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WHAT EVERY MAN REALLY NEEDS!(The men's guide to better eating and more sex)
By Ira Epstein
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Ira Epstein
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWHY DO WE EAT AND WHY DIET?
Why do we eat?
We basically do not eat because we are hungry. Hunger is when the body needs food to provide energy in order to perform the basic metabolic tasks, such as breathing and pumping blood, and extra tasks such as working and playing. Many people eat because it's the time of day (breakfast, lunch and dinner time) or as a result of depression, boredom or habit (like when you are watching TV).
How much you eat isn't just a matter of willpower or the lack of it. It is a biological process that drives our ability to survive. Trying to lose weight by using diets and food restrictions is counterproductive and only causes the body to trigger chemical reactions to stimulate your appetite and increase your hunger. This creates a vicious cycle of overeating because of a complex system of chemical and hormonal reactions that tell you to eat.
How hunger works
The hypothalamus is partly responsible for processing eating behavior. The cells in the hypothalamus communicate with cells in other parts of the brain to coordinate the release of chemicals that form the feedback system that helps regulate how much and what you eat.
When the body needs nourishment, neurotransmitters (chemicals that transmit information to the neurons or brain cells) are released. Current research is being done to help explain the exact mechanism, but one neurotransmitter called Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is thought to respond when the body needs carbohydrates. According to the theory, low levels of glycogen (carbohydrate in storage form in your body) and low blood sugar levels stimulate NPY's release from the hypothalamus.
As NPY levels increase, so does your desire for sweet and starchy foods. While you sleep, your glycogen and blood sugar stores are used up, and they send a message to the brain to release NPY. It's no coincidence that our favorite morning foods are rich in carbohydrates-cereal, breads, bagels, and fruit. Skipping breakfast increases NPY levels so that by afternoon you need a carbohydrate binge. This craving for carbs is an innate biological urge at work, not a lack of willpower. Stress and dieting are thought to trigger NPY production as well.
Eating carbohydrates or other favorite foods turn off NPY by using a serotonin feedback system. Serotonin is another neurotransmitter that is associated with the feeling of fullness and satisfaction. When serotonin increases, NPY decreases, telling your body that you have had enough food and you can stop eating.
Another neurotransmitter called galanin is released when the fat stores need replenishment. Research on galanin has been conducted only on animals, but the human appetite for fat is believed to act in a similar way. Laboratory animals that have been injected with galanin prefer high-fat foods to high-carbohydrate ones. And when animals were given drugs that interfered with the galanin production, their preference for fat decreased. How galanin works may help explain why some people store more fat than others do. In the evening, galanin levels tend to rise, which may be the body's way of making sure that people have enough calories to last them through the night without taking in more food.
Long-term weight loss is a matter of attitude and conditioning. What the short-time diets focus on is "the don'ts", denial, and immediate results, without allowing room for slip-ups. You need to focus on making healthier choices, enjoy feeling better, be healthier and more energized, establish flexible, short- term attainable goals and leave room for indulgences. When you feel good about yourself, you have more energy and want to continue eating better and feeling healthier.
To accomplish this, you need to emphasize healthy eating and exercise.
Why diet at all?
Your degree of risk for developing weight-related health problems depends not only on how overweight you are, but also where you store the excess fat. Body fat that accumulates around the stomach area poses a greater health risk than fat stored in the lower body. Typically, men are prone to building up fat in the stomach area, developing a "beer belly" or "pot belly". Men are more apt to develop diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and certain types of cancer with this condition. Reducing your weight by only 5 to 10 percent increases your HDL levels (the good cholesterol) while reducing LDL and triglyceride levels, which are associated with increased risk of heart disease.
Chapter TwoWHY FAD DIETS DON'T WORK
This chapter explains and exposes some of the different popular fad diets that all promise the same thing: Quick and easy weight loss. As men, we are naturally skeptical about the "new and revolutionary" diet plans that are simply rehashes of old programs that use current scientific weight-loss vocabulary and a little technical- sounding mumbo jumbo to sell us on diets that will fail. These "doctors and self styled nutritionists" count on the public's lack of knowledge about nutrition to bamboozle millions of dollars out of our pockets. The women buy into this because they will try anything to look like the fashion models or movie stars who have figures that are not the norm.
The key to successful weight loss is not rocket science. What all these fad diets don't tell you is that your body will lose weight if you do two things; reduce your calories and exercise. When you go on one of these fad diets you will lose weight quickly because the body's metabolism thinks you are starving and will burn its stored fat. But then your metabolism will slow down to conserve the energy stored and you will stop losing weight. This results in frustration and causes you to go off the diet, and over-eat, and gain back the weight you lost (and sometimes more). You then try another fad diet and the cycle repeats itself. This yo-yo effect is detrimental to your health.
High-protein, low carbohydrate diets have been widely promoted in recent years as an effective approach to losing weight. These diets generally recommend that dieters receive 30% to 50% of their total calories from protein. By comparison, the American Heart Association, the National Cholesterol Education Program and the American Cancer Society all recommend a diet in which only 10% to 15% of calories are derived from protein (nutrients essential to the building, maintenance and repair of tissues in the body).
The following is a brief explanation of some of the fad diets currently out there:
The Atkins Diet:
By restricting carbohydrates drastically to a mere fraction of that found in the typical American diet, the body goes into a different metabolic state called ketosis, whereby it burns its own fat for fuel. Normally the body burns carbohydrates for fuel - this is the main source of fuel for your brain, heart and many other organs. A person in ketosis is getting energy from ketones, little carbon fragments that are the fuel created by the breakdown of fat stores. When the body is in ketosis, you tend to feel less hungry, and thus you're likely to eat less than you might otherwise. As a result, your body changes from a carbohydrate-burning engine into a fat-burning engine. So instead of relying on the carbohydrate-rich items you might typically consume for energy, and leaving your fat stores just where they were before (the hips, belly, and thighs), your fat stores become a primary energy source. The purported result is weight loss.
In diets that contain fewer than 900 calories, all food eaten (including protein and fat) is broken down into glucose to provide fuel for the body. Protein and fat are very expensive fuels for your body. You can only convert 70 percent of the protein and 30 percent of the fat you eat to glucose. The nitrogen from the protein is excreted in the urine. This leaves no protein for repair or maintenance of muscles and organs. Also, in diets containing fewer than 130 grams of carbohydrates, ketosis occurs and your body starts breaking down muscle and lean tissue to provide glucose for brain and nerve fuel. Your body's first need is for fuel. Your body's use of dietary fuels cannot be changed drastically by altering your diet.
Your body can and does take stored fat (as triglycerides) and incompletely breaks it down into ketones, which can be used as a fuel source for muscles and organs. To completely break down body fat, you need glucose and oxygen. If glucose is not available for fuel by your limiting dietary carbohydrates, your body learns to run on ketones. However your brain doesn't. Your brain gets sluggish because it only runs on glucose. Your body starts breaking down muscle and organ tissue to provide the needed glucose for brain tissue. Protein contains glucose in its structure and it can be scavenged for use by the brain and nerves.
Quick weight loss diets claim they spare muscle protein, but they don't. A diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates does not spare muscle protein from being broken down, unless you eat enough carbohydrate. As you continue on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet, the amount of ketones increases and ketosis occurs. Ketones are very irritating to your kidneys and the kidneys try to get rid of the ketones through the urine.
High protein diets can cause a number of health problems, including:
Kidney failure- Consuming too much protein puts a strain on the kidneys, which can make a person susceptible to kidney disease. High cholesterol- It is well known that high protein diets (consisting of red meat, whole dairy products, and other high fat foods) are linked to high cholesterol. Studies have linked high cholesterol levels to an increased risk of developing heart disease and cancer.
Osteoporosis and kidney stones- High-protein diets have also been shown to cause people to excrete more calcium than normal through their urine. Over a prolonged period of time, this can increase a person's risk of osteoporosis and kidney stones.
Cancer- One of the reasons high protein diets increase the risks of certain health problems is the avoidance of carbohydrate- containing foods and the vitamins, minerals, fiber and anti-oxidants they contain. It is therefore important to obtain your protein from a diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Not only are your needs for protein being met, but you are also helping to reduce your risk of developing cancer.
Unhealthy metabolic state (ketosis) - Low carb diets can cause your body to go into a dangerous metabolic state called ketosis since your body burns fat instead of glucose for energy. During ketosis, the body forms substances known as ketones, which can cause organs to fail and result in gout, kidney stones, or kidney failure. Ketones can also dull a person's appetite, cause nausea and bad breath. Eating at least 100 grams of carbohydrates a day prevents ketosis.
The South Beach Diet:
Miami cardiologist Dr. Arthur Agatston invented this diet in order to help his cardiac patients maintain a healthy lifestyle and lose weight.
The idea behind the diet involves carbohydrates. The aim of the South Beach Diet is to clear your diet of the types of carbohydrates and fats that can lead to weight gain. The diet distinguishes "good" carbohydrates from "bad" carbohydrates, and purports that by cutting the bad carbs out of your diet you will lower your body's levels of cholesterol and insulin which will ultimately lead to weight loss.
The diet is actually based on the idea that high-glycemic carbohydrates (those that rate higher than 55 on the glycemic scale), or "bad" carbohydrates, such as white bread and white rice, lead to weight gain. The South Beach Diet thus recommends that dieters consume more low-glycemic carbohydrates or "good" carbohydrates such as whole grains and vegetables, which take longer to break down, expend more energy as they break down, and don't lead to empty cravings.
The South Beach Diet claims that most people who follow the diet will lose 8 to 13 pounds after the first two weeks (although it is not certain whether this weight loss is actually the loss of fat or water). Then, if the basic rules of the diet are adhered to during Phases 2 and 3, you should be able to maintain your desired weight.
The diet should also help lower your blood cholesterol level, since it restricts the consumption of saturated fats. The diet should also discourage your body from storing the carbohydrates that you eat as fats, since you are instructed to eat mainly complex carbohydrates that take longer to break down than simple carbohydrates do.
These theories of weight loss remain unproven, and most experts are concerned that high-protein, low carb diets can cause a host of problems, particularly for the large segment of the population that is at risk for heart disease. What's more, the plan doesn't permit a high intake of fruits and vegetables, recommended by most nutrition experts because of the numerous documented health benefits from these foods.
The experts say that to achieve permanent weight loss you must change your lifestyle. This means following a lower calorie diet that includes grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables combined with participating in regular physical activity.
The Pritikin Principle:
Everyone who's ever thought about going on a diet has at least heard of The Pritikin Approach: a low-fat diet, not vegetarian, but largely based on vegetables, grains and fruits. Fat in the diet accounts for a mere 10%. Since 1976, more than 70,000 people have spent time at the Pritikin Longevity Centers learning how to eat healthy, prepare low-fat meals and snacks, and incorporate exercise and stress-reduction techniques into their lives. Several books by Nathan Pritikin carried the message of the Pritikin approach to the masses. It was an approach designed largely to promote well being by lowering cholesterol and helping diabetics normalize their blood sugar without taking insulin. That people lost weight was an added plus.
Now his son Robert has taken over and tweaked the concept. The same plant-based foods of the original are the staples of his diet, and the fat content of the regimen is still about as low as you can go. But Robert's latest book, The Pritikin Principle (following The New Pritikin Program and The Pritikin Weight Loss Breakthrough), focuses on something he calls "The Calorie Density Solution".
He claims the concern is not calories but rather how dense they are in any given food. Fill up on foods that have relatively few calories per pound and you will lose the "excess body fat that threatens your health and longevity."
Choosing foods that are not "calorie-dense," such as apples and oatmeal, promises to "give you the freedom to eat until you are full and never limit your portions or be hungry in order to lose weight." The higher the caloric density of any given food, the more likely it is to cause weight gain because you will consume more calories to feel full than if you choose foods with a lower caloric density. A pound of broccoli, for instance, has only 130 calories (that's raw and unbuttered, of course), but a pound of chocolate chip cookies has 2,140 calories. You get the drift - broccoli, good; chocolate chip cookies, bad.
Both the Pritikin diet and the nutritionally similar Ornish diet are extremely low in fat, Hill notes, down to 10% of total calories. "Yes, if we could do that we would all be healthier, but it is very hard to follow that formula in our environment," he cautions. "It's difficult to maintain such a low-fat content of our diets if you eat out often, and it takes time to prepare good tasting, low-fat food. Most people do not have the time to spend hours each day preparing food."
There seems to be little dispute that you will lose weight on the Pritikin diet or that it is generally a nutritionally rich diet low in calories. But there are warnings: "Because fat makes one feel full, the extremely low fat content of this diet will make those following it often feel hungry," says Teryl L. Tanaka, RD, the clinical nutrition manager at the Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center. Consequently, she adds, the likelihood is high of the weight returning after one stops strictly adhering to the diet.
"Another problem," says Tanaka, is that the low-fat content may actually be harmful to our health. "Pritikin also inhibits the intake and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and can even limit the amount of essential fatty acids provided by the diet needed for normal cell function, healthy skin and tissue, growth and development."
Excerpted from WHAT EVERY MAN REALLY NEEDS! by Ira Epstein Copyright © 2011 by Ira Epstein. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Why Do We Eat and Why Diet?....................1
Chapter 2 Why Fad Diets Don't Work....................5
Chapter 3 Factors That Affect Your Weight....................15
Chapter 4 Healthy Eating Guides....................21
Chapter 5 Why Exercise Is So Important....................35
Chapter 6 Exercises To Live By....................39
Chapter 7 Importance of Sexual Activity for Health Reasons....................47
Chapter 8 The Mid Life Crisis....................51
Chapter 9 How to Build a Better Relationship....................59
Chapter 10 Reducing the Stress in Your Life....................81
Chapter 11 Tips For a Better Life....................93
Chapter 12 Recipes To Make Life Easier....................97