Weight Loss – Life by Daily Burn https://dailyburn.com/life Sat, 31 Mar 2018 00:21:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating https://dailyburn.com/life/health/meal-prep-tips-healthy-eating/ Mon, 26 Feb 2018 12:15:44 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65952

[caption id="attachment_65956" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

The meal prep secret is out. Everywhere you look, chefs, dietitians, food bloggers and the Insta-famous have all embraced the #mealpreplife. After all, this ultimate healthy eating habit can save time and money, and with healthy food ready and accessible, you’re less likely to make a poor meal choice. “If we don’t plan or prep, it’s much easier to fall into the rut of eating the same few things over and over or to become less mindful of our choices and how we enjoy food,” says Cara Harbstreet, RD of Smart Street Nutrition.

Your weekly meal prep routine is also a great opportunity to rev up the nutritional profile of your meals, making it easier to stick to your health goals — whether that’s cutting back on sugar, calories or processed ingredients. “If you’re making it at home, it’s already healthier than what you can buy out at a restaurant,” says Talia Koren of Workweek Lunch. “You control each ingredient and can tailor your food to your preferences and restrictions.”

Ready to step up your meal prep to slim down your plate? Here are 10 pro tips on how to meal prep for better health — and flavor — in every bite.

RELATED: 20 Meal Prep Tips from the Best Preppers We Know

Create Healthier Dishes with These Meal Prep Tips

1. Mix and Match

Meal prep doesn’t have to mean prepping the same meal for the entire week. Instead, Harbstreet recommends focusing your meal prep efforts on prepping the main elements of a meal — grains, protein, veggies, sauces — so you can mix and match ingredients and create well-balanced, nourishing dishes you’ll enjoy. “This erases the boredom and burnout that many meal preppers report experiencing,” she says.

“I like to cook a big pot of beans and grains to throw into salads, wraps, and grain bowls all week,” says Andrea Nordby, Head Chef of Purple Carrot. “Stick to basics like brown rice and chickpeas, or cook a big batch of faro, wheatberries or barley.” When you have these ready, you just might skip that store-bought mac and cheese or pre-made pizza.

2. Create Your Own Secret Sauce

Nordby recommends prepping a stash of versatile sauces too so you can create a completely different meal from the same stash of ingredients. You can drizzle sauce over pasta, salads and stir-fries. One of her favorites? “Pesto for drizzling on everything,” she says. Making a sauce at home also eliminates the extra ingredients in packaged sauces that often skyrocket the sugar and calorie count in a dish.

RELATED: 3-Ingredient Sauce Recipes to Spice Up Your Meals

[caption id="attachment_65957" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

3. Swap Wheat for Veggies

Try replacing half of your white or brown rice with cauliflower or broccoli rice, suggests Lindsay Cotter, author of Nourishing Superfood Bowls: 75 Healthy and Delicious Gluten-Free Meals to Fuel Your Day (out March 2018). Not only will you get more fiber and vitamins and minerals, you’ll also save a few calories.

Pasta, whether pasta salad or your favorite noodles with sauce, is a go-to meal prep option. But next time you make it, opt for zucchini or sweet potato noodles, says Cotter. The veggie noodles will add more color and texture to keep your palette entertained, not to mention extra fiber and vitamins — and fewer calories too!

A general rule: Focus less on limiting food groups and more on swapping out low nutrient-dense foods with those loaded with vitamins and minerals, Cotter says. You’ll eat healthier, still feel satisfied and most likely cut back on calories in the meantime.

4. Go Spice Crazy

Spices are every cook’s secret weapon. You can create an endless variety of good-for-you meals featuring a mix of different flavors. “Look to international flavors for inspiration,” says Koren. “If you take chicken, asparagus and sweet potato, you can make that an Indian-inspired dish by turning it into a curry or a Mexican-inspired dish by adding in cilantro, some jalapeños, and lime.” The best part: Herbs and spices are very low in calories. So while you up the flavor, you don’t up the energy count.

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

5. Overload on Veggies

We all need to eat our veggies, right? So why not sneak in some extra into your prepped meals? “You can typically eat a lot of it and not have to worry about packing in a lot of unwanted calories,” says Alex Torres aka @mealprepmondays. Opt for sweet potatoes or cauliflower, which are both filling and nutrient-dense. Or swap cabbage into a hearty stew instead of noodles, says Cotter.

6. Pack for Portion Control

Not only do good food containers keep your refrigerator neat and organized, they can also keep you honest about portion sizes to help you avoid overeating. Torres prefers glass Bentgo containers, which are divided into sections — one for your main meal and one for a side of veggies or fruit.

RELATED: Bring on the Cheese! 7 Portion Size Rules for High-Fat Foods

7. Make Your Appliances Work for You

Instant Pot, slow cooker, multi-cooker — chances are you have one (or all) of them in your cabinets. Instead of letting them collect dust, put them to use! Cotter suggests making a big batch up oatmeal in an Instant Pot spiked with fruit, spices, nuts and seeds and you’ll have nourishing breakfast for the entire week. It’s a healthier choice than the pre-packaged, processed breakfast options out there.

8. Organize and Declutter

“Decluttering can set up your environment for meal prepping and make for a more efficient process,” and make mealtimes less stressful, says Harbstreet. “We can then enter a meal with a more positive or relaxed mindset,” and be more aware of hunger signals, making it less likely you’ll eat past the point of fullness, says Harbstreet. “This is one of the things that supports a healthy, balanced relationship with food.” So throw out or repurpose containers that don’t have matching lids. Invest in stackable containers and other commonly used items like a good chef’s knife and cutting board. And then get to prepping — your daily sugar and calorie counts just might drop by your next meal time.

Read More
21 Meal Prep Pics from the Healthiest People on Instagram
9 Easy 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Recipes
21 Low-Calorie Snacks You’ll Want to Eat Every Day

The post 8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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[caption id="attachment_65956" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating Photo: Twenty20[/caption] The meal prep secret is out. Everywhere you look, chefs, dietitians, food bloggers and the Insta-famous have all embraced the #mealpreplife. After all, this ultimate healthy eating habit can save time and money, and with healthy food ready and accessible, you’re less likely to make a poor meal choice. “If we don’t plan or prep, it’s much easier to fall into the rut of eating the same few things over and over or to become less mindful of our choices and how we enjoy food,” says Cara Harbstreet, RD of Smart Street Nutrition. Your weekly meal prep routine is also a great opportunity to rev up the nutritional profile of your meals, making it easier to stick to your health goals — whether that’s cutting back on sugar, calories or processed ingredients. “If you’re making it at home, it’s already healthier than what you can buy out at a restaurant,” says Talia Koren of Workweek Lunch. “You control each ingredient and can tailor your food to your preferences and restrictions.” Ready to step up your meal prep to slim down your plate? Here are 10 pro tips on how to meal prep for better health — and flavor — in every bite. RELATED: 20 Meal Prep Tips from the Best Preppers We Know

Create Healthier Dishes with These Meal Prep Tips

1. Mix and Match

Meal prep doesn’t have to mean prepping the same meal for the entire week. Instead, Harbstreet recommends focusing your meal prep efforts on prepping the main elements of a meal — grains, protein, veggies, sauces — so you can mix and match ingredients and create well-balanced, nourishing dishes you’ll enjoy. “This erases the boredom and burnout that many meal preppers report experiencing,” she says. “I like to cook a big pot of beans and grains to throw into salads, wraps, and grain bowls all week,” says Andrea Nordby, Head Chef of Purple Carrot. “Stick to basics like brown rice and chickpeas, or cook a big batch of faro, wheatberries or barley.” When you have these ready, you just might skip that store-bought mac and cheese or pre-made pizza.

2. Create Your Own Secret Sauce

Nordby recommends prepping a stash of versatile sauces too so you can create a completely different meal from the same stash of ingredients. You can drizzle sauce over pasta, salads and stir-fries. One of her favorites? “Pesto for drizzling on everything,” she says. Making a sauce at home also eliminates the extra ingredients in packaged sauces that often skyrocket the sugar and calorie count in a dish. RELATED: 3-Ingredient Sauce Recipes to Spice Up Your Meals [caption id="attachment_65957" align="alignnone" width="620"]8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

3. Swap Wheat for Veggies

Try replacing half of your white or brown rice with cauliflower or broccoli rice, suggests Lindsay Cotter, author of Nourishing Superfood Bowls: 75 Healthy and Delicious Gluten-Free Meals to Fuel Your Day (out March 2018). Not only will you get more fiber and vitamins and minerals, you’ll also save a few calories. Pasta, whether pasta salad or your favorite noodles with sauce, is a go-to meal prep option. But next time you make it, opt for zucchini or sweet potato noodles, says Cotter. The veggie noodles will add more color and texture to keep your palette entertained, not to mention extra fiber and vitamins — and fewer calories too! A general rule: Focus less on limiting food groups and more on swapping out low nutrient-dense foods with those loaded with vitamins and minerals, Cotter says. You’ll eat healthier, still feel satisfied and most likely cut back on calories in the meantime.

4. Go Spice Crazy

Spices are every cook’s secret weapon. You can create an endless variety of good-for-you meals featuring a mix of different flavors. “Look to international flavors for inspiration,” says Koren. “If you take chicken, asparagus and sweet potato, you can make that an Indian-inspired dish by turning it into a curry or a Mexican-inspired dish by adding in cilantro, some jalapeños, and lime.” The best part: Herbs and spices are very low in calories. So while you up the flavor, you don’t up the energy count. RELATED: 19 Ways to Add Flavor for 10 Calories or Less

5. Overload on Veggies

We all need to eat our veggies, right? So why not sneak in some extra into your prepped meals? “You can typically eat a lot of it and not have to worry about packing in a lot of unwanted calories,” says Alex Torres aka @mealprepmondays. Opt for sweet potatoes or cauliflower, which are both filling and nutrient-dense. Or swap cabbage into a hearty stew instead of noodles, says Cotter.

6. Pack for Portion Control

Not only do good food containers keep your refrigerator neat and organized, they can also keep you honest about portion sizes to help you avoid overeating. Torres prefers glass Bentgo containers, which are divided into sections — one for your main meal and one for a side of veggies or fruit. RELATED: Bring on the Cheese! 7 Portion Size Rules for High-Fat Foods

7. Make Your Appliances Work for You

Instant Pot, slow cooker, multi-cooker — chances are you have one (or all) of them in your cabinets. Instead of letting them collect dust, put them to use! Cotter suggests making a big batch up oatmeal in an Instant Pot spiked with fruit, spices, nuts and seeds and you’ll have nourishing breakfast for the entire week. It’s a healthier choice than the pre-packaged, processed breakfast options out there.

8. Organize and Declutter

“Decluttering can set up your environment for meal prepping and make for a more efficient process,” and make mealtimes less stressful, says Harbstreet. “We can then enter a meal with a more positive or relaxed mindset,” and be more aware of hunger signals, making it less likely you’ll eat past the point of fullness, says Harbstreet. “This is one of the things that supports a healthy, balanced relationship with food.” So throw out or repurpose containers that don’t have matching lids. Invest in stackable containers and other commonly used items like a good chef’s knife and cutting board. And then get to prepping — your daily sugar and calorie counts just might drop by your next meal time. Read More 21 Meal Prep Pics from the Healthiest People on Instagram 9 Easy 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Recipes 21 Low-Calorie Snacks You’ll Want to Eat Every Day

The post 8 Essential Meal Prep Tips for Healthy Eating appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources) https://dailyburn.com/life/health/benefits-high-fiber-diet/ Mon, 19 Feb 2018 16:15:25 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65781 The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources)

[caption id="attachment_65788" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources) Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

You can argue the pros and cons of a ketogenic or a vegan diet on end, but there are only upsides to a high-fiber diet. If you had a diet matchmaker, it’s likely a high-fiber diet is “the one” — with zero reservations or stipulations. Yes, fiber is that good.

"Research has shown that diets low in fat and high in fiber reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and even some cancers," says Robert Graham, a board-certified integrative-medicine doctor and co-founder of FRESH Med. "So start eating your fiber!"

Read on to learn more about fiber, and the best food sources to get your fill.

RELATED: Are You Getting Enough Fiber?

The Facts on Fiber: Soluble vs. Insoluble

Dietary fiber is the indigestible parts of plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains, that travel through the gut and help manage digestion and waste. This essential nutrient falls into the carbohydrate category, but unlike most carbs that break down into sugar, dietary fiber remains untouched as it passes through the body.

"Fiber is like a sponge, so without water, it won’t work."

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber comes from structures within the cells of the plant. Once it enters the digestive tract, it mixes with water to form a gel in the digestive tract that binds to fatty acids. This slows down digestion and the rate of sugar absorption. As a result, blood-sugar levels stabilize and cholesterol levels go down, which in turn helps prevent heart disease.

RELATED: Why Young People Need to Worry About Cholesterol, Too

On the other hand, insoluble fiber comes from the hard, structural part of plants, such as bran, seed husks and the skins of fruits and vegetables. Insoluble fiber makes its way through the digestive system relatively intact, bulking up stools and acting as an intestinal broom that sweeps waste out through the colon.

Both types of fiber are necessary, but neither one can function on its own. “Both types of fiber are completely dependent on the amount of hydration in your system,” says Graham. “Fiber is like a sponge, so even an adequate amount of fiber won’t work without enough water.”

RELATED: How to Detox the Healthy Way: 16 Recipes You’ll Love

The Health Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet

In addition to regulating bowel functions, a high-fiber diet has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and lower risk of breast cancer. Fiber can also contribute to weight loss because it makes you feel full without the extra calories (insoluble fiber has no calories). Some studies even link a high fiber diet to fewer and less severe food allergies. Got digestive issues, like constipation or an upset stomach? Fill up on fiber.

"When there isn’t enough fiber in the diet, bad bacteria can take over."

Fiber helps power the gastrointestinal system, which plays an important role in boosting your immune system, says Andrea Arikawa, PhD, a professor of nutrition and dietetics at the University of North Florida. “Once undigested fibers arrive in the large intestine, they serve as prebiotic fuel for the friendly bacteria living there,” she says. “When there isn’t enough fiber in the diet, there will be a shift in the microbiome to favor growth of bacteria that can survive on fat and protein (aka the bad guys).”

Arikawa explains that gut microorganisms produce compounds that are circulated throughout the entire body. An overgrowth of bad bacteria can produce inflammatory compounds or compounds that cause plaque in the veins. “Therefore, a lack of fiber has implications for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity,” she says. “It goes way beyond gut health.”

RELATED: The 11 Best and Worst Foods for Your Gut

Are You Getting Enough Fiber?

The recommended daily amount of fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. But it’s worth noting that these numbers are just the minimum requirement. "That is where we should be starting,” says Graham. “A high-fiber diet is considered to be anything over that minimum.”

Currently, Americans only eat about 16 grams of fiber per day, which is alarming since fiber is essential for healthy bowels and regularity. “We’re a fiber-deficient society,” says Graham, “which means we’re a constipated society.

On the other end of the spectrum, it's also possible to overdo it. Arikawa says going above your maximum tolerable amount (40 to 50 grams for most people) can result in gas, bloating, cramping and, ironically, constipation. “The important thing is that if you want to increase your fiber intake, do it gradually and drink lots of fluids along with it,” says Arikawa.

Those on low-carb diets (we’re looking at you keto) are at more risk of fiber deficiency because a lot of fiber is found in grains and fruits. "The diet itself is fine, but the problem is people sacrifice fruits and vegetables for too much meat,” says Graham. “Instead, they should focus on low-carb, plant-based foods.” Avocados, for example, could meet both high-fiber and high-fat needs.

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

[caption id="attachment_65789" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources) Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Fiber Supplements: Friend or Faux?

So, can we just take fiber supplements to boost our intake? Yes and no. Fiber pills and powders can help get you there, but they’re not a one-to-one substitute for natural fiber-rich foods. Graham says fiber supplements should only be used to complement a well-balanced diet, but never as a primary source. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” he explains, “and these products don’t provide the vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that fibrous foods have.”

If you need supplements to fill in gaps, be wary of synthetic sources of the fiber, such as methylcellulose, calcium polycarbophil and wheat dextrin. “They’re chemicals and we’re not robots,” says Graham. “We’re humans and we need to process food.” He recommends food-based supplements, like psyllium and inulin, which is also a prebiotic.

The best sources of fiber are always going to be whole foods, most of which contain the two types of fiber. But Arikawa says it’s not necessary to calculate them separately. The focus should be on overall fiber intake, rather than the specific type of fiber.

RELATED: The Truth About the New Probiotics Trend

Top Foods High in Fiber

[caption id="attachment_65794" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Top Foods High in Fiber Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Read More
9 All-Natural Sources of Probiotics
30-Minute Meals for Quick, Healthy Dinner Ideas
Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans

The post The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources)

[caption id="attachment_65788" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources) Photo: Twenty20[/caption] You can argue the pros and cons of a ketogenic or a vegan diet on end, but there are only upsides to a high-fiber diet. If you had a diet matchmaker, it’s likely a high-fiber diet is “the one” — with zero reservations or stipulations. Yes, fiber is that good. "Research has shown that diets low in fat and high in fiber reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and even some cancers," says Robert Graham, a board-certified integrative-medicine doctor and co-founder of FRESH Med. "So start eating your fiber!" Read on to learn more about fiber, and the best food sources to get your fill. RELATED: Are You Getting Enough Fiber?

The Facts on Fiber: Soluble vs. Insoluble

Dietary fiber is the indigestible parts of plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains, that travel through the gut and help manage digestion and waste. This essential nutrient falls into the carbohydrate category, but unlike most carbs that break down into sugar, dietary fiber remains untouched as it passes through the body.
"Fiber is like a sponge, so without water, it won’t work."
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber comes from structures within the cells of the plant. Once it enters the digestive tract, it mixes with water to form a gel in the digestive tract that binds to fatty acids. This slows down digestion and the rate of sugar absorption. As a result, blood-sugar levels stabilize and cholesterol levels go down, which in turn helps prevent heart disease. RELATED: Why Young People Need to Worry About Cholesterol, Too On the other hand, insoluble fiber comes from the hard, structural part of plants, such as bran, seed husks and the skins of fruits and vegetables. Insoluble fiber makes its way through the digestive system relatively intact, bulking up stools and acting as an intestinal broom that sweeps waste out through the colon. Both types of fiber are necessary, but neither one can function on its own. “Both types of fiber are completely dependent on the amount of hydration in your system,” says Graham. “Fiber is like a sponge, so even an adequate amount of fiber won’t work without enough water.” RELATED: How to Detox the Healthy Way: 16 Recipes You’ll Love

The Health Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet

In addition to regulating bowel functions, a high-fiber diet has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and lower risk of breast cancer. Fiber can also contribute to weight loss because it makes you feel full without the extra calories (insoluble fiber has no calories). Some studies even link a high fiber diet to fewer and less severe food allergies. Got digestive issues, like constipation or an upset stomach? Fill up on fiber.
"When there isn’t enough fiber in the diet, bad bacteria can take over."
Fiber helps power the gastrointestinal system, which plays an important role in boosting your immune system, says Andrea Arikawa, PhD, a professor of nutrition and dietetics at the University of North Florida. “Once undigested fibers arrive in the large intestine, they serve as prebiotic fuel for the friendly bacteria living there,” she says. “When there isn’t enough fiber in the diet, there will be a shift in the microbiome to favor growth of bacteria that can survive on fat and protein (aka the bad guys).” Arikawa explains that gut microorganisms produce compounds that are circulated throughout the entire body. An overgrowth of bad bacteria can produce inflammatory compounds or compounds that cause plaque in the veins. “Therefore, a lack of fiber has implications for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity,” she says. “It goes way beyond gut health.” RELATED: The 11 Best and Worst Foods for Your Gut

Are You Getting Enough Fiber?

The recommended daily amount of fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. But it’s worth noting that these numbers are just the minimum requirement. "That is where we should be starting,” says Graham. “A high-fiber diet is considered to be anything over that minimum.” Currently, Americans only eat about 16 grams of fiber per day, which is alarming since fiber is essential for healthy bowels and regularity. “We’re a fiber-deficient society,” says Graham, “which means we’re a constipated society. On the other end of the spectrum, it's also possible to overdo it. Arikawa says going above your maximum tolerable amount (40 to 50 grams for most people) can result in gas, bloating, cramping and, ironically, constipation. “The important thing is that if you want to increase your fiber intake, do it gradually and drink lots of fluids along with it,” says Arikawa. Those on low-carb diets (we’re looking at you keto) are at more risk of fiber deficiency because a lot of fiber is found in grains and fruits. "The diet itself is fine, but the problem is people sacrifice fruits and vegetables for too much meat,” says Graham. “Instead, they should focus on low-carb, plant-based foods.” Avocados, for example, could meet both high-fiber and high-fat needs. RELATED: 8 Low-Calorie Foods That Will Actually Fill You Up [caption id="attachment_65789" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources) Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Fiber Supplements: Friend or Faux?

So, can we just take fiber supplements to boost our intake? Yes and no. Fiber pills and powders can help get you there, but they’re not a one-to-one substitute for natural fiber-rich foods. Graham says fiber supplements should only be used to complement a well-balanced diet, but never as a primary source. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” he explains, “and these products don’t provide the vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that fibrous foods have.” If you need supplements to fill in gaps, be wary of synthetic sources of the fiber, such as methylcellulose, calcium polycarbophil and wheat dextrin. “They’re chemicals and we’re not robots,” says Graham. “We’re humans and we need to process food.” He recommends food-based supplements, like psyllium and inulin, which is also a prebiotic. The best sources of fiber are always going to be whole foods, most of which contain the two types of fiber. But Arikawa says it’s not necessary to calculate them separately. The focus should be on overall fiber intake, rather than the specific type of fiber. RELATED: The Truth About the New Probiotics Trend

Top Foods High in Fiber

[caption id="attachment_65794" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Top Foods High in Fiber Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Read More 9 All-Natural Sources of Probiotics 30-Minute Meals for Quick, Healthy Dinner Ideas Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans

The post The Benefits of a High-Fiber Diet (Plus Best Food Sources) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat https://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-lose-belly-fat/ https://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-lose-belly-fat/#comments Fri, 16 Feb 2018 12:15:23 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=44274 The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

[caption id="attachment_63815" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

You’ve tried them all in your pursuit of flat abs: crunches, reverse crunches, planks, bicycles and even the ab roller. After all, it seems logical. To increase muscular definition and lose fat, you should workout your stomach muscles more. But will that really lead to a trim belly?

RELATED: 7 Surprising Ways You're Sabotaging Your Metabolism

“You can do 50,000 crunches a day, but it will still only be toned muscles under your belly fat,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN and owner of Nutrition Starring You. “The truth is, unless the weight comes off, you’re not going to get a six-pack.”

So how do you get rid of the stubborn cushion around your midsection? Read on to get the real scoop on how to lose belly fat.

RELATED: 5 Pilates Exercises to Strengthen Your Deep Abs

Stomach Fat 101

“You exercise for 30 minutes compared to the 23-and-a-half hours that you don’t exercise.”

First things first, everyone has fat, both the layer of subcutaneous fat just under our skin that helps insulate the body and the deeper visceral fat that surrounds and protects the organs. That’s right: You’re supposed to have belly fat. But just how much fat you have and how it’s distributed has more to do with genetics than your core workout.

Men and women squirrel away fat differently, according to Harris-Pincus. On average, women have six to 11 percent more body fat than men. That extra fat typically gathers lower on the body (especially before they hit menopause) around the hips and thighs, creating a pear-shape. Men, on the other hand, tend to accumulate fat around the belly (hence, the beer gut).

RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises

Thanks to the hormone estrogen, the female body likes to hold on to fat, too. A study in Obesity Reviews shows that women store fat more efficiently than men in an effort to prepare the body for pregnancy. But while it seems like women may have drawn the short-end of the stick, the stereotypical pear-shape is actually considered healthier than boasting a beer gut, because belly fat is a red flag when it comes to your health. “Visceral fat is associated with increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome,” says Harris-Pincus.

[caption id="attachment_44281" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Lose Belly Fat - Eat The Right Things Photo: Pond5[/caption]

How to Lose Belly Fat and Keep It Off

Doing ab workouts might strengthen your core, but it won’t actually decrease fat or shrink those love handles — and that’s why you need to eat healthy. “You exercise for 30 minutes compared to the 23-and-a-half hours that you don’t exercise. You need to eat the right things,” says Harris-Pincus.

RELATED: 6 Reasons Why You Can't Out-Exercise a Bad Diet

Repeat after us: It’s time to start eating clean. She recommends a combination of veggies, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, low-fat dairy and lean protein like poultry, eggs and fish for a dose of omega-3 fatty acids. And drop the added sugar while you’re at it. “Studies show that when you have a diet rich in whole grains — and calorie-controlled — that you can reduce the belly fat,” she says. But remember to watch your portions, too. “A lot of people eat very healthy and don’t eat junk, but their portions are too large.”

If you’re smart about the foods you choose and limit your intake, eventually you’ll start to lose body fat and drop pants sizes. But sorry: There’s no way to get it to disappear from only your belly — you'll likely reduce your overall body fat percentage and lose it in your face, hips, butt and chest, too.

RELATED: The Pros and Cons of 6 Popular Weight Loss Diets

Luckily, exercise can help spur things along when it comes to that pesky stomach fat. “Visceral fat responds well when… [you] start exercising and watching your calories and what you eat,” Harris-Pincus says. And while endless crunches aren’t your ticket to a flat stomach, it is still important to train your ab muscles. “Everything radiates from the center of your body – your balance, your posture, your functional movement,” says Joe Ardito, founder of Fit Crush NYC. “You can perform better when you have a strong core.”

Research also shows that workouts involving high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can help reduce excess fat around your middle. Besides working your core, try incorporating a day or two of more vigorous exercise into your weekly schedule. (You can start with these three beginner routines.) Keep in mind that you can lower your total body fat percentage even by moving around more at work, according to another study.

The Bottom Line

There isn’t one magic trick or quick fix that will melt the fat around your midsection and give you those coveted abs we all see on the newsstands. Decreasing belly fat — and all body fat for that matter — is about making changes over the long-term.

Originally published October 2015. Updated February 2018.

Read More
12 Things Nobody Told Me About Losing Weight
The 10 Biggest Diet Mistakes, According to Experts
Here's Why Your Ab Workouts Aren't Working

The post The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

[caption id="attachment_63815" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat Photo: Twenty20[/caption] You’ve tried them all in your pursuit of flat abs: crunches, reverse crunches, planks, bicycles and even the ab roller. After all, it seems logical. To increase muscular definition and lose fat, you should workout your stomach muscles more. But will that really lead to a trim belly? RELATED: 7 Surprising Ways You're Sabotaging Your Metabolism “You can do 50,000 crunches a day, but it will still only be toned muscles under your belly fat,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN and owner of Nutrition Starring You. “The truth is, unless the weight comes off, you’re not going to get a six-pack.” So how do you get rid of the stubborn cushion around your midsection? Read on to get the real scoop on how to lose belly fat. RELATED: 5 Pilates Exercises to Strengthen Your Deep Abs

Stomach Fat 101

“You exercise for 30 minutes compared to the 23-and-a-half hours that you don’t exercise.”
First things first, everyone has fat, both the layer of subcutaneous fat just under our skin that helps insulate the body and the deeper visceral fat that surrounds and protects the organs. That’s right: You’re supposed to have belly fat. But just how much fat you have and how it’s distributed has more to do with genetics than your core workout. Men and women squirrel away fat differently, according to Harris-Pincus. On average, women have six to 11 percent more body fat than men. That extra fat typically gathers lower on the body (especially before they hit menopause) around the hips and thighs, creating a pear-shape. Men, on the other hand, tend to accumulate fat around the belly (hence, the beer gut). RELATED: Hate Crunches? 6 Better Core Exercises Thanks to the hormone estrogen, the female body likes to hold on to fat, too. A study in Obesity Reviews shows that women store fat more efficiently than men in an effort to prepare the body for pregnancy. But while it seems like women may have drawn the short-end of the stick, the stereotypical pear-shape is actually considered healthier than boasting a beer gut, because belly fat is a red flag when it comes to your health. “Visceral fat is associated with increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and metabolic syndrome,” says Harris-Pincus. [caption id="attachment_44281" align="alignnone" width="620"]How to Lose Belly Fat - Eat The Right Things Photo: Pond5[/caption]

How to Lose Belly Fat and Keep It Off

Doing ab workouts might strengthen your core, but it won’t actually decrease fat or shrink those love handles — and that’s why you need to eat healthy. “You exercise for 30 minutes compared to the 23-and-a-half hours that you don’t exercise. You need to eat the right things,” says Harris-Pincus. RELATED: 6 Reasons Why You Can't Out-Exercise a Bad Diet Repeat after us: It’s time to start eating clean. She recommends a combination of veggies, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, low-fat dairy and lean protein like poultry, eggs and fish for a dose of omega-3 fatty acids. And drop the added sugar while you’re at it. “Studies show that when you have a diet rich in whole grains — and calorie-controlled — that you can reduce the belly fat,” she says. But remember to watch your portions, too. “A lot of people eat very healthy and don’t eat junk, but their portions are too large.” If you’re smart about the foods you choose and limit your intake, eventually you’ll start to lose body fat and drop pants sizes. But sorry: There’s no way to get it to disappear from only your belly — you'll likely reduce your overall body fat percentage and lose it in your face, hips, butt and chest, too. RELATED: The Pros and Cons of 6 Popular Weight Loss Diets Luckily, exercise can help spur things along when it comes to that pesky stomach fat. “Visceral fat responds well when… [you] start exercising and watching your calories and what you eat,” Harris-Pincus says. And while endless crunches aren’t your ticket to a flat stomach, it is still important to train your ab muscles. “Everything radiates from the center of your body – your balance, your posture, your functional movement,” says Joe Ardito, founder of Fit Crush NYC. “You can perform better when you have a strong core.” Research also shows that workouts involving high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can help reduce excess fat around your middle. Besides working your core, try incorporating a day or two of more vigorous exercise into your weekly schedule. (You can start with these three beginner routines.) Keep in mind that you can lower your total body fat percentage even by moving around more at work, according to another study.

The Bottom Line

There isn’t one magic trick or quick fix that will melt the fat around your midsection and give you those coveted abs we all see on the newsstands. Decreasing belly fat — and all body fat for that matter — is about making changes over the long-term. Originally published October 2015. Updated February 2018. Read More 12 Things Nobody Told Me About Losing Weight The 10 Biggest Diet Mistakes, According to Experts Here's Why Your Ab Workouts Aren't Working

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The 6 Best Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage https://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-measure-body-fat-percentage/ https://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-measure-body-fat-percentage/#comments Mon, 12 Feb 2018 12:45:51 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=22984 6 Best Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage

[caption id="attachment_65621" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 6 Best Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Whether your priority is looking good in a bathing suit or living to see 100, there’s one piece of information that might stand in the way: body composition. Many people overlook this important metric, or the measure of fat mass to lean tissue, including bone, muscle, ligaments, tendons and organs. Higher body fat percentage has been linked to an increased incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure and other heart risks. And the overall amount isn’t the only concern; distribution of body fat matters, too. For some individuals, increased levels of abdominal fat have been tied to higher risks of heart disease and cancer compared to fat distributed across the rest of the body. So, how exactly do you track body fat?

A quick Google search will reveal dozens of methods to measure body composition, ranging from the quick and (relatively) painless to the incredibly detailed. These measurement techniques can help individuals determine how to set baseline values for body composition and future goals. However, with the variation in methods comes a fluctuation in accuracy. While one method might calculate your body fat percentage to within a few decimals, others leave a wider range of error. To help you navigate the numerous techniques, read on for the top five methods for measuring body fat percentage, along with the pros and cons of each.

RELATED: The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

How to Measure Body Fat Percentage

[caption id="attachment_22995" align="alignnone" width="620"]Skin Calipers Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. Skin Calipers

It might not be St. Patrick’s Day, but get ready to be pinched! Perhaps the most accessible method for measuring body composition, technicians perform a skin fold assessment using either three, four or seven sites (meaning parts of the body). The technician doing the test first pinches the skin. Then, he or she uses the skin caliper device to measure the thickness of the skin fold for each site. Each protocol has specific sites for testing, commonly including the chest, arms, abs and thighs. After plugging the numbers into a formula, practitioners can estimate body fat percentage.

The Pros

Since calipers are relatively inexpensive (about $10 per pair), the skin fold method is the most easily accessible of all the methods listed here. Most gyms will have a pair handy. And you can expect more than a few trainers on staff to have adequate experience using them. Eager to keep close tabs on your progress? Consider investing in a pair of calipers for at-home testing. (Remember though, it does take considerable practice to be able to accurately self-administer the test.) Bonus: A proper skin fold assessment can be completed in just a matter of minutes, anytime or place.

The Cons

This method relies on readings from only a handful of body parts, so margin for error can vary. This highly depends on the experience and knowledge of the technician. To minimize error, Jessica Kneeland, personal trainer and founder of Remodel Fitness, says “The most important thing is to use the exact same spots every time. Consistency with calipers takes practice, so the key is to practice a lot — or find an expert technician.” Body fat distribution can factor into the accuracy level as well. Although the test takes a measurement from each main area of the body (including the upper body, midsection and lower body), a participant that holds greater amounts of fat outside of the measured areas might end up with a lower reading.

RELATED: How to Calculate Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

[caption id="attachment_55308" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage Photo: Pond5[/caption]

2. Bioelectrical Impedance

Although the name might sound intimidating, bioelectrical impedance is far from shock therapy. In fact, users won’t even feel a thing. Bioelectrical impedance scales range from the simple (a normal scale with electrodes under each foot) to the complex (a scale that has handholds with additional electrodes). Regardless of the machine, the devices work by sending tiny electrical impulses through the body and measuring how quickly those impulses return. Since lean tissue conducts electrical impulses quicker than fatty tissue, a faster response time is correlated with a leaner physique.

The Pros

Bioelectrical impedance monitors tend to be affordable enough to keep one around the house. In fact, many traditional weight scales come with built-in body composition features that can generate and track body fat percentage alongside bodyweight. Outside of the house, you can find bioelectrical impedance monitors at many gyms and personal training studios. (You might need to pay to use them.) Since this technique requires little more than pressing a button, users need little to no previous practice. Plus, you'll get measurements in a matter of seconds.

The Cons

The skill and time trade-off comes at an expense: accuracy. Bioelectrical impedance measurements are generally much less accurate than methods like DEXA scans (see below). Readings can be greatly affected by variables like hydration levels (since water also conducts electrical impulses), meal times (a recent meal can skew results), and workouts (taking a reading directly after exercise leads to a lower body fat reading). Kneeland, who uses a bioelectrical impedance device called an InBody Machine with clients, acknowledges that it’s crucial for clients to follow a set protocol. That's especially important in terms of food and fluid intake. How to get a most consistent reading? Take readings at similar times during the day and in the same conditions, Kneeland says.

RELATED: How Often Should You Weight Yourself?

3. Hydrostatic Weighing

If the thought of getting dunked underwater suits your fancy, this might be the method for you. Hydrostatic weighing, commonly referred to as underwater weighing, compares a subject’s normal bodyweight (outside the water) to his or her bodyweight while completely submerged. Using these two numbers and the density of the water, operators can accurately calculate the subject’s density. This number is then used to estimate body composition.

The Pros

Hydrostatic weighing is an incredibly accurate technique for measuring body composition. The technique uses tried and true variables that feature a low percentage of error. For that reason, many experts refer to hydrostatic weighing as the gold standard for measuring body composition. It's also commonly used in research settings.

The Cons

Unless you happen to have an underwater scale at home, you’re going to have to find a lab or a performance center for this. As a result, this method can be a bit inconvenient. It's more expensive (ranging from $40 to $60) compared to other techniques, too. Subjects also have to forcefully exhale as much air out of their lungs as possible to reduce potential for error and sit submerged completely underwater. This might be uncomfortable for some individuals.

RELATED: Weight Fluctuations: What's Normal and What's Not

4. DEXA (Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry)

Think X-rays only detect broken bones? A DEXA scan exposes patients to X-ray beams of differing intensities. And experts use it to calculate bone mineral density alongside body composition. Participants lie still on a table while a machine arm passes over their entire body. This arm emits a high- and a low-energy X-ray beam. By measuring the absorption of each beam into parts of the body, technicians can get readings for bone mineral density, lean body mass and fat mass. Also, because the machine scans body parts individually, the test can also break down body composition per limb. That means you can confirm suspicions that your right leg is indeed just a bit stronger than your left.

The Pros

Like hydrostatic weighing, DEXA scans are incredibly accurate at measuring body composition. Whereas hydrostatic weighing involves dunking under the water, a DEXA scan simply involves lying on a table for a few quick, dry and painless minutes.

The Cons

Like the hydrostatic weighing method, don’t count on around-the-clock availability of DEXA's advanced technology. Getting a DEXA scan usually involves making an appointment with a medical professional. The high level of accuracy also comes at a relatively high price tag (which will vary by location) compared to other methods.

RELATED: The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers

5. Air-Displacement Plethysmography

Don’t let the name intimidate you. Air-displacement plethysmography is actually very similar to underwater weighing. First, participants sit in a small machine, like this “BOD Pod.” Then, by measuring how air displacement by the individual, technicians can determine body density. Like underwater weighing, the participant’s body density is then used to calculate body composition.

The Pros

Since the air-displacement plethysmography method doesn’t involve dunking your head underwater, many subjects will find it more comfortable. The shape and size of the machine used in this technique, which typically resembles an egg, makes it accommodating for almost any age, shape and size.

The Cons

Along with DEXA and underwater weight, you won't find air-displacement plethysmography in your neighborhood gym. While commercial machines might pop up at select high-level training facilities, locating one near you might be difficult. Plus, the cost (between $45 and $60 per reading) is another factor to consider.

RELATED: 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners

[caption id="attachment_55305" align="alignnone" width="620"]Measuring Body Fat: 3D Body Scanning Photo Courtesy of Naked Labs[/caption]

6. 3D Body Scan

You'll see this option become more readily available and accessible. Several brands offer at-home devices that scan your body, take circumference measurements of different body parts and then track your body fat via a corresponding app. Many can also tell you your muscle mass. One example: The at-home machine, Naked ($999, accepting preorders now). It's a full-length mirror embedded with sensors that use infrared light to provide a full-body 3D image. It also comes with a turntable to read your weight and provide a 360-degree body view. Similarly, mPort ($5/month for the app subscription) creates a 3D image of your body using infrared light and circumference measurements. You can find these machines in several LA Fitness locations, most commonly in California. Styku is another body mapping machine, offering similar readings.

The Pros

For most body types, 3D mapping comes within two percent of the accuracy of the DEXA method. Because of the devices' corresponding apps, you can also easily and frequently track your progress and find small changes you wouldn't normally notice. That's even simpler with a machine like Naked, which you can use in the comfort and privacy of your home. While accuracy improves if you do a scan at the same time every day, you don't need to worry about hydration or meal times like you do with bioelectrical impedance.

The Cons

You do, however, need to worry about your clothes. You'll get more accurate number when you're naked. But if you prefer, tight pants and a top also works. Just remember to wear that same outfit for every reading. Standing as still as possible during the scan is also how to ensure the most accurate results.

Remember the Big Picture

Regardless of which metric you go with, resist the urge to test on a weekly basis. According to Kneeland, results take time. “I encourage new clients to wait at least six to eight weeks before re-measuring their body fat percentage," she says. "At first I just want them focusing on implementing good habits and noticing how they feel." As for which testing procedure to try, find a method that works for you — then stick with it. Though bioelectrical impedance and skin calipers tend to be slightly less accurate than more high-tech methods like underwater weighing, they can still be an incredibly useful tool. And remember, body composition should be just one metric on the road to health and fitness. Sleep quality, energy levels and happiness should also take priority. So don't make body fat the entire focus of your training.

Originally posted on December 30, 2013. Updated February 2018. Additional writing and reporting by Mallory Creveling.

Read More
Is Weight Loss As Simple as Calorie Counting?
7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism
3 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts to Try Now

The post The 6 Best Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
6 Best Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage

[caption id="attachment_65621" align="alignnone" width="620"]The 6 Best Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Whether your priority is looking good in a bathing suit or living to see 100, there’s one piece of information that might stand in the way: body composition. Many people overlook this important metric, or the measure of fat mass to lean tissue, including bone, muscle, ligaments, tendons and organs. Higher body fat percentage has been linked to an increased incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure and other heart risks. And the overall amount isn’t the only concern; distribution of body fat matters, too. For some individuals, increased levels of abdominal fat have been tied to higher risks of heart disease and cancer compared to fat distributed across the rest of the body. So, how exactly do you track body fat? A quick Google search will reveal dozens of methods to measure body composition, ranging from the quick and (relatively) painless to the incredibly detailed. These measurement techniques can help individuals determine how to set baseline values for body composition and future goals. However, with the variation in methods comes a fluctuation in accuracy. While one method might calculate your body fat percentage to within a few decimals, others leave a wider range of error. To help you navigate the numerous techniques, read on for the top five methods for measuring body fat percentage, along with the pros and cons of each. RELATED: The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

How to Measure Body Fat Percentage

[caption id="attachment_22995" align="alignnone" width="620"]Skin Calipers Photo: Pond5[/caption]

1. Skin Calipers

It might not be St. Patrick’s Day, but get ready to be pinched! Perhaps the most accessible method for measuring body composition, technicians perform a skin fold assessment using either three, four or seven sites (meaning parts of the body). The technician doing the test first pinches the skin. Then, he or she uses the skin caliper device to measure the thickness of the skin fold for each site. Each protocol has specific sites for testing, commonly including the chest, arms, abs and thighs. After plugging the numbers into a formula, practitioners can estimate body fat percentage.

The Pros

Since calipers are relatively inexpensive (about $10 per pair), the skin fold method is the most easily accessible of all the methods listed here. Most gyms will have a pair handy. And you can expect more than a few trainers on staff to have adequate experience using them. Eager to keep close tabs on your progress? Consider investing in a pair of calipers for at-home testing. (Remember though, it does take considerable practice to be able to accurately self-administer the test.) Bonus: A proper skin fold assessment can be completed in just a matter of minutes, anytime or place.

The Cons

This method relies on readings from only a handful of body parts, so margin for error can vary. This highly depends on the experience and knowledge of the technician. To minimize error, Jessica Kneeland, personal trainer and founder of Remodel Fitness, says “The most important thing is to use the exact same spots every time. Consistency with calipers takes practice, so the key is to practice a lot — or find an expert technician.” Body fat distribution can factor into the accuracy level as well. Although the test takes a measurement from each main area of the body (including the upper body, midsection and lower body), a participant that holds greater amounts of fat outside of the measured areas might end up with a lower reading. RELATED: How to Calculate Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) [caption id="attachment_55308" align="alignnone" width="620"]6 Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage Photo: Pond5[/caption]

2. Bioelectrical Impedance

Although the name might sound intimidating, bioelectrical impedance is far from shock therapy. In fact, users won’t even feel a thing. Bioelectrical impedance scales range from the simple (a normal scale with electrodes under each foot) to the complex (a scale that has handholds with additional electrodes). Regardless of the machine, the devices work by sending tiny electrical impulses through the body and measuring how quickly those impulses return. Since lean tissue conducts electrical impulses quicker than fatty tissue, a faster response time is correlated with a leaner physique.

The Pros

Bioelectrical impedance monitors tend to be affordable enough to keep one around the house. In fact, many traditional weight scales come with built-in body composition features that can generate and track body fat percentage alongside bodyweight. Outside of the house, you can find bioelectrical impedance monitors at many gyms and personal training studios. (You might need to pay to use them.) Since this technique requires little more than pressing a button, users need little to no previous practice. Plus, you'll get measurements in a matter of seconds.

The Cons

The skill and time trade-off comes at an expense: accuracy. Bioelectrical impedance measurements are generally much less accurate than methods like DEXA scans (see below). Readings can be greatly affected by variables like hydration levels (since water also conducts electrical impulses), meal times (a recent meal can skew results), and workouts (taking a reading directly after exercise leads to a lower body fat reading). Kneeland, who uses a bioelectrical impedance device called an InBody Machine with clients, acknowledges that it’s crucial for clients to follow a set protocol. That's especially important in terms of food and fluid intake. How to get a most consistent reading? Take readings at similar times during the day and in the same conditions, Kneeland says. RELATED: How Often Should You Weight Yourself?

3. Hydrostatic Weighing

If the thought of getting dunked underwater suits your fancy, this might be the method for you. Hydrostatic weighing, commonly referred to as underwater weighing, compares a subject’s normal bodyweight (outside the water) to his or her bodyweight while completely submerged. Using these two numbers and the density of the water, operators can accurately calculate the subject’s density. This number is then used to estimate body composition.

The Pros

Hydrostatic weighing is an incredibly accurate technique for measuring body composition. The technique uses tried and true variables that feature a low percentage of error. For that reason, many experts refer to hydrostatic weighing as the gold standard for measuring body composition. It's also commonly used in research settings.

The Cons

Unless you happen to have an underwater scale at home, you’re going to have to find a lab or a performance center for this. As a result, this method can be a bit inconvenient. It's more expensive (ranging from $40 to $60) compared to other techniques, too. Subjects also have to forcefully exhale as much air out of their lungs as possible to reduce potential for error and sit submerged completely underwater. This might be uncomfortable for some individuals. RELATED: Weight Fluctuations: What's Normal and What's Not

4. DEXA (Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry)

Think X-rays only detect broken bones? A DEXA scan exposes patients to X-ray beams of differing intensities. And experts use it to calculate bone mineral density alongside body composition. Participants lie still on a table while a machine arm passes over their entire body. This arm emits a high- and a low-energy X-ray beam. By measuring the absorption of each beam into parts of the body, technicians can get readings for bone mineral density, lean body mass and fat mass. Also, because the machine scans body parts individually, the test can also break down body composition per limb. That means you can confirm suspicions that your right leg is indeed just a bit stronger than your left.

The Pros

Like hydrostatic weighing, DEXA scans are incredibly accurate at measuring body composition. Whereas hydrostatic weighing involves dunking under the water, a DEXA scan simply involves lying on a table for a few quick, dry and painless minutes.

The Cons

Like the hydrostatic weighing method, don’t count on around-the-clock availability of DEXA's advanced technology. Getting a DEXA scan usually involves making an appointment with a medical professional. The high level of accuracy also comes at a relatively high price tag (which will vary by location) compared to other methods. RELATED: The 15 Most Underrated Exercises, According to Trainers

5. Air-Displacement Plethysmography

Don’t let the name intimidate you. Air-displacement plethysmography is actually very similar to underwater weighing. First, participants sit in a small machine, like this “BOD Pod.” Then, by measuring how air displacement by the individual, technicians can determine body density. Like underwater weighing, the participant’s body density is then used to calculate body composition.

The Pros

Since the air-displacement plethysmography method doesn’t involve dunking your head underwater, many subjects will find it more comfortable. The shape and size of the machine used in this technique, which typically resembles an egg, makes it accommodating for almost any age, shape and size.

The Cons

Along with DEXA and underwater weight, you won't find air-displacement plethysmography in your neighborhood gym. While commercial machines might pop up at select high-level training facilities, locating one near you might be difficult. Plus, the cost (between $45 and $60 per reading) is another factor to consider. RELATED: 3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners [caption id="attachment_55305" align="alignnone" width="620"]Measuring Body Fat: 3D Body Scanning Photo Courtesy of Naked Labs[/caption]

6. 3D Body Scan

You'll see this option become more readily available and accessible. Several brands offer at-home devices that scan your body, take circumference measurements of different body parts and then track your body fat via a corresponding app. Many can also tell you your muscle mass. One example: The at-home machine, Naked ($999, accepting preorders now). It's a full-length mirror embedded with sensors that use infrared light to provide a full-body 3D image. It also comes with a turntable to read your weight and provide a 360-degree body view. Similarly, mPort ($5/month for the app subscription) creates a 3D image of your body using infrared light and circumference measurements. You can find these machines in several LA Fitness locations, most commonly in California. Styku is another body mapping machine, offering similar readings.

The Pros

For most body types, 3D mapping comes within two percent of the accuracy of the DEXA method. Because of the devices' corresponding apps, you can also easily and frequently track your progress and find small changes you wouldn't normally notice. That's even simpler with a machine like Naked, which you can use in the comfort and privacy of your home. While accuracy improves if you do a scan at the same time every day, you don't need to worry about hydration or meal times like you do with bioelectrical impedance.

The Cons

You do, however, need to worry about your clothes. You'll get more accurate number when you're naked. But if you prefer, tight pants and a top also works. Just remember to wear that same outfit for every reading. Standing as still as possible during the scan is also how to ensure the most accurate results.

Remember the Big Picture

Regardless of which metric you go with, resist the urge to test on a weekly basis. According to Kneeland, results take time. “I encourage new clients to wait at least six to eight weeks before re-measuring their body fat percentage," she says. "At first I just want them focusing on implementing good habits and noticing how they feel." As for which testing procedure to try, find a method that works for you — then stick with it. Though bioelectrical impedance and skin calipers tend to be slightly less accurate than more high-tech methods like underwater weighing, they can still be an incredibly useful tool. And remember, body composition should be just one metric on the road to health and fitness. Sleep quality, energy levels and happiness should also take priority. So don't make body fat the entire focus of your training. Originally posted on December 30, 2013. Updated February 2018. Additional writing and reporting by Mallory Creveling. Read More Is Weight Loss As Simple as Calorie Counting? 7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism 3 Fat-Blasting HIIT Workouts to Try Now

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Hope or Hype: The Truth About Weight Loss Pills https://dailyburn.com/life/health/weight-loss-supplements-garcinia-cambogia/ Wed, 07 Feb 2018 12:15:16 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65539 The Truth About Garcinia Cambogia and Weight Loss Supplements

[caption id="attachment_65549" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Truth About Garcinia Cambogia and Weight Loss Supplements Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

We’ve all seen the ads: Supplements promising to help you lose weight, build lean muscle, rev your metabolism and turn you into a fat-burning machine. We admit — the idea of popping a pill to lose weight sounds pretty enticing. After all, it’s so much easier than cleaning up your diet and regularly sweating it out at the gym.

Despite the rise and fall of weight loss pills (remember Fen-Phen, Dr. Oz’s green coffee bean extract debacle?), supplements still line the shelves of most health food and drug stores. Georgia Rounder, RDN, says, “For many individuals seeking to lose weight, weight loss supplements provide a ‘quick fix’ approach to meet their desired weight goals, especially products that are marketed in a flashy, convincing manner.” But do they actually work?

RELATED: 50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight

Weight Loss Supplements: Animal vs. Human Studies

The short answer is there’s no clinical evidence to support the effectiveness of weight loss supplements. Rebecca Ditkoff, MPH, RD, says, "There are no real clinical trials to show that they work in humans."

While researchers have investigated the ingredients in diet pills, most studies are on animals. “Animal studies are done when initially researching a specific supplement, but human studies are necessary for confirming the effectiveness of the supplement in the body’s physiological makeup,” Rounder says.

For example, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a supplement touted as a fat burner. “Some research has shown that CLA may be beneficial in decreasing fat mass in animals,” Rounder says. But according to Rounder, human studies are inconclusive and have an overall minimal effect on total body weight and body fat.

RELATED: The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

Garcinia Cambogia: Decoding Diet Pill Claims

For other supplements, the findings have been inconclusive. Garcinia cambogia is a supplement that comes from the pulp and rind of a fruit-bearing tree of the same name. “Many weight loss benefits have been proposed for this supplement, including the suppression of food intake throughout the day. But short-term clinical trials completed up to this point reveal next to no effect on total body weight,” Rounder says.

Another example is raspberry ketones, a natural phenolic compound found in raspberries that's believed to make it harder for your body to store fat. “However, this particular supplement was primarily studied in combination with other ingredients. This prevents us from making conclusions about using it as a weight loss supplement,” Rounder says.

Industry partners or the supplement companies also sponsor some of the research on weight loss pills. “This can lead to a bias within the research and ultimately favor the industry’s product or aim in some way,” Rounder says. Plus, Ditkoff says some diet pills can have the opposite effect of wrecking your metabolism and causing weight gain.

RELATED: Help! Why Did I Suddenly Stop Losing Weight?

Are You Getting What You Paid For?

Contrary to what you might think, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate weight loss supplements. Unlike drugs, which go through rigorous clinical trials, manufacturers don't need to prove that dietary supplements are safe.

So for advertisements that claim to help you burn fat 10 times faster than normal, the manufacturer doesn’t actually have to demonstrate that those claims are true. What’s promised on the packaging isn't always in the pills, so there's a risk you don't get what you buy.

“Since they’re not approved by the FDA, you don’t even know what’s in them, which is pretty scary,” Ditkoff says. “They can have fillers and additives. You don’t know what else is in there.”

In fact, Vox investigated current dietary and weight loss supplements on the market and found that many contained hidden drugs, including ones that have been pulled from the U.S. market. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 20,000 emergency room visits each year are from adverse reactions to dietary supplements. Think: palpitations, chest pain and increased blood pressure. Nearly 72 percent of those cases are from weight loss or energy products.

RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Pre and Post-Workout Supplements

A Smarter Weight Loss Solution

The truth is there isn’t one pill that’s going to fix everything. But if you want to introduce a new supplement to your regimen, talk to a professional. “If you’re seriously considering taking any of these supplements on a routine basis, first consult your physician to get the final OK,” Rounder says.

Taking a weight loss pill can sometimes do more damage than good. “Depending on the supplement and your medical history, the side effects of these supplements may include GI distress, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, brain fog and headaches. They may even interfere with the absorption of key vitamins and minerals,” Rounder says. Ditkoff says the key to weight loss is lifestyle change. That means committing to eating a balanced diet and getting more exercise. And be patient. While you may wish for instant, healthy weight loss is a long-term affair.

Read More
How to Choose the Right Probiotic for You
7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism
The Beginner’s Guide to Using Protein Powder

The post Hope or Hype: The Truth About Weight Loss Pills appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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The Truth About Garcinia Cambogia and Weight Loss Supplements

[caption id="attachment_65549" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Truth About Garcinia Cambogia and Weight Loss Supplements Photo: Twenty20[/caption] We’ve all seen the ads: Supplements promising to help you lose weight, build lean muscle, rev your metabolism and turn you into a fat-burning machine. We admit — the idea of popping a pill to lose weight sounds pretty enticing. After all, it’s so much easier than cleaning up your diet and regularly sweating it out at the gym. Despite the rise and fall of weight loss pills (remember Fen-Phen, Dr. Oz’s green coffee bean extract debacle?), supplements still line the shelves of most health food and drug stores. Georgia Rounder, RDN, says, “For many individuals seeking to lose weight, weight loss supplements provide a ‘quick fix’ approach to meet their desired weight goals, especially products that are marketed in a flashy, convincing manner.” But do they actually work? RELATED: 50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight

Weight Loss Supplements: Animal vs. Human Studies

The short answer is there’s no clinical evidence to support the effectiveness of weight loss supplements. Rebecca Ditkoff, MPH, RD, says, "There are no real clinical trials to show that they work in humans." While researchers have investigated the ingredients in diet pills, most studies are on animals. “Animal studies are done when initially researching a specific supplement, but human studies are necessary for confirming the effectiveness of the supplement in the body’s physiological makeup,” Rounder says. For example, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a supplement touted as a fat burner. “Some research has shown that CLA may be beneficial in decreasing fat mass in animals,” Rounder says. But according to Rounder, human studies are inconclusive and have an overall minimal effect on total body weight and body fat. RELATED: The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

Garcinia Cambogia: Decoding Diet Pill Claims

For other supplements, the findings have been inconclusive. Garcinia cambogia is a supplement that comes from the pulp and rind of a fruit-bearing tree of the same name. “Many weight loss benefits have been proposed for this supplement, including the suppression of food intake throughout the day. But short-term clinical trials completed up to this point reveal next to no effect on total body weight,” Rounder says. Another example is raspberry ketones, a natural phenolic compound found in raspberries that's believed to make it harder for your body to store fat. “However, this particular supplement was primarily studied in combination with other ingredients. This prevents us from making conclusions about using it as a weight loss supplement,” Rounder says. Industry partners or the supplement companies also sponsor some of the research on weight loss pills. “This can lead to a bias within the research and ultimately favor the industry’s product or aim in some way,” Rounder says. Plus, Ditkoff says some diet pills can have the opposite effect of wrecking your metabolism and causing weight gain. RELATED: Help! Why Did I Suddenly Stop Losing Weight?

Are You Getting What You Paid For?

Contrary to what you might think, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate weight loss supplements. Unlike drugs, which go through rigorous clinical trials, manufacturers don't need to prove that dietary supplements are safe. So for advertisements that claim to help you burn fat 10 times faster than normal, the manufacturer doesn’t actually have to demonstrate that those claims are true. What’s promised on the packaging isn't always in the pills, so there's a risk you don't get what you buy. “Since they’re not approved by the FDA, you don’t even know what’s in them, which is pretty scary,” Ditkoff says. “They can have fillers and additives. You don’t know what else is in there.” In fact, Vox investigated current dietary and weight loss supplements on the market and found that many contained hidden drugs, including ones that have been pulled from the U.S. market. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 20,000 emergency room visits each year are from adverse reactions to dietary supplements. Think: palpitations, chest pain and increased blood pressure. Nearly 72 percent of those cases are from weight loss or energy products. RELATED: The Beginner’s Guide to Pre and Post-Workout Supplements

A Smarter Weight Loss Solution

The truth is there isn’t one pill that’s going to fix everything. But if you want to introduce a new supplement to your regimen, talk to a professional. “If you’re seriously considering taking any of these supplements on a routine basis, first consult your physician to get the final OK,” Rounder says. Taking a weight loss pill can sometimes do more damage than good. “Depending on the supplement and your medical history, the side effects of these supplements may include GI distress, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, brain fog and headaches. They may even interfere with the absorption of key vitamins and minerals,” Rounder says. Ditkoff says the key to weight loss is lifestyle change. That means committing to eating a balanced diet and getting more exercise. And be patient. While you may wish for instant, healthy weight loss is a long-term affair. Read More How to Choose the Right Probiotic for You 7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism The Beginner’s Guide to Using Protein Powder

The post Hope or Hype: The Truth About Weight Loss Pills appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today https://dailyburn.com/life/health/weight-loss/nutrisystem-weight-loss-diet-plans/ Thu, 01 Feb 2018 12:15:56 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65347 5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today

[caption id="attachment_65349" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today Photos: Courtesy of Nutrisystem[/caption]

This post is brought to you in partnership with Nutrisystem.

Losing weight isn’t easy, but keeping it off is even harder. So if you’re looking for a program that helps you shed unwanted pounds and turns healthy changes into permanent habits, look no further than Nutrisystem. “Nutrisystem is a reduced calorie program that’s high in protein and fiber to help keep you feeling full throughout the day,” says Courtney McCormick, MPH, RDN, LDN, corporate dietitian for Nutrisystem.

Nutrisystem offers three different meal plans: At the basic level, you’ll receive pre-selected, ready-to-eat meals. Upgrade to the core program, and you’ll get access to nutrition counseling and tools and trackers to help you stay accountable. Want more? Try the Uniquely Yours plan, which gives you everything from the core program, plus unlimited frozen foods.

If you have a busy schedule and don’t have time for meal prep, why not make Nutrisystem your personal chef? All of your meals and snacks come right to your door, so all you have to do is click order. Interested in learning more? Here are five more reasons the program works, and why you should sign up today.

1. You get healthy, well-balanced meals.

No matter which Nutrisystem plan you sign up for, you’ll get healthy, balanced meals with just the right portion of protein, fiber, carbohydrates and fat.

“While you’re losing weight, you’re also learning how to recognize appropriate portion sizes, which is an important component of keeping the weight off once you’ve met your goal,” McCormick says. With your first Nutrisystem order, you’ll receive a four-week plan that includes delicious meals and snacks, plus guidance on how to incorporate flexibility into your meal plan through the addition of one flex breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack each week. You prepare these flex meals at home to help set you on the right path to clean eating. “We provide guidance on what these meals should look like to ensure you’re learning how to make healthier choices,” McCormick says.

2. You won’t feel deprived.

Pasta, pizza, chocolate cake. You can have it all — just in moderation and with the right portion sizes, of course. “We make sure you’re getting healthier versions of your favorite foods, while ensuring they’re made with whole grains, fiber and protein,” McCormick says. The program aligns with the USDA dietary guidelines and limits added sugars to less than 10 percent of your daily calories. If you’re a snacker, Nutrisystem offers a selection of bars and shakes, but you can also prepare your own flex snack at home. “You incorporate three snacks into your day. These can be Nutrisystem snacks or grocery food add-ins, like fruit, low-fat dairy and lean proteins,” she adds.

3. You don’t have to count calories.

Since Nutrisystem is a reduced calorie program, your daily meal plan will have a 1,000-1,500 calorie range. All meal plans will meet this calorie requirement, so you don’t have to think about what you can and can’t enjoy. Have an allergy or dietary restriction? “We have a staff of trained weight loss counselors and dietary service representatives that can help people customize plans for certain dietary restrictions,” McCormick says. People also have the option to customize their meal plan to a 1,500 mg per day sodium plan if they’re watching their salt intake, she says.

[caption id="attachment_65353" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today Photo: Courtesy of Nutrisystem[/caption]

4. Your family can enjoy Nutrisystem meals, too.

Good news: You don’t have to be a short-order cook. Thanks to flex meals, you can enjoy dinner out or prepare a healthy one at home. Nutrisystem has a helpful weight loss blog, The Leaf, that’s home to hundreds of healthy recipes that fit with their weight loss plans so you never have to go it alone. The Leaf also has a Dining Out Guide that breaks down how to enjoy dinners out with your family and friends without falling off track.

Nutrisystem also offers foods a la carte if you want to purchase additional meals for your significant other and kids. And the foods look and taste a lot like what you’re accustomed to ― no cardboard diet food here. So if the gang wants lasagna for dinner, you can make the usual dish and then pop your Nutrisystem lasagna entrée in your microwave. That way, you can all enjoy a lasagna dinner together. “The great thing is that it doesn’t require a lot of additional work to enjoy a similar food with your family,” McCormick says.

5. You’ll get support even after you’ve reached your goal.

Your journey to better health doesn’t end at the scale. Keeping the pounds off is a challenge itself. That’s why Nutrisystem offers a variety of transition and maintenance plans to help you prepare your own healthy, homemade meals. “For example, we have a ‘Just Lunches and Snacks’ plan that provides lunches and snacks, and guides the customer on how to incorporate their own perfectly portioned breakfasts and dinners,” McCormick says. You can also reach out to weight loss counselors via phone or email. McCormick adds, “The counselors can offer individualized support to help customers overcome a weight loss plateau.”

Nutrisystem also has a free tracking app, NuMi, that helps hold users accountable during and after their weight loss journey. With NuMi, you can log your food, weight, water and activity every day. Plus, you’ll get fresh weight loss tips and recipes tailored to you, so you’ll never fall off the wagon.

Ready to embark on your weight loss journey while still eating delicious meals? Sign up for Nutrisystem today!

Read More
50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight
What 8 Busy Trainers Really Eat for Dinner
21 Quick and Easy Protein Shake Recipes

The post 5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today

[caption id="attachment_65349" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today Photos: Courtesy of Nutrisystem[/caption] This post is brought to you in partnership with Nutrisystem. Losing weight isn’t easy, but keeping it off is even harder. So if you’re looking for a program that helps you shed unwanted pounds and turns healthy changes into permanent habits, look no further than Nutrisystem. “Nutrisystem is a reduced calorie program that’s high in protein and fiber to help keep you feeling full throughout the day,” says Courtney McCormick, MPH, RDN, LDN, corporate dietitian for Nutrisystem. Nutrisystem offers three different meal plans: At the basic level, you’ll receive pre-selected, ready-to-eat meals. Upgrade to the core program, and you’ll get access to nutrition counseling and tools and trackers to help you stay accountable. Want more? Try the Uniquely Yours plan, which gives you everything from the core program, plus unlimited frozen foods. If you have a busy schedule and don’t have time for meal prep, why not make Nutrisystem your personal chef? All of your meals and snacks come right to your door, so all you have to do is click order. Interested in learning more? Here are five more reasons the program works, and why you should sign up today.

1. You get healthy, well-balanced meals.

No matter which Nutrisystem plan you sign up for, you’ll get healthy, balanced meals with just the right portion of protein, fiber, carbohydrates and fat. “While you’re losing weight, you’re also learning how to recognize appropriate portion sizes, which is an important component of keeping the weight off once you’ve met your goal,” McCormick says. With your first Nutrisystem order, you’ll receive a four-week plan that includes delicious meals and snacks, plus guidance on how to incorporate flexibility into your meal plan through the addition of one flex breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack each week. You prepare these flex meals at home to help set you on the right path to clean eating. “We provide guidance on what these meals should look like to ensure you’re learning how to make healthier choices,” McCormick says.

2. You won’t feel deprived.

Pasta, pizza, chocolate cake. You can have it all — just in moderation and with the right portion sizes, of course. “We make sure you’re getting healthier versions of your favorite foods, while ensuring they’re made with whole grains, fiber and protein,” McCormick says. The program aligns with the USDA dietary guidelines and limits added sugars to less than 10 percent of your daily calories. If you’re a snacker, Nutrisystem offers a selection of bars and shakes, but you can also prepare your own flex snack at home. “You incorporate three snacks into your day. These can be Nutrisystem snacks or grocery food add-ins, like fruit, low-fat dairy and lean proteins,” she adds.

3. You don’t have to count calories.

Since Nutrisystem is a reduced calorie program, your daily meal plan will have a 1,000-1,500 calorie range. All meal plans will meet this calorie requirement, so you don’t have to think about what you can and can’t enjoy. Have an allergy or dietary restriction? “We have a staff of trained weight loss counselors and dietary service representatives that can help people customize plans for certain dietary restrictions,” McCormick says. People also have the option to customize their meal plan to a 1,500 mg per day sodium plan if they’re watching their salt intake, she says. [caption id="attachment_65353" align="alignnone" width="620"]5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today Photo: Courtesy of Nutrisystem[/caption]

4. Your family can enjoy Nutrisystem meals, too.

Good news: You don’t have to be a short-order cook. Thanks to flex meals, you can enjoy dinner out or prepare a healthy one at home. Nutrisystem has a helpful weight loss blog, The Leaf, that’s home to hundreds of healthy recipes that fit with their weight loss plans so you never have to go it alone. The Leaf also has a Dining Out Guide that breaks down how to enjoy dinners out with your family and friends without falling off track. Nutrisystem also offers foods a la carte if you want to purchase additional meals for your significant other and kids. And the foods look and taste a lot like what you’re accustomed to ― no cardboard diet food here. So if the gang wants lasagna for dinner, you can make the usual dish and then pop your Nutrisystem lasagna entrée in your microwave. That way, you can all enjoy a lasagna dinner together. “The great thing is that it doesn’t require a lot of additional work to enjoy a similar food with your family,” McCormick says.

5. You’ll get support even after you’ve reached your goal.

Your journey to better health doesn’t end at the scale. Keeping the pounds off is a challenge itself. That’s why Nutrisystem offers a variety of transition and maintenance plans to help you prepare your own healthy, homemade meals. “For example, we have a ‘Just Lunches and Snacks’ plan that provides lunches and snacks, and guides the customer on how to incorporate their own perfectly portioned breakfasts and dinners,” McCormick says. You can also reach out to weight loss counselors via phone or email. McCormick adds, “The counselors can offer individualized support to help customers overcome a weight loss plateau.” Nutrisystem also has a free tracking app, NuMi, that helps hold users accountable during and after their weight loss journey. With NuMi, you can log your food, weight, water and activity every day. Plus, you’ll get fresh weight loss tips and recipes tailored to you, so you’ll never fall off the wagon. Ready to embark on your weight loss journey while still eating delicious meals? Sign up for Nutrisystem today! Read More 50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight What 8 Busy Trainers Really Eat for Dinner 21 Quick and Easy Protein Shake Recipes

The post 5 Reasons You Should Sign Up for Nutrisystem Today appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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What Is the Keto Flu, and How Do You Treat It? https://dailyburn.com/life/health/what-is-the-keto-flu/ Mon, 29 Jan 2018 16:15:35 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=65245 What Is the Keto Flu, and How Do You Treat It?

[caption id="attachment_65248" align="alignnone" width="620"]What Is the Keto Flu, and How Do You Treat It? Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

If you’re looking into starting the ketogenic diet, it doesn't take much research before you encounter the dreaded "keto flu." Symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches and nausea, can be enough to knock even the most dedicated dieter off the wagon. But before you give this low-carb, high-fat diet a no-go, we've got some important info about the keto flu, and a few tips for avoiding it.

RELATED: How to Know If the Ketogenic Diet Is Right for You

The Science Behind Ketosis

The ketogenic diet focuses on limiting carbohydrates and increasing fat intake in your diet. With this way of eating, your body operates from the fat you consume, and as a result, you also easily burn fat.

According to Dr. Adam Nally, a board-certified obesity medicine physician, ketogenic expert and author of The Keto Cure, the ketogenic diet also helps reduce insulin overproduction — a common symptom of the American diet. Insulin overproduction can increase the likelihood of developing other chronic diseases, like diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

What Causes the Keto Flu?

 Dr. Nally says that the body's levels of insulin and salt are related. "What happens when you switch into ketosis, [is that] your insulin level has reduced, and the need to retain salt has been reduced," he explains. Therefore, your body rapidly expels excess salt. If your body loses too much salt (and other electrolytes, such as potassium), you can start to feel flu-like symptoms including fatigue, headaches, brain fog, dizziness, nausea, irritability, lightheadedness and leg cramps.

Another potential cause of fatigue, says Dr. Nally, is not consuming enough fat when on a ketogenic diet. "Because we've created a fat phobia, some people just aren’t adding back enough fat." Protein is generally used by the body to maintain muscles, skin, hair and nails, says Dr. Nally, whereas carbs are usually used for energy. When you remove carbs in a ketogenic diet, it's essential that you consume enough fat to provide energy through ketogenesis.

RELATED: The Truth About the Ketogenic Diet and Weight Loss

How to Prevent and Alleviate the Keto Flu

The keto flu tends to strike around three to five days into a keto diet and usually goes away on its own, says Dr. Nally. "The body will attempt to compensate [for lost salt] and in many cases it does," he says. But if you’re not consuming enough salt and potassium, it can prolong keto flu symptoms. If simply salting your food a little more doesn't provide relief, try increasing electrolyte intake through sports drinks. "Often by just adding some bone broth or bouillon broth, symptoms will improve in minutes," says Dr. Nally.

Of course, you'll also want to make sure you're consuming enough calories overall and that your calorie intake includes enough fat. High-fat snacks, known as "fat bombs" in the keto community, can be one way to keep fat intake up. It may also be worth investing in a keto meal plan or keto-specific recipes to help keep track of your macronutrient intake.

RELATED: 7 Keto Fat Bombs for a Satisfying Low-Carb Snack

When You Should See a Doctor

For the most part, those who experience keto flu symptoms won’t want to exercise, but Dr. Nally says there's no reason not to work out if you feel like it. Simply stay hydrated and keep your electrolytes up.

But if your headaches don’t get better, and you continue to vomit or feel weakness and fatigue, it’s time to see your MD. People with diabetes who use the ketogenic diet to moderate blood sugar may want to test their ketone levels, in addition to blood sugar, to make sure they aren’t at risk for developing diabetic ketoacidosis. Even those without other pre-existing conditions keep eye out for potential adverse reactions.

As long as symptoms resolve relatively quickly and painlessly, though — as they should — there's no reason the keto flu should keep you from trying out this diet program.

Read More
Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans
Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Counting Calories?
Does Fasted Cardio Really Burn More Fat?

The post What Is the Keto Flu, and How Do You Treat It? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
What Is the Keto Flu, and How Do You Treat It?

[caption id="attachment_65248" align="alignnone" width="620"]What Is the Keto Flu, and How Do You Treat It? Photo: Twenty20[/caption] If you’re looking into starting the ketogenic diet, it doesn't take much research before you encounter the dreaded "keto flu." Symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches and nausea, can be enough to knock even the most dedicated dieter off the wagon. But before you give this low-carb, high-fat diet a no-go, we've got some important info about the keto flu, and a few tips for avoiding it. RELATED: How to Know If the Ketogenic Diet Is Right for You

The Science Behind Ketosis

The ketogenic diet focuses on limiting carbohydrates and increasing fat intake in your diet. With this way of eating, your body operates from the fat you consume, and as a result, you also easily burn fat. According to Dr. Adam Nally, a board-certified obesity medicine physician, ketogenic expert and author of The Keto Cure, the ketogenic diet also helps reduce insulin overproduction — a common symptom of the American diet. Insulin overproduction can increase the likelihood of developing other chronic diseases, like diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

What Causes the Keto Flu?

 Dr. Nally says that the body's levels of insulin and salt are related. "What happens when you switch into ketosis, [is that] your insulin level has reduced, and the need to retain salt has been reduced," he explains. Therefore, your body rapidly expels excess salt. If your body loses too much salt (and other electrolytes, such as potassium), you can start to feel flu-like symptoms including fatigue, headaches, brain fog, dizziness, nausea, irritability, lightheadedness and leg cramps. Another potential cause of fatigue, says Dr. Nally, is not consuming enough fat when on a ketogenic diet. "Because we've created a fat phobia, some people just aren’t adding back enough fat." Protein is generally used by the body to maintain muscles, skin, hair and nails, says Dr. Nally, whereas carbs are usually used for energy. When you remove carbs in a ketogenic diet, it's essential that you consume enough fat to provide energy through ketogenesis. RELATED: The Truth About the Ketogenic Diet and Weight Loss

How to Prevent and Alleviate the Keto Flu

The keto flu tends to strike around three to five days into a keto diet and usually goes away on its own, says Dr. Nally. "The body will attempt to compensate [for lost salt] and in many cases it does," he says. But if you’re not consuming enough salt and potassium, it can prolong keto flu symptoms. If simply salting your food a little more doesn't provide relief, try increasing electrolyte intake through sports drinks. "Often by just adding some bone broth or bouillon broth, symptoms will improve in minutes," says Dr. Nally. Of course, you'll also want to make sure you're consuming enough calories overall and that your calorie intake includes enough fat. High-fat snacks, known as "fat bombs" in the keto community, can be one way to keep fat intake up. It may also be worth investing in a keto meal plan or keto-specific recipes to help keep track of your macronutrient intake. RELATED: 7 Keto Fat Bombs for a Satisfying Low-Carb Snack

When You Should See a Doctor

For the most part, those who experience keto flu symptoms won’t want to exercise, but Dr. Nally says there's no reason not to work out if you feel like it. Simply stay hydrated and keep your electrolytes up. But if your headaches don’t get better, and you continue to vomit or feel weakness and fatigue, it’s time to see your MD. People with diabetes who use the ketogenic diet to moderate blood sugar may want to test their ketone levels, in addition to blood sugar, to make sure they aren’t at risk for developing diabetic ketoacidosis. Even those without other pre-existing conditions keep eye out for potential adverse reactions. As long as symptoms resolve relatively quickly and painlessly, though — as they should — there's no reason the keto flu should keep you from trying out this diet program. Read More Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Counting Calories? Does Fasted Cardio Really Burn More Fat?

The post What Is the Keto Flu, and How Do You Treat It? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean https://dailyburn.com/life/health/healthy-breakfast-ideas-clean-eating/ Mon, 15 Jan 2018 12:15:02 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=64774 6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Eat Cleaner Today

6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean

If you’re trying to eat clean, breakfast can be a minefield. Standard fare is often grab-and-go choices like bagels and muffins, or sugary options like waffles and doughnuts. The bad news is these processed, starchy foods can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and metabolism.

That’s why it’s important to eat a wholesome meal packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats to start your day. “It literally breaks the fast of not eating overnight,” says registered dietitian Emily Kyle. “Eating a high-quality breakfast helps to jump start your metabolism in the morning, while nourishing your body for the day’s activities,” she says.

Sarah Koszyk, registered dietitian and sports nutritionist, adds that people who consume a well-balanced breakfast tend to have “increased energy, better regulation of their blood sugars, increased consumption of important vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, and better hunger control throughout the day.” Need help cleaning up your breakfast options? We asked Kosyzk and Kyle for simple and healthy swaps to rethink your first meal of the day.

RELATED: 13 High-Protein Breakfasts to Start Your Day Strong

Breakfast Ideas to Make Clean Eating Easy

[caption id="attachment_64778" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Sweet Potato Pancakes Photo: Alexa Schirm[/caption]

1. Instead of waffles or pancakes…

Sure, waffles and pancakes are the picture-perfect idea of Sunday brunch. But they are packed with simple carbohydrates, so your blood sugar levels will crash fast — and hard — soon after consuming them. Plus, they lack protein and heart-healthy fats that help keep you full longer, says Kyle.

Go homemade. While pre-made mixes are convenient, skip them. “Make your own at home using whole-wheat flour. This will increase the dietary fiber and offer more nutrients than traditional white flour,” she says. “Consider topping your waffles or pancakes with fresh fruit and a dollop of Greek yogurt. This will help you to consume more nutrients, heart-healthy fats, and protein without sacrificing flavor or satisfaction.”

[caption id="attachment_64779" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Greek Yogurt Parfaits Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

2. Instead of a yogurt parfait…

While yogurt may be a healthy choice, a parfait can be a sugar bomb in disguise, especially if you buy one from the store. When you add a sweetener on top of fruit, granola and jam, the sugar content quickly adds up.

Grab Greek yogurt. Construct your own parfait using plain Greek yogurt, Koszyk suggests. “This will cut down on the added sugar from flavored yogurts and provide you with extra protein than regular yogurt,” she says. For one-half cup of yogurt, add one cup of fresh fruit for natural sweetness, not to mention vitamins and fiber. And granola? “Choose one with less than six grams of sugar per serving,” she says. Just don’t overdo it — sprinkle a handful on top.

RELATED: 10 Yogurt Parfaits That Are Almost Too Pretty to Eat

[caption id="attachment_64780" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Overnight Oats Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

3. Instead of cereal…

Cereal can be a tricky breakfast choice. While convenient, it’s often highly processed and packed with sugar — not exactly the ideal clean breakfast. But if you can’t give up your Snap, Crackle and Pop, be sure read the nutrition label, says Kyle. “Choose an option that has less sugar and more protein. Then pair that cereal with a serving of fresh fruit and a glass of your favorite milk, plant-based or traditional dairy, for a more wholesome meal,” she says.

Opt for overnight oats. Simply mix some dried oats with some milk or water in a jar and allow them to soak overnight in the fridge. Letting the oats sit in the liquid allows them to soften and become a pudding-like texture. Flavor with vanilla extract and spices, and top with some fruit for natural sweetness. For a warmer choice, oatmeal or oat bran bowl topped with cinnamon and fresh fruit.

[caption id="attachment_64781" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: English Muffin Egg Sandwich Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

4. Instead of an egg sandwich…

From the corner deli to your greasy spoon diner to McDonald’s, egg sandwiches are a breakfast staple. But typical ones may be overloaded with fat from butter and oil. Then, there’s the bread, which is usually an oversized sub, bagel or croissant.

Make an English muffin sandwich. Prep your own sandwich with a high-fiber English muffin, says Koszyk, which offers five or more grams of fiber per serving. Cook one egg with olive oil cooking spray and skip the butter. “Since cheese and bacon are both higher in fat, choose one or the other to add to the sandwich,” she says. Add a side of fruit for extra fiber, vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

RELATED: 8 Quick and Easy Egg Sandwich Recipes

[caption id="attachment_64782" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Whole-Grain Bagel Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

5. Instead of bagels...

OK, we love bagels, too. “The challenge with bagels is the portion size and quantity of carbohydrates. One entire bagel has the same amount of carbohydrates as four slices of bread, about 60 grams of carbs,” says Koszyk.

Stick with half a serving. To cut down on your carb intake, enjoy half of a high-fiber bagel. “Add lox or smoked salmon for protein and tomato for vitamins and nutrients,” she says. You can also top with sprouts, capers and radishes for more fiber.

[caption id="attachment_64784" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Homemade Muffins Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

6. Instead of scones or muffins…

“Most traditional baked goods come in extra large serving sizes these days, which can add a lot of carbohydrates and refined sugar to your morning,” says Kyle.

Bake your own batch. Kyle suggests swapping out heavier ingredients like butter or eggs for applesauce, chia seeds, pureed bananas or Greek yogurt. “A simple swap like this can help you save up to 100 calories and add in some additional nutrients as well,” she says. “Add in fruits or veggies for your fillings instead of nuts or chocolate chips.”

And remember, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a scone or muffin for breakfast once in a while, even if you’re eating clean.

Read More
10 Healthy Ways to Get on the Egg Muffins Trend
What 8 Busy Trainers Really Eat for Dinner
9 Veggie-Packed Breakfast On-the-Go Recipes

The post 6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Eat Cleaner Today

6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean
If you’re trying to eat clean, breakfast can be a minefield. Standard fare is often grab-and-go choices like bagels and muffins, or sugary options like waffles and doughnuts. The bad news is these processed, starchy foods can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and metabolism. That’s why it’s important to eat a wholesome meal packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats to start your day. “It literally breaks the fast of not eating overnight,” says registered dietitian Emily Kyle. “Eating a high-quality breakfast helps to jump start your metabolism in the morning, while nourishing your body for the day’s activities,” she says. Sarah Koszyk, registered dietitian and sports nutritionist, adds that people who consume a well-balanced breakfast tend to have “increased energy, better regulation of their blood sugars, increased consumption of important vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, and better hunger control throughout the day.” Need help cleaning up your breakfast options? We asked Kosyzk and Kyle for simple and healthy swaps to rethink your first meal of the day. RELATED: 13 High-Protein Breakfasts to Start Your Day Strong

Breakfast Ideas to Make Clean Eating Easy

[caption id="attachment_64778" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Sweet Potato Pancakes Photo: Alexa Schirm[/caption]

1. Instead of waffles or pancakes…

Sure, waffles and pancakes are the picture-perfect idea of Sunday brunch. But they are packed with simple carbohydrates, so your blood sugar levels will crash fast — and hard — soon after consuming them. Plus, they lack protein and heart-healthy fats that help keep you full longer, says Kyle. Go homemade. While pre-made mixes are convenient, skip them. “Make your own at home using whole-wheat flour. This will increase the dietary fiber and offer more nutrients than traditional white flour,” she says. “Consider topping your waffles or pancakes with fresh fruit and a dollop of Greek yogurt. This will help you to consume more nutrients, heart-healthy fats, and protein without sacrificing flavor or satisfaction.” [caption id="attachment_64779" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Greek Yogurt Parfaits Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

2. Instead of a yogurt parfait…

While yogurt may be a healthy choice, a parfait can be a sugar bomb in disguise, especially if you buy one from the store. When you add a sweetener on top of fruit, granola and jam, the sugar content quickly adds up. Grab Greek yogurt. Construct your own parfait using plain Greek yogurt, Koszyk suggests. “This will cut down on the added sugar from flavored yogurts and provide you with extra protein than regular yogurt,” she says. For one-half cup of yogurt, add one cup of fresh fruit for natural sweetness, not to mention vitamins and fiber. And granola? “Choose one with less than six grams of sugar per serving,” she says. Just don’t overdo it — sprinkle a handful on top. RELATED: 10 Yogurt Parfaits That Are Almost Too Pretty to Eat [caption id="attachment_64780" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Overnight Oats Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

3. Instead of cereal…

Cereal can be a tricky breakfast choice. While convenient, it’s often highly processed and packed with sugar — not exactly the ideal clean breakfast. But if you can’t give up your Snap, Crackle and Pop, be sure read the nutrition label, says Kyle. “Choose an option that has less sugar and more protein. Then pair that cereal with a serving of fresh fruit and a glass of your favorite milk, plant-based or traditional dairy, for a more wholesome meal,” she says. Opt for overnight oats. Simply mix some dried oats with some milk or water in a jar and allow them to soak overnight in the fridge. Letting the oats sit in the liquid allows them to soften and become a pudding-like texture. Flavor with vanilla extract and spices, and top with some fruit for natural sweetness. For a warmer choice, oatmeal or oat bran bowl topped with cinnamon and fresh fruit. [caption id="attachment_64781" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: English Muffin Egg Sandwich Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

4. Instead of an egg sandwich…

From the corner deli to your greasy spoon diner to McDonald’s, egg sandwiches are a breakfast staple. But typical ones may be overloaded with fat from butter and oil. Then, there’s the bread, which is usually an oversized sub, bagel or croissant. Make an English muffin sandwich. Prep your own sandwich with a high-fiber English muffin, says Koszyk, which offers five or more grams of fiber per serving. Cook one egg with olive oil cooking spray and skip the butter. “Since cheese and bacon are both higher in fat, choose one or the other to add to the sandwich,” she says. Add a side of fruit for extra fiber, vitamins, minerals and nutrients. RELATED: 8 Quick and Easy Egg Sandwich Recipes [caption id="attachment_64782" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Whole-Grain Bagel Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

5. Instead of bagels...

OK, we love bagels, too. “The challenge with bagels is the portion size and quantity of carbohydrates. One entire bagel has the same amount of carbohydrates as four slices of bread, about 60 grams of carbs,” says Koszyk. Stick with half a serving. To cut down on your carb intake, enjoy half of a high-fiber bagel. “Add lox or smoked salmon for protein and tomato for vitamins and nutrients,” she says. You can also top with sprouts, capers and radishes for more fiber. [caption id="attachment_64784" align="alignnone" width="620"]Healthy Breakfast Ideas: Homemade Muffins Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

6. Instead of scones or muffins…

“Most traditional baked goods come in extra large serving sizes these days, which can add a lot of carbohydrates and refined sugar to your morning,” says Kyle. Bake your own batch. Kyle suggests swapping out heavier ingredients like butter or eggs for applesauce, chia seeds, pureed bananas or Greek yogurt. “A simple swap like this can help you save up to 100 calories and add in some additional nutrients as well,” she says. “Add in fruits or veggies for your fillings instead of nuts or chocolate chips.” And remember, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a scone or muffin for breakfast once in a while, even if you’re eating clean. Read More 10 Healthy Ways to Get on the Egg Muffins Trend What 8 Busy Trainers Really Eat for Dinner 9 Veggie-Packed Breakfast On-the-Go Recipes

The post 6 Nutritionist-Approved Breakfast Ideas to Start Eating Clean appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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7 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism https://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-naturally-boost-metabolism/ https://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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Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Calorie Counting? https://dailyburn.com/life/health/calorie-counting-weight-loss/ https://dailyburn.com/life/health/calorie-counting-weight-loss/#respond Thu, 11 Jan 2018 12:15:03 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=51220

[caption id="attachment_64732" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Truth About Calorie Counting Photo: Pond5[/caption]

When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s easy to get sucked into counting calories. After all, that’s what weight loss is all about, right? To some extent, that’s true, says Keri Gans, MS, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet.

For example, if you usually consume 2,500 calories a day and then cut back to 1,600 calories, you’re going to lose weight from that 900-calorie daily deficit — even if all you ate was potato chips. But you won’t be healthy and you most likely won’t be able to keep the pounds off.

That’s because when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, there’s much more going on behind the scenes than simply calories in, calories out. Here’s what you should know about the real role of nutrition in weight loss, and what you can do to set yourself up for success.

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

Calories: It’s All About Quality Over Quantity

If you’re only focused on calorie counting, you could be missing the bigger picture. Sure, cutting back on how much you eat will lead to weight loss, but what’s even more important than calories is the quality of the foods you’re choosing, says Gans. Eating balanced, healthful meals will not only ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to improve your overall health status, but it will make your weight loss more sustainable.

“We can’t just look at a number on the scale when we think about weight loss,” she advises.

If you eat too few calories, or too many empty calories, you’ll wind up feeling hungry all the time. And you'll likely overeat more unhealthy foods later on, she says. Going back to the potato chip example, you could eat 160 calories of chips, but it won’t hold you over. In an hour, you’ll be hungry for another 160 calories, or even double that, because your “meal” was lacking the variety, fiber and protein needed to keep you satisfied. Eating foods high in fiber, healthy fats and lean protein, such as eggs, grilled chicken, vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds, avocados and olive oil, can keep hunger at bay and keep you fuller longer.

RELATED: The One Habit That Could Slash 1,400 Calories Per Week

“If you had sat down at the beginning and had 300 calories of some whole grain bread, avocado, a little chicken, now all of a sudden you have a well-balanced meal and you’re not going to be hungry,” says Gans. “Those 300 calories are going to do a lot more for you.”

Calorie Counting Conundrum: You Can’t Out-Run a Bad Diet

If weight loss were as simple as calorie counting, you’d be able to lose as much weight as calories you could rack up on the treadmill screen. Unfortunately, no amount of exercise can make up for a poor diet, says Gans. It’s common for people to hit a weight loss plateau or even gain weight if they continue to follow a bad diet, despite becoming more active.

“If you’re exercising all the time but eating like crap or eating too many calories, you’re not going to lose weight,” she says. In other words, how many calories you burn in the gym is irrelevant if you're overeating — or attempting to fuel with low-quality foods every day.

Meanwhile, while you can lose weight by cutting calories and not exercising at all, Gans strongly advises against it. Not only would you miss out on all the health benefits of exercise, but activities like running, swimming and cycling are lifestyle factors that often make it easier to keep the pounds off. Plus, exercise helps boost your metabolism, especially strength training. The more muscle mass you have, the more energy you’ll have to burn calories even when you’re just sitting down.

In fact, one 2014 scientific review found that diet plus exercise was more effective for weight loss than diet alone.

“This tells us it’s a lifestyle,” says Gans. “For those individuals who lose weight and incorporate exercise, it’s because they’ve made a better lifestyle of taking care of themselves. And that’s where you see the true success.”

RELATED: 6 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism

Eat, Sleep, Train, Repeat: All in a Day's Work

The three most important factors for weight loss are diet, exercise and sleep, says Gans. If you can work on improving the quality of one of those factors in your life, you can create a chain reaction for improving the rest.

“It’s almost like what came first, the chicken or the egg,” she says. “If you sleep well and have more energy, it stands to reason that you would be more likely to go to the gym. Now you’ve been going to the gym, you’re working out better, which makes you want to eat better. And so the cycle continues.”

RELATED: What 8 Busy Trainers Really Eat for Dinner

When counseling patients, Gans stresses that even though what we put in our mouths is the most important thing for weight loss, if you’re exhausted it will be a lot more difficult to choose a yogurt and a banana over a donut on the way to work. She also emphasizes the importance of planning and getting enough sleep. Be sure to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night to help your body recover from the day, manage stress levels and improve your willpower so you reach for a kale salad instead of a burger a fries.

“Yogurt and fruit could have more calories than a donut. But we know that the donut is probably going to make you hungrier, and now you’re going to have a bigger lunch,” says Gans. “But if you had that yogurt and fruit because you planned for it, you might have been able to control what you had for lunch.”

Originally published August 2016. Updated January 2018. 

Read More
Want to Start Eating Clean? Avoid These 6 Common Mistakes
This Is How Many Calories You're Burning During Exercise
How to Calculate Your BMR (And Why It Matters)

The post Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Calorie Counting? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>

[caption id="attachment_64732" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Truth About Calorie Counting Photo: Pond5[/caption] When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s easy to get sucked into counting calories. After all, that’s what weight loss is all about, right? To some extent, that’s true, says Keri Gans, MS, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet. For example, if you usually consume 2,500 calories a day and then cut back to 1,600 calories, you’re going to lose weight from that 900-calorie daily deficit — even if all you ate was potato chips. But you won’t be healthy and you most likely won’t be able to keep the pounds off. That’s because when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, there’s much more going on behind the scenes than simply calories in, calories out. Here’s what you should know about the real role of nutrition in weight loss, and what you can do to set yourself up for success. RELATED: I’m Exercising More — So Why Am I Gaining Weight?

Calories: It’s All About Quality Over Quantity

If you’re only focused on calorie counting, you could be missing the bigger picture. Sure, cutting back on how much you eat will lead to weight loss, but what’s even more important than calories is the quality of the foods you’re choosing, says Gans. Eating balanced, healthful meals will not only ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to improve your overall health status, but it will make your weight loss more sustainable. “We can’t just look at a number on the scale when we think about weight loss,” she advises. If you eat too few calories, or too many empty calories, you’ll wind up feeling hungry all the time. And you'll likely overeat more unhealthy foods later on, she says. Going back to the potato chip example, you could eat 160 calories of chips, but it won’t hold you over. In an hour, you’ll be hungry for another 160 calories, or even double that, because your “meal” was lacking the variety, fiber and protein needed to keep you satisfied. Eating foods high in fiber, healthy fats and lean protein, such as eggs, grilled chicken, vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds, avocados and olive oil, can keep hunger at bay and keep you fuller longer. RELATED: The One Habit That Could Slash 1,400 Calories Per Week “If you had sat down at the beginning and had 300 calories of some whole grain bread, avocado, a little chicken, now all of a sudden you have a well-balanced meal and you’re not going to be hungry,” says Gans. “Those 300 calories are going to do a lot more for you.”

Calorie Counting Conundrum: You Can’t Out-Run a Bad Diet

If weight loss were as simple as calorie counting, you’d be able to lose as much weight as calories you could rack up on the treadmill screen. Unfortunately, no amount of exercise can make up for a poor diet, says Gans. It’s common for people to hit a weight loss plateau or even gain weight if they continue to follow a bad diet, despite becoming more active. “If you’re exercising all the time but eating like crap or eating too many calories, you’re not going to lose weight,” she says. In other words, how many calories you burn in the gym is irrelevant if you're overeating — or attempting to fuel with low-quality foods every day. Meanwhile, while you can lose weight by cutting calories and not exercising at all, Gans strongly advises against it. Not only would you miss out on all the health benefits of exercise, but activities like running, swimming and cycling are lifestyle factors that often make it easier to keep the pounds off. Plus, exercise helps boost your metabolism, especially strength training. The more muscle mass you have, the more energy you’ll have to burn calories even when you’re just sitting down. In fact, one 2014 scientific review found that diet plus exercise was more effective for weight loss than diet alone. “This tells us it’s a lifestyle,” says Gans. “For those individuals who lose weight and incorporate exercise, it’s because they’ve made a better lifestyle of taking care of themselves. And that’s where you see the true success.” RELATED: 6 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Metabolism

Eat, Sleep, Train, Repeat: All in a Day's Work

The three most important factors for weight loss are diet, exercise and sleep, says Gans. If you can work on improving the quality of one of those factors in your life, you can create a chain reaction for improving the rest. “It’s almost like what came first, the chicken or the egg,” she says. “If you sleep well and have more energy, it stands to reason that you would be more likely to go to the gym. Now you’ve been going to the gym, you’re working out better, which makes you want to eat better. And so the cycle continues.” RELATED: What 8 Busy Trainers Really Eat for Dinner When counseling patients, Gans stresses that even though what we put in our mouths is the most important thing for weight loss, if you’re exhausted it will be a lot more difficult to choose a yogurt and a banana over a donut on the way to work. She also emphasizes the importance of planning and getting enough sleep. Be sure to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night to help your body recover from the day, manage stress levels and improve your willpower so you reach for a kale salad instead of a burger a fries. “Yogurt and fruit could have more calories than a donut. But we know that the donut is probably going to make you hungrier, and now you’re going to have a bigger lunch,” says Gans. “But if you had that yogurt and fruit because you planned for it, you might have been able to control what you had for lunch.” Originally published August 2016. Updated January 2018.  Read More Want to Start Eating Clean? Avoid These 6 Common Mistakes This Is How Many Calories You're Burning During Exercise How to Calculate Your BMR (And Why It Matters)

The post Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Calorie Counting? appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight https://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-lose-weight/ https://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.

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[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.

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Want to Start Eating Clean? Avoid These 6 Common Mistakes https://dailyburn.com/life/health/clean-eating-tips-mistakes/ Thu, 04 Jan 2018 12:15:46 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=64534 Want to Start Eating Clean? Avoid These 6 Common Clean Eating Mistakes

[caption id="attachment_64554" align="alignnone" width="620"]Want to Start Eating Clean? Avoid These 6 Common Clean Eating Mistakes Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Come January, it’s out with the old and in with the new. And for many of us, that includes habits that are (literally) weighing us down.

If you’ve resolved to cut out the processed junk and nix unhealthy convenience foods, welcome to the world of clean eating. While the term can mean something slightly different depending on whom you ask (and which social media feeds you follow), the general rule of thumb is to say “yes” to whole foods and “no” to foods with binders, preservatives, added colors and/or chemicals.

To help you navigate the do’s and don’ts of eating clean, we turned off Instagram (vegan fat bombs and majik smoothie bowls be damned!) and tuned in to what nutrition experts had to say.

RELATED: Your 4-Week Meal Prep Guide to Start Eating Clean

Clean Eating Mistakes (And Easy Fixes)

1. You’re thinking “diet” instead of “lifestyle.”

Clean eating received negative press in 2017 from people concerned that it was promoting extreme ideals or unfairly casting some foods as “unclean.” Not so, say the nutritionists we spoke with. “Eating clean to me is just another way to describe putting a focus on consuming whole foods,” says Caitlyn Elf, RD and blogger at CaitsPlate.com. “Don't think of it as a ‘diet’ or a restrictive plan, but rather fueling your body with what it needs in order to perform all its (many!) tasks optimally.” In terms of whole ingredients, focus on lean proteins, eggs, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, brown rice, ancient grains and quinoa.

RELATED: 7 Days of Clean Eating, Made Simple

2. You’re letting Instagram be your nutritionist.

When it comes to eating clean, fads shouldn’t have a seat at the table. “In the world of Instagram, ‘clean eating’ has come to mean eating only organic or vegan or gluten-free,” says Ashley Mooney, RDN and Clinical Dietitian for Morrison Healthcare at Yale New Haven Hospital. “Just because something has the term ‘organic’ or ‘vegan’ on it does not necessarily mean it is the healthy choice.” Taylor Johnson, RDN, LDN, and founder and CEO of Roots Reboot, couldn’t agree more. “People are tending to go for the ‘gluten-free’ or ‘vegan’ labeled products because these are ‘healthy’ buzz words right now. Unfortunately, neither of these labels mean it’s a nutrient-dense and/or a minimally processed product.”

3. You’re limiting whole food groups.

This is where trends can really do damage. From going gluten-free for non-medical reasons to consuming coconut oil with everything you cook — extreme eating is never a good thing. “I think people lose the forest through the trees, giving so much attention to the details of whether a particular choice is ‘acceptable’ that they forget about the big picture,” says Mark Sisson, author of The Keto Reset Diet and founder of Primal Kitchen. “They approach nutrition from a defensive position — ‘Can I eat this item or not?’ — when they should be asking, ‘What do I want my nutrition to look like today?’ If we’re constantly working from a reactive stance, we can end up eating 20 ‘acceptably clean’ choices in a day that add up to very little nutrition,” Sisson says.

[caption id="attachment_64548" align="alignnone" width="620"]Top Clean Eating Mistakes and Tips Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

4. You’re counting calories.

Let’s be clear: Calories do matter. However, instead of focusing on your overall tally for the day, pay attention to the quality of the calories you consume. “Counting calories and being overly restrictive are just not realistic,” says Johnson. “Also, [it] doesn’t always work. There are plenty of high-calorie foods that are healthy and nutrient dense.” So while that 100-calorie snack pack might help with portion control, it’s not necessarily a diet fix. “It is more important to make sure your snacks are packed with nutrients like protein and fiber,” Mooney explains, “rather than worry about keeping them under a certain number of calories.”

RELATED: Is Weight Loss Really As Simple As Calories In, Calories Out?

5. You're eating granola, energy bars or protein bars.

If there’s a common enemy among health professionals, it’s whole grains masquerading as health food. This includes granola, energy bars, protein bars and trail mix. “I think there’s a big misconception when it comes to energy bars,” Elf says. “Some can contain more sugar than a candy bar.” She recommends reaching for products made with ingredients you can pronounce, with no more than 10 ingredients overall. Her picks: KIND Fruit & Nut Bars and Lärabars.

6. You’re overestimating your needs.

Regardless of how healthy a food may be, it’s still a matter of calories in and calories out. “My clients commonly sabotage their diets when it comes to overestimating how many calories they burned in their workout,” Johnson says. The biggest culprit? What you’re drinking — especially large smoothies and energy drinks. (And, ahem, these fast food calorie bombs.) “I’d also point out how I see folks overdo the ‘healthy fats’ concept,” Sisson says. “They read that butter or ghee is OK again, or that they should be eating more of these nuts or this oil, but they don’t bring perspective to it,” he says. “The result? Each day they end up with 500 extra calories they didn’t need.”

Read More
Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans
50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight (the Healthy Way)
30-Minute Meals for Quick, Healthy Dinner Ideas

The post Want to Start Eating Clean? Avoid These 6 Common Mistakes appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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

[caption id="attachment_64554" align="alignnone" width="620"]Want to Start Eating Clean? Avoid These 6 Common Clean Eating Mistakes Photo: Twenty20[/caption] Come January, it’s out with the old and in with the new. And for many of us, that includes habits that are (literally) weighing us down. If you’ve resolved to cut out the processed junk and nix unhealthy convenience foods, welcome to the world of clean eating. While the term can mean something slightly different depending on whom you ask (and which social media feeds you follow), the general rule of thumb is to say “yes” to whole foods and “no” to foods with binders, preservatives, added colors and/or chemicals. To help you navigate the do’s and don’ts of eating clean, we turned off Instagram (vegan fat bombs and majik smoothie bowls be damned!) and tuned in to what nutrition experts had to say. RELATED: Your 4-Week Meal Prep Guide to Start Eating Clean

Clean Eating Mistakes (And Easy Fixes)

1. You’re thinking “diet” instead of “lifestyle.”

Clean eating received negative press in 2017 from people concerned that it was promoting extreme ideals or unfairly casting some foods as “unclean.” Not so, say the nutritionists we spoke with. “Eating clean to me is just another way to describe putting a focus on consuming whole foods,” says Caitlyn Elf, RD and blogger at CaitsPlate.com. “Don't think of it as a ‘diet’ or a restrictive plan, but rather fueling your body with what it needs in order to perform all its (many!) tasks optimally.” In terms of whole ingredients, focus on lean proteins, eggs, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, brown rice, ancient grains and quinoa. RELATED: 7 Days of Clean Eating, Made Simple

2. You’re letting Instagram be your nutritionist.

When it comes to eating clean, fads shouldn’t have a seat at the table. “In the world of Instagram, ‘clean eating’ has come to mean eating only organic or vegan or gluten-free,” says Ashley Mooney, RDN and Clinical Dietitian for Morrison Healthcare at Yale New Haven Hospital. “Just because something has the term ‘organic’ or ‘vegan’ on it does not necessarily mean it is the healthy choice.” Taylor Johnson, RDN, LDN, and founder and CEO of Roots Reboot, couldn’t agree more. “People are tending to go for the ‘gluten-free’ or ‘vegan’ labeled products because these are ‘healthy’ buzz words right now. Unfortunately, neither of these labels mean it’s a nutrient-dense and/or a minimally processed product.”

3. You’re limiting whole food groups.

This is where trends can really do damage. From going gluten-free for non-medical reasons to consuming coconut oil with everything you cook — extreme eating is never a good thing. “I think people lose the forest through the trees, giving so much attention to the details of whether a particular choice is ‘acceptable’ that they forget about the big picture,” says Mark Sisson, author of The Keto Reset Diet and founder of Primal Kitchen. “They approach nutrition from a defensive position — ‘Can I eat this item or not?’ — when they should be asking, ‘What do I want my nutrition to look like today?’ If we’re constantly working from a reactive stance, we can end up eating 20 ‘acceptably clean’ choices in a day that add up to very little nutrition,” Sisson says. [caption id="attachment_64548" align="alignnone" width="620"]Top Clean Eating Mistakes and Tips Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

4. You’re counting calories.

Let’s be clear: Calories do matter. However, instead of focusing on your overall tally for the day, pay attention to the quality of the calories you consume. “Counting calories and being overly restrictive are just not realistic,” says Johnson. “Also, [it] doesn’t always work. There are plenty of high-calorie foods that are healthy and nutrient dense.” So while that 100-calorie snack pack might help with portion control, it’s not necessarily a diet fix. “It is more important to make sure your snacks are packed with nutrients like protein and fiber,” Mooney explains, “rather than worry about keeping them under a certain number of calories.” RELATED: Is Weight Loss Really As Simple As Calories In, Calories Out?

5. You're eating granola, energy bars or protein bars.

If there’s a common enemy among health professionals, it’s whole grains masquerading as health food. This includes granola, energy bars, protein bars and trail mix. “I think there’s a big misconception when it comes to energy bars,” Elf says. “Some can contain more sugar than a candy bar.” She recommends reaching for products made with ingredients you can pronounce, with no more than 10 ingredients overall. Her picks: KIND Fruit & Nut Bars and Lärabars.

6. You’re overestimating your needs.

Regardless of how healthy a food may be, it’s still a matter of calories in and calories out. “My clients commonly sabotage their diets when it comes to overestimating how many calories they burned in their workout,” Johnson says. The biggest culprit? What you’re drinking — especially large smoothies and energy drinks. (And, ahem, these fast food calorie bombs.) “I’d also point out how I see folks overdo the ‘healthy fats’ concept,” Sisson says. “They read that butter or ghee is OK again, or that they should be eating more of these nuts or this oil, but they don’t bring perspective to it,” he says. “The result? Each day they end up with 500 extra calories they didn’t need.” Read More Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans 50 Resources to Help You Lose Weight (the Healthy Way) 30-Minute Meals for Quick, Healthy Dinner Ideas

The post Want to Start Eating Clean? Avoid These 6 Common Mistakes appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans https://dailyburn.com/life/health/top-diet-plans/ Wed, 03 Jan 2018 12:15:48 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=64466 Your Guide to the Top Diet Plans

[caption id="attachment_64496" align="alignnone" width="620"]Your Guide to the Top Diet Plans Photos: Twenty20 (top); Pond5 (bottom)[/caption]

Diet fads are a dime a dozen and there’s always a hot new one around the corner with promises of trim waistlines and a cure for whatever ails you. Yet the reality is that there are so many diet plans out there because, well, most of them don’t work. Some offer quick fixes and dramatic weight loss, sure, but often lack sustainability — or worse, might come with health risks.

There are a handful of diets, however, that do live up to the hype. And they remain on top because they’ve passed scientific scrutiny with proven results. But which one to choose? Unfortunately there’s no one-size-fits-all plan, and deciphering your best match is no easy feat.

“It's important to consider your goals and health issues when it comes to diet,” says Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN, and CEO of The NY Nutrition Group. For example, she would recommend a low-FODMAP diet for someone concerned with gastrointestinal issues. But it wouldn’t be the right fit for someone looking to lose weight, who would be better off with the DASH diet or Volumetrics, she explains.

Factors such as personal likes, dislikes and lifestyle also matter when choosing a diet — because the best diet plan is the one you actually stick with.

RELATED: The Pros and Cons of 6 Popular Weight Loss Diets

Your Guide to the Top Diet Plans

The DASH Diet

Who it's best for: DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, so people with high blood pressure should theoretically benefit the most.

How it works: The DASH diet plan prevents and controls high blood pressure with whole foods that are low in sodium. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) helped develop the DASH diet, so it’s no surprise it’s the number one diet for a healthy heart. It also tops the U.S. News & World Report’s annual best diets list year after year.

What to eat: Foods high in potassium, calcium, protein and fiber. Think fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean fish, poultry, beans, nuts and low-fat dairy.

What to avoid: Salt. Daily sodium intake should hover around 1,500 mg and never more than 2,300. The diet also reduces sugars, fats and red meat.

Level of difficulty: Giving up fatty, sugary and salty treats is never easy, but the DASH diet doesn’t restrict entire food groups, making it more likely you’ll stay with the plan. Plus, the lean protein and fiber filled meals ensure you won’t be battling hunger pangs either. It requires no specialty foods or recipes and you’re not counting calories or points, just daily servings from various food groups.

Food for thought: Though it’s not designed for weight loss, many DASHers shed pounds on the diet because it emphasizes eating foods that are naturally low in fats and sugars. Plus, it teaches proper portion control. It won’t be quick or extreme though, but the best weight loss programs generally aren’t. The smartest way to ease into the DASH diet is by experimenting with spices and herbs to help you forget that salt’s not on the table. Check out the NHLBI’s DASH Diet Guide, which will help you outline your eating plan with recommended daily servings and meal examples.

RELATED: The Truth About Salt: Should You Shake the Habit?

[caption id="attachment_22061" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Quick and Dirty Guide to Choosing the Best Diet for You: Paleo Diet Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Paleo Diet

Who it's best for: Those looking to lose weight and prevent type-2 diabetes and heart disease.

How it works: On the paleo diet we eat like our prehistoric hunter-gatherer ancestors did — the way we were genetically designed to eat — by eliminating disease causing grains, dairy and processed foods. Paleo requires that 40 percent of daily calories come from protein, 40 percent from fat and 20 percent from carbohydrates.

What to eat: Meat, fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables.

What to avoid: Processed foods, refined sugar, dairy, legumes and grains.

Level of difficulty: This diet is highly restrictive and requires cooking your own food most of the time, but its popularity has spawned hundreds of food blogs and cookbooks so there is no shortage of recipes.

Food for thought: While it's debatable that this diet is comprised of foods even remotely similar to what our ancestors ate, cutting sugar and processed foods is never a bad thing, experts agree. However, some experts criticize the diet for being nutritionally incomplete by unnecessarily eliminating dairy, legumes and whole grains, which provide essential nutrients.

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

[caption id="attachment_56156" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Quick and Dirty Guide to Choosing the Best Diet for You: Whole30 Photo: Courtesy of The Whole 30[/caption]

Whole30 Diet

Who it's best for: “An anti-inflammatory diet is good for just about everyone,” says Moskovitz, “especially those dealing with chronic conditions such as pain, skin issues, hormonal balances, etc.”

How it works: The Whole30 diet plan resets your body by eliminating inflammatory food groups for 30 days. The theory is that something you eat is to blame for your medical condition. After a month, your body heals and you can reintroduce foods back one at a time and your body’s reaction will tell you if it should stay or be eliminated completely from your diet.

What to eat: Meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, natural fats and some fruits.

What to avoid: Sugar (including artificial), alcohol, grains, legumes and dairy.

Level of difficulty: The program is only 30 days, but it’s a very restrictive 30 days with zero room for error. If you cheat, you go back to day one. You’ll also need to cook most of your own meals and eating out is near impossible. Good news is you don’t need to track calories.

Food for thought: Pinpointing what ails you in 30 days could be worth it. Even if you’re not targeting a specific condition, many Whole30 dieters report higher energy levels, better sleep, improved athletic ability, better mental focus and general happiness. But if weight loss is what you’re after, Whole30 might not be the best way to do it.

RELATED: 30 Delicious Whole 30 Recipes You’ll Actually Love

[caption id="attachment_56160" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Quick and Dirty Guide to Choosing the Best Diet for You: Ketogenic Diet Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Ketogenic Diet

Who it's best for: People with fat to lose.

How it works: The ketogenic diet is low carb and high fat. The reduction in carbs and protein puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis, in which it becomes efficient at burning fat for energy. The diet generally aims for 80 percent fat,15 percent protein and five percent carbs.

What to eat: Meat, fatty fish, eggs, butter, cream, cheese, nuts, healthy oils, avocados, low-carb vegetables and berries.

What to avoid: Bread, grains, fruits (except berries), dairy, beans, legumes, alcohol, rice, pasta, potatoes, beer and sugary foods.

Level of difficulty: The ketogenic diet is highly restrictive. Plus, the transition period is rough as the body goes through what is referred to as “keto flu,” which makes you tired, groggy and grumpy.

Food for thought: Most people on the ketogenic diet plan have a high success rate of weight loss, but the diet isn’t sustainable for the majority of people, so that weight is likely to be gained back.

RELATED: Why You Should Eat More Fat and Less Sugar

Mediterranean Diet

Who it's best for: Everyone.

How it works: People living along the Mediterranean Sea have been proven to live longer, suffer fewer cardiovascular ailments and stave off cancer through a diet low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat. It emphasizes fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and nuts for optimal health.

What to eat: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, fish and wine.

What to avoid: Red meat and sweets, with poultry, eggs and dairy in moderation.

Level of difficulty: This plan is quite possibly the easiest to stick to since it’s more of a lifestyle adjustment and not a structured diet.

Food for thought: Extreme weight loss isn’t the point of the Mediterranean diet, but sensible and gradual weight loss may be inevitable when you’re eating healthy, whole foods. What’s more important is how the diet affects your health and longevity, says Moskovitz.

RELATED: Never Diet Again: 5 Mindless Ways to Build Healthy Habits

[caption id="attachment_34050" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Quick and Dirty Guide to Choosing the Best Diet for You: 5:2 Diet and Intermittent Fasting Photo: Pond5[/caption]

5:2 Diet and Intermittent Fasting

Who it's best for: People who can tolerate hunger but find it difficult to stick to conventional calorie-restriction diets.

How it works: The 5:2 diet plan involves eating normally for five days a week, then restricting your calorie intake to 500–600 calories on the other two days. During fasting days, your metabolism supposedly speeds up and the calorie deficit can add up to 3,000 calories per week.

What to eat: On fasting days, eat vegetables, soups, eggs, fish, and other high-fiber, high-protein foods. On normal days, stick to the Mediterranean diet.

What to avoid: Nothing is forbidden, but try to reduce red meat, sugar and processed foods.

Level of difficulty: Intense hunger is very real with this diet, making it difficult to maintain. Plus, fasting days can throw a curveball to your social life, not to mention your workout schedule.

Food for thought: The 5:2 diet may be right for you if you can handle hunger one day without bingeing the next. It requires a great deal of self-control and commitment and won’t benefit you if you’re a yo-yo dieter. Moskovitz typically tries to steer people away from intermittent fasting because of its unsustainable nature.

RELATED: Intermittent Fasting: Should You Exercise on Empty?

[caption id="attachment_27296" align="alignnone" width="620"]Collard Wraps Photo by Perry Santanachote[/caption]

Raw Food Diet

Who it's best for: People seeking optimal health and weight loss or detoxification.

How it works: By eating foods that haven’t been processed, cooked, genetically engineered or exposed to herbicides, your body will be at its healthiest because you’re optimizing your intake of nutrients and natural enzymes. The claim is that cooking kills most nutrients and enzymes in food, although there is scant scientific evidence that backs this up. The raw food diet can also be effective for weight loss since fruits and vegetables are low in calories.

What to eat: Fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in their whole, natural state. Raw fish, meat, milk and cheese are OK, as are virgin coconut oil and cold-pressed olive oil.

What to avoid: Anything pasteurized or processed, refined sugars, flours, table salt, caffeine and any foods cooked above 115°F.

Level of difficulty: This diet requires a lot of prep work and eating out is all but impossible. You will spend a good chunk of your days thinking about what to eat.

Food for thought: Weight loss is nearly guaranteed, but the diet requires tedious meal prep and its restrictions significantly limit the foods you can eat, making it challenging to meet your nutritional needs. The many restrictions also increase the likelihood of quitting.

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

[caption id="attachment_26621" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Quick and Dirty Guide to Choosing the Best Diet for You: Flexitarian Diet Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Flexitarian Diet

Who it's best for: People who are curious about vegetarianism and its health and environmental benefits, but don’t want to give up meat completely.

How it works: The flexitarian diet plan follows a vegetarian diet most of the time, but you don’t need to eliminate meat completely. Cutting back on meats and adding more fruits and vegetables can reduce your risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes. It might also help you lose weight.

What to eat: Plant-based proteins (tofu, beans, lentils, peas, nuts and seeds), eggs, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy.

What to avoid: Meat, most of the time.

Level of difficulty: This diet is easy to follow because no food groups are completely off-limits, and there’s nothing to count, weight or track.

Food for thought: Start cutting back on meat with Meatless Mondays and gradually reduce carnivorous meals from there.

RELATED: Are You a Protein-aholic? How Much Meat Is Too Much

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

Low-FODMAP Diet

Who it's best for: People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who have ruled out celiac disease through medical testing.

How it works: The acronym FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. These are all different carbohydrates that if poorly absorbed can pass through the small intestine and into the colon. Bacteria in the colon then feed on the FODMAPs, producing gas, bloating and pain. A low-FODMAP diet eliminates FODMAP foods for six to eight weeks. After that, small amounts of FODMAP foods are gradually re-introduced to find your personal level of tolerance.

What to eat: Meat, whole grains, select vegetables, select fruits, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, tea, coffee and berries.

What to avoid: Wheat, barley, rye, nuts, legumes, lactose (dairy), fructose (fruit), garlic, onions, sweeteners and some vegetables.

Level of difficulty: A low-FODMAP diet is hard during the initial elimination period because of all the restrictions. But it should get easier as you reintroduce foods back into your diet.

Food for thought: It can be a challenge to follow at times, but the the benefits might be worth it if you suffer from gastrointestinal problems.

RELATED: Are You Eating Too Much Fruit?

[caption id="attachment_64494" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Diet Plans: Forks Over Knives Vegan Diet Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Forks Over Knives (Vegan) Diet

Who it's best for: People who want to take vegetarianism one step further by eliminating dairy, eggs and any other animal byproducts. Most vegans choose a vegan diet for ethical or environmental reasons, but veganism also lowers the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

How it works: Vegans avoid any animal foods, including ingredients derived from animals. Weight loss is achieved by the diet’s very low fat and high fiber content. Plant-based diets are also known to keep blood sugar in check.

What to eat: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, tofu, tempeh, seitan, nutritional yeast, plant milks, nuts and seeds.

What to avoid: Meat, poultry, fish, seafood, dairy, eggs, honey, bee pollen, whey, casein, lactose, gelatin and fish oil.

Level of difficulty: Meal planning is imperative to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need. And because the diet is quite restrictive, the chances of backsliding are high, especially if you’re doing it just for weight loss. Moral grounds are often the best motivators for staying vegan.

Food for thought: In some cases, a diet based exclusively on plant foods may increase the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Because of this, vegans should eat fortified foods and/or supplements to get enough calcium, vitamin D, zinc, iodine, iron and vitamin B12. When done right with whole-plant foods and limited processed foods, a vegan diet can be healthy and result in weight loss.

RELATED: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Vegan

[caption id="attachment_35651" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Quick and Dirty Guide to Choosing the Best Diet for You: IIFYM If It Fits Your Macros Diet Photo: Pond5[/caption]

IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) Diet

Who it's best for: Those who want variety in their meals but don’t mind obsessively tracking numbers.

How it works: The IIFYM diet lets you eat anything you want and you’ll lose weight as long as you meet your prescribed daily set of macronutrients (carbs, proteins and fats). Calculate your personal macros by figuring out your total daily expenditure, then how many calories you should eat per day to lose weight. From there, you’ll divide the calories into the percentage of calories that should come from fat (20 percent), protein (40 percent) and carbohydrates (40 percent).

What to eat: Anything — as long as you hit your macros. Though, ideally, you’ll make healthful choices most of the time.

What to avoid: There are no restrictions but if you’re aiming for 20 percent fat intake, you won’t be eating many high-fat foods.

Level of difficulty: Semi-easy because you can eat foods traditionally considered diet taboos, and still have a social life. However, you need to be a little obsessive with tracking, weighing and measuring everything you put in your mouth. Tip: You’re going to want an app for that.

Food for thought: Weight loss isn’t as simple as calories in and calories out. By bringing macronutrients into play, IIFYM makes sure you’re not just eating cookies and calling it a day. Still, some critics say the diet leaves plenty of room for junk food since you’re allowed to “eat whatever you want.” You also run the risk of depriving your body of the micronutrients it needs. The IIFYM diet plan could be right for you if you’re smart about it and eat quality, whole foods and avoid the junk, at least most of the time.

RELATED: Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Calories In, Calories Out?

[caption id="attachment_16798" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Quick and Dirty Guide to Choosing the Best Diet for You: Volumetrics Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Volumetrics

Who it's best for: People who want to lose weight without feeling deprived.

How it works: Eat the same amount of food you normally would but replace calorie-dense foods with low-density foods, which have fewer calories per gram. You’ll feel full while also dropping pounds.

What to eat: Non-starchy fruits and vegetables, broth-based soups, whole grains, lean proteins and legumes.

What to avoid: Meat, cheese, bread, nuts, butter, oil, sweets and fried foods.

Level of difficulty: Easy because satiety is guaranteed so you won’t go hangry. The rules are pretty lax, the diet just teaches you to make smarter swaps so you get the most mileage out of what you eat.

Food for thought: Moskovitz considers Volumetrics one of the best options for weight loss. The diet plan teaches you the caloric value of foods without the need to track everything you eat. It’s not disruptive to your lifestyle either. Simply choose low-calorie foods that fill you up. Volumetrics is also a great option for weight maintenance, she says.

Read More
50 Resources to Make Meal Prep a Snap
You 4-Week Meal Prep Guide for Clean Eating
The 3-Day Military Diet: Is It Legit?

The post Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Your Guide to the Top Diet Plans

[caption id="attachment_64496" align="alignnone" width="620"]Your Guide to the Top Diet Plans Photos: Twenty20 (top); Pond5 (bottom)[/caption] Diet fads are a dime a dozen and there’s always a hot new one around the corner with promises of trim waistlines and a cure for whatever ails you. Yet the reality is that there are so many diet plans out there because, well, most of them don’t work. Some offer quick fixes and dramatic weight loss, sure, but often lack sustainability — or worse, might come with health risks. There are a handful of diets, however, that do live up to the hype. And they remain on top because they’ve passed scientific scrutiny with proven results. But which one to choose? Unfortunately there’s no one-size-fits-all plan, and deciphering your best match is no easy feat. “It's important to consider your goals and health issues when it comes to diet,” says Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN, and CEO of The NY Nutrition Group. For example, she would recommend a low-FODMAP diet for someone concerned with gastrointestinal issues. But it wouldn’t be the right fit for someone looking to lose weight, who would be better off with the DASH diet or Volumetrics, she explains. Factors such as personal likes, dislikes and lifestyle also matter when choosing a diet — because the best diet plan is the one you actually stick with. RELATED: The Pros and Cons of 6 Popular Weight Loss Diets

Your Guide to the Top Diet Plans

The DASH Diet

Who it's best for: DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, so people with high blood pressure should theoretically benefit the most. How it works: The DASH diet plan prevents and controls high blood pressure with whole foods that are low in sodium. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) helped develop the DASH diet, so it’s no surprise it’s the number one diet for a healthy heart. It also tops the U.S. News & World Report’s annual best diets list year after year. What to eat: Foods high in potassium, calcium, protein and fiber. Think fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean fish, poultry, beans, nuts and low-fat dairy. What to avoid: Salt. Daily sodium intake should hover around 1,500 mg and never more than 2,300. The diet also reduces sugars, fats and red meat. Level of difficulty: Giving up fatty, sugary and salty treats is never easy, but the DASH diet doesn’t restrict entire food groups, making it more likely you’ll stay with the plan. Plus, the lean protein and fiber filled meals ensure you won’t be battling hunger pangs either. It requires no specialty foods or recipes and you’re not counting calories or points, just daily servings from various food groups. Food for thought: Though it’s not designed for weight loss, many DASHers shed pounds on the diet because it emphasizes eating foods that are naturally low in fats and sugars. Plus, it teaches proper portion control. It won’t be quick or extreme though, but the best weight loss programs generally aren’t. The smartest way to ease into the DASH diet is by experimenting with spices and herbs to help you forget that salt’s not on the table. Check out the NHLBI’s DASH Diet Guide, which will help you outline your eating plan with recommended daily servings and meal examples. RELATED: The Truth About Salt: Should You Shake the Habit? [caption id="attachment_22061" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Quick and Dirty Guide to Choosing the Best Diet for You: Paleo Diet Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Paleo Diet

Who it's best for: Those looking to lose weight and prevent type-2 diabetes and heart disease. How it works: On the paleo diet we eat like our prehistoric hunter-gatherer ancestors did — the way we were genetically designed to eat — by eliminating disease causing grains, dairy and processed foods. Paleo requires that 40 percent of daily calories come from protein, 40 percent from fat and 20 percent from carbohydrates. What to eat: Meat, fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables. What to avoid: Processed foods, refined sugar, dairy, legumes and grains. Level of difficulty: This diet is highly restrictive and requires cooking your own food most of the time, but its popularity has spawned hundreds of food blogs and cookbooks so there is no shortage of recipes. Food for thought: While it's debatable that this diet is comprised of foods even remotely similar to what our ancestors ate, cutting sugar and processed foods is never a bad thing, experts agree. However, some experts criticize the diet for being nutritionally incomplete by unnecessarily eliminating dairy, legumes and whole grains, which provide essential nutrients. RELATED: 20 Delicious Paleo Recipes for Every Meal of the Day [caption id="attachment_56156" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Quick and Dirty Guide to Choosing the Best Diet for You: Whole30 Photo: Courtesy of The Whole 30[/caption]

Whole30 Diet

Who it's best for: “An anti-inflammatory diet is good for just about everyone,” says Moskovitz, “especially those dealing with chronic conditions such as pain, skin issues, hormonal balances, etc.” How it works: The Whole30 diet plan resets your body by eliminating inflammatory food groups for 30 days. The theory is that something you eat is to blame for your medical condition. After a month, your body heals and you can reintroduce foods back one at a time and your body’s reaction will tell you if it should stay or be eliminated completely from your diet. What to eat: Meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, natural fats and some fruits. What to avoid: Sugar (including artificial), alcohol, grains, legumes and dairy. Level of difficulty: The program is only 30 days, but it’s a very restrictive 30 days with zero room for error. If you cheat, you go back to day one. You’ll also need to cook most of your own meals and eating out is near impossible. Good news is you don’t need to track calories. Food for thought: Pinpointing what ails you in 30 days could be worth it. Even if you’re not targeting a specific condition, many Whole30 dieters report higher energy levels, better sleep, improved athletic ability, better mental focus and general happiness. But if weight loss is what you’re after, Whole30 might not be the best way to do it. RELATED: 30 Delicious Whole 30 Recipes You’ll Actually Love [caption id="attachment_56160" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Quick and Dirty Guide to Choosing the Best Diet for You: Ketogenic Diet Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Ketogenic Diet

Who it's best for: People with fat to lose. How it works: The ketogenic diet is low carb and high fat. The reduction in carbs and protein puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis, in which it becomes efficient at burning fat for energy. The diet generally aims for 80 percent fat,15 percent protein and five percent carbs. What to eat: Meat, fatty fish, eggs, butter, cream, cheese, nuts, healthy oils, avocados, low-carb vegetables and berries. What to avoid: Bread, grains, fruits (except berries), dairy, beans, legumes, alcohol, rice, pasta, potatoes, beer and sugary foods. Level of difficulty: The ketogenic diet is highly restrictive. Plus, the transition period is rough as the body goes through what is referred to as “keto flu,” which makes you tired, groggy and grumpy. Food for thought: Most people on the ketogenic diet plan have a high success rate of weight loss, but the diet isn’t sustainable for the majority of people, so that weight is likely to be gained back. RELATED: Why You Should Eat More Fat and Less Sugar

Mediterranean Diet

Who it's best for: Everyone. How it works: People living along the Mediterranean Sea have been proven to live longer, suffer fewer cardiovascular ailments and stave off cancer through a diet low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat. It emphasizes fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and nuts for optimal health. What to eat: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, fish and wine. What to avoid: Red meat and sweets, with poultry, eggs and dairy in moderation. Level of difficulty: This plan is quite possibly the easiest to stick to since it’s more of a lifestyle adjustment and not a structured diet. Food for thought: Extreme weight loss isn’t the point of the Mediterranean diet, but sensible and gradual weight loss may be inevitable when you’re eating healthy, whole foods. What’s more important is how the diet affects your health and longevity, says Moskovitz. RELATED: Never Diet Again: 5 Mindless Ways to Build Healthy Habits [caption id="attachment_34050" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Quick and Dirty Guide to Choosing the Best Diet for You: 5:2 Diet and Intermittent Fasting Photo: Pond5[/caption]

5:2 Diet and Intermittent Fasting

Who it's best for: People who can tolerate hunger but find it difficult to stick to conventional calorie-restriction diets. How it works: The 5:2 diet plan involves eating normally for five days a week, then restricting your calorie intake to 500–600 calories on the other two days. During fasting days, your metabolism supposedly speeds up and the calorie deficit can add up to 3,000 calories per week. What to eat: On fasting days, eat vegetables, soups, eggs, fish, and other high-fiber, high-protein foods. On normal days, stick to the Mediterranean diet. What to avoid: Nothing is forbidden, but try to reduce red meat, sugar and processed foods. Level of difficulty: Intense hunger is very real with this diet, making it difficult to maintain. Plus, fasting days can throw a curveball to your social life, not to mention your workout schedule. Food for thought: The 5:2 diet may be right for you if you can handle hunger one day without bingeing the next. It requires a great deal of self-control and commitment and won’t benefit you if you’re a yo-yo dieter. Moskovitz typically tries to steer people away from intermittent fasting because of its unsustainable nature. RELATED: Intermittent Fasting: Should You Exercise on Empty? [caption id="attachment_27296" align="alignnone" width="620"]Collard Wraps Photo by Perry Santanachote[/caption]

Raw Food Diet

Who it's best for: People seeking optimal health and weight loss or detoxification. How it works: By eating foods that haven’t been processed, cooked, genetically engineered or exposed to herbicides, your body will be at its healthiest because you’re optimizing your intake of nutrients and natural enzymes. The claim is that cooking kills most nutrients and enzymes in food, although there is scant scientific evidence that backs this up. The raw food diet can also be effective for weight loss since fruits and vegetables are low in calories. What to eat: Fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in their whole, natural state. Raw fish, meat, milk and cheese are OK, as are virgin coconut oil and cold-pressed olive oil. What to avoid: Anything pasteurized or processed, refined sugars, flours, table salt, caffeine and any foods cooked above 115°F. Level of difficulty: This diet requires a lot of prep work and eating out is all but impossible. You will spend a good chunk of your days thinking about what to eat. Food for thought: Weight loss is nearly guaranteed, but the diet requires tedious meal prep and its restrictions significantly limit the foods you can eat, making it challenging to meet your nutritional needs. The many restrictions also increase the likelihood of quitting. RELATED: 12 Brilliant Meal Prep Ideas to Free Up Your Time [caption id="attachment_26621" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Quick and Dirty Guide to Choosing the Best Diet for You: Flexitarian Diet Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Flexitarian Diet

Who it's best for: People who are curious about vegetarianism and its health and environmental benefits, but don’t want to give up meat completely. How it works: The flexitarian diet plan follows a vegetarian diet most of the time, but you don’t need to eliminate meat completely. Cutting back on meats and adding more fruits and vegetables can reduce your risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes. It might also help you lose weight. What to eat: Plant-based proteins (tofu, beans, lentils, peas, nuts and seeds), eggs, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dairy. What to avoid: Meat, most of the time. Level of difficulty: This diet is easy to follow because no food groups are completely off-limits, and there’s nothing to count, weight or track. Food for thought: Start cutting back on meat with Meatless Mondays and gradually reduce carnivorous meals from there. RELATED: Are You a Protein-aholic? How Much Meat Is Too Much [caption id="attachment_33326" align="alignnone" width="620"]Fall Cleanse Kale Salad Photo by Renee Blair[/caption]

Low-FODMAP Diet

Who it's best for: People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who have ruled out celiac disease through medical testing. How it works: The acronym FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. These are all different carbohydrates that if poorly absorbed can pass through the small intestine and into the colon. Bacteria in the colon then feed on the FODMAPs, producing gas, bloating and pain. A low-FODMAP diet eliminates FODMAP foods for six to eight weeks. After that, small amounts of FODMAP foods are gradually re-introduced to find your personal level of tolerance. What to eat: Meat, whole grains, select vegetables, select fruits, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, tea, coffee and berries. What to avoid: Wheat, barley, rye, nuts, legumes, lactose (dairy), fructose (fruit), garlic, onions, sweeteners and some vegetables. Level of difficulty: A low-FODMAP diet is hard during the initial elimination period because of all the restrictions. But it should get easier as you reintroduce foods back into your diet. Food for thought: It can be a challenge to follow at times, but the the benefits might be worth it if you suffer from gastrointestinal problems. RELATED: Are You Eating Too Much Fruit? [caption id="attachment_64494" align="alignnone" width="620"]Best Diet Plans: Forks Over Knives Vegan Diet Photo: Twenty20[/caption]

Forks Over Knives (Vegan) Diet

Who it's best for: People who want to take vegetarianism one step further by eliminating dairy, eggs and any other animal byproducts. Most vegans choose a vegan diet for ethical or environmental reasons, but veganism also lowers the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. How it works: Vegans avoid any animal foods, including ingredients derived from animals. Weight loss is achieved by the diet’s very low fat and high fiber content. Plant-based diets are also known to keep blood sugar in check. What to eat: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, tofu, tempeh, seitan, nutritional yeast, plant milks, nuts and seeds. What to avoid: Meat, poultry, fish, seafood, dairy, eggs, honey, bee pollen, whey, casein, lactose, gelatin and fish oil. Level of difficulty: Meal planning is imperative to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need. And because the diet is quite restrictive, the chances of backsliding are high, especially if you’re doing it just for weight loss. Moral grounds are often the best motivators for staying vegan. Food for thought: In some cases, a diet based exclusively on plant foods may increase the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Because of this, vegans should eat fortified foods and/or supplements to get enough calcium, vitamin D, zinc, iodine, iron and vitamin B12. When done right with whole-plant foods and limited processed foods, a vegan diet can be healthy and result in weight loss. RELATED: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Vegan [caption id="attachment_35651" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Quick and Dirty Guide to Choosing the Best Diet for You: IIFYM If It Fits Your Macros Diet Photo: Pond5[/caption]

IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) Diet

Who it's best for: Those who want variety in their meals but don’t mind obsessively tracking numbers. How it works: The IIFYM diet lets you eat anything you want and you’ll lose weight as long as you meet your prescribed daily set of macronutrients (carbs, proteins and fats). Calculate your personal macros by figuring out your total daily expenditure, then how many calories you should eat per day to lose weight. From there, you’ll divide the calories into the percentage of calories that should come from fat (20 percent), protein (40 percent) and carbohydrates (40 percent). What to eat: Anything — as long as you hit your macros. Though, ideally, you’ll make healthful choices most of the time. What to avoid: There are no restrictions but if you’re aiming for 20 percent fat intake, you won’t be eating many high-fat foods. Level of difficulty: Semi-easy because you can eat foods traditionally considered diet taboos, and still have a social life. However, you need to be a little obsessive with tracking, weighing and measuring everything you put in your mouth. Tip: You’re going to want an app for that. Food for thought: Weight loss isn’t as simple as calories in and calories out. By bringing macronutrients into play, IIFYM makes sure you’re not just eating cookies and calling it a day. Still, some critics say the diet leaves plenty of room for junk food since you’re allowed to “eat whatever you want.” You also run the risk of depriving your body of the micronutrients it needs. The IIFYM diet plan could be right for you if you’re smart about it and eat quality, whole foods and avoid the junk, at least most of the time. RELATED: Is Weight Loss Really As Easy As Calories In, Calories Out? [caption id="attachment_16798" align="alignnone" width="620"]The Quick and Dirty Guide to Choosing the Best Diet for You: Volumetrics Photo: Pond5[/caption]

Volumetrics

Who it's best for: People who want to lose weight without feeling deprived. How it works: Eat the same amount of food you normally would but replace calorie-dense foods with low-density foods, which have fewer calories per gram. You’ll feel full while also dropping pounds. What to eat: Non-starchy fruits and vegetables, broth-based soups, whole grains, lean proteins and legumes. What to avoid: Meat, cheese, bread, nuts, butter, oil, sweets and fried foods. Level of difficulty: Easy because satiety is guaranteed so you won’t go hangry. The rules are pretty lax, the diet just teaches you to make smarter swaps so you get the most mileage out of what you eat. Food for thought: Moskovitz considers Volumetrics one of the best options for weight loss. The diet plan teaches you the caloric value of foods without the need to track everything you eat. It’s not disruptive to your lifestyle either. Simply choose low-calorie foods that fill you up. Volumetrics is also a great option for weight maintenance, she says. Read More 50 Resources to Make Meal Prep a Snap You 4-Week Meal Prep Guide for Clean Eating The 3-Day Military Diet: Is It Legit?

The post Everything You Need to Know About the Top Diet Plans appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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Overindulged? Here’s How to Get Back on Track in 24 Hours https://dailyburn.com/life/health/overeating-holiday-weight-gain-24-hour-tips/ https://dailyburn.com/life/health/overeating-holiday-weight-gain-24-hour-tips/#respond Tue, 02 Jan 2018 16:15:29 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=46362 Overindulged? The Secret to Getting Back on Track in 24 Hours

[caption id="attachment_46365" align="alignnone" width="620"]Overindulged? The Secret to Getting Back on Track in 24 Hours Photo by Michal Kulesza[/caption]

'Tis the season — and your stomach knows it. After all, in the last day, you’ve stuffed it with about 5,000 calories, thanks to holiday parties, cookie swaps, and oversized glasses of eggnog.

But in the grand scheme of things, one epic day of holiday feasting and drinking might not be all that bad. After all, one day — even if it’s jam-packed with sugar, salt and trans fats — won’t make or break your healthy eating efforts over the long-term, says nutritionist Vandana Sheth, R.D.N., C.D.E, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. However, what you choose to do immediately after your binge can either get you back on track — or cause your little slip-up to snowball into an entire season of overindulging. “I often tell my clients that each meal and each day is a fresh start,” Sheth says. “Rather than feeling guilty, focus on positive steps you can take.”

Once you set down your fork and declare yourself done for the day, follow this game plan to get back to feeling good again.

RELATED: How to Detox the Healthy Way: 16 Recipes You’ll Love

Your 24-Hour Plan to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

[caption id="attachment_46368" align="alignnone" width="620"]Overindulged? The Secret to Getting Back on Track in 24 Hours Photo by Evelyn Chin[/caption]

That Night…

Button your pants back up, put on your sneaks and go for a walk. “It will help you feel less full and allow you to better metabolize your food,” Sheth says. Research from George Washington University shows that walking for just 15 minutes after food-fests can help prevent your blood sugar from spiking and then dropping to cause fatigue, cravings, and more overeating.

Then, before bed, make sure you’ve had plenty of water to drink (especially if you’ve knocked back any alcoholic beverages through the day) to prevent dehydration, bloating and generally gross feelings, says Mike Fenster, M.D., author of The Fallacy of the Calorie. (Hint: Your pee should be light, not dark, yellow.) A cup of decaf ginger tea can also be great before bed for both hydrating and soothing upset stomachs, he says. If you’re prone to heartburn or are just still feeling stuffed when you turn in for the night, try propping your head up on a pillow. It’ll help reduce the likelihood that you’ll wake up in the morning breathing fire.

RELATED: 6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated

The Next Morning…

Let yourself sleep in — at least a little bit. While you don’t want to hibernate all day and throw off your sleep patterns, the goal is to get a solid seven to nine hours of sleep. “Without adequate rest, you will no doubt feel all the worse,” Fenster says. “And insufficient rest results in cravings for energy-dense — and usually nutritionally deplete — foods.” In one Mayo Clinic study, after missing out on just 80 minutes of sleep participants went on to eat an extra 550 calories throughout the day. Once you finally do roll out of bed, eat a balanced breakfast of protein, whole carbs and healthy fats. If your stomach is feeling less than solid, you can fit all of those nutrients into a healthy, hydrating smoothie, he says. (Try one of these smoothie recipes!) Just take it easy on the sugar.

RELATED: 6 Simple Food Swaps to Quit Sugar for Good

The Next Afternoon…

Eat a healthy lunch filled with lean protein, vegetables and complex carbohydrates to help keep you feeling full, satisfied and primed with energy, says Alexandra Sowa, M.D., a clinical instructor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. (We’ve got seven healthy lunch ideas your friends will want to steal here.)

And no, you shouldn’t try to cut calories in an effort to “offset” yesterday’s caloric splurges. The goal is to get you back to sustainable healthy eating, not a diet that’s going to make you feel deprived and under-nourish your body. If, by now, you’re feeling more or less back on track, squeeze in a workout. “It’ll promote digestion and can help you feel like your normal self,” Sowa says. Just remember that if you choose to hit it hard, you may require more fluid replacement than you normally would, Fenster says. So don’t forget that water bottle.

RELATED: Your 4-Week Meal Prep Guide to Clean Eating

The Next Evening…

Wrap up your dinner — again, with plenty of lean protein, antioxidant-packed veggies and complex carbs — earlier as opposed to later. Research from Northwestern University suggests that calories consumed late at night are more likely to be stored as fat compared to calories eaten earlier in the evening. Then, congratulate yourself on not letting yesterday’s food blowout get you off track, call it a night, and get ready for more healthy days ahead!

Originally published December 2015. Updated December 2017.

Read More
How to Start Eating Clean in 7 Easy Steps
30 Delicious Whole 30 Recipes You'll Actually Love
The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

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Overindulged? The Secret to Getting Back on Track in 24 Hours

[caption id="attachment_46365" align="alignnone" width="620"]Overindulged? The Secret to Getting Back on Track in 24 Hours Photo by Michal Kulesza[/caption] 'Tis the season — and your stomach knows it. After all, in the last day, you’ve stuffed it with about 5,000 calories, thanks to holiday parties, cookie swaps, and oversized glasses of eggnog. But in the grand scheme of things, one epic day of holiday feasting and drinking might not be all that bad. After all, one day — even if it’s jam-packed with sugar, salt and trans fats — won’t make or break your healthy eating efforts over the long-term, says nutritionist Vandana Sheth, R.D.N., C.D.E, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. However, what you choose to do immediately after your binge can either get you back on track — or cause your little slip-up to snowball into an entire season of overindulging. “I often tell my clients that each meal and each day is a fresh start,” Sheth says. “Rather than feeling guilty, focus on positive steps you can take.” Once you set down your fork and declare yourself done for the day, follow this game plan to get back to feeling good again. RELATED: How to Detox the Healthy Way: 16 Recipes You’ll Love

Your 24-Hour Plan to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

[caption id="attachment_46368" align="alignnone" width="620"]Overindulged? The Secret to Getting Back on Track in 24 Hours Photo by Evelyn Chin[/caption]

That Night…

Button your pants back up, put on your sneaks and go for a walk. “It will help you feel less full and allow you to better metabolize your food,” Sheth says. Research from George Washington University shows that walking for just 15 minutes after food-fests can help prevent your blood sugar from spiking and then dropping to cause fatigue, cravings, and more overeating. Then, before bed, make sure you’ve had plenty of water to drink (especially if you’ve knocked back any alcoholic beverages through the day) to prevent dehydration, bloating and generally gross feelings, says Mike Fenster, M.D., author of The Fallacy of the Calorie. (Hint: Your pee should be light, not dark, yellow.) A cup of decaf ginger tea can also be great before bed for both hydrating and soothing upset stomachs, he says. If you’re prone to heartburn or are just still feeling stuffed when you turn in for the night, try propping your head up on a pillow. It’ll help reduce the likelihood that you’ll wake up in the morning breathing fire. RELATED: 6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated

The Next Morning…

Let yourself sleep in — at least a little bit. While you don’t want to hibernate all day and throw off your sleep patterns, the goal is to get a solid seven to nine hours of sleep. “Without adequate rest, you will no doubt feel all the worse,” Fenster says. “And insufficient rest results in cravings for energy-dense — and usually nutritionally deplete — foods.” In one Mayo Clinic study, after missing out on just 80 minutes of sleep participants went on to eat an extra 550 calories throughout the day. Once you finally do roll out of bed, eat a balanced breakfast of protein, whole carbs and healthy fats. If your stomach is feeling less than solid, you can fit all of those nutrients into a healthy, hydrating smoothie, he says. (Try one of these smoothie recipes!) Just take it easy on the sugar. RELATED: 6 Simple Food Swaps to Quit Sugar for Good

The Next Afternoon…

Eat a healthy lunch filled with lean protein, vegetables and complex carbohydrates to help keep you feeling full, satisfied and primed with energy, says Alexandra Sowa, M.D., a clinical instructor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. (We’ve got seven healthy lunch ideas your friends will want to steal here.) And no, you shouldn’t try to cut calories in an effort to “offset” yesterday’s caloric splurges. The goal is to get you back to sustainable healthy eating, not a diet that’s going to make you feel deprived and under-nourish your body. If, by now, you’re feeling more or less back on track, squeeze in a workout. “It’ll promote digestion and can help you feel like your normal self,” Sowa says. Just remember that if you choose to hit it hard, you may require more fluid replacement than you normally would, Fenster says. So don’t forget that water bottle. RELATED: Your 4-Week Meal Prep Guide to Clean Eating

The Next Evening…

Wrap up your dinner — again, with plenty of lean protein, antioxidant-packed veggies and complex carbs — earlier as opposed to later. Research from Northwestern University suggests that calories consumed late at night are more likely to be stored as fat compared to calories eaten earlier in the evening. Then, congratulate yourself on not letting yesterday’s food blowout get you off track, call it a night, and get ready for more healthy days ahead! Originally published December 2015. Updated December 2017. Read More How to Start Eating Clean in 7 Easy Steps 30 Delicious Whole 30 Recipes You'll Actually Love The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

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Your 4-Week Meal Prep Guide for Clean Eating https://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.

]]>
6 Sommelier Tips for Choosing Low-Calorie Wine https://dailyburn.com/life/health/low-calorie-wine-sommelier-tips/ https://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 https://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.

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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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9 Ways to Fight Holiday Bloat (And Never Feel Deprived) https://dailyburn.com/life/health/winter-weight-loss-tips/ https://dailyburn.com/life/health/winter-weight-loss-tips/#comments Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:30:11 +0000 http://dailyburn.com/life/?p=22086 9 Ways to Fight Holiday Bloat (and Still Enjoy Your Eggnog)

[caption id="attachment_54813" align="alignnone" width="620"]9 Ways to Avoid Winter Weight Gain (And Never Feel Deprived) Photo by Ali Inay[/caption]

Already suffering from nightmares that your favorite jeans won’t fit come January? Or that you’ll be sporting double chins in your New Year’s photos? Relax. Even if you've already indulged a little too much this year, you can still make it to 2016 without feeling totally bloated. 

“It’s not the climate and lower temperatures that lead to overeating,” says Milton Stokes, MPH, RD, CDN, owner of One Source Nutrition, LLC, a nutrition counseling and consulting firm in Connecticut. The “winter weight gain” problem centers around behavior and the temptations we’re exposed to during these months of the year. Wanting cheesy casseroles and thick, hearty stews as soon as the temps drop are behaviors we’ve trained ourselves to repeat, says Stokes. “That old hibernation theory of needing more calories to get you through a harsh winter doesn’t hold up.” After all, he says, when we look across the country at places that don’t have harsh winters, people are still eating more this time of year.

RELATED: The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat

Blame the link between “winter” and “weight gain” on it being a season when people come together to celebrate rich food, socialize frequently, drink more alcohol, and possibly lose workout motivation. “We’d like the celebrating to be about fellowship, family and getting together with people we don’t see often. But usually the event becomes about the food, buffet and desserts,” says Stokes. Here are nine tips to help you resist that extra Christmas cookie and stay motivated to make it until the new year without the gift of extra girth.

9 Ways to Avoid Winter Weight Gain

1. Celebrate maintenance, not just weight loss.

Research has shown that the average person only gains one to two pounds during the holiday season. But while a pound is about the average for his weight management clients, Stoke says, it’s not uncommon for people who are overweight or obese to gain a bit more. It may not seem like much, but once that pound is on your frame, there’s a good chance it stays there permanently, Stokes says. And if that happens every year, then 10 years later, you’re 10 pounds heavier. Stokes suggests creating a plan that you can manage and be happy with until eggnog season is over. If that means your goal is to maintain your weight, be OK with that! If you’re trying to lose weight, know you’ll have to be extra vigilant with your diet and exercise plan.

RELATED: Why Regaining Weight Is So Common, and How to Deal

2. Have that cookie — but not three. 

From the time Halloween candy hits stores in early October, we’re bombarded with treats and temptations at every turn. What’s worse, we often act as if we’ll never see this food again except this one time of year! We treat holiday food and holiday eating like it’s “The Last Supper," says Stokes. People go gaga for holiday cookies and sweets, specialty appetizers and heavy cocktails as if we can only enjoy them one month of the year. That often leads to overeating each time they’re in front of us, says Stokes. “I remind my clients that if you want a special food on a holiday, have it. Just don’t think you need three servings because there’s no other time of year you can have it. Don’t give food that much power over this [seasonal] event. Take the wind out of its sails,” Stokes says.

RELATED: 14 Holiday Cookie Recipes Under 100 Calories

3. Be willing to say “no.”

If you’re serious about meeting your goal on the other side of the holiday season, make a habit of outlining what you’re going to eat each day and planning your workouts. That might involve setting aside more time for shopping, prepping food and cooking your meals for the week ahead so you’re not at the mercy of less-than-good-for-you leftovers, happy hour drinks on an empty stomach, or eating half the batter of brownie mix for your kid’s school party. And if it’s not in your predetermined meal plan, it’s OK to say, ‘no, thank you.’

Stokes says many of his clients have anxiety over disappointing food pushers. People think it’s a chaotic, out-of-control time where you have to surrender and eat the foods others are pushing on you, especially when you know they have good intentions. But be vigilant and persistent with your plan. “Give your family members the opportunity to hear you say that you don’t want it. If they feel rejected or sad, that’s their problem,” he says.

[caption id="attachment_21981" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Fat Eggnog Photo by Perry Santanachote[/caption]

4. Accept slip-ups and move on.

If you ate something you didn’t plan on having that day — like your aunt's famous holiday streusel — the best thing you can do is adjust your program and get back on track at your next meal. That might mean trimming your carbs in half at dinner or skipping your evening snack. If you had a workout planned already for that day, consider increasing the intensity or tacking on 10 more minutes if you can squeeze it in. “One meal is not going to break you. It’s not going to make you gain a pound of fat or muscle,” says Stokes. Also keep in mind that if you get on the scale and see weight gain, it could be fluid retention from eating salty seasonal foods. Don’t get discouraged by a gain and decide to ditch your goal until the new year — start fresh with your next meal.

RELATED: When Is It OK to Cheat? The Truth About Cheat Days

5. Be wary of “open bar” situations.

Drinking alcohol packs a triple punch when it comes to interfering with weight loss. Besides having empty calories, some research has shown that alcohol stimulates appetite and lowers inhibition so you’re more likely to eat fried, fatty, salty foods you normally wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole. Stokes tells his clients to try to avoid alcohol at parties if they can, or, if they know they’re going to have a drink or two, not to do it on an empty stomach. When we’re super-hungry it’s hard to think clearly and forgo indulgent foods and high-calorie drinks. Skipping meals throughout the day to save yourself calories for drinking usually backfires and leads to overeating, so pre-plan the number of drinks you’ll have and deduct those calories from your daily total.

RELATED: 5 Hangover Cures to Save You After a Few Too Many

6. Stay present to prevent overeating.

It’s all too easy to get caught up in a beautiful spread of food at a holiday table and wolf down your meal so you can have seconds before it disappears. But the key to tuning in to your body and knowing when you’re full is to stay aware and present. Need a helpful reminder? Try preprogramming a message on your phone to pop up before you sit down to dinner. Use whatever will remind you to be mindful, enjoy the food, relax and savor everything to prevent overeating from happening in the first place. And if you find yourself eating too quickly, it’s OK to get up from the table, pretend you need to make a phone call or check on your kids, and just do something that removes you from that situation for one to two minutes, suggests Stokes. You’ll come back feeling recharged and refocused so you can finish your meal more mindfully.

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

7. Recommit to your initial goals.

Passing on treats day in and day out gets old (and exhausting). To stay motivated, remind yourself of why you wanted to follow a healthy eating plan in the in the first place, says Stokes. For his clients it’s usually connected to wanting to feel better, improve confidence, reverse health problems, and more. “A lot of clients I see have motivation-related issues. Write those reasons you started this healthy initiative down and carry them with you on a sticky note or put them in a digital calendar with a daily pop-up message that says something like, ‘I’m eating this way because I want to feel better and lose weight.’” Seeing reminders daily helps motivation. 

8. Think about why you’re eating.

"A lot of the winter weight gain I see around the holidays is oftentimes about people feeling anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, lonely or sad — and food is a substitute for other things,” says Stokes. It’s easy to fall into emotional eating habits if we don’t have coping mechanisms for uncomfortable feelings, and the holidays aren’t necessarily a joyous time for everyone. “We’re supposed to be happy and come together with family members and we’re all supposed to get along. Recognize that it’s a lot of pressure,” says Stokes. Try to shift the focus back to friends and family and the people you enjoy spending time with the most. And if you need a break, take a few minutes of deep breathing to relax yourself in a quiet place. Then ask yourself if you really need that cookie, or you just needed a breather.

RELATED: Your Guide to Surviving the Holiday Blues

9. Don’t skimp on zzz’s.

The holiday season is all about cramming more things into the day — 25 percent more Stokes estimates, based on his experience with clients — whether it’s parties, shopping, cleaning, cooking, and so on. To get more out of your day, you either hire help or sleep less, he says. And most people usually ditch sleep. With sleep deprivation comes cravings, especially cravings for carbs, sweets and high-calorie foods. Instead, determine how can you delegate some tasks, let go, and get out of that umpteenth holiday party.

After all, something has to give. Try to anticipate and plan around a hectic schedule before it happens. Prioritize your to-do list so the most important goals are at the top — getting the sleep you need, making time for your exercise routine and planning healthy meals. All of those things together make for better health, which is what your ultimate goal is, right?

Originally posted December 2013. Updated December 2017. 

Read More

6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated
7 Surprising Ways You're Sabotaging Your Metabolism
7 Disastrous Holiday Desserts (and Healthier Swaps!)

The post 9 Ways to Fight Holiday Bloat (And Never Feel Deprived) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

]]>
9 Ways to Fight Holiday Bloat (and Still Enjoy Your Eggnog)

[caption id="attachment_54813" align="alignnone" width="620"]9 Ways to Avoid Winter Weight Gain (And Never Feel Deprived) Photo by Ali Inay[/caption] Already suffering from nightmares that your favorite jeans won’t fit come January? Or that you’ll be sporting double chins in your New Year’s photos? Relax. Even if you've already indulged a little too much this year, you can still make it to 2016 without feeling totally bloated.  “It’s not the climate and lower temperatures that lead to overeating,” says Milton Stokes, MPH, RD, CDN, owner of One Source Nutrition, LLC, a nutrition counseling and consulting firm in Connecticut. The “winter weight gain” problem centers around behavior and the temptations we’re exposed to during these months of the year. Wanting cheesy casseroles and thick, hearty stews as soon as the temps drop are behaviors we’ve trained ourselves to repeat, says Stokes. “That old hibernation theory of needing more calories to get you through a harsh winter doesn’t hold up.” After all, he says, when we look across the country at places that don’t have harsh winters, people are still eating more this time of year. RELATED: The Truth About How to Lose Belly Fat Blame the link between “winter” and “weight gain” on it being a season when people come together to celebrate rich food, socialize frequently, drink more alcohol, and possibly lose workout motivation. “We’d like the celebrating to be about fellowship, family and getting together with people we don’t see often. But usually the event becomes about the food, buffet and desserts,” says Stokes. Here are nine tips to help you resist that extra Christmas cookie and stay motivated to make it until the new year without the gift of extra girth.

9 Ways to Avoid Winter Weight Gain

1. Celebrate maintenance, not just weight loss.

Research has shown that the average person only gains one to two pounds during the holiday season. But while a pound is about the average for his weight management clients, Stoke says, it’s not uncommon for people who are overweight or obese to gain a bit more. It may not seem like much, but once that pound is on your frame, there’s a good chance it stays there permanently, Stokes says. And if that happens every year, then 10 years later, you’re 10 pounds heavier. Stokes suggests creating a plan that you can manage and be happy with until eggnog season is over. If that means your goal is to maintain your weight, be OK with that! If you’re trying to lose weight, know you’ll have to be extra vigilant with your diet and exercise plan. RELATED: Why Regaining Weight Is So Common, and How to Deal

2. Have that cookie — but not three. 

From the time Halloween candy hits stores in early October, we’re bombarded with treats and temptations at every turn. What’s worse, we often act as if we’ll never see this food again except this one time of year! We treat holiday food and holiday eating like it’s “The Last Supper," says Stokes. People go gaga for holiday cookies and sweets, specialty appetizers and heavy cocktails as if we can only enjoy them one month of the year. That often leads to overeating each time they’re in front of us, says Stokes. “I remind my clients that if you want a special food on a holiday, have it. Just don’t think you need three servings because there’s no other time of year you can have it. Don’t give food that much power over this [seasonal] event. Take the wind out of its sails,” Stokes says. RELATED: 14 Holiday Cookie Recipes Under 100 Calories

3. Be willing to say “no.”

If you’re serious about meeting your goal on the other side of the holiday season, make a habit of outlining what you’re going to eat each day and planning your workouts. That might involve setting aside more time for shopping, prepping food and cooking your meals for the week ahead so you’re not at the mercy of less-than-good-for-you leftovers, happy hour drinks on an empty stomach, or eating half the batter of brownie mix for your kid’s school party. And if it’s not in your predetermined meal plan, it’s OK to say, ‘no, thank you.’ Stokes says many of his clients have anxiety over disappointing food pushers. People think it’s a chaotic, out-of-control time where you have to surrender and eat the foods others are pushing on you, especially when you know they have good intentions. But be vigilant and persistent with your plan. “Give your family members the opportunity to hear you say that you don’t want it. If they feel rejected or sad, that’s their problem,” he says. [caption id="attachment_21981" align="alignnone" width="620"]Low-Fat Eggnog Photo by Perry Santanachote[/caption]

4. Accept slip-ups and move on.

If you ate something you didn’t plan on having that day — like your aunt's famous holiday streusel — the best thing you can do is adjust your program and get back on track at your next meal. That might mean trimming your carbs in half at dinner or skipping your evening snack. If you had a workout planned already for that day, consider increasing the intensity or tacking on 10 more minutes if you can squeeze it in. “One meal is not going to break you. It’s not going to make you gain a pound of fat or muscle,” says Stokes. Also keep in mind that if you get on the scale and see weight gain, it could be fluid retention from eating salty seasonal foods. Don’t get discouraged by a gain and decide to ditch your goal until the new year — start fresh with your next meal. RELATED: When Is It OK to Cheat? The Truth About Cheat Days

5. Be wary of “open bar” situations.

Drinking alcohol packs a triple punch when it comes to interfering with weight loss. Besides having empty calories, some research has shown that alcohol stimulates appetite and lowers inhibition so you’re more likely to eat fried, fatty, salty foods you normally wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole. Stokes tells his clients to try to avoid alcohol at parties if they can, or, if they know they’re going to have a drink or two, not to do it on an empty stomach. When we’re super-hungry it’s hard to think clearly and forgo indulgent foods and high-calorie drinks. Skipping meals throughout the day to save yourself calories for drinking usually backfires and leads to overeating, so pre-plan the number of drinks you’ll have and deduct those calories from your daily total. RELATED: 5 Hangover Cures to Save You After a Few Too Many

6. Stay present to prevent overeating.

It’s all too easy to get caught up in a beautiful spread of food at a holiday table and wolf down your meal so you can have seconds before it disappears. But the key to tuning in to your body and knowing when you’re full is to stay aware and present. Need a helpful reminder? Try preprogramming a message on your phone to pop up before you sit down to dinner. Use whatever will remind you to be mindful, enjoy the food, relax and savor everything to prevent overeating from happening in the first place. And if you find yourself eating too quickly, it’s OK to get up from the table, pretend you need to make a phone call or check on your kids, and just do something that removes you from that situation for one to two minutes, suggests Stokes. You’ll come back feeling recharged and refocused so you can finish your meal more mindfully. RELATED: 9 Simple Tricks to Eat More Mindfully — Starting Now

7. Recommit to your initial goals.

Passing on treats day in and day out gets old (and exhausting). To stay motivated, remind yourself of why you wanted to follow a healthy eating plan in the in the first place, says Stokes. For his clients it’s usually connected to wanting to feel better, improve confidence, reverse health problems, and more. “A lot of clients I see have motivation-related issues. Write those reasons you started this healthy initiative down and carry them with you on a sticky note or put them in a digital calendar with a daily pop-up message that says something like, ‘I’m eating this way because I want to feel better and lose weight.’” Seeing reminders daily helps motivation. 

8. Think about why you’re eating.

"A lot of the winter weight gain I see around the holidays is oftentimes about people feeling anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, lonely or sad — and food is a substitute for other things,” says Stokes. It’s easy to fall into emotional eating habits if we don’t have coping mechanisms for uncomfortable feelings, and the holidays aren’t necessarily a joyous time for everyone. “We’re supposed to be happy and come together with family members and we’re all supposed to get along. Recognize that it’s a lot of pressure,” says Stokes. Try to shift the focus back to friends and family and the people you enjoy spending time with the most. And if you need a break, take a few minutes of deep breathing to relax yourself in a quiet place. Then ask yourself if you really need that cookie, or you just needed a breather. RELATED: Your Guide to Surviving the Holiday Blues

9. Don’t skimp on zzz’s.

The holiday season is all about cramming more things into the day — 25 percent more Stokes estimates, based on his experience with clients — whether it’s parties, shopping, cleaning, cooking, and so on. To get more out of your day, you either hire help or sleep less, he says. And most people usually ditch sleep. With sleep deprivation comes cravings, especially cravings for carbs, sweets and high-calorie foods. Instead, determine how can you delegate some tasks, let go, and get out of that umpteenth holiday party. After all, something has to give. Try to anticipate and plan around a hectic schedule before it happens. Prioritize your to-do list so the most important goals are at the top — getting the sleep you need, making time for your exercise routine and planning healthy meals. All of those things together make for better health, which is what your ultimate goal is, right? Originally posted December 2013. Updated December 2017.  Read More 6 Everyday Habits That Are Making You Bloated 7 Surprising Ways You're Sabotaging Your Metabolism 7 Disastrous Holiday Desserts (and Healthier Swaps!)

The post 9 Ways to Fight Holiday Bloat (And Never Feel Deprived) appeared first on Life by Daily Burn.

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5 At-Home DNA Tests That Clue You in on Your Health https://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.

]]>
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.

]]>
7 Surprising Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Metabolism https://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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