Health Hacks – Life by Daily Burn http://dailyburn.com/life Wed, 24 Jan 2018 03:12:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 5 Coffee Hacks to Feel More Awake Than Ever http://dailyburn.com/life/health/coffee-hacks-stay-awake/ Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:15:32 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65001 5 Coffee Hacks to Feel More Awake Than Ever

[caption id="attachment_65005" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Coffee Hacks to Feel More Awake Than Ever Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Coffee, thanks to its caffeine jolt and hot health benefits, remains the beverage of choice for millions of Americans every morning. And the energizer isn’t losing its steam anytime soon. In fact, the number of coffee consumers continues to rise, according to a survey conducted by the National Coffee Association USA.

Evidence shows that java improves alertness and contains a high amount of antioxidants that may help reduce your risk of conditions like diabetes and heart disease. And because it’s readily available and inexpensive, it’s no wonder people turn to it for their 9 a.m….and 3 p.m. pick-me-up.

So if you’re one of many drinking a cup of joe (or five) on the daily, test out these five coffee hacks that’ll boost your morning fuel in new ways. Heck, you might even find that your first cup is so satisfying, you can pass up on a second.

RELATED: 7 Tricks to Slim Down Your Starbucks Order

5 Ways to Boost Your Coffee Pick-Me-Up

1. Add Protein Powder

Unless you add milk to your coffee, you aren’t getting any protein from a typical cup of joe. But having the macronutrient — essential for muscle growth — at breakfast can up your fullness levels and keep you from snacking later in the day, according to research. (Keep in mind, the study involved an egg-filled breakfast, rather than straight protein powder.)

Sports nutrition counselor Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD, recommends adding enough protein powder to reach the target of 15 to 20 grams of protein per meal. (Just mix powder with cold water first for a smoother, more effective sip.) “The amount you add depends on your taste buds and the rest of the menu. If you are having just oatmeal or toast, you likely want more protein powder than if you’re having three eggs, in which case you have reached the protein goal for the meal,” says Clark.

2. Take a Coffee Nap

If you really want to take your energy boost to the next level, try snoozing right after you sip. A slew of evidence supports the idea that coffee combined with a nap can lead to optimal performance. One study found, for example, that subjects who followed up their caffeine intake with 20 minutes of shut-eye experienced less sleepiness later in the day. To time it right, science shows that you should drink a beverage with 200mg to 250mg of caffeine and then settle in for a 15- or 20-minute nap. It’s the ideal recipe for wakefulness.

RELATED: 10 Reasons You’re Exhausted and What to Do About It

3. Energize Your Workout

Prefer to use your brew to maximize gym time? Instead of splurging on pre-workout supplements, try drinking your morning joe an hour before a workout. Just like java perks you up at your desk, it’ll also give you an energy boost to push through a tough sweat. “The caffeine makes the effort seem easier, so the person can exercise harder, without actually feeling as though he or she is working harder,” says Clark.

Research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology also suggests that sipping coffee before your workout could make the session more enjoyable — a good thing to consider when you just don’t feel like hitting the gym. To top it off, research shows that having caffeine pre-exercise can help you eat fewer calories afterward. Three health benefits in one cup of joe.

4. Time Your P.M. Cup Correctly

OK, sometimes you just need that extra pick-me-up post-lunch. But what’s the cut-off to avoid a sleepless night? According to Dr. Sujay Kansagra, MD, Mattress Firm sleep health consultant and author of My Child Won’t Sleep, your body “clears about half of the caffeine in your system every four to seven hours,” he says. “As such, ensure that your last cup of coffee, or other caffeinated beverage, for the day is at least six hours before you go to bed.” That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some joe in the afternoon, though. Cortisol levels start to decrease after 1 p.m., so consider grabbing a mug around that time to combat deskside drowsiness.

RELATED: 9 Ways to Finally Get a Good Night’s Sleep

5. Lighten Your Tired Look

In addition to drinking coffee, you can also use it to reduce the look of tired eyes. According to Dr. Lily Talakoub, dermatologist at McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center, “caffeine helps to de-puff the under-eye area and it helps tighten the skin.”

When you brew your cup of joe at home, set aside the coffee grounds, let them cool, and then apply them under your eyes. Dr. Talakoub recommends washing your face first, and then letting the coffee grounds sit on your under-eyes for about five minutes before wiping them off. Voilá — coffee to both feel and look better.

Read More
7 Buzz-Worthy Recipes for Coffee Lovers
Is Your Morning Coffee Secretly Dehydrating You?
7 Superfood Lattes That Will Make You Want to Quit Coffee

The post 5 Coffee Hacks to Feel More Awake Than Ever appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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5 Coffee Hacks to Feel More Awake Than Ever

[caption id="attachment_65005" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Coffee Hacks to Feel More Awake Than Ever Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Coffee, thanks to its caffeine jolt and hot health benefits, remains the beverage of choice for millions of Americans every morning. And the energizer isn’t losing its steam anytime soon. In fact, the number of coffee consumers continues to rise, according to a survey conducted by the National Coffee Association USA. Evidence shows that java improves alertness and contains a high amount of antioxidants that may help reduce your risk of conditions like diabetes and heart disease. And because it’s readily available and inexpensive, it’s no wonder people turn to it for their 9 a.m….and 3 p.m. pick-me-up. So if you’re one of many drinking a cup of joe (or five) on the daily, test out these five coffee hacks that’ll boost your morning fuel in new ways. Heck, you might even find that your first cup is so satisfying, you can pass up on a second. RELATED: 7 Tricks to Slim Down Your Starbucks Order

5 Ways to Boost Your Coffee Pick-Me-Up

1. Add Protein Powder

Unless you add milk to your coffee, you aren’t getting any protein from a typical cup of joe. But having the macronutrient — essential for muscle growth — at breakfast can up your fullness levels and keep you from snacking later in the day, according to research. (Keep in mind, the study involved an egg-filled breakfast, rather than straight protein powder.) Sports nutrition counselor Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD, recommends adding enough protein powder to reach the target of 15 to 20 grams of protein per meal. (Just mix powder with cold water first for a smoother, more effective sip.) “The amount you add depends on your taste buds and the rest of the menu. If you are having just oatmeal or toast, you likely want more protein powder than if you’re having three eggs, in which case you have reached the protein goal for the meal,” says Clark.

2. Take a Coffee Nap

If you really want to take your energy boost to the next level, try snoozing right after you sip. A slew of evidence supports the idea that coffee combined with a nap can lead to optimal performance. One study found, for example, that subjects who followed up their caffeine intake with 20 minutes of shut-eye experienced less sleepiness later in the day. To time it right, science shows that you should drink a beverage with 200mg to 250mg of caffeine and then settle in for a 15- or 20-minute nap. It’s the ideal recipe for wakefulness. RELATED: 10 Reasons You’re Exhausted and What to Do About It

3. Energize Your Workout

Prefer to use your brew to maximize gym time? Instead of splurging on pre-workout supplements, try drinking your morning joe an hour before a workout. Just like java perks you up at your desk, it’ll also give you an energy boost to push through a tough sweat. “The caffeine makes the effort seem easier, so the person can exercise harder, without actually feeling as though he or she is working harder,” says Clark. Research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology also suggests that sipping coffee before your workout could make the session more enjoyable — a good thing to consider when you just don’t feel like hitting the gym. To top it off, research shows that having caffeine pre-exercise can help you eat fewer calories afterward. Three health benefits in one cup of joe.

4. Time Your P.M. Cup Correctly

OK, sometimes you just need that extra pick-me-up post-lunch. But what’s the cut-off to avoid a sleepless night? According to Dr. Sujay Kansagra, MD, Mattress Firm sleep health consultant and author of My Child Won’t Sleep, your body “clears about half of the caffeine in your system every four to seven hours,” he says. “As such, ensure that your last cup of coffee, or other caffeinated beverage, for the day is at least six hours before you go to bed.” That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some joe in the afternoon, though. Cortisol levels start to decrease after 1 p.m., so consider grabbing a mug around that time to combat deskside drowsiness. RELATED: 9 Ways to Finally Get a Good Night’s Sleep

5. Lighten Your Tired Look

In addition to drinking coffee, you can also use it to reduce the look of tired eyes. According to Dr. Lily Talakoub, dermatologist at McLean Dermatology and Skincare Center, “caffeine helps to de-puff the under-eye area and it helps tighten the skin.” When you brew your cup of joe at home, set aside the coffee grounds, let them cool, and then apply them under your eyes. Dr. Talakoub recommends washing your face first, and then letting the coffee grounds sit on your under-eyes for about five minutes before wiping them off. Voilá — coffee to both feel and look better. Read More 7 Buzz-Worthy Recipes for Coffee Lovers Is Your Morning Coffee Secretly Dehydrating You? 7 Superfood Lattes That Will Make You Want to Quit Coffee

The post 5 Coffee Hacks to Feel More Awake Than Ever appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated http://dailyburn.com/life/health/bloated-gas-stomach-habits/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/bloated-gas-stomach-habits/#comments Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:15:31 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=42528 6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated

[caption id="attachment_64831" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Bloating, which is nothing more than just excess air and gas trapped in your digestive tract, comes down to more than just the foods you eat. Some everyday habits could be the culprit for your tighter jeans and tummy woes. Feeling bloated is one of the most common stomach complaints around, says David T. Rubin, M.D., fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology and chief of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at The University of Chicago Medicine. Many of his patients even snap “bloating selfies” to show how much their waistlines fluctuate throughout the day. (We won’t blame you if you keep those off Facebook.)

RELATED: How Fast Can You Banish Bloat?

But before you swear off baked beans for good, check out these six small things that might be having a surprisingly big impact on how bloated you feel.

6 Things Secretly Making You Bloated

[caption id="attachment_64832" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. You Love Chewing Gum

Bad news for Orbitz addicts: If your tummy is feeling the effects, it might be time to limit those minty-fresh sticks. “A lot of people chew gum to keep them from eating between meals, but when you chew gum, you unwittingly swallow some air,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D.N. That excess air intake can make your intestines feel like a balloon animal. Plus, most gums contain sugar alcohols, which can cause gas and bloating as well, she says. Even sugar-free sticks generally contain sorbitol, which can cause a ton of stomach issues, bloating included, according to Rubin.

RELATED: The Bitter Truth About Sugar and Its Effects on Our Health

2. You’re Scarfing Your Food

Here’s yet another legit reason to start eating more mindfully (aka: slowly). “Digestion starts in the mouth, not in the stomach,” says nutritionist Rania Batayneh, M.P.H., author of The One One One Diet: The Simple 1:1:1 Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. With every chew, you not only crush each bite into more easily digestible bits, but that food mingles with saliva and specialized enzymes that break down your food upon impact. When you inhale your food, you largely miss out on that process, meaning your stomach has to work overtime to digest your food, leading to gas. Plus, you literally inhale air, she says. Slow down and don’t forget to chew.

"Many packaged foods are fortified with a form of fiber that’s especially hard on the stomach."

RELATED: 9 Simple Tricks to Eat More Mindfully — Starting Now 

3. You Love Drinking Through a Straw

A colorful straw might make your morning smoothie even more Instagram-worthy, but it isn’t doing your body any favors. “Every time you sip through a straw, air comes up before the liquid,” says Taub-Dix, owner of Better Than Dieting and author of Read It Before You Eat It. Even reusable water bottles with built-in straws can cause problems. Sip straight from the lid during your next workout to save your stomach any unnecessary discomfort.

4. You’re Snoring Up a Storm

Do you feel bloated first thing in the morning? “Then you are probably snoring or at least mouth-breathing in your sleep,” says Rubin, who notes that most people who suffer from sleep apnea also struggle with a.m. bloating. Tomorrow morning, look at your stomach. If it seems bigger than when you went to bed, consider scheduling an appointment with a sleep doc to figure out a way to curb snoring for good.

RELATED: 8 Soothing Smoothie Recipes for Better Sleep

5. You’re Feasting on Fiber

Yes, fiber can help you feel full and lose weight, in addition to promoting heart health. But before you down a bowl of fortified cereal, some chia seed pudding and a mega-serving of Brussels sprouts, take pause. Ramping up your fiber intake all at once can cause a lot of bloating, Taub-Dix says. Instead, focus on increasing it gradually, over a number of weeks. This will give your belly more time to adjust and produce the enzymes necessary to pass fiber through your system without trouble. You’ll also want to make sure you’re getting your fiber from whole, unprocessed foods like veggies, fruits and whole grains. Many packaged foods are fortified with inulin (aka chicory root), a form of fiber that’s especially hard on the stomach, according to research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

RELATED: Want to Start Clean Eating? Avoid These Common 6 Mistakes

6. You’re Stressed 24/7

What evil does stress not cause? While the hormones can aggravate your digestive system and cause gas and bloating, stress can also prompt people to rush through meals at their desks, skip much-needed bathroom breaks and suck in air during anxiety attacks, Batayneh says. One way to cope: Try to manage your stressors using cognitive behavior therapy or relaxation therapy. Both can help prevent and relieve bloating, according to research published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. 

Originally published August 2015. Updated January 2018. 

Read More
The Low-FODMAP Diet: Your Solution to a Healthier Gut?
9 All-Natural Sources of Healthy Probiotics
Is It All in Your Gut? The Sleep-Gut Connection

The post 6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated

[caption id="attachment_64831" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated Photo: Pond5[/caption] Bloating, which is nothing more than just excess air and gas trapped in your digestive tract, comes down to more than just the foods you eat. Some everyday habits could be the culprit for your tighter jeans and tummy woes. Feeling bloated is one of the most common stomach complaints around, says David T. Rubin, M.D., fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology and chief of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at The University of Chicago Medicine. Many of his patients even snap “bloating selfies” to show how much their waistlines fluctuate throughout the day. (We won’t blame you if you keep those off Facebook.) RELATED: How Fast Can You Banish Bloat? But before you swear off baked beans for good, check out these six small things that might be having a surprisingly big impact on how bloated you feel.

6 Things Secretly Making You Bloated

[caption id="attachment_64832" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. You Love Chewing Gum

Bad news for Orbitz addicts: If your tummy is feeling the effects, it might be time to limit those minty-fresh sticks. “A lot of people chew gum to keep them from eating between meals, but when you chew gum, you unwittingly swallow some air,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D.N. That excess air intake can make your intestines feel like a balloon animal. Plus, most gums contain sugar alcohols, which can cause gas and bloating as well, she says. Even sugar-free sticks generally contain sorbitol, which can cause a ton of stomach issues, bloating included, according to Rubin. RELATED: The Bitter Truth About Sugar and Its Effects on Our Health

2. You’re Scarfing Your Food

Here’s yet another legit reason to start eating more mindfully (aka: slowly). “Digestion starts in the mouth, not in the stomach,” says nutritionist Rania Batayneh, M.P.H., author of The One One One Diet: The Simple 1:1:1 Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. With every chew, you not only crush each bite into more easily digestible bits, but that food mingles with saliva and specialized enzymes that break down your food upon impact. When you inhale your food, you largely miss out on that process, meaning your stomach has to work overtime to digest your food, leading to gas. Plus, you literally inhale air, she says. Slow down and don’t forget to chew.
"Many packaged foods are fortified with a form of fiber that’s especially hard on the stomach."
RELATED: 9 Simple Tricks to Eat More Mindfully — Starting Now 

3. You Love Drinking Through a Straw

A colorful straw might make your morning smoothie even more Instagram-worthy, but it isn’t doing your body any favors. “Every time you sip through a straw, air comes up before the liquid,” says Taub-Dix, owner of Better Than Dieting and author of Read It Before You Eat It. Even reusable water bottles with built-in straws can cause problems. Sip straight from the lid during your next workout to save your stomach any unnecessary discomfort.

4. You’re Snoring Up a Storm

Do you feel bloated first thing in the morning? “Then you are probably snoring or at least mouth-breathing in your sleep,” says Rubin, who notes that most people who suffer from sleep apnea also struggle with a.m. bloating. Tomorrow morning, look at your stomach. If it seems bigger than when you went to bed, consider scheduling an appointment with a sleep doc to figure out a way to curb snoring for good. RELATED: 8 Soothing Smoothie Recipes for Better Sleep

5. You’re Feasting on Fiber

Yes, fiber can help you feel full and lose weight, in addition to promoting heart health. But before you down a bowl of fortified cereal, some chia seed pudding and a mega-serving of Brussels sprouts, take pause. Ramping up your fiber intake all at once can cause a lot of bloating, Taub-Dix says. Instead, focus on increasing it gradually, over a number of weeks. This will give your belly more time to adjust and produce the enzymes necessary to pass fiber through your system without trouble. You’ll also want to make sure you’re getting your fiber from whole, unprocessed foods like veggies, fruits and whole grains. Many packaged foods are fortified with inulin (aka chicory root), a form of fiber that’s especially hard on the stomach, according to research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. RELATED: Want to Start Clean Eating? Avoid These Common 6 Mistakes

6. You’re Stressed 24/7

What evil does stress not cause? While the hormones can aggravate your digestive system and cause gas and bloating, stress can also prompt people to rush through meals at their desks, skip much-needed bathroom breaks and suck in air during anxiety attacks, Batayneh says. One way to cope: Try to manage your stressors using cognitive behavior therapy or relaxation therapy. Both can help prevent and relieve bloating, according to research published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.  Originally published August 2015. Updated January 2018.  Read More The Low-FODMAP Diet: Your Solution to a Healthier Gut? 9 All-Natural Sources of Healthy Probiotics Is It All in Your Gut? The Sleep-Gut Connection

The post 6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism http://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-naturally-boost-metabolism/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-naturally-boost-metabolism/#comments Fri, 12 Jan 2018 16:15:39 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=31172

[caption id="attachment_64761" align="alignnone" width="620"]Naturally Increase Metabolism with Coffee Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Metabolism: We've all got one, but some people's are "faster" or "slower" than others'. And that matters, because the rate at which your body burns calories and converts fuel to energy can also affect how easily you gain or lose weight. It also says a lot about how at-risk you are for diabetes, and how much pep you've got in your step. While much of your metabolic rate is determined by genetics, age, gender and body size, there are some lifestyle changes that can, quite literally, speed up the process.

It's important to note that metabolism can't be solely held responsible for weight gain or loss. Someone with a super-fast burn can't stay slim eating junk food and not exercising, while people with slower metabolisms aren't automatically doomed to an overweight fate.

But even tiny adjustments to a person's metabolic rate can add up to significant health benefits over time, says Francesco Celi, MD, chair of the Endocrinology and Metabolism Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. Read on to learn how to increase your metabolism, the natural way.

RELATED: How to Boost Metabolism in Your 20s, 30s and 40s

Naturally Increase Your Metabolism with These 7 Tips

1. Turn down the temp.

Sleeping in a cool room seems to increase people's percentages of brown fat — a type of fat that acts more like muscle — according to a 2014 study conducted by Celi and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health. The research involved five male volunteers, who slept in climate-controlled rooms with only light pajamas and bedsheets, for several months. After four weeks of 66-degree nights, they'd nearly doubled their amounts of brown fat, and also experience an increase in their calorie burn.

"It would be extremely naive to do this and expect to lose weight to the extent you would on a diet," Celi says. "On the other hand, we did see a measurable increase in glucose metabolism that could certainly add up over time."

Keeping your home or office cool during the day may also have a similar effect, he adds.

2. Drink a cup of Joe.

A few small studies have shown an association between caffeine consumption, increased metabolic burn, and a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes. Celi says this could possibly be because it helps the body break down fat.

But don't go overboard: Too many caffeinated beverages a day can cause nervousness, nausea or insomnia. Plus, some coffee beverages are high in fat and sugar.

3. Keep stress levels low (or try to!).

Even if stressful situations don't cause you to binge on fatty foods, your body may take longer to process any calories that you do eat. In a 2014 study from Ohio State University, women who reported being stressed out over a 24-hour span burned, on average, 104 fewer calories after they ate a meal of eggs, sausage and biscuits. The researchers point out that over the course of a year, this deficit could translate to an 11-pound weight gain.

"The stress response activates the hormone cortisol," explains Celi, "which has been clearly associated with a worsening of metabolism and, in the long-run, increasing the risk for obesity." In other words, to help speed up metabolism make sure to wind down more often.

4. Get a good night's sleep.

Not getting enough quality shuteye has also been shown to slow metabolism in both men and women; this also may have to do with the brain's secretion of cortisol when the body is under stress, says Celi. And even if you hit the hay early, that may not be enough. Research has shown that broken sleep (when you're woken up frequently throughout the night) isn't nearly as restorative as seven consecutive hours. So on top of crawling under the covers early, be sure to give yourself enough hours to get the rest and recovery your body needs.

RELATED: Bedroom Makeover: 9 Feng Shui Tips for Better Sleep

5. Pump some iron.

Celi says any type of physical activity — even just walking for 30 minutes — can help speed up metabolism. (Anything is better than sitting for hours, which is one of the worst things you can do.) But the kind of exercise that works best to activate brown fat and rev metabolism is strength training.

"By increasing muscle mass, we can increase our resting energy expenditure, which is what's going to help you burn calories all day long," Celi says.

Try adding some weights into your workout regimen and see if you notice a difference. Consider bigger lifts as well if you’re body is trained for it.

RELATED: Ladies, Here's Why You Should Lift Heavy Weights

6. Snack on something spicy.

Capsacian, a molecule found in spicy chiles, has been shown to increase body temperature and speed up fat loss — although only temporarily, and only by a small percentage. Celi says there's also some evidence that chemicals called isothiocyanates, which are present in pungent foods like spicy mustard, wasabi, and horseradish, may help activate brown fat and speed up metabolic rate. Bloody Mary, anyone?

7. Power up with plyometrics.

If you’ve been skimping on plyometric training, you might want to throw it back into your workout rotation. All those squat jumps and burpees are by nature high-intensity, getting your heart rate up so you burn more calories in a short amount of time. Plus, when performed interval-style, you'll speed up your metabolism for the 24 to 48 hours after you leave the gym. According to one study, 12 weeks of HIIT plus plyometric exercise resulted in more lean body mass, reduced body fat and improved metabolic abnormalities compared to just HIIT alone. Not sure where to start? Give these six exercises a try.

Originally published August 2014. Updated January 2018.

Read More:
I'm Exercising More — So Why Am I Gaining Weight?
How to Boost Your Metabolism in Your 20s, 30s and 40s
50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight (The Healthy Way)

The post 7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_64761" align="alignnone" width="620"]Naturally Increase Metabolism with Coffee Photo: Pond5[/caption] Metabolism: We've all got one, but some people's are "faster" or "slower" than others'. And that matters, because the rate at which your body burns calories and converts fuel to energy can also affect how easily you gain or lose weight. It also says a lot about how at-risk you are for diabetes, and how much pep you've got in your step. While much of your metabolic rate is determined by genetics, age, gender and body size, there are some lifestyle changes that can, quite literally, speed up the process. It's important to note that metabolism can't be solely held responsible for weight gain or loss. Someone with a super-fast burn can't stay slim eating junk food and not exercising, while people with slower metabolisms aren't automatically doomed to an overweight fate. But even tiny adjustments to a person's metabolic rate can add up to significant health benefits over time, says Francesco Celi, MD, chair of the Endocrinology and Metabolism Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. Read on to learn how to increase your metabolism, the natural way. RELATED: How to Boost Metabolism in Your 20s, 30s and 40s

Naturally Increase Your Metabolism with These 7 Tips

1. Turn down the temp.

Sleeping in a cool room seems to increase people's percentages of brown fat — a type of fat that acts more like muscle — according to a 2014 study conducted by Celi and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health. The research involved five male volunteers, who slept in climate-controlled rooms with only light pajamas and bedsheets, for several months. After four weeks of 66-degree nights, they'd nearly doubled their amounts of brown fat, and also experience an increase in their calorie burn. "It would be extremely naive to do this and expect to lose weight to the extent you would on a diet," Celi says. "On the other hand, we did see a measurable increase in glucose metabolism that could certainly add up over time." Keeping your home or office cool during the day may also have a similar effect, he adds.

2. Drink a cup of Joe.

A few small studies have shown an association between caffeine consumption, increased metabolic burn, and a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes. Celi says this could possibly be because it helps the body break down fat. But don't go overboard: Too many caffeinated beverages a day can cause nervousness, nausea or insomnia. Plus, some coffee beverages are high in fat and sugar.

3. Keep stress levels low (or try to!).

Even if stressful situations don't cause you to binge on fatty foods, your body may take longer to process any calories that you do eat. In a 2014 study from Ohio State University, women who reported being stressed out over a 24-hour span burned, on average, 104 fewer calories after they ate a meal of eggs, sausage and biscuits. The researchers point out that over the course of a year, this deficit could translate to an 11-pound weight gain. "The stress response activates the hormone cortisol," explains Celi, "which has been clearly associated with a worsening of metabolism and, in the long-run, increasing the risk for obesity." In other words, to help speed up metabolism make sure to wind down more often.

4. Get a good night's sleep.

Not getting enough quality shuteye has also been shown to slow metabolism in both men and women; this also may have to do with the brain's secretion of cortisol when the body is under stress, says Celi. And even if you hit the hay early, that may not be enough. Research has shown that broken sleep (when you're woken up frequently throughout the night) isn't nearly as restorative as seven consecutive hours. So on top of crawling under the covers early, be sure to give yourself enough hours to get the rest and recovery your body needs. RELATED: Bedroom Makeover: 9 Feng Shui Tips for Better Sleep

5. Pump some iron.

Celi says any type of physical activity — even just walking for 30 minutes — can help speed up metabolism. (Anything is better than sitting for hours, which is one of the worst things you can do.) But the kind of exercise that works best to activate brown fat and rev metabolism is strength training. "By increasing muscle mass, we can increase our resting energy expenditure, which is what's going to help you burn calories all day long," Celi says. Try adding some weights into your workout regimen and see if you notice a difference. Consider bigger lifts as well if you’re body is trained for it. RELATED: Ladies, Here's Why You Should Lift Heavy Weights

6. Snack on something spicy.

Capsacian, a molecule found in spicy chiles, has been shown to increase body temperature and speed up fat loss — although only temporarily, and only by a small percentage. Celi says there's also some evidence that chemicals called isothiocyanates, which are present in pungent foods like spicy mustard, wasabi, and horseradish, may help activate brown fat and speed up metabolic rate. Bloody Mary, anyone?

7. Power up with plyometrics.

If you’ve been skimping on plyometric training, you might want to throw it back into your workout rotation. All those squat jumps and burpees are by nature high-intensity, getting your heart rate up so you burn more calories in a short amount of time. Plus, when performed interval-style, you'll speed up your metabolism for the 24 to 48 hours after you leave the gym. According to one study, 12 weeks of HIIT plus plyometric exercise resulted in more lean body mass, reduced body fat and improved metabolic abnormalities compared to just HIIT alone. Not sure where to start? Give these six exercises a try.
Originally published August 2014. Updated January 2018. Read More: I'm Exercising More — So Why Am I Gaining Weight? How to Boost Your Metabolism in Your 20s, 30s and 40s 50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight (The Healthy Way)

The post 7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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How to Read Nutrition Labels (And Not Get Duped) http://dailyburn.com/life/health/read-nutrition-labels-facts/ Wed, 10 Jan 2018 12:15:56 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=64639 How to Read Nutrition Labels (And Not Get Duped)

[caption id="attachment_64643" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Read Nutrition Labels (And Not Get Duped) Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Sometimes, trying to determine whether a packaged food’s nutrition facts mean it’s healthy for you (or at least sort of healthy for you) can feel about as confusing as reading Ulysses after a few glasses of wine. Big, bright labels declaring an item “low-fat” or “low-sugar” might sound promising. But then you flip over the package to discover a list of ingredients longer than your family tree.

Thanks to the FDA’s nutrition facts updates, decoding packages should get easier. The government now requires large, easy-to-read numbers for calories, servings per container and serving size. And the serving size info will reflect what people typically eat, rather than what’s suggested (for example, a full 15-ounces of soup rather than half of it). Finally, added sugar will stand out as its own category.

But even with these changes, some info can be tricky to decipher. Luckily, a few sound strategies can help you cut through the confusion to identify packaged foods that won’t mess with your health. Follow these six steps to simplifying nutrition labels and finding good-for-you groceries.

RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Clean Eating

6 Steps to Easily Deciphering Nutrition Labels

[caption id="attachment_64650" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Read Nutrition Labels 6-Step Check List Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

1. Make sure you can identify all the ingredients.

Here’s a simple way to start a food product assessment: Read the whole ingredient list, and take note of whether you actually know what each ingredient is. “If there is an item listed that you are unfamiliar with, I recommend looking it up before consuming it,” says Maxine Yeung, RD, NASM-CPT and founder of The Wellness Whisk.

As a general rule, shorter ingredients lists will be easier to decipher — and that usually says good things about the product. “A longer list is likely to include additives,” says Yeung.

2. Note the order of ingredients.

Manufacturers list ingredients from heaviest (or most prominent) to lightest, says Yeung. “[This] can guide you in choosing a healthier item.” For example, if a multigrain bread product lists white flour before whole wheat flour, you’ll know the bread is made primarily from refined carbohydrates. That means you’re probably better off choosing a different product, preferably one with whole grains listed higher up.

RELATED:  The Ultimate Guide to Pre- and Post-Workout Carbohydrates

3. Check the serving size.

“It’s very important to pay attention to the serving size on the food label, because oftentimes what seems like a small package and individual serving may actually be two or more servings,” says Yeung. That means you could consume more calories, fat, salt and sugar than intended. (One reason the FDA is requiring updates on serving size.)

4. Focus on what’s most relevant to your personal needs.

“It’s important to pay attention to the ingredients that will affect your personal health the most,” says Yeung. For example, she says, if you have issues with blood pressure, you should pay particular attention to salt content. If you’re concerned about your blood sugar levels, make sure you’re evaluating total carbohydrates and added sugars. For those trying to achieve healthier cholesterol levels, watch out for unhealthy fats, like saturated or trans. And if you’re watching your weight, the calorie content will probably be most relevant. Try to keep all these numbers low, but especially those most important to your health, Yeung says.

RELATED: Why You Should Eat More Fat and Less Sugar

5. Identify fat and sugar sources.

Sure, the quantity of fats and sugars can tell you something about the healthfulness of a given product. But where these nutrients come from also matters.

“Keep the amount of saturated fat you consume under seven to 10 percent of your daily total calories, and total fat intake should be 20 to 35 percent of your total daily calories,” says Yeung. “This means the majority of your fat intake should come from monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.” Yeung also recommends avoiding items with partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oil, as these are just different names for trans fats.

The source of a product’s sugar is another crucial component. “Ultimately, any type of carbohydrate breaks down into sugar in your body,” says Yeung. “However, with sugar from natural sources (such as fruit) you also get vitamins, minerals, fiber and water, which helps better manage sugar levels in your body. You want to limit the amount of added sugar as much as possible.” That includes maple syrup, cane sugar, brown rice syrup and honey.

6. Don’t get fooled by front-label claims.

“Front-label claims can be helpful in narrowing down items, such as choosing a gluten-free product if you have a [sensitivity] to gluten,” says Yeung. But these labels can also be misleading. In fact, a study from earlier this year found front-label claims may lend people a false sense of confidence that they’re purchasing healthy foods. On the contrary, many of these products actually had worse nutritional profiles than those without those claims.

“Oftentimes when companies eliminate or reduce fat, sugar or salt in a product, they will use one of the others to help flavor the product,” says Yeung. “For example, a fat-free product may have a lot of added sugar. This can increase the amount of calories and lead to an increase in fat stores.”

Also, note that “reduced” doesn’t mean “low.” “Reduced fat or reduced salt doesn’t mean the product is low in fat or salt,” says Yeung. “‘Less salt’ just means the product has at least 50 percent less salt than in the original food, and ‘reduced salt’ means the product has at least 25 percent less salt than the original food. The product has to say ‘low sodium’ or show 140 mg of salt or less per serving to actually be a low-salt food.”

Final Food for Thought

Reading food labels doesn’t have to feel impossible enough that you give up and just buy whatever it is you’re holding. Use these strategies to break down the nutrition facts and easily figure out what’s good for you (and what’s not) so you can make the best decision for your body. And remember, most vitamin- and mineral-rich foods don’t require labels.

Read More
Shop Smarter: 6 Common Food Labels, Explained
Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans
Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight?

The post How to Read Nutrition Labels (And Not Get Duped) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
How to Read Nutrition Labels (And Not Get Duped)

[caption id="attachment_64643" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Read Nutrition Labels (And Not Get Duped) Photo: Pond5[/caption] Sometimes, trying to determine whether a packaged food’s nutrition facts mean it’s healthy for you (or at least sort of healthy for you) can feel about as confusing as reading Ulysses after a few glasses of wine. Big, bright labels declaring an item “low-fat” or “low-sugar” might sound promising. But then you flip over the package to discover a list of ingredients longer than your family tree. Thanks to the FDA’s nutrition facts updates, decoding packages should get easier. The government now requires large, easy-to-read numbers for calories, servings per container and serving size. And the serving size info will reflect what people typically eat, rather than what’s suggested (for example, a full 15-ounces of soup rather than half of it). Finally, added sugar will stand out as its own category. But even with these changes, some info can be tricky to decipher. Luckily, a few sound strategies can help you cut through the confusion to identify packaged foods that won’t mess with your health. Follow these six steps to simplifying nutrition labels and finding good-for-you groceries. RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Clean Eating

6 Steps to Easily Deciphering Nutrition Labels

[caption id="attachment_64650" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Read Nutrition Labels 6-Step Check List Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

1. Make sure you can identify all the ingredients.

Here’s a simple way to start a food product assessment: Read the whole ingredient list, and take note of whether you actually know what each ingredient is. “If there is an item listed that you are unfamiliar with, I recommend looking it up before consuming it,” says Maxine Yeung, RD, NASM-CPT and founder of The Wellness Whisk. As a general rule, shorter ingredients lists will be easier to decipher — and that usually says good things about the product. “A longer list is likely to include additives,” says Yeung.

2. Note the order of ingredients.

Manufacturers list ingredients from heaviest (or most prominent) to lightest, says Yeung. “[This] can guide you in choosing a healthier item.” For example, if a multigrain bread product lists white flour before whole wheat flour, you’ll know the bread is made primarily from refined carbohydrates. That means you’re probably better off choosing a different product, preferably one with whole grains listed higher up. RELATED:  The Ultimate Guide to Pre- and Post-Workout Carbohydrates

3. Check the serving size.

“It’s very important to pay attention to the serving size on the food label, because oftentimes what seems like a small package and individual serving may actually be two or more servings,” says Yeung. That means you could consume more calories, fat, salt and sugar than intended. (One reason the FDA is requiring updates on serving size.)

4. Focus on what’s most relevant to your personal needs.

“It’s important to pay attention to the ingredients that will affect your personal health the most,” says Yeung. For example, she says, if you have issues with blood pressure, you should pay particular attention to salt content. If you’re concerned about your blood sugar levels, make sure you’re evaluating total carbohydrates and added sugars. For those trying to achieve healthier cholesterol levels, watch out for unhealthy fats, like saturated or trans. And if you’re watching your weight, the calorie content will probably be most relevant. Try to keep all these numbers low, but especially those most important to your health, Yeung says. RELATED: Why You Should Eat More Fat and Less Sugar

5. Identify fat and sugar sources.

Sure, the quantity of fats and sugars can tell you something about the healthfulness of a given product. But where these nutrients come from also matters. “Keep the amount of saturated fat you consume under seven to 10 percent of your daily total calories, and total fat intake should be 20 to 35 percent of your total daily calories,” says Yeung. “This means the majority of your fat intake should come from monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.” Yeung also recommends avoiding items with partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oil, as these are just different names for trans fats. The source of a product’s sugar is another crucial component. “Ultimately, any type of carbohydrate breaks down into sugar in your body,” says Yeung. “However, with sugar from natural sources (such as fruit) you also get vitamins, minerals, fiber and water, which helps better manage sugar levels in your body. You want to limit the amount of added sugar as much as possible.” That includes maple syrup, cane sugar, brown rice syrup and honey.

6. Don’t get fooled by front-label claims.

“Front-label claims can be helpful in narrowing down items, such as choosing a gluten-free product if you have a [sensitivity] to gluten,” says Yeung. But these labels can also be misleading. In fact, a study from earlier this year found front-label claims may lend people a false sense of confidence that they’re purchasing healthy foods. On the contrary, many of these products actually had worse nutritional profiles than those without those claims. “Oftentimes when companies eliminate or reduce fat, sugar or salt in a product, they will use one of the others to help flavor the product,” says Yeung. “For example, a fat-free product may have a lot of added sugar. This can increase the amount of calories and lead to an increase in fat stores.” Also, note that “reduced” doesn’t mean “low.” “Reduced fat or reduced salt doesn’t mean the product is low in fat or salt,” says Yeung. “‘Less salt’ just means the product has at least 50 percent less salt than in the original food, and ‘reduced salt’ means the product has at least 25 percent less salt than the original food. The product has to say ‘low sodium’ or show 140 mg of salt or less per serving to actually be a low-salt food.”

Final Food for Thought

Reading food labels doesn’t have to feel impossible enough that you give up and just buy whatever it is you’re holding. Use these strategies to break down the nutrition facts and easily figure out what’s good for you (and what’s not) so you can make the best decision for your body. And remember, most vitamin- and mineral-rich foods don’t require labels. Read More Shop Smarter: 6 Common Food Labels, Explained Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight?

The post How to Read Nutrition Labels (And Not Get Duped) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight http://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-lose-weight/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-lose-weight/#respond Tue, 09 Jan 2018 16:15:28 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=55040

[caption id="attachment_55042" align="alignnone" width="620"]50 Resources on How to Lose Weight (the Healthy Way) Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again, figuring out how to lose weight is downright difficult. In fact, it’s completely common to do some trial and error before finally seeing results. But where do you even start? To help you kick off your slim-down plan, we rounded up a little motivation and a whole lot of expert info. With these 50 resources, you’ll learn from the mistakes and triumphs of others, plus separate the scientifically proven diet and exercise advice from the OK-to-skip tips.

Jumpstart your journey with an inspiring success story from someone just like you, or dive head first into revamping your diet or workout routine. Wherever you begin, a healthier you awaits.

RELATED: 7 Fitness Goals to Set for 2017 and How to Crush Them

50 Resources on How to Lose Weight

[caption id="attachment_64636" align="alignnone" width="620"]Stacy Cole Before and After Weight Loss Success Story Daily Burn Success Story: Felicia Hall[/caption]

Weight Loss Success Stories

The ultimate inspiration: Men and women just like you who’ve lost weight by making a few simple (but game-changing) lifestyle tweaks. For many, it took a wake-up call — like a scary doctor’s visit or a trip down the aisle — to finally make a real change. But it doesn’t have to come to that. Take a cue from these Daily Burn members, who found a plan that worked for them, building on each little victory along the way. (Feel free to steal their best diet and exercise tips, too!)

9 Weight Loss Success Stories You’re Going to Want to See

The Workout App That Turned My Life Around

Why I Gave Up Running and Started Doing Daily Burn

This Mom Lost Weight But Her Non-Scale Victories Are Even Better

How This Agoraphobe Found Fitness Without the Gym

My Wedding Photos Were My Weight Loss Wake Up Call

[caption id="attachment_41686" align="alignnone" width="620"]Real Talk: How Often Should You Weigh Yourself? Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Expert Weight Loss Tips

With countless ads, infomercials and Instagram stars that promise fast results, it’s tough to separate fact from fiction when it comes to weight loss. That’s why we’ve gone straight to the doctors, dietitians and trainers to pin down what really tips the scale in the slimmed-down direction. Learn about everything from calorie counting to yo-yo dieting, so you can feel confident in your skin.

Is Weight Loss Really as Easy as Calories In, Calories Out?

Guilty of Speed Dieting? 4 Smarter Tips for Weight Loss

5 Ways to Lose Weight Without Dieting

The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

Real Talk: How Often Should You Weigh Yourself?

The 10 Biggest Diet Mistakes, According to Experts

What Really Happens When You Yo-Yo Diet

The Weight Loss Secret 90 Percent of People Are Missing

Small Changes, Big Results: Habits That’ll Help You Lose Weight

The Big Benefits of Losing Just a Little Bit of Weight

[caption id="attachment_55043" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Lose Weight - Diet Strategies and Resources Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Diet Strategies to Drop Pounds, the Right Way

Many experts say weight loss starts in the kitchen, but navigating grocery aisles — and nutrition info — can get tricky. It's no brainer that protein- and fiber-rich foods are best for losing weight, but sometimes, prepared foods can sneak in hidden sources of sugar, trans fat and sodium. To help you plan better meals, we turned to top nutritionists and for their shopping advice and dove into myth-busting research on the latest diet fads. Here’s to more healthy meals and nutrient-packed ingredients making their way to your fridge and pantry.

Gym Time or Meal Time: What Matters Most for Weight Loss?

6 Reasons Why You Can’t Out-Exercise a Bad Diet

The Beginner’s Guide to Clean Eating

7 Ways to Stop Unhealthy Food Cravings

10 Foolproof Ways to Cut Calories When Eating Out

When is it OK to Cheat? The Pros and Cons of Cheat Days

Is a Vegan Diet the Best Way to Lose Weight?

Does Intermittent Fasting Really Work?

Carb Cycling for Weight Loss: What You Need to Know

Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Make You Lose Weight?

Can Wine Before Bed Really Result in Weight Loss?

[caption id="attachment_55044" align="alignnone" width="620"]Weight Loss Exercise Tips Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Exercise Tips to Get You Moving

Of course, moving more is also essential to any weight loss plan. Exercising will not only help boost your metabolism so you lose weight faster, but it will also bump up your energy levels and even help with sleep. If you’ve never been to the gym or are coming off a long fitness hiatus, never fear. We have moves, plans and beginner-friendly tips for launching a regular workout routine. Plus, you’ll find out what to eat pre- and post-workout to maximize results.

The Total Newbie’s Guide to Working Out (and Losing Weight)

How to Get Over Your Fear of the Gym, For Good

True Beginner: A New Exercise Program, No Intimidation

Strength Training for Beginners: Your Guide to Reps, Sets, Weight

5 Weight Training Strategies to Maximize Your Gains

EPOC: The Secret to Faster Fat Loss?

5 Smarter Ways to Train your Heart and Lose Weight

3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners

Should You Eat Before a Workout?

Your Guide to Post-Workout Snacks

Does Fasted Cardio Really Burn More Fat?

[caption id="attachment_45032" align="alignnone" width="620"]I’m Exercising More — So Why Am I Gaining Weight? Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Getting Over the Plateau

If the first five pounds flew off, but now you’re stuck in a weight loss rut, know you’re not alone. Every man and woman has a different metabolism and no two people can lose weight at the same rate. It’s totally common for people to quickly shed those initial pounds, only to realize it gets harder as you go. A few key strategies will help you get over this hump faster, though. Follow this advice for jumping right over a plateau.

Help! Why Did I Suddenly Stop Losing Weight?

I’m Exercising More — So Why Am I Gaining Weight?

Weight Fluctuation: What’s Normal and What’s Not

7 Weight Loss Tips When the Scale Won’t Budge

Why Regaining Weight Is So Common and How to Deal

7 Strategies for Breaking Through a Strength Plateau

[caption id="attachment_55045" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Maintain Weight Loss Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn 365[/caption]

How to Maintain Weight Loss

Take it from those who found success in dropping pounds: You’ll make many mistakes along the way. And that’s OK. Staying healthy and fit takes commitment (and re-commitment whenever life gets in the way). Some of the false starts and roadblocks you read below might sound familiar — but in the end, they often help pave a clearer path to life-long health. Find out what lessons other readers have learned, so you can potentially sidestep their errors. Have a friend who recently lost weight? You’ll also learn what to say for encouragement.

12 Things Nobody Told Me About Losing Weight

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting Daily Burn 365

5 Biggest Myths about Your Metabolism

The One Thing That Helped Me Lose Weight

Why Strength Training Is a Dieter’s Best Friend

The 9 Best Things to Say to Someone Who Has Lost Weight

Want more motivation to lose weight? Join Daily Burn 365 for a new workout every day, plus a community of users to cheer you on. 

Originally published January 2017. Updated January 2018.

The post 50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_55042" align="alignnone" width="620"]50 Resources on How to Lose Weight (the Healthy Way) Photo: Twenty20[/caption] You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again, figuring out how to lose weight is downright difficult. In fact, it’s completely common to do some trial and error before finally seeing results. But where do you even start? To help you kick off your slim-down plan, we rounded up a little motivation and a whole lot of expert info. With these 50 resources, you’ll learn from the mistakes and triumphs of others, plus separate the scientifically proven diet and exercise advice from the OK-to-skip tips. Jumpstart your journey with an inspiring success story from someone just like you, or dive head first into revamping your diet or workout routine. Wherever you begin, a healthier you awaits. RELATED: 7 Fitness Goals to Set for 2017 and How to Crush Them

50 Resources on How to Lose Weight

[caption id="attachment_64636" align="alignnone" width="620"]Stacy Cole Before and After Weight Loss Success Story Daily Burn Success Story: Felicia Hall[/caption]

Weight Loss Success Stories

The ultimate inspiration: Men and women just like you who’ve lost weight by making a few simple (but game-changing) lifestyle tweaks. For many, it took a wake-up call — like a scary doctor’s visit or a trip down the aisle — to finally make a real change. But it doesn’t have to come to that. Take a cue from these Daily Burn members, who found a plan that worked for them, building on each little victory along the way. (Feel free to steal their best diet and exercise tips, too!) 9 Weight Loss Success Stories You’re Going to Want to See The Workout App That Turned My Life Around Why I Gave Up Running and Started Doing Daily Burn This Mom Lost Weight But Her Non-Scale Victories Are Even Better How This Agoraphobe Found Fitness Without the Gym My Wedding Photos Were My Weight Loss Wake Up Call [caption id="attachment_41686" align="alignnone" width="620"]Real Talk: How Often Should You Weigh Yourself? Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Expert Weight Loss Tips

With countless ads, infomercials and Instagram stars that promise fast results, it’s tough to separate fact from fiction when it comes to weight loss. That’s why we’ve gone straight to the doctors, dietitians and trainers to pin down what really tips the scale in the slimmed-down direction. Learn about everything from calorie counting to yo-yo dieting, so you can feel confident in your skin. Is Weight Loss Really as Easy as Calories In, Calories Out? Guilty of Speed Dieting? 4 Smarter Tips for Weight Loss 5 Ways to Lose Weight Without Dieting The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat Real Talk: How Often Should You Weigh Yourself? The 10 Biggest Diet Mistakes, According to Experts What Really Happens When You Yo-Yo Diet The Weight Loss Secret 90 Percent of People Are Missing Small Changes, Big Results: Habits That’ll Help You Lose Weight The Big Benefits of Losing Just a Little Bit of Weight [caption id="attachment_55043" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Lose Weight - Diet Strategies and Resources Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Diet Strategies to Drop Pounds, the Right Way

Many experts say weight loss starts in the kitchen, but navigating grocery aisles — and nutrition info — can get tricky. It's no brainer that protein- and fiber-rich foods are best for losing weight, but sometimes, prepared foods can sneak in hidden sources of sugar, trans fat and sodium. To help you plan better meals, we turned to top nutritionists and for their shopping advice and dove into myth-busting research on the latest diet fads. Here’s to more healthy meals and nutrient-packed ingredients making their way to your fridge and pantry. Gym Time or Meal Time: What Matters Most for Weight Loss? 6 Reasons Why You Can’t Out-Exercise a Bad Diet The Beginner’s Guide to Clean Eating 7 Ways to Stop Unhealthy Food Cravings 10 Foolproof Ways to Cut Calories When Eating Out When is it OK to Cheat? The Pros and Cons of Cheat Days Is a Vegan Diet the Best Way to Lose Weight? Does Intermittent Fasting Really Work? Carb Cycling for Weight Loss: What You Need to Know Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Make You Lose Weight? Can Wine Before Bed Really Result in Weight Loss? [caption id="attachment_55044" align="alignnone" width="620"]Weight Loss Exercise Tips Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Exercise Tips to Get You Moving

Of course, moving more is also essential to any weight loss plan. Exercising will not only help boost your metabolism so you lose weight faster, but it will also bump up your energy levels and even help with sleep. If you’ve never been to the gym or are coming off a long fitness hiatus, never fear. We have moves, plans and beginner-friendly tips for launching a regular workout routine. Plus, you’ll find out what to eat pre- and post-workout to maximize results. The Total Newbie’s Guide to Working Out (and Losing Weight) How to Get Over Your Fear of the Gym, For Good True Beginner: A New Exercise Program, No Intimidation Strength Training for Beginners: Your Guide to Reps, Sets, Weight 5 Weight Training Strategies to Maximize Your Gains EPOC: The Secret to Faster Fat Loss? 5 Smarter Ways to Train your Heart and Lose Weight 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners Should You Eat Before a Workout? Your Guide to Post-Workout Snacks Does Fasted Cardio Really Burn More Fat? [caption id="attachment_45032" align="alignnone" width="620"]I’m Exercising More — So Why Am I Gaining Weight? Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Getting Over the Plateau

If the first five pounds flew off, but now you’re stuck in a weight loss rut, know you’re not alone. Every man and woman has a different metabolism and no two people can lose weight at the same rate. It’s totally common for people to quickly shed those initial pounds, only to realize it gets harder as you go. A few key strategies will help you get over this hump faster, though. Follow this advice for jumping right over a plateau. Help! Why Did I Suddenly Stop Losing Weight? I’m Exercising More — So Why Am I Gaining Weight? Weight Fluctuation: What’s Normal and What’s Not 7 Weight Loss Tips When the Scale Won’t Budge Why Regaining Weight Is So Common and How to Deal 7 Strategies for Breaking Through a Strength Plateau [caption id="attachment_55045" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Maintain Weight Loss Photo: Ryan Kelly / Daily Burn 365[/caption]

How to Maintain Weight Loss

Take it from those who found success in dropping pounds: You’ll make many mistakes along the way. And that’s OK. Staying healthy and fit takes commitment (and re-commitment whenever life gets in the way). Some of the false starts and roadblocks you read below might sound familiar — but in the end, they often help pave a clearer path to life-long health. Find out what lessons other readers have learned, so you can potentially sidestep their errors. Have a friend who recently lost weight? You’ll also learn what to say for encouragement. 12 Things Nobody Told Me About Losing Weight 7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting Daily Burn 365 5 Biggest Myths about Your Metabolism The One Thing That Helped Me Lose Weight Why Strength Training Is a Dieter’s Best Friend The 9 Best Things to Say to Someone Who Has Lost Weight Want more motivation to lose weight? Join Daily Burn 365 for a new workout every day, plus a community of users to cheer you on.  Originally published January 2017. Updated January 2018.

The post 50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
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31 Days of Health Hacks to Live Your Best Life http://dailyburn.com/life/health/healthy-lifestyle-hacks/ Mon, 01 Jan 2018 12:15:15 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=64431 31 Days of Healthy Lifestyle Hacks to Live Your Best Life

[caption id="attachment_64442" align="alignnone" width="620"]31 Days of Healthy Lifestyle Hacks to Live Your Best Life Photos (clockwise from top left): Pond5, Pond5, Twenty20, Twenty20[/caption]

When you think about doing a healthy lifestyle overhaul — simultaneously cleaning up your diet, exercising more and stressing less — it’s enough to send you running…right back to bed. That’s why it’s always best to start with small, manageable changes that can easily fit into your day. And we’re here to provide exactly that: 31 health hacks from experts in nutrition, fitness and mental health that offer a bite-size way to live smarter — without sacrifice. (Your time is precious, after all!)

But that doesn’t mean these little tips won’t lead to big changes. Try incorporating one every day this month, then carry your favorites with you for a fitter-than-ever 2018.

RELATED: The One Thing That Helped Me Lose Weight

31 Ways to Jumpstart a Healthy Lifestyle

1. Do a kitchen clean-out.

Take just 10 to 20 minutes to rearrange your pantry, fridge and countertop today, suggests Melina Jampolis, MD, author of Spice Up, Slim Down. Place chips or cookies in opaque containers in the back of your cabinets, and put cut veggies in clear storage bins and bags on top shelves. Leave out a bowl of fruit, too, so you can grab when you’re in the mood for something sweet.

2. Wake up five minutes early.

That’s just 300 seconds. Use this time to simply breath or do a quick meditation. “Sit up in bed and begin to take nice deep breaths,” suggests Kelsey Patel, LA-based certified reiki master and yoga instructor. “Say or think five things you’re grateful for and close the practice by envisioning yourself having an easy, healthy and joyful day.” Is there a better way to wake up?

3. Get moving first thing.

Go straight from your bed to the streets or your mat. Run a mile as fast as you can, do a 10-minute plyometric routine or work through a tough Tabata. Whatever you choose, put in some real effort and you’ll kick your metabolism into high gear, says pro CrossFit athlete, motivational speaker and Second Skin ambassador, Christmas Abbott.

4. Swap green tea for your first cup of coffee.

Give your body a gentler wake-up by swapping highly caffeinated java for some soothing tea. “It’s a kinder way to start the day, so you don’t burn out your energy first thing in the a.m.,” says Patel.

5. Check in with yourself.

Ask yourself how you’re doing at least one time in the next 24 hours. “Sometimes it helps to name your feelings,” says Jamie Price, creator of the Stop, Breathe & Think app. For instance, state if you’re feeling frustrated, angry or happy, which you can take some time to appreciate. “The simple act of naming can help create some distance and perspective,” particularly if negativity pops up, Price says.

RELATED: 19 Positive Affirmations That’ll Change the Way You Think

6. Schedule a walking meeting.

If you do one thing to move more this month, make it sitting less. Studies link staying in your seat to a higher risk of premature death (even if you exercise on the regular), explains Dr. Jampolis. So start by taking one of your calls outside and around the block or catching up with a co-worker as you stroll to grab a cup of joe.

7. Add flavor, without calories.

Lots of spices (think turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne, ginger and rosemary) can enhance the flavor of your food, while also providing anti-inflammatory benefits and antioxidants, says Dr. Jampolis. So add a little kick to your smoothie, stir fry, eggs or salad dressings. These zero-calorie palate pleasers might even help you cut back on sugar and salt.

8. Take a bath tonight.

Catching quality zzz’s deserves a top spot on your wellness priority list. So create a simple sleep-enhancing ritual, like soaking in Epsom salts or 300 to 500 milligrams of magnesium, recommends Samantha McKinney, a program manager at Life Time Fitness. “I always say, you have to earn your right to exercise intensely through eating right and sleeping well, otherwise you’re just adding more stress to your body,” she says. Set a timer to remind yourself to relax in the tub before bed.

9. Write down a sweat date.

Or a few! Take your best pal to yoga, get your S.O. to go for a run with you, or hit up your fittest friend for a lifting sesh. “Having a few people who are on board with your month of commitment means you’re less likely to bail out of a class,” says Abbott. “All of this is to help you have more accountability and stick to your commitment.”

10. Add an extra piece of fruit to your day.

Most people need more produce in their lives, and fruit also helps keep you hydrated, courtesy of its high H2O content, says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition expert and author of Eating in Color. Plus, it packs tons of disease-fighting antioxidants. Try some frozen wild blueberries in your overnight oats or add a cup of grapes to your salad at lunch.

Click HERE to read more

The post 31 Days of Health Hacks to Live Your Best Life appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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31 Days of Healthy Lifestyle Hacks to Live Your Best Life

[caption id="attachment_64442" align="alignnone" width="620"]31 Days of Healthy Lifestyle Hacks to Live Your Best Life Photos (clockwise from top left): Pond5, Pond5, Twenty20, Twenty20[/caption] When you think about doing a healthy lifestyle overhaul — simultaneously cleaning up your diet, exercising more and stressing less — it’s enough to send you running…right back to bed. That’s why it’s always best to start with small, manageable changes that can easily fit into your day. And we’re here to provide exactly that: 31 health hacks from experts in nutrition, fitness and mental health that offer a bite-size way to live smarter — without sacrifice. (Your time is precious, after all!) But that doesn’t mean these little tips won’t lead to big changes. Try incorporating one every day this month, then carry your favorites with you for a fitter-than-ever 2018. RELATED: The One Thing That Helped Me Lose Weight

31 Ways to Jumpstart a Healthy Lifestyle

1. Do a kitchen clean-out.

Take just 10 to 20 minutes to rearrange your pantry, fridge and countertop today, suggests Melina Jampolis, MD, author of Spice Up, Slim Down. Place chips or cookies in opaque containers in the back of your cabinets, and put cut veggies in clear storage bins and bags on top shelves. Leave out a bowl of fruit, too, so you can grab when you’re in the mood for something sweet.

2. Wake up five minutes early.

That’s just 300 seconds. Use this time to simply breath or do a quick meditation. “Sit up in bed and begin to take nice deep breaths,” suggests Kelsey Patel, LA-based certified reiki master and yoga instructor. “Say or think five things you’re grateful for and close the practice by envisioning yourself having an easy, healthy and joyful day.” Is there a better way to wake up?

3. Get moving first thing.

Go straight from your bed to the streets or your mat. Run a mile as fast as you can, do a 10-minute plyometric routine or work through a tough Tabata. Whatever you choose, put in some real effort and you’ll kick your metabolism into high gear, says pro CrossFit athlete, motivational speaker and Second Skin ambassador, Christmas Abbott.

4. Swap green tea for your first cup of coffee.

Give your body a gentler wake-up by swapping highly caffeinated java for some soothing tea. “It’s a kinder way to start the day, so you don’t burn out your energy first thing in the a.m.,” says Patel.

5. Check in with yourself.

Ask yourself how you’re doing at least one time in the next 24 hours. “Sometimes it helps to name your feelings,” says Jamie Price, creator of the Stop, Breathe & Think app. For instance, state if you’re feeling frustrated, angry or happy, which you can take some time to appreciate. “The simple act of naming can help create some distance and perspective,” particularly if negativity pops up, Price says. RELATED: 19 Positive Affirmations That’ll Change the Way You Think

6. Schedule a walking meeting.

If you do one thing to move more this month, make it sitting less. Studies link staying in your seat to a higher risk of premature death (even if you exercise on the regular), explains Dr. Jampolis. So start by taking one of your calls outside and around the block or catching up with a co-worker as you stroll to grab a cup of joe.

7. Add flavor, without calories.

Lots of spices (think turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne, ginger and rosemary) can enhance the flavor of your food, while also providing anti-inflammatory benefits and antioxidants, says Dr. Jampolis. So add a little kick to your smoothie, stir fry, eggs or salad dressings. These zero-calorie palate pleasers might even help you cut back on sugar and salt.

8. Take a bath tonight.

Catching quality zzz’s deserves a top spot on your wellness priority list. So create a simple sleep-enhancing ritual, like soaking in Epsom salts or 300 to 500 milligrams of magnesium, recommends Samantha McKinney, a program manager at Life Time Fitness. “I always say, you have to earn your right to exercise intensely through eating right and sleeping well, otherwise you’re just adding more stress to your body,” she says. Set a timer to remind yourself to relax in the tub before bed.

9. Write down a sweat date.

Or a few! Take your best pal to yoga, get your S.O. to go for a run with you, or hit up your fittest friend for a lifting sesh. “Having a few people who are on board with your month of commitment means you’re less likely to bail out of a class,” says Abbott. “All of this is to help you have more accountability and stick to your commitment.”

10. Add an extra piece of fruit to your day.

Most people need more produce in their lives, and fruit also helps keep you hydrated, courtesy of its high H2O content, says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition expert and author of Eating in Color. Plus, it packs tons of disease-fighting antioxidants. Try some frozen wild blueberries in your overnight oats or add a cup of grapes to your salad at lunch. Click HERE to read more

The post 31 Days of Health Hacks to Live Your Best Life appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Your 4-Week Meal Prep Guide for Clean Eating http://dailyburn.com/life/health/clean-eating-meal-prep-guide/ Sun, 31 Dec 2017 12:15:59 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=64383 Your 4-Week Meal Prep Guide for Clean Eating

Your 4-Week Guide to Meal Prep for Clean Eating

Whether your goal is to eat better in 2018 or lose a few pounds this month, setting aside time for meal prep is a surefire way to find success. Because when your weeks get jammed with activities or your energy starts to fade, you’ll already have healthy meals waiting for you to grab and go. To keep you motivated to make smart dishes all month long — and plan out those meal prep days — we created this complete guide to grocery shopping and cooking for four weeks straight. Stock your pantry with olive oil, salt, pepper and spices, then follow our list for at-home clean eating that’ll feel easier than ordering out.

RELATED: 12 Brilliant Meal Prep Ideas to Free Up Your Time

Your One-Month Guide to Clean Eating Meal Prep

[caption id="attachment_64391" align="alignnone" width="620"]Clean Eating Meal Prep Plan: Smoothie Recipes Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote[/caption]

Week 1

Your Grocery Essentials

  • Your favorite fruits and veggies (including bananas)
  • Almond milk
  • Plant-based protein powder
  • Nut butter
  • Quinoa
  • Chicken

Healthy Meals to Make

  • Breakfast: Start your mornings with some delicious, vitamin-rich smoothies. Choose one high in protein (especially post-workout), heavy on greens or both. Or keep it simple with these easy, three-ingredient concoctions. Store the ingredients in baggies to toss in the blender in the morning. Or blend a few, add to muffin tins and toss in the freezer to grab when you wake up.
  • Lunch: Get creative with quinoa bowls. Make a big batch of the ancient grain so you can use it as the base for dishes topped with eggs and avocado, fruits and nuts, corn and black beans or steak and veggies. You can use it as your side at dinner, too.
  • Dinner: Chicken doesn’t have to be boring. When you make a bunch of chicken breasts at once, you can use them as the main ingredient with a side of veggies, in wraps (with leftover quinoa), in one-pot meals like this balsamic, barley and chard, or as a satay with a little peanut sauce. Make life even easier by picking up a rotisserie chicken and using it for any one of these recipes.

RELATED: 15 One-Pot Meals for Quick, Healthy Dinners

[caption id="attachment_64392" align="alignnone" width="620"]Clean Eating Meal Prep Plan: Make-Ahead Salads Photo and Recipe: Evan Thomas[/caption]

Week 2

Your Grocery Essentials

  • Your favorite fruits and veggies
  • Lots of leafy greens
  • Eggs
  • Seafood
  • A grain, like farro

Healthy Meals to Make

  • Breakfast: Make it all about eggs this week. Go for protein-packed muffins, burritos and frittatas — all of which you can cook on Sunday and heat up at the office during the week. Add produce, like broccoli or Swiss chard, for extra fiber to keep you full all morning.
  • Lunch: Mix leafy greens, such as kale or spinach or even Brussel sprouts, with an assortment of veggies, and top with a protein like tuna (which you can also eat at dinner). Toss with homemade dressing (or a store-bought one with few ingredients) for a tasty, nutritious salad. Put it in a mason jar for a soggy-free and portable meal.
  • Dinner: Salmon, shrimp, tilapia, cod — all super easy to make and extra-good for you thanks to the protein and healthy fat content. Opt for a DIY poke bowl, a fancy seafood-and-wine pairing, or crave-worthy tacos. You can even pan-sear a filet for a ready-in-10-minutes dinner or bake one in the oven for another no-fuss dish. 

RELATED: 6 Easy 20-Minute Parchment Paper Recipes

[caption id="attachment_64393" align="alignnone" width="620"]Clean Eating Meal Prep Plan: Zoodles and Meatballs Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote[/caption]

Week 3

Your Grocery Essentials

  • Your favorite fruits and veggies (including a few you can spiralize)
  • Old-fashioned oats
  • Milk and/or yogurt
  • Ground turkey or chicken 

Healthy Meals to Make

  • Breakfast: Overnight oats are so trendy, but oh-so-easy and nutritious. Make a big batch, store in baggies and customize to suit your mood. Choose a high-protein recipe, try a savory option or whip up a three-ingredient variation. Layer with berries or nut butters — and don’t forget to Instagram it!
  • Lunch: It's all about cooked veggies this week. Spiralize your sweet potatoes, zucchini, squash and carrots at the start of the week and you’ll have them for zoodles, side dishes and the fiber base for lunch and dinner. Top with your favorite protein, like shrimp or ground turkey for a satisfying meal.
  • Dinner: Love meatballs? So do we. And you can easily make a lean, healthy batch of turkey or chicken balls that offer lots of variety to your meals for the week. Add them to your zoodles, make ‘em into a soup or create a sweeter version with cranberries.

RELATED: 19 Ways to Add Flavor for 10 Calories or Less

[caption id="attachment_64394" align="alignnone" width="620"]Clean Eating Meal Prep Plan: Sweet Potatoes Seven Ways Photo and Recipe: Alexa Schirm[/caption]

Week 4

Your Grocery Essentials

  • Your favorite fruits and veggies (including cauliflower and broccoli)
  • Chia seeds
  • Coconut milk (or your milk of choice)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Protein of choice 

Healthy Meals to Make

  • Breakfast: Add a touch of sweetness to your morning meal with fiber-rich chia seed pudding. Like overnight oats, you have limitless combos to choose from. And because the seeds swell in the fridge overnight, you get a dish that leaves you full until lunch. Try this vanilla-almond blend or an energizing matcha recipe to get started.
  • Lunch: Sweet potatoes, seven ways! Loaded with vitamins and fiber, these healthy starches pair perfectly with beans and cheese or avocado and lentils. Or toss them into a plant-based taco or burrito. Best of all, use them in place of toast for a low-carb meal, topped with your mashed avocado or almond butter and bananas.
  • Dinner: Swap your typical fried rice dish for a big serving of vegetable “rice.” You can use cauliflower or broccoli (or both!), chopped up, as your base. Toss with olive oil and add corn, peas, chicken, tofu — or whatever pleases your palate. Keep changing it up to keep your taste buds happy for the next few days.

Read More
50 Resources That Make Meal Prep a Snap
20 Meal Prep Tips from the Best Preppers We Know
21 Meal Prep Pics from the Healthiest People on Instagram

The post Your 4-Week Meal Prep Guide for Clean Eating appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Your 4-Week Meal Prep Guide for Clean Eating

Your 4-Week Guide to Meal Prep for Clean Eating Whether your goal is to eat better in 2018 or lose a few pounds this month, setting aside time for meal prep is a surefire way to find success. Because when your weeks get jammed with activities or your energy starts to fade, you’ll already have healthy meals waiting for you to grab and go. To keep you motivated to make smart dishes all month long — and plan out those meal prep days — we created this complete guide to grocery shopping and cooking for four weeks straight. Stock your pantry with olive oil, salt, pepper and spices, then follow our list for at-home clean eating that’ll feel easier than ordering out. RELATED: 12 Brilliant Meal Prep Ideas to Free Up Your Time

Your One-Month Guide to Clean Eating Meal Prep

[caption id="attachment_64391" align="alignnone" width="620"]Clean Eating Meal Prep Plan: Smoothie Recipes Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote[/caption]

Week 1

Your Grocery Essentials
  • Your favorite fruits and veggies (including bananas)
  • Almond milk
  • Plant-based protein powder
  • Nut butter
  • Quinoa
  • Chicken
Healthy Meals to Make
  • Breakfast: Start your mornings with some delicious, vitamin-rich smoothies. Choose one high in protein (especially post-workout), heavy on greens or both. Or keep it simple with these easy, three-ingredient concoctions. Store the ingredients in baggies to toss in the blender in the morning. Or blend a few, add to muffin tins and toss in the freezer to grab when you wake up.
  • Lunch: Get creative with quinoa bowls. Make a big batch of the ancient grain so you can use it as the base for dishes topped with eggs and avocado, fruits and nuts, corn and black beans or steak and veggies. You can use it as your side at dinner, too.
  • Dinner: Chicken doesn’t have to be boring. When you make a bunch of chicken breasts at once, you can use them as the main ingredient with a side of veggies, in wraps (with leftover quinoa), in one-pot meals like this balsamic, barley and chard, or as a satay with a little peanut sauce. Make life even easier by picking up a rotisserie chicken and using it for any one of these recipes.
RELATED: 15 One-Pot Meals for Quick, Healthy Dinners [caption id="attachment_64392" align="alignnone" width="620"]Clean Eating Meal Prep Plan: Make-Ahead Salads Photo and Recipe: Evan Thomas[/caption]

Week 2

Your Grocery Essentials
  • Your favorite fruits and veggies
  • Lots of leafy greens
  • Eggs
  • Seafood
  • A grain, like farro
Healthy Meals to Make
  • Breakfast: Make it all about eggs this week. Go for protein-packed muffins, burritos and frittatas — all of which you can cook on Sunday and heat up at the office during the week. Add produce, like broccoli or Swiss chard, for extra fiber to keep you full all morning.
  • Lunch: Mix leafy greens, such as kale or spinach or even Brussel sprouts, with an assortment of veggies, and top with a protein like tuna (which you can also eat at dinner). Toss with homemade dressing (or a store-bought one with few ingredients) for a tasty, nutritious salad. Put it in a mason jar for a soggy-free and portable meal.
  • Dinner: Salmon, shrimp, tilapia, cod — all super easy to make and extra-good for you thanks to the protein and healthy fat content. Opt for a DIY poke bowl, a fancy seafood-and-wine pairing, or crave-worthy tacos. You can even pan-sear a filet for a ready-in-10-minutes dinner or bake one in the oven for another no-fuss dish. 
RELATED: 6 Easy 20-Minute Parchment Paper Recipes [caption id="attachment_64393" align="alignnone" width="620"]Clean Eating Meal Prep Plan: Zoodles and Meatballs Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote[/caption]

Week 3

Your Grocery Essentials
  • Your favorite fruits and veggies (including a few you can spiralize)
  • Old-fashioned oats
  • Milk and/or yogurt
  • Ground turkey or chicken 
Healthy Meals to Make
  • Breakfast: Overnight oats are so trendy, but oh-so-easy and nutritious. Make a big batch, store in baggies and customize to suit your mood. Choose a high-protein recipe, try a savory option or whip up a three-ingredient variation. Layer with berries or nut butters — and don’t forget to Instagram it!
  • Lunch: It's all about cooked veggies this week. Spiralize your sweet potatoes, zucchini, squash and carrots at the start of the week and you’ll have them for zoodles, side dishes and the fiber base for lunch and dinner. Top with your favorite protein, like shrimp or ground turkey for a satisfying meal.
  • Dinner: Love meatballs? So do we. And you can easily make a lean, healthy batch of turkey or chicken balls that offer lots of variety to your meals for the week. Add them to your zoodles, make ‘em into a soup or create a sweeter version with cranberries.
RELATED: 19 Ways to Add Flavor for 10 Calories or Less [caption id="attachment_64394" align="alignnone" width="620"]Clean Eating Meal Prep Plan: Sweet Potatoes Seven Ways Photo and Recipe: Alexa Schirm[/caption]

Week 4

Your Grocery Essentials
  • Your favorite fruits and veggies (including cauliflower and broccoli)
  • Chia seeds
  • Coconut milk (or your milk of choice)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Protein of choice 
Healthy Meals to Make
  • Breakfast: Add a touch of sweetness to your morning meal with fiber-rich chia seed pudding. Like overnight oats, you have limitless combos to choose from. And because the seeds swell in the fridge overnight, you get a dish that leaves you full until lunch. Try this vanilla-almond blend or an energizing matcha recipe to get started.
  • Lunch: Sweet potatoes, seven ways! Loaded with vitamins and fiber, these healthy starches pair perfectly with beans and cheese or avocado and lentils. Or toss them into a plant-based taco or burrito. Best of all, use them in place of toast for a low-carb meal, topped with your mashed avocado or almond butter and bananas.
  • Dinner: Swap your typical fried rice dish for a big serving of vegetable “rice.” You can use cauliflower or broccoli (or both!), chopped up, as your base. Toss with olive oil and add corn, peas, chicken, tofu — or whatever pleases your palate. Keep changing it up to keep your taste buds happy for the next few days.
Read More 50 Resources That Make Meal Prep a Snap 20 Meal Prep Tips from the Best Preppers We Know 21 Meal Prep Pics from the Healthiest People on Instagram

The post Your 4-Week Meal Prep Guide for Clean Eating appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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5 Hangover Cures to Save You After a Few Too Many http://dailyburn.com/life/health/hangover-cure-holiday-season/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/hangover-cure-holiday-season/#comments Sat, 30 Dec 2017 14:15:40 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=35266 Hangover Cures to Save You

[caption id="attachment_54874" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Hangover Cures Photo: Pond5[/caption]

The pounding headache, bloodshot eyes, achy muscles, heartburn… There’s no ignoring it: You’ve got a hangover. All of those tips to “stay away from sugary drinks,” “eat a substantial dinner” and “drink water after every cocktail” were for naught. Boozing crimes have been committed and you #wokeuplikethis. Now what? You’ve probably got to tackle a to-do list longer than Santa’s…or perhaps you have to dash to the office through North Pole-like weather.

Never fear! You don’t need to let one night of revelry derail the rest of your week. In anticipation of this booze-filled season, we present expert hangover cures for alleviating those pesky symptoms, especially if you forgot to take preventative measures the night before.

RELATED: The Ultimate Way to Cure Your Hangover

5 Horrific Hangover Scenarios, and How to Power Through

[caption id="attachment_35276" align="alignnone" width="620"]Hangover Cures to Save You After A Few Too Many Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. You've got six hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic ahead of you.

That happy hour with friends was a little too happy. You meant to chase every glass of wine with a pitcher of H2O, but the jolly sprit somehow steered you off course. Now you’ve got to hop in the car to spend the holidays with your family.

Hangover Rx: “When you wake up in the morning, have 16 ounces of water,” recommends Jim White, RDN, ACSM-HFS, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson. Sports drinks and coconut water, which is lower in sugar, can also redeem electrolytes lost while drinking, says White. He suggests downing an additional eight to 16 ounces every hour throughout the day. (So, bank on some bathroom breaks!) Portable snacks are good to have on hand, too, says Jessica Crandall, RDN, Denver Wellness & Nutrition Director. Pack a banana, protein bar or some nutty granola, since they’re rich in potassium and sodium, two nutrients that get depleted from the body when you urinate while drinking.

RELATED: 11 Healthy Homemade Protein Bar Recipes

“The old ‘hair of the dog’ is pretty much just a myth.”

2. You’re attending yet another get-together later today.

It’s hangover o’clock, and also time for you to meet friends for brunch. You figure that some mimosas or Bloody Marys will help blunt your headache and curb last night’s damage.

Hangover Rx: “The old ‘hair of the dog’ is pretty much just a myth,” says White. “You’re drinking and you’re numbing but as soon as that wears off, you’re going to feel worse.” Instead, he recommends ordering a full breakfast. Eggs, he says, are a good source of cysteine, an amino acid that helps the liver break down alcohol faster. Save pancakes for another time and head straight for the menu’s omelet section. Bonus points for adding non-starchy greens like kale, spinach or peppers, which is a great way to sneak in a serving of vegetables at the beginning of the day.

RELATED: How to Avoid a Hangover: Your 24-Hour Timeline

3. You tried to self-medicate, and nothing’s quite cutting it.

Your alarm clock goes off and you’re desperate for some energy. On your commute to work, you buy all of the over-the-counter “hangover pills” in sight at the pharmacy and a large coffee to jumpstart your brain.

Hangover Rx: “I have personally tried [over-the-counter hangover pills] and there’s not a lot of science behind them,” says Crandall. She notes that lots of brands have excessive amounts of vitamins that won’t be helpful. Instead, Crandall advises seeking out protein, complex carbohydrates (a rich source of B vitamins) and potassium-rich foods like banana or melon. Since coffee can irritate the gut, she suggests opting for herbal tea instead. If you can’t function without a jolt of liquid energy, go for black teas over green or fruit teas since the latter doesn't have any natural caffeine.

4. You’ve committed to fitness (and don’t want to eat a class cancellation fee).

 

“Sometimes elevating the heart rate will cause additional pounding in your head.”

 

There’s no way you’d let a hangover get in the way of your workout. But as soon as you lace up your sneakers, your forehead starts to sweat with fear just thinking about AMRAP burpees or the eight-mile run you had planned.

Hangover Rx: While exercise sounds like the ultimate hangover cure with the endorphin rush, Crandall and White say it’s smarter to avoid strenuous, high-intensity programs if you’re feeling out of sorts after a night out. “Sometimes elevating the heart rate will cause additional pounding in your head,” says Crandall. But she says that getting some fresh air may help you feel better. White and Crandall agree that low-intensity workouts are ideal. “I would go with yoga, light weight training or some elliptical,” he says. And don’t forget to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

RELATED: Have a Hangover? Here's How to Survive Your Workout

5. You’ve got to hit the shops.

You knocked back some eggnog and everything else in sight — and that’s why you’re feeling like a Santa-sized sack of coal is weighing you down this morning. Your stomach is churning yet you’ve got holiday errands to run, gifts to wrap and cookies to bake! What’s a modern-day elf to do?

Hangover Rx: Skip the ginger ale in favor of a sip with fewer empty calories — and real ginger, which has been shown to settle gastrointestinal distress, says White. “I would recommend ginger tea first thing in the morning as a great way to ward off an upset stomach,” says White. Since most ginger ales have high-fructose corn syrup and not a substantial amount of actual ginger. What's a better hangover cure? It’s best to stick with tea if you’re trying to cope with feelings of nausea.

Originally published December 2014. Updated December 2017. 

Read More
Beer Before Liquor and Other Booze Myths, Busted
6 Sommelier Tips for Spotting Low-Calorie Wine
12 Easy Low-Calorie Cocktails with Seltzer Water

The post 5 Hangover Cures to Save You After a Few Too Many appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Hangover Cures to Save You

[caption id="attachment_54874" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Hangover Cures Photo: Pond5[/caption] The pounding headache, bloodshot eyes, achy muscles, heartburn… There’s no ignoring it: You’ve got a hangover. All of those tips to “stay away from sugary drinks,” “eat a substantial dinner” and “drink water after every cocktail” were for naught. Boozing crimes have been committed and you #wokeuplikethis. Now what? You’ve probably got to tackle a to-do list longer than Santa’s…or perhaps you have to dash to the office through North Pole-like weather. Never fear! You don’t need to let one night of revelry derail the rest of your week. In anticipation of this booze-filled season, we present expert hangover cures for alleviating those pesky symptoms, especially if you forgot to take preventative measures the night before. RELATED: The Ultimate Way to Cure Your Hangover

5 Horrific Hangover Scenarios, and How to Power Through

[caption id="attachment_35276" align="alignnone" width="620"]Hangover Cures to Save You After A Few Too Many Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. You've got six hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic ahead of you.

That happy hour with friends was a little too happy. You meant to chase every glass of wine with a pitcher of H2O, but the jolly sprit somehow steered you off course. Now you’ve got to hop in the car to spend the holidays with your family. Hangover Rx: “When you wake up in the morning, have 16 ounces of water,” recommends Jim White, RDN, ACSM-HFS, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson. Sports drinks and coconut water, which is lower in sugar, can also redeem electrolytes lost while drinking, says White. He suggests downing an additional eight to 16 ounces every hour throughout the day. (So, bank on some bathroom breaks!) Portable snacks are good to have on hand, too, says Jessica Crandall, RDN, Denver Wellness & Nutrition Director. Pack a banana, protein bar or some nutty granola, since they’re rich in potassium and sodium, two nutrients that get depleted from the body when you urinate while drinking. RELATED: 11 Healthy Homemade Protein Bar Recipes
“The old ‘hair of the dog’ is pretty much just a myth.”

2. You’re attending yet another get-together later today.

It’s hangover o’clock, and also time for you to meet friends for brunch. You figure that some mimosas or Bloody Marys will help blunt your headache and curb last night’s damage. Hangover Rx: “The old ‘hair of the dog’ is pretty much just a myth,” says White. “You’re drinking and you’re numbing but as soon as that wears off, you’re going to feel worse.” Instead, he recommends ordering a full breakfast. Eggs, he says, are a good source of cysteine, an amino acid that helps the liver break down alcohol faster. Save pancakes for another time and head straight for the menu’s omelet section. Bonus points for adding non-starchy greens like kale, spinach or peppers, which is a great way to sneak in a serving of vegetables at the beginning of the day. RELATED: How to Avoid a Hangover: Your 24-Hour Timeline

3. You tried to self-medicate, and nothing’s quite cutting it.

Your alarm clock goes off and you’re desperate for some energy. On your commute to work, you buy all of the over-the-counter “hangover pills” in sight at the pharmacy and a large coffee to jumpstart your brain. Hangover Rx: “I have personally tried [over-the-counter hangover pills] and there’s not a lot of science behind them,” says Crandall. She notes that lots of brands have excessive amounts of vitamins that won’t be helpful. Instead, Crandall advises seeking out protein, complex carbohydrates (a rich source of B vitamins) and potassium-rich foods like banana or melon. Since coffee can irritate the gut, she suggests opting for herbal tea instead. If you can’t function without a jolt of liquid energy, go for black teas over green or fruit teas since the latter doesn't have any natural caffeine.

4. You’ve committed to fitness (and don’t want to eat a class cancellation fee).

  “Sometimes elevating the heart rate will cause additional pounding in your head.”  
There’s no way you’d let a hangover get in the way of your workout. But as soon as you lace up your sneakers, your forehead starts to sweat with fear just thinking about AMRAP burpees or the eight-mile run you had planned. Hangover Rx: While exercise sounds like the ultimate hangover cure with the endorphin rush, Crandall and White say it’s smarter to avoid strenuous, high-intensity programs if you’re feeling out of sorts after a night out. “Sometimes elevating the heart rate will cause additional pounding in your head,” says Crandall. But she says that getting some fresh air may help you feel better. White and Crandall agree that low-intensity workouts are ideal. “I would go with yoga, light weight training or some elliptical,” he says. And don’t forget to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! RELATED: Have a Hangover? Here's How to Survive Your Workout

5. You’ve got to hit the shops.

You knocked back some eggnog and everything else in sight — and that’s why you’re feeling like a Santa-sized sack of coal is weighing you down this morning. Your stomach is churning yet you’ve got holiday errands to run, gifts to wrap and cookies to bake! What’s a modern-day elf to do? Hangover Rx: Skip the ginger ale in favor of a sip with fewer empty calories — and real ginger, which has been shown to settle gastrointestinal distress, says White. “I would recommend ginger tea first thing in the morning as a great way to ward off an upset stomach,” says White. Since most ginger ales have high-fructose corn syrup and not a substantial amount of actual ginger. What's a better hangover cure? It’s best to stick with tea if you’re trying to cope with feelings of nausea. Originally published December 2014. Updated December 2017.  Read More Beer Before Liquor and Other Booze Myths, Busted 6 Sommelier Tips for Spotting Low-Calorie Wine 12 Easy Low-Calorie Cocktails with Seltzer Water

The post 5 Hangover Cures to Save You After a Few Too Many appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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6 Sommelier Tips for Choosing Low-Calorie Wine http://dailyburn.com/life/health/low-calorie-wine-sommelier-tips/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/low-calorie-wine-sommelier-tips/#respond Fri, 29 Dec 2017 16:15:26 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=54675 6 Sommelier Tips for Spotting Low-Calorie Wine

[caption id="attachment_64368" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Sommelier Tips for Choosing Low-Calorie Wine Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

It's the most wonderful time of the year. And the most spirited, too! Whether you're attending an office soiree or a fete with friends, it's likely that your holiday party will include alcohol, and lots of it. So should you imbibe?

"The benefits of moderate alcohol consumption — one to two drinks per day — aren't really expected or easy to explain, but they are very much proven," says Emanuel Rubin, M.D., distinguished professor of pathology, anatomy and cell biology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, who has been researching alcohol's effects on the body since 1964.

"While there are many who disagree, my findings and reviews conclude that a glass of wine, a bottle of beer or an ounce and a half of liquor each day might just reduce your risk for heart attacks and coronary heart disease, protect against diabetes, slow bone loss and lead to later onset of Alzheimer's disease and dementia," Dr. Rubin adds.

RELATED: From Wine to Whiskey: 7 Surprising Health Benefits of Alcohol

Still, despite the benefits of consuming antioxidant-rich wine, remember that your glass packs anywhere from 125 to 175 calories. (Alcohol contains seven calories per gram, compared to four for carbohydrates and protein and nine for fat.) For this reason — and a host of others, including the hangover you’ll want to avoid the next day — moderation is key. Also helpful: Opting for a lower calorie (read: lower sugar content) vino. Here’s how.

Your Ultimate Guide to Finding Low-Calorie Wine

1. Get bubbly.

If you want to cut back on sugar, look for "brut" (dry) on the label. Depending on the growing region, fizzy options, like champagne, cava, prosecco or sparkling wine are about 110 calories per flute. Bonus: The tall, skinny glass they’re normally offered in makes the serving seem larger than it might in a large, globe-like vessel.

2. Keep an eye on the alcohol level.

Watch out for the ABV (alcohol by volume) percentage. The higher that number, the more calories your glass will contain. Aim for percentages around nine to 13 percent rather than boozier options in the 14 to 17 percent range. Lower ABV options include Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde, Beaujolais and any of the sparkling wines mentioned above.

3. Go dry.

The sweetness and amount of sugar in wine can actually be related to the alcohol level — but not always. Just like yogurt, granola bars and sports drinks, wineries are allowed to add sugar to wine to balance out the flavors. Laws in certain regions regulate if and how much sugar can be mixed in — a process called chaptalization. Wine makers aren't required to disclose if sugar has been added to your bottle during fermentation, but if you stick with the drier varieties, it's more likely that there will be less (or no) sugar added.

RELATED: 8 Delicious Seafood Recipes Plus Wine Pairings

4. Look for a where the wine was made.

The growing climate impacts more than just how many layers vineyard owners must wear while harvesting. At cooler temperatures, grapes don't ripen as much as they do at warmer temperatures. That means less sugar and less potential alcohol is found in wines from chillier areas. Some “skinny” spots include Oregon, Washington, Chile, South Africa and Germany.

5. Pour something you really like.

This one’s simple. Uncork a bottle of a vino you adore, and you'll be satisfied with a smaller pour. Sip as a sommelier would: slowly, noticing the color, smell and flavors of the wine. You’ll feel like you've had a #treatyoself moment in just one glass. That’s the recommended serving size for women anyway, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (and for men’s it’s around two glasses).

6. Pair like a pro.

Similarly, pairing your wine with your menu properly results in the most pleasure per calorie. When in doubt, pair dishes inspired by a particular country or region with wine from that country, and you'll be off to a good start. (Think: chianti and pasta with marinara sauce). Another strategy: Opt for reds to stand up to the strength of heartier meats and rich flavors, and whites for a pleasant complement to lighter fare. And if you're still unsure, look back to our first point. Bubbles are never wrong!

Originally published December 2016. Updated December 2017. 

Read More
5 Hangover Cures to Save You After a Few Too Many
12 Easy Low-Calorie Cocktails with Seltzer Water
Here's How Many Calories Are in Your Cocktail [INFOGRAPHIC]

The post 6 Sommelier Tips for Choosing Low-Calorie Wine appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
6 Sommelier Tips for Spotting Low-Calorie Wine

[caption id="attachment_64368" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Sommelier Tips for Choosing Low-Calorie Wine Photo: Twenty20[/caption] It's the most wonderful time of the year. And the most spirited, too! Whether you're attending an office soiree or a fete with friends, it's likely that your holiday party will include alcohol, and lots of it. So should you imbibe? "The benefits of moderate alcohol consumption — one to two drinks per day — aren't really expected or easy to explain, but they are very much proven," says Emanuel Rubin, M.D., distinguished professor of pathology, anatomy and cell biology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, who has been researching alcohol's effects on the body since 1964. "While there are many who disagree, my findings and reviews conclude that a glass of wine, a bottle of beer or an ounce and a half of liquor each day might just reduce your risk for heart attacks and coronary heart disease, protect against diabetes, slow bone loss and lead to later onset of Alzheimer's disease and dementia," Dr. Rubin adds. RELATED: From Wine to Whiskey: 7 Surprising Health Benefits of Alcohol Still, despite the benefits of consuming antioxidant-rich wine, remember that your glass packs anywhere from 125 to 175 calories. (Alcohol contains seven calories per gram, compared to four for carbohydrates and protein and nine for fat.) For this reason — and a host of others, including the hangover you’ll want to avoid the next day — moderation is key. Also helpful: Opting for a lower calorie (read: lower sugar content) vino. Here’s how.

Your Ultimate Guide to Finding Low-Calorie Wine

1. Get bubbly.

If you want to cut back on sugar, look for "brut" (dry) on the label. Depending on the growing region, fizzy options, like champagne, cava, prosecco or sparkling wine are about 110 calories per flute. Bonus: The tall, skinny glass they’re normally offered in makes the serving seem larger than it might in a large, globe-like vessel.

2. Keep an eye on the alcohol level.

Watch out for the ABV (alcohol by volume) percentage. The higher that number, the more calories your glass will contain. Aim for percentages around nine to 13 percent rather than boozier options in the 14 to 17 percent range. Lower ABV options include Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde, Beaujolais and any of the sparkling wines mentioned above.

3. Go dry.

The sweetness and amount of sugar in wine can actually be related to the alcohol level — but not always. Just like yogurt, granola bars and sports drinks, wineries are allowed to add sugar to wine to balance out the flavors. Laws in certain regions regulate if and how much sugar can be mixed in — a process called chaptalization. Wine makers aren't required to disclose if sugar has been added to your bottle during fermentation, but if you stick with the drier varieties, it's more likely that there will be less (or no) sugar added. RELATED: 8 Delicious Seafood Recipes Plus Wine Pairings

4. Look for a where the wine was made.

The growing climate impacts more than just how many layers vineyard owners must wear while harvesting. At cooler temperatures, grapes don't ripen as much as they do at warmer temperatures. That means less sugar and less potential alcohol is found in wines from chillier areas. Some “skinny” spots include Oregon, Washington, Chile, South Africa and Germany.

5. Pour something you really like.

This one’s simple. Uncork a bottle of a vino you adore, and you'll be satisfied with a smaller pour. Sip as a sommelier would: slowly, noticing the color, smell and flavors of the wine. You’ll feel like you've had a #treatyoself moment in just one glass. That’s the recommended serving size for women anyway, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (and for men’s it’s around two glasses).

6. Pair like a pro.

Similarly, pairing your wine with your menu properly results in the most pleasure per calorie. When in doubt, pair dishes inspired by a particular country or region with wine from that country, and you'll be off to a good start. (Think: chianti and pasta with marinara sauce). Another strategy: Opt for reds to stand up to the strength of heartier meats and rich flavors, and whites for a pleasant complement to lighter fare. And if you're still unsure, look back to our first point. Bubbles are never wrong! Originally published December 2016. Updated December 2017.  Read More 5 Hangover Cures to Save You After a Few Too Many 12 Easy Low-Calorie Cocktails with Seltzer Water Here's How Many Calories Are in Your Cocktail [INFOGRAPHIC]

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7 Signs You’re Overeating and How to Get Back on Track http://dailyburn.com/life/health/avoid-overeating-weight-loss-tips/ Wed, 20 Dec 2017 12:15:59 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=64169 Donut Carbs

[caption id="attachment_64173" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Signs You’re Overeating and How to Avoid It Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

The holiday season may bring food temptations that feel hard to fight — from classic cocktails to festive fried foods. And because this time of year only lasts a short while, why not splurge, right? Not exactly. Many nutritionists say the influx of holiday parties and social commitments can throw people’s eating and exercise regimens off track for more than just the season. In fact, it can set off a year-long trajectory of overeating.

“People make positive associations between certain foods they always have during the holidays — be it their mom’s stuffing, aunt’s cookies or dad’s roasted turkey,” explains Roger E. Adams, PhD, Houston-based dietitian and founder of eatrightfitness.com. “The problem is that these positive associations limit our ability to listen to satiety signals. That means people are more likely to eat past their fullness cues when they’re focused on traditions they associate with positive times and good feelings.”

What’s more, perhaps the easiest reason people overeat during the holidays is the sheer volume of food in front of them. “The longer you are around large volumes of food, the more likely you are to overeat, even if you’re the most diligent calorie-counter or diet fanatic,” Dr. Adams adds. So it’s important to recognize when you might be overdoing it during cocktail hour or at dinner. Here, we asked top nutrition experts to reveal the biggest signs you’re overeating and how to curb it.

RELATED: 10 Healthy Swaps for Your Favorite Holiday Party Foods

7 Signs You’re Overeating and What to Do About It

1. You finish your food faster than everyone around you.

No matter how good your food tastes or how hungry you feel after gobbling down a hefty serving, take a second to really see how you feel. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes for your stomach to signal the brain that you should stop eating. If you’re eating rather quickly, your chances of overeating increase during this 20-minute message delay, according to Dr. Adams. But, good news: If you’re a fast consumer, a few tricks will help you slow down. Dr. Adams suggests setting your fork or spoon down between each bite, drinking some water, and eating more mindfully. “These strategies help you become more aware of eating and not just eating because the food is there,” he says. “Noticing how the food tastes and smells, for example, will slow eating down by simply raising awareness of each bite.”

RELATED: 9 Simple Tricks to Eat More Mindfully — Starting Now

2. You start to feel tightness around your waist.

Many people think we’re supposed to experience feelings of bloat or a “food baby” after a good meal, but this is a classic sign you went a little overboard. “Your stomach will naturally protrude slightly after eating any sort of meal. But if it’s to the point where you have to unbutton your pants, you’re obviously overdoing it,” says Dr. Adams. Skip the sweats and stretch pants, and opt for regularly fitting clothes that aren’t too loose in the waist, he says. “This provides good feedback and signals when you should slow down or stop eating altogether.”

3. You feel like you need a nap, stat.

"Noticing how food tastes and smells will slow eating down."

What we commonly refer to as a “food coma,” is just a symptom of fatigue from eating too-large servings. “When you eat in large quantities, your body releases large amounts of insulin to continue to help aid with digestion and absorption,” explains Tracy Lockwood, celebrity registered dietitian and founder of the private practice, Tracy Lockwood Nutrition in New York City. “As a result, insulin increases the amount of serotonin and melatonin in our brain, which are chemicals synonymous with sleepiness and drowsiness.” This leads to a sudden lack of energy when all you want to do is excuse yourself from the table and rest.

Instead of letting yourself fall into this tired trap, Lockwood recommends focusing on filling your plate with more protein-rich foods (say, turkey, lentils or chickpeas) than carbohydrates (such as stuffing, mashed potatoes or corn pudding). These swaps will help reduce the total amount of insulin secretion needed to digest your full meal.

RELATED: The Stress Hormone That’s Messing with Your Diet

4. You frequently experience acid reflux.

Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux is a medical condition that occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter is unable to effectively block stomach acid from getting into the esophagus. Big meals can also induce acid reflux, though, by placing added pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, which can cause acid (or even small amounts of food) to come back up. This leaves you with serious discomfort and an unappetizing taste in your mouth. To avoid it, Lockwood suggests eating smaller portions in a slower fashion and avoiding lying down after a meal.

5. Your heart races and your face flushes.

The science is simple: The more food you eat, the more digestion your body has to do. So when you’re piling a huge portion of food down your throat, your body has to go into overdrive to process everything properly. As Lockwood explains, eating large volumes of food requires high volumes of digestion to take place in order to efficiently break down the meal. And with more digestive activity comes more blood flow. This, in turn, causes your heart to work harder and pump more blood to the gut. Again, slowing down each bite will help your digestive system keep up so you don’t need the extra blood flow.

RELATED: The 15-Minute Home Workout to Survive the Holidays

6. You stop enjoying the flavors or mouthfeel of your food.

“Food doesn’t have to be good or bad [for you]."

In theory, we eat to survive. Food sustains us through the level of physical activity we will perform during the day. But culturally, food serves as a comfort and a way to bring people together. While that’s not to say that you shouldn’t enjoy the food you eat, experts say it’s important not to lose sight of the purpose of eating in the first place. Abbey Sharp, RD, founder of Abbey's Kitchen, suggests thinking of your hunger as a gas gauge. “Aim to start eating when you’re one-fourth full and stop when you’re about three-fourths full to prevent overeating,” she says. “Never let yourself get too hungry or else you may risk another binge.”

7. You feel guilty after finishing a meal.

Even after eating a slice of pumpkin or pecan pie or sipping a glass or two of eggnog, you shouldn’t feel down about it. It’s important to remember that eating should be a satisfying experience — one you can and should enjoy with friends and family — not something you dread because you know you’ll overdo it. Sharp suggests removing the moral element of your meal, snack or dessert. “Food doesn’t have to be good or bad,” she says. “Try your best to make sure you’re eating only until you’re full and limiting your portions so you can enjoy your food without feeling bad about it later.”

Read More
8 Low-Calorie Foods That Will Actually Fill You Up
14 Holiday Cookie Recipes Under 100 Calories
Your Guide to Surviving the Holiday Blues

The post 7 Signs You’re Overeating and How to Get Back on Track appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Donut Carbs

[caption id="attachment_64173" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Signs You’re Overeating and How to Avoid It Photo: Twenty20[/caption] The holiday season may bring food temptations that feel hard to fight — from classic cocktails to festive fried foods. And because this time of year only lasts a short while, why not splurge, right? Not exactly. Many nutritionists say the influx of holiday parties and social commitments can throw people’s eating and exercise regimens off track for more than just the season. In fact, it can set off a year-long trajectory of overeating. “People make positive associations between certain foods they always have during the holidays — be it their mom’s stuffing, aunt’s cookies or dad’s roasted turkey,” explains Roger E. Adams, PhD, Houston-based dietitian and founder of eatrightfitness.com. “The problem is that these positive associations limit our ability to listen to satiety signals. That means people are more likely to eat past their fullness cues when they’re focused on traditions they associate with positive times and good feelings.” What’s more, perhaps the easiest reason people overeat during the holidays is the sheer volume of food in front of them. “The longer you are around large volumes of food, the more likely you are to overeat, even if you’re the most diligent calorie-counter or diet fanatic,” Dr. Adams adds. So it’s important to recognize when you might be overdoing it during cocktail hour or at dinner. Here, we asked top nutrition experts to reveal the biggest signs you’re overeating and how to curb it. RELATED: 10 Healthy Swaps for Your Favorite Holiday Party Foods

7 Signs You’re Overeating and What to Do About It

1. You finish your food faster than everyone around you.

No matter how good your food tastes or how hungry you feel after gobbling down a hefty serving, take a second to really see how you feel. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes for your stomach to signal the brain that you should stop eating. If you’re eating rather quickly, your chances of overeating increase during this 20-minute message delay, according to Dr. Adams. But, good news: If you’re a fast consumer, a few tricks will help you slow down. Dr. Adams suggests setting your fork or spoon down between each bite, drinking some water, and eating more mindfully. “These strategies help you become more aware of eating and not just eating because the food is there,” he says. “Noticing how the food tastes and smells, for example, will slow eating down by simply raising awareness of each bite.” RELATED: 9 Simple Tricks to Eat More Mindfully — Starting Now

2. You start to feel tightness around your waist.

Many people think we’re supposed to experience feelings of bloat or a “food baby” after a good meal, but this is a classic sign you went a little overboard. “Your stomach will naturally protrude slightly after eating any sort of meal. But if it’s to the point where you have to unbutton your pants, you’re obviously overdoing it,” says Dr. Adams. Skip the sweats and stretch pants, and opt for regularly fitting clothes that aren’t too loose in the waist, he says. “This provides good feedback and signals when you should slow down or stop eating altogether.”

3. You feel like you need a nap, stat.

"Noticing how food tastes and smells will slow eating down."
What we commonly refer to as a “food coma,” is just a symptom of fatigue from eating too-large servings. “When you eat in large quantities, your body releases large amounts of insulin to continue to help aid with digestion and absorption,” explains Tracy Lockwood, celebrity registered dietitian and founder of the private practice, Tracy Lockwood Nutrition in New York City. “As a result, insulin increases the amount of serotonin and melatonin in our brain, which are chemicals synonymous with sleepiness and drowsiness.” This leads to a sudden lack of energy when all you want to do is excuse yourself from the table and rest. Instead of letting yourself fall into this tired trap, Lockwood recommends focusing on filling your plate with more protein-rich foods (say, turkey, lentils or chickpeas) than carbohydrates (such as stuffing, mashed potatoes or corn pudding). These swaps will help reduce the total amount of insulin secretion needed to digest your full meal. RELATED: The Stress Hormone That’s Messing with Your Diet

4. You frequently experience acid reflux.

Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux is a medical condition that occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter is unable to effectively block stomach acid from getting into the esophagus. Big meals can also induce acid reflux, though, by placing added pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, which can cause acid (or even small amounts of food) to come back up. This leaves you with serious discomfort and an unappetizing taste in your mouth. To avoid it, Lockwood suggests eating smaller portions in a slower fashion and avoiding lying down after a meal.

5. Your heart races and your face flushes.

The science is simple: The more food you eat, the more digestion your body has to do. So when you’re piling a huge portion of food down your throat, your body has to go into overdrive to process everything properly. As Lockwood explains, eating large volumes of food requires high volumes of digestion to take place in order to efficiently break down the meal. And with more digestive activity comes more blood flow. This, in turn, causes your heart to work harder and pump more blood to the gut. Again, slowing down each bite will help your digestive system keep up so you don’t need the extra blood flow. RELATED: The 15-Minute Home Workout to Survive the Holidays

6. You stop enjoying the flavors or mouthfeel of your food.

“Food doesn’t have to be good or bad [for you]."
In theory, we eat to survive. Food sustains us through the level of physical activity we will perform during the day. But culturally, food serves as a comfort and a way to bring people together. While that’s not to say that you shouldn’t enjoy the food you eat, experts say it’s important not to lose sight of the purpose of eating in the first place. Abbey Sharp, RD, founder of Abbey's Kitchen, suggests thinking of your hunger as a gas gauge. “Aim to start eating when you’re one-fourth full and stop when you’re about three-fourths full to prevent overeating,” she says. “Never let yourself get too hungry or else you may risk another binge.”

7. You feel guilty after finishing a meal.

Even after eating a slice of pumpkin or pecan pie or sipping a glass or two of eggnog, you shouldn’t feel down about it. It’s important to remember that eating should be a satisfying experience — one you can and should enjoy with friends and family — not something you dread because you know you’ll overdo it. Sharp suggests removing the moral element of your meal, snack or dessert. “Food doesn’t have to be good or bad,” she says. “Try your best to make sure you’re eating only until you’re full and limiting your portions so you can enjoy your food without feeling bad about it later.” Read More 8 Low-Calorie Foods That Will Actually Fill You Up 14 Holiday Cookie Recipes Under 100 Calories Your Guide to Surviving the Holiday Blues

The post 7 Signs You’re Overeating and How to Get Back on Track appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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11 Healthy Snacks If You’re Gluten-Free, Vegan or Paleo http://dailyburn.com/life/health/healthy-snacks-gluten-free-vegan-paleo/ Tue, 19 Dec 2017 16:15:29 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=64143 11 Healthy Snacks If You're Gluten-Free, Vegan or Paleo

11 Healthy Snacks If You're Gluten-Free, Vegan or Paleo

When you’re crunched for time and hunger strikes, it’s often easiest to reach for a prepackaged snack. And that’s OK — especially if you stock your pantry, gym bag or desk drawer with some healthy snacks like the ones below. Each bite covers every craving and dietary restriction — whether you’re gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan or paleo. But that doesn’t mean they cut back on flavor. So go ahead, snack happy by stocking up on these good-for-you goodies.

RELATED: 15 Quick and Easy High-Protein Snacks

11 Healthy Snacks for Every Diet Plan

Healthy Snacks: Skinny Dipped Almonds

1. Skinny Dipped Almonds (Gluten-Free)

With five grams of fiber and seven grams of protein, these chocolaty treats will definitely keep you full while satisfying a cocoa craving. Besides the delicious dark chocolate coating, they also come lightly dusted in three flavors: espresso, cocoa and (our favorite) raspberry. ($5 for a 3.5-ounce bag, thrivemarket.com)

Healthy Snacks: Epic Uncured Bacon & Pork Bar

2. Epic Uncured Bacon & Pork Bar (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo)

Bacon lovers rejoice! You can now have your favorite meat anytime, anywhere thanks to this portable bar. You’ll also get eight grams of muscle-building protein, and just 150 calories and five grams of sugar (from maple syrup). ($30 for a box of 12, epicbar.com)

RELATED: 20 Delicious Paleo Recipes for Every Meal of the Day

Healthy Snacks: Emmy's Organics' Peanut Butter Coconut Cookies

3. Emmy’s Organics’ Peanut Butter Coconut Cookies (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free)

Enjoy the coveted soft, chewy cookie texture — with just five grams of the sweet stuff and 110 calories per serving. These yummy desserts get their sweet flavor from coconut (a dominant ingredient, so skip if you’re not a fan), agave syrup and vanilla extract. Consider them your favorite new after-lunch bite. (They also come in raspberry, chocolate and chocolate chip flavors.) ($23 for 12 bags, emmysorganics.com)

Healthy Snacks: GoMacro Bars

4. GoMacro Bars (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free)

These plant-based protein bars (each with 10 grams) come in three new flavors: dark chocolate with almonds, mocha chocolate chip and blueberry with cashew butter. With a soft texture and nutty-sweet taste, they’re the perfect pick-me-up post-workout. ($3, gomacro.com) 

RELATED: The 7 Best Post-Workout Smoothies for Every Exercise

Healthy Snacks: Simply7 Mesquite BBQ Quinoa Curls

5. Simply7 Mesquite BBQ Quinoa Curls (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free)

Swap chips and cheese curls for a better-for-you crunch. Quinoa and pea protein offer a high dose of workout-friendly protein, while the barbeque flavoring offers a can’t-miss taste. Put them in a bowl for a little portion control, because you probably won’t want to stop munching. ($4, amazon.com)

Healthy Snacks: Aunt Dottie's Greenjoy Pomegranate and Green Snackable Salad Bar

6. Aunt Dottie’s Greenjoy Pomegranate and Green Snackable Salad Bar (Gluten-Free)

Take your greens on the go! This 70-calorie, fruit leather-style bar stuffs two servings of veggies into each individually packaged snack, thanks to spinach, kale and carrots. Fruits and nuts also up the flavor factor. Eating more produce just got easy. ($2, amazon.com)

RELATED: 10 Creative Recipes with Kale

Healthy Snacks: Annie's Organic Popcorn

7. Annie’s Organic Popcorn (Gluten-Free)

If you’re looking to nibble on something salty or cheesy, grab a bag of this light and delicious bite. It comes in white cheddar or butter and sea salt varieties. With less than 75 calories per cup (170 in a 2.5-cup single serving), you can snack away guilt-free. We promise it’s better than what you buy at the movies. ($4, annies.com)

Healthy Snacks: Pure Elizabeth Nut Butter Granola

8. Purely Elizabeth Nut Butter Granola (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Sweeten up your oatmeal or smoothie bowl with a gluten-free granola, cooked with coconut sugar and oil. The two new kinds — chocolate sea salt peanut butter and maple syrup almond butter — offer added crunch and a touch of sweetness to your dish. Plus, they boast four to five grams of protein and just four grams of sugar. ($7, purelyelizabeth.com)

RELATED: 13 Deliciously Refreshing Green Smoothie Recipes

Healthy Snacks: Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeeze

9. Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeeze (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Snag this portable, re-sealable snack that checks off all the nutrition boxes. What you’ll get: omega-3 fatty acids, four grams of fiber, whole grains and scrumptious flavor combos. What you won’t: artificial ingredients, added sugar and GMOs. Take your pick of the five flavors, including apple quinoa cinnamon, blueberry acai flax, raspberry coconut, peach chia vanilla and maple pear quinoa. ($14 for a 6-pack, munkpack.com)

Healthy Snacks: Bobo's Nut Butter Stuff'd Oat Bars

10. Bobo’s Nut Butter Stuff’d Oat Bars (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Great for camping or hiking, these protein-, fiber- and healthy fat-filled bars will keep you satisfied both on the trails and at your desk. Opt for chocolate almond butter, coconut almond butter, peanut butter or peanut butter chocolate chip to get a dessert-like bar that cuts back on some sugar. ($4, eatbobos.com)

RELATED: 18 Protein Shake Recipes That Taste Just Like Dessert

Healthy Snacks: Barely Bread

11. Barely Bread 100% Grain-Free Sliced Bread Loaf (Gluten-Free, Paleo, Soy-Free)

Yes, even if you’re gluten-free you can enjoy some soft and fluffy bread. Made from almond flour, each slice is 90 calories and has three grams of protein, five grams of fiber and only one gram of sugar. Top it with some almond butter and strawberries for a healthier PB&J or throw some avocado on top for one of the most satisfying healthy snacks. The bread also comes in cinnamon raisin. (from $10, shopgourmet.com)

Read More
21 Low-Calorie Snacks You’ll Want to Eat Every Day
10 Healthy Snack Ideas, Stolen from Top Trainers
15 Healthy Snacks for Kids (And Grown-Ups, Too)

The post 11 Healthy Snacks If You’re Gluten-Free, Vegan or Paleo appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
11 Healthy Snacks If You're Gluten-Free, Vegan or Paleo

11 Healthy Snacks If You're Gluten-Free, Vegan or Paleo
When you’re crunched for time and hunger strikes, it’s often easiest to reach for a prepackaged snack. And that’s OK — especially if you stock your pantry, gym bag or desk drawer with some healthy snacks like the ones below. Each bite covers every craving and dietary restriction — whether you’re gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan or paleo. But that doesn’t mean they cut back on flavor. So go ahead, snack happy by stocking up on these good-for-you goodies. RELATED: 15 Quick and Easy High-Protein Snacks

11 Healthy Snacks for Every Diet Plan

Healthy Snacks: Skinny Dipped Almonds

1. Skinny Dipped Almonds (Gluten-Free)

With five grams of fiber and seven grams of protein, these chocolaty treats will definitely keep you full while satisfying a cocoa craving. Besides the delicious dark chocolate coating, they also come lightly dusted in three flavors: espresso, cocoa and (our favorite) raspberry. ($5 for a 3.5-ounce bag, thrivemarket.com) Healthy Snacks: Epic Uncured Bacon & Pork Bar

2. Epic Uncured Bacon & Pork Bar (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo)

Bacon lovers rejoice! You can now have your favorite meat anytime, anywhere thanks to this portable bar. You’ll also get eight grams of muscle-building protein, and just 150 calories and five grams of sugar (from maple syrup). ($30 for a box of 12, epicbar.com) RELATED: 20 Delicious Paleo Recipes for Every Meal of the Day Healthy Snacks: Emmy's Organics' Peanut Butter Coconut Cookies

3. Emmy’s Organics’ Peanut Butter Coconut Cookies (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free)

Enjoy the coveted soft, chewy cookie texture — with just five grams of the sweet stuff and 110 calories per serving. These yummy desserts get their sweet flavor from coconut (a dominant ingredient, so skip if you’re not a fan), agave syrup and vanilla extract. Consider them your favorite new after-lunch bite. (They also come in raspberry, chocolate and chocolate chip flavors.) ($23 for 12 bags, emmysorganics.com) Healthy Snacks: GoMacro Bars

4. GoMacro Bars (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free)

These plant-based protein bars (each with 10 grams) come in three new flavors: dark chocolate with almonds, mocha chocolate chip and blueberry with cashew butter. With a soft texture and nutty-sweet taste, they’re the perfect pick-me-up post-workout. ($3, gomacro.com)  RELATED: The 7 Best Post-Workout Smoothies for Every Exercise Healthy Snacks: Simply7 Mesquite BBQ Quinoa Curls

5. Simply7 Mesquite BBQ Quinoa Curls (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free)

Swap chips and cheese curls for a better-for-you crunch. Quinoa and pea protein offer a high dose of workout-friendly protein, while the barbeque flavoring offers a can’t-miss taste. Put them in a bowl for a little portion control, because you probably won’t want to stop munching. ($4, amazon.com) Healthy Snacks: Aunt Dottie's Greenjoy Pomegranate and Green Snackable Salad Bar

6. Aunt Dottie’s Greenjoy Pomegranate and Green Snackable Salad Bar (Gluten-Free)

Take your greens on the go! This 70-calorie, fruit leather-style bar stuffs two servings of veggies into each individually packaged snack, thanks to spinach, kale and carrots. Fruits and nuts also up the flavor factor. Eating more produce just got easy. ($2, amazon.com) RELATED: 10 Creative Recipes with Kale Healthy Snacks: Annie's Organic Popcorn

7. Annie’s Organic Popcorn (Gluten-Free)

If you’re looking to nibble on something salty or cheesy, grab a bag of this light and delicious bite. It comes in white cheddar or butter and sea salt varieties. With less than 75 calories per cup (170 in a 2.5-cup single serving), you can snack away guilt-free. We promise it’s better than what you buy at the movies. ($4, annies.com) Healthy Snacks: Pure Elizabeth Nut Butter Granola

8. Purely Elizabeth Nut Butter Granola (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Sweeten up your oatmeal or smoothie bowl with a gluten-free granola, cooked with coconut sugar and oil. The two new kinds — chocolate sea salt peanut butter and maple syrup almond butter — offer added crunch and a touch of sweetness to your dish. Plus, they boast four to five grams of protein and just four grams of sugar. ($7, purelyelizabeth.com) RELATED: 13 Deliciously Refreshing Green Smoothie Recipes Healthy Snacks: Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeeze

9. Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeeze (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Snag this portable, re-sealable snack that checks off all the nutrition boxes. What you’ll get: omega-3 fatty acids, four grams of fiber, whole grains and scrumptious flavor combos. What you won’t: artificial ingredients, added sugar and GMOs. Take your pick of the five flavors, including apple quinoa cinnamon, blueberry acai flax, raspberry coconut, peach chia vanilla and maple pear quinoa. ($14 for a 6-pack, munkpack.com) Healthy Snacks: Bobo's Nut Butter Stuff'd Oat Bars

10. Bobo’s Nut Butter Stuff’d Oat Bars (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Great for camping or hiking, these protein-, fiber- and healthy fat-filled bars will keep you satisfied both on the trails and at your desk. Opt for chocolate almond butter, coconut almond butter, peanut butter or peanut butter chocolate chip to get a dessert-like bar that cuts back on some sugar. ($4, eatbobos.com) RELATED: 18 Protein Shake Recipes That Taste Just Like Dessert Healthy Snacks: Barely Bread

11. Barely Bread 100% Grain-Free Sliced Bread Loaf (Gluten-Free, Paleo, Soy-Free)

Yes, even if you’re gluten-free you can enjoy some soft and fluffy bread. Made from almond flour, each slice is 90 calories and has three grams of protein, five grams of fiber and only one gram of sugar. Top it with some almond butter and strawberries for a healthier PB&J or throw some avocado on top for one of the most satisfying healthy snacks. The bread also comes in cinnamon raisin. (from $10, shopgourmet.com) Read More 21 Low-Calorie Snacks You’ll Want to Eat Every Day 10 Healthy Snack Ideas, Stolen from Top Trainers 15 Healthy Snacks for Kids (And Grown-Ups, Too)

The post 11 Healthy Snacks If You’re Gluten-Free, Vegan or Paleo appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Shot of Apple Cider Vinegar, Please? The Gut Health Benefits of Bitters http://dailyburn.com/life/health/gut-health-benefits-bitter-foods/ Fri, 15 Dec 2017 14:15:34 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=64052 Shot of Apple Cider Vinegar, Please? The Gut Health Benefits of Bitters

[caption id="attachment_64054" align="alignnone" width="620"]Apple Cider Vinegar: The Gut Health Benefits of Bitter Foods Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

We salivate over sweet desserts and dig into comforting savory dishes with gusto. Meanwhile, bitter foods are usually the odd man (or, er, food) out in the culinary world. But it may be time to pursue bitter tastes as often as we reach for the nearest block of chocolate or hearty casserole. Emerging evidence suggests that bitter foods, such as apple cider vinegar, ginger and leafy greens, can be seriously good for our gut health. And most of us are a few centuries late to the game.

“For thousands of years, people have used “bitters” as digestive tonics (which typically include alcohol-based leaves, roots or flowers) to improve digestion after a large meal,” say Fresh Thyme Farmers Market Dieticians Kerry Clifford, MS, RD, LDN and Meghan Sedivy, RD, LDN. “[Far from being] ancient wives’ tales, there may be some science to support it after all.”

So how does eating bitters benefit your microbiome exactly? Here’s the un-bitter truth about their digestive benefits and how to incorporate them into your diet.

RELATED: Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight?

The Health Benefits of Bitter Foods

“Bitter foods are called bitters simply because of their taste and [their] action: increasing saliva and stomach acids,” says Taz Bhatia, MD, integrative health expert and author of Super Woman RX: Discover the Secrets to Lasting Health, Your Perfect Weight, Energy, and Passion with Dr. Taz’s Power Type Plans.

“[Bitters] may help to stimulate the digestive system and improve the absorption of food,” Dr. Bhatia explains. That’s largely because bitters may trigger the production of stomach acid, which facilitates a variety of digestive processes when the food you’ve eaten makes its way to the intestinal region. Additionally, Dr. Bhatia says that bitters may increase the production of digestive enzymes, which further aids food absorption. Those extra enzymes may also help prevent food malabsorption and leaky gut, in which food particles and/or microbes make their way out of the intestines and into the bloodstream, causing inflammation.

RELATED: The Truth About the New Probiotics Trend

There’s also some evidence that bitter foods may work like prebiotics in the gut. “[Bitter foods] are packed with fiber, both soluble and insoluble, which stimulates the growth of healthy gut bacteria,” say Clifford and Sedivy. Some research suggests that bitter foods may help regulate hunger and quell cravings for sweets. “These foods are plant-based and packed with vitamins and minerals as well as fiber, which makes them super nutritious,” Clifford and Sedivy add.

But there’s a chance these health benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. “Our body’s taste receptors are incredibly complex, likely more than science has documented thus far,” says Clifford and Sedivy. Today, scientists are working to have a greater understanding of the role our taste receptors play in our brain, liver and gut.

RELATED: Why’s Everyone Drinking Lemon Water? Experts Weigh In

[caption id="attachment_64056" align="alignnone" width="620"]Shot of Apple Cider Vinegar, Please? The Gut Health Benefits of Bitter Foods Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Incorporate Bitter Foods Into Your Diet

If you want to enjoy the gut benefits of bitters, it’s simple: Just eat more bitter foods.

But what if a shot of apple cider vinegar makes you feel queasy? No need to hold your nose. According to Dr. Bhatia, Clifford and Sedivy, bitter herbs and foods run the gamut from greens, like arugula, broccoli rabe, Brussels sprouts, dandelion greens, radicchio and kale, grapefruit and cranberries and herbs like mint and yellow dock.

While there are plenty of bitters supplements or tonics on the market, going for whole foods is always the best choice. “Everyone can benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables,” say Clifford and Sedivy.

If you’re most concerned with aiding digestion, Dr. Bhatia recommends eating bitters 15 minutes before a full meal, or eating bitter herbs or other foods three to four times a week. “While some people may experience the effects after one meal, many find an improvement in gut health when [bitter foods are] taken continuously,” she says.

RELATED: 8 Simple Apple Cider Vinegar Recipes to Boost Your Health

When to Ease Off Bitters

One caveat: Clifford and Sedivy advise that anyone who has acid reflux, stomach ulcers or other digestive issues may want to consult their doctor prior to starting a diet that includes bitters. It’s also possible to have too much of a good thing. “Eating too many of these foods could cause unfriendly side effects like bloating, gas and diarrhea,” Clifford and Sedivy note.

You’ll maximize the gut benefits of bitter foods if you take other steps to support a healthy gut, say Clifford and Sedivy. Additional strategies for improving gut health include drinking enough water, eating fermented foods, reducing stress, exercising regularly, following a fiber-rich diet and cutting back on sugar and salt.

As more research suggests that our gut health has a major impact on our overall well-being, there’s greater importance in feeding your microbiome with nourishing foods. And that’s a good reason to make a place for bitter foods in your diet.

Read More
How to Choose the Right Probiotic for You
Is It All In Your Gut? The Sleep-Gut Connection
How Healthy Is Your Gut? Here’s How to Tell

The post Shot of Apple Cider Vinegar, Please? The Gut Health Benefits of Bitters appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Shot of Apple Cider Vinegar, Please? The Gut Health Benefits of Bitters

[caption id="attachment_64054" align="alignnone" width="620"]Apple Cider Vinegar: The Gut Health Benefits of Bitter Foods Photo: Twenty20[/caption] We salivate over sweet desserts and dig into comforting savory dishes with gusto. Meanwhile, bitter foods are usually the odd man (or, er, food) out in the culinary world. But it may be time to pursue bitter tastes as often as we reach for the nearest block of chocolate or hearty casserole. Emerging evidence suggests that bitter foods, such as apple cider vinegar, ginger and leafy greens, can be seriously good for our gut health. And most of us are a few centuries late to the game. “For thousands of years, people have used “bitters” as digestive tonics (which typically include alcohol-based leaves, roots or flowers) to improve digestion after a large meal,” say Fresh Thyme Farmers Market Dieticians Kerry Clifford, MS, RD, LDN and Meghan Sedivy, RD, LDN. “[Far from being] ancient wives’ tales, there may be some science to support it after all.” So how does eating bitters benefit your microbiome exactly? Here’s the un-bitter truth about their digestive benefits and how to incorporate them into your diet. RELATED: Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight?

The Health Benefits of Bitter Foods

“Bitter foods are called bitters simply because of their taste and [their] action: increasing saliva and stomach acids,” says Taz Bhatia, MD, integrative health expert and author of Super Woman RX: Discover the Secrets to Lasting Health, Your Perfect Weight, Energy, and Passion with Dr. Taz’s Power Type Plans. “[Bitters] may help to stimulate the digestive system and improve the absorption of food,” Dr. Bhatia explains. That’s largely because bitters may trigger the production of stomach acid, which facilitates a variety of digestive processes when the food you’ve eaten makes its way to the intestinal region. Additionally, Dr. Bhatia says that bitters may increase the production of digestive enzymes, which further aids food absorption. Those extra enzymes may also help prevent food malabsorption and leaky gut, in which food particles and/or microbes make their way out of the intestines and into the bloodstream, causing inflammation. RELATED: The Truth About the New Probiotics Trend There’s also some evidence that bitter foods may work like prebiotics in the gut. “[Bitter foods] are packed with fiber, both soluble and insoluble, which stimulates the growth of healthy gut bacteria,” say Clifford and Sedivy. Some research suggests that bitter foods may help regulate hunger and quell cravings for sweets. “These foods are plant-based and packed with vitamins and minerals as well as fiber, which makes them super nutritious,” Clifford and Sedivy add. But there’s a chance these health benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. “Our body’s taste receptors are incredibly complex, likely more than science has documented thus far,” says Clifford and Sedivy. Today, scientists are working to have a greater understanding of the role our taste receptors play in our brain, liver and gut. RELATED: Why’s Everyone Drinking Lemon Water? Experts Weigh In [caption id="attachment_64056" align="alignnone" width="620"]Shot of Apple Cider Vinegar, Please? The Gut Health Benefits of Bitter Foods Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

How to Incorporate Bitter Foods Into Your Diet

If you want to enjoy the gut benefits of bitters, it’s simple: Just eat more bitter foods. But what if a shot of apple cider vinegar makes you feel queasy? No need to hold your nose. According to Dr. Bhatia, Clifford and Sedivy, bitter herbs and foods run the gamut from greens, like arugula, broccoli rabe, Brussels sprouts, dandelion greens, radicchio and kale, grapefruit and cranberries and herbs like mint and yellow dock. While there are plenty of bitters supplements or tonics on the market, going for whole foods is always the best choice. “Everyone can benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables,” say Clifford and Sedivy. If you’re most concerned with aiding digestion, Dr. Bhatia recommends eating bitters 15 minutes before a full meal, or eating bitter herbs or other foods three to four times a week. “While some people may experience the effects after one meal, many find an improvement in gut health when [bitter foods are] taken continuously,” she says. RELATED: 8 Simple Apple Cider Vinegar Recipes to Boost Your Health

When to Ease Off Bitters

One caveat: Clifford and Sedivy advise that anyone who has acid reflux, stomach ulcers or other digestive issues may want to consult their doctor prior to starting a diet that includes bitters. It’s also possible to have too much of a good thing. “Eating too many of these foods could cause unfriendly side effects like bloating, gas and diarrhea,” Clifford and Sedivy note. You’ll maximize the gut benefits of bitter foods if you take other steps to support a healthy gut, say Clifford and Sedivy. Additional strategies for improving gut health include drinking enough water, eating fermented foods, reducing stress, exercising regularly, following a fiber-rich diet and cutting back on sugar and salt. As more research suggests that our gut health has a major impact on our overall well-being, there’s greater importance in feeding your microbiome with nourishing foods. And that’s a good reason to make a place for bitter foods in your diet. Read More How to Choose the Right Probiotic for You Is It All In Your Gut? The Sleep-Gut Connection How Healthy Is Your Gut? Here’s How to Tell

The post Shot of Apple Cider Vinegar, Please? The Gut Health Benefits of Bitters appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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5 At-Home DNA Tests That Clue You in on Your Health http://dailyburn.com/life/health/dna-tests-diet-exercise/ Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:15:29 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=63852 5 At-Home DNA Tests That Clue You in on Your Health

[caption id="attachment_63860" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 At-Home DNA Tests That Clue You in on Your Health Photo courtesy of "Embody DNA" by Lose It![/caption]

The turning point came in September of this year, after traveling back from a Croatian vacation in yoga pants to hide my bloated tummy. Despite a summer of eating mostly plants and cutting back on wine — not to mention carrying around pre-measured nuts and dried edamame on my trip — I couldn’t make the scale budge and felt awful.

So when I heard about health-focused DNA tests — ones that promised to analyze your genes to decode which foods and workouts were best for your body — I was curious to see what insights would arrive after sending a tube of saliva in the mail.

I loved the idea that the science of genomics would offer clues about my body and free me from my DIY experiments of giving up entire food groups for 30 days or choking down probiotic sauerkraut. The category of direct-to-consumer genetic tests was exploding. And now, they offer more opportunities than ever to learn if I have a gene for speed, how I metabolize alcohol or caffeine or whether I'm likely to gain weight from eating too much bacon.

RELATED: 7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism

Health DNA Tests: The Limitations

Startups like Helix and Sequencing.com have recently created an app marketplace in which health companies can access your DNA data and offer insights. And last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it would streamline the approval process for tests that evaluate people’s predisposition for certain health conditions.

As the tests grow in popularity, critics have balked at some companies’ claims. They cite questionable leaps in translating DNA data into something meaningful for consumers. “There’s a lot of peddling stuff that’s of little value,” says Dr. Eric Topol of the Scripps Translational Science Institute. He explains that many of the insights rely on research that looks at single genetic variants, rather than the interplay of multiple genetic markers.

Also, the results of each test might not be consistent. Companies often look at different spots in your DNA and come to contradictory conclusions, adds Dr. Barry Starr, who works at Stanford University’s genetics department as the director of outreach activities. (Case in point: My 23andMe results indicated that I was more likely to weigh more than average. Three other tests predicted a normal BMI.)

“For something as important as your weight, I wouldn’t trust a consumer test for that,” says Starr, author of A Handy Guide to Ancestry and Relationship DNA Tests. “You’re going to get an incomplete picture that doesn’t include all the other genes and factors that influence your BMI.”

Still, I wanted to see if such DNA-powered health testing could help me feel better. So I researched five products with a genetic component and tried them out. Read on for what I learned.

RELATED: 5 Intermittent Fasting Methods: Which One Is Right for You?

5 DNA Tests That Offer Insight into the Diet and Exercise Plan for You

[caption id="attachment_63865" align="alignnone" width="620"]DNA Tests: "Embody DNA" by Lose It! Photo courtesy of "Embody DNA" by Lose It![/caption]

1. “Embody DNA” by Lose It! ($189)

Lose It! has been around since 2008 as a food- and activity-tracking app. In July, the company teamed up with genetic sequencer Helix to go deep on whether the foods you’re logging are your friends. The app reveals the likelihood of saturated fat or sugary beverages affecting your BMI, for example, or whether you’re more apt to excel at endurance sports or power activities.

Pros: The app monitors the foods you’ve logged to make sure they’re in line with your genetic tendencies. If your results show that you’re among the 18 percent of people who gain weight more when eating a high-fat diet, it will flag how many days you went over the recommended number of grams.

Cons: If you rank “average” like I did in most categories, the insights offer limited value. I did enjoy learning that I’m likely not to be lactose intolerant, so I’ve since ignored the warnings about the perils of dairy and started enjoying Greek yogurt again. I’m also skeptical about the finding that I’m part of the 43 percent of the world’s population for whom exercise doesn’t lead to weight loss, considering it’s well-established that most people can’t out-exercise a bad diet.

RELATED: The Truth About the Ketogenic Diet and Weight Loss

[caption id="attachment_63876" align="alignnone" width="620"]DNA Tests: Ixcela Photo courtesy of Ixcela[/caption]

2. Ixcela ($299)

With this kit, you get the tools to prick your finger at home. Then you return a blood sample in the mail. A technician analyzes 12 microbial metabolites that the company has deemed essential to your gut health and compares them to typically normal levels. You receive five scores on gastrointestinal fitness, immunity, cognitive acuity, emotional balance and energetic efficiency.

With other tests, you have to provide a stool sample to get a clue about what’s happening in your gut — the state of which has been linked to your immune system, sleep, heart health and risk for chronic diseases. Yet co-founder Erika Angle says blood provides a better indication of your “internal fitness” biomarkers than what’s found in the large intestine.

Pros: After blindly taking probiotics to positively influence my microbiome, it’s reassuring to have a test to reveal what’s actually going on in there. And it’s a good way to put your gut health on your radar.

Cons: The actionable suggestions for each category resemble general health advice, such as eating fiber-rich, whole grain foods, as well as fish, olive oil, veggies, nuts and seeds and fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt. Oh, and I’m supposed to meditate daily, exercise several times a week and cut back drinking to improve my emotional well-being.

[caption id="attachment_63866" align="alignnone" width="620"]DNA Tests: FitnessGenes Photo courtesy of FitnessGenes[/caption]

3. FitnessGenes ($219)

FitnessGenes analyzes more than 40 genes to give you a personalized workout plan and nutritional advice. The results provide detailed info, including whether you have the gene that clears lactic acid from your body quickly. You’ll also learn whether you have the genotype associated with producing the alpha-actinin-3 protein, which helps your muscles make the rapid, forceful contractions key for speed and power sports. (I don’t.) “It’s why two people can follow the same workout plan and get different results,” says co-founder Dr. Dan Reardon.

Pros: Your results come with nuanced explanations about how your genes work and in what context. A few things rang true for me: My genetic profile showed that my post-workout recovery is weaker than average, so I need to limit strength sessions to a couple times a week and rest longer in between reps. Also, I’m more prone to sleep disturbances, so I need to shut off my phone before bed.

Cons: The explanations are refreshingly honest about the state of the science. For example, my recs included: “You have one fast and one slow caffeine metabolism gene, so your metabolic speed could swing either way.” Yet it’s often unclear what to do with the information. (After telling Reardon that my morning coffee kicks in within seconds, he concluded that I’m a fast metabolizer. He suggested cutting back on joe before workouts to avoid an energy crash.)

RELATED: Should You Be taking Pre-Workout Supplements?

[caption id="attachment_63867" align="alignnone" width="620"]DNA Tests: EverlyWell Photo courtesy of EverlyWell[/caption]

4.EverlyWell's Food Sensitivity+ ($329)

EverlyWell combines traditional food sensitivity testing with insights on your genetic likelihood to be lactose intolerant or produce certain vitamins and minerals. The food panel measures the immune system’s response to 96 foods that could cause intolerances and therefore, bloating or joint pain, among other symptoms.

Pros: Although the science behind the food intolerance test isn’t foolproof, it can clue you into what ails you. I found out I have issues with gluten, soy and cashews, and my bloating went away as soon as I stopped eating them. Also, if you learn you’re genetically predisposed to a magnesium deficiency, you might want to cross-reference your intolerances to make sure you’re not eliminating foods that contain high volumes of the mineral, explains Dr. Marra Francis, EverlyWell’s medical director.

Cons: The genetic component measures your risk of certain vitamin deficiencies. But it doesn’t actually look at the levels of those vitamins in your body.

DNA Tests: Arivale

5. Arivale ($999) 

This is a wellness program that combines extensive genetic and inflammatory marker analysis with three coaching calls over a two-month period. The company sends you a Fitbit and a scale. And your coach monitors your MyFitnessPal account to offer advice on improving inflammation or eating more protein, for example. The genetic component rounds out the comprehensive approach by looking at what predisposes you to gain weight.

Pros: I loved working with coach Cassie Christopher who sent me Amazon links for Omega 3 supplements and gentle reminders, like “I noticed you haven’t been tracking your food lately.” I learned a lot of other information about myself, including the fact that I have slightly higher mercury levels and should therefore go easy on the spicy tuna rolls. I also have a gene that’s associated with periodontal disease, so I need to stay on top of flossing.

Cons: It’s pricey. After your initial trial runs out, you have the option of joining a membership program for $125 month. You can then get re-tested in six months. Also, it’s not obvious how some of the genetic information, like how you taste sweet or bitter foods, relates to weight.

My Post-Testing Overview

The science still has a long way to go, yet I was able make a few tweaks to my diet and exercise routine that helped me lose five pounds. I also discovered that despite one’s desire to discover what makes you unique, most of the insights included tried-and-true advice that applies to all of us: Don’t eat so much saturated fat. Exercise more. Watch your calorie intake. “It’s too early to take a lot of this health and fitness stuff seriously,” says Starr. “But as we learn more, the tests will get better and better at predicting which diets and exercise will work best for each individual.”

Read More
23 and Me Isn’t Just Ancestry. It Can Clue You in on Your Health
How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk at Any Age
Is Personalized Nutrition the Best Way to Lose Weight?

The post 5 At-Home DNA Tests That Clue You in on Your Health appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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5 At-Home DNA Tests That Clue You in on Your Health

[caption id="attachment_63860" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 At-Home DNA Tests That Clue You in on Your Health Photo courtesy of "Embody DNA" by Lose It![/caption] The turning point came in September of this year, after traveling back from a Croatian vacation in yoga pants to hide my bloated tummy. Despite a summer of eating mostly plants and cutting back on wine — not to mention carrying around pre-measured nuts and dried edamame on my trip — I couldn’t make the scale budge and felt awful. So when I heard about health-focused DNA tests — ones that promised to analyze your genes to decode which foods and workouts were best for your body — I was curious to see what insights would arrive after sending a tube of saliva in the mail. I loved the idea that the science of genomics would offer clues about my body and free me from my DIY experiments of giving up entire food groups for 30 days or choking down probiotic sauerkraut. The category of direct-to-consumer genetic tests was exploding. And now, they offer more opportunities than ever to learn if I have a gene for speed, how I metabolize alcohol or caffeine or whether I'm likely to gain weight from eating too much bacon. RELATED: 7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism

Health DNA Tests: The Limitations

Startups like Helix and Sequencing.com have recently created an app marketplace in which health companies can access your DNA data and offer insights. And last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it would streamline the approval process for tests that evaluate people’s predisposition for certain health conditions. As the tests grow in popularity, critics have balked at some companies’ claims. They cite questionable leaps in translating DNA data into something meaningful for consumers. “There’s a lot of peddling stuff that’s of little value,” says Dr. Eric Topol of the Scripps Translational Science Institute. He explains that many of the insights rely on research that looks at single genetic variants, rather than the interplay of multiple genetic markers. Also, the results of each test might not be consistent. Companies often look at different spots in your DNA and come to contradictory conclusions, adds Dr. Barry Starr, who works at Stanford University’s genetics department as the director of outreach activities. (Case in point: My 23andMe results indicated that I was more likely to weigh more than average. Three other tests predicted a normal BMI.) “For something as important as your weight, I wouldn’t trust a consumer test for that,” says Starr, author of A Handy Guide to Ancestry and Relationship DNA Tests. “You’re going to get an incomplete picture that doesn’t include all the other genes and factors that influence your BMI.” Still, I wanted to see if such DNA-powered health testing could help me feel better. So I researched five products with a genetic component and tried them out. Read on for what I learned. RELATED: 5 Intermittent Fasting Methods: Which One Is Right for You?

5 DNA Tests That Offer Insight into the Diet and Exercise Plan for You

[caption id="attachment_63865" align="alignnone" width="620"]DNA Tests: "Embody DNA" by Lose It! Photo courtesy of "Embody DNA" by Lose It![/caption]

1. “Embody DNA” by Lose It! ($189)

Lose It! has been around since 2008 as a food- and activity-tracking app. In July, the company teamed up with genetic sequencer Helix to go deep on whether the foods you’re logging are your friends. The app reveals the likelihood of saturated fat or sugary beverages affecting your BMI, for example, or whether you’re more apt to excel at endurance sports or power activities. Pros: The app monitors the foods you’ve logged to make sure they’re in line with your genetic tendencies. If your results show that you’re among the 18 percent of people who gain weight more when eating a high-fat diet, it will flag how many days you went over the recommended number of grams. Cons: If you rank “average” like I did in most categories, the insights offer limited value. I did enjoy learning that I’m likely not to be lactose intolerant, so I’ve since ignored the warnings about the perils of dairy and started enjoying Greek yogurt again. I’m also skeptical about the finding that I’m part of the 43 percent of the world’s population for whom exercise doesn’t lead to weight loss, considering it’s well-established that most people can’t out-exercise a bad diet. RELATED: The Truth About the Ketogenic Diet and Weight Loss [caption id="attachment_63876" align="alignnone" width="620"]DNA Tests: Ixcela Photo courtesy of Ixcela[/caption]

2. Ixcela ($299)

With this kit, you get the tools to prick your finger at home. Then you return a blood sample in the mail. A technician analyzes 12 microbial metabolites that the company has deemed essential to your gut health and compares them to typically normal levels. You receive five scores on gastrointestinal fitness, immunity, cognitive acuity, emotional balance and energetic efficiency. With other tests, you have to provide a stool sample to get a clue about what’s happening in your gut — the state of which has been linked to your immune system, sleep, heart health and risk for chronic diseases. Yet co-founder Erika Angle says blood provides a better indication of your “internal fitness” biomarkers than what’s found in the large intestine. Pros: After blindly taking probiotics to positively influence my microbiome, it’s reassuring to have a test to reveal what’s actually going on in there. And it’s a good way to put your gut health on your radar. Cons: The actionable suggestions for each category resemble general health advice, such as eating fiber-rich, whole grain foods, as well as fish, olive oil, veggies, nuts and seeds and fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt. Oh, and I’m supposed to meditate daily, exercise several times a week and cut back drinking to improve my emotional well-being. [caption id="attachment_63866" align="alignnone" width="620"]DNA Tests: FitnessGenes Photo courtesy of FitnessGenes[/caption]

3. FitnessGenes ($219)

FitnessGenes analyzes more than 40 genes to give you a personalized workout plan and nutritional advice. The results provide detailed info, including whether you have the gene that clears lactic acid from your body quickly. You’ll also learn whether you have the genotype associated with producing the alpha-actinin-3 protein, which helps your muscles make the rapid, forceful contractions key for speed and power sports. (I don’t.) “It’s why two people can follow the same workout plan and get different results,” says co-founder Dr. Dan Reardon. Pros: Your results come with nuanced explanations about how your genes work and in what context. A few things rang true for me: My genetic profile showed that my post-workout recovery is weaker than average, so I need to limit strength sessions to a couple times a week and rest longer in between reps. Also, I’m more prone to sleep disturbances, so I need to shut off my phone before bed. Cons: The explanations are refreshingly honest about the state of the science. For example, my recs included: “You have one fast and one slow caffeine metabolism gene, so your metabolic speed could swing either way.” Yet it’s often unclear what to do with the information. (After telling Reardon that my morning coffee kicks in within seconds, he concluded that I’m a fast metabolizer. He suggested cutting back on joe before workouts to avoid an energy crash.) RELATED: Should You Be taking Pre-Workout Supplements? [caption id="attachment_63867" align="alignnone" width="620"]DNA Tests: EverlyWell Photo courtesy of EverlyWell[/caption]

4.EverlyWell's Food Sensitivity+ ($329)

EverlyWell combines traditional food sensitivity testing with insights on your genetic likelihood to be lactose intolerant or produce certain vitamins and minerals. The food panel measures the immune system’s response to 96 foods that could cause intolerances and therefore, bloating or joint pain, among other symptoms. Pros: Although the science behind the food intolerance test isn’t foolproof, it can clue you into what ails you. I found out I have issues with gluten, soy and cashews, and my bloating went away as soon as I stopped eating them. Also, if you learn you’re genetically predisposed to a magnesium deficiency, you might want to cross-reference your intolerances to make sure you’re not eliminating foods that contain high volumes of the mineral, explains Dr. Marra Francis, EverlyWell’s medical director. Cons: The genetic component measures your risk of certain vitamin deficiencies. But it doesn’t actually look at the levels of those vitamins in your body. DNA Tests: Arivale

5. Arivale ($999) 

This is a wellness program that combines extensive genetic and inflammatory marker analysis with three coaching calls over a two-month period. The company sends you a Fitbit and a scale. And your coach monitors your MyFitnessPal account to offer advice on improving inflammation or eating more protein, for example. The genetic component rounds out the comprehensive approach by looking at what predisposes you to gain weight. Pros: I loved working with coach Cassie Christopher who sent me Amazon links for Omega 3 supplements and gentle reminders, like “I noticed you haven’t been tracking your food lately.” I learned a lot of other information about myself, including the fact that I have slightly higher mercury levels and should therefore go easy on the spicy tuna rolls. I also have a gene that’s associated with periodontal disease, so I need to stay on top of flossing. Cons: It’s pricey. After your initial trial runs out, you have the option of joining a membership program for $125 month. You can then get re-tested in six months. Also, it’s not obvious how some of the genetic information, like how you taste sweet or bitter foods, relates to weight.

My Post-Testing Overview

The science still has a long way to go, yet I was able make a few tweaks to my diet and exercise routine that helped me lose five pounds. I also discovered that despite one’s desire to discover what makes you unique, most of the insights included tried-and-true advice that applies to all of us: Don’t eat so much saturated fat. Exercise more. Watch your calorie intake. “It’s too early to take a lot of this health and fitness stuff seriously,” says Starr. “But as we learn more, the tests will get better and better at predicting which diets and exercise will work best for each individual.” Read More 23 and Me Isn’t Just Ancestry. It Can Clue You in on Your Health How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk at Any Age Is Personalized Nutrition the Best Way to Lose Weight?

The post 5 At-Home DNA Tests That Clue You in on Your Health appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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7 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu http://dailyburn.com/life/health/immune-system-foods-colds-flu/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/immune-system-foods-colds-flu/#comments Mon, 27 Nov 2017 12:30:17 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=34393 7 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu

7 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu

You feel that telltale tingle at the back of your throat…your head hurts…and you can’t breathe. It’s official: You’re coming down with a cold.

‘Tis the season for feeling sick — and you're not alone. Every year, adults suffer from an average of two to three colds per year and an estimated five to 20 percent of Americans come down with the flu, typically between the months of October and March.

Before you reach for the latest over-the-counter remedy in your medicine cabinet, head to your kitchen. While frequent hand washing, regular exercise and the flu shot are tried-and-true methods to fend off sickness, you can also bolster your immune systems with items found right in your pantry. “The most authentic way to fight a cold or flu is to eat foods that will help you build the healthy cells you need to feel better,” says Anita Mirchandani, MS, RD, CDN and spokesperson for the New York State Dietetic Association.

Add these cold- and flu-fighting foods to your cart on your next grocery run.

RELATED: All-Natural Remedies to Soothe Your Cold Symptoms

7 Cold and Flu-Fighting Foods to Boost Your Immune System

[caption id="attachment_34397" align="alignnone" width="620"]Immune System Foods Photo and Recipe: Cassy / Fed and Fit[/caption]

1. Garlic

Nope, it’s not the smell of garlic that scares away the bacteria and viruses that make you feel sick. According to Alissa Rumsey, RD, CDN, CNSC, CSCS and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it’s allicin, the major active component found in garlic, that’s responsible for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Research studies have shown that people taking garlic supplements experienced fewer and less severe colds compared to those taking a placebo. “Garlic also helps promote healthy gut flora, which rids the body of toxins, bacteria and viruses,” says Mirchandani. While you could pop a pill, Rumsey says it’s best to eat the actual thing. “The active components are more bioavailable when you eat real garlic.”

Eat up: Try whipping up this Roasted Garlic Paleo Pesto (pictured above) next time you feel the sniffles coming on.

[caption id="attachment_22626" align="alignnone" width="620"]Chimichurri Steak Recipe Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote/ Life by DailyBurn[/caption]

2. Beef

If you want to boost your immune system, eat some beef. “Beef is a good source of zinc, and zinc is important in the development of the white blood cells that defend your body,” says Rumsey. Research has shown that having a zinc deficiency decreases a person’s immune function and response. Plus, the extra protein you get from chowing down on beef supports the body in building antibodies and fighting off infection, according to Mirchandani.

Eat up: This Steak with Chimichurri Sauce Recipe packs 23 grams of protein per serving; add it to your dinner menu this week.

[caption id="attachment_20053" align="alignnone" width="620"]Sweet Potato Fries Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by DailyBurn [/caption]

3. Sweet Potato

While sweet potatoes may not be considered a traditional cold-fighting food, they’re a great source of Vitamin A, which plays a key role in maintaining the health of your mucosal surfaces. “That includes the inside of your nose and your gastrointestinal tract as well as your skin. You might not think of your skin as part of your immune system but it keeps infections from entering your body. It’s your first line of defense,” says Rumsey. “Keeping your mucus membranes healthy is key to keeping infections at bay.”

Eat up: These Spicy Sweet Potato Fries and Avocado Dip will help you load up on good old vitamin A — while simultaneously satisfying your winter comfort food cravings.

RELATED: The Benefits of Vitamin B Complex

[caption id="attachment_34398" align="alignnone" width="620"]Immune System Foods Photo and Recipe: Sylvia / Feasting At Home[/caption]

4. Turmeric

One of the most recent spices to be crowned a superfood, turmeric is a rich yellow powder often used in curry dishes. It’s high in antioxidants and considered a natural anti-inflammatory. “If you take it on a daily basis, it is known to relieve the body of toxins,” says Mirchandani. “It has been shown that people who consume turmeric are less susceptible to colds, coughs and congestion.”

Eat (or drink!) up: Order up a curry from your favorite Indian restaurant or mix up this Fresh Turmeric Tonic for a quick immunity boost. We're also loving these 10 Turmeric Recipes to Boost Your Health.

[caption id="attachment_33326" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fall Cleanse Kale Salad Photo and Recipe: Renee Blair / Life by DailyBurn[/caption]

5. Dark Leafy Greens

While people typically associate citrus fruit with vitamin C, dark leafy greens, like spinach, kale, Swiss chard and arugula, are also great sources of the cold-fighting vitamin. According to Rumsey, some research shows that if you consistently take in adequate amounts of Vitamin C, it can reduce the duration of a cold. Mirchandani recommends sautéing vegetables and combining them with other healthy spices and foods, such as garlic. When the greens are cooked, they shrink in size and you can consume more of the vegetables than if you were eating them raw. Remember – the darker the greens, the higher the nutrient content.

Eat up: This Fall Cleanse Kale Salad should do the trick.

RELATED: Is a Magnesium Deficiency Secretly Harming Your Health?

[caption id="attachment_17132" align="alignnone" width="620"]Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Yogurt Sauce Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanchote / Life by DailyBurn[/caption]

6. Wild Salmon

As daylight hours decrease during the fall and winter, so do your vitamin D stores. This nutrient is critical for fending off colds and flu so it’s important to mindful of consuming foods rich in it, like wild salmon. Research has shown that those with healthy levels of vitamin D suffered from fewer respiratory tract infections compared to those who were deficient — and felt better faster after getting sick.

Eat up: Whip up this Roasted Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Yogurt, or build a meal around other good sources of D such as fortified milk, canned tuna, canned sardines and egg yolks. Here are 11 more salmon recipes, ready in 30 minutes or less! 

[caption id="attachment_34399" align="alignnone" width="620"]Immune System Foods Photo and Recipe: Davida / The Healthy Maven[/caption]

7. Chicken Soup

Your mom was right. You should eat chicken soup when you’re sick. This age-old elixir combines many elements that help speed your recovery. The warm broth not only soothes your throat but helps you stay hydrated, too. “Hot liquid, like soup, raises the temperature in your body and airways, loosening mucus secretions,” says Rumsey. “Also, when you cook chicken, it releases the amino acid cysteine, which resembles a drug that is used to treat bronchitis.” Mirchandani says, “When you’re sick, I believe in soup. With its high concentration of protein and vegetables, it’s like you’re giving your body a super-vitamin.”

Eat up: Slow-Cooker Chicken Soup will let you rest up in bed while your meal simmers away.

While these pantry staples are a good first line of defense against colds and the flu, you also need to pay attention to your overall diet. “A healthy diet has been shown to boost immune function,” and help you get better faster, says Rumsey. “If you’re consistently eating a varied diet and a colorful palate, it will help your body fight off any infections,” say Mirchandani.

Originally published November 2014. Updated November 2017. 

Read More
12 Brilliant Meal Prep Ideas to Free Up Your Time
5 Healthier Ways to Detox (That Aren't Juice Cleanses)
Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight?

The post 7 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
7 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu

7 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu
You feel that telltale tingle at the back of your throat…your head hurts…and you can’t breathe. It’s official: You’re coming down with a cold. ‘Tis the season for feeling sick — and you're not alone. Every year, adults suffer from an average of two to three colds per year and an estimated five to 20 percent of Americans come down with the flu, typically between the months of October and March. Before you reach for the latest over-the-counter remedy in your medicine cabinet, head to your kitchen. While frequent hand washing, regular exercise and the flu shot are tried-and-true methods to fend off sickness, you can also bolster your immune systems with items found right in your pantry. “The most authentic way to fight a cold or flu is to eat foods that will help you build the healthy cells you need to feel better,” says Anita Mirchandani, MS, RD, CDN and spokesperson for the New York State Dietetic Association. Add these cold- and flu-fighting foods to your cart on your next grocery run. RELATED: All-Natural Remedies to Soothe Your Cold Symptoms

7 Cold and Flu-Fighting Foods to Boost Your Immune System

[caption id="attachment_34397" align="alignnone" width="620"]Immune System Foods Photo and Recipe: Cassy / Fed and Fit[/caption]

1. Garlic

Nope, it’s not the smell of garlic that scares away the bacteria and viruses that make you feel sick. According to Alissa Rumsey, RD, CDN, CNSC, CSCS and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it’s allicin, the major active component found in garlic, that’s responsible for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Research studies have shown that people taking garlic supplements experienced fewer and less severe colds compared to those taking a placebo. “Garlic also helps promote healthy gut flora, which rids the body of toxins, bacteria and viruses,” says Mirchandani. While you could pop a pill, Rumsey says it’s best to eat the actual thing. “The active components are more bioavailable when you eat real garlic.” Eat up: Try whipping up this Roasted Garlic Paleo Pesto (pictured above) next time you feel the sniffles coming on. [caption id="attachment_22626" align="alignnone" width="620"]Chimichurri Steak Recipe Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote/ Life by DailyBurn[/caption]

2. Beef

If you want to boost your immune system, eat some beef. “Beef is a good source of zinc, and zinc is important in the development of the white blood cells that defend your body,” says Rumsey. Research has shown that having a zinc deficiency decreases a person’s immune function and response. Plus, the extra protein you get from chowing down on beef supports the body in building antibodies and fighting off infection, according to Mirchandani. Eat up: This Steak with Chimichurri Sauce Recipe packs 23 grams of protein per serving; add it to your dinner menu this week. [caption id="attachment_20053" align="alignnone" width="620"]Sweet Potato Fries Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by DailyBurn [/caption]

3. Sweet Potato

While sweet potatoes may not be considered a traditional cold-fighting food, they’re a great source of Vitamin A, which plays a key role in maintaining the health of your mucosal surfaces. “That includes the inside of your nose and your gastrointestinal tract as well as your skin. You might not think of your skin as part of your immune system but it keeps infections from entering your body. It’s your first line of defense,” says Rumsey. “Keeping your mucus membranes healthy is key to keeping infections at bay.” Eat up: These Spicy Sweet Potato Fries and Avocado Dip will help you load up on good old vitamin A — while simultaneously satisfying your winter comfort food cravings. RELATED: The Benefits of Vitamin B Complex [caption id="attachment_34398" align="alignnone" width="620"]Immune System Foods Photo and Recipe: Sylvia / Feasting At Home[/caption]

4. Turmeric

One of the most recent spices to be crowned a superfood, turmeric is a rich yellow powder often used in curry dishes. It’s high in antioxidants and considered a natural anti-inflammatory. “If you take it on a daily basis, it is known to relieve the body of toxins,” says Mirchandani. “It has been shown that people who consume turmeric are less susceptible to colds, coughs and congestion.” Eat (or drink!) up: Order up a curry from your favorite Indian restaurant or mix up this Fresh Turmeric Tonic for a quick immunity boost. We're also loving these 10 Turmeric Recipes to Boost Your Health. [caption id="attachment_33326" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fall Cleanse Kale Salad Photo and Recipe: Renee Blair / Life by DailyBurn[/caption]

5. Dark Leafy Greens

While people typically associate citrus fruit with vitamin C, dark leafy greens, like spinach, kale, Swiss chard and arugula, are also great sources of the cold-fighting vitamin. According to Rumsey, some research shows that if you consistently take in adequate amounts of Vitamin C, it can reduce the duration of a cold. Mirchandani recommends sautéing vegetables and combining them with other healthy spices and foods, such as garlic. When the greens are cooked, they shrink in size and you can consume more of the vegetables than if you were eating them raw. Remember – the darker the greens, the higher the nutrient content. Eat up: This Fall Cleanse Kale Salad should do the trick. RELATED: Is a Magnesium Deficiency Secretly Harming Your Health? [caption id="attachment_17132" align="alignnone" width="620"]Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Yogurt Sauce Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanchote / Life by DailyBurn[/caption]

6. Wild Salmon

As daylight hours decrease during the fall and winter, so do your vitamin D stores. This nutrient is critical for fending off colds and flu so it’s important to mindful of consuming foods rich in it, like wild salmon. Research has shown that those with healthy levels of vitamin D suffered from fewer respiratory tract infections compared to those who were deficient — and felt better faster after getting sick. Eat up: Whip up this Roasted Salmon with Cucumber-Dill Yogurt, or build a meal around other good sources of D such as fortified milk, canned tuna, canned sardines and egg yolks. Here are 11 more salmon recipes, ready in 30 minutes or less!  [caption id="attachment_34399" align="alignnone" width="620"]Immune System Foods Photo and Recipe: Davida / The Healthy Maven[/caption]

7. Chicken Soup

Your mom was right. You should eat chicken soup when you’re sick. This age-old elixir combines many elements that help speed your recovery. The warm broth not only soothes your throat but helps you stay hydrated, too. “Hot liquid, like soup, raises the temperature in your body and airways, loosening mucus secretions,” says Rumsey. “Also, when you cook chicken, it releases the amino acid cysteine, which resembles a drug that is used to treat bronchitis.” Mirchandani says, “When you’re sick, I believe in soup. With its high concentration of protein and vegetables, it’s like you’re giving your body a super-vitamin.” Eat up: Slow-Cooker Chicken Soup will let you rest up in bed while your meal simmers away. While these pantry staples are a good first line of defense against colds and the flu, you also need to pay attention to your overall diet. “A healthy diet has been shown to boost immune function,” and help you get better faster, says Rumsey. “If you’re consistently eating a varied diet and a colorful palate, it will help your body fight off any infections,” say Mirchandani. Originally published November 2014. Updated November 2017.  Read More 12 Brilliant Meal Prep Ideas to Free Up Your Time 5 Healthier Ways to Detox (That Aren't Juice Cleanses) Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight?

The post 7 Immunity-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism http://dailyburn.com/life/health/surprising-things-slow-metabolism/ Wed, 08 Nov 2017 12:15:54 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=63231 7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism

[caption id="attachment_63233" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

You might complain about the endless rush of daily life and meditate for a few minutes during the day, but there's one thing you typically don't want to slow down — your metabolism.

Think of it like an engine: Your metabolism is those series of chemical reactions that convert what you eat and drink into energy that your body can use. Your metabolism is influenced by your age, sex, body size and composition. That means men typically have faster metabolic rates since they tend to carry more muscle and less body fat than women. Your metabolism also decreases with age (more on that below).

While you know that sitting around all day can cause your metabolism to plummet (and exercising regularly can boost it), there are other simple things you may be doing to clog your engine. Here are seven ways that you’re slowing down your metabolism.

RELATED: How to Boost Metabolism in Your 20s, 30s and 40s

7 Common Mistakes That Slow Down Your Metabolism

1. Fasting for too long.

While you probably have heard that skipping meals isn’t great for your metabolism, leaving big gaps between your meals doesn’t help either, says Lauren Antonucci, RDN, owner of Nutrition Energy and certified sports dietitian. “You get a thermic boost every time you eat. Your metabolism revs up to process the food you’re eating,” she says.

But when you eat breakfast at 5 a.m., lunch at 4 p.m., and dinner at 9 p.m., you’re not doing your metabolism any favors. Instead, Antonucci suggests eating every two to three hours to keep your metabolism humming. All about intermittent fasting? While it can help decrease your calorie consumption, the drawback is that if it isn’t done with correct guidance, it can lead to unhealthy eating choices and weight gain. Our recommendation: Call in the pros.

2. Avoiding the weight room.

You’ve heard over and over that muscles burn more calories — and it’s true. Studies have found that strength training revs your resting metabolism rate. That also explains why your metabolic rate declines, as you get older. “Your muscle mass decreases over time because you’re typically not doing as much resistance training,” says Antonucci. Schedule regular strength training sessions as part of your workout schedule.

3. Eating inconsistent daily meals.

If you eat breakfast first thing in the morning some days and don’t eat until lunch on other days, then you might be wrecking your metabolism. Whether you eat three meals a day or nine seems like it should be NBD, but a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that an irregular meal schedule might negatively affect your metabolic health. Instead, aim to eat a consistent number and schedule of meals each day.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism

4. Not eating enough.

If you want to lose weight, you should just eat less, right? It’s not quite that simple. Antonucci says that chronically dieting or consistently eating just a little less than what your body needs, whether inadvertently or on purpose, can wreak havoc on your metabolism. She sees this often in her athletes, especially those training for endurance events like Ironman triathlons. “Their caloric needs can be ridiculously high and they don’t eat enough,” she says, which can also lead to fatigue and injuries.

“Guessing your metabolic rate is a shot in the dark,” says Antonucci. That’s why she recommends metabolic rate testing for anyone who’s having trouble losing weight or athletes who are constantly injured or fatigued. “It’s like a VO2 max test except you just sit and breathe into a mouthpiece for 15 minutes,” she says.

[caption id="attachment_63236" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

5. Skimping on your zzzz’s.

Sure, dark circles and a long-standing caffeine habit are downsides of skipping sleep, but they’re not the only ones. Researchers have found that sleep deprivation can significantly impact your metabolism — and not in a good way — by decreasing energy expenditure. Plus, when you’re sleepy, you don’t move around as much, says Antonucci. “Studies have shown that people who sleep less move less during the day. You may not exercise or you may choose to take a cab rather than walk because you’re tired,” she says. So be sure to get a full night sleep regularly!

RELATED: Is Your Sleep Schedule Wrecking Your Metabolism?

6. Neglecting protein.

A calorie is a calorie, right? Not quite. Your body requires different amounts of energy to process the various macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. "The cost of processing protein is higher than the cost of processing fat,” says Antonucci. “You need protein to increase muscle mass and to fuel your metabolism.” A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that a higher protein diet increased resting energy expenditure.

But Antonucci also advises that it’s not a license to eat only protein. A balance of macronutrients is key. “You need enough carbs to have enough energy to move through the day. And you need enough good fats to keep you satiated,” she says.

7. Stressing out.

You know that stress is bad for your health, but it turns out that it’s also bad for your metabolic rate. Researchers from Ohio State University found that stress affected how women metabolized food. Those who experience one or more stressful events the day before eating a high-fat meal burned 104 fewer calories in the hours following the meal compared to the non-stressed women. While that may not seem like a lot, researchers said that over the course of a year, that could mean an 11-pound weight gain. Just one more reason to chill out!

Read More
What Really Happens When You Yo-Yo Diet
Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight?
Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Calories In, Calories Out?

The post 7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism

[caption id="attachment_63233" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism Photo: Twenty20[/caption] You might complain about the endless rush of daily life and meditate for a few minutes during the day, but there's one thing you typically don't want to slow down — your metabolism. Think of it like an engine: Your metabolism is those series of chemical reactions that convert what you eat and drink into energy that your body can use. Your metabolism is influenced by your age, sex, body size and composition. That means men typically have faster metabolic rates since they tend to carry more muscle and less body fat than women. Your metabolism also decreases with age (more on that below). While you know that sitting around all day can cause your metabolism to plummet (and exercising regularly can boost it), there are other simple things you may be doing to clog your engine. Here are seven ways that you’re slowing down your metabolism. RELATED: How to Boost Metabolism in Your 20s, 30s and 40s

7 Common Mistakes That Slow Down Your Metabolism

1. Fasting for too long.

While you probably have heard that skipping meals isn’t great for your metabolism, leaving big gaps between your meals doesn’t help either, says Lauren Antonucci, RDN, owner of Nutrition Energy and certified sports dietitian. “You get a thermic boost every time you eat. Your metabolism revs up to process the food you’re eating,” she says. But when you eat breakfast at 5 a.m., lunch at 4 p.m., and dinner at 9 p.m., you’re not doing your metabolism any favors. Instead, Antonucci suggests eating every two to three hours to keep your metabolism humming. All about intermittent fasting? While it can help decrease your calorie consumption, the drawback is that if it isn’t done with correct guidance, it can lead to unhealthy eating choices and weight gain. Our recommendation: Call in the pros.

2. Avoiding the weight room.

You’ve heard over and over that muscles burn more calories — and it’s true. Studies have found that strength training revs your resting metabolism rate. That also explains why your metabolic rate declines, as you get older. “Your muscle mass decreases over time because you’re typically not doing as much resistance training,” says Antonucci. Schedule regular strength training sessions as part of your workout schedule.

3. Eating inconsistent daily meals.

If you eat breakfast first thing in the morning some days and don’t eat until lunch on other days, then you might be wrecking your metabolism. Whether you eat three meals a day or nine seems like it should be NBD, but a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that an irregular meal schedule might negatively affect your metabolic health. Instead, aim to eat a consistent number and schedule of meals each day. RELATED: 7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism

4. Not eating enough.

If you want to lose weight, you should just eat less, right? It’s not quite that simple. Antonucci says that chronically dieting or consistently eating just a little less than what your body needs, whether inadvertently or on purpose, can wreak havoc on your metabolism. She sees this often in her athletes, especially those training for endurance events like Ironman triathlons. “Their caloric needs can be ridiculously high and they don’t eat enough,” she says, which can also lead to fatigue and injuries. “Guessing your metabolic rate is a shot in the dark,” says Antonucci. That’s why she recommends metabolic rate testing for anyone who’s having trouble losing weight or athletes who are constantly injured or fatigued. “It’s like a VO2 max test except you just sit and breathe into a mouthpiece for 15 minutes,” she says. [caption id="attachment_63236" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

5. Skimping on your zzzz’s.

Sure, dark circles and a long-standing caffeine habit are downsides of skipping sleep, but they’re not the only ones. Researchers have found that sleep deprivation can significantly impact your metabolism — and not in a good way — by decreasing energy expenditure. Plus, when you’re sleepy, you don’t move around as much, says Antonucci. “Studies have shown that people who sleep less move less during the day. You may not exercise or you may choose to take a cab rather than walk because you’re tired,” she says. So be sure to get a full night sleep regularly! RELATED: Is Your Sleep Schedule Wrecking Your Metabolism?

6. Neglecting protein.

A calorie is a calorie, right? Not quite. Your body requires different amounts of energy to process the various macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. "The cost of processing protein is higher than the cost of processing fat,” says Antonucci. “You need protein to increase muscle mass and to fuel your metabolism.” A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that a higher protein diet increased resting energy expenditure. But Antonucci also advises that it’s not a license to eat only protein. A balance of macronutrients is key. “You need enough carbs to have enough energy to move through the day. And you need enough good fats to keep you satiated,” she says.

7. Stressing out.

You know that stress is bad for your health, but it turns out that it’s also bad for your metabolic rate. Researchers from Ohio State University found that stress affected how women metabolized food. Those who experience one or more stressful events the day before eating a high-fat meal burned 104 fewer calories in the hours following the meal compared to the non-stressed women. While that may not seem like a lot, researchers said that over the course of a year, that could mean an 11-pound weight gain. Just one more reason to chill out! Read More What Really Happens When You Yo-Yo Diet Will Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight? Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Calories In, Calories Out?

The post 7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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7 Things Your Doctor Wants You to Know About the Flu http://dailyburn.com/life/health/flu-symptoms-flu-vaccine/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/flu-symptoms-flu-vaccine/#respond Wed, 01 Nov 2017 15:15:38 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=54374 Flu Symptoms Flu Vaccine

[caption id="attachment_54384" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Things Your Doctor Wants You to Know About the Flu Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Is there anything more miserable than being saddled in bed with the flu? The common (and highly contagious) virus can lay you up so bad that even watching a Real Housewives marathon can seem too strenuous. Some slightly-more-scientific signs of influenza: You’ll likely experience fever, body aches/chills, a sore throat, headache and a cough. What’s worse, those symptoms tend to come on suddenly and severely, says Mohamad Fakih, MD, MPH, Senior Medical Director, Ascension Center of Excellence for Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention at Ascension St. John Hospital and Medical Center. (Symptoms of a cold, on the other hand, tend to be above-the-neck only and milder.)

From avoiding the flu altogether to getting the vaccine, here’s what docs want you to know at the height of sickness season.

RELATED: Is It Too Late to Get the Flu Shot?

Flu Facts You Need to Know

1. Prevention is up to you.

The first rule when it comes to the flu? Don’t get the flu. You can decrease your risk with simple measures, like washing your hands and keeping your paws off your face. “You can get the flu through direct contact with someone who has it — like shaking hands, or if someone coughs on you,” says Dr. Fakih. (That means someone has to directly cough on you — it’s not necessary to hold your breath if, say, someone hacks on the other side of the train car.) Your hands are the biggest culprits, though. “You probably don’t realize how often you put your hands in your mouth or touch your face,” he adds.

2. Get the vaccine — no excuses.

The CDC recommends that everyone over age six months get vaccinated. “It’s not just to protect you, but the people around you that have more of a risk of getting extremely sick, like the elderly or pregnant women,” says Dr. Fakih.

RELATED: Which Vaccines You Should Get As an Adult

3. It’s not too late.

While it’s ideal to get the flu vaccine in early fall for the longest protection, flu season tends to peak in December or January, says Dr. Fakih. That’s when you tend to hear “something’s going around,” because a lot of people will be sick at once. Getting vaccinated at any time throughout the season can help, though. Make your appointment at the doc or head to your local Walgreens or CVS today.

4. But…you may still get the flu.

"If you do get the flu, having the vaccine can lessen how bad it is.”

When you fall sick with the flu despite getting the vaccine, it’s frustrating, no doubt. But know that the vaccine doesn’t 100 percent guarantee you’ll stay well. In fact, in 2016 it was 48 percent effective, says the CDC. That said, here’s the upside: “If you do get the flu, having the vaccine can lessen how bad it is,” says Dr. Fakih. Simply put, your symptoms may not be as severe as they would’ve been had you skipped vaccinating completely. And since the flu can send you straight into misery city and keep you home for four or five days, he says, you need any protection you can get.

RELATED: Are You Crazy for Working Out While Sick?

5. Exercise totally helps.

Here’s another reason to exercise on the reg: avoiding the office plague du jour. When a group of people participated in an eight-week moderate-intensity exercise program, they missed just 32 days of work due to illness compared to 67 sick days in a control group, reports a 2012 study in the Annals of Family Medicine. So, baby it may be cold outside, but bundle up and fit in that four-miler on Saturday. (Germaphobes, if you hit the gym, just keep these hygiene tips in mind.)

6. Antibiotics, well, don’t.

Running to your doc asking for antibiotics is as effective as taking magic beans and hoping you get better. Even worse: It’s more dangerous. First, antibiotics only work against bacterial infection, whereas the flu is a virus. Second, popping these meds unnecessarily is one reason antibiotic resistance is the dangerous problem it is today. There is a chance that having the flu can make you more susceptible to a secondary bacterial infection like bacterial pneumonia, says Dr. Fakih. One clue that that’s the case? “If you get the flu and start to get a bit better but then relapse and get worse,” he says. See your doc.

7. Seriously, stay home.

It can be hard to stay home when you’ve got to be boss lady at work. But listen carefully: You should really stay put. Not only will it help you get back on your feet faster, you’re less likely to spread it around, too. Because certain symptoms, like coughs, can linger a long time, you don’t have to wait until you’re 100 percent, though. When your fever goes away, you have most doctors’ green light to go back in. “That’s when you’re less likely to ‘shed’ the virus and get others sick,” Dr. Fakih says. Just keep tissues handy and remember to cough and sneeze into your elbow. Oh, and don’t forget the chicken soup today. Science says so.

Originally published November 2016. Updated October 2017.

Read More
7 Immune-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu
Are You Crazy for Working Out While Sick?
What to Eat When You're Fighting a Cold

The post 7 Things Your Doctor Wants You to Know About the Flu appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Flu Symptoms Flu Vaccine

[caption id="attachment_54384" align="alignnone" width="620"]7 Things Your Doctor Wants You to Know About the Flu Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Is there anything more miserable than being saddled in bed with the flu? The common (and highly contagious) virus can lay you up so bad that even watching a Real Housewives marathon can seem too strenuous. Some slightly-more-scientific signs of influenza: You’ll likely experience fever, body aches/chills, a sore throat, headache and a cough. What’s worse, those symptoms tend to come on suddenly and severely, says Mohamad Fakih, MD, MPH, Senior Medical Director, Ascension Center of Excellence for Antimicrobial Stewardship and Infection Prevention at Ascension St. John Hospital and Medical Center. (Symptoms of a cold, on the other hand, tend to be above-the-neck only and milder.) From avoiding the flu altogether to getting the vaccine, here’s what docs want you to know at the height of sickness season. RELATED: Is It Too Late to Get the Flu Shot?

Flu Facts You Need to Know

1. Prevention is up to you.

The first rule when it comes to the flu? Don’t get the flu. You can decrease your risk with simple measures, like washing your hands and keeping your paws off your face. “You can get the flu through direct contact with someone who has it — like shaking hands, or if someone coughs on you,” says Dr. Fakih. (That means someone has to directly cough on you — it’s not necessary to hold your breath if, say, someone hacks on the other side of the train car.) Your hands are the biggest culprits, though. “You probably don’t realize how often you put your hands in your mouth or touch your face,” he adds.

2. Get the vaccine — no excuses.

The CDC recommends that everyone over age six months get vaccinated. “It’s not just to protect you, but the people around you that have more of a risk of getting extremely sick, like the elderly or pregnant women,” says Dr. Fakih. RELATED: Which Vaccines You Should Get As an Adult

3. It’s not too late.

While it’s ideal to get the flu vaccine in early fall for the longest protection, flu season tends to peak in December or January, says Dr. Fakih. That’s when you tend to hear “something’s going around,” because a lot of people will be sick at once. Getting vaccinated at any time throughout the season can help, though. Make your appointment at the doc or head to your local Walgreens or CVS today.

4. But…you may still get the flu.

"If you do get the flu, having the vaccine can lessen how bad it is.”
When you fall sick with the flu despite getting the vaccine, it’s frustrating, no doubt. But know that the vaccine doesn’t 100 percent guarantee you’ll stay well. In fact, in 2016 it was 48 percent effective, says the CDC. That said, here’s the upside: “If you do get the flu, having the vaccine can lessen how bad it is,” says Dr. Fakih. Simply put, your symptoms may not be as severe as they would’ve been had you skipped vaccinating completely. And since the flu can send you straight into misery city and keep you home for four or five days, he says, you need any protection you can get. RELATED: Are You Crazy for Working Out While Sick?

5. Exercise totally helps.

Here’s another reason to exercise on the reg: avoiding the office plague du jour. When a group of people participated in an eight-week moderate-intensity exercise program, they missed just 32 days of work due to illness compared to 67 sick days in a control group, reports a 2012 study in the Annals of Family Medicine. So, baby it may be cold outside, but bundle up and fit in that four-miler on Saturday. (Germaphobes, if you hit the gym, just keep these hygiene tips in mind.)

6. Antibiotics, well, don’t.

Running to your doc asking for antibiotics is as effective as taking magic beans and hoping you get better. Even worse: It’s more dangerous. First, antibiotics only work against bacterial infection, whereas the flu is a virus. Second, popping these meds unnecessarily is one reason antibiotic resistance is the dangerous problem it is today. There is a chance that having the flu can make you more susceptible to a secondary bacterial infection like bacterial pneumonia, says Dr. Fakih. One clue that that’s the case? “If you get the flu and start to get a bit better but then relapse and get worse,” he says. See your doc.

7. Seriously, stay home.

It can be hard to stay home when you’ve got to be boss lady at work. But listen carefully: You should really stay put. Not only will it help you get back on your feet faster, you’re less likely to spread it around, too. Because certain symptoms, like coughs, can linger a long time, you don’t have to wait until you’re 100 percent, though. When your fever goes away, you have most doctors’ green light to go back in. “That’s when you’re less likely to ‘shed’ the virus and get others sick,” Dr. Fakih says. Just keep tissues handy and remember to cough and sneeze into your elbow. Oh, and don’t forget the chicken soup today. Science says so. Originally published November 2016. Updated October 2017. Read More 7 Immune-Boosting Foods to Fight Colds and Flu Are You Crazy for Working Out While Sick? What to Eat When You're Fighting a Cold

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Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements? http://dailyburn.com/life/health/pre-workout-supplements-pros-cons/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/pre-workout-supplements-pros-cons/#respond Wed, 18 Oct 2017 11:15:32 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=62708 Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements?

[caption id="attachment_62712" align="alignnone" width="620"]Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements? Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Fueling for your workouts can require a little education, planning and practice to amplify results. You probably already know what to do post-workout, munching on a mix of protein and carbs within an hour of your sweat session. And you might even have some go-to gummies or gels for extra long gym sessions or training runs. But what about your pre-workout routine?

Pre-workout supplements, in the form of powders and pills, now saturate the sports nutrition supplement market, boasting benefits like increased energy, power and endurance to help you push harder and gain more. But they’re not for everyone or every workout. Read on to find out the pros and cons of pre-workout blends and whether they’re right for you.

RELATED: The Best Forms of Sugar to Eat Pre-Workout

The Pros and Cons of Pre-Workout Supplements

PRO: You might feel more energetic and alert.

“A big part of most pre-workout supplements is their stimulatory effect."

Many pre-workout mixes pack a big dose of caffeine to add a little bounce to your step. “Caffeine’s proven to help [with energy], because it stimulates the nervous system, which makes your exercise feel less taxing and makes you feel more peppy,” says Matthew Kadey, RD, a registered dietician in Ontario and author of Rocket Fuel. “The huge thing you have to pay attention to is the dose.” Kadey recommends aiming for two to six milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of your bodyweight. And make sure to give your body enough time to digest it before your workout. “It takes 45 to 60 minutes for coffee to reach its peak in your blood, so have it at least 30 minutes beforehand,” he says.

CON: The drink could make you jittery.

Forget about blasting through your sweat session if you feel like your heart is about to beat out of your chest. “Some people can have adverse reactions to stimulants,” says Kadey. Your best bet, he says, is trial and error. Be especially cautious with drinks that add a second stimulant to the caffeine, like guarine.

“A big part of most pre-workout supplements is their stimulatory effect, and it’s common for them to use multiple stimulants,” says Kyle Pfaffenbach, PhD, assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at Eastern Oregon University and nutrition consultant for the Brooks Beasts Track Club. “Many times, ingredients used are on the banned or high-risk list from USADA and WADA.” Not ingredients you want to get used to sipping pre-sweat. Check here or here for more info on specific words to look for on labels.

RELATED: Caffeine and Exercise: The Right (And Wrong) Way to Use It

[caption id="attachment_62713" align="alignnone" width="620"]Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements? Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

PRO: They can enhance your power and help you push it for longer.

Some pre-workout supplements have creatine, which can pump up your power and improve training results, particularly during anaerobic drills. Though it sounds like something that would appeal to bodybuilders only, creatine has also been shown to boost the performance of endurance athlete. It helps them reach peak power output by potentially delaying fatigue, says Kadey. The fine print? Keep in mind, experts and researchers still debate timing and optimal duration of use.

CON: You don’t know what you’re getting.

"For the average population, the extra sugar could be worrisome."

Sometimes you’ll notice an icon on a product’s label designating that it’s been certified by a third-party, like the NSF (National Science Foundation). But typically, these supplements aren’t regulated by a government agency and don’t need to meet strict guidelines for what goes into the product. “Oftentimes these workout supplements use a 'proprietary blend' of ingredients,” says Pfaffenbach. “It’s important for athletes to know exactly how much and what is going into their body. And with these drinks, we often don't have that exact info.”

RELATED: 4 Things No One Told You About Plant-Based Supplements

PRO: They can help deliver more oxygen to your muscles.

Seek out the words “nitric oxide” on a supplement’s label. This ingredient may help you go strong through a tough session likely by widening the blood vessels, which, in turn, delivers more oxygen to your muscles so you can perform at your peak, explains Kadey. You can also look for mixes made with beets, as this vegetable contains nitrates that then convert to the compound in your body.

CON: You might gain weight.

Part of the energy boost packed in these pre-workout mixes comes from a big helping of sugar. “The sugar is beneficial and necessary for really high-level athletes, but for the average population, the extra sugar could be worrisome,” says Kadey. He notes that the added sweet stuff and high calories of these drinks could easily wind up on your waistline. If you’re going for a pre-workout drink, opt for one with no more than 100 calories per serving. Or instead, stick to a small snack like a banana with a spoonful of peanut butter half an hour before you exercise, suggests Kadey. “That’s enough to tide you over and top off energy stores for your workout,” he says.

RELATED: 8 Low-Calorie Foods That Will Fill You Up

PRO: They can reduce muscle breakdown.

Another common ingredient in pre-workout drinks: amino acids. Some research has shown that these protein compounds can reduce the amount your muscles break down during exercise, so you can bounce back from an intense session faster. Similarly, drinks with tart cherry juice can benefit your muscles by helping to reduce soreness. Look for these if you’re doing a workout with a fair amount of impact, like CrossFit or a long run, advises Kadey.

Finding the Right Pre-Workout Mix for You

If you want to give pre-workout supplements a go, look for ones with natural ingredients on the label — like green tea, beets or tart cherry juice. (Garden of Life Sport Organic Plant-Based Energy + Focus or Dr. Axe Bone Broth Protein Burst are just a couple good options.) And don’t take it for the first time before a race or other important workout, warns Kadey: “Never try these right before a marathon. The number-one rule is experiment carefully and work up to full doses, especially if [the mix] includes stimulants.”

Read More
How to Choose the Best Protein Powder for You
The Subscription Company That Makes Sports Nutrition Easy
Do You Really Need That Post-Workout Protein Shake?

The post Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements?

[caption id="attachment_62712" align="alignnone" width="620"]Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements? Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Fueling for your workouts can require a little education, planning and practice to amplify results. You probably already know what to do post-workout, munching on a mix of protein and carbs within an hour of your sweat session. And you might even have some go-to gummies or gels for extra long gym sessions or training runs. But what about your pre-workout routine? Pre-workout supplements, in the form of powders and pills, now saturate the sports nutrition supplement market, boasting benefits like increased energy, power and endurance to help you push harder and gain more. But they’re not for everyone or every workout. Read on to find out the pros and cons of pre-workout blends and whether they’re right for you. RELATED: The Best Forms of Sugar to Eat Pre-Workout

The Pros and Cons of Pre-Workout Supplements

PRO: You might feel more energetic and alert.

“A big part of most pre-workout supplements is their stimulatory effect."
Many pre-workout mixes pack a big dose of caffeine to add a little bounce to your step. “Caffeine’s proven to help [with energy], because it stimulates the nervous system, which makes your exercise feel less taxing and makes you feel more peppy,” says Matthew Kadey, RD, a registered dietician in Ontario and author of Rocket Fuel. “The huge thing you have to pay attention to is the dose.” Kadey recommends aiming for two to six milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of your bodyweight. And make sure to give your body enough time to digest it before your workout. “It takes 45 to 60 minutes for coffee to reach its peak in your blood, so have it at least 30 minutes beforehand,” he says.

CON: The drink could make you jittery.

Forget about blasting through your sweat session if you feel like your heart is about to beat out of your chest. “Some people can have adverse reactions to stimulants,” says Kadey. Your best bet, he says, is trial and error. Be especially cautious with drinks that add a second stimulant to the caffeine, like guarine. “A big part of most pre-workout supplements is their stimulatory effect, and it’s common for them to use multiple stimulants,” says Kyle Pfaffenbach, PhD, assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at Eastern Oregon University and nutrition consultant for the Brooks Beasts Track Club. “Many times, ingredients used are on the banned or high-risk list from USADA and WADA.” Not ingredients you want to get used to sipping pre-sweat. Check here or here for more info on specific words to look for on labels. RELATED: Caffeine and Exercise: The Right (And Wrong) Way to Use It [caption id="attachment_62713" align="alignnone" width="620"]Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements? Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

PRO: They can enhance your power and help you push it for longer.

Some pre-workout supplements have creatine, which can pump up your power and improve training results, particularly during anaerobic drills. Though it sounds like something that would appeal to bodybuilders only, creatine has also been shown to boost the performance of endurance athlete. It helps them reach peak power output by potentially delaying fatigue, says Kadey. The fine print? Keep in mind, experts and researchers still debate timing and optimal duration of use.

CON: You don’t know what you’re getting.

"For the average population, the extra sugar could be worrisome."
Sometimes you’ll notice an icon on a product’s label designating that it’s been certified by a third-party, like the NSF (National Science Foundation). But typically, these supplements aren’t regulated by a government agency and don’t need to meet strict guidelines for what goes into the product. “Oftentimes these workout supplements use a 'proprietary blend' of ingredients,” says Pfaffenbach. “It’s important for athletes to know exactly how much and what is going into their body. And with these drinks, we often don't have that exact info.” RELATED: 4 Things No One Told You About Plant-Based Supplements

PRO: They can help deliver more oxygen to your muscles.

Seek out the words “nitric oxide” on a supplement’s label. This ingredient may help you go strong through a tough session likely by widening the blood vessels, which, in turn, delivers more oxygen to your muscles so you can perform at your peak, explains Kadey. You can also look for mixes made with beets, as this vegetable contains nitrates that then convert to the compound in your body.

CON: You might gain weight.

Part of the energy boost packed in these pre-workout mixes comes from a big helping of sugar. “The sugar is beneficial and necessary for really high-level athletes, but for the average population, the extra sugar could be worrisome,” says Kadey. He notes that the added sweet stuff and high calories of these drinks could easily wind up on your waistline. If you’re going for a pre-workout drink, opt for one with no more than 100 calories per serving. Or instead, stick to a small snack like a banana with a spoonful of peanut butter half an hour before you exercise, suggests Kadey. “That’s enough to tide you over and top off energy stores for your workout,” he says. RELATED: 8 Low-Calorie Foods That Will Fill You Up

PRO: They can reduce muscle breakdown.

Another common ingredient in pre-workout drinks: amino acids. Some research has shown that these protein compounds can reduce the amount your muscles break down during exercise, so you can bounce back from an intense session faster. Similarly, drinks with tart cherry juice can benefit your muscles by helping to reduce soreness. Look for these if you’re doing a workout with a fair amount of impact, like CrossFit or a long run, advises Kadey.

Finding the Right Pre-Workout Mix for You

If you want to give pre-workout supplements a go, look for ones with natural ingredients on the label — like green tea, beets or tart cherry juice. (Garden of Life Sport Organic Plant-Based Energy + Focus or Dr. Axe Bone Broth Protein Burst are just a couple good options.) And don’t take it for the first time before a race or other important workout, warns Kadey: “Never try these right before a marathon. The number-one rule is experiment carefully and work up to full doses, especially if [the mix] includes stimulants.” Read More How to Choose the Best Protein Powder for You The Subscription Company That Makes Sports Nutrition Easy Do You Really Need That Post-Workout Protein Shake?

The post Should You Be Taking Pre-Workout Supplements? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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4 Pantry Staples on Rocco DiSpirito’s Grocery List http://dailyburn.com/life/health/rocco-dispirito-pantry-staples/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/rocco-dispirito-pantry-staples/#respond Tue, 17 Oct 2017 15:15:17 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=62666 4 Pantry Staples Rocco Dispirito Has on His Grocery List

“Real food is what our grandparents simply called food.” That’s the first line of Rocco DiSpirito’s new book, Rocco’s Healthy + Delicious (out today), and the foundation of the nearly 250 recipes in the cookbook.

DiSpirito advocates for eating “mostly” plant-based — meaning the majority of your diet is veggies and fruits, but you can feel free to enjoy some lean meat, too. In his book, DiSpirito offers tips on how to get back to healthy eating basics. Consume more plants (and keep them raw when you can), have meat in moderation, cut down on dairy and go for gluten-free grains.

While the recipes in DiSpirito’s book meet all of these guidelines, he also suggests essential grocery-list items that’ll make cooking healthy, real food extra easy. So what’s on his list? DiSpirito mentions 15 pantry staples for plant lovers in his book, but on a recent episode of Daily Burn 365, he narrows it down to just four. Check out this list of DiSpirito’s must-get ingredients, plus suggestions for how to use them. After you hit the aisles, you’ll be set up for clean eating success.

RELATED: 12 DIY Kitchen Projects to Clean Up Your Eating Habits

4 Healthy Pantry Staples, According to Rocco DiSpirito

1. Dark Chocolate

“Chocolate is a top-five superfood,” says DiSpirito. “It’s good for your heart; it’s good for your brain,” and that’s due to its high antioxidant content. He recommends buying products with 70 percent cacao and opting for raw varieties.

How to use it: Two words: Chocolate bark. Click here for DiSpirito's exclusive Coconut-Almond Chcolatate Bark Recipe from Rocco's Healthy + Delicious. Other ideas: dark chocolate protein bars and slimmed-down cookies and candies.

2. Rolled Oats

Opt for certified gluten-free products to give your gut some love. “Rolled oats are nature’s scrub brush — full of fiber and great nutrition,” DiSpirito says. Make them one of your go-to grains.

How to use it: Overnight oats and other breakfast dishes, plus burgers.

RELATED: 10 Easy Overnight Oats Recipes to Make Now

3. Coconut Nectar

Meet your new favorite sweetener. While it does pack some calories, coconut nectar is also rich in fiber and amino acids. It’s low on the glycemic index scale, too, so it’s a smart substitute for those watching their sugar intake, DiSpirito says.

How to use it: Drizzle like maple syrup over pancakes, on top of fruit or in place of brown sugar in baked goods.

4. Protein Powder

Beef up the fill factor of your foods with protein powder. DiSpirito suggests looking for those made of plant-based proteins (like hemp, pea or rice) or egg, and choosing those without added sugar, dairy, fat or soy.

How to use it: Pancakes, smoothies, muffins and bars are all great, protein-ready options.

Want more healthy eating tips — and a new workout every day? Sign up for Daily Burn. Your first 30 days are free!

Read More
Printable Meal Planning Templates to Simplify Your Life
5 Easy Ways to Meal Prep for Less Than $20 a Week
The Raw Food Diet: Here’s What You Need to Know

The post 4 Pantry Staples on Rocco DiSpirito’s Grocery List appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
4 Pantry Staples Rocco Dispirito Has on His Grocery List

“Real food is what our grandparents simply called food.” That’s the first line of Rocco DiSpirito’s new book, Rocco’s Healthy + Delicious (out today), and the foundation of the nearly 250 recipes in the cookbook. DiSpirito advocates for eating “mostly” plant-based — meaning the majority of your diet is veggies and fruits, but you can feel free to enjoy some lean meat, too. In his book, DiSpirito offers tips on how to get back to healthy eating basics. Consume more plants (and keep them raw when you can), have meat in moderation, cut down on dairy and go for gluten-free grains. While the recipes in DiSpirito’s book meet all of these guidelines, he also suggests essential grocery-list items that’ll make cooking healthy, real food extra easy. So what’s on his list? DiSpirito mentions 15 pantry staples for plant lovers in his book, but on a recent episode of Daily Burn 365, he narrows it down to just four. Check out this list of DiSpirito’s must-get ingredients, plus suggestions for how to use them. After you hit the aisles, you’ll be set up for clean eating success. RELATED: 12 DIY Kitchen Projects to Clean Up Your Eating Habits

4 Healthy Pantry Staples, According to Rocco DiSpirito

1. Dark Chocolate

“Chocolate is a top-five superfood,” says DiSpirito. “It’s good for your heart; it’s good for your brain,” and that’s due to its high antioxidant content. He recommends buying products with 70 percent cacao and opting for raw varieties. How to use it: Two words: Chocolate bark. Click here for DiSpirito's exclusive Coconut-Almond Chcolatate Bark Recipe from Rocco's Healthy + Delicious. Other ideas: dark chocolate protein bars and slimmed-down cookies and candies.

2. Rolled Oats

Opt for certified gluten-free products to give your gut some love. “Rolled oats are nature’s scrub brush — full of fiber and great nutrition,” DiSpirito says. Make them one of your go-to grains. How to use it: Overnight oats and other breakfast dishes, plus burgers. RELATED: 10 Easy Overnight Oats Recipes to Make Now

3. Coconut Nectar

Meet your new favorite sweetener. While it does pack some calories, coconut nectar is also rich in fiber and amino acids. It’s low on the glycemic index scale, too, so it’s a smart substitute for those watching their sugar intake, DiSpirito says. How to use it: Drizzle like maple syrup over pancakes, on top of fruit or in place of brown sugar in baked goods.

4. Protein Powder

Beef up the fill factor of your foods with protein powder. DiSpirito suggests looking for those made of plant-based proteins (like hemp, pea or rice) or egg, and choosing those without added sugar, dairy, fat or soy. How to use it: Pancakes, smoothies, muffins and bars are all great, protein-ready options. Want more healthy eating tips — and a new workout every day? Sign up for Daily Burn. Your first 30 days are free! Read More Printable Meal Planning Templates to Simplify Your Life 5 Easy Ways to Meal Prep for Less Than $20 a Week The Raw Food Diet: Here’s What You Need to Know

The post 4 Pantry Staples on Rocco DiSpirito’s Grocery List appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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12 DIY Kitchen Projects to Clean Up Your Eating Habits http://dailyburn.com/life/health/diy-organizing-ideas-healthy-kitchen/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/diy-organizing-ideas-healthy-kitchen/#respond Sat, 07 Oct 2017 13:15:49 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=38745 DIY Projects to Clean Up Your Diet

12 DIY Kitchen Projects to Clean Up Your Eating Habits

Developing healthy eating habits (and sticking to them) can be tough. It’s easy to cook nutritious meals for a week or two, but one stressful day can throw you off your game. Luckily, there are plenty of simple tricks that can make healthier living a lot easier.

Yes, Pinterest is a helpful resource for finding healthy recipes and workout inspiration, but it’s also full of great ideas for kitchen organization and meal planning — two keys to cleaning up your diet. With a quick trip to the store for some supplies, any of these 12 projects are easy to tackle in no time.

RELATED: 12 Brilliant Meal Prep Ideas to Free Up Your Time

12 DIY Kitchen Makeover Ideas for Healthier Eating Habits

[caption id="attachment_38746" align="alignnone" width="620"]Snack Containers Photo: IHeartOrganizing.blogsplot.com[/caption]

1. Pre-portion snacks.

Over-indulging in snackable foods is one of the easiest ways to accidentally sideline a healthy diet. Mindlessly munch from an open bag of nuts or popcorn, and boom — there goes today’s calorie allowance! Eliminate binges by packing individual portions as soon as you bring those favorite snack foods home from the store. Plastic sandwich baggies work well, but investing in some small reusable containers will eliminate waste (and save more delicate goods from being crushed during transportation).

[caption id="attachment_38747" align="alignnone" width="620"]Snack Storage Photo: LittleGreenNotebook.com[/caption]

2. Store healthy foods front and center in the pantry.

Studies show that keeping unhealthy snacks out of sight may decrease our likelihood to indulge. Placing healthy foods front and center makes them convenient to grab, and office storage bins are the perfect tool to help organize your go-to’s. Store those pre-portioned snack packs, bars or fruit at eye level in your pantry, and grab one or two for the day to have on hand before hitting the road.

RELATED: 9 Healthy Homemade Protein Bar Recipes

[caption id="attachment_38748" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fridge Snacks Photo: LittlePenelopeLane.blogspot.com[/caption]

3. Stock the fridge with a smart snack bin.

Keep protein-packed options like hard-boiled eggs, single servings of hummus or Greek yogurt cups easily accessible in the fridge with a dedicated snack bin. Having those nutritious bites ready to go makes you more likely to snack smart, rather than go digging for that leftover cupcake or queso dip (keep those hidden away!).

[caption id="attachment_38749" align="alignnone" width="620"]Plastic Container Trick Photos: Pond5; MidwestLiving.com[/caption]

4. Tape nutrition labels to food containers.

Reusable clear plastic containers keep pantry staples fresh and organized. For those items you always keep on hand (rolled oats, rice, pasta, etc.), invest in sturdy plastic containers with easy-pour spouts. But don’t stop there: Before throwing away the original packaging, cut out the nutrition and instruction labels and tape them right onto the containers. Having this info on hand makes tracking calories and keeping portions in check that much easier.

RELATED: How to Eat Healthy for Less Than $4 a Day

[caption id="attachment_38750" align="alignnone" width="620"]Crock Pot Meal Ideas Photo: NewLeafWellness.biz[/caption]

5. Pre-pack crockpot meals for fuss-free dinners.

On hectic weeknights, cooking something healthy for dinner can be hard to prioritize. But if you have an extra 30 minutes on your day off, it’s possible to prep a week’s worth of healthy crockpot meals (and save yourself stressful evenings later). Pack the ingredients for each meal in a freezer bag, label it with the recipe name and cooking instructions, and stash it away. Every morning, pick your meal of choice and set your slow cooker before leaving the house. By the time you get home, there will be a hot (and nutritious) dinner waiting for you.

[caption id="attachment_38751" align="alignnone" width="620"]Smoothie Packs Photo: HelloNatural.co[/caption]

6. Put together smoothie packs for easy on-the-go breakfasts.

Smoothies are a convenient nutrient-dense breakfast option, especially when eating on-the-go. Instead of getting out all the bags of frozen fruit each morning, pre-portion ingredients into individual plastic baggies once a week and have your smoothie mixes ready to go — all you’ll have to do is add liquid and blend! (Pro tip: Add a scoop of protein powder for even more energy in the morning.)

RELATED: 25 Cheap and Easy 3-Ingredient Smoothie Recipes

[caption id="attachment_38752" align="alignnone" width="620"]DIY Lazy Susan Photo: Alejandra.tv[/caption]

7. Make your own Lazy Susan to organize spices.

Two cake pans and bag of marbles is all you need to get rolling on this project. DIY Lazy Susans are an easy way to organize smaller pantry or fridge items such as spices or condiments. They’ll keep everything in one place, and you can access whatever you need with a simple swivel. The healthy upside: Adding herbs or low-calorie condiments (think mustards and vinegars) brings a ton of flavor to dishes without upping the salt, fat or calorie counts.

[caption id="attachment_38753" align="alignnone" width="620"]DIY Conversion Chart Photo: InfarrantlyCreative.net[/caption]

8. Create a conversion guide right in your cabinet.

Keeping portion size in mind is essential for maintaining any health or fitness goals. But sometimes, those measurements can be downright confusing. An easy solution? Turn the inside of a kitchen cabinet into a measurement conversion table and storage center. Vinyl decals work well for a super-clean look, but a steady hand and paintbrush (or marker) would work just as well for something a bit more permanent. You’ll never have to dig through drawers to find the quarter-cup measure again!

RELATED: 9 DIY Projects to Amp Up Your Home Workouts

[caption id="attachment_38756" align="alignnone" width="620"]DIY Menu Board Photo: UnOriginalMom.com[/caption]

9. Plan your meals for all to see.

Planning your weekly meals ahead of time is an easy way to keep nutrition goals in check and reduce the “what’s for dinner tonight” stress. A centrally-located cork or chalk board is the perfect way to keep your meal plan easily accessible. The key here? Make sure it’s easy to switch around the meal cards so you don’t feel lost if plans end up changing.

[caption id="attachment_38757" align="alignnone" width="620"]DIY Daily Meal Bins Photo: TheCouponProject.com[/caption]

10. Organize ingredients by days of the week.

No days off? We feel your pain. Doing the shopping and creating a meal plan are just two parts of creating a well-oiled kitchen machine — organization is also hugely important. To keep your plans on track and avoid accidental indulgences, try storing ingredients for each days’ meals in their own containers. This way, you’ll never get to Thursday’s dinner and think “Hey, what happened to the shredded cheese!” Plus, you’ll never have to dig through the fridge for ingredients — or forget to add them to the meal — again.

RELATED: 8 DIY Pinterest Projects to Get You Motivated

[caption id="attachment_38758" align="alignnone" width="620"]Freezer Organization Photo: ABowlFullofLemons.net[/caption]

11. Re-focus your freezer.

It’s easy for ice boxes to turn into deep, dark black holes filled with who-knows-what that’s who knows how old. Keep your frozen goodies fresh and easily accessible by organizing everything into well-labeled accessible bins. Depending on the model and size of your freezer, the bins you choose will vary. We suggest taking some measurements and drawing a quick sketch of the space you have before heading to the store (with that measuring tape!) to look for options that will work for your kitchen.

[caption id="attachment_38759" align="alignnone" width="620"]DIY Tupperware Organizer Photos: Pond5BHG.com[/caption]

12. Use a CD rack for sound container organization.

Neglect your leftovers container drawer for too long, and it can turn into a war zone. With all the different shapes and sizes, it’s impossible to keep everything organized and easy to find. That is, until this trick! A CD rack is ideal for organizing all of those plastic container tops so they’re easy to grab. Keep the containers themselves stacked by shape and size close by and you’ll be packing up leftovers in no time.

Originally published April 2015. Updated September 2017. 

Read More
50 Resources That Make Meal Prep a Snap
12 No-Bake Energy Bites Recipes
7 Days of Clean Eating, Made Simple

The post 12 DIY Kitchen Projects to Clean Up Your Eating Habits appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
DIY Projects to Clean Up Your Diet

12 DIY Kitchen Projects to Clean Up Your Eating Habits
Developing healthy eating habits (and sticking to them) can be tough. It’s easy to cook nutritious meals for a week or two, but one stressful day can throw you off your game. Luckily, there are plenty of simple tricks that can make healthier living a lot easier. Yes, Pinterest is a helpful resource for finding healthy recipes and workout inspiration, but it’s also full of great ideas for kitchen organization and meal planning — two keys to cleaning up your diet. With a quick trip to the store for some supplies, any of these 12 projects are easy to tackle in no time. RELATED: 12 Brilliant Meal Prep Ideas to Free Up Your Time

12 DIY Kitchen Makeover Ideas for Healthier Eating Habits

[caption id="attachment_38746" align="alignnone" width="620"]Snack Containers Photo: IHeartOrganizing.blogsplot.com[/caption]

1. Pre-portion snacks.

Over-indulging in snackable foods is one of the easiest ways to accidentally sideline a healthy diet. Mindlessly munch from an open bag of nuts or popcorn, and boom — there goes today’s calorie allowance! Eliminate binges by packing individual portions as soon as you bring those favorite snack foods home from the store. Plastic sandwich baggies work well, but investing in some small reusable containers will eliminate waste (and save more delicate goods from being crushed during transportation). [caption id="attachment_38747" align="alignnone" width="620"]Snack Storage Photo: LittleGreenNotebook.com[/caption]

2. Store healthy foods front and center in the pantry.

Studies show that keeping unhealthy snacks out of sight may decrease our likelihood to indulge. Placing healthy foods front and center makes them convenient to grab, and office storage bins are the perfect tool to help organize your go-to’s. Store those pre-portioned snack packs, bars or fruit at eye level in your pantry, and grab one or two for the day to have on hand before hitting the road. RELATED: 9 Healthy Homemade Protein Bar Recipes [caption id="attachment_38748" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fridge Snacks Photo: LittlePenelopeLane.blogspot.com[/caption]

3. Stock the fridge with a smart snack bin.

Keep protein-packed options like hard-boiled eggs, single servings of hummus or Greek yogurt cups easily accessible in the fridge with a dedicated snack bin. Having those nutritious bites ready to go makes you more likely to snack smart, rather than go digging for that leftover cupcake or queso dip (keep those hidden away!). [caption id="attachment_38749" align="alignnone" width="620"]Plastic Container Trick Photos: Pond5; MidwestLiving.com[/caption]

4. Tape nutrition labels to food containers.

Reusable clear plastic containers keep pantry staples fresh and organized. For those items you always keep on hand (rolled oats, rice, pasta, etc.), invest in sturdy plastic containers with easy-pour spouts. But don’t stop there: Before throwing away the original packaging, cut out the nutrition and instruction labels and tape them right onto the containers. Having this info on hand makes tracking calories and keeping portions in check that much easier. RELATED: How to Eat Healthy for Less Than $4 a Day [caption id="attachment_38750" align="alignnone" width="620"]Crock Pot Meal Ideas Photo: NewLeafWellness.biz[/caption]

5. Pre-pack crockpot meals for fuss-free dinners.

On hectic weeknights, cooking something healthy for dinner can be hard to prioritize. But if you have an extra 30 minutes on your day off, it’s possible to prep a week’s worth of healthy crockpot meals (and save yourself stressful evenings later). Pack the ingredients for each meal in a freezer bag, label it with the recipe name and cooking instructions, and stash it away. Every morning, pick your meal of choice and set your slow cooker before leaving the house. By the time you get home, there will be a hot (and nutritious) dinner waiting for you. [caption id="attachment_38751" align="alignnone" width="620"]Smoothie Packs Photo: HelloNatural.co[/caption]

6. Put together smoothie packs for easy on-the-go breakfasts.

Smoothies are a convenient nutrient-dense breakfast option, especially when eating on-the-go. Instead of getting out all the bags of frozen fruit each morning, pre-portion ingredients into individual plastic baggies once a week and have your smoothie mixes ready to go — all you’ll have to do is add liquid and blend! (Pro tip: Add a scoop of protein powder for even more energy in the morning.) RELATED: 25 Cheap and Easy 3-Ingredient Smoothie Recipes [caption id="attachment_38752" align="alignnone" width="620"]DIY Lazy Susan Photo: Alejandra.tv[/caption]

7. Make your own Lazy Susan to organize spices.

Two cake pans and bag of marbles is all you need to get rolling on this project. DIY Lazy Susans are an easy way to organize smaller pantry or fridge items such as spices or condiments. They’ll keep everything in one place, and you can access whatever you need with a simple swivel. The healthy upside: Adding herbs or low-calorie condiments (think mustards and vinegars) brings a ton of flavor to dishes without upping the salt, fat or calorie counts. [caption id="attachment_38753" align="alignnone" width="620"]DIY Conversion Chart Photo: InfarrantlyCreative.net[/caption]

8. Create a conversion guide right in your cabinet.

Keeping portion size in mind is essential for maintaining any health or fitness goals. But sometimes, those measurements can be downright confusing. An easy solution? Turn the inside of a kitchen cabinet into a measurement conversion table and storage center. Vinyl decals work well for a super-clean look, but a steady hand and paintbrush (or marker) would work just as well for something a bit more permanent. You’ll never have to dig through drawers to find the quarter-cup measure again! RELATED: 9 DIY Projects to Amp Up Your Home Workouts [caption id="attachment_38756" align="alignnone" width="620"]DIY Menu Board Photo: UnOriginalMom.com[/caption]

9. Plan your meals for all to see.

Planning your weekly meals ahead of time is an easy way to keep nutrition goals in check and reduce the “what’s for dinner tonight” stress. A centrally-located cork or chalk board is the perfect way to keep your meal plan easily accessible. The key here? Make sure it’s easy to switch around the meal cards so you don’t feel lost if plans end up changing. [caption id="attachment_38757" align="alignnone" width="620"]DIY Daily Meal Bins Photo: TheCouponProject.com[/caption]

10. Organize ingredients by days of the week.

No days off? We feel your pain. Doing the shopping and creating a meal plan are just two parts of creating a well-oiled kitchen machine — organization is also hugely important. To keep your plans on track and avoid accidental indulgences, try storing ingredients for each days’ meals in their own containers. This way, you’ll never get to Thursday’s dinner and think “Hey, what happened to the shredded cheese!” Plus, you’ll never have to dig through the fridge for ingredients — or forget to add them to the meal — again. RELATED: 8 DIY Pinterest Projects to Get You Motivated [caption id="attachment_38758" align="alignnone" width="620"]Freezer Organization Photo: ABowlFullofLemons.net[/caption]

11. Re-focus your freezer.

It’s easy for ice boxes to turn into deep, dark black holes filled with who-knows-what that’s who knows how old. Keep your frozen goodies fresh and easily accessible by organizing everything into well-labeled accessible bins. Depending on the model and size of your freezer, the bins you choose will vary. We suggest taking some measurements and drawing a quick sketch of the space you have before heading to the store (with that measuring tape!) to look for options that will work for your kitchen. [caption id="attachment_38759" align="alignnone" width="620"]DIY Tupperware Organizer Photos: Pond5BHG.com[/caption]

12. Use a CD rack for sound container organization.

Neglect your leftovers container drawer for too long, and it can turn into a war zone. With all the different shapes and sizes, it’s impossible to keep everything organized and easy to find. That is, until this trick! A CD rack is ideal for organizing all of those plastic container tops so they’re easy to grab. Keep the containers themselves stacked by shape and size close by and you’ll be packing up leftovers in no time. Originally published April 2015. Updated September 2017.  Read More 50 Resources That Make Meal Prep a Snap 12 No-Bake Energy Bites Recipes 7 Days of Clean Eating, Made Simple

The post 12 DIY Kitchen Projects to Clean Up Your Eating Habits appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
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How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk At Any Age http://dailyburn.com/life/health/reduce-breast-cancer-risk-20s-30s-40s/ http://dailyburn.com/life/health/reduce-breast-cancer-risk-20s-30s-40s/#respond Thu, 05 Oct 2017 11:15:57 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=62339 How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk in Your 20s, 30s and 40s

[caption id="attachment_62341" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk in Your 20s, 30s and 40s Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Nicole Seagriff was a preventative medicine resident when she realized the importance of family history in assessing breast cancer risk. “Breast cancer has been a part of my life since before I was born,” she says. “My grandmother passed away from breast cancer when my mom was four years old, and my mom battled it at age 42. My mom’s sister also got diagnosed in her early 40s and passed away before her 50th birthday,” Seagriff says.

After learning how crucial early screenings are for people with a family history of the disease, Seagriff decided to get a genetic test. That’s when she found out she was BRCA2 positive — meaning she had a gene mutation, which increases the risk for breast, ovarian, pancreatic, skin and prostate cancers. Not long after an MRI scan of her breasts, Seagriff, who was just 27 years old at the time, received a breast cancer diagnosis.

RELATED: What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer

How Early Detection of Breast Cancer Can Help Save Your Life

Ultimately, Seagriff decided to have a mastectomy — surgery to remove all breast tissue — to treat her cancer, after learning she had an 89 percent chance of relapse if she didn’t opt for the surgery. Now, thanks to genetic screening and an early diagnosis, Seagriff is celebrating her fifth year cancer-free. And she’s running the New York City Marathon in November to raise money for The Pink Agenda, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising money for breast cancer research and spreading awareness about the disease to young professionals.

RELATED: 9 Things No One Tells You About Life After Breast Cancer

How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk at Every Decade

Let Seagriff’s story inspire you to stay proactive about your health. “The way I think about having a mutation in my BRCA gene is that if my body can’t protect itself, I need to do whatever I can to protect it,” she says. Know your family history and talk to your doctor about genetic testing. Also, take a few preventative steps to help decrease your risk. To set you in the right direction, we asked experts to share their best stay-healthy tips for every age group.

[caption id="attachment_62342" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk in Your 20s Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

In Your 20s: Follow a Healthy Lifestyle

While the risk of breast cancer is lowest at this decade (only about four percent of people in their 20s receive a cancer diagnosis), it’s not a time to skimp on exercise and a healthy diet. Marc Hurlbert, PhD, chief mission officer at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, says, “Starting with good habits in your 20s is a great way to create a platform for health throughout your lifetime.” 

"Starting with good habits in your 20s creates a platform for health throughout your lifetime." 

That means striking a balance between regular workouts and Netflix nights, as well as happy hours and meal prep. (Need some workout or meal ideas? Check out this 20-minute bodyweight workout, plus three-ingredient recipes.) “Women in their 20s should start or continue a regular exercise routine, stay at a healthy weight, quit smoking and avoid alcohol,” he says. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that women limit their daily alcoholic intake to two drinks.

RELATED: 3 Simple Strategies for Reducing Your Breast Cancer Risk

In addition to maintaining positive habits, you should also see your primary care physician and gynecologist at least once a year. Although research has shown no clear benefit to having physical breast exams and breast self-exams, the American Cancer Society (ACS) says women should still be mindful of how their breasts look and feel. And see a doctor right away if anything changes.

Deborah Lindner, MD, chief medical officer of Bright Pink, a non-profit organization that focuses on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women, agrees women should practice breast health awareness. “Getting to know what’s normal for your breasts, like how they look, feel, the color and size, will help you determine when something isn’t normal,” says Lindner. Some common breast cancer symptoms include warmth or redness, nipple discharge, swelling, scaly rashes, soreness, change in size or shape, bumps or a lump, Lindner adds. Some studies also link hormonal birth control to an increased breast cancer risk, Hurlbert says. So remember to chat with your doctor before you start taking it, especially if breast cancer runs in your family.

RELATED: 5 Breast Cancer Charities Giving Women New Hope

[caption id="attachment_62343" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk in Your 30s Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

In Your 30s: Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk

A woman’s risk of breast cancer increases to about half a percent when they hit their 30s, according to the National Cancer Institute. And that number can go up after having a kid. “All women have a short-term increase in breast cancer risk after childbirth, which declines after about 10 years,” says Margaret Flowers, PhD, director of scientific communications and grants at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

"Your father’s health history is just as important as your mother’s."

Flowers says women who have children in their 30s or later have a higher risk of breast cancer than those who have never given birth. Studies relate a woman’s risk for breast cancer to her exposure to hormones produced by the ovaries. Pregnancy after age 30 exposes women to these hormones for longer periods of time and as a result, increases breast cancer risk. The good news: Breastfeeding helps reduce your risk postpartum.

RELATED: Think Pink: 9 Inspiring Breast Cancer Awareness Races

Like women in their 20s, staying on top of physical activity and managing stress should remain on the priority list for 30-somethings. To be more specific, Hurlbert says, “Women in their 30s should maintain an exercise routine that includes 150 minutes each week of cardiovascular exercise as well as weight training.” If you’re feeling anxious, try these beginner meditation techniques, and start moving more with 10 minutes of HIIT for cardio and these strength exercises.

Your 30s are also a good time to evaluate your family history. “Your father’s health history is just as important as your mother’s,” says Lindner. Learn how your family history affects your personal risk by visiting AssessYourRisk.org and creating a worksheet on your relatives’ health.

RELATED: How Fitness Helped Me Get Through a Breast Cancer Scare

[caption id="attachment_62344" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk in Your 40s Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

In Your 40s: Manage Your Breast Cancer Risk

Age is the strongest risk factor for breast cancer, so at this decade, it’s time to consider a screening. The ACS recommends that starting at 45, women should get annual mammograms — an x-ray that detects changes in breast tissue. “Schedule your mammogram when your breasts aren’t tender or swollen to reduce discomfort. Also, try to avoid the week just before your period,” Flowers says. On the day of your mammogram, avoid wearing deodorant or antiperspirant, as it can show up as white spots on the x-ray.

"Starting at 45, women should get annual mammograms."

Also, physical activity and a clean diet still hold a top spot for disease prevention in your 40s. As estrogen and progesterone levels start to taper in this decade, women become more prone to weight gain. “It’s especially important to continue physical activity, maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid weight gain as you approach menopause,” Hurlbert says. To keep metabolism in check, try a low-impact strength workout like barre, or go swimming or cycling for an aerobic boost.

RELATED: How to Boost Your Metabolism in Your 20s, 30s and 40s

Breast Cancer Prevention at Any Age

Remember, if you do test positive for a breast cancer genetic mutation, it doesn’t mean you have cancer or will definitely get cancer. “Understanding that you have this mutation means that you now have powerful knowledge about your health,” Lindner says. And Seagriff agrees: “We can’t change our DNA. But we can support a healthy lifestyle to prevent damage to our genes.”

Read More
9 Things No One Tells You About Life After Breast Cancer
Think Pink: 9 Inspiring Breast Cancer Awareness Races
Joan Lunden on Courage, Fitness and Just Saying Yes

The post How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk At Any Age appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk in Your 20s, 30s and 40s

[caption id="attachment_62341" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk in Your 20s, 30s and 40s Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Nicole Seagriff was a preventative medicine resident when she realized the importance of family history in assessing breast cancer risk. “Breast cancer has been a part of my life since before I was born,” she says. “My grandmother passed away from breast cancer when my mom was four years old, and my mom battled it at age 42. My mom’s sister also got diagnosed in her early 40s and passed away before her 50th birthday,” Seagriff says. After learning how crucial early screenings are for people with a family history of the disease, Seagriff decided to get a genetic test. That’s when she found out she was BRCA2 positive — meaning she had a gene mutation, which increases the risk for breast, ovarian, pancreatic, skin and prostate cancers. Not long after an MRI scan of her breasts, Seagriff, who was just 27 years old at the time, received a breast cancer diagnosis. RELATED: What Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer

How Early Detection of Breast Cancer Can Help Save Your Life

Ultimately, Seagriff decided to have a mastectomy — surgery to remove all breast tissue — to treat her cancer, after learning she had an 89 percent chance of relapse if she didn’t opt for the surgery. Now, thanks to genetic screening and an early diagnosis, Seagriff is celebrating her fifth year cancer-free. And she’s running the New York City Marathon in November to raise money for The Pink Agenda, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising money for breast cancer research and spreading awareness about the disease to young professionals. RELATED: 9 Things No One Tells You About Life After Breast Cancer

How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk at Every Decade

Let Seagriff’s story inspire you to stay proactive about your health. “The way I think about having a mutation in my BRCA gene is that if my body can’t protect itself, I need to do whatever I can to protect it,” she says. Know your family history and talk to your doctor about genetic testing. Also, take a few preventative steps to help decrease your risk. To set you in the right direction, we asked experts to share their best stay-healthy tips for every age group. [caption id="attachment_62342" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk in Your 20s Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

In Your 20s: Follow a Healthy Lifestyle

While the risk of breast cancer is lowest at this decade (only about four percent of people in their 20s receive a cancer diagnosis), it’s not a time to skimp on exercise and a healthy diet. Marc Hurlbert, PhD, chief mission officer at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, says, “Starting with good habits in your 20s is a great way to create a platform for health throughout your lifetime.” 
"Starting with good habits in your 20s creates a platform for health throughout your lifetime." 
That means striking a balance between regular workouts and Netflix nights, as well as happy hours and meal prep. (Need some workout or meal ideas? Check out this 20-minute bodyweight workout, plus three-ingredient recipes.) “Women in their 20s should start or continue a regular exercise routine, stay at a healthy weight, quit smoking and avoid alcohol,” he says. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that women limit their daily alcoholic intake to two drinks.

RELATED: 3 Simple Strategies for Reducing Your Breast Cancer Risk

In addition to maintaining positive habits, you should also see your primary care physician and gynecologist at least once a year. Although research has shown no clear benefit to having physical breast exams and breast self-exams, the American Cancer Society (ACS) says women should still be mindful of how their breasts look and feel. And see a doctor right away if anything changes. Deborah Lindner, MD, chief medical officer of Bright Pink, a non-profit organization that focuses on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women, agrees women should practice breast health awareness. “Getting to know what’s normal for your breasts, like how they look, feel, the color and size, will help you determine when something isn’t normal,” says Lindner. Some common breast cancer symptoms include warmth or redness, nipple discharge, swelling, scaly rashes, soreness, change in size or shape, bumps or a lump, Lindner adds. Some studies also link hormonal birth control to an increased breast cancer risk, Hurlbert says. So remember to chat with your doctor before you start taking it, especially if breast cancer runs in your family. RELATED: 5 Breast Cancer Charities Giving Women New Hope [caption id="attachment_62343" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk in Your 30s Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

In Your 30s: Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk

A woman’s risk of breast cancer increases to about half a percent when they hit their 30s, according to the National Cancer Institute. And that number can go up after having a kid. “All women have a short-term increase in breast cancer risk after childbirth, which declines after about 10 years,” says Margaret Flowers, PhD, director of scientific communications and grants at the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
"Your father’s health history is just as important as your mother’s."
Flowers says women who have children in their 30s or later have a higher risk of breast cancer than those who have never given birth. Studies relate a woman’s risk for breast cancer to her exposure to hormones produced by the ovaries. Pregnancy after age 30 exposes women to these hormones for longer periods of time and as a result, increases breast cancer risk. The good news: Breastfeeding helps reduce your risk postpartum. RELATED: Think Pink: 9 Inspiring Breast Cancer Awareness Races Like women in their 20s, staying on top of physical activity and managing stress should remain on the priority list for 30-somethings. To be more specific, Hurlbert says, “Women in their 30s should maintain an exercise routine that includes 150 minutes each week of cardiovascular exercise as well as weight training.” If you’re feeling anxious, try these beginner meditation techniques, and start moving more with 10 minutes of HIIT for cardio and these strength exercises. Your 30s are also a good time to evaluate your family history. “Your father’s health history is just as important as your mother’s,” says Lindner. Learn how your family history affects your personal risk by visiting AssessYourRisk.org and creating a worksheet on your relatives’ health. RELATED: How Fitness Helped Me Get Through a Breast Cancer Scare [caption id="attachment_62344" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk in Your 40s Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

In Your 40s: Manage Your Breast Cancer Risk

Age is the strongest risk factor for breast cancer, so at this decade, it’s time to consider a screening. The ACS recommends that starting at 45, women should get annual mammograms — an x-ray that detects changes in breast tissue. “Schedule your mammogram when your breasts aren’t tender or swollen to reduce discomfort. Also, try to avoid the week just before your period,” Flowers says. On the day of your mammogram, avoid wearing deodorant or antiperspirant, as it can show up as white spots on the x-ray.
"Starting at 45, women should get annual mammograms."
Also, physical activity and a clean diet still hold a top spot for disease prevention in your 40s. As estrogen and progesterone levels start to taper in this decade, women become more prone to weight gain. “It’s especially important to continue physical activity, maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid weight gain as you approach menopause,” Hurlbert says. To keep metabolism in check, try a low-impact strength workout like barre, or go swimming or cycling for an aerobic boost. RELATED: How to Boost Your Metabolism in Your 20s, 30s and 40s

Breast Cancer Prevention at Any Age

Remember, if you do test positive for a breast cancer genetic mutation, it doesn’t mean you have cancer or will definitely get cancer. “Understanding that you have this mutation means that you now have powerful knowledge about your health,” Lindner says. And Seagriff agrees: “We can’t change our DNA. But we can support a healthy lifestyle to prevent damage to our genes.” Read More 9 Things No One Tells You About Life After Breast Cancer Think Pink: 9 Inspiring Breast Cancer Awareness Races Joan Lunden on Courage, Fitness and Just Saying Yes

The post How to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk At Any Age appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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