Friday 29 April 2016

Just A Thought

     I want to take a minute and share a thought with you. I have had the pleasure of reading some great books over the years, many centered on how people succeed in a wide variety of professions. Books like Outliers, Talent Code and Talent is Overrated inspired me to share my story.
      I am a “fitness expert” I guess. I am also a very average looking, balding, sixty-one year old with no distinguished athletic resume. If this is the case, how did I end up a fitness expert?
    Simple, I read more,coached more and worked more than most people. As Outliers author Malcolm Gladwell would say, I have put in my ten thousand hours. For me personally, twenty thousand hours.
     The bottom line is that success is much more about hard work and perseverance than it is about talent. We all know that the best players don’t make the best coaches, we just don’t always know why. My theory is the best athletes never had to learn to work to get what they wanted. They always were at the head of the class. It just seem to come naturally to them. I learned early in my playing career that my talent alone wasn’t going to get me very far.Those of us that struggled to make a team know what it is like to have to work toward a goal. That gives us the potential to be great coaches. The key as a great coach is to figure out how to motivate and develop a great athlete.
The bottom line? Sincerity wins. Honesty wins. Perseverance wins.
One of favorite quotes is “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. It is more important to be the hardest working, nicest guy in the room than the smartest.
I have another quote I love. It simply says “work hard, be nice”.

To your success !

Just a thought .

Is Real Sugar Better For You Than Refined Sugar ?

          "Is real sugar better for you than refined sugar?" There is quite
a debate raging on this subject. Opinions are flying on both sides
of the debate. To fully form an informed opinion, you need to know
how sugar is "refined." Then you will understand the answer to the
              Refined sugar is nearly pure sucrose that is obtained from raw
sugar sources such as sugar cane and sugar beets. Sugar cane
provides the bulk of refined sugar because it is the more easily
grown of the two source crops. The next steps in the process will
help you to answer the question "is real sugar better for you than
refined sugar?"
          Sugar is normally refined in two major ways: affination and
carbonization. Affination involves mixing raw sugar with high
fructose syrup. This liquid mixture is fed into centrifugal
chambers. The liquid is spun until it separates into liquid and
sugar crystals. The sugar crystals are higher in sucrose content,
but have an unacceptable level of contaminants, so carbonization is
then used. In carbonization, the sugar is mixed with a liquid to
make a 50/50 solution. Milk of lime is then added. The milk of
lime mixes with the solution and calcium carbonate is formed. The
calcium carbonate attracts the contaminates and discolorants so
they can be removed. In some cases phosphorus is used instead of
milk of lime. Knowing that all of these chemicals are added, it is
not hard to answer the question "is real sugar better for you than
refined sugar?"
        Real sugars are those sugars that are in their natural forms and
come from fruit, grain, and vegetables. These sugars are usually
not "refined" in anyway. Some of the sources of these sugars are
honey, molasses, and agave. Sugar cane and sugar beets can provide
this type of sugar if they have not been processed. Normally the
source syrup is boiled and dried to produce sugar crystals. Some
examples of this type of crystal sugar are demerara, muscovado, and
turbinado. These sugars are yellowish or brown in color and tend
to clump when exposed to air.
       The best course of action is to only consume naturally occurring
sugars in their natural forms. That is difficult to do. If you
have to use added sugar, then it is obvious that real sugar is
best. Answering if real sugar is better for you than refined sugar
is kind of a no-brainer. Carbohydrates in their natural forms are
easier for your body to digest, use, and eliminate. The chemicals
added during processing and refining are harmful and should be
avoided whenever possible. Consuming real sugar will lead to a
more healthy and balanced diet and a healthier you. Is real sugar
better for you than refined sugar?          Yes, most definitely!


Wednesday 27 April 2016

Shocking reasons you may be gaining weight !

What's With the Weight Gain?
If you started taking in more calories than usual or cutting back on exercise, you wouldn't be surprised if the numbers on the scale crept higher. But what if you're doing everything the same as you always do, and your weight still goes up? It's time to delve a little deeper into what else might be going on.
Lack of Sleep
There are two issues at work with sleep and weight gain. First, if you're up late, the odds are greater that you're doing some late-night snacking, which means more calories. The other reason involves what's going on in your body when you're sleep-deprived. Changes in hormone levels increase hunger and appetite and also make you feel not as full after eating
When life's demands get too intense, our bodies go into survival mode. Cortisol, the "stress hormone," is secreted, which causes an increase in appetite. And of course, we may reach for high-calorie comfort foods in times of stress as well. This combination is a perfect breeding ground for weight gain
An unfortunate side effect from some antidepressants is weight gain. Talk to your doctor about making changes to your treatment plan if you think your antidepressant is causing weight gain. But never stop or change your medication on your own. Realize that some people experience weight gain after beginning drug treatment simply because they're feeling better, which leads to a better appetite. Also, depression itself can cause changes in weight
Anti-inflammatory steroid medications like prednisone are notorious for causing weight gain. Fluid retention and increased appetite are the main reasons. Some people may also see a temporary change in where their body holds fat while taking steroids -- to places like the face, the belly, or the back of the neck. If you've taken steroids for more than a week, don't stop them abruptly. That can lead to serious problems. Check with your doctor first
Drugs That May Cause Weight Gain
Several other prescription drugs are linked to weight gain. The list includes antipsychotic drugs (used to treat disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), along with medications to treat migraines, seizures, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Work with your doctor to find a medication that treats your symptoms and lessens side effectsDon't Jump to Blame the Pill.Contrary to popular belief, combination birth control pills (estrogen and progestin) aren't proven to cause lasting weight gain. It is thought that some women taking the combination pill may experience some weight gain related to fluid retention, but this is usually short-term. If you're still concerned about possible weight gain, talk to your doctor.
If your thyroid (the butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck) is not making enough thyroid hormone, you're probably feeling tired, weak, and cold, and gaining weight. Without enough thyroid hormone, your metabolism slows, making weight gain more likely. Even a thyroid functioning at the lower end of the normal range might cause weight gain. Treating hypothyroidism with medication may reverse some of the weight gain
Don't Blame Menopause
Most women do gain some weight around the time of menopause, but hormones probably aren't the only cause. Aging slows your metabolism, so you burn fewer calories. And changes in lifestyle (such as exercising less) play a role. But where you gain weight may be related to menopause, with fat accumulating around your waist more than your hips and thighs.
Cushing's Syndrome
Weight gain is a common symptom of Cushing's syndrome, a condition in which you are exposed to too much of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn causes weight gain and other abnormalities. You can get Cushing's syndrome if you take steroids for asthma, arthritis, or lupus. It can also happen when your adrenal glands make too much cortisol, or it could be related to a tumor. The weight gain may be most prominent around the face, neck, upper back, or waist
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a common hormonal problem in women of childbearing age. Most women with PCOS grow many small cysts on their ovaries. The condition leads to hormone imbalances that affect a woman's menstrual cycle and can lead to extra body hair and acne. Women with this condition are resistant to insulin (the hormone that controls blood sugar), so it may cause weight gain. The weight tends to collect around the belly, putting these women at greater risk for heart disease
Quitting Smoking
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. When you quit, you may gain some weight, but perhaps less than you think. On average, people who stop smoking gain less than 10 pounds. You should stop feeling hungrier after several weeks, which will make it easier to help lose any weight you gained. And remember this. It’s a lot easier to lose a stone than to lose a 3 pound tumour.
Rule 1: If You Do Gain Weight ...
Don't stop taking any medications without first consulting your doctor. Recognize the importance of the drug you're taking. It may be critical to your health. Also, something else may be causing you to gain weight. Your doctor can help you figure out what's going on.
Rule 2: If You Do Gain Weight ...
Don't compare yourself to other people taking the same drug. Not all people experience the same side effects on the same drug. Even if a drug caused someone else to lose weight, the same might not be true for you
Rule 3: If You Do Gain Weight ...
Remember that if the weight gain is just from water retention, it's not permanent weight or fat. Once you're done taking the drug or your condition is under control, the puffiness from fluid retention may ease. Stick to a lower-sodium diet in the meantime.
Rule 4: If You Do Gain Weight ...
Check with your doctor about another drug you can take. In many cases, your doctor can switch you to another medication that might not have the same side effects
Rule 5: If You Do Gain Weight ...
Learn if the weight gain is from a decrease in metabolism -- from either a medical condition or medication. And if so, take the time to participate in metabolism-raising activities. Get moving!


Tuesday 26 April 2016

How to lose 5 stone ! It's a start.

It's All About Planning
When you have a lot of weight to lose, it means playing the long game. And during that time, you'll face challenges. Weight loss experts and people who have done it offer you their ideas to cut calories, fight the "hangry," make exercise easier, stay on track, and more. Some are tried-and-true, and others may surprise you. The single most important advice I can give you is, no matter how many times you have tried to lose the weight in the past ,keep trying. You can do this. Now read on.
Go Big for Breakfast
People who eat more in the morning and less at night tend to lose more weight. Some studies suggest that starting your day with a high-protein meal -- especially warm, solid food -- helps you feel fuller and less hungry later. Shoot for 350-400 calories with at least 25 grams of protein, says Domenica Rubino, MD, director of the Washington Center for Weight Management & Research
Keep a Photo Diary or Notebook Diary
"We have horrible memories in terms of what we eat," says Susan Albers, PsyD, author of EatQ. Save your food photos in a daily file. Before your next snack or meal, review them. They'll remind you what you've already eaten. And that may help you decide to downsize or choose something else
Use an App
"I just do not see food and portions the way normally thin people see them," blogger Lisa Durant says. She used My Fitness Pal to focus on her relationship with food. She tracked what she ate and how much. That helped her be honest with herself. She also set weight loss and fitness goals to track her progress. Without an app, "I would absolutely gain some weight back
Try a Meal Replacement Plan
Under a licensed professional's care, you'll eat one regular meal per day and swap the others for special shakes, soups, or bars. "If you can stick to it, you'll see big results in 6 months to a year," says Ken Fujioka, MD, an obesity specialist at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego.
Set Up Your Food Storage
Out of sight, out of mind -- and mouth. After you purge your home of those treats you can't resist, Albers recommends taking the idea a step further: Assign shelves in the pantry and the fridge so your healthy food becomes easy to see and reach. Put fresh veggies and fruit at eye level instead of inside a drawer, and you're more likely to grab them when you open the door.
Shop Smart
Don't leave your meals to chance. Have ingredients on hand so you aren't tempted to resort to take-out. Think about menus that work for the household: Maybe your veggie stir-fry can be their side dish, too. Make a grocery list together, even if you're cooking separately.Stay out of bulk warehouse stores, Albers says. The oversized items can invite overeating.
Find a Fan Club
Support from a group can help you lose more weight than going it alone. You'll gain perspective, encouragement, tips -- even a little competition, if that's the kind of thing that gets you motivated. Besides in-person meetings, check out online forums and social media. Support from family and friends helps keep the weight off, too.
Outsmart Your Inner Critic
When (let's be honest, there's no "if" about it) you get off-track, it can be hard to forgive yourself. So pretend it's a friend who slipped up and is upset, Rubino says. Write a note to them. Then read it out loud -- to yourself. It will likely be kinder and more encouraging than anything the little voice in your head would say. I always tell my clients “ What you did can’t hurt you. What you do next can.”
Try Physical Therapy
You'll learn to reconnect with your body, Rubino says. A physical therapist is trained to work with people who have medical issues and trouble moving in their daily lives. Think of them as someone who'll get you ready for the personal trainer. Your therapist will design a program, tailored for you, to improve your balance, strength, and range of motion. PT can often help ease joint pain you may have, too.
Work Your Muscles
You may not realize it, but you've built them up just by moving your extra weight around. And as you lose body fat, you want to keep those muscles. They burn fat and calories! But if you don't use them, you'll lose them. Focus on working out the major muscle groups together .
Get in the Pool
Swimming is a whole-body, non-impact workout with a fantastic calorie burn, Rasmussen says. The water helps hold you up, so there's no pressure on your joints. Plus, it saves time by combining cardio and muscle-building in a single activity.If exercise is hard for you, try doing it in chest-deep water, which can reduce swelling, enhance circulation, and help relieve pain from inflammation
Look Past the Pounds
Regardless of what the scale says, your body may still be changing in a good way. Rubino says, "Remind yourself what you've gained by losing the weight." Are your clothes getting looser? Are you losing inches? Is your blood pressure better? If you have diabetes, have your sugar levels improved? Can you handle more exercise? Celebrate those non-scale victories, too
Get Checked for Sleep Apnea
You may not be resting as well as you think you are. This condition, which interrupts your breathing while you sleep, often affects people who are overweight. It can disrupt your slumber and you won't know it. Studies show that a lack of sleep alters hormones that control hunger. Rubino suggests being tested and treated
Play Down Plateaus
It happens: The scale won't move, no matter what you do. Try not to think "failure." Instead, give yourself credit for not adding pounds. That alone is a triumph, Rubino says.If you haven't seen a change for 3 months, then it's time to revisit your diet and exercise plan. Remember this : Everything works. Nothing works forever !
Consider Weight Loss Surgery
"Having weight loss surgery gave me back my health and was the helping hand I needed to make the permanent life changes," says Michelle Vicari of the Obesity Action Coalition. After she spent most of her teens and adult life "trying the latest, greatest diet being talked about," she had gastric bypass surgery. She lost 158 pounds -- and got rid of a host of health problems, including high blood pressure and reflux. This type of surgery should always be a last resort. In my opinion it should only ever be considered when your health is in serious danger. Things have been known to horribly wrong. Weight loss surgery does cure Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes !


Sunday 24 April 2016

Foods that are good for your heart !

Fresh Herbs: When you add these to foods instead of salt and fat, you're making a heart-healthy choice. They add flavor without the bad stuff. Spices and other foods are delicious ways to eat heart-smart
Black Beans: Mild, tender black beans are packed with heart-healthy nutrients. Folate, antioxidants, and magnesium can help lower blood pressure. Their fiber helps control both cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Add beans to boost soups and salads.
Prep Tip: Rinse canned beans to remove extra salt

Salmon: Super Food A top food for heart health, it’s rich in omega-3s. Omega-3s are healthy fats that may lessen the risk of heart rhythm disorders and lower blood pressure. They may also lower triglycerides and curb inflammation. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of salmon or other oily fish a week.
Cooking Tip: Bake salmon in foil with herbs and veggies. Toss extra cooked salmon in fish tacos and salads

Tuna for Omega-3s:Often cheaper than salmon, tuna also has omega-3s. Albacore (white tuna) has more omega-3s than other tuna varieties. Try grilling tuna steak with dill and lemon. Reel in these other sources of omega-3s, too: mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and anchovies.
Health Tip: Choose tuna packed in water, not oil, to keep it heart-healthy.

Olive Oil: This oil is a healthy fat made from smashed olives. It's rich in heart-healthy antioxidants. They may protect your blood vessels. When olive oil replaces saturated fat (like butter), it can help lower cholesterol levels. Try it on salads and cooked veggies, or with bread.
Taste tip: For the best flavor, look for cold-pressed and use it within 6 months.

Walnuts: A small handful of walnuts a day may lower your cholesterol. It may also protect against inflammation in your heart’s arteries. Walnuts are packed with omega-3s, healthy fats called monounsaturated fats, and fiber. The benefits come when walnuts replace bad fats, like those in chips and cookies.
Tip: Try walnut oil in salad dressings

Almonds: Slivered almonds go well with vegetables, fish, chicken, and desserts. They have  plant sterols, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. Almonds may help lower "bad" LDL cholesterol. Grab a small handful a day.
Taste Tip: Toast them to boost their creamy, mild flavour

Edamame: You may have seen these as an appetizer at an Asian restaurant. Edamame is the Japanese word for soybeans. Soy protein can help lower cholesterol  levels. A cup of edamame also has 8 grams of heart-healthy fiber. To get that much fiber from whole wheat bread, you’d need to eat about four slices.
Tip: Take frozen edamame, boil it, and then serve warm in the pod. Popping out the yummy beans from the tough pod makes a satisfying snack.

Tofu: Eat tofu and you'll get a great form of vegetarian soy protein with heart-healthy minerals, fiber, and polyunsaturated fats. It can take on the taste of the spices or sauces you use to cook it.
Tips: Chop firm tofu, marinate, then grill or stir-fry, going easy on the oil. Add tofu to soups for protein with little added fat

Sweet Potatoes: Swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes. With a low glycemic index, these spuds won't cause a quick spike in blood sugar. They also have fiber, vitamin A, and lycopene.
Taste Tip: Boost their natural sweetness with a sprinkle of cinnamon and lime juice instead of sugary toppings

Oranges: Sweet and juicy, oranges have the cholesterol-fighting fiber pectin. They also have potassium, which helps control blood pressure. In one study, 2 cups of OJ a day boosted blood vessel health. It also lowered blood pressure in men.
Nutrition Tip: A medium orange has about 62 calories and 3 grams of fiber.

Swiss Chard: This dark green, leafy vegetable is rich in potassium and magnesium. These minerals help control blood pressure. Swiss chard also has heart-healthy fiber, vitamin A, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. Try serving it with grilled meats or as a bed for fish.
Prep Tip: Sauté it with olive oil and garlic until wilted. Season with herbs and pepper

Barley: Try this nutty whole grain in place of rice. You can also simmer barley into soups and stews. The fiber in barley can help lower cholesterol levels. It may lower blood sugar levels, too.
Tip: Get to know your barley. Hulled or “whole grain” barley is the most nutritious. Barley grits are toasted and ground. They make a nice cereal or as a side dish. Pearl barley is quick, but a lot of the heart-healthy fiber has been removed

Oatmeal: A warm bowl of oatmeal fills you up for hours, fights snack attacks, and helps keep blood sugar levels stable over time -- making it useful for people with diabetes, too. Oats’ fiber can help your heart by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL).
Baking Tip: Making pancakes, muffins, or other baked goods? Swap out one-third of the flour and put in oats instead
Flaxseed: This shiny, honey-colored seed has three things that are good for your heart: fiber, phytochemicals called lignans, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Tip: Grind flaxseed for the best nutrition. Add it to cereal, baked goods, yogurt, or mustard on a sandwich

Cherries: Sweet cherries, sour cherries, dried cherries, and cherry juice -- they’re all good. All are packed with an antioxidants called anthocyanins. They’re believed to help protect blood vessels.
Get More: Sprinkle dried cherries into cereal, muffin batter, green salads, and wild rice

Blueberries:Blueberries are simply brilliant when it comes to nutrition. They’ve got anthocyanins, those blood vessel-helping antioxidants. Those antioxidants give the berries their dark blue color. Blueberries also have fiber and more than a handful of other great nutrients. Add fresh or dried blueberries to cereal, pancakes, or yogurt.
Dessert Idea: Puree a batch for a sweet sauce you can use as a dip or to drizzle on other sweet treats

Friday 22 April 2016

Another Fat Gene !


       Did you hear about the so-called"fat-gene" they just discovered? Want to find out the truth about it? Science is at it again.The powers that be found...brace yourself:another "fat gene".Lipin, the new gene on the block, is now reported as the "gene that regulates how the body stores and burns bodyfat."In mice”, that is. It's a start.
      This could mean there is a treatment in the near future. Or this could be another bust...just like leptin.Don't get me wrong. I'm all for discoveries that will make our battle against obesity easier and more effective.But this "fat gene" business is really not too new. In fact, this is the second fat-gene discovery in the past ten years.
    The other gene, lepitn, was debunked in January 2007. Ten years after it was first announced and five years after it became the "great fat-hope."
   To quote one medical researcher:"While you may be having a hard time fitting into your favorite jeans, it isunlikely that your genes are to blame."
   But don't give up hope. There's a good solution in the here and now.
But first... Are there really fat-genes? To answer the question: yes,there are literally genes that affect bodyfat distribution and metabolic issues pertaining to fat-metabolism.The fact however is that these genes account for less than 3 percent of our obese population.  That's a drop in the bucket.Even then they would not make one obese. They merely make it more likely to become obese if you......that's right.
                       EAT , DRINK AND MOVE LIKE AN OBESE PERSON !
    Sorry to burst the bubble on science here, but I'm sticking to the 97.4% of the population who do not have to wait for genetic discoveries to get the body they want. The fact also remains that obesity is and always will be an issue of how much food we consume in comparison to how little exercise we experience.Increase your activity and increase your metabolically "active" foods (foods that increase thermogenesis) and you'll decrease your bodyfat.You can eliminate our future number one killer with a fork and a spoon.
     No 'magic gene-turner-offer' needed. Will one help? Sure. I'd be the first in line if it was safe to take.But do you think I'm waiting around for it to happen? Hardly. Life is too short...and frankly, once you know how, bodyfat is too simple to burn. Let's face the facts: there is no gene that is responsible for eating poorly and watching too much TV. People are overweight today for two very simple reasons. 1) eating to much of the wrong foods  2) not moving enough. Period. It really is that simple.   
   Sorry, but sometimes you have to call it like it is.But we all need some help when it comes to winning our personal war with bodyfat.That's where smart nutrition and a fun and safe way to move enters the picture. Engage yourself in that lifestyle and you won't need a miracle of science.Your body is the only miracle you will ever need. Your body is the one absolute. If you have struggled with your weight for more than two years than it’s time to get smart and accept the fact that you can not do it on your own.The next step is the easiest of them all. Get qualified help. Start calling around. Personally interview professional personal trainers. Then make a decision and commit to the process. Whoever you hire ,give them a chance. There are no quick fixes.

Insulin Resistance

What Is It?
Insulin is a hormone that acts like a key. It unlocks your cells to let in glucose (a kind of sugar) from your blood to make energy. Sometimes, this lock-and-key process doesn't work. Then glucose builds up in your blood, even when you make more insulin. Scientists have some ideas, but they aren't sure why your cells stop responding
Usually, you won't have any. You could have this condition for a long time and not know it. People with severe insulin resistance sometimes get dark patches of skin on their necks, elbows, knees, hands, and armpits
What Puts You at Risk?
Your chances of becoming insulin resistant go up if you're overweight, don't get enough exercise, have high blood pressure, or you smoke
Blood and Heart Trouble
Some issues with your blood system can also increase the likelihood of getting insulin resistance, including low HDL "good" cholesterol, high levels of a kind of fat called triglycerides in your blood, heart disease, a previous stroke, and blood vessel disease in your neck or legs
Your Family History Plays a Role
 If your parent, brother, or sister has type 2 diabetes, your risk is higher. If your mother had diabetes while she was pregnant with you (gestational diabetes), your risk also goes up
The test for insulin resistance is complicated and uncomfortable, so instead, your doctor will probably test you for prediabetes (blood sugar that's higher than it should be). A lab can check the level of glucose in your blood after you haven't eaten for a while, or find an "average" blood sugar level for the past few months. Numbers that are higher than normal suggest you're insulin resistant.
Can Become Diabetes
It's hard on your pancreas to keep cranking out extra insulin to try to get glucose into your body's cells. Eventually, the cells that make insulin can burn out, leading to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. If you catch insulin resistance early and make changes to your lifestyle, you may stop that from happening
Eat Right
Cut back on sweets, refined grains, and animal fats, and have lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. That kind of eating plan will help you get to and stay at a healthy weight. It also helps your cells use insulin better. The DASH diet, for people with high blood pressure, is a good example. It includes cutting down on salt, too. It can lower insulin resistance, especially if you slim down and become more active while you're at it. Studies have also shown a link between low vitamin D and your body not using insulin well. 
Get Moving
Physical activity goes a long way toward fighting insulin resistance. Like a healthy diet, it helps you lose weight. Exercise also helps your cells use insulin, especially in your muscles. Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity a day, most days of the week. Your heart should beat faster, and you should breathe a little harder
Lifestyle changes are the best treatment for insulin resistance. But if you have the condition and are very likely to get type 2 diabetes, your doctor may also want you to try the drug metformin. It can prevent or delay type 2 for younger, heavier people with a very high chance of getting it. Metformin may also help hold off type 2 for women who've had gestational diabetes.
Metabolic Syndrome
Insulin resistance is part -- but not all -- of this condition. People with metabolic syndrome have at least three of these traits: a large waist, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and blood glucose that is higher than normal. It raises your chances for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Related Illnesses
People with insulin resistance often have slightly higher levels of inflammation throughout their bodies. Other conditions have this inflammation, too. Insulin resistance is linked to heart and blood vessel disease, blood clots in your arteries, kidney disease, liver disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and rheumatoid arthritis

Insulin resistance is almost always reversible. Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) is not. T2D is a slow and painful disease. If you have been diagnosed with insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome x it’s not too late but time is running out.  Take action now .

Thursday 21 April 2016

You may be depressed and not know it !

Depression: What Is It?
       It's natural to feel down sometimes, but if that low mood lingers day after day, it could signal depression. Major depression is an episode of sadness or apathy along with other symptoms that lasts at least two consecutive weeks and is severe enough to interrupt daily activities. Depression is not a sign of weakness or a negative personality. It is a major public health problem and a treatable medical condition. The primary symptoms of depression are a sad mood and/or loss of interest in life. Activities that were once pleasurable lose their appeal. Patients may also be haunted by a sense of guilt or worthlessness, lack of hope, and recurring thoughts of death or suicide. Depression is sometimes linked to physical symptoms. These include:
•Fatigue and decreased energy
•Insomnia, especially early-morning waking
•Excessive sleep
•Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
      Depression can make other health problems feel worse, particularly chronic pain. Key brain chemicals influence both mood and pain. Treating depression has been shown to improve co-existing illnesses. Changes in appetite or weight are another hallmark of depression. Some patients develop increased appetite, while others lose their appetite altogether. Depressed people may experience serious weight loss or weight gain. Without treatment, the physical and emotional turmoil brought on by depression can derail careers, hobbies, and relationships. Depressed people often find it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. They turn away from previously enjoyable activities, including sex. In severe cases, depression can become life-threatening. People who are depressed are more likely to attempt suicide. Warning signs include talking about death or suicide, threatening to hurt people, or engaging in aggressive or risky behavior. Anyone who appears suicidal should be taken very seriously. Do not hesitate to call one of the suicide hotlines.
        Anyone can become depressed, but many experts believe genetics play a role. Having a parent or sibling with depression increases your risk of developing the disorder. Women are twice as likely as men to become depressed. Doctors aren't sure what causes depression, but a prominent theory is altered brain structure and chemical function. Brain circuits that regulate mood may work less efficiently during depression. Drugs that treat depression are believed to improve communication between nerve cells, making them run more normally. Experts also think that while stress -- such as losing a loved one -- can trigger depression, one must first be biologically prone to develop the disorder. Other triggers could include certain medications, alcohol or substance abuse, hormonal changes, or even the season. 
      If your mood matches the season -- sunny in the summer, gloomy in the winter -- you may have a form of depression called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The onset of SAD usually occurs in the late fall and early winter, as the daylight hours grow shorter. Experts say SAD affects from 3% to 20% of all people, depending upon where they live.
       The "baby blues" strikes as many as three out of four new mothers. But nearly 12% develop a more intense dark mood that lingers even as their baby thrives. This is known as postpartum depression, and the symptoms are the same as those of major depression. An important difference is that the baby's well-being is also at stake. A depressed mother may have trouble enjoying and bonding with her infant. In the UK, depression affects 2% of grade school kids and about one in 10 teenagers. It interferes with the ability to play, make friends, and complete schoolwork. Symptoms are similar to depression in adults, but some children may appear angry or engage in risky behavior, called "acting out." Depression can be difficult to diagnose in children.
           As of yet, there is no lab test for depression. To make an accurate diagnosis, doctors rely on a patient's description of the symptoms. You'll be asked about your medical history and medication use since these may contribute to symptoms of depression. Discussing moods, behaviors, and daily activities can help reveal the severity and type of depression. This is a critical step in determining the most effective treatment.
         Studies suggest different types of talk therapy can fight mild to moderate depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to change thoughts and behaviors that contribute to depression. Interpersonal therapy identifies how your relationships impact your mood. Psychodynamic psychotherapy helps people understand how their behavior and mood are affected by unresolved issues and unconscious feelings. Some patients find a few months of therapy are all they need, while others continue long term. Antidepressants affect the levels of brain chemicals, such as serotonin and norepinephrine. There are many options. Give antidepressants a few weeks of use to take effect. Good follow-up with your doctor is important to evaluate their effectiveness and make dosage adjustments. If the first medication tried doesn't help, there's a good chance another will. The combination of talk therapy and medication appears particularly effective.
        Research suggests exercise is a potent weapon against mild to moderate depression. Physical activity releases endorphins that can help boost mood. Regular exercise is also linked to higher self-esteem, better sleep, less stress, and more energy. Any type of moderate activity, from swimming to housework, can help. Choose something you enjoy and aim for 20 to 30 minutes four or five times a week.
       A playful puppy or wise-mouthed parrot is no substitute for medication or talk therapy. But researchers say pets can ease the symptoms of mild to moderate depression in many people. Pets provide unconditional love, relieve loneliness, and give patients a sense of purpose. Studies have found pet owners have less trouble sleeping and better overall health.
        Because loneliness goes hand-in-hand with depression, developing a social support network can be an important part of treatment. This may include joining a support group, finding an online support community, or making a genuine effort to see friends and family more often. Even joining a book club or taking classes at your gym can help you connect with people on a regular basis
      In the midst of major depression, you may feel hopeless and helpless. But the fact is, this condition is highly treatable. More than 80% of people get better with medication, talk therapy, or a combination of the two. Even when these therapies fail to help, there are cutting-edge treatments that pick up the slack. Most importantly seek help. Even if you start by just talking to a friend.



Wednesday 20 April 2016

Very simple things you can do to lose the weight!

Time Your Meals
Set a timer for 20 minutes and reinvent yourself as a slow eater. This is one of the top habits for slimming down without a complicated diet plan. Savor each bite and make them last until the bell chimes. Paced meals offer great pleasure from smaller portions and trigger the body's fullness hormones. When you wolf your food down in a hurry, your stomach doesn't have time to tell your brain it's full. That leads to overeating.
Sleep More, Weigh Less
Sleeping an extra hour a night could help a person drop 14 pounds in a year, according to a University of Michigan researcher who ran the numbers for a 2,500 calorie per day intake. His scenario shows that when sleep replaces idle activities -- and the usual mindless snacking -- you can effortlessly cut calories by 6%. Results would vary for each person, but sleep may help in another way, too. There's evidence that getting less than 7 hours of sleep revs up your appetite, making you uncommonly hungry
Serve More, Eat More Veggies
Serve three vegetables with dinner tonight, instead of just one, and you'll eat more without really trying. Greater variety tricks people into eating more food -- and eating more fruits and vegetables is a great way to lose weight. The high fiber and water content fills you up with fewer calories. Cook them without added fat. And season with lemon juice and herbs rather than drowning their goodness in high-fat sauces or dressings.
When Soup's On, Weight Comes Off
Add a broth-based soup to your day and you'll fill up on fewer calories. Think minestrone, tortilla soup, or Chinese won-ton. Soup's especially handy at the beginning of a meal because it slows your eating and curbs your appetite. Start with a low-sodium broth or canned soup, add fresh or frozen vegetables and simmer. Beware of creamy soups, which can be high in fat and calories.
Go for Whole Grains
Whole grains such as brown rice, barley, oats, buckwheat, and whole wheat also belong in your stealthy weight loss strategy. They help fill you up with fewer calories and may improve your cholesterol, too. Whole grains are now in many products including waffles, pizza crust, English muffins, pasta, and soft "white" whole-wheat bread.
Eyeball Your Skinny Clothes
Hang an old favorite dress, skirt, or a smokin' pair of jeans where you'll see them every day. This keeps your eyes on the prize. Choose an item that's just a little too snug, so you reach this reward in a relatively short time. Then pull out last year's cocktail dress for your next small, attainable goal.
Skip the Bacon
Pass on those two strips of bacon at breakfast or in your sandwich at lunch time. This simple move saves about 100 calories, which can add up to a 10 pound weight loss over a year. Other sandwich fixings can replace the flavor with fewer calories. Think about tomato slices, banana peppers, roasted red bell peppers, grainy mustard, or a light spread of herbed goat cheese
Sip Smart: Cut Back on Sugar
Replace one sugary drink like regular soda with water  and you'll avoid about 10 teaspoons of sugar. Add lemon, mint or frozen strawberries for flavor and fun.The liquid sugar in soda appears to bypass the body's normal fullness cues. One study compared an extra 450 calories per day from jelly beans vs. soda. The candy eaters unconsciously ate fewer calories overall, but not so for the soda drinkers. They gained 2.5 pounds in four weeks.
Sip Smart: Limit Alcohol
When an occasion includes alcohol, follow the first drink with a nonalcoholic, low-calorie beverage like sparkling water instead of moving directly to another cocktail, beer, or glass of wine. Alcohol has more calories per gram (7) than carbohydrates (4) or protein (4). It can also loosen your resolve, leading you to mindlessly inhale chips, nuts, and other foods you'd normally limit
Sip Smart: Go for Green Tea
Drinking green tea may also be a good weight loss strategy. Some studies suggest that it can rev up the body's calorie-burning engine temporarily, possibly through the action of phytochemicals called catechins. At the very least, you'll get a refreshing drink without tons of calories.
Eat at Home
Eat home-cooked meals at least five days a week. A Consumer Reports survey found this was a top habit of "successful losers." Sound daunting? Cooking may be easier than you think. Shortcut foods can make for quick meals, such as pre-chopped lean beef for fajitas, washed lettuce, pre-cut veggies, canned beans, cooked chicken strips, or grilled deli salmon.
Chew Strong Mint Gum
Chew sugarless gum with a strong flavor when you're at risk for a snack attack. Making dinner after work, socializing at a party, watching TV, or surfing the Internet are a few dangerous scenarios for mindless snacking. Gum with a big flavor punch overpowers other foods so they don't taste good.
Try the 80-20 Rule
We are conditioned to keep eating until they're stuffed, but residents of Okinawa eat until they're 80% full. They even have a name for this naturally slimming habit: hara hachi bu. We can adopt this healthy habit by dishing out 20% less food, according to researcher Brian Wansink, PhD. His studies show most people don't miss it.

Eat Out Your Way
Restaurant meals are notoriously fattening, so consider these special orders that keep portions under control:
•Split an entrée with a friend.
•Order an appetizer as a meal.
•Choose the child's plate.
•Get half the meal in a doggie bag before it's brought to the table.
Complement a smaller entrée with extra salad for the right balance: half the plate filled with veggies.
Use it or lose it! Move your body. Join a gym and take a class. Go dancing. Play badminton. Do something ! Anything. Find something you enjoy to get started and go from there. Don’t over complicate the process. Just get moving !!!!!!!
When you've kicked the soda habit or simply made it through the day without overeating, pat yourself on the back. You've moved closer to a slimming lifestyle that helps people lose weight without crazy or complicated diet plans. Phone a friend, get a pedicure, buy new clothes -- or on occasion, indulge in a small slice of cheesecake  

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Fun Facts About Fruits and Vegetables

Bell Peppers Are Fruits: Surprised? Scientists define fruit as the part of a plant that develops from a flower and has seeds. So that means bell peppers -- along with squash, cucumbers, and pumpkins -- are fruits. It's up to you whether or not to include any of those items in your next fruit salad.
Bananas Are Berries: A true berry is a fruit that develops from a single flower and a single ovary. The ovary is the female part of a flower. That means grapes, kiwis, and even bananas are berries. Think about that the next time you peel into a banana
It May Be Best to Steam Broccoli: If you're trying to cut your cholesterol, steam your broccoli -- that helps it lower your levels more. Raw broccoli has cancer-fighting compounds, though. In a part-by-part breakdown, the florets have a few more nutrients than the stalks. And the leaves, which most people throw out, have some nutrients not found in either the stem or the florets.
Avocados Are Fruits: Avocados have seeds, so that makes them fruits. They have a lot of fat, but it’s the good kind that lowers cholesterol. The creamy fruit also helps your body absorb nutrients in other produce, like tomatoes. So toss some diced tomatoes into your next batch of guacamole.
Tomatoes Are Fruits and Veggies :Tomatoes are fruits. But, according to law, they're vegetables. Here's the juicy backstory: In the 1800s, New York’s port taxed veggies, but not fruits. An importer wanting to cut costs went to court saying his tomatoes were fruits. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that, in “common language,” produce often served with meats or fish is a vegetable. So, the man had to pay tomato tax
Figs Match Milk in Calcium : Trying to get more calcium? Instead of pouring another glass of milk, you could reach for the fruit bowl. Figs are high in calcium. A cup of dried ones has as much calcium as the same amount of milk. And unlike the cool drink, figs are also a great source of fiber. But don’t overdo it. They pack a lot of sugar and calories .
Blackberries Aren’t Really Berries :Don't let their names fool you. In the plant world, blackberries, raspberries, and even strawberries aren't berries at all, but clumps of tiny individual fruits that grew together. Even by other names, they'd still taste as sweet, though.
Kiwis Beat Oranges in Vitamin C :Ounce for ounce, kiwis pack the biggest nutritional punch of any fruit in your produce aisle. They have twice the vitamin C of an orange, and they’re another high-potassium, low-salt alternative to bananas. They’re packed with other vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy nutrients, too.
Apples Are Cousins of Roses : Apples are a good source of fiber and vitamin C. As you take a bite of one, do you notice a sweet smell? Apples, pears, cherries, and plums are just some of the fruits that come from the same family tree as the rose. Try using dried apple slices to make a sweet-smelling potpourri.
Tiny Carrots Aren’t Really 'Babies' :Those cute little bagged carrots in the grocery store aren’t baby veggies. They’re cut from full-grown varieties that are sweeter and thinner than traditional carrots. When they turn a bit white, they’re just drying out. But if they’re slimy, it’s time to throw them out. Aside from being convenient, they're vitamin-rich like full-size varieties


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