Healthy Byte: Body Fat Whispering to the Brain … And it’s Not Good

2015 9-11

The concept of stress eating is nothing new: When you’re frazzled, you’re more likely to reach for a pint of ice cream instead of an apple.

But scientists have discovered that there’s more at play than just nerves. New research published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology found that your body fat sends signals to your brain that affect the way it deals with metabolism and stress — and that may even influence how much stress eating you do.

Researchers found that a glucocorticoid receptor (which regulates genes controlling your body’s stress response, among other things) in fat tissue directs the brain to regulate its energy balance, helping to cope with stress.

So, essentially, your body fat is talking to your brain about how stressed you are. That could have a big impact on your body.

Here’s why: Those signals regulate the part of your neuroendocrine system that controls your reaction to stress, as well as many of your body’s other functions, including digestion, mood, sexuality, energy storage, and your immune system. As a result, your body fat can affect you in many important ways, including your response to stress.

Study co-author James Herman, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati, tells Yahoo Health that it’s possible that excess body fat can mess with that stress signaling, causing you to eat more.

It can be a vicious cycle, too. Herman notes that weight gain can give people a negative body image, which is a psychological stressor. And when extra body fat and stress are combined, your body may feel even more stressed out — and once again return to stress eating.

Herman says that more research is needed before scientists know exactly how this signaling process works, but he points out that the new research shows that stress isn’t just in our heads: “These findings tell us that stress is a whole-body problem.”

Unfortunately, researchers aren’t sure if losing weight can break the cycle. “Fat cells expand and shrink, and stress hormones are part of the expansion process,” Herman explains. But it isn’t yet clear if your stress hormones reduce as you lose weight.

While stress eating can lead to weight gain and obesity, it has a useful role — at least, historically speaking. “From the evolutionary perspective, the stress response is designed to increase energetic resources to meet or anticipate a physiological challenge,” says Herman.

When our brains get the message that we’re stressed, it views it as an emergency and signals the body that we need more food to cope with the stress.

But since most of our modern-day stressors are more in the realm of work deadlines and less for hunting woolly mammoths, we’re often not using that extra food from stress eating. As a result, we end up gaining weight and feeling even more stressed out.

Herman acknowledges that stress eating is an issue for a lot of people, and says awareness of this fat-brain communication could help. But he says the key to beating stress eating (and subsequent weight gain) is just to reduce your overall stress levels.

Did you hear that, fat cells?

Originally Posted HERE

HB Sig

Healthy Byte: Day 980

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Elmer Fudd and I are kindred spirits. Just like the stubby little game hunter with the absurdly large head is always on the hunt for a ‘twabbit,” I have this relentless propensity to always be on the hunt for ways to simplify every facet of my life. I habitually scour the internet whether it’s the latest Android app or new shortcut in MS Word, no matter what it is I weigh the practicability then yay or nay it. It is quite the persistent personal quirk which I feel compelled to entertain not because of some noble, earth shattering enlightenment, but mostly because essentially I am one lazy bitch!

I want to get the most out of everything doing the absolute bare minimum. By and large, I apply the same approach to my eating and exercise. I am constantly surveying for a more nutritiously rich vegetable or a new exercise which works multiple muscle groups  simultaneously because I want the most bang for my buck.

Part of this near obsessive pursuit is constantly volunteering myself to be a guinea pig in my own food experiments. Sometimes I come across a huge win. Like the discovery of big leafy rainbow chard leaves are great to make a bastardized burrito instead of using the standard flour tortilla. While others I suffer the consequences of my own ignorant assumptions which is usually in the form of weight gain. Like the time I thought I could eat all the whole wheat English muffin with PB&J that my little heart desired because ‘hey – it’s whole wheat, it was healthy, complex carbs are good for me, etc.’ Somehow my brain interpreted all the perceived goodness to free reign – what a silly brain!

I was particularly motivated to constantly tweak my food repertoire because although I was eating tons of vegetables (broccoli, mushrooms, onions, cherry tomatoes, carrots), with lean proteins, and complex carbs, I never felt quite ‘right,’ something always seemed to be amiss, and I was plagued with severe constipation and bloatedness. It was really frustrating and defeating because my diet did not reflect how I was feeling. A few years ago, one of my best friends was diagnosed with having Celiac. [Side Note: Celiac is not a food allergy, rather it is an autoimmune disorder where essentially the body attacks itself every time a person consumes gluten.] Her comprehensive revamp of her diet to accommodate her medical needs sparked the idea that perhaps I had some sensitivity to gluten. With the current massive food trend of gluten free everything, it seemed like a logical place to start. SO, I conducted a little experiment and started to eat gluten free pizzas but with all the same toppings. After a few times the difference was miniscule at best. I was at a loss. I consumed very little dairy so I knew it wasn’t lactose intolerance. I tried to reduce my total carb consumption but that only led to extreme fatigue. I tried to change my lean protein from chicken to pork but it made no difference. I was thoroughly stumped. The frequent stomach irritation and always feeling like I had just single handedly feasted an entire 8 course Thanksgiving dinner haunted me and was about to derail my efforts when as a last resort I knocked on the door of my best research assistant, Mrs. Google to further investigate another possible cause.

I searched:

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

Search Results:

Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS)

FODMAP diet to help with IBS symptoms

My eyes immediately was drawn to “FODMAP” because my initial thought was, ‘what an ridiculous acronym.’  But upon further research, the symptoms the website was describing were almost exactly what I was experiencing. It was as if Dr. Google took my symptoms and magically computated an answer (queue the signing angels please). FODMAP stands for “Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides And Polyols.” FODMAP are short-chain carbohydrates which are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and pass into the large intestine, where gut bacteria rapidly ferment them causing a retention of fluid that can manifest in the forms of bloating, abdominal pain, flatulence, nausea, and diarrhea in some while causing constipation in others. Approximately 10% of the population has FODMAP sensitivity or intolerance. WOW – only if I was this lucky in the lottery!

The prominent challenge of FODMAP foods is that it is not relegated to any one specific standard food group. ie. fruits, dairy, etc. FODMAP comprises many foods across all food groups based on its natural biochemical markers. ie. Frutans, Galacto-oligosaccharides, etc. (Galatac what? lol) Even within the same FODMAP food group, some people may be able to tolerate a certain limited quantity of something while others are unable to tolerate any. It is this level of individualized symptoms which can only truly be remedied through many, many, many trials & errors to identify and replace irritants in one’s diet. Perhaps the biggest shocker for me was how many ‘healthy’ foods fell under the reign of high FODMAP food group. I was simply stunned & bewildered that ⅔ of my vegetable intake was on one high FODMAP food list or the other!

I incrementally began to swap out high FODMAP foods with low FODMAP options. And miraculously I increasingly felt relief from my symptoms. Less bloated, no stomach pains, and regularity without the use of harsh laxatives every other day. This is what I had expected from committing to a healthy lifestyle and finally I am beginning to be able to bask in the rewards of my effort.

Remember that pizza experiment? I tried it again but this time on a regular crust replaced the cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, onions with spinach, pineapple, and black olives. And VALAH like Tony the Tiger, I felt GRRRREAT! The one personal pizza didn’t make me feel like that I had just devoured four. I wasn’t so bloated that I had to consign myself to elastic waistbands for the following 2-3 days until I was able to fit back into my jeans without feeling like being squeezed like a sausage. I simply felt AH-MAZING!

This is probably the primary reason why I continue to faithfully & mindlessly log every morsel of food which passes my lips – no matter how small the quantity. For me, it’s beyond just a calorie tracker. For me, it is a living record of my diet which is an invaluable tool for anyone with any sort of food sensitivity or allergies. There is years of data at the fingertips and whenever my body tells me that something is a bit wonky, I have a ready resource with me at all times. So yea, I will more than likely be that person … the life food logger.

Below is a very small sample of everyday items in FODMAP food categories which may surprise you:

FERMENTABLE OLIGOSACCHARIDES (eg. Fructans and Galacto-oligosaccharides)

HIGH FODMAP FOODS

  • Vegetables: asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cherry tomato, garlic, onion, pea
  • Cereals: rye & wheat cereals when eaten in large amounts (e.g. couscous, pasta)
  • Legumes: bean, chickpea, lentil
  • Fruits: custard apple, persimmon, rambutan, watermelon, white peach

LOW FODMAP FOODS

  • Vegetables: bok choy, carrot, celery, chives, corn, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, green pepper, leafy greens, lettuce, parsnips, spring onion (green part only)
  • Onion/garlic substitutes: garlic-infused oil
  • Cereals: gluten-free and spelt bread/cereal products
  • Fruit: tomato

DISACCHARIEDES (eg. Lactose)

HIGH FODMAP FOODS

  • Milk: regular and low-fat cow, goat, and sheep milk; ice cream
  • Yogurts: regular and low-fat yogurts
  • Cheeses: soft and fresh cheeses

LOW FODMAP FOODS

  • Milk: lactose-free milk, rice milk
  • Ice cream substitutes: gelato, sorbet
  • Yogurts: lactose-free yogurts Cheeses: hard cheeses

MONOSACCHARIDES (eg. excess Fructose)

HIGH FODMAP FOODS

  • Fruits:  apple, peach, mango, pear, sugar snap pea, tinned fruit in natural juice, watermelon
  • Honey sweeteners: fructose, high-fructose corn syrup
  • Large total fructose dose: concentrated fruit sources, large servings of fruit, dried fruit, fruit juice

LOW FODMAP FOODS

  • Fruits: banana, blueberry, cantaloupe, grape, grapefruit, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, passion fruit, pineapple, raspberry, strawberry Honey substitutes: golden syrup, maple syrup
  • Sweeteners: any sweeteners except polyols

And

POLYOLS (eg. Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and Isomalt)

HIGH FODMAP FOODS

  • Fruits: apple, apricot, avocado, cherry, lychee, nectarine, peach, pear, plum, prune, watermelon
  • Vegetables: cauliflower, mushrooms, snow peas
  • Sweeteners: isomalt, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, and other sweeteners ending in “-ol”

LOW FODMAP FOODS

  • Fruits: bananas, blueberry, cantaloupe, grape, grapefruit, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemon, lime, orange, passion fruit, raspberry
  • Sweeteners: glucose, sugar (sucrose), other artificial sweeteners not ending in “-ol”

ADDITIONAL INSIGHTS

FODMAP Food Lists:

**PLEASE NOTE: Due to a variation of everyone’s tolerance of high FODMAP foods, there maybe some discrepancies between FODMAP food lists. So please use the list as a general guide not gospel.**

Common FODMAP Sensitivity / Intolerance Symptoms

  1. Food equals bloating
  2. Healthy food seems to aggravate the problem
  3. You are lactose intolerant but…
  4. You can’t identify the culprit(s)
  5. Doctors don’t help
  6. You have a love/hate relationship with the toilet
  7. You feel better after going to the toilet
  8. Your digestive system rules your life

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (Intolerance)

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

FODMAP Abstract:

There is emerging evidence for the role of food intolerance in the management of IBS symptoms. This does not present a cure, rather suggested dietary modifications to improve symptoms and quality of life. The greatest body of evidence is for the low-FODMAP diet, which improves symptoms in at least 74% of patients with IBS. There is potential for a low food chemical diet to improve IBS symptoms by impacting on the level of hypersensitivity to luminal distension, but further work is needed.

TIP OF THE WEEK

This week’s tip is based on a general observation at the gym. Day in & day out it’s easy to dial it in – I know I have. But there are certain things we can do to ensure a more robust effort even when we would rather be home in our jammies. Day 980 TipAs a huge advocate of compound exercises to get the most bang out of my workout buck, I try to target multiple muscle groups or body systems with one movement or exercise. When I am on the elliptical I always use some sort of program and incrementally vamp up the resistance. Higher resistance serves two purposes:

  1. Higher resistance naturally makes me exert more effort with every step rather I really want to or not
  2. In general, resistance training is a great way to build lean muscles.

Therefore in 30 minutes time, I not only get in a nice dose of cardio, I also am building muscles via resistance training. BOOM – two birds with one stone so-to speak (no actual bird was harm in that paraphrase). So go on, leave the book or magazine at home, crank up the tunes & the resistance, and get more out of your exercise!

HB Sig

Wednesday Wisdom

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“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.”

~ Jim Rohn entrepreneur

Bit of Fiction: First Person Narrative [1200 Word Count]

2015 9-7 feat

The Ripple under the Calm

One-two-three-f … “Good morning Maureen,” Landen said annoyingly chipper. His thin mousey voice sharply penetrated through the early morning calm like a chef’s knife through rice paper. Startled, I practically slid out of my chair as I was used to being alone in the office at 6:30 a.m. As I struggled to regain my composure, my heart rebelliously wanted to thrash to an irregular rhythm, and my hands tingled with nervous sweat, I was completely flustered.  

I looked up to see a ghastly pale man smugly staring back at me waiting for a response. He was average height with a stocky build. Less like a bodybuilder, more like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. The delicate voice seemed to be misplaced on him, and I always subconsciously looked for a clever ventriloquist hiding in the shadows throwing his voice on this poor unsuspecting sap.

I stealthily slid my hand down past my right jacket pocket and patted it gently. The sound of the pills gently rattling against the plastic bottle whispered reassurances, you’re fine. You’ll be alright. Nothing to fear here. Ironic that I’m the social media copy editor who communicates for a living via a screen and keyboard 24/7, but ask me to interact with a live warm human being, I am plagued by an absurd amount of trepidation. My calm exterior wrapped my incessant anxiety and bouts of panic much like a fragile egg roll, the authentic Dim Sum kind. All neat and tidy, even beautiful on the outside, keeping all the messy filling with all it’s juices confined within, restricted, and bound to adhere to social norms. But the slightest breach of the outer shell and all the messy filling pours out like a tsunami wreaking havoc on everything within its wake. Life as it is, is indeed full of ironies.

I observed him for a moment and breathed deeply. C’mon Mo, be normal. This is easy. Good morning, how are you? It’s only five words. Toddlers can mutter five words. Without looking directly at him, what I managed was “Good morning. Please call me Mo” in a rather arthritic manner. Well okay, that wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible either. What a shame that real life interaction can’t be easily remedied with the arbitrary smiley face to make everything instantly friendly and happy.

I had hoped that would suffice the monotonous morning ritual but hopes are meant to be denied and trampled upon. As I started to turn away to carry on counting, one-two-three-fo … “Ya ‘no Maur … err I mean Mo, ya don’t look much like a Mo to me” he said drawing quotation marks in the air around my name with his index and middle fingers … twice.

“Whenever I hear Mo,” he again coupled it with a pair of invisible quotation marks; “Mo’s Ultimate Fire Tacos down the street pops in my head. They make really good tacos, very spicy but it’s a good spicy. Have you ever tried it?” he asked; pausing long enough for me to open my mouth but only to promptly close it again because apparently it was more of a rhetorical question.

“Ya no Mo, I think that’s what I’m gonna fer lunch today, hmmm maybe not, tacos give me gas. Lots of gas, the ripe ones too if ya ‘no what I mean,” he boasted with a wink and a snorted laugh.

My head was cocked oddly like a puppy trying with all it’s limited faculties to understand their human. I stared at him blankly with squinted eyes and internally deliberated on an appropriate response and my brows furrowed with annoyance.

What I wanted to say was, are you a fucking idiot? What the fuck is wrong with you? I don’t give a rat’s ass what my name reminds you of. And I certainly don’t give a flying fuck what you are having for lunch! And God help you if you make another set of quotation marks around my name with your despicable short little sausage-like fingers! Now fuck off you pretentious self-absorbed asshat!

But what actually came out of my mouth was a rather timid and cordial “uh-huh, I can totally see that” accompanied by a rather overt labored smile. His perpetual cheerfulness only added to my vex but with considerable effort I managed to refrain from downing my entire bottle of Xanax like ET going to town on some Reese’s Pieces. I swiftly turned away from him to begin absent mindedly typing ‘the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog’ over and over at a breakneck pace, desperately hoping to fend off further sharing. Because despite what the popular saying suggests, sharing is NOT caring. Sharing is the opposite of caring. Sharing should be reserved solely for those who you care for the least!

Clacking away obnoxiously, my eyes affixed on the monitor while my fingers feverishly repeatedly to conceive the phrase on a fictitious email to absolutely no one; silently praying to be left alone.

“Oh well I see that ya busy I’ll catch up with ya later.”

I responded with the faintest nod to acknowledge his existence, nothing more.  As he finally took his leave and shuffled off, I returned to the task at hand. One-two-three-four-and a quarter. My little corner of the world has been reduced from a 6’ x 5’ office with a window to a 4 ¼ x 4 ¼ ceiling tile square sized cubicle surrounded by it’s brethren cubicles. The Office Efficiency Expert made claims that the notions of individual offices were archaic, old fashioned, and not conducive to the team spirit or collaboration. The new modern age office space consists of low wall cubicles to maximize everyone’s potential. At least that was the propaganda which was dispersed through multiple emails as we all helplessly bare witness to the demise of our private offices, one-by-one the walls came down and one-by-one cubicles popped up in its place. I imagine from a top view our new office resembled a honeycomb in a thriving bee hive. Each cube an exact duplicate of the other, occupied by a devoted worker bee, void of any distinguishing individual flavor in order to advocate unity.

I dreaded all the impending superfluous communal customs which I am condemned to partake on a daily basis now. My body involuntarily shivered at the thought of all the smells, the people, the noise, the people who generated the smells, and the people who owned the noise, but mostly the people. The thought raced in my head like that little squirrel from “Hoodwinked” on Cappuccino. It caused my breath to quicken just to maintain pace. My heart pounded with such ferocity that I could have sworn my entire body vibrated with every beat. Perspiration began to form on my hairline and I instinctively grabbed my right jacket pocket and just firmly held it in my hand. I inhaled deeply through my nose and exhaled through my mouth. Oh what I wouldn’t give to be Milton right now. Even with the roaches in the basement and the surrender of the old red Swingline, it would be more than a fair exchange with life on the cube farm

Healthy Byte: New Spin on Push Ups

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These creative twists promise bigger calorie burn, a more stable core and a stronger upper body.

There’s a reason push-ups have stood the test of time—they work. “It’s a multi-joint exercise that targets your pecs, triceps, deltoids, abdominals and all of your key muscle stabilizers,” says Lucas Varella, a Tier 4 coach in Century City, California. “Plus, it doesn’t require any equipment, so you can perform push-ups anytime, anywhere.” The only catch is that in order to see results (and avoid injury), you have to do them correctly: Keep your head, neck and spine in a neutral position, your abs engaged and your lower body muscles (hips, glutes, etc.) activated throughout the movement.

How it works: Perform one traditional push-up using good form. Work your way up to 3 sets of 8. Once you can complete those without faltering, you’re ready to move on to these variations. “Mixing up your hand positioning and body movements will challenge different muscles, burn more calories and test your endurance,” says Varella. Tackle one of these exercises at a time. Do 2 or 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps, using proper form, and then move on to the next one.

The Push-Ups You Should Be Doing

1. Plank-Ups
Start in push-up position (hands under shoulders, back flat, legs extended behind you, toes tucked under). Keeping upper body engaged, lower right forearm to floor, placing elbow under shoulder, then lower left forearm to floor. Hold plank for one count, and then rise back up to start, placing one palm on floor at a time.

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2. Mountain Climber Push-Up
Start in push-up position, and bring right knee in toward chest; extend leg behind you, and then immediately bring left knee in toward chest; extend leg behind you. Perform a push-up, keeping elbows by sides. Repeat.

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3. Bird-Dog Push-Up
Perform a push-up, keeping elbows by sides. Extend right arm in front of you and left leg behind you; hold balance for one count, then lower. Do another push-up, and repeat balance on other side (left arm; right leg). Repeat.

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4. Push-Up Row
Start in push-up position, gripping a kettlebell* in each hand, with palms facing each other. (*Note: The bigger the kettlebell, the more stable you will feel.) Bend elbows behind you, keeping them close to sides, lowering chest toward floor, and then press back up. Once up, pull left elbow behind you, bringing kettlebell up to ribs; lower. Repeat push-up and perform row on the opposite (right) side. Continue alternating sides with each rep.

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5. Uneven Push-Up
Start in push-up position (hands under shoulders, abs engaged, back flat, legs extended behind you), with left hand on top of the ball part of a horizontal kettlebell. Without rotating your torso, keeping hips and shoulders square, bend elbows behind you, lowering chest toward floor, and press back up. Do 8 reps; switch sides and repeat.

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6. Side Plank Push-Up
Start in push-up position (hands under shoulders, abs engaged, back flat, legs extended behind you). Lower chest toward floor, and then as you press back up, rotate torso to left and keep gaze on your left hand, as you lift your left arm and leg toward the ceiling, forming an X with your body. Hold for one count; rotate back to high plank and repeat.

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7. Sliding Push-Up
Start in push-up position (hands under shoulders, abs engaged, back flat, legs extended behind you), with a towel under your left palm. Slowly slide left hand forward, as you bend right elbow behind you and lower chest toward floor. Without falling flat, extend left arm as far forward as possible, and then slowly slide back up to start, keeping arm straight throughout. Do 8 reps; switch sides and repeat.

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8. Stability Ball Scissors
Start in push-up position (hands under shoulders, abs engaged, legs extended and together behind you), with tops of feet centered on a stability ball. Bring right knee in toward chest, then rotate torso slightly as you extend leg out, parallel to the ground. Perform a push-up, keeping body squared up as much as possible. Reverse motion back to start. Repeat on left side. Continue alternating sides with each rep.

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9. Traveling Push-Up
Start in push-up position (hands under shoulders, abs engaged, legs extended behind you). Perform a push-up, and then step right leg under and to the left of your left leg and right hand under and to the side of left hand. Step left hand and leg over the right, moving back into push-up position. Perform a push-up, and then reverse motion (left hand/leg steps over right; right goes under left) back to the right (ending where you started.

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10. Pike Push-Up
Start in a pike position (upside down “V”), with palms under shoulders, toes centered on top of a stability ball, legs together, hips raised toward ceiling. Keeping lower body still, bend elbows behind you, slowly lowering head toward floor; carefully press back up to start.

Originally Posted HERE

HB Sig

Wednesday Wisdom

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“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.”

~ Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

Healthy Byte: Day 970

“Complete abstinence

is easier than

perfect moderation.”

~ Saint Augustine

Day 970 Fried Rice

Of course St. Augustine was referring to abstinence from something else entirely but its actually very applicable to my maintenance success. I am a huge advocate for moderation and I am as loyal to living the 90/10 Rule as a dog to a master holding to a piece of juicy bacon. But I think like many things in life there are no absolutes. 

The 90/10 Rule affords me the emotional and mental permission to indulge guilt free. And I have long touted to be a firm believer not to banish any food group(s) or specific food into permanent exile and to a certain extent, that remains my motto. However like superman, I do have my personal kryptonite. There is one item that I have completely, ruthlessly, and utterly unapologetic in eradicating it from my diet entirely … my frenemy … rice.

Rice to me was like the one ring to Gollum. I loved it and I hated it. I loved it because it was a meal staple for as long as I can remember. I hated it because I lacked the ability not to commit gluttony when it comes to it. A meal didn’t feel like a meal without it. It was rice with breakfast, rice with lunch, rice for dinner, rice, rice, rice!

For me, rice is very much unlike other foods which can be easily satisfied with a small sampling or a substitution. For example, if I wanted cheesecake I’d be perfectly content with having one slice from Barnes & Noble Cafe instead of an entire cake from Cheesecake Factory. Or if I was hankering for chips, I can easily be fulfilled with an individual bag stocked near the checkout rather than the family size bag from the chip section of the grocery store.

But rice … no. It lured me to lose my faculties and carelessly toss care into the winds. If there was a tub of fried rice I can probably inhale half a tub in one sitting & return to finish the rest in about 15-20 minutes. It’s was one facet of my food source that I truly felt was beyond my control. So because of this lack of inability of self restraint, I resorted to utterly eliminate it from my food repertoire multiply by infinity. It took me approximately 18 months to slowly transition away from my ‘feeling’ of a proper meal by incrementally reduce my rice consumption. From absolutely zero accountability of portions size down to ½ cup before switching over to quinoa and bidding farewell to the lovely little morsel of rice. I donated any unused rice to local food bank and even donated my rice cooker … but please don’t tell my mother. 😉

It has been almost two years since I have had any rice. And I know that may sound like a horrifying sacrifice but to be quite honest, I don’t even miss it now. I don’t miss it because I avoid it like the plague. Prolonged avoidance makes me forget more and more what the allure was. Since I no longer remember the allure, I lose my taste or craving for it. And since I’ve lost my taste or craving for it, I no longer eat it. Sound familiar? (chicken and the egg phenomena)

So now I can walk into Panda Express and stand right in front of the shiny giant cask of fried rice and not pathetically salivate at the site of it. I can order a double serving of the vegetables in lieu of without a second thought. My complete abstinence of rice has allowed me to be truly free.

So I encourage everyone to reflect and identify any possible personal kryptonite(s) which may be throwing a monkey wrench in their long term maintenance. Then I would doubly encourage to consider a complete abstinence rather than the uphill struggle striving for perfect moderation. It’s not defeat or a lack of will power; it’s the wisdom to know & to chose a different path.

ADDITIONAL INSIGHTS

Different Set of Skills Required for Maintenance

“It seems somewhat similar to love and marriage. What gets you to the altar is likely to be quite different than what keeps you married in the long-term. [And] not recognizing this transition and adapting with different practices will also get you in trouble.”

TIP OF THE WEEK

Chesse. Who doesn’t love gooey dooey melty cheese? And cheese is one of those items which can quickly add up in calories with very little effort … at least for me. In my search for a cheese dupe, I’ve come across an ingenious version of my favorite – provolone cheese. Sargento was actually the first to produce an ‘Ultra Thin’ line. It’s ingenious because it melts the same, gives comparable cheesey satisfaction but at a fraction of the calories & fat. By swapping out the cheese to my daily work lunch sandwich, I save 33 calories per sandwich, 165 calories a week. 9,240 calories a year. And again, small daily changes adds up quite nicely in the long run.

2015 9-1

Per 1 Slice Regular Slice Provolone Cheese Thin Slice

Provolone Cheese

(Store Brand) Thin Slice

Provolone Cheese

Difference per Sandwich
Calories 70 40 37 33
Total Calories from Fat 45 27 27 18
Total Fat 5 3 2.7 2.3
Saturated Fat 3 1.7 2 1 to 1.3

HB Sig