Category: Weight Loss

What is Chrononutrition?

Chrononutrition is a relatively new specialty in the fields of nutrition and biology that tries to understand how the timing of food ingestion affects health. The central idea here is that metabolic health, cardiovascular health, and body composition come down not just to what and how much we eat but also when we eat. 

Read More

Ask a Health Coach: How Do I Stop Snacking? Do You Believe in Tracking Food?

Hey folks, Board-Certified Health Coach, and Primal Health Coach Institute’s Coaching Director, Erin Power is here to answer your questions about satiating hunger and tracking food. If you’re looking for skillful, caring guidance we’ve got strategies, tips, and support. Have a question you’d like to ask our health coaches? Leave it below in the comments or over in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group. Satiating hunger Tamara asked: “What’s the best way to stop feeling hungry between meals? I depend on snacks to get me through.” Ah, hunger and snacking. You’re not alone with this question, Tamara. You know, I think one of the reasons we reach for snacks is…because we’re hungry. That may sound funny, but I’m being serious. Sure, many folks snack out of stress, boredom, or emotional eating. But I’ve helped many coaching clients cure that sort of mindless eating simply by helping them go through life more well-fed. Now, to be clear, there are certain foods and lifestyle factors that mess with our hormonal and other signaling systems. A diet high in processed carbs and sweets tends to interfere with our natural, healthy hunger and satiation signals. It also causes our body to revolt against the constant insulin bath triggered by MORE carbs, MORE sugar, and frequent snacking. Similarly, lack of sleep and chronic stress and anxiety mess with our hormones and can throw hunger signals way out of whack. But if you’re eating a Primal diet featuring an abundance of real, whole, minimally processed food, including high-quality protein and healthy fats, you’re well on your way to being in touch with true hunger and minimizing the need (or desire) for snacking. However, if you’re eating Primal most of the time and still feeling hungry throughout the day, I’ve got a fairly dependable solution: more protein. Here’s the thing: Your hunger comes from your cells, and your cells require nourishment. Specifically, they need: Fuel (calories to provide energy for your body and brain) Building blocks (amino acids and essential fatty acids that help your body continuously build and repair itself) Information (minerals, vitamins, cholesterol, prebiotic fibres, etc.—all of which have incredibly important and nuanced roles in bodily function) When your cells ask for food (i.e., you feel hungry), it’s to satisfy these needs. If cells aren’t getting these needs met, they are undernourished and cry out for more nourishment. Now, of course, every body is different, and people bring different health conditions, life circumstances, and goals to the table. That said, if we are to generalize, there’s an easy way to give your cells and body more of the calories, building blocks, and information they’re asking for: eat more protein. As one of the most nutrient dense “human foods” on planet earth, it ticks all of the boxes in terms of the nourishment our cells are asking for. How much more protein? MORE. Rather than get caught up in measuring and micromanaging, keep things simple: just aim for more, and see how it goes. Time and … Continue reading “Ask a Health Coach: How Do I Stop Snacking? Do You Believe in Tracking Food?”

Read More

What is the Protein Sparing Modified Fast Diet?

There are some crazy crash diets out there. You’ve got the cabbage diet, where people live (or try to live) off of cabbage soup for weeks at a time. You’ve got the gelatin diet of the 70s, where people would try to lose weight by eating only gelatin (it didn’t work and some people got really, really sick). There are dozens of variations of crash diets, and most of them are unsustainable, unhealthy, and ineffective. 

There’s one that’s a little different: the protein sparing modified fast. No less extreme but far more reasonable and effective than the others, the protein sparing modified fast, or PSMF, is an ultra high protein, low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie diet. It’s intended to accelerate fat loss and minimize muscle loss. It is not intended to be a long term way of eating, but rather a short term intervention that can springboard a person into greater sustained weight loss and healthy living. 

Read More

Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight Loss

Apple cider vinegar is purported to have a number of impressive benefits. Chief among these is that apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight—allegedly. As I wrote previously, much of the hype around apple cider vinegar benefits is unsubstantiated by the available science. It has some provocative effects on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity that are not to be discounted, but otherwise, apple cider vinegar is not the miracle tonic some would have you believe.

I didn’t cover the question of whether apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight, though, so I’ll dig into that question today. I wouldn’t blame you for being skeptical. You should be. Losing weight is a notorious struggle, especially if one follows conventional diet advice. If a cheap, readily available product could prompt dramatic weight loss, everyone would know about it. Apple cider vinegar would no longer be cheap and readily available because it would be the hottest commodity around.

So I think we all know that it’s not going to “melt the fat away” or any such nonsense. I’m more interested in whether it’s something you could add on top of an otherwise healthy diet and lifestyle to give you a small leg up. And before you roll your eyes and accuse me of buying into some supermarket tabloid headline—One Secret Trick for Losing Weight without Even Trying!—there are some potentially interesting metabolic reasons to think that apple cider vinegar might do something here.

Read More

Ask a Health Coach: How Do I Lose 10 Pounds Fast?

Hey folks, Board-Certified Health Coach Chloe Maleski is here to answer your questions about healthy weight loss. Want to feel lighter and more at home in your body? We’re here with guidance and support! Have a question you’d like to ask our health coaches? Leave it below in the comments or over in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group. Jordan asked: “How do I lose 10 pounds FAST! I have a friend’s wedding coming up, need to fit in my bridesmaid’s dress, and put off losing my Covid weight because…Summer. I know this isn’t the best way to do it, but help!” Hi, Jordan! First, take a deep breath and know that you’re not alone in feeling like health, fitness, and wellness goals fell by the wayside this Summer. Similarly, many folks put on extra, unwanted weight over the past few years. A lot has happened! A lot is still happening! Not feeling our best or most comfortable in our body can be particularly stressful when we have special occasions ahead. This is doubly true when there’s pressure (internally or from others) to fit into a particular outfit, look a certain way, or be “on display.” Just to say: I get it. And…you’re spot on: The “lose weight fast” approach is never the optimal path towards healthy, sustainable change. That said, there are steps you can do in the immediate term…and steps to set you up for success long after the wedding. Let’s break it down. How to Fit into That Dress To start with the obvious: Is there any way to alter or change up the dress? I know, I know…a wedding’s a big day and often requires advance planning and great expense. Still, if there’s an option to tailor your dress or choose a new one, please know there’s zero shame in that. You want to enjoy your friend’s special day. Doing so will be way easier if you’re wearing something that fits! I recognize this might entail having an honest, vulnerable conversation with your friend or others involved in the planning process. While that may be difficult, folks sometimes respond better than expected. In fact, they may be experiencing similar places of insecurity. Try to keep all of this in perspective. However special the occasion, it’s one day. It’s also about way more than a dress. This time next year, what you wore will be the last thing anyone remembers. As a Primal Health Coach (and not a stylist or tailor), I do have more to suggest. You didn’t mention how far away the big day is, but I get the sense it’s coming soon. That’s fine. Even if you followed the guidance I’m about to offer for just one week, you’d still feel lighter and more at home in your dress and your skin. Our bodies truly are on our side and are remarkably responsive when we give them what they need to thrive. Even better news? What they need isn’t complicated and doesn’t have to … Continue reading “Ask a Health Coach: How Do I Lose 10 Pounds Fast?”

Read More

Ask a Health Coach: Can You Be Overweight and Healthy?

Hey folks. Board-Certified Health Coach — and Primal Health Coach Institute’s Coaching Director — Erin Power is here to answer your questions about weight loss, diet culture, and health at different sizes. If you’re wondering how these fit into a Primal approach to eating and lifestyle, read on! Have a question you’d like to ask our health coaches? Leave it below in the comments or over in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group.  Tamara asked: “Can you settle a debate between my sister and me? I am so sick of diet culture and fat shaming. Yes, I’m a large-sized woman by some standards, but I feel fine and am otherwise healthy. My sister insists that can’t be the case and keeps telling me to lose weight or go to the doctor. This infuriates me and makes me feel like crap about myself. Please weigh in: Can you be overweight and still be healthy?” I have immense empathy for anyone struggling with fat shaming or the painful, harmful effects of mainstream diet culture. I’m so sorry you’ve experiencing this, Tamara. Shaming, stigmatizing, or stereotyping someone about their body size or other aspects of physical appearance is never okay. It’s also the exact opposite of what usually encourages a meaningful and productive approach to achieving health and wellness. Having this come from a sister or other family member is especially rough. Family dynamics tend to be long practiced, deeply triggering, and difficult to shift. Plus, it’s just not as easy to walk away from a relationship when it’s with a family member. It’s never comfortable to be in relationship with someone who oversteps boundaries and comments on or criticizes your body or weight. Many people unfortunately experience such treatment from family members, partners, friends, colleagues, or even strangers on the Internet. Again, this is never okay. Good for you for recognizing that and seeking backup. Before we get to your question, I do want to encourage you to let your sister know how her words are affecting you. Rather than point out what she’s “doing wrong,” you might calmly and honestly explain that while she may mean well, her commentary is painful, leaves you feeling bad about yourself… or whatever wording rings most true to you. Approach this as setting a boundary, rather than as lodging a complaint, which could cause her to become defensive and shut down. It’s incredibly important for you to speak what it was that bothered you, why, and how you wish to communicate about this topic moving forward (if at all). Let her know that if you want her advice in the future, you will specifically ask. Otherwise, request that she kindly refrain from bringing up your body weight. Now onto your question… Health at Any Size? It’s really important for me to disclose that while there are many experts on this topic (and while the anti-diet approach is one that is growing increasingly interesting to me as a coach), I am not a leading expert in … Continue reading “Ask a Health Coach: Can You Be Overweight and Healthy?”

Read More

Latest Posts