Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain And Indigestion
‘Tis the season for overindulging and eating more than usual. Not just the stretch from Thanksgiving to New Years, but even single day holidays like Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, The 4th of July and Memorial Day. We all can overeat to an extent since holidays are so centered around food. So to avoid the negative consequences of putting on pounds and digestive issues here’s a few things I’ve compiled from what I’ve learned over the years. There’s more information about dietary principles here than just simply avoiding weight gain, so use what you’re interested in and add others as you are comfortable with later on if you choose. At the basic level of following ideal macronutrient combinations per meal you’ll avoid weight gain. If this is all that interests you now, go right to the (*) towards the bottom of this article. There’s a lot of information here so don’t be overwhelmed about understanding all of it or feeling everything needs to be followed to a “T” right away.
Applying other aspects of the principles outlined here you’ll gain further health benefits. Don’t readily dismiss your situation as “good genes, bad genes” (possible Led Zeppelin parody song) or “there’s nothing I can do about it” when we do have control over what we eat and what we eat it with. Think of eating meals as a slot machine of FAT PROTEIN and CARBS (carbohydrates). These 3 kinds of fuel (sources of calories) are known as macronutrients. Every meal we eat we pull the slot machine and wind up with different ratios. If we do it consciously of a few winning formulas we benefit. It’s the ratios of these macronutrients per meal which lead to better health or not. There is a formula for eating 777’s at every meal and makes the chemistry of food interacting with our hormonal pathways work for us. Nature gave it to the planet aeons ago…
Okay the background: First off, understand the processed food industry has created foods with ratios of fat, protein and carbs which DO NOT occur in nature. This sends conflicting messages to our bodies when consumed in these unnatural ratios.
Also due to social habits and customs, people tend to combine ratios of different types of foods with ratios of fat, protein, and carbs that only human beings encounter by having different types of food readily available.
What this leads to is humans consuming ratios of fat, protein and carbs that no other creature on the planet eats in nature because foods in nature contain certain predominant combinations and ratios of the macronutrients of fat, protein and carbohydrates.
We consider eating this way normal though. Civilization can be hazardous to your health. The effects of it is it leads to numerous digestive issues and gaining unwanted weight. Our bodies are designed to best assimilate things in a certain way. Eating in alignment to certain formulas/ratios, you can save yourself digestive ills and unwanted weight gain. The good news is you don’t have to give up any type of food either. It’s the combinations and ratios that matter.
In nature, most animals eat a mono diet. A mono diet means they eat one thing at a time because a plate of the four food groups isn’t readily served to them on fine British porcelain dinnerware. So they do not improperly food combine (eat improper combinations together) because they cannot.
Animals also do not eat solid food and drink water (or any other liquid) at the same time because food and water are most often in different places (unless your name is Moby, Jaws, or SpongeBob). But we’re too cool for a mono diet–it’s freaking boring for social get togethers. The problem is this leads to eating food combinations which trigger the body’s “store what I’m eating now as energy reserves for later” mechanism. In other words, to store as fat.
The other problem is certain combinations cause havoc on digestion because the body cannot break down certain combinations of macronutrients well when certain foods are eaten together. Especially food combos of high carbs and high protein. There’s only one common food I’m aware of that contains a high ratio of these together: beans. Insert bean jokes and the exquisite scene from Blazing Saddles here:
Our bodies have a difficult time digesting the combination of high carbs and high protein when eaten together because they require different kinds of stomach acids which cancel each other out. Not surprising high protein/high carb is rarely a combination found in nature within a food.
A simple guideline for a better diet and long term health is…
EAT FOODS IN THEIR NATURAL STATE OR CLOSE TO IT (AKA Whole Unprocessed Food)
Along with the most basic practice of eating foods in their natural state, here’s some general healthier dietary habits to move towards:
REDUCE/ELIMINATE EATING FOODS WITH TOXINS/CHEMICALS/PRESERVATIVES/GMOs
The average infant today is born with over 200 foreign chemicals in it’s body. That’s right, exposed in utero, as the baby is developing in the womb. Out DNA is in a boxing ring before we are even born. Really, what are we doing to ourselves and long term health with all this daily overload in our diet? The cards are already stacked against long term health at birth.
Eat Organic as much as possible. If you don’t have the budget, realize conventional (non–organic) fruit has the most pesticides used on it because insects love simple sugars. Conventional dairy and meat are also things to avoid due to the unhealthy conditions they are raised in plus the overuse of antibiotics used to keep unhealthy confined animals from getting sick. There is only one “last resort” antibiotic left due to this overuse in the medical profession and in these factory farm operations known as CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations). Not a comforting thought thinking that whatever is in the meat most people are eating might be resistant to most antibiotics already.
Also ask yourself if you want to play GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms or Genetically Modified Food) roulette when these foods have been banned in numerous countries due to health concerns and studies which demonstrate a different result from what the “safety studies” done by the manufacturers of these foods have submitted to the FDA. They are deliberately not labeled in the US because they don’t want the public to be aware of what they’re eating because it’ll hurt sales of their products. GMO producers spend millions of dollars to prevent labeling. Vote with your dollar. These companies have deep pockets, lobbyists and political connections so don’t expect elected officials to answer any Batman floodlight or don a Superman cape in the fight for your health when these GMO companies are very large campaign contributors to both Democrat and Republican legislators. Buy foods that have the USDA Organic circle or contain the phrases GMO free or No GMOs etc.
The PLU# (sticker) on fruit and produce indicates organic or conventional. If it starts with a number 9 it is organic (usually it says organic as well). If it starts with a 4 or a 3 it is conventional.
GMO’s were supposed to start with an 8, but I have never even seen anything labeled this way. They even succeeded having it not identified among the suppliers before it gets to store shelves.
REDUCE SUGAR CONSUMPTION
Liquid sugar (soft drinks, juices, energy drinks), and refined flours (which have little or no fiber to slow it down during digestion) cause too rapid an increase of insulin. These foods are not found in nature (fruit in it’s natural state has fiber) and this rapid spike in insulin over time may lead to type II diabetes not to mention the early warning sign of cavities. Too much sugar is implicated in numerous degenerative health conditions not to mention tooth decay, so if you want to have robust health and energy over a lifetime you’d best initiate a bitch slap reduction plan on sugar and carb consumption both in frequency and amount per meal. I’ve seen several of my relatives get type II diabetes, some of which did not have the so called affinity of a “sweet tooth.”
Another harmful thing about sugar is this: Cancer needs a high sugar, acidic environment to flourish. This is exactly what the SAD (Standard American Diet) produces. So the processed food industry with it’s practices to make things taste better by adding sugar, removing fiber, and using salt & chemical preservatives to extend shelf life has made products that are not only nutrient deficient from their natural state but also harmful to long term health. We also live in a culture where most food producers know little about nutrition and health (like the Frank Zappa album, most are “Only In It For The Money), and the medical industry pays little or no attention to food. A far cry from the father of modern medicine Hippocrates who among being known for the oath all physicians take to “First do no harm” he’s also known for saying “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” The most basic and frequent activity people do (eating food) is so overlooked by conventional medicine.
AVOID LIQUIDS WITH MEALS FOR BETTER DIGESTION
If you drink enough water, (use spring or filtered tap water without added fluoride) between meals, you won’t have to drink during meals. Liquids dilute stomach acid leading to digestive complications. drink water no closer than 20 minutes before a meal and wait 40–50 minutes after a meal to resume drinking water. This ensures optimal digestion.
AVOID WATER WITH ADDED FLUORIDE
Fluoride does not occur in water in nature nor is it needed by the body or essential for life. Dentists and Doctors haven’t been running things on this planet for a few billion years nor do they have the full panoramic multifaceted understanding and wisdom of Nature. They just see a short term “solution” of adding fluoride to water when a diet high in sugars (carbs) is what causes tooth decay. This same diet leads to Type II Diabetes and a high acid body environment favorable to cancer. Fluoridated water is a band aid “solution:” questionably effective and possibly harmful when ingested inside the body and accumulated over time. It also should be illegal to add any kind of medication (even in the name of health or public good–it is always presented this way) to public water supplies because the dosage cannot be controlled. People drink different amounts of water thus will have different exposures to fluoride. Children will be more vulnerable than adults to excess ingestion of this misguided and shortsighted practice done in the name of public good. Limit your consumption of sugars and you won’t have nearly as many problems with your teeth or long term health for that matter. Here’s a great book that gives other information on maintaining healthy teeth naturally:
HAVE FRUITS ALONE 30 MINUTES BEFORE A MEAL OR EAT FRUITS ALONE 2 HOURS AFTERWARDS
This Food Combining 101. Fruit is digested quickly when eaten by itself but when eaten with anything else our body waits to digest it, leaving time for it to become a food source for unhealthy bacteria leading to Putrefaction inside your intestines and digestive issues.
Back to the formulas…
There are 3 macronutrients found in food:
CARBOHYDRATES (which are or break down to simple sugars)
Another thing is since animals eat a mono diet, the macronutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrates) occur in certain combos in nature so they don’t gain extra weight with their normal eating patterns and frequencies. With few exceptions, foods in nature contain predominant ratios of either one of the following:
A) Fats combined with protein with minimal carbs (sugars–all carbs break down into sugars)
Examples of this “fat/some protein” food are nuts, seeds, dairy, meat.
B) Carbs with small amounts of protein with smaller amounts of fat.
Common examples are grains, breads, fruits, potatoes
Veggies have small amounts of the 3 macronutitents.
There’s a few exceptions to the guidelines of fat/protein/carb (macronutrient) combining. For instance, combining bread (mainly a carb) with olive oil (which is a fat) seems to be okay. Also coconut oil (which is a fat) increases metabolism and is digested like a carb (it does not require the secretion of bile to break it down like most fats) and provides quick energy. Coconut oil is also beneficial on several other levels–the type of fat it is, plus it has anti–bacterial, anti–viral, and anti–parasitic properties. It’s also high heat stable and I cook in it exclusively. A spoonful a day does wonders. A spoonful of sugar may help the medicine go down but it’s far better to have a diet which produces robust health where medicine is not even necessary.
Call any vegetable and the chances are good the vegetable will respond to you!!
Great advice from Frank Zappa. You can eat veggies with carbs, fat, and protein (but avoid eating anything else with fruit for best digestion). Veggies are alkalizing–good to combine with meat, dairy (if you eat animal proteins) and grains which are acidic or near acidic on the pH scale, plus they provide necessary fiber for regularity (fiber is the “tire treads” which moves food through the long winding track of our intestines).
So when we are eating lots of decadent sugary and carb based snacks and desserts along with high amounts of fat, we trigger high insulin (from the sugars/carbs). When insulin is high, the way the food is allocated for use will be different. It’s like the train conductor flipping the switch to make a train go onto a different track. Instead of it being used for immediate energy, it will be stored as energy for later. Aside from the chronically elevated insulin levels from eating carbs too frequently, (which can lead to insulin resistance–Type II Diabetes) it produces unwanted weight gain in the short term and long term.
So by having the high carb/sugar snacks separate (and in moderation of course) and not eating them with high fat content food, you can avoid triggering the fat storage mechanism. Problem is, most often these desserts have high carbs and high fat in them (which again is not found in foods in nature nor does it happen when eating a mono diet).
Look at what happens to pets when they’re fed diets of these misaligned fat/protein/carb combinations as well. They gain weight where their wild counterparts do not. Ever see an overweight feral or stray cat? It’s not so much because they can’t find enough food–they’re eating a mono diet with macronutrients in optimal ratios found in nature even though they may not be eating the cleanest food.
Another issue with high carb meals is it can lead to brain fog. Following a diet of proper macro combos does not eliminate any of the macronutrients at each meal, you just learn to combine them in certain orders and times:
The basic principles:
HAVE HIGH CARB MEALS SEPARATELY
For instance, I only have high carb meals (bread, rice, yams) a few times a week (2 or 3 max). It is always the last meal of the day as well. Since I’ll be going to bed in a few hours, the brain fog is actually beneficial because it has the effect of relaxation. Also going to bed with elevated insulin levels sets up the condition to produce IGF (insulin growth factor) during sleep which is good.
WE GROW AND REPAIR DURING SLEEP
FAT AND PROTEIN IS ANABOLIC (builds and maintains the body)
CARBS ARE CATABOLIC (degenerative). If most of your meals are predominantly fat/protein combos, you maintain youth and health better than with a high carb/sugar diet.
The Dentist Dr. Weston Price did all this research on this already way back in the 1930’s. “Primitive” cultures around the world which were eating more of a mono diet were not experiencing the same degenerative health conditions (and tooth decay) that industrial society was encountering more and more.
Dr. Price’s Groundbreaking work:
Still don’t believe it?
GET A TIME MACHINE OR A PRE–OWNED DELORIAN AND PICK A FIGHT WITH A STONE AGE HOMO SAPIEN
They did not eat high sugar, high carb diets. I’ll bet any man alive today couldn’t kick his ass. We probably couldn’t kick HER ass either.
Bone thickness for pre history homo sapiens provides a mathematical ratio for how much muscle strength they could generate. The bones have to be thick enough not to break under muscle contraction. Translation: They could take out a lion. Barehanded. Spears are for sissies. As far as apes go, the average chimp on this planet today is biologically stronger than Arnold Schwarzenegger, any bodybuilder, Mr. Universe or NFL player even though these men may look bigger and stronger. A chimp is strong enough to pull a man’s arms completely off his body. Still want one as a pet?
Okay, okay, I can’t resist!!:
The difficult habit to break is having carbs for breakfast. I know having spent my time as a kid in Pop Tarts Anonymous. It took time and effort to correct my bad dietary habits to give up soda and junk food. Because garbage in…garbage in–don’t feed your body low quality nutritionally poor processed food if you want better health and energy.
Some further guidelines:
AVOID HIGH CARB MEALS FOR BREAKFAST
Proper marco cycling means you do not have a high carb meal for breakfast ever. The majority of your daily/weekly meals will be combos of fat and protein with veggies.
Fat/protein combos are pound for pound better for energy and mental clarity. They provide more calories (which is not a bad thing because it is used differently–fat for energy, protein to rebuild/maintain your body). You’ll need to eat less of this combo than carbs. Your meals will be the same or greater in calories for energy but you won’t need to eat the same amount in volume as with high carbs meals.
HAVE HIGH CARB MEALS LESS FREQUENTLY
Having carbs too often causes the body to crave it–carbs produce “hormonal hunger” meaning being hungry when you are not actually hungry needing food. Carbs are sugar and sugar is habit forming regardless of what anyone says. There’s a reason it’s called “comfort food.” People can and do get addicted to sugar but it’s not seen as a problem because it’s socially acceptable over say heroin (and way cheaper). Want proof of this? Go 1 week without carbs/sugars. Even though you’re eating other foods and not anywhere near starving you will feel the pangs of sugar withdrawal. You can reset your body’s energy preference by doing this (for fat/protein instead). After a week of feeding your body fat and protein, it will switch over to preferring these as it’s main energy source. In order not to get re–addicted to carbs, you’ll have to limit them–meaning don’t have high carb meals every day. Skip at least one day between high carb meals and only have one or two high carb meal on that day at the end of the day.
The body will use as a preferred energy source whatever is fed most often–we are programmed biologically for fat/protein. There are no “essential carbohydrates” like essential amino acids. Early humans lived for thousands of years without grains and high carbohydrate diets. Civilization then switches us over to carbs out of abundance and convenience. Again, Civilization can be hazardous to your health.
High fat and some protein is the body’s first and best energy source. What is breast milk made of? Fat and protein. Carbs became the food of civilization to sustain larger populations in cities over hunter gather/tribal communities. With the addition of grains some 20,000 years ago, we are eating much more sugar/carbs than ancient man who ate more of a mono diet and with better food combining by living in line with nature.
Bears eat carbs before winter to prepare for hibernation–this triggers the hormonal pathways in them for fat storage. This is the only time they gain excess weight and it is triggered by eating high amounts of carbs. Think about that. Most people eat this way the majority of the time. Is it any wonder the majority of people are carrying some extra weight?
Common diets focus on counting calories. Calorie counting isn’t as important as proper macronutrient combining. Certainly don’t overeat even with proper macro combining which will lead to indigestion. Also realize restricting calories as in common dieting while improperly combining macronutrients still triggers the same “store for later” mechanisms. So you can still gain weight even though you are “eating less by the numbers” counting calories.
IN A NUTSHELL:
*AVOID EATING HIGH CARBS AND HIGH FAT AT THE SAME MEAL. This is the dietary formula for weight gain.
This produces high insulin levels from eating high amounts carbs. When insulin levels are high due to having a high carb/sugar meal combined with high amounts of fat, what is eaten will be stored as fat (energy for usage later).
Fat by itself was never the bad guy. Improper food combining and excess sugar (expecially fructose) is the dietary villain.
So how do you calculate the right ratios of fat/protein/carbs to prevent this?
The caloric content on food labels is measured in grams (g). If fat is kept ideally below 20gms with a high carb meal, you can avoid triggering the hormonal response that triggers the fat storage mechanism. Even keeping active carbs under 30 grams per meal will be a huge improvement if that’s easier for you to transition to this way of eating.
Carbs over 20 grams produces insulin to rise at ANY meal. You’ll actually feel it if you experiment with this.
This flips the elevated insulin switch. When insulin is high, if fat is eaten in high quantities along with high carbs, what you eat will be stored as energy reserves for later like a bear getting ready to hibernate.
During fat/protein meals, keep the active carbs below 20 grams per meal–this will not raise insulin levels sufficiently.
What are active carbs?
carbs—fiber (soluble and insoluble)=active carbs [Carbs minus Fiber equals Active Carbs]
carbs are listed as “total carbs” (this includes sugars even though they are listed separately on labels)
Total carb 10g
So this food has 7 grams of active carbs
The body doesn’t digest fiber–it’s used to move food through the digestive system. This is why it’s necessary to eat veggies or something which contains fiber especially with dairy or meat which have no fiber or else risk constipation or worse, diverticulitis in the future.
If a food label lists total fiber, then use that number. If the label lists soluble fiber and then insoluble fiber, add them together to get total fiber and subtract from total carbs to get active carbs like this:
Total carbs 30g
Soluble fiber 3g
Insoluble fiber 2g
So total fiber is 5g (3g+2g) and active carbs would be 25g
The good news with eating this way is you can still enjoy all kinds of foods. Just eat them more in line with how certain ratios would occur in nature not how cultural habits have skewed things by combining fat/protein/carbs in ratios on our plates outside the way all the other creatures on the planet eat.
So no milk and cookies for Santa, and no beans for them Reindeer!!
We don’t want Santa to get sick or have to bail out over Greenland
Enjoy Your Holidays and Best Wishes For Better Health 🙂
Disclaimer: This article is for informational/educational purposes only and is not medical advice. Consult your physician or health care professional before beginning a diet or exercise program.
© Composer Yoga
The Master Cleanse For Greater Health & Creativity