status
  • History of diabetes

The results of these calculations showed favorably for adults aged 29 to 59, with older adults aged 60 to 79 years showing little effect. It was concluded that fiber needs a certain amount of time to take effect and that is why the results show favorably among a younger age group.

“The results are pretty amazing. Younger (20 to 39 years) and middle-aged (40 to 59 years) adults with the highest fiber intake, compared to those with the lowest fiber intake, showed a statistically significant lower lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease. The study suggests that starting a high-fiber diet now may help improve your long-term risk.”


Northwestern University. “Load up on fiber now, avoid heart disease later.” ScienceDaily 23 March 2011. 24 March 2011 <­ /releases/2011/03/110322172225.htm>.


From the Lips to the Hips to the Brain

First they tell us it’s healthy to have a larger derriere, now research says it will adversely affect our memory.

Photo by Vitaliy KalyniukRecent research is confusing everybody lately with all these contradicting studies. I think I’m safe from developing dementia because I have a big head and that’s a good thing; I work hard to keep my spare tire from inflating and then I’m told that a large middle will help protect me from Alzheimer’s. Then I think, well if I cultivate a large derriere then I’m safe because I’m supposed to live longer; but now research says that this can increase plaque in the brain which leads to Alzheimer’s. So what do you believe?

Let’s take a look at this most recent study. There were 8,745 overweight and obese menopausal women aged from 65 to 79 who participated in this study. Each subject was measured for BMI and given a memory test. There was an alarming correlation between the subject’s BMI and memory function to the degree that for every one point increase in BMI there was a one point drop in the subject’s memory score. Those ladies with a pear-shaped figure fared worse on cognitive tests than their apple-shaped counterparts.

The conclusion: fat found around the waist is different from that found on the hips. Yes, not all fats are equal. Some contain different hormones and affect insulin resistance, lipids and blood pressure differently than others.

“The fat may contribute to the formation of plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease or a restricted blood flow to the brain,” Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust.

Estrogen is thought to be instrumental in improving memory and cognition. This hormone is found in high levels in fat found around the waist, yet having a spare tire is supposed to be an indicator of life-threatening diseases like heart attacks and diabetes. When these fatty deposits accumulate on the hips more than the waist, it can negatively affect a woman’s cognitive function later in life, after menopause. While gaining weight and losing one’s memory are symptoms of menopause, this seems to make sense. Just one more thing to look forward to.

While we can’t do anything to change the body shapes we were born with, we can maintain a healthy lifestyle to promote longevity and stave off fat, whether it’s around your waist or your hips. The message is still the same – stay active and eat healthy, my friends.

Beach Body Boot Camp

It’s never too late to get into shape. With this weekly workout regimen, you can fast track your fitness goals and get that body beach-ready in no time.

Beach Body Boot CampTo get the full benefit out of this weekly routine, make sure you’re eating a healthy diet full of fresh, wholesome, low-fat, low-carb foods and that you supplement your diet with a whey protein to help with recovery and muscle repair.


AM – Power Yoga (Bikram) 90 min class

PM – Lower Body Training

  • Heavy Plié Squats
  • Squats with Arnold Press
  • Seated Calf Press
  • V-Ups
  • Hanging Straight Leg Lifts
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Single Leg Dumbbell Dead lifts

All exercises should be performed for 3 sets, 12-15 reps, with 60% max of load.

Monday – Upper Body (Front)

  • Swiss Ball Alternating Chest Press
  • Seated Machine Chest Press
  • Alternating Reverse Lunges with Military Press
  • Lying Reverse Crunches
  • Cable Curls with Rope
  • Standing Cable Crunches with Rope
  • Push-Ups to failure

All exercises are to be performed in order for 3 sets, 12-15 reps at 65% of 1 rep max (1RM), followed by 30 minutes of Elliptical trainer for active recovery.


AM – 1-hour Spin Class

PM – 15 minutes of Yoga poses focused on deep tissue stretching

Wednesday – Upper Body (Back)

  • Seated Machine Cable Rows with T-Bar
  • Cable Rope Triceps Extensions
  • Wide Stance Stiff Leg Dead Lifts with Dumbbells
  • Cable Rope Dead Lift (pronated grip) with Row
  • Flat Bench Triceps Push-Ups with Feet On Medicine Ball
  • Seated Rear Delt Bent Over Fly

All exercises should be performed for 2 sets to failure at 70% of 1RM, followed by 20 minutes of power walking (4.2 and above on speed setting) on treadmill with 6 incline for active recovery.


AM – 1-hour Cardio Kickboxing

PM – Lower Body Training

  • Medicine Ball Planks with Straight Leg Lifts
  • Lying Medicine Ball Sit-Ups to Lateral Raise
  • Kneeling Donkey Kicks to Heavy Plié Squats
  • Single Leg Calf Press
  • Plié Jump Squats
  • Single Leg Dumbbell Heel Raises
  • Walking Lunges with Dumbbells

All exercise should be performed with light weights for 3 sets and 20 reps, followed by 20 minutes of Stairmaster for active recovery.


AM – 1-hour Treadmill for Steady State Jog

PM – 15 minutes of Yoga poses focused on deep tissue stretching


REST and ONE cheat food.

Originally published @ FITLODE.COM