Artificial Sweeteners Are Harmful

Here’s a frightening fact: a University of Texas-San Antonio study discovered that increased consumption of artificially sweetened diet soda can lead to obesity. According to Sharon Fowler, MPH, a faculty associate in clinical epidemiology, “on average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years and 41 percent more likely to become obese.”

The harsh reality that for a long time the chemical sweetener industry did not want you to know is that artificial sweeteners like Splenda, NutraSweet, Sunette, and Sweet ‘N Low may have serious health consequences, one of them being that they can cause you to gain weight despite the fact that they are marketed as food products that can help you lose weight.

Artificial sweeteners can lead you to gain weight in a variety of ways. For example, the consumption of artificial sweeteners can prompt you to just eat more. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity documents how when researchers fed a liquid sweetened with real sugar to one group of rats and then fed a liquid mixed with artificial sweeteners to another group, the rats that consumed the artificial sweetener ate more. One of the reasons why it is believed that artificial sweeteners ironically lead you to eat more is because they act as a kind of short circuit in your brain, thus preventing your body from sensing how much it has eaten, so you just keep eating. It is also thought that when people consume diet products like Splenda, for example, you feel subconsciously entitled to overeat. The mentality is simple, “I’m already being good by not consuming real sugar, let me have one more cookie.” No! This is not true! You will not only gain weight, but you are potentially harming your body.

Here’s the breakdown: Splenda contains sucralose, NutraSweet has aspartame, Sunette is all about acesulfame K, and Sweet ‘N Low is saccharin. So far, the Center For Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) included aspartame, saccharin, and acesulfame K in their “avoid” list of food additives due to the health risks associated with these artificial sweeteners that have been unveiled over time. Just to give you an idea, aspartame (NutraSweet) has been linked to tumors. Sucralose (Splenda) contains chlorine atoms, and yes that is the same chemical used to kill microorganisms in swimming pools! These chlorine atoms can kill off the gut flora lining your intestines, which is obviously not good for you at all.

So if artificial sweeteners are not a good alternative and sugar isn’t either, what is? My recommendation: zero or low-calorie sweeteners like Truvia, Z-Sweet, and Sun Crystals. These sweeteners are made with natural sources like erythritol and stevia. Erythritol is an all-natural product, with zero calories, no glycemic impact, it’s found in many fruits and vegetables, and most importantly it’s recognized as safe by the FDA. Sun Crystals are a mixture of erythritol and raw cane sugar, so not zero-calorie, but it will still be a lower calorie intake than real sugar. And Truvia is a mix between erythritol and stevia, which is a natural sweetener derived from a leaf. Stevia is also sold in products like PureVia and SweetLeaf.

 

Regardless of whether you are consuming healthy natural sweeteners or sugar, the most important thing to keep in mind is to use them with caution. Train your body and your brain that is doesn’t need too many sweets in order to be satisfied.

 

LOSE Weight with a Cheat Day

Naturally, when we are surrounded by the ones we love we want to eat what they eat. No one wants to worry about their caloric intake or their excess carbohydrates when they are relaxing around a low-key tailgate or barbecue. I mean, just let me eat my bacon-wrapped cheeseburger, right? Who possibly diets as a lifestyle without ever cheating? I’ll tell you. No one; and that’s because cheat days don’t have to be bad for you. They can actually help you to LOSE weight. Really. Here’s how I do it following a day of excess:

Day 1: Take a protein shake day.

During this day I only consume healthy protein powders mixed with almond milk to cleanse my system and reinvigorate my muscle fibers. This actually, and naturally, “shrinks” my stomach so that in the succeeding days I am less hungry overall. My appetite decreases. For the record, I eat four shakes about three hours apart give or take.

Day 2: Eat protein and veggies.

Throughout the course of the day I eat about five very small meals, also three hours apart. The meals are composed of solely low fat, lean protein. Occasionally I’ll add some cottage cheese and eggs but I generally like to keep each of these meals pretty restrictive in terms of size. Although, I will include healthy fats like coconut oil and/or organic butter for a little flavor. There’s no reason food has to taste bad just because you’re dieting!

Day 3: Binge Day

This is the fun one. On the third day after a cheat day I’ll dive into some thicker carbs over the course of my five mini-meals. However, I will also make sure to include an additional half-cup of “high-energy” carbs through slow-absorbing mediums to take care those carbs that are not converted into body fat. Then, I’ll eat one, just one, splurge meal, and obliterate whatever I want. There’s no holds barred. I just make sure to not get overly full. Basically, it’s a mini meal that’s just a little smaller. I also ensure that this binge meal is not my last food of the day.

By following these rules, I not only get back on track to losing whatever extra weight I may have gained from my cheat day, but my metabolism is actually accelerated. This way I lose weight even faster than I was before my cheat day. Sometimes, our metabolisms begin to plateau in the way of speed when it becomes too used to the same diet. So when you switch it up a bit, it has to adapt and thus runs at optimum efficiency.

Anyway, I hope these tips and tricks help you to capitalize if you fall a little off-track. Good luck!

Sodium Linked To Obesity

Sodium is a natural element that the body needs to function. It’ s important for water balance, nerve function, and countless other physiological functions. However you really only need a small amount per day. About 500 mg is plenty. That’s the amount you’d get just snacking on chips, crackers, various cheeses, salted nuts or eating canned food items like soups and canned veggies. The total daily recommended limit of sodium consumption is around 2,300 milligrams.

However, most Americans are eating too much sodium. WAY too much sodium. On average, 4,000 to 6,500 mg a day. It’s not only hurting their health, it’s expanding their waistlines. In fact, the American Medical Association is campaigning for the FDA to withdraw salts designation as a “safe” food additive. They’re pushing for Americans to cut their intake in half.

This isn’t too surprising. Food manufacturers have known for a long time that salt is an addictive substance. That’s why they pack it into more and more processed foods. People will eat more, and then food companies will make more money. A clinical research has shown that salt shares characteristics with addictive substances (like morphine, cocaine, and heroin) which release dopamine (feel-good brain chemicals) when we eat it. That’s why salt addictions are so common and why people have such a hard time cutting down. Often people who don’t even know they’re addicted to salt will experience withdrawal symptoms when trying to cut back.

A 2006 Finnish study published in Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases found a link between increased salt intake and obesity. From the 1980s to the mid 1990s, the salt intake in the United States increased by more than 50% as Americans started eating more and more processed foods. In the same time frame, obesity has gone up steadily. Also keep in mind that when people eat more salt, they will naturally have the desire to drink more fluids to maintain water balance in their bodies.

Unsurprisingly, between 1977 and 2001 the U.S. caloric intake from sweetened beverages like fruit juice, soft drinks and energy drinks increased by 135%. It’s pretty easy to see that as food companies make foods more salty, people will drink more and more super-sized sugary drinks to wash it down.

High sodium diets also are the leading cause of high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and stroke. These diseases also go hand in hand with obesity. To alleviate the high blood pressure caused by salt intake, your body will dump extra water into your blood vessels which causes the overall pressure to increase as blood vessels expand. African Americans, Hispanics, and obese men and women have a higher sensitivity to sodium and are more prone to high blood pressure as a result. If you fall into one of these at-risk categories, you should try to limit your salt intake to less than 1,500 mg a day.

For regular salt use, I recommend using Celtic Sea Salt or pure Himalayan Pink Salt, because these have 84 minerals whereas regular table salt has only 2. They also don’t go through an unhealthy refining process like regular table salt does.

Also try to stay away from fast food, as many items at these restaurants will put you over your daily allowance really quickly. A McDonald’s double cheeseburger with small fries, for example, contains 1,310 mg of sodium. If you’re trying to be healthy at a fast food restaurant, good luck. The mesquite chicken salad at Chili’s has 2,710 mg of sodium. That’s more than most adults should eat in an entire day.

You can limit your salt intake by eating less processed food, getting frozen or fresh veggies instead of canned, buying fresh meats, choosing low-sodium options of canned soups and snacks, and asking for unsalted entrees at restaurants.

Red Meat and Cancer: 6 Tips to Lower Your Risk

As you’ve probably heard, the World Health Organization has declared processed meat as definitively carcinogenic to humans and red meat as “probably” carcinogenic. Vegetarians and vegans had cause for celebration at this news, but the rest of the world reacted with an understandable amount of terror.

Over at Huffington Post, a nutritionist laid out some of the facts of this revelation in an easy to understand way.

First off, the news that processed meat is carcinogenic is not exactly new. The research has been going for decades and if you’ve seen the influx of health documentaries like “Food, Inc” you’ve probably noticed that. Also, it simply shouldn’t be surprising. Even the most lamen of eaters have to know that spam and hot dogs aren’t natural or good for you.

Regardless, the International Agency for Cancer Research (IACR) recently gathered 22 scientists to review 800 studies regarding the consumption of processed meat (anything salted, fermented cured or smoked) and red meat. Their conclusion was that “on the basis of the large amount of data and the consistent associations of colorectal cancer with consumption of processed meat across studies in different populations, which make chance, bias, and confounding unlikely as explanations, a majority of the Working Group concluded that there is sufficient evidence in human beings for the carcinogenicity of the consumption of processed meat.”

Essentially, even when you rule out the other possible contributory factors, such as chance and bias, the correlation data between processed meat and cancer remains. This is bad news if you’re an avid meat eater, but it’s not a death sentence. There are a few things you can do to lower your risk of the worst health effects.

Avoid Processed Meat the Vast Majority of the Time

This includes ham, bacon, sausages, and any meat that’s been salted, cured, fermented, smoked or otherwise preserved. If you have to have your bacon, choose an ethical brand such as Applegate or Niman Ranch. However, keep in mind that these companies still make products that fall into the IARC’s definition of “processed.”

Eat Grass-Fed Organic Red Meat Options

Buying more ethically treated meats is not only good for the world, it’s good for your diet. They also taste better, and a little can go a long way. Eat grass fed beef or lamb in small portions.

Eat Your Vegetables!

Mom was right in this case. You should always fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables or salad. They’re packed with cancer-preventing antioxidants and will help neutralize the damage done by processed meat products.

Be Careful How You Cook Red Meat

Cooking red meat at a high temperature forms polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and nitroso-compounds (NOCs) which are both cancer causing chemicals. Cooking over a lower temperature for a longer time can help prevent this.

Be A Healthy Vegetarian

If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you still have to be health conscious. Oreos and Fritos may be vegan but that doesn’t mean they’re healthy. If you eat your (real) vegetables and highquality vegetarian protein instead of processed veggie burgers and sausages.

Manage Your Health Holistically

Nutrition is not the whole picture when it comes to preventing cancer. Managing your stress, exercising and staying well hydrated are all steps you can take to improve your overall health.

 

USDA Awards Grants for Nutrition and Obesity Prevention Research

The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded $2 million in grants today to support research on nutrition education and obesity prevention for disadvantaged children and families at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Utah State University. The funding will help create two new Regional Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Centers of Excellence (RNECE), which have been established through the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) andSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. (SNAP)

National Institute of Food and Agriculture director Sonny Ramaswamy was quoted as saying “While we are beginning to see promising signs of progress with the epidemic leveling off in children, these grants will help evaluate and strengthen existing nutrition education and obesity prevention efforts to help ensure this progress continues.”

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville will receive $1 million to strengthen their existing Snap and EFNEP education programs for low-income families in particular. They will focus on reducing obesity by working to identify facilitators and barriers as well as training and evaluation needs.

In Utah, the State University in Logan will receive $1 million to look at EFNEP and SNAP-ed program participants and non-participants across many different ethnic and racial backgrounds in five states. The research will improve the USDA’s ability to create and maintine effective nutrition education programs and will, ideally, result in participants’ healthier food choices and increased physical activity. Improved health will reduce the incidents of disease and disability thus reducing the overall costs to individuals and the nation’s healthcare system.

“With one-third of our nation’s children overweight or obese, this issue stands out as one of the greatest health challenges facing our country,” said Audrey Rowe, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service Administrator. “As we invest in our nation’s health it is important we leverage partners and innovative strategies to help children from low-income families grow and develop into healthy adults.”

The RNECE were established in 2014 with one institution in each of NIFA’s administrative regions and one National Coordination Center, the result of a partnership between the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, NIFA and several participating universities. They exist primarily to research and develop best practices that address issues related to obesity among poor and underrepresented groups.

SNAP-ed, initiated in 1992 exists in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands. Nearly 100 agencies deliver the program including public health departments, food banks, non-profit organizations and others.

NIFA invests in agricultural research, education and extension and works every day to make discoveries that solve challenges in society. To learn more about NIFA, visit http://nifa.usda.gov/impacts

 

11 Beverages You Should Stop Drinking, Now

global-unit-bottles

Labels can be tricky, often intentionally. If people really understood what ingredients and how much were going into their food, they would probably think twice before consuming. That’s why it’s so important to educate yourself about how to read a food label, what your daily intake should be, and how these ingredients effect your body, metabolism, and mood.

Here are 11 beverages I’ve already vetted for you. If you’re ready to be healthy and achieve/maintain a healthy weight, it’s time to stop drinking these beverages right now.

  1. Vitamin Water. On the label it says it has 13 grams (g) of sugar, BUT there are 2.5 servings per container. That means this little 20 oz. bottle of “water” comes with 32g of sugar.
  2. Welch’s 100% Grape Juice. The label says there is no added sugar but 8 oz. contains a whopping 39g of sugar. Even worse, it’s fructose, which is a kind of sugar that is more easily converted into belly fat.
  3. Coca Cola. The second ingredient in Coca Cola is high fructose corn syrup. Just 8 oz. has 27g of sugar. Of course this isn’t just Coke. All soft drinks contain about the same. It’s time to put down the plastic cup and pick up some fresh water.
  4. Amp Energy Elevate. The labels says it contains 29g of sugar per 8 oz. That means when you pick up a 16 oz. can you’re actually getting nearly 60g of sugar.
  5. Sobe Cranberry Grapefruit. This Sobe drink has 26g of sugar per 8 oz.. With 2.5 servings per bottle, you’re getting over 60g of sugar in one drink. That’s 15 teaspoons! Would you sit and scoop 15 spoonfuls of sugar into your coffee in the morning and then drink it? I hope not!
  6. Rockstar Energy Drink. Each can of Rockstar Energy Drink contains 62g of sugar. Enough said.
  7. Gatorade. Some might be surprised but this one, but Gatorade contains high fructose corn syrup as its second ingredient. That’s hardly what any athlete needs to replenish.
  8. Tropicana’s Cranberry Juice. This “juice” contains high fructose corn syrup and 32g of sugar per 8 fluid ounces.
  9. Starbucks Doubleshot Energy plus Coffee. At two servings per container, this “coffee” drink contains 28g of sugar.
  10. Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix. This mixer is loaded with high fructose corn syrup. Plus, the average margarita is 400 calories.

It might seem tough at first to cut out your favorite energy drink or juice beverage at first, but once you break the addiction to the sugar and caffeine, you’ll actually find that you have more energy, better overall health, and you’ll spend less time feeling the “crash” after all that sugar and caffein wears off.

Think Your Belly Thin!

Its apparent that people can have the best fat-burning diet or exercise routine if they have enough confidence, if not then they won’t be successful. (Has this ever happened to you?)

It’s saddening that many people are walking around with the common downfall of  low self-esteem. Truthfully, it may not be rock bottom but it is low enough to keep many from enduring needed exercise routines.

The simple fact is, your confidence needs to be nourished everyday. Your confidence should be treated like your body and nourished like a temple. If you don’t nourish your body, you’ll get sick. If you don’t nourish your confidence, you become uncertain, depressed and highly incapable.

Confidence can be developed, obtained and grown – just like a muscle. You can transform how you view yourself just like you can transform your body.

The main question now is: How can one increase their confidence and break through the mental barriers that they need to transform their body in a timely manner?

Here’s where thinking your belly thin comes into play.

Rule#1 Make your confidence your top priority.

How? Well there are 7 steps to this process. Here’s step 1

1. Write down (or think about) five things you REALLY like about yourself!

For more check out The 7-Day Belly Blast.

Josh Bezoni 7 Day Belly Blast

Obesity Conspiracy and How to Outsmart it

Make the Right Choices Today!

Making the right choices is extremely important when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet in previous post there has been plenty of exposure to shady food and things like unnatural “Frankenfoods’. Moreover, lets take some time to discuss why removing these additives from your diet is important. Better yet, lets discuss how to outsmart obesity. definitely beneficial

josh bezoni

Top 7 Additives That Should be Removed From Your Diet

1. (This ones a given) CARBOHYDRATES: sugar, flour, enriched white flour, white flour, enriched bleached flour, enriched wheat flour, wheat flour, semolina flour, white rice, maltodextrin, glucose, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), fructose, sucrose, dextrose, and levulose) Just REMOVE IT ALL FROM YOUR DIET.

2. Artificial Sweeteners: Splenda, Nutra Sweet, Sunette and even Sweet ‘N Low

3. Added Caffeine: When added in soft drinks or energy drinks is extremely bad for you. In comparison, a few cups of coffee or green tea a day is harmless.

4. Saturated Fat: Also known as hydrogenated oils and trans fats

5. Monosodium glutamate – A compound that occurs naturally as a breakdown product of proteins and is used as a flavor enhancer in food

6: Alcohol: Too much is no good, 1 – 2 drinks a week if you must.

7. Salt and Sodium: AKA chips, crackers, canned food items, pickles, various cheeses, pretzels, condiments, and salted nuts.

 

The Belly Blast Diet Cook Book

7 Day Belly Blast Diet is not a diet but a new way of living. Josh Bezoni’s cook book provides you with more that 100 recipes that can be easily created by anyone. You’ll endure devilishly delicious meals, you’ll enjoy staying on track and not worrying about obesity or bad health. You’ll discover the variety and the simplicity of meals that will help with the satisfaction you need to have a healthy, attractive body fora life time. Now doesn’t that sound like a dream come true?

 

Josh Bezoni

Highlight Recipe 

 

Blueberry Pie(servings)

Ingredients

4 (6-ounce) baskets of blueberries, washed

5 tablespoon ZSweet®

¼ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 – 3 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with water

1 (7-ounce) can fat-free Reddi-wip®

8 low-fat graham cracker sheets (4 crackers per sheet), ground into crumbs.

Directions

1. Place blueberries in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, mash with a wooden spoon until juice is release then proceed to Remove from heat.

2. Add ZSweet®, lemon juice, and starch. Return to heat and cook until thickened. If the blueberry filling is too thin, remove from heat and add more starch. If the mixture is too thick proceed to add some water.

3. Assemble individual desserts by placing a layer of graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of a glass dish followed by a layer of the blueberry filling. Place in refrigerator to cool. Top with Reddi-wip® before serving.

Who knew Blueberry Pie could be so tasty, and only 220 calories!

 

Josh  Bezoni

 

5 Reasons to Drink Water

1.Drinking Water Maintains and balances Body Fluids

Your body is composition contains 60% of water. The functions of the bodily fluids that your body contains include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of salvia, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperatures.Josh Bezoni - WATER

2. Water Controls Calories.

For years, dieters have considered water as a weight loss strategy. Plot twist: Water doesn’t have any magical effect on weight loss. But please keep in mind substituting it for beverages that are higher in calories can certainly help.

3. Water Energizes Muscles 

Are you aware of why cells shrink? Cells that lack balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel in size, this can result in fatigue. Drinking enough fluids while exercising is important. Thus helps increase the flow of energy and muscles activity.

4. Water Keeps the Skin Looking Good.

Your skin already absorbs plenty of water, and also functions as a protective barrier to prevent the loss of fluids. Over hydration will not defeat wrinkles and smile lines. Over hydration will however add an extra layer of strength to your skin.

 5. Your Kidneys Love Water

One of the biggest toxins for the human body is blood urea nitrogen, which is a watery waste that is able to go through the kidneys and ex excreted as urine.  When your body is receiving enough fluids, your urine will then flow freely and have a light and odorless free color. When your body is not getting enough fluids, urine concentration, color, and odor becomes enhanced because your kidneys trap extra fluid for bodily functions.