KEVIN BURCIAGA

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Why Insulin Doesn't Make You Fat

In today's video, I explain why insulin isn't as obesogenic (ie- it causes obesity) as low-carb advocates and gurus are telling you. There's always something to fear. Cholesterol was the bad guy 30 years ago, now it's insulin. Maybe I should make a video about fructose?

It's tempting to pin all of our problems onto one hormone, insulin, and think that if we remove this one thing, then everything will be okay. Physiology and biochemistry aren't so simple.

Insulin is one hormone among many. It's actually a great thing that we have insulin, or else we would all go into diabetic coma and die. I have a cousin who is a type I diabetic (his pancreas doesn't produce insulin) and he has to constantly inject himself with insulin to stay alive.

What does that tell you about insulin? It says it's really important, not something that is making us fat and sick.

The low-carb advocates who are telling the world that insulin is evil are doing a huge disservice and making everyone sicker. The enemies of...

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Avoid Celebrity and Athlete Diets

I remember hearing about Rihanna or Beyonce or one of those big nine-figure singers going on a celery juice diet to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks. The numbers don't matter, but soon the diet became popular because, well, if Rihanna did it, so can I.

One of the worst things you can do is read entertainment magazines or watch entertainment media. I mean that. There is zero value in reading them. You don't need to know anything about these celebrities. And don't tell me, "well I want to be conversational" when I'm with people. If that's who you're hanging out with, may I suggest you find other people to hang out with?

But someone who does what celebrities does is like a young entrepreneur who says, "I'm going to do what Gary V does. If it works for him, it should work for everyone."

Except, it doesn't. Gary V (short for Vaynerchuk) has 200 people working behind him, you don't. Rihanna has a $500/hour personal trainer, personal chef, a butler, a housekeeper, a gardener, and other personnel to...

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Why Changing Habits is so Hard

I struggled to break bad eating habits (and other habits) for a long time. Today, I have other bad habits to break but none as urgent as binging/purging.

Only after several years of dealing with eating disorders do I ask myself, "why is it so hard to stop?"

I grappled with this question for a long time. Over the years I've identified several reasons why, and they all have to do with beliefs. Why did it take so long to overcome these habits?

1) thinking tomorrow would solve everything. This is the big one. I kept waiting for the perfect day and the perfect circumstances for things to change. They never came. I realized I had to take action and do something about it even when it was inconvenient. That's a key difference between successful and unsuccessful people. They do what needs to be done even when it's not convenient.

2) I wasn't sold. For a while I was completely convinced I needed to change. It's hard to change when you don't think you need to, or that you can go a few more weeks...

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Long-term vs Short-term

If you're human then you know how hard it is to delay gratification. We want to check our text messages right away, watch that video now, eat that cookie now, have everything now.

But if you asked me the difference between successful and unsuccessful people, fit people vs. unfit people, I would say this is the key:

ability to delay gratification and do things that will benefit you at a future date but not today.

I read somewhere that the average American only has a few thousand in savings and many people have negative savings. Only 5 or 10% of people retire financially free.

The brain is hardwired for short-term gratification for survival reasons. In a world of scarcity where the future is no guarantee, why would the brain be hardwired for anything else?

But in a short span of time, the last 120 years really, everything has changed. Now we expect to live until 80, we plan for retirement, and we expect to see our great-grandkids live until they graduate from high school.

What would happen...

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Why You Shouldn't Eat One Meal a Day

One of the biggest trends in the health and fitness space (and there's a lot of them!) is the idea of eating one meal a day.

Here's the logic behind it: insulin shuttles energy into the fat cells and is a fat-storing hormone (not entirely true). You should only eat once a day to keep insulin levels low. Hence, one meal a day (OMAD).

This implies a faulty understanding of the true role insulin plays in the body. I will save that for later, but I will say that eating one meal a day is a really bad idea especially if you have a history of overeating and binge eating. In short, don't do it.

I explain why in this video: https://youtu.be/jb5HYHJsoGM

If you want to be hangry all day, want to obsess about food, want to go into a food coma everyday, then you are free to try it.

Count me out.

Eating one meal a day reminds of binge eating.

If you are eating a giant meal every day that is compromising your health, then don't forget to book your free strategy call with me here:
...

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Why do people believe in stupid things?

I had a conversation the other day with a gentleman who lives in an RV. Nothing against RV's or the people who live them. Good for them for eschewing the Mcmansion and the front yard.

I forget how the conversation started but he told me that there are aliens on the other side of the moon collecting intelligence on the human species. He went on about some government conspiracy to hide it.

At first I wasn't sure whether he was joking or whether I should believe him, but I soon realized that he actually believed it!

I'm not going to debunk this idea, but I don't think there are aliens on the far side of the moon gathering information about us. I don't believe in lost continents, BigFoot, that UFO's are aliens, haunted homes, the Bermuda Triangle, etc.

But I asked myself, "how can people believe in such ridiculous things?" Turn on the news, go online (or worse, Facebook), and see what people are talking about.

What shocks me more is what people think is a legitimate use of force (we need to...

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Lessons from the Nursing Home

Sometimes I work in a nursing home not too far from where I live. It gives me a break from driving, from the traffic, and also earn some extra $$$ on the side. The money isn't great and it's pro bono work more than anything. It definitely gives me exposure to a different side of society.

It can be nasty work sometimes. Many patients have skin wounds, they're on dialysis, they go number 2 in their diapers, and many of them can't move at all. It can be grueling work sometimes.

I can't help but ask myself, "how did these people get to this point?"

I asked this same question in the hospital when I did some work in acute care, and I also ask that to myself when I do home health, but never as much as I do in a nursing home.

I try to imagine what they were like 10, 20, 30 years ago. There was a time when they didn't have all these problems, when they were reasonable healthy.

But at some point that health started to decline. It started with one drink, one cigarette, one decision. Then...

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Food Desserts Are a Myth

Food deserts are a myth. I just said it.

I've heard this term more and more over the past 10 years. I think it's bunk and I'll tell you why.

I've driven in some sketchy areas over the past 4 years, but one thing these areas always have is a decent (not upscale by any means) grocery store. I see ethnic grocery stores, mini-marts, and produce stands in the poorest neighborhoods.

Not all neighborhoods have a super Wegman's (if you're on the East Coast) or an HEB-Plus (Texas) but they don't need that.

I've come to believe that food deserts are a myth. I'm not sure why people spreading it (to highlight economic inequality perhaps) but it's a myth that needs to die.

You can eat right anywhere you go, and the choice is up to you.

I can eat healthier at a gas station than some people can at a nice grocery store.

If you're in an area where good choices are limited (airports, ballparks, conferences, etc), then check out my latest video: https://youtu.be/6NiQLFDhDAE

Don't forget to book your free...

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I Just Got Bit by a Dog

The other day I was leaving a patient's home and one of her dogs got too excited or too defensive and bit me on my knee. I let out a huge f bomb, which is not typical for me. But damn it hurt!

I had to cancel my appointments and drive to an urgent care center, get antibiotics, and then go home and ice my knee.

I couldn't walk right for days. This was definitely a surprise but there was a good side. Let me explain.

I also learned a little bit of empathy for my patients. I've been in good health most of my life (side effects of eating disorders notwithstanding). I've never had a joint replacement, surgery, and I've only broken one bone (clavicle when I was 17).

Now I know what it's like to lose something that I take for granted. Even though I was able to walk, it wasn't a pretty walk, and it was hard to drive, get into the shower, do my job, and go to the gym. All I could do was walk on the treadmill at 1.5 mph- a pretty pathetic pace.

When I got home, all I wanted to do was put a pack of...

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The Law of Caloric Density

When I was in the depth of my disordered eating, I remember hearing about the law of caloric density. It was being promoted by an MD named John McDougall out in California. McDougall is a big fan of the starch-based diet. He thinks the ideal diet for humans is one that is based on starch.

Personally, I think McDougall goes too far with the starch. He completely eschews animal protein, dairy, and high-fat foods. Severely limiting fat intake can lead to a number of problems and the foods that he eliminates have plenty of health benefits.

Be that as it may, one concept I remember well and I still adhere to is this law of caloric density. It says that you should emphasize foods that hover around 1 calorie/gram and limit the ones that go below or above that.

Spinach has .3 calories/gram which is so low it's not even worth counting. Imagine getting 2,000 calories a day from spinach!

Then there are the processed foods and the desserts, which hover around 4.5-5 calories per gram. A piece of...

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