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Life-Changing Hacks For Coffee And Weight Loss

You may not be thinking of all of the goodness in your coffee when you wake up, stumble to the kitchen, and put on that pot. But, in addition to providing warmth, comfort, and a boost of fuel you need to start your day, that cup of Joe has amazing health benefits.

Your morning cup of coffee is filled with good-for-you antioxidants that can protect cells and combat free radicals in your body that cause illnesses and disease. Caffeine (in moderation) is also effective at boosting your metabolism for fat-burning benefits.

And, if you want to increase those benefits even more, this is the one calorie-burning nutrient nutritionists say you should start adding to your coffee for a flat stomach.

woman holding latte with latte artThanks to the popularity of diets like the Keto Diet, many people are getting on board with the fact that fat isn’t so bad for us after all.

The latest coffee craze is one that may have its roots in Keto logic, but has expanded to become mainstream popular thanks to three factors: it’s unusual, tasty, and, according to many who have tried it, works wonders when it comes to giving you energy and helping you burn stubborn fat.

woman leaning on counter drinking coffee out of mug

Drinking Bulletproof Coffee For Weight Loss

Add Butter To Your Coffee

To those already in the know, “bulletproof” coffee is coffee that has been spiked with butter. A few tablespoons of grass-fed butter can give your coffee a rich, buttery flavor that many say tastes like creamer. But its unusual and unexpected health benefits are what keep coffee lovers coming back for more.

espresso machine making a latteWhile there’s no denying that adding butter to your coffee also means adding upwards of 200 calories to a beverage that contains zero calories, some nutritionists say the benefits may outweigh the negatives.

“This may make the drink slower to digest and absorb, therefore potentially prolonging the effects of the caffeine,” Jaclyn London, MD, RD, CDN, Good Housekeeping Institute told Good Housekeeping. “As for the grass-fed distinction, proponents tout the slightly higher concentration of omega-3 fatty acids and some vitamins that come from cows grazing on an all-green diet.”

woman holding blue coffee mug

Correlation Between Bulletproof Coffee And Weight Loss

There is still a lack of data on whether bulletproof coffee truly helps your health, London says, and the only evidence that currently exists stems from research performed on rats. If it’s any consolation, those rats did experience higher metabolism and energy burn levels after drinking coffee with butter.

woman eating breakfast of yogurt cereal and strawberries in bedAccording to London, bulletproof coffee may help you lose weight — but that depends entirely on your overall diet.

“Bulletproof coffee could help you lose weight if you use it to replace a daily sugary short stack, or if you currently don’t eat breakfast at all,” London told Good Housekeeping. “In that case, BPC may provide a sense of fullness that you might not have experienced otherwise. Eating more calories from longer-lasting sources of energy can help you cut back on random grazing later on.”

But be aware because bulletproof coffee could also backfire on you: drinking your calories and sources of fat could make you feel more “ravenous,” London says. You could end up consuming even more calories each day.

cinnamon sticks and grown cinnamon on a table

If you aren’t sold on the idea of putting butter in your coffee, don’t worry. There are plenty of other healthy coffee additive alternatives that won’t pack on added calories and fat. Alternate coffee add-ons to consider include cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and coconut milk.

Source: Life-Changing Hacks For Coffee And Weight Loss

Entrepreneur Dave Asprey first added butter to his coffee to boost his brainpower. Now, he reveals what he learned about his brain to achieve his weight-loss goals. Subscribe to Dr. Oz’s official YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/1QhiDuv

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I Lost 15 Pounds, and This Is the 450-Calorie Salad I Eat For Lunch Most Days

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I’m a creature of habit. I like to drink the same 400-calorie smoothie every morning after my morning workout, wear the same three black pairs of leggings, listen to the same pump-up jams that I’ve listened to since high school (what’s up, early-2000s pop/punk). And as a creature of habit, I tend to make the same handful of recipes over and over.

Sure, that’s mostly because I’m a terrible cook and not that adventurous in the kitchen, but eating the same things over and over again can help you achieve your weight-loss goals. I have lost about 15 pounds since January, and I find that eating the same lunches repeatedly has kept me on track and takes the guesswork out of tracking my meals.

Since I usually order a takeout salad for lunch anyway, I thought it would be easier if I just made my own salad and brought it in. My 450-calorie salad is actually delicious and provides all three macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fat) to keep me feeling full and satisfied all afternoon. To make things even easier, I just bring all my ingredients to work and chop the veggies when I get there. I don’t have time to slice up a bell pepper or a cucumber in the morning before work, but I do have time to throw all my ingredients in a plastic salad bowl with a lid and run out the door — I like the 2.5-quart bowl from this Sterilite 8 Piece Covered Bowl Set ($12). Check out my recipe below.

450-Calorie Weight-Loss Salad Recipe

  • Mixed greens (usually bagged Spring mix)
  • 3 ounces of rotisserie chicken (no skin)
  • 1/4 of a cucumber
  • 1/4 of a red bell pepper
  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • 2 tablespoons Greek dressing

In my opinion, the dressing makes all the difference. That’s why I love Primal Kitchen Greek Vinaigrette dressing ($21 for two bottles). It’s made with avocado oil, so it’s full of satiating, healthy fats. I also get more healthy fat from one-fourth of an avocado. For protein, I opt for a slice of rotisserie chicken; I buy a rotisserie chicken from the store on Sunday night and have it the whole week. I also love a variety of colorful veggies to add some healthy carbs.

If I have had a hard workout that morning and know I’ll be hungrier, or if I want some crunch, I’ll throw in a handful of crushed Parm Crisps ($37 for a 12-pack) or get in extra carbs by crumbling up some Simple Mills Almond Flour Fine Ground Sea Salt Crackers ($25 for six).

Although it’s probably easier to keep a bottle of salad dressing in the work fridge, I don’t trust my coworkers (kidding! sort of . . .) so I use the GladWare Mini Round containers ($7 for an eight-count). I can measure out two tablespoons and store it easily. I love these little reusable containers for not only salad dressings, but also stashing nuts, nut butters, and berries.

I’ve been tracking my calories using the Noom weight-loss app and love how the Noom food database is huge and includes all of my favorite foods, snacks, and salad dressings. It makes tracking so much easier. Using the Noom app, I calculated that my salad is 445 calories.

By:

Source: https://www.popsugar.com/

Sure, a salad isn’t the sexiest lunch you can have. But this simple combo is quick to throw together, delicious, and leaves me feeling satisfied. I can’t argue with 15 pounds down.

Image Source: Getty / jeffbergen
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Sterilite 8 Piece Covered Bowl Set
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Primal Kitchen Greek Vinaigrette dressing
$21

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Parm Crisps
$37

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Simple Mills Almond Flour Fine Ground Sea Salt Crackers
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GladWare Mini Round Containers
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Sugar and anxiety are connected in surprising ways

 

There are some things you know are going to make your anxiety worse: WebMDing your stomach ache, foregoing sleep to list all the ways your work presentation could go wrong, calling your friend who freaks out about everything…But treating yourself to a scoop of Rocky Road or a cupcake from your favorite bakery, that’s going to make you feel better right?

Sometimes, 100 percent yes. But other times, that sweet treat can backfire, sneakily causing all sorts of changes that can lead to the opposite of feeling good: anxiety. Here, health experts break down the relationship between sugar and anxiety, and what you can do to combat it.

How are sugar and anxiety related?

The problem with sugar, says hormone health educator Candace Burch, is that it causes blood sugar spikes and drops, which directly affects mood. “The rush of sugar leads to sugar highs, giving a lot of energy, but then the lows lead to feeling sluggish and down.”

“Sugar can exacerbate your feelings of anxiety because of the way our bodies respond to digesting them,” adds Brigitte Zeitlin, RD, owner of BZ Nutrition, a New York-based nutrition practice. “[Sugary foods] cause your blood sugar to spike and then drop faster than they would after eating non-high-sugar-foods. This quick spike and drop causes you to feel uneasy and can even at times mimic a panic attack.” Having low blood sugar levels can actually put the body into a stress response, which, as Zeitlin mentions, can increase anxiety.

Our bodies obviously don’t like being stressed or anxious, says Zeitlin. People combat that in various ways, including reaching for sugary foods. “Foods high in sugar trigger the release of serotonin, which is a feel good hormone,” Zeitlin says. “We are trained to eat sugar and feel good, which makes it understandable why people stress eat, because they just want to feel better when they are feeling stressed and anxious.”

However, when your body is stressed or anxious, you also have higher levels of cortisol (a.k.a. the “stress hormone”). Zeitlin says when this happens, your body suppresses the release of insulin, the hormone that takes up glucose to use for energy. You now have a one-two punch of spiked blood sugar levels (since you’re eating more sugar to combat your stress) and storing excess sugar as fat since you’re not turning it into energy. “So, eating more sugar when you are stressed or anxious just amplifies the amount of sugar your body would naturally have already flowing, and contributes to more severe drops in blood sugar and more drastic drops in your mood,” she says. Enter a cycle of turning to something sweet every time they need another energy and mood boost, and a subsequent rollercoaster of ups and downs which can also contribute to feelings of anxiety.

This sugar-and-anxiety cycle isn’t just relegated to the daytime hours. “High-sugar foods can keep you up because of their energy that prevents your natural stress-booster of sleep from kicking in,” Zeitlin says. “When we don’t get enough sleep we feel even more anxious and stressed because our body missed an opportunity to process it properly.” You’re now going into the next day with less sleep, and thus lower energy levels and higher stress levels. And what do many people reach for to combat stress and anxiety? You guessed it: sugar.

And “high-sugar foods” doesn’t just mean candy, cookies, and cake. “Studies have found that women who eat more refined carbohydrates (baked goods, candy, white breads/rice/cereals, bagels, etc) were more likely to suffer from depression and mood swings because of the drastic peaks and deeps in blood sugar levels,” Zeitlin says.

How to keep sugar from contributing to anxiety

Of course, this isn’t just to freak you out and make you throw out all of the dairy-free ice cream in the fridge. Lots of other things can contribute to anxiety, including stress, coffee, work, and even family relationships—so cutting out Oreos isn’t the magic bullet for reducing anxiety. But the impact of sugar on anxiety levels can affect anyone, says Zeitlin—and if you have an existing anxiety disorder, sugary foods will likely exacerbate your condition, she adds.

One way to combat this is certainly to reduce your sugar intake, including processed foods and breads. It’s also a good idea to load up on foods low in sugar and high in fiber (think veggies, fruit like berries, and whole grains)—Zeitlin says they have a much more even effect on your blood sugar, which can help cut back on feelings of “increased anxiety.” She also recommends stopping eating about two hours before you go to sleep. “This gives your body time to properly digest and process the food—sugary or not—and let that energy subside in time for you to actually fall asleep and stay asleep.”

When you are eating foods higher in sugar, Burch suggests pairing it with foods higher in fiber and healthy fats. “This slows the absorption of sugar, preventing it from spiking blood sugar as much,” she says, and thus making it less likely to put you in an anxiety spiral.

But all this comes with a big caveat: Changing one’s diet shouldn’t be the only thing a person does to fight back against anxiety. “Changing your diet to limit high-sugar foods will not treat or cure your anxiety disorder, but it will help manage it better and optimize the times you are feeling good and less anxious,” says Zeitlin. Psychologist Gail Saltz, PhD, says some ways to reduce anxiety not related to food include deep breathing, working out, and (to bring it all full circle) getting enough sleep. If none of these lifestyle changes are helping, it’s essential to see a professional to help you come up with a treatment plan.

“Sugary foods contribute to mood swings and anxiety. Period,” Zeitlin says. And now that you understand the connection, it’ll be easier to be more mindful when you are consuming foods with sugar in them.

Additional reporting by Jessie Van Amburg.

If you want to cut out sugar completely but don’t know how, here’s some tips. And if your anxiety is worst in the morning, this could be why.

By: Emily Laurence

 

Source: Sugar and anxiety are connected in surprising ways | Well+Good

I’ve Lost 15 Pounds on the Noom Diet App, and Here’s What I Eat in a Day

I’m a fitness editor, and I live a pretty healthy lifestyle — I exercise five to six days a week, eat a whole-foods-based diet, and get at least seven hours of sleep a night — but in January of this year, I found my weight creeping up on the higher end of what I find comfortable. I’ve struggled to keep weight off my whole life, and thanks to my bipolar II medication, general stress, and love of happy hour, this has only gotten harder as I’ve gotten older.

I also have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), which means I need to be careful with my weight: women with PCOS are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance (and women with PCOS have a harder time losing weight, which makes this all a fun cycle).

All of that being said: I wanted to check out the Noom weight-loss app to see if it could help me shed some pounds and get back on track with a healthy lifestyle. Created with the help of registered dietitians and other experts, the Noom app aims to not only help you lose weight, but also change your behaviors and reevaluate the thought processes behind the decisions you make. Each day includes new articles on topics such as portion control, staying motivated, identifying your social triggers, and how to decode a restaurant menu.

Noom also includes a daily calorie target, which adjusts based on how much activity you got that day (you manually log your exercise or sync up to your Fitbit or Apple Watch). One of my favorite features of Noom is the comprehensive food log where you type in what you ate and track your daily calories. If your food isn’t in Noom’s database, you can manually add the nutrition information. It also provides a color-coded breakdown of your food based on how calorie-dense they are: green (fruits, veggies, most whole grains, complex carbs), yellow (lean meats, starches, eggs), and red (typically processed junk food but also healthy calorie-dense foods like oils and nuts). You are supposed to aim to eat as many green and yellow foods as possible and limit your red foods to 25 percent or less of your diet.

The biggest adjustment for me was keeping track of everything I ate. Sure, I eat a pretty well-balanced diet, but I’m often tempted by treats in the work kitchen or all of the tasty snacks sent to my office. After hours, it’s easy for me to let one glass of wine turn to three and get carried away with the free chips and salsa. Signing up for Noom really helped me figure out where I tend to overeat and track the true size of a healthy portion: 1/4 cup of almonds is a good-sized snack. Half a bag is not.

After four months on Noom, I’m down 15 pounds! Not as fast as I would have liked, but I do realize that slow and steady wins the race. I didn’t do anything radical aside from read the Noom articles, log my food, work out, and pay attention to my daily calorie budget. Although every day is different for me food-wise, here is an example of what a typical day of eating looks like.

What I Eat in a Day on Noom

My daily calorie target depends on how much activity I’ve done that day. If I’ve worked out and walked 10,000 steps, my calories will be closer to 1,500-1,600 a day. If I skipped a workout and laid on the couch all day (hello, hungover Sundays), my calorie target is closer to 1,200-1,300 a day. Here is an example of a day where I had a moderate workout:

Breakfast: protein smoothie (430 calories)

  • 1 scoop Vega One All-in-One Nutritional Chocolate Shake (170 calories)
  • 1/2 banana (52 calories)
  • 1 tablespoon Perfect Keto Pure MCT Oil (130 calories)
  • 1.25 cup 365 Organic Almond Milk Unsweetened (50 calories)
  • 1 cup baby spinach (7 calories)
  • 3 flowerets of raw cauliflower (9 calories)
  • 3 giant frozen strawberries (12 calories)

Lunch: breaded chicken breast with quinoa and broccoli (405 calories)

  • 3 ounces chicken breast (175 calories)
  • 1/4 serving 365 Everyday Value Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs (25 calories)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (40 calories)
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (111 calories)
  • 1 cup roasted broccoli (54 calories)

Afternoon snack: almonds and collagen water (180 calories)

  • 17 Blue Diamond Gourmet Almonds, Rosemary and Sea Salt (120 calories)
  • Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Water, Strawberry Lemon (60 calories)

Dinner: baked salmon with quinoa and broccoli (397 calories)

  • 3 ounces cooked salmon (195 calories)
  • 1/2 cooked quinoa (111 calories)
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli (55 calories)
  • 1 pat of butter (36 calories)

Daily total calories: 1,412

Food Color Breakdown

Image source: Noom app

On this day, I did a pretty good job of loading up on mostly green foods, a nice amount of yellow foods, and limiting my red foods. I know some of my diet staples are red (like MCT oil and almonds), but I’m going to keep eating them — I just pay attention to the portion sizes.

The Takeaway

I tend to eat the same things over and over, which is one way people find weight-loss success: it takes the guesswork out of having to plan so many meals each week. I also try and meal prep on Sundays, and on this particular day, I made big batches of quinoa in the rice cooker and broccoli (both steamed and oven-roasted) to last for lunches and dinners. I also baked breaded chicken breasts for lunch and salmon fillets for dinner to get my protein in.

My protein smoothie can sometimes be my biggest meal of the day. I make a calorie-dense smoothie like this after my big morning workout to refuel my body and keep me full well until my late lunch. Sometimes I need to supplement with a mid-morning snack, but most days I’m satisfied until 2 p.m. or so.

If I have a day where I know I’m going to be getting drinks after work or want to make room for a delicious chocolate chip cookie from the break room, I make adjustments in my diet the rest of the day. Maybe I’ll skip the MCT oil in my smoothie or forgo an afternoon snack. Sometimes I’ll trade in my quinoa at lunch for double the veggies or leave out the butter on top. Every little tweak or adjustment counts toward my daily calorie target. And while I didn’t reach for something sweet after dinner on this day, I usually have some type of dessert each day that’s less than 100 calories: a square of dark chocolate or a dark chocolate peanut butter cup from Trader Joe’s.

I have never felt deprived doing Noom and I always listen to my hunger cues. Noom has really opened my eyes to what an accurate portion size is and how to plan your meals around your daily calorie target. I still have a little ways to go to hit my goals, but tracking everything in Noom makes it a little easier.

 

 

Source: I’ve Lost 15 Pounds on the Noom Diet App, and Here’s What I Eat in a Day

Exercise Can’t Save Us: Our Sugar Intake Is The Real Culprit, Say Experts

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - MAY 23: A man with a large belly eats junk food on May 23, 2013 in Leipzig, Germany. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

In a fascinating and scorching editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, three authors argue that the myth that exercise is the key to weight loss – and to health – is erroneous and pervasive, and that it must end. The evidence that diet matters more than exercise is now overwhelming, they write, and has got to be heeded: We can exercise to the moon and back but still be fat for all the sugar and carbs we consume. And perhaps even more jarring is that we can be a normal weight and exercise, and still be unhealthy if we’re eating poorly. So, they say, we need a basic reboot of our understanding of health, which has to involve the food industry’s powerful PR “machinery,” since that was part of the problem to begin with.

The major point the team makes – which they say the public doesn’t really understand – is that exercise in and of itself doesn’t really lead to weight loss. It may lead to a number of excellent health effects, but weight loss – if you’re not also restricting calories – isn’t one of them. “Regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and some cancers by at least 30%,” they write. “However, physical activity does not promote weight loss.”

Plus, in the last 30 years, exercise has stayed about the same, while overweight and obesity have skyrocketed. So something else must be at play – like the type of food we’re eating. That part has gotten steadily worse over the years, as highly-processed sugary foods and sodas have taken over as our go-to choices. “According to the Lancet global burden of disease reports,” they write, “poor diet now generates more disease than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined.” This is a disturbing statistic. But it gets worse.

The related and larger issue is that even normal weight people who exercise will, if they eat poorly, have metabolic markers that put them at very high risk of chronic illness and early mortality. “Up to 40% of those with a normal body mass index will harbour metabolic abnormalities typically associated with obesity, which include hypertension, dyslipidaemia, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease.”

And the crux of the issue is this: We’re continually “fed” the idea that all that’s behind the rise in obesity is lack of exercise, or sedentariness. There have certainly been a lot of studies and popular articles suggesting that sitting is our downfall. Instead of effective messages about diet and health that science actually knows to be true, “members of the public are drowned by an unhelpful message about maintaining a ‘healthy weight’ through calorie counting,” the team writes, “and many still wrongly believe that obesity is entirely due to lack of exercise. This false perception is rooted in the Food Industry’s Public Relations machinery, which uses tactics chillingly similar to those of big tobacco.”

What we know to be true is much simpler: “Sugar calories promote fat storage and hunger,” the write. “Fat calories induce fullness or satiation.” For every additional 150 calories in sugar (i.e., a can of soda) a person consumes per day, the risk for diabetes rises 11-fold, regardless of how much or little we exercise. The single most effective thing people can do for their weight, they write, is to restrict calories – and even more, restrict carbohydrates.

So if this is all true, and research seems to suggest it is, how will it change? It might take quite a lot of work to shift our psychology around food, especially since advertising is so saturated with the message that carbohydrates are good for us. The celebrity endorsements might need to be tweaked, the authors say, and certainly the way foods are advertised and, perhaps, created, need to be shifted. The public should be repeatedly hit with the message that whole, natural foods, where possible and affordable is the best way to go. If you’re trying to lose weight, reduce your calories (especially sugars) – don’t think exercise alone will cut it. And even if you’re normal weight, you can’t subside solely on junk and stay healthy.

The authors end with this powerful finale: “It is time to wind back the harms caused by the junk food industry’s Public Relations machinery. Let us bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity. You cannot outrun a bad diet.”

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I fell into writing about health shortly after grad school, where I realized I didn’t want to work in a lab for the rest of my life! My main areas of interest are the br…

Source: Exercise Can’t Save Us: Our Sugar Intake Is The Real Culprit, Say Experts

Nurse loses 107 pounds to set healthy example for her patients: ‘I was eating myself into an early grave’

 

Wellness Wins is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.

Rebecca Nicholson is 5’7” tall and currently weighs 148 pounds. In 2017, after becoming a nurse, she was inspired to become healthier to set a better example for her patients. This is the story of her weight-loss journey.

The Turning Point

My final year of nursing school I remember attempting to tie a pair of new shoes and realized it was hard to breathe with all the weight on my abdomen. I knew I was overweight, but I had never truly felt how severe it was until that moment.

Rebecca Nicholson before and after losing 107 pounds. (Photo: Courtesy Rebecca Nicholson)

I decided to start losing weight after I got my first job as a nurse. I really felt the responsibility of my role as a nurse. It was my job to help people attain a higher level of health or functioning. How could I preach exercise and healthy eating, while I was eating myself into an early grave? I had a new role to play and had to make hard changes.

The Changes

I knew I had to start with adjusting my diet. My body was under so much pressure and pain from the weight that I felt exercise would only hurt me at that point. I started substituting items from my diet instead of eliminating them. I had done elimination diets before and only felt restricted, which ultimately lead to binges and a cycle of self-hate for my failure. I switched from regular pop to diet pop, coffee with cream and sugar to black, etc. These changes didn’t make me feel like I was missing out. I was still eating the foods I liked, but in a healthier way.

I also had to tackle the mental health aspect of my weight. Learning to love myself and accept myself despite my failures was key. I had to care about myself to actually want better for myself. Once 50 pounds came off, I felt confident and knew I could start exercising to help with the rest of the weight. I started jiu-jitsu at Niagara BJJ [martial arts class] and that experience changed my life. I was expecting a martial arts club to be cold, unwelcoming, and that I would be judged for my body not being in shape and overweight. Instead I got nothing but support and encouragement from the coaches, Kevin, Scott and Reggie. Once I started getting better at the sport, and seeing what my body could do, my improvement gave me more motivation and discipline to keep going.

At the start of my journey, I wasn’t sure I would be successful at losing the weight, but I was hopeful. I held onto that hope, and with each success I had I let myself feel that accomplishment and empowered myself with positive words and thinking. Changing my mindset from failure to rejoicing in the small victories was essential for my long term success. Seeing the number on the scale go down, and clothes fit looser was definitely a huge motivator too. But I think above motivation is discipline. Motivation is a fleeting emotion. Being disciplined to eat what you set out to eat, to work out when you set to work out is what keeps you on the path to success. If all you’re chasing is a fleeting emotion, then you will only find failure.

The After

I‘m in disbelief over my accomplishment. I still have a hard time saying over 100 pounds lost. A whole person has basically been removed from my body. I feel so full of life now. I want to go out, do new things, explore, go to concerts, and be present for the people in my life that need me. I now have the emotional availability to be there for other people — before I was so closed off. I was exhausted physically and emotionally. I now love exercising. I love healthy foods and what they do for my energy and well-being. I literally am a new me.

I’m surprised that doing activities of daily living is so much easier. Grocery shopping, clothes shopping — everything is easier without carrying around 107 extra pounds.

Nicholson, before and after losing more than 100 pounds, says, “A whole person has basically been removed from my body.” (Photo: Courtesy Rebecca Nicholson)

The Maintenance

I eat a lot of seafood, rarely eat red meats or pork. I love shrimp and rainbow trout. Fresh steamed veggies and seasonal fruit genuinely make me happy now. I try and go to jiu-jitsu a few times a week; if I can go more I am in heaven.

I make an attempt to do something each day and get out of the house. Simply getting some fresh air can totally change your head space. I drink water as much as I can. I keep my fridge stocked with healthy, easy snacks for boredom eating. If I know I have a problem food like Nutella, I simply do not buy that food. Recognizing your weakness for certain foods and not buying them is pivotal.

Jiu-jitsu is my main inspiration, as well as my work. I am training for a tournament, which has me motivated to make weight and to be strong enough to handle myself on competition day.

The Struggles

I struggle with my body after massive weight loss. My body is not the same as someone else at my same weight. I have stretch marks. My skin is loose on the inside of my thighs. My boobs don’t look very good, so I am saving up for augmentation because it is a source of insecurity. I know some people may not agree with my wants, but you have to find a way to be happy with yourself. This is one of those things I just need to do.

Advice

The best advice I can give is to be kind to yourself first. Love yourself and put your physical health and your mental health as top priority. You can’t pour from an empty cup. If you’re not caring for yourself you can’t care for others. It’s that simple. I would never have lost the weight if I didn’t start to love myself. I would’ve kept listening to that voice that says, “You can’t do it, you’ll fail.”

You have control over that voice. You can change the narrative. Live your life as your best life because you deserve it. Eat right, measure your portions, drink more water and love more. You absolutely can do it!

Nicholson then and now. (Photo: Courtesy Rebecca Nicholson)

Need more inspiration? Read about our other wellness winners!

Wellness Wins is authored by Andie Mitchell, who underwent a transformative, 135-pound weight loss of her own.

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Source: Nurse loses 107 pounds to set healthy example for her patients: ‘I was eating myself into an early grave’

Is Sunscreen Dangerous? A Dermatologist Weighs In — KINDNESS — SEO

Is Sunscreen Dangerous? A Dermatologist Weighs In It’s becoming more and more difficult to figure out what to believe about anything – even something as basic as sunscreen. This is partly because companies, and some individuals, have figured out how to use the power of suggestion and incomplete (or false) information, to direct our thought […] […]

via Is Sunscreen Dangerous? A Dermatologist Weighs In — KINDNESS — SEO

Fat Decimator System – The ONE Veggie You Must Avoid To Lose Your Belly Fat Forever

Recently, one of the world most recognized health specialists released a hugely innovative weight loss program that is generally known as Fat Decimator System. The creation of this amazing program is based on more than 500 medical studies as well as over three years of testing and proving. The reason for the creation of this program is not only to cleanse your body but also for the removal of excessive fats to be facilitated. With this program, all unwanted weight will be lost effortlessly within a very short time. Firstly, this program starts by dismissing countless myths that are in existence when it comes to weight loss…..

Read more: https://www.fatdecimator.com/?hop=0

Flat Belly Fix – Discover The 21 Day Flat Belly Fix Without Ever Feeling Like You Are In Diet

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Why You Should Try Meditating While Running (and How to Do It) – Gina Tomaine

I’m running down Kelly Drive in Philadelphia on an unseasonably warm fall day, my purple sneakers softly thudding against the ground. As I run, I notice a young boy skateboarding on the street, and the way his red hat flops to the side. I pass dry-looking trees and plump geese gathered in the grass next to the trail, and a couple kissing on a rock overlook. I notice the way the water ripples as a racing shell cuts cleanly through the center of the Schuylkill River and glides away from me.

Would you guess that I’ve been meditating this whole time?

Meditation is a practice of focusing attention in order to clear the mind and reduce anxiety (see: that constant to-do list running through your head). Learning to focus can help you tune out distractions.

Meditation is not only calming—it also has some seriously positive health results. It’s been shown in certain cases to reduce stress, ease depression and anxiety, to help people cope with pain (something distance runners deal with constantly), and even to strengthen parts of the brain. There are many ways to develop a meditation and mindfulness practice—as little as five minutes a day can still have noticeable effects.

 “It’s a myth that meditation happens only when you light candles or incense and sit cross- legged,” says Chandresh Bhardwaj, founder of the Break The Norms meditation program Instead, he explains, “When you are deeply involved in any activity, you become meditative.”

“A lot of easy running days turn into meditations on rhythm and nature for me,” says Sarah Attar, one of the first women to compete as a runner in the Olympics for Saudi Arabia. “I allow my run to become a space for reflection, exploration, and mindfulness, to connect with the world around me.”

Runners often talk about running as a salve—a way to work through problems, escape negative thinking, or overcome personal demons. The thing is, it’s backed by science: a study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise indicated that even 30 minutes of time on a treadmill could instantly lift someone’s mood. And in literature, memoirs of using running as a barometer for self-growth abound, from Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running to Jen A. Miller’s Running: A Love Story to Caleb Daniloff’s Running Ransom Road.

Running, in all of these cases, is rarely ever just running. Or perhaps conversely it is just running, and that simplicity is why it helps diffuse all of those stressors. That is what links running to meditation, especially in terms of mental benefits.

It turns out that running combined with meditation can potentially make both your running, and your mind, stronger. A 2016 study published in Translational Psychiatry found that combining directed meditation with running or walking reduced symptoms of depression by 40 percent for depressed participants, and more research is ongoing.

The key to all of this is that a meditation and mindfulness practice helps build your ability to focus, and running inherently narrows that focus: to the path ahead, to how many miles are left, to whether you need water, to the chill of the wind over a river.

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But there really is no right or wrong way to practice running meditation, says yoga teacher and Ayurvedic practitioner Sarajean Rudman. Instead, as Rudman says, “several different paths lead to the same outcome: be here now.”

As any endurance runner will tell you, whether you can keep going in a marathon has as much to do with mental toughness as physical training. Often it’s the mind that gives up or crashes first—not the body. “When we can create a sense of calm in the mind,” says Rudman, “the body can go further. We get to see what we really can accomplish.”

If you’re ready to ditch the headphones, and try focus over distraction, here are nine tips on getting started:

Before Running, Sit Still for Three to Five Minutes

Gina sitting still

“Before you start running, inhale deeply. Hold your breath for a few moments, and exhale. Do this for five minutes or so, and you will experience a deep relaxation before your run,” says Bhardwaj. If you find the waiting too difficult, try to start with one minute of stillness—or as much as you can stand—and work up.

Set an Intention
“It could be a question that has been haunting you for days, or a stressful thought or challenge that has been on your mind,” explains Bhardwaj. “Whatever it is, set an intention that this running will resolve your question.” You don’t have to know what the resolution might be—just put faith out there that this run will help it.

Choose a Mantra
When you are just starting out, “mantra meditation can be very easy to acclimate to,” says Rudman, “and a very powerful tool to use, especially when racing. Choose some words that mean something to you, whether they are in Sanskrit like the classic ‘Sa Ta Na Ma’ (loosely translated to ‘I am truth’), or something simple in English, like ‘I am strong.’ They serve the same purpose: to anchor your attention to and keep you in the present moment. Tether the mantra to your footfalls, so you are using one word per footfall.”

Count Your Footfalls

Gina running

“A great place to begin is simply by counting footfalls. Head out with a number in mind,” advises Rudman. “For example, count every step up to eight, then count back down. As thoughts start to creep in, notice them and return to your counting. Use the numbers as a way to anchor your attention so it doesn’t wander off into what you’re going to eat when you return home, or what you said to your spouse or children before you left, or the things you need to do for work or school. Keep coming back to right now.”

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Make a List of Everything You See (Yes, Everything)
“Become acutely aware of your surroundings,” says Rudman. “You can choose to use sight or sound for this exercise, or take turns with each sense. As you run, begin listing either everything you see or everything you hear as a way to calm what yogis call your ‘monkey mind’ and enter into the moment you are actually experiencing. For example: tree, stop sign, leaf, sidewalk, gum wrapper—or car noise, the wind, a baby yelling, a horn, my footfalls, my breath. You can even combine the two senses along with the other three, taste, touch, and smell. This would look like: “I am aware of a dog barking, I am aware that my skin is cold, I am aware of the smell of the bakery, I am aware of music far away, I am aware of my heart rate speeding up…”

Focus on Your Breath and Posture

Gina Focusing on posture

“Bring more awareness to your breath, as well as your posture while you run,” advises Chesapeake Yoga teacher Julie Phillips-Turner. “Start running at a comfortable pace, then start to ‘shape’ the breath to count inhales and exhales, such as ‘inhale one, two, three; exhale one, two, three…’  If [your] mind gets distracted from counting, notice that and bring [your] awareness back to the breath count. Be aware of slumping shoulders. Try to keep the shoulders back and the chest lifted to allow maximum oxygen to enter the body.”

Ban the Thought “I’m Doing This Wrong”
“The number one mistake people make when trying to meditate while running, or in general, is to get upset because they aren’t able to clear their minds,” says Rudman. “The goal is not to clear the mind, but instead to recognize the mind by being present with it and observing it. Notice your thoughts as they pop up, remember them, and dog-ear them for another time. When we choose to not follow our thoughts down whatever rabbit hole they are leading us, and let them keep on their merry way without us, we are meditating.”

Think About Your Other Body Parts—Not Just Your Legs
Think about your arms, your forehead, your eyeballs—and forget about your legs. “When you are running, feel the breeze embracing your every body part. Don’t just focus on legs. Use your every sense and every muscle to interact with Mother Nature. Such consistent interaction will develop a stronger connection with nature and thus adds onto your healing, and running, ability,” says Bhardwaj.

Celebrate and Express Gratitude for Your Run
Think about how lucky you are to be physically able to be running, and how many people cannot. Think about how you would feel if you couldn’t run. “Meditation means you should be immersed in the process and the feelings and sensations of running,” says Rudman. “You should cultivate a sense of ‘I get to run!’ instead of distracting yourself with an ‘I have to run’ state of mind.”

To further cultivate gratitude, Attar recommends focusing on the beauty your surroundings. “Once a routine of gratitude becomes part of your natural inclination,” Attar says, “you can find a calm and positive spirit in how you go about everything, especially running. When you are grateful for even just the opportunity and ability to be running, it opens up the space within you to become more connected to everything.”

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