Category Archives for "Diet News"

December 20, 2018

Americans Getting Fatter, Not Taller

American adults are growing wider and shorter

According to a new federal report released from the CDC, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the health of American adults is on the decline. Not only is the average adult in the US overweight, but our height has seen a decline in the last few decades as well.

This is particularly concerning, given that the average weight is going up, while the average height is going down, it means we are getting fatter. This trend was recorded in all population groups, though the strongest indicators were seen in whites and Hispanics.

Americans Getting Shorter and Fatter

One theory for this shift in body metrics is that it is a result of a population change in our country. With the influx of Mexican Americans, which are estimated to be around two-thirds of all Hispanics in the US, this could lead to a change in these measurables. On average, this cultural group tends to be shorter than other Americans who come from European or another ancestry.

A sample of 5,000 Americans comprised the results in this study that was conducted in a 2015-2016 health survey which measured height and weight, among other statistics. The records for the CDC date back to the early 1960s. At that time, the average man had a height of 5 feet 8 inches and weight around 165 pounds. In the newest survey, men grew about 1 inch taller than the early surveys, though they are weighing more than 30 pounds heavier. While 5 feet 9 inches is an increase in height relative to the studies conducted 50 years ago, it represents a 0.1-inch decrease as compared to a decade ago.

Maybe Americans today need to start taking a supplement to help them grow taller, like Growth Factor Plus!

As for the women, the average height in the early studies in the 60s was 5 feet 3 inches and an average weight of 140 pounds. In the new study, women are now about 0.5 inches taller though they are also about 30 pounds heavier.

A gain of over 30 pounds in both genders, as compared to 50 years ago, is quite striking. However, the most astonishing statistics come when looking at data from just the last decade. The average weight for an adult male rose 2 pounds in the last decade, to 198 pounds. Women saw an even larger increase in the last decade, with weight rising by 6 pounds to nearly 171 pounds on average. The average waistlines are 40 inches and 39 inches for men and women, respectively.

What This Means


I would have to agree with the assertion that a shift in the makeup of our population has a lot to do with the changes in these body metrics. I would say that nutritionally we are so much more well-equipped to stay in good health – whether those adopted into healthy lifestyle habits or not remains to be seen. It is said that Mexican Americans are roughly 3 inches shorter than white and African American people, so that could help explain the changes in these statistics.

Particularly for the stats to change so much in such a short time, over the last decade, I can’t think of anything biologically or evolution-wise that could explain the shift in the short-term.

December 20, 2018

Causes of Weight Gain Other Than Your Diet

other factors that contribute to weight gain besides your diet

Even if you are eating well, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to lose weight or keep from gaining weight. There are a number of factors that come into play in regards to your body weight that can make it a struggle to reach an ideal size. However, there are a number of solutions to help you break through the plateau and hit your goals.

What Are the Reasons for Weight Gain?

Outside of your diet, there a variety of things that can affect your weight. You could be eating well, getting a lot of physical activity, counting your daily steps, and still not see any improvement on the scale. Below are a few of the things that could be causing this.

Medications


There are certain medications, with antidepressants in particular, that affect your metabolism and lead to weight gain as an adverse side effect. This is especially seen when medications like these are taken for a few months or longer. Luckily, information is available online that will advise if weight gain is a potential side effect of a medication you are considering. In most cases, there is likely an alternative medicine you can take.

Birth Control


Weight gain is sometimes a side effect of certain forms of contraception.

As many forms of birth control affect the hormones, these contraceptives can slow down your metabolism or make you retain more water.

what are the causes of weight gain?

While birth control pills are lower in hormonal content, other forms such as Depo-Provera has been recorded in some cases to lead to a gain of over 10 pounds of weight in a year.

Hormonal Imbalance


For similar reasons as described above in regards to birth control, you may naturally have an imbalance in hormones that can lead to an increase in size. If you’ve ruled out other causes and can’t find any reason why you may be gaining weight, it is likely that hormones are the culprit. The main hormones that can cause this are insulin, estrogen, leptin, testosterone, progesterone, as well as thyroid-produced hormones.

Genetics


Take a look around at your family – your parents, grandparents, other blood relatives. If they are overweight, it may be that you are genetically predisposed to have a tougher time to lose weight. However, this can be overcome be adopting better lifestyle habits, you’ll just have to be even more disciplined than others. Make smart choices in the kitchen and be sure to get enough exercise.

Age


As we get older, our bodies are more prone to lose muscle mass and store extra fat. Our metabolism naturally slows down as we age, estimated at 2% slower every couple years or so. This makes it more difficult to lose weight as we get older. However, just like with the genetics discussed above, this can be overcome with a more disciplined effort with diet and exercise.

Lack of Sleep


Getting enough sleep is crucially important for overall body health. I go into further detail in this post about sleep and weight gain. Sleep resets our system and makes all processes run more efficiently, including our metabolism. In addition, being awake at night gives more opportunity for eating, which includes unhealthy late night snacking.

December 19, 2018

Jason Momoa Aquaman Diet

Jason Momoa's Diet and Workouts for Aquaman

If you’ve seen any movie trailers lately, you’ve surely seen the promos for the new Aquaman movie featuring Jason Momoa as the title character. They’re really heavy on the marketing for this comic film, and if you haven’t seen it, you’ve probably been living under a rock or something.

The first thing you notice is that Momoa is absolutely ripped! He’s in even better shape than in his Game of Thrones days, which is no easy feat. Those days he was just big and muscular, but he really got himself cut for this movie. So how did he get such an extremely ripped physique?

Of course, the answer is diet and exercise. Continue reading below to see how he got shredded for this film.

Jason Momoa’s Diet

While he used to be in great shape for his former famous role (understatement), he became absolutely shredded for this new film. So how did he do it?

I found an interview with his personal trainer where he spills all the details on how he got the action star in such great shape for Aquaman.

What He Ate


The first revelation was that no food was off-limits. That doesn’t sound right, but it’s true. Momoa could still drink plenty of his beverage of choice, which is a pint of Guinness beer. While you wouldn’t think beer is healthy, this particular beer is actually low in calories (125 per serving) and carbs (10 grams).

So why did he get to drink beer? His trainer believes in three principles to dieting: nutrition, balance, and enjoyment. It’s OK to have cheat meals or snacks. Just don’t go overboard with it. Rather than micromanaging everything the actor ate, his trainer made sure that he was getting the right macronutrient intake while utilizing foods that Jason loves.

what was Jason Momoa's diet to get in shape for Aquaman?

Managing your macros is all about getting a particular ratio of carbs, proteins, and fats to get to a certain goal. For a little extra kick, he also had a strong coffee (coffee can burn fat and improve athletic performance). When done properly, it is a great way to build muscle without packing on any extra fat.

Before his workouts, if it was early in the day, Momoa would load up on carbs from fruit sources to provide him energy for his activity. If his workout was later in the day, he would have a quinoa or rice bowl for his carbs. He also had a strong coffee for a little extra kick.

As for his proteins and fats, he ate a lot of sashimi (barramundi and salmon mostly). He added avocado and olive oil for their fat content.

When He Ate


The only strict part of his eating schedule was to make sure to have pre-workout and post-workout nutrition. Other than that, there was a lot of flexibility as to when he ate. Most of it was dictated by his filming schedule. It did not matter so much what time he ate, the focus was more on getting the right macronutrient balance.

It’s safe to say that all of the calculation that his trainer did paid off!

December 19, 2018

What is the Snake Diet?

what is the snake diet?

I was browsing through diet news today and came across a headline that talked about the Snake Diet, which is something I had never heard of before. Despite all of the diets I reviewed on here, this one has been off my radar for some reason. I’m going to guess it just doesn’t have the popularity or buzz like the others do. However, it piqued my interest and I had to find out what it is all about.

In particular, I found this article on Metro that talks about a man in Germany who “transformed” his body through the use of this diet. But, it comes with the clickbait caveat “is it dangerous?”. Let’s see what this diet entails to get the answer to that question.

Is the Snake Diet Dangerous?

Basically, from what I can gather, this diet is a variation of fasting, which I talk about here. On this diet, you fast for up to three days at a time (which sounds very difficult). During these times of fasting, you can only consume what is called “snake juice” during a one-to-two-hour window.

What is Snake Juice?

Apparently, this concoction is made of the following:

  • Water
  • Salt
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Baking Soda
  • Magnesium Sulfate Salts

What Does Snake Juice Do?

I guess the reasoning behind this mixture is that it depletes the level of sugars in the liver. This, in turn, promotes the burning of fat as energy since your body doesn’t have glucose to burn as it normally would. In that regard, it puts you into ketosis.

Is It Dangerous?

Experts are warning against not only this snake juice but also fasting in general. The depletion of sugars leads to a lack of energy, an inability to focus, as well as mood swings. Fasting can also cause shut down of certain processes in your body as a means to conserve energy.

Besides just the negative repercussions of fasting, the snake juice itself isn’t the best for your body.

The mixture of Epson salts and baking powder will send you straight to the toilet for an uncomfortable experience. It can also make you nauseous, as the subject of this article said he vomited due to carbohydrate withdrawal.

My Thoughts

This diet is pretty ridiculous. Not only is the fasting period way too long, as compared to other intermittent fasting schedules, but it also doesn’t allow for much nutrition. With other types of fasting, you consume around 500-600 calories on a fasting day. With the snake diet, you’re only drinking water mixed with salt and baking soda. The amount of malnutrition is eye-popping.

Sure, you will definitely lose weight – you’re not eating anything and you’re spending all day sitting on or kneeling in front of the toilet! – but the repercussions from the lack of nutrients are far too great. Your body will start to shut down, you’ll lack energy, your immune system will weaken… I can go on and on.

Want to lose weight? Don’t go with the Snake Diet! There are so many other healthy ways to reach your goal weight.

December 19, 2018

Greek Yogurt vs. Regular Yogurt

what is better for you - greek yogurt or regular yogurt?

It used to be that Greek yogurt was an exotic snack. Then John Stamos had to come in and shoot a commercial for Dannon Oikos and that was that. Greek yogurt took off. OK, I’m not saying that it is all because of Stamos, but the timing lines up pretty close.

Many people switched over to eating this kind of yogurt over regular yogurt as they preferred that it was less sweet, much tangier, and much more creamy than its traditional counterpart that is made from whole milk. But is it any healthier for you than regular yogurt? I did some research to find out.

Is Greek Yogurt Healthier Than Regular Yogurt?

For starters, any kind of yogurt that you like to eat can be considered part of a healthy diet. They are all relatively low in calories, are very rich in calcium (like most dairy foods), and contain live bacterial cultures that are great for your gut and digestive system.

Does one type of yogurt have an edge over the others? If you were to ask me, I’m going to call Greek the clear winner in this race. Because this type of yogurt is strained thoroughly to remove all of the lactose, liquid whey, and sugars to make it the thicker consistency than regular yogurt, it has many nutritional advantages. This straining process results in half the sugar and as much as twice the protein in the same sized serving of both.

If you’re looking for the best option, go with low-fat Greek yogurt to get a whopping dose of protein, tons of nutrients, and less fat. Put all those together and you have a convenient, healthy, and delicious snack to have at home or when you’re on the go. It has become one of my favorite snacks lately, and while I used to go with regular yogurt, I have completely switched over to Greek. 

I know I’m not alone in that, as Statista (a consumer data firm) reported that Greek yogurt accounts for more than half of all sales in yogurt in the U.S.

Nutritional Value

As for how these two different types of yogurt measure up against each other, here is a breakdown of their comparative nutrition information:

  • Protein: Greek yogurt has 15 to 20 gram of protein in a 6-ounce serving, roughly the same as 2 to 3 ounces of lean meat. The same size serving of regular yogurt contains around 9 gram.
  • Carbs: Greek yogurt contains around half the carbohydrates (5 to 8 grams per serving) as regular yogurt (13 to 17 grams).
  • Fat: This is one area where regular yogurt has the edge if you buy a full-fat version. The key here is to buy a low-fat option, as a full-fat Greek yogurt can contain 16 ounces of saturated fat. In comparison, full-fat traditional yogurt has around 5 grams.
  • Sodium: You will find around 50 milligrams of sodium in a serving of Greek yogurt, which is about half of what you would get in the traditional kind.
  • Calcium: Because of the straining process, traditional yogurt has the edge here as it provides 30% of your daily recommended value. Greek yogurt has around 20% of your daily value.

The Verdict

I’ll sum it up by saying that Greek has a bit of an edge for overall nutritional value, but you can’t go wrong with either choice as a healthy snack. There are certainly worse options out there!

December 19, 2018

Don’t Make These Diet New Year’s Resolutions

don't make this diet goals part of your New Year's resolutions

Are you making any New Year’s Resolutions this year? Good luck! According to a study over a 200-year period, less than 20% of people have actually followed through on their resolutions. That’s not the greatest batting average. Less than one out of five. However, on the other hand, it was found that those who set goals for themselves enacted positive change during the new year, even if they ultimately fell short of the initial goal.

Some of the most common resolutions have to do with diet and weight loss. It is why you see such a rise in gym memberships (and attendance) at the beginning of the year. Though, given the 1 out of 5 referenced above, it isn’t long until those gyms go back to their normal attendance.

If you are setting diet goals this year with your resolutions – great! Positive thinking is wonderful. However, be careful of falling into some of the pitfalls I list below.

Diet Resolutions You Shouldn’t Make

Here are a few of the most common resolutions related to diet, and why you should avoid making these a priority in the new year.

Lose X Number of Pounds


It is common that you’ll hear someone say they want to lose 5 pounds, 10 pounds, 20 pounds, or whatever the number may be. While these are great goals and give you something to work towards, be mindful that your weight fluctuates based on a lot of factors. Hormones, stress, body composition (fat versus muscle) all go into what makes up your weight.

While it is a good goal to lose weight, focus on the process instead. The goal should be getting healthier, shedding fat, and maintaining lean muscle mass. The end result will be a much healthier body with a lower fat composition, whatever that weight may be.

Going Keto on January 1


The Keto Diet is one of the biggest diet fads of the last year or so, and many have resolved to start with this diet beginning on January 1st.

However, this diet requires a dramatic change in your body’s processes. It doesn’t just happen overnight. It requires an entire lifestyle change.

Your diet will dramatically change. Of course, the end result is burning more fat by eating fewer carbs. However, don’t think that you can just jump right into it. Instead, make smaller, more incremental changes to your diet and ease yourself into it. If you jump right in, you will find it too much of an adjustment and increase your chances of quitting.

Abstaining From Alcohol in January


It is a noble goal to go dry for a month, but it is a lot of pressure. The focus should instead be on a healthier lifestyle and making a longer-term habit of consuming less alcohol. By setting a time period of just January, after all that holiday binging, it compartmentalizes it into a short-term change and you’re more likely to go back to your old ways come February. Instead, make a goal to reduce your alcohol intake, and make it part of your lifestyle beyond just the first month of the year.