Episode 11 – How To Manage Insulin For Weight Loss
In this episode Dr. Orlena, a pediatric doctor turned health coach, and I chat about the best practices to manage insulin for weight loss. Insulin works hand in hand with cortisol to determine weight storage. Learn the best tips and food practices you can manipulate to allow your body to use the fuel coming in, instead of storing it.
- Introduction (0.34)
- More About Dr. Orlena (0:57)
- Healthy Habits & Picky Eating (2:00)
- What Is Insulin (3:21)
- How Insulin Works (6:28)
- How To Manage Insulin For Fat Loss (8:14)
- Why To Cut Out Sugar & Flour (12:31)
- What Happens When Insulin Spikes & Crashes? (13:19)
- How To Pair Carbohydrates To Prevent Insulin Spikes (14:56)
- Intermittent Fasting To Control Insulin (17:38)
- Carbohydrate Cravings (19:04)
- Foods That Help Lower Insulin (20:17)
- The Mediterranean Diet (21:59)
- Coffee For Health (23:08)
- Why Healthy Fats Rock (24:05)
- What Carbohydrates SHOULD You Be Eating (25:30)/a>
- Cortisol & Weight Loss (27:07)
- Exercise & Weight Loss (36:23)
- Final Tips On Insulin & Weight Loss (32:29)
- Wrap Up (39:40)
- Mentioned in the podcast
- Connect with Dr. Orlena
How To Manage Insulin For Weight Loss
Welcome to the fit of the mama bear podcast. I’m Shelby, a certified strength coach, nutrition coach mama to two and all-around health nut. This show is about a little bit of everything healthy, fit and natural related. So, if you’re striving to smash goals, eat better, feel better, and enjoy the occasional mom rant, this is the place for you. You’re listening to episode 11 today where I’m chatting with Dr. Orlena! A pediatric doctor turned weight and health coach and the host of the Fit & Fabulous podcast. She helps ambitious mothers lose weight by eating healthy foods and today she’s sharing with us one of the best ways to manage insulin as it relates to fat loss.
Welcome to today’s episode. I’m laughing a little bit already that I chose to post a podcast on fat loss with all the mini chocolate bars circulating around today. But here we are. On the podcast with me today is Dr Orlena. Once a pediatric doctor turned a weight loss coach, she specializes in helping mamas lose weight. So welcome to the podcast.
Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.
Anytime. So before we delve into all the fun, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself and kind of how you came to coach mamas?
Yeah. I’m from the UK and I used to work as a pediatric doctor and then I had this idea that I wanted to live abroad and we decided to live in Spain and I kind of did the whole eyes wide shut thing, moved to Spain, expecting to work as a pediatric doctor.
And that didn’t quite work out.
So, I turned to the internet and initially I was helping people with picky eaters and how to teach kids to eat healthily. And then I kind of had an epiphany, well two.
Firstly, that my kids were growing up and I was getting out of the picky eating state. And secondly that the best way to teach your kids healthy eating is for you to demonstrate healthy eating. And that’s when I really pivoted and started thinking about how to help mothers. How to feed themselves and lose weight. But also, those are the people who wants to feed children healthy too.
I love that. That’s one of my biggest, I guess eye twitches is the best word.
A lot of moms who come to me want their kids to eat their broccoli and eat their vegetables, but then moms themselves don’t need those things. So, it’s kind of hard to expect kids to do something that you’re not showing them you do too.
So, I’m a big fan. Obviously, my girls are in the kitchen with me all of the time and I find they’re not as picky simply because we all just eat the same thing. There’s not two meals made. I don’t eat something different for breakfast. We all eat the same thing.
That’s a problem thing. Just on a side note, for picky eating, picky eating is one of those things that means different things to so many people. Like: “Oh my child doesn’t like tomatoes. They’re picky”.
Sometimes kids really genuinely are very picky, and it goes along with being very anxious child. A lot of it is really about this anxiety that they have in their head, but you can see that they’re really traumatized about what you have given them.
So picky eating is a big spectrum. I know it’s not the topic of today’s conversation. Now we’re getting excited,
But it is a good topic! And you know what? One thing to remember too with moms is that we don’t like everything either. So, we can’t expect kids to like absolutely everything.
Yes, that’s very true.
Flavor preference too, right? So, I guess back on topic here, with the holidays coming up, I did want to touch on fat loss and the best practice you can kind of use to manage it.
However, I also want people to understand that there is normally more going on in your body than just calories in and calories out, which is what we’re going to talk about today.
So, I’m sure you’ve all heard of the hormone insulin. Most likely you’re thinking of diabetes right now, and that’s the cornerstone hormone relating to diabetes. But it’s also so much more.
In short, insulin is one of the main hormones that helps dictate fat storage, which means that if your goals are weight-loss based, learning the best way to manage it is crucial.
Even from a nonfat, nonfat loss perspective, you do want to be able to control your insulin levels to be able to thrive energy-wise. But I think this is probably where I’m going to turn it over to you.
So, why don’t we start with the basics and you can give everyone kind of an overview of what insulin is at its most basic level.
Okay, so insulin is a hormone and it’s very useful.
You’re right, there’s two types of diabetes. People who have what we call type one diabetes, people who have diabetes from childhood, they cannot make insulin.
Now, before we could give people insulin, before we discovered how to do that, those people died of malnutrition. They just couldn’t metabolize carbohydrates. Unless they were fortunate enough to realize that they could eat other things other than carbohydrates. Meaning, fats and proteins.
Sadly, people who didn’t have insulin died.
So, I guess the next question is what are carbohydrates? We all know what carbs are. We’re thinking pasta, we’re thinking red.
They are yummy!
And I think it’s interesting that it’s human condition is to seek out carbohydrates because they give us this sugar rush. You can either get a long chain carbohydrate, which we all know as starch or we can have sugars.
So, you know, thinking about table sugar, which is sucrose or glucose. We’ve all heard of glucose and what happens is we eat our carbohydrates. That pushes our sugar levels up, and high glucose levels in our body is actually really very toxic.
We don’t want it really, really high levels of glucose. And if you look at people who have diabetes, they get all kinds of problems.
Diabetes is this problem with being able to metabolize glucose properly. They have very high level both of glucose and that leads to all kinds of problems like blindness and problems with their livers. Sort of problems with their kidneys.
And their limbs.
Exactly. I want to say limbs. We don’t want these high sugar levels. What happens is our pancreas secretes this hormone called insulin. And what insulin does is basically takes those high sugar levels in our blood and puts it where we want to use it, which is our muscles and our cells.
And so, we want to use insulin and that’s problem
How the system should work is that we eat something, then we start metabolizing it and then we go off and do something. We store all that energy and then we go; “okay, so now I need some more energy” and we access that energy. And then we repeat that.
So, we eat something, we store energy, we use the energy, we eat, we store, we use.
We eat, we store, we use... or we should. This is where the trouble starts when managing insulin levels! #fitasamamabear #healthpodcast #healthytips #insulincontrol #weightloss #weightlosstips Click To Tweet
But what happens now, what we’re seeing a lot is that people are eating for more in the way of carbohydrates than previously and far more frequently.
And what’s happening is that we’re eating and storing but we’re not getting to using the energy and then eating again and we’re storing again.
We’re eating again and we’re storing again. And fat storage, the main player in that is the insulin. And what your insulin is doing is storing your glucose.
It’s saying, “we need to store, we need store, we need to store”. And it stores glucose in different areas.
So, for example, it can store it in your liver and then your muscle and then it’s not storing it in your fat. So if you’ve got high levels of insulin, your body’s going let’s store fat, let’s store fat. And clearly this is not a great place to be, particularly if you want to lose weight.
So, we have to do things to get our insulin levels down. And you know, weight loss is a big, complicated discussion. There’s lots of reasons why people get overweight, but insulin is one of the big players.
And if you can really get your mind wrapped around this, you can work out, have wheat in such a way, your insulin levels are always raised.
So how would you best manage insulin for fat loss specifically?
Is it eating less carbohydrates or using more energy? Is it a combo of both?
It is a combination of both. I think what you want to do is know that different people do metabolize insulin in different ways. So, it is very, very individual.
For example, we have another enzyme called amylase and that helps us to break down things as well. And some people would have different kinds of amylase. So for some people eating a potato is like eating a potato. But for some people it’s like eating two potatoes and there’s nothing you can really do about that.
Interesting. I didn’t realize that that broke down differently.
Like different contributions and the way where our bodies are so complicated and so amazing.
I don’t think we’re grateful enough for our bodies. I remember when I was at university, we had a teacher who used to say, you might be clever but you’re not as clever as your kidneys. And it’s true.
My big moment was learning about epigenetics. For some reason this was mind blowing to me, that we can turn genes on and off.
Yeah, it does.
That, that’s so cool to me.
And we do all of these things without thinking. Just like metabolizing carbohydrates, we’re doing this, we’re doing that, whereas we’re just not even thinking about it. So absolutely incredible system.
I think that leads to just, knowing you can have a change here and a change here and different changes and that just means that we process things in different ways.
So, I think it’s really true that some people can eat more carbohydrates than others and not get affected by it.
But what’s really important to you is you and your journey and how many carbohydrates you can eat, is a lot of trial and error. I found a lot of trial and error.
But I think the best thing to think about is cutting out refined carbohydrates. So, if we think about this, system that I told you about: you get your insulin and your insulin goes up, your insulin will go up quickly.
Thinking about the mountains, the Rockies, but thinking about the profile that looks like the Rockies, Oh, it will go up smoothly now.
I don’t know Canada. So I don’t know where you have rolling Hills. You don’t want your insulin to go way up. It’s going to go up too high.
You want it to go up gently and not really push about fresh holds that we can’t see.
So, you don’t want it to spike?
Yeah. You don’t want that, and what you don’t want is the glucose spikes. So different things will affect your insulin.
For example, proteins can affect your insulin, but the main thing is glucose and the way we absorb carbohydrates. If we have processed carbohydrates, like a sugar or a flour, it’s already been processed a lot and a lot of that work has been done for us.
If you think about how flour is made and you think about a corn of wheat, I don’t know, do you have spelt there? What we do so look at spelt and that’s basically unprocessed flour and you look at it and it looks very, very different from regular flour doesn’t it?
Because you know the processing has done that. Now if we eat spelt, our bodies have got to do all that and that glucose which is contained in site is going to be released in a much smaller way and you’re going to have a much smaller insulin spike spike than if you eat that sugar, that flour.
If you eat the flour, it kind of hits your stomach and your insulin, your sugar levels go way high and it’s the same with things like sugary drinks. It’s strictly sugars and one of the worst, worst vendors because there’s nothing else there, just sugar and water. There’s nothing to process.
Right. I think what you’re saying is the longer it takes your body to process something, the slower that release that spike is going to be. Whereas if your body has to do zero work, you’re just going to spike and crash.
Yes. You hear a lot of people say cut out sugar and flour and this is what they’re talking about. This is the reason behind why you should cut sugar.
So, if you think about apple juice, people have this slight misconception that fruit juice is healthy for you and it is not. It’s essentially sugars and water. Because if you think about eating an apple, you’re eating all the other nutrients and the fiber that goes in there already has to do the work to get the glucose out of that Apple or the fructose and think you have Apple juice, somebody else has done all that work for you and all you’re doing is drinking a sugary or sugary liquid.
What happens in the body when you do have those really, really high spikes and crashes?
Oh well that’s an interesting question.
If you have nothing in each other, and I remember this when I was working in a busy hospital and we never had time for breaks. You know what they do in hospitals, everybody kindly brings in chocolates.
And that is very kind. But the problem is you eat those chocolates and it’s basically just sugar. Your sugar levels go up and your body thinks I’m getting ready to process all this food. Unfortunately the rest of the foods doesn’t arrive. You’ve just got the sugar.
And what it does is it works so hard that actually your glucose levels go down and you end up actually feeling hungry. Or in my case, I felt super sick and learned that eating chocolates for lunch was not a great idea. And I was always super grateful to people who brought in a huge basket of fruit because it was so much better, you had something to nourish you.
Yeah, but it’s surprising few and far between. It was not very often that people bought in fruit.
I have a lot of nurse coworkers, sorry, a lot of nurse friends and it’s a doughnut thing. Everyone’s always bringing in donuts just hurts my head.
So, the thing about donuts is that, and again, I think this is another misconception, people think about flour. So, you think, “okay, donut has got sugar in it, but it’s got flour on it”. It’s a bit like red. T
he problem with bread and flour is it gets broken down into sugar. So it’s essentially the same thing. So, it doesn’t really matter when people do think that bread is also great and it’s fine to eat bread. Well it’s fine to eat in moderation, but a lot of bread is going to have the same response instead of pushing your glucose levels out.
And would you say it’s better if your going to eat bread or if you’re going to eat something that is somewhat processed to have something with it to help slow down the release? To actually give your body something to do? Say you had avocado on your toast or yes. You want to do that?
Absolutely. And this is, one of the things that I talked to my clients about. Because one of the interesting things is that if you eat chocolate, it’s actually better and going to be healthy for you. I’m not talking about processed sweet chocolate with all the sugar added. I’m talking about, you know like 70 or 80% cocoa solids.
85 is my favorite!
Square of 85 a day and it’s delicious.
But what I recommend people do is have that immediately after dinner rather than have it afterwards.
Because if you have it right after, it still contains sugar but not as much shit. It’s still going to give you an extra little rise. So, thinking about all those peaks, all those Rocky mountains, the chocolate will still give you a peak but then it’s gone.
Excellent. I have mine after lunch, so I feel really good now.
That’s nothing. It doesn’t really matter. But you’ll absolutely want to be eating things together and so if you’ve got kids don’t won’t know if they’re allowed to have some candy.
The best thing is to have that candy with sort of with a meal or have it as a set fruit snack for two reasons: partly it’s going to make the children hungry by giving them just sugar by themselves. If you aren’t going to have a fruit juice as a treat, I would say think about the portion size and think a small glass and perhaps we have Apple juice with water for a treat.
So, you’ve watered it down.
Too funny. We use pomegranate. My daughter’s likes “fancy drinks”. So, whenever we’re having a drink on a weekend, we’ll make them one with a tablespoon of pomegranate juice and water and put a lemon or put more like fruit slices in it. And that’s it. The biggest excitement of life.
We get pomegranates around here, but I’ve never seen pomegranate juice made from my pomegranate.
Yup. It actually tastes really, really good to be honest.
Basically, the goal from a weight loss perspective and just an energy perspective to me is to keep those spikes to a minimum. So, you want to keep stable levels throughout the day.
That’s the purpose. What you don’t want to be doing is going above and beyond that threshold you see because we don’t know. But then there’s other things that you can do.
So, for example, intermittent fasting is another is another tool in our toolbox. People think, “Oh my goodness, I’m going to starve myself and I’m never going to be able to function” and that’s not true.
I would say play around with it and see what happens. I would recommend that everybody has at least a 12 hour fast overnight. So you finish your dinner and don’t eat after dinner and then you know, allow your body to go to sleep. If you could make it 14 hours even better.
I know that with routines it can be tricky and sometimes you can just extend that. Now fostering is a big topic so I won’t go into it, but what you’re essentially doing is allowing your body to reduce your insulin levels and access it on its own and access its own energy supplies. It’s going to be doing that when you fast.
I know you have a podcast I believe on fasting and I do too. So, I’m going to link to both of those in the show notes for anyone who wants more information about intermittent fasting because I know it’s something, we both absolutely love.
I’ve been using fasting for about eight or nine years now and it’s amazing. I honestly nothing but awesome things to say about it mainly because I find it just helps your body reset and gets everything in working order. I love it.
One of the things I would say is if you get carbohydrate cravings, I noticed people seem to have a craving for a particular thing. I might be pasta or bread, that’s often a sign that you are eating more carbohydrates than you should. That your body is really dependent on that sugar rush because what you’re really craving.
Now there are different ways of doing this, when I work with my clients, what I tend to recommend is that they reduce the amount of carbohydrates that they’re eating before they add in intermittent fasting. Because if you add in fasting right at the beginning and you’re having carb cravings, you’re going to find that difficult.
That’s a really good tip. I hadn’t thought about that actually, but it makes sense. Because I think when I started intermittent fasting, I was already carb cycling. I eat a little bit more carbs on days I work out and that just a little bit last on days that I don’t.
And so, that would make a little bit of sense. Neat. That’s a really neat fact actually. Now, what about foods that help lower insulin? What kinds of foods help lower your insulin levels?
They don’t exactly help you lower them, but what they do is stop you from having high insulin. If that makes sense.
What I’m all about is vegetables. What we didn’t really talk about was carbohydrates and thinking about the different types of carbohydrates.
What you really want to be going for are unrefined carbohydrates, which are commonly called vegetables essentially. So, vegetables and things like whole grains are another source of carbohydrates that are unrefined.
It’s partly healthy eating and it’s partly weight loss and I see so many people say cut out sugar and flour, which is true, and I think that is good advice.
But I think another big bit of advice that is missing, is all about the vegetables and there’s so much research that shows that vegetables and fiber of good for us, they’re crucial.
They’re totally crucial!
On top of that, you need to think about your fat content as well. Fat is one of those, it’s not really controversial in that I think the evidence is quite clear. But you know, when you talk to different people, different people say different things.
Me, the only real research that we have on good fats is the premed one on extroverted olive oil. And I don’t know if you’ve heard of the pre-med study.
I haven’t, but I’m going to just make a note right now so that we link to it in the show notes. Send it my way so that way I can link it for everyone.
So, what they did in the study was that they looked at the Mediterranean style diet. And just to clarify what Mediterranean style diet is, you might think it’s lots of pastor and pizza and rice, but unfortunately, well, fortunately it’s not.
It’s lots of fruits and vegetables and lots of variety. It’s things like nuts and seeds and good quality proteins, not huge amounts of protein.
And they had three arms of this they had some people who had a low-fat diet and then two arms of the Mediterranean style diet, either nuts or extra Virgin olive oil.
And the people in the Mediterranean style diet, they were all overweight people. They actually lost weight and you know they had other health benefits too.
Fats are another really interesting thing and we have been told this lie. It was a total lie. We were given a lot of misinformation about low fat diets. Actually, we’re seeing now that fats don’t make us fat. Extra Virgin olive oil has a lot of things that protect us and give us health benefits.
I totally want to put that on a shirt: “fat doesn’t make us fat”.
Yeah, exactly. Everyone tries to go low fat in order to lose weight and yet we have a high obesity rates. It’s carbohydrates that make us fat because they get metabolized and stored as fat.
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Eating fats is good because the fat itself is good, but also it helps you feel full up. So, what I love having is a big salad for lunch, lots of vegetables and splurge it with extra Virgin olive oil.
Extra Virgin olive oil has a beautiful taste. It’s sort of peppery and, it’s also really versatile. You can make it into a salad dressing, you can make it into pesto sauce, you can make it into anything. So, it’s a really good way to just bury the flavor.
And healthy fats just help you feel full. I sometimes feel that if I just eat a few lettuce leaves, I feel a bit like, yeah, I haven’t really eaten. But if I eat a salad with extra Virgin olive oil or whatever fat you choose, you do feel filled up and you think I’ve had a satisfying meal now
I’m the exact same way. I love fats, I really do. I think I can eat nuts and seeds and avocados and olive oil just all the time. But it makes a really big difference when you’re eating plant based to feel full is all those things, I find keeping far more full.
They’re just, they’re a really, really good addition.
So, let’s just go backtrack a little bit and talk about carbohydrates and veggies and specifically which ones you should be eating.
So, when we’re looking at whole grains, does that include things labeled like whole grain bread or should we just eat the actual grain? I just want to be really clear on that.
So, the labeling can be very confusing. When we have whole grains, we’re talking about the actual grain. Like spelt and not spelt flour that has then been whisked off and turned it flat because there’s not really a whole grain anymore.
The actual grain. And do you know what? It’s so easy to prepare. And another thing I totally love is lentils and legumes as well, which are another part of extra yummy. But super good.
They contain some plant proteins, but also, they contain carbohydrates as well. So it’s still giving you those carbohydrates. But we have this idea that we only get carbohydrates from pasta and bread.
It’s not true. I have this quote: “there’s no such thing as a superfood because ALL vegetables are super foods”. And that I think sums it up.
I was, I was talking to someone about this a little while ago about how superfood is technically a made-up term. It’s a marketing term because that’s true. All plant-based vegetables products that have an insane amount of benefits to them. So technically they all fall under the superfood category.
Yes. They’re all superfoods.
The other thread that we haven’t talked about, well we talked about hormones, but there’s another big hormone that is cortisol. With weight loss, cortisol is the one that we push up when we get stressed and when we don’t sleep. So, exercise and mindfulness would help to bring that down.
So that was actually going to be where I was going to lead this. I wanted to talk about how your sleep can affect your insulin levels.
Because a lot of the time we focus on what we eat though maybe not as much as we should. But people overlook sleep so much when it comes to stress management and when it comes to weight loss. And I wanted to just chat about how sleep can also affect insulin levels, which in turn can affect your weight.
Yes, yes, you’re right. And you know, one of the reasons is that if we’re sleep deprived, there’ve been studies that showed that basically we get up and we eat more. You have that kind of comfort food.
And I have noticed that when I have a sleepless night. One time, we were having porridge for breakfast, which you guys call oatmeal. I would normally have a bowl for breakfast and one day I was really tired, and I think my daughter handed me her bowl of porridge that she didn’t want.
Sweet. And I just kind of ate it and then stopped halfway through. What am I doing? Why am I eating this mindlessly? I’m just tired. I’m not really awake. It’s just a comfort thing.
But it was really interesting to notice. If we don’t sleep well, well see it has so many benefits. The research behind sleep is super interesting as well. In the last 10-15 years we’ve really worked out what’s going on. I say we, not me.
A lot of what’s going on when we’re sleeping and how we’re more productive if we sleep. We’re more healthy and our bodies fix themselves. We’re at less risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and we are less likely to put on weight. It even helps us lose weight because of things like our insulin levels and not overeating.
And I think just sleep starts the cycle. So, if you don’t sleep well and then you’re a bit more mindless to the day and you’re probably grabbing comfort foods or more processed foods.
Then at three o’clock you haven’t slept, and you’ve just eaten a bunch of crap so you’re tired again and you reach for a coffee or a doughnut. Or some sort of sugary rush to get you through the rest of your Workday. And then it just creates this, the cycle.
A lot of people also think; “Oh, I’m too tired to go and exercise”. And I think that’s the wrong way round. I think when I’m tired, I go, “what? I’m going to go and exercise because it gives me energy”. And my husband’s knows if I’m grumpy. He’s like, “get out of here and go swimming”.
Mine says the same thing! For me whenever I’m a grump, it’s: “do you need to go run or lift?”. Do you need to go do something? You need to go exercise.
Exactly. And so, I think it’s really sad when people say, “I can’t exercise because I’m too tired”. And it’s, it’s the exact opposite when you’re tired. Go and exercise and that will give you the energy.
It’s a different kind of tired that you feel when you’ve been exercising. There’s a difference between tired and apathetic and I can’t do anything too tired and energized and I can take on the world that fixing populace.
With exercise, how does it affect your insulin levels?
It does reduce your insulin levels. So, you’ll have a less high peak. That is one thing that will reduce your insulin levels.
So, if we’re looking from a fat loss perspective, we want to make sure that we don’t consume too many carbs, too many processed carbohydrates. You’ll go above your threshold.
We want to exercise so that we use the carbohydrates and the energy that we’ve taken in and we want to sleep properly so that our body can keep its own cycle to make all of those things work.
Yes, and it’s interesting talking about exercise. A lot of people think that exercise is the number one thing they need to do to lose weight.
I love exercise, don’t get me wrong, but it really isn’t the biggest part of weight loss at all.
And I’m not saying I don’t recommend people exercise. I recommend everybody do exercise. But if you’re looking for weight loss, you need to look to your nutrition. It’s like 85% nutrition and it depends who you read, but between 85 and 90% which translates as five to 15% exercise.
Now, exercise is a good adjunct to weight loss, so it does help you, but really, it’s about being fit and feeling fabulous. And you know it’s about giving your muscles strength and your bones strength and your heart strength. That’s where the fitness comes in. You get all those health benefits.
I couldn’t agree more on that one, but it’s funny because every, the first place everyone starts is they start exercising to lose weight. Which again is great. You still should exercise, always exercise, but it’s just not the biggest component of strict weight loss.
It’s fine to start exercising, but the bottom line is you have to be prepared to change your diet and you don’t have to do it in a way that you don’t like.
I think you know it can be easy and fun and you can find amazing, nutritious, healthy foods. If you’re eating loads and loads of carbohydrates and the American diet, they recognized the typical American diet get 60% of its calories from carbohydrates, which is super high.
You have to reduce that.
That is a lot. I don’t know what Canada is up to. I honestly stopped looking. That sounds terrible. I know what the recommended guidelines were because at one point in we were six to eight servings of carb and three servings of dairy. And it was just, it was alarming.
I was like “I quit”. So, I don’t even know our guidelines anymore.
That’s not the guidelines, that’s what people eat.
So, they’re getting 60% of their calories from carbohydrates that’s much, much lower. And the issue that comes with that too is a lot of the time those aren’t quality carbohydrates.
The issue that comes with that too is a lot of the time they’re quality carbohydrates. They’re not nutritionally dense carbs. They can be reduced.
Yes, exactly. And if you replace them with things like vegetables, and I have seen this actually, that you start craving healthy foods. If you have a carbohydrate craving, which I’ve said, I think that’s often an indication that you’re eating too many carbs.
But when you change your diet and replace those carbs with healthy carbs, so those unrefined carbs, healthy carbs, you get to the stage where you think, Oh, I want to eat something, what is it?
I want a really lovely, tasty salad or vegetables. And you get to the stage where you’re offered carbohydrates and you say, “okay, well I’ll try a little bit”. But you know, actually it isn’t giving me that thing that I want.
I find for me personally and if I do go that route and that’s what I end up choosing, I never feel good after.
Over the years it’s just made it pointless to choose that because I’m not going to feel good. So, I’d rather eat something that I enjoy and then afterwards I’m like, “that was amazing”. I have some energy, but I think that’s a self awareness step isn’t it?
Isis. That happens and a lot of people aren’t aware of that. What they get is that instant gratification of biting into accustomed donuts or something and that feels amazing and then they don’t listen to how they feel.
They don’t notice how they feel afterwards, which is not full of energy and not feeling fabulous, which is what you do feel when you fill up on, you know, good, healthy things. I think.
You’re right. I think that took me a long time to change. But I am a lot more intuitive now.
But your taste buds do shift. I’d say it probably takes two weeks.
Only two? I was going to say three to four.
You’d regenerate your taste buds every couple of weeks. And this is another interesting point about: if you’ve got kids and you’re feeding them packaged foods, because all of those packaged foods are full of sugar. And all the nasties as well.
Sugar and salt, those two things. If you’re trying to get your kids to eat fruit and vegetables and you’re feeding them packaged foods, those fruits and vegetables, they pale in comparison.
They’re like, I can taste them.
Here’s an experiment I did one Easter. So we have chocolate. And I had some beautiful strawberries, but with strawberry this beautiful flavor bursts in your mouth.
And then I had some chocolate because it was Easter and it was this super, super sweet flavor.
And instead of washing out my mouth, I had another strawberry. This time the strawberry was sour and disappointing. They were the same berries, but my taste buds have all that sugar, they just can’t taste it.
So, if you reduce the amount of packaged foods you give to your kids, they’re more likely to eat fruit and vegetables because they can taste them because they get used to them and they get into this habit of, Oh, can I have an Apple? Can I have a pear?
Those are my girls.
And this sounds so terrible, but one of the things that drives me nuts is we go to the playground and you see, all of these boxes of tidbits, which are mini donuts here in Canada, sitting on strollers.
All I think about is how do you expect kids to want broccoli or to want carrots or whatever you choose after having Timbits 20 minutes ago? You wouldn’t want to; you’d still want more Timbits so what are you expecting from them? But we expect our kids to want to eat all these vegetables. And the truth is, their palettes have changed so much from those processed foods that they’re not going to.
Yeah. But even above that, not just even the pallets. I think it’s normal for them to like sugar. They all sugar seeking missiles.
And you think that’s kind of neat. That’s what we’re evolutionary designed for is to go and look for the fruit. But in that day, it was the fruit that we were looking for and we didn’t have open access to all of these processed foods that we didn’t have to work to get.
So, I think it is perfectly normal for both adults and kids to want to eat vast quantities of sugar. It’s just that that’s not good for us. And we have to teach ourselves and our kids not to do that.
I like that thought. That’s kind of neat. Interesting.
Teaching your kids healthy eating is like teaching them to ride a bicycle. It’s not something that occurs naturally to people.
We like broccoli and healthy foods and I have four kids. If I were to ask them what they want to eat, they would like cake and biscuits and things like that. But they don’t eat that, and they do reach for the apples and pears because I’ve trained them and because they know you’re not going to get the sugar and the candy the whole time.
No, it’s true though.
But it’s training. It’s actually training.
That makes sense. And that’s true. It’s because I eat like that. My girls are just accustomed to eating the exact same way I eat, and we don’t eat cookies for breakfast all the time.
So, when they do ask for something, my daughter’s really funny, she’s four and so my husband and I eat very differently.
He eats a very standard diet of crap food. He’ll eat when I make it, but outside of what I make them it’s crap. Whereas my girls obviously they are around me a lot more and so they pick up on things I say, but my husband will cut a pepper or something for her and she’ll say, “we need something with that to stabilize. We should have some almonds”.
So, her solution is always going for almonds or avocado or it’s hilarious to watch her. And every time my husband’s like really though?
But it’s because that’s just how our snacks have been for the last four years as we don’t normally have just one thing. We have something with another thing.
When she’s 18 that’s how she’s going to be eating. And I think that is tricky and truly our goal as parents, to teach our children healthy eating when they leave home.
You know what we don’t want? Is them eating really healthily and then the minute they leave home, they’re eating junk food.
Yeah, to get it out of their system because they were so deprived because of it. So, I think literally, you’re right, it is training. It’s just day in, day out, reinforcing habits. That’s just what we grab. Oh, I love that thought. Well I suppose we should wrap it up before we turn this podcast into how kids can eat healthy.
I hope you don’t feel like your brain is exploding. It always sounds like a lot of information whenever someone gets into the insulin explanation to me.
But the truth is living a healthy lifestyle overall is what’s going to help manage your insulin levels and your fat loss goals. So, thank you very much for jumping onto the podcast with me today. It’s always fun to pick someone’s brain for a little bit.
And for anyone who wants to connect with Dr. Orlena to learn more but awesome facts or how to reach out to her personally, I’m going to link all of her social channels in my show notes and if you just want to let me know what your, the main place you want to direct people to, if they have questions, that would be awesome. Is that your Facebook page?
I think probably my website, which is drorlena.com and that’s where I do all my things.
Perfect. And go check out her podcasts because they are fantastic and really fun to listen to on dog walks. That’s when I’ve been listening to all and catching up on all of my podcasts.
I think I’ve had your voice in my ear for the last week. It’s been kind of funny as I play catch up, but it’s been really hilarious actually. You have some amazing podcasts, so for anyone who needs something to listen to you head over and check out her podcast.
Once again, I can’t thank everyone enough for listening into the episode today. We’re coming into a fun season, so I hope that we’ve given you something to chew on.
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