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How Sleeping More Helps You Lose Weight

How Sleeping More Helps You Lose WeightThe simple act of sleeping more can help you lose more weight, and the effect is more powerful than you might think. Sleeping can reduce your weight in several ways, especially if you haven’t been getting enough sleep on a regular basis. By regulating the hunger hormone leptin, sleep actually helps you with appetite control while you are awake. Several studies have linked a lack of sleep to weight gain, for example a Columbia University study found that people who didn’t get enough sleep ate an average of 300 calories per day more than those who got a sufficient amount of sleep [1]. So the net calorie gain when you don’t get enough sleep is significant.

A study found that you are likely to overeat when you don’t sleep

Marie Pierre St-Onge, PhD and colleagues at the New York Obesity Research Center found that short sleep makes you more susceptible to overeating. The study included 13 men and 13 women that were monitored in a controlled environment during two separate six-day experiments.

During the first six-day experiment, the men and women were allowed to sleep nine hours per day. They were kept on a controlled diet during the first four days, and during the fifth day they were allowed to eat whatever they wanted. During the second experiment, the participants were only allowed to sleep four hours per day with the same diet requirements, being allowed to eat whatever they wanted on the fifth day.

The study found that the participants ate 300 calories more when they were tired compared to when they were slept well. The women ate 328.6 extra calories while the men ate 262.7 extra calories, and women were more likely to choose fatty foods when they were tired while men ate the same amount of fat [1].

The study proved that there is a potential link between being sleep deprived and obesity, particularly with the higher calorie consumption. St. Onge concluded that, “If sustained, the dietary choices made by individuals undergoing short sleep would predispose to obesity and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Sleep impacts your hunger hormones

Another important thing to remember is that sleep has a significant impact on your hunger hormones. Insufficient sleep affects your ghrelin and leptin levels. When you are sleep deprived your body produces more ghrelin which in turn signals that it is time to eat. Your leptin levels also decline, and when leptin levels decline it is another signal that it is time to eat.

Also, cortisol levels tend to spike when you have been staying up for several hours at a time, and cortisol is a stress hormone that signals your body to conserve more fat in order to combat starvation and fuel you for while you are awake [2]. All of these hormonal effects occur when you have been chronically sleep deprived, and together they combine to not only make you eat more, but to store more fat than you normally would if you had sufficient sleep.

Cutting back on sleep cuts your weight loss

In another study, the simple act of cutting back on sleep reduced weight loss. Researchers found that people who cut back on sleep over a 14 day period lost 55% less weight from fat, even when their calorie consumption stayed the same. They were also less satisfied after their meals and felt groggier [2]. Again, this is evidence that just avoiding sleep by itself can cause you to gain weight even when you consume the same amount of calories due to the hormonal effects, and the fact that it makes you “metabolically groggy.” Just as your body becomes slower, your metabolism slows down as well when you’re tired.

Your body’s ability to process insulin can also be affected by four days of insufficient sleep. When your body doesn’t properly respond to insulin, it doesn’t metabolize your blood sugar as effectively and it ends up getting stored as fat. Insulin sensitivity can drop by as much as 30% when you aren’t getting enough sleep [2]. It’s another reason why you should be sure that you’re getting enough sleep, because consistent problems with your insulin levels can lead to other more serious problems like diabetes.

By sleeping on time you are also less likely to want to snack late at night, which is another major source of potential weight gain. A late night high carbohydrate snack will be easily converted into fat and this can end up contributing a lot of calories to your diet when you are pressing yourself to sleep less.

You’ll even buy more at the grocery store

Another study found that men who are short on sleep will be more inclined to impulse buys at the grocery store. A Swedish study found that sleep deprivation can lower inhibitions which in turn makes people more likely to pick up junk food and other high calorie foods when shopping. Being sleepy also of course has the effect of increasing hunger levels as previously described, and the two effects together combine to make it a lot easier to pick up the wrong foods when shopping.

The study recruited 14 healthy men who shopped after staying awake for one night, and shopped after a normal night. They had a fixed budget of $50 both times and were instructed to purchase as much as they could out of 20 pre-selected junk food items and 20 healthy items. The study found that after being sleep deprived, the men purchased significantly more calories and more food overall than when they were not sleep deprived.

They ended up purchasing 9 percent more calories and 18 percent more grams of food. The results of the study also found that the brain was more susceptible to impulse decision making after a poor night’s sleep. This could also have ramifications at home when a person is more impulsive about the food that they eat or the places that they choose to eat at [3].

Tips for getting more sleep

It’s essential that you get enough sleep in order to avoid weight gain, and hopefully your convinced by now. If you’ve been dealing with weight gain but haven’t been sleeping enough, be sure that you are trying to sleep at a regular time. Try to get more naps when you can and avoid having to make your sleep up during the weekend if possible. Shut down your television or computer at least an hour before you try to sleep, and make sure that there are no light disturbances in your room, as even the smallest light can keep you up longer than you want.

Try to come up with a bedtime ritual which can help get your body and mind in the right mood for sleep. Try to keep your bed reserved for sleep alone to associate it with sleep rather than relaxation. Practice techniques to clear your mind so that you aren’t staying up, and be sure that you aren’t drinking any caffeine at least 6 hours before bed. Also avoid any heavy meals or alcohol close to your bedtime which can make it more difficult to fall asleep. Caffeine stays in your body for at least 5 to 6 hours before it starts to wear off, so you shouldn’t drink any coffee after around 2 to 3 P.M. if you are trying to sleep by 9 or 10 P.M.


[1] – http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20110323/sleepy-people-overeat

[2] – http://www.webmd.com/diet/sleep-and-weight-loss?page=2

[3] – http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/grocery-shopping-tired-leads-unhealthy-purchases-study-article-1.1450234

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7 Ways to Lose Belly Fat Quickly

7 Ways to Lose Belly Fat QuicklyLosing belly fat isn’t all that easy as you probably already know, as there’s a lot that can go into it and it can take a bit of serious effort. It’s hard to spot reduce fat but there’s definitely a lot that you can do to reduce your overall body fat percentage and thus reduce belly fat quickly. The best way to lower your belly fat is to simply lose weight while trying to preserve as much muscle as you can, and the more weight that you lose the more that you’ll lose around your midsection and other difficult parts of your body. Diets like the HCG diet can be perfect at helping you with this, and once you’ve lost enough weight you can do a few other things to tighten up your midsection.

Method #1 – Drink low calorie or zero calorie drinks

Although this method won’t cause you to entirely get rid of your belly, it will go a long way in helping you get rid of excess belly fat. Try to only drink zero calorie beverages if at all possible. Drinks with calories are a potentially major source of weight gain and the calories can quickly add up over time. The simple act of avoiding any drinks with calories can make a major difference in the number of calories that you consume each week, and that small amount can quickly add up. This also goes for any juices or other drinks that have a substantial amount of calories per serving.

Method #2 – Try to exercise whenever you can

One of the biggest contributors to belly fat gain is a sedentary lifestyle, so you should do your best to keep moving whenever you can. Try to go for walks whenever you get a break and try to bike or walk short distances whenever possible. Any little bit of exercise will definitely help although it isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to losing belly fat. You’ll also need to be careful to avoid long periods of being sedentary as this can significantly contribute to weight gain. Try to find any excuse to exercise at all whether it is taking the stairs or going for a quick walk break and it will pay off.

Method #3 – Eat more protein

Getting more protein your diet is one of the best long term strategies for losing weight and lowering your belly fat. Eating more protein will keep you satisfied throughout the day and stabilize your blood sugar, which in turn will make it less likely for you to want to snack. Eating more protein has been shown to reduce cravings for food by up to 50 to 60% while also lowering your caloric intake by up to 100 or more calories per day. It’s a simple but effective way to control your appetite and it can make a significant difference when you’re trying to lose stubborn belly fat which can accumulate over time and be difficult to deal with when you are on a relatively high carbohydrate diet.

Method #4 – Reduce your carbohydrate intake

Reducing your carbohydrate intake can have a dramatic impact on your stomach fat and your body fat, but you need to be careful to reduce your carb intake from grains in particular as well as starches. Carb consumption leads to fat gain because of the effect that they have on your metabolism. Lowering your starch and grain intake and overall carb consumption can result in lower fat storage from the foods that you eat regularly. If you can lower the amount of fat that your body stores on a regular basis while taking small steps to further increase your body fat loss like exercising, you can start to gradually whither away at your belly fat. This method will take time unless you’re on a very low calorie diet but it is effective if you can be consistent with it and be vigilant about your carbohydrate consumption.

Method #5 – Track your calories and what you eat

Every little thing that you eat has an impact on your body fat percentage, and by simply tracking what you eat and how much of it that you’re eating, it can go a long way in helping you control your appetite. Be sure that you are monitoring your calorie intake carefully and try to limit your carbohydrate intake to be as low as possible as previously mentioned. This even goes for carbohydrates from juice, fruits and vegetables; you’ll need to be careful to limit your carb intake from several natural sources, and try to keep it limited to low starch vegetables and fruits and no grains.

Method #6 – Avoid eating out at restaurants

When you eat at restaurants you can’t control exactly what is in your meal the vast majority of the time, and it can be difficult to calculate the number of calories that you’re eating. Many restaurants don’t list calorie content and even when they do, they don’t include more specific information like the number of calories from carbohydrates, grams of carbohydrates or an ingredient list. Try to eat most of your meals at home and take portable meals and snacks with you like fruit, nuts, jerky or other healthy foods to keep you satisfied until your next meal.

Method #7 – Get healthy fat in your diet

You don’t need to get rid of all fat in your diet in order to lose belly fat, but the fat that you do include in your diet should come from healthy sources. Good sources of healthy fat include olive oil, coconut oil, avocados and avocado oil, nuts, and many others. You’ll need to be careful to limit your intake when you’re trying to lose weight, but it’s still much better to add a little bit of healthy fat into your diet rather than snacking on a high carbohydrate snack, even if the high carb snack may have fewer calories. You have to be careful to limit your fat consumption in general when you’re trying to lose weight, but again you should make sure that most of your calories are coming from a few healthy sources like the ones mentioned above.

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How Eating Fiber Rich Foods Helps You Lose Weight

How Eating Fiber Rich Foods Helps You Lose Weightating fiber rich foods is one of the best ways to lose weight, and it can make a significant difference in the amount of weight that you lose in the long term. Fiber adds bulk to your diet without adding calories, and it can have a significant effect on your weight loss. If you’ve been trying to lose weight for some time, try to get more fiber into your diet by mainly eating more fruits and vegetables rather than taking a fiber supplement; it’s scientifically proven to help you lose weight and you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to maintain a healthy weight just by getting more fiber in your diet.

Fiber makes your meals more satiating without adding calories

One of the main weight loss effects of fiber is its ability to make your meals more satiating without adding calories. Fiber adds more bulk to your meals and makes you feel fuller but it doesn’t add calories and remains mostly undigested. The fiber in fruits and vegetables suppresses your appetite and reduces your hunger substantially, and foods that are higher in fiber also often have a high water content which also helps to fill you up. In general, you can eat as many low starch vegetables as you want without worrying about weight gain simply because they add so much bulk to your meals without adding very many calories. If you look at the calorie content of most low starch vegetables you can see this for yourself.

Eat as many low calorie fiber rich vegetables as you want

The main benefit of eating more fruits and vegetables is the fact that you can eat a larger quantity without having to worry about weight gain. Whole vegetables and fruit contain a significant amount of fiber per serving, although there are some that are obviously higher in fiber than others. For example, berries are higher in fiber than many other fruits, as well as other fruits like apples, oranges and strawberries. Bananas have a good amount of fiber per serving but their high starch content can contribute to weight gain. The best option is to eat low calorie low starch vegetables and you can be generous with your servings.

By eating larger quantities of high fiber fruits and vegetables you won’t have to rely on high carbohydrate meals for energy and you can balance your appetite during the day. Fiber adds more bulk to your diet and you won’t be as tempted to eat high calorie meals. You’ll be able to lower your calorie intake and you won’t be as tempted to eat as you usually are, and it can be very beneficial for weight loss. If you can, try to include as many low starch vegetables in your diet and try to start your meals off with a salad or just a piece of fruit, as it can dramatically lower the amount of high calorie food that you eat.

Choose from this list of high fiber non-starch vegetables and fruits (when you are not on the HCG diet):


  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Mushrooms
  • Greens like Kale, Spinach,
  • Radishes
  • Shallots and Onions
  • Artichokes
  • Avocado
  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Fennel
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Zucchini
  • Watercress

This is by means an all-inclusive list but it’s a good starting point for ideas on non-starchy vegetables to add to your diet. The fiber content of these vegetables varies but all of them have a good fiber content and they are all low in calories for the serving size. You can add other vegetables and low glycemic index fruits to this list but be careful to avoid any starchy vegetables like corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and any others. Starchy vegetables will definitely lead to weight gain and are definitely a bad idea when you’re trying to cut fat.

Fiber feeds your “good bacteria”

Another major benefit with fiber is the fact that it improves the balance of “good bacteria” in the digestive tract, and this can have a significant impact on your metabolism and more. There are over 100 trillion bacteria in the digestive tract, mostly located in the large intestine, and different species can affect your health. It’s essential to have the proper balance of good bacteria which can ensure that both your immune and digestive system function properly. By feeding the friendly bacteria with fiber it has a prebiotic effect which is beneficial for your body weight and overall health.

The good bacteria in your digestive system  have a beneficial effect on your inflammatory pathways. Chronic inflammation can lead to weight gain because of its effects on the hormone leptin. The research continues to show that chronic inflammation is a bad thing for your overall health, while short term inflammation such as the inflammation associated with getting an infection is beneficial. Higher fiber diets have been proven to be associated with a lower inflammation level because of the beneficial effect that they have on good bacteria populations. Fiber in fruits and vegetables passes through the digestive system and eventually reaches friendly bacteria which in turn digest it and turn it into useful energy. Having the proper digestive tract bacteria profile can improve your brain function, blood sugar control help you manage your weight among other health benefits.

You will eat fewer calories without even trying

When it comes to your eating habits, fiber is beneficial for lowering your appetite without even trying. You have to eat fewer calories than you expend in order to lose weight, and it is a simple formula that many people overlook. By eating more fiber rich foods, you’ll be less likely to put on weight and you’ll lose weight without putting in much additional effort. In general you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to maintain your weight even if you mess up with your diet here and there, and it can make a significant impact on the amount of calories that you eat almost immediately. So whether you’re trying to lose weight or if you’re just trying to stay healthy, it’s just more incentive for you to eat high fiber foods and to stay away from low fiber starchy foods or sources of simple carbohydrates that will only lead to weight gain.


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7 Foods That Fight Stress

7 Foods That Fight StressStress can be a major contributor to weight gain and can cause all kinds of health issues when it is not addressed. Chronic stress can lead to bad eating habits like reliance on carbohydrate rich foods. Stress causes a hormone called cortisol to rise and leads to cravings for sweet foods. But the problem is that even the act of eating carbohydrate rich foods doesn’t really solve the problem and can lead to an energy crash that makes you feel even worse than before. The chronic high levels of stress have a double effect on weight gain because the high levels of cortisol trigger the body to store more fat than it normally would, which makes it easier to gain weight and more difficult to lose weight.

These 7 foods can help you relax and control stress and lower inflammation levels without making you gain weight, and it’s important to do everything that you can to fight stress.

Food #1 – Turkey breast

Turkey in general is one of the healthiest foods that you can eat, and there is an amino acid in turkey called tryptophan that can actually help you relax and lower your stress levels. Tryptophan helps the brain produce serotonin which helps to regulate hunger and contributes to feelings of well being and happiness. Tryptophan may also have a calming effect by itself, which is one reason why many people fall into a “food coma” after Thanksgiving. Other studies have found that people who consume tryptophan rich foods often have a more relaxed personality.

Food #2 – Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is well known as a stress fighter, and it does so by lowering levels of stress hormones like cortisol. Dark chocolate is a good alternative to other unhealthy desserts like milk chocolate or ice cream, and a study even found that people who ate one dark chocolate candy bar each day for two weeks had lower levels of cortisol, and the fight or flight hormones called catecholamines which are found in people who are highly stressed. There are many other benefits of eating dark chocolate including an improved insulin sensitivity and a more stabilized blood pressure, a more relaxed mood and a high antioxidant content which may fight some cancers and lower your risk of heart disease.

Food #3 – Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is one of the best drinks for stress control and it has one of the most potent relaxing effects out of any food or drink. Chamomile tea has many different flavonoids with beneficial effects, and one called apigenin works as a natural stress reliever and sedative. Chamomile tea is the perfect drink prior to bedtime as it can help you get relaxed and lower your stress and anxiety levels, or any time that you are feeling stressed during the day as well. Some researchers believe that chamomile is just as potent as some of the anti-anxiety drugs that currently exist, but the difference is that it doesn’t have any of the dangerous side effects that these drugs do, so it’s definitely worth using as a stress reliever.

Food #4 – Kale

Leafy green vegetables and kale in particular are excellent stress fighters. You probably already know how nutrient rich that dark leafy green vegetables are, but they also have an important compound that is beneficial for its calming effect: magnesium. The magnesium in dark leafy greens and kale helps to relax the nervous system and the muscles, and it can lower cortisol levels. Magnesium is often used to treat anxiety, cramps, and other stress related health problems like high blood pressure. It’s one of the most beneficial nutrients for people who have suffered health problems from chronic stress and it can even help with other ailments like sleep disturbances. If you think you might be suffering from low magnesium levels or if you are dealing with stress be sure to add more green leafy vegetables to your diet, and you’ll likely notice a difference in your stress levels.

Food #5 – Avocado

Avocados are one of the must nutrient rich foods and have several nutrients that can lower your chronic stress levels. Some of the vitamins including B vitamins, vitamin E, and potassium. Avocado mainly fights stress by helping to regulate your blood sugar levels, which can help to reduce your cravings for carbohydrate rich foods when you’re feeling the urge to eat. The B vitamins also provide you with an extra source of energy and help your body cope with the effects of stress, and the potassium and monounsaturated fats help to lower your blood pressure and regulate your cardiovascular system and any negative cardiovascular effects that your body has had as a result of stress.

Food #6 – Blueberries

Blueberries are well known as one of the best superfoods that you can eat, and there are several nutrients in blueberries that can help reduce the impact of stress on your body. Blueberries are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants which are powerful stress fighters, and they can help your cells repair the damage related to oxidative stress. The antioxidants in blueberries also help your brain produce more dopamine which is crucial for the functioning of your memory, your mood and for regulating stress levels. Research has also found that blueberries can increase of particular white blood cells which can improve immunity.

Food #7 – Salmon and other fish

Fish are one of the healthiest protein sources and wild caught salmon and other fatty fish have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for a healthy and functional nervous and cardiovascular system. Several studies have linked omega-3 fatty acid consumption with a lower level of depression and stress. Getting more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is absolutely essential if you have been dealing with stress, and they can greatly improve the ability for both your body and your brain to fight it. You can get more omega-3s by taking a supplement as well, but it’s ideal to get as many as you can from natural sources that you will absorb better like fish, walnuts, leafy green vegetables, and others.

It’s also essential that you get plenty of sunlight or take a vitamin D supplement, as vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients for stress relief and control.

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Does It Matter What Time Of The Day That You Eat?

IDoes It Matter What Time Of The Day That You Eatf you’re concerned about the time of the day that you eat, it might make sense because it can definitely make a difference. Eating an unhealthy snack right before bed as you probably already know is a really bad idea, because your metabolism is starting to wind down and you won’t be able to burn off any excess calories. Although it’s a bad idea to eat unhealthy snacks at any time, it’s particularly bad right before bed, and the same goes for some other foods that might be okay to eat earlier in the day, particularly any snack that is high in carbohydrates.

Eating in the morning makes a difference

If you aren’t a breakfast eater you should definitely consider getting into the habit, because eating breakfast is definitely a good idea for weight loss. The simple act of eating breakfast can help you lose weight as several studies have found, because eating breakfast helps you control your hunger during the day and helps you eat a lower amount of food in total. Your body needs energy in the morning and as soon as you feel hungry you should eat a healthy and balanced meal with healthy fat, carbs from fruits and vegetables and protein. It isn’t always easy to eat breakfast but it’s always a good idea if you’re trying to lose weight and it can make a significant difference in how quickly you lose weight.

Eat unhealthy snacks earlier in the day if you do eat them

If you’re going to eat anything unhealthy it’s much better to eat it earlier in the day, although you should avoid eating it at all of course if possible. But eating a high carb snack during your breakfast is a lot better than eating a bagel before bed; at least you’ll have a chance to burn off some of the calories with your daily physical activity. If you’re in the habit of eating high carb snacks before bed, do your best to stop this bad habit and it will definitely help you with your weight loss efforts. If you get into the habit of eating more in the morning your cravings for food before bed might start to slow down as well.

Try to eat protein during breakfast and lunch

When you start the day with a protein rich breakfast as well as a lunch your blood sugar will be more stable and you’ll be less likely to want to snack. You also won’t be as hungry when dinner rolls around. You should also try to schedule your breakfast and lunch to both be earlier in the day rather than later if possible. Do your best to include protein in your meals because a high carb breakfast will just leave you feeling hungrier during lunch and isn’t ideal, even though you’re eating it earlier and have a chance to burn off some of the calories. Good options for breakfast include eggs, turkey sausage, or chicken or low fat meats, as well as whey protein and Greek yogurt.

Avoid eating within 3 hours of bedtime

In general, you don’t want to eat within 3 hours of bedtime because that’s the minimum amount of time that your body needs to digest your last meal. Time your bedtime right around 3 hours after your last meal and you hopefully won’t be feeling the urge to eat something right before bed. If you’ve been eating within 3 hours before bed you might need to reschedule some of your other meals to be earlier in the day. If you do eat anything right before bed, make sure there aren’t any carbohydrates in it, a piece of chicken breast or Greek yogurt with stevia, can hold you over but won’t spike your insulin levels.

Eating too late can affect your sleep

The other thing to remember that eating too late can definitely affect your sleep schedule. If you’re eating within 3 hours of your bedtime you’re more likely to suffer from insomnia and other sleep disturbances. Eating a snack gives you a boost of energy that can make it a lot more difficult to sleep. Then by staying up you might be further tempted to eat more, and it can quickly become a vicious cycle. So try to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep at minimum each night and it can further help you lose weight, and if your meal times are affecting your sleep it’s a good idea to make some changes.

Be sure to eat something after a workout

It’s crucial that you also time your workouts so that they aren’t too late in the evening, because you definitely need to eat something after a strenuous workout. Your body starts the process of recovering as soon as your workout has ended and most nutritionists recommend that you eat something with 30-45 minutes after exercising. If you skip this meal it can have consequences on your workout recovery and metabolism. Also be sure that you are including some protein in this meal, as well as carbohydrates from healthy sources, such as a whey protein smoothie with fruit. Try to exercise earlier in the morning if at all possible, or right after work so that you have time to have a snack and eat dinner with a bit of time before bed.

Be careful with your dinner timing

It’s easy to make a mistake with your dinner timing by eating too late which can cause sleep disturbances as mentioned above, but it mainly doesn’t give you a chance to burn off the calories. Try to move your dinner to be earlier in the evening and don’t wait too long. If you miss the right timing it’s better to just have a smaller low carb dinner before bed then a larger breakfast instead of trying to cram a big dinner in right before you go to bed. It might not seem like it will make a difference but changing the timing of your meals like this can have a weight loss effect that will add up over time, and in general it can prevent a lot of weight gain that is associated with eating right before bed.

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7 Rules To Follow If You Want To Lose Weight

7 Rules To Follow If You Want To Lose WeightThere are several small changes that you can start implementing today to lose weight, and the sooner that you start the better your results will be. These 7 rules can help you start losing weight today and they don’t take much effort to start implementing.

These guidelines will help you get closer to your ideal weight and you’ll find that they are very helpful as general health guidelines even if you aren’t trying to lose weight. Everyone is different, and if any of these methods don’t seem like they’ll work for you based on your past experiences you don’t need to necessarily try them. Pick the ones that you think will be more effective and natural for you and you’ll be more likely to stick to them.

#1 – Try eating breakfast

The simple act of eating breakfast can go a long way in helping you lose weight and it’s recommended that you start eating it if you haven’t already. Breakfast helps you regulate your appetite throughout the day, and it makes a significant difference in the amount of energy that you have at the start of the day. If you aren’t hungry in the morning you can pack a portable breakfast with you like hardboiled eggs, fruit or oatmeal and wait until you’re hungry to eat, but either way you should do your best to try to eat something in the morning. You’ll very likely find that you aren’t as hungry when lunch rolls around and you will probably eat fewer calories during the week.

#2 – Don’t rely on carbohydrates for energy

It’s a big mistake if you are snacking on high carbohydrate foods, and you aren’t going to be able to lose weight very easily if a large percentage of your calories are coming from them. Be sure that you are consuming adequate healthy fat and protein with your meals, and limit your carbohydrate intake from non-vegetable and non-fruit sources. Starches, sugar, and grains are the major culprits for weight gain, and if you’ve been snacking on high carbohydrate foods you really have to do your best to limit your intake of these foods to lose weight. It can make a huge difference in the amount of weight that you lose and your calorie intake and it definitely matters.

#3 – Eat as many vegetables and fruits as you can in your diet

Another important thing to do is to eat as many fruits and vegetables as you can, and although it may seem obvious, almost all of us could be better at doing it. Just by increasing your intake of vegetables and fruits you will very likely naturally start to lose weight or at least stabilize your weight. Try to always have your favorite vegetables and fruits with you and do your best to have at least a few servings in every meal. Limit your grain and carbohydrate intake and increase your vegetable intake, and it can make a huge difference in the amount of calories that you consume because vegetables are high in fiber and filling, along with most non-starchy and low sugar fruits.

#4 – Get rid of soda and sugary drinks

This is a must if you’re trying to lose weight: you have to find replacement drinks for juices, sugary drinks, or soda. The best replacement is obviously water, but if you have had a soda addiction you probably won’t be as satisfied with water and more likely to relapse if you just quit cold turkey. One good substitute for soda is sparkling water without any added sugar. Diet soda however isn’t a good substitute and can make your weight problems and metabolic issues even worse, so don’t rely on diet drinks as an alternative. Try to eliminate most sweetened and artificially sweetened drinks from your diet and you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to lose weight.

#5 – Be sure that you’re eating healthy fat

It’s important to eat healthy fat with your meals, and healthy fat won’t necessarily lead to weight gain as long as you consume it in moderation. Some good sources of healthy fat include nuts, avocados, olives and olive oil, coconut oil, and other non-processed natural oils. These oils are a good source of healthy fats that can improve your cardiovascular system like monounsaturated fats (in nuts, avocados and olive oil) and medium chain triglycerides (in coconut oil). Flax seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as olive oil, and most types of fish are also a good source of omega-3s which can help lower inflammation.

#6 – Drink more water

The simple act of drinking more water can go a long way in helping you lose weight, and it can help you control your appetite and reduce the number of calories that you eat during each meal. Drinking at least 4 cups of water each day was associated with a 5-pound weight loss over the course of a year in a study by the Stanford Prevention Research Center. This wasn’t even considering substituting water for sugary drinks, which resulted in even more weight loss. In general, if you want to lose weight quickly, substitute most of your drinks for water and stick with it.

#7 – Drink more green tea or coffee

If you’re a regular green tea or coffee drinker you’re in luck because both of those drinks can greatly assist with weight loss. Compounds in green tea can lower your appetite and can even boost your metabolism a little bit. The same goes for coffee which can suppress your appetite with the effect of caffeine. Both drinks have been associated with a wide range of health benefits, but green tea as a whole is considered to be healthier than coffee. Coffee isn’t necessarily bad for you but there are some types of coffee that are heavily sprayed with pesticides and organic green tea shouldn’t have any of that in it. For both types of drinks you should try to buy higher quality organic tea or coffee products whenever possible, but even if you can’t they are still far better than any sugary drinks or soda.

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Why Cutting Out Grains Helps You Lose Weight

Why Cutting Out Grains Helps You Lose WeightCutting grains and sugar out of your diet is essential if you are trying to lose weight, and it can make a significant difference in how quickly you lose weight. Grains can cause a wide range of health effects and issues including chronic inflammation, insulin resistance, and other health issues. It’s essential to get rid of grains if you are trying to lose weight, and the sooner that you get rid of them the better your weight loss results will be. You should even avoid whole grains when you are trying to lose weight, as whole grains have been shown to cause weight gain because of their high carbohydrate content.

Most people consume too many carbohydrates

Although some carbohydrates are necessary for normal functioning and for energy, most people are consuming far too many. In the modern world there exists several high calorie high carbohydrate snacks combined with a sedentary lifestyle, and those two factors easy contribute to weight gain. Small amounts of grains and other carbohydrates are normally not an issue in terms of weight gain, but the problem is when people are getting 50% or more of their calories from carbohydrates, especially the worst kind like sweets, grains, potatoes, and starchy and sugary snacks. Because of the body’s limited capacity to burn carbohydrates right away, a lot of the calories consumed from carbohydrates are converted into fat. It’s even worse when the carbohydrates come from processed foods which can easily trigger weight gain and a host of other metabolic problems, along with grains.

Grains are among the worst carbohydrates

Of course not every carbohydrate is the same; the carbohydrates that you get from fruits and vegetables don’t have the same effects on your body that the carbohydrates from sugar and grains do, as one example. Grains are actually among the worst carbohydrates that you can consume for several reasons. Modern refined grains are quickly converted into glucose and have some of the highest glycemic indexes of any food. Whole grains also have high glycemic indexes but not as bad as refined grains, and even worse, the nutritional content of refined grains is dramatically reduced compared to whole grains.

Foods that raise your insulin levels contribute to obesity

It’s important to remember than any food that increases your insulin levels like grains or other simple carbohydrates can contribute to obesity through several effects. Insulin stores extra carbohydrates that you consume in your diet as fat, and humans evolved this ability to be able to get through times when they weren’t able to eat. Insulin is the main hormone that is responsible for weight gain, and it suppresses two important hormones, growth hormones and glucagons. These hormones help the body burn fat and promote muscle development, and a diet that is high in grains or other carbohydrates will inevitably result in higher insulin product and a reduction in these important hormones.

Grains have several anti-nutrients

Aside from the insulin raising effect that most grains have, they are also high in phytic acid or compounds that reduce the natural absorption of the nutrients found in grains and in other foods. These compounds are called anti-nutrients and grains evolved them in order to discourage animals from eating them. Some animals have counter-evolved the ability to get nutrients from grains but humans aren’t as good at it because regular grains consumption was introduced into the human diet about 10,000 years ago when agriculture was invented. It may seem like a long time ago but it is really a fraction of a second in terms of evolutionary time, and humans haven’t really evolved the ability to consume grains without having a wide range of health effects.

Grains used to be prepared differently, making them healthier

Even a few generations ago grains used to be prepared in a different way, making them healthier than they are now. Sprouting and fermenting grains can reduce the anti-nutrient content substantially, and prior to modern grain refining methods both sprouting and fermenting were used when preparing grains. Traditional cultures found that soaking, fermenting and sprouting grains would reduce the amount of antinutrients like gluten, lectins, enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. Soaking grains reduces the enzyme inhibitor content, whiles sprouting slightly reduces the lectin and gluten content, however it doesn’t completely eliminate them. There really is no method that totally eliminates the harmful antinutrients in grains, which means that most people are better off not consuming them.

Everyone has a difference tolerance

There are some people who can consume grains without significant side effects or weight gain, but many people do suffer some sort of effect from grain consumption. There are other reasons to avoid grains, such as the fact that they are one of the most heavily sprayed crops. Those who do choose to eat grains should look at some of the traditional methods of preparing them such as soaking and sprouting, and you can even buy sprouted wheat bread in some places. In general you will want to lower your consumption of grains overall if you’ve had weight problems, and it can make a significant difference, especially if you’ve been gaining weight recently and haven’t tried lowering your consumption.

Grains can have many other harmful effects

The other thing to remember is that grains can have a wide range of different effects on the body, including allergic responses, autoimmune conditions and other problems. Grain consumption is associated with a wide range of different autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s disease, IBS, and other problems. It is estimated that over 90% of people who consume grains will have some sort of digestive side effect from them, and that is another reason to avoid them. The sooner that you eliminate them from your diet the better, and if you’ve had allergies or other digestive issues it’s very likely that they may be related to your grain consumption. If you notice your symptoms improving and if you find that your weight starts to stabilize you are probably one of the many people who shouldn’t be eating grains or limiting your consumption  as much as possible.

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Are Standing Desks Really Better For Your Health and Waistline?

Are Standing Desks Really Better For Your Health and WaistlineIt turns out that investing in a standing desk might not be the best idea, considering the fact that they are not as proven to result in weight loss as previously thought. Standing desks are thought to be more beneficial than sitting desks, but the benefit is not thought to be substantial. In general, whether you are sitting or standing, if you are mostly inactive then there can be health consequences. The important thing to do is to get exercise on a regular basis if you have a job where you are mostly inactive during the day, as exercise can reduce the harmful health effects of inactivity, as well as following a proper diet.

Standing too much can be bad like sitting

Standing all day isn’t much better than sitting, if at all. If all you are doing is replacing sitting with standing you can run into a range of other health problems that you wouldn’t face if sitting. For example, standing too much can compress the lower spine and cause lower back problems. It can also increase the risk of varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis and other cardiovascular problems because of the fact that your heart has to work harder against gravity to circulate blood when you are standing. However, there may be some benefits to alternating between standing and sitting, and it may eliminate some of the health risks of doing either of them too long.

It’s a mistake to not move when you’re standing or sitting

The body was not designed to sit or stand still for too long of a period of time, and sitting still is a lot worse than sitting and moving around. Being fidgety is a good thing when you are at work, as it can improve circulation, keep your muscles working a little bit, and burn a few extra calories. It may not seem like much but it makes a major difference, especially when you’re sitting for 5-6 or more hours each day. Be sure to stretch, recline, move your legs, and any other kind of small movements that you can make to try to get a bit more physical activity in when you are at work.

You don’t necessarily need to purchase an actual standing desk

Standing desks can cost upwards of $2000 and they may not even be necessary for a lot of people. Most physical therapists and doctors recommend that you take a 3-5 minute break about every hour to stand up, and it doesn’t cost you anything to do that. Getting up to use the restroom can count for your break, or getting up to grab a cup of coffee. Make any excuse that you can to get up and move around at least once an hour, but you don’t need to spend $2000 on a desk to do that. Setting a timer can help you with this as well.

Some people don’t work as well with standing desks

There are some tasks that just weren’t meant to be done standing; for example there are some types of surgery where the doctor actually sits down to improve their stability or out of preference. Some writers prefer sitting and writing rather than standing, and the same goes for programmers and developers. It all depends on the person, and if you find that you are much more efficient when you are sitting, you don’t need to sacrifice your work efficiency just because you’re concerned about your health. Again, taking a break every hour or so is essential as well as any extra exercise that you can get, but you really don’t need to purchase a standing desk if you don’t want to.

Treadmill desks are better than standing desks but affect productivity

Yes, it’s true, there really are treadmill desks which take standing desks a step further and actually allow you to walk or jog while working. These desks are more expensive than the traditional standing desk of course, and although they are a better option than standing desks in terms of their health benefits and ability to exercise while working, a study found that they can significantly interfere with productivity. Of course that’s not hard to imagine, when the simple act of standing can affect productivity for some people, having to walk or jog could certainly significantly affect it as well. In that case, treadmill desks are probably not a good idea for most people unless you really can focus on your work while taking a stroll.

Active desks may provide a mood boost

There is a significant amount of research being devoted to finding out whether or not active desks or treadmill desks are a better option than standing desks. There do seem to be health benefits and in particular it may provide a mood boost to help control work related stress. A study found that participants reported lower fatigue, depression and confusion when using active desks and were more focused, energetic and happy. When they returned to their normal desks their mood dropped back down to its normal level, and participants also showed that they had lower stress levels as a result of using their desks. So, it may be worth a shot to try an active desk for the mood boost alone.

What’s the best option?

In general, you don’t need to purchase a standing desk or spend thousands on an active desk, even if you have a job that requires you to sit a large part of the day. Make it a habit to get regular exercise as much as you can, it’s important for everyone but much more important for people who aren’t moving much during the day. Try to stretch and take 3-5 minute breaks every hour, and don’t be completely sedentary when you are sitting. On top of all of that you need to be cautious with your diet as well, as a sedentary lifestyle can make a poor diet even worse. But it can be managed and you can be very healthy just by making a few habit changes and taking short breaks to be active during the day.

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8 Ways to Lose Weight While You Sleep

I8 Ways to Lose Weight While You Sleept might sound a bit ridiculous, but you actually can lose weight while you sleep. It’s not that you lose weight while sleep by doing anything because you aren’t actually physically moving or eating. It’s more about the choices that you make prior to going to bed. The food that you eat before bed (if you do eat anything), the exercise and activities that you do during the day, and even the temperature of your room can all have an influence on the number of calories that you burn during the nighttime and your metabolism. So try, these 8 methods to lose weight while you sleep if you are trying to lose weight and see if they make a difference.

Method #1 To Lose Weight While You Sleep – Turn Down Your Thermostat

Believe it or not, just by turning down your thermostat in the evening you might be able to lose weight. A study published in the journal Diabetes found that turning down the heat or even turning up the air conditioner while you sleep can help reduce belly fat. The reason is that colder temperatures may stimulate the body to convert harmful white fat into thermogenic brown fat. A study monitored patients who spent two hours at 63 to 66 F. Then they put their feet in icy water for five minutes at a time. The study found that the participants had higher brown fat deposits and that their brown fat activity levels increased by 15 times [1]. Other studies have found a similar connection between cold exposure and brown fat production.

Method #2 To Lose Weight While You Sleep – Turn Off Every Light

Studies have found a connection between light exposure when you are sleeping and obesity. This is because light exposure can disrupt your natural circadian rhythm and causes sleep disruptions. A study of women in the United Kingdom found a strong association between light at night exposure and obesity, even after adjusting for potential alternate like smoking, alcohol consumption or physical activity levels [2]. This study and other studies have shown that it is essential to get undisturbed sleep during the evenings if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight.

Method #3 To Lose Weight While You Sleep – Don’t Snack Too Late

It’s a good idea to set strict kitchen hours so that you aren’t snacking too late into the evening. Late night snacks can be a major contributor to weight gain because your natural metabolism starts to slow down toward the evening. In general, you are going to burn a lot fewer calories during the night because you aren’t physically active, although you still will burn the same amount of calories that you would if you were mostly sedentary. It’s essential that you avoid eating anything that could convert to fat when you are getting ready to bed. That means if you are going to snack on something unhealthy, the time to do it is during breakfast or as your day is starting, not as you’re going to bed.

Method #4 To Lose Weight While You Sleep – Eat Protein

Eating protein before bed is one way that you can help your body burn a few more calories without putting on weight. It’s almost a necessity to do this if you have been weightlifting or doing any other type of resistance exercise. Protein improves your metabolism but you should be sure that you are snacking on something that is pure protein like a piece of chicken breast or an organic whey protein shake, not a snack with carbohydrates. A study found that men who drank a protein shake with 30 grams of protein had a higher energy expenditure the next morning compared to those who didn’t [3].

Method #5 – Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep

The simple act of getting enough sleep can without a doubt help you maintain a healthy weight and make a significant difference in the amount of calories that you consume regularly. When you’re tired and can’t sleep you are very likely to compensate by eating more food, but not just any food, it’s usually high energy junk that provides you with a quick surge of energy. It’s almost the same effect that you get from drinking a cup of coffee when you’re tired, except when you eat a junk food snack you put on weight and get a boost of energy followed by a drop off, forcing you to repeat it to stay awake. It’s a lot better for your health to just get whatever amount of sleep that you need to be getting as often as you can.

Method #6 – Do a High Intensity Interval Workout During the Day

A high intensity interval workout before you go to sleep can increase your natural HGH production levels by up to 450% and make a significant impact on your evening metabolism. If you aren’t sure what it is, you can do a quick search on our blog for HIIT or “high intensity interval training” and find several articles about it. It’s by far one of the best exercises that you can do for weight loss, and it can make an enormous difference in the amount of calories that you burn. Numerous studies have found a strong connection between weight loss and stubborn fat loss and HIIT workouts.

Method #7 – Turn Off the Television and Distractions

By turning off the TV and the distractions once you get to bed you can focus on getting sleep and it can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep as well. As previously mentioned, when you are sleep deprived you’re more likely to compensate by eating unhealthy food. Once you get into bed try to clear your mind and get rid of all distractions so that you can just focus on going to bed. It might not seem like it’s harmful but it really can affect the quality of your sleep, especially if you’ve found that you are sleep deprived during the day or don’t have a lot of energy.

Method #8 – Add Turkey To Your Dinner

Tryptophan is an amino acid that is plentiful in turkey and is also found in lamb and chicken. A study among people who struggled to get to sleep found that ¼ gram which is about the amount found in three ounces of turkey, was enough to induce deep sleep [4]. If you have struggled with getting to bed on time and staying asleep, adding more turkey to your dinner or other meats that have a high tryptophan content might do the trick, and it’s definitely worth a shot!


[1] – https://www.yahoo.com/health/8-ways-to-lose-weight-while-you-sleep-103688087598.html

[2] – http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/180/3/245.abstract?sid=3b316e95-3ce0-4a41-8100-2ec66fc2a937

[3] – http://www.rd.com/health/diet-weight-loss/lose-weight-sleep/

[4] – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/469515

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7 Easy Things You Can Do To Lose Weight When You Eat

7 Easy Things You Can Do To Lose Weight When You EatThe choices that you make when you sit down for a meal can have major implications on your weight, and you can make several small changes starting today. Many of these tips are portion control strategies, which may seem obvious but it’s very easy to overlook portion control. The next time that you have a meal try some of these tips which can help you lose weight and control the number of calories that you consume regularly, and it can make a major difference, especially if you implement a few of these techniques every time that you eat.

#1 – Drink a glass of water before your meal

The simple act of drinking a glass of water before your meal can reduce the number of calories that you eat. Some of your hunger may be related to dehydration and if that is the case you’ll feel less hungry when you actually go to eat. Filling your stomach with water can make you a lot less likely to overeat, and if you drink a large glass of water before every meal you might eat 100 to 200 fewer calories per day or even more. Numerous studies have found a very real weight loss effect simply by drinking water, so be sure that you start your meals with water or at least give it a shot to see if it makes a difference in how much you eat.

#2 – Get a larger serving of veggies

Do your best to make a large portion of your meals vegetables. By eating mostly vegetables during your meals you’ll be less likely to fill up on fattening foods like carbohydrates, starch and sugar. Larger protein portions are also okay for weight loss, and in general you will want to eat at least two to three servings of vegetables at every meal or more. The chances are that you aren’t eating enough of them if you are trying to lose weight, but they can make a significant difference because most vegetables are low in calories while being high in fiber and compounds that can suppress your appetite.

#3 – Keep your carbohydrate portions small

Another important thing to do when you are trying to lose weight is to limit your carbohydrate intake at every meal. Eating too many simple carbs or even complex carbs can result in weight gain. You will want to decrease your portions to a much smaller amount than what you normally eat. If you usually fill up half of your plate with carbs like rice or potatoes you should try reducing it by 75 percent or more. Ideally you won’t be eating very many carbs from grains, rice, or starchy vegetables at all during your meals because those are a major cause of weight gain.

#4 – Start your meal with a soup

Starting off your big meals with a soup can reduce your total calorie intake by 20%, as a 2007 NIH study found [1]. So try starting your meals with a soup, but of course you’ll need to be careful to use a healthy recipe for your soup, and you don’t want to load it with croutons or crackers or other ingredients that can cause weight gain. Try a simple low sodium vegetable soup recipe or any soups that don’t contain grains or noodles at the start of your meal and see if it helps with your appetite. Salads can have a similar effect but you need to also be careful to not add any heavy dressing, croutons or other ingredients that can cause weight gain. Also be sure to avoid eating bread or any other grains as appetizers at the start of your meal.

#5 – Don’t eat when you’re distracted

Eating any meal when you’re distracted can result in increased calorie consumption. A review of several studies found that distracted eating can result in increased calorie consumption [2]. This means that the simple act of paying attention on what you are eating can actually help you eat less. The reasons why are not 100% clear, but it may have to do with the fact that when your attention is focused on the television or another source of entertainment that you aren’t listening to the signals of your body telling you that you are full, and you may eat a lot faster than you normally would if you were focusing just on your meal. So the next time you eat shut the TV off and sit down with a friend or family member.

#6 – Use smaller plates

The simple act of using smaller plates can make a significant difference in the number of calories that you eat. A study at the Georgia Institute of Technology found that switching from 12-inch to 10-inch plates resulted in a 22% decrease in calories. If you eat around 800 calories per dinner, that can result in a decrease of 10 pounds throughout a whole year, and that’s just for one meal [3]! Using plates that are a few inches smaller won’t result in any noticeable difference but subconsciously you’ll be more likely to overload your plate, and psychologically you’ll feel like you’re eating more even though you actually aren’t. The effect is quite powerful and it can make it a lot easier to maintain a healthy weight.

#7 – Don’t pick a plate color that matches the color of your food

It isn’t just the size of your plate that matters, the color of your plate matters as well. Studies found that when you pick a plate color that matches your food, such as red pasta sauce and pasta on a red plate, you’re more likely to increase your serving size. This is because the food blends into the plate and your serving doesn’t appear to be as large. So keep plates that are a few different colors available; if you’re eating red sauce with pasta use a white plate, and so on. It might not seem like it’s significant but it actually is, and every little step that you take will add up when it comes to the total number of calories that you eat per month and year.


[1] – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2128765/

[2] – http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/97/4/728.abstract

[3] – http://jamesclear.com/feeling-fat

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