How Your Healthy Lifestyle Can Be Making You Tired

Let me guess: You’re eating clean, enjoying lots of fruits and vegetables, cutting out meat and are much more plant-based. You’ve also banned bread, cookies and cake from the house. There is just one problem: You can’t seem to stay awake and alert during the day.

On the surface this lifestyle may seem healthy, but it may include some behaviors that are actually zapping you of energy.

“Healthy eating can sometimes turn into something that is not so healthy and can drain you of energy if you are too restricted,” said Yasi Ansari, a registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson.

Here are a few ways a so-called “healthy” diet can make you sluggish — and what you can do to get your energy back on track.

Cutting too many calories

“If you are trying to lose weight and you reduce your calories too dramatically, this can leave you without the right amount of energy or fuel that you need to get through the day,” said Elizabeth DeRobertis, a registered dietitian and director of the Nutrition Center at Scarsdale Medical Group, White Plains Hospital.

Food provides the energy you need to stay focused and productive throughout the day. And though sometimes people think if they want to lose weight, they should eat as little as possible, this doesn’t work for the long term, said DeRobertis, the creator of the GPS Weight Loss Program, an online self-paced weight loss program. When someone becomes too restrictive with their intake, metabolism can slow down, and you may feel drained of energy. “You also end up too hungry … and end up overeating as a result,” DeRobertis said.

“If you are feeling low in energy, check in on the energy you’re taking in,” said Melissa Majumdar, an Atlanta-based registered dietitian and certified obesity and weight management specialist. “Start with adding an additional 1 to 2 ounces of lean protein, a half cup of whole grains, or 1 tablespoon of a healthy fat and reanalyze.”

Eating too infrequently

Going too long without eating can also make you feel tired. “Some people experience sleepiness or sluggishness as a sign to eat more instead of the traditional hunger cues,” said Majumdar, who is also the metabolic and bariatric coordinator at Emory University Hospital Midtown. “If two or three hours after a meal you are low in energy, plug in a balanced snack of fiber and protein, like fresh fruit with a handful of nuts or a small bag of edamame.”

“Identifying when your body starts to get hungry can help you better understand how to be most consistent with your nutrition and its timing to ensure your energy is stable throughout the day and you’re supporting your body in meeting its needs,” Ansari said.

Cutting too many carbs

Going low carb can also make you feel lousy. Not only can eating too few carbs make you feel tired and irritable from low blood sugar; it can also lead to dehydration, which can cause fatigue. “For every gram of carbohydrate stored in the body, there is approximately 2 to 3 grams of water retained,” DeRobertis explained. But when someone reduces their carbohydrate intake too dramatically, water is released, and it’s possible to become dehydrated.

“When someone feels a dip in energy in the afternoon, I always think of a plant that is wilted, and in need of water,” DeRobertis said. “When we water the plant, it perks back up. And I picture that is what happens to our cells when we are not well-hydrated enough during the day.”

Cutting carbs, especially cookies and sugary treats, is perfectly fine, but make sure you’re not skimping on fiber-rich carbs, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Not eating a balanced vegetarian diet

Banning animal proteins as part of a vegetarian diet isn’t necessarily unhealthy, but it’s important to be conscious about consuming a balanced intake of all nutrients.

“If someone chooses to eat in a vegetarian or vegan style, but they are not careful about obtaining enough vitamin B12 and iron (from supplements and plant sources), they may end up with anemia and a resulting feeling of fatigue,” DeRobertis explained.

Foods high in iron include beef, iron-fortified cereals, spinach and beans. If you consume plant sources of iron, it’s wise to add some vitamin C to enhance absorption. “An example might be a spinach salad with a small glass of orange juice or a lentil soup with chopped tomatoes,” Ansari said.

Vegans should also be aware of a possible vitamin B12 deficiency. “A B12 deficiency may take years to develop, so supplementing in advance if you don’t eat animal foods like meat, fish, eggs and dairy is key,” Majumdar said. Nutritional yeast can also add some vitamin B12 but would need to be eaten daily to provide enough, Majumdar added.

Eating too many carbs

Having too many carbohydrates in one sitting can also contribute to sluggishness.Even healthy carbohydrates turn to sugar in the body, and our pancreas, in response, produces insulin, to keep our blood sugar stable.

“If someone has too many carbohydrates in one sitting — even if it’s healthy carbs, like brown rice, beans, sweet potato, whole grain pasta, or quinoa — for some, too many can raise blood sugar, and high blood sugar makes us feel tired and lethargic,” DeRobertis said. (While this often happens among individuals with diabetes, it can happen to anyone who eats too many carbs in one sitting, she said.)

Pay attention to how you feel after different meal combinations, and if you notice that you feel tired after a high-carb meal, consider spacing out your carbohydrates during the day, DeRobertis advised.

Exercising too much

Overexercising can also make you feel tired. “How much is too much depends on the person, other demands in their life, stress levels, overall health and fitness levels, and the types of exercise,” Majumdar said.

Underfueling for a workout can also be a contributor to fatigue. “During exercise, the body typically burns a combination of fat and carbohydrates. If you are not eating enough carbohydrates, it is more difficult to fuel the workout, and if this pattern progresses, the body’s stored carbohydrates, called glycogen, aren’t restocked,” Majumdar said. This can leave you feeling drained, frustrated and demoralized with your workout, according to Majumdar.

“Take inventory of how you feel before and after exercise sessions and consider adding carbohydrates or calories to your intake, or reducing your exercise to keep energy levels balanced,” Majumdar said.

If exercise is eating into sleeping time, this can also impact energy levels. Getting an adequate amount of sleep not only gives you energy, it also helps the body to actively repair muscles and tissues used during exercise, according to Majumdar.

By: Lisa Drayer, CNN

Source: How your ‘healthy’ lifestyle can be making you tired

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Related Links:

Vitamin and mineral requirements in human nutrition

Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Vegetarian Diets

Food information to consumers – legislation

WHO | Promoting fruit and vegetable consumption around the world

Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Developing Vegetarian and Mediterranean-style Food Patterns

Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective

American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention

Added Sugars and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Children

Choose a fiber-filled diet, rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits

Chief medic calls for food taxes to cut salt and sugar intake

The Nutrition Source Healthy Beverage Guidelines

  The Surprising Fallacy at the Core of Nutrition Fads and a Guide to Healthy Eating for the Rest of US

Your Guide To Lowering Your Blood Pressure With DASH

Comparison of weight-loss diets with different compositions of fat, protein, and carbohydrates

Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apolipoproteins

 

 

7 Reasons You Need To Try Green Chef If You’re Keto

I’ve always hated grocery shopping, but with me on the keto diet now, it’s even worse.

All I see are aisles packed floor to ceiling with the foods I can’t eat. (Or can I? I don’t know anymore.) The grocery store is a struggle on a good day for me, but when trying to stick to a Keto diet, it’s a complete nightmare!

Reading the nutritional value on the back of everything I pick up is driving me bananas. Even the store assistant asked if I needed help because I looked so confused. Once again I left with eggs, avocado, and double-stuf Oreos for dinner.

Keto looks so good on paper and the results from it are amazing, but why is it such a challenge for me? Am I forever doomed to fail at it? Part of me thought yes, but deep down I knew that if I had the right tools and training wheels, I could make it happen. As I chomped my fourth Oreo I Googled *how to be successful at Keto*.

After some very boring reads, I hit upon Green Chef, a USDA-certified organic meal kit delivery service. They have different plans with specifically designed recipes to help you stick to a specialty diet, like gluten-free, Paleo, Plant-powered, Balanced Living and of course, Keto.

I highly doubted it would work, but it was the best option I could find, so I gave Keto one last go. Here’s how Green Chef helped me stay Keto Strong:

1. Why Keto’s So Good For You

The focus of Keto is lots of healthy fats with low carbs. So much of the Western diet is centered around carbs, switching your focus to fats as a fuel source instead can have so many benefits on your health. Once I got used to fewer carbs, (which wasn’t too bad with all of Green Chef’s delicious recipes), I noticed I was sleeping soundly, waking up revitalized, and my cookie cravings have vanished (almost).

2. Why Green Chef’s Keto Plan’s Better For You

Keto has never been so simple, every week I have a new menu to choose all my Keto dinners from. All of Green Chef’s recipes are crafted by chefs, well-balanced, and beyond delicious recipes. These meal kits contain a variety of fresh, organic ingredients that are all GMO-free, and all produce is sourced from local farms. I can really taste the difference, and it’s amazing knowing the food I’m eating is sustainably sourced.

3. My Time Is Of The Essence

It’s not just my time wasted in the grocery store, it’s researching recipes, planning the dinners and then all the prepping of ingredients too! Green Chef delivers premium, perfectly portioned ingredients ready to cook straight to your door. Quick-n-easy recipe cards have chef’s tips and mouth-watering pictures that give you a step-by-step cooking guide. Create and plate in around 30 minutes.

4. Savor The Flavors

Green Chef’s amazing team of expert chefs craft vibrant Keto recipes you’ll rarely find in restaurants. My absolute favorite is Provolone-Stuffed Beef Patties with Tangy slaw, sautéed bell pepper & mushrooms. The portion size–especially the protein–is perfect, and you feel perfectly full after every meal. I even usually have leftovers for lunch the next day.

5. Ding-Dong – Dinner At Your Door

Green Chef’s got your back with weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly subscriptions. Plus, you can skip a week whenever you want. I personally don’t, since Keto with Green Chef is going amazing for me so far, and I don’t want to lost momentum while I have it! But if you’re more experienced cooking keto meals, just needing a little help here and there, you can customize your subscription so it better fits your budget and lifestyle.

6. No Crave – No Cave

I use to think going Keto was a form of torture due to the monotony of the meals I used to cook, but not anymore. With 8 delicious new meals to choose from weekly, maintaining Keto is no longer a challenge. Variety is key!

7. Stay Keto Strong With Green Chef

As I continue on my Keto journey, I’m confident I won’t fizzle out this time. Green Chef plays a huge part in delivering everything I need to be successful to my door. Their globally-inspired, flavor-rich recipes mean I never get bored while still reaching my target weight. To me, Keto’s not a diet – it’s how I feed my body to be at its best.

Keto can be simple and delicious with Green Chef!

By:

Source: Keto? Try Green Chef. – The Journiest

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Easy keto recipes to see you through summer:

It’s the low-carb, high-fat diet that’s taken the world (and the internet) by storm. Here we chart our top 40 keto-friendly recipes that’ll have you in ketosis before you know it. See here for more on the keto diet, including its benefits and risks, and always speak to your general practitioner before making any changes in your diet.

The low-carb cauliflower pizza you need tonight

We went and created the ultimate keto cheeseburger (thank us later)

The healthy, low-carb butter chicken salad

The low carb spaghetti you need to try this spring

Ras el hanout, yoghurt and lime grilled chicken

Japanese kingfish lettuce cups

Colin Fassnidge’s prawn and herb omelette is the weeknight saviour we’ve been looking for

This goats cheese and vegetable frittata is the answer to your dinner dilemmas

T-bone steaks with asian-style mushrooms

Steak with porcini butter and charred onion

Colin Fassnidge’s skirt steak with salsa verde

Related References:

Keto Recipes

Healthy Recipes

Meals & Cooking

The Most Delish Gluten-Free Dinners

The Most Delish Paleo Recipes

The Most Delish Low-Carb Recipes

Totally Delish Keto Snacks

Keto Desserts You Need to Try

Easy Keto Breakfast Recipes

A Link Between The Gut and Diet May Mean a Cure For an Incurable Disease

Your gut is a thriving universe unto itself. This tiny cosmos is inhabited by thousands on thousands of microorganisms, which together make up your gut microbiome. Among other things, this internal ecosystem contains bacteria that we rely on to help us break down and process the foods that we’re not readily equipped to digest. But a slew of recent scientific studies shows that our gut also connects more broadly to our holistic health, even to things that are seemingly unrelated, like our brains.

The science is preliminary, but there is compelling evidence that what you eat — and in turn, that changes the gut microbiome — has an outsized influence on your health. But not in the way you’d think. What’s new — A new study published on Friday in the journal Science Advances looks at how diet could alter multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms via the gut microbiome. By feeding mice with an MS-like condition a specific diet, scientists were able to reprogram their gut bacteria — and reduce their symptoms.

The study started with the observation that the gut microbiomes of people with MS lack a kind of bacteria that, in most folks’ gut, breakdowns a nutrient called isoflavones. This nutrient is commonly found in everyday staple foods, like soy and beans. So, the team hypothesized that MS might be related to the absence of these bacteria — and in turn, eating more foods with isoflavones in them could alleviate the symptoms.

From there, they were able to demonstrate the critical difference that the bacteria’s presence or absence can make in this disease. Why it matters — This study is so intriguing because it identifies a clear relationship between the gut, the food we eat, and our brain and body health.

In the new study, the researchers go further than past work by not only establishing a clear link between gut bacteria and diet, but also the mechanisms driving the relationship — and how to potentially game it to our advantage. “The hypothesis has always been that bacterial composition is tightly linked to diet,” says Sergio Baranzini, a neurology professor at the University of California, San Francisco who was not involved in the research.

While other studies have investigated this relationship, “what those studies fell short of is showing what could be the potential mechanism.” MS is rare, but it also occupies a place in the public consciousness, in part because of its insidious effects on the body. TV personality Jack Osbourne and actress Selma Blair have both been diagnosed with the disease.

MS essentially wreaks its havoc by putting the central nervous system out of business. Over time, people with MS will slowly lose their sensory, motor, and cognitive abilities. There is no cure — but this study hints at the promise of dietary interventions to quell some of its effects. Baranzini was impressed with the revelation. “I was surprised to see that everything was working,” he says. “It felt like, ‘Can this be too good to be true?’ ”

Digging into the details — First, it’s key to learn about isoflavones, a nutrient present in many common foods, and what it does in the body.

Foods rich in isoflavones include:

  • Soybeans
  • Lentils
  • Pistachios
  • Chickpeas
  • Peanuts
  • Other beans and legumes.

Our guts can’t naturally break down isoflavones, so we host a strain of bacteria that do the hard work of metabolizing them. While beans and legumes offer myriad benefits, it’s not the isoflavone itself that is the secret ingredient to health. Rather, it’s the type of bacteria in our gut microbiome that metabolize the isoflavone. If you introduce isoflavone by eating lots of beans and peanuts, then the bacteria will flourish.

How they did it — In this study, the researchers fed a group of mice infected with an experimental version of MS an isoflavone-rich diet and also fed another group of infected mice an isoflavone-free diet. The mice that ate the isoflavone-free diet deteriorated far more rapidly over the course of three weeks, while the mice that ate the isoflavones deteriorated at a much slower rate.

The reason for this effect has to do with how the different elements of the microbiome work together to safeguard our body’s health, according to Ashutosh Mangalam, the study’s corresponding author and a pathology professor at the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine. He likens the gut microbiome to a town. The town doctor is one of the most crucial elements, and if you remove the doctor, then the town as a whole suffers. But, if the doctor comes back, then the town can recover.

But if you are worried about MS, there is no reason to start eating a bean-rich diet just yet (although beans are great). “In science we have learned that everything is a Goldilocks system,” says Mangalam. Everything is good in moderation.

What’s next — This study is a first step on the road to treatments that are cheap, effective, and simple. There’s currently no cure for MS, but more broadly, the effect seen here of a bean-rich diet hints at the influence of both isoflavones and the gut on other conditions to do with aging and neurodegeneration, like ALS, or Lou Gherig’s Disease, something Mangalam is confident will bear out.

Testing this idea in humans is on the horizon, though any human participants will follow a slightly different diet regimen — more beans. Baranzini also cautions that making the jump from mice to humans carries new challenges. While it may be possible to treat experimentally induced MS with a nutrient found in beans, MS in humans is another beast entirely.

Mangalam plans to seek out how the microbiome influences MS in other ways, too. “I am well aware that MS is not a singular disease,” he says. “We might have to divide MS patients into certain categories based on microbiome function.” “That’s what my dream research is for the next five to 10 years, to try to identify what [other bacteria are] lacking.”

Abstract: The gut microbiota is a potential environmental factor that influences the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). We and others have demonstrated that patients with MS and healthy individuals have distinct gut microbiomes. However, the pathogenic relevance of these differences remains unclear. Previously, we showed that bacteria that metabolize isoflavones are less abundant in patients with MS, suggesting that isoflavone-metabolizing bacteria might provide protection against MS. Here, using a mouse model of MS, we report that an isoflavone diet provides protection against disease, which is dependent on the presence of isoflavone-metabolizing bacteria and their metabolite equol. Notably, the composition of the gut microbiome in mice fed an isoflavone diet exhibited parallels to healthy human donors, whereas the composition in those fed an isoflavone-free diet exhibited parallels to patients with MS. Collectively, our study provides evidence that dietary-induced gut microbial changes alleviate disease severity and may contribute to MS pathogenesis.

Source: A link between the gut and diet may mean a cure for an incurable disease

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Critics:

While it’s important to understand that there’s a place for all foods to fit into a healthy lifestyle, some should be minimized where possible to help optimize gut health,” explains Turnbull. When it comes to eating for a healthy gut, these foods aren’t on the roster:

Refined grains. Refined carbs (i.e. white pasta, white bread) basically feed the “bad” bacteria in your digestive system, according to an article in the journal Nutrients,. This can “decrease the ratio of good bacteria found in the gut, which may lead to inflammation,” says Turnbull. Moreover, processed carbs are “harder for your gut to break down and are more likely to cause unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms,” says Bryan Curtin, M.D., MHSc, board-certified gastroenterologist at the Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy Medical Center. (See also: Is Fasting Good for Your Gut Bacteria?)

Processed foods. While you’re at it, cut back on processed foods (think: fast food, packaged snacks) in general. These items lack the nutrients found in produce that normally feed good bacteria, says Turnbull, and, ya know, benefit tons of other parts of your body. In fact, research suggests that processed foods create the ideal environment for inflammation-causing microbes, aka inflammation that can pave the way for IBD and IBS. Also, many processed, frozen, and canned foods are sneaky sources of gluten, so you’ll want to steer clear if you have celiac disease.

High-fat foods. Though fat is an essential macronutrient, eating too many high-fat foods (i.e. fried foods) can cause your gut to work extra hard, which can hinder microbial diversity, she explains. And research agrees: foods high in fat — mainly saturated and trans-fat — can reduce Lactobacillus and Akkermansia muciniphila, two microbes linked to good health. In turn, high-fat foods may exacerbate symptoms such as bloating, nausea, gas, and diarrhea, so it’s worth limiting them if you have a digestive disorder, says Turnbull. (Related: 7 Ways to Bolster Good Gut Bacteria, Besides Eating Yogurt)

Dairy products. When it comes to dairy, moderation may be the way to go. In fact, a diet low in dairy (i.e. the Mediterranean diet) can increase friendly bacteria — Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium — and decrease the bad guys — Clostridium — according to a 2017 review. You may also want to avoid high-lactose dairy if you have a digestive disorder or lactose intolerance, a condition that affects 68 percent of people worldwide, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. This includes “cow’s milk, buttermilk, low-fat yogurt, evaporated and condensed milk,” says Turnbull.

Red meat. To protect your gut, limit red meat like pork, beef, and lamb, especially if it’s processed. (Sorry, bacon.) Not only is it high in saturated fats, but red meat also reduces levels of good bacteria, according to the aforementioned 2017 review. Another 2020 review in Advances in Nutrition shares that red meat *also* increases numbers of the bad guys, like Proteobacteria. Talk about double trouble.

“While it’s important to understand that there’s a place for all foods to fit into a healthy lifestyle, some should be minimized where possible to help optimize gut health,” explains Turnbull. When it comes to eating for a healthy gut, these foods aren’t on the roster:

Refined grains. Refined carbs (i.e. white pasta, white bread) basically feed the “bad” bacteria in your digestive system, according to an article in the journal Nutrients,. This can “decrease the ratio of good bacteria found in the gut, which may lead to inflammation,” says Turnbull. Moreover, processed carbs are “harder for your gut to break down and are more likely to cause unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms,” says Bryan Curtin, M.D., MHSc, board-certified gastroenterologist at the Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy Medical Center. (See also: Is Fasting Good for Your Gut Bacteria?)

Processed foods. While you’re at it, cut back on processed foods (think: fast food, packaged snacks) in general. These items lack the nutrients found in produce that normally feed good bacteria, says Turnbull, and, ya know, benefit tons of other parts of your body. In fact, research suggests that processed foods create the ideal environment for inflammation-causing microbes, aka inflammation that can pave the way for IBD and IBS. Also, many processed, frozen, and canned foods are sneaky sources of gluten, so you’ll want to steer clear if you have celiac disease.

High-fat foods. Though fat is an essential macronutrient, eating too many high-fat foods (i.e. fried foods) can cause your gut to work extra hard, which can hinder microbial diversity, she explains. And research agrees: foods high in fat — mainly saturated and trans-fat — can reduce Lactobacillus and Akkermansia muciniphila, two microbes linked to good health. In turn, high-fat foods may exacerbate symptoms such as bloating, nausea, gas, and diarrhea, so it’s worth limiting them if you have a digestive disorder, says Turnbull. (Related: 7 Ways to Bolster Good Gut Bacteria, Besides Eating Yogurt)

Dairy products. When it comes to dairy, moderation may be the way to go. In fact, a diet low in dairy (i.e. the Mediterranean diet) can increase friendly bacteria — Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium — and decrease the bad guys — Clostridium — according to a 2017 review. You may also want to avoid high-lactose dairy if you have a digestive disorder or lactose intolerance, a condition that affects 68 percent of people worldwide, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. This includes “cow’s milk, buttermilk, low-fat yogurt, evaporated and condensed milk,” says Turnbull.

Red meat. To protect your gut, limit red meat like pork, beef, and lamb, especially if it’s processed. (Sorry, bacon.) Not only is it high in saturated fats, but red meat also reduces levels of good bacteria, according to the aforementioned 2017 review. Another 2020 review in Advances in Nutrition shares that red meat *also* increases numbers of the bad guys, like Proteobacteria. Talk about double trouble.

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4 Japanese Dieting Tricks I Used To Lose 20 Pounds

For someone who played sports throughout the majority of her life, I admit I was never good at portion control or exercising for weight loss. My teammates were extremely lean while I looked — as my brother would say — chonky.

I didn’t have the best relationship with my body so I wanted to slim down and feel better about it, but I couldn’t find anything in the U.S that I felt like I could realistically accomplish. To be honest, the fitness culture in this country scares me. I knew I didn’t want to drink Kombucha every day or attend expensive SoulCycle classes for the rest of my life.

When I lived in Japan for a couple of years, I was shocked by the not-so-intense fitness culture. None of my peers went to the gym, drank protein smoothies, or ate granola bars for meals. Throughout my time learning about their culture, I realized that the health culture in Japan gravitates towards prevention rather than cure, which is different from the US philosophy.

Rather than overworking the body to compensate for the overconsumption of high-calorie food, Japanese people eat balanced meals and walk miles for commute every day. Not many people go to the gym or buy expensive products to sustain their because their daily routine is already healthy.

I’m going to introduce 4 Japanese dieting tricks I’ve picked up while living with my family in Japan for a few years. These were all so easy to implement in my day-to-day routine, and they’ve helped me lose 20 pounds in a year without doing anything rigorous that my peers in the U.S were doing. I also believe these tricks will be helpful for those who can’t exercise due to physical injuries or those who find themselves constantly thinking: “I never have time in my day to do something more.”

1. Relax in a half-body bath every other day

A half-body bath may sound silly, but it’s essentially taking a bath while immersing only half of our bodies. The key is to take a relatively longer and warmer bath, which helps speed up our metabolism. The recommended bath time is typically 20~30 minutes — anything longer than that can burden your body and have counter effects.

A long bath of 20~30 minutes is a similar concept to a spa, which is also a large part of Eastern culture. A longer bath usually makes me start sweating after 5~10 minutes into the process, and similar to a spa, it can start to feel uncomfortable. To make this easier, I take my phone or a book to read to the bathtub so the 30 minutes don’t feel too distressing. Taking a half-body bath has become my favorite part of the day when I get to relax and spend time alone.

Americans tend to prefer showering over bathing, but the opposite is true in Japan. I used to shower every day, but I switched to bathing a few times a week and showering the other days. The trick is to take a bath in 100~106 degrees Fahrenheit water as opposed to the 92-degree bath that is recommended in the U.S.

I immerse half of my body until the water level sits right below my chest. A full-body bath in hot water feels constricting on my lungs and heart, but a half-body bath is comfortable enough to take for half an hour, if not less.

If the temperature goes down during the duration of the bath, I like to add some more hot water to bring the temperature back up to the stated range. Japanese bathtubs typically come with a thermometer that allows me to easily set the water temperature. In the U.S where this isn’t the case, I fill up the bath then add hot or cold water to adjust the temperature.

You may ask, why is this a common dieting technique in Japan? Well, taking a half-body bath makes it easier to stay in the bath longer while the hot temperature of the water heats up the body and accelerates the calorie-burning process. The total calories burned per bath are not high enough to be effective for weight loss on their own, but doing it consistently (like every other day of the week) will speed up the metabolism, improve the skin, and get rid of bloatedness. I’ve found it a great way to detox my body and experienced gradual weight loss after a couple of weeks of consistently trying out this method.

When I first started taking half-body baths, all the sweating made me feel uncomfortable and dehydrated. Drinking lots of water before doing this is important to stay hydrated and avoid passing out in the bathtub!

2. Replace rice or spaghetti with konjac

I learned this trick from my Japanese mom who highly encouraged me to eat konjac, also called yam cake. She herself lost over 15 pounds from integrating konjac in two of her meals per day, which she started doing as she could not exercise due to her asthma. This diet has boosted her confidence as she started to feel self-conscious of her stomach that came with age. To this day, my 52-year-old mom is often mistaken to be in her early 40’s, and she attributes it entirely to her konjac diet.

Konjac tastes pretty much like nothing or just a little bit salty, so it’s easy to cook konjac with pretty much anything as a substitute for rice or wheat noodles and it’ll take on the flavor of whatever you cook with.

When I cook rice, I mix the rice grains with konjac and cook it together in a rice cooker. This has helped me easily integrate konjac into my daily diet. Another option would be to buy konjac rice, which is konjac noodles in the form of rice. Konjac rice is made of , bringing down my daily carb consumption.

Konjac is also a great alternative to wheat noodles, which are high in carbohydrates and eventually get converted to sugar in the body. My personal favorite is containing very low carbs and are rich in glucomannan fiber. Glucomannan is recognized as an solution for patients with diabetes or high cholesterol.

Konjac is widely used in the Eastern world for weight loss and cholesterol management. The reason is that it is rich in water-soluble fiber that helps . Konjac also tends to expand in the stomach, slow down the speed at which the digestive system empties, and keep me fuller for longer. This is similar to the feeling of eating vegetables as they also tend to help us gain the satisfaction of feeling full while also not increasing sugar and calorie intake. Konjac is inexpensive too ($1.69 for 255 grams), which means I can skip out on all the expensive Sweetgreen meals.

3. Chew your food more, almost excessively

This trick is most effective for people who tend to binge eat or struggle with portion control. Chewing a lot helps the feeling of “full” last longer.

Chewing food promotes digestion in a timely manner. If we swallow our food without chewing it properly, there are two side effects: 1) The stomach has a difficult time digesting food, and 2) The saliva cannot break down the food. Saliva has amylase and lipase that help break down food and, on top of that, has an antibacterial effect. Chewing food almost excessively lets our saliva do its job, which can be extremely powerful.

In addition, chewing alone releases histamine to the brain that tricks it into thinking that we’re full. It’s a simple mind trick, but I found myself eating smaller portions when I remind myself to keep chewing. The trick is to chew at least 30 times for each bite of food, alternating between chewing on the right and left sides of your mouth. We tend to have a “favorite” side to chew on, but chewing with only one side is tougher on your jaw and is said to cause an imbalanced body.

In Japan, it’s a common understanding that there are two types of bodies: 1) a healthy body that can lose weight, and 2) an imbalanced body that is more resistant to weight loss. The first step to weight loss is building a body that can easily lose weight. To do this, Japanese people speed up their metabolism by taking half-body baths and chewing at least 30 times.

4. Eat vegetables first

This is ingrained in Japanese culture, in which your favorite aunties will insist that you eat your vegetables before consuming other foods. Japanese meals traditionally come in a healthy balance of grains, protein, and vegetables, and Japanese people always start tackling their vegetables before indulging in the protein and grains.

This trick is partially psychological, as eating vegetables first makes us feel fuller before eating other foods. Again, this helped me a lot with portion control. Vegetables also have a lot of fiber, which is known to help with digestion.

That’s not why Japanese people eat vegetables first, though. They actually eat vegetables first because they say there is a strong correlation between insulin and weight loss. My Japanese mom explained it to me like this:

When the body absorbs sugar from the food that we eat, the sugar level spikes up. Then the sugar that we consume gets converted into energy, helping us get tasks done and go about our day-to-day. Then our pancreas releases insulin into our bodies.

Insulin plays a role in bringing down sugar levels and turning the sugar that hasn’t been converted to energy, into fat. In other words, if the sugar level spikes too quickly and too much insulin is released, it becomes easier for our bodies to build up fat. That’s why when we eat rice, bread, or snacks when we’re on an empty stomach, our sugar levels rise up too quickly and an abundance of insulin is pushed out into our bodies.

This trick works because eating vegetables on an empty stomach, before eating other foods, prevents the sugar level from spiking up and insulin from being mass released. Japanese people say that eating vegetables first helps create a body that is more resistant to weight gain.

Some find it easier to lose weight while others find it more difficult. This was an interesting argument to me because I never thought about how people have different body types. While there are multiple explanations for this, Japanese people say that our habits dictate whether we have a body that is “easy to lose weight” versus the opposite.

Doing yoga, having a good posture, and walking often— these Eastern health habits all play a part in building a body that can lose weight.

What really surprised me the most was that these habits were common sense to people living in Japan. None of my friends or colleagues went to the gym — in fact, none of them carved out a time in their day to become skinny. They all ate healthily, walked a few miles per day, and remembered these simple tricks to maintain their health and wellness.

I didn’t see drastic results in the short term because I wasn’t forcing my body to go through drastic changes. But I trusted the process, focused on consistency, and I feel like I have a much better relationship with my body now.

I think of food and exercise as a way to treat and show love to my body. Eating protein-rich food and drinking lots of water make my body happy. If I start out with a mile and gradually work my way up to 5 miles, my body feels great after the run. I don’t want to make my body go through drastic changes and stress it out too much because it’s the one and only vessel for our soul. So let’s start small and make long-lasting effects through these 4 tricks:

  1. Take a half-body bath a few times a week to speed up metabolism.
  2. Replace carbs with konjac to lower sugar intake.
  3. Chew every bite at least 30 times to make sure the saliva is doing its work.
  4. Eat vegetables first to become resistant to weight gain.

By: /

Source: 4 Japanese Dieting Tricks I Used to Lose 20 Pounds | by Project HBE | May, 2021 | Ascent Publication

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Critics:

Japanese cuisine encompasses the regional and traditional foods of Japan, which have developed through centuries of political, economic, and social changes. The traditional cuisine of Japan (Japanese: washoku) is based on rice with miso soup and other dishes; there is an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. Side dishes often consist of fish, pickled vegetables, and vegetables cooked in broth.

Seafood is common, often grilled, but also served raw as sashimi or in sushi. Seafood and vegetables are also deep-fried in a light batter, as tempura. Apart from rice, a staple includes noodles, such as soba and udon. Japan also has many simmered dishes such as fish products in broth called oden, or beef in sukiyaki and nikujaga.

Historically influenced by Chinese cuisine, Japanese cuisine has also opened up to influence from Western cuisines in the modern era. Dishes inspired by foreign food—in particular Chinese food—like ramen and gyōza, as well as foods like spaghetti, curry, and hamburgers, have been adapted to Japanese tastes and ingredients.

Traditionally, the Japanese shunned meat because of Buddhism, but with the modernization of Japan in the 1880s, meat-based dishes such as tonkatsu and yakiniku have become common. Japanese cuisine, particularly sushi and ramen, has become popular throughout the world.

In 2011, Japan overtook France to become the country with the most 3-starred Michelin restaurants; as of 2018, the capital Tokyo has maintained the title of the city with the most 3-starred restaurants in the world. In 2013, Japanese cuisine was added to the Unesco intangible heritage list.

See also

Can Substituting Sugar With Stevia Benefit Weight Loss?

https://i0.wp.com/onlinemarketingscoops.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/signs-of-weight-loss-te-main-200727_98506497de17b6072ca7c8c987525d54.jpg?resize=840%2C420&ssl=1

The bottom line is that the only way to lose weight is to create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories than your body burns for energy. There are many ways to accomplish this, and targeting added sugars and replacing them with stevia is an easy and tasty fix.

Research has shown that subjects given stevia-containing foods or beverages consumed fewer calories throughout the day. (2,3)

The Truth About Added Sugars

It seems like everything we read talks about avoiding carbs and sugar.In the U.S., the average intake of added sugars reaches up to 270 calories or more than 13 percent of calories per day based on an average 2000 calorie diet.

Not surprisingly, the largest source of added sugars in the typical diet is beverages, including soft drinks, fruit drinks, sweetened coffee and tea, energy drinks, alcoholic beverages, and flavored waters. They account for almost half (47%) of all added sugars consumed by the U.S. population.

The other major source of added sugars is snacks and sweets.(1) Most people don’t realize how much sugar they consume from other sources like marinades, sauces, salad dressings, yogurt, crackers and other items that don’t “seem sweet.”

The 2015-2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting added sugars to less than 10% of total calories or about 50 grams per day based on 2000 calories.

If your body needs fewer calories based on size, age, and activity level, the gram limits are even lower.

To take it a step further, the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to 24g grams per day (6 teaspoons) for women and 36 grams per day (9 teaspoons) for men.

It’s obviously an area of concern in our standard American diet as the term “added sugars” appeared 138 times in the dietary guidelines report!

Knowing Your Limit for Added Sugars

Simply put, consumption of added sugars can make it difficult for people desiring to lose weight to meet their nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits.

Whenever anyone restricts total calories, everything eaten needs to contain more nutrients to make sure you get what you need for proper fueling while limiting total calories. One of the simplest strategies is to limit added sugars.

Why? Because they are more often found in foods that do not provide quality vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that we look for to help prevent lifestyle diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancers.

That’s where products like stevia fit in.

Can Stevia Help with Weight Loss?

Since stevia is a plant-based, zero-calorie sweetener with a taste 50-350 times sweeter than sugar, a little goes a long way. By substituting stevia for sugar in your daily routine, there are many ways to cut total calories and sugar grams.

  1. Using stevia to sweeten your coffee or tea (hot or iced), saves 16 calories per teaspoon over sugar. A few cups per day with a few teaspoons each can really add up quickly. Each stevia packet is formulated to equal the sweetness of 2 teaspoons of sugar. Take some with you to your favorite coffeehouse or restaurant and add your own.
  2. Instead of eating pre-sweetened Greek yogurt with up to 20 grams of sugar, start with the plain variety and add your own stevia, vanilla extract, cinnamon and fruit.
  3. Swap stevia for sugar, honey or maple syrup in your oatmeal, homemade salad dressings, baked goods and other recipes that call for sugar. Even subbing in ½ the amount in a recipe can make a big difference.

We would love to hear your sugar swap success stories. How do you enjoy Pyure Organic Stevia?

References:

  1. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015- 2018, 8th edition, Added Sugars page 54: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf
  2. Anton SD, Martin CK, Han H, Coulon S, Cefalu WT, Geiselman P, Williamson DA. Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels. Appetite 2010;55:37–43.
  3. Tey SL, Salleh NB, Henry J, Forde CG. Effects of aspartame-, monk fruit-, stevia- and sucrose-sweetened beverages on postprandial glucose, insulin and energy intake. Int J Obes (Lond) 2017;41:450–7.

Source: Can Substituting Sugar with Stevia Benefit Weight Loss?

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Is stevia dangerous for our health? Can stevia affect fertility levels? If stevia is safe, what amount is safe for us to eat? What other sweeteners are safe to eat? What sweeteners does Dr Greger recommend? Are there any studies on the safety of stevia? Keep listening as Dr Michael Greger answers these questions…….
This is for educational purposes only and no copyright infringement is intended. Videos; Dr Greger’s Q & A https://www.facebook.com/pg/Nutrition… Stevia vids http://nutritionfacts.org/?fwp_search… Erythritol http://nutritionfacts.org/video/eryth… Studies; Gut bacteria and Stevia https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8… World Health Evaluation https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2… Effects of stevia on health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1… https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2… Stevia and Fertility https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1… https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2… Dr Greger’s YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/Nutritio…
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