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Intermittent Day Eating, Metabolism, Recipes, Uncategorized

Size Matters…When it comes to Food Volume!

Dear Diary,

So much has been learned over the past couple of weeks as I continue to take Alternate (aka Intermittent) Day Eating for a test drive. I have purposely replaced “Eating” for the word “Diet.” I don’t care for what the word “diet” symbolizes in the American culture. Scientifically speaking, I like the idea of tricking your metabolism and keeping it guessing as to how much it should burn or conserve. Low calorie days became easier each time, and I am having fun learning how much volume of food I can get for the least amount of calories. Yes, I realize that there are few people who have “fun” playing around with calorie intake. Be careful, Diary…I wouldn’t want you to be judgey of my nerdy nature.

So, here are a few lessons learned on my journey thus far…

Lesson #1: If I am going to be successful on a low calorie day (goal is 500 or less), I can’t have my first meal until 1pm. Prior to 1pm, I have coffee with 1/4 cup of milk and water with chia seed. I found this out when I attempted a protein packed breakfast at 6:30 am and ended up starving all day.

Lesson #2: Testing out what works for you and what doesn’t, is essential to success. My friend Jennifer eats a late morning breakfast and that works for her. Everyone is different and everyone will find what works if given enough trials and time.

Lesson #3: The 5:2 system currently works for my lifestyle. Five days out of the week I eat according to my normal calorie intake and pattern for meals and snacks. Two days a week I have a goal of 500 calories or less and I eat between 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

The motto that gets me through tough moments? I can do anything for a day…it’s just one day. This fits perfectly into my new life philosophy of truly taking one day at time and enjoying the journey without obsessing on the destination.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

2 cups Cauliflower Rice*
2/3 cups Frozen Mixed Vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, green beans)
2 Eggs (1 whole egg, 1 egg white)

Black Pepper to taste (optional)
Green Onions

For Sauce:

1/2 teaspoon Hoisin Sauce
1/2 tablespoon Less Sodium Soy Sauce
1/8 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tablespoon water

In a medium skillet, over medium-high heat, add cauliflower rice*and frozen vegetables; stir-fry for 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are heated through. Mix together ingredients for the sauce and add to the skillet; stir-fry another 1-2 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low and add 1 whole egg and 1 egg white over the cauliflower rice and vegetable mix and sprinkle with black pepper; stir-fry another 1-2 minutes and serve warm sprinkled with chopped green onions. Recipe makes 1 serving and provides approximately 225 calories.

*Cauliflower rice prep: Place ~1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets in a mini food processor (I use Black & Decker’s Mini Prep Food Processor) to make approximately 2 cups of cauliflower rice. Pulse several times until cauliflower resembles rice.

Metabolism, Uncategorized

8 Surprising Ways You’re Slowing Your Metabolism

Dear Diary,

There was a lot of interest generated about ways we might be slowing down our metabolism when I posted this article from Prevention. I thought it might be helpful to add it in for reference in case others are thinking about metabolism too. Thanks Prevention for posting some info that makes me think outside of the box!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’ve heard it all before—all you need to speed up your metabolism is to build more muscle, drink lots of ice water, and try to spend less time sitting, right? But there are actually a ton of other factors to consider, and you might be messing with your metabolism without even realizing it. Read on to learn what you’re doing wrong—and how to fix it.

You Ditched Dairy
Muscle is essential for keeping your metabolism humming, and women who consumed three to seven servings of dairy per day lost more fat and gained more muscle mass than women who downed less, according to research from McMaster University. Check out these 10 portable protein-packed snacks for ideas.

You Crank Up the Heat
To fry fat, dial down the thermostat. Participants who slept in bedrooms cooled to 66°F for a month doubled the amount of brown adipose tissue—a type of fat that burns rather than stores calories, researchers at the National Institutes of Health found. “Brown fat becomes more active in cooler temperatures to help keep us warm,” says Aaron Cypess, M.D., an endocrinologist at the National Institutes of Health. So the more active your brown fat, the more calories you’ll burn throughout the day. While it’s too early to say how long you need to spend in the cold to reap the calorie-burning rewards, turning down your heat, sleeping in cooler temps, and spending time outdoors (Cypess forgoes a coat when it’s 55°F and over) may make a difference.

You Cut Carb Completely
True, study after study shows that for weight loss, a low-carb diet trumps a low-fat one. But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate carbs completely, especially if you exercise regularly. “During exercise, your muscles demand glycogen from carbohydrate stores in your body,” says Precision Nutrition coach Brian St. Pierre, R.D. “If you don’t consume enough carbohydrates, your glycogen levels will be too low and you won’t have the energy to exercise as intensely.” As a result, you’ll burn fewer calories during your workout as well as post-exercise since your body won’t require as much energy to recover. His advice: Consume a serving of carbs (about the size of one cupped palm) such as oatmeal, brown rice, or sweet potato at each meal.

You Rush Through a Strength-Training Workout
Bicep curls, bench presses, and deadlifts are great ways to build muscle. But speeding through the reps causes you to miss out on the major metabolism-boosting benefits that come from the eccentric—or lowering—aspects of these movements. Eccentric movements are more muscularly damaging, so they require more effort from your body to repair and recover compared to concentric or lifting motions, says St. Pierre. That equals more calories burned. Researchers in Greece found that women who performed one weekly strength workout that focused on eccentric movement increased their resting energy expenditure and fat burning by five and nine percent, respectively, after just eight weeks.

You Snack Wrong
Instead of reaching for low-calorie eats like rice cakes, welcome nuts back to snack time. Research suggests that polyunsaturated fatty acids—especially in walnuts—may enhance the activity of certain genes that control fat burning, so you torch more calories throughout the day, according to a review in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Aim for about one to 1.5 ounces (a small handful) of walnuts per day. And steer clear of these 15 terrible snacks for weight loss.

You Go Easy While Exercising
There’s a reason it seems like you’ve been hearing about high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for years now—it works! When women performed a 20-minute HIIT workout three times per week, they shed nearly six pounds more than those who exercised for 40 minutes, three times a week at a steady pace, Australian researchers found. “Interval training also results in greater post-exercise oxygen consumption than exercising at a sustained pace, which means you continue burning calories for a period of time afterward,” says St. Pierre.

You Sprinkle Sea Salt in Food
Sea salt is a tastier option than plain old table salt, but it lacks iodine—a key element that gives your thyroid gland (which controls your metabolism) its mojo. Without adequate iodine, your thyroid is unable to produce thyroid hormones and your metabolism can take a major nosedive, says St. Pierre. Reach for iodized salt instead. Each quarter-teaspoon provides nearly 50 percent of your recommended dose of iodine. In addition, regularly put iodine-rich eats such as seaweed, cod, shrimp, and eggs on the menu.

You Skip Your Morning Workout
Daylight is essential for your metabolic health, so step outside for a jog or walk first thing in the a.m. In fact, people who soak up the most sunlight early in the day have a lower body mass index compared to those who are out in the sun later in the day. Northwestern University researchers speculate that early-morning sunlight may help regulate your circadian rhythm, which controls countless functions in your body, including how well you sleep, how much food you consume, and how much energy you burn—all essential components of a healthy metabolic rate.

Published: November 26, 2014 | By Prevention