Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Weight Loss That Stays Gone

It sure is easier to put weight on than to take it off. But those extra pounds can leave you at risk for heart disease, increased LDL cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, respiratory problems, and some types of cancer and diseases. Sometimes losing weight is actually easier though than keeping that weight off. There are all sorts of strategies to employ and tips to lose weight, but according to research at Stanford University doing some planning for lifestyle changes, diet changes and an exercise plan before starting on your weight loss program can help you from gaining your lost weight back.

Tips to Lose Weight and Keep It Off
When you start getting serious about losing weight and keeping it off, here are some tips to use in preparing to increase your chance of success.

Get rid of the junk food – Registered dietician Rachel Berman suggests you go through your kitchen cabinets and fridge and clear out all the junk foods or unhealthy foods. Replace them with healthy snacks, fruits, veggies, healthy fats, complex carb foods, and lean protein sources.

Set realistic goals – Instead of setting a weight loss goal as a specific weight you will obtain, define parameters that your weight will fall in. For example, set a goal that you will weigh between 120 and 140 pounds or that your waist size will fall between 32 and 33 inches. Or set lots of very small goals that will give you success that you can build on. For example, set a goal that you will lose just one pound a week. Your goals could also include lifestyle and diet changes that you will make towards losing weight and keeping it off. You might set a goal to eat fish twice a week instead of hamburger or eat a healthy snack bar instead of a candy bar for your afternoon break.

Plan healthy diet menus – Plan menus ahead for healthy meals and snacks that can help you lose weight. Pick simple meals that you can cook easily and quickly or that you can cook ahead so that you don't set yourself up for failure. Planning your meals ahead can help you avoid buying unhealthy foods on a whim when you go shopping and avoid grabbing unhealthy food choices for snacks or for meals when you are crunched on time. Be sure to include lots of water throughout the day to help your metabolism keep working for you and quench thirst without craving sugar filled drinks. It is also a good idea to plan ahead by making a list of restaurants that offer healthy food choices so you don't feel deprived of being able to go out to eat, but are still able to stick to your weight loss goals. Be sure you don't skip meals when you start your diet program as this doesn't help keep weight off in the long run and doesn't give your body the fuel it needs to work its best for you. Instead make sure you start the day off with a good breakfast and eat smaller meals more often throughout the day.

Keep active – Some type of physical exercise is necessary to help burn off calories when losing weight. This doesn't mean you have to take up jogging or join a gym though unless those are activities you enjoy. Finding a physical activity that you enjoy will make it more likely that you will keep it up. This could include anything from hiking in nature to walking your dog to playing tennis to going dancing. Anything that gets your body moving goes. So try out a variety of activities and find which ones appeal to you.

Get your gut working for you – Much of the food we eat doesn't have the digestive enzymes we need to fully digest all our food. That means undigested food sits in the gut and shows up as belly fat. Adding raw and lightly cooked veggies and fruits to your diet as well as a high quality enzyme supplement can help get your body more digestive enzymes working for it. Adding probiotics such as acidophilus, bifidus or a full spectrum probiotic supplement can also help keep your digestive system working optimally so that you get the most nutrition from the foods you eat for your body to use.

You can get control of your weight and keep it off. The key is developing good diet and lifestyle habits that support weight loss and healthy living. Make a plan and make a commitment to stick with it and you'll be on your way to healthier living.

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Image courtesy of   stockimagesFreeDigitalPhotos.net


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Natural Immune Boosters

A strong immune system helps you fight off illnesses such as cold and flu, as well as infections, inflammation, and even more serious diseases. If your immune system is weak there are natural ways of boosting immune system function and strengthening your immune system. Studies have been done showing that people who do Qigong demonstrated a boost in the immune system and that the more optimistic a person is the stronger the immune system can be. One of the most natural ways though to boost immune function is by adding immune boosting foods to your diet.

Immune Boosting Foods
According to research done at Oregon State University, red grapes and blueberries have the compound resveratrol and pterostilbene that work with vitamin D to strengthen the immune system supporting CAMP gene. Grapes also help with blood pressure and blood circulation. Blueberries are not only immune boosting foods, but have also been reported as helpful for memory improvement for those with dementia, and in reducing conditions such as varicose veins, ulcers, cancer, and heart disease. Both these compounds are good for boosting immune system because of their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals before they can damage our body cells. Green tea is another of the antioxidant foods that can help with its catechin antioxidants. According to food and nutrition expert, Jennifer McDaniel, R.D.N., catechin is especially useful in fighting off viruses. Three of the most important immune boosting antioxidants are vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene which the body converts to vitamin A. Adding a wide variety of bright colored fruits and vegetables to your diet will help get these antioxidants working for you. The more you cook them though the less antioxidants you will get so go with lightly cooked and raw veggies and fruits to get the most value.

Amino Acids

The body needs amino acids to function and gets them from proteins. Cysteine is an amino acid that comes from cooked chicken and has a similar effect to acetylcysteine, a drug used for treating bronchitis. Chicken broth has been found to thin out mucous and block inflammation. This makes chicken soup an excellent way to get not only amino acids but also other healthy nutrition with added herbs, veggies and grains. Chicken also being a good source of protein can help build antibodies and has the antioxidants of zinc and selenium.

Did you know your gut is your largest immune organ? Your intestinal tract is full of good bacteria that help fight off bad bacteria and keep you healthy. Also about 80% of the body's protective immunoglobulins are produced in the gut. The healthier your probiotics or good bacteria are the stronger your immune system will be. Eating yogurt with live active cultures or taking high quality probiotic supplements with live active cultures can help support your colonies of good bacteria.

Beta Glucan
Beta glucan is a simple soluble fiber that comes from the cell walls of grains like oats, wheat, barley, and red rice. It is also found in abundance in mushrooms such as maitake, reishi, Black Trumpet, Turkey Tail, oyster, Poria Cocos, and shiitake and certain seaweeds like luminaria and in Baker's yeast. Beta glucans help in boosting immune system function by stimulating macrophages and other immune cells that fight off foreign invaders and are very effective as an immunomodulator. The body can't produce beta glucan for itself so we have to get it from the foods we eat or from supplements such as this algae immune support supplement that contains reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail, and Agaricus blazei mushrooms along with astragalus, beta glucan and bluegreen algae.

You don't have to settle for a less than optimally working immune system. If you find yourself catching every cold and flu bug that comes around, suffering from allergy symptoms or painful inflammation, it may be that your immune system needs a boost. Try adding some of these antioxidants and other immune boosting foods to your diet, get plenty of rest, find a way to cope with stress and look on the bright side of things and you'll be giving your immune system the support it needs to help keep you healthy.

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.