Were you one of the many who tried the Atkins diet years ago, but couldn’t quite sustain? The idea of no carbs isn’t appealing—and isn’t necessary— for many, so falling off the bandwagon for this diet became all too common.
But after years of conducting and reviewing up-to-date research, Atkins is back at it with a revised and improved program meant to improve sustainability and results. Starting today, the brand is back with their all new Atkins 40. We spoke with Colette Heimowitz, Vice President of Nutrition and Education for Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., to get a thorough understanding of the details around Atkins 40.
Atkins 40 will serve as a “new entry point into the Atkins program,” says Heimowitz. “People can eat from all food groups, and start the program at forty net grams of carbohydrates per day, instead of twenty.” After the company reviewed the literature, they found that most individuals could maintain a fat-burning metabolism at 50-grams of carb intake or less. “This allows them to maintain the benefits of burning fat for fuel instead of sugar, while still seeing the same Atkins results,” Heimowitz explains.
Atkins 40 is still founded on the same principles that made it famous in the first place: high protein, low carb. With this new program they hope “to be more sustainable. You could eat this way healthfully for the rest of your life!” (more…)
By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist
As I got the butter out from my fridge the other day, a friend of mine commented in surprise, “You eat butter?”.
She’s right to question. For years, there was no butter in my kitchen because it contains a lot of saturated fat, which nutrition scientists believed could lead to heart disease and possibly increase the risk for cancer and even dementia. But being a nutritionist, I keep up with the food research, and things change. I started thinking of how my diet has changed over the past decade, and here are the main shifts; the ways I changed my own diet for the better.
I ENJOY BUTTER. Even after margarine was exposed as a trans fat nightmare, I still avoided butter because 63 percent of the fat in butter is saturated. I went along with the scientific thinking: If you eat too much saturated fat, levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol) rise, and people with higher LDL are more likely to develop heart disease. (more…)
There are a lot of things I don’t miss about New York City: The crowds, the noise, the smells, the expense. But there are a few things I do miss after living there for 10 years. While my friends rank high on that list, so do bagels.
In the morning, few things beat a boiled-to-perfection bagel. Glossy on the outside and chewy on the inside, these carb-tastic treats were a mainstay of my life in the city. When I went back for a visit this past week, my former local bagel shop was one of my first stops. I got a whole wheat bagel heaping with strawberry cream cheese. (In New York a “schmear” is more of a gob than a dab.) It was, not surprisingly, delicious.
It was also a total gut bomb. Full of sugars and carbs the breakfast didn’t feel light in my stomach and pretty much zapped my energy for the next hour or so. (Hello food coma!) This tastes-so-good, feels-so-bad treat also came at a high caloric cost. 450 calories, to be exact.
So how could I burn off the 450 calories in this bagel with cream cheese?
Whether you love them, hate them, or aren’t sure what to do with them, there’s no question that carbs are a hot topic when it comes to healthy eating.
Despite what information you may be relying on now, carbs aren’t all-bad. In fact, there are some that are absolutely essential for a healthy diet. It’s important to not overdo it on carbs like sugar. Because there are so many different kinds of carbs, it can be difficult to determine which ones are good and which are bad. The confusion can lead to people cutting carbs entirely, but that isn’t the best solution for your health.
Eating before a workout can help prevent low blood sugar and fatigue—both of which can greatly decrease your exercise performance! What you eat will vary based on the time of day, what you’re doing for exercise, and how long you plan to be active. Prior to exercise, your main focus should be carbohydrates. It’s good to have little bit of protein and fat as well- make sure that your carbohydrate ratios are a little higher. It’s best to eat both simple and complex carbohydrates before working out to get a good balance of quick and slow-released energy.
Fats and proteins take more time to digest, so they will help keep your stomach satisfied so that it’s not growling while you’re at the gym. Protein will work on repairing muscles after your workout is over (and at that point, it’s good to consume more). In general, fiber is your friend—but not before a workout. Ingesting too much fiber before a gym session could leave in a pretty uncomfortable situation! If you have no problems digesting dairy, having a little bit before you exercise is just fine. However, just like fiber—stay away from it if you have any digestion issues.
Here are a few simple options to eat before exercising:
Whole Grain Toast with Peanut Butter and Honey
One slice of whole grain bread or toast topped with one tablespoon of peanut butter and one teaspoon of honey (or sliced banana) provides a great source of carbohydrates, plus a little bit of protein and fat. This snack is easily digestible and will provide a quick source of energy.
The Biggest Loser is a popular show about average people who have not been successful losing weight by themselves. They see the show as both a last resort, and a second chance. Thousands try out each year but only 16 make the cut. Josh Steele knows all about this process. He’s been writing to the Biggest Loser for years, but was never chosen for the show. What happens to BL contestant hopefuls when they don’t make the cut? If you’re Josh, you embrace the old-school motto, “eat less, move more,” and by doing so, Josh lost a phenomenal 250 pounds! This is his story.
At nearly 7 foot tall, Josh Steele is a man who can afford to carry a few extra pounds and still be healthy, but the day he weighed in at just shy of 600 pounds, he knew his height couldn’t compensate any longer. Always a big strapping lad, he said he didn’t even really notice the weight coming on because it happened so gradually. “I think back and realized I just became lazy,” he confessed. “Partying and late night eating caught up to me.”
Grain Brain is the catchy title of a new self-help diet book on the New York Times Advice and How-to Best Sellers lists. The author, neurologist David Perlmutter, makes the case for a slow death to brain cells caused by wheat, “carbs,” and sugar. Those foods, he says, are behind most of the common but incurable neurologic diseases including Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism, anxiety, depression, and others. To prevent and treat those conditions, he recommends a diet of fish, seeds, nuts, and olive oil, sans the “carbs” from grains, milk, fruit, and sugary sweets. Grain Brain is in the same vein as Wheat Belly and other best-selling Paleo-type diet books.
David Perlmutter and his co-author, writer Kristin Loberg, followed the diet book formula: reel in the lay audience with indisputable scientific facts and then lead them to ungrounded conclusions because they all sound good. With technical expertise, Dr. Perlmutter explains the workings of the brain and central nervous system. He is up on the hot nutrition topics and buzzwords of the day: inflammation, free radicals, bacteria in the gut, and metabolic fuels.
Sure, we agree that neurological diseases are scary and seem to be everywhere, but are gluten and carbohydrates the cause? Not so fast. David Perlmutter is often called “cutting edge,” which means research verification is needed. (more…)
By Team Best Life – TheBestLife.com
It may seem counterintuitive to take in calories before you head to the gym to burn them off, but eating a healthy bite beforehand can help you make the most of your workout. No matter what kind of activity you’re planning, you can use these tips to fuel up for fitness:
Eat when it feels best. Eating one hour before your workout is a good general rule, but everyone’s body is different. For instance, some people may feel uncomfortable or bloated trying to exercise after a snack or meal while others may be distracted by a rumbling tummy. Only you know exactly how much you can comfortably eat and how soon before your workout.
Keep track of carbs. Because glucose—a carbohydrate—is your muscles’ preferred source of fuel, you need to go into a workout with enough stored glucose (aka glycogen). If you eat a balanced diet, you should be all set. But if you’re hitting the gym hours after your last meal or snack, you might need a little carb boost; 15 grams should do the trick. (more…)
Are you in the midst of training for a half or full marathon? If the answer is yes, I’m guessing that carbohydrate gels are a big part of your training routine. Even if the answer is no, there’s probably a good chance that you consume these gels, chews or other such supplements to get through your runs.
While these gels have a place in long distance run training, of late, runners have been overusing them, believing they need the supplements for even short runs. That overuse comes with some heavy consequences.
Here’s the deal: Our bodies are designed to run on either sugar or fat. Sugar, or glycogen, comes in very limited stores. Fat, on the other hand, is available in a nearly endless supply. The trick is to teach your body to access that fat. When you overuse carbohydrate supplements like gels, your body doesn’t get the chance to learn this and it fails to access fat for fuel.
The result of this inability to access fat in a race or a long run is what’s classically known as a bonk. The result of the inability to access fat on a regular basis is slower running and unwanted calories.
So when and where should you use gels and how do you break your dependence on them? You train your body to access fat by practicing runs in a glycogen depleted (GD) state. (more…)
By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., TheBestLife.com lead nutritionist
A little calorie denial is OK, but if your denial’s deep, sooner or later you’ll pay the price on the scale. My recommendation: Take a few weeks to measure your food. Once you get portions under control, you’ll automatically cut back on calories. Rolling your eyes already? I know, so many people can’t stand the idea of measuring, but I’m going to make it a little easier by asking you to track just one type of food for a week.
Sure, you could measure and weigh everything that crosses your lips, but most of us aren’t getting fat off of fruit, vegetables, fat-free milk, fish and other healthy, low-calorie foods. It’s bread, potatoes and other starchy foods, as well as fried foods, sugary beverages, sweets, salty snacks, and too much butter, oil, mayo and other fats that get us all into trouble.
This week, I’m going to ask you to focus on one major waistline saboteur: starches. Your goal is to cut way back on white bread, white rice and other refined grain products and enjoy healthy starches like whole grains and sweet potatoes in moderation. (They’re more nutritious and make you feel fuller than refined grains.) For some people, the “in moderation” part can be tricky. That’s why you’ll get so much out of measuring and tracking servings this week; pretty soon you can put away the measuring cups and just eyeball your plate. In just a few weeks, you’ll emerge a portion pro, and you’ll love the results on the scale. (more…)
Carbs: Are they good? Are they bad? It can all be very confusing. But one man is stepping in the middle of that gap, saying there can be a healthy balance that can yield optimum weight loss and fat burn.
That man is Robert Ferguson, MS, who is a weight-loss coach, CEO of Diet Free Life, motivational speaker and author. Recently, Ferguson has been speaking out about carb confusion– specifically concerning how too many can be a bad thing, and too few can be even worse.
In an article recently featured in First for Women Magazine, Ferguson discussed new science that’s showing our blood sugar has a sweet spot that results in optimal fat burning and peak metabolism. And he says this research is going to help women melt pounds away without feeling deprived.
The secret? Finding the right balance of fast carbs and slow carbs. (more…)