“THE SKINNY” ON FAT BLOCKERS

By Weight Loss Tips
Written by: Dean Esser

 

A supplement that you can take once a day and will prevent you from getting fat despite allowing you to eat anything you want. That magic pill to eliminate your fat, unfortunately just does not exist, but it hasn’t stopped researchers from trying to discover it. But what if you just didn’t absorb the calories you ate?

Fat Blockers are dedicated to preventing calorie uptake and absorption. Only one problem is, they can’t block all your calories alone, they sometimes block nutrients as well. So, the question is, are they worth taking? If you are absorbing fewer nutrients, is it worth taking to absorb less calories?

Any fat blocker will work in one of two ways:

  1. There will be an enzyme that’s vital in digesting a macro nutrient and the blocker will target it and keep it from doing it’s job.
  2. The blocker itself will seek out and bind to the fat molecule. When the blocker and the fat molecule are connected, the fat molecule can’t be absorbed.

Do Fat Blockers work for Fat Loss?

Yes they do!  But a few things to remember:

  1. They can’t cause fat loss, only prevent fat gain.
  2. They can reinforce bad habits since many people think they can get away with eating anything they want regularly.
  3. Taken too often they can create a compromised metabolism and prevent your body from burning fat properly.

So, should you be taking a Fat Blocker? If used in moderation and properly, they can be a very effective tool for eliminating weight gain, especially during a ‘treat meal’ or ‘cheat meal’. They can help reduce weight gain during these high caloric times. So Yes, a Fat Blocker used in moderation can be a great tool to stay on track when the road gets tough!

Why Ewyn Weight Loss Studios Fat Blocker? Our Fat Blocker not only blocks fat, but carbohydrates as well! Whatever the meal, whatever the occasion, we have Exactly What You Need!

Interested in giving it a try? Read more about our EWYN Fat Blocker here.

DON’T SLEEP ON SLEEP PART 3: 15 SLEEP STRATEGIES FOR THE BEST SLEEP OF YOUR LIFE

By Weight Loss Tips
Written by: Craig Warrian

 

If you’ve been with us from the start on the EWYN Studios sleep journey, then welcome to the finale! If you missed part 1 or part 2, please feel free to pop over to those articles before you consume part 3.  We’ll wait here for you… don’t worry, we’re in this together.

Parts 1 of this series focused on what sleep is. Part 2 focused on the damaging effects of not getting enough sleep. Today, we will be diving right into 15 effective sleep strategies that you can implement immediately to improve the quality of your slumber.

 

1. Know the importance of sleep

If you have gotten to this point in our 3 part series on sleep, I hope you have gained a little more appreciation for the importance of quality sleep. All of the below recommendations won’t be worth much if we don’t first put a priority on getting solid sleep each night. Whether you want to lose weight, stop feeling sluggish, avoid modern day disease or feel a little more refreshed each morning… giving sleep the attention and the importance in your daily routine is key.

 

2. Come to the Dark Side

Plain and simple, get your bedroom as dark as you can while sleeping.

If you have unnatural light coming into your bedroom from the outside, it’s time to invest in some blackout blinds. If it’s moonlight that’s coming in, you don’t need to black that out if it doesn’t bother you. Cover or block lights from fans, electronics, light switches etc. as best you can.  Even a small amount of unnatural light can have an impact on your sleep quality.

 

3. Just chill dude

Body temperature and room temperature matter. Keep your room cool overnight.

Keeping cool goes for both the winter and summer months. In the summer, rather than just cranking the A/C up, try using a fan in the room (ceiling or floor standing) and remove thicker blankets. In the winter, crack the window a bit to let cool fresh air into the room.

Another method of keeping your body temperature at a cool comfortable level is taking a bath. Have a hot bath 90 minutes before bedtime. The initial increase in body temperature from the bath is not what we’re after. It’s the natural cooling your body does after the bath that lines you up for success when timed right. This is also a way to relax going into your evening/bedtime routine.

 

4. Caffeine/Alcohol/Nicotine Curfew

Avoid consuming caffeine, alcohol or nicotine within 4-6 hours before bed. Caffeine and Nicotine are stimulants and can impede the body’s ability to get to sleep naturally.

Many think alcohol is a great sleep aid. Yes, it can lower brain activity and allow you to fall asleep faster, but an unfortunate side effect is that alcohol consumption before bed can prevent you from getting into the deeper restorative levels of sleep. So avoid the “fermented grape” before bedtime.

 

5. Block the “Blue”

This might be the most impactful immediate change you can make to improve your sleep quality. TVs, tablets, laptops, phones etc. all kick out a blue spectrum of light which can trick your body. Being bombarded with blue light during the evening, sends incorrect signals to your body saying “it’s day time, keep producing day time hormones” (such as Cortisol). If your body is producing day time hormones, it is not able to effectively prepare for rest (such as producing Melatonin).

If you just can’t put the electronic buddies down, enable “Night Shift” on Apple iOS devices and “Night Mode” on Android devices to block some of the cooler blue spectrums of light.

Try blue light blocking glasses in the evenings when using screens/watching TV at night.  There are lots of options out there now and they no longer look like the BluBlocker Infomercials from back in the 90’s.

 

6. Early bird gets the…better sleep

Get your day started early to help set you up for a good night’s sleep. By getting up early, you start syncing your body clock up with the rising and setting sun. This starts bringing what’s called our circadian rhythm into alignment with planet earth. Here’s the thing, we’re animals on this planet and we’ve evolved over millions of years with the ebbs and flows of mother earth. You’d think we’d be in sync with it by now, but alas we need to continue making these changes to do so.

 

7. Get more sunshine during the day

Get some sunshine during the day. Optimally, first thing in the morning get natural light on your face. This is a perfect time to get outside and go for a walk. More sunshine on our bodies during the day, once again helps align our circadian rhythm with the sun. As the sun rises, as do we. The sun sets… time for us to start calming things down and prepare for rest.

 

8. Get your sweat on, earlier in the day

Exercising early in the day has many benefits, but here we will focus mainly on those impacting sleep.

This is a great opportunity for fasted cardio first thing in the morning. Right after getting up, toss on a ball cap and your runners and get walking! Not only will this produce a great weight loss benefit, but you are getting the right hormones released and getting that valuable sunlight earlier in the day to set you up for a good night’s sleep later that evening.

NOTE: No workouts within 4 hours of going to bed. Going for a walk in the evening is okay, but anything too strenuous should be kept to earlier in the day. Evening strenuous workouts will actually hurt your sleep quality and prevent the “repair” you need to recover from that workout.

 

9. Consistency is key

As we briefly mentioned is part 2 of our series on sleep, try and keep a consistent bedtime and wake time. This goes for weekdays and weekends. Try to go to bed within about a 30 minute window (optimally before 10:30pm) each night and wake up at a consistent time. This will set your body into a good rhythm and improve your sleep quality over the long term.

 

10. Eat dinner early at least twice a week

One thing that can conflict with a good night’s sleep is digestion. How you ask? If you eat a large meal close to bed time, your body is busy trying to digest that large meal. It focuses much of its attention (in the way of blood flow) to your stomach and intestines. What it’s not doing is sending that blood flow to your brain which needs it for memory sorting, cleaning waste products etc.

Try and eat dinner early (at least 4 hours before bedtime) as many times as you can per week.

On the flip side, don’t go to bed crazy hungry either. If you’re not hungry before bed, it’s okay to fast until morning. If you are quite hungry after dinner have a small snack about 90 minutes before bed (preferably protein rich and avoid the processed carbohydrates, a hard boiled egg could work) so you don’t disrupt your sleep.

 

11. Magnesium

Magnesium is an anti-stress mineral. It is involved in over 400 chemical reactions within the human body and amazingly 70-80% of us are deficient in it. It helps relax tense muscles, improve blood pressure and calm the nervous system along with countless other benefits. Since magnesium has so many uses in our body, it tends to get depleted quickly. Supplementing with Magnesium is a way to help your body deal with the Magnesium demands and get a good night’s sleep.

 

12. Make your room a little less “Social”

Get your social media devices (phones, tablets, laptops etc.) out of your bedroom! Did you know that device you have in your hands upwards of 8 hours a day called your cell phone emits these lovely signals called EMFs (Electromagnetic Fields)? Unfortunately these EMFs have been confirmed to impact the communication between cells in our body. Things such as hormonal problems and even cancer are associated with prolonged EMF exposure. Those aren’t the only concerns. EMFs can impact your sleep. Charge your cell and tablets overnight in another room, or at least put it on airplane mode, so it is not constantly sending and receiving during sleeping hours.

The Wifi in your home is also emitting EMFs. Most home internet routers today, allow you to turn on a “schedule” to turn off your Wifi at certain parts of the day (either to keep Billy away from Fortnite, or to eliminate EMFs while you sleep.)

 

13. Make your bedroom a Sleep Sanctuary

Only use your bedroom for sleeping and perhaps that “other” thing you might do in a bedroom (*wink, wink*).
Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. By adopting many of the points above, turning your room into a place of rest and relaxation is optimal. Try not to make your room a place of stress or action by making it your COVID work from home space and the local home theatre drive-in.

If your bedroom only represents a place of calm and relaxation, then as you enter it in the evenings, your brain will make a connection that it is time to start winding down.

 

14. Create a bedtime routine and stick with it

It’s important to give your brain cues that it is time for sleep. Put on comfy PJs, read a book, dim the lights, listen to relaxing music or sounds etc. Do this consistently before bed and your body will start to recognize these signs and will reward you by falling asleep faster and giving you a deeper more restful night’s sleep.

 

15. Supplementation

You probably thought we may have missed supplementation. No, no… but I recommend adopting some lifestyle changes first and stick with them. Sometimes, we need a little extra assistance and that is where supplements come in.

As mentioned above, Magnesium is the most deficient mineral in an adult body. EWYN’s “PM/BM Magnesium” powder is something that you can take before bed, to help you relax, improve your sleep quality and replenish this valuable mineral.

Chamomile is another supplement that you can try before bed in a tea or give EWYN Studios’ “Sleep Slimmer” a try.  Sleep Slimmer has many key sleep aid ingredients (Chamomile, Gaba, Valerian and more) to help you relax, fall asleep quicker and dip into those deeper restorative levels of sleep.

Working towards better quality sleep is a journey. Adopting all or some of the above mentioned sleep strategies are going to have a different impact on different people over different periods of time. First and foremost, you need to make sleep a priority in your life. The rest is tweaking things, trying new tactics and letting nature take its course. Enjoy the journey to a lifetime of better sleep. Please work with your EWYN Studios health coaches to discuss and game-plan your sleep improvement strategy  today.

Happy Sleeping Everyone.

 

Sources:

DON’T SLEEP ON SLEEP PART 2: The Impact of Sleep Debt

By Weight Loss Tips
Written by: Craig Warrian

 

In part 1 of our 3 part series on Sleep we explored the main reason people don’t put a priority on their daily slumber, what sleep is and the different types and stages of sleep. If you missed those key points from Part 1, please click here if you’d like to revisit Part 1.

Sleep is natural and necessary for our well-being. When we are deprived of sleep, our bodies manage many systems in a careful balancing act called “homeostasis”. This means that body temperature, acidity levels, body weight and even sleep, all use a balancing system to maintain consistency. However, all too often we throw that balance out of whack. Sleep is no different. The more sleep you get, the  less your body will crave sleep in the form of fatigue, drowsiness etc. In the alternative, the less you sleep, the more your body will automatically tell you to get more rest.

All individuals require different amounts of sleep, but adults usually require 7 – 9 hours per night. If you don’t get the sleep that your body requires, you will start to build up something called “Sleep Debt” and signals of sleepiness will be sent your way.  Initially the signals may be in the form of fatigue and/or drowsiness. The more sleep debt you accumulate, the stronger the sleep signals will be. Some signs of sleep debt to be aware of include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Increased drowsiness
  • Strong feelings of fatigue
  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of mental focus
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of coordination and bodily control
  • Physical pain.  In some instances, significant sleep deprivation can result in physical pain (ie. Headaches etc.)
  • Immune system suppression

If your sleep debt continues building-up for weeks, months and potentially years, this is where we really get into trouble. Astonishingly, studies have shown that just one night of sleep deprivation can make you as insulin resistant as a type-2 diabetic. To that, we add the unfortunate effect of rapid aging and additional stored body fat. If we now extend that chronic deprivation out over long periods of time it can contribute to the following ailments:

  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Depression

All of these health concerns are incredibly troubling. To make matters worse, in a report published by the CDC *2, “1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep” (7 or more hours of sleep per night). Between Canada and the United States, that’s upwards of 122 million adults that are chronically sleep deprived and at risk or are currently battling some of the ailments mentioned above.

When it comes to weight loss, there is definitely a correlation to fat loss/storage and good sleep. A published study by the Canadian Medical Association Journal *1 demonstrated that a lack of sleep prevents you from losing weight. In the study, individuals were placed into two groups, each following the same nutrition and exercise plan. One group were sleep deprived (5.5 hours of sleep). The other group had 3 more hours of sleep per night (8.5 hours). The sleep deprived group consistently lost less weight and body fat than their “sleep happy” counterparts.

It’s time to act! There is only one way of paying off sleep debt. Give your body the rest it needs. So many of us are not operating at peak performance due to our accumulated sleep debt. When we feel a little sluggish in the morning, what is the first thing we reach for to “get us going”? A nice hot cup of joe! Unfortunately, that trusty cup (or in some cases, pot) of coffee in the morning doesn’t replace our lack of sleep. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that a venti Americano is a bad thing. A cup of coffee in the morning absolutely has brain boosting benefits and even some mild weight loss benefits (as long as it’s not a Caramel Macchiato), but if caffeine and other stimulants are being used to “keep you going”, instead of getting the sleep your body requires, that is not a recipe for long term success. In fact, caffeine doesn’t actually make sleepiness go away. What caffeine does do is fit into the receptors in your body that typically receive the signal of being tired and ready for rest. Therefore, somewhat masking the sleepiness feeling.  Caffeine and other stimulants are great for temporarily increasing alertness, reaction times, weight loss, mood and mental performance. So, go ahead and enjoy your daily coffee, but recognize it is not a replacement for the natural healing powers of sleep.

In our next installment of this 3 part series, we’ll explore tangible steps you can adopt right now to improve your night’s sleep. But to wet your whistle, here are a couple of things each and everyone one of us can adopt immediately:

  1. Give sleep the priority that it deserves. Stop yourself from saying “oh, I’ll just get more sleep tomorrow”. Treat your precious sleep time like gold.
  2. Go to sleep and wake up at a consistent time each day. As best as you can, try and get to bed at a consistent time each night. It’s okay if you fluctuate by 30 minutes here are there. But make the fluctuations the exception, not the rule.

 

SOURCES:

*1 – Canadian Study https://www.cmaj.ca/content/184/18/1975

*2 – CDC https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html

http://www.end-your-sleep-deprivation.com/

https://themodelhealthshow.com/sleep-problems-tips/

DON’T SLEEP ON SLEEP PART 1: What is sleep and how does it work?

By Uncategorized, Weight Loss Tips
Written by: Craig Warrian

 

Sleep is a fascinating state that almost all living beings on our planet require.  But it is also loosely regarded as a waste, we don’t prioritize it, we short change our sleep for just about any reason (late night TV, work demands, Netflix bingeing, browsing the web, social media etc.).  But why are we so willing to forgo our precious slumber?

In this 3 part series, we’ll investigate what sleep is, why we need it and what are some tangible lifestyle changes we can make right now to improve our sleep quality.

We spend approximately one third of our lives sleeping and yet, how much do you really know about sleep and why you need it?  Sleep is important, so why are we willing to pass on it?

In 2008 a Stanford University survey was done to assess people’s exposure to knowledge and/or education around 3 key factors of health.  Those factors were Fitness, Nutrition and Sleep.  Below are the high level results of the survey:

Yes, I have been exposed to knowledge on the following:

  • Being physically fit: 99.9%
  • Eating a nutritious diet: 91.3%
  • Obtaining adequate sleep:  1.8%

I am not a mathematician, but there is clearly a MASSIVE gap in knowledge, awareness and understanding of sleep.  How can there be so little information about sleep when it is so fundamental and important to our overall health?

What is sleep?

Trying to define sleep is a challenge unto itself.  Is it a state in which our eyes close, body and brain activity cease and we lose consciousness?  Not exactly.  In fact, during certain “levels” or “stages” of sleep, brain activity can be very high.  Physical movement also occurs more regularly than we might think.  Amazingly, your eyes don’t even need to be closed to be in a sleep state (say what?).

Here are a couple of characteristics that help define sleep:

  1. Perceptual Disengagement: Simply put, in a state of sleep we become disengaged from our surroundings (sights, sounds and smells) and require some sort of stimulus to reengage our surroundings.
  2. Reversibility:  Once in a state of sleep to reverse out of that state, there needs to be a certain level of stimulus.  The amount of stimulus needed to be awoken depends on the individual and the state of sleep (Light sleep requires little stimulus to wake, while deeper levels of sleep require higher levels of audible or physical stimulus to reverse out of the state of slumber)

Many of us know that there are types or stages of sleep, but what are they and why are they important?

There are two types of sleep:

  1. REM or Rapid Eye Movement
  2. NREM or Non Rapid Eye Movement

REM sleep is a deeper stage of sleep in which we spend approximately 25% of our sleep time.  In this exciting type of sleep, we achieve our fascinating dreams.  During REM, our eyes dart back and forth in synchronicity (hence the name) in conjunction with our brain trying to scan the dream world.  In REM sleep we have tremendous brain activity.  Not only are our brains trying to scan the dream world (as it would scan the world around us while we’re awake), it is also creating the world that it is scanning.

Non-REM sleep is split up into 4 distinct stages from 1 through 4.  Stage 1 is our lightest stage of sleep and we get into deeper stages as we move through stages 2 to 4.

During a night of sleep we move through multiple sleep cycles (3-7 cycles in one night of sleep).  Each cycle is approximately 90 minutes in length and comprised of REM and N-REM.

  • Stage 1 is our lightest stage of sleep (drowsiness and onset of sleep. Lasting only a few minutes)
  • Stage 2 is deeper sleep and is where we spend the majority of our time sleeping (approximately 40-50%)
  • Stage 3 and 4 are classified as your deep sleep stages.  We only spend 20 – 90 minutes a night in deep sleep, but that is where the body does so much cleaning, healing and building.

Deep sleep is usually only achieved in the first and second sleep cycle of the evening.  The remaining cycles are mostly comprised of Stage 2 and REM sleep and our most vivid dreams are in the latter part of our night of sleep.  Please see the below chart for a sample of an 8 hour night of sleep:

As mentioned above, a standard sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes.  Using that 90 minutes as a baseline, we should be trying to get in about 5 sleep cycles in a night.  That would provide us with 450 minutes of sleep.  In hours, that equates to 7 and a half hours of sleep.  So now does it make sense when we hear people recommend that we get 7.5 – 8 hours of sleep a night?

Each stage of sleep is necessary and very important, but some stages have distinct advantages that we should be trying to tap into. You could call deep sleep somewhat of our natural “fountain of youth”. This is where your body releases the most HGH (human growth hormone), repairs tissues and cleanses the body of unwanted waste.  Deep sleep is also where your body is going to help you keep off those unwanted pounds and maintain and build lean muscle.  Look and feel younger and lose some unwanted pounds!  Sign me up!  All types of sleep are restorative, but the deeper levels of sleep really take it up a notch.  Therefore, we should be trying to prioritize that specific stage of sleep.

Quick Tips:

  • Try and get to bed in the 10:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. timeframe consistently.  Between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. is often the sleep “sweet spot” where your body will dip into the deeper levels of sleep more readily
  • Try the EWYN studios sleep aid Sleep Slimmer.  This product is exclusive to EWYN studios and is designed specifically to not only help you get to sleep faster, but to get into those deeper stages and stay in them a little longer

In Summary:

A regular night’s sleep is a cyclical pattern of a combination of Non-REM and REM sleep.  An average sleep cycle is approx. 90 minutes long with our deeper stages of sleep typically occur in the first third of the night (between 10:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. ).  Our REM sleep gets longer and therefore more dreaming occurs in the latter part of our night’s sleep.

Try and get to sleep consistently around 10:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.  If this is a challenge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your EYWN health coach and ask about our sleep aid – Sleep Slimmer .

Since we’ve stepped through what a night’s sleep looks like… our next investigation will dive into the importance of sleep and steps that we can take to improve it.

Sources:

WEIGHTS & YOUR WEIGHT: DOES WORKING OUT MAKE YOU ‘BULKY’ OR GAIN WEIGHT?

By Weight Loss Tips

Interviewee: Dean Esser
Written by: Lyndsie Baxter

 

Does working out make you gain weight?  It is a common myth that has been passed down in the weight loss industry for years – “Working out or Resistance Training does not make you gain weight or big & bulky, the way you eat makes you gain weight or if proper diet, lose weight” this is just an excuse many people make as to why their weight loss has slowed down, this just isn’t the case explains Dean Esser, President of Ewyn Studios, personal trainer and former OPA Body Building Competitor.

“Even on the strictest of heavy weight training regiments, the average gym goer would be lucky to achieve 5lbs of muscle per year,” says Dean.

Many people think cardio, a minimal amount of weight training and more cardio is the key.  Or maybe circuit training will burn more calories.  Well the truth is – although lots of cardio & circuit training are good for the heart & health, they are not a necessarily the key to achieving your weight loss goals and can even be a hindrance.

Increased muscle is achieved through dietary management. Eating more – more weight gain.  Eating less – more fat loss.  If you are working out and eating a cleaner diet but are still not losing weight, it may have something to do with:

  1. Not Eating the Right Diet for You
  2. Counter Productive Workout Program (over doing it)
  3. Stress Levels
  4. Inadequate Sleep
  5. Not Staying Positive

Diet is crucial when it comes to muscle management and weight loss. Your meal plan needs to be healthy and sustainable but if you are leaving your body in too much of a caloric deficit it will start holding onto your food to sustain energy throughout the day, thus halting your weight loss.  Having a calorie deficit means that you’re burning more calories than you are eating or drinking.

Another common misconception correlating with diet is protein or protein shakes. Utilizing a Meal Replacement can add to weight gain; however, proteins do not make you ‘bulky’.  This idea is most likely due to the fact that proteins have been traditionally marketed as a “muscle builders.” Protein alone will not make you “bulk up”, your overall diet and workout regime play a bigger role in the amount of muscle mass you build.

Which brings us to some alternative workout programs you can introduce into your weekly schedule if you are finding that your current workout routine is not registering results.

“I’d suggest giving fasted cardio a try. Fasted cardio is when you perform cardio within the first 30 minutes of waking,” says Esser, “You want to do something like a power walk, jog or an elliptical.”

Keeping with the “don’t over do it” conversation, try to plan your workouts for 3-4 times a week MAXIMUM. Workouts should last anywhere from 30-40 minutes with it being dedicated to either strength/resistance training, with an additional 20-30 minutes of cardio afterwards. Trying to combine everything at once in the same workout can be inefficient and set you on the wrong track.  Remember, cardio comes after the workout.  The average person takes 20 minutes to burn fat, so keeping the cardio after weight training puts you into an instant fat burning zone.

We know weight loss comes with a lot of information. It can seem overwhelming at times, but you need to remember to remain positive. This is a journey with MIND AND BODY, not just one.

“For me, the most positive people always lose weight the quickest,” Dean says, “Put your mind in the right spot to drive your body in the right direction.”

If you’re feeling stuck or at a loss with your results please don’t hesitate to reach out and speak to one of our Ewyn Personal Health Coaches or subscribe to our mailing list and reach out with any questions! Also be sure to check out the recipes on our website. They’re updated all the time and are Ewyn approved!

To Fat or Not To Fat… That Is The Question

By Weight Loss Tips

 

Fat.  Does hearing the word create a certain sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach?  Or does it represent a constant uphill battle to remove some of that dreaded stuff from your body’s frame?

In my home growing up, fat was to be avoided due to its suggested negative relationship with cholesterol and heart disease.  For the past 50 or 60 years, fat has had a sketchy reputation… but why?

Luckily, updated research is now showing us that we don’t need to fear fat (or lipids) as we once did.  In fact, we can and should be embracing good/healthy fats.  The question is, are all fats created equal?  What is fat and how did it get a bad name?  What are some good/healthy fats that I should be consuming?  Keep reading and we’ll explore these questions and provide 10 healthy fats that you should include in your diet.

 

Are all fats created equal?

The quick answer is no.  Fats are a crucial component of anyone’s diet, but not all fats have the same impact within your body.  Good/healthy fats can improve brain function, lower cholesterol, lower inflammation and even help lower body fat, while consistent consumption of unhealthy fats can definitely send you down a different path of chronic disease and weight gain.

 

What is fat and how did it get a bad name?

Fat is one of the 3 main macronutrients that our bodies use when we consume food.  The other two are carbohydrates and protein.  We’ll get into more about each of them a little later.  Fats are a key component of our diet.  Good or healthy fats, are an essential energy source that can fuel our body, and improve our health.  A good rule of thumb when consuming fats is to focus on consuming fats that occur as naturally as possible.  Therefore, try to consume fats that go through the least amount of processing as possible.  Avocados, olives or olive oil, coconut oil, fatty fish are just a few examples of naturally higher sources that can benefit your health.  Try to avoid your highly processed industrial vegetable/seed and corn oils etc.

 

So where did the “low fat” craze come from?

Post World War II, research began to emerge suggesting a link that consuming saturated fats (ie. eggs, red meat and coconuts) lead to coronary heart disease.  A decade or so later (1960s) government health agencies began making recommendations that people should reduce their dietary fat intake.  By the 1970s, food guidelines had changed, suggesting the population needs to reduce saturated fat intake and to increase the consumption of carbohydrates and therefore launching the still now believed “War on Fat”.  Though the recommendation of increasing the intake of carbohydrates was in the form of fruits and vegetables, most people looked at it as ANY carbohydrates were good and that all fat was bad.  Unfortunately, this was a massive oversimplification.

 

The major challenge in all of this, was that the studies that attributed saturated fat as the cause of heart disease,  never actually linked high-fat diets to heart trouble.  Additional studies have in fact now debunked all of the research that was done to create this “fat is bad” belief.  Amazingly, not only has additional research been done to discount the “fat is bad” understanding but many studies have actually shown that consumption of the correct types of fat can actually improve your overall health including that organ that was supposed to be damaged by fat… your heart.

 

Food is information?

Food is information for our bodies.  As we consume certain foods, they are digested and broken down into their individual components.  Our bodies acknowledge these components and react accordingly.  The 3 main “macronutrients” that we consume are carbohydrates, protein and fats/lipids (as mentioned earlier).

 

Think of protein, broken down into amino acids, as the “building blocks” for the body.  Simplistically, protein is providing our bodies with the supplies necessary to rebuild itself.  Carbohydrates and fats on the other hand, can basically be looked at as energy sources.  They are able to be broken down into their individual components (carbohydrates into glucose/sugars and fats into fatty acids) and used to power our bodies.

 

Anyone surprised to hear that fat is an energy source?  There is a bit of a catch however.  If you are consistently consuming high levels of carbohydrates (grains, pasta, breads, crackers, rice, sweets, baked goods, potatoes etc.), your body will prioritize the use of the simple or fast burning energy from the carbohydrates.  Your body will unfortunately not use as many of the fats you are consuming or the fat stored on your body as an energy source, it will instead send those calories from consumed fat into storage (body fat).  Collected body fat is just “stored energy” and is used as a survival mechanism when food is scarce. Our bodies do this automatically.  For most of us however, we do not live in times where food is scarce; it is abundantly available to us year round.  So, it becomes very important that we keep our carbohydrate consumption to healthier options and at moderate to lower levels, to allow our bodies to utilize those healthy fats even better.

 

What are the healthy fats we should be consuming for health and weight management?

1.       Avocados & Avocado Oil

  • Rich in fats that aid in the raising of “good” cholesterol and lowering the “bad”
  • Vitamin E
  • High in protein vs. any other fruit
  • Cooking: Avocado Oil can be used in high heat cooking due to its higher smoke point

2.       Butter & Ghee

  • Brain and Skin health (Omega-3 and Omega-6s)
  • Rich in fat-soluble vitamins and trace minerals
  • Cooking: Ghee is better for higher temperature cooking.  Use butter at lower temps

3.       Coconut Oil

  • Rich in medium chain fatty acids:
    • Easy to digest
    • Not typically stored by the body as fat
    • Med Chain fatty acids are smaller in size and are used for energy in cells quickly
  • Can be used as a topical skin moisturizer
  • Cooking: Can be used in higher temperature cooking due to its higher smoke point

4.       Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

  • High levels of antioxidants
  • Boosts heart health, memory and cognitive function
  • Cooking: Not recommended for cooking due to its very low smoke point.  Use in salad dressings and/or drizzling and dipping

5.       OMEGA-3s

  • Preferred sources of Omega 3s are DHA and EPA, which are found in fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and anchovies
  • Supplement with fish oil: Try out EWYN’s own OMEGAS
  • Try and get at least 1,000 mg a day of EPA/DHA (6 capsules of EWYN’s OMEGAS will supply this amount)

6.       Nuts and Seeds

  • Rich in ALA Omega 3s (brain food)
  • Aids in lowering “bad” cholesterol
  • Walnuts and almonds are preferred nut choices
  • Flaxseeds and chia seeds are the top seed choices

7.       Eggs

  • Loaded with a full protein (all amino acids)
  • Can aid in lowering cholesterol while improving heart health
  • Can reduce risk of metabolic syndrome

8.       Grass-Fed Beef

  • Grass-fed has a different nutritional make-up than grain fed beef
  • Grass-fed has conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which can aid in the prevention of cancer and other diseases
  • Higher healthy Omega 3s than grain fed beef

9.       MCT Oil

  • MCTs – Medium chain triglycerides
  • MCTs are easily digested and sent to the liver, where they can give your metabolism a boost!
  • Cooking: Use in dressings, smoothies and even coffee

10.   Dark Chocolate

  • We are referring to REAL dark chocolate.  70% cocoa or higher (such as 85%)
  • High in fat and rich in antioxidants (which helps our bodies from free radicals, which can cause disease)
  • Flavanols in dark chocolate improve heart health
  • Consume 1 or 2 small “squares” of dark chocolate (not a bar at a time).  The added sugar can still have negative effects.

 

To recap:

  • Healthy fats are not to be feared or avoided.
  • Key is to incorporate as many healthy or good fats into your diet as you can
  • Make those improved fat choices to
    • Boost energy
    • Reduce disease risk
    • Shed some of those unwanted pounds
  • Try your best to improve your carbohydrate choices
  • Consume more whole foods carb options:
    • Sweet potato
    • Steel cut oats
    • Oatmeal
    • Basmati or wild rice
    • Etc.
  • If carbohydrate consumption stays high or more processed/simpler carb choices are consumed regularly:
    • You are creating an environment for chronic disease and weight gain
    • Even healthy fats can be shuttled into storage in the form of dreaded bodyfat coupled with high carb consumption
  • Please refer to your EWYN meal plan and/or EWYN health coach for approved foods, quantities and additional fat burning strategies while on plan.

 

 

Written By: Craig Warrian, International Service Supervisor, Ewyn Studios International

Sources & Credit: https://draxe.com/nutrition/healthy-fats/ (Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, is a doctor of chiropractic, certified doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist, and founder of draxe.com)

 

Meal Planning for Camping

By Weight Loss Tips

 

Losing weight while camping is going to take some discipline since most of us will be camping with other people who may not have the same goals as you! Before you set out on a camping adventure with others who may not be as supportive as you would hope, make a list of all the reasons you started your journey. Seems simple, but those who have a clear understanding of their “why” are much more likely to stick to their new healthier lifestyle. You need a clear understanding of what the result is when those “friends” are trying hard to sabotage your efforts. Once you make your list, be sure, to read it daily (a good time is with your morning coffee before everyone rises so you can set your positive intention for the day.) I have clients who put all these “whys” on the back of a photograph of where they are now to remind them why they started! Or maybe a picture of the dress you want to wear or the shorts you are working towards😊

Now that we are feeling strong and motivated as to why our goal is important, let’s move on to how we are going to prepare ourselves for success! First, we need to plan, plan, and then plan again! Planning your days away is going to be the key to your success. Download Ewyn’s handy meal planner to get your head around how your days are going to shape up. Don’t get me wrong though, we can plan everything and then it rains and that campsite snack gets rained out so plan to be flexible with your meal plan. If you must switch things around to make it work then go for it. If you are camping in a trailer. this will be a breeze. In a tent may be a bit trickier as you will not have a fridge or freezer to keep things frozen until you need them. If you are tent camping, you may want to precook most of your food so it stays fresh and makes it much easier to prepare at the campsite. One of my favorites is pre-done spaghetti! I precook it all and even mix it with the quinoa pasta ahead of time, then just warm it up on the campfire and tada! Camping Italian style! Be sure to add a treat meal into your plan as well. Pick one night when you can enjoy a hot dog or sausage if that is your family’s go-to camping food. Pack your Cheat It so you can enjoy it and minimize the damage.

 

Check out this one-day sample camping menu with recipe ideas.

 

Here are a few must haves on your menu:

Boiled eggs

Veggies pre-cut and washed

Baked potatoes

Fruit washed and ready to eat, especially apples (Check out these yummy apple snacks!)

Pre-portioned pistachios and almonds

Instant oatmeal (plain)

Wraps

EVO Whey protein

Ewyn-exclusive protein bars

Homemade frozen hamburgers

Canned tuna or salmon

EVO Revive

 

Now that we have our meal plan, the camper is packed and off we go! If you are traveling any distance be sure to read our blog entry on travel tips. Once you arrive, up your activity level. Camping is a great time to enjoy a hike, go for a bike ride or just enjoy playing with the kids. Bring activities that encourage physical activity, so you keep moving. Challenge yourself to get up every hour and do 10 minutes of walking or activity. Check out our blog on fun outside activities you can do with the kids for some ideas! Do not forget the raincoats so even if it rains you can go puddle jumping with the kids.

Now let’s talk about fluid… this is not the time to forget your water! Make sure you bring bottles of your own water for the trip so you can still get your 8 glasses in daily. Use your EVO Revive to help flush fluid and give you some energy mid-afternoon. If alcohol is a big part of your camping regime ohhh… first pull out that note you wrote yourself on “WHY” you embarked on this weight loss journey… hmmmm maybe only 1 drink today! Alcohol causes fluid retention, slows the metabolism of fat and if we have too many, causes us to make poor food choices which leads to weight gain. This is why it’s extremely important to keep drinking to 4 oz per day. My trick… do 2 oz and add soda water or diet sprite to make a spritzer or a shandy if you are a beer drinker. If you like the hard stuff, mix 2 oz in a big shaker cup of EVO Revive. It will look fancy and you will be cutting the alcohol down while helping flush fluid. Win-win!

Camping is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy time with family and friends, but it does not have to cause you stress while you are on your weight loss program. If you need help with meal planning, prepping and supplementation to support you while you are gone, reach out to your health coach today for more great tips! And Happy Camping!

Staying On Track When You’re On The Road

By Weight Loss Tips

 

This time of year, we often get requests from our clients asking for tips on how to stay on track while on vacation. Staying in a hotel, airline travel, and road trips can cause significant difficulties when sticking to a meal plan.

 

With travel restrictions beginning to relax, many of you may be planning modified vacations such as road trips within your province, so we thought we would take this opportunity to provide you all with some great tips to plan ahead and stay on track when you hit the road:

 

  1. BEFORE you get there, look up potential restaurants en route and at your final destination to check the menu for healthy options.
  2. Call your hotel to ask for a kettle, microwave, and fridge in your room so you can prepare breakfasts and snacks.
  3. Check for nearby grocery stores or markets for fresh, real food essentials; greek yogurt, berries, veggies and protein.
  4. Trip permitting, bring your own travel pack of “Power Tools” – a bowl, cutlery, shaker cup, tea mug, steamer, omelette maker, prep bowls, and resealable bags.
  5. For road trips, fill a small cooler or insulated lunch bag with essentials (veggies, fruit, protein-filled wrap, greek yogurt, etc.) and water with Revive or tea. Have picnics instead of fast food!
  6. Eat before you leave or take a meal to eat on the go. Try a mason jar salad – easy, delicious, and packed in a reusable container! Load up on veggies whenever you can.
  7. Use the hotel pool and ask locals for walking trail recommendations.
  8. Stick to your exercise routine and eating schedule as much as possible.
  9. Travelling can cause occasional constipation, so pack your PM/BM or GE Pro Zyme and use daily while on vacation.
  10. If you encounter a meal out, take Carb Control or Cheat It to help with carbs and alcohol.
  11. When you return home, get right back on track and add an extra bottle of water daily.

 

As our lives slowly get back to normal, we hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy a vacation or stay-cation after so much time at home. Follow our tips and keep reaching your goals no matter where you are!

 

 

Staying Motivated In Quarantine

By Weight Loss Tips

Over the past two months, we’ve all experienced plenty of hardships and difficulties as our routines and daily lives have been turned upside down. When it comes to weight loss, one of the most difficult challenges during this time is staying on track due to lack of motivation, or losing our ‘why’. It could be due to the fact that we no longer have social interactions to think about. No vacations to look forward to. For many of us, no colleagues to encounter at work. We also often turn to food as a source of comfort during stressful times. We’re all human, and it’s natural – but that doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to get back on track! Here are a few tips to help you rediscover your WHY:

 

Change up your routine

This applies not only to daily tasks, but what we eat as well! Things can get pretty monotonous when stuck at home AND following a meal plan. Why not try choosing eggs for your evening protein, a way to have “breakfast for dinner”? (This is something I remember fondly that my family would do as a special treat when we were kids.)  Try a few new healthy recipes (there are plenty on our blog and your EWYN Health Coaches are a great source for more!) When it comes to exercise, change up your cardio routine – instead of walking the same route every day, try an at-home Zumba class or drive to a nature trail to keep things interesting. Read our blog about changing up your outdoor exercise routine for more fun and tips!

 

List your goals

Being confined in one place can make one day seem to stretch into the next. In turn, that can make it hard to keep your eyes on the prize, and easy to fall down rabbit holes.

To stay on track, make a clear list of what you need to accomplish each day (30 minutes of cardio, meal prep for the next day) and consider adding some longer-term goals you haven’t addressed yet (get your cardio up to 40 minutes in length, squat a certain weight by the end of summer, etc.) Reminding yourself of your goals and adding a couple new ones can boost your momentum and amplify your motivation.

 

Count your achievements

Whenever you start feeling demoralized, it’s time to stop and give yourself pat yourself on the back. Start with the fact that your stay-at-home regimen is helping to keep COVID-19 from spreading – a real contribution to the greater good that deserves to be applauded!

Next, take time to consider your personal achievements. Think about everything you’ve managed to accomplish despite current restrictions: It’s likely much more than you think. Make a list of everything you’ve achieved in the past year, every pound lost, every minute of exercise put in, and take a moment to appreciate what it took to accomplish each. This applies not only to weight loss, but to things like relationships, finances, education, and skill building.

Not only will this remind you what you’re capable of, it should also make you feel good enough to re-spark your motivation. Make this practice a habit, and you’ll be ready to build on your successes, get closer to your goal, and show off the New You once the world returns to business-as-somewhat-usual.

 

Stay in touch with your support network

Some of the best results are achieved when you have a team in your corner – it’s just a little more difficult when that has to happen via texts or phone calls. In fact, losing regular contact with close friends or family outside your home can be one of the most difficult aspects of isolation, since you can’t just stop by for a chat or get together for a healthy meal.

That makes right now the perfect time to put extra effort into reaching out to your loved ones. Stay in touch socially, both to boost morale and encourage mental health. Hearing their encouragement and even stopping by for a ‘front yard’ visit from a safe distance where they can see your results for themselves will go a long way in keeping you motivated and feeling great about your achievements.

 

Salt & Weight Loss

By Weight Loss Tips

 

You’ve heard it before from almost every source: nutritionists, health coaches, personal trainers, wellness blogs, Sally from next door, they all say the same thing: “Salt is bad!” “Watch your sodium intake!”

But, why? Well, there’s a few reasons. Here are two that are particularly important if you are trying to lose weight:

 

Water Retention

Eating a lot of salt can cause your body to retain more water, which can show up on the scale as extra pounds. Here is why…

Your body tries to maintain a sodium/water concentration outside the cell walls that is approximately the same as sea water. When you consume sodium, your body holds on to water to maintain the right ratio. Consuming 400 milligrams of sodium (the amount in a single gram of table salt) causes your body to retain an extra 4 cups of water, which equals roughly 2 pounds of weight! So, when you eat that processed chicken or burger that on average has over 600mg of sodium, you will often see an overnight weight gain of 2 pounds. This can be extremely disheartening for someone who is working hard to lose weight.

 

Increased Appetite

There is also some evidence that high salt diets lead to an increase in appetite, causing us to eat more and ultimately consume more calories. A study by Friedrich C. Luft, M.D at the Center for Molecular Medicine found that urea, a bodily compound thought to be a waste product, has an important role in helping your body get rid of salt.

“Its function is to keep water in when our bodies get rid of salt,” Luft said. “Nature has apparently found a way to conserve water that would otherwise be carried away into the urine by salt.” But making urea takes a lot of energy, which leads to hunger! No wonder we so often fall completely off track after making only one small mistake in our diet.

 

Daily Salt minimum requirements are 180 mg with about 1500mg being a good standard to go by. If you choose a selection of different food options from your Ewyn food list, sticking to more complex carbs and non-processed food options, you will keep yourself within the recommended daily salt intake and watch those pounds drop off!