Great article. Perspective.
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:
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
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/
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/
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.
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.
Why pay attention to what you eat?
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.
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.
The top 10 fitness trends predicted for 2013 are:
1.Educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals: This claimed the top spot in 2013 for the sixth consecutive year. Fully accredited education and certification programs for health/fitness professionals are on the rise.
2.Strength training: Remaining in the No. 2 spot for the second year in a row, this trend is important for men, women, young and old to improve or maintain strength.
3.Body weight training: This is the first appearance of this trend in the survey. Body weight training uses minimal equipment, making it more affordable.
4.Children and obesity: With nearly 1 in 3 children ages 10-17 considered overweight or obese, childhood obesity continues to be a serious public health problem. A growing number of commercial and community-based programs are teaming up with schools to fight the obesity epidemic.
5.Exercise and weight loss: Incorporating diet and exercise is of growing interest among fitness professionals. More fitness programs are offering everything from meal planning to onsite nutritionists to regular lessons on nutrition.
6.Fitness programs for older adults: The baby boom generation is growing older and living longer. With this group typically having more discretionary money and time than others, fitness programs for older adults will remain a strong trend for 2013.
7.Personal training: As more professional personal trainers become certified, they are more accessible and available in a wide variety of settings from corporate wellness programs to community-based programs to medical fitness programs.
8.Functional fitness: Functional fitness uses strength training to improve balance, coordination and endurance so participants can do their daily activities without stress. Often, this program is created for older adults.
9.Core training: Core training stresses strength and conditioning of the stabilizing muscles of the abdomen, thorax and back. It typically includes exercises of the hips, lower back and abdomen, all of which provide support for the spine and thorax.
10.Group personal training: This trend, fueled by the economic downturn, allows the personal trainer to provide individualized service catered to groups of two to four people. This allows groups to have a discounted rate, while still giving the trainer a full schedule of clients.
SOURCE: American College of Sports Medicine annual survey completed by 3,346 health and fitness professionals worldwide.
by Victoria Abrams
Most fitness experts recommend staying in shape all year-long so there is no need to shape up for summer specifically. Sadly, we are not all fitness experts, and we can all use a boost once spring comes around.
Follow these 11 easy tips and you’ll be in perfect shape in no time.
1. Motivate yourself
Buying a bathing suit you don’t fit into yet might sound like a crazy idea, but it is an excellent way of motivating yourself to keep pushing your workout plan instead of giving up. Hang it behind the television or another place that will make you want to move.
2. Make a plan
After being inactive for a few months during winter, having a plan and sticking by it is essential if you want to get in shape on time. If your exercise routine is taking you outdoors a lot, bad weather might deter you from going out. One swift look on your workout calendar will change all that, and have you running in the rain.
3. Try something new this year
Another extra motivation to get started is to try something new. Rollerblading, disc golf or hula hoops, it doesn’t matter, as long as you are having fun with it. Not only are you having fun and exercising muscles you rarely use otherwise, you are learning a new skill as well. A triple win!
4. Exercise in the morning
Working out in the morning gives you that extra energy to tackle the rest of the day. In addition, it decreases appetite and you will burn calories all day long. A cardiovascular workout like jogging or swimming in the morning combined with strength training will burn off the extra pounds from winter in no time.
5. Change your diet
As spring sets in, your workout routine is not the only thing that could use a bit more diversity. More fresh fruit and vegetables will be coming into stores, so take advantage. Go for whatever is in season, and try adding some extra berries, nuts and fruits to your diet.
6. Go outside
As the days get longer and the weather turns mild, the time has come to take your exercise routine outside. Fresh spring air will stimulate your organism to awake from its slumber.
7. Walk and cycle
Walking and cycling to work, school or the store should be top of the list for anyone wanting to improve their shape, health and financial situation. Excellent for those suffering from a bad back, the benefits of walking and cycling extend beyond your summer shape to your mind, as you will be less and less annoyed with traffic jams.
8. Alternate exercise routines
You made your plan and you have resolved to sticking to it. But does it contain enough variety? If you are doing the same exercise all the time, chances are you will get tire of it quickly. Not only that, you are also exercising just one part of your body. Entire muscle groups will remain underused. For a perfectly toned summer shape, alternate exercise routines so all parts of the body get enough exercise.
9. Energize your life
Instead of just exercising for half an hour, try making everyday chores into a game to boost your activity level. Take the stairs instead of the elevator and carry your shopping home instead of taking a taxi. You will feel more motivated to get started on your exercise routine if you are active during the other part of the day as well.
10. Get into nature
As nature starts to bloom again, why not go out and enjoy it to the maximum? Hiking, climbing and camping out are excellent cardiovascular workouts that will reinvigorate you and help you connect with nature after a long winter.
11. Find a buddy
Exercising by yourself can be difficult at times, especially if your program last for several months. Having a friend to train with can do wonders for motivation. In addition, it’s a lot more fun.
This is a Guest Post by Vic Abrams a part-time guest blogger and full-time health enthusiast. Vic currently represents Superfood Diet a great resource to find out more about superfood drink effects
Visceral fat is internal fat that accumulates around your organs. Most of this fat is located in the abdominal area. According to MayoClinic.com, an accumulation of fat around your organs can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and other serious health problems. Getting rid of visceral fat gets harder as you get older. Your body’s fat content also increases as you age, so you will need to work harder and consistently to ensure that your abdominal fat doesn’t increase.
Perform moderate-intensity aerobic training on a daily basis. MayoClinic.com recommends choosing an activity that fits both your goals and current health and fitness level. Anything from playing tennis to hiking to taking indoor cycling classes is a good choice as long as you do it on most days of the week and for at least 30 minutes a day.
Add strength training to your regular workout routine. According to MayoClinic.com, weight training can help conserve muscle mass. Muscle speeds up metabolism and makes fat burning easier and more effective. Strength train at least three times a week for 20 minutes or more to build muscle.
Make dietary changes. Reduce your consumption of saturated fats and simple carbohydrates like white bread and sugars. Instead, eat whole grains like whole wheat and oats and unsaturated fats like olive oil and nuts. Also, switch to low-fat dairy and focus on lean proteins such as fish, chicken, soy and lentils.
Lose weight. According to MayoClinic.com, you need to eliminate 3,500 calories in order to lose 1 lb. This means cutting 500 calories a day from your diet. Avoiding second servings, sharing a dessert with a friend and switching to diet soda are all effective ways to cut down your calorie intake.
Stop smoking. According to a 2005 study published in the “Journal of Obesity Research,” people who smoke are more likely to have a higher amount of abdominal fat than people who don’t smoke.