Archive for the ‘Insulin War’ Category
All of you who are reading this article right now have definitely been on a diet at some point or the other of your lives. The battle of the bulge is an ongoing problem and we are always on the lookout for various means to win this war.
Along with exercise, our diet and nutrition also plays an important role in reducing our weight. Hence, this obsession persists in all of us to undertake some form of dieting. But going on a diet is definitely not an easy thing. What to eat and what to stay away from is always a perennial problem.
One of my friends told me that she ate the normal menu which she cooked for the family, but her weight loss recipe is “portion control.” This is a really simple diet plan. In this plan, you cut down on the portion of food you consume. For example, if you usually have two pieces of toast for breakfast, you should eat only one piece. If you normally eat two cups of rice for lunch, cut it down to one cup. In this way, you are automatically reducing your calorie intake by half.
Another popular method of dieting is to stop all intake of fatty foods and sugar. In this diet, you cut down on your oil, butter and ghee intake which automatically reduces your fat deposits.
While I was leafing through a magazine, I read about one of our Hollywood celebrities following the Atkins’ diet. This immediately aroused my curiosity about the diet. Though I have heard about the diet many times, I had no inside knowledge about it. So, I immediately set to work on it and found out certain basic facts’ about the Atkins diet which I want to share with my readers.
The Atkins’ diet made its first appearance in 1972 and was invented by its namesake, Dr Atkins. According to him, this method enables us to lose weight by inducing a change in metabolism. Our body burns both fat and carbohydrates to provide energy. If we reduce the intake of carbohydrates significantly, our body starts burning only fat to provide energy. This method is called “lipolysis”, which in turn induces ketosis. In ketosis, our body burns fat as fuel. Atkins also felt that ketosis will affect insulin production which will result in less fat being formed. And, once your body enters ketosis, your cravings for carbohydrates will reduce significantly which, in turn, will reduce your body weight.
The major difference between Atkins’ diet and other types of diet is that, while most diets restrict calorie, intake, the Atkins’ plan encourages us to eat more. While most of the diets recommend low fat, high carbohydrate intake, Atkins’ does just the opposite. Instead of carbohydrate and sugar, this diet wants us to consume plenty of fat and protein.
The core principle of the Atkins’ diet is that, by limiting carbohydrates, our body is forced to burn its stored fat, rather than carbs for fuel.
The Atkins’ diet has a four carbohydrates stage plan induction, ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance and lifetime maintenance. With the help of these four stages, you can reduce as well as maintain your weight throughout your life.Induction – phase 1: This phase lasts for two weeks, by the end of which you can obtain significant results. Another point is that, in this diet plan you can begin at any of the phase. But it is recommended to start with induction. As you cut back on your carbohydrates significantly in this phase, you will jump start your weight loss programme. In this phase, only 20 gm of carbohydrates are allowed and hence your weight loss is significant. As you drastically cut down on carbohydrates your body shifts into high gear and starts burning fat. This takes about 48 hours to occur and you may feel hungry and irritated for the first three-four days. But don’t worry, as soon as your fat starts getting converted to fuel, you will feel fit as a fiddle. Induction will strengthen your immune system and also improve our long-term health.Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL) phase 2: In this phase, the weight loss pace slows down as you add nutrient-rich carbohydrates to your diet. During this period, you will boost your body’s ability to burn fats as well as understand your body better. You will find the right amount of carbohydrates which you can consume and still lose weight. Your body will also prepare itself for permanent weight management. The amount of carbohydrates which you can eat is increased to 25 gm per day for the first week and increased in five gm instalment for the next few weeks. If your weight loss is significant, you can increase your carbohydrate intake. A person has to be on OWL till he or she is within three-five kg of their goal weight.Pre-maintenance – (phase 3): Pre-maintenance is a practice run for lifetime maintenance. In this phase, you are fast approaching your target. As long as you continue to lose weight, you can increase your weekly allotment of carbohydrates by another 10 gm. You will be in this phase till you reach your goal and stay on it for one month. The ultimate goal here is to achieve a state of balance called Atkins’ Carbohydrate Equilibrium (ACE). The ACE is your individual level of carbohydrate intake wherein you neither gain nor lose weight.Lifetime maintenance phase 4: In this phase, you have to focus on your individual ACE and strive to stay within two kg of your ideal weight for the rest of your life. By following a sensible eating plan, you gain energy, better health and confidence in yourself.
By following these four phases, you not only achieve your dream weight but are also able to maintain it throughout your life. You can learn more about this diet by reading the book, Dr Atkins’ New Diet Revolution. But, as with any other diet, this plan also has its pros and cons. The good point is that this diet recommends exercise as a vital part of the weight loss programme. Another point to be noted is that you cannot start on carbohydrates after you lose weight as this will result in your gaining back all that you have lost.
Medical experts advise that people who have gout, kidney problems, diabetes or are pregnant women should not follow this diet plan. As this diet is very stringent, do consult your doctor/dietician for proper advice.
Your dietician will provide you with a proper menu chart as to what should be eaten, in what quantities, etc, based on your eating habits and general lifestyle.
Happy dieting and hoping to see slimmer and fitter readers.
Despite a popular, misconstrued public belief in the healthiness of dietary polyunsaturated fat oils, this health scourge on human health has kept several industries and professions lucratively employed for almost a century. In objective, scientifically researched studies conducted over 70 years ago, researchers indicated that the human body does require a daily intake of fats to function optimally but, the type of fats consumed are just as important as the amounts, if not more so.
Looking at these objective research studies done in the past, it becomes more clear that certain industries have played a key role in what oils were, and still are, served up on our dietary menus. The conflicting evidence has either been purposely ignored, or grossly misjudged in the complex role that saturated fats play in healthy human bodies.
Once upon a time in America’s history, there was a time that saturated animals fats were our main source of dietary fat. Saturated fats like beef tallow, lard, butter, eggs, were the daily diet fat norms. Diseases such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and diabetes were unheard of. In other words, saturated fats were working quite nicely for the human species.
Then a slow and gradual turn began taking place after the turn of the 19th century. In the second decade, illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes began to intrude and disrupt American lives. This gave birth to what we now have come to know as new and superior modern day convenience foods, new diseases, and, sick care management.
When did these health scourges begin to seriously threaten American’s physical health and emotional well-being? How did unhealthy polyunsaturated food oils end up in our food supply and be replaced by the beneficial saturated fats that were so prevalent in our diets for hundreds of years?
According to Ray Peat, Ph.D., a physiologist who has studied the effects that dietary fats have on hormones for over 40 years, says, “look back to the end of World War II”. “The seed industry was in a serious financial crisis. As a culture, we traditionally used seed oils like flaxseed oil, and several others, in products such as paint, varnishes, and plastics. But, this era was ending abruptly, and older compounds such as these were rapidly being replaced with newer petroleum substances (black crude oil). The seed industry desperately needed new markets for their seed products”.
A whole industry ingeniously invented news ways to convince a largely ignorant public, that seed oils were so much healthier than saturated animal fats or nut oils. This idea was so appealing that the manufactured food industry embraced it with open arms, despite clear evidence to the contrary.
Cattle ranchers discovered in the 1940′s, that when their herds were fed with, at that time, inexpensive coconut oil expecting them to fatten up quickly for market, they instead became more active, lean and hungry. A thyroid-suppressing hormone drug was then tried and the animals became less active, more docile, and gained weight quicker on less food. But, the drug was later discontinued after the discovery of its toxic side effects. In the late 1940′s ranchers then discovered the same thyroid suppressing effect of the discontinued drug by feeding corn and soybean grains (a polyunsaturated food source) to fatten cattle on less pasture grass, adopting the current modern day feed lot practices that are still being used today. This is a good reason to avoid commercially produced beef.
A second good reason to avoid eating it, which some of you may or may not be aware of, is that most all commercially produced animal food products (including beef) are laden with toxic chemical residues caused by the over use of antibiotics, and parasite controlling drugs. These toxic residues store themselves in the meat food sources fat tissue. Otherwise, if you can locate a locally grown, range fed poultry or red meat food source with very little or no drug use, these saturated food sources are healthy for you to eat.
Way back in 1950, unsaturated fats were clearly shown to suppress the metabolic rate, by apparently creating hypothyroidism. In following years, researchers looked for the cause of this reaction, and discovered that polyunsaturated fats damage the miochondria (digestive system of a cell) through body heat oxidation and enzyme suppression.
Human studies, as well as animal, both demonstrated that when strict diets of polyunsaturated seed oils are largely consumed such as sunflower, corn, safflower, and soybean, they act like toxic hormone, immune suppressing drugs inside the body. All unsaturated oils no matter how organically produced, cold-pressed, unprocessed, bottled in glass, or kept away from heat and light are health damaging fats.
And, animals that are fed a high polyunsaturated food diet, instead of a free range diet, will not produce a healthy saturated fat meat source.
Vegetable oils whether they are hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, or not, have been been scientifically implicated to be associated with a wide variety of diseases that have exploded in the American population over the last 70 years.
A coconut oil expert, Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D., author of “The Coconut Oil Miracle” says, when the attack on saturated fats like animal fats, coconut oil , and palm oil was at its peak, medical and dietary research professionals, who were familiar with the disease fighting properties of saturated fats were shocked and wondering why. They knew, and had thoroughly researched the effects on millions of people for thousands of years who maintained their traditional diets high in saturated oils. Cultures such as Pacific Islanders who consume high amounts of coconut oil as a dietary staple, have lead healthy lives free of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes, unlike their disease plagued polyunsaturated oil eating American counterparts.
Then, in the early 1980′s, just when it looked as if the real scientific evidence in favor of saturated fats was going to be finally assimilated and objectively viewed by the American health field, the ASA (American Soybean Association) developed a very slick money marketing ad campaign gimmick, based mostly on junk science and highly successful congressional lobbying tactics, built upon the the mass publics favor and accepted use of polyunsaturated oils.
In conclusion, it appears that Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential to the body, as we can not manufacture them. But, a proper balance must be struck. Clearly, this fat must be seriously reduced to no more than 3% of our daily diets. Whether the dramatic rise in cancer and diabetes rates is associated with our high consumption of polyunsaturated oils is unknown, but the evidence strongly suggests it.
If you are predisposed (a family history) to develop diabetes, or have diabetes, Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D. encourages the use of coconut oil. It provides a high form of energy, is easily digested, reduces stress on the pancreas, enhances insulin action, and increases metabolic rate. Coconut oil will help stabilize blood glucose levels, and helps shed excess body weight, he says,”it should be the only oil a diabetic should eat”.
It is the opinion of the author of this article, that dehydration issues further complicate serious health issues as well. The general mass population is severely dehydrated. Anyone who is looking to shed excess body weight, which complicates many diseases, should be drinking their body weight divided in half in ounces of pure water daily, taking care to add pure unrefined salt with the water. While food diets are often addressed as the most important issue, a healthy balanced daily water intake is also critical, and often dismissed or overlooked.
Water works wonderfully, alongside nature’s other simple nutrients at maintaining great health!
Bodybuilding is a spectator sport where the aesthetic look of the body muscles are displayed and adjudged.
The history of bodybuilding can be traced back to 11th century India. Men in India have been lifting stone weights called Nals to build up their health and increase their stamina. There was no physical display of the body. The ancient Greeks and Egyptians also underwent weight training to build up an aesthetically beautiful and refined muscular body which can be seen in their sculptures.
Bodybuilding as we know it now is a fairly recent sport, less than 200 years old.
In fact the first bodybuilding contest, called ‘The Great Competition’ was held in 1901. It was organized by Eugen Sandows, who judged the contest along with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Sir Charles Lawes.
The history of body building can be divided into 3 eras. In the period before 1930, men built up their physique to show off their strength and muscle poweress to the public. They were called strongmen who would challenge each other to contests where they would try to out throw each other.
Eugen Sandow was a Prussian strongman who had an attractive, symmetrical and heavily muscled body. He popularized bodybuilding and is known as the ‘father of modern bodybuilding’. He actively promoted the building up of a shapely body resembling Greek statues and was very successful in that. The very first bodybuilding contest organized by Sandow was very successful. The winner was chosen on the basis of symmetric and balanced development of body and good health. The winner was presented with a statue of Eugen Sandow by Sandow himself.
Today, the winner of the prestigious Mr. Olympia competition gets the same trophy.
The period between 1930 and 1970 has come to be known as the golden era in the history of bodybuilding. The Second World War inspired more young men to be stronger and aggressive. The rise of technology, better training and nutrition resulted in the increase in bodymass of bodybuilders. The Amateur Athletic Union for amateurs and International Federation of Bodybuilders formed by the Weider brothers for professionals in the sport organized Bodybuilding competitions in America. The National Amateur Bodybuilders Association formed in 1950 started a Mr. Universe competition in the UK.
With the advance in technology and medicine, the size and body weight of bodybuilders increased greatly after the 1970s. The use of health hormones and insulin gave them greater body mass and larger shapes. Use of other drugs followed, the disturbing effects of which can be seen in the declining health of former champions. Many athletes and movie stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Lewis and Frank Zane gave the sport great publicity.
Bodybuilding is not yet an Olympic event mainly because of the rampant use of steroids in the sport.