Myths about Food Busy Minds Should Know

Have you ever struggled with maintaining your high energy and focus?  One minute you’re on task, ambitious, and getting a ton done. Then you find your focus quickly fades and you’re in a slump wondering what the heck happened?

There are many reasons why busy minded people crash and burn.  Some reasons may be because they don’t drink enough water, or they aren’t exercising enough.  And often the culprit could be the fact that they simply take way too much on as their driven by doing something new, something different, and rushing…which triggers pumping adrenaline and blood into their brain, as if a drug, giving them a temporary fix.  Short term this seems to work yet in the long run it does much more damage than good.

Now in this article I want to talk about how food affects Busy Minds.  My experience is that Busy Minds struggle in three areas. 

First of all they seem to be food sensitive (and actually have heightened sensitivities in several other areas too: 

Emotionally, with sound, with movement and distractions, with smells, and with touch for example.  Often they are affected by dairy, red dyes in food, soda pop, and more.)

Secondly, they often drink excessive amounts of caffeine.

Caffeine seems to help Busy Minds focus and kick in the energy levels.  However their does seem to be a point where this backfires.

If you are a heavy caffeine user, eliminate drinking caffeine when you notice symptoms of high blood sugar;

–         Headaches

–         Difficulty concentrating

–         Blurred vision

–         Frequent urination

–         Fatigue (weak, tired feeling)

–         Brain fogginess

–         Intestinal bloating

–         Sleepiness

–         Increased blood pressure

–         Depression

–         Increased fat storage and weight

–         Increased triglycerides

–         Insulin resistance

Note: Also shakes and rapid heartbeat could mean too much caffeine and not enough protein.

When blood sugar is high the breakdown products of caffeine will tend to increase insulin levels making matters worse.  Weight problems are common. Also the traditional eating habits of Americans; i.e. Coffee and simple carbohydrates/sweets (cookies, cake, bread, pastry) has never been a good idea.  Read more about this below.

A good solution to minimize the caffeine consumption is to drink at least 64 ounces (five to six 12 oz glasses) of pure water per day. Drinking 2-3 cups in the morning for most people does not cause adverse affects.

Third, they can become addicted to carbohydrates.  Why? 

Because sugar can cause a short term “head rush”, that offers a boost of energy that Busy Minds love…at first that is.  Later, it comes with big energy depletion, foggy head, mood swings, and worse, poor health and issues like high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

Myth #1: Foods high in sugar give me more energy and helps me think better?

Truth:  It may enable you to feel a surge of energy and focus for a short period of time, however it also causes you to GET FAT and NOT LOSE WEIGHT.

Of course, we all need a certain amount of carbohydrates in our diet. The body requires a continual intake of carbohydrates to feed the brain, which uses glucose (a form of sugar) as its primary energy source. Any meal or snack high in carbohydrates will generate a rapid rise in blood glucose.  Yet, to adjust for this rapid rise, the pancreas secretes the hormone insulin into the bloodstream to lower the levels of blood glucose.

This process causes an Inability to Lose Weight.  Increased insulin levels tell the body to store carbohydrates as fat, and they also tell it not to release any stored fat. This makes it impossible for you to use your own stored body fat for energy. So the excess carbohydrates in your diet not only make you fat, they make sure you stay fat.

Insulin also causes hunger. As blood sugar increases following a carbohydrate meal, insulin rises with the eventual result of lower blood sugar. This results in desiring to eat more at a meal and hunger again often only a couple of hours (or less) after the meal.  Cravings, usually for sweets, are common, leading to snacking.

Not eating makes you feel ravenous shaky, moody and ready to “crash.” If the problem is chronic, you never get rid of that extra stored fat, and your energy is adversely affected.

Myth #2 Carbohydrates are the good guys of nutrition, and if we eat large amounts of them there will be no heart disease and no obesity.

Under such guidance, Americans are gobbling breads, cereals, and pastas thinking they are maintaining good health and have more energy.  Yet they are misled when trying desperately to reach the 80 to 85 percent of total calories advocated by the high-carb extremists.

The Truth:  People are eating less fat and getting fatter!

Eating fat does not make you fat. It’s your body’s response to excess calories and carbohydrates in your diet that makes you fat. It’s important to note that your body has a limited capacity to store excess carbohydrates, and it can easily convert those excess carbohydrates into excess body fat. 

Food labels that say, “No fat”, yet are carbohydrates, like simple sugars; ie candy, misinform the nutritionally uneducated public through marketing hype

Does this sound familiar?

The best suggestion for anyone wanting to burn more fats and while feeding the brain is to moderate the insulin response by limiting (ideally, eliminating) the intake of refined sugars, and keeping all other carbohydrate intake to about 40% of the diet.

If you’re experiencing any of the following after eating a meal, the culprit could be eating too many carbohydrates like pasta, potatoes, and simple sugars, as well as consuming sugar dense alcoholic beverages.

Foods that raise blood sugar quickly are many breakfast cereals, white rice, potatoes, fruit, cookies, snacks, sugar rich desserts, breads.

Let’s explore these different food types in further detail. Rice and potatoes have high Glycemic indexes. White rice’s Glycemic index is higher than brown rice. Similarly, white potatoes tend to have a higher Glycemic index than red.

Breads, especially white bread have a high Glycemic index. As a thumb rule, products made of finely ground flours tend to have a high Glycemic index. Baguettes, white breads, French bread, bagels, rye bread have high Glycemic index.

Many breakfast cereals are among foods that raise blood sugar quickly.

Commercially available snacks, cookies and carbonated drinks contain high levels of sugar. Donuts, candies, corn chips, jelly beans, vanilla wafers and pretzels, have high Glycemic index. Fruits can be found on both ends of the Glycemic index scale, so read more to find out which ones are better for you.

For more information on Glycemic index, print out the Glycemic index published by the University of Wisconsin; Center for Integrated Medicine.

Last but far from least on this topic, realize that a Busy Mind overeats and eats more carbohydrates than usual when under stress.  Coping with stress in healthy ways will help you alleviate symptoms of stress in the future, and avoid creating significant health problems over time, and, ironically, more stress.

So it is important, especially for Busy Minds, to take necessary steps to better manage your stress — related to lower your high blood sugar.

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This article was written by Lori Bestler-Strategic Mind Coach and Award Winning Motivational Speaker with MindScapes Unlimited Mind Coaching Center in Lino Lakes MN.

Lori Bestler specializes in working with high level entrepreneurs and independent business professionals with busy minds. Stress, anxiety, lack of focus and follow through, procrastination and paralyzing negative thinking are common problems. Lori has helped thousands of individuals live the life they desire most. For a NO COST “Rapid Change” Consultation contact Lori at . And join our email list for a FREE “Be Revived and Energized 10 minute MP3 download and Monthly Newsletter.