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- 14 November, 2013Alkalize Your Body To Recover Faster And Prevent DiseaseAlkalize your body by managing your pH level to recover faster and prevent disease. A more alkaline body will improve your ability to remove toxins, and speed your recover from intense training.Having a healthy pH that is more alkaline is critical because if your pH is low and you’re more acidic, the body’s enzymes can’t function, negatively impacting protein synthesis and detoxification. The acidity of the body is measured by pH level, which is an acronym for “potential of hydrogen.” It is calculated on a scale of 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral and the normal reading for water. A value of less than 7 is acidic and more than 7 is alkaline. You want your pH to be more alkaline because this leads to enhancement of the body’s anti-inflammatory mechanisms. A new study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that by drinking water with a greater mineral content that was much more alkaline than normal (it had a pH of 10), subjects increased their blood and urine pH readings dramatically. After a week of only drinking alkaline water, participants increased blood pH from an average of 6.23 to 7.07 and urine pH from an average of 7.52 to 7.69. They also stayed more hydrated by elevating their pH. A previous study found that giving alkaline water to cyclists who performed a dehydrating exercise bout resulted in a substantial improvement in hydration levels and accelerated recovery. The study didn’t test work capacity or performance—only hydration status—but the findings indicate that a better pH can enhance these, especially in endurance sports. Back to the original study—it was done in “free-living conditions” meaning that diet, exercise, and daily activities were not altered in any way—the only thing that changed was the type of water the participants drank. The study also included a placebo group that drank normal water with a pH of 7, and they had no change in blood or urinary pH level. A low pH is linked with greater disease risk, including diabetes, heart attack, osteoporosis, loss of muscle mass, and cancer. Overtraining can acidify the body since secretion of the stress hormone cortisol will decrease pH. Eating a typical Western diet will also lower pH. Processed foods, refined sugar, corn, sugar, gluten, alcohol, and soda will lower your pH. Strategies to elevate pH include eating lots of green vegetables and high-antioxidant fruits. Green drinks will also help you get alkaline. Drinking water with a high pH, as done in this study, will do the trick as well. Take note that in this study, participants who naturally drank more water daily (an average of at least 3 liters a day rather than the total group average of 2.3 liters) elevated their pH level much more rapidly than the group as a whole. It took a whole week for significant changes in pH level to occur with the smaller water intake, whereas it took only 3 days to dramatically elevate pH in the subjects who drank a larger dose. Use this evidence to make a commitment to always drinking at least 3 liters of water that has a higher pH. You will recover faster, detoxify better, and feel more energized.
- 14 November, 2013Low Carb Diets Help Eliminate Normally Craved Foods From Dietby Charles Poliquin onWednesday, November 02, 2011 6:06 AMGet rid of food cravings that lead to weight gain and mess with your ideal body composition by eliminating those foods from your diet. In the long term, eliminating enticing foods that lead to fat gain will allow you to no longer crave those foods and be leaner. A new study shows that by eating a low-carb diet, participants significantly decreased cravings for high-carb foods, such as sweets and fast foods. Participants on a low-carb diet were also less bothered by hunger than a group that ate a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet.A low carb-diet is preferable for both weight loss and building and maintaining muscle. Food cravings and desire for restricted foods can contribute to non-compliance with diets that gets in the way of weight-loss and muscle-building goals. If you’ve read my articles on optimal carb-intake or rebalancing your fat intake, you may be initially scared off because of your experience of trying to avoid these foods that you crave. But new research supports the elimination of food cravings and the use of a low-carb nutrition plan for long-term optimal body composition.A new study published in the journal Obesity compared the use of a long-term low-carb diet with a low-fat, calorie-restricted diet in overweight individuals. The low-carb diet group was instructed to eat foods rich in fat and protein until they were satisfied, while limiting carbs to 20 g/day in the form of low-glycemic index vegetables for the first three months. Thereafter, they were allowed to increase carb intake by 5 g/day each week by consuming more vegetables, a limited amount of fruits, and eventually small quantities of whole grains and dairy products until a desired weight was achieved. The study lasted a total of two-and-a-half years. A low-fat diet group was instructed to limit calorie intake to 1,200 to 1,500 calories for women and 1,500 to 1,800 calories for men, with 30 percent of calories coming from fat, 15 percent from protein, and 55 percent from carbs.The low-carb group resulted in less preference for carbs and fewer cravings for high-carb foods, particularly those high in sugar and sweets. The low-fat diet group decreased cravings for high-fat foods and also had less of a preference for high-protein foods, which were restricted as part of this diet. Take away from this the assurance that eliminating specific foods that get in the way of the body you want won’t lead to food cravings if you do it right. The best bet is to eliminate the foods you crave, and for a lean physique with maximal muscle gain, opt for a high-protein, high-fat diet with minimal carb intake.Researchers suggest that eliminating foods you crave or prefer but don’t want to eat is effective because food cravings are a conditioned expression of hunger that result from pairing consumption of those foods with triggers. Basically, when you get hungry, if you eat high-carb or unhealthy fast foods regularly, you will train your brain to “crave” those foods the next time you feel hungry. The challenging part is initially breaking the connection between hunger stimuli and eating foods that you want to avoid. Eliminating them and substituting them with a preferable, healthier food such as a high-protein item, will allow cravings to diminish and you to feel full because you’re eating macronutrients that your body can use for protein synthesis.It may seem like a no-brainer, but, if it is, why do so many people struggle with weight loss? Probably because they go at it halfway and don’t completely eliminate the foods that result in cravings. In the study in Obesity, the low-carb diet participants completely eliminated problematic carbs and only ate vegetable-based carbs. Weight loss in this study was associated with reductions in food cravings, but because of the study design, researchers were not able to associate weight loss with robust change in weight. They do write that “additional correlations would be considered significant (between weight loss and diet composition) if a less conservative measurement was adopted,” indicating that future studies may provide further insight into how eliminating certain foods can support weight loss.
- 11 November, 2012Healthy eating starts with one key activity-healthy shopping. When you head to the grocery store, it is easy to pick up the types of food that are bad for our bodies without even realizing it. Shopping for a healthy diet can be difficult if you do not know how to do so, but with these tips, you should find it easier the next time you head to the grocery store. First, have a plan before you leave your house. Use the sales fliers to check out the great products that are on sale and take an inventory of your pantry and refrigerator to see what foods you need to purchase. Make a list of all of the foods you’ll need and stick to that list. Allow yourself one or two compulsory buys, but otherwise stay to the ingredients you’ll need to cook healthy meals for yourself and your family for the rest of the week. Before you leave, review your list and take out any unnecessary junk food. (more…)
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