An Introduction to Intermittent Fasting

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Image Courtesy of Rich Anderson

So like I mentioned I have recommitted myself to losing weight and this has included doing some new research into diet techniques.  One that I found really interesting was Intermittent Fasting.  The concept behind intermittent fasting is really quite simple.  At it’s core it is simply alternating periods of fast (no eating) with periods of eating.  However it has been shown to have some truly interesting health effects.

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Weight Loss Update

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Weight Tracked as I described here

Okay weight loss is hard.  Everyone who has ever done it before knows this.  Last week was a huge weight loss week for me, however the combination of stress, and a different schedule meant this week I rebounded a little bit.  However, this gives me a chance to pontificate for a minute about some of the interesting things I have observed at this point. (Remember you can track progress here)Read More »

Garcinia Cambogia: Scam

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Image courtesy of Markoramses
Note: This is not medical advice.  I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV.  Always consult with a medical professional before beginning any diet or exercise program.

Garcinia cambogia is a fruit.  I’ve heard the fruit tastes good.  Feel completely free to eat it if you would like.  It becomes a scam when people attempt to market it to people as a weight loss supplement.  We are going to play a game called what does the literature say.Read More »

The Futility of Dieting

 

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Image Courtesy of A2zdiet-plan

I’m sure this title is catching some of you off guard.  It certainly appears if you look around my site that I run a diet website (all these go to different articles about weight loss).  But that misses the purpose of this website.  The tagline for this site is:

Eating for health, happiness, and longevity

That is what I study, and what I am trying to understand how to accomplish.  Oftentimes a diet is counterproductive to one or many of these goals.Read More »

Self Control and The Marshmallow Test

I was reading an interesting book recently called The Marshmallow Test by Walter Mischel.  In this book he discusses the famous marshmallow test that was performed on preschoolers.  The preschoolers could either accept a single treat like a marshmallow or wait and get two treats.  Whether or not they waited correlated with their future life success, however that is not the interesting part of this book.  Especially for us.  What is interesting is some of the tactics that he points out to increase self-control.Read More »

The Easy Alternative To Calorie Counting


Calorie counting for some people conjures up the image of slavish devotion to a diet.  It evokes image of time consuming effort in order to track your every bite of food.  This form of behavior change has been proven to be effective, however, because of its difficulty many people quit before they lose the weight necessary.  However, the idea of maintaining a record of your eating does seem to have potential as a dietary intervention.
The simple solution to this problem is to take photos of all food you consume.  This record serves some of the same behavior purposes as the food diary.  The reason it is useful is because knowing that you have to log your food can subtly influence your decisions.  Taking photographs “raised the awareness of their diets…the act of photographing altered behaviour for some because it forced them to think about their food choices” (Zepeda and Deal 696).  The evidence suggests that being forced to log and evaluate your food choices in this manner made many people change their diets.

This can become even more powerful if you upload these pictures to dropbox, or social media where you can have trusted friends make sure that you are sticking to your goals.

This is a case where simplicity makes the weight loss that much more simple.  We want weight loss and lifestyle changes to  be as easy as possible.

References:

Zepeda, Lydia, and David Deal. “Think before You Eat: Photographic Food Diaries as Intervention Tools to Change Dietary Decision Making and Attitudes.” International Journal of Consumer Studies 32.6 (2008): 692-98. Web.

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Unsaturated Fats: The Mediterranean Savior?

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Unsaturated fats are often pushed as a replacement for the allegedly dangerous saturated fats that people consume.  There are two primary types of unsaturated fat, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats; they are named based on whether they have one or more double bonds.  A fat with only a single double bond is considered monounsaturated and a fat with multiple double bonds is considered polyunsaturated.  Here we are going to primarily focus on polyunsaturated fats, which are often pitched as a healthful alternative to saturated fats.  However, some scientists believe that consumption of polyunsaturated fats can actually increase the risk of cardiovascular heart disease, and the Institute of Medicine recommends no more than one tenth of your calories coming from this source (Mozaffarian, Micha and Wallace 2).Read More »