In one study that allowed participants the same number of daily calories, but compared the impact of front-loading 50 percent of those calories at breakfast versus the same number at dinner, those in the breakfast group fared significantly better. Bigger breakfast eaters experienced more than twice the amount of weight loss compared to the bigger dinner eaters, and at the end of the 12-week study, also experienced improvements in triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels. The breakfast group also had better insulin levels throughout the day. Taken together (and assuming these factors hold up over time) it would result in a significantly lower risk of health problems, like diabetes, metabolic syndrome and heart disease. What’s more, the group assigned to the bigger breakfast had fewer dropouts, suggesting that eating your biggest meal in the morning may be a more sustainable habit.
Turmeric first found its way onto my radar back when I was a nutrition student volunteering where I had the opportunity to shadow an integrative medicine doctor for six months in an HIV clinic. An infectious disease M.D., she incorporated complementary and alternative approaches into her patients’ care plans. The results were amazing, and the patients loved being able to turn to food to assist them with managing their conditions. What I learned there about real-life ways of working healing foods into the diet gave me a strong foundation for what I help my clients with now.
According to Dariush Mozaffarian at Tufts, it’s not just excessive fructose, alcohol, trans fats, and BCAAs however. Both starch and sugars, in rapidly digested and high dose forms (aka the “refined carbs” as found in processed foods), are leading causes of NAFLD and metabolic syndrome. While fructose goes directly to de novo lipogenesis (DNL), glucose does as well when quickly digested in larger doses (starch or sugar)! So look at overall starch and sugar injestion, not fructose per se. A baked potato is essentially 100% glucose - avoid. Small amounts of potato mixed in with veggies, plant oils, etc. are better, but still best to just avoid - so many other fruits and nonstarchy veggies to eat. For carb-rich foods: 1) think of them as small sides, never the main part of the plate, and 2) look at the ratio of carb to fiber as a good general rule. Look for <10:1 ratio: no more than 10 g of total carb for every 1 g of fiber; the lower the better.
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Certainly, it doesn’t appear that our bodies are designed to function at their best for the around-the-clock food culture we’re living in. In my experience, it’s good practice to give your body a chance to digest before bedtime by finishing your last meal or snack a few hours before you turn in. If your system is busy digesting late at night, it can disrupt the body processes that happen as we sleep, which may cause hormone disturbances and other imbalances that promote overeating and weight gain. Since your body needs about 10-12 hours to recalibrate, allowing it the time it needs is a smart call.
The more you have to lose (obese / extremely overweight), the more you will lose as your body has more fat to spare. Sure, changes to your diet and activity levels will be the base but the magic lies in the details. Most people weight loss journey is mostly about losing a lot of water (and water weight), going on holiday and then coming back home feeling fat and full of guilt. The truth is, fat has nothing to do with it, because they haven’t lost much of it in the first place.
Inflammation is a root cause of many health conditions like metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and even cancer. Inflammation has also been shown to play a role in cognitive decline. Turmeric’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties offer a protective benefit. To make it easy to add in, use turmeric in a go-to salad dressing. I love to whisk together white miso paste, tahini, apple cider vinegar, and turmeric—simply delicious and powerful. Get my favorite turmeric salad dressing recipe here.