Tuesday, March 24, 2020

5 Simple Ways to Shake Up Your Dieting Plan

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, two-thirds of the adults in this country are overweight and the other one-third are constantly dieting and trying to find ways to lose up to five or ten pounds of weight. If you fall into that second category and find you just can't get those last few pounds off, here's some tips for you.

1. Hydrate
Research has found that drinking water during the day can cause your metabolism rate to go up by as much as 30% according to Keri Glassman, RD, CDN, author of Slim Calm Sexy Diet. She advises drinking two liters of cold water throughout the day to burn off 95 calories. Part of those calories burn off with the body using energy to bring the cold water to body temperature. Drinking water during the day also keeps you from snacking as the water makes you feel full and reduces the desire to snack between meals. And best of all water doesn't add any extra calories to your diet.

2. Refuel After Exercise
Just after you finish an exercise workout is the perfect time to eat a snack that has protein and carbohydrates. Up to 45 minutes after exercising your metabolism rate is higher and the protein/carb snack will help repair muscle tissue damaged by exercise. Protein also helps build muscle and muscle uses more energy and burns more calories than fat. Right after exercise is not a time many people want to eat or have the time to eat though. That's when I reach for a smoothie preferably with whey protein or a healthy snack bar.

3. Walk
According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, those people that engage in regular walks increase the likelihood of losing weight compared to those who don't use walking as a form of exercise. He also has tips to include in your walking to burn off more calories:
  • Walk your normal pace for two minutes then speed up your walking or jog for one minute. 
  • Walk somewhere that includes an incline to walk up. You can burn 30% more calories with just a 10% incline. 
  • Walk places that have varying surfaces. This will challenge your muscles and provide a more interesting walk.
Another Dr. Oz tip is to set a goal to incorporate 10,000 steps throughout your day. Use a pedometer to get a baseline of how many steps you currently walk throughout your day now and look for ways to add in more until you get up to 10,000. Not only will this strategy help you become more aware of walking which adds to weight loss, but it can reduce your risk of diabetes significantly. Vonda Wright, MD, advises taking small fast steps as a way to burn off more calories. If you walk the same distance and for the same amount of time that you usually do, taking smaller strides makes you increase the number of steps you take. She also recommends alternating these small steps with skipping to get some additional calorie burn.

4. Changing Lifestyle Habits
Janis Jibrin, Best Life's lead nutritionist, has a simple tip to burn 40% more calories – stand while you eat. She also reports that eating while sitting at your desk or computer has been shown to increase the amount you eat and advises finding a location away from your desk to eat. Keri Glassman, RD, CDN, suggests that cutting back on the amount of breakfast cereal you eat from two cups to one and a half cups can save you 100 calories. Eating smaller meals throughout the day instead of 3 larger meals daily will also give your metabolism a boost and help burn off extra calories.

5. Change Your Thinking
Research reports that 95% of dieters gain back the weight they had lost. With this statistic in mind, researchers have performed studies looking for commonalities between successful dieters who don't gain the weight back over an extended period of time. One of the findings reported by Inga Treitler, PhD, a cultural anthropologist, has to do with how we think. Findings indicated that a dieter that uses the properties attributed to the lower left brain quadrant was found most successful in maintaining weight loss. This type of people exhibit characteristics of being controlled, methodical and disciplined and do well with routine and structure. It was also found that each dieter in this category went through a transformation that changed their lives sometimes in ways other than how they viewed weight loss. They also all were found to have begun some type of meditation component such as yoga or walking that allowed them to take time for themselves and separate from their old behaviors. If you are not this type of person, the good news is that you can learn other thinking modes and learn to engage other quadrants of the brain according to Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO of Herrmann International. 

There are so many health benefits to losing that extra weight from increased energy levels to reducing the risk of diseases that can be life threatening. Just because you haven't been able to drop those last 5 or 10 pounds so far, don't give up. Give some of these tips a try and see if they can help you finally achieve the weight that will make you feel better, look better and be healthier.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Life Hacks to Avoid Diabetes

by guest contributor Barb Swanson

We Know It's a Problem
Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) is a national epidemic. 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, and another 3 of every 10 are prediabetic. This means close to 40% of our population is at risk for a largely preventative killing disease, since 95% of diabetics have T2D. There is evidence that T2D may, in some people, have hereditary factors. However, everyone has lifestyle choices they can control, which are proven to help prevent the development of T2D, even in hereditary cases. Here is a short list of easy-to-follow lifestyle hacks to cut your risk of developing T2D.

Lifestyle Hacks

  • Watch your weight. 85% of those with T2D are overweight. Maintaining normal weight can protect against T2D, and losing weight often brings blood sugars back into normal ranges.
  • Exercise daily. Physical activity, even just walking, decreases insulin resistance in the muscles. Your body has better blood sugar control with even minimal daily exercise.
  • Drink less alcohol. It is loaded with sugars and has a negative effect on the liver, which can affect blood sugar levels.
  • Think twice about statins for high cholesterol. Studies show they can cause insulin resistance and ultimately T2D.  

Dietary Hacks

  • Eat enough Omega 3 fatty acids. A deficiency in this EFA group is associated with a higher risk of diabetes. Find omega 3 healthy fats in freshwater algae, cold water fish like salmon and sardines, and/or eating a variety of seeds and nuts. Other benefits include better heart health and brain function.
  • Get enough Vitamin D. Studies show that taking vitamin D3 to normalize levels decreases the likelihood of developing the disease despite any genetic predisposition. Vt. D also reduces many other disease processes.
  • Eat enough dietary fiber. Fiber decreases the risk of T2D. Find soluble fiber in bananas, oatmeal, apples and beans. Insoluble fiber sources include beans, bran and vegetables like celery and cauliflower.
  • Eat antioxidant-rich foods. They decrease oxidation of blood sugar and help support healthy pancreatic function. These foods include microalgae, berries, and actually, all brightly colored edible raw fruits and vegetables.

Bottom Line...
T2D is a killer that you have the power to avoid!

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

How to Skip Allergies This Year

 "If you are sitting on a tack, it takes a lot of aspirin to make it feel good. If you are sitting on two tacks, removing just one does not result in a 50 percent improvement." – Baker S, 1997

"The lung, as the interface between the atmosphere and the rest of the body, is particularly vulnerable to oxidative injury. In addition, the lung shares with other organs the risk of injury due to infections, inflammation, ischemia-reperfusion, and other insults. Lungs therefore require potent defense mechanisms, and in fact have higher levels of antioxidant enzymes than almost any other organ." – Morse D, Choi A, 2005

Allergy Statistics
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website, allergic rhinitis, which is also known as hay fever, affects around 50 million people in the U.S. that results in over 13.4 million visits to various health professionals. That's a cost of around $7.9 billion. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology estimates around 7.8% of American adults and from 10 to 30% of the population across the globe suffer from symptoms of allergic rhinitis. It is also estimated that one out of every five people in the United States show symptoms of either allergy or asthma and allergy testing shows 55% are positive for at least one allergen. Allergies are listed as number 5 on the list of chronic diseases.

Antioxidants and Allergies
When you come into contact with an allergen, your immune system treats it as a foreign invader and creates antibodies to fight it off. With continued exposure to the allergen, the antibodies then react, triggering the release of histamine which creates inflammation causing tissues around blood vessels to tighten and fluid to escape. The escaping fluid causes the symptoms you experience such as a runny nose, itchy watery eyes, and sneezing. This cycle and the resulting inflammation has lead experts to research the role that free radical damage may have in allergic reactions and the role antioxidants could play in reducing the symptoms of allergic rhinitis by fighting off damaging free radicals. Among the primary antioxidants undergoing research for allergy relief are beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, flavonoids, zinc, quercetin, and selenium. This research stems from the thinking that antioxidants can help control histamine release and is supported by studies such as the ones done with the flavonoid quercetin, found in red wine and red grapes, grapefruit, red and yellow onions, raspberries, cranberries, apples, and black tea, reporting it may work similar to the drug cromolyn for reducing allergy symptoms and cited as having anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties. In general, brightly colored vegetables and fruits are a good source for a variety of antioxidants. If you aren't able to get enough antioxidants from your diet alone, whole food supplements are another alternative. AFA bluegreen algae is a great source by itself for many antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione and for even more antioxidant power this antioxidant algae supplement, that is rich in chlorophyll, glutathione, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients from its combination of kale sprouts, red clover sprouts, concentrated wheat sprouts, and Dunaliella salina algae can provide an extra antioxidant boost. Research from Massachusetts General Hospital, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, reports that algal oils administered to rats were able to significantly reduce arachidonic acid known to produce leukotrienes that trigger allergic reactions and that contribute more to constricting bronchial tubes in asthma than histamine. Another study reported beta-carotene from algae extract every day reduced symptoms of exercise-induced asthma in 53% of the participants. Allergy relief can also come from herbs such as rosemary, basil, oregano, lemon balm, sage, marjoram, peppermint, and thyme that contain rosmarinic acid which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Research on rosmarinic acid reports that it can reduce reactions to allergens by stopping immune responder cells from being activated.

Essential Fatty Acids and Allergies
Omega-3 essential fatty acids and omega-6 essential fatty acids are both needed for the body to perform well. The balance of these two EFA's is critical however. The difference between them is how many carbons away the double bond is from the nonpolar tail in the molecule. This is where the number 3 or 6 comes in. Omega-3 is three carbons away and omega-6 is six carbons away. Most experts agree that we need twice as many omega-3 fatty acids as omega-6 and research indicates that a diet with a lot of omega-3 fatty acids can help reduced the risk of allergies as it has anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-6 fatty acids are known to contribute to inflammation however and a diet high in these can increase allergy symptoms. That makes getting the right ratio of these two essential fatty acids important, especially for allergy sufferers. To get less omega-6 in your diet, you can avoid vegetable oils, fast food and junk food and increase your diet in omega-3 fatty acids by adding foods such as fish like salmon, cod, halibut and mackerel, flaxseeds, walnuts, soybeans, and oils such as olive and flaxseed. You'll also find the right ratio in AFA bluegreen algae which is rich in EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and ALA (alpha-lipoic acid) omega-3 fatty acids, none of which our bodies can make on their own and must be obtained from foods or supplements. A study using a survey from the National Center for Health Statistics (1996) reported those surveyed who used algae supplementation showed less allergies, skin conditions, and asthma.

Don't be one of the millions that suffer from hay fever symptoms. Using natural solutions with some simple dietary changes can give you the edge to help deal with your allergy symptoms.

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Bruno, Jeffrey PhD, Eat Light & Feel Bright
Bruno, Jeffrey PhD, Edible Microalgae
Abrams, Karl J, Algae to the Rescue!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Healthy Tips: 6 Empowering Thoughts

by guest contributor Barbara Swanson

"...Food is not just calories; it's information. It actually contains messages that communicate to every cell in the body."     ~Dr. Mark Hyman

  1. What you eat once a week isn't the problem – it's what you eat every day that counts.
  2. Listen to your "inner voice" – you know more than any "expert" about what is right for you.
  3. If you can't hear your inner voice or don't trust it, use the best common sense you have and learn by your own mistakes. Take guidance from others but make your own decisions and take responsibility for them.
  4. Don't focus on the health problems. Focus on supporting your body's natural healing process.
  5. Know that your body has enormous resources to be healthy given the proper resources of nutrition, hydration, exercise, and rest. The natural tendency is to health, not disease.
  6. Think about disease as a process that needs correcting. This more empowering than thinking of it as an enemy outside ourselves. Removing diseased tissue usually does not remove the disease. The process that created the disease needs to be reversed.

Bottom Line: You'll begin to notice over time that it's a bit easier to think of your health as your friend, as something you enjoy and work with every day.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Ways to Stay Youthful

Staying youthful and healthy aging go together and while our appearance plays a part in this, it's not the whole picture. Other pieces in the process of the remaining young puzzle have to do with how we feel, our energy level, our activity level, general health, our mental status, and our attitudes. Founder of the Biocognitive Science Institute, neuropsychologist, and author of The Mind-Body Code, Mario E. Martinez, PhD, has found in studies of elders around the world that people defining middle age as 15 years later look younger than their age in comparison to those who define middle age as 15 years earlier. He has also found that the younger looking group embraces behaviors and beliefs such as continuing to learn new things, coping with stress through activities they enjoy, and that they find it easier to forgive. Continuing to remain active and involved also seems to play a role in staying youthful as found in a study from the University of Maryland that reported retirees who worked part-time had less chronic diseases and were able to stay more physically active. All this serves as a reminder that there are things you can do to stay youthful as you enter your senior years that have nothing to do with visiting a plastic surgeon or trying out the latest wrinkle cream.

Reducing Free Radicals for Healthy Aging
Free radicals are molecules in our body cells that become weakened to the point that they lose an electron. This weakness is caused by such things as toxins in the body, eating too much sugar and starchy carbs, exposure to UV rays, chlorinated water, pollution, and eating overcooked, fried and processed foods. These free radicals then go around taking electrons from other molecules and creating more free radicals. Free radicals damage the body, including cells, enzymes, and DNA, causing negative effects such as pain, inflammation, immune deficiencies, atherosclerosis, cataracts, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and other chronic diseases. Eating sugar also can create AGE or advanced glycation end-products molecules that hurt collagen and elastin your skin needs to stay youthful looking and according to associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine, Mona Gohara, M.D., leaves your skin wrinkled and saggy. By switching from sugar filled foods and snacks to foods with fatty acids, vitamin E, and vitamin C, you will be feeding your skin and body cells with nutrients that will help them keep a youthful appearance and maintain their health.

Antioxidants for Healthy Aging By Protecting Cells
The best thing you can do to fight off damage from free radicals is to increase your antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables are a large part of this as they are loaded with antioxidant protection and a study from Rush University supports this with reported findings of eating at least 6 servings of leafy greens along with a type of diet following the Mediterranean diet regimen as being able to lower the risk of Alzheimer's by half. Neurologist Fiona Gupta, M.D. from New Jersey's Hackensack University Medical Center explains this by crediting the antioxidants in leafy greens as cleaning toxins and free radicals out of the brain. There is much research supporting the claim that antioxidant protection increases the life of any cell by protecting them from the damage free radicals can cause. Adding antioxidant foods to your daily diet can help preserve the elasticity of skin, muscle and connective tissues, strengthen heart muscles, and strengthen the immune system among other benefits. Eating AFA bluegreen algae is a particularly good way to insure more antioxidants are being provided as it has a wide array of antioxidant enzymes and vitamins. Cell health also depends on Coenzyme Q10, a specialized antioxidant needed for energy in every normal cell of the human body. Ubiquinol is the active and bioavailable form of Coenzyme Q10 and can be found along with AFA in this energy support algae supplement. Cell damage can also be repaired by our own natural adult stem cells that have the ability to travel anywhere in the body and morph into any other type of cell. Research has shown that certain nutrients such as are present in this stem cell support supplement can help promote the renewal of stem cells. It provides nutrition that supports the growth of stem cells and provides antioxidants that protect existing stem cells from free radical damage. One of the ingredients, carnosine, is an antioxidant amino acid naturally present in the human body that may delay the natural aging of cells and extend the lifespan of adult stem cells.

Stress Reduction
According to Robert Greenfield, M.D., at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center's Memorial Care Heart and Vascular Institute in Fountain Valley, California, stress is a huge contributor to cardiovascular disease and stroke. Being overly stressed can cause you to produce more cortisol which can make you irritable, cause you to have trouble sleeping, cause you to gain weight, decrease your libido, increase blood sugar levels and high blood pressure, and make you moody. Cortisol can also affect bone density, and lead to reduction of lean body mass as well as lead to a variety of diseases linked to aging such as osteoporosis and Alzheimer's. Stress also reduces your level of IgA, a protein that is part of the immune system and helps fight off infections by preventing invaders from getting into the body. According to Dr. Jennifer Landa, MD, Chief Medical Officer of BodyLogicMD, eating healthy and avoiding foods with sugar, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods can help reduce your body's response to stress by supporting the adrenal glands that secrete cortisol as well as help with your metabolism. She also recommends getting B and C vitamins and magnesium to support the adrenal glands and the herbs Ashwagandha and Rhodiola for adrenal support and fighting off stress. Meditation, deep breathing and yoga are all other ways of helping you lower your stress levels.

Keep It Moving
Exercise is not only a way to reduce stress, but helps keep your weight down which gives relief to joints, slows down muscle decline, increases balance and coordination, improves circulation, reduces inflammation, increases bone density, keeps energy levels up, and improves flexibility. Exercise that increases your heart rate also helps your mood and in coping with stress by producing endorphins, the hormone that makes us feel good. Cardio and resistance type exercise are the best ones to get going with to stay youthful. Start with however much you can do and look for ways to increase the amount you can do. At the very least get out and walk for 30 minutes three times weekly.

Protect Against Sun Damage
Aging and how we feel about getting older has a lot to do with our perceptions, attitudes, general health and stress levels, but appearance also does play a role. The skin is the largest organ our bodies have and it is what we see when we look in the mirror and what others see when they look at us. For many people, looking old can cause them to feel old. One study in 2013 reported that 80% of the aging on our faces is due to being exposed to the sun and that people spending lots of time outside in the sun looked up to 5 years older than those that avoid sun exposure. Sun damage can cause the skin to wrinkle, have brown spots, and dilated pores according to dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD from New York, not to mention putting you at risk for skin cancer. Even if you don't spend a lot of time outside, you can be exposed to damaging UV rays through windows in your car, home or office. Besides adding antioxidants to protect skin cells, it is also important to protect skin from the damage the sun can cause. Wearing sunscreen during all seasons can help give you this protection to a large extent. Pick one that is broad-spectrum so that you get protection from a variety of UV rays like UVA and UVB, and that is at least SPF 15. In cooler months, putting sunscreen on your face each morning is probably enough for the day, but if you are going to be outside most of the day then you may need to put it on again every 2 hours especially in the summer. Be sure you also put it on the top of your hands as Dr. Bowe also cites this as a common area for skin cancer to develop.

You don't have to find the Fountain of Youth to keep feeling and looking younger as you age. Just pick up on some of the tips we've included here and help your body maintain its youth.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.

Abrams, Karl J., Algae to the Rescue

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Mind-Body Connection

by guest contributor Barbara Swanson

"To me, good health is more than just exercise and diet. It's really a point of view and a mental attitude you have about yourself."  ~Albert Schweitzer

The Attitude Connection
For thousands of years, the state of your mind has been linked to the health of your body. In one way or another, all major religions and ancient health practices address the importance of this link. Today, a new branch of science called psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) studies this link. PNI describes ways in which our emotions and attitude, both positive and negative, can affect our health.

"Your outlook--having a sense of optimism and purpose--seems to be predictive of health outcomes."
~Dr. Laura Kubzansky, professor of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Science on the Mind-Body Link
The actual mechanisms involved with the connection between health and positivity remain unclear. What is clear is that there is definitely a strong link between "positivity" and health. Researchers suspect that people who are more positive may be better protected against the inflammatory damage of stress. Another possibility is that hope and positivity help people make better health and life decisions and focus more on long-term goals.

Specific Studies on the Mind-Body Link

Heart Health
Dr. Kubzansky (referenced in the above quote) has studied the health effects of several forms of psychological well-being. She has found that emotional vitality--characterized by enthusiasm, hopefulness, engagement in life, and the ability to face life's stresses with emotional balance--is associated with a substantially reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.

At Johns Hopkin University, Lisa R. Yanek, M.P.H., and her team determined "positive" versus "negative" outlook using a survey tool that assesses a person's cheerfulness, energy level, anxiety levels and satisfaction with health and overall life. They discovered that people with a family history of heart disease who also had a positive outlook were one-third less likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event, than those with a more negative outlook.

Healthy Aging
The Women's Health and Aging Study involves more than 1,000 women, 65 or older, who have varying levels of disability but still live on their own. Using two tests designed to measure loss of function, women with greater emotional vitality performed significantly better than their less-positive counterparts who had similar levels of disability.

Breast Cancer
In a study of women with breast cancer. Dr. Sandra Levy at the University of Pittsburgh's Cancer Institute found that women who were more depressed had lower natural killer cell activity than those with a hopeful, positive outlook. It was also noted that the women who had experienced a great deal of joy and happiness in their lives also had a higher survival rate.

Miscellaneous Health Issues
Studies have found that a positive attitude improves outcomes and life satisfaction across a spectrum of conditions--including traumatic brain injury, stroke and brain tumors. Multiple studies find that negative emotions can weaken immune response.

The Health Benefits of Positive Thinking
Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

(Dr. T.V. Rao, MD)

Bottom Line
Feel Better Now

A University of Kansas study found that smiling--even fake smiling--reduces heart rate and blood pressure during stressful situations.

Choose how you respond
Unpleasant situations and people are a part of being human. However, we can choose how we handle them. For example, during a traffic jam, accept that there is absolutely nothing you can do about the traffic. Then appreciate the fact that you can afford a car and get to spend a few extra minutes listening to music.

Be true to your heart
When in doubt, listen to your feelings. When we feel forced into actions that do not reflect our beliefs, we can become angry, resentful or depressed.

Commit to yourself
No one else is responsible for your choices. Therefore, commit yourself to remembering, then acting on, the best of who you are and want to be.

In a landmark study, people who were asked to count their blessings felt happier, exercised more, had fewer physical complaints, and slept better than those who created lists of hassles.

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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New Year, New You, New Body and Mind!

Do you make a new year resolution every year? Have you got a new year resolution ready for the coming year? If you are like most people, a resolution is made and then within a few months forgotten or given up on. Research shows that about 40% of us actually do make a new year resolution and according to a Harris Interactive poll, that 21% of those resolutions involve losing weight, 14% involve exercising and 7% resolve to eat a more healthy diet. The good news is that people are at least thinking about and making an attempt to improve their health. The bad news is that according to John C. Norcross, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Scranton and author of Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions, 60% of people who made resolutions in January have given up on them by July. Norcross cites a study from the Journal of Clinical Psychology as showing that people who make a new year resolution are 10 times more likely to be successful in making the change they desire than those who may want change but don't put it into a formal resolution. This is encouraging for those who do make resolutions, but there are still a lot of people wanting change and not getting results quickly enough to encourage them to keep at it. This is where some planning and gaining a new perspective on issues can help make your resolution more successful.

Change Your Way of Thinking
Heidi Reeder, PhD, author of Commit to Win: How to Harness the Four Elements of Commitment to Reach Your Goals, says most people think they need willpower and motivation to achieve their goals, but that actually what is needed is commitment to accomplish a long term goal. She suggests breaking long term goals down into smaller goals and rewarding yourself for each step along the way. When making your goal plan, look for the things that prevent you from achieving your goal and have a back-up plan for when those things come up. If your goal has to do with losing weight, David Grotto, RD, author of The Best Things You Can Eat, suggests that you make your resolution about eating healthier and not saying that you are going on a diet. Eating healthier is a lifelong commitment and lifestyle change whereas being on a diet implies that there is a start and a finish to it. When it comes to losing weight psychologist Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD has a good tip of rating how hungry you are from 1 to 10 and eat if you are in the middle of this range. This will prevent eating when bored or from habit when you aren't really hungry and help avoid overeating when you've gone too long and are really, really hungry.

It may just be that you need to change the way you look at your body and make sure you are setting realistic goals for your body type. This is an especially good concept to pass on to young girls and teens. People who have a positive body image are happier, more comfortable with themselves and more realistic about themselves. Those with a negative body image are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and even eating disorders. The main thing is that your body is healthy no matter what size you are. Sure, it doesn't pay off in health benefits to be over flabby and severely overweight, but this doesn't mean that we all have to be a size 3 either. Healthy bodies can be a variety of sizes and shapes. Rather than concentrating on the parts of your body that you don't like, begin looking for things you can appreciate about your body. This might be gaining appreciation for what an intricate and complex system the body is or the various functions and sensations it provides for us. Adequate rest, exercise and a healthy diet can also help raise self-esteem, energy levels, and give you a better body image perspective.

Boosting Self Image
Alice Domar, PhD, director of the Mind/Body Center for Women's Health at Boston IVF, suggests one way to change your body image is to start with making a list of alternative statements to the negative ones you usually make about your body or that others may throw at you. Become aware of the words you use when describing your own looks and others' looks. Also stay realistic about your body type and other factors. For example, it is not realistic to think that a 60 year old body can look the same as it did in its 20's. Studies show that practicing good posture can help improve body image and confidence so start being aware of sitting and standing up straight. There is also research that supports keeping track of your goal progress as you are more likely to be successful if there is a system of accountability or monitoring in place. Susan B. Roberts, PhD, professor of nutrition and of psychiatry at Tufts University suggests making substitutions for unhealthy snacks with a healthier option and that doing this 10 times consecutively will start your body craving the healthier snack. Managing stress is also an important part of boosting self image. Make it a priority this new year to find a way to deal with stress. Be sure to take vacation days that you have coming to you as we all need a break and the time to relax. For those with an active and stressful lifestyle there are whole food supplements that can help provide supportive nutrition to keep the body running at its peak. This supplement combines vegetable-based glucosamine, chondroitin, UC-II® undenatured collagen and AFA bluegreen algae to help the body keep up with all you do. This supplement combines a proprietary blend of plant-based proteolytic enzymes--bromelain, papain, protease, lipase, and serratiopeptidase, and organic AFA bluegreen algae to provide the nutrition necessary for the body to reduce the risks of inflammation and recover from physical exertion.

Even if you don't have a resolution ready to start on New Year's Day, it's not too late. Make your resolution today to change your attitude about your body and work towards a healthier body and a healthier lifestyle. Learning to love yourself and your body could be the best gift you ever give yourself.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.