Reigning diets

Weight loss diets are endless and typically unsuccessful longterm, but that doesn’t stop the vast majority of chronic dieters to try the latest. Here’s a brief glimpse into what’s going on now.

  • 16:8 – this is a type of fasting. For 16 hours one fasts but during the remaining 8 hours, you can eat what you like. There’s legitimate science to “fasting” overnight. But eating “whatever” one wants can spell trouble. My best tip: leave a minimum of 12 hours between your last meal of the day and breakfast. And don’t skip breakfast.
  • Nordic – while not a weight loss plan, people are using it as such. It’s positively compared to the Mediterranean diet: more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, seafood and canola oil (instead of olive oil). Home cooked meals are promoted. The lifestyle suggestions “lagom” or not too little – not too much. My best tip: plants should take up a majority of space on your plate. Use a smaller plate.
  • Military – has nothing to do with the military. Ten pound weight loss is promised in a week. Highly prescriptive “diet” foods at about 1100 calories daily. My best tip: Rapid weight loss ALWAYS results in rapid regain; so aim for a reasonable weekly loss. Increase your activity level, plan your produce and eat foods you enjoy!

Weight loss  or weight management is challenging. Don’t make it more so by following an unsustainable plan. Be sane to be well,




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Transit time

Life moves at a pretty fast pace. Though it looks like we’re slowing down in one area –  how long it takes for food to travel from your mouth out?

The term is whole gut transit time. We know too fast is bad  (diarrhea) and too slow is bad (constipation) so let’s talk about what’s “just right” in travel time.

First, we should remember that each of us is unique so what’s normal for one person may be out of the norm for the next. Second, remember babies  have a pretty rapid transit time and that’s normal; as we age, the gut slows down and that’s normal too. But let’s look beyond.

Whole gut transit time is the sum of stomach emptying time, small intestine travel time and large intestine travel time.

We like food to remain in our stomachs for awhile because that gives us a feeling of fullness. Average time for the stomach to empty is between 4 and 6 hours. Fiber is a perfect way to influence that. Plant foods remain in the stomach while our body tries to figure out what to do with it. Plants fibers are essentially unchanged in the stomach.

In the small intestine, we like the food mass to move at a pace that allows for final digestion and nutrient absorption; this will take about 5 hours on average. And then on to the all important large intestine or colon. The range for fecal matter transit is anywhere from 10 – 59 hours. So, a meal makes it out in 1 – 3 days.

And it’s that last segment that concerns researchers. The journal Nature Microbiology published a study suggesting that harmful break down products that linger in the colon are potentially harmful. These compounds may damage the colon’s inner lining.

So, to achieve “just right” transit time, prevent constipation. More plant foods, more water and more exercise will help your gut, to be well,




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