3 Big Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight by Raquel Vasallo

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Most people think about weight loss in terms of calories, food groups, and exercise. But getting to your ideal weight and maintaining it requires a deeper level of understanding of your body, mind and spirit.

Here are three things that prevent you from looking and feeling great in your body:

1. You have food sensitivities and you don’t know it.

Food sensitivities cause inflammation in the body, which leads to weight gain and a whole array of conditions such as headaches, low energy, indigestion, constipation, bloating, diarrhea, skin conditions, mental fogginess, loss of libido.

Food sensitivities are not the same as allergies. Symptoms can be very subtle (such as bloating, indigestion or constipation), and it can be difficult to make the connection between what you’ve eaten and how you feel. Over the years, this sensitivity takes a toll on the immune system, which is mostly located in your gut.

Inflammation is one of the biggest causes of weight gain and disease. So why not test yourself with a detox and elimination diet?

During an elimination diet, you’ll remove the main food triggers for a week. These include:

Sugar
Gluten
Grains
Nuts
Soy
Dairy
Beans

During a transition phase, you reintroduce these foods in a guided and planned way, one at a time, so that you can discover your sensitivities. This will give you your personal blueprint to your health, happiness and weight.

Read the rest here: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-10353/3-big-reasons-youre-not-losin-weight.html

Sugar Blues

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Refined sugar has been called poi­son, toxic, and the “anti-nutrient”. It’s said to be more addic­tive than cocaine. Is it real­ly that bad? How much does sugar real­ly affect your brain? Let’s take a look at the some­what com­plex rela­tion­ship between sugar and your brain.

Your Brain Needs Glu­cose, Not Fruc­tose

Brain cells need twice as much ener­gy as other cells. After all, there’s a lot going on up there! Your brain cells can’t store ener­gy, so they need a steady stream of glu­cose from your blood­stream. Your brain cells can live only a few min­utes with­out ener­gy sup­ply – it’s that crit­i­cal! The health­i­est sources of glu­cose are from the com­plex car­bo­hy­drates found in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and veg­eta­bles. Glu­cose is also a build­ing block of the lac­tose found in dairy prod­ucts. Unhealthy sources of glu­cose are sugar and high fruc­tose corn syrup (HFCS) which are all are rough­ly half glu­cose and half fruc­tose.

Vir­tu­al­ly every cell in the body can metab­o­lize glu­cose for ener­gy, but only your liver cells metab­o­lize fruc­tose. While honey and maple syrup do con­tain some nutri­ents, they are still the same basic com­po­si­tion as refined sugar – half glu­cose, half fruc­tose. All Fruc­tose Is Not Cre­at­ed Equal A healthy diet con­tains lots of fruits and veg­eta­bles which are sources of dietary fruc­tose. But a diet high in these sources of nat­u­ral­ly occur­ring fruc­tose is not the same as a diet high in fruc­tose from refined sweet­en­ers. Don’t make the mis­take of think­ing you should skip eat­ing car­rots or apples because they con­tain fruc­tose. It’s the added fruc­tose from refined sweet­en­ers you should be con­cerned about. So there’s no need to pick car­rots out of your salad. :)

Dan­gers of a High Fruc­tose Diet

Fruc­tose has wrong­ly been pro­mot­ed as a healthy sweet­en­er because it doesn’t raise blood sugar lev­els or spike insulin. Instead it rais­es blood fruc­tose lev­els, which is arguably even worse. Here are some of the prob­lems with high fruc­tose diets:

Increas­es triglyc­erides, blood pres­sure, and LDL (bad cho­les­terol), all mark­ers for car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

Increas­es lev­els of uric acid which can lead to gout and kid­ney dis­ease.

Increas­es risk for dia­betes. Fruc­tose intake and dia­betes rates are direct­ly pro­por­tion­al world­wide.

Caus­es sys­temic inflam­ma­tion.

Con­tributes to obe­si­ty by lead­ing to lep­tin resis­tance. Lep­tin is a “sati­ety hor­mone” that lets you reg­is­ter feel­ings of full­ness.

Read the rest here: http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/stop-giving-your-brain-the-sugar-blues/

7 Habits of Highly Unhealthy People

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by Alexander Heyne

There are a number of reasons why many of us fail to take control of our health.

Everything from time, lack of quality information, and motivation play a roll in our success or failure.

But there’s another set of lesser-known reasons why you aren’t as healthy as you’d like: the thoughts in your head.

Below I’ve profiled the top seven bad mental habits I see over and over, and how you can fix them.

#1 The belief that success is left to a special few

Some people seem to have this concept that people who end up really successful, healthy, and happy, are just the lucky few.

When you ask them how Mozart, Tiger woods, or top sports athletes are born, they’ll tell you something like “Oh it’s just their genetics, they were born that way.”

Say you have the goal of wanting to go from 50 pounds overweight, to fitness model. There are numerous dramatic stories like this on the internet.

But what if your mind is constantly telling you “Oh those people are just unique. They are the 1% who have willpower and discipline like no other human being.”

Chances are you won’t even do anything, right? You won’t get started.

Now what if I told you that I met someone who achieved the goal you want to achieve. And what if that person told me “Nope, I wasn’t born special, I just learned what I had to do, and spent 1-2 hours every day for two years doing it.”

Suddenly your mind expands and you begin to wonder: “Hmm, if an ordinary person can do it, maybe I can too.”

In fact, there have been numerous books on the subject, such as Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World Class Performers From Everyone Else and The Talent Code.

The conclusions of both books?

In the vast majority of cases, talent is created and forged every day, not born. This is as true for Mozart as it is for Tiger woods.

My point is this: it’s important to know that the people who succeed at changing their health, building a business, or improving their personal life are not special – they just take committed action.

#2 Thinking that your life, and thus your success, health and relationships are all outside of your control

One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from The Alchemist and goes something along the lines of this:

The greatest lie in the world is that, at some point, your life is run by factors out of your control.

You can always change.

It’s sort of like another saying: you can’t control what happens to you in life, but you can control your response.

This is extremely apparent today, where people are losing their jobs left and right. The vast majority of people end up complaining and saying, “There was nothing I could do.” Really? Nothing?

You couldn’t have been pro-actively meeting people, or bringing new ideas to the table, or taking on larger responsibilities to make yourself more indispensible?

The same is true of your health: some people act as if they are powerless to the food industry, or can’t fight their genetics.

“Oh, heart disease and cancer run in my family.” And apparently that’s all the justification we need to go eat junk food every day.

There are two ways to look at your health.

The first sounds a lot like this: “Oh, everything causes Cancer these days! Forget it, I’m just going to eat what I want.”

The second sounds like this: “My health is a priority and I’m going to do whatever it takes to figure out how to get healthy.”

You could read hours worth of success stories, of people who successfully reversed their genetic predispositions to obesity, heart disease, or cancer.

Just look at Jack Lalanne – one of the most famous health icons of the 21st century. Lalanne’s dad died young from a heart attack, but Lalanne lived to be 96 years old – and if you saw videos of him in his 90’s, he looked to be about 75.

The more you believe that you are incapable of change, the less likely you are actually going to take the action you need to improve your life.

#3 Thinking that sticking to a diet is all a matter of willpower

This whole laziness / willpower thing has unfortunately become the default belief in the health industry.

People that are unhealthy or overweight are viewed as lacking “willpower,” and those who are healthy are viewed as having lots of it.

I think that laziness is mostly a myth. It’s not that you can’t stick to a diet because you’re lazy, it’s because you have bad habits.

Habits happen automatically. That’s why we feel powerless against them.

One of the most important things I tell clients when I work with them is that it’s not a matter of willpower – it’s a matter of turning small changes into big habits.

For any of you who have tried fighting sweet cravings, you know that willpower is a weak soldier to fight the battle.

It’s pretty much impossible, and there’s a good body of research showing that sugar cravings function a lot like drug addictions and even affect the same receptors in the brain.

Would you ever tell a drug addict to just “fight” the cravings?

No, of course not! That’s why I challenge you to not view dieting as a willpower game – you will almost inevitably lose.

Instead, imagine if you picked one bad habit – and spent 30 days re-wiring yourself. Imagine what your health and life would look like after 12 of those (one year)?

#4 Trusting some new health expert on blind faith, rather than testing out the advice

It seems like every year there’s a new M.D. proposing some huge diet solution that will help save humanity.

Right now it’s the Wheat Belly diet. Diets aside, there are obviously some really good ones, and some really bad ones. But there are very few that endure and last.

For whatever reason, the health industry is filled with people who think they’ve “cracked the code” and at which point, the know-it-all hat comes on.

A friend of mine recently lost 50 pounds doing nutrisystem – so he began preaching the gospel of nutrisystem (despite the fact that a year later, he regained 60 pounds).

People seem to forget that there is one system that really works for everyone: experimentation.

Ignore the M.D. credential on most diet books. Ignore the rave reviews. Ignore all the junk and advertising.

If Dr. Zee has a new program that’s supposed to help people with arthritis, and you’ve got arthritis, try it and see what happens long term!

If Dr. Zoo has a “revolutionary, break-through” program for combating sugar cravings, just try it out before you begin preaching the gospel.

If Dr. Zed has a newly scientifically verified program for combating allergies… just try It out and see if it works for you!

If Dr. Zoy has a program guaranteed to make you healthier – get a blood test before and after and see the proof.

Once upon a time, I used to believe that there really was one universal human diet. But after having worked with so many people, I’ve realized that people respond very differently to the exact same foods, diets, or programs.

So, start experimenting! Don’t put your faith in the latest fad, or even someone with credentials. People still have beliefs and opinions – regardless of the M.D. next to their name. Trust results.

Read the rest here: http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/the-7-bad-habits-of-highly-unhealthy-people/

Lose Weight Faster

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by Jessica Girdwain

Double dip to lose weight fast. Tackling diet and exercise goals at the same time produces better results than focusing on one before the other, says a new study in Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Researchers split inactive people with poor eating habit into three groups: one that started an exercise program, then a diet a few months later; another that dieted first, then exercised; and a third that initiated both. A year later, the third group was the only one that still met guidelines for exercise and healthy eating.

The findings challenge common weight loss advice to work on one healthy habit at a time. But making both healthy behaviors a priority from the beginning helps make sure one doesn’t slip off your radar, says lead researcher Abby C. King, Ph.D., a professor at Stanford University’s School of Medicine.

The key to success is small, gradual changes, says King. For example, use a pedometer to log more steps than you did the day before, and add one more fruit a day (or nix the chips with lunch). You’ll be able to build on your initial changes in the later weeks to achieve bigger goals—and results, King says.

http://news.menshealth.com/are-you-losing-weight-wrong/2013/04/23/

Healthy Eating – Overview

How do you get started on healthy eating?

Healthy eating starts with learning new ways to eat, such as adding more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and cutting back on foods that have a lot of fat, salt, and sugar.

A change to healthier eating also includes learning about balance, variety, and moderation.

  • Aim for balance. Most days, eat from each food group-grains, protein foods, vegetable and fruit, and dairy. Listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you feel satisfied.
  • Look for variety. Be adventurous. Choose different foods in each food group. For example, don’t reach for an apple every time you choose a fruit. Eating a variety of foods each day will help you get all the nutrients you need.
  • Practice moderation. Don’t have too much or too little of one thing. All foods, if eaten in moderation, can be part of healthy eating. Even sweets can be okay.

Why pay attention to what you eat?

Healthy eating will help you get the right balance of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. It will help you feel your best and have plenty of energy. It can help you handle stress better.

Healthy eating is one of the best things you can do to prevent and control many health problems, such as:

Is healthy eating the same as going on a diet?

Healthy eating is not a diet. It means making changes you can live with and enjoy for the rest of your life.

Diets are temporary. Because you give up so much when you diet, you may be hungry and think about food all the time. And after you stop dieting, you also may overeat to make up for what you missed.

Eating a healthy, balanced variety of foods is far more satisfying. And if you match that with more physical activity, you are more likely to get to a healthy weight-and stay there-than if you diet.

How do you make healthy eating a habit?

First, think about your reasons for healthier eating. Do you want to improve your health? Do you want to feel better? Are you trying to set an example for your kids?

Next, think about some small changes you can make. Pick ones you can keep doing.

  • Don’t try to change everything at once.
  • Set an easy goal you can reach, like having a salad and a piece of fruit each day.
  • Make a long-term goal too, such as having one vegetarian dinner a week.

Where can you get support?

Having support from others can be a huge help. The more support you have, the easier it will be to make changes. Ask family and friends to practice healthy eating with you. Have them help you make meals, and share healthy, delicious recipes and cooking tips.

If you need more help, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. Look online for groups that support healthy eating and share success stories.

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/tc/healthy-eating-overview