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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