Is It Possible To Crave Healthy Food?

Is It Possible To Crave Healthy Food?

There is junk food available everywhere in Stamford, CT. Even gas stations offer it. Some people blame their weight gain on the inability to overcome their cravings for that type of food. You don’t have to gain weight or worry about addiction to unhealthy food. You can change your taste in food and learn to crave healthy food. There are hurdles you have to cross to reach that point. The first is eliminating food with added sugar. Sugar is addictive. It fills the opioid receptors in the brain and triggers dopamine that makes you feel good.

Start slowly by giving up food with added sugar.

The first few weeks will be the most difficult since sugar is in almost every processed food. You only have to give up the food with added sugar and can still consume whole food like fruit. As your body adjusts to the decreased sugar, your sense of taste improves. Whole food tastes better, and fruit tastes sweeter.

Build a new relationship with food.

Some foods are associated with memories. Most unhealthy food is associated with happy memories. The sweet taste of birthday cake, that special treat at the fast food joint, and a candy bar from grandma for being good are examples. You can build new memories and use healthy food as a reward. Find a healthy food or foods you especially enjoy. Reward yourself with those foods. If you’re sad and need an emotional fix from food, find a healthy option. You can add an extra ingredient to make it healthier, such as including butternut squash in your mac and cheese or switch unhealthy options for healthier ones. Making frozen banana ice cream only requires you to freeze banana rounds and then blend them until they’re creamy. It’s a lot healthier than ice cream and still comforting.

Stick with a healthy eating program and see how you feel.

You may not notice feeling better when you eat healthy, but if you fall off the wagon and binge on junk food, you’ll certainly notice the difference. Eating only junk food can leave you feeling horrible. It’s a surefire way to get your body and your mind to crave healthy food. Studies show that before eating a healthy diet, brain scans indicated a positive reaction to junk food, but after a few months of a healthy diet, the healthy food triggered that reaction, not the unhealthy food.

  • Taste your food. That may sound strange, but too often people shovel food in their mouth and don’t bother to enjoy it. Eat slowly and savor every bit, focusing on the texture, taste, and satisfaction you get when you eat it.
  • Keep a food diary and write down your emotions when you crave unhealthy food. You can use that information to find healthier alternatives. Crunchy food is often associated with anger or frustration, while soft food, like potatoes, is comfort food.
  • Eat slowly and identify the point where you feel full. When you chew food longer, you eat slower. It gives your body a chance to tell your brain it’s full.
  • It takes time to change your preferences for certain foods. If you have one specific unhealthy food you often crave, focus on giving it up. After a while, you won’t crave it and if you do, you probably won’t get the satisfaction you expected. ds if you’re still hungry.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Surprising Sources Of Protein

Surprising Sources Of Protein

When you think of protein sources, animal products come to mind first, followed by traditional vegetable protein options, like beans and lentils. There are far more protein sources than you might think from the world of plants and some excellent but overlooked sources from the animal world. Some are superfoods that provide both protein and a wealth of other nutrients.

Protein comes in many colors, even green.

Several good sources of protein are green. Green peas and leafy greens like spinach are in that group. If you have a cup of cooked spinach, you’ll be consuming 5 grams of protein as you do. Green peas have over twice that amount with 9 grams per cup. Bodybuilders and others that supplement with protein will recognize the benefits of pea protein since some protein supplements contain it. Both peas and greens provide other benefits, such as they’re high in fiber. You’ll get a variety of vitamins, including A, C, and K, plus minerals that include thiamine, folate, manganese, iron, zinc, and more.

Substitute quinoa for rice or pasta at dinner.

Quinoa is a pseudocereal, although many people classify it as a grain since it’s used like grains. One cup of cooked quinoa provides 8 grams of protein. It’s one of the few plant sources of complete proteins—ones containing all the essential amino acids. It’s high in fiber, folate, vitamins E and B6, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus. It’s a good option for a gluten-free diet.

Eggs are an excellent source of protein.

Eggs don’t get nearly enough credit for their protein. There are 7 grams of protein in large eggs, which includes high amounts of leucine. Leucine aids triggering muscle protein synthesis for building new muscles. The protein is also bioavailable. That’s important. It means the body can use the protein easily, so it doesn’t become waste. They provide choline that boosts cognition, memory, and mood. They also contain lutein and zeaxanthin to benefit the eyes.

  • Toss some tree nuts or seeds on your salad or add to your smoothie for an additional source of protein. Pistachios, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, and cashews can increase your protein substantially.
  • Make bone broth from the bones left after you eat the meal. It’s high in protein, with 9 grams per cup, and filled with collagen to help joints, skin, muscles, and bones.
  • Most people recognize chia seeds as a means of growing hair for a clay statute, but they also are loaded with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Thicken smoothies, add them to baked goods, or make pudding.
  • Sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale, and edamame are good protein sources. Add them to your diet for the protein and the other nutrients they offer. You get much more protein than you might realize when you eat a healthy diet.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

How Hormones Affect Health And Behavior

How Hormones Affect Health And Behavior

At Revolution Training in Stamford, CT, most clients only worry about hormones concerning muscle gain or weight loss, but they impact health and behavior, too. Hormones are messengers. Some hormones tell your brain you’re full and others tell your brain you’re hungry. Stress hormones affect a wide variety of functions and if not addressed, can cause damage to the body. The endorphins released during physical exercise can make you feel happy and comfortable. Hormones do more than affect mood. Some are involved in mental health conditions.

Hormones aren’t good or bad. They’re just messengers.

The body has many hormones, which includes the sex hormones, stress hormones, and the infamous happy hormones you get from exercising. Each one performs a specific task. Some have an antagonistic hormone, one that does the opposite function. Insulin, for instance, reduces blood glucose levels, while glucagon increases blood sugar to prevent hypoglycemia. Since both control blood sugar for every cell, an imbalance affects the whole body. Hypoglycemia from too little glucagon can cause emotional changes and mood swings that range from anxiousness to unexplained outbursts of anger. If blood sugar levels are chronically low, it can lead to depression, memory loss, and a short attention span.

HGH—human growth hormone—is released in controlled pulses.

Sometimes hormones cause the release of hormones that control the body. Two antagonistic hormones are responsible for releasing HGH. The hypothalamus releases growth hormone-releasing hormone—GHRH to trigger the release of HGH and somatostatin to inhibit it. HGH affects children’s growth patterns. It impacts fat and sugar metabolism, affects body fluids, regulates body composition, bone growth, and heart function. Some people believe HGH is the fountain of youth. They may get injections of HGH. Abuse of HGH can lead to hallucinations, psychosis, paranoia, and physical harm.

Sex hormones perform other tasks that affect your behavior and health.

Testosterone is in both male and female bodies and performs tasks not related to sexuality. While the location of fat deposits, muscle size, and body hair growth are gender-related, women need testosterone for ovarian function, bone strength, and sexual drive. If your body is low in testosterone, depression, anxiety, and a low sex drive can occur. However, high testosterone levels in both men and women can lead to irritability, anxiety, and depression. Too much can cause acne, blood pressure changes, slurred speech, difficulty breathing, heart attack, sleep apnea, and other conditions.

  • Oxytocin is called the love hormone. Hugging increases oxytocin levels. Its primary purpose is stimulating uterine contractions. It may play a role in anxiety, anorexia, autism, depression, PTSD, and addiction.
  • Norepinephrine functions as a stress hormone and neurotransmitter. It constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure. Antagonistic hormones prostaglandins, acetylcholine, and histamine are vasodilators, making them wider and lowering blood pressure.
  • Motilin is a gastrointestinal hormone that helps move food from the small intestines to the large intestines. The body releases it during fasting periods. The levels depend on what you eat. A diet high in sugary foods or fat decreases it.
  • Melatonin can help you go to sleep. It works in total darkness and is an antioxidant. It helps counteract the effects of stress. Low levels are linked to obesity, cancer, and diabetes.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Why Fiber Is So Important?

Why Fiber Is So Important?

No matter what station you watch, you’ll probably hear at least one commercial attesting to the importance of fiber in your diet. Comedians often include fiber as part of a punchline about mood and constipation. Lack of fiber is no laughing matter. It’s important for many bodily functions. It can help maintain a healthy gut microbiome and keep blood glucose levels from spiking. If you want to lose weight, increase the fiber in your diet to improve your efforts.

Exactly what is fiber?

Fiber is a carbohydrate that your body can’t digest. There are two types, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber turns into a gel when mixed with water during digestion. It provides food for beneficial bacteria. While your body can’t digest it, the microbes do. Soluble fiber also helps stabilize blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, and by doing that, reduces the risk of heart disease. Insoluble fiber isn’t digested at all. It does provide bulk to the stools to make defecating easier and lowers the risk of colon disease.

Why is feeding the gut microbes so important?

There are trillions of gut microbes, some are beneficial, some aren’t. The soluble fiber feeds beneficial gut microbes. The gut microbes perform many tasks. They help your body digest food and absorb nutrients. About 80% of your immune cells are in your gut and your microbiome helped develop it when you were an infant. Your gut microbiome also takes part in metabolism and inflammation. They play a role in heart, nervous system, and brain health, A healthy gut microbiome reduces the risk of obesity and diabetes.

Fiber fills you up faster and keeps you feeling full.

If you eat an orange, you’ll get more health benefits than if you drank orange juice. You’ll also feel fuller even though you consumed the same number of calories. That’s because of the fiber in the orange. Food high in fiber is normally low in calories. Foods high in soluble fiber include apples, peas, strawberries, and other fruit and vegetables. Foods high in insoluble fiber include nuts, beans, and whole grains. Only food from plants contains fiber. It’s not in animal products.

  • If you want to lose weight, improve the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut by consuming food high in fiber. It’s a prebiotic.
  • Highly processed food, such as those made with white flour, have very little fiber. Refined flour is just an endosperm. Processing removes the germ and bran. The bran provides fiber, and the germ offers nutrients.
  • Some things can destroy the balance of gut microbes besides lack of fiber. Antibiotics can do it. So can a diet high in sugar. Not only does processed food provide no fiber, but the sugar in the processed food also harms the gut microbiome.
  • If you want to increase the fiber in your diet, take it slowly. Your gut needs time to build a colony of beneficial bacteria to digest it. It can lead to gas and other digestive issues.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Does Nutrition Influence Hormones?

Does Nutrition Influence Hormones?

You need messengers in the body for it to function correctly. That requires many things, including healthy nutrition. The messengers are your hormones. They’re chemicals created by the body that are vital to all functions. Each hormone has one that opposes it to return the body to homeostasis. Ghrelin is the hunger hormone, while leptin is the hormone that makes you feel full. Insulin lowers blood glucose, but if it gets too low, the body releases glucagon, which tells the liver to release more glucose.

Balancing sex hormones can be tricky.

Whether menopause or your menstrual cycle is causing problems balancing your estrogen, the food you eat can make a difference. Estrogen does more than regulate your cycle and the reproductive system. It also affects the heart, blood vessels, skin, hair, bones, and the brain. Consuming phytoestrogens from plant-based food can mimic estrogen by producing a small response when eaten. Phytoestrogen is in nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits, vegetables, soy, and whole grain. If you have too much estrogen, consuming cruciferous vegetables like broccoli can help.

If your balance between glucagon and insulin is off, it may be about what you eat.

As mentioned earlier, there’s a yin-yang balance between glucagon and insulin. Insulin resistance causes the body to produce too much insulin. Insulin tells the cells to open to receive the glucose from the blood. If they don’t open, the blood glucose level stays high and the body sends more insulin. This can cause diabetes. If you want to rebalance and help insulin function properly, avoid simple carbohydrates, like food with added sugar. Consume fewer calories and include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in your diet.

Fat around your belly can come from too much cortisol.

Cortisol is released by the adrenal gland during the fight-or-flight response. It’s triggered by stress. Besides making changes during stress, it also helps regulate how the body uses protein, fat, and carbs for energy. It also is important for blood pressure regulation, limiting inflammation, aiding in blood sugar regulation, and maintaining the wake-sleep cycle. Eat a diet packed with nutritious whole foods, including healthy fat, whole grain, fruits, and vegetables. Good gut health is important, so include probiotic and prebiotic food. Avoid caffeine and alcohol which can increase cortisol.

  • Increasing omega-3 fatty acids in your diet can reduce your cortisol levels, reduce insulin resistance, and help balance sex hormones. Besides fatty fish like salmon, omega-3 is in walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seed.
  • Green tea has compounds that help all parts of the body. It’s filled with antioxidants. It can help improve insulin levels. Use marjoram liberally to influence insulin, estradiol, and cortisol.
  • A healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and good hydration can help your body get back to normal, without hormonal imbalances. Changing your lifestyle helps the entire body function at its best.
  • Discuss your concerns with your healthcare professional if you believe you have a hormone imbalance and follow their instructions. Always check with your healthcare professional before beginning any program of exercise.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

What Are The Advantages Of Fat In My Diet?

What Are The Advantages Of Fat In My Diet?

This last trip to the grocery in Stamford, CT, convinced me there needs to be more education about the advantages of healthy fat in the diet. I watched as people spent time searching for no-fat or low-fat food, without realizing those options had sugar added to replace the flavor lost when they removed the fat. Fat isn’t always bad. Your body needs it. On the other hand, added sugar has no redeeming qualities. You’ll get many benefits when you add fat to your diet, but it must be healthy fat. Foods containing healthy fat include nuts, avocados, olives and olive oils, fatty fish, and yogurt.

Some fats are necessary for survival, while others cut your survival short.

Trans fats are the enemies of a healthy body. They are partially hydrogenated oil. Hydrogenation is a process that makes the shelf-life of liquid oil longer. Fully hydrogenated oil is solid, but trans-fat—partially hydrogenated oil—is soft and easy to spread. Trans fats are hard for the body to process. They can create problems controlling blood sugar levels and increase inflammation leading to diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. They increase the risk of stroke and heart attack and boost the bad cholesterol levels.

You need healthy fats, which include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids—PUFAs—and monounsaturated fatty acids—MUFAs—are the healthiest fats. They provide the most benefits for the body. They improve your body’s ability to absorb fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E. PUFAs include fatty acids the body can’t make, such as omega-3 fatty acid and Omega-6. Unsaturated fat is beneficial for all the cells in the body. If you took all the water out of the brain, 60% of what remained would be fat. It’s necessary for all functions.

To determine whether saturated fats are healthy, you have to go to the source.

If you get saturated fat from fried products, baked goods high in sugar, processed meat, or fast food, it may not be the fat that’s causing the problem, but the delivery system. If you get saturated fat from full-fat dairy, coconut, or pastured animal products, you’ll have different results. The saturated fats in whole milk from pastured cows help protect the heart. Studies also show coconut oil can improve cholesterol panels. It’s all about the food that contains saturated fat and the rest of the diet.

  • MUFAs are important for blood clotting, nerve functioning, muscle strength, and brain health. PUFAs aid blood clotting, nerve functioning, muscle strength, and brain health.
  • Consuming food with saturated fat is healthy for the brain. Much of the fat in the brain is saturated fat. Saturated fat is also important for immune health, and bone health. It boosts the immune system and builds insulation for the nerves.
  • Eating food with healthy fat, like avocados, can improve your blood pressure. Fat is necessary for cell growth, hormone production, nutrient absorption, joint lubrication, body insulation, cell growth, and organ protection.
  • Healthy fat can even help you lose weight. Fat makes you feel fuller, so you’ll eat less. It helps stabilize blood sugar levels, which can reduce insulin levels. Too much insulin causes insulin resistance and fat around your middle.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Best Fat-Burning Foods For Women

Best Fat-Burning Foods For Women

I tell clients in Stamford, CT, that eating a healthy diet helps them lose fat. That’s true, but including fat-burning foods can also help, particularly for women/ The fat burners contain certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, and phytochemicals that either increase metabolism, provide the necessary nutrients to burn fat, or reduce the body’s ability to produce fat.

Boost your metabolism with a little caffeine.

Drinking coffee or tea can increase your metabolism due to the caffeine it contains. Several studies show that caffeine increases metabolism and helps burn fat. Some studies show that consuming caffeine within an hour of working out allowed the subjects to increase exercise time and caused the body to burn more fat. If you’re sensitive to the caffeine in coffee, try tea, especially green tea. The EGCG in green tea helps take off belly fat.

Eat foods that are high in protein.

Whether you consume whey protein or eggs, you’ll get the fat-fighting help you need. The protein in both fills you up and keeps you feeling full longer, so you eat less. Protein also requires more processes to digest, so it burns extra calories and boosts your metabolism by approximately 25% while digesting. Protein can help build muscle mass and preserve it when you’re losing weight. The more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism is and the easier it is to shed those extra pounds. Whey protein accomplishes those goals better than any other protein source.

Healthy fat is essential for weight loss.

Food with healthy fat includes full-fat yogurt, fatty fish such as salmon, and olive oil. Fat makes you full, no matter what form. It is harder to digest. Fatty fish has omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation, which can cause fat accumulation and weight gain. It also may help burn fat. Full-fat yogurt keeps you feeling full longer. The CLA—conjugated linoleic acid—in yogurt burns fat and increases weight loss.

  • Manufacturers often replace the fat in low-fat yogurt with sugar to improve taste. Extra sugar means extra body fat. The fat removed contains the CLA fatty acids that make yogurt an effective fat burner.
  • Add beets to your diet for an additional boost of fat burning. The amino acid, betaine that’s found in beets, increases fat burning and reduces insulin resistance which can increase belly fat.
  • Choose food with pectin like tomatoes, green beans, strawberries, apples, and oranges. The pectin helps prevent fat accumulation. Its gel-like fiber blocks the absorption of fat.
  • Increase your metabolic rate by adding spice to your food. Chili peppers create a fire in your mouth when you eat them, then help torch calories by boosting metabolism. The capsaicin in chili peppers helps burn body fat.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Foods That Will Help Boost Your Memory

Foods That Will Help Boost Your Memory

As people age, they become far more aware of what they forget but forgetting happens to everyone. If you can’t remember what to buy at the grocery store, the name of your favorite book, or even the name of the boss’s wife, even though you know it well, you might need to change your diet. The food you eat can make a difference in how well memory is retrieved. Changing your diet can boost your memory and avoid the embarrassment of forgetting a name.

Increasing omega-3 fatty acids in your diet improves brain health.

There’s a beneficial ratio of omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids, which is 4:1 with four parts omega-6 to one part omega-3. The average diet in the US is far from ideal. It’s closer to having a 25:1 ratio, with almost six times as much omega-6. Many things occur when there’s an imbalance and too little omega-3 in the diet. It can cause mental decline, depression, poor memory, and aggression. Fat is necessary for the brain to function. The brain is 60% fat, of which half is omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is a building block of the brain. There’s a correlation between Alzheimer’s or age-related decline and the intake of Omega-3. Include fatty fish, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, or eggs in your diet to boost omega-3.

Feed your brain health benefits with a little spice.

Studies show that reducing inflammation improves brain functioning. One spice that does that is turmeric. Curcumin in turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that directly affects the brain cells. It reduces inflammation and may benefit the brain by clearing amyloid plaque associated with Alzheimer’s or preventing it from forming. If you want to maximize the benefits of turmeric, pair it with black pepper. Cinnamon can help you become more alert and improve brain functioning.

It’s not always what you eat, but what you don’t eat that boosts memory.

You’ll not only lose weight and feel better, but you’ll also boost your brain power when you quit foods with added sugar. Sugar increases inflammation. Foods that help you lose weight can also improve your brain power. Studies show that obesity can increase the risk of mental decline dramatically. Obese individuals show a reduced amount of gray matter, the location of neurons, and an increased amount of harmful proteins responsible for memory loss in the hippocampus, the area of the brain for memory. Not only will healthy eating boost your memory, but it will also make your whole body healthier.

  • Blueberries contain phytonutrients that boost memory. Walnuts and other tree nuts provide vitamin E, healthy fats, and plant compounds that are memory-boosters.
  • Include red and orange peppers or citrus for added vitamin C. It’s an antioxidant that also protects the brain. Broccoli also contains antioxidants, plus has vitamin K that prevents inflammation.
  • Coffee or tea contain caffeine and antioxidants to boost memory power. Green tea also contains L-theanine, which helps you relax yet still remain alert. Green tea also contains polyphenols that protect memory.
  • Eating organ meats, egg yolks, and cheese can boost vitamin D. Vitamin D improves memory. Safe sunning is another way to increase vitamin D intake.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Exercises You Should Start Doing Regularly

Exercises You Should Start Doing Regularly

Regular exercise can help optimize health. You should do some form of exercise daily, even if it’s just going for a walk. There are so many different exercises, it’s hard to decide which ones to do. Our trainers can help you, but if you’re working out on your own, here are some exercises you should start doing regularly. To get an adequate workout, you need to add other exercises to your workout, so these are just a baseline to follow.

Work the large muscles of your body to boost your nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide relaxes the blood vessels, which lowers your blood pressure. You can increase it in your body with exercise, particularly from large muscle groups. Squats and lunges work large muscles. Squats also improve core and lower body strength, while building flexibility in the hips. Lunges help improve your balance and improve glute and leg muscles. Both burn tons of calories.

Do planks, push-ups, or both.

Push-ups are planks in motion, and also a lot harder to do since you’re slowly lowering and lifting your body, using both push and pull actions. Both push-ups and planks help build core muscles, particularly abdominal muscles. They both strengthen the entire body. Planks don’t put stress on the back but do help increase core muscle strength. You can modify both planks and push-ups to make them more suitable for your fitness level, such as bent knee push-ups or forearm planks.

Do a bridge or thoracic rotation to loosen your back and prevent future back issues.

The bridge helps build core muscles and doing them regularly can help prevent back pain and tighten your tummy. Thoracic rotations are stretches and also good exercises to help relax and strengthen muscles in the back, but focus more on the upper back. Both can help counter the effect that slouching has on your posture by stretching the muscles that have been trained to remain in a permanent slump through years of sitting and bad posture.

  • A stretch that will make everyone feel good is the knee or knees-to-chest exercise. Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet on the mat. Pull one or both knees to your chest by interlacing fingers around the lower leg or legs and pulling it toward you.
  • A wall slide will help your posture, which helps relieve the pain that comes from sitting too long slumped over. Stand against a wall with your hips and shoulders touching. Raise your arms in a V and then slowly lower them to a goal post without lifting your back off the wall.
  • Walking is a good type of exercise to do every day and it doesn’t require special equipment or much planning. You have to have good posture for it to be the most effective and can find easy ways to add to the amount of time you walk every day.
  • A four-minute nitric oxide dump combines four exercises performed ten times each per set, squats, alternating arm raises, non-jumping jumping jacks, and military presses. Do three sets of each three or four times throughout the day.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training