By now, most of our New Year's resolutions to lose those extra pounds have faded away, along with the dream of fitting into a pair of skinny jeans or a bathing suit this summer.
Do we get fat from overeating or do we overeat because we're fat? Confused? So is the rest of the nation.
There are several reasons we eat too much, and some are quite surprising. For example, sodas, iced teas and other sweetened soft drinks provide a huge surge in high fructose corn syrup, which tricks our brain into thinking we're hungry even if we're not.
If your dinner came out of a can, you'll likely feel hungry again sooner. Many cans are lined with bisphenol-A (BPA), a substance listed by the Food and Drug Administration as "of some concern," as it can lead to surges in leptin, a protein thought to be responsible for fat storage in our bodies and believed to increase food cravings and obesity.
It is unfortunate our government and nutrition organizations still preach calorie balance to achieve a healthy weight. Reducing calories is not sustainable, because although we initially lose weight, we also end up losing muscle and fat, thus becoming a reduced version of ourselves while our body fat percentage stays the same. After a while our bodies detect the cut in calories that leaves us feeling hungry and slows our metabolism. Eating more alleviates this problem temporarily, but also leads to the weight regain.
The weight-loss industry has spent billions of dollars studying obesity, and found that even back during the Great Depression when food was scarce and rationed and years before fast food entered our lives -- and our arteries -- excessive carbohydrates were found to be a problem. Whenever we go on a serious weight-loss mission, be it a diet, exercise program or both, we obviously eliminate foods like chips, cookies, sodas, sugary breakfast cereals, white rice, potatoes and a variety of other processed foods that contain the most fattening carbohydrates and fats. But we also tend to go for reduced-fat and fat-free conveniently packaged processed foods that, in order to improve their taste, contain some of the highest amounts of rapidly absorbed carbohydrate (sugar).
Eating appropriately for our age makes the most sense in this day and age. Younger bodies need fewer calories from protein and fat and can metabolize carbohydrates more efficiently. As we age, we should consciously decrease the amount and type of carbohydrates we eat and increase protein and fats from healthy sources. Fiber-rich, slow-release, natural plant-based carbohydrates help control fat storage.
I have put together a few "My Kitchen Prescription" tips to help you cutback on overeating and stay full longer, reduce insulin spikes, reduce cravings and help slow fat storage while increasing burning fat.
1) Stop drinking sugary and fake-sugar soft drinks. Stay hydrated with water and unsweetened natural teas.
2) Eat a big breakfast. Research has shown that people who eat a breakfast of more than 500 calories reduce insulin spikes and food cravings throughout the day. In addition, 30 to 40 grams of protein at breakfast help curb hunger longer compared. Visit mykitchenprescription.com for five fast and easy breakfasts that help keep you full throughout the morning.
3) Eat dark leafy greens every day. They're rich in B vitamins, folate and help protect against depression, fatigue and weight gain. People with higher folate levels burn more fat. Vitamin K in leafy greens is also thought to help regulate insulin and diminish cravings, but beware of a drug interaction if you take the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin). Good sources of greens include romaine lettuce, kale, collard and mustard greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts and spinach.
4) Eat smaller portions more often. Snack between meals with delicious organic nut butters like peanut, almond and cashew with celery and carrot sticks.
5) Eat animal proteins from good natural and organic sources that are wild caught, naturally grazed and pastured healthy animals. The amount of animal protein in a portion should fit in the palm of your hand.
Your health is my business.