A client asked me the other day why do I think it takes some people so long to get results while other people seem to have faster results. 


I think this is such an outstanding question.


It’s all about habits.  Some people will come in each week and do hours of cardio, but then leave the gym and pay little to no attention to what they eat. Likewise others will come in do all sorts of rehab exercises and then go and sit in their office chair with their legs crossed for 3-4 hours a day and wonder why their knee or hip is still bothering them.


It’s all about HABITS.  To me the whole idea of working out, exercising and training is so that it makes what we do in our day to day life easier and more enjoyable. If you spend 3-4 hours a week exercising, but spend 20-30 hours a week sitting improperly or not paying attention to what you eat, you’ve dismantled all the hard work you’ve done at the gym.


See, working out, training and exercising is like fluoride for the body.  It fortifies the body so it doesn’t break down while you’re going through your daily routine. Eating properly does much the same thing. It fortifies and encourages your body to burn fat, digest and eliminate properly and repair damaged tissues.

The curious thing is many people treat fitness like we do our car repair. We think if we just show up and do some exercise, that’s the end of the responsibility. Unfortunately you can’t just drop off your body and pick up a new one, without aches and pains, and the perfect shape you want.  You have to be aware of your habits outside the gym as well.

Simply put, health, fitness and wellness is a lifestyle.  It is something that should be made part of your everyday living if you are going to get results and reach your goals.

Here are some HABITS to assist you in reaching your goals.


1.)   Focus on the task at hand.  If you’re training, train, don’t make it a social outlet. Get what you came to get done, done.

2.)   Plan your meals in advance. Make food choices that assist you in reaching your goals. You deserve to see the results of all your hard work, and it will help you stay motivated.

3.)   Get body work/massage done regularly. Whether it’s going to a massage therapist or using a roller or tube for self massage, take care of your body. It’s as important as changing the oil in your car.

4.)   Be aware of your posture. How you sit in your chair, how you walk, how you stand. You spend WAY more hours doing these things each than you do training – Fortify!

5.)   Get your rest. At the pace most of us are working, none of us can afford to miss any sleep. It’s a necessary part of recuperation both mentally and physically.


Your habits, like it or not, decide your success in anything you do in life.  Don’t just go through the motions. You’re putting in the hard work, why not see the results? Whether it’s physical pain, a few extra pounds you want to get rid of, or a financial goal you have set for yourself, your habits will dictate your success.

As always, let me know what you think.  Was this information a helpful reminder?
Jun
18
2010
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I’m going to make this post as straight and to the point as possible.  I was asked a couple of days ago what do I think about eating red meat.

 

First off, I admit I do on occasion consume red meat.  When I do, I try to make sure it is a free-range or organic lean steak.  That being said, understand that red meat is not for everyone. 

What's interesting is that as I sat and really gave thought to this question I realized the question is not so much about "eating red meat" as much as it is about the choices we make regarding food quality.

As you know, I don’t believe in one size fits all when it comes to nutrition.  Everyone is unique in their genetic make-up, activity level, and tastes, and thus have different tolerance levels and even allergies to certain types of foods.

There are 3 MAJOR concerns I have when discussing food choices, nutrition strategies, or "diets".

 

1.) What is your blood work telling you? Knowing your genetics/family history is a good indicator regarding what types of foods will or will not work with your body. Your blood work is a good indicator as to whether the food choices you are making are either helping or hurting your body. Be aware of how you feel after eating.

 

2.) How active are you each day? The body is a survival machine.  We were built to be active.  We spent hundreds of years running, jumping, climbing, avoiding predators, hunting for food and generally being active from sun up to sun down.  This activity level in addition to the climate largely dictated what types of foods were available to our ancestors.

 

3.) What kind of food quality choices do you make? Now in the age of convenience, highly processed foods, and a largely sedentary population, what is acceptable and healthy nutrition becomes a bit more tricky. When choosing a protein source, it should be a lean protein source that is either free-range or organically grown.

 

What I’m trying to communicate is that if you follow the previous outline I provided on how to construct your meals AND engage in challenging exercise 4-5 times/week, you will be able to tell very quickly which types of foods work for your body and which do not.

     

    It is not so much the food type that is the issue in this day and age, it is the way the food is produced that is really more of the problem.  Food raised and processed in unsanitary conditions is no good for anyone.  At the same time understand it is the WAY the food is produced, NOT the food itself that is the issue. I mean really, when you were a kid, did you ever think you would have to pay to have clean water to drink. Times and activity levels have changed and so must the way we chose the food we put in our bodies.

    Don't forget the blog post in which I discussed how you should construct your meals each day.  Here’s the link to refresh your memory (tips for constructing your meals).

    So, to keep it simple, make food choices that are as natural as possible.


    *Chose free-range or organic whenever possible,
    *Remember to keep your leafy green vegetable servings high and
    *Minimize your starchy carb intake, and for goodness sake
    *Get out there be as active as you can to help your body process the food you have taken in.

       

      As always, let me know if this information was helpful.

      Ok.  Here's tip #2 that will assist you in accomplishing any goal you are truly serious about.

      Have you ever thought about something, a car you plan on purchasing, a dress you want to buy, and suddenly around every corner you turn, there it is. That is a phenomenon known as reticular activation

      What that basically means is that once you make up your mind about something and have a sincere emotional connection to it, it activates your awareness to that item.  The interesting thing is, it works for just about anything.  Whether it be weight loss goals, financial improvement, an item you want to purchase or a way you want to stop or start behaving -- all effectively begin with using reticular activation techniques.

      That is why I often encourage the use of affirmations said 3-5x/daily (stated in a way as though the goal, item or quality has already been achieved), or posting images on your refrigerator of what you want to attain.  It sets the mind in the right framework of success.  It makes you more aware and connected to your goal and thus increases your chances of success.  Just making a statement and "hoping" it comes true is nothing more than wishful thinking.  But making that goal a daily, conscious focus is quite another thing. It cues your brain to be aware of opportunities that present themselves to assist you in achieving your goal.

       

      Reticular activation also involves visualization, so that you visualize your success or attainment of the goal you wish to achieve.  World Class Athletes have been doing it for years, CEO's have utilized the concept to create their success and many of my clients utilize these techniques to achieve their body transformation goals.

      In my Free Special Report and Audio I further outline how you can utilize goal setting and other reticular activation techniques.

      Set a plan, focus on it, execute it and achieve it.

      As always please let me know if this information was helpful.

      I guess I'll have to be the Bad Guy this week. 

      I am often approached and asked about such and such exercise or cardio routine. The individual is usually very excited and has high hopes that THIS specific program or exercise is THE answer to whatever has been sabotaging their success.

      I hate to break to you, but there are no magic exercises, there are no bad foods and you don't have to run for hours to achieve a good cardio burn that burns crazy calories.

      Marketing is the aspect of business whose goal it is to SELL you something, typically for their benefit, not yours. Ask yourself if it make sense before you purchase it or build your expectations up.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Think about it, if it were that easy wouldn't everyone be wealthy, fit, and stress-free.

      What I can tell you is that you will have to make a serious commitment to your goal to make it happen.

      Let's take the good old idea of cardio. For ages now people have been under the impression that slow, or "fat-burning zone" cardio is the ONLY way to do cardio if you want to burn fat.  Now if you listened to my audio on the 20 Most Asked Fitness Questions, you know that, slow, "fat-burning zone" cardio is for those of you just starting out on a fitness plan or do not have clearance from your doctor. Otherwise, interval training provides the ultimate results in body fat loss.  There's no magic to it.  

      What about nutrition?  Conventional thinking says you have to starve yourself or eat like a bird in order to reach your weight loss goals. Most of my clientele, especially when I first started with them, were eating too little and throwing their body into starvation mode.  Since the body is a survival machine, it hoards all the calories it can to avoid starving. You need to eat 3 regular meals and 2 snacks per day in order to lose weight quickly and keep it off.

      I also recently heard the statement "I only do cardio because I don't have time to do resistance (weight) training". Guess what? Circuits would accomplish both goals.  Doing 5-7 resistance exercises in a row that involve/require your total body to work will burn FAR MORE calories than cardio alone.  Don't believe me? Google it. You don't have to spend hours upon hours at the gym unless you want to. There are effective ways to train your body to get the results you want and still leave time for a fulfilling life.

      Don't be misinformed. I WILL provide you with accurate information and products that WILL get you results quickly.

      Sorry to be the Bad Guy, but someone had to dispel the myths, rumors, and magical thinking.  Besides, none of those ways of thinking will ever get you to your goals.

      As always, let me know if this information was helpful.

      HELP!

       

      I’ve been blog posting largely based on the experiences I have had or presently have with clients.  So far I’ve shared information on using self-massage techniques to help get you out of pain, information on carbs and generally how to create meals that will keep you on track, how to get rid of painful wrists and shoulders, and how stress may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts, and finally I shared with you how to assess the magic bullets that the media is constantly trying to sell you.

       

      What I realized however is that while I may think the information is valuable and important, that doesn’t mean you do. So I thought the best way to improve the quality of the post that I put up is to ask you, “Is anyone experiencing pain issues I have not addressed, or has a nutrition question that might assist you with?"

       

      I believe this whole social media thing is a great opportunity to share valuable information and network at levels never seen before.  Though I realize that this is often the case, I would like to use this social vehicle to inform and empower as many of you out there as possible, to assist you in getting out of pain, get into your best shape, and improve your overall quality of life.  Yeah, I know it’s sounds kind of corny, but hey, it’s the gift I have and I want to share it.

       

      Let me know if there is anything I can help you with.

      I’ve had it!


      I’ve sat quietly by and politely smiled when I’ve heard people speaking about the huge success of using this potion ‘X’ or make claims about this pill ‘Y’ or tonic ‘Z’. Commercials, magazine ads, and advertorials (when a company writes an article that appears to be informational or educational in content, when in fact it is an advertisement for their product) are making all sorts of claims about what we all NEED in order to be healthy.



      I was watching TV the other day and noticed several ads came on about a product that was touting the health benefits of a certain drink. I remember yet another one that talked about the lack of nutrients in our soil, so people should start taking these pills to assure their health. Then of course there was the exercise DVD's that tell you how amazing your results will be by doing their 'special' program.



      Needless to say I am all for health, fitness, and wellness. But is it just me, or has the marketing and snake oil selling gotten way out of hand?



      I don’t deny that the quality of the soil is depleted, and that we probably all take in more toxins than is healthy for us. What gets under my skin is the shear outrageousness of the claims and the backwards thinking that is used to sell the products.



      If you have the discipline to take product ‘X’ 4 times per day with meals and every other weekend, couldn’t you use that same discipline to prepare your “real food” meals prior to each day and receive even more benefits from consuming actual food instead of a pill or drink?



      The same idea applies to your health. There is no magic exercise program out there, only the one that you commit to doing on a consistent basis.  If you’re consistent and improve the way you eat, you will get results. Now for some people that may be hiring a Fitness Coach, or purchasing a set of exercise DVD’s, but you have to utilize the information and motivation if you want to see a result from your investment.  Just showing up and going through the motions won't give you the results you want.



      I don’t know about you, but it sounds like some old fashioned reality is what is needed to me.


      1.)    Your body was built to move. Because we spend so much time inactive,  exercise is a way to give your body what IT NEEDS – challenging physical movement that gets the blood pumping and produces and some perspiration. Remember Not All Movement is Good Movement. First get proper instruction.

      2.)    Watch what you put in your body. Garbage in, Garbage out. Take the time to prepare your meals ahead of time so you don't make poor food choices because your starving. NO amount of special antioxidant drinks or pills will cure inactivity and poor food choices!!

      3.)    Make time for consistent fitness in your life, if not daily then 3x/week minimum. Many of us are stressed out beyond belief. How well you take care of your physical body, or fail to, will dictate how long and how well you live and enjoy your life.  Energy drinks won't fix the problem.


      4.)   Make a Plan. If you really want to see a change in anything in your life, make a plan with 3-4 realistic short term goals and 1 long term goal, and get to work.


      It is my intention to use these blog posts to assist you in achieving your health, fitness and wellness goals, by providing reliable, practical information that when you use it consistently, you will get the results you need.



      Make a commitment to yourself Today to Get Out Of Pain, and Get In Your Best Shape.



      Here’s a FREE BONUS to get you started.

      WELLNESSTOFITNESSIN4EASYSTEPS.doc

      As I discussed in part 1, we can all admit that when we are under a great deal of stress it is difficult for us to commit to our healthy eating plan.
       

      I discussed the hormones Cortisol (the stress hormone) and Serotonin (the feel good hormone) and how they each play an important role in food cravings, and fat storage.  In part 2, let’s take a closer look at stress and ways to manage it so that it doesn’t sabotage your weight loss goals.

       

      Stress is a part of life.  Whether it’s the baby crying, the irritability of a loved one, the endless deadlines at work, or the constant flow of bills, stress is a part of all of our daily lives.  But not all stress is bad.  In some cases stress actually assists us in being our best selves by increasing our awareness and attentiveness to a situation. As a practicing psychotherapist for 7 years, and a fitness coach for the past 14 years, it has been my experience that the main culprit when it comes to stress sabotaging weight loss goals is chronic stress.

       

       

       

      Stress is defined as a mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences affecting physical health, usually by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression.

      I want to be clear; a “stressor” is the precipitating event or situation which can cause a response of “stress”.  Thus, a stressor is only stressful if you deem it to be so.  How you handle, or fail to handle the stressors in your life is what determines your stress level and your ability to maintain your commitments to your weight loss goals. 

       

      There are two types of stressors:

      • Acute stressors which are similar to the flight or fight response, where you have an immediate physical response to the event, situation, or request and
      • Chronic stressors which are directly related to long term exposure to situations in which you respond to in a stressful manner.   What we need to understand and remember is that stress is as individual as styles and tastes of clothes.  What one person finds intolerable, another person may not be bothered by at all. 

         

         

        The first thing to do to learn to manage your stress level better is to start taking notice of situations that cause you stress.  What type of unique response do you have and to what types of situations?  Begin to notice your internal dialogue.  What is it saying?  Is it encouraging you to move forward or is it negative and self-defeating?  This first step is important because once you effectively identify your stressors you are now empowered to change your reaction to them.

       

      The second step is HUGELY important.  Because believing that you are capable of making the changes necessary to enjoy a better, less stressful life begins the process of healing.  Ask yourself, can you avoid the stressor altogether or at least minimize your contact and/or length of time with the person or situation that creates the stress? 

       

      Once you begin to believe that you can in fact change the way you respond to a stressor you can then begin to make the small adjustments towards experiencing less stress.  You can look at whether you are viewing your stressors in exaggerated terms. Are you trying to please everyone?  Are you being too rigid in your expectations?  Are you dealing with an all too familiar situation and expecting a different outcome? Then take some deep breaths to slow your heart rate and help clear your thoughts.  Look at these stressful situations as something you can cope with successfully.

       

      Stress creates many different reactions on a hormonal level, mental level and emotional level.  I believe you are capable of sticking to and achieving your weight loss goals.  Here are a few tips to keep you on track in the face of stress and cravings:

       

      By taking the time to read this valuable information, you have already demonstrated that you are ready to achieve your weight loss goals.  You have the information, now it’s time for action!  To change, one has to move.  You are now ready to handle stress, rather than it handling you.  Move to a place of power in your life. I know you can do it!  If you have any questions or have a unique situation let me you would like help with, please contact me.

      Here's your FREE-- Checklist_to_Reduce_Stress.pdf

       

      May
      21
      2010
      Share |

      I hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed my newsletter.

      One of my clients had a great question that I’d like to answer here. She expressed concern that the carbohydrates (carbs) in the last recipe, on the newsletter, seemed a bit “high”.

       

      The first thing I would ask you to remember is that one meal, slightly “high” in carbs, is not an issue.  What’s of bigger importance is the total caloric intake of protein, carbs and fat over a 24hr period.

       

      We’ve all watched the media bounce back and forth between low carb, high protein, fat-free, and an assortment of other inaccurate and short sited responses to losing weight and keeping it off.

       

      I personally don’t believe in the “one size fits all” type of philosophy when it comes to nutrition. I genuinely believe that each person is unique in their metabolism, fitness level, time they have to spend exercising, as well as how many calories they burn just doing their daily activities. That is why I take a body composition analysis on each of my clients, as well as find out what a “typical” week of exercise looks like for them, before I create a customized nutrition program.  That way I am sure that the nutrition program meets their individual needs and lifestyle.  And to be quite honest, if the “one size fits all” philosophy worked, we’d be seeing a better improvement in the overall health of our population.

       

      With all of that said I can give you a general rule of thumb when it comes to creating your meals.  My reading is leading me to believe that perhaps portion control is really the key to losing weight and keeping it off (for those that do not want to measure their food).  What I mean by that is: picture your plate, now divide it down the middle so that you now have two halves. Half of your plate should be full of fresh vegetables (preferably leafy green). Divide the second half into to two equal parts.  In one of those halves you would have a lean protein source (eggs, fish, lean meat, poultry), and the remaining space would be filled with carbs (starchy – brown rice, whole-grain breads, etc.).  Does that make sense?

       

      The second general rule of thumb is: if you tend to start your day “high” in carbs, be sure to taper your intake of starchy carbs throughout the day.  The thinking behind this is that you give your body the rest of the day to burn off the starches you’ve taken in during the early hours of the day.

       

      Remember, one size fits all does not work.  Find out how your body works by getting a body composition analysis and that information along with your “typical” week of activity, should help put you right on target and ready for summer swimsuit season!

       

      As always, please let me know if this information was helpful.

      I usually like to spend these posts sharing ways for you to combat pain and discomfort. Because honestly, it seems like most everyone I speak to is experiencing some type of pain or discomfort in their body. But today I was approached by a couple that asked a very interesting question, “Does stress really affects a person’s ability to lose weight?”

       

      By all means, YES, stress does play an important roll in how effectively you lose weight.

       

      RING! RING! RING! The alarm clock sounds and jolts you out of your peaceful sleep. The day has begun.  If you’re like most of my clients you whiz through the day stressed out from the moment we wake up.  It’s no wonder over 60% of the population is considered overweight.  So what do you do in a world full of growing commitments, bills, challenging relationships, and constant temptations of processed food?  And why do you crave that processed food anyway?

       

      Let’s keep this simple, when you are under stress it is difficult for anyone to commit to a healthy eating plan. You begin your day in a whirl-wind just to get on the road and on your way to work, not to mention all the stress of dealing with traffic.  Once you are at work having to deal with the stresses of deadlines, annoying co-workers and demanding bosses; this is on top of the responsibilities you already have at home.  It’s enough to make anyone just want to indulge.

       

      When you are stressed your body releases a chemical called “Cortisol” (known as the “stress-hormone”) into the bloodstream.


      • Cortisol levels rise in response to a perceived stress; real or imagined.
      • An increase in Cortisol means a decrease in Serotonin (think of a see-saw).
      • Serotonin is the hormone responsible for relaxed and content feelings and, no surprise, is one of the significant hormones that assist in helping us fall asleep at night. 

         

        Eating can often be a distraction, because if you’re focused on food, for however long that lasts, you’re not dwelling on the problem that is causing you stress. 

         

        The funny thing is that when you’re stressed (remember the see saw)

       
      • you may typically crave carbohydrate-rich foods, which when consumed, create feelings of relaxation and contentedness. In fact;

      • when you stuff yourself or binge on large amounts of carbohydrates you may notice a “sugar high”;

      • In fact, this stressful lifestyle is encouraging you to eat high sugar foods to regain that pleasant feeling of calm.  Sound familiar?

       
      I want to make it VERY clear here that including exercise as a part of changing your physique doesn’t mean you have to join a gym! 
       


      What it does mean is that you need to include physical activity into your daily or at worst weekly schedule.  Unfortunately everyone seems to be looking for the quick fix.  In this age of almost immediate gratification, few seem willing to take on the challenge of giving their body what it needs. . . . .  EXERCISE!  A good weight loss plan is built around the client.  That’s why when I create programs for my clients I am sure to ask them what types of physical activities they enjoy doing and then include those types in their weight loss program to assure success – and that doesn’t always mean going to a gym.  (Please contact me so I can help you find out what works for you to be successful in your weight loss goals.)

       

      “SO WHAT DO I DO?” YOU ASK.

      Great question.  In Part 2, I discuss the different types of stress that affects us all, and ways to manage that stress so it doesn’t get the best of you or your waistline.

      Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but when the article, “Artificial Sweeteners Linked to Weight Gain” came across my desk, I was curious.  Immediately I wanted to run to my computer and let all of you know what the article said.  But I thought, one article doesn’t mean that much, let’s look a bit deeper.  And let me tell you, what I found in my research on this subject scared the heck out of me!


      Let’s start from the beginning.  I could bore you with the research and endless amounts of studies citing each of the artificial sweeteners I researched, instead let me first give you a list of the most common.


      1. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
      2. Saccharin
      3. Splenda
      4. Aspartame
      5. Sucralose
      6. Stevia

      I guess the best way to start this all off is to give you a quick and dirty understanding of how the body responds to sugar, how the body responds to artificial sweeteners, and then give you the down and dirty FACTS on what the dangers are of each artificial sweetener listed above.

      Let me first say I am not some organic, grow your own food extremist.  Equally, I am concerned about the short and long term effects of the food and drink I put in my body.  I haven’t spent all these years working out to keep myself healthy, only to destroy myself from the inside out.


      Sugar Evolution


      During prehistoric times sugar came solely from complex natural sources that had other nutritional qualities, such as fruit, honey, bark, and leaves.  And as we all know naturally sweet food is seasonal, ripening with the help of the sun only during certain times of year.

      As time and technology progressed, shipping and trade routes also grew. As did new refining technology, along with advanced food-processing techniques; thus we found ourselves with readily available sugar.  We have now created an environment where sugar is everywhere and in everything.  Unfortunately sugar is an empty calorie, devoid of protein, fat or fiber, often taking the place of real nutrients.


      Sugar and the Body


      Remember we are still very primitive, from a cellular level, such that we are all biologically predisposed to desire sugar. Sugar has not only a biochemical effect on the body, but also a psychological one.  I dare say most of us desire to have a sweet treat at least once in a while.  In fact, with the help of the media and some home/childhood experiences, most of us unconsciously associate sugar with love, pleasure, and reward.

      From a biological perspective we seek out sugar to fuel our muscles and brains. After all, sugar (sucrose) is a carbohydrate that metabolizes directly into glucose (blood sugar), stimulating the release of the feel good neurotransmitter serotonin.  In fact scientists report that eating chocolate initiates a brain response similar to falling in love.

      When you eat sugar, your blood sugar levels shoot up causing the release of insulin from the pancreas, which facilitates the absorption of sugar and other nutrients into the cells of your body.  If there are no other nutrients to help you sustain your blood sugar – you crash – your blood sugar level drops as quickly as it rose and you’re looking for another “rush”.  This is why it is so important to have a protein, carbohydrate, and fat source at each meal; it helps moderate your blood sugar levels and allows for sustained energy.  Eating in this fashion also allows the body to feel genuinely satisfied and release the satiety hormone leptin (which tells the body to stop eating).  Be clear, craving sugar is just the body calling for energy and a serotonin surge.  It’s the food choices we make that make the difference.


      Artificial Sweeteners and the Body


      First let me give you the response the body has to artificial sweeteners in general and then give the DIRTY FACTS on how artificial sweeteners affect the body.

      Recent research has found that obesity has consistently paralleled the increased use of artificial sweeteners.  The more manufacturers use and we consume, the higher our country’s obesity rates seem to go.

      As you just learned, typically when the body receives what it perceives as sugar, there is a release of insulin to assist cells in absorbing the nutrients in the blood stream. When artificial sweeteners are consumed, they have been shown to blunt the affect of the body’s ability to recognize sugar in the blood stream.  What that basically means is that when you consume artificial sweeteners it blunts or lowers your body’s ability to recognize sugar, thus leading to an increase in the amount of calories consumed.  In fact researchers found “that consuming food sweetened with no-calorie saccharin can lead to greater body weight gain and adiposity than would consuming the same food sweetened with a higher-calorie sugar”.  Further they noted that based on the lab’s hypothesis, other artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose and acesulfame K, could have similar effects.  In another study, people who used artificial sweeteners ate up to 3 times the amount of calories as the control group.  Plain and simple, artificial sweeteners confuse the body’s natural ability to know when it’s had enough calories (food or drink).


      With High Fructose Corn Syrup, the effects are even more pronounced.  It seems that fructose is actually “shunted” (pushed) towards the liver, unlike sucrose (regular sugar) which is broken down in the body, prior to reaching the liver.  And once reaching the liver fructose mimics the effects of insulin in getting the liver to release fatty acids into the blood stream. Thus it appears that fructose causes the liver to release triglycerides. Triglycerides are a common fat in your blood that is often used for energy.  In normal amounts, triglycerides are important to good health.  But high triglyceride levels are part of a group of conditions called Metabolic Syndrome.


      Metabolic Syndrome is the combination of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, too much fat around the waist, low LDL (good) cholesterol, and high triglycerides.  This syndrome will increase your risk of heart disease as well as for diabetes and stroke.


      Hence, fructose itself may lead to the increased rates of obesity, not merely through increased calorie intake, but through a variety of complex chemical reactions it stimulates in the human body.


      Now here’s the interesting thing.  If the liver is bombarded with insulin too often, and this is based on each person’s tolerance level, it begins to become less responsive to insulin being present in the blood stream.  When the liver is less responsive to insulin in the blood stream you can become insulin resistant – which can be a precursor to you getting diabetes, and you don’t want that!


      So there you have it.  Artificial sweeteners, sometimes called body toxins, confuse the body into potentially eating a significant amount of excess calories than it actually needs.  While HFCS through a host of complex chemical reactions actually can create an environment for obesity and possible diabetes.


      Now here are the most significant findings on the list I promised from above.


      Saccharin


      • Presently studies show limited or sufficient evidence of carcinogencity in humans
      • Possibly blunts the ability to recognize sugar in blood stream
      • Possible allergic reactions headaches, breathing difficulty, skin eruptions, diarrhea
      • Does seem to cause fewer problems than Aspartame

      Splenda (Sucralose)


      • Pre-approval research showed sucralose caused shrunken thymus glands (up to 40% shrinkage) and enlarged liver and kidneys.
      • Discovered 1976 while seeking to make new pesticide formulation
      • Possible allergic reactions skin rashes, panic-like agitation, dizziness and numbness, intestinal cramping, headaches, muscle aches.
      • Not a “natural” product (see the Splenda website)
      • Contains chlorine which is considered a carcinogen.

      Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Sugar Twin)


      • Has received the most complaints of any artificial sweetener
      • Use can result in accumulation of formaldehyde in the brain, which can damage your central nervous system and immune system.
      • Linked to neuropsychiatric disorders, including panic attacks, mood changes, manic episodes, visual hallucinations
      • Mild link to depression and male infertility
      • FDA approved though dangerous side effects found in rodents. Same side effects now being found in humans 15 years later.

      Stevia


      • Known as sweet herb
      • Has been used for over 400 years without ill effects
      • Reports from other countries show little or no side effects

      I could not close this article without sharing with you the dangers of artificial sweeteners and acknowledging that there still needs to be long term studies on humans to be able to say without a doubt -- artificial sweeteners are a danger to humans.  What I will ask you to consider the Tobacco Industry and its stand on cigarettes – supposedly no link between smoking and cancer, and the new knowledge on the dangers of heating your food in plastic – which we originally thought was safe.


      I encourage you to build your meals and snacks from whole foods whenever possible and avoid highly processed foods.  If you have to sweeten food, do so sparingly with natural sugars such as honey, rice syrup, molasses, and maple syrup.


      And if you would like my help on how to avoid artificial sweeteners and highly processed foods or to get your nutrition on track please visit my website now at http://www.energyfxfitness.com. I look forward to assisting you in being your healthiest and best.