Tag Archives: wellness

Always Hungry? Your Fat Cells May Be to Blame

Great info if you want to lose weight or just eat better….

Always Hungry? Your Fat Cells May Be to Blame

http://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/always-hungry-your-fat-cells-may-be-to-blame/

Pop quiz: What raises your blood glucose and insulin the most, calorie for calorie? A baked potato, ice cream, or pure table sugar? Contrary to what you might think, it’s actually the baked potato. In his new book Always Hungry, Dr. David Ludwig writes his own guidelines on what to eat to satisfy your appetite without piling on pounds. His one-line mantra? “Forget calories. Focus on quality. Let your body do the rest.” Read an excerpt from the book here.

Segment Guests

David Ludwig

David Ludwig is author of Always Hungry (Grand Central, 2016). He’s a practicing endocrinologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and a professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.

The following is an excerpt from Always Hungry? by David Ludwig.

In our weight-obsessed culture, it’s common to disparage the fat in our bodies. But body fat (scientifically termed “adipose tissue”) is a highly specialized organ, critically important for health and longevity.

Among its many functions, fat surrounds and cushions vital organs like the kidneys and insulates us against the cold. Body fat also signifies health, conferring beauty when distributed in the right amounts and locations. But critically, fat is our fuel tank—a strategic calorie reserve to protect against starvation.

RELATED SEGMENT

Always Hungry? Your Fat Cells May Be to Blame

Compared to other species our size, humans have an exceptionally large brain that requires an enormous amount of calories. The metabolic demands of the brain are so great that, under resting conditions, it uses about one of every three calories we consume. And this calorie requirement is absolute. Any interruption would cause immediate loss of consciousness, rapidly followed by seizure, coma, and death. That’s a problem, because until very recently in human history, access to calories had always been unpredictable. Our ancestors faced extended periods of deprivation when a hunt or a staple food crop failed, during harsh winters, or when venturing out across an ocean. The key to their survival was body fat.

If we go for more than a few hours without eating, the body must rely on stored fuels for energy, and these come in three basic types, familiar to anyone who reads a nutrition label: carbohydrate, protein, and fat. The body stores accessible carbohydrate in the liver and protein in muscle, but these are in dilute forms, surrounded by lots of water. In contrast, stored fat is highly concentrated, since fat tissue contains very little water. In addition, pure carbohydrate and protein have less than half the calories of pure fat, making them relatively weak sources of energy. For these reasons, liver and muscle contain only a small fraction of the calories in fat tissue (less than 600 compared to about 3,500 per pound). In the absence of body fat, even a muscular man would waste away in days without eating, whereas all but the leanest adults have enough body fat to survive many weeks.

And these fat cells aren’t just inert storage depots. Fat cells actively take up excess calories soon after meals and release them in a controlled fashion at other times, according to the body’s needs.

Fat tissue also responds to and emits a multitude of chemical signals and neural messages, helping fine-tune our metabolism and immune system. But when fat cells malfunction, big problems ensue.

HUNGRY FAT

We generally think that weight gain is the unavoidable consequence of consuming too many calories, with fat cells being the passive recipients of that excess. But fat cells do nothing of consequence without specific instructions—certainly not calorie storage and release, their most critical functions.

Insulin: The Fat Cell Fertilizer

Many substances produced in the body or contained in our diet directly affect fat cell behavior, chief among them the hormone insulin.

Insulin, made in the pancreas, is widely known for its ability to lower blood sugar. Problems with the production or action of insulin lead to the common forms of diabetes, specifically type 1 (previously called juvenile diabetes) and type 2 (a frequent complication of obesity).

But insulin’s actions extend well beyond blood sugar control, to how all calories flow throughout the body.

Soon after the start of a meal, insulin level rises, directing incoming calories—glucose from carbohydrate, amino acids from protein, and free fatty acids from the fat in our diet—into body tissues for utilization or storage. A few hours later, decreasing insulin level allows stored fuels to reenter the blood, for use by the brain and the rest of the body. Although other hormones and biological inputs play supporting roles in this choreography, insulin is the undisputed star.

Insulin’s effects on calorie storage are so potent that we can consider it the ultimate fat cell fertilizer. For example, rats given insulin infusions developed low blood glucose (hypoglycemia), ate more, and gained weight. Even when their food was restricted to that of the control animals, they still became fatter. Conversely, mice genetically engineered to produce less insulin had healthier fat cells, burned off more calories, and resisted weight gain, even when given a diet that makes normal mice fat.

In humans, high rates of insulin release from the pancreas due to genetic variants or other reasons cause weight gain. People with type 1 diabetes who receive excess insulin predictably gain weight, whereas those treated inadequately with too little insulin lose weight, no matter how much they eat. Furthermore, drugs that stimulate insulin release from the pancreas are also associated with weight gain, and those that block its release with weight loss.

If too much insulin drives fat cells to increase in size and number, what drives the pancreas to produce too much insulin? Carbohydrate, specifically sugar and the highly processed starches that quickly digest into sugar. Basically, any of those packaged “low-fat” foods made primarily from refined grains, potato products, or concentrated sugar that crept into our diet as we single-mindedly focused on eating less fat.

Our Fat Cells Make Us Overeat

All this is just Endocrinology 101, well-established information every first-year medical student should know. But it leads to a stunning possibility. The usual way of thinking about the obesity epidemic has it backward. Overeating hasn’t made our fat cells grow; our fat cells have been programmed to grow, and that has made us overeat.

Always Hungry?: Conquer Cravings, Retrain Your Fat Cells, and Lose Weight Permanently

Too much refined carbohydrate causes blood glucose to surge soon after a meal, which in turn makes the pancreas produce more insulin than would have ever been the case for humans in the past. High insulin levels trigger fat cells to hoard excessive amounts of glucose, fatty acids, and other calorie-rich substances that circulate in the blood. It’s like those floor‑to‑ceiling turnstiles you might see at a ballpark or in the subway.

People can pass freely in one direction, but horizontal crossbars prevent movement the other way. Insulin ushers calories into fat cells, but restricts their passage back out. Consequently, the body starts to run low on accessible fuel within a few hours, more quickly than normal.

When that happens, the brain registers a problem and transmits an unmistakable call for help—in the form of rapidly rising hunger. Eating is a sure and fast way to increase the supply of calories in the blood, and processed carbohydrates act the fastest. The brain exploits this fact, making us crave starchy, sugary foods, more so than anything else.

What would you rather have when your blood sugar is crashing: a bowl of fruit, a tall glass of full-fat milk, a large chicken breast, or a cinnamon sticky bun (each with the same number of calories)?

As usually happens, we give in to temptation and have the sticky bun, or the myriad other formulations of processed carbohydrate so readily available today. But this solves the “energy crisis” only temporarily, sets up the next surge-crash cycle, and, over time, accelerates weight gain.

 


Excerpted from the book Always Hungry? by David Ludwig, MD, PhD. Copyright © 2015 by David Ludwig, MD, PhD. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

Words to live by: Celebration

This was the most-visited post that I’ve ever had on my blog– I posted it over a year ago. Let’s celebrate!

(This is one of a part of a series of WORDS TO LIVE BY. This series grew out of a workbook I first made for my young daughters and discussed at the dinner table. These Words include values, good ideas, and Words to aspire to….and learn from….enjoy!)

I know right away some people may question why or what I mean by celebration and why it is a Word To Live By.

I think we all need to celebrate more often.

Yes, I said we. As I’ve mentioned before, I am naturally a low-key guy. I think part of me tries to downplay things. I notice that especially with friends, with my sisters, and relatives – those with which I grew up – when something good happens or when I’m excited about something – I try to act cool, calm, and un-excited when I tell them about it.

The other day I was excited about a project at work. I was telling a relative and I noticed that right way, I downplayed the whole thing. It came off like I was actually down about it. He tried to give me some encouragement. I was actually excited. I needed and wanted to celebrate with him. We both would have enjoyed it and benefited, right?

In any case, celebrating is something I believe to be a key issue in life, here’s why:

  • We need to celebrate things each day, even the little things – we paid the bills, we have good health, we took some kind of action and had some kind of success, we did something good for someone else, etc.
  • So many times we actually did something good, accomplished something, took action and we don’t take a moment to celebrate.
  • Celebrating in the present moment allows us and helps us to focus on the now, what is going on – whether it be with our family, friends, work, or fun things.
  • We can benefit greatly from celebrating future events – here’s what I mean – if you act as if what you want in life is already a reality, celebrating “IT” as already being reality brings in all kinds of good emotions, eliminates thoughts of conditions, limitations. Your brain doesn’t know that the difference between the imagination and reality of it all – so Celebration for something as if it has already happened is very powerful.

Imagine that you already have “it” or that you’ve already accomplished “it” – then celebrate! Wayne Dyer says “Highly realized people learn to think from the end- that is, they experience what they wish to intend before it shows up in the material form.” Celebrate that car, that job, that improved relationship, that newly thinner, leaner body. Enjoy it.

I practice money coming in and I get the feeling like I’m winning the lottery. I hold my arms up like Rocky on the top of the Philly steps and I jump around. I visualize and celebrate. I enjoy it.

How would you react if you won the lottery? Got a perfect job? Had that perfect car/house/relationship/health? OK, now go ahead and practice celebrating it so that when it arrives, you’ll be ready. In the meantime, you’ll feel great.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know if it will always work, but EVERYTIME I feel really great afterwards! I’m smiling, happier, energized, and guess what? I’m now looking for good things to come, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Celebrate what you’ve accomplished in your life! Too many of us don’t give ourselves enough credit. Look into the past, briefly, get those good references and celebrate them. You endured hurdles and mistakes and you are now the person you are because you kept moving. Celebrate it!

Celebrate the present – your family, friends, work, life, health – even if it isn’t perfect. Sure you can want to improve something but hell, if you didn’t have your situation now, you wouldn’t have the perspective, wisdom, and knowledge to make it better, right? Guess what, you can help yourself now, you can even help others, you have choices, that’s great, celebrate! Celebrate your health and life – would you prefer the alternative?

I know that there are some days when you don’t feel like celebrating. Use Tony Robbins’ method “What could I celebrate today? (then even if you can’t think of something ask:) If I could think of something to celebrate, what would it be?”

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” — Oprah Winfrey

Celebrate the future as if it is already happened! Celebrate the person you want to be, the thing you want to have, the issue you want to resolve, the situation that you want to improve! Enjoy it! Feel the fun!

Celebrate what you want to see more of. – Tom Peters (author of In Search of Excellence and other books)

Feeling happy/celebratory/abundant/whatever surpasses the money in your bank account, the report from the doctor, the whatever – and transcends what others may think of you. Genuinely feeling a certain way is possible when you detach yourself from the things you desire and then celebrating it.

Dream on it. Let your mind take you to places you would like to go, and then think about it and plan it and celebrate the possibilities. And don’t listen to anyone who doesn’t know how to dream.
Liza Minnelli

Don’t you think that you’re more attractive to others when you’re thinking celebrating rather than the “ho-hum” you? Wouldn’t your career be a little different if you approached it in a ‘celebrating-way’ rather that complaining, whining and doing the minimum as so many people do? (not you of course)

Celebrating sends a message to others around you, even to the Universe (if you believe in such)

“Don’t forget to CELEBRATE!!! Anchor the experience of doing something truly extraordinary with an awesome celebration.”- Tony Robbins

Celebrating brings smiles and laughter. It brings joy and happiness. Enough said.

Simple Stuff – Confidence

(simple stuff is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

Confidence Confidence confidence

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.-Helen Keller
We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.-Eleanor Roosevelt
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.-Lao Tzu
Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.-Marie Curie
The man of genius inspires us with a boundless confidence in our own powers.-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.-
Vince Lombardi
Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.-Pope John Paul II
Confidence comes from discipline and training.-Robert Kiyosaki
The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money.-James Madison
When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.-
Joe Namath

 

I have confidence in you, please have confidence in yourself. – Jim Frey

To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence. –Mark Twain

Bonus:
Suggested book (from a fan)

Unstoppable Confidence: How to Use the Power by Kent Sayre

http://www.onewebstrategy.com

Being rich is all about having the right habits

Being rich is all about having the right habits. That’s the message from Tom Corley, who spent five years observing how rich and poor people lived, worked, and even slept. Then, Corley wrote about his research in a book called “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”

Here’s what he found:

First: Be an early bird. Because among people making six-figures a year, about half wake up at least three hours before they have to be at work. Then, Corley says they use that extra morning time to focus on self-improvement like reading and exercising, because those things help them be more productive at work.
Another daily habit that can make you rich:Don’t gossip. According to Corley’s research, wealthy people are a whopping 14 times less likely to say they spread gossip, compared to people earning less than $30,000 a year.


Also: Spend less time using the Internet. Corley says most people who struggle with money spend at least an hour a day surfing the Web, or watching TV. But rich people are HALF as likely to go online every day. Instead, they spend that extra hour connecting with others in the “real world,” doing things like networking, socializing, and volunteering.


Another helpful habit: Make more “to-do” lists. Because wealthy people say they cross off 70% percent of the tasks on their to-do list every day – including short-term and long-term goals, meaning, rich people love getting stuff done.


Finally: According to the book, wealthy people are calorie counters. They generally limit alcoholic consumption, keep their junk food snacks to less than 300 calories per day, and weigh less. And it makes sense that successful people would weight less, 75% of executives in a recent survey said that being overweight is a “serious career impediment.” Overweight people are 3,000 times more likely to get passed over for a promotion. And fair or not, overweight applicants get turned down for jobs more than any other group.

http://www.tesh.com

Simple Stuff

(Simple stuff is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker. –Helen Keller  <!–[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]–> <!–[endif]–>

My heroes are and were my parents. I can’t see having anyone else as my heroes. –Michael Jordan  <!–[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]–> <!–[endif]–>We’re our own dragons as well as our own heroes, and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves. –Tony Robbins

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom. –Bob Dylan

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.-Christopher Reeve  <!–[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]–> <!–[endif]–>

Being a hero means being your real self, doing what you really want to do, going got ‘it’ whatever it is, not trying to appease others – Jim Frey

My belt holds my pants up, but the belt loops hold my belt up. I don’t really know what’s happening down there. Who is the real hero? –Mitch Hedberg

BONUS-

CNN revealed the 2013 Top 10 CNN Heroes — now it’s time to let them know which inspire you the most. Vote for the CNN Hero of the Year at http://CNNHeroes.com/ — once a day, EVERY DAY thru 11/17.

Survive the Unthinkable,

 

I am always on the lookout for good books.

I try not to ‘over-recommend’ either, but here is a great one….Survive the Unthinkable,

 

…here is some background…..you may know someone in a situation that this may be relevant…..

Violence against women remains one of the most common human rights abuses in the world. Women ages 15 through 44 are more likely to die or be maimed because of male violence than because of cancer, malaria, war, and traffic accidents combined.

Rape and attempted rape are very much silent assassins. Only 16 percent of rape victims actually report an incident to the police, which means that the statistics we have about rape in the United States barely reflect the grim reality. The World Health Organization has found that domestic and sexual violence affects 30 to 60 percent of women in most countries. And the majority of offenses are committed by someone the victim knows or at least recognizes.

Perhaps the most disturbing truth is that the rape perpetrator will probably victimize seven to nine women before he’s jailed.

In our increasingly violent collective, women must often yield to an incessant voice that warns: Be careful where you walk. Be careful where you park. Be careful where you go. Be careful what you wear. Be careful what you say.

The unnerving posture of gender violence is what prompted me to seek out the best self-defense instructor I could find for the women I care about in my life — who just happens to be the author of the book you’re holding in your hands right now.

Tim Larkin’s Survive the Unthinkable relays a message of empowerment, not panic. It’s the key that can unlock your personal power as a woman.

With many things in life, the truth is often nearly 180 degrees from what your imagination might suggest. The principles and methods that Tim Larkin shares in this critical book are perfect examples of this:

  • Women need NOT be vulnerable to attack, and they already have the tools necessary to avoid violence or protect themselves in those rare instances where avoidance isn’t possible.

  • Even the most violent sociopaths are incredibly vulnerable once you know the psychology of what drives their behavior.

  • The people who are most effective at “self-defense” typically have no formal training.

Being able to protect yourself doesn’t require muscle, fancy techniques, or months of practice at the martial arts studio. All that you need to live confidently and joyfully is knowledge and the willingness to apply it.

As a woman, you have people who depend on you — perhaps your partner, children, siblings, friends. Please consider the ability to defend yourself a responsibility, not a luxury, in much the same way that you might exercise, wear your seatbelt, or get regular medical checkups.

This book presents imperative components that ensure peace of mind, which ultimately allows us to find fulfillment in our daily life. The emotional edge my friend Tim Larkin presents helps to create a better life through key adjustments to our perception, psychology, and awareness. You can trust, as I do, that Tim Larkin’s teachings are the most effective, thoroughly tested, and reliable way to ensure your safety, confidence, and self-assurance, which will in turn enable you to effectively cooperate with others, operate at optimal productivity, and get the most enjoyment out of every day of your life.

www.timlarkin.com

Approximately   1.9 million women are physically assaulted annually in the United   States alone. In his New York Times bestselling book Survive the Unthinkable, Tim Larkin empowers women to   understand that surviving a potential attack isn’t about being   physically bigger, faster, or stronger; it’s about knowing how to   self-protect, not self-defend. – See more at: http://www.timlarkin.com/book.php#more

(Foreward by Tony Robbins)

Feeling stressed, tense, worried?

happyfacefinger

You know, we’ve all been there in one way or another: we’ve been tense and focused on money, maybe stressed, maybe short with our spouse, maybe short with our kids….and in that moment when we’re stressing about money, we’re missing the world around us.

You know what I mean when I say “That awful feeling in the pit of your stomach because you feel like you have to worry about running out of money at the end of the month.”

I’ve been there, then back on “top”, then stressed again, a few times in my life.

I heard a funny thing the other day; someone was saying how they thought ‘rich people’ always think about money and ‘rich people’ are all shallow.

Maybe some are shallow, but in my experience and from what I read, when you had enough money to pay the bills and to live in a decent way, you’re NOT thinking about money much at all. When you have enough to cover the bills, you can think about fun things, about things that you WANT to do in your job and career, and things that you can do for or contribute to others – you can choose to enjoy life a little more.

When I was struggling with income and bills, and when I observe others that have the same struggle to pay bills and meet their obligations, they think about money all day long.

There is a great book that I highly recommend called “Bridges out of Poverty”. It helps explain how people struggling in poverty are constantly thinking about how they are paying the bills, food on the table, tires on the car, utility bills, etc.

Even if we aren’t at the poverty level, we can sometimes have some traits of the poverty mindset……we worry about money, about paying the mortgage, about our jobs, etc. This never creates a good feeling inside, does it?

Again, as someone that has been back and forth, here is some wisdom that I’ve learned from a few others and I believe that it really can help:

  • Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want – instead of focusing on the bills and lack of cash, focus on the things that you really want, the freedom, peace of mind, better health, better relationships, enjoying life, security for your family, etc.

  • Watch your self-talk- we all talk to ourselves and ask ourselves questions throughout the day. There is enough negativity in the world, don’t add to it by bringing yourself down. I was someone who beat myself up for many things and once in a while still do – if you do also, STOP. Reflect on accomplishments, look for references why you’re good at something, ask yourself questions like “Why do I deserve this?” and “Why am I so lucky?” instead of things like “Why can’t I earn more money” or ‘why is this such a struggle’ or ‘why don’t I ever win anything?”

  • Have a vision – ok maybe your life isn’t where you want it to be now and you want to improve – almost everyone does….create a vision. It doesn’t have to be a major complicated thing – something as simple as some bullet points or a paragraph or two is fine – create a simple story of you as you want to be – make the story in present tense as if you already have it – as if you are already “THERE” and you’re looking back on today, when you are struggling. Make sure that in the story you talk about how you’re proud of the steps you took, the hard work, the good attitude, and how you changed for the better. Remember, tell the ideal story of your life as if it is already done!

  • Enjoy the present, live in the moment – when we worry about the future or fret over the past, we miss moments and experiences right in front of us. I recall a time when my wife and I had time alone and I sat there worrrying about something that never even happened. Another time I recall worrying about something and basically ignoring my daughters when I had a free day with them. We all lost and nothing was gained. Take a moment to look around, be aware, and live today’s life. Things can happen in a moment. Look for miracles. You gotta celebrate life’s moments no matter what. There is no rehearsal.

  • Here’s something that can be the toughest for any of us – do the above each and everyday. We can all do things for a while or on occasion, or here and there. We have to ask the right questions, focus on the good stuff, reflect on our vision, and enjoy the present every day! We all must take action – even if they are just baby steps each day. Ask, ‘what thing, regardless how big or small, can I do today?” You don’t have to spend long on it – but at least 5 -10 minutes. Can you turn off the TV, put down the phone, or walk away from the computer or ipad for 10 minutes if it makes you better?

Remember, people with much less smarts, ability, education, opportunity have done great things, contributed, made money, helped others, and been successful , you have the ability, you have the power inside, you just need to take action.

http://www.onewebstrategy.com

😉

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