What if I told you that sugar isn’t the problem when it comes to struggles with weight, it’s actually the solution, and weight gain is an unfortunate side effect?
When it comes to weight, we love, love, love to blame the circumstances in our lives for our weight gain. Personally, I like to blame my thyroid and my crazy shifts in the ER for my weight problems. And I hear lots of other blaming as well from others – women think they are overweight because of work stress, relationship stress, no time for cooking or self-care, too busy with kids, various food allergies, menopause, PCOS. You name it, I’ve heard it.
One of my favorite excuses I always hear is sugar. Someone will inevitably always tell me that their problem isn’t their thoughts, it’s that they are addicted to sugar. So I’m going to come right out and say it: Sugar is not the problem. I’ll say that again.
Have you ever felt like you were in a fog while you were eating?
You find yourself eating when you don’t really want to be, and you feel urges and cravings that seem so impossible to resist. Trying to take responsibility when I also felt so powerless in the face of food was a difficult thing to do.
I like using the garden metaphor to explain what’s going on here. You plant a seed in the soil, and then some time later, the seedling pops up. A whole bunch of biology and nature occurs deep down in the soil before that seedling ever emerges. We love to watch the garden grow, but we rarely think about what’s going on under the soil.
All of our eating behaviors – the overeating, binging, emotional eating, the fog eating – it’s like the plant we see on the surface. But it’s the stuff that’s going on deeper inside us, this is where everything really stems from.
We all get frustrated when we listen to a news report touting all the health benefits of a certain food, and then the following month another news report describes all the ways that same food is trying to kill us. Most of the time, we receive conflicting advice because the answer is not straightforward. Such is the case with coffee.
A new study from the New England Journal of Medicine tries to put the issue of coffee and our health to rest. The authors’ take home message: caffeinated coffee doesn’t increase your risk for heart disease or cancer, and in fact, three to five cups a day can actually reduce your risk of certain diseases.
Coffee itself is loaded with phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals that help reduce oxidative stress in the body, improve the gut microbiome, and regulate glucose and fat metabolism. This where all the health benefits of coffee come from.
But the caffeine found in coffee is where many of its problems lie. Caffeine affects nearly all of...
First an apology - the video has terrible sound this week, so I've opted to leave it out this week!
Many of us often wish for a “magic pill” to make weight loss faster and easier than it typically is for us. At the end of the day, losing weight means we have to eat a little bit less than we’re used to. For some people, though, their ravenous appetite makes it feel impossibly difficult to do so.
Our stance on weight loss drugs here at Wayza Health is that they are never enough to produce sustainable weight loss. And the reason for this is that if the methods aren’t sustainable, the results won’t be sustainable either. This means that if you don’t make changes to your eating habits, and address the overeating, binge eating, and emotional eating that got you overweight in the first place, when you stop taking the drug, the weight will come back on.
Having said that, there are good physiological reasons why people may struggle with a ravenous appetite...
Many people have the goal of obtaining 10,000 steps per day. Have you ever wondered where that magical number of 10,000 steps came from? Interestingly, it didn’t come from science. In fact, it originated from Japan in 1965, with a company that sold pedometers. The Japanese name for this gadget translates to “the 10,000 step meter”. And thus a trend was born.
However, since collecting 10,000 daily steps became trendy, lots of research has been done to support the notion.
Here’s what we know:
One of the benefits of exercise when it comes to weight loss is that we tend to metabolize fat at a higher rate after exercise. However, prolonged inactivity, such as sitting at your desk job all day, puts you in a state of exercise resistance. This means that you don’t see the usual improvements to your metabolism or cardiovascular health that you normally see after a workout.
And this is where the magic of the 10,000 daily steps comes in. A study from the...
This week I want to take you back to 1944 when the Minnesota Starvation Experiment was conducted. This was a study designed to determine the effects of starvation on the body and the mind. The original goal was to help famine victims at the end of World War II, when lack of food was a problem around the world.
It’s a fascinating study to read about. They recruited 36 conscientious objectors of World War II, all young, lean and healthy men. They subjected these men to three different phases:
Phase 1 involved 12 weeks of normal living and eating – during this phase, the men ate just over 3000 calories per day on average. This amount kept their weight stable during this time period. The data collected during this phase defined the baseline physical and mental health of the participants.
Phase 2 involved 24 weeks of semi-starvation – this phase was designed to create a 25% loss of body weight in the participants. So for a 170-pound man, for example, this would mean a...
I don’t know about you, but when I step on the scale, I get the sudden urge to smash it to smithereens with a sledgehammer. I’m sure many other women feel the same way. However, regular weigh-ins are a key component of many weight loss programs out there. There’s a good reason for this – studies consistently show that people who monitor their weight regularly tend to lose more weight. And despite our negative reaction to the scale, studies also show that weighing ourselves does not lead to a negative body image or disordered eating.
Scientists who study this postulate that the reason why weighing ourselves is so effective, is that it allows us to compare where we are now to where we want to be, allowing us to reflect on whether or not our current behaviors are moving us towards our goal, or if we have to make a new plan to reach that goal.
However, until recently, this theory had not been tested. So researchers at the University of Oxford decided to find out...
It has been estimated that 48% of the world’s population is active on social media. And although there are many benefits of social media, there can also be less desirable consequences from its use. For example, studies consistently show that social media use is linked with decreased self-esteem and increased depression. There are also many studies showing that exposure to appearance-related content on social media results in greater body dissatisfaction and a desire to be thinner.
And this isn’t really surprising, given that social media feeds tend to be full of carefully curated, posed, filtered and edited photos of celebrities and friends.
But here’s what might be more surprising to hear: scrolling through Instagram can have negative effects on mental health in just 7 minutes, according to a recent study done at Northwestern University.
And, a previous study from York University found that women who posted selfies on social media reported feeling more...
Slow, mindful eating is perhaps the most important thing you can do if you’re trying to lose weight or improve your health. Some of the benefits of slow eating include helping you eat less, feel more satisfied, and get more enjoyment out of your food. And several studies show that faster eating leads to weight gain, as does eating while watching TV or playing games.
However, if you’re like many, it’s hard to slow down after a lifetime of fast eating. So instead of consciously trying to slow down with your meals, a better approach may be to make meals more of a pleasurable experience by eliminating some of the distractions.
But what about music? Well several studies have shown that music can be a powerful driver of behavior. For example, one study showed that when German music was playing in a wine shop, people bought more German wine. But when French music came on, they bought more French wine instead.
Other studies also show that when slower music is playing in...
You hear time and time again that stress contributes to weight gain. It may be easy to assume that when we are stressed, we sometimes eat more and exercise less, but there’s way more to the story than this.
This week, we will take a deep dive into a paper from UCLA published in 2019 that really gets into the nitty gritty details of how stress can lead to weight gain and also how weight gain can lead to stress. I think you’ll come to agree that obesity and stress are much more intricately related than previously thought.
First of all, though, let’s take a quick look at what exactly stress is. In this paper, the author defines stress as “a negative emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological, cognitive and behavioral changes that are directed either toward altering the stressful event or accommodating to its effects.”
The stress response actually dates back all the way to our caveman days. In those days, our...