Thursday, April 7, 2011

Comfort Food and Gut Bombs

What is your "comfort food"? You know what I mean, that food you resort to when you've had a really stressful day to reward yourself for surviving with most of your sanity intact or to make yourself feel better and lift your spirits. Mine is doughnuts. Not just any doughnuts mind you, but the kind with the custard filling and chocolate frosting on top. I have to go to great lengths to avoid going anywhere near my favorite bakery on those days when it seems that nothing has gone right or I'm really stressed out. Why is it that so many of our "comfort foods" seem to turn right into gut bombs? I know that doughnut or two is going to go straight to my belly and show up as ugly, unhealthy fat.

The physical reason is because so many of these foods are high in carbohydrates or calories that come from fat. Fat of course gets stored immediately in the body. Your body can only easily digest a certain amount of carbohydrates before it then converts those carbs to fat to store away. Proteins and fiber are less likely to be converted to fat storage as the body is able to eliminate any of those it can't digest.

Gut bombs are also caused by undigested food sitting there because your body doesn't have enough enzymes to digest it. This can be due to the type of calories we are ingesting, like carbs and fat, or to the way we eat meals. If we allow ourselves to get hungry, our bodies go into starvation mode and hoard the calories. This causes a feeling of being deprived and craving our comfort foods. Eating more, smaller meals throughout the day allows us to avoid this state and avoid the cravings for unhealthy foods.

Another way to fight the gut bomb is to build lean muscle because muscle burns more calories than fat does and increases your metabolism which in turn burns fat away. One way to increase your metabolism to burn fat away is by drinking enough water. Increasing metabolism to burn fat is the job of your liver. The liver however also takes over some of the jobs your kidneys should be doing and can't if the kidneys don't have enough water. That in turns slows the liver down from converting stored fat into energy. The average person needs to drink about 2 quarts of water a day. This of course should not be all at one time, but rather spread out throughout the day so as to not overtax the kidneys. If you are overweight, very active or live in a particularly dry climate area, you may need even more water. A simple formula for determining how much water you should drink daily is:
  • Calculate 75% of your body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, this would be 112.5 pounds.
  • Covert that figure to ounces (112.6 ounces).
  • Add 16 ounces each for a dry climate or strenuous exercise
Water also prevents dehydration which slows down the process of fat burning and drinking water before meals makes us feel fuller so we don't eat as much.

There are also herbal solutions to the comfort food and gut bomb dilemma. Here are some:

Enzymes or Enhanced Enzymes have a combination of enzymes designed to break down all types of foods including fats and carbohydrates to improve your digestion.

This Smoothie Mix with 22 grams of whey protein, as a substitute for a between meals snack. This delicious, creamy drink mix gives you a protein alternative as a snack to help you stay away from fatty foods.

These nutritional snack bars are another healthy snack alternative. Fortified with sprouted grains, greens and bluegreen algae, these bars are a complete protein offering all essential amino acids.

Increase overall health with whole AFA bluegreen algae and AFA bluegreen algae with the cell wall removed, wild-crafted, organic, all natural superfoods. Bluegreen algae is one of the best foods in the world and eating it is one of the easiest and most effective ways to stay healthy and keep away from the doughnuts.



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