Best Food To Eat Before Bed

You may have heard that eating before bed is a big-time “no no” for those looking to lose weight. In fact, you’ve probably even heard that eating late at night will undoubtedly cause you to GAIN weight…even worse!

Well, there’s good news, and that good news is that not every food that you eat past 7PM will be automatically deposited to your butt, thighs, and love handles.

In fact, there are certain foods that you can eat as a late-night snack that can actually INCREASE your fatloss results! The key is knowing which foods to eat, and which to avoid, as the evening progresses.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: Avoid carbs before bed in favor of slow-digesting high-quality protein.

Carbohydrate consumption causes significant rise in the storage hormone insulin, which also puts the breaks on fat-burning. That’s a recipe for disaster in the late evening hours as your metabolism is winding down, but fortunately, slow-digesting protein isn’t.

Instead, slow digesting proteins provide your body with a steady flow of amino acids throughout the night to help you recover from exercise and maintain your calorie-burning lean muscle as you lose fat.

Here are some of my top pre-bedtime choices:

1. White Meat Animal Protein (not red meat or fish) – White meat protein sources such as chicken and turkey are great pre-bed meal choices because they digest slowly and have a very low insulin release. These sources also promote the release of another hormone, glucagon, that assists the body with breaking down stored carbs and fat within your body to be burned for energy…a double win! Red meat and fish have a significantly higher insulin response so they’re best to avoid in the evening. There are also 4 types of fish that you should really avoid at ALL times…we’ll go over those in just a minute.

2. Cottage Cheese – Cottage cheese is very slow digesting and coats the stomach to be assimilated by the body over many hours. As a protein, it also stimulates glucagon release; a solid pre-bedtime choice. Just make sure you’re using plain cottage cheese, not the flavored varieties with added sugars.

3. Green Vegetables – While these aren’t considered a protein, they contain virtually no calories, are high in fiber, and they’re very filling. Often times when I get a late night craving I eat a big bowl of green veggies and it completely kills my craving…a diet savior!

4. A Slow-digesting, Low-carb Protein Shake – I use a slow-digesting protein shake before bed literally every day. It’s become somewhat of a ritual and great, tasty way to end my day. The vast majority of my clients have grown to love the habit as well…who doesn’t love dessert before bed? :) I normally blend the shake with almond butter to get some healthy fats in there

The Top 8 Foods To Eat

There’s not a day that goes by where someone doesn’t come to us asking for diet advice confused as to why they’re NOT losing weight even though they don’t eat “a lot”…and even if they’re eating “healthy”. The truth is that while “quantity” does matter, it’s possible to still overconsume calories if choosing the wrong foods.

Some foods, even though they’re considered very healthy, carry loads of calories in a very small amount of food. We call these calorically dense foods and if your diet is comprised of a bunch of them, you can easily gain weight even without eating “a lot” of food.

Here are some “healthy” examples of calorically dense foods:

1. Granola – granola, especially the varieties mixed with nuts can pack as many as 500 cals per cup!

2. Pasta – a moderate 1 and 1/2 cups of most pastas yield more than 60 grams of carbs and almost 350 calories

3. Avocado – avocado is awesome and a great source of monounsaturated fat, but one single avocado is over 300 calories and 30 grams of fat

4. Nuts and Nut Butters – nuts are super healthy, but one of the most calorically dense foods around. A few ounces could mean 400+ calories

5. Fruit Juice and Smoothies – all fruit juices are loaded with sugar and so are most “smoothie” shop smoothies (make your own with whole fruit)

6. Dried Fruit – dried fruits remove the water content which dramatically decreases volume…what’s left is high in sugar and very calorically dense

7. “Whole Wheat” Breads – even the 100% whole wheat variety can pack a mean calorie punch if you’re eating a lot of grains as part of your diet

8. Whole Grain Bagels – a large “deli” bagel is loaded with carbs and calories, many times over 400 cals in a single bagel

While some of the foods above are only “thought” to be healthy (fruit juice, whole grain bagels, etc), stuff like nuts, nut butters, and avocado are foods that I’d recommend in just about everyone’s diet and they are indeed great choices.

That said, these calorically dense foods require that you monitor your intake of them closely. A few ounces of nuts, a couple tablespoons of nut butter, and an avocado is NOT a lot of food, but if you ate all of these every day, you’d be getting close to 1000 calories just right there.

Whole Egg vs Egg White

This particular smoothie bar I visit offers healthy meal options, but unfortunately there’s one thing they’re doing TERRIBLY wrong. They only offer egg whites, no whole eggs.

You see, most people are totally confused and brainwashed into thinking that whole eggs are “bad” for you and that egg whites are somehow the epitome of health. And while there is nothing necessarily “wrong” with egg whites (they’re a quality protein source), the YOLKS are where the majority of an egg’s nutrition lies.

-The yolk contains more than 90% of vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants contained in an egg

-The yolk contains ALL the fat, and it’s super healthy, hormone-balancing fat (fat is not bad for you)

-The yolk contains HALF the protein, and is actually needed to balance out the amino acid profile found in egg whites

Why in the world would anyone throw out all that nutrition? Just another case of misinformation to blame!

Bottom line, whole eggs are premium, quality nutrition, and even better, they’re one of the most inexpensive forms of fat-burning, health-boosting nutrition around. Even organic, free range eggs come in at less than 50 cents for 10 grams of protein and more vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants than you can count.

But won’t eating whole eggs increase your cholesterol levels? No. Your body is smarter than you think, and if you eat more cholesterol your body will just internally produce less. If you avoid cholesterol in your diet, your body will just make more. In the end, cholesterol levels will remain pretty constant over a wide range of dietary intakes. Besides, there are plenty of studies showing that whole eggs actually increase the HDL “good” cholesterol for a more optimal, healthful cholesterol ratio.

At my house, we go through more than a dozen eggs each week and typically enjoy these versatile treats 3 – 4 days a week. Scrambled, hard-boiled, over easy, sunny side up, in a salad, as part of an omelet…there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy an egg!

fage-greek-yoghurt

Did you know that almost ALL yogurts are flat out bad news for your waistline?

“Light” yogurts, for instance, are absolutely terrible for you, and for more reasons that one.

First, most “light” yogurts are loaded with artificial sweeteners and/or high fructose corn syrup.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is one of the top 3 WORST ingredients you could ever consume. First, as it’s name suggests, it’s made of primarily fructose, a sugar that easily spills over to fat storage when consumed in sizable quantities.

And artificial sweeteners are…well…artificial. Do you really want to put chemically altered, man-made ingredients that don’t exist in nature into your body? Us either.

Second, HFCS is made from genetically modified corn.

Third, HFCS spikes blood sugar and insulin like almost no other food or ingredient.

Bad news all around.

Bottom line, just because something is low calorie (i.e. “Light”) doesn’t make it a healthy choice, or even a choice that will positively affect your fat loss goals.

What about “fat free” yogurts?

Well, hopefully we all know and understand by now that fat isn’t bad. Fat is a critical nutrient to both your health and your fat loss efforts and actually helps to naturally stabilize many important hormones in your body that play a key role in optimizing your body’s fat-burning environment.

Secondly, most fat-free yogurts are LOADED with sugar. Here’s a plan: Let’s get rid of the naturally occurring healthy fats and load up on sugar instead! Sounds like a plan to us…a really bad one.

So does that mean you should be avoiding all yogurts?

No, in fact there’s ONE type of yogurt that we highly recommend you use as part of your fat-burning diet…and that’s Organic Plain Greek Yogurt.

First, Greek yogurt has double the protein of regular yogurt, so you get more protein punch in every spoonful.

Second, by choosing the plain variety you avoid all the extra, unnecessary, artificial ingredients along with calorie-boosting excess sugar.

Lastly, by going organic you’ll avoid the hormones and antibiotics that are otherwise generally injected in the typical cow.

Greek Yogurt is our #1 pick for mid-meal snack and we enjoy a serving of Greek yogurt just about every day. We recommend you do the same.

Personally, I prefer Fage Greek Yoghurt. It’s yummy!

Brown Rice vs INSTANT Brown Rice

You probably already know that, generally speaking, brown rice is a healthier option than white rice.  It contains more fiber, vitamins and minerals while also having a lower glycemic index.

You’ve probably also heard that the “slow cook” version of brown rice is much healthier than the “instant” versions, which have been pre-cooked to allow for faster cooking times.  After all, anything that’s “easy” has to give you some sort of health trade off, doesn’t it?  So perhaps like many looking to obtain a trim, tight waistline, you labor over the stove for 45 mins to prepare your healthy brown rice.

But alas, this simply isn’t true.  Did you know that many brands of “instant” brown rice contain just as much fiber as regular brown rice and have even been tested to have a lower glycemic index than regular versions?  In fact, the ONLY brands of brown rice to score a glycemic index in the 40′s are ALL instant!  The regular versions generally score in the 60 – 80s range.

Now, with that said, this same “quick cook” phenomenon doesn’t apply to other foods like oatmeal, where the glycemic index generally increases significantly when comparing instant versions vs their regular counterparts.

But when it comes to brown rice, it seems that there is little negative trade off and actually some positive benefits to gain with a lower glycemic index.  Not to mention, it’s ready in a few minutes instead of nearly an hour!

Sugar Free Shrove Tuesday

As it’s Shrove Tuesday (tomorrow), the best excuse to put healthy eating aside since Christmas (although these are actually healthy), I thought I would share two recipes for healthy pancakes where you can indulge in Pancake day without the high sugar hell.

What’s the problem with traditional pancakes you ask?
Two things; white flour and milk.

The white flour contains gluten, a toxin to our body which can cause digestive problems such as bloating, indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps.

Gluten can also cause inflammatory issues in the system such as aching joints and muscles whilst heightening the symptoms of asthma.

If that’s not enough for you, one cup of white flour scores 64 on the Glycemic Load chart!

That’s the equivalent of 23 teaspoons of table sugar.

Milk: Dairy in recent years has been linked to many health issues such as coronary heart disease.

Milk contains lactose (milk sugar) which people can be allergic or intolerant to without realising. This can cause many of the same digestive symptoms related to white flour. Milk is packed full of sugar (lactose), 6 teaspoons per pint to be precise.

Sugar drives insulin which drives fat storage.

Inflammation (which both of these ingredients can cause) increases cortisol (stress hormone) which can lead to fat storage.

So, to the healthy versions…
The first recipe comes from www.nomnompaleo.com Ingredients for 6-8 pancakes

  • 2 eggs (organic/free range of course!)
  • 3 Tbsp coconut milk (or unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened desicated coconut (or ground almonds)
  • 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp maple syrup
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Ghee, Organic butter or Coconut butter (for frying)

Method

  • Whisk the eggs
  • Add all other ingredients (excluding ghee,butter)
  • Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a frying pan on a medium heat – add the pancake
  • As soon as bubbles form flip over
  • Remove and repeat

Potential Toppings

  • Berries
  • Melted chocolate (organic and minimum 70% dark)
  • Hazelnut butter – Nutella without the diabetes!
  • Any other nut butter (almond, cashew, peanut)
  • Cinammon
  • Whipped/clotted cream
  • Lemon and Manuka honey (aldi £4)

Feel free to share your alternative and healthy pancake recipes.
Enjoy!

Beware of this food label SCAM

When it comes to food labels, manufacturers are very good at finding the loopholes in labeling laws and requirements, and subsequently very good at pulling the wool over YOUR eyes. One such loophole is the manufacturer’s ability to claim “zero” grams of fat, or zero grams of trans fat, or zero calories on the label, when in fact the product does indeed contain plenty of fat, trans fat, and/or calories.

Here’s the law, and how food manufacturers get around it:

Zero grams of fat or zero grams of trans fat: As long as the food item has less than .5g of fat or trans fat, respectively, the label does not need to claim their existence on the label. In fact, the product can even legally market “Zero grams of fat!” or “0g of trans fat per serving!”

More on why this is a HUGE problem, and how food manfacturers deepen this loophole in just a minute.

Zero calories per serving: As long as the food item has less than 5 calories per serving, it can be rounded down and labeled 0 calories.

Deepening the Loophole with Unrealistic Serving Sizes

While .5g of fat or 5 calories may not seem like a big deal, remember that these values are “per serving”, and while an entire package, box, can, or bottle of a product may contain hundreds of calories and loads of fat, as long as they can divide that package into small enough servings to meet the calorie and gram requirements to claim zero, it’s legal.

Legal AND deceptive as hell.

We don’t know about you, but we get angry when we see food manufacturers outright LYING to consumers on their labels and in the nutrition facts. Some of these products should change the Nutrition Facts header to “Nutrition Lies” and it’d actually be a lot more accurate.

You see, at BioTrust we’re here to provide you with honest nutrition advice and products, and as such, here are our “Top 3 Violators” of this deceptive food labeling practice.

1. Cooking Sprays and Butter Sprays – Cooking sprays are labeled as fat-free but their first ingredient is oil, which is 100% fat. How in the world can this be? Well, the serving size is 1/5th of a second. What? Last time we used a cooking spray (some of the organic ones are useful) it took about 3 seconds to lightly coat the surface of the pan. Well, according to the manufacturer, we just used 15 servings.

Bottom line, no one uses the ridiculous and absurd microscopic 1/5th of second spray suggested serving, which isn’t nearly enough product to be of practical use.

Cooking sprays aren’t fat-free…they are nearly 100% fat. In my example above, a realistic serving actually contains around 5 grams of fat and 45 calories. A far cry from the 0 number reported on their nutrition facts.

Same goes for butter sprays, which are 90%+ fat in most cases. For example, one popular brand of butter spray contains over 800 calories and 90g of fat per bottle, yet it’s labeled as a fat-free, calorie-free product! Yeah, right!

The serving size? One spray. Let’s get real here…no one is using one spray, or five sprays, or 10 sprays. In fact, twenty-five sprays equals just one teaspoon, when the servings size for regular butter is 1 tablespoon. When you balance out the serving size to be the same as a serving of butter, you’re looking at 75 sprays to get the same amount.

2. Artificial sweeteners – Not only are artificial sweeteners bad news for you health, but they’re also a top violator of “calorie free” deceptive labeling practices. Many brands of artificial sweeteners use maltodextrin and/or dextrose (which is pure sugar) as fillers in each packet, and each packet can legally contain up to a full gram of sugar and 5 calories and still be labeled as calorie free.

We’ve seen people put 3 – 5 packets of this stuff in their coffee or on their cereal…hardly calorie free and even worse, maltodextrin and dextrose are two of the biggest insulin-spiking carbs around — the entire reason people choose artificial sweeteners over sugar in the first place!

To learn more about how the popular artificial sweetener sucralose (yellow packet) can destroy your health, click here.

3. Any food that contains “partially hydrogenated” oils in the ingredient list, period. Bottom line, you should have a zero-tolerance attitude toward trans fats. They are the most health-derailing nutrient known to man, and you should be truly consuming ZERO grams per day.

If a product claims “Zero grams of trans fat per serving”, especially if they specify “per serving”, they are almost always playing the serving size game and you’re very likely to see partially hydrogenated oils on the list of ingredients when you flip the package over. If so, avoid it like the plague.

8 Organic Foods You Should NEVER Buy

Now, you probably noticed that I mentioned organic meat, and that’s because we always choose organic meats to avoid being exposed to the synthetic hormones that non-organic livestock is generally treated with throughout their life cycle. Sure, it’s a little more expensive, but some things are just worth paying for — protecting the health of my family is defintely one of them!

That said, I’m all about saving cash where it makes sense, and that’s why there are certain foods we NEVER buy organic. Why? Because for some foods, there is no additional benefit to the organic vs. the non-organic version. Let me explain.

When it comes to produce, the benefit of buying organic is to avoid ingesting pesticides and chemicals that are generally used on non-organic fruits and vegetables. That said, foods like bananas, avocados, oranges, and grapefruits have a thick skin barrier between the outside world and the fruit itself so the pesticides actually never come in contact with the fruit that you eat, and of course these are fruits where the skin is typically disgarded.

Contrast that with apples, tomatoes, pears, and other fruits and veggies where you eat the skin, and you’ll see why it’s important to choose organic for some and not for others.

So, Rule #1, if a fruit has a thick skin that you discard and don’t eat, save some cash and go with the non-organic version.

Next up, there are other veggies that pests simply aren’t attracted to due to their high sulfur content, such as broccoli, cabbage, onions, and garlic. Don’t bother spending the extra cash here either as these veggies aren’t typically treated with pesticides in the first place.

In the end, spend the money where there’s benefit, and pinch those pennies when there’s not!

Now, while we’re on the topic of foods to enjoy and those to avoid, I want to make sure you are aware of 4 specific types of fish — all very common — that you should literally NEVER eat due to incredibly high levels of contamination that can and WILL hammer the delicate cells of your body with toxic inflammation…

In the end, this toxic inflammation build up contributes to achy joints, premature aging of the skin (and less visible organs like the heart, kidneys, and liver), difficulty shedding excess weight, cognitive decline, forgetfulness, feeling blue and moody, and so much more…

Avoid these 4 types of fish like the plague:

==> NEVER eat this type of fish (EVER)

Why Most Fish Oil Supplements Are probably bad for you

There’s something rather disturbing about fish and krill oil supplements that I must share with you today. You see, while Omega-3 fatty acids are by far one of the most important supplements you could ever take for your health and longevity — providing heart health, memory, focus, skin, joint, vision, weight management, mood enhancement, pain relief, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging benefits just to name a few — what you probably DIDN’T know is that the vast majority of fish oil supplements on the market today are completely ineffective and utterly WORTHLESS.

Yes, it’s true, and in the paragraphs that follow I’ll clearly show you ALL the shocking reasons why… enough to make you wonder if ANY fish or krill oil supplement is actually worth taking, or even worse, safe to consume…

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Problem #1 – Horrendous Absorption
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First, most fish oil products that you find in the store are in the “ethyl ester” form, a result of the processing these products go through. Unfortunately, numerous research studies have shown that this cheaper ethyl ester form is 3 times less absorbable than the triglyceride (TG) form that is naturally found in wild fish.

Beyond that, even with the natural TG form, many of the Omega-3s will be lost during the digestion process in the harsh acidic environment of the stomach, and only a small fraction of the oil you ingest will ever reach the small intestine to eventually be released in the blood stream and absorbed by your body’s cells.

And to tell you the truth, this hugely problematic absorption issue is only one of a very LONG LIST of problems plaguing most fish oil supplements today.

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Problem #2 – Not Nearly Enough “Active Ingredients”
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The two most important types of Omega-3 fatty acids, providing the vast majority of health benefits, are EPA and DHA. That said, nearly all traditional fish oil products are dramatically under-dosed, providing only a couple hundred milligrams of EPA/DHA per serving, while scientific studies show 10xs this amount is needed to see significant health benefits.

This is especially true of krill oil supplements, which are even lower in EPA and DHA (despite the outlandish claims made by krill oil manufacturers which we will expose in just a moment). Of course, 1/10th of the true scientific dose is totally worthless — it’s like trying to make a loaf of bread with a teaspoon of flour — and that’s assuming these products meet label claims for the under-dosed amount in the first place, leading me to the next major problem:

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Problem #3 – Failure to Meet Label Claims
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A comprehensive study performed by Dr. Opperman of the Department of Agriculture and Food Science found that more than half of the fish oil products on the market did NOT contain the amount of EPA and DHA stated on the label.

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Problem #4 – Rancid Fish Oil – YIKES!
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In this same study, Dr. Opperman also discovered that the majority of fish oil products on the market had higher rancidity levels than vegetable oil from containers that had been open and exposed to the air for 3 months. Not good!

You see, rancid oil is extremely inflammatory and will actually cause much more damage to your heart, skin, joints and overall health by taking it. In essence, by buying these products you are PAYING to put your health in danger! Probably not what you were hoping to achieve by investing in a fish oil supplement…

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Problem #5 – Excessive Contaminants & Rampant Mislabeling
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Another study performed by Consumer Lab — a leading watchdog of the supplement industry — examining 35 leading fish oil brands uncovered that 31.4% of the products examined contained excessive contaminants and/or false, misleading information and claims on their label.

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Problem #6 – Not Enough DHA (The Most Important Omega-3)
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Almost all fish oil products are EPA dominant, containing at least 50% more EPA than DHA, while there is an overwhelming amount of research to show that higher levels of DHA lead to the greatest health benefits, particularly with regard to heart heath, brain health, anti-aging properties, and even the fat loss effects of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Given that fact, why do you think fish oil manufacturers aren’t decreasing the amount of EPA in their products and increasing the DHA levels? Simple! It’s expensive and as you’ve already learned, most nutritional supplement companies are notorious for cutting corners to fatten their wallets at your expense.

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Problem #7 – Unpleasant & Embarrassing “Fish Burps”
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If you’ve ever taken a fish oil supplement, then you’re probably all too familiar with the unpleasant nature of “fish burps.” This can be flat-out uncomfortable, not to mention the potential for embarrassment due to bad breath.

And again, ALL of this is in addition to the vast majority of the fish oil that you ingest never being absorbed, and effectively being completely worthless…

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Are You Being CHEATED By Your Fish Oil Supplement?
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Simply put, if you are taking a traditional fish oil supplement, you are being CHEATED out of your hard-earned money and even worse, it’s very likely that you are putting both you and your family in danger at the same time. And unfortunately TG form fish oil isn’t much better, only moderately increasing absorption over ethyl-ester fish oil products, and again, ALL of the other problems we just went over beyond absorption are still of major concern.