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Glenda´s fitness journey

Dear David, When Milae wrote about you in her lifexperimentblog; she gave me the motivation and information to try and win a workout contest with Chape Fitness. She’s twigged me on to several new things but I have to say that winning this contest and being able to work out and chat with you for months has changed my life forever!  I want to thank you both for this golden opportunity! I might as well tell you; I’ve told everyone I know or meet about it🎉 I sent you a before and after photo. 😊🌟I cannot begin to tell you how wonderful I feel; all thanks to you and your online methods.

Glenda last summer
Before
Glenda May 19
After
I wanted to share with you a couple of the things that have made all the difference in my personal success. The first one being the DAILY DIARY of food intake.  Filling in the diary daily has made me study my intake of healthy food! Knowing that you were keeping up with it was like having a close friend to rely on to keep you on track. I love the variation in workouts so that every part of me was getting stronger! The weekly measurements became so exciting because I knew I was going to see improvements. I loved that you week by gave me body fat % and muscle % and improvements were on paper as well on and in me. I love that my husband and friends comment about the improvements in my size, my appearance overall and my self-confidence. I love that some of my small VERY young friends enjoy exercising with me. “Look what I can do, Gaga! ( the name little ones call me) Can you do this? “ and at close to 67; I can keep up, easily! The other amazing thing about all this that I had a minor injury before we started that we had to deal with an eye surgery, which I expected to really slow down my progress. But David, you told me how to handle my diet and changed my workout my workouts to meet my needs and my progress continued!!! I hope you can share some of my thoughts with others to encourage them to change their lives, too! THANK YOU !! THANK YOU MORE THAN I CAM EXPRESS FOR MY HEALTH!!!! ❤️Glenda K. I am sad my time is almost up BUT I plan to sign up and continue working with you in the fall!  

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Meal planning and grocery list with Evernote

Grocery list

Today I´d like to share some tips to save you time and make your life much easier, explaining how to meal planning and build your grocery list with Evernote.

If you have been following this blog for some time, you´re used to a monthly “30 healthy recipes” post. If not, let me show you the list of recipes available so far, in alphabetical order:

This simple list means 480 recipes, without a single paper, which proves that Evernote is a great tool to keep and search all the recipes you need. All you have to do is create a specific notebook for your recipes and save them all in there. But you can (and should) do more than just save recipes. You can plan your meals and your grocery list with just a few clicks.

First, when you´re struggling thinking about what are you going to eat next week, there is nothing easier than scroll down your recipes notebook and chose from a wide range of recipes. Then, all you need is a note called “Meal plan“, for instance. 

Let´s plan your next week´s dinners. We could plan all your meals, but this post is just to give you an idea of how easy and useful is Evernote for your daily life.

You check your recipes and chose what you´d like to have for dinner next week. Right-click on the recipe and select “copy internal link(Shortcut: Ctrl + Alt + L)

Copy internal link

Then paste this link on your “Meal Plan” note (Shorcut: Ctrl + V).

Meal plan

The table, of course, is totally optional. For new Evernote users who want to know more about creating and customize tables, please read this.

Once we have our internal links on our Meal Plan note, we can easily check the instructions, losing no  time searching the  recipe. 

Confetti Lentils instructions

To help us build our grocery list, all we have to do is copy (Shorcut: Ctrl +C) the ingredients of each recipe and paste (Ctrl + V) them right after our meal plan.  

Grocery list

While you´re doing this, I strongly recommend you to check:

  1. The most common ingredients, like salt, olive oil, onion, etc.
  2. What you already have in your kitchen.

This way you won´t buy what you already have available or buy the same product twice.

As we are used to taking our phones everywhere we go, you´ll have your grocery list available anytime, and you won´t ever need a paper to remind you what to need to buy at the store.

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30 healthy chickpeas recipes

30 healthy Chickpeas recipes

Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are one of the oldest consumed crops in the world and remain one of the most popular today across nearly every continent. Chickpeas have been a part of certain traditional diets for over 7,500 years!

Chickpeas are a type of legume that offer a range of health benefits. Chickpeas help to

  • increase satiety,
  • boost digestion,
  • keep blood sugar levels stable,
  • increase protection against disease
  • provides essential vitamins and minerals.

Increases Satiety and Helps with Weight Loss

Chickpeas are high in both protein and fiber, which helps to make you feel full and to curb food cravings and unhealthy snacking. Studies have shown that consuming fiber is correlated with having a lower body weight.

Chickpeas give us a feeling of being full after eating, while also helping to control our blood sugar levels and therefore maintaining our energy.

Improves Digestion

Chickpeas make my list for the 20 Ultimate High Fiber Foods, with roughly 6-7 grams per half cup serving. 

Fiber facilitates in healthy digestion by quickly moving foods through the digestive tract, helping to decrease symptoms of IBS and constipation. Fiber works by drawing fluids from the body and binding them to the bulk of forming stool, which contains toxins and waste that must be removed from the body.

The high amount of fiber in garbanzo beans is responsible for its filling effect and helps to improve digestion, but it does much more than this. Fiber aids in heart health, helps to control blood sugar levels, guards against cancer, heart disease, diverticulosis, kidney stones, PMS, obesity, and more.

Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels

Chickpeas nutrition includes starch, which is a slow burning carbohydrate that the body does not react to by suddenly spiking glucose in the blood.

Unlike simple sugars- found in processed products like refined flour, white bread and pasta, soda, candy, and most other packaged foods- the starches found in chickpeas take an extended period of time to break down once consumed.

Starches contain natural sugars called glucose, which the body uses easily for many essential functions, however glucose can be troublesome for people who are pre-diabetic or who have diabetes. The process of digesting and utilizing the glucose found in all beans and starches is drawn-out, which is extremely important for diabetics who have trouble reaching a stable blood sugar level after contain sugars due to a resistance to insulin.

Helps Protect Against Heart Disease

Chickpeas have been shown to help balance unhealthy cholesterol levels, to reduce hypertension, and to protect against heart disease in multiple ways. Fiber works to create a gel-like substance in the digestive system that binds with fatty acids, helping to balance cholesterol levels. Both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber have been show to be important in helping to control and manage hypertension.

Beans help to keep the arteries clear from plaque build-up, maintain healthy blood pressure levels, and decrease the chances of cardiac arrest and stroke. In fact studies show that having just one daily serving (about 3/4 cup cooked) of beans of any kind can help to decrease chances of a heart attack and to help balance “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Provides Essential Vitamins and Minerals

Chickpeas nutrition boasts high levels of iron, zinc, folate, phosphorus, vitamin K, and B vitamins, all of which are especially important for vegetarians and vegans who may be lacking in these essential nutrients due to avoiding animal products. Chickpeas are great source of folate, also called Vitamin B6. Folate is important for helping the body to effectively produce new cells as it plays a role in copying and synthesizing DNA. A deficiency in folate can contribute to anemia, poor immune function, and poor digestion; and for pregnant women, a deficiency can lead to neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

Though phosphate and calcium are both important in bone structure, the careful balance of the two minerals is necessary for proper bone mineralization – consumption of too much phosphorus with too little calcium intake can result in bone loss.

Chickpeas nutrition also includes zinc. Zinc is an essential trace mineral that plays a role in over 100 important enzymatic reactions in the body. Zinc facilitates in bodily functions including protecting against free radical damage (also called oxidative damage), helps speed up wound healing, plays a part in the copying of DNA, and helps with the formation of hemoglobin within the blood. A deficiency can include frequently getting sick with colds, leaky gut syndrome, consistent digestive problems like diarrhea, poor eye health, infertility, thinning hair, and even stunted growth in children.

Adequate vitamin K consumption is important for good bone health because it improves calcium absorption and may reduce urinary excretion of calcium, making sure that enough calcium is available for building and repairing bone. Low intake of vitamin K is associated with a higher risk for bone fracture.

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How a high-protein diet and regular exercise will help you lose body fat and improve your health

After six weeks, it´s time to review Glenda´s progress. I know you´re expectant! You can see in the picture that the changes are clearly visible. If you are a recent follower of this blog and you do not know Glenda, you can read the first part of her story here.

I like the before and after pictures like anyone else but I recognize that a picture is highly subjective and depends on too many factors like light, place, who took the picture, etc. And honestly, a picture doesn´t give too much information to any trainer. It´s great for ads but it doesn´t make our job any easier. So, here are her measurements over these six weeks:

Glenda 6weeks

Looking at the numbers, you do not need to be a trainer to check that her body fat percentage has decreased (from 44.7% to 33.2%), just like her total fat mass (from 68.0 to 47.5). You can also see how her muscle mass has increased from 84.0 to 95.5. This is the reason why not all of the fat loss is reflected in the total weight, she has also gained muscle.

You can also check that she lost inches in the typical conflict areas: abdomen, waist, and hips. Exactly where she (and anybody) wants to lose inches!

These results are available to anyone if you have a proper diet and exercise program. Yes, lifting weights helps lose fat. How? The muscles consume calories. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body will consume. That´s why you need a high-protein diet, to preserve and build muscle. If you restrict your protein intake, your body won´t be able to repair and grow your muscles after your workouts. Is she drinking protein shakes all day long? NO! She´s just eating the right amount of macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats) every day. She eats what she wants any given day, picking from the recipes I gave her, but taking care of the amount she needs. She makes 5 small meals per day, and she tells me every week that she loves the recipes.

Also, she kicks the gym four times per week… and she hurries up to message me every time she receives a compliment. I couldn´t be happier!! I´m not going to tell you her workout routines, but I can swear that I don´t torture her with burpees, planks or deadlifts. It´s all much easier than that: circuit training, isolation exercises, and some light cardio.

I asked her for some pictures to show you her progress, but we also got some great news from her doctor that she is willing to share with you so, she emailed me these lines about it:

“Hi, David!

I just had an appointment with my pulmonary specialist. I had a constant cough when I last saw her, which was before I started working out with you. When she tested me this week; I could take deep breathes with NO COUGHING!! and she asked what I was doing differently. I told her that I had been working out online with you; and that you had given me suggestions and guidelines for my diet… and what to drink!

She said “I can’t believe it! You’re healed! You are completely cured! So I don’t expect that I will be seeing you again.” WOOOHOOO!

And today, I was wearing a shirt that I had bought right before I started working out with you.

Glenda March1

At lunch, some of my friends said how loose it is and I pulled it tightly…

Glenda March2

even I was surprised. I haven’t completely gotten used to being healthy and not so fat.. and I am going to do even better this last month!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!”

And here she is proud, showing her stomach before the egg hunt on Palm Sunday:

Glenda March3

 

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30 healthy quinoa recipes

Quinoa recipes

Quinoa is a grain crop that is grown for its edible seeds. It technically isn’t a cereal grain, but a pseudo-cereal. In other words, it is basically a “seed” which is prepared and eaten similarly to a grain.

Quinoa was an important crop for the Inca Empire back in the day. They referred to it as the “mother of all grains” because the Incas believed it increased the stamina of their warriors.

Here are sone health benefits of quinoa:

Protein rich

It is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.

Control diabetes

Contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains. Fiber helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes, lowers cholesterol and glucose levels,  and may help you to lose weight because it makes you feel fuller for longer and is less “energy dense” which means it has fewer calories for the same volume of food.

Boost circulation

Contains Iron, which helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction. It also increases brain function because the brain takes in about 20% of our blood oxygen. 

Tissue growth and repair

Contains lysine, essential for tissue growth and repair.

Lower blood pressure

It is rich in magnesium. Helps to relax blood vessels and thereby to alleviate migraines. Magnesium also may reduce Type 2 diabetes by promoting healthy blood sugar control. 

Increases energy

High in Riboflavin (B2). B2 improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells and is known to help create proper energy production in cells.

Antioxidant

Quinoa has a high content of manganese, an antioxidant, which helps to prevent damage of mitochondria during energy production as well as to protect red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.

30-Day Custom meal Plan

Good health and a fit body start in the kitchen
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Build healthy habits with Evernote

Nowadays, there is pretty much an app for everything you imagine.   Visit Google Play Store and then tell me if I´m wrong. But more doesn´t mean better, and a different app for tracking each one of our habits may result overwhelming or counterproductive.
Instead, using a single and versatile app, like Evernote to track your habits may be the right solution in many cases.
As you know (or should know), Evernote is a note-taking app. A digital diary, in a few words. You can use it as your journal, day planner, to keep things that inspire you (like articles, images and social media post) by using Web Clipper, as your to-do list or done list, to take class notes and help you with your homework, plan your travels or your wedding, write a novel, record meetings, save business cards and, as you have seen on this blog, record your workouts or keep your recipes collection.
Keeping everything organizing in the same place saves you lots o time and help you to be more productive. And when it comes to building a new habit the last thing you want is the need to get used to a new app because it doubles your work.
As each note is a blank canvas, you can create whatever you need. That´s why Evernote is great to build new healthy habits or get rid of unhealthy ones.
Let´s not forget that to make sure your goals are clear and reachable, each one should be:
Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
Achievable (agreed, attainable).
Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
Time-bound (time-based, time-limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
For instance, the healthy habit #1 is drinking more water. You can easily keep track of your daily water intake with Evernote. How?
1 – Create a new notebook (Click on File -> New notebook) and name it My water intake. Click OK.
2 – Click on your new notebook and create a New Note (Ctrl + N) and name it Water intake. You will use this note as a template and this will save you a lot of time.water intake 1
Let´s say you don´t drink any water at all and you plan to drink 6 glasses of water every day. That´s a Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound goal.
3 – Type numbers from 1 to 6 and then add a checkbox next to each number (Ctrl + Shift + C). Why would you put checkboxes? To mark them every time you drink a glass of water. This ensures you don’t miss a single one.water intake 2
4 – Duplicate this template as many times as you need (Right-click on the note -> Duplicate Note). water intake 3
I recommend you to rename each duplicated note with the date and keep the first one as your template. It will take you seconds to create and rename the notes you will use in a week.
water intake 4
Let´s go a step further and suppose you drink too many sodas or beers and you want to reduce the consumption of these drinks by replacing them with water.
Using the same notes, you can keep track of what you drink every day and be conscious if you´re going in the right direction.
Just repeat the step 3 for sodas and beers and voilá! You will be able to easily check the days you did right, the days you did wrong (and also write your comments/excuses why those days didn´t go well), and keep yourself accountable and focused on your goals.
water intake 5
Access your water intake notes on your mobile device by adding a shortcut. An icon will appear on the main screen of your device making your notes just a tap away.
With your note open on your phone or tablet, tap on the menu button (the column of three squares) and then select Create Shortcut.
water intake 6
Your shortcut will appear on the main screen of your mobile device.
water intake 7
You now have a completed and easily accessible habit tracker! Any updates made to a note are synced across all devices once saved.

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8% body fat loss in 3 weeks

Glenda won my last contest three weeks ago. Her biggest problem was that she ate too much fast food and industrial bakery. Nor did she drink too much water. So we focus on their eating habits and add a training circuit four times a week. She has already lost 8% body fat. This was Glenda:

And this is her progress, in numbers:

You´ll have to wait to see her new image until we finish, but you can see how she loses weight, the perimeter of his belly is reduced, she loses body fat, and she gains some lean muscle mass. Also, she wrote me an email last week that I´d like to share with you:

“David,
        I luckily have had the opportunity, as you know, to work with you online. I could NEVER have imagined how it would change so much of my daily routine in such a positive way!! I just wanted to thank you and tell you some things that have gone terrifically RIGHT!
 
      I was overwhelmed by the instant response to the questions you had concerning what goals I wanted to achieve and my physical state (WHICH HAS IMPROVED VASTLY!) my likes and dislikes and allergies to foods, etc.
 
    Overnight , you had figured out my dietary needs , my body fat% and exactly what plan for workouts I should do. Then days in, I had a little medical tweak and almost instantly you had a new plan that I could follow. I think you are an amazing, insightful, innovative trainer!!
 
     I know you did not intend to actually change my life style but IT IS WONDERFUL!! Before I started this online training and diet diary; I ate so much just bad stuff and drank probably 1000 calories a day in super sweetened coffee and my gin and tonics;-) and I woke up tired and stayed that way most of the day.
 
      Now that I keep that dietary diary; my water intake has gone to  8 glasses a day …my coffee is unsweetened and no more than 2 cups and the gin and tonics are 1 a day…my snack habits of candy and pure carbs has changed to apples and bananas.
  
       I wake up earlier and go straight to the gym after a light healthy breakfast. I have loads of energy and I’ve lost 7 pounds in nearly 3 weeks!!!!!!!!!
          
          My husband LOVES those new meals! For the first time in FOREVER, he actually wants to help pick out meals. It’ s more than checking off the box and his habits are changing, too!
 
      I have told my friends! I wish I could tell others that if they have an opportunity to work with you and they don’t take it that they are missing out on a truly beneficial experience!
 
      I love the chat information everyday..There’s so many remarkable things I want to say to you about you.
Mostly THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I am really grateful to work with Glenda, because she is super motivated, very funny (always have some funny anecdote to tell me), and does everything I suggest, apparently effortlessly!! 

The next one could be YOU

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30 healthy kidney beans recipes

Kidney beans recipes

Let me share with you some healthy kidney beans recipes. True to their name, these beans are kidney shaped. They are especially good in simmered dishes where they absorb the flavors of seasonings and other foods with which they are cooked.

The most notable health benefits of kidney beans include:
  • their ability to detoxify the body,
  • improve digestion,
  • lower blood pressure,
  • lower cholesterol levels,
  • increase muscle mass,
  • prevent diabetes,
  • boost circulation,
  • stimulate the immune system,
  • aid vision health,
  • promote strong bones,
  • support energy levels and
  • strengthen cognitive health, among others.

Control Diabetes

Their high level of dietary fiber is great for people looking to control their diabetes or lower its risk. High-fiber foods regulate the amount of blood sugar and insulin, helping to reduce the dangers of spikes and drops in glucose, and stabilize energy levels.

Lower Cholesterol Levels

Another major benefit is their ability to lower LDL cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases. Kidney beans can help lower your chances of developing atherosclerosis and suffering a heart attack.

Promote Muscle Growth

Kidney beans are one of the best sources of plant protein. A single cup offers nearly 15 grams of protein. Lean protein breaks down into crucial amino acids that are used for energy production and the growth of muscle tissue, so if you are trying to bulk up and burn fat, kidney beans are an excellent option.

Boost Immune System

Kidney beans contain more than 10% of your daily recommendation of vitamin C in each cup. This can stimulate the immune system and promote the production of white blood cells, first line of defense against foreign pathogens. It is also critical for collagen production, and thus helps repair processes throughout the body.

Eye Care

Boasting a high level of beta-carotene, which breaks down into vitamin A, kidney beans are known for their impact on vision health

Lower Blood Pressure

1 cup of kidney beans holds 20% of your daily recommended amount of potassium, a vasodilator that can boost heart health. Potassium helps to lower the risk of heart attack, stroke and coronary heart disease.

Boost Circulation

Kidney beans provide more than 20% of your daily recommended amount of iron. Iron is a key component in the production of red blood cells. A diet high in kidney beans will boost circulation and cardiovascular health. Also increasing energy levels and delivering oxygen to extremities and areas of the body that need resources the most.

Increase Bone Mineral Density

The list of minerals found in kidney beans includes phosphorus, magnesium, copper and manganese. All of them play a role in bone mineral density. Increasing your mineral uptake will lower your risk of developing osteoporosis, keeping you strong and active as you age.

Stimulate Energy Production

Manganese plays dozens of key roles in the body, including the production of enzymes that are involved in energy production and mitochondrial function. This means more accessible energy in the body if you add these beans to your daily or weekly diet.

Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Neurodegenerative diseases come in many forms, but when it comes to preventing memory loss, thiamin has been heavily researched. Kidney beans possess high levels of this vitamin (B1), making it an ally for people as they age. Particularly, if they are at risk of cognitive decline or suffer from high levels of oxidative stress.

Improve Digestion

The most well-known health benefit of kidney beans is the impact it can have on digestion. Dietary fiber stimulates the production of gastric juices and promotes peristaltic motion, which keeps the bowels moving normally. Regular consumption can help prevent symptoms of constipation and bloating, while also lowering your risk of hemorrhoids and ulcers.

30-Day Custom Meal Plan

A meal plan is ideal for someone who understands the importance of nutrition and already makes good nutrition sources but needs help dialing the process in. A meal plan provides a customized schedule for calories, macronutrients, and meals.
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Flabby-Assed to Fabulous with Chape Fitness: 1M 1W Update

Mliae continues to do a great job and going in the right direction. After her surgery, with the hormone problems that it entails, we knew that the progress was going to be slow, but we are about to hit under 69 kg.

Also, the migraines do not help and I did not expect them to be so often, so I’ve changed her training routine to one more bearable.

The good news is that despite the medication and hormones, which retain fluids, the weight fluctuations are no longer so extreme and we are losing weight in a consistent manner. This is partly because she has managed to drink at least a liter and a half of water daily. This may seem little to you, but it’s almost double what she used to drink.

The best part is that she herself is finally seeing results and realizing that she is more toned and her abdominal perimeter is shrinking.

via Flabby-Assed to Fabulous with Chape Fitness: 1M 1W Update

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Not all calories were created equal

How many of you have been told that if you burn more calories than you eat, weight loss will be inevitable? How many of you have discovered that this advice does not seem to apply to you no matter how hard you try?

Then you think, “I must be doing something wrong, I’ll exercise more and I’ll eat fewer calories than I already am, that should work!” Unfortunately, more often than not it doesn’t.

You might think that a calorie is a calorie. But the way the body breaks down carbohydrates, protein and fat, and the effect they have on our bodies differ vastly. Instead of just counting calories, you should take care where these calories come from. The source of the calorie changes how you digest it and how you retrieve energy from it.  Even more important is the fact that different foods and macronutrients have a major effect on the hormones and brain centers that control hunger and eating behavior. The foods we eat can have a huge impact on the biological processes that govern when, what, and how much we eat.

Selection of food for weight loss

Protein

Protein keeps us feeling fuller for longer by slowing digestion, but its primary role in the body is to maintain and build new cells, growing and adding new tissues. Protein is beneficial for weight loss, as it contributes to satiety and offsets the amount of lean muscle that is burned for energy, in addition to fat, during a calorie deficit.

Proteins provide about 4 calories per gram but there are higher quality proteins, which may reduce appetite and optimize muscle repair and recovery (fish or eggs), and lower quality proteins (hamburger meat) that are loaded with branched-chain amino acids, which have been linked to metabolic disease and insulin resistance.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are by far the most complex because our bodies use the different types of carbohydrates (such as fiber, starch, and sugar) in very different ways. Carbohydrates are used by the body as a quick source of energy, particularly for the brain, liver, and muscles.

All carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram (with the exception of fiber, which our body can’t digest). Though not a source of calories, fiber is considered a high-quality carbohydrate since it slows digestion and moderates the absorption of other nutrients, like sugar. For this reason, high-quality carbohydrates typically contain fiber and are minimally processed. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Lower-quality carbohydrates almost always lack fiber and add little more than “empty calories” to our diets.

Carbohydrates have been categorized as simple or complex in the past but many doctors are pulling away from those narrow categories and moving toward glycemic index. An apple is a simple carbohydrate because it is digested quickly by the body, but the fruit is better for you than other simple carbohydrates like chips or crackers. That’s why the glycemic index as a more accurate measure of a food’s value (good or bad). When something has a low glycemic index, it raises your blood sugar levels slowly, increasing your insulin levels gradually.

Apple 600

Focus on low-glycemic foods like whole-grain pasta, wheat bread, fruits, beans, and nuts. High-glycemic foods include candy, croissants, and scones. By choosing the low-glycemic foods and thus the minimally processed foods, people can lose more weight, feel fuller longer, and remain healthier.

Let’s take it a step further and compare calories from two different types of sugar: glucose and fructose.

Starchy foods like rice, potatoes, and pasta are predominantly made up of glucose, a simple sugar that can be burned for energy by every cell in our bodies. It’s stored in our liver and muscles for a quick source of energy during exercise or while we sleep. Unprocessed starchy foods, like brown rice, potatoes with the skin on and whole-wheat pasta, contain the food’s natural fiber as well as some vitamins and minerals.

Fructose can only be broken down in the liver. It’s also the sweetest tasting of the three simple sugars. In nature, fructose is found in fruits bound tightly to indigestible fiber that, as we already know, reduces and slows its absorption. Unfortunately, the majority of fructose in our diets isn’t from fruits (it’s from calorie-containing sweeteners added to sweetened beverages and the majority of processed foods). Fruits also have fiber, water, and significant chewing resistance, which mitigate the negative effects of the fructose. So, try to change these processed foods for real fruits.

Calories in fruits [Convertido]    

Fats

In addition to being a potent and flavorful source of energy, fats slow digestion, deliver important fat-soluble vitamins to the body, and provide important building blocks for every one of our cells.

All dietary fats provide about 9 calories per gram but some fats are better for our health than others. For example, polyunsaturated omega-3 fats, found in foods like wild salmon and flaxseed, have protective, anti-inflammatory properties, whereas artificial trans fats have been linked to increased inflammation and heart disease.

A study funded by the Sugar Research Foundation (SRF) from the 1960s found that cholesterol and fat were the main contributors to weight gain and responsible for an increased risk for coronary heart disease. With fat removed, food lost taste and appeal, so manufacturers added sugar to combat this. The intake of sugar and processed carbohydrates went up, while our intake of fat went down. Dr. David Ludwig, a professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, says “Overall, these processed carbohydrates are worse than the fats they replaced.

Also, very-low-fat diets may actually slow a person’s metabolism down to a level where it is not burning calories as effectively as it could, says researcher David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD, who directs the Optimal Weight for Life program at the Harvard-affiliated Children’s Hospital in Boston.

The thermic effect of food

The thermic effect of food is a measure of how much different foods increase energy expenditure, due to the energy required to digest, absorb and metabolize the nutrients. Different foods go through different metabolic pathways. The more efficient a metabolic pathway is, the more of the food energy is used for work and less is dissipated as heat.

The metabolic pathways for protein are less efficient than the metabolic pathways for carbs and fat. A large part of the protein calories is lost as heat when it is metabolized by the body. This is the thermic effect of different macronutrients:

  • Fat: 2-3%
  • Carbs: 6-8%
  • Protein: 25-30%

If we go with a thermic effect of 25% for protein and 2% for fat, this would mean that a 100 calories of protein would end up as 75 calories, while a 100 calories of fat would end up as 98 calories. Studies show that high protein diets boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day, compared to lower protein diets.

Put simply, high protein diets have a metabolic advantage. If people increase their protein intake, they start losing weight without counting calories or controlling portions. Protein puts fat loss on autopilot.

Ultimately, the quality of what we eat impacts not only our weight but also our overall health and well-being.  Counting calories alone doesn’t work because ultimately it matters where those calories come from; this matters more than the number of calories ingested.

Do you think any of your friends should read this? Please, share on your favorite social network.