how-to-make-yourself-favor-

A new study says that we may be able to “brainwash” ourselves into favoring health foods.

Speaking candidly, French fries smothered in chili and cheese taste way better than broccoli. And that’s why it’s hard for many people to maintain a healthy diet, but what if you were able to “brainwash” yourself into favoring healthy foods over junk foods?

A recent study found that we might actually be able to condition ourselves into enjoying the healthier options, therefore, giving us a healthier overall lifestyle. The researchers say that it's conditioning that trains us to reach for the junk foods instead. 

The head researcher for the study, Susan Roberts, and her team put eight participants on a health-conscious diet combined with lessons on good eating. The subjects got half their energy from low-glycemic carbs and 25 percent from protein and fat, along with plenty of fiber. As a control group, they had an additional five people involved who weren't on the diet at all. 

They scanned the brains of each of the participants, and the results showed showed changes in the "healthy" group's addiction and learning centers. They saw boosted sensitivity to better foods and decreased excitement over high-calorie junk food. This showed that it is potential to retrain your brain in how it thinks about junk food.  

So, besides putting yourself on a healthier diet and learning more about the benefits of healthy eating, what else can you do to make yourself favor the healthy choices instead? Take your favorite guilty pleasures and turn them into a healthier option. If you love ice cream, go for the sugar-free ice cream instead. Try eating some foods you've never eaten before or ones you never liked them as kid, like brussels sprouts. Who knows?  Your palate may have changed. Consider eating more slowly and trying to avoid distractions while eating like watching TV; it may distract you from realizing you are actually full.  

Taking small steps such as these can be the first on your path to a healthier lifestyle. 

6-fad-diets-you-shouldnt-do-header

They may be trendy, but effective...these diets are not.

Do fad diets really work? As new diets pop up left and right, it's key to remember what a fad is. Temporary, followed for a period of time because it is perceived as popular. Thus a fad diet doesn't mean it is truly the best ever or will work for you and your body. We've put together a list of six fad diets you should take off your to-do list now, and instead get back to regular exercise and eating right. 

The Baby Food Diet 

On this diet, you are supposed to substitute breakfast and lunch for some yummy, mushy baby food and enjoy a low-calorie dinner later. But, not only does this not taste so great, the calories on certain baby foods are higher than others. Also if you don’t get enough calories, your body will have a lack of energy to run off of.  

The Sleeping Beauty Diet 

Yes, there is actually a diet where people sleep for days on end. Somehow it made sense to think we lose weight while we are asleep so why not just take a bunch of sedatives, sleep and burn calories? No! This is not effective and also dangerous. It starves the body and can cause muscle deterioration from a lack of movement and even death! 

The Cotton Ball Diet 

This diet, where people soak orange juice in cotton balls and eat them, was born on YouTube and other social media outlets. We hope you don’t try this at home. It is an incredibly dangerous way to suppress your appetite. It will deprive your body of proper nutrients and can cause blockages in your intestines. Plus, you may think these balls are made of cotton but they are also composed of bleached, synthetic fibers.

The Gluten-Free Diet 

Although this diet is huge in Hollywood and everywhere else, this diet is a no-no. If you have a real allergy or intolerance to wheat, gluten-free foods are a must for your health. But if you don’t have an allergy, it actually doesn’t do you any good. Plus, you are missing out on essential nutrients that grains give your body. Oftentimes, gluten-free foods have the same calorie counts, if not more, as their gluten-containing counterparts. When gluten is taken out of foods, something else is used instead and it isn't always the best for someone wanting to lose weight!

The Five-Bite Diet 

It’s pretty self-explanatory. You eat whatever you want for breakfast, lunch and dinner but only take five bites. The problem? You’re still not getting nourishing food because you could just eat a greasy cheeseburger everyday, but only have five bites. Those calories add up. Plus, how big of bites do you take? If it is a juicy cheeseburger, they’re probably big! 

The Blood Type Diet 

Based on the idea that foods you eat react chemically with your blood type, those on the diet with type O blood are to eat lean meats, vegetables and fruits, and avoid wheat and dairy. But type A dieters go vegetarian, and those with type B are supposed to avoid chicken, corn, wheat, tomatoes, peanuts and sesame seeds. However, science has yet to prove that our blood has anything to do with weight loss. This diet is also very restrictive...so just nix it!

Shopping-at-a-supermarketHeading to the supermarket can be overwhelming on a new diet, but technology has helped take away the guess work. Instead of feeling frustrated by your new diet, there are easy ways to shop for food, no matter what diet you are on. Our nutrition experts share their tips with suggestions for shopping apps to make your shopping experience more savvy.

About the Experts

Amari-expert-photo-FINALAmari Thomsen is a registered dietitian, blogger, and owner of Eat Chic Chicago. She graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Later, she completed her nutrition education at the University of Illinois at Chicago with a master’s degree in nutrition science. After starting her blog back in 2009, Amari has since expanded her career by developing her own nutrition private practice, Eat Chic Chicago. With previous experience as a nutrition coach for Lifetime Fitness and as a Healthy Eating Specialist for Whole Foods Market, Amari is focused on integrating modern and traditional techniques to promote real food nutrition. Find Amari at Eat Chic Chicago.

 

 

Elyse-expert-photo-FINALElyse Wagner is a holistic nutritionist and health psychology expert who helps women of all sizes stop food guilt, body shame, and emotional eating. She helps create peace with their body and build a better relationship with food as they finally give themselves permission to feel fabulous! After being taunted as "Obese Elyse", she has now found peace within her body and helps others do the same through her virtual private one-on-one group coaching programs. Join the conversation and get Elyse’s bites of wisdom through her award winning ETV! episodes and delicious whole foods recipes at My Kitchen Shrink.

 

avoiding-sugar-tipsCutting down on sugar will obviously improve our health, but are we doing it right?

We are all guilty of having a little sweet tooth (some more than others), but we also all know that too much sugar is detrimental to our health. In fact, a new study in The American Journal of Clinic Nutrition discovered that those who participated and ate the most sugar had 10 percent higher risk of dying from any cause when compared to the average person. Still, you don’t have to cut sugar out of your diet altogether to stay healthy. But if you do want to take it easy, check out a few things not to do when you’re reducing your sugar intake. 

Don’t Go Cold Turkey

Instead of cutting out sugar completely, enjoy naturally sweet foods like fruit. 

Don’t Just Avoid Sweets

While you don’t want to delete sugar altogether, sweets like ice cream, cookies and cakes aren’t the only unhealthy sugars. Foods like chicken nuggets, pasta, ketchup and even almond milk contain extra sugar. 

Don’t Forget Sugar Comes In Countless Forms 

From evaporated cane juice to high-fructose syrup, sugar is difficult to avoid. Be sure to take a second (and even third look) at the nutrition labels and ingredients.

Don’t Go Into This Blind

Decide which sugars you want to completely cut out ahead of time. It will help you stay disciplined and give you a plan of action. For example, you can avoid sugars that have fructose. 

Don’t Try To Outdo Yourself

It’s okay to have a goal in mind, but no need to go overboard. Challenge yourself, but don’t make it impossible. If it is your first time, start with 72 hour trial without sugar.

Healthy-Salad-DinnerUnderstanding what to eat is important to your health, but understanding the nutrition label can help uncover the mystery of what’s in the foods we eat. With this in mind, our diet and nutrition experts, Amari Thomsen and Elyse Wagner, share their thoughts on macronutrients. Do you know what they are and why you need them?


About the Experts

Amari-expert-photo-FINALAmari Thomsen is a registered dietitian, blogger, and owner of Eat Chic Chicago. She graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Later, she completed her nutrition education at the University of Illinois at Chicago with a master’s degree in nutrition science. After starting her blog back in 2009, Amari has since expanded her career by developing her own nutrition private practice, Eat Chic Chicago. With previous experience as a nutrition coach for Lifetime Fitness and as a Healthy Eating Specialist for Whole Foods Market, Amari is focused on integrating modern and traditional techniques to promote real food nutrition. Find Amari at Eat Chic Chicago.

 

 

Elyse-expert-photo-FINALElyse Wagner is a holistic nutritionist and health psychology expert who helps women of all sizes stop food guilt, body shame, and emotional eating. She helps create peace with their body and build a better relationship with food as they finally give themselves permission to feel fabulous! After being taunted as "Obese Elyse", she has now found peace within her body and helps others do the same through her virtual private one-on-one group coaching programs. Join the conversation and get Elyse’s bites of wisdom through her award winning ETV! episodes and delicious whole foods recipes at My Kitchen Shrink

 

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