The steps to a better you (part 2)
July 24, 2018
Posted by Simply GOODFATS
Some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received about MCT oils and coconut oil are centered around their ability to help with weight loss and body composition. Before starting on this discussion though, we here at Simply GOODFATS, thought it would be a good idea to start the conversation by discussing the key tips that will help you on your journey to a better, fitter you and only after discussing these points, will we then advance to talking about MCTs and coconut oil specifically. The fact is that no matter how amazing these oils are, they are only one tool that you’ll need to use on your journey. With this in mind we want to share with you the 10 steps we feel will become very important on the journey to a better you: Steps 1 through 5 can be found in our previous blog entry
Step #6: Stop Snacking
In this guide, one of the main focuses of all of our suggestions is to break the cycle of cravings. Snacking tends to be an area where our cycle of cravings tends to be strongest. Most of our snacks are made up of different forms of sugar. Most people aren’t whipping out vegetables and olives at 3:00 pm. Instead, we’re craving candy bars, sweet coffees or a bag of chips. Even if you’re following a low carbohydrate lifestyle it’s still easy to get caught up in this sugar cycle with so-called healthy snack bars that have dried fruits and nuts or bars that use a lot of sugar alternatives like monk fruit, erythritol or stevia. While these are definitely better options, any food that your brain registers as “sweet” has the potential to keep you stuck in the vicious cycle of cravings.
What should you do instead? In order to break the snack cycle, eat larger meals with increased healthy fat and protein content which take longer to break down in your body and become energy. In addition to eating larger meals another good tactic to curb cravings is to drink some water or tea when you have these mid-morning or mid-day cravings. Sometime the act of consuming a drink is enough to suppress the temporary hunger caused by our routine of snacking.
Step #7: Start the Day with Fat First
In the morning, our stress hormone (known as cortisol) is at its highest. Cortisol is synchronized with our circadian rhythms, which helps the body wake up and get going at the start of the day. Alternatively, cortisol levels are at their lowest in the evening, when the sun is down and it’s time for sleep. The combination of cortisol and insulin, the body’s sugar-processing hormone, does not produce a good pairing — especially when it comes to cravings. By avoiding foods that provoke an insulin spike in the earlier part of the day (such as carbohydrates), the body’s natural hormonal rhythms are optimized as we wake and go about our daily lives. In addition to foods such as avocado, eggs, and bacon, we personally like to enjoy a serving of organic MCT oil in the morning.
Step #8: Harness the Power of Intermittent Fasting
Now that we’ve outlined a few of the building blocks, we’re going to talk about an additional step to improve your health and fitness goals, intermittent fasting (IF).
IF is the practice of shifting between periods of unrestricted eating and restricted eating; in turn, it provides a restful period for your body to repair and heal. During the “fasting” time, the body’s cells enter a phase where they literally digest themselves in order to recycle the “good,” or useful material, and discard the “bad,” or toxic buildup. This is called autophagy (“self-eating”) and it can be activated by practicing IF to reset the system and curb cravings. Think about it: if you’re constantly eating — which is the case for many of us as we graze throughout the day — it doesn’t give your cells a chance to clean up the waste and toxins that have accumulated. Short periods of fasting allow your cells to take care of those tasks; as a result, you are less likely to graze on snacks, desserts, sweet drinks and refined, processed foods. How long do you need to fast? A good suggestion is to fast 16 hours and eat during an 8-hour window. This might sound tough; however, it usually involves either cutting out breakfast or eating an early dinner and you’ll achieve the time windows with some ease.
Step #9: Provide Yourself Some Distractions
Going cold-turkey can be difficult, overwhelming, and a barrier to starting IF. If this is how you feel, then the good news is that you can take some time to transition by using replacements for a period of time. For instance, for the first couple of weeks replace your sugary coffee routine with a healthier alternative, such as coffee and coconut creamer and a spoonful of raw cacao. Find a bunch of small wins such as this and build yourself towards the steps above.
Step #10: Focus on Winning
Make choices that position you as the victor in this battle. Because let’s face it — the current state of our food industry comes down to business. For the big companies, it’s all about their bottom line — not your health. While this is disheartening, the truth is that these corporations often use excessive sugar, refined grains, oxidized bad fats, and an array of chemicals and additives without regard for the health consequences. The more these junky foods keep us addicted to them, the better off the corporations are. Truly “put your money where your mouth is” and choose to spend your dollars on the ingredients that will nourish you wholly and deeply, from the inside out!