Monday, December 26, 2016

How To Approach New Years Resolutions

Let me guess: You want to lose weight in 2017, or maybe just eat healthier. Perhaps you want to spend less money or spend more time with your friends and family.

Self-improvement, or at least the desire for it, is a shared American hobby. It's why so many of us—some estimates say more than 40% of Americans—make New Year's resolutions. 

But for all the good intentions, only a tiny fraction of us keep our resolutions; University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year's goals.

Why do so many people fail at goal-setting, and what are the secrets behind those who succeed? The explosion of studies into how the brain works has more experts attempting to explain the science behind why we make resolutions—and more relevantly, how we can keep them.

Keep it Simple
Many people use the New Year as an opportunity to make large bucket lists or attempt extreme makeovers, whether personal or professional.

That's a nice aspiration, experts say—but the average person has so many competing priorities that this type of approach is doomed to failure. Essentially, shooting for the moon can be so psychologically daunting, you end up failing to launch in the first place.

It's more sensible to set "small, attainable goals throughout the year, rather than a singular, overwhelming goal," according to psychologist Lynn Bufka.  It is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.

Make it Tangible
Setting ambitious resolutions can be fun and inspiring, but the difficulty in achieving them means that your elation can quickly give way to frustration. That's why goals should be bounded by rational, achievable metrics.

A resolution to lose some weight is not that easy to follow… It is much easier to follow a plan that says no potato chips, fries, or ice cream for six weeks. Be specific. Don't say you're "going to start going to the gym" in 2017—set a clear ambition, like attending a weekly spin class or lifting weights every Tuesday or Thursday.  If you can't measure it, it's not a very good resolution because vague goals beget vague resolutions.

Make it Obvious
Experts recommend charting your goals in some fashion, although there's no universal strategy for success. For some, making a clear to-do list is enough of a reminder; others rely on vision boards or personal diaries.

An emerging tactic: share your goals with your friends and family. It's another way to build accountability, especially in the Facebook era.

For example, after a woman named Anna Newell Jones ran more than $23,600 into debt, she made a New Year's resolution to work her way out of it--and publicly. As part of that effort, Newell Jones launched a blog, And Then We Saved, to chronicle her attempt to go from shopaholic to spendthrift; in less than a year and a half, she'd paid off her debt.

Rivka Friedman, who authors a cooking blog called Not Derby Pie, used a similar tactic several years ago: She posted her kitchen resolutions. You can still see them on the right-hand side of the blog, as Rivka either crossed off her accomplishments or hyperlinked to blog posts, like her efforts to learn how to make kimchi or fillet a fish properly. Sharing resolutions is a good way to keep oneself accountable and social media can be used as a motivator.

Keep Believing You Can Do It
To be clear: Simply setting a goal does raise your chances of achieving that goal, significantly.  But within weeks or months, people begin abandoning their resolutions as they hit bumps in the road that throw them off their stride.

More often than not, people who fail to keep their resolutions blame their own lack of willpower. In surveys, these would-be resolvers repeatedly say that if only they had more self-determination, they would've overcome any hurdles and achieved their goals.

There is an emerging body of research that points out that willpower is malleable. In one study led by a Stanford University psychologist, scientists gauged whether test subjects believed they could exhaust their willpower, and sought to convince them otherwise. The researchers found that people "performed better or worse [on tests] depending on their belief in the durability of willpower."

You have as much willpower as you think you have, essentially. Which means that on some level, your journey toward self-improvement will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Tips To Reduce Holiday Stress

While the holiday season can be a fun and joyous time, it can also be very stressful. The combined effort of shopping, attending social events, and entertaining guests can quickly become too much to handle. A poll by the American Psychological Association shows that 8 out of 10 people  anticipate increased stress over the holidays. In some cases, the increase in stress and anxiety may even lead to depression. The Mayo Clinic reports that depression is often an unwelcome guest during the holidays.

Though the holiday season can be a difficult and stressful time, there are several ways to minimize stress and anxiety so you can thoroughly enjoy this festive time of year.

Set a Spending Budget

The holiday season and spending go hand-in-hand. Between buying gifts for your children, spouse, and relatives, you can drop hundreds of dollars between Black Friday and Christmas Day. A 2015 Galllup poll reported that shoppers around the United States were planning to spend an average of $830 on gifts over the holidays.
Although spending money during the holiday season may be unavoidable, you can control how much you spend. Some of the stress you feel over the holidays may have a lot to do with financial pressure. To help prevent stress over money, plan ahead, review your finances, and come up with a realistic budget for gifts. Buying gifts shouldn’t affect your ability to pay your bills, nor should it result in costly credit card debt. 
Don’t let others pressure you into spending more than you can afford. Using a credit card is tempting, but it can also complicate matters. It might take several months or years to lower the balance. Decide on a maximum amount and stick to that budget. You can even have a discussion with friends and family and agree to only spend up to a certain amount. You can also get creative and think of gift ideas that don't involve money. A friend or family member might appreciate the gift of time better than an actual item. For example, perhaps you can offer to watch a friend’s child for a weekend so she can spend some alone time with her partner.

Get Plenty of Exercise

When you’re running around during the holiday season, exercise might be the last thing on your mind. What you may not realize, however, is that being active can elevate your mood and help you cope with stress.
Exercise and other types of physical activity stimulate the production of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are brain chemicals that function as a natural painkiller. They can trigger a positive feeling in the body, boosting mood and reducing feelings of anxiety and stress.
Understandably, you might be busy and have little time for physical activity during the holidays. However, it doesn't take much time to maintain a calm mental state. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a minimum of three times each week. Find an activity that works for you and your lifestyle. You may want to consider:
playing sports

Keep It Simple

The holiday season is particularly stressful when you have too much on your plate. This might be the case if you're welcoming out-of-town guests and hosting family festivities. You don’t necessarily have to cancel your plans, but make sure you’re not setting unrealistic expectations for yourself. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to do everything yourself. Get your family involved and delegate. For example, instead of taking on the responsibility of preparing an entire meal alone, ask everyone to bring a dish. Or, if you feel that hosting an event at your home is too much, don't feel obligated to entertain relatives and friends. Know your limitations and learn how to say “no.”

Pick Your Battles

Being in close quarters with some of your family members for long periods of time can be stressful in itself. You all have your own personalities. Because of your differences, it may be easy to rub each other the wrong way. Remember that if you let every remark get under your skin, you’ll be miserable and stressed out the entire time. Set aside your differences, and agree to disagree. This is easier said than done. But if you can learn how to let go and pick your battles, you’ll have less anxiety. Don’t let the actions of others rob you of your joy.

Even if you’re a calm and collected person, the holiday season can still be a trying time. Your stress level can still skyrocket. These practical tips may minimize your stress and anxiety, and help you cope. However, don’t be afraid to speak with a doctor or mental health professional if you’re having a difficult time. They may help you improve your coping skills so you can get through the holiday season with a smile on your face. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

How Do You LIke Your Eggs?

The truth is that eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. Just think of the egg as the ultimate source of life – it contains all the ingredients required to develop a single cell into a live baby chicken.  In order for that to happen, the egg has to pack all of the essential life-enabling nutrients in a very tight space. Isn’t that pretty amazing? Kudos for mother nature.

But the best part is that all of this nutritive goodness can be also used to complete your healthy diet with a variety of precious vitamins and minerals. And let’s not forget to mention the most famous feature of eggs – they are one of the best sources of high-quality-protein on the planet – and the cheapest one, as well! They provide your body with the whole package of amino acids required for building muscle mass and repairing tissues. Nutrition experts even recommend eating three whole eggs per day for a well-balanced diet.

Worried About Your Cholesterol Levels? There’s No Need For That
While it’s true that the egg yolk contains a high amount of cholesterol, things are a bit more complex than that.

First of all, studies have never found a connection between normal egg consumption and coronary artery disease. And do you even know what cholesterol really is? From a nutritive standpoint, it’s not exactly the one-dimensional bad guy that popular magazines describe it to be. It’s actually a structural molecule that is an essential part of the cell membrane – of every single cell in the body. It’s responsible for the production of testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol, all of which are very important for the normal functioning of the body.

Besides getting it from food, our body produces its own cholesterol in the liver. And when we eat foods that are rich in cholesterol the liver simply starts producing less of it, so the total amount of cholesterol in the body changes very little, depending on our diet.

On top of that, there is the “good” (HDL) and “bad” (LDL) kind of cholesterol – according to the American Heart Association, the second one contributes to the production of thick, hard deposits that can clog arteries and make them less flexible, increasing the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. On the other hand, the “good” cholesterol actually helps remove the LDL cholesterol from the arteries by carrying it back to the liver, where it gets broken down and passed away from the body, therefore protecting the heart’s health.

Eggs actually contain high amounts of HDL cholesterol, while trans fats found in overly processed and deep fried foods contribute to rising levels of LDL cholesterol. So consuming whole eggs will not only bring vital benefits to your health – it can also reverse the negative effects of your junk food choices.

Nutritional Profile of One Whole Egg

Calories: 77
Protein: 6 grams
Healthy fats: 5 grams
Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA
Folate: 5% of the RDA
Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA
Vitamin B12 9% of the RDA
Vitamin B2: 15% of the RDA
Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA
Selenium: 22% of the RDA

In addition, eggs contain significant amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, and Zinc. They also do the following:

Protect Eyesight

The egg yolks are also packed with lutein, a type of carotenoid that helps prevent macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness. Lutein is also found in green leafy vegetables, but research has shown that the body is able to absorb it way better from eggs. In addition, yolks also contain zeaxanthin, an antioxidant that protects your eyes from the harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Protect Bone Health

Vitamin D is crucial for calcium absorption and maintaining bone health, so if you don’t get enough of it, you might increase your risk of osteoporosis and other bone diseases. Since VitaminD is naturally present in very few foods, many people aren’t getting enough of it on a regular basis – and here egg yolks come to the rescue yet again. If you don’t have enough time to sunbathe or sunny days are rather scarce where you live, eggs can be a convenient way to supply your organism with a decent amount of vitamin D.

Fight Off Iron Deficiency

In case you’re suffering from an iron deficiency, which is characterized by frequent headaches, fatigue, and irritability, eggs can help you a great deal. Two large eggs contain 2 milligrams of iron, and with frequent consumption, you can significantly improve your intake of iron.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Eating eggs can help you increase feelings of satiety and control hunger easily. Having eggs for breakfast will keep you full longer than most types of food, which in turn will limit your calorie intake throughout the rest of the day, resulting in greater weight loss. The protein in eggs provides a steady and sustained source of energy for your body which doesn’t cause a surge in blood sugar or insulin levels.

Healthy Brain Development

As we’ve stated before, egg yolks are rich in choline, which among other things is an important nutrient for the proper functioning of the brain, especially crucial for healthy brain development in fetuses and newborns. Studies have shown that eating more eggs during pregnancy and lactation can stimulate the brain development and function of babies. In addition, a study from the University of North Caroline found that choline can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 24 percent.

In Conclusion

Eggs have long been considered as the perfect food and as you can see, there are plenty of good reasons for that. Making eggs a staple food in your diet is not only safe – it’s actually more than beneficial for your overall health. Everyone can benefit from increasing the consumption of this super food, including bodybuilders, pregnant women, kids and older adults. And don’t just reach for the whites – the yolk is equally important. Three eggs a day can keep the doctor away!

Monday, December 5, 2016

How To Create A Better You at Fitness With A View in 2017

~ Arrive a few minutes early so you can warm up on your own and get the most out of your training time. 

~ If you have not taken advantage of getting a key card for the Eastside location we encourage you to.  Having the gym available to you will encourage achieving personal goals.  

~ A reminder about our 24 hour cancellation policy.  The earlier you let us know of any issues with your original training time will allow us to offer you a rescheduled time.  We do understand unforeseen circumstances come up… its life!

~ Even though a makeup is not usually offered if a cancellation occurs within those 24 hours we will try our best to accommodate you.   

~ Nutrition is important, that is why we network with Healthletic Meals and Wendie Schneider, The Pantry Doctor.  These are great opportunities for you to focus on convenient clean eating. 
¬ We have the overnight oats and energy bites on hand at the gym
¬ To order Healthletic Meals go to 
o Use coupon code shipfwv for free delivery to the Eastside location. Delivery is at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays & Thursdays

~ Please bring us an updated list of your medications and why they have been prescribed.

~ Recognize the importance of the homework assigned by your trainer.  Do all you can to make it happen, this comes from a sincere spot to help you achieve your goals.  

~ Appreciate your time at the gym.  Our schedules throw variables at us.  To be the best you can be at everything in your life you need to give back to yourself.  Let this time for yourself be the last thing you change on your schedule.  

~ Supplement your weekly workouts and help yourself distress during this holiday season by taking advantage of our yoga classes with Karen.  $10 / class special 
¬ Monday 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
¬ Tuesday 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
¬ 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month – 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. 

~ Bootcamp is another great way to supplement your weekly fitness routine.  These are held at our downtown location
¬ Monday 12:00 p.m. – 12:30 
¬ Tuesday 12:00 p.m. – 12:30
¬ Thursday 12:00 p.m. – 12:30

~ Massages are an amazing distressor and a perfect way to give back to yourself.  Dawn, our in-house massage therapy has availability during this holiday season.  You can reach her at 864-242-3111 - (We will start placing some option times on the blog each week for Dawn's schedule, so you know available times for the week.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Benefits About Foam Rolling

Check out the below the Top 7 Reasons why you should incorporate foam rolling into your routine today and make sure you scroll to the bottom to check out the key mistakes to avoid.
Note: We know that there are other reasons that we might have missed. Feel free to add them in the comments below

1) Prevents Injury & Helps You Recover Fast

Learning the finer points of self-myofascial release could help you train harder and look better while also reducing injury. If you are still of a mind that foam rollers are for everyone else, then you are missing out on one of the most effective tools at your disposal for physique-building, recovery and injury prevention. Rollers are the most popular mechanism for self-myofascial release, or SMR, and are gaining popularity among elite athletes of all walks because of the drastic and usually immediate impact it has on their performance and overall health. Here are some of the most frequently discussed aspects of SMR as it pertains to dedicated lifters.

2) Breaks Up Scar Tissue

Breaking up scar tissue and adhesions between the skin, muscles and bones is crucial for a healthy body. When you foam roll, you put targeted pressure on your fascia, releasing trigger points where you’re feeling pain. The process relieves pain caused by shin splints and IT band syndrome, both of which are very common in runners, and more generally, usually clears up problems caused by tight fascia and muscles.

3) Improves Mobility And Flexibility

Improving Mobility is a must to Train Harder.  So you can bench press a car and deadlift a truck, but can you bend down and touch your toes or hug your knees to your chest? With so much mixed information about stretching, static v. dynamic, pre-workout v. post-workout, it’s tough to know the best way to relieve muscle tension. But there’s a simple technique that will keep your muscles sliding and gliding with ease. Taking proper care of underlying fascia is your new secret weapon to improving mobility, flexibility, and range of motion.

4) Removes Lactic Acid To Aid Recovery

Top 9 foam rolling moves to remove lactic acid and aid recovery. Here is an easy little foam rolling workout that you can do prior or after your main workout to help warm up and stretch those right muscles. You can do each move for anywhere from 60 seconds to 90 seconds a day. This workout is short and easy and takes 15 minutes or less!

5) Saves You Money

Less than the cost of ONE Sports massage! Despite the very many health benefits of massage, we can’t all book regular appointments at the spa. But there’s a basic (and cheap!) tool are known to many regular runners and other athletes that just might be the next best thing. If you haven’t already, it’s time to get familiar with a foam roller.

6) Can Be Used As A Workout Tool

Ah, the humble foam roller. You’ve likely reached for the lightweight tool to relieve sore muscles after exercising, but have you ever thought to use it for the workout itself? Didn’t think so. In this exclusive Yahoo Health video, fitness expert Lauren Roxburgh demonstrates how to foam-roll your way to a tighter booty in three easy moves.

7) Not Just For Fitness – For Desk Jockeys Too!

Foam Rolling can relieve the pain of working at a desk. 
If you work at a desk and typically sit for extended periods of time during the day, you may be suffering from more than just a case of the afternoon yawns. Sitting can leave you feeling exhausted, sore, and unmotivated at the end of a long day at the office, but it can do much worse.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Personal Trainer

1. Ditch the chitchat. Although a little back and forth builds rapport and keeps things lively, a constant stream of small talk can be detrimental — particularly when you’re both distracted from your efforts, timing and form.

2. Show up on time. Every minute you’re late chips away at the time you scheduled for fitness and can totally throw off your trainer’s workout plan. Many trainers like clients to arrive early for a proper warm-up before their session starts.

3. Respect the stopwatch. There’s a reason your trainer is specifying 30- or 60-second breaks between sets and asking you to hold the intensity of cardio intervals for specific durations. Adhere to that timing, and you’ll see far better results.

4. Clean up your eating. No amount of working out can hide the evidence of a lackluster diet. Follow your trainer’s nutritional advice, make the switch to more whole, natural foods, and you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

5. Don’t fib. Your trainer will have a hard time managing your program and results if you claim to be exercising more or eating better than you really are. Be candid about what you’re willing to do — then let your trainer be frank about the results you can expect.

6. Be a “yes” person. Many trainers have an aversion to the phrase “I can’t do that.” Have an injury? Say “I have an injury” — and let your trainer adjust accordingly. But be open to trying new things, even if they don’t come easily at first.

7. Trust your trainer. It’s OK to ask questions about why you’re doing certain exercises, but in the end, you either trust your trainer’s expertise or you don’t. Interrupting and arguing can waste time and undermine the dynamic of your relationship, causing frustration for you both.

8. Get good Z’s. Your fitness recovery and progress hinge on adequate sleep. And so does your available energy for workouts. Showing up exhausted drastically limits the potential of your sessions.

9. Speak your truth. Personal trainers can be intuitive, but they’re not mind readers. Tell them how your body feels, and how your motivation is faring, so they can tweak your regimen based on your feedback.

10. Put your heart into it. If you really want to get healthier and more fit, bring that attitude to your training sessions — and to your willingness to change your life. Enthusiasm breeds success.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Tips On Sticking To Clean Eating During The Holidays

1.  Focus on the people, not the food. 
Remember that holiday parties and social functions are meant to be times to get together with loved ones. Get in the spirit of the holiday season by celebrating your personal relationships, and recognize that you're not just there for the food.

2.  Make the occasional party the exception to your diet, not the rule. 
Splurging once in a while is not generally a major problem, as long as you get back to your diet the next day. Don't let one or two holiday events be the excuse for falling off the wagon till New Year's.

3.  Consider volunteering to host the party yourself. 
There's no better way to ensure that there will be diet-friendly, healthy choices on the menu than by throwing the party throwing the party yourself. If someone else is hosting the party, offer to bring food to the party so that you can be sure that there are food options that fit into your diet program. At least there will be one dish on the buffet that you can enjoy without worrying about the calorie count.

4.  Prepare so you don't arrive at a holiday party on an empty stomach. 
Have a light, healthy snack shortly before leaving for the party. Choose protein-rich foods, such as low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese, as the protein will stick with you and help you feel full longer. Alternatively, eat a small green salad as the fiber will also fill you up; another good choice is to boil a sweet corn cob. By taking the edge off your hunger, you can approach the buffet table with control and be less likely to make impulsive choices at the party.
Never skip a meal before the party. You'll arrive ravenous and vulnerable to overeating.
If you cannot eat something before arriving at the party, ask the host or hostess for a large glass of water as soon as you arrive.

5.  Choose wisely from the foods available at holiday functions. 
If you look carefully, you'll find there are often acceptable healthy choices available to you. Concentrate on the cocktail shrimp, smoked salmon, and fresh fruit, salads or vegetable platters. Go easy on the accompanying sauces and dips. Raw mixed nuts, particularly almonds, are good sources of protein, but be wary of candied nuts or extremely salty nut mixes.
Fill your (small) plate once only. By controlling the amount you eat at festive parties and not grazing through all the snacks, you'll avoid weight gain.
Never eat food you don't love. You'll need to say "no" sometimes but that's good for you too––being manipulated into making food choices is no longer an option for you.
Try new foods and skip the same old food you could easily have at home. Give your taste buds a treat while avoiding overeating anything that is standard fare.

6. Eat slowly and mindfully.
It takes our body about 20 minutes to realize that we are full. Also, the more slowly you eat, the less food you'll eat as opposed to eating fast in the same amount of time. As you eat, appreciate the food and acknowledge how it tastes––mindful eating is a way to slow down the process of gulping down food.
Wait your turn. Never be in a rush to reach the food table. Chat with guests and slowly make your way toward the food.

7. Drink responsibly.
Consider sparkling mineral water or non-alcoholic drinks, such as a "Virgin Mary." If you decide to drink alcohol, choose white or red wine, rather than champagne or hard liquor. Intersperse all alcoholic drinks with water, and you can even water down the alcohol with sparkling water. Bear in mind that alcohol can take away your willpower to resist overeating.
Steer clear of soda, too. It's very high in sugar.
Fill your glass with ice, taking away the space for too much alcohol.
If you have control over the party, don't tie celebrating to drinking and eating. Stick to non-alcoholic drinks and try to include some activity to keep everyone active, such as Christmas games, a trip to a local indoor sports center or, if you're in a warmer climate, a game of football or cricket outdoors.

8. Stay active during the holidays. 
Mingle, dance and do what you can to stay active (and as far away from the buffet table as possible).  Keep your metabolism up by staying active and including lots of healthy exercise during the holiday season.
Simply by taking a 30 minute walk each day, you can help keep the weight off. Find those 30 minutes somewhere during the day, even if it means borrowing Fido from the neighbors, and give your body the exercise it deserves.

10. Reward yourself.
It's the holiday season, so general deprivation is not the way to go. Simply shift rewards from food to activities, like going to the cinema, going ice-skating, visiting friends or buying yourself a new article of clothing. By moving the focus off food and onto doing fun things, you'll continue to enjoy the spirit of the season and stick with your diet.

11. When you go out to eat to finish all of your plate.
Ask for a to go box and place half the portion of your plate in it.  

More Tips
Drink a glass of water (iced water can be even more effective) before dinner.
If you want to try out a number of dishes, take small portions of the food selections, instead of full-sized portions of everything. This way, you can still get to enjoy the food without having to consume too many calories.
Consider wearing tight-ish clothing to your holiday parties. Keeping a belt or waistband cinched tight will help you feel fuller faster, and remind you to not stuff yourself.
Above all relax. Prepare yourself mentally: see yourself eating slowly and savoring your food. You can acquire this habit and keep it for the rest of your life, not only during the holidays.
Try the 3-bite method (a branch of mindful eating). Take a small portion of the desired treat. Before you jump in and swallow it without a thought, take a good look at it and tell yourself, "I get three bites!" After the first bite, think, "Wow, that was great and I'm not even through!" Then take the second bite while telling yourself, "I'm only halfway through. This is delicious!" Then get ready for the third bite and think, "I'm really going to enjoy this. It's my last bite, but this food isn't leaving the planet anytime soon, so I can have three bites again next year!"

Monday, October 31, 2016

Why We Get Food Cravings

There is some controversy about exactly why we get cravings. Some experts suggest that the nagging pangs are physiological. Our bodies crave certain nutrients when we want the result that the food might bring.
For example, a candy bar provides a sugar rush. Or we might crave comfort foods as a way to increase feelings of comfort. 
There are also hormones involved in hunger and cravings.  Scientists know that leptin, gherkin and other hormones in your body can change the way we experience hunger.  Researchers are trying to understand how and if they can change hormones to help dieters deal with cravings and hunger.
But other experts say cravings are simply a function of habit .  For example, we might snack on food when we are bored or when we are looking for a way to avoid work that we have to do.
It's possible that food cravings are caused by a combination of both physiological and situational factors.

5 Ways to Deal With Food Cravings
Knowing the cause of your cravings may help you calm the urge to eat when you'r on a diet.  But there are other ways to manage food cravings to lose weight.

  • Don't go on a very low-calorie diet.  If your diet it too low in calories, you're likely to have food cravings that are too hard to manage.  When you following a very strict plan, it feels like you are being deprived. In some people, this leads to binge eating or giving up. Instead, follow a healthy low calorie meal plan that allows for some occasional treats. By making better choices and having occasional treats, your cravings are likely to decrease.

  • Cheat (a little).  You can't eat carrots to satisfy a craving for carrot cake. Sometimes, when you're really craving something, you just need to eat it. But you can do so in a way that keeps your diet on track. Save up some calories in your weekly calorie budget and have a small treat as a reward. By eating just a little bit of the food you're really pining for, you'll deal with the food craving head-on and potentially prevent overeating.

  • Distract yourself.  There are some days when it seems like the food you're craving is everywhere. Perhaps a coworker brings donuts to the office or maybe you pass your favorite fast food restaurant on the way to the gym. It can be hard to manage food obsession when you're faced with your favorite foods every day.
    You can't avoid the food completely, but you can create a diversion so you don't notice it as much. If donuts are in the office breakroom, then eat a healthy lunch at your desk or park nearby  and avoid the breakroom altogether. If you pass your favorite junk food joint on the way to the gym, find another route that causes less stress.
  • Learn to identify emotions.  Cravings aren't always the result of emotions, but for some of us, there's no denying the connection. If you eat in response to your feelings, you need to manage your feelings first and then tackle the food cravings. Why? Because snacking on your favorite treat won't heal emotional pain. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you experience these issues. Weight loss can wait, but your emotional well-being must be a priority.
  • Wait it out.  Believe it or not, sometimes the best way to deal with food cravings is to grit your teeth and wait it out. If you simply ignore it and move on, it may disappear. If you can convince yourself it's mind over matter, you may find cravings aren't such a formidable opponent after all!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Health Benefits of Job's Tears

Health Benefits of Job’s Tears
Job’s Tears, also referred to as adlay and coix, is a member of the grass family and also well-known in Asian cultures like a food source as well as for making jewellery. However the plant has additionally been utilized for hundreds of years in folk medicine to deal with a large number of circumstances from arthritis to smallpox. Research investigating Job’s Tears has not been carried out much outside China and Korea, but results from those studies are discovering properties within the plant that could have potent health benefits.
1. Allergies
Among the traditional uses of Job’s Tears is usually to deal with allergies, which includes topical formulations of plant extracts for the allergic skin ailment known as contact dermatitis. Research published within the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” in June 2003 discovered that extracts from the plant also suppressed allergy symptoms in laboratory mice and increased their immune systems.
2. Lower Cholesterol
Diabetic mice were fed the seeds from Job’s Tears plants plus a high-cholesterol diet for 4 weeks in the research published within the “International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research” in September 2006. In comparison to a control group, the seed-eating mice had considerably decreased amounts of total cholesterol and harmful low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol.
3. Cancer Prevention and Treatment
A number of research teams in China have analyzed the effects of Job’s Tears on cancers of the colon, pancreas, lung, liver, breast as well as leukemia, along with promising results. One research, published within the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” in September 2008, found extracts of Job’s Tears considerably inhibited fatty acid synthase activity within the liver. This is very important simply because human cancer cells consist of higher levels of fatty-acid synthase, an element associated with intense tumor cell growth.
4. Endocrine Disorders
Job’s Tears extracts are utilized to deal with endocrine disorders because of the plant’s capability to reduce hormones just like progesterone and testosterone. In the December 2000 issue of the “Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine,” painful menstrual symptoms were decreased 90 %, that was a far greater result compared to a control group cured with prescription drugs.
5. Gastrointestinal Benefits
Job’s Tears might also have protective benefits for the gastrointestinal system. A June 2011 study within the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” discovered that Job’s Tears seeds inhibited gastric cancer cells in vitro and were also capable to reduce stomach ulcers in mice.
6. Osteoporosis
A survey published in 2008 in the “Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition” discovered that Job’s Tears seeds improved levels of numerous osteoporosis biomarkers in the blood of the mice when compared with a control group. The scientists figured that the extracts might be able to reversing osteoporosis in rats and may additionally be a beneficial healthy food for osteoporosis avoidance.
7. Weight Loss

Overweight mice were injected along with extracts from Job’s Tears for 4 weeks in research published in 2004 in the journal “Life Sciences.” In comparison to a control group, the mice fed the extracts had decreased body weights, food consumption, fat size, adipose fat tissue mass and cholesterol level and triglycerides.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Strategies To Achieve Your Fitness Goals

1. Write It and Measure It
Fitness goals should be both specific and measurable. In fact, a recent study found that setting broad, vague, goals can make people depressed.  Writing down your goals is not only a great way to accomplish them, but your list can also help you figure out the exact steps needed to get there.
"I want to lose weight" is a pretty common goal, but how exactly do you go from point A to point B? Instead, try setting a more specific goal. For instance: "I want to lose 10 pounds over the next six weeks by eliminating fast food meals and going to the gym three to four times per week. I'll then maintain my goal weight for six months before setting any other new goals." Breaking down the goal’s components (with numeric benchmarks), and keeping a regular checklist will help solidify the task and keep you on track. Make your resolutions follow the
SMART model:
2. Make Goals Manageable
A fitness goal shouldn’t be a fantasy. If you’ve never lifted weights before, attempting to hit the weight bench seven days per week is probably setting yourself up for disappointment. For most people, upending a lifetime of habits can’t happen overnight. The reason is partly physiological; the brain just likes comfortable old habits over new, different ones.  The key to sustainable goals is to make small changes gradually. So if your goal is to go from never running to finishing a half-marathon, start training gradually. Begin by walking a few miles twice a week, and steadily increase the workload to jogging, and then running over several months.
3. Break Up the Goal
Resolving to do 10,000 push-ups in a year is pretty intimidating. But 192 push-ups every week… OK, that’s still pretty scary. But breaking it down to 28 per day looks a lot more manageable, right? A goal that’s either far in the future or far out of your comfort zone can be tough to start, so break the resolution down into achievable steps.  Better yet, give yourself several small goals throughout the year. For instance, instead of aiming to add 80 pounds to your bench press in a year, aim to add just over six pounds per month. Easier, right?
4. Treat Yo'Self!
When you hit those hard-earned benchmarks—one perfect pull-up, holding a headstand, the first week you managed to run 30 minutes a day—treat yo'self!
Choose a reward that won’t undo your hard work: a weekend getaway, a beach day, a mani-pedi, a massage (they're good for you), some new fitness swag, or a movie date. Regular treats divided by goal (or really, divided by anything) can help you reach those milestones faster than you previously thought possible.
5. Question Your Motives
A steady gym habit can result in six-pack abs, but superficial goals may lose their appeal after endless weeks of diet and exercise. Instead, try framing fitness as a direct path to health and happiness. Regular exercise has unexpected benefits including lowering cholesterol, boosting overall energy, and even increasing happiness. Bringing some deeper intentions to your workout can make all the difference in sticking to your goals.  Before hitting the gym, ask yourself some introspective questions: Why did you make this goal? What do you want to achieve? Developing answers that elicit a powerful emotional response can help motivate your goals.
6. Ask for Help
Not knowing how to do a certain exercise is no excuse to write it off completely. If you’re curious about new techniques, or find some exercises that are too intimidating (looking at you, deadlifts!) book a session with a personal trainer to clear up confusion, help prevent injury, and learn to love new moves. Trainers and instructors are there to help, so don’t be self-conscious about asking for advice.  Another idea: If you already have a class you love, don't be afraid to stick around for a few minutes and ask the instructor about some of the moves you did.
7. Keep a Schedule
Time management is important for accomplishing any goal, and fitness is no exception. Early morning exercise is a great way to fit a workout into a busy day, and it may encourage healthier eating and more movement throughout the day.
But if waking up early is your idea of cruel and unusual torture, then sweating at 6 a.m. is probably not a sustainable system. Make your fitness routine work for you: Pick a time of day when you have energy, schedule a workout, rinse, and repeat.
8. Keep It Interesting
If your resolution is to exercise consistently three or four times per week, it’s time to think beyond the treadmill and the weight rack. Even for experienced gym rats, sticking to one or two types of exercise can get a little mind-numbing. Experiment with yoga, rock climbing, martial arts, team sports, kettlebells, and everything between. The more variety in your exercise program, the more fun it will be to follow, and the more likely you’ll find something you absolutely love.  The best way to test-drive a new form of exercise is to take a group class or book a session with a personal trainer—think of the extra cost as an investment in your health.
9. Hold Yourself Accountable
Stay on track by putting your money where your mouth is: Pay in advance for an exercise program that demands attendance. If working out with a trainer or group class isn’t your style, pencil in regular gym dates with friends or your partner to stay accountable. Knowing that someone’s waiting for you at the gym can prevent skipping workouts (or sleeping through them), and it’s a lot more fun than going it alone. Plus, according to some studies, sweating with a buddy improves results.
10. Choose the Right Tech
There are scores of gadgets and apps that can help motivate would be gym-goers, but the most useful might be those that connect the user with a community of health-oriented peers. After all, it’s easier to stay on the right path with a supportive community, Fitness With A View, cheering you on. MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper, and Noom  are great places to start tracking progress and setting new goals, and the apps are well known for their online communities.
Looking for a simpler approach? Try Commit, a super simple app that asks the user, every day, if they’ve achieved a goal they've set. The app features a progress bar that tracks how many days you’ve committed to your goal in a row.
11. Think Outside the Box
Exercise doesn’t have to be a formal activity. If your goal is to simply be more active and burn more calories every day, there are plenty of creative (and free) ways to achieve that goal. You can fit extra movement into the day by walking during phone conversations or even volunteering for household chores. Even something as simple as drinking water throughout the day will ensure regular trips to the faucet and the bathroom.  Pick up a pedometer, grab an activity tracker, or download an app to keep track of how many steps you take, then try to beat your own record. Every minute you’re not sitting or lying down is a step toward better overall fitness.
12. Reevaluate Goals Often
How many people resolve to finish a marathon, only to realize they kind of hate distance running? Or decide to take up yoga and realize they want something faster-paced? A lot of things seem fun from a distance, but might not be a good fit in reality. If this happens to you, it’s time to switch gears and pick a different goal.
13. Buy Some Cool Gear
If you’re serious about fitness, consider investing in a pair of kickass walking shoes, a few tech-fabric shirts, some rock climbing gloves, a swimsuit, a cool yoga mat… whatever will get you excited about exercise. Something as simple as new workout clothes can improve confidence and help you get to the gym. After all, nobody wants to spend 50 dollars on a shirt that never gets worn, right?

14. Don't Be Afraid to Scale Back
You don’t need to be doubled over in pain, sweating out of your eyeballs, or dry heaving into the trash to have a " “good” workout. Some people love intense workouts, but for others, ramping up the pain just means they’ll dread exercising—and nothing derails a fitness goal like learning to hate exercise. A challenging workout should push you a bit outside your comfort zone, but there’s no need to catapult yourself a thousand miles from it.
15. Be Forgiving
Even the best-laid goals can lose steam by spring. Once the excitement of a new regimen has worn off—or your results plateau—it’s easy to justify taking a few days (or weeks) off. For some people, going on lengthy breaks can easily lead to an "Ah, screw it!" mentality and a cancelled gym membership.
But slip-ups are completely fine (even expected), and there’s not a single person on Earth who hasn’t stumbled in their path to success. If taking time off means slightly tweaking your goal, then so be it—but don’t give up.