You’ll Still Be Fat Whether You Eat Breakfast Or Not

Photo credits: Natalie Maynor

Do you have problems with gaining or losing weight? If so, you’ve probably thought about skipping breakfast in order to lose weight. The truth is that this isn’t going to help you get in shape. In fact, it may work against you and cause you to remain the same weight or even gain some pounds.

Skip Breakfast or Not?

According to the US surgeon general, “Eating a healthy breakfast is a good way to start the day, and may be important in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.” However, a new study shows that this might not be the case. While it’s a small study that only had 52 women participating, the results are interesting.

The study is called Belief beyond the evidence: using the proposed effect of breakfast on obesity to show 2 practices that distort scientific evidence, which is a long name, but it sheds some light on the idea that skipping breakfast is good or bad for people who want to lose weight and get in shape.

The recent study also looked at previous research and declares that a lot of others back up the fact that skipping breakfast doesn’t really help or impede weight loss efforts. Dr. David B. Allison, who is the director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center which is located at the University of Alabama, only found one study from 1992 that could be considered useful because of the way the study was set up.

The 1992 study – The role of breakfast in the treatment of obesity: a randomized clinical trial. – was good because it randomly chose who would get breakfast and who would skip it. According to the brief from that study, “Fifty-two moderately obese adult women were stratified according to their baseline breakfast-eating habits and randomly assigned a weight-loss program.” Since 1992, no really accurate studies that can be trusted have been performed. And this is why new research is being done.

What’s really interesting is that many people read the reports but misreported them. Even when the mainstream journalists had the studies in front of them, they still misrepresented the findings in the reports to back up their thesis that skipping breakfast is either good or bad for people who want to lose weight. This is a sign of big media, but it’s really sad because it spreads misinformation about the most important meal of the day.

Whether you eat breakfast not is not going to make or break your attempts to lose weight. It all comes down to moderation and making sure you eat healthy (all day long) and get enough exercise. Breakfast is important in many ways, but you shouldn’t let what you do for one meal of the day give you false hopes that you’re going to lose weight.

6 Little-Known Benefits of Vegetable Juicing

Let’s be honest: The biggest benefit of vegetable juicing is having the ability to easily consume entire vegetables while you are on the go. Slurping them up through a straw is way easier than trying to just…eat them. Chewing is hard work – especially in the mornings when the idea of eating something feels like a chore. It’s okay to admit it. We’ve all been there.


So that’s the first benefit. What are the other five?

2. Sneaking Veggies into Your Diet

For a lot of us, vegetables in their solid form have strong tastes that – if we’re being honest – we probably wouldn’t choose to experience if we didn’t need certain nutrients to survive. Juicing gives you the chance to doctor their taste a little bit so it’s more palatable. You get the health benefits you need and the taste you want. Basically, you’re your mom and sneaking vegetables into your food so you don’t get scurvy.

Just be careful that the doctoring you do for taste purposes doesn’t accidentally add a bunch of empty calories to your diet (a.k.a., don’t just dump a bunch of sugar in there).

3. Less Fiber

Yes, you need fiber in your diet, but a lot of fruit and vegetable fiber can be hard for the body to process. Juicers (the good ones) separate the juice from the fibery pulp of the food. This way you get the nutrients you need without forcing your body to have to break down the solids and fiber, which means that the nutrients get absorbed and “put to work” faster.

NOTE: Don’t just toss out that pulp! You can bake it into muffins and give yourself a healthy snack for later. You can also add it to sauces or use it to make a veggie broth that you can use for soups, stews, pastas, etc.

4. No Leftovers to Deal With

Experts agree that if you’re going to be juicing, you should only make as much juice as you can drink at any given time. Fresh juice doesn’t keep very well. It takes very little time for bacteria to set up shop and turn your food into a colony of yuck. This means you don’t have to worry about finding some place to store all of the extra juice you’ve made. It’s like having a Keurig…but for fruits and vegetables.

5. Helps with Weight Loss

Getting the nutrients you need when you’re dieting can be a huge challenge. Juicing is a good way to ensure that you’re getting the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need from natural sources without adding a bunch of extra calories to your diet. Sure, you could just use supplements, but…

6. Money Savings

Juicing is cheaper than buying supplements, especially when you consider that your body will actually use all of the juice you consume. Supplements, on the other hand, are mostly…eliminated.

What are some of the reasons you’ve switched over to juicing? Do you have any favorite recipes you’d like to share?

Erin Steiner is a freelance writer from Portland who enjoys juice every now and then.

Brominated Vegetable Oil – What You Need to Know

rum-always-goneRum was my choice of poison for a long time – and something I was glad to let go of, about 6 years ago, when I could afford to be a douche.

Three ice cubes and a little lime almost always made the drink perfect. Yet drinking it with water or soda as some men do was never my thing.

It somehow ruined the joy of a few shots of rum and speaking of which, there were a few nights when some of us had one too many.

Of course, drinking rum neat would never sit well (no, we’re not talking about Captain Morgan spiced rum, if that stuff is still around).

I’d add Coke, as most guys who enjoy rum do. But as with all good things that must come to an end, this habit of binging on rum had to come to an end, thanks to suffering with a toothache.

All that soda, probably, took its toll.

Yet speaking of the ill-effects of soda, another controversy has been raised in the past, thanks to the addition of brominated vegetable oil.

What is Brominated Vegetable Oil?
soda-trollPut simply, it’s a vegetable oil that is used in a number of citrus-flavored drinks. Oh well, and a toxic flame retardant too, if that should get your attention.

That said, it still continues to be used in sodas in both the United States and Canada, and is considered to be an “interim food additive”. Europe and a number of countries in Asia, on the other hand, have banned this substance.

One might wonder why this substance is still used despite the controversy. That’s because it prevents the water and flavors from separating into layers, giving it a cloudy appearance.

But most of all, and much like high fructose corn syrup which is used as a sweetener in most processed goods, it’s cheap to produce in large quantities.

Speaking of large quantities, the real issue surrounding using brominated vegetable oil is that consuming a large amount of soda causes bromism.

Yes, we’re talking about sodas such as Gatorade, Fresca, Powerade, Mountain Dew and Fanta.

Using Brominated Vegetable Oil – Pros & Cons
As discussed earlier, bromism, which increases levels of bromine in our body, causes a iodine deficiency and is referred to as ‘Brominated Thyroid’.

Some of the symptoms that are caused by ‘bromism’ are organ system damage, growth defects, birth defects, memory loss, cancer, heart and kidney disease, fatigue, simple headaches and weight gain.

That said, and with pending toxicology reports still pending on this substance, the FDA still continues to allow BVO content in these drinks in the proportion of about 15 parts per million.

So, it bodes well, that with the current system allowing BVO to be a part of sodas that one should watch out for not going overboard with their soda intake.

In Closing
So, is there anything else that you would like to share about brominated vegetable oil? If so, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Also, here is an article on organic pesticides.

Treadmills versus outdoor running

With the New Year fast approaching, a lot of us are already making resolutions to get fit and improve our lifestyle. One of the most ubiquitous forms of exercise is undoubtedly running: almost anyone can lace up a pair of running shoes and put one foot in front of the other. However, all runners are posed with a very important decision: do you run outside or on a treadmill? In this article, we will shed some light on the two options and how each has its own set of benefits.

In an article published on Runner’, Susan Paul, she said: “Treadmill running and road running are not quite the same. Running on the treadmill is easier than running outdoors for a variety of reasons […] The treadmill belt assists leg turnover, making it easier to run faster.”

As such, treadmills are excellent for speed training and increasing your stamina.  The machine can be set to trigger faster intervals, and slow back down again for recovery time. Also, when the weather conditions outside are too cold, wet or icy, treadmills allow you to exercise in a pleasant environment. The equipment is commonplace in any good gym and you have the option to buy your own. If you’re serious about running and exercising from home, websites like Gym Company sell a variety of treadmills that can be delivered directly to you.

Treadmills are also considered to be a safer alternative to outdoor activities. The belt is a lot more forgiving than the pavement, as the softer surface reduces the impact your weight has on your bones. If you’ve recently had an injury, or are new to running, a treadmill is excellent for easing yourself in.

Outdoor running still has its merits. For one, the open air and sunshine have rejuvenating qualities that can make you feel refreshed and alive after a run. Running outside is also essential if you want to improve your mileage, conditioning and acclimatisation to weather if you’re training for a marathon.

When you run on a treadmill, you use your quads to push off, but as you finish your stride cycle and lift your leg behind you, the machines ends up doing a lot of the work for you. Outdoor running is a better alternative in this instance because it works your hamstrings as well as your quads.

Most people are comfortable with the technique of running, but a lot are apprehensive about using a treadmill. With the amount of YouTube videos of people falling off these machines, it’s hardly surprising, but they are actually very simple to use.

Asking Santa for Exercise Equipment This Year? Put These on Your List

If you’re like millions of Americans, your New Year’s resolution will involve getting in shape – or back in shape – and transforming the mess you’ve let yourself become into a healthier, happier, more attractive you. Burning fat, building muscle, and looking and feeling good requires exercise.

If you’re thinking of stacking your Christmas list with exercise equipment, do your body a favor and ignore fads, gadgets, and big, expensive contraptions. For a full-body transformation, the best thing you can do is forget what Americans have “learned” about exercise in recent decades and get back to the basics that defined healthy bodies for centuries before.

Kettlebells, which look like cannonballs with handles, can alter your entire body in very little time.


If you can only own one piece of exercise equipment, it should be a kettlebell, which is an old-school hunk of iron that looks like a cannonball with a handle on it. Although they’ve been making their way into the mainstream and popping up in traditional gyms in recent years, kettlebells have been generally unknown to the American public for a long time.

But martial artists, early 20th-century strongmen, the Russian Army, and enthusiasts of traditional strength training have known all along what many are just learning – that a single, modest kettlebell can provide an infinite number of workouts that target the entire body and build natural strength and lean but powerful muscles. A kettlebell workout provides cardio training, core training, strength training, flexibility, agility, and balance. For an average adult man, a single 35-pound kettlebell is all you’ll ever need.

Boxers Know Best: Jump Rope

Boxers don’t train to look good on the beach – they train to fight for their lives alone in a ring against another man whose job it is to beat them in the head and body until they can no longer stand. Their life literally depends on physical conditioning – we’d be wise to mimic their workouts.

Boxing gyms today look very similar to the way they looked a century ago. A few sparring rings, guys hitting heavy bags, guys hitting speed bags, guys shadow boxing in mirrors, and guys jumping rope – lots and lots of guys in really good shape jumping rope. A simple, inexpensive jumprope is the backbone behind extraordinary endurance, timing, coordination, and resistance to injury. It can be used as a warmup before a workout, a cool-down after – or the workout itself.

Boxers Know Best: Medicine Ball

As workout equipment has gotten huge, expensive, and absurd; as fads have come and gone; philosophies and techniques invented and reinvented…boxing gyms have changed very little. Why? Because it doesn’t take a lot of fancy stuff to turn a man into a lethal physical machine.

One constant in every boxer’s workout since forever: the medicine ball. Core, cardio, and strength – alone or with a partner. A medicine ball’s potential is limited only by your imagination.

Chin-up Bar

If you’re a Marine, a gymnast, a martial artist, a wrestler, or anyone who has naturally powerful shoulders, arms, and back, you’re well acquainted with the chin-up. Called pull-ups if your palms are facing you, chin-ups must be a part of every serious workout. An extraordinary range of options come with each bar as far as mixed grips, hand position, and negative resistance are concerned. There is probably nothing that can have more of an impact on your upper body than a chin-up bar.

With a medicine ball and a chin-up bar, you don’t need anything other than willpower and discipline to become the you that you dream of being.

When the holidays end, it’s a great idea to spend the winter working hard to get in shape for the coming spring. You don’t need a lot of stuff, and you don’t need to look much farther than the past. Forget the fads – go basic, go old-school, and get fit fast.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about fitness and exercise equipment.

Is that Natural Or Organic? Big Food Misleads

Think you’re eating healthy? You might be surprised if you knew the truth.

Photo credits: Emilian Robert Vicol

If you read a label on processed and packaged food that says it’s organic and healthy, you might not be able to believe them. Large food corporations are getting away with a lot these days and the government regulators aren’t really doing anything to stop them. This is a shame because it tricks people into not eating healthy while thinking they are eating healthy. As you might imagine, this can make the obesity epidemic in America even worse.

Do Corporations Lie?

Yes! All you need to do is take a quick stroll through history in to find numerous examples of large corporations lying to the public. From the big tobacco companies – who actually tried to say cigarettes were healthy and could help relieve a cough and make you live longer – to other industries, many big companies have lied as much as they could get away with in order to make more money.

Unfortunately, this practice is now creeping into the food markets. This is sad because at one time companies were able to get away with a lot – something that caused current laws and regulations to be put in place to protect the people.

Food Safety is Important

There’s an obesity epidemic in America currently – and the problem is only getting bigger. The pun is intended, but it’s still a serious matter that people need to think about carefully because it can affect society in many different ways, including raising costs of health care. The bad news is that even with this epidemic happening, companies are trying to skirt the law in order to fatten their profit while fattening the population at the same time.

One of the big problems that’s happening is companies making bad foods seem a little better by adding small amounts of vitamins or minerals to them. Take, for example, Pepsi Max which is still just sugar water that’s carbonated. Now, however, they’ve added some vitamins to take it to the max. While this may sound good and look okay on paper, it’s actually very dangerous.

For one, if people see the labeling, many might think that the food or drink is healthier than it really is in reality. The large food corporations know this, but in a world that is struggling to be healthy, it’s easy for them to make millions of dollars by fudging the truth just a little bit  The government really needs to step in and squash this before it becomes a bigger problem, but that’s not happening.

Food companies – especially the large ones – have millions of dollars to spend on lobbyists to get government officials to do what they want them to do. This is sad and not the original vision of America that the founding fathers had, but it’s happening. If enough people stood up and began to demand more truth in food labeling something might be done, but it’s too easy to do nothing.

The Ultimate Weight-Loss Incentive?

Dubai Paying Dieters In Gold

Photo credits: Joi Ito

Losing weight is relatively easy! Basically, you need to do two things – eat healthy in moderation and exercise regularly. The problem is that even though most people understand this, they want an easy way out, a magical solution for weight loss that doesn’t exist. While getting in shape should be enough motivation to workout and eat less junk food, this isn’t the case in many places around the world.

While the United States is constantly teased by other countries for their serious problem with obesity, they’re not the only country in the world facing an epidemic of fat people. Many other wealthy countries are having problems keeping their population healthy. And in the middle east, where a hefty weight is seen as a sign of wealth and power, the problem is even worse.

This is one reason that Dubai took dramatic steps in order to get problems with overweight citizens under control in their country. Earlier this year, they came up with a program that gave citizens a gram of gold for every kilogram of weight they lost over a period of 30 days. At the time, it was about $40 worth of gold for every couple of pounds lost.

There were a lot of rules, of course, but a lot of people walked away with less fat and more gold – something that’s good any way you look at it. Phillips Healthcare had a study in 2012 and found that half of the natives living in Dubai were overweight. In fact, the rates of obesity were very close to those found in the United States.

As mentioned, this is something that is common for some in the region. In Kuwait, for instance, over 70% of men and women are overweight. The figures are almost as bad in Saudi Arabia and other countries. This is one reason the government decided to take drastic measures and offer gold in exchange for citizens losing weight.

No one tallied the exact amount of weight lost in Dubai over 30 days, but with the ability to get gold for every kilogram lost, you can imagine that it was quite a bit as people tried to earn as much money as they could. It would be interesting to go back now – in the winter – and see how many of those people gained the weight back after the 30 days.

The basics of losing weight are easy, but sometimes it takes a little motivation to get people to actually do something and make a positive change in their life. Would you lose weight to get gold? Leave a comment and let us know what it would take for you to jump on the treadmill and lose a few pounds.

Beating Afternoon Fatigue with Nutrition

It is commonly known as the post-lunch slump. It usually strikes around 3pm and can make the remainder of the afternoon feel like an insurmountable task. For many of us it is an unwelcome daily occurrence. And what do we do?  We reach for the coffee and raid the biscuit tin we have so admirably been resisting all day. Sound familiar? You’re certainly not alone! The good news is that the mid-afternoon energy dip that leaves you counting down the seconds until home time can be avoided by some simple changes to your diet.

Here are some top tips to avoid the brain fog, and keep you energized and clear-headed until home time:

Don’t overdo the caffeine- One or two coffees can boost energy and mental alertness. However, heavy caffeine consumption puts the body under stress, and can lead to anxiety, irritability and poor mental performance. On top of this, it can affect sleep which then has a knock-on effect the next day. Try green tea, which is still caffeinated but is rich in antioxidants and L-theanine- which has been shown to aid concentration and alertness.

Drink water: Fatigue is one of the main symptoms of dehydration, and when we are rushing round at work it can be very easy to forget to drink. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can affect an individual’s mood, energy levels and mental clarity. If you reach a point where you are thirsty, it’s a signal that you are already dehydrated, and this may already be effecting your body’s ability to function efficiently. You should be aiming to drink 8 glasses or 2 litres of water a day.

Avoid the sugar rollercoaster: Avoid sugary foods and refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, biscuits and cakes) that cause a sharp spike in blood sugar, followed in quick succession by a rapid fall in blood sugar and subsequent crash in energy levels. Instead opt for “complex” carbs such as whole grains, beans and pulses which provide a slow, steady release of energy.

Coenzyme Q10: this power-nutrient is required by every cell in the body for energy production. It enables our body to convert the food we eat into useable energy.

The importance of protein- Protein contains tryptophan which your body needs to make serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes a calm, relaxed feeling that helps fight emotional fatigue. Protein rich foods also contain tyrosine that your brain uses to synthesise the neurotransmitters adrenaline and noradrenaline, which help keep your mind attentive, motivated and alert. Always make sure your lunch contains a good source of protein such as lean meat or fish, beans, pulses or nuts.

Boost your nutrients: Vitamins & minerals are needed for every single process in the body, not least the conversion of food into energy. You can boost your intake by ensuring your diet is rich in fruit & raw vegetables. In addition there are a few supplements you may also consider, with some research suggesting even the timing of your vitamins and supplements is crucial.

Magnesium: this mineral is required for over 300 chemical reactions in the body, including the conversion of glucose to energy.

Pump up your iron: Our bodies need iron to produce haemoglobin which is the carrier of oxygen around the body to the cells where it is used to produce energy. Increase your intake of iron-rich foods such as red meat, spinach, nuts, beans, seeds and dried apricots. Eat in combination with vitamin C rich foods such as citrus fruits to boost its absorption.

Get up from your desk: A brisk walk around the block, 20 star jumps (if you can ignore the odd looks), or even a good stretch can help to improve blood flow and give you an instant energy booster.

Incorporate all of these into your daily routine, and your challenge will become what to do with your new-found energy!

Seven Healthy Foods With More Sugar Than A Tasty Donut

Photo by blue.tofu / Flickr

Did you know the average donut (not the fancy ones with extra fillings) have around 10g of sugar? This seems really bad, but there’s actually a lot of foods and drinks out there that are a lot worse. We’re not sure why the lowly donut has been labeled bad while some of the other foods on our list are considered “not as bad as a donut,” but we hope to dispel some myths about eating healthy.

7 Foods With More Sugar than a Donut

Here are fifteen foods that may surprise you because they have more sugar than a donut even though the design of them don’t suggest the same.

  1. Fruit Loops – This breakfast isn’t known for being healthy, but if you ask most people, they wouldn’t know one serving has more grams of sugar than a normal 10 gram donut.
  2. Starbucks caffe latte grande – If you’re a coffee fan, you need to watch out. A 16 ounce of this Starbucks favorite has a whopping 17 grams of sugar!
  3. Godiva truffles – Okay, these are chocolate, so they’re similar, but they’re deceptive because of their small size. One little truffle from Godiva has 17 grams of sugar, which is more than the average donut.
  4. Subway 6-inch sweet onion teriyaki chicken sandwich – You wouldn’t think Jarrod’s Subway would have a sandwich with more sugar than a donut, but the sauce in this one has around 17 grams of sugar. Just because something appears healthy doesn’t mean that it is healthy. Try to stay away from fast food sauces.
  5. Tropicana orange juice = Just eight ounces of this popular orange juice has 25 grams of sugar, which is about the same as two and a half donuts. There are better ways to get vitamin C these days. While the juice is convenient, it’s really packed with sugar.
  6. Craisins dried cranberries – One serving of these dried cranberries have 29 grams of sugars, which is about the same as three normal donuts at 10 grams each! You might think they’re a healthy snack, but think again. While the packaging isn’t outright deceptive, most people assume they’re healthy.
  7. Oscar Mayer Lunchables – The package says these are a good source of protein, but what they don’t shout about is the 36 grams of sugar found in a single package. Yes, that’s about three and a half normal donuts at 10 grams each. This is a convenient meal, but it’s really not as healthy as you might think. And to be targeted toward children is shameful!

You don’t need to totally avoid the foods above, but you should make sure you only eat them in moderation. This is key for a healthy diet. What you eat really affects your body and your overall health. If you know of any other seemingly healthy foods with more sugar than a donut, leave a comment and let us know.

How to Make Diet Foods Taste…Bad for You

There’s just something about diving into a late-night snack filled with all sorts of “bad for you” ingredients. Whether it’s nacho chips decked out in cheese, meat, and sour cream or six-alarm chili with all the trimmings, food that’s bad for you tastes so much better most of the time.

But what if you could make your diet foods – you know, foods that are actually good for you – taste as mouth-watering delicious as the foods that aren’t? Sounds impossible, right? Not so fast.

Research indicates that you can do just that. Here are a few simple ways you can take to make your diet foods taste like your favorite heart attack on a stick.

Use Stainless Steel Cutlery.

A recent Men’s Health News article cites an Oxford University Study which indicated that using stainless steel instead of plastic cutlery gives the impression that your food is more flavorful. Hmm, really?

Eat with stainless steel cutlery to make your food taste better.

According to the study, when participants were given identical samples of yogurt, those eating with stainless steel spoons rated the yogurt at 5.5 while those eating with plastic spoons gave a rating of 4.6. The theory is that people associate stainless steel with higher quality restaurants, while plastic cutlery is commonly associated with fast food.

Create a Food Ritual.

A July 2013 paper entitled “Rituals Enhance Consumption” tested the theory that ritualistic behaviors actually enhance the consumption of food. Simple acts, such as snapping photographs of your meal prior to eating, can help you enjoy your meals better and feel more satisfied by the foods you eat.

Taking a picture of your cottage cheese can make it taste more yummy. Okay, if you say so.

Of course, it doesn’t have to relate only to snapping photos. It can be small rituals such as saying grace, singing happy birthday, setting the table, or even cutting the food on your plate into tiny, bite-sized pieces. The theory is that the rituals involved focus your mind on what you’re doing, allowing you to have greater enjoyment, or involvement, in the moment. So, the next time you’re eating a healthy meal, pull out your camera phone and snap away.

Use Herbs and Other Ingredients for More Flavor.

It is not necessary to eliminate all hope of flavor in order to eat healthy. In fact, flavorless food is less satisfying, which often leads to over-indulging. Simple solutions involve using more herbs and spices in the preparation of health foods, according to this U.S. News Health article.

Things like sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, and even low-fat cheese added to dough prior to baking can leave you feeling more satisfied with the flavor of your pizza crusts, rolls, and breads. Adding sharp grated cheeses and dried fruits to food adds a nice burst of flavor, as does marinating foods in low-sodium marinades – particularly those that are tangy, sweet, or savory.

Have Someone Else Prepare Your Food.

Here’s the theory: You’re more likely to find the food satisfying and full of flavor if someone else prepares it for you. When you prepare a meal yourself, you anticipate the flavor while you’re making the food. When someone else prepares the food for you, that mental anticipation isn’t quite the same.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University believe this is due to extended exposure to the food being prepared. Experiencing the making of the meal, in this case a sandwich, makes the sandwich less desirable. It’s sort of like the law of diminishing returns in action. The first bite of a desirable dish is the most desirable (and most satisfying).

These great tips will help you add the flavor diet foods often lack so you can hopefully enjoy them just as much (or close to it, anyway) as you enjoy foods that are notoriously bad for you. Put them to work today and see what a difference they make for your diet efforts.

Have you tried any of these tips or other tips to make your “diet food” taste better? Did they work?

Freelance writer Elizabeth Magill is an author who writes articles, blog posts, news stories, guides, and ebooks on a variety of topics, including health, medical, and many business topics including reviews.