To Eat, or Not to Eat: Soy

     Oops, soy mimics estrogen in the body…

 

Recently, a Rock Fit personal training member asked me, “What’s so bad about soy?”

What a great question!  So, I thought I’d write a blog about it and start a new series of articles called, “To Eat, or Not to Eat”.  That is the question.

Quick Disclaimer:  I’m not here to demonize foods or make you feel guilty for eating them, much less enjoying them.  For the most part, there are no such things as “good” foods or “bad” foods.  There are only foods that are better and healthier for us than others.  And, it really depends on who you are and how your body functions that determines which foods are truly better for you.  That’s the beautiful (and often times frustrating) thing about health.  One person’s medicine is another man’s poison.  But, I assure you, you can figure things out!  The purpose of this article is to help you do your research and encourage you to listen to your body.  That way, you can make the best choices when it comes to eat or not to eat certain foods.

 

My Experience with Soy

My own personal experience with soy dates back to the early/mid-90′s when my mom started drinking soy milk, upon the recommendation of her physician.  She had just had a both of her ovaries surgically removed.  So, her physician thought it best that she support her endocrine (i.e. hormonal) system, by eating soy.

The ovaries are reproductive organs that produce estrogen and progesterone.  These two hormones are key for a woman to have a baby, breast feed, and also influence a woman’s ability to burn fat.  More on that later…

As a woman goes through menopause, the ratio of estrogen to progesterone in her body changes.   Many women experience symptoms linked to decreased levels of estrogen, such as hot flashes, sleeplessness, redistribution of body fat, and even osteoporosis.  And, some of these conditions happen whether you experience a natural menopause or a surgically induced menopause, such as the one my mom experienced in her mid-30s.

Just like my mom, some doctors have recommended that women who are going through menopause eat more soy in order to help them balance out their estrogen levels.  Unfortunately, in doing so, it’s created a slew of unhealthy side effects that not only affect those women, but could also affect their babies and children.  And, the negative effects of soy could affect you whether you’re going through menopause or not.

Unhealthy Side Effects of Soy

  • Thyroid dysfunction (i.e. hypothyroidism)
  • Sexual Infertility
  • Increased risk of breast cancer
  • Decreased mineral absorption
  • Decreased ability to digest protein
  • Decreased oxygen delivery to cells

 

But the FDA says Soy is Healthy…

For a number of years, soy has been marketed as a healthy food in the U.S., mostly promoted as such by the federal government.

Now, if you’ve known me for a while, you may have picked up on what my feelings are regarding the U.S. federal government intervening in our private lives to institute change.  And, if you don’t, here’s a hint…

Rarely does my sentiment ring more true than when it comes to the federal government’s historically bad advice when it comes to food.  Remember the “Basic Four Food Groups” or “Food Guide pyramid”?  How about the tip that trans-fat filled margarine is better for you than butter?

Soy (along with corn) was pushed as a healthy food grown on U.S. soil to discourage folks from buying foods such as palm and coconut oil, which are typically grown overseas.

Among the biggest reasons why soy can be unhealthy for you, is the way that it’s raised.  Most soy products come from genetically modified soy that has been altered to resist the weed-killers (i.e. herbicides) sprayed on to them.

Studies performed on generations of soy-fed hamsters found that feeding the first generation a soy-based diet led to their offspring having a five-times higher infant mortality rate.  The third generation of hamsters were almost entirely infertile and suffered from high infant mortality rates, as well.

Organic Fermented Soy is Better

  • Miso
  • Tempeh
  • Natto

This is because the fermentation process yields a food that breaks down some of the more harmful elements in soy. And, they haven’t been genetically modified to resist pesticides.  They do still, however, pose possible health concerns when it comes to altering your hormones, thyroid gland function, impaired metabolism, digestion, and absorption.

 

So, is Soy bad for me?

At Rock Fit, there are no foods that are off limits until you identify them.  We coach our personal training clients on the differences between healthy foods and fat-loss foods.  We also take it one step further by educating women on food sensitivities.

Soy is one of the top three foods that people are sensitive to.  This is different than having an allergy to a food, where the symptoms that occur when you eat it come on much faster and are quickly noticeable.

What about when it comes to fat-loss?

The truth is that eating soy may be keeping you fat, or it may not be.

It’s tough to recognize food sensitivities and takes some thought to address them, on your own.  But, having the right fitness coach to support you, not only when it comes to fitness, but also when comes to eating, could make all the difference in whether or not you’re able to burn fat and keep the weight off for good.

To see for yourself what it’s like to train with Rock Fit, then join us for an upcoming free personal training session!

Try Rock Fit on Wednesday, July 9th at 6:30pm and Saturday, July 12th at 12pm:

Sign-up for a Complimentary Fitness Diagnostic Consultation and reserve your spot to Try Rock Fit!

Only four spaces available–so contact us now to reserve your spot.

Serving Vienna, McLean, Falls Church, Tyson’s Corner, Reston, Great Falls, Oakton, and the nearby Washington DC area.

 

To Learn More about Soy…

Check out Dr. Mercola’s article and video on the soy controversy, including his insights on why he believes soy-based baby formulas should be banned.

A website explaining menopuse and advocating soy as a natural treatment to aid with symptoms.

Another website offering estrogen replacement therapy for women.

 

Ken Diaz, Founder, Rock Fit

 

 

 

 

 
 
Ken Diaz, MS, NSCA-CPT, FMS
Founder, Rock Fit
 
 

Why your Fitness Support Group Matters

     Don't go it alone....
The journey to a leaner and stronger you!
 Don’t go it alone–build a support group.

 

Recently at the start of a personal training session, one of my fitness clients said, “It’s hard to make healthy eating choices when I’m out with co-workers and friends…”

Now, I’ve heard variations of this statement by many of my clients over the years.  Usually, it goes something like this…

It’s hard for me to make healthy eating choices while I’m…

  • On vacation
  • At a party
  • Out with a loved one
  • Out with my family
  • Enjoying the holidays
  • Going on a flight / trip

 

Does this sound like you?  Have you, or those you care about, been in these situations before?

Most of us struggle with healthy eating habits in social settings.  When co-workers, friends, or loved ones ask us tough questions, it’s so much easier to just give in rather than facing the onslaught of doubters and worriers…

“Why are you passing on the pancakes?”

“Who eats a burger without the bun?”

“C’mon, it won’t hurt you to have just one (drink / cupcake / insert-your-greatest-weakness-here)!”

Giving in to these social pressures is called situational eating.  You’ve heard of a social drinker?  Well this person could be referred to as a “social eater”.

Now, if you’re living a long-lasting Rock Fit lifestyle, rather than trying diet and exercise for the umpteenth time, then you have nothing to be ashamed of.  I feel your pain and am also guilty of giving in to temptation on more than one occasion.

If you’re a social eater, raise your hand and say I…

” I !!! “

Good!  Now there are three things that you’ll need to address these situations:

  1. Preparation
  2. Communication
  3. Support Group

 

Who's got your back when it comes to making better health & fitness choices?
Who’s got your back when it comes to health & fitness?

What’s in a Support Group?

Your support group is comprised of the people that stand by your side when making health & fitness choices.  This is where having a Rock Fit Coach and Personal Trainer really comes in handy.  A good health & fitness professional will keep you accountable to your goals and serve as a constant reminder as to why you need to master certain health & fitness habits.

Beyond your fitness trainer and coach, there are also other key people in your life that could, and hopefully should, be in your support group.

This could be your spouse or loved one, a parent, a brother or a sister, or a great friend that has your overall well being in mind.  The key is to get these people on board with your health & fitness plan early on.  To do that, you’ve got to communicate with them what your fitness goals are and why you are pursuing them.  Express your goals and motivation to them in an honest and confident way and see how they respond.

Prepare yourself by envisioning yourself talking to a good friend who doesn’t know about your latest health & fitness goals, yet.  Or–even better–pretend you’re talking to an acquaintance, someone you’re not buddy-buddy with, but who will likely ask you why it is you’re eating or drinking a certain way.

You could say something as simple as, “Thanks for asking!  You know, I’m on a great health & fitness program and I’m training to (insert goals here).  So, I’d love to have your support in helping me reach my goals.”

The person you communicate this to may be taken aback by your candidness.  And, you might be surprised by their reply.

 

“Do yourself a favor and join a group of like-minded people.”

The next time a friend, co-worker, or loved one questions your eating habits, take it as an opportunity to see if you can get them on board your success train by inviting them to join your support group.

When it comes to your health & fitness choices, remember…

Those who matter don’t mind.  And, those who mind, don’t matter.

 

Ken Diaz, Founder, Rock Fit

 

 

 

 

 

Ken Diaz, MS, NSCA-CPT, FMS
Founder, Rock Fit
 
 
 
 

Three Keys to Getting Your Best Body Now!

Looking for a Personal Trainer in Vienna or Reston?

Want to make sure your New Year’s fitness resolution is a success?

Check out Rock Fit’s latest article featured in the January issue of Fairfax Woman Magazine!

Vienna Personal Trainer featured in this month’s issue of  Fairfax Woman Magazine

 

Click the image above or pick up an issue of Fairfax Woman Magazine to view the article.