Showing posts with label Diet and Nutrition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Diet and Nutrition. Show all posts

Sunday, 25 September 2022

5 Starter Steps to Self-Improvement


Let’s start by acknowledging that we’re fantastic just the way we are! Everything you’ve done and everything you are makes you you, which is a pretty terrific individual!


That said, we have to be honest with ourselves and say that there are things we’d like to see change. Maybe it’s how you deal with challenges or what you do when confronted with a disrespectful colleague.

 

These little habits or tendencies may not only be frustrating, but they could also be standing in the way of you getting an awesome promotion. So, why let them?

 

Below are five starter steps to self-improvement and feeling phenomenal about yourself.

 

Take a look.

 

1. Get to Know You

 

We take for granted that we know what we want. But unfortunately, no one teaches us how to determine our likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams. And it can take years until we actually know who we are.

 

One of the most important steps of self-improvement is understanding yourself. So, get curious about what makes you who you are. Once you become familiar with all the layers, you can start making the changes you need to improve.

 

Look at yourself objectively and ask yourself these questions:

 

  • What’s my biggest motivator?
  • What do I enjoy doing?
  • Who are my biggest supporters?
  • What are my core values?
  • What do I worry about?
  • What are my strengths and weaknesses?

 

2. Sleep Well

 

If you’re a night owl or just like partying, then you have to put your obligations first. It’s okay to go out with friends and enjoy a night out once a month. Yet, it’s a whole different ball game when you spend every night watching mindless hours of TV or scrolling through social media.

 

That’s ruining your cognitive abilities, as well as your physical health. Plus, it’s wasting tons of hours when you could have been doing something else.

 

According to the Sleep Foundation, the average adult needs between 7–9 hours of sleep each night. Getting that quality sleep will help you wake up fresh, energized, and ready to embark on a new day.

 

Besides keeping you focused and alert, good sleep boosts your immune system, reduces stress, and helps you maintain your weight. In addition, sleep can lower the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and Type-2 diabetes.

 

3. Work Out

 

Your physical well-being has a direct impact on your mental and emotional state. Therefore, being healthy is important to living a high-quality lifestyle and not fearing what needs to be changed or improved.

 

More importantly, through regular exercise and eating healthy foods, you fuel your body and mind. So, you stop aching all over and start feeling energized.

 

You can go up a flight of stairs without feeling like your heart is about to pop out of your chest. Walking becomes your new mode of transportation, and your clothes look better than ever on you.

 

Combined, these things factor in on how you feel about yourself. When you look good, your self-esteem gets a nice boost. You become more confident to try new things or meet new people.

 

4. Stay Curious

 

Make a habit of learning something new each day for the rest of your life. Being exposed to new ways of thinking and doing has the power of changing the quality of your thoughts.

 

You get to see things from a different perspective, which gives you insight into new information. As a result, you can start changing how you live for the better.

 

Being curious doesn’t always have to be for young, eager children. You can do the same thing at any age to help you stay alert and active.

 

After all, if we’re not learning and growing, then we’re dying. Check out some ways to keep learning at any age:

 

  • Read 1–2 books each week
  • Take an online course
  • Sign up for a class at your local community center
  • Do something that scares you once a month

 

5. Celebrate Your Successes

 

No one knows about celebrating successes perhaps better than Nelson Mandela. He said, “Remember to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead.”

 

Make a habit of recognizing your hard work and accomplishments and the sacrifices you made to get there. Be proud of your progress and how you feel about everything you’ve learned in the process.

 

When you look back and know what you’re capable of achieving, you get a fresh insight into what needs to be tweaked for the next challenge. Then, you can make changes where needed to keep moving forward and improving day by day!



Sunday, 21 August 2022

Risk Factors For Alcoholism


Alcoholism goes by several names, including alcohol dependence, alcohol abuse, and alcohol use disorder. Recently, it’s been diagnosed as a disease that happens when someone drinks so much that their bodies become addicted to consuming alcohol. It becomes a craving they can’t shake off, no matter how much they drink.

 

Then, the more they drink, the more they’re affected by it because it causes chemical changes in the brain. These changes make you feel intense pleasure whenever you get a drink.

 

This acute sense of pleasure makes them drink more often, regardless of the harm it causes. As a result, people who suffer from alcoholism will keep drinking even if it means destroying relationships or losing their jobs. Still, it’s not enough to make them stop drinking.

 

Even though the exact cause is still unknown, certain risk factors for alcoholism can increase a person’s risk of developing this disorder.

 

Take a look.

 

5 Risk Factors for Alcoholism

 

Alcoholism is a complex disorder with many underlying causes. Therefore, the factors that impact one person can be different for someone else. The factors that can increase the risk for alcoholism are called ‘risk factors.’

 

Still, you can have one or more of these risk factors and still not develop a drinking problem. Yet, it does make you more susceptible. So, it pays to be extra careful when you’re around alcohol.

 

Below is a list of the five most common risk factors of this debilitating disease, commonly referred to as alcohol use disorder (AUD).

 

Mental Health Problems

 

According to several studies, anyone suffering from a mental health issue is more at risk for developing any type of addiction, including alcoholism. And it’s not just related to alcohol; it can also be an addiction to drugs, opioids, cigarettes, and even food.

 

A Close Relative with Alcoholism

 

If one of your parents, siblings, or another close relative has alcoholism, this can increase the risk of developing AUD yourself.

 

The main reason is the person’s influence on your genetic make-up. Studies show that there are specific genes that react differently to alcohol than others and may even be more vulnerable to its effects.

 

A second important reason is an alcoholic relative can affect your environment. Whether you realize it or not, growing up around alcoholics can determine whether or not you’ll decide to be swayed to alcohol use later in life.

 

Binge Drinking

 

Binge drinking is when a person drinks excessively in a short amount of time.

 

For men, this is in the range of having more than five drinks in one sitting. As for women, it’s about four or more drinks.

 

This type of risk factor is more common in young adults between the ages of 18 to 34. Coincidently, this is the time when college students are dealing with the pressures of school. Then, they graduate and have to deal with the responsibilities of balancing work and life.


Nevertheless, many people over the age of 34 are also binge drinkers. It happens more often when they’re in an uncomfortable setting and feel an urge to ease their anxiety so they can relax and have a good time.

 

Exceed the Average Weekly Limit

 

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adult men of the legal drinking age can have two drinks or less per day. For women, it’s one drink or less in a day.

 

Alternatively, men who drink 14 or more drinks per week, or more than five drinks per day, are at a higher risk of suffering alcohol use disorder.

 

At the same time, women who drink more than 7 drinks per week are also more liable to suffer from alcoholism.

 

The number of drinks varies from men and women because of the difference in their body composition. It also takes into account how they metabolize food, with women being more vulnerable to the adverse effects of alcoholic beverages than men.

 

High-Stress Levels

 

Stress is a common risk factor for many addictive substances, as well as dozens of mental and physical health disorders, including alcohol use. Research shows that many cases of alcoholism stem from a high-stress situation related to school, work, money, or relationships.

 

Alcohol acts as a sedative. So, when you’re overly stressed, alcohol becomes the only way to handle your negative emotions, allowing you to de-stress and take your mind off your problems.

 

Yet, if left unchecked, excessive drinking quickly turns into an addiction. And all those feelings stay bottled up, leading to more serious mental health issues, such as the ones mentioned above.

 

To Sum Up

 

If you, or anyone you know, has one or more of these risk factors, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll lead to alcoholism. Yet, it does mean you have to be extra careful anytime alcohol is being served. For example, start by making a conscious choice to limit your alcohol intake.

 

However, if you suspect that you have a drinking problem, then it might be time to seek treatment. There are numerous treatments to choose from, but all are designed with one aim in mind: to help you take your first step towards a better tomorrow.



Sunday, 5 June 2022

Losing Weight After 50


As you get older, you may notice that it is increasingly difficult to lose weight. This is especially true after you pass the milestone 50th birthday. Don’t fret though, as there are many tips you can use to help you to effectively lose weight after you turn 50. 

 

Why Is It So Hard To Lose Weight After 50?

 

You may be wondering why turning 50 is so hard on your body. And honestly, a lot of it has to do with your lifestyle slowing down. Chances are you are no longer as active as you were before, spending more time sedentary than in your previous decades. And according to Healthline, 50 is also when you experience metabolic changes that also contribute to having less energy and weight gain. 

 

Your social life is also probably slowing down at this time as well. If you have kids, they no longer need the constant chasing they needed when they were young, and your friends are probably no longer inviting you for jogs in the park. You are also more comfortable and established at your job, no longer working a side hustle to make ends meet. All of this adds up to a life that is generally much less active overall. 

 

How Do You Remedy This?

 

Although you are probably receiving less invitations to do active things with friends, this doesn’t mean that you can’t invite them to do something active with you! Next time you find yourself with a free afternoon, invite a friend for a walk around the park. This way you will be doing something active that is good for your body while also being social.

 

And if you haven’t already, it’s probably time to switch out your diet for something a little bit healthier. Back in the day, it was easy to work off any excess calories you may have consumed. But now it takes more exercise than ever to burn off extra calories, so it’s better to just stick to a healthy diet. If your life is especially sedentary, it may be time to cut back on your portion sizes as well.

 

Shift From Cardio To Strength Training

 

Besides just eating right and trying to stay active, as you grow older it’s also critical that you swap your exercises from cardio based to more strength training. This is because your muscles and bones are more likely to be injured now than ever before, and with proper strength training you can prepare your body properly for exercise and mitigate injuries. 

 

This doesn’t mean you have to stop all cardio however, and if you are an avid athlete like a runner or biker—keep on doing what you are doing! But be aware that you need to schedule ample time for strength training in order to retain your muscle strength, as this decreases after 50 even with a cardio routine. 

 

In one article on Healthline, it is mentioned that strength training also helps to boost your metabolism, which will help you to have more energy. And when you have more energy for your workout, this will keep you on track for your weight loss goals. Just make sure you develop a regular workout routine and stick to it. 

 

Losing weight after 50 can be a challenge. This is because once you hit the milestone birthday, your metabolism starts to slow and your life becomes more sedentary. Combat this by keeping yourself social, eating a healthy diet, and active, while shifting your focus towards strength training. This way you will be able to work out in a way that is beneficial for your body and lose weight as you enter a new phase of your life. 

 


Saturday, 4 June 2022

11 Ways To Avoid Weight Gain During The Holidays


Chances are you read that title and chuckled. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “That’s as doable as Santa going down millions of chimneys on Christmas Eve.”

But what if we told you it can be done? What if you had some science-backed techniques to help you? Then, would you believe us?

 

What have you got to lose? Read the 10 top ways to avoid gaining weight during the holidays.

 

Let’s get started!

 

Be Realistic

 

You know that the holidays are all about great parties and delicious food. So, pretending that you’re going to eat only one Christmas cookie is the exact opposite of realistic.

 

Instead of going extreme, try to be honest with yourself. Acknowledge that you’re going to eat more than you normally do and that you need to set some boundaries.

 

Impartial goals are hard, if not impossible, to accomplish. The best gift you can give yourself is improving your relationship with food.

 

Write down attainable goals and post them on your dresser or fridge. Seeing them each day will give you the power and confidence you need to apply your goals.

 

Make Smart Choices

 

An hour before heading out to a party or event, snack on some high-fiber foods, veggies, and proteins. All these will keep you feeling full for longer.

 

Then, once you’re at the event, use smaller plates. You’ll be forced to eat smaller portions.

 

Another smart choice is to chew slowly. We know that parties aren’t the best place to savor each bite. Yet, if you give it a try, you’ll notice how delicious everything is and you’ll feel full quicker.

 

Give Out Parting Gifts

 

Did you throw a party and now you’ve got piles of leftovers in the kitchen? Instead of getting stuck with the leftovers, why not pass them out as parting gifts?

 

You can invest in some disposable food containers, fill them up, and hand them out as your guests are leaving. Even better, pick containers with a holiday theme to earn extra hostess points.

 

Go Easy On The Alcohol

 

When you consume alcoholic beverages, you’re loading up on extra calories without even realizing it. For example, a regular beer has about 153 calories, while a glass of wine has about 133 calories.

 

Not only that, but excessive drinking makes you act irresponsibly, especially around food. So, let’s say you’d normally eat just a couple of snacks here and there.

 

When you’re inebriated, however, you’re more likely to throw caution to the wind. You may very well end up gobbling a plate full of cookies, rather than just a couple as you normally would.

 

Freeze Leftovers

 

If you don’t feel right about giving your guests leftovers, you can keep the extras. But don’t keep them in the fridge. Freeze them instead.

 

You’ll be less likely to reach for second helpings. Plus, you’ll have a ready-to-serve dinner all set for a later date.

 

Drink Water

 

Water is a bit under-appreciated, don’t you think? Sure, it’s colorless and odorless. But it provides us with so many health benefits, it’s hard to know where to start.

 

Since we’re focusing on avoiding weight gain today, let’s start with that. Drinking water regularly throughout the day will help you lose weight. It makes you feel satisfied, so you don’t eat as much.

 

More importantly, it’s not filled with artificial sugars that increase your caloric intake. Limit yourself to one glass of soda, juice, or wine each day.

 

Then, for the rest of the day, stick to water. You’ll start to feel less on edge and worn out because water washed out toxins from your body.

 

Chew Gum

 

Can chewing gum actually curb your appetite? The jury’s still out on that one.

 

But it’s a good way to distract yourself. Your mouth is already busy chewing one thing, so you’ll be less likely to help yourself to seconds.

 

If you prefer hard candy to chewing gum, that’s okay too. Just remember to get the sugar-free kind so you’re not harming your teeth.

 

Turn Off the TV

 

Eating while you’re watching TV has been linked to overeating and making poor food choices. You get sucked into whatever you’re watching. Then, before you know it, that newly opened bag of chips is now a loose pile of crumbs.

 

It’s not only mindless watching that gets you. It’s also all those commercials for processed snacks and sugary drinks that increase our cravings for low-nutrient junk foods.

 

Get Your Steps In

 

Not all of us can go to the gym three days a week during the holidays. There’s too much on our plates as it is!

 

So, to make up for it, you have to make a conscious decision to stay active. Why not use the stairs instead of the elevator? How about parking far from the mall entrance so you have to walk a few more steps than normal?

 

It’ll help burn off those extra calories. Plus, any type of physical exercise reduces stress and pent-up tension you may be feeling due to all the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

 

De-Stress

 

The holiday season is merry and bright. It’s also full of stress and anxiety.

 

The problem is that too much stress usually triggers cravings and overeating. And what’s the first thing you’re going to reach for when you’re anxious and tense? Sugary snacks packed with carbs, of course.

 

Studies show that there’s a direct link between stress-related eating and obesity. So, instead of letting the holiday strain get to you, try some de-stressors. This can be as simple as five minutes of doing mindful meditation or reading your favorite book.

 

If you prefer something more hands-on, why not treat yourself to a facial. You can even get a mani-pedi while you’re at it. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. You deserve it!

 


6 Signs You Are Aging Well


How old are you? Your chronological age or the number of birthdays you’ve had tells you how old you are. But are you aging well? Your physical, mental, and emotional health determine if you are aging well. Medical experts have identified these six signs that you are aging well.

 

1. Height and Weight

 

As people age, they normally lose a small amount of height. According to a study in Economics and Human Biology, people lose height at an annual rate between 0.08% and 0.10% for males and 0.12% and 0.14% for females. 

 

At that rate, you will lose between 2cm to 4cm over the course of your life. According to the University of Arkansas Medical Center, the cartilage between bone joints wears down over time, slightly decreasing a person’s height. If your height loss is within that range, it is a sign you are aging well.

 

Your weight also plays a role in how well you are aging. Doctors classify weight based on Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a calculation of body fat based on your height and weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), different BMI levels indicate a person’s weight status. 

 

The levels are:

 

BMI                           Weight Status

Below 18.5                Underweight

18.5—24.9                Normal

25.0—29.9                Overweight

30.0 and Above        Obese

 

Scientists have determined that a BMI of 25 or more is a risk for chronic disease and poor health. According to a study in Research on Aging, obesity is a health risk at any age, including as you get older.

 

2. Activity Level

 

Your activity level is also a sign of how well you are aging. When considering your activity level, think about your:

 

  • Posture
  • Exercise
  • Stamina
  • Independence

 

How well you carry yourself or your posture and how much exercise and physical activity you do reflect how much stamina you have throughout the day. Just as people normally lose some height, they also lose some muscle mass. 

 

According to the Harvard Medical School, after age 30, people lose 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade. This normal age-related muscle mass loss is known as sarcopenia. Less muscle mass means more weakness and less mobility. 

 

Sarcopenia also puts you at a greater risk for damaging falls. An American Society for Bone and Mineral Research found that people with sarcopenia have a 2.3 higher risk of breaking a bone if they fall.

 

Your activity level determines how independent you are. While it may take a little longer to do some activities, a sign you are aging well is how physically independent you are. 

 

3. Grip Strength

 

Another sign of aging well is your grip strength. According to a study in Clinical Interventions in Aging, grip strength is an independent sign of aging that reflects a person’s:

 

  • Overall Strength
  • Upper Limb Function
  • Bone Mineral Density
  • Falls and Fractures
  • Malnutrition
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Depression
  • Sleep Problems
  • Diabetes
  • Quality of Life

 

All of these health-related problems are signs you are not aging well. Good grip strength is a sign you are healthy and physically independent, signs of aging well.

 

4. Cognitive Ability

 

According to a study in Seminars in Hearing, your brain undergoes functional and structural changes as you age. These normal changes may lead to a decline in how fast a person processes information. Researchers have found that a healthy lifestyle reduces the risk for diseases that increase cognitive decline. Aging well lowers your risk for dementia and other cognitive issues.

 

5. Socialization

 

Humans are social creatures. A study in the Animal Science Journal showed that rats kept in isolation became more aggressive and had decreased cognitive function. Social scientists have found the same results in people who do not socialize with others. During lockdown for the COVID pandemic, four in ten people reported mental health issues. Before that, one in ten people reported mental health concerns. People who age well have a strong social connection to friends and family. 

 

6. Quality of Life

 

Regardless of how good or bad your physical and mental health are, your quality of life depends on your emotional health. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines actively aging well as the process of maximizing opportunities for health, participation, and security to enhance a person’s quality of life. Your mindset and outlook tell you if you feel you are aging well.



5 Habits Key To Maintaining A Healthy Weight


The Top Activities You Can Start Today

 

Trying to maintain a healthy weight can be challenging. With fast food restaurants readily available, busy schedules, and family, eating a solid, nutritional meal goes by the wayside. 

 

Alarmingly, the World Health Organization stated the following findings as of 2019:


  • 37 percent of American have cardiovascular disease.
  • 34 percent of U.S. adults have hypertension, a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease.
  • 36 percent of Americans have prehypertension, higher than normal blood pressure.

 

So, what does one do to start getting back on track? Start from the beginning. The following activities are readily available to you to maintaining a healthy weight:


Put away the electronics


In today’s society, almost everyone has a cell phone or computer. With busy schedules, often we check our phones when we eat. Justifying our behavior by doing two things at once. However, we are being destructive to our health. 


The tasteofhome.com reported in a recent article, “Eating while watching an electronic like the television, can lead to overeating or undereating. The brain becomes distracted by the program, and you can lose track of your calorie intake.”


Instead, use your mealtime as a break, both physically and mentally. Allow your mind to catch up with all the information it has received. Find a park bench where you can breathe in the fresh air and digest your meal properly before returning to work. 


Start first thing in the morning


Breakfast is one of the most skipped meals among American adults. As life has progressively gotten faster every day, eating is often skipped to get on with the day. Yet, as children, we are taught to always eat our breakfast before we go to school. Coffee is great, but we need more.


If you are jump up and run kind of person, keep a loaf of bread or bagels besides your toaster with some soft butter or sugar free jam. While you are putting on your shoes, toast your bread, put your topping on, and head out. If you are looking for something heartier, make breakfast burritos. Include veggies and eggs for added protein. This is also a great activity to do with the children. Create an assembly line and make enough for the week. Now the kids can tell their friends they made their own breakfast. It is a win-win. 


Do not fall back to old habits on your days off


When we do have a chance to relax and sleep in, old habits tend to creep up. This is the best time to check your diet. Use this time to try new healthy recipes and incorporate it into your weekly meals. This is also a good time to pack snacks when on the go. 


Treat yourself to a well-balanced meal a few times a week. Salmon and asparagus are great on the BBQ. For indoor meals try using your crockpot. A hearty stew with lots of vegetables is always a welcome meal. 


Use smaller plates


When plating your food, put it on a salad plate as opposed to a dinner plate. This convinces the brain that there is more food on the smaller plate, causing you to think your full when finished. This is called the Delboeuf illusion. It is the illusion our brains tell our hunger levels. When the same amount of food on large and small plates, is presented to the consumer, the consumer inevitably chooses the smaller plate believing they are getting more food. 


Next time you are having a healthy dinner at home, use the smaller plate for your main course and the larger plate for salad or vegetables. When dining out, ask for a side plate for your meal. If you are still hungry later, you will have leftovers to reach for. 


Go after the rainbow


This idea works great on salads and for snacks. The Centers for Disease Control recommend, “…federal guidelines recommend that adults eat at least 1.5 to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables.”


When making your next salad, add some red peppers and mushrooms for added protein. When craving something sweet, make yourself a fruit bar. Add fresh sliced strawberries, blueberries, and bananas to a Greek yogurt. For added crunch add some low-fat granola. Each week try something new and begin enjoying eating fruits and vegetables again. 

 

In Conclusion 

 

Make sure you check in with your body when changing your diet. The idea is to change your habits, and way of thinking about food. Before long, you will enjoy the idea of cooking good food and eating healthier. As French Author Francois de La Rochefoucauld once quoted, “To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.”