How Sugar Affects The Brain

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

This video from TED-Ed is brilliant!

It’s especially helpful at the 3:12 mark. It was so helpful to me that I transcribed it:

Speaking of healthy foods, let’s say you’re hungry and decide to eat a balanced meal. You do and dopamine levels spike in the reward hot spots. But if you eat that same dish many days in a row, dopamine levels will spike less and less, eventually leveling out.

Dopamine levels out with healthy food from Starling Fitness

That’s because, when it comes to food, the brain evolved to pay special attention to new or different tastes. Why? Two reasons: first, to detect food that has gone bad, and second, because the more variety we have in our diet, the more likely we are to get all the nutrients we need. To keep that variety up, we need to be able to recognize a new food and, more importantly, we need to want to keep eating new foods, and that’s why the dopamine levels off when a food becomes boring.

The brain gets bored of regular food for two reasons from Starling Fitness

Now back to that meal. What happens if in place of the healthy, balanced dish, you eat sugar-rich food instead? If you rarely eat sugar, or don’t eat much at a time, the affect is similar to that of the balanced meal. But, if you eat too much, the dopamine response does NOT level out. In other words, eating lots of sugar will continue to feel rewarding. In this way, sugar behaves a little bit like a drug.

Sugar behaves like a drug from Starling Fitness

THIS is why I have a harder time with wanting to binge about a month after eating healthy! I tend to go a little obsessive and eat the same stupid thing for breakfast every day. The same stupid thing for snacks. The same stupid thing for lunch. The only variety I get regularly is at dinnertime.

THIS is why I get all excited about a new recipe! Because my brain is telling me it’s AWESOME! But if I eat it too often, my brain will think it’s boring and urge me to eat other foods instead, especially those ones that feel REALLY good.

THIS is why I need to be vigilant. I need to give my brain lots of different taste adventures that are HEALTHY. I need to read recipes and try them. I need to watch out for my obsessive behaviors and not eat the same thing every day for months at a time until I don’t want to eat them anymore.

THIS changes EVERYTHING for me!


Victoria’s Secret Model Karolina Kurkova Looking PERFECT

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I saw this image of Victoria’s Secret model Karolina Kurkova on Funeral For My Fat and I’m ashamed to say that the first thing I noticed was the cellulite on her legs.

Victoria’s Secret model Karolina Kurkova from Starling Fitness

If a Victoria’s Secret model has cellulite, then it is NORMAL for women to have cellulite. The idea that we’re NOT supposed to have it was created by all those companies who are making anti-cellulite creams and drugs and rubs and wraps.

Don’t buy ANYTHING that promises to remove cellulite. It’s a NORMAL aspect of women’s bodies and does not need to be eradicated. It’s like saying that you have unsightly hair on your head. Love your little leg lumps and let’s hope that someday everyone will be able to look at that picture and realize that it’s Karolina Kurkova looking PERFECT!


I Eat When The Fitbit Tells Me To Eat

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

The Fitbit Flex on my wrist went off at 10 am, but I was trying to write a blog entry. I ignored it. The irony is that I was trying to write an entry for Starling Fitness. I should have just looked at my wrist and realized that I had forgotten the most important thing to keep me eating healthy: I Eat When The Fitbit Tells Me To Eat.

Eat When The Fitbit Tells You to Eat from Starling Fitness

Fitbit Silent Alarms from Starling FitnessThere should be no question about it. I used to want to eat ALL day long without relief from the hunger. It wasn’t until I set alarms every two and a half hours that I found that I could go any amount of time without thinking about food.

Now, I find myself FORGETTING about food and making the alarm go away without bothering to eat. I went a half hour without eating my apple that was already washed and ready to eat. All I had to do was put it in my piehole.

Why? Why do I let myself forget the torment of constant obsession with food and fall into bad habits? As long as I FEED my poor, abused body, it will give me HOURS of time when I won’t even THINK about food. If I had to feed my cat every two and a half hours, I wouldn’t think twice about abandoning my work and jumping up when the alarm went off. Yet, when it comes time to feed MYSELF, I won’t even bother.

And the worst trick of all, is that if I don’t feed myself healthy food every two and a half hours, I get FATTER!! I end up feeling so hungry that I eat an entire day’s worth of calories in one sitting. It’s a paradoxical practical joke that I have played on my body for years, and yet, I still haven’t learned how to do it properly.

Maybe that’s why it’s so hard. I alternately starved and stuffed my body for YEARS and I’ve only been practicing this type of eating for three months. I’m trying to undo YEARS of bad habits, so I guess it’s going to take some time until this is second nature to me. Until then, I am going to jump when that alarm goes off and stick some food in my piehole!

Overeaters Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog.


Sci Show: Fecal Transplants and Obesity

By Laura Moncur @ 9:27 am — Filed under:

Here is a Sci Show from February 2012 that talks about the reasons for obesity.

It boils down to MANY factors that are simply out of your hands:

  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Climate control
  • Many people quit smoking
  • Exposure to industrial chemicals
  • Genetics
  • Fecal bacteria

They did an episode with more information about fecal transplants here:

All of this is really depressing because I really LIKE having a warm house in the winter. I don’t have control over what chemicals are pumped into the air or what my mother weighed when she was pregnant with me. I can make sure I sleep enough, never start smoking and even volunteer for fecal transplant studies, but I still feel very discouraged. It was so much easier when calories in VS. calories out was the only factor. I had hope back then…


The Men Who Made Us Thin

By Laura Moncur @ 2:18 am — Filed under:

This show is brilliant. It takes away all my hope that I will ever be thin, but it is brilliant.

Here is episode 2:

Episode 3: This episode includes a man who has a tube permanently attached to his stomach where he can eat a full meal and then empty out the eaten food into the toilet. It’s a disgusting medical device for bulimia.

Episode 4:

Via: Fat Head » The Men Who Made Us Thin


A Year of Living Healthy

By Laura Moncur @ 9:05 am — Filed under:

This TEDMed video was titled, “How healthy living nearly killed me.” It’s not quite as dramatic as that, but it was interesting.

When he talked about wearing a helmet EVERYWHERE, it pushed things over the edge for me. I admit I’ve had a bicycle helmet that I’ve loved so much that I wanted to wear it all the time, but when I said that to Mike, he let me know with a single look that I was acting crazy.

When the health advice out there is so extreme that it makes you look crazy to follow it, it’s time to reevaluate our health advice.


Weekly Veggies with a Farm Coop

By Laura Moncur @ 11:16 am — Filed under:

Yesterday, Mike and I got our first weekly delivery of veggies from Petersen Family Farms. We signed up for their farm cooperative in January, so we have been eagerly awaiting veggies from them for months. After such a cold winter and spring, they are just now harvesting some for us.

Having a weekly shipment of veggies brought to us lets us try new things and urges us to eat more vegetables. You’d think that going to the grocery store and buying a couple heads of fresh lettuce and beet greens would be incentive enough, but when we picked up this box of produce, it was different. We met the guy who grew them, so it made me want to eat them instead of letting them go to waste.

If you have been having trouble getting more veggies into your diet, try visiting a local farm, farmer’s market or signing up for a farm coop. It won’t provide you with fresh veggies all year long, but during these glorious months of summer, you’ll have great tasting veggies.


Diets Like Like Soda

By Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am — Filed under:

I was haunting one of my favorite antique stores when this soda bottle jumped right out at me.

Diets Like Like Soda

The soda was called Like and the tagline was, “Diets Like Like.”

Diets Like Like Soda

What was even more interesting was the subtitle:

Artificially sweetened special dietary carbonated beverage

Nothing says delicious like the words “special dietary.”

It took me a while to track down exactly WHAT Like Soda was, but I finally found a footnote on Wikipedia:

Diet 7 Up: Originally introduced in 1963 as Like (not to be confused with 7 Up’s Like Cola from the 1980s), it was discontinued in 1969 due to the U.S. government ban of cyclamate sweetener.

The history for cyclamate is interesting as well:

Controversy developed when in 1966, a study reported that some intestinal bacteria could desulfonate cyclamate to produce cyclohexylamine, a compound suspected to have some chronic toxicity in animals. Further research resulted in a 1969 study which found the common 10:1 cyclamate:saccharin mixture to increase the incidence of bladder cancer in rats. The released study was showing that eight out of 240 rats fed a mixture of saccharin and cyclamates, at levels of humans ingesting 350 cans of diet soda per day, developed bladder tumors. Other studies implicated cyclohexylamine in testicular atrophy in mice. On October 18, 1969, the Food and Drug Administration banned its sale in the United States with citation of the Delaney Amendment.

Abbott Laboratories claimed that its own studies were unable to reproduce the 1969 study’s results, and in 1973, Abbott petitioned the FDA to lift the ban on cyclamate. This petition was eventually denied in 1980 by FDA Commissioner Jere Goyan. Abbott Labs, together with the Calorie Control Council (a political lobby representing the diet foods industry), filed a second petition in 1982. Although the FDA has stated that a review of all available evidence does not implicate cyclamate as a carcinogen in mice or rats, cyclamate remains banned from food products in the United States.

Apparently, Diets DON’T like Like…


Get Your Sleep

By Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am — Filed under:

Take a look at this small video of animals yawning.

Animals Yawning

If seeing them yawn, especially the hamster, makes you yawn, then you probably should think about adding another half hour of sleep to your schedule. Get to bed a little earlier tonight and skip the TV, reading or whatever you find yourself doing when you should be tucked in snugly.

They say that getting more sleep can help you lose weight. I don’t know if I believe that, but I DO know that I do much better at EVERYTHING when I’ve had a full night’s sleep.

Animated GIF via: Your daily gif blog: Animals Yawning


Is Soda Bad For You?

By Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am — Filed under:

Is Soda Bad For You?

When I saw this image from the movie, Repo Man, I was surprised at how easily my mind translated the word DRINK to SODA. I had to look at it three times to make sure it said DRINK instead of SODA. Those cans are just props used in a movie, but they seem like so much more to me.

Is soda bad for you?

I honestly don’t know. There are studies that say even diet sodas can cause an insulin response. There are people out there saying that soda is rotting my teeth and making me fat. I even have a friend who says that carbonated beverages (even unsweetened ones) make me fat because they expand my stomach and make me unable to tell when I’m full.

The only facts that I have are how my body responds to soda. When I keep my diet drinks to one or two cans a day, I have an easier time following my program. When I drink a 32 ounce monster of Coke Zero, I get an energy boost from the caffeine that just doesn’t feel the same as two cups of coffee. When I feel deprived, a diet root beer and a small scoop of low calorie vanilla ice cream tastes like a extravagant indulgence.

Is soda bad for you? That’s something you have to decide for yourself. Is it bad for me? I’m still trying to decide.

Animated GIF via: three frames – Repo Man 3

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