Does Coffee Curb Your Appetite?

Thursday, June 27, 2013 18:30
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coffee-appetite-suppressant

For just about as long as I can remember; I get up, brew my coffee, and sip my first cup during my first hour of work.

I usually start to get hungry about an hour later. I guess it never occurred to me that the coffee was actually curbing my appetite. I always thought that I just didn’t like to eat as soon as I woke up.

In light of some new research out of Griffith University in Australia, I’m beginning to think differently. They are finding that coffee is an effective appetite suppressant among their study participants.

What The Study Says So Far

Their study is ongoing, but they have participants divided into three groups:

  • One group is given caffeinated coffee.
  • One group is given decaffeinated coffee.
  • The third group is given caffeine alone.

So far, the group that is consuming the caffeinated coffee has reported decreased appetite and increased feelings of fullness.

Is It The Caffeine?

Caffeine has often been included in weight loss pills and appetite suppressants. (I remember my mother using Dexitrim back in the 80′s, which is 200mg of caffeine per pill! src.)

It appears, however, that caffeine alone isn’t the culprit here, because only the caffeinated coffee group is reporting the appetite suppressing benefits.

Furthermore, there must be something in the regular coffee that is removed during the decaffeination process since decaf doesn’t have the same effect either.

What This Research Means

Coffee could help people consume less calories as long as the coffee isn’t some 400 calorie, Starbuck’s abomination.

However, making up those calories by overeating after the effect wears off would definitely counteract and benefit from the coffee. (Expect to see coffee supplements on the Dr. Oz show soon… Oh wait… He already has pushed green coffee, hasn’t he.)

Anyway, I can definitely attest to coffee’s appetite suppressing qualities, but what about you?

Have you found that coffee suppresses your appetite?

5 Overly-Processed Foods

Thursday, June 27, 2013 14:00
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doughnuts in box
Did you clean your kitchen out after reading our list of the scariest processed foods a few months ago? Here are 5 more overly-processed foods that you might want to toss if you’re looking to clean up your diet.

Flavored Rice & Pastas
Check out the sodium on those seasoning packets — you could be downing 35 to 45 percent of your daily recommended dose in 1 cup. Plus you’ll get an laundry list of additives and preservatives (and they’re not even made with real cheese!)—it’s just so easy to make your own.

Healthier Alternative: 5-Ingredient Spicy Cheesy Rice

Processed Pastries
Boxed cakes, cookies and doughnuts might bring up those feel-good childhood memories, but they’re just a high-fat, nutrient-empty junk food. Some boxed doughnut varieties can have as much as 65% of your daily recommended dose of artery-clogging fat for just one! You’ll also find trans fats in some varieties, such as cakes made with shortening-based frosting and cream-filled cookies.

Healthier Alternative: Marbled Banana Bread

Fake Whipped Cream
Hydrogenated fat, high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors can all be found in the ingredient list of this faux food.

Healthier Alternative: Homemade Whipped Cream

Sugar-Free Goodies
Many treats now tout themselves as being sugar-free such as granola, ice cream and cookies. Although the sugar content may be lower, the artificial sweeteners used instead are just that – artificial and highly processed. In addition, they’re also several hundred times sweeter than sugar. Some research also suggests that munching on loads of these artificially-sweetened foods may program your brain to crave the sweet stuff more often.

Healthier Alternative: Choose foods made with natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar and agave. A little goes a long way.

Kids Drinks
The recipe for these drinks: sugar + water + artificial colors. Although they may be the cheaper brand on the shelf or perhaps you got some on sale, they provide your kids with zero nutrients to help them grow and develop.

Healthier Alternative: Choose juices made with 100% juice. Check out my juice box taste test to see which boxed juice rated highest.

Tell Us: What processed food are you suspicious of?

Apple Cider Vinegar: Worth The Hype?

Thursday, June 27, 2013 14:00
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apple cider vinegar
There’s nothing better than apple cider vinegar for coleslaw, salad dressing and BBQ sauce, but in recent years this staple ingredient has gained popularity as a cure-all tonic.

The Hype
Nutrition-related tales claim that if you consume a daily dose of apple cider vinegar it can help with various medical conditions including heart disease and diabetes as well as aid with weight loss, digestive issues and bacterial infections. Many alternative-medicine practitioners recommend downing a few tablespoons a day straight-up or mixed with water.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Study: Kids Eat More Veggies With Dip

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 16:00
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green goddess dressing
If you’re looking to up your kids’ veggie intake, read this! A new study found that serving vegetables alongside dip leads to munching on more veggies. Interestingly, kids were also found to prefer dips flavored with herbs and spices over plain, more bland dips.

The Study
A 2013 study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that adding herbs or spices to a reduced-fat dip increased a child’s willingness to eat veggies. The portion-controlled 3 ½ tablespoon dips served to the kids had 50 calories, 4 grams of fat and 90 milligrams of sodium.

Pre-school children ages 3 to 5 years told researchers from the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Pennsylvania State University that they liked veggies when paired with a favorite flavored dip compared to eating a veggie without a dip or with a plain dip. Thirty-one percent of kids liked a veggie alone while 64% liked a veggie when it was served with their favorite dip. In addition, 6% of kids refused the vegetable when served with a flavored dip as compared with 18% who refused the veggie when served without any dip.
During a second experiment, researchers found that kids ate significantly more of a previously rejected or disliked veggie when it was offered with a favorite reduced-fat herb dip compared to when it was offered alone.

Dip Recipes To Try
Dips are pretty quick to prepare and you can do so a day or two in advance. Make a colorful crudité platter by cutting up veggies like carrots, celery, squash, cucumbers, red bell peppers and broccoli and have it ready to go when the kids need a snack.

TELL US: Do your kids like to dip?

2 Day Diet: Is That Really Enough?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 18:09
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2-day-diet

The 2-Day Diet was created by Dr. Michelle Harvie, research dietitian at Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention, and Professor Tony Howell.

The authors worked together in research exploring the connection between breast cancer and obesity. They designed this diet to help women with breast cancer to lose weight and keep it off for good.

Diet for 2 Consecutive Days

The 2-Day Diet is simple: For two consecutive days each week you follow a calorie-controlled diet. The rest of the week you will eat a healthy Mediterranean diet.

Research undertaken by the authors showed that this new approach to dieting can really work. It has even been demonstrated to be effective for women with a history of yo-yo dieting, who have tried everything.

The 2 Day Phase

You don’t have to count calories or go hungry on the two dieting days. Just stick with the recommended foods and suggested portions. The plan includes lean protein, healthy fats, low-fat dairy and fresh fruit.

The diet is designed to be:

  • Low enough in calories to allow you to lose weight but not so low that you feel hungry.
  • Nutritionally balanced so that all your vitamin, mineral and protein requirements are met.
  • On the two diet days you also need to limit your carbohydrate intake to 50 grams a day. This is because research shows that carbs make you hungry. A low-carb diet also promotes fat-burning and suppresses your appetite.

Eat the Mediterranean Way for 5 Days a Week

The rest of the week allows for a lot more flexibility in your diet. Your food intake will be based on a healthy Mediterranean way of eating with lots of vegetables, whole grains, beans, fish, fruit, nuts and healthy oils. It can also include small amounts of lean red meat.

It should be easy to lose weight if you follow the meal plans provided in the book. They are designed to be high in protein and fiber to help you feel full and reduce the tendency for overeating.

Contrary to what some people may think, a healthy Mediterranean diet should not include large portions of pasta, pizza and red wine. Treats like alcohol and chocolate are allowed but you should limit these to no more than 2-3 times a week.

Other Foods Promoted

Whole wheat bread, oatmeal, high-fiber cereal, whole wheat pasta, milk, yogurt, feta cheese, eggs, chickpeas, baked beans, tuna, chicken, shrimp, fish, walnuts, pistachios, zucchini, tomato, red pepper, lettuce, arugula, apple, plum, raspberries, apricot, fresh herbs and spices, olive oil.

Sample Meal Plan

Breakfast

Oatmeal and dried fruit
1 cup tea or coffee

Morning Snack

Pear

Lunch

Zucchini soup with basil and tomato salsa
Chicken and lettuce sandwich on a whole wheat roll

Dinner

Roasted vegetables with broiled haloumi
Homemade potato wedges
Green salad

Evening snack

Yogurt

Exercise 150 Minutes Each Week

For the first six months your aim is to build up to 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week. You can break it up so that you have 3-5 sessions per week.

Eventually you should increase your activity to 300 minutes of moderate or 150 minutes of vigorous exercise. This amount will help you lose weight and keep it off, as well as providing extra health benefits.

You should also do two or three muscle strengthening sessions and two or three flexibility sessions.

Pros

  • Easier to follow than most diets because you only need to strictly reduce your calories for two days a week.
  • High fiber diet helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and promotes healthy digestion.
  • Mediterranean diet has been associated with reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
  • High protein intake reduces appetite.
  • Includes a meal plan and recipes.
  • Provides vegetarian options.

Cons

  • Dieters may experience fatigue on the diet days due to reduced calorie intake.
  • High protein levels on the diet days make this program unsuitable for those with kidney disease.
  • The program is not recommended for teenagers, pregnant or lactating women and people with depression or an eating disorder.
  • Advocates the use of sugar-free gum containing artificial sweeteners that have been shown to negatively affect weight loss.
  • Some dieters may find it difficult to find the time to do all of the recommended exercise sessions.

May Be Easier to Follow for Some

The 2-Day Diet only requires strict dieting for two days each week. So compared to many diet plans it will probably be much easier to stick with this program.

This approach has been scientifically demonstrated to increase your chance of successfully losing weight. However, most importantly it makes it more likely that you will maintain the weight loss over the longer term.

The 2 Day Diet is available on Amazon.

Butter Coffee: Promotes Weight Loss?

Friday, June 21, 2013 17:06
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I just learned of a new trend among coffee drinkers and those following a paleo-type diet.

Butter coffee. Reportedly, it’s made by taking brewed coffee and blending it with around 80 grams of butter, which is about 3/4 of a stick!

And, this concoction is being touted as a way to give dieters energy and promote weight loss….

butter-coffee

src. nourishingminimalism.com

According to The Daily Mail, this concoction was started by mountaineers as a way to boost their energy and calorie intake during mountain climbing in extreme conditions.

There lies the problem.

One cup of butter coffee made with 80 grams of butter will deliver 720 calories in liquid form.

So, essentially a person is taking a cup of coffee with virtually no calories and turning it into a large meal by blending in butter. Also, proponents of this new drink phenomenon are promoting it as a way to get “healthy fats” in your diet.

I would agree that butter is a better choice than many popular vegetable fats commonly used, but to promote it as healthy is a stretch. Furthermore, to promote this coffee as a weight loss aid is an even bigger stretch!

The fact is, most people who drink this, won’t be climbing mountains or spending time in sub-zero temperatures, but living normal lives- burning normal amounts of calories.

Butter coffee is in no way a weight loss aid, nor should it be a regular part of a healthy diet. Most people would cringe at the thought of sitting down and eating 3/4 a stick of butter, so why then would they be ok with it blended into their coffee?

What are your thoughts about butter coffee?

Toilet Candy: Only in Japan!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 19:05
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This has to be the most ridiculous way to eat candy that I have ever seen in my life!

Yes, let’s teach kids to put together a toilet and then eat from it……

Foaming toilet candy none-the-less!

You’re welcome for the appetite suppressant!

We have covered a few strange Japanese food items over the years, but this has to be the strangest.

I love Japanese people and their food in general, but this is something I just don’t culturally understand, I guess.

toilet-candy

Would you eat foaming candy from a toilet?

Found on Laughing Squid

Omni Diet: Nutrition, Weight Loss and Health

Friday, June 14, 2013 19:33
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omni-diet

The Omni Diet was created by Tana Amen, a registered nurse and nutritional consultant.

Amen battled with poor health until her mid-30’s, which her doctors put down to bad genetics with a family history of heart disease and obesity. However, even when she followed a strict diet and fitness program she couldn’t find relief.

She realized she needed to find a permanent health solution and embarked on a quest to achieve this. The Omni Diet is the result of her ten-year search to understand the relationship between nutrition, weight loss and health.

Omni Diet Basics

On the Omni Diet you will eat 70% plant-based foods and 30% protein-rich foods.

  • 70% whole living plant foods provide disease-fighting nutrients.
  • 30% high quality protein keeps the brain sharp and muscles and organs functioning at peak condition.

Amen believes this provides the perfect balance and optimal nutrition to support health and promote weight loss.

Omni Diet Foods

The foods included in the plan were chosen because they are proven to:

  • Provide anti-oxidant support
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Enhance brain function
  • Satisfy your appetite with nutrient-dense calories
  • Control blood sugar levels
  • Decrease feelings of hunger and deprivation
  • Eliminate food addictions
  • Balance hormones
  • Increase energy and well-being

The plan emphasizes salads, cooked vegetables and vegetable juices, grass-fed meats and moderate amounts of fruit, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes. Foods that should be strictly avoided include dairy, sugar, processed foods and grains. However quinoa is allowed in small portions.

Amen describes the diet as “eating like a gorilla” and claims this way of eating will dramatically improve your health and add years to your life.

Nutritional Supplements

Certain supplements are emphasized because they are known to help repair DNA, which has an anti-aging effect. These include ginseng, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin B12, resveratrol and alpha lipoic acid.

Probiotics should also be taken on a daily basis to replenish your stores of good bacteria. Along with a high intake of fiber this supports the health of the gastrointestinal tract.

What a Day’s Meals Would Look Like

Breakfast

Brain Berry Smoothie

Afternoon Snack

¼ cup raw almonds

Lunch

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Afternoon Snack

2 tablespoons hummus
2 cups mixed veggies

Dinner

Serano Chile Shrimp Vegetable Soup
Simple Green Salad

Avoid Strenuous Exercise

Exercise is recommended but you should avoid strenuous workouts because this can trigger inflammation, which can interfere with weight loss.

You can choose fun and invigorating activities such as walking and Zumba. Amen also recommends lifting weights at least twice a week.

Pros

  • Emphasizes improving general health rather than just losing weight.
  • Includes six weeks of meal plans and recipes.
  • Addresses the importance of good sleep for optimal health and weight loss.
  • Includes a meal plan and recipes.
  • Nutritional information is provided for the recipes.
  • Provides advice for maintaining weight loss.

Cons

  • Author’s belief that a plant-based diet cannot provide adequate protein and other nutrients is not in line with general opinion.
  • Limits the intake of fruit to half a cup per day and does not allow whole grains.
  • Some of the recipes contain unusual and expensive ingredients.
  • Not suitable for vegan dieters.
  • Requires the use of nutritional supplements, which may be expensive.
  • May take time to see weight loss results.

Requires a High Level of Commitment

The Omni Diet was created to enhance wellness and help overcome chronic health issues.

This plan requires a high level of commitment as it may involve a complete change in diet and lifestyle. However if you are able to follow the plan you can expect to lose weight and experience better health.

The Omni Diet is available on Amazon.

What Really Makes You Fat: Bacon or a Bagel?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 19:23
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I recently found this infographic entitled A Tale of Two Meals.

While the logic here seems easy to understand, there are just a few flaws with their science.

Can you spot the errors in this infographic? Let’s discuss them below.

two meals: Bacon or Bagel?

The Most Disgusting Slushie Flavors Ever!

Thursday, June 6, 2013 21:41
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I really can’t believe anyone would find pizza or spaghetti slushies appealing.

Who would want to eat ice cold, liquid spaghetti?

pizza-spaghetti-slushie

Where can you find these slushies you ask? French Canada, where they are called Sloches. Here’s their tv ad.

That ad is as crazy as the thought of drinking pizza/ spaghetti slushies! I know Quebec is just to the north, but it seems like another planet.

Would you be tempted to try these?

Originally on Laughing Squid

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