Is Too Much Fruit Bad for You?

Is Too Much Fruit Bad for You?When you’re trying to watch your weight and eat healthier you may choose to eat more fruits than you otherwise would. They’re great for a snack, make your smoothie taste better, and fruit is like nature’s candy. But a lot of people will tell you that you should limit the amount of fruit that you eat because it’s full of sugar. But is this really true? If you’re trying to lose weight should you avoid eating a lot of fruit?

Joey Diaz generally isn’t someone who I turn to for dieting advice, mainly because he’s 300 lbs. so he must have some issues with food and weight loss. But the other day on his podcast The Church of What’s Happening Now, he dropped a bit of knowledge that I thought was interesting. Joey said that you don’t see anyone who’s overweight say that the reason they’re fat is because they eat too much fruit. No one has ever said “I’m 300 lbs. because I can’t stop eating oranges!” so there’s definitely some truth to what he’s saying.

I think the key to eating fruit is why you’re eating the fruit. If you have a sweet tooth and you’re replacing your Jolly Ranchers or Skittles with blueberries or strawberries, that’s a a good thing! If you skip over the cinnamon buns at your hotel’s continental breakfast to grab an apple, good for you! It’s all about making healthier choices when it comes to your diet and losing weight.

The general rule of thumb for those who want to lead a healthy life is to eat seven to 10 servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day. It’s safe to say that most people aren’t eating that many servings, so if you’re switching out junk food for more fruit, you’re probably fine and don’t need to worry about eating too much fruit. The important thing is that you’re making the healthy choice.

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July!Happy Fourth of July everyone!

As is the case with any long weekend, it’s important to keep your diet in check. Perhaps even more so on the Fourth of July, when not only do people go crazy with barbecues, desserts, and alcohol, but we also tend to wear less clothes than we do during Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you’ve worked hard up to this point to keep your diet and your body in check, it’s not worth throwing it all away for one crazy weekend. You’ll want to wear that swimsuit in the coming weeks, so keep a few things in mind:

  • Portions! You can have the ribs, the burger, the steak, the cake, and the beer, but do so in moderation.
  • Eat slowly! The slower you eat, the more time your body has to feel full.
  • Stop eating when you’re full! With a smorgasbord of food, you’ll want to go crazy, but try not too. Sample a little of everything, but don’t go back for seconds and thirds.
  • Pick a day to cheat! The long weekend is essentially three full days of partying, but pick one day to go wild and try to behave the rest of the time.

It can be hard to keep yourself in check, but with these hints in the back of your mind, hopefully you won’t end up gaining five pounds over the long weekend and have to work extra hard next week to catch back up.

Have fun and be safe!

What is MCT Oil?

What is MCT Oil?Last week I wrote about some other uses for MCT oil if you don’t drink butter coffee for whatever reason. As it turns out, you can add it to just about anything. But before you start adding it to your smoothies and oatmeal, wouldn’t you like to find out just what exactly MCT oil is?

First, let’s look at the acronym: MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides. MCT is composed of a number healthy fatty acids that are medium in length.  The fats that we get from most foods–and the fat that our body stores–are long in length. Small and medium length triglycerides are a good source of energy because they are easily metabolized by the body which is one reason why so many athletes are starting to discover and try MCT oil.

One of the richest sources of MCT is the coconut. MCT oil is made by extracting the caprylic and capric fatty acids from coconuts, resulting in a relatively unflavored, clear/yellowish liquid that can be stored at room temperature. Pure coconut oil or coconut cream is solid at room temperature and obviously has the flavor of coconut.

If MCT oil comes from coconuts, why not just use coconut oil or coconut cream in your smoothies or butter coffee instead of more expensive MCT oil?

MCT oil takes the “good stuff” (the medium chain triglycerides) from coconut oil and removes all the other stuff. Medium chain triglycerides comprise about 60% of coconut oil, so while it could be cheaper in the long run to use virgin coconut oil instead of MCT oil, you might use more of it. And because MCT oil is a liquid and essentially flavorless, it’s much more versatile, allowing you to integrate it into your existing diet easily without having to learn any new recipes.

Trick Yourself Into Losing Weight

Trick Yourself Into Losing WeightI blog I read posted an interesting article a while back about the brain and how we can use psychology to help us lose weight. This isn’t a switch that you can turn on and off, but rather a few “tricks” to keep in your arsenal that you can use in addition to exercise and diet to help you shed some pounds.

One of the most well-known of these tricks is to use smaller dishes when you eat. One weakness of mine is cereal, and I can easily fill up a large bowl each morning. When I looked at the recommended serving of that particular cereal (in this case, it was Frosted Mini Wheats), I discovered that I was eating almost 400 calories of cereal without milk. Using a smaller bowl that I could fill to the top with half as much cereal as I would normally eat allowed me to curb how much I was eating. This can apply to all your meals and with different dishes. For example, smaller dinner plates will help you cut down on your portion sizes since you have less space to fill.

Speaking of dishes, the next time you’re shopping for new kitchenware, choose red. Subconsciously, our minds associate red with stop. This could be a subtle way to help us cut down on how much we eat.

Another suggestion is to eat with your non-dominant hand. If you’re right-handed, try eating only with your left. Research has shown that you’ll eat up to 20% less when eating this way. I can see how this would work, since you’ll likely eat slower because you’re not used to using that particular hand.

The speed at which you eat brings me to my next point, which should also be common knowledge: eat slower. Eating slower allows your body to begin to feel full. When you’re shoveling food in without letting it settle, you’ll overeat. Another trick to help with this is putting your spoon or knife and fork down after each bite.

The last suggestion I will share is to place more mirrors around your house, and in the kitchen if possible. If you’re not happy with how you look, catching a side profile glimpse of yourself as you’re reaching in the pantry for the cookies or a bag of chips might dissuade you from choosing junk food.

I realize some of these suggestions sound ridiculous, but who knows? They could work!

The full article with more suggestions can be found over at Sploid along with an accompanying video which goes into greater detail.

What is the Alkaline Diet?

What is the Alkaline Diet?I heard about the alkaline diet recently but had no clue what it was. I made a little note in my phone to do some research about it, and, to my surprise, it’s not a diet where you eat nothing but batteries. It turns out the alkaline diet is a lot like the paleo or caveman diet.

When following the alkaline diet, there’s a limited amount of foods you can eat, which include vegetables, fruits that aren’t sweet, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes (but not peanuts), and healthy oils and fats. Another staple of the alkaline diet is himalayan salt. Foods to avoid when following the alkaline diet are all grains, meats, seafood, anything processed, anything starchy, sugar, oil, and fermented and dried food.

Sounds pretty limiting, right? To me, the caveman diet seems more appealing, as you can eat meat and a wider variety of fruits. But the ideas behind each diet are different. The caveman diet is to eat and live much like our ancestors from way back did. The alkaline diet is about balancing the body’s pH level. The diets that most people consume today are high in acid-producing foods. Many believe that keeping a pH level of around 7.40 will cure a wide range of ailments that perhaps our ancestors didn’t suffer from.

When we eat food and our bodies process that food, it releases either acid or an alkaline base into our blood. Things like grains, meats, and dairy products produce acid. The foods I mentioned that you can eat on the alkaline diet all release alkaline, which is why they’re recommended for this particular diet.

Sounds a little bit like snake oil, right? Proponents of the diet claim that it can help relieve headaches, congestion, colds and flus, anxiety, mucous production, and more. Maybe it’s just the fact that switching from a diet that includes a lot of junk to one that features only healthy foods just makes you feel better.

So does the alkaline diet work? I don’t know, but there’s certainly no harm in eating a diet that includes a wide range of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils and fats. In fact, I would recommend it, but not as a miracle cure for your problems. I would recommend it to those who simply want to eat healthier and feel better too.