Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April Challenge!!!!!

Can you believe it is April already??????  How are you doing with the monthly challenges?  January was to remove high fructose corn syrup; February was to remove dyes and artificial coloring; and March was to remove nitrites and nitrates from your diet.  This month we are going to be removing MSG- monosodium glutamate from your diet.  I wrote a post a few months ago on the dangers of MSG which I am putting below:

What is MSG? Monosodium glutamate is a salt made from glutamic acid. It's used to bring out the taste in salty and sweet foods. So, most restaurants put it in just about everything as well as many prepackaged and processed foods. Side effects from consuming MSG include: headache, diarrhea, chest pain, dizziness, palpitations, weakness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, chills, heartburn, unusual thirst, depression, anxiety/panic attacks, hyperactivity and behavioral problems in children, joint pain, hives, rashes, etc. MSG is an excitotoxin that crosses the blood- brain barrier which means it can cause neurological problems. So, as you can see MSG should not be consumed if you are trying to be healthy. When it comes to weight loss, MSG can cause hypothyroidism, which causes your thyroid gland to not produce enough of the thyroid hormone, which in turn affects your rate of metabolism. People with hypothyroidism do not burn as many calories and then they gain weight. Another problem with MSG and weight loss is that it actually acts as a non appetite suppressant meaning it makes you crave the food that you are eating that contains the MSG. This is why so many people "crave" certain foods, especially fast food. Think about those fast food french fries that you love or certain other dishes from restaurants. More than likely they contain MSG.

Now, here's the tricky part. There are ingredients that contain MSG, so food companies don't have to actually list MSG on the label, only the ingredient that contains it. So, when you see the following ingredients on a label, it more than likely contains MSG: autolyzed plant protein, autolyzed yeast, calcium caseinate, gelatin, glutamate, glutamic acid, hydrolyzed plant protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, monopotassium glutamate, senomyx, sodium caseinate, textured protein, vegetable protein extract, yeast extract, yeast food or nutrient, flavor, bouillon, cornstarch fructose.

So, the bottom line is, whether or not you are trying to lose weight, get rid of the MSG. There are studies that have been conducted and are still being conducted to show a relation between consumption of MSG and diseases such as Alzheimer's. Just remember that whenever you consume it, it is affecting your central nervous system in a negative manner. If you have any questions let me know!!

Now, how is your fitness program going so far?  We have been adding on exercise each month, also.  This month I want you to try and ramp up your exercise to a whole new level!  Remember, one of the easiest ways to figure out your target heart rate is to subtract your age from 220.  Then, take that number and multiply it by .85 and by .60- this will give you the two numbers you want your heart rate to be in between.  If you are not working hard enough you won't be burning fat, and if you are working too hard you may hurt yourself.  Remember, your heart rate will start to improve as the days and months go by.  This is because  your heart is a muscle.  The stronger it is the less beats it will take to pump all the blood through your body.  So, your resting heart rate will decrease, which also means it will take longer and harder exercise to get your heart rate up to a good burning zone.  How can you ramp up your exercise, you ask?  Work out harder, longer and with more intensity.  Your body is capable of doing things you didn't think it could.  If you have joint pain- that is a signal to stop, but if you are just experiencing muscle pain or fatigue- you can keep going!  Always get approval from your physician to start a new exercise program if you haven't worked out before or you have some preexisting conditions, a family history of heart disease, or take medication regularly.  And, if you can- hire a personal trainer for a few sessions to get some good ideas for working out.  You don't have to hire them indefinitely, just a few times could get you started on the right path!  Your health is worth it!!!  Enjoy- and always, if you have any questions please let me know.

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