The basics of gaining muscle, being informed keeps you from losing motivation when legendary gains don’t magically happen! how exactly do we build muscle? the question that everyone who steps into a gym for the first time asks himself and interestingly enough the question that even top athletes and trainers haven’t quite managed to answer. what is the fastest method to gain mass, what type of exercise offers the best gains in strength, how often should we exercise, what should we do when we’re not at the gym. just ask in any gym and you will receive 3-4 different answers. there isn’t really a definitive answer and if there is we are nowhere close to finding it. different people can have very different bodies and reactions to the same stimuli. much like physics though, even if bodybuilding lacks a unifying theory it doesn’t mean we haven’t covered the basics. i will try in this article to present some of these basic mechanics so that anyone who wishes to build muscle mass will have a comfortable, informed base to start on. as time passes and you get to know how your body reacts to weight training you will be able to fine tune your gain and experiment with the more subjective theories. at first the process of muscle gain can be a bit counter-intuitive. not only do we not gain muscle in the gym but we actually lose some muscle mass while we lift. the muscle groups we exercise, especially in resistance training do become bigger, but it is not actual muscle, they are simply engorged with blood rushed there by our bodies in order to raise the oxygen levels and burn more energy. it’s how we can withstand unusually high effort levels. the muscle itself suffers tears and begins to break down during that sustained effort so in reality when we leave the gym we actually have less muscle mass than when we went in. catabolism – the breakdown of complex molecules in living organisms to form simpler ones, together with the release of energy; destructive metabolism (oxford dictionary) that is basically what happens to our muscles when we lift, our body starts to break them down in an oxidation process that results in the energy that allows us to keep going and cellular waste like lactic acid which gives us the soreness we feel in our muscles. anabolism – the synthesis of complex molecules in living organisms from simpler ones together with the storage of energy; constructive metabolism (oxford dictionary) these types of metabolic pathways are our bread and butter. this is how we gain muscle mass. the micro-traumas we have inflicted on the muscle have weakened it and now the body overcompensates by not only rebuilding the muscle tissue but adding more so that the risk of repeat trauma is diminished. that causes myofibrillar hypertrophy or simply put muscle growth. this process does not take place in the gym, it happens when we rest. so even if we had an excellent workout session it is equally imperative to rest afterwards, to have a healthy sleeping program and to eat a lot of proteins in order to facilitate the muscle building process. it has been shown that working very hard in the gym without a healthy nutritious diet and proper sleeping we can actually lose muscle mass. we need to take all the steps to ensure that the rate of protein synthesis in our muscles is greater than the rate at which we break them down. they need to be predominantly in an anabolic state. how much you should sleep or what you should eat is always in the debate, countless diets protein diets and supplements. and if they perfectly fit your workout, weight, age, body type etc. they can indeed offer impressive results. as a safety net though you just need to remember to sleep eight hours a night and include one of the many sources of easily available protein in your meals; red meats such as stakes, chicken breast, ground turkey, eggs, nuts, tuna, salmon and dairy products. hypertrophy – the enlargement of an organ or tissue from the increase in size of its cells hyperplasia – the enlargement of an organ or tissue caused by an increase in the reproduction rate of its cells one of the questions still left unanswered is whether muscle also grows thrfough hyperplasia. it is documented that the strains of the muscle become larger through the incorporation of proteins into existing myofibrils producing growth by increasing the size of existing cells. there have only been a few studies though supporting hyperplasia and so far all are inconclusive. regardless of the exact biological process however what we do know for certain is what growth responds to, and that is progressive overload. our bodies are very lazy and maintaining a large muscle mass can be a lot of work, that is why gaining mass can be so difficult, and especially keeping it. the body needs to be forced into action and for that we need to keep it at high levels of stress when we work out. progressive overload has been proven to be the best way of doing that, constantly increasing weight to avoid the body becoming comfortable with the exercise and varying the number of repetitions and sets to force it to adapt and constantly gain muscle mass in order to sustain the constantly increasing levels of effort. the best approach for building muscle is 10-12 repetitions and 4-6 sets. powerlifters use only 2-6 repetitions with maximum 3 sets they use very large weights, however, increases their strength very fast. unfortunately, most of that strength comes from neural adaptation; simply put they learn to use their muscles more efficiently. it is believed that can seriously hamper muscle gain, as we said before our body is very lazy and the more efficiently he can use the available muscle the less he needs to build more in order to keep up with lifting. ultimately however it all comes down to motivation. as long as you keep going to the gym, resting well and making sure your diet has enough protein you will gain mass. maybe not as fast as you could or as efficient, but as the months pass you will see results and slowly you will be able to adjust your routines in order to get the most out of your effort and time.Jan 13,2020 0
Pareto principle – a principle, named after economist vilfredo pareto was highlighted to explain an economic concept – how 80% of property in italy was owned by 20% of the country’s population. it is a standard principle and can be applied in a wide range of areas such as manufacturing, management, human resources, etc. in the context of weight loss the 80:20 rule is not any type of diet rather it refers to overall lifestyle change for faster achievement of results! the basic aim of a weight loss regime is to eat a perfect diet which can help you lose weight in a speedily manner. as soon as an individual plans to lose weight he/she adopts a rigid diet regime which rather than becoming a stepping stone becomes a hurdle in the process. this is where 80:20 rule comes into action as it helps you to stay realistic to your diet plans. it teaches you about balance and moderation, a concept that never exists in a fad diet. to keep it simple and straight the idea is to eat healthily for around 80% of the time, and then to feel free to eat the foods of your choice for the other 20% of time. it plays a key role in keeping you motivated and makes the whole clean-living thing feel doable for the long run. this rule gives more importance to healthy food choices which play a key role in achieving the desired goals. 8 healthy parts and 2 parts indulgence is what you should aim at to have a longer and happier diet routine. your 8 healthy parts should consist of a variety of fresh seasonal produce, lean organic protein, unprocessed whole grains and good quality essential fatty acids. to assist you with eating all the right foods is to simply think “rainbow” – if it’s full of brightly colored fresh produce you know you’re on the right track. for an effective application of this principle apply the 80% rule to weekdays and enjoy the 20% indulgence on weekends. it can be easier to live healthily monday to friday and roster in your treats and cheats as a reward on the weekend. just because you’re eating well 80% of the time, that doesn’t mean you should use the remaining 20% to go on an all-out unhealthy binge. you should still watch your portion sizes. they key to success is to plan your treat meals in advance so that you have something to look forward to. in case you don’t feel the need to indulge, avoid it! opt for ‘good’ food 80% of the time by cutting down on: 1. alcohol 2. white bread; refined flour 3. potatoes 4. sugar (visible and hidden) 5. bad fats 6. ready-made meals 7. fizzy drinks 8. caffeine 9. refined carbs what to do? 1. eat & cook healthily 2. breakfast is a must 3. eat slowly and stop when 80% full 4. exercise every day – or at least 4-5 times a week (half an hour) 5. drink at least 8 glasses of water 6. smart snacking – fruits, nuts, etc. 7. eat at least 5 portions of fruit and veg daily! to sum up the above discussion, the 80/20 rule is a doable, healthy lifestyle plan that helps you to reach your weight loss goals without losing out on fun and taste!Jan 03,2020 0
Are you also one of those who top up their fries and burger with diet coke considering that it is less fattening than the regular coke? considering the impact of sugar on weight gain people have now switched their preferences towards various artificial chemicals that have been invented to replicate the flavors of sugar. these chemicals are known as “artificial” sweeteners; they are sweet in taste and are often added to foods and beverages that are labelled as weight loss friendly! there is a big misconception which highlights that to reduce weight and lower blood sugar artificial sweeteners can be helpful. the truth behind this is that these sweeteners can actually increase your caloric consumption, appetite, and ultimately weight. the main aim of these sweeteners is to satisfy your sweet craving without loading you with calories, but recent studies have explicated some detrimental effects of its consumption which definitely outweighs any benefits these sweeteners may have for weight loss. following are a few major consequence of including artificial sweeteners in you weight loss and diet regime: 1. when consuming artificial sugar, you tend to eat larger portions the main reason behind this is that when people consume foods with artificial sweeteners they tend to rate them as “healthy food items”. this is because people forget that though it low in sugar but it still contains calories in the form of carbs, fats and proteins. along with this, many studies have shown that the number of calories consumed from foods with natural sweeteners and foods with artificial sweeteners is almost same. this simply means that there is no calorie reduction by switching to artificial sweeteners! 2. hidden carbohydrate intake mostly these sweeteners are used in bakery items which have high carbohydrate content. though insulin-stimulated from carbohydrates are important for energy and healthy fats yet it must be considered that excess sugar or starch are converted into fat and cholesterol. this makes it clear that though artificial sweeteners contain negligible calories yet the associated calories also contribute in fat gain and ultimately delay the weight loss process. 3. increased sweet cravings it has been explicated that sweet flavors sizzle the taste buds and increase the appetite; despite of their source. since artificial sweeteners are sweet they are bound to increase your temptations for sweet and carbohydrate products. along with this, if you consume sweet or starches you really need to move and exercise in order to burn them off else they can result in weight gain. this makes it clear that when you have artificial sweeteners rather than consuming less calories you tend to intake them more. 4. metabolic confusions along with this, another major reason as to why artificial sweeteners act as a blocker in the weight loss journey is that your body does not get be fooled by the sweet taste without the associated calories. the scientific reason is that when you eat something sweet your brain release dopamine which activates the brain’s rewards system along with releasing the appetite-regulating hormone. this plays an important role in informing your brain that you are full after certain calories. since you try to trick your body with artificial sweet, the brain get activated but does not receive the associated calories. hence, there is an overall metabolic confusion which ultimately results in excessive eating. 5. research refute the diet claim studies that have been conducted over the period of last 30 years have highlighted that artificial sweeteners stimulate appetite, increase cravings for carbs, and produce a variety of metabolic dysfunctions that promote fat storage and weight gain. it clearly refutes any claim that highlights the use of artificial sweeteners for weight loss! though artificial sweeteners have the potential to benefit the people suffering from diabetes or high blood sugar, but their use can actually hinder the goals in terms of weight loss. instead of using natural or artificial sweeteners try to include other natural replacements like agave or honey!Dec 23,2019 0
Want to save time by skipping your warm-up sessions? don’t! your warm up is the most important part of your exercise routine. no matter how long you have been exercising or how good is your stamina level you should always begin your workout with a proper warm-up. the major reason that warming up is laid so much stress is because it stimulates the cardiovascular system and warms up the muscles that you will be using during the workout. many studies have shown that lack of such sessions increases the risk of injuries during exercise sessions. types of warm-up some of the common types of warm up sessions are explicated as under – passive warm-up it is the least effective form of warm-up as it makes use of external sources of heat like sauna, spa or steam rooms to help your body warm up and get charged. this method is not effective unless accompanied by one or more of the other types of warm-up because they do little to increase the temperature deep within the muscles. basic warm-up this type of warm-up plays an active role in stimulating and ultimately increasing the flow of blood to the muscles. some of the common activities which come under this type include – stretching, jogging, jumping jacks, aerobics step, basic calisthenics moves. these activities play a role in strengthening the cardiovascular system and lungs which ultimately prepares your body for vigorous workout sessions. targeted warm-up this warm-up is required for specific activities like training with weights. the name makes it clear that this type of warm-up prepares the targeted muscles that will be used in the specific sessions. benefits of warm-up here are some vital reasons for starting out with a warm-up and avoiding the shortcut route.: 1. it prepares you mentally for an event by clearing the mind, increasing focus, reviewing skills and strategy. positive imagery helps in relaxing your body and build concentration. 2. a proper warm up session increases the blood flow to the working muscle which helps in decreasing the muscle stiffness, reduces the risk of injury and improves performance. 3. it also helps in breaking down the chemical complex of oxygen, which enables it to separate from the blood and ultimately enhance oxygen delivery to the muscle for better output. this ultimately helps in increasing endurance levels! 4. contraction and reflex times are improved with higher muscle temperatures. 5. exercising without warm-up places a potentially dangerous stress on the heart. warming up reduces the stress on the heart. 6. sweat is good for weight loss and warm-up promotes sweating. sweating reduces the amount of heat stored in the body. 7. the probability of overstretching a muscle and causing injury is far less if your body is properly warmed up. 8. warming up helps in preparing the cardiovascular system for impending workload. duration of warm-up prior to your more specific warm-up, a general warm-up should last for at least 7-10 mins. the more vigorous the exercise program or higher skills required in the workout, the longer the warm-up should be. warm-up considerations heart rate is a good indicator for judging the effectiveness of your warm-up. the heart rate should be no more than 10 beats above or below the low-end of your training heart rate range. a break of light sweat is also another good indicator of a sufficient warm-up.Dec 18,2019 0
What if i told you there are some incredibly simple tricks to kick start or rev up your weight loss plan? not fad diets. not insane workouts. just some very clever ways to trick your brain. hard to believe? read on for tips on how to frame your mind to sculpt your body: 1. eat in smaller dinnerware: ever noticed the size of plates at a buffet is often smaller than a la carte? it’s a way for restaurants to cut costs and reduce food wastage. our brains perceive the same amount of food served in a smaller plate or bowl as substantial. large plates make the same serving of food look smaller. it’s an optical illusion that’s very effective in tricking our brain into believing we’ve eaten more than we actually have. you can put this trick to use at home. eat healthy foods like salads in larger plates. eat desserts in smaller bowls. use tall thin glasses for high-calorie drinks. 2. be a leftie at the movies: are you one of those people that can’t enjoy a movie without digging into a bag of popcorn? you’re not hungry, the popcorn is stale, but you eat it out of habit. try eating with your non-dominant hand. you’ll find it slows you down considerably and the amount of buttery salty popcorn you eat is substantially less. 3. switch off the idiot box: are your mealtimes centered around the television? this is a distraction that can easily lead to overeating. your brain is so wired with the images and sounds from the tv that it does not perceive a sense of satiety and you end up chomping down on food without stopping when you’re full. instead, make mealtimes all about the food. relish what you’re eating without distractions. 4. go grocery shopping when you’re stuffed: you’re more likely to buy unhealthy, sugar-loaded, calorie-dense food when you’re hungry. do your grocery shopping after a heavy meal. it’s easier to exercise your willpower and buy only healthy food when you’re feeling full. this will mean there are no unhealthy snacks to reach out for at home. you can’t eat what’s not there. 5. mirror, mirror on the (kitchen) wall: something as simple as a mirror on your refrigerator or in your kitchen can influence your eating habits. seeing your reflecting just as you’re about to reach for the cream cheese can be the signal your brain needs to stop and make a healthier choice. if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you’ll have to try every trick in the book. these are five easy to implement tips, but they’re not going to work in isolation – diet and exercise will have to part of the plan.Dec 09,2019 0
Detoxification, or detoxing as it’s commonly known, has earned a bad reputation. many people think of detoxing as 7, 14, or even 21 days of drinking nothing but liquids. these short-term, high-effort, and nutrient-poor diets are ineffective at best and dangerous at worst. in fact, the human body is designed to detox itself every day through the gut, kidneys, skin, liver, and lungs. when detoxing is done in a healthy and safe manner, it can remove toxins from your body, improve immunity, slow down aging, increase energy, give you radiant skin, and help you lose weight. here is an easy 6-step detox that you can incorporate into your daily routine: 1. drink plenty of h2o: the human body is made up of 60-75% water. drinking water is the easiest and the best way to detox. what you’re essentially doing is helping your kidneys flush out waste from your body. the aim should be to drink eight 8-oz glasses of water a day. keeping well hydrated also does wonders for your skin and helps weight loss by keeping hunger pangs at bay. 2. work up a sweat: if you’re spending all your time in an air conditioned environment, you’re missing out on a natural way to detox. sweat is one of the body’s primary ways of getting rid of toxins. make sure you sweat when you exercise. spend some time outdoors. if you have access to a sauna, use it to get those beads of sweat rolling and expel those toxins from your system. 3. take a deep breath: poor posture and bad breathing habits keep our lungs from inhaling enough oxygen and expelling all the carbon dioxide. try some yogic deep breathing exercises, preferably in the fresh air, to expel toxins via the aerial route. 4. go organic: are you aware of how much of your food comes out of cans, bottles, and boxes? any food that is processed in a factory has chemicals, preservatives, and additives that accumulate in our bodies. organically grown food is free from pesticides. for a natural way to detox, cut down on processed foods. make fruits and vegetables a big portion of your diet – their high fiber content helps regulate the bowels and flush out toxins via the digestive system. 5. spice it up: turmeric, cumin, cloves, mustard, ginger, garlic, saffron, red pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, and cilantro are an inherent part of indian cuisine. they also happen to be excellent detox spices that are antioxidants and help the liver drive out toxins from our bodies. use these traditional indian ingredients in healthy recipes to help your body detox. 6. strike a pose: the systematic stretching and compressing of muscles in yoga stimulate the circulatory, digestive, and lymph systems of the body and helps them to cleanse and detox. in fact, exercise of any kind helps the body detoxify itself by breathing, sweating, circulating, and stretching. try these simple detoxing techniques to cleanse your body and restore its balance. you’ll feel more energetic, you’ll sleep better, you’ll look younger, and you’ll probably drop a few pounds in the bargain.Dec 02,2019 0
It’s not surprising to believe that commuting to work by bike or on foot will surely contribute towards your weight loss goals. though this is really effective but not the most optimum option owing to distance and time problems. don’t worry! new studies have shown that the same theory holds true for public transport as well. people who opt for public transport no matter how much they exercise or not they are likely to weigh 5-7 pounds lesser than people who commute via cars! this is simply because public transport involves a greater level of incidental physical activity like – walking from your home to the station, standing in a busy train carriage, sprinting up down the station stairs, etc. the related research was conducted in university of east anglia’s norwich medical school and the university of york; over more than 4,000 individuals in a three-part survey conducted between 2004 and 2007. the results of the study indicated that people who switched to travelling via public transport after previously commuting by car lost an average of 0.32 units – equivalent to around 1 kg – from their bmi over the period. this is mainly because you consider the activities related to public transmit more as a daily chore and you don’t even notice the amount of calories you are burning which ultimately contribute in weight loss! benefits some of the major ways in which inclusion of public transport in your daily life can prove helpful for weight loss are:- 1. daily workout you are working out on a daily basis and that too even without noticing it. repeating the activities on a daily basis make a deep impact on your body and weight. it has been analysed that people who commute using public transit for 30 or more minutes, have a reduction of around 2.25 bmi units, or around 7 kg (over one stone) over a period of 4-5 years. 2. controlled eating if you want to travel with public transport you have to be more punctual which automatically results in the controlled and timely intake of food. having food at the right time also plays a major role in boosting up the weight loss process. so indirectly public transit also helps you balance you food intake levels. 3. social support when travelling via public transport you are likely to meet people of similar mindset which results in building up a community for social support. social support from the community helps to increase the dedication and motivations towards weight loss goals accomplishment. so this makes it clear that public transit not only plays an active role in contributing positively towards economic and environmental benefits but has a major health significance as well. the above findings act as a motivation for all weight watchers commuters to opt for sustainable modes of transport.Nov 29,2019 0
All exercises are good, but when talking specifically for weight loss, it’s really hard to beat brisk walking. this activity will melt away the pounds, tone your flabby bits and leave you on an emotional high. it is one of the most efficient ways to burn calories and get fit without restricting your diet or enrolling into any fitness club. scientists at the university of pittsburgh recently revealed that overweight people who walked briskly for around 30-60 mins a day lost weight even without much change in their other lifestyle habits. not only this, another american study highlighted that people who walked for at least 4 hours a week gained approximately 9 pounds lesser weight in comparison to other couch potatoes as they get older. benefits of brisk walking some of the major benefits of including this activity in your daily workout regime are highlighted as under:- 1. it works even when you’re at rest high-intensity workouts like brisk walking stimulates effective “after-burn” in comparison to low-intensity workouts. even if you compare brisk walking with other exercises, it has been highlighted that by certain studies that it (brisk walking) will lead to greater weight loss, most likely because your resting energy expenditure stays elevated even after you are done. not only this, certain comparison studies have shown that brisk walking leads to 90% more calorie burnout in comparions to the calories burned through weight lifting! 2. keeps you dedicated towards your goals the simple rule of exercising is that if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick to it. it has been highlighted by certain studies that brisk walking can actually get you high. there is a clear linkage between moderate to intense exercise and morphine-like brain chemicals called endocannabinoids, which suggest endorphins alone aren’t responsible for the occasional flood of euphoria that rushes over you during a hard run. that happy sensation you had after your last race makes you want to go for another, right? 3. time-efficient and convenient you can do it alone. you can do it almost anywhere. you don’t need any equipment beyond a pair of running shoes. these are some of the reasons, brisk walking is the best workout for weight loss – it’s cheap, it’s accessible, and there are fewer barriers to block your workout regime! how long should you walk each day to lose weight? on an average basis, an individual should walk at least 10,000 steps (about 5 miles) in a day to stay healthy and about 16,000 steps to lose weight. normally a person walks about 4500 steps daily for his regular chores. it is suggested to increase your walk timing by 5 minutes every 2 weeks. if you follow this workout plan religiously, in just 3 months the results will speak for themselves. types of walking if you are bored of your daily walking schedules or patterns, how about experimenting with some new ways of walking:- 1.nordic walking this type of walking uses ski-like poles. john pocari, a professor from the university of wisconsin, studied the benefits of walking with ski-like poles forces people to pick up their pace and work harder without realizing it. 2. mall walking also known as “mallercise” in u.s., this type of walking was derived by the doctors who encouraged cardiac patients to incorporate indoor walking in shopping malls to hasten their rehab. 3. treadmills treadmills are softer and have easier terrain, which makes them a good choice for walking as they are less strenuous than the hard road. it is really suitable for people with terrain and back problems. for better results set them on a slightly incline level. thus, it is clear that brisk walking is an effective way to lose weight and you must include it in your daily routine to see quick results of your efforts!Nov 20,2019 0
Honey, often described as the nectar of the gods, is a thick, sticky, golden liquid produced by bees. honey is a natural sweetener, but it is not calorie free. in fact 100 grams of honey has about 300 calories (sugar has about 400). what makes honey better than sugar? honey is natural and less refined than sugar. it is sweeter, so you need less of it to sweeten things. honey contains nutrients like b vitamins, zinc, and antioxidants. it is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and immunity boosting. the body has to spend more energy digesting honey and it is less likely to be stored as fat when compared to sugar. honey has a lower glycemic index than sugar and is suitable for diabetics. it doesn’t contain additives and preservatives, and last but not least, honey has more flavor than sugar. how can honey help with weight loss? one of the hottest weight loss trends these days is honey, cinnamon, and lemon. cinnamon is an appetite suppressant, lemon kick-starts digestion, and the natural sweetness of honey causes your brain to stop sending sugar-craving signals. this makes honey, cinnamon, and lemon a potent weight-loss trio, and this is perhaps the single most important metabolism-boosting detoxifying drink you can sip every day to lose weight. when should honey be consumed? you should aim to replace all refined sugar with honey, but first thing in the morning, make yourself a cup of this weight loss elixir: add half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder to boiling water, allow to cool, add lemon juice, and stir in one teaspoon of honey. this concoction provides amino acids and minerals that are essential for good metabolism, regulates your digestive system, and keeps you energized. during the day, if you are craving unhealthy food, drink a cup of this honey, cinnamon, and lemon potion to effectively control appetite and prevent snacking on junk food. eating anything just before or immediately following exercise is not a good idea, but this mix of honey, cinnamon, and lemon water is an excellent choice for instant energy and to amplify the effects of your workout. our metabolism is at its lowest when we are sleeping as the body recognizes this as a resting state. british pharmacist mike mcinnes invented the hibernation diet – a simple way to lose weight while sleeping! it is as easy as taking a spoonful of honey in warm water at bedtime. he found that this fuelled the liver, speeded up metabolism while sleeping, and reduced the level of stress hormones in the body that lead to fat storage. what are the other benefits of honey? since ancient times, honey is known for its medicinal uses. warm water with lemon and honey is used to sooth sore throats and disinfect the mouth. honey is also used as a laxative and has been used to dress wounds, burns, and ulcers. honey absorbs moisture and is even used as a cure for nappy rash. which honey is best? some of the better varieties of honey you can look for at your local health food store or supermarket are sidr, hymettus, beech honeydew, heather, tualang, manuka, ulmo, and slovenian. raw honey is considered superior to commercial honey, but may not be easy to source. honey that is local to your region is more likely to boost immunity against seasonal allergies, but honey from new zealand is known for its exceptional quality. the best quality honey is 100% pure and organic. honey will not make your weight magically disappear, but if you are trying to get in shape, it is a smart choice. honey has a distinct edge over the empty calories of refined sugar. it can speed up a sluggish metabolism and satisfy sweet cravings. in combination with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise, honey can help you attain and maintain a healthy weight.Nov 16,2019 0
We all are aware that stress can have a negative impact on our overall health and well-being, but a lesser known fact is that stress can also contribute to weight gain and difficulties in being able to lose excess weight. this makes it more important than ever for the health conscious person to be able to manage their stress effectively. so let’s take a look at how stress causes our bodies to gain weight. crazy cortisol basically, when we are stressed, our body produces the stress hormone cortisol. whilst we do need cortisol in small doses to be able to function appropriately in emergency situations, having cortisol consistently running through our bodies (as is often the case in our modern lives) can have some serious negative consequences. cortisol slows metabolism, affects blood sugar level, interferes with insulin secretion, increases fat storage – especially around the midsection- and promotes cravings for fatty, salty and sugary foods. it does this in its role to protect us. back in the day when we hunted and gathered in the wild, we needed cortisol to help us to flee from dangers such as lions and tigers chasing us. these rare occasions when cortisol was needed ensured that we didn’t just freeze and get eaten- but instead had the endurance and energy to run for our lives (literally!). cortisol on modern life the problem is, our bodies don’t know the difference between the dangers from a tiger chasing us, and modern everyday stressors such as crazy deadlines, personal crisis, tests and exams, and racing to meetings on-time. all of these situations cause the same spikes in cortisol that running from a tiger caused- but not just once in a while. every day, all day (for some people), there is cortisol running through our blood streams wreaking havoc with our systems. plus, if you are stressed, you can’t relax and get the rest you need, which further spikes cortisol production – creating a vicious cycle. so what can you do to minimize the production of cortisol and to manage your stress appropriately? managing stress with herbs there are a number of methods that are easy (and not too stressful!) to incorporate into your life. there are various herbs that you can take to nourish your nervous system – depending on whether you want to strengthen and restore it, or to encourage calm and relaxation. try adaptogens such as ginseng or holy basil, or relaxing herbs such as chamomile and lemon balm. you can often brew these herbs into a relaxing tea- take 5 minutes out of your busy schedule to drink it while taking a breather and relaxing during your hectic day. load up on calcium it can also be beneficial to get plenty of calcium, which has a calming effect on the nervous system. calcium stores can be depleted by cortisol, so it is a good idea to load up on calcium-rich foods such as leafy greens or bone broth during dinner. cut back on caffeine it is also recommended that you avoid caffeinated beverages as much as you can as these can affect your sleep patterns and your overall nervous system function. explore coffee alternatives such as black tea, green tea, yerba mate, or rooibos to replace your usual caffeine fix. if you are struggling with weight loss and know that you also lead a stressful life, then finding ways to minimise stress and maximize relaxation opportunities is key to really being successful in your journey.Nov 08,2019 0
Almost everyone experiences cravings at some time or another. while sometimes our cravings can seem to overtake our rational thoughts and make us want to eat foods that we know are not good for us, they are not always a bad thing to be scared of. more often than not, cravings can be a way that your body is telling you something. maybe you are lacking in a particular nutrient which is why you are craving a particular food. the best thing you can do is to honor your cravings by getting to the root cause of them, and finding out what your body really needs. 1.you need an energy boost if you are craving sugar or refined carbohydrates, then the reason for this could be because your body is looking for a quick energy fix. the need for extra energy can come when you are feeling tired, and is the reason we often crave sugary foods in the afternoons towards the end of our busy days. you might feel like you must have a chocolate bar for example. what the body is really wanting is a quick fix to help get you through the rest of the day. the best way to avoid having sugar and carb cravings is to make sure you are getting enough sleep each day, and that you eat after doing exercise when you body’s energy reserves are lowest. you should also try and eat meals that provide sustained energy by eating foods that are low in glycemic load. to create a meal of low gl, whole unprocessed foods such as whole grains, vegetables, and beans are great choices. they are high in fiber, which is particularly important because it moderate the speed at which the sugar is absorbed by the body. also, make sure you include a moderate amount of good fat and lean protein to slow down absorption and increase satiety. 2. maintaining balance our bodies are remarkable and are always trying to maintain a state of equilibrium and balance. however, we sometimes will make food choices that upset this balance and your body then tries to compensate for this by sparking a craving for a food that can balance this out. for example, when we eat too many yang foods such as red meat, salt, and egg- our body will want some yin foods to restore balance. sugar and alcohol are extreme yin foods that our body would usually crave when trying to balance out the yang overload. armed with this knowledge, you can reduce your sugar cravings by eating less extreme yang foods and instead, choose foods that are more neutral on the spectrum. examples are whole grains, fish, sea vegetables, beans, root vegetables, and winter squash. 3. nutrient deficiency cravings can be a sign of nutrient deficiency. for example, inadequate mineral levels produce salt cravings, and overall inadequate nutrition produces cravings for non-nutritional forms of energy, like caffeine. cravings for different flavor or texture can translate to a lack of various nutrients. if you are craving something crunchy, try eating apples, rice cakes, plain popcorn, or nuts and seeds. to alleviate sugar cravings, try eating fresh, whole fruit, have a wheatgrass shot or try having baked sweet vegetables such as carrots or sweet potatoes. salt cravings can be alleviated by eating olives, pickles and pickled vegetables, tabouli, hummus or edamame with sea salt. healthy creamy cravings can be satisfied by eating avocados, rice pudding, coconut milk or even a pudding made with silken tofu or mashed banana. 4. hormones it is common for women to experience unique cravings at the times they are going through menstruation, pregnancy or menopause. this is caused by fluctuating testosterone and estrogen levels and they can be difficult to control. preventing hormone disruption and imbalance by getting plenty of sleep, eating a wholesome diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, and doing regular exercise can keep your hormones- and the associated cravings- in check. 5. dehydration cravings can be caused by dehydration. our body often misinterprets the sensation of thirst and translates that into hunger. next time when you feel your cravings coming on, drink a glass of water and wait 15 minutes and see if you are still hungry. the key is to really get in tune with your body so that you can figure out exactly why your body is craving what it is, and to then feed your body what it needs to make the cravings go away. the more mindful you can become of the triggers and signs, the better you will be able to control your cravings and stop them from coming on again.Nov 07,2019 0
Fenugreek seeds are a useful household herb – its seeds and leaves are used for various medicinal properties. fenugreek leaves and seeds possess a strong flavor and they are bitter to taste. it is yet another wonder indian spice that is widely used in kitchens for creating different recipes like curries, dals, and other vegetarian dishes. both its seeds and leaves are used in culinary as well as in medicinal purposes. one can do a lot of things for losing weight including exercises and dietary changes. one of the simplest tricks to weight loss is to include this healthy herb in your diet as it makes you feel full faster and then you eat less than you normally do. along with this, they are packed with vitamins such as thiamin, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins a, b6, and c, and are a storehouse of minerals such as copper, potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, manganese, and magnesium. following are some benefits of fenugreek seeds for weight loss 1. apart from treating diabetes and reducing inflammation, fenugreek seeds have proven results in weight loss. this is useful mainly because of its rich polysaccharide content known as galactomannan in its seeds. this component is so useful that nowadays it has also been extracted to create food supplements. many researchers have showed that fenugreek used contains more than 75 percent of soluble fibers which helps in promotes a satisfactory feeling of fullness. 2. fenugreek seeds have low carbohydrate content in them which prevents us from gaining extra kilos. 3. in order to lose weight it is very important to cut down the calories intake levels; fenugreek seeds are very low in calorie content. so including in our diet is healthy as well beneficial in losing weight naturally. 4. the presence of natural soluble fibres in the fenugreek seeds makes our stomach swell and gives us a feeling of stomach fullness thus suppressing our appetite. 5. fenugreek contains saponins that help reduce the body’s absorption of cholesterol from fatty foods. how to use fenugreek seeds some of the common ways to include this super seed in your daily routine are highlighted as under- 1.soak a tsp of seeds in water overnight and strain it in the morning. have this lukewarm water empty stomach to lose weight. 2. soak a teaspoon of fenugreek powder or use some raw seeds in yogurt. mix them well and eat it after dinner every night. this fenugreek seeds mixed in yogurt helps in weight loss as well helps in digestion. 3.boil the fenugreek powder along with the green or black tea and strain it. drink this freshly prepared tea on an empty stomach to curb your appetite. 4.take some fenugreek seeds and heat them in a pan over a medium flame. dry roast the seeds until they change their color in dark brown. let them cool down first and then grind them in a grinder to get a fine fenugreek powder. use this powder in curries or other dishes to consume it in your daily diet. thus, it is clear that fenugreek seeds can easily be made a part of your daily routine and can make a significant contribution towards your weight loss efforts!Oct 16,2019 0
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