The Diet Fix Reset (Book Summary)

Day 1: Gear Up

  • Body weight scale for the start and finish of the 10-Day Reset
  • Digital food scale
  • Measuring spoons and cups (maybe 2 sets)
  • Journal or food diarizing app
  • First grocery shop: mostly real foods and minimal processed foods (avoid trans-fat) including solid proteins and complex carbs (i.e. whole grain instead of instant oatmeal)
  • Tupperware and Ziplock bags
  • Comfy exercise clothes and shoes
  • Clean and organized kitchen

Day 2: Diarize

  • Record in real time food and exercise without changing anything
  • Track hunger and cravings as well as any emotions or thoughts related to food
  • At the end of the day, rank from 1 to 10 the “day’s degree of difficulty”
  • Use for data, not judgement, to guide future decisions
  • Keep a food journal for at least 30 days – maybe forever for maintenance – and if you try stopping, start daily weighing to keep it within 3 pounds

Day 3: Banish Hunger Continue reading

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How much sugar is right for you?

According to the calories-in-calories-out approach, a daily 2,000 calories of cookies and ice cream is just fine because you likely won’t gain weight. Meanwhile, it’s actually harder to feel satisfied on that amount of sugar-based food because calories are so much more condensed, besides which eating a little chocolate generally makes people want more chocolate – and so, this approach isn’t very sustainable for most people, nevermind the worrisome lack of essential nutrient. Furthermore, a calorie is not the same as any other calorie – metabolic consequences can differ drastically.

Sugar, in particular, even when not increasing total caloric intake, is linked to insulin resistance and high triglyceride levels, and thus increased likelihood of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It can even lead to tooth decay in the absence of adequate dental care. The World Health Organization and American Heart Association sets 100-150 calories (or 5% of total calories) as the limit on added sugars daily. That’s less than a can of pop, less than a chocolate bar. Even naturally occurring sugars, as in fruit, are only overall healthier because they come with vitamins and minerals, therefore those sugars should also be limited – the USDA recommends two cups of fruit per day.

One meal high in sugar won’t cause any lasting harmful effect overnight – even potential weight bloating goes away after a few days. Over time, though, chronically high sugar consumption can speed up our aging process and lower our cognitive functioning. Not to mention, it’s been shown that sugar activates the same regions of the brain as cocaine. In fact, a study showed mice overwhelmingly chose sugar over cocaine. There is even a convincing argument the inflammatory effect is linked to depression and anxiety.

Most health associations recommend moderation in everything, including sugar. The intention, one assumes, is to propose the most realistic improvement, or “reduced harm” as is an approach to drug addiction. Many health professionals, meanwhile, insist on “zero sugar,” some including fruit fructose. One theory is that keeping even a small amount of conventional candy in rotation will continue cravings for sugar as well as offset nutritional value from otherwise healthy meals, and even maintain side effects some people experience like headaches or the crash-and-burn of a “sugar high.”

My personal opinion, at this point in time, is to advocate for a modified cold turkey approach. For example:

  1. I am currently obsessed with President’s Choice chocolate peanut butter ice cream. This is first on my list to replace, reduce, and ideally eliminate. I believe it might be more effective to target that goal before going on to reduce the next worst culprit.
  2. When ready, I want to try out a day without any added sugar and keep total sugar (including naturally forming) for each meal below 5g, i.e. 1 tsp. I want to see how it feels. Maybe try it for a week. I definitely don’t want to calculate forever, but I understand the need to practice until I develop instinct on how much sugar works for me.
  3. The most important element in all this is to avoid feeling too stressed and behaving too strictly around sugar. I want to be able to eat ice cream every once in awhile without thinking and feeling too much about it.

The End of Overeating (100% in 1% Book Summary)

Book Summary

The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David A. Kessler

Concept

The settling point theory says the body keeps an adult’s weight within a certain range with homeostatic mechanisms, but the range is not predetermined – it’s determined by the drive to eat, the capacity to be satisfied, ability to oxidize fat, motivation, availability, etc. Stimulating the reward centre leads to more pursuit of pleasure regardless of rational need for it.

Sugar, fat, and salt make us eat more sugar, fat, and salt. A variety of readily available palatable food engages the full range of our senses and stimulate appetite. While protein empties from the stomach at 4 calories a minute, sugary foods empty at 10 calories a minute, satisfying hunger for a much shorter time. And while fat empties the stomach at 2 calories a minute, the body is slow to process those signals.

Recommendations

“Food Rehab” treats a chronic problem that can be managed but not completely cured. “We remain vulnerable to the pull of old habits, although with time and the rewards that accompany success, they do lose some of their power … Eventually we can begin to think differently about food, recognizing its value to sustain us and protect us from hunger, and denying it the authority to govern our lives.”

Continue reading

These are a few of my favourite meals

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Fruit Parfaits are simply the best way to balance taste and health in the morning. They’re also pretty convenient to prepare in advance or grab from a store on the run. Although I enjoy layers, I enjoy saving time more so my parfaits are just the ingredients mixed in a bowl with some health tweaks. Since eggs don’t suit me, Greek yogurt is my best breakfast source of protein: normally 30g for 250 calories when combined with strawberries and Kashi Go Lean.  Continue reading