7 Common Mistakes Most People Make In Losing Weight by Jamie Jablonowski

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Do you feel like you’re continually running on the treadmill, but not going anywhere? Weight loss is a lucrative industry and we are constantly presented with quick fix solutions that we desperately want to believe. According to data by Marketdata Enterprises, Americans spend over $60 billion dollars a year trying to lose weight. Before you empty your wallet to decrease your dress size, are some common mistakes to avoid.

1. You think there’s a quick way to lose weight.
If there were a pill that magically took off the pounds, we’d be living in a world without super-sized chairs in waiting rooms and seat belt extenders. The truth is, weight loss is hard. It takes determination, focus, and commitment to making healthier choices, even though it is often the less convenient or less enjoyable option. Over-the-counter options, such as green tea extract, often come with their own risks and side effects, and most of the options available are likely ineffective for weight loss. In addition, losing more than three pounds a week after a few weeks can increase your chance of developing gallstones, and being on a diet of fewer than 800 calories a day for an extended period of time can lead to serious heart problems.

2. You assume all carbs are bad for you.
Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. In recent years, “low-carb” diets have grown in popularity, but the results are usually short-lived. A 2003 article in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that low-carbohydrate diets have no advantage over traditional well balanced diets and that long-term restriction of carbohydrates can have dangerous side effects, including heart problems, osteoporosis, an increased risk of cancer, impairment of physical activity, lipid abnormalities, and even sudden death, if continued over a prolonged period of time. Eating complex carbohydrates, such as high fiber cereal and brown rice can actually help you lose weight by making you feel fuller while consuming fewer calories.

3. You think “low-fat” or “fat-free” means fewer calories.
Often these options mean just that: less fat. They do not mean fewer calories. To compromise for the missing fat, manufactures will add sugar in order to make the product taste just as good. This chart will show you popular foods where the “low-fat” option has almost as many calories as the regular version. Don’t be fooled by good marketing. Healthy cookies usually taste like “healthy cookies” for a reason.

Read the rest here: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/7-common-mistakes-most-people-make-losing-weight.html

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T DRINK COFFEE IN THE MORNING by Lisa Evans

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This would be a hard habit to break. Read on…

Let’s get one thing straight here. I love my morning cup of joe. I’m not alone in saying my day doesn’t start without it. Sixty percent of American coffee drinkers claim they need coffee to start their day.

But when I came across an infographic by Ryoko Iwata, a Japanese coffee-lover with a blog titled “I Love Coffee” who followed research on the 24-hour circadian clock gathered by Steven Miller, a PhD candidate at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesada, I decided to change my ways. The infographic shows the early morning hours are the worst time to drink coffee.

While all of us have different reactions to caffeine, our bodies are all guided by the 24-hour hormonal cycle called the circadian clock. One of the hormones this clock controls is cortisol, which makes us feel alert and awake. The peak production time of cortisol is between 8 and 9 a.m. If you’re a morning coffee drinker, this means you’re consuming caffeine at a time when your body is essentially naturally caffeinating itself.

Drinking coffee at peak cortisol times not only diminishes the energy-boosting effects of caffeine, but causes your body to build a tolerance to it, meaning the caffeine jolt you get will diminish over time. Timing your coffee breaks with your body’s cortisol schedule means you will get the biggest bang from your caffeine jolt. According to the infographic, cortisol levels peak between 8 to 9 a.m., 12 to 1 p.m. and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., meaning the best time for a coffee break is between 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 5 p.m., when our body’s cortisol levels drop.

What about those of you who wake up at 5 a.m. and have their first cup of java well before 8? Although the release of cortisol is mostly controlled by sunlight, levels of cortisol increase by about 50% upon awakening. So even early risers don’t need caffeine immediately upon jumping out of bed, but can benefit from having their first cup about an hour after waking.

Read the rest here: http://m.fastcompany.com/3026642/work-smart/your-bodys-natural-caffeination-why-coffee-can-wait

What If by Danielle Dalton

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“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” ~Mary Anne Radmacher

Carefully, I wrote my New Year’s Resolutions neatly in my purple leather bound journal, which chronicled the ups and downs of the past year of my life.

Resolutions, whether they’re made on the first of January or any day of the year, are refreshing. It’s a chance to start again—the closest you can get to a “redo” of the past.

In prior years, I made resolutions that were destined to fail. Read one book per week. Write a book. Learn yoga.

It wasn’t that the previous resolutions were bad. Rather, I had failed to put any sort of plan in place to help me succeed. I only had a lofty goal, not steps laid out to get me from where I was standing to where I wanted to be.

But this year, I needed change. I needed a fresh start. I didn’t need the seemingly constant stress and the disappointment that plagued me last year to carry over into 2014.

So my resolution was a succinct two words: Be happy.

And unlike prior years, I made a plan for how to transform my resolution into my life. It felt weird trying to develop a way to be happy. But this year had to be different, and if planning was required, then plan I would.

The plan? Take steps. And keep taking steps—don’t freeze in place.

I took steps. I enrolled in a course in a subject I had long been interested in but too afraid to try. I decided that I would spend the Fall 2014 semester in London. I went to Chicago’s new Nutella Bar—because not every source of happiness requires a big change; sometimes the little things add up.

And then only days into January, I panicked. Say this whole “Be happy” thing didn’t work out?

What if I made all these changes and I wasn’t happy?

What if the decisions I was making were actually wrong?

What if life was still really stressful and exhausting?

It took me a while to realize what all the what-ifs were really disguising. Superficially, the panic appeared to be the fear of not achieving the resolution.

In reality, though, the fear of not achieving the resolution was a cover-up for the fear of failing as a person. What if I took all the steps to create the life I wanted and it didn’t work out? Would I be left with an unfilled life on top of an unfilled resolution?

Everyone talks about how going after what you truly want takes hard work and perseverance. Few people mention the courage required. It takes courage to forge your own path in a forest overgrown with what-ifs and brimming with the beast of society’s potential judgment.

Being honest with yourself about what you want, whether it’s happiness, a new job, or significant other, is scary. When carving your own path, you don’t know what’s in store for you ahead.

I came close to letting the fear of what-ifs consume me and abandoning my goals along with the little progress I had made in the first few weeks of January.

Fittingly, however, the one thing that overpowered all the what-ifs swirling in my thoughts was one single what-if: What if it all worked out?

Read the rest here: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/motivate-yourself-to-keep-going-the-hidden-power-of-what-if/