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Episode 208: Overcoming Food Fear - Part 2

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Last week we talked about what steps you can take to start overcoming your food fears whether they be eating bananas, enjoying carbs, not tracking every morsel you eat, and the like. 

But there was one step that needed its own episode: debunking the lies that made you fearful in the first place. 

So much of our anxiety around food comes from inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated information. So it's time to set the record straight. 

Myth #1: If it has a high glycemic index it means it'll spike your blood sugar and cause rapid weight gain. 

Fact: The glycemic index is completely inaccurate and not based in reality. 

What is the glycemic index? It's a numerical ranking that's supposed to identify how quickly a carb-containing food raises blood sugar levels. 100 means it raises blood sugar levels rapidly, 1 means it raises them very slowly. But there are some glaring problems with how foods are ranked...

1. It doesn't take into account portion sizes. 

The glycemic index is based on eating 50 grams of carbs of said food. You would have to eat 5 cups of watermelon to get to the glycemic index of 72. 

2. It doesn't take the full food into consideration.

How a food is processed, how much a food is cooked, and how much fiber it contains all impact your blood sugar response. None of this is considered when determining the glycemic index.

3. It doesn't take bioindividuality into account. 

We all have different blood sugar responses to food based on our gut microbiome and other genetic differences.

4. It isn't an accurate representation of how we eat.

The glycemic index is based on sitting down and only eating that food. But we usually don't eat foods in isolation. We eat them in a meal that usually contains things like protein, fiber, and fat that all drastically impact our blood sugar response. 

If you're going to use a scale for balancing blood sugar, use the glycemic load instead. 

It takes into account the whole food and serving size and gives a much more accurate, real-world look at blood sugar response.

Banana: glycemic index 55 | glycemic load 15

Brown rice: glycemic index 50 | glycemic load 12.5

Watermelon: glycemic index 72 | glycemic load 5

Cooked carrot: glycemic index 40 | glycemic load 4.25

White potato: glycemic index 82 | 25

Myth #2 bananas will make you fat because they're high in sugar. 

Fact: You would have to eat 25 bananas to gain 1 pound of fat. 

If you've hung out with me for a while you know I preach that weight loss is more complicated than just counting calories because there are so many things that impact how many calories we burn and how many we absorb.

But the truth still remains it takes 3500 extra calories to gain one pound of fat. That's extra calories, as in 3500 more calories than your maintenance calories. 

Given that an average banana is about 100 calories, it's easy to fit that into your daily calorie needs without going over. That's a fantastic low-cal snack or a great part of a balanced meal!

Bananas are also rich in essential vitamins and minerals like potassium (which supports heart health and regulates blood pressure), vitamin C, B6, and various antioxidants that boost the immune system and protect against oxidative stress.

With a high fiber content they aid in digestion, promote gut health and can help with constipation.

And they're the ideal pre-workout! The terrifying sugar in them provides a fantastic pre-workout energy boost while also fueling your muscles allowing for a more intense and effective workout. And their electrolyte content aids in preventing muscle cramps during exercise.

Myth #3: You need to track your food in order to lose weight.

Fact: Your miracle of a body has all of the hormones, signals, and instincts it needs to eat the right amount to maintain a healthy weight. Also, calorie counting isn't as accurate as you think it is.

For hundreds of years we were healthy, lean mammals without the help of a calorie counter. What went wrong?

We started living more sedentary lives and started eating a diet of ultra-processed foods devoid of fiber and nutrients that are designed to override our body's signals. 

So the trick to losing weight isn't counting every morsel you eat. It's eating more real, whole foods that your body knows what to do with. Foods that don't cause sugar addictions and that actually stimulate leptin, your satiety hormone. 

The trick is getting up and moving regularly throughout the day (this doesn't have to mean crushing it in the gym, this could mean getting a standing desk, parking far away from the building, taking the stairs, and pacing while you're on conference calls).

And the trick is actually slowing down long enough to connect with your body's cues. If you're eating because you're bored, tired, and stressed but without any actual hunger signals, you're going to be eating calories your body doesn't need (and realistically are probably reaching for those ultra-processed foods in the process)

Plus as I mentioned, calorie counting isn't all that accurate. Labels are legally allowed to be 20% off, and just because you see a certain number on label doesn't mean that's how many calories you're actually absorbing. The more processed a food is the more calories you'll absorb, the more constipated you are the more calories you'll absorb, how that food impacts your hormones and blood sugar will impact what your body does with those calories, and how the food impacts your gut will impact the rate at which you burn your fuel for energy. 

So all of this to say, you don't need to fear food. You need to understand it. And you need to understand your body so you don't get sucked into the diet culture BS. 

One way to do this is by finding out your metabolic type. With an online questionnaire you can find out exactly what foods are most beneficial to your body as well as what balance of proteins, carbs, and fats will most support you in reaching your goals. 

This allows you to skip over trying to wade through all of the conflicting advice out there (eat carbs, don't eat carbs, eat lots of fat, eat low fat, fast, eat every 3 hours, fruit is good, fruit is bad, eat meat, don't eat meat) and hone in on what your body actually needs to thrive. 

If that interests you, just click here to book a free consultation and just be sure to mention metabolic typing in the questionnaire. 


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