Fat-Causing Condiments

Sweet N’ Low. Trans Fats. MSG. They’re making you fat. Of course, they are on nearly anything and everything that’s edible, and so they can be difficult to get away from; not to mention, their nutritious value (or lack thereof) is largely neglected as a whole in the mainstream media, making them easy to neglect and forget. Yet, theses additives are there and are taking their toll, primarily in three different ways:

  1.  Two of these additives hinder the release of a hormone, leptin, which is responsible for telling your brain when you are full.
  2.  Other obesity additives actually increase your fat content by transforming how our bodies absorb and utilize calories. How do they do this? Insulin. When these additives increase insulin, a fat-storing insulin, your calories are converted to fat rather than as energy for you muscles.
  3. Additional additives, believe it or not, change chemicals in our brain known as “neurotransmitters” to make us addicted to them, just like a serious drug.

In light of the harm these additives can cause to your weight loss and fitness journey, I have elected to put together a list of the absolute worse additives that you should remove immediately from your diet:

Stripped Carbohydrates: Basically sugar, flour, enriched white flour, white flour, glucose, high fructose corn syrup (aka HFCS), and sucrose among others.

Artificial Sweeteners: NutraSweet (aspartame), Sunette (acesulfame K), & Sweet ‘N Low (saccharin)

Added caffeine: Soda or energy drinks like Red Bull. Of course, a few cups of green tea or coffee are nothing to worry about.

Trans Fats: As I’m sure you’ve heard, trans fats are not good for you. They should be cut immediately, and are generally listed “partially hydrogenated oils”

MSG: MSG also falls under this umbrella of undesirable additives. It is often described as “monosodium glutamate”.

Extra Alcohol: If you need to, limit it to one or two drinks a week.

Extra Salt: Often found in chips, crackers, canned food, pickles, different cheeses, pretzels, condiments, and salted nuts, extra salt is a silent killer you should try to avoid at all costs.

Well, now that I’ve told you what you can’t eat, let me tell what you can eat:

Heinz Organic Tomato Ketchup is a great option over other more traditional ketchup options. Why? It doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup.
Curley’s Famous Hot and Spicy Barbecue Sauce is awesome because it doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup or MSG.
Newman’s Own is a fantastic salad dressing line since many of its options lack excess sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
Lucini’s Hearty Artichoke Tomato Sauce has a measly 230 mg of sodium in each serving and less than a gram of sugar, which is literally less than 1/10th that of the more popular Prego’s Italian Sauce Traditional.
McCormick’s Original Taco Seasoning is a great option for adding some flavor to those shelled pieces of deliciousness because it has no trans fats, otherwise know as hydrogenated oils.

These are just a few options you can use to better your diet, make the transformation you dream of, and lose the weight you want gone. For even more information, go to this article. That’s it for now. All the best!

Great Foods That Alleviate Stress

Being a human being is a difficult task, especially when you have stress from work, family, friends or other external circumstances that have a negative affect on how you operate sometimes. But, there is some awesome news–believe it or not, there are some foods out there that actually help with stress. You heard me right! Healthy, delicious food that will make you feel better about whatever forms of stress are affecting your day to day life.


In addition to being an awesome insoluble fiber (lowers cholesterol and overall glycemic index), oatmeal is a great start to decrease stress. This breakfast food is a healthy choice to decrease belly fat while using serotonin for a calming solution to sooth any anxiety.


German researchers found that consuming Vitamin C actually reduces elevations in cortisol, which is the most common stress hormone in your body. Oranges are also awesome for maintaining your system’s immune system and fighting sickness.


Omega-3 anyone? Fish like salmon is a great nutritional source to reduce stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline from increasing when faced with a situation that really gets under your skin. A study at Ohio State University highlighted the fact that omega-3 fatty acids decrease anxiety by 20%. Pass that fish over!


Due to their high potassium content, avocados have been shown to help reduce stress-related high blood pressure. These creamy gems contain more potassium than bananas–who would have thought right?


Broccoli contains folic acid, a vitamin that has been proven to reduce not only stress,  but also anxiety, panic, and depression. Not to mention that there are also a great source fiber any time of day.


Nothing says relief like almonds, right? These gems are loaded with a ton of vitamins that increase serotonin to help relieve stress or anxiety.The zinc and magnesium combination in these nuts has been shown shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and improving its overall quality. I mean no one wants to fall asleep at their desk in their morning, right?


Loaded with antioxidants, blueberries are also rich in Vitamin C and also help reduce elevations in cortisol. These berries not only taste delicious, but also have a very low glycemic index which is a great plus!


3 Ways to Reduce This Belly Fat Producing Hormone

Belly-Fat-PictureYou know you have hormones, that men and women have slightly different hormones, and that hormone balance is important for your emotional and physical health, but do you really know what hormones are or what they are supposed to do? In scientific terms, hormones are signaling molecules produced by glands in multicellular organisms that are transported by the circulatory system to target distant organs in order to regulate physiology and behaviour.

In laymen’s terms, hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. They travel through your bloodstream to reach your tissues or organs and tell them what to do. They affect many different processes, including growth and development, metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, and mood. Your glands (such as your pituitary, pineal, and thyroid) produce these hormones. In addition, men produce hormones in their testes and women produce them in their ovaries.

Hormones are powerful messengers, and it takes only a tiny amount of them to cause big changes in cells or even your whole body. That’s why too much or too little of a particular hormone can cause serious health problems.

One hormone you’ve probably heard of before is cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone your body releases in response to stress.

When your body produces cortisol, it functions to increase your blood sugar through gluconeogenesis, to suppress the immune system, and to aid in the metabolism of fat, protein, and carbohydrate, as well as decrease bone formation. Unfortunately, high levels of cortisol have been linked to increased levels of abdominal fat. If you are holding onto a little extra weight around your midsection, too much cortisol could be to blame.

Want to reduce cortisol and get rid of excess belly fat? Here are 3 things you can start doing today:

1. Work less. New research shows that if you work 48+ hours per week, your likelihood of consuming excess alcohol goes up dramatically. Stress and alcohol consumption both increase levels of cortisol which in turn tell your body to store more fat around your midsection. Not to mention how the extra calories you’re receiving from those drinks is also going to cost you once you hit the scale. Trimming back your working hours while choosing exercise for stress relief (instead of alcohol) will work wonders for your stress levels and your waistline.

2. Don’t consume caffeine after 6 PM. When you consume caffeine at night, it’s likely to affect the quality of your sleep. Quality, uninterrupted sleep is essential for cortisol reduction. Opt for caffeine free tea instead. You’ll wake more refreshed after a good nights sleep, and your body will have lowered your levels of cortisol over the course of the night.

3. Take time to “unplug.” A recent study out of Canada showed that those who were constantly in contact with technology (TV, smart phones, computers, etc) throughout their day showed significantly higher symptoms of stress than those who took time to “unplug” during designated times each day. As you know, stress means your body is creating more cortisol. Schedule device-free time every day to unwind and relax.

It might sound difficult to incorporate these three pieces of advice if you have a hectic work schedule that requires you to work long hours, stay up late, and sit at a computer most of the time. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t start incorporating these things in small ways. Start with a few 5-minute breaks throughout your day where you close your eyes, and step away from your computer. Remember:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu; Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)