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Diet foods and drinks are manipulating your brain and making you fatter

Diet foods and drinks are manipulating your brain and making you fatter
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It’s time to stop thinking diet sodas and other low calorie drinks are better for you than their real deal counterparts. Why, you may be asking? It’s no surprise that diet beverages contain ingredients that are less than admirable and even chemically generated in some instances. Yet so many people still consume these low-calorie drinks on the daily, thinking that they’re curbing their sweet tooth urges and other food-related desires.

Little do they know, by indulging in said beverages, they’re heightening their chances at gaining weight, enhancing their sweet tooth cravings, and even put themselves at a higher risk for acquiring diabetes.

These diet foods and drinks are actually manipulating our brains into thinking it needs to burn more energy and quickly. Recent studies have shown that the body has evolved in such a way that when it has something sweet, it’s triggered into burning up those calories and using the energy to do so because in the case of nature, the sweeter the substance, the more energy it contains.

However, that’s not how diet sodas and low-cal drinks work. You’re not actually curbing your appetite or crushing that sugar craving my partaking in the ‘diet’ label fad. Then you have to take into consideration that not all diet products taste sweet, which further confuses the brain. By consuming these products, our brains are triggered into thinking there are fewer calories to burn than there actually are, thus slowing down your metabolic rate.

When your metabolism drops, it causes your body to store products that have been consumed but not properly metabolized as fat, a key finding of researchers at Yale University. Senior author and Professor Dana Small noted that not all calories are equal.

“A calorie is not a calorie. When sweet taste and energy are not matched, less energy is metabolized and inaccurate signals go to the brain,” Small said in an interview with The Sun.

Ultimately, this comes down to consumerism. Whatever is marketed and branded a certain way will be bought in the mindset that it will do as the package says. For instance, If a frozen meal is labeled “lean” or “smart”, you’re probably more likely to pick it up, thinking it’s the healthy choice.

The thing is, these diet foods are stuffed with massive amounts of sodium and other ingredients as fillers, that yes, you’re getting a lower calorie count, but as has been discussed, those calories aren’t reciprocated in the brain the way whole foods are, and your body can't properly break them down.

The next time you’re at the store or overhear a friend talking about diet foods, send some knowledge their way, and your own. Start reading labels, and remember: don’t believe everything commercialism tells you; they’re just trying to make a buck, not make you skinny.

Everything you need to know about buying the best running shoes

 Everything you need to know about buying the best running shoes
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In today’s world, it’s easy to get caught up in the commercial runaround as a consumer. There are brands doing up their marketing game like the world’s existence depends on it, while others let their products speak for themselves. How can you, as a consumer, know what’s what in a world dominated by dollar bills? Simple: research.

However, sometimes proper research is a forgotten piece of the puzzle. If you fall under this category, keep calm and read on.

First off, if you’re new to the running game, don’t think that you can’t get a decent pair of running shoes within your price range. Though the market may not want you to know this, money spent doesn’t define the quality of a shoe. I know, this may be a shocking revelation to some, especially when you’re in a domain you’re not familiar with. It’s easy to get transported into the mindset that more money solves your problems and answers your questions. However, with running shoes there’s much more to it than the price tag.

There are 3 different types of running shoes for 3 different types of running styles. First there’s the over pronated foot, making for an over-pronated shoe that offers motion control. This means the shoe itself emphasizes medial support by having dual density midsoles and foot bridges. This amount of support slows the rate of over pronation, giving you a smoother run. With over pronation, your foot and ankles struggle to stabilize the body, meaning shock isn't absorbed as effectively. These shoes slow down the rate of pronation with each step.

The second type of shoe is for the neutrally pronated foot, and offers stability. This type of footwear combines cushioning and stability features in its design, allowing for a smooth and supported run. Pronation is measured by how much your foot rolls inward with each step while in running motion, and if your foot rolls inward about 15 percent, then you’re likely a neutral runner.

This is the shoe for the supinated foot, offering up massive amounts of cushioning. This emphasized enhanced shock dispersion in the midsole of the shoe, and in the outsole design. For instance, this a shoe that will have gel, air or hydro flow in its heal to enhance the cushioning properties of this shoe. With this running style, over supination can occur, leading to injuries. This is very common in runners, and can be easily corrected by the proper footwear.

So, how can you tell which kind of runner you are without professional help? Take note of how your feet land when you’re on a run. Are you landing entirely flat-footed, or are is there inversion occurring? Do you feel that you’re feet are turning over 15 percent inward with each step? Taking note of these things on your own will save you time if you’re going into a store, and will lead to better understanding if you’re ordering online without professional help.

Now that we’ve covered the different types of shoes there are on the market, let’s talk about some quality picks for each variety of shoe type. You obviously have more than one choice here, or there wouldn't be rows upon rows of running shoes at sporting stores, and there definitely wouldn't be stores dedicated solely to running in general.

For the over pronated runner, there’s the Mizuno Wave Alchemy 12 ($115). This shoe offers lightness with each step that is hard to find with many other motion control shoes on the market, and also offers durability due to its carbon rubber outsoles. This shoe is also very breathable, making it the perfect year-round running shoe that will last.

 Everything you need to know about buying the best running shoes

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

For the neutral runner, a pair of Asics GT-2170 running shoes ($110) are perfect for your stability needs. This shoe contains gel in the heal to offer cushioning and support, offering a stable ride throughout your run. It’s consistent throughout the shoe, and the only thing you may not like about this shoe is its semi outdated look.

 Everything you need to know about buying the best running shoes

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

Lastly, there’s the shoe for the supinated foot. The need for shock dispersion while running makes the Nike Pegasus ($100) an ideal shoe for this type of runner. This shoe offers a substantial amount of impact protection while remaining lightweight. Because of it’s lightness, the Pegasus has unbeatable flexibility allowing for fast transitions.

 Everything you need to know about buying the best running shoes

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

If you have the time, it’s recommended to go into your local running store for a professional fitting. Even if you’re just going in to see what type of running style you have and the best type of shoe to fix it, they’ll be able to pinpoint all of the things you’ve been questioning about running and then some, all with a smile on their face! What else could you ask for?

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taylor.kamnetz
A freelancing twenty-something just trying to navigate the post-grad life. Avid writer, photographer and giggler. Follow me and let's talk about it.