Why Am I So Hungry All the Time?

Why am I so hungry all the time? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Sometimes it’s real hunger and we need to eat but other times we are ravenous just 30 minutes after eating! What’s up? Today we’re taking a look at hunger, what causes it and what we can do to manage it.

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WHY AM I SO HUNGRY ALL THE TIME?

It’s crazy, right? You just ate a huge meal and an hour later, you’re starving. What gives? Why am I so hungry all the time?! You might feel like you’re always hungry, or maybe you’re not hungry at all until you eat, and then you’re ravenous, or maybe y0u just ate a huge meal, feeling totally stuffed, only to be hungry again shortly after. Your hunger is always there and often in charge of your whole day.

FIRST OF ALL, YOUR HUNGER ISN’T IN CHARGE

I’ve been there, guys. My hunger used to be in charge, big time. The slightest sensation of hunger and I was in a panic that I needed to eat and I needed to eat now. I’ve since accepted that my hunger is not an emergency. Hunger isn’t in control and you have the power to decide how to respond to it.

AM I REALLY HUNGRY?

If you’re reading this, chances are you aren’t starving. We are lucky enough to live in a part of the world where we have access to as much quality food as we need. Your body will be just fine if you don’t feed it at it’s beckon call.

I’m not saying don’t listen to your body. Often, we’re legitimately hungry and it’s time to re-fuel. However, sometimes what we’re experiencing isn’t true hunger. If we can develop a better understanding of hunger and use our common sense, we can determine if we’re truly hungry and need to eat.

Our bodies are highly intelligent and complex but they don’t always know exactly what’s best for us, so next time you find yourself “starving” when you recently ate a meal, it’s time to look a little further. In addition to feeling hungry, sometimes our brains come in with an appetite and ask for things we really don’t need. Say hello to cravings!

It can be challenging to make quality food choices if you’re always hungry. You arrive home from work ravenous and it’s tempting to grab the first thing you see rather than preparing a healthy meal. You ate a sugary breakfast that left your stomach asking for more just 30 minutes later so you decide to hit the vending machine. Feel too hungry, too often and it’s almost impossible to consistently make good food choices.

If you’re constantly battling hunger, eating quality food in the right amounts becomes difficult to maintain, so we end up making poor choices and so continues the cycle.

What might be missing in your diet and what aspects of your lifestyle could be improved to help manage hunger?

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WHAT CONTROLS HUNGER

Hunger is primarily controlled by hormones and hormones are affected by the what and how much we eat. There are a number of key hormones that affect hunger. Leptin and ghrelin are considered to be the “hunger hormones” but serotonin, dopamine, neuropeptides and glucagon also play a role.

Understanding how ghrelin and leptin work can help us get hunger under control and reduce the frequency and intensity of hunger sensations. Today, we’re just going to look at ghrelin because it’s the bad boy responsible for making you feel so damn hungry all the time.

WHAT IS GHRELIN?

First of all, I think ghrelin is an appropriate name for this hunger hormone, don’t you think? It reminds me of gremlin, or some pesky, little monster that lives in our bellies, always freakin’ hungry and demanding that we feed it. Rawr!

Ghrelin is secreted by the stomach and is responsible for causing feelings of hunger, hanger and “I might die and/or kill someone if I don’t eat.” Ghrelin also encourages the body to store fat, particularly around the liver and abdominal area. Just what we’re looking for, right?

Luckily, we can tame hunger by controlling ghrelin levels though food and lifestyle choices. Ghrelin is affected not only by what we eat but by everything from stress to sleep, so approaching nutrition from a total wellness perspective can go a long way.

AGAIN, WHY AM I SO HUNGRY ALL THE TIME?!?

We know that ghrelin is responsible for causing us to feel hungry and that ghrelin levels are affected by our food and lifestyle choices. What is it exactly that we’re doing and eating that’s affecting ghrelin? Let’s look at how we can manage ghrelin, then look at what else can increase hunger.

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5 WAYS TO CONTROL GHRELIN LEVELS

  1. Avoid very low calorie diets.Heavily restricting calories (we’re talking 1000 calories per day or less) increases ghrelin production and abdominal fat storage. Your body is like, hey I’m starving over here! I’m gonna store every little bit of food I get, just in case I need it. This doesn’t mean you can’t reduce body fat though a slow and steady calorie deficit but extreme restriction of calories is dangerous for both your physical and your mental health.
  2. Eat fibre and high-volume foods.When the walls of the stomach experience stretching or pressure from high-volume, fibrous foods, ghrelin production is suppressed. Keeping the belly full of high-volume foods can go along way in managing hunger. I find including a few servings of vegetables at breakfast really helps keep me full throughout the morning.
  1. Eat more omega-3s. You can use an omega-3 supplementwith EPA and DPA and/or include plenty of foods in your diet that contain them. When we don’t get enough EPA and DHA, it can increase ghrelin production and thereby fat storage around the abdominal area. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids has also been shown to boost leptin and reduce inflammation in the body.
  2. Support healthy digestion.A healthy gut can help control hunger and body weight. To promote healthy digestion, enjoy fermented foods and beverages, digestion-supporting foods, spices an d herbs and consider a probiotic supplement.
  3. Eat less fructose.Fructose raises ghrelin levels and suppresses hormones that trigger fullness. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat fruit but you try to avoid processed foods which typically have a high amount of fructose in them, often in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. There’s nothing good in there. Eat real food.

Ghrelin is also affected by stress, exercise and sleep, so always remember that total wellness is key!

Okay, we looked at how we can control ghrelin production but what else has an effect on hunger? Well, there’s one huge factor that not only causes hunger but neglecting to manage it can have a number of negative impacts on the body. Did you guess what it is? Yep, blood sugar!

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HOW BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS EFFECT HUNGER

Maintaining stable blood sugar is one of the most important jobs the body does for us and we don’t always make it an easy one. We sometimes overeat or eat too much sugar, creating spikes in blood sugar that our body has to scramble to correct. This is tough on the body and is at the root of diabetes, obesity and a number of other health concerns.

BLOOD SUGAR PEAKS AND VALLEYS

Hunger is triggered by low blood sugar and this triggering can happen whether you actually need re-fuel or not. If our blood sugar gets too low, our energy levels drop and we experience hunger sensations. Alternatively, high blood sugar can be toxic and dangerous for the body. Big spikes in blood sugar cause big crashes in blood sugar, which causes hunger, leading to overeating and poor food choices. Maintaining stable blood sugar through a healthy diet can go along way in reducing hunger.

WHAT CAUSES SPIKES IN BLOOD SUGAR

Well, it’s pretty simple. Eat foods primarily made up of sugar and you’ll experience a spike in blood sugar and consequent crash. High blood sugar can also be caused by overeating. When we overeat, our bodies go into overdrive to deal with an abundance of sugar.

As the body deploys insulin and quickly compensates to bring blood sugar levels back down, we experience low blood sugar shortly after eating. That’s your body sending you a message that you need to bring your blood sugar levels back up ie. hey, I’m hungry, feed me!

When we experience this kind of hunger it’s pretty clear we don’t need to eat again.We just ate. Don’t add fuel to the fire. Let your body deal with the effects of overeating before you give it more to handle.

HOW TO PROMOTE STABLE BLOOD SUGAR

There are plenty of ways we can assist the body in maintaining stable blood sugar. Blood sugar levels are always going to go up and down but the key is preventing big peaks and valleys. Eat a bunch of sugar on an empty stomach, spike your blood sugar, the body compensates, crashing blood sugar levels, the body sends you a hunger message, you eat again, the cycle continues.

You don’t need to immediately react to that hunger!

Ideally, we’d prevent these blood sugar spikes in the first place. Lets look at a few ways we can help promote stable blood sugar levels.

10 WAYS TO BALANCE BLOOD SUGAR

  1. Include healthy fats at every meal.Fats have the lowest impact on blood sugar levels and help increase satiety by slowing down the absorption of glucose into the blood stream. Get those avocados and nuts into your diet!
  2. Eat enough protein. Compared to carbohydrates, protein is digested more slowly and when it’s consumed on it’s own, doesn’t create the spike in blood sugar that carbs do. Remember, low-sugar protein powder and bars are okay to help supplement protein but it’s important to include whole food protein sources in your diet.
  3. Eat a balance macronutrients at each meal to help slow down the digestive process. Carbohydrates are essential and typically make up somewhere between 40 and 60% of a healthy diet. The key is to include a balance of carbohydrates, fats and protein with every meal to help slow down their digestion and keep you full. That being said, sometimes we want quick digesting carbohydrates, for example, when we’re weightlifting or performing high-intensity exercise but we’ll look at that another day!
  4. Eat more non-starchy vegetables.These high-volume, fibrous veggies are digested more slowly than starchy vegetables and have a low impact on blood sugar.
  5. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol can cause an immediate rise in blood sugar and then a large drop a few hours later. If you do consume alcohol, do so in moderation and with some food in your stomach.
  6. Include fibre with every meal.Similarly to fat and protein, fiber can help to promote satiety and help slow digestion, preventing spikes in blood sugar. Fiber also provides a range of other health benefits and is a very important part of a healthy diet.
  7. Excercise. Exercising on a consistent basis lowers your blood glucose and helps keep blood sugar levels stable.
  8. Start the day with a balanced, higher protein meal.Even though I love oatmeal and smoothies at breakfast, it’s important to include a balance of fats and protein. A good choice for vegans and vegetarians is a non-starchy vegetable scramble with tempeh or quinoa porridge with nuts and hemp seeds.
  9. Don’t skip meals. Eat balanced meals and snacks every 3-4 hours or so to help keep blood sugar stable and prevent overeating.
  10. Eat ceylon, or true cinnamon.True cinnamon has been shown to help balance blood sugar levels. Try mixing it into tea or coffee, using it in baking and other recipes, sprinkling it on hot and cold cereal and even using it to spice curries. There are a number of benefits to including ceylon over regular cinnamon in your diet, so while it’s a bit of a splurge, if you can get your hands on some, I think it’s worth it.

LIFESTYLE CHOICES AFFECTING HUNGER AND BLOOD SUGAR

Stress, exercise, dehydration and sleep all play a roll in hunger.

STRESS MANAGEMENT

Not managing our stress levels can cause cortisol levels to remain high in the body, effectively increasing our appetite. We’ve all been there. Stress eating, emotional eating, whatever you want to call it. High stress levels can effect our appetite, which is psychological drive that causes us to crave particular foods, not to be mixed up with real hunger. Mindful eating and bringing awareness to times you overeat can distinguish between appetite and true hunger. A food journal is often helpful in this case!

EXERCISE, HYDRATION AND SLEEP

As for exercise, daily movement promotes a healthy metabolism, proper digestion, helps to manage stress and of course, has wide range of other health benefits. Do it. Every day!

Dehydration is huge too, and you’ve probably heard it 100 times. Drink more water! As for sleeping, a lack of quality sleep may have a direct effect on how hungry we feel. Sleep duration has been found to reduce levels of leptin, an appetite suppressing hormone and increase levels of ghrelin, stimulating hunger. Not only that, a lack of quality sleep effects mood, recovery, memory, blood sugar and energy levels. I’ll be talking about my routine for a great nights sleep in an upcoming post. Don’t miss it!

NOW WHAT?

Alright! That was really fun to chat about. We talked all about ghrelin, how to manage it to control hunger and what we can do to promote stable blood sugar. Where to go from here….

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

When it comes to nutrition and fat loss, knowledge is power. Arm yourself with the tools you need to succeed. Read, listen to podcasts, surround yourself with people who share similar goals and that you can learn from. The more we understand about our bodies and how powerful the food we eat is, the easier it becomes to consistently make quality food choices. That chocolate chip muffin might not be as appealing when you know it will cause a spike in blood sugar, causing you to crash and leaving you feeling hungry shortly after eating it, creating an endless cycle.

WHERE TO START

If that all seems overwhelming to you, don’t worry about it! Pick one thing to focus on. Maybe you start by including one omega-3 rich food in your diet every day. Or maybe instead of a whole chocolate chip muffin, you eat half along side a big tofu and vegetable scramble. Maybe you focus on getting to bed an hour earlier this week.

Improvement over perfection, guys. It’s a lifelong journey and it isn’t a linear one! These aren’t the rules and they certainly aren’t set in stone. Sometimes we’re going to eat the damn (vegan) doughnut. These are simply some steps you can take to help get a hold of your hunger. One step of a time, you don’t have to do all these things at once. Perfection only sets us up for failure.  Consistency and steady improvement are the golden ticket.

It’s never to late to educate yourself, improve your diet and keep striving towards your best self. When we feel good, feel comfortable in our skin and have plenty of energy, everything in life gets easier, so keep after it, guys!

Strive to be the best version of yourself, at any given time, with what you have.

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5 Things to know about weight-loss

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There’s so much information/misinformation about losing weight. Here are the things nobody told me; the things that I wish I’d known when I started losing…

Throw Away Your Scale

No, seriously. Throw it away. For me (and I think for many people), the scale was just a way to torture myself and continue my cycle of treating myself poorly. Gain a Kg? I thought I was awful and should just stop eating at all. Lose a Kg? I’m great and should celebrate by eating a pizza. The natural up-down fluctuation of our body weight shouldn’t drive us crazy, but it can and for a lot of us, it will.

Still want to use the scale as a tool and not a crazymaker? Use a scale at the gym, or that one at the supermarket. Just don’t keep one in your house. It can be very addictive and it’s frankly a bad way to rate your progress. I can fluctuate up to 2 kgs in a given day due to water/food, glycogen retention and a lot of other issues. Weigh yourself at the same time of day in the same clothes, no more than once a week. Buy a tape measure and measure every two weeks. (Taking pictures once a month is something I really wish I’d done!) Rejoice when your pants fall down …  and, throw away your scale.

Fitness is a three-pronged approach.

You need to do cardio, weight training and flexibility training. Just do cardio and you’re on your way to skinny-fat. I see plenty of women who just do cardio and they look alright in street clothes, but when they come into the spin room, they’re just as jiggly as someone who could stand to lose a few. Just do weights and don’t incorporate flexibility training and you’re on the way to bunchy town: short, tight muscles that don’t feel or look good. Just do flexibility training and you won’t burn many calories. I do cardio, yoga and weights. This also goes a long way in preventing workout burnout. I shudder at the mere thought of just doing an hour on the treadmill every day. Boring. Mix it up. Your body and your sanity will be better for it.

What you eat is really, really important.

Remember, you cannot out exercise a bad diet … ever!

You can lose weight eating packaged, processed food with little nutritional value. But, yuck. You’ll be hungry. The portions won’t be large, the nutrients will be lacking and you’ll feel deprived.  Most nights for dinner, I have an enormous salad. Ten cups of greens, a homemade dressing with olive oil and lemon juice (or balsamic) and sometimes I throw in some chicken or seafood, or nuts or a bit of white goats’ cheese. I struggle to get that enormous bowl up to 450 calories. It’s huge.

Moral of this story? Eat your vegetables, eat your lean protein sources (and occasionally not so lean—good fats in moderation are a good thing). Eat a handful of nuts. A teeny-tiny ounce of nuts takes the edge off your hunger for hours. Remember, moderation – a handful only because just 28g of nuts is nearly 200 calories. But, nuts have it all going for them: They’re portable and they keep you full. Keeping those nuts handy will save you from many a low-blood sugar induced eating frenzy.

Calories equal energy. That’s its definition. Choose calories that are full of energy and nutrients, not full of chemicals and rubbish. Anything that’s marketed as “good for you” (I’m talking to you, 100-calorie packs) most likely isn’t. If it needs marketing (when was the last time you saw a TV commercial for an apple?), it needs to be sold. Don’t believe me? Just Google around and find some cigarette ads from the 1940s, when those were marketed as healthy and natural. The 100-calorie pack is the low-tar cigarette of our generation. Be smarter than the food industry. Eat foods with one ingredient. That’s my best diet/health advice in one sentence.

The diet and fast food industry want you to stay fat.

Any “get-thin quick” scheme is just that. They want you to “get results” and then pack the pounds back on and come back because “it worked so great the last time.” Any diet that you can’t be on the rest of your life is a bad one. You can’t repent for a month and suddenly never gain weight again.

Any industry depends on repeat business to keep afloat. The diet industry is no different. If diets worked, everyone would go on one, lose weight and keep it off and never have to shell out any money ever again. The same holds true for the processed/fast-food/chain-restaurant food industry. They want you addicted to their food, craving more and coming back. They don’t care that what they’re selling can make you fat and kill you. They just want your money.

Now, I’m not perfect. From time to time, I indulge in junk food. But it’s rare and it’s an indulgence. I hardly ever want it anymore, though, because it makes me feel awful. I can’t believe sometimes that it used to be the cornerstone of my diet.

You will go into mourning for the old you.

I’ve saved this for last because it was the most shocking to me. I lost 25 kgs, became a fit and healthy person and then got really, really depressed and didn’t know why. On some level, I finally realized, I missed my old life. I missed going out and not caring what I put into my body (it was fun at the moment). I missed feeling bad about something and knowing that as soon as I got that ice cream home it would all go away. I missed being invisible once I started getting more attention (especially from the opposite sex).

After I lost the weight, my life as I knew it was over. I got divorced from food as a coping mechanism. Food was, for a period in my life, my best friend. I had to mourn that loss. I had to spend time figuring out who this new person, who would rather go for a walk than for pizza, was. I lost friends in the process (I made new ones after a while). I had to re-learn how to cope with emotions. I had to learn that it was okay to cry rather than eat. I had to learn that it was alright to say I was upset about something out loud, using words rather than food. I had to learn that it was perfectly well and good to stand up for myself rather than eat. I had to learn how to do a lot of things rather than eat. If your change is true and lifelong, you will most likely go through this process, too.

Accept it as part of the journey you’re taking.

The 5 Worst Pieces of Weight Management Advice

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It all sounds so good, the endless promises and guarantees that by just following a miracle diet you’ll lose weight fast, keep it off—and get that bikini body, instantly.  You’ve heard it all before and seen many fad diets come and go, but one thing is certain, the fads never last .. and the weight never stays off.

 

“Whatever you do, just don’t eat this.”

Whenever a diet asks you to cut out a major macronutrient (that your body needs to function properly!), you know it’s not going to end pretty. Quick refresher: macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins and fats, all of which are essential for your body to function at its best. Carbohydrates are what your body uses as energy for your daily activities. Fats— good fats of course—are essential for many different functions in your body and proteins are the building blocks for muscle and you need it to help your body repair and rebuild tissue daily.

While fat-free or no-carb diets may be beneficial to individuals with certain health concerns, if it’s weight loss you’re after, you might want to try an approach more sustainable that’s going to give you the energy and strength to take your full life head-on, day after day, not deplete it. Eating a well-balanced diet including all your good quality macronutrients is a great start for successful weight management.

 

“I found the magic pill.”

It hurts to hear, but there’s no one little pill you can take to make the weight magically melt off your body for the rest of your life.

Anyone who promises their magic pill (or bean) will dissolve the fat right of off you overnight, is selling lies and making a lucrative profit off of your personal goals— which they have no ability or interest in helping you achieve.

Let’s be real: long-term weight management is all about moderation and eating a healthy diet, rich in nutrients. In other words, real food that will give you the energy you’ll need to live an active life. Exercise and a healthy diet go hand-in-hand when it comes to weight management.

 

“You’ll lose 10 pounds in 10 days!”

Doesn’t this sound fantastic?! While you might be able to achieve this, by fasting or drastically cutting calories, this is not sustainable and chances are as soon as you go back to your normal diet, the weight will find its way back to your waistline and butt.

Long-term sustainable weight management will happen when you develop a routine and slowly start to crowd the “not so good stuff” out by adding in more good-for-you foods. Keep in mind: this won’t happen overnight—this small-changes approach is one that can last a lifetime. Remember, the weight didn’t arrive overnight and will certainly not disappear overnight – no matter what you’re told. Consistently eating real food in the correct portions, is the only way the weight will come off – and stay off.

 

“Count every calorie/macro”

Not all calories are created equal and when it comes to being ultimately healthy from the inside out, you want to ensure you’re providing your body with foods that are a great source of micro-nutrients—not just the right amount of calories.

For example, say a bag of potato chips has the exact same amount of calories as a slice of whole grain bread with some avocado sliced on top, seasoned artfully with fresh dill and lemon juice. Which one of these is going to serve your body better? You’re going to eat that bag of potato chips, or eat avocado toast (that has whole grains, B vitamins and good fats). There are certainly some days that enjoying potato chips may be what you need. Most days you may decide to reach for the avocado toast.

For long-term weight management, look at the nutrients a piece of food contains before the calories. Guess what? Many plant-based foods are naturally nutrient dense. Let’s hear it for nutrient dense fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds!

 

“It doesn’t matter what you eat as long as you follow this workout routine”

Don’t get me wrong, movement is definitely part of a healthy routine. But just because you went for a run in the morning or hit the gym, doesn’t mean you get a free-pass to eat whatever you want later on. There is a saying “you can’t out-exercise a bad diet”. Just like getting a workout in at sunrise doesn’t mean your body needs a whole cheesecake for a dessert, it also doesn’t mean that you need to track every calorie you burned in a spreadsheet.

If you did a sweaty workout at the gym or in a group exercise class you’re going to want to supply your body with the right building blocks to replenish energy, repair and rebuild. What could help you achieve your goals while keeping you feeling good about your choices? Try whipping up a high-protein smoothie post-workout. Using your favourite Hemptons or Reclaim protein product, toss in some of your favourite fruits and veggies and you have yourself a recipe for both exercise and healthy eating.

What I’ve learned along the way is that no single diet is going to work for everybody. It’s all about taking it back to the basics and finding out what works for you. Focus on adding more plants, eating mindfully, moving more and finding the right balance you need.

Good advice to start with – start eating more real foods like vegetables, fruits etc. as opposed to processed “man made” foods like breads, crisps, cakes, sugars, fizzy drinks and your body will thank you by becoming healthier and leaner.

If you’re struggling with your weight, or don’t know where to start, talk to your health care practitioner or registered dietitian to help created a customized health plan for you.

How to Snack for Weight Loss

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To snack or not to snack?…That is the question.  The answer?  Yes…but snack smartly.

If you’re eating three straight meals a day with no snacks in between, you could be sabotaging your weight loss.  If you’re exercising, this may especially be the case.  Why?  Because long gaps in eating makes your blood sugar drop, inviting ravenous cravings for sugary, starchy foods and too-big portions when you do eat.  And when you’re working out, you need to properly fuel your body for maximum fat loss and minimum muscle loss by eating the right healthy snacks, pre and post exercise.

So what should you eat, how much, and when?

Too much snacking, or spontaneous grazing, could also sabotage your diet by piling up the calories, so you want to keep your portions in check, and plan your snacks ahead of time.  A mid-morning and mid-afternoon daily snack ( 200 calories each, give or take) every day works well…

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Stop Binge Eating

WOMDIf you can’t stop binging, then the first thing you need to stop doing is dieting. Diets do not work. Just to clarify, when you go on a diet, your intention is to eat a certain way for a temporary period of time, usually until you reach your weight goals. This sort of thinking will cause you to fail. What you want to do instead is to see the change in your eating habits as a change in lifestyle. You need to see this as a long term, life long thing and not some 6 week program.

The problem with trying to lose weight is that there is so much advertisement out there promising that you can get the perfect body in 30 days. This is one of the main reasons why so many people are still overweight. They have that “get results quick” mentality. It’s like people who think they can get rich in 30 days. In the end, you just end up losing your time, money, and confidence. This will only cause you to eat even more. If you want to stop over eating, you need to develop a different mindset. Be in it for the long run. Here are some more ways to overcome this. Keep in mind that if you have a severe binge eating disorder, you may want to get some professional help. This only accounts for a small percentage of people though.

How to Stop Binge Eating

1. Don’t starve yourself
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of food. You can even eat the “bad” foods but you have to consume them in moderation. Everything is about moderation. The good news is that once you start to eat healthier and start cutting sugar out of your diet, you will start losing the craving for sweets. In other words, it gets easy as time goes by.

2. Get support
Sometimes it’s hard to stop if you are doing this all alone. So what you can do is to ask some friends or family members to help remind you. A lot of times, we eat more than we want to just out of habit. So ask people around you to remind you of your fitness goals when they catch you binge eating. Make sure that when you do, you thank them and listen. Don’t get mad or agitated or they will just let you overeat the next time they catch you.

3. Limit your access to food
It’s hard to eat a lot when you don’t have food to eat. Throw out all of the bad food and replace them with the good stuff. By doing this, you will hopefully be able to stop over eating due to the fact that it will be too much of a hassle to actually go to the store and buy junk food.

These tips are just a few things you can do. There are lots of other ways as well. The important thing to remember is that you need to have the right mindset going into this thing. Realise the majority of people who try to lose weight and get fit fail. Understand that this isn’t a walk in the park.

In other words, bring your A game. Don’t wimp out. Go full force.

Essential Fatty Acids Are Vital for Muscle Growth and Fat Loss

What are Essential Fatty acids and are they really essential? Why bodybuilders need EFAs to maximize muscle and assist with fat loss.

FitBodsYou are selling your results short by not giving your body all the nutrients it needs. I am talking specifically about the nutrients that are “essential” to the body. Essential nutrients are nutrients that the body cannot make and therefore must be obtained through the diet. Concerning the macronutrients, there are two groups of essential nutrients, Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) And Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs).

Getting adequate protein in your diet each and every day is heavily stressed in the fitness community, but what is not stressed is getting in adequate Essential Fatty Acids each day. Why would you focus on only getting one of the two essential nutrients? Both EAAs (in the form of protein) and EFAs MUST be obtained from your diet. To get the best results possible you must focus on getting enough of both protein and essential fats.

There are two fatty acids that are essential to the body, the Omega-3 Fatty Acid Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) and the Omega-6 Fatty Acid Linoleic Acid (LA). ALA and LA are readily available in food, but to obtain their full benefits they must be converted into their long-chain metabolites, ALA to Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and LA to Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA).  Getting adequate healthy fats in your diet is the first step to getting these EFAs.

The conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA as well as the conversion of LA to GLA is limited, so even if you get some ALA and LA in your diet you may not be getting enough EPA, DHA, or GLA. Adding fat sources that contain EPA and DHA and GLA (think Hemp Seed Oil) is the second step and ideal to ensure you get these essential fatty acid metabolites.

If you are deficient in EAAs, protein synthesis cannot proceed at its full rate due to lacking the needed building blocks (Amino Acids) to build muscle tissue. The same holds true for the EFAs. Being deficient in EFAs and their metabolites will decrease protein synthesis and muscle repair due to lacking the needed materials. An EFA deficiency may also cause your body to try to “hold on to” your body fat because it senses it does not have all the materials/nutrients it needs. So if you do not have enough EFAs then you are not gaining muscle and progressing at the rate you could and your fat loss can become impeded.

EPA and DHA have been shown:

  • Decrease protein breakdown
  • Decrease body fat mass
  • Increase amino acid uptake
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Increase insulin sensitivity
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Improve joint health
  • Necessary for proper functioning of the brain
  • Repair damaged cell membranes
  • Provide building blocks for Eicosanoids (signaling molecules) and growth factors
  • Increase cell membrane permeability (ability to transport nutrients in and out of cells)

GLA has been shown to:

  • Decrease fat regain after a diet
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Improve nerve functioning
  • Increase calcium absorption leading to stronger bones
  • Improve skin health
  • Decrease joint pain and swelling
  • Improve blood pressure
  • Assist in weight management
  • Decreases PMS (A GLA deficiency may be responsible for some PMS symptoms)
  • Boosts immune system

We see that EPA, DHA and GLA are vital for muscle growth and fat loss. To get in sufficient EFAs – and in a balanced 3:1 ratio, take Hemp Seed Oil – either in raw Oil or Capsules.

Boost, Reduce, Support with Hemp!

Energy  Metabolism Booster: Hemp is the highest vegan source of Edestin, a simple protein that is responsible for us keeping healthy. All of our hemp products are raw, containing live enzymes that help you digest your food, increase your energy, boost your immunity and help your body function at its best.

Detoxifies The Body & Reduces Junk Food Cravings: Hemp is high in the natural antioxidants Vitamin E, Vitamin C and chlorophyll.  

wade-poseBurns Fat & Supports Lean Mass: Hemp is recognized by the World Health Organization as having a perfect 3:1 balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids for optimum health. These fats stimulate the body’s natural thermogenic system which actually burns fat. The Essential Fatty Acids in Hemp also help muscle recovery and growth. Hemp also contains both GLA and CLA and studies have proved that both help in reducing body fat and balancing blood sugar.

Easy To Digest & Non-Allergenic: Hemp does not contain gluten and is free of the enzyme inhibitors found in soy and other legumes and grains which prevent protein absorption and typically cause gas, bloating and other digestion problems. In addition, there are no known allergies to hemp.