Top 10 Food Lies That Keep Us Sick and Fat – Dr. Hyman

When it comes to weight loss, there’s a ton of advice out there. The problem is, most of it is terrible, outdated and scientifically disproven. And if you believe it, it could be getting in your way. So let’s take a look at the Top Ten Food Lies that keep you sick and fat.

Food Lie #1: All Calories Are Created Equal
When I walked into an 8th grade class recently, I asked if them if there was a difference between 1000 calories of broccoli and a 1000 calories of soda. You know what I heard? A unanimous, “Duh! Yes!”

The idea that, as long as we burn more calories than we consume, we will lose weight IS SIMPLY DEAD WRONG. The lie is that losing weight is all about energy balance or calories in/calories out. Just eat less and exercise more is the mantra we hear from the food industry and government agencies. It’s all about moderation. How’s that working for America?

The truth is there are good and bad calories. And that’s because it’s more than a simple math problem.

When we eat, our food interacts with our biology, which is a complex adaptive system that instantly transforms every bite. Every bite affects your hormones, brain chemistry and metabolism. Sugar calories cause fat storage and spike hunger. Protein and fat calories promote fat burning.

What counts even more are the QUALITY of the calories.
What are high-quality calories? Whole foods – fresh foods, foods like great-grandma made. Good quality protein: grass-fed animal products (not factory farmed), organic eggs, chicken, small wild fish, nuts and seeds. Good carbs: vibrantly colored vegetables, the brighter the better (you can binge on these!). Fruits like wild berries, apples and kiwis. And super foods like chia and hemp seeds. And good fats like avocado, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds, coconut butter and omega-3 fats from fish.

Food Lie #2: Don’t Lose Weight Too Fast, You’ll Gain it All Back

Slow and steady is what we are told. No quick fixes. Don’t lose more than a pound a week. This is dead wrong.

Studies show the opposite – that a jumpstart leads to more weight loss over time.
If you reboot your metabolism with a quick detox from sugar, processed food and junk, you will reset your hormones and your brain chemistry making it much easier to sustain the changes.

The key is to use a healthy, sustainable strategy for weight loss that balances your hormones and brain chemistry and doesn’t put you in a starvation response.

That allows you to lose the weight and keep it off – I see it with my patients all the time – if you see results, you feel empowered and get inspired to keep losing weight.

Food Lie #3: All You Need is Willpower
This is one of the most insidious lies pushed on us by the food industry and government.

Their mantra is this: Eat Less, Exercise More.

The implicit message in this idea is that the real reason we are all fat and sick is that we are lazy gluttons. If we just stopped stuffing our faces and got up off the couch and moved our butt, we would lose weight. It is moral failing, weak psychology, apathy or worse that prevents people from moderating their food intake and exercise. This is nonsense.

If you try to control your appetite with willpower, you will fail. We have short-term voluntary control and can starve ourselves but then our bodies compensate by slowing our metabolism and dramatically increasing appetite. It is unsustainable. If I asked you to hold your breath for 15 minutes – no matter how bad you want to make it happen, you’re just not designed to pull that off.

When your taste buds, brain chemistry, hormones and metabolism have been damaged by sugar and processed foods, willpower alone won’t do it. If you are addicted to sugar and refined carbs you cannot white knuckle it for very long. You have to naturally reset your brain chemistry and hormones so your body will automatically self regulate and the cravings disappear and hunger will be in balance.

When your metabolism has been hijacked you need to detox from the addictive power of sugar and flour and replace them with real, whole high quality foods. That will allow your appetite and weight to automatically regulate without willpower.

Food Lie #4: Diet Soda Is Better Than Regular Soda
I call soda LIQUID DEATH. And you might as well call diet soda “New & Improved Liquid Death,” because it may actually be WORSE.

In a 14-year study of more than 66,000 women, researchers found that diet sodas actually raised the risk of diabetes MORE than sugar-sweetened sodas. One diet soda increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 33% and one large diet soda increased the risk by 66%.

The truth is, diet soda slows your metabolism, makes you hungry for sugar and carbs and packs on the belly fat.

Stay away from all artificial sweeteners, even natural ones. Just add a little real sugar to your coffee if you want. It’s not the sugar that you add to your diet that’s the problem. It’s the sugar that is added to your diet by food corporations.

Food Lie #5: Foods Labeled Low Fat or Whole Grain Are Good for You
The low-fat craze of the last 30 years has paralleled the dramatic rise in obesity and type 2 diabetes. When food companies took the fat out of the products it was replaced with sugar. And in those 30 years our sugar consumption has doubled. Fat actually makes you satisfied, curbs your appetite and a review of all the research on fat and weight found that fat does not make you fat.

The latest health buzzword is “whole grain.” Food companies add a few flakes of whole grain to processed foods and try to convince us its healthy. A whole grain Pop Tart? Really?

Most cereals are 75% sugar, even with a little bit of whole grain added. They shouldn’t be called breakfast, they should be called dessert. And we are feeding sugary cereal to our kids for breakfast thinking we are doing something good for them. In fact, we are killing them.

My basic rule for food: If it has ANY health claim on the label, it’s probably bad for you.

Food Lie #6: It’s All About Genetics
You may think if your mom is fat and your grandma is fat, that’s why you are fat – you drew the fat card or the diabetes card in the genetic lottery.

But the truth is there are 32 genes associated with obesity in the general population and they only account for nine percent of obesity cases. So even if you had all 32 obesity genes, you would put on only about 22 pounds.

Plus, our genes only change two percent every 20,000 years. And by 2050 it is projected that over 50 percent of Americans will be obese (now it’s about 35%). Our genes don’t change that fast.

What changed is we went from eating about 10 pounds of sugar per person per year in 1800 to 152 pounds of sugar (and 146 pounds of flour) per person per year today. Those are drugs, doses of sugar and flour that hijack our metabolism and make us fat and sick.

The truth is that obesity is caused by all kinds of factors, but the least of them is genetics.

Food Lie #7: Eating Fat Makes You Fat
Fat is not a 4-letter word! Eating fat not only doesn’t make you fat, it’s critical to health and weight loss. Studies comparing an identical calorie high fat diet to a high sugar diet had totally different effects on metabolism. The higher fat diet caused people to burn an extra 300 calories a day. That’s the equivalent of running for an hour without doing any exercise. Fat speeds up your metabolism. Sugar slows it down.

In studies of animals eating identical calorie diets of low fat (high sugar) or higher fat and protein show that the higher sugar diets lead to more fat deposition and muscle loss, while the higher fat and protein diets led to more muscle mass and fat loss. And remember that’s while they were eating exactly the same number of calories.

The right fats are actually the preferred fuel for our cells, especially ones called medium chain triglycerides that come from foods like coconut butter. Yes, you need to stay away from trans fats, but good fats like extra virgin olive oil, coconut butter, avocado, nuts, seeds and nut butters keep us full AND they lubricate the wheels of our metabolism.

So don’t fear fat!

Food Lie #8: Milk Is Nature’s Perfect Food
Milk is nature’s perfect food only if you are a calf!

For many people, dairy causes inflammation, allergies, congestion, postnasal drip, sinus problems, eczema, asthma, acne and irritable bowel. It also may increase the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis, increase the risk of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and causes certain kinds of cancers.

And it also spikes insulin, causing us to grow belly fat.

No matter what messages you hear from the dairy lobby – there is nothing perfect about milk! To read more about the dangers of milk, read my blog “Got Proof.”

Food Lie #9: You Have To Starve To Lose Weight
You do NOT have to starve to lose weight! In fact, that’s one thing that my patients love to learn about, they don’t go hungry when eating real whole food. There is no way even the Guinness World Record holder of calorie counting can accurately know their calorie intake. If you eat one extra mouthful of food a day, over 30 years you will become obese. You have to let your body naturally regulate itself by eating the right foods. You can’t count your way to health or weight loss.

In fact, when you balance your hormones and insulin by eating the right combination of proteins, healthy fats, the right carbs (low glycemic) and phytonutrients, you can not only lose weight without starving, you can lose weight without craving all the junk that was making you fat!

Food Lie #10: Exercise Is the Key to Weight Loss
If you think you can exercise your way to weight loss, I am sorry to say you are in for a big disappointment. Do you treat yourself to a post workout sugar-laden smoothie, muffin, or other “healthy” snack? Suck back some Gatorade to quench your thirst after your thirty minutes on the treadmill?

Relying on exercise to lose weight without changing your diet is asking for failure. You can change your diet and lose weight, but if you exercise and keep your diet the same, you may gain some muscle, improve endurance, and be healthier overall, but you won’t shed many pounds.

Remember, if you consume one 20-ounce soda, you have to walk four and a half miles to burn it off. If you consume one super-size fast-food meal, you have to run four miles a day for one whole week to burn it off. If you eat that every day, you have to run a marathon every single day to burn it off.

The simple fact is that you cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet.

How To Begin Rebuilding Your Life And Make It Ridiculously Amazing – Luminita D. Saviuc

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“Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.” ~ Joseph Addison

What if one day you woke up and decided that you were tired of feeling tired and that you had enough of everything? Enough of stress and anxiety, enough of anger and resentment, enough of struggle, lack, pain and poverty, enough of tears, heartbreaks, self destructive thoughts, behaviors and relationships and enough of all that is negative and toxic? What if you decided that you wanted to change yourself and your life but didn’t know where exactly to start, what then?

There are many things you can do to begin rebuilding your life and make it ridiculously amazing and today I will share with you 12 things that are meant to help you do just that. Are you ready? Let’s begin:

1. MAKE A COMMITMENT TO YOURSELF

I (name),

Make a commitment to myself,

To spend so much time improving myself and my life that I have no time for worry, judgement, criticism, whining and complaining;

To forgive, release and let go of my attachment to any past struggles and allow every challenge life sends my way to make me better not bitter.

Starting now, I make a commitment to let go of what’s behind me and start appreciating what’s in front of me;

To let go of all the pointless drama, all the toxic relationships, thoughts and behaviors that are present in my life and to constantly shift my focus from the bad on to the good;

To make room in my heart for love, happiness, peace and tranquility and to create my life from a place of infinite choices and possibilities – the present moment, and no longer from a place of limitations – the past.

I commit to staying true to myself at all times and to never betray myself just so I can please other people.

I commit myself to give up on toxic thought, behaviors and relationships but never on myself and my dreams.

Starting now and starting today, I will begin rebuilding my life and to make it ridiculously amazing.

Sincerely,
(name)

Once you truly commit to rebuilding your life and making it ridiculously amazing, nothing and no one will be able to stand in your way.

2. FORGIVE, RELEASE AND LET GO OF PAST HURTS AND RESENTMENTS

Fill your heart with love. Forgive, release and let go. Not necessary because those who mistreated you deserve it, but because you do. Let forgiveness liberate you from your past. Allow it to take away all the resentment you kept in heart for all this time and allow yourself to fill in that empty space with love, inner peace and compassion.

If others mistreated you in the past it doesn’t mean you have to continue their work. Look how beautiful Mark Twain talks about this: “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

Release and let go of all the negativity from your life. Start small and trust that as you work on letting go of all the extra baggage that is weighting you down, you will begin to feel lighter and you will gain a lot more clarity over your life. You will feel happier and more at peace with yourself and the world around you.

3. EMBRACE WITH GRACE ALL THAT YOU FACE

Shift your focus from the bad on to the good, from the pain on to the gain, from resentment on to the forgiveness, gratitude and appreciation. Learn to embrace with grace all that you face.

Appreciate everything life sends your way, whether good or bad and know that “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ~ Melody Beattie

4. VISUALIZE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS AND CREATE YOUR DESTINY

Ask yourself the same question I asked myself a few years ago when I decided to let go of my attachment to my past and begin rebuild my whole life: “If there were no limits to what I can do, be and have, how would my life look like?”

Let your imagination run wild. Dare to dream big. Don’t settle for less than you are worth.

The richer your imagination, the more beautiful your life will be.

“The power of imagination is incredible. Often we see athletes achieving unbelievable results and wonder how they did it. One of the tools they use is visualization or mental imagery… they made the choice to create their destinies and visualized their achievements before they ultimately succeeded.” ~ George Kohlrieser

See in your mind’s eye the life you would love to live, the person you would love to become and the relationships you would want to have. Live your life from the end and act as if all of the things you need and desire are already present in your life. Feel the feelings that come from having all those wonderful things happen to you and allow those feelings to be with you at all times.

5. DREAMS WON’T WORK UNLESS YOU DO

Act upon your heart’s desire. Do the things you need to do in order to get where you want to get. Read the books you need to read, contact the people you need to contact, build the skills you need to build.

Find a mentor. Dare to ask questions. Do whatever it takes to move yourself closer to making your dreams come true.

Trust that with every step you take, your life situation will improve and you will become even more happier than you already are.

6. TAKE ONE STEP AT A TIME

Because of the many years of past conditioning and the intense training you have in holding on to toxic thoughts, behaviors and unhealthy relationships, giving up on all that is toxic in your life won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight. Chances are that you won’t see major improvements in your life immediately, and that’s okay. Be patient and gentle with yourself while working on rebuilding your life and remember to enjoy the journey.

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” ~ Greg Anderson

Take one step at a time and keep in mind that a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.

7. DEVELOP A DEEP TRUST IN LIFE

You have to have faith. You have to have trust… Trust in yourself, trust in the people you interact with and trust in life.

Put your fears aside. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Develop a deep trust in the wisdom of life. “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” ~ Matthew 17:20

8. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO “FAIL”

Give yourself permission to “fail” and make “mistakes”.

Trust me when I tell you that in every “mistake” there is a lesson to learn, lesson that will be very beneficial to you as you continue walking on your life’s chosen path.

“There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they’re necessary to reach the places we’ve chosen to go.” ~ Richard Bach

9. BE GOOD TO YOURSELF

Love yourself and be good to yourself because if you do, the world around you will start mirroring your behavior. Take good care of your mind, body, heart and soul. Exercise, drink plenty of water, eat healthy and delicious food.

Nurture good thoughts. Act in compassionate and loving ways, towards yourself and the world around you. Spend time alone, spending at least 5 to 10 minutes per day in silence would make you help make you feel refreshed, rejuvenated and renewed.

Go outside. Spend some time in nature. Look at the plants, the sky, the stars, the moon and the trees. Celebrate the miracle of life.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~ Albert Einstein

10. GIVE UP LIVING YOUR LIFE TO OTHER PEOPLE’S EXPECTATIONS

Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.

Never get your sense of worth from outside yourself. Your worth comes from inside yourself and not from forces outside yourself – people, events, material possessions. Don’t ever let other people tell you how much you’re worth, decide for yourself. It’s called self worth not others worth.

You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

11. DISCIPLINE YOUR MIND TO STAY PRESENT IN THE NOW

Learn to be present and engaged in the present moment. Be happy with what you have, what you know and who you are right now. Don’t allow your mind to trick you into thinking that you won’t be happy until you get where you want to get.

Appreciate what’s in front of you. If you learn how to be present and engaged in the NOW, you will live a very happy and content life and no matter how many challenges life will send your way, you will become a better not bitter person.

“As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love – even the most simple action.” ~ Eckhart Tolle,

12. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH LOVING AND SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE

Surround yourself with positive, cheerful, supportive and loving people. People who can lift you up when you are feeling down; people who will turn on the light for you when you are in the dark; people who can see you for what you truly are and who you can truly become. Take the advice of Mark Twain and “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

You need positive and loving friends who will support you in your new way of life…

Commit yourself to making the best of everything life sends your way. Be soft and flexible. Go with the flow of life and no longer against it.

Enjoy the ride and no matter what happens to you and no matter how many challenges and difficult people life might send your way, know that they are all there to help you grow and evolve into the beautiful being you so much want and deserve to be.

You only have one life to live. Make it a memorable one.

Give up on all the toxicity present in your life but never on yourself and your dreams, ok?

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” ~ Don Williams Jr.

How do you envision your ideal self? What about your ideal life? What steps could you take this week to move yourself closer to building your ideal self and living your ideal life? I really want to know what are your thoughts on this. You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below 🙂

The Power of Mornings: Why Successful Entrepreneurs Get up Early – Lisa Evans

When running a business, it may seem like there are never enough hours in the day. Tapping into the power of mornings, a time of day when there are less demands, might be the key to increasing your productivity.

For 15 years, Starbucks President Michelle Gaas has set her alarm for 4:30 a.m. to go running. Gretchen Ruben, popular author of The Happiness Project (Harper Perennial, 2011) wakes up at 6 a.m. and works for an hour before her family rises. Time-management expert Laura Vanderkam highlights what makes mornings special and how we can use them more efficiently in her book What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast (Portfolio Trade, 2013). Here are a few benefits to getting out of bed earlier.

You are less likely to get distracted in the morning. An entrepreneur’s day fills up fast. If you wait until the afternoon or evening to do something meaningful for yourself such as exercising or reading, you’re likely to push it off the to-do list altogether. “There are going to be reasons why you can’t tackle a personal priority at 4 p.m. — things have a lot less likelihood of coming up at 6 a.m.,” says Vanderkam.

You have more willpower early in the day. Even if you aren’t a morning person, you may have more willpower in the early hours than later in the day. “Willpower is like a muscle [that] becomes fatigued with over-use,” says Vanderkam. During the course of the day as you’re dealing with difficult people, making decisions and battling traffic, you use up your willpower, leaving you feeling depleted toward the end of the day.

Mornings give you the opportunity to set a positive tone for the day. If you’ve ever slept in past your alarm clock or forgotten your kids’ lunches on the counter, you know that starting off the day with a failure can bring down your mood and affect your productivity at work. Vanderkam says waking up earlier allows you to start the day with a victory and set the tone for a happier and more productive day.

If the thought of waking up at sunrise makes you cringe, Vanderkam recommends these four steps to transform even a habitual night owl into a morning person.

1. Keep a time journal. Vanderkam says one of the reasons people say they don’t like mornings is that they stay up too late. She recommends keeping a time journal for a week to show where you may be using your time inefficiently. Vanderkam finds when many self-professed night owls look at their time journals, they often find they aren’t spending their evening hours productively or doing anything particularly enjoyable.

2. Imagine your perfect morning. Imagine what you would do if you had an extra hour in the day. Would you exercise? Read the newspaper rather than simply skimming the headlines? “[Getting up earlier] isn’t about punishing yourself. You will not get out of bed if you don’t have a good reason to do it,” says Vanderkam.

3. Plan your morning. Once you have decided what you want to do with your extra time, plan how to execute it, and set as much up as possible the night before. For example, if you want to exercise in the morning, lay out your clothes the night before, or gather the ingredients for your breakfast.

4. Build the habit slowly. Vanderkam says you will likely hit the snooze button and sleep in if you try to switch your habits drastically. So instead of setting your alarm for 5 a.m. when you normally get up at 7:30 a.m. set the alarm for 10 minutes earlier each day. To make sure you don’t lose sleep, go to bed 10 minutes earlier each night. If you have trouble hitting the sack on time, set a bedtime alarm.

4 Habits That Are Keeping You Up at Night – Lisa Evans

We all know the health risks of lack of sleep, yet despite warnings of increased risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiac conditions, most of us fall short of the recommended seven to nine hours of shut eye per day. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports 30 percent of employed American adults get under six hours of sleep per day.

Lack of sleep is a serious problem for business. Dr. Michael Breus, author of Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4 Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health (Dutton, 2006) says sleep can cause you to make bad business decisions. “The more sleep deprived you are, the more emotional your decision-making becomes, the slower you react and the slower you think,” says Breus.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School found one-third of American workers aren’t getting enough shut-eye to function at peak levels and this chronic exhaustion is costing companies billions of dollars in lost productivity. Being a smart sleeper is just as important as being a smart entrepreneur, but lack of sleep often goes undiagnosed. While you may think you’re getting enough sleep, if you answer yes to any of the questions below, chances are you aren’t reaping the benefits of your slumber.

Are you in asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow?
“If you fall asleep in less than ten minutes, this is a sure sign you’re significantly sleep deprived,” says Breus. Sleep is a process that takes approximately 30 minutes for the body to complete. “Sleep is not an on/off switch. It’s more like pulling your foot off the gas and slowly putting it on the brakes. There’s a process that needs to occur and the body needs time to shut down properly,” says Breus.

Do you enjoy a drink before bed?
“Alcohol is a muscle relaxant,” says Breus. While alcohol may help you hit the pillow faster by calming you down, it has a negative impact on your quality of sleep. Alcohol is also a diuretic, so it may wake you in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and keeps you out of the deep stages of sleep (REM sleep), causing multiple awakenings and leaving you feeling fatigued the next day.

Do you exercise right before bedtime?
While it’s true people who exercise sleep better than those who don’t, Breus recommends completing your workout at least 90 minutes before bedtime. “That’s how long it takes for your body to cool down,” he says. Exercise raises your core body temperature, which needs to drop to signal the brain to release melatonin –a hormone that signals your body to shut down for the night.

Do you have coffee in the evening?
While you may be able to fall asleep after drinking a cup of coffee, your body will feel caffeine’s stimulant effects into the night. “The average person metabolizes caffeine in about eight to ten hours,” says Breus. Drinking coffee late in the evening disrupts the body’s natural sleep patterns and leaves you feeling sluggish the next morning

How to Trick Yourself into Becoming a Morning Person – Stephanie Vozza

The early bird apparently does get the worm. Christoph Randler, a biology professor at the University of Education in Heidelberg, Germany, found that morning people are often more successful than evening people because, as a group, they tend to be proactive. A recent survey conducted by The Guardian confirms this idea, reporting that many CEOs of successful companies are up by 5 a.m.

But what if you’re more of a night owl than a morning lark – is it possible to change your ways?

Yes, but it will take work, says Dr. W. Christopher Winter, Medical Director for the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center in Charlottesville, Va. and spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

“Your genes determine what we call your ‘chronotype,’ which is if you are a morning or evening person,” says Winter. “It’s often similar within families, but it can be influenced to a certain degree.”

Changing your chronotype takes about two weeks, but you have to stick with it. If you slack off, you’ll drift back to your natural tendencies, Winter cautions. He offers six simple tips for adjusting your internal clock:

1. Put yourself on a morning schedule, but don’t sweat bed time.
Wake up, exercise and eat at the same time every day, says Winter. The body likes to anticipate what’s happening, and will settle into a routine. But don’t worry about your bedtime: “People get hung up on setting a bedtime, but that’s a mistake because it can cause stress,” he says. “The bedtime will sort itself out because you’ll be tired. The most important piece is to not slack off on the wakeup time.”

Winter says the problem occurs when you drift back to older patterns during weekends and vacations. Sleeping in on weekends tells your body that your early morning routine is just an arbitrary schedule and that it should stick to its chronotype. To become a morning person, it’s important to get up early on weekends, even if you are out late the night before.

2. Use a smart alarm.
The snooze button was designed to allow people to go back to sleep for a few minutes without reentering a deep sleep cycle, but it can hinder your transformation into an early riser, says Winter.

“There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it, but if you want to wake up at a certain time you’re not in a cognitive state of mind to make a decision about whether or not to add nine more minutes of sleep,” he says.

Instead, Winter likes to use a smartphone alarm app, such as Smart Alarm or Math Alarm, that requires him to solve a math problem to turn it off or set it to snooze. “Solving a problem makes your brain awake enough to make an informed decision,” he says.

He also likes to use his music library to play a random song as an alarm. “You can become callous to the same song or sound on your alarm,” he says. “Different songs will be a novel stimulus and that can be helpful.”

3. Let in the light.
Whether it’s natural or artificial, light is significant because it tells the brain that the day has begun and sends signals to the body to stop making melatonin, the hormone that helps regular sleep, says Winter.

“If it’s dark when you want to wake up – say 5 a.m., for example – you can fool your brain into thinking the sun is up by using bright indoor lights,” he says.

4. Get some exercise.
Winter says exercising first thing in the morning helps wake up the body. Researchers at Appalachian State University found that morning exercise lowers your blood pressure, reduces stress and anxiety, and helps you sleep better at night.

Winter says exercising in bright light is best. He suggests going for a morning bike ride or jog, or taking the dog for a walk.

5. Have a protein-heavy meal.
Skip the bagel and go for eggs or yogurt, says Winter. Protein facilitates wakefulness, he says, while carbohydrates promote sleep. “Protein increases your dopamine levels, which help make you ready for the day.”

6. Avoid the urge to nap.
Winter says falling asleep earlier may be difficult in the first few days, and you may have a strong urge to nap, but you should fight it.

“Capitalize on sleepiness as a way to go to bed earlier,” he says. “If you nap, you’ll destroy your natural stimulus for sleep.”

Why Entrepreneurs Are Jumping on the Drinkable Meal Bandwagon by Kate Taylor ENTREPRENEUR STAFF Staff Writer

You’re working late for the fifth night in a row and your stomach is growling. So, you reach grab for a packet of food substitute, stir it in some water and slurp it down to get all the nutrients you need.

Sound more appealing than ordering a big, juicy burrito? A surprising smattering of companies, from startups to established beverage industry players, are betting that if it doesn’t now, in a few years it will.

Drinkable meal replacements are suddenly a hot topic, especially for entrepreneurs. Soylent, an “open-source” powdered food-substitute, started making headlines last year when San Francisco tech entrepreneur Rob Rhinehart began subsiding entirely off of the homemade drink. The powder is now available for purchase, selling at $85 for seven bags (about 21 meals) or $70 for a monthly shipment.

Soylent is only the first and biggest name in the emerging market of drinkable meals and nutrition supplements. Recently, Nestlé revealed that it was developing a means to craft personalized nutrient combinations, potentially though a Nespresso-like machine that produces drinkable meal supplements. Earlier in July, Ambronite, a powdered drink made entirely with real food, broke Indiegogo’s all-time record for crowdfunding food products, raking in over $97,000.

As the drinkable meal market grows, one of the most remarkable aspects is the blossoming industry’s focus on one group: entrepreneurs. From founders with backgrounds in the startup scene, to fundraising efforts, to potential customers, drinkable meals are emerging as a product by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs.

From the start, Soylent and Ambronite were born out of entrepreneurs’ need for a quick and healthy way to consume food that would allow them to cut cold pizza and ramen noodles from their diet. “All of us on the Ambronite team were interested in solving the equation of healthy eating in a hurry,” says Mikko Ikola, Ambronite’s cofounder and a leader in the biohacking community in Finland.

The Ambronite team also includes individuals drawn to drinkable meals through triathalon training and life in the barren Arctic Circle. Its customers are a similar breed: a mix of health-food junkies and time-strapped entrepreneurs.

“Some of the customers have already been working on their own smoothies or finding healthy foods, so they really focus on the ingredients,” says Ikola. “On the other hand, there are knowledge workers, entrepreneurs, consultants who are working on the convenience in their life, to get a convenient food.”

Customers in search of nutritious foods, especially athletes, are hardly strangers to the powdered drink market. In fact, right now it seems like they are the only customers in the powdered drink market, with a seemingly infinite number of of protein powders serving as staples in any amateur body builder’s diet. It’s a booming market: earlier in July, Hormel Foods Corporation, best known as the maker of Spam, bought Muscle Milk’s parent company for $450 million.

Why, then, are powdered meal replacements suddenly grabbing the attention not of the body building and marathon crowd, but instead entrepreneurs who spend most of their days in the office?

“Entrepreneurs are always the forerunners in whatever they do,” says Ikola. “A lot of people get excited in new things that improve their lives. That’s the essence of entrepreneurs: they’re curious.”

By tapping into entrepreneurs’ drive to be on the cutting edge, whether it be in tech gadgets or nutritional trends, Soylent and Ambronite are discovering – or manufacturing – a new market for powdered food products. With startups constantly speaking in the language of disruption, what’s more appealing than a product that attempts to completely change one of the most fundamental aspects of daily life?

Plus, with entrepreneurial customers come entrepreneurial funding. Soylent’s founders pursued funding in the same way a tech startup would: crowdfunding and Silicon Valley venture capitalists, including Y Combinator and investment firm Andreessen Horowitz. Crowd-funding paid off for Amrbonite as well, allowing the company to reach new customers in addition to raising nearly $100,000.

Even the criticisms of the offerings echo complaints about new apps and out-there tech gadgets, focusing on the perceived lack of practical use for the products. Why should people drink an unappetizing looking drink when there is “real” food available literally at their fingertips over Seamless? The answer cuts to the very heart of entrepreneurial ideas of disruption: there’s no need to stick to the status quo of traditional meals when there’s a chance to try something new.

Whatever critics say, customers are clamoring to try the products. Ambronite founders created the beverage as a practical solution for not having enough hours in the day. Since quickly selling out of an early version of Soylent at Restaurant Day in Helsinki in May 2013, they’ve known they aren’t alone in their taste for a quick and convenient alternative to traditional meals. Now, they have created the most funding campaign in Indiegogo history. And they can certainly drink to that.

What Successful People Eat for Breakfast by Lisa Evans

Does your breakfast consist of a muffin and coffee to go? If so, you may not be giving your brain or your body the nutrients it needs to help you be successful in your business. Naturopathic doctor Neal Barnard, author of Power Foods for the Brain (Hachette Book Group, 2013) says your brain is a function of what you feed it.

While a cup of caffeine-filled coffee and a sugar-packed muffin might have you buzzing with energy in the early morning hours, it will have you desperately reaching for your second cup of coffee by mid-morning. Here’s what you should (and shouldn’t) consume to start your day:

1. Healthy carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are a source of glucose, which the body turns into energy. A good breakfast contains at least one healthy carbohydrate that is low on the glycemic-index scale and won’t cause rapid spikes in blood sugar.

Oatmeal and rye toast are good options. “[They] keep you powered longer without any peaks or troughs,” says Barnard, giving your brain the fuel it needs to be creative and make good decisions.

2. Low-fat protein. While bacon and sausage are traditional sources of protein in a hearty North American breakfast, Barnard says these are high in cholesterol and fat and won’t give you the energy you need to get through the day. “The saturated fat in them is like Vaseline in your blood stream and makes you feel very sluggish,” says Barnard, who argues North Americans are missing out on a vital source of protein that’s also high in complex carbohydrates and is consumed by people in almost every other country in the world.

“I’ve noticed that every other country knows about having beans for breakfast. In the United Kingdom, they have baked beans on toast. In Mexico, they have black beans as a breakfast staple. In the Middle East, many countries serve chickpeas as a breakfast food,” says Barnard.

3. Fruit smoothie. You may think your day can’t begin without caffeine, but Barnard challenges you to give it a try. “Caffeine has a stimulant effect. The problem is that people get used to it,” says Barnard. Throughout the day, we end up digging ourselves out of a caffeine hole, resulting in becoming more tired later in the day after drinking coffee than we would have been if we hadn’t had that first sip. “Your brain starts to really need it just to feel normal,” he says. Instead of coffee, try a breakfast smoothie or natural fruit juice for an energy boost that won’t have you collapsing midday.

4. Dairy alternatives. While cow’s milk is a great source of protein, Barnard says it’s also high in cholesterol and fat, which can leave you feeling depleted of energy as the day wears on. Try non-dairy options such as soy milk, which is rich in protein, has very little saturated fat and is known for its antioxidant properties.

Rice and almond milk are also good options for those who want to monitor their cholesterol or who are lactose intolerant. Both are low in saturated fat, but also contain very little protein.

Top 10 Destructive Nutrition Lies Ever Told by Dr. Mercola

By Dr. Mercola

There is no shortage of health advice out there, and no shortage of bad advice to go along with it. Some misguided notions are harmless—but others are outright dangerous and can lead you down the road to chronic health problems and may even trim years off your life.

It is critically important to decipher fact from fiction. Many nutrition myths get repeated over and over until they are mistaken for truth, especially when perpetually spread by public health authorities.

But the good news is that slowly, the real truth finally appears to be reaching mainstream audiences, as evidenced by the eagerness of satirists to take a jab at the food industry, as in the clever Coca-Cola parody featured above.

In an article addressing destructive nutrition lies, Kris Gunnars of Authority Nutrition1 is among those admirably trying to bust the dangerous dietary myths that continue being spread by so many nutritionists. I agree with the majority of his points, but have added a few others that I believe to be important. Read on for my own top 10 list, which builds upon his.

Lie #1: Breakfast Is the Healthiest Meal of the Day, and You Should Eat Many Small Meals a Day

How many of you had mothers who would not let you leave the house without breakfast? Mother may have known best about some things—but as it turns out, this wasn’t one of them. There is now a good deal of research supporting the health benefits of intermittent fasting—which is what you were really doing by zipping out of the house without breakfast.

Recent studies suggest that intermittent fasting can provide the same health benefits as constant calorie restriction which many studies have shown to dramatically increase life span in animals. It may also be helpful for those who cannot successfully reduce their everyday calorie intake.

Besides turning you into an efficient fat burner, intermittent fasting can also boost your level of human growth hormone production (aka the “fitness hormone”) by as much as 1,200 percent for women and 2,000 percent for men.

Intermittent fasting and continuous calorie restriction have both been shown to produce weight loss and improve metabolic risk markers. However, intermittent fasting tends to be slightly more effective for reducing insulin resistance.

Other benefits include reducing inflammation, improving blood pressure, and increased lean body mass. Intermittent fasting can also improve your brain function by increasing levels of BDNF, a protein that protects your brain cells from the changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

There are several types of intermittent fasting to choose from, so I recommend experimenting to see what style works best for you. One of the easiest, however, is to simply skip breakfast, and limit your eating to a narrow window of time each day—say between 11am and 7pm, to start. You can review my more comprehensive article on intermittent fasting for more details.

The advice to “eat six small meals per day” comes from seemingly logical principles (portion control, keeping your energy up, stabilizing blood sugar, etc.), but in reality, eating this way has not been shown to provide these benefits. We seem to need periods of fasting for optimal metabolic function.

And if you think about it, our ancient ancestors never had access to a grocery store 24/7 and they went through regular periods of feast and famine. The problem is that most of us are in 24/7 feast mode. Implementing intermittent fasting is the quickest way I know of to jump start your body into burning fat as its primary fuel again.

Lie #2: Saturated Fat Causes Heart Disease

The dangerous recommendation to avoid saturated fat, which arose from an unproven hypothesis from the mid-1950s, has been harming people’s health for about 40 years now. As recently as 2002, the “expert” Food & Nutrition Board issued the following misguided statement, which epitomizes this myth:

“Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol have no known beneficial role in preventing chronic disease and are not required at any level in the diet.”

Similarly, the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get 45-65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 20-35 percent from fat, and 10-35 percent from protein. This is the polar opposite of an ideal fat to carb ratio and virtually guarantees you a heightened risk of disease.

Most people benefit from a diet where 50-85 percent of daily calories are derived from healthful fats. However, you need very few, if any, carbohydrates for optimal health. Although that amount of fat may seem like a lot, fat is very calorie-dense, and will therefore still constitute the smallest amount, in terms of volume, on your plate.

The truth is, saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources provide the building blocks for your cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances, without which your body cannot function optimally.

Fats also serve as carriers for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and are required for converting carotene into vitamin A, absorbing minerals, and a host of other important biological processes. Saturated fat is also the preferred fuel for your heart! Good sources of healthy fats to add to your diet include:

Avocados Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk Raw dairy Organic pastured egg yolks
Coconuts and coconut oil Unheated organic nut oils Raw nuts, especially macadamia, and raw seeds Grass-fed and finished meats
Lie #3: High Omega-6 Seed and Vegetable Oils Are Good for You

Of all the health-destroying foods on the market, those made with highly processed vegetable and seed oils are some of the worst. When consumed in large amounts, as they are by most Americans, they seriously distort your important omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. In a perfect world, this ratio is 1:1—but the average American is getting 20 to 50 times more omega-6 fats than omega-3 fats. Excessive omega-6 fats from processed foods significantly increase your risk for heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and many other illnesses.

The cholesterol found in arterial plaque is oxidized, damaged cholesterol, which your immune system identifies as bacteria. In response, your immune system sends out macrophages to attack it, which creates inflammation inside your artery walls. A major factor driving heart disease is this oxidized cholesterol, which you introduce into your body every time you consume vegetable oils, or foods cooked in them.

Many vegetable and seed oils are also genetically engineered, which only compounds their health risk. More than 90 percent of US canola oil is GE. So what’s the best oil to cook with? Of all the available oils, coconut oil is the one of choice for cooking because it’s close to a completely saturated fat—meaning, much less susceptible to heat damage. And coconut oil is one of the most nutritionally beneficial fats. For more information about coconut oil, please see our special report. Olive oil, while certainly a healthful oil, is easily damaged by heat and is best reserved for drizzling cold over salad.

Lie #4: Artificial Sweeteners Are Safe Sugar Replacements for Diabetics, and Help Promote Weight Loss

Most people use artificial sweeteners to lose weight and/or because they are diabetic and need to avoid sugar. The irony is that nearly all of the studies to date show that artificial sweeteners cause even MORE weight gainthan caloric sweeteners. Studies also show that artificial sweeteners can be worse than sugar for diabetics.

In 2005, data gathered from the 25-year long San Antonio Heart Study showed that drinking dietsoft drinks increased the likelihood of serious weight gain much more so than regular soda.2 On average, each diet soda the participants consumed per day increased their risk of becoming overweight by 65 percent within the next seven to eight years and made them 41 percent more likely to become obese. There are several possible reasons for this, such as:

Sweet taste alone appears to increase hunger, regardless of caloric content
Artificial sweeteners appear to perpetuate a craving for sweets, and overall sugar consumption is therefore not reduced, leading to further problems with weight control3
Artificial sweeteners may disrupt your body’s natural ability to “count calories,” as evidenced by multiple studies. For example, a Purdue University study found that rats fed artificially sweetened liquids ate more high-calorie food than rats fed high-caloric sweetened liquids4
The list of health risks associated with artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame, continues to expand. I maintain an ongoing list of studies related to the detrimental effects of aspartame, which I recommend you review for yourself if you are still on the fence. I invite you to watch my aspartame video, as well.

Lie #5: Soy Is a Health Food

The meteoric rise of soy as a “health food” is a perfect example of how a brilliant marketing strategy can fool millions. But make no mistake—unfermented soy products are NOT healthful additions to your diet, regardless of your age or gender. I am not opposed to all soy—properly fermented and preferably organic soy, such as tempeh, miso, and natto, offer great health benefits, courtesy of the beneficial bacteria (probiotics) the fermentation process produces.

Thousands of studies have linked unfermented soy to a number of health problems, however. More than 90 percent of American soy crops are also genetically engineered, which only compounds its health risks.5 If you find this information startling, then I would encourage you to review some of the articles on my Soy Page. The following table lists a number of the damaging health effects science has linked to unfermented soy:

Breast cancer Brain damage and cognitive impairment Heart disease
Thyroid disorders Kidney stones Immune dysfunction
Severe, potentially fatal food allergies Malnutrition Digestive problems
Problems with pregnancy and breastfeeding Reproductive disorders and impaired fertility Developmental abnormalities in infants
Lie #6: Whole Grains Are Good for Everyone

The use of whole grains is an easy subject to get confused about, especially for those with a passion for health and nutrition. For the longest time, we’ve been told that whole grains are highly beneficial. Unfortunately, ALL grains can elevate your insulin and leptin levels, even whole grains and organic varieties—and elevated insulin/leptin increases your risk of chronic disease. This is especially true if you already struggle with insulin/leptin resistance, which would manifest as high blood pressure, distorted cholesterol ratios, being overweight, or diabetes).

It has been my experience that more than 85 percent of Americans have trouble controlling their insulin and leptin levels and have one or more of the symptoms listed above. You may be one of those if you struggle to maintain an ideal body weight and body composition, tend to accumulate fat around you belly, or have a suboptimal lipid profile. In fact, insulin/leptin dysregulation is a common indicator for many of the diseases so prevalent today, such as diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and cancer.

Many whole grains also contain gluten, which is a common trigger for allergies and sensitivities. Subclinical gluten intolerance is far more common than you might think, with symptoms that are not always obvious. I strongly recommend eliminating or at least restricting grains from your diet, as well as sugars/fructose, especially if you have any of the conditions listed above. As a general rule, the higher your insulin levels are, the greater your grain restriction should be.

Lie #7: Genetically Engineered Foods Are Safe and Comparable to Conventional Foods

Genetic engineering (GE) of our food may be the most dangerous aspect of our food supply today. I strongly recommend that you avoid ALL GE foods. Since more than 90 percent of the corn and 95 percent of the soy grown in the US are GE, then you can count on virtually every processed food having at least one GE component if it doesn’t bear the “USDA 100% Organic” or non-GMO label. Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of them is that the crops are saturated with one of the most dangerous herbicides on the market, glyphosate, to the tune of nearly a billion pounds per year. This toxic chemical can’t be washed off as it becomes integrated into nearly every cell of the plant, and then gets transferred into your body.

No one knows exactly what will be the ultimate impact of these foods on your health, particularly over the long term. Animal studies have pointed to increased disease, infertility, and birth defects as the top contenders. The first-ever lifetime feeding study showed a dramatic increase in organ damage, cancer, and reduced lifespan. It’s important to realize that, unless you’re buying all organic food or growing your own, you’re probably consuming GE foods on a daily basis. In order to avoid as many GE foods as possible, be aware that the following common crops are likely to be GE unless otherwise labeled:

Corn Canola Alfalfa
Soy Cottonseed Sugar from sugar beets
Zucchini Crookneck squash Hawaiian papaya
Lie #8: Eggs Are Bad for Your Heart

Eggs are one of the most demonized foods in the US… thanks to the cholesterol myth. The misguided belief that cholesterol, such as in egg yolks, will give you heart disease is simply untrue (see Lie #1). Studies have shown that eggs do NOT have a detrimental impact on cholesterol levels and are actually one of the most healthful foods you can eat. In one Yale study,6 participants were asked to consume two eggs daily for six weeks. Researchers found that this egg consumption did not spike cholesterol levels and did not have a negative effect on endothelial function, a measure of cardiac risk.

Choose pasture-raised organic eggs, and avoid “omega-3 eggs” as this is not the proper way to optimize your omega-3 levels. To produce these omega-3 eggs, the hens are usually fed poor-quality sources of omega-3 fats that are already oxidized. Omega-3 eggs are also more perishable than non-omega-3 eggs. Some of the many nutritional benefits of eggs are summarized for you in the table below.

One egg contains six grams of high quality protein and all nine essential amino acids Beneficial for eye health due to lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants in your lens and retina that help prevent eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts Good source of choline, a member of the vitamin B family (essential for nervous system, cardiovascular system, and prenatal brain development)

Vitamin D: eggs are one of the few foods that contains naturally occurring vitamin D (24.5 grams) Sulfur (essential component of glutathione, also promotes healthy hair and nails) Many other vitamins and minerals (B vitamins, vitamins A and E, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and zinc)

Lie #9: Low-Fat Foods Prevent Obesity and Heart Disease

Conventional recommendations over the past 40 years or more have called for drastically decreasing the overall fat in your diet, but this fat aversion is a driving force behind today’s metabolic dysfunction, obesity, and ill health. As discussed earlier, most people need between 50 and 85 percent of their calories from fats—a far cry form the less than 10 percent from saturated fat recommended by the USDA!7 Kris Gunnars stated it quite nicely:8

“The first dietary guidelines for Americans were published in the year 1977, almost at the exact same time the obesity epidemic started. Of course, this doesn’t prove anything (correlation does not equal causation), but it makes sense that this could be more than just a mere coincidence.

The anti-fat message essentially put the blame on saturated fat and cholesterol (harmless), while giving sugar and refined carbs (very unhealthy) a free pass. Since the guidelines were published, many massive studies have been conducted on the low-fat diet. It is no better at preventing heart disease, obesity or cancer than the standard Western diet, which is as unhealthy as a diet can get.”

Let’s face it, if low-fat diets worked, the United States would be the healthiest nation on the planet—folks have been following them since the late 1970s! But if you look at the following graph, you can see that America’s waistline has done nothing but expand since then. There’s no telling how many people have been prematurely killed by following these flawed guidelines. Yet, despite mounting research to the contrary, low-fat diets are stillbeing pushed as “heart healthy” by the majority of nutritionists, cardiologists, and the like.

Lie #10: Carbs Should Be Your Biggest Source of Calories

I have already covered how insulin resistance is a key factor in disease (see Lie #4). A diet high in non-fiber carbohydrates—particularly processed grains and sugar—leads directly to insulin and leptin resistance. When your highest percentage of calories comes from healthful fats, these problems just don’t exist. Most high-carb diets are high in sugar and starch, not vegetables. When the low-fat mantra swept over the country, the high-carb craze soon followed. When fat was removed from foods, something had to be added back in to make foods more palatable—and that something was sugar. Particularly, highly concentrated forms of fructose, such as high fructose corn syrup, which spell metabolic disaster for your body.

With fat being the identified villain (albeit falsely accused), sugar was completely ignored—even though sugar was the real culprit behind inflammation, metabolic dysfunction, diabetes, and heart disease. America’s love of sugar was a boon to the processed food industry—which added fructose to practically everything from soup to nuts… literally. If you want to see what effects this had on the country’s health and belt size, just turn on your national news.

A high-carb diet disrupts your insulin and leptin signaling, and over time may very well result in type 2 diabetes. By contrast, a diet higher in beneficial fats corrects these metabolic issues. Recent research has demonstrated that the ketogenic diet—one marked by carbohydrate restriction and substantial healthful fats—extended the lifespan of mice by 20 percent, because it optimized their insulin sensitivity and other metabolic processes. There is evidence that low carbohydrate diets, combined with appropriate amounts of protein, can even slow down Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.

Now for the #1 Truth…

The more you can eat like your ancestors, the better—fresh whole foods, locally and sustainably raised, and foods that are minimally processed or not processed at all. These are the types of foods that your genes and biochemistry are adapted to and will provide you with the ability to reverse and prevent most diseases. You will find these at your local farmer’s market, food co-op, or in your own backyard garden. And you will be amazed at the positive changes you’ll see in your health when you “clean up” your diet! Be wary of nutritional advice from mainstream “experts” as it may not be based on science—or based on bad information that is several decades outdated. Truthful, accurate information is your number one weapon in taking control of your health.

To view the original article please go here:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/07/16/top10-nutritional-myths.aspx?x_cid=20140716_lead_facebookdoc