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Archive for August, 2017

Bins of organic chocolate bars, cookies, and mini bottles of wine at Whole Foods

Those chocolate bars? They are 420 calories. And those cookies? They are 460 calories.

 

Shopping at Whole Foods is a good lesson in correlation vs. causation. It’s easy to walk around Whole Foods and see all of the skinny people and think, “If I shop here, I’ll lose weight!”

The reality is, you can shop at Whole Foods and gain weight, lose weight, or stay the same; it’s all based on WHAT you buy at Whole Foods. Take the cookies and chocolate in the above example. Since they are offered at Whole Foods and contain organic ingredients, they have a health halo effect, meaning you think they are healthier and won’t impact your weight as much. But in terms of calories, sugar, etc. these foods aren’t any healthier for you and will set you back on your weight goals (unless you’re trying to gain weight).

The benefit of upscale grocery chains such as Whole Foods is that they have an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and unprocessed foods. If you stick to those while shopping at Whole Foods, you have a much better chance of reaching your weight goals.

 

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Water bottle, purse, towel, cooler filled with a turkey wrap and apple

I decided to try a new exercise class today (note to self: in the future when it’s 94 degrees out, make sure the gym has air conditioning). The class went from 11 am – 12 pm and then I knew it would take me a while to get home.

This could have been hypoglycemic disaster or a convenient excuse to eat crap, but nope, I was good and packed my lunch, a turkey wrap (flaxseed wrap, hummus, 1 slice cheese, 3 slices deli turkey) and an apple.

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A beer, a large pretzel, two white sausages, and sweet mustard on a picnic table

“Weisswurst lunch at Viktualienmarkt” by Thomas Kriese, via Flickr Creative Commons is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Last year, my now-fiance and I took a vacation touring various parts of Germany.  The entire trip, I showed little restraint on food, as I absolutely LOVE German food. So, I happily ate sausages, pretzels and beer.

And to my shock, I not only didn’t have any issues with my blood sugar and hypoglycemia, but I also lost weight!

Ever since then, I’ve been curious as to why that is, and during a recent call with my dietitian, I asked. Here was the highlights of her response:

  • While I wasn’t working out like I usually do, and the walking all day probably didn’t burn extra calories, walking all day is a slow carb burn vs. a big, fast carb burn with an intense workout. She advises her clients, if they do gorge on carbohydrates, to go for a 10-15 minute walk after to start the burn process. So, while I was walking, I was slowly burning the carbs off vs. the high/low calorie/carb burn of my usual day.
  • The fat and protein in the sausages probably kept me full, allowing me to eat less often and eat less calories.
  • There’s a difference between American and European wheat, which could impact how it impacts my hypoglycemia. I’ve actually noticed this myself, when I drink American beer, I end up feeling ridiculously hungry and not well. If I drink German beer, however, I don’t feel this way. I think it has a lot to do with the additives and such we put in our beer.
  • Portion sizes are smaller over there. ┬áMaybe so, maybe not, I’ve eaten some pretty giant pretzels and drank some giant beers, but overall, probably so.

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