Month: February 2014

Why Limiting Calories Often Does NOT Lead to Weight Loss

If you eat less calories than you expend for a long time (let’s say a month), will you lose weight? Of course – there is no way around it. Your body has to get the ‘fuel’ for your cells from somewhere else. However, things are not that simple. Here are a few reasons why:

  • It is slow – trying to burn fat by restricting calories is the slowest way to lose weight. There are about 9000 kcal in 2,2 lbs of body fat. 2000 kcal per day is a standard caloric expenditure for a person.This means that if you ate nothing for 4,5 days you would lose about 2 pounds. Once you start eating again, you are very unlikely to start eating 2000 kcal per day again. It will usually be a bit more and things will go back to normal.
  • It’s very hard – dealing with the hunger pangs and low blood sugar causes most people to give up.
  • If you are a women, at certain periods your body values your body fat more than your muscles or other tissue. It has to do with leptin and child bearing. This means that you will not burn only fat, but muscle as well, which will not give you a pretty result, to say the least.
  • Your body’s desire for food is designed to help you survive, not to look fit.
  • There are much easier ways! Restricting calories is like trying to get your can up the hill by pushing it instead of driving it – there is no point.

There are many more reasons – most people try to lose weight by restricting about 300-400 calories per day. After a few days, they experience very strong hunger pangs and headaches and sooner or later indulge in binges, which undo their progress. Your body does not look at your daily food intake, but works on a much longer time-frame and knows exactly how to keep you fed. It’s how we survived back in the day when there were no supermarkets and food was not as easily and constantly available.
A much easier and better way to lose weight fast is to:
For men – do intermittent fasting. It’s magic and is a very good way to get lean fast. For women – focus on enabling your body to burn the fat by manipulating leptin. If you have read about this you know that it is very easy and efficient way to start losing fat very fast.
In conclusion, restricting calories is yet another willpower-based strategy, which sooner or later can fail very easily. Exerting willpower to not eat is a very painful and slow way to ‘force’ your body to resort to your fat stores and start burning them.

Lentils: An Inexpensive & Healthy Superfood

Are lentils healthy?

Although many people do not approve of a grain-rich diet (we evolved on an almost completely grain-free diet for thousands of years and this continued for a few centuries even after the invention of fire), lentils are a different story in my book. They are very high in protein – in fact uncooked lentils contain the same amount of protein percentage-wise as lean meat – about 25%. They are also very high in soluble fiber. Several studies have shown that adding lentils to fast-digesting carbohydrates, like rice,  slows down the glucose release and insulin secretion, which gives you much steadier energy levels. In addition to that, lentils cost very little and are very easy to prepare and store.

Benefits of lentils

Here are in no particular order the benefits of lentils:
High in fiber – they keep your digestive system clean, help with healthy gut bacteria and lower cholesterol.
High in protein – this no only means they are nutritious , but that they make you feel full. A common reason for constant food cravings is low-protein intake, mainly linked to cereal snacks, like biscuits.
Cheap – Lentils cost a fraction of what meat and other high-protein sources cost.
Vegan – I am not a big proponent of a meat-free diet, but for those who are, lentils are an excellent ‘replacement’ for meat.
The only drawback of lentils is that if you do not prepare them well and add spices, they do not taste very good! However, following a basic recipe for a lentil stew makes them taste quite well. It is recommended to soak lentils in water for a few hours, which reduces the cooking time greatly.
I personally eat lentils almost every day as I find them very quick and easy to prepare. They also make me feel full and keep my metabolism firing.

Sprouted lentils

Sprouting lentils improves amino-acid profile even more and triggers the beans to produce Vitamin c. About three ounces of cooked sprouted lentils contain about 15mg of Vitamin C. It also makes them much more digestible. Sprouting lentils is very easy – you soak them in water for 8-10 hours, drain and let them sit for a day or two. You will see the little sprouts forming in no time!
Posted by Angelina Wright on February 12th