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Dec 7

Eat well to stay well: How to lead a healthy life in lockdown – The Independent

Keeping our bodies fit and healthy should be a priority for us all at the best of times, but in the midst of a global pandemic these things could be lifesaving.

Alongside doing plenty of exercise, taking time out to look after our mental health and ensuring we continue to visit the GP, something as simple as adopting a healthy, well-balanced diet can be a vital step towards ensuring our bodies are as well equipped to fight off infection as possible.

We know all too well that our age and any underlying health issues such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease can contribute to how well our bodies are able to fight off the coronavirus. But statistics also show that those who are overweight are more likely to suffer the serious and potentially devastating symptoms of Covid-19 than those with a healthy BMI.

With our collective motivation feeling like it has hit an all-time nadir, the thought of laying low, abandoning our daily exercise and self-medicating with junk food is all too tempting.

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Many of us put on weight during the first lockdown, as the novelty of going for daily jogs and joining in Zoom exercise classes quickly wore off. As we continue into the cold and wet of winter, moving anywhere outside of the comfort of our beds or sofa becomes even more of a mental struggle.

But losing weight doesnt have to be a miserable slog and eating a healthy diet doesnt need to mean grains and lettuce leaves it can be truly delicious.

So how can we ensure we maintain a healthy, balanced diet while lockdowns and tier systems keep us cooped up inside?

Know what healthy looks like

We are all familiar with the advice that we are supposed to eat five helpings of fruit and veg every day for a healthy diet, but what does this actually look like? Are carbohydrates really a no-no? And is all fat bad?

When it comes to our food intake, the NHS has put together an Eat Well Guide designed to help us make healthier choices when it comes to our food. The guide uses helpful illustrations to show us what types of food and drink we should be having each day and how to strike a healthy balance. And carbohydrates and fat are by no means banned.

Try to choose a variety of different food from each of the groups to help you get the wide range of nutrients your body needs to stay healthy, recommends the NHS.

Dieting doesnt have to mean saying sayonara to all your favourite foods. The Easy Meals app compiles over 150 delicious, easy and healthy recipes for you to peruse at your leisure. You can search by mealtime depending on whether youre after a quick lunchtime snack or a heartier evening meal and it helps you to compile shopping lists for when youre next heading to the supermarket.

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Knowing what to look out for when youre reading food labels at the supermarket can also really help us make better choices. Check out the NHS food labels guide for more information.

Dieting doesnt have to mean missing out on the foods you love completely - just make sure you have everything in moderation. Reducing the unhealthy part of our diets and changing our habits is a key first step to living a healthier life.

The Drink Free Days app can help you track your drinking, encourage you to skip alcohol days and get practical support if your alcohol intake has gone from an occasional treat to a concerning crutch.

A tailor-made regime

On average, women should aim to consume around 2,000 calories a day and men, 2,500 but according to the NHS, most of us are consuming more than we need.

Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is the best way of knowing if you need to lose weight. This is a measurement that uses your height and weight to determine if you are a healthy weight. For most adults, an ideal BMI is between 18.5 to 24.9. To calculate your BMI you can use the NHS tool here.

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Fad diets can be dangerous and stressful but developing healthy habits and losing weight in a safe way doesnt have to be a slog.

The NHS free weight loss app will enable you to record your calories and progress and gives tips and advice on healthy, sustainable weight loss.

Finding ways of reducing your intake of unhealthy snacks or substituting your favourite treats with easy alternatives makes you feel as though youre not missing out.

Plan your meals

We all know the process: we kick off Monday with all the best intentions in the world, but after a barrage of emails, back-to-back meetings and the to-do list piling up, that quinoa salad wed planned for lunch suddenly feels uninspiring and too time-consuming to make. We reach for whatever we can find in the cupboard or make a hasty takeaway order. By the end of the week any modicum of healthiness has completely disintegrated.

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Enter meal planning. Something as simple as knowing what youre going to eat for lunch is half the battle. Whether it be through bulk cooking or signing up to a healthy meal-delivery box, getting into a regular routine is the easiest way to kick-start a new eating plan and makes a healthy diet all the more appealing. The NHS meal planner in the Easy Meals app is a good place to start.

Drinking lots of water can also help. The government recommends drinking between six and eight glasses of water every day and more in hot weather or while exercising, to prevent dehydration.

Make sure to line up some rewards for yourself at the end of a successful week.

Get active

Of course, another great way to improve our mental and physical health is to get moving.

Exercise can reduce your risk of major illnesses from heart disease to stroke, type 2 diabetes. Just two and a half hours of activity each week (or 30 minutes every day) is all we need for our bodies to feel the benefit.

Keep fit by picking up free or discounted classes - gloating Instagram posts optional


For it to be beneficial, the NHS says, you need to be moving quick enough to raise your heart rate, breathe faster and feel warmer.

It doesnt have to be a high intensity cardio work out (though the popularity of Joe Wicks HIIT classes is a glowing endorsement of how enjoyable this can be). The Active 10 walking app can help you get started by adding regular bursts of brisk walking to your daily routine, tracking your movement and helping you reach achievable milestones.

Remember all your friends and family using the Couch to 5k running app during the summer? Why not join them, it really is as easy as it looks to follow.

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Eat well to stay well: How to lead a healthy life in lockdown - The Independent

Dec 7

What is a girdle and should I use one? 4 reasons to try a girdle and the surprising benefits (including better posture!) – woman&home

When was the last time that you heard someone talk about girdles? Chances are, its been a while (if ever).You may be wondering about the reasons to try a girdle and whether they could be beneficial for you.

Traditionally, this early 20th-century invention was a type of partial corset with a longer length (from lower torso to upper thighs), open bottom that skimmed the legs like a skirt and straps to attach to stockings. A long way from the best shapewear of today, this early iteration was made from elastic fabric and boning and stretched the figure out into the new, popular S silhouette.

From the 1910s onwards, girdles quickly replaced corsets, prized as they were for their relative comfort and ease to put on (specifically, they didnt require a small team to tie a woman in). It wasnt until the 1960s that this undergarment truly fell out of favour; outshone by developments in pantyhose and with their longer lengths not being compatible with the eras mini skirts and dresses, the girdle was quickly discarded.

The girdle never entirely disappeared though; the girdle still exists today, albeit in a different guise. In fact, youll probably know the girdle by one of its contemporary names body shapers, waist trainers or waist cinchers (as popularised by Kim Kardashian in 2014). Some, such as the Naturana Open Girdle, 36 by Suzanne Charles, have the traditional opening at the bottom while others (Maidenforms Waist Cinching Brief With Cool Comfort And Anti-Static, 39) have been updated to include briefs, shorts (see Miraclesuits Instant Tummy Tuck Hi Waist Thigh Slimmer, 52.50) or to be extra-longline with a high waist and mid-thigh legs check out SPANXs Power Conceal-Her High-Waisted Extended Length Short, 69.

You can forget any notions of tortuous 19th-century-style corsetry and fainting ladies modern girdles are as far from their vintage counterparts as you can imagine. While traditional girdles focussed on constricting womens forms, modern girdles are designed to support and offer only comfortable control. As long as you shop for the correct size, you should be able to walk, sit and breathe deeply without any issue and you shouldnt experience any pinching or bulges at the edges.

Need a little more convincing? Weve rounded up four reasons why you should try a girdle, from the health benefits to the emotional gains. Of course, as with everything, girdles should be worn in moderation; doctors warn against wearing them for extended periods of time, to avoid any potential health issues. As such, the benefits were discussing are only a given for those wearing a girdle occasionally or for short periods of time, such as at special events.

Girdles that are longer in the back, such as Ann Michells Violeta Mid-Thigh Post-Surgical Girdle, 106, and Leonisas Undetectable Edge Boyshort Shaper With Booty Lifter, 59, arent just designed to slim and smooth your tummy, but also to offer extra back support. This makes them a good choice for those who hold a lot of tension in their neck, shoulders and back by relieving tension in your problem areas, girdles can help to reduce other symptoms of back pain: pressure on knees and feet and pain-related headaches and migraines. Of course, if you suffer from acute back pain, we always recommend talking to your doctor before purchasing.

Postpartum or post-pregnancy girdles are not just about making you look slimmer post-baby (though this is definitely one of the added benefits); theyre actually medical-grade compression garments, designed to fit comfortably around your belly to support your body while it recovers. In fact, these girdles have been found to support your abdominal muscles while they heal, stabilise your pelvic floor, encourage blood flow, reduce swelling and fluid retention, improve mobility and aid postpartum workouts.

In particular, a study in 2017 found that women who delivered by C-section found their healing process was aided by wearing a postpartum girdle, particularly reducing their pain, discomfort and bleeding.

Of course, for any individual concerns, talk to your doctor first; if you are given the go-ahead, our favourite postpartum girdles on the market are Leonisas High-Waisted Firm Compression Postpartum Knicker with Adjustable Belly Wrap, 40, the Bellefit Corset, 85 and TiRain 3 in 1 Postpartum Belly Support, 19.75.

Many of us suffer from bad posture, especially those who work in office environments, hunched over laptops and desks for long periods of time. Wearing a girdle not only encourages you to sit up straight and hold yourself tall, but also trains your body into the good habit when not wearing it.

While girdles havent actually been proven to help you lose weight, you cant underestimate the boost of confidence they can offer, especially when worn for special events. Popping on a girdle under your carefully chosen outfit whether thats for an important meeting, party, wedding or date night can totally alter your headspace, allowing you to focus on being fully present, and at your most confident, for the event.

Continued here:
What is a girdle and should I use one? 4 reasons to try a girdle and the surprising benefits (including better posture!) - woman&home

Nov 26

Nutrisystem for Men: Pros, Cons, and Review – Healthline

Nutrisystem for Men is part of the popular Nutrisystem diet program.

Its targeted toward men and offers prepackaged meals and snacks that are designed to be low in calories to promote fast and convenient weight loss.

Nutrisystem for Men offers more food than the standard program.

However, the Nutrisystem program has some significant drawbacks, including its price and potentially excessive calorie restriction.

This article reviews Nutrisystem for Men, whether it works for weight loss, what foods you should eat and avoid, and its potential downsides.

Nutrisystem for Men is a specialized Nutrisystem program thats tailored to men.

Men typically have higher calorie needs than women, even during weight loss (1).

Nutrisystem is a 4-week program designed to help you quickly lose weight by restricting the number of calories you eat. On Nutrisystem, you eat six small meals per day, and several of these meals and snacks are provided by Nutrisystem.

Nutrisystem-branded foods are designed to be low in calories and fat, high in fiber, and rich in protein. Other foods you may eat while on Nutrisystem should be low in fat and calories.

The system encourages people to use Nutrisystem-branded meals to comprise the bulk of their daily calorie intake throughout the duration of the program.

This eliminates the need for you to strictly track your food or calorie intake.

On the Nutrisystem for Men program, youll receive slightly more food each day than on the standard Nutrisystem program.

Nutrisystem for Men is part of the Nutrisystem program, which offers 4 weeks of prepackaged meals and snacks to promote fast weight loss. Nutrisystem for Men offers more food per day than the standard program.

The Nutrisystem for Men plan is slightly more expensive than the standard Nutrisystem program, as it includes some extra food.

While the standard program costs $913 per day, depending on how much food you receive, Nutrisystem for Men costs $1014 per day.

Nutrisystem also offers a Partner Plan for two people of any gender that costs a flat rate of $74.99 per week per person.

The Nutrisystem for Men plan costs more than the standard Nutrisystem plan because it includes more food. Expect to pay $1014 per day.

Nutrisystem for Men offers three plans to choose from. They differ in how much food you receive each week, the level of customization you get from the program, and the variety of foods you can choose from:

The tailor to your metabolism option involves answering a few extra questions about your activity level, age, and body type. It will supposedly help you lose more weight by offering recommendations to better customize your Nutrisystem meals.

Alternatively, Nutrisystem offers a vegetarian option and Nutrisystem D for people with diabetes.

If you want to select one of these options, youll need to choose them specifically rather than selecting the Nutrisystem for Men plan. For each of these plans, the daily cost for a man is slightly more expensive than the daily cost for a woman.

The program has three tiers based on the level of customization and quantity of food. Men also get extra food on the vegetarian plan and Nutrisystem D, though these options are not part of Nutrisystem for Men.

All Nutrisystem-branded foods are fine for you to eat while youre doing the program.

The plan also allows you to add other foods to their prepackaged meals. Here are the other foods you may choose while on the diet:

On Nutrisystem for Men, you can eat any Nutrisystem-branded foods, along with lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, lower calorie fats and spreads, reduced fat dairy, and whole grains.

On the Nutrisystem for Men diet plan, you should avoid high calorie and high fat foods, including:

Foods to avoid include high fat choices, such as fatty meats and liquid oils, and full fat dairy. Fried foods are also banned on the diet, as are refined carbs, sugary foods, and desserts, including those that contain fruit.

Nutrisystem appears to be effective for weight loss, at least for a short period.

Several studies have shown its effectiveness for weight loss. However, many of them were funded fully or partly by Nutrisystem or carried out with the assistance of Nutrisystem employees. This may have biased the results (2, 3, 4).

One Nutrisystem-funded study in 100 people with obesity and type 2 diabetes found that Nutrisystem participants lost about 16 pounds (7.3 kg) each in 6 months. Meanwhile, those in a diabetes education program lost 5 pounds (2.2 kg) in the same time frame (3).

Another 16-week Nutrisystem-funded study in 78 people noted that those on Nutrisystem had lost more weight, body fat, and inches than those following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet (4).

The DASH diet is a low fat, low sodium diet that healthcare providers often recommend to help reduce high blood pressure.

Additionally, one review of studies on several commercially available diets found that people on Nutrisystem lost about 4% more weight after 3 months on the program than people who received only diet education or counseling (5).

However, the review could not look at long-term results because all the studies it investigated were less than 1 year in duration.

Its also important to note that these studies looked at the results of other Nutrisystem programs, including Nutrisystem D. They did not specifically investigate the results of Nutrisystem for Men, though these programs are similar.

Nutrisystem appears to help people lose weight over the short term, but these studies didnt investigate long-term results and may have some bias. They also didnt specifically investigate Nutrisystem for Men.

There are several drawbacks to the Nutrisystem for Men program.

One of the Nutrisystem-funded studies noted that men on the program consumed an average of only 1,500 calories per day (4).

While this restriction is likely to result in short-term weight loss, it may not be sustainable for many people and even result in long-term metabolic changes that make it harder to lose weight (6).

In one small study, researchers found that people in a weight loss competition who followed short-term, extremely restrictive diets had a lower metabolic rate even years later, making it harder for them to lose weight and maintain weight loss (6).

A lower metabolic rate means they burned fewer calories at rest. A person with a lower metabolic rate does not burn as many calories per day as someone with a higher metabolic rate.

Another study estimated that people in this weight loss competition consumed an average of 1,300 calories per day and exercised vigorously for about 3 hours per day during the weight loss period (7).

Its important to note that the people who participated in this weight loss competition went through extreme calorie restriction and weight loss over a very short period of time. Thus, the results may not apply to most people who are looking to lose weight.

Excessive calorie restriction may lead to rebound weight gain by causing changes to your hunger hormones that increase your food cravings and desire to eat (8, 9).

When it comes to Nutrisystem in particular, theres a lack of evidence showing long-term outcomes. Few studies have investigated whether people who lost weight on Nutrisystem maintained that weight loss over long periods.

Some studies looked at the results of following Nutrisystem for 46 months. However, many people may find it too expensive or unrealistic to stay on Nutrisystem for Men for that long. That said, you can complete as many cycles of the 4-week program as youd like (3, 4).

Finally, while Nutrisystem-branded foods are formulated to be low in calories and rich in fiber, theyre highly processed. Choosing more whole, minimally processed foods may be better for your overall health (10).

Nutrisystem may be too restrictive, and theres little evidence on long-term weight loss results for participants. The Nutrisystem programs, including Nutrisystem for Men, are also expensive and encourage people to consume highly processed food.

While promises of quick weight loss may seem tempting, some people may not find the Nutrisystem for Men program sustainable over the long term, as it may be overly restrictive.

Even if you see great results after a round or two of the Nutrisystem program, you may regain the weight you lost very quickly after returning to your old eating habits.

For this reason, youll probably have more success with long-term weight loss by making small, sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle that promote gradual weight loss.

This approach may be more sustainable over the long term, as well as reduce the likelihood youll regain the weight.

Beyond Nutrisystem for Men, there are many diet plans for weight loss that are tailored to people with different needs and tastes. For example, you can choose from diet plans for people who are looking for vegetarian options.

There are also effective plans for weight loss and better health if youre living with diabetes.

More here:
Nutrisystem for Men: Pros, Cons, and Review - Healthline

Nov 26

Weight Loss: Lose Belly Fat With This Quick Lower Abs Workout That Can Be Done In Just 20 Minutes – NDTV

Weight loss: This workout includes a total of six exercises that can be done without equipment

Belly fat or having excessive fat in the abdominal area can be detrimental to your health for several reasons. The thing with belly fat is that it is not just limited to the extra layer of padding just below the skin, which is known as the subcutaneous fat-but it also includes visceral fat, which is inside your abdomen and surrounds the internal organs. Irrespective of your overall weight, if you have large amount of bely fat, you may be at risk of high blood pressure, sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes to name a few.

The idea is to understand that is important to not carry too much fat around the abdomen area. Fret not as there's a lot that you can do to burn it. It may be a little difficult and may require more effort than you can think. But with regular exercise and following a healthy diet, you can successfully reduce abdominal fat.

Also read:Belly Fat Exercises: 6 Exercises For Flat Abs That You Can Do At Home

Sweat trainer Kayla Itsines recently shares a quick lower abs workout that can be done without any equipment. This abs workout can help you have a strong core, which is important for your everyday life and your workouts.

"Whether you're training your upper or lower body, lifting groceries out of the car, hiking up a hill, or moving something heavy, your core strength is going to help you perform at your best," Itsines explains in the caption of her post.

The following lower abs workout includes a total of six exercises that can be done anytime, anywhere. They are designed to target ab muscles that are just below your belly button, informs Itsines. To burn belly fat, this is exactly the target area that we need to focus on.

Also read:Get Rid Of Belly Fat With Protein-Rich Foods; Here's How It Works

Lower abs workout

Set a timer and complete 3 laps of the workout (video shared below). The workout can be done in no more than 20 minutes. You can combine it with half an hour of cardio and other 15 minutes of weight training or body weight training exercises like planks, push-ups and pull-ups. Doing so can help you burn some calories and also aid belly fat reduction.

Also read:Weight Loss: Skipping Too Many Workouts Amidst Festivities? Do This Abs And Legs Workout To Burn Some Calories

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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Weight Loss: Lose Belly Fat With This Quick Lower Abs Workout That Can Be Done In Just 20 Minutes - NDTV

Nov 26

Weight Loss: This 15-Minute Workout Overcomes All Hurdles Of Exercising At Home- Watch Video – NDTV

This workout can be completed in just 15 minutes

Working out at home comes with several challenges. From finding sufficient space to doing it at a time when no one is being disturbed, having the right kind of equipment for that particular workout and having the very motivation to do a workout, it covers them all! Also what interferes with one's motivation to workout or exercise at home is lack of time. But fret not as we are here with the perfect solution to all of these problems. In this article, we are going to talk about a workout that you can do at home, without facing much difficulty. Read here to know all about it.

To workout at home, what you really need is workouts that can be done easily at home, without any equipment in a short period of time. What's more is that this workout, which was shared by Sweat trainer Kelsey Wells on Instagram, requires a very small space. To do it, all you need is a mat and a space that is enough to fit you in.

Also read:Workout Tips: Muscle Soreness, Better Range Of Motion And Other Reasons To Own A Foam Roller Right Now

"This quick workout is great for anyone living in a small apartment or unit - or training on a balcony," reads the caption of the Insta post shared below. This workout includes four bodyweight exercises that can help in improving your strength and stamina, while also burning calories and helping you lose weight.

Following are the four exercises that you need to do as part of this bodyweight workout:

1. Lay down push-up

2. X-plank

3. Diamond push-up

4. Burpee

You need to perform each exercise for 45 seconds, with 10 seconds of rest in between. You need to complete 4 laps in total. Set a timer and the workout can be completed in just 15 minutes.

Also read:Get A Flat Tummy With This Advanced 30-Minute Abs Workout - You Need No Equipment!

If you have the time, you can make the workout more holistic by doing some cardio exercises like jumping rope, on-the-spot jogging or 15-20 minutes of dancing or aerobics. So, what are you waiting for? Let's do this!

Also read:Cycling Health Benefits: Weight Loss, Better Stamina, Toned Body And More

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

Continued here:
Weight Loss: This 15-Minute Workout Overcomes All Hurdles Of Exercising At Home- Watch Video - NDTV

Nov 26

Whats intermittent fasting? The science behind it – ZME Science

One of the worlds most popular health (and even fitness trends) is intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and periods of eating. It focuses more on when you eat than on what or how much.

People use intermittent fasting to lose weight and improve their health, with several studies showing that it can have powerful effects on your body and brain.

Its not a diet in the conventional sense, but more accurately described as an eating pattern.

Fasting has been a practice throughout much of human history and, as a result, we evolved to be able to function without food for extended periods of time. Using it from time to time is just as natural as eating three meals a day if not more so.

Theres more than one way of doing intermittent fasting. There are several methods that involve splitting the day or week into eating and fasting periods. Essentially, you introduce a daily or weekly fasting period.

These are the most popular methods:

During the fasting periods, you eat either very little or nothing at all (no drinks with calories, either). By reducing your calorie intake, all of these methods can cause weight loss as long as you dont compensate by eating much when you do eat. Many people find the 16/8 method to be the simplest, most sustainable, and the easiest to stick to. Its by far the most popular.

Fasting leads to a set of reactions in your body on the cellular and molecular level. Your body adjusts hormone levels to make stored body fat more accessible, while your cells also initiate important repair processes and change the expression of genes.

The levels of growth hormone can also skyrocket with intermittent fasting, increasing as much as 5-fold. This has benefits for fat loss and muscle gain, among other things. Insulin sensitivity improves and levels of insulin drop dramatically. Lower insulin levels make stored body fat more accessible.

When you fast, your cells can initiate or accelerate cellular repair processes. This includes autophagy, where cells digest and remove old and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells. Changes are also observed in the function of genes related to longevity and protection against disease.

Its also been suggested that periods of intermittent fasting increase cellular stress resistance and defense, repairing important pathways that improve the resistance of cells to stressors, promoting cellular growth. However, the science around intermittent fasting is not entirely clear.

When thinking about fasting, weight loss is the most common reason given. By making you eat fewer meals, it can lead to an automatic reduction in calorie intake. Additionally, it changes hormone levels to facilitate weight loss.

Studies show that intermittent fasting can be a very powerful weight-loss tool. A 2014 review study found that this eating pattern can cause 38% weight loss over 324 weeks. According to the same study, people also lost 47% of their waist circumference.

It should be said that researchers studying fasting are calling for more human studies, especially large-scale human studies. Many of the purported benefits of intermittent fasting come from animal studies or small-scale animal studies and have not been confirmed in larger cohorts. In addition, while weight loss seems like the most appealing upside, other claims are debatable.

For instance, decades of studies on rodents have shown that intermittent fasting can help them remain lean, develop fewer aging-related diseases, and live 30-40% longer. A 2019review of studies in theNew England Journal of Medicine showed that intermittent fasting can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improve brain health, reduce inflammation, and boost endurance. But studies on humans have been less conclusive. It seems to be good for losing extra pounds, but anything else is less clear.

However, even then, keep in mind that the main reason for its success is that intermittent fasting helps you eat fewer calories overall. If you binge and eat massive amounts during your eating periods, you may not lose any weight at all.

Intermittent fasting is probably not for everyone. This is actually one of the reasons why its so hard to thoroughly confirm any nutritional study: theres so much variety between different individuals, diets, and a million other factors that can have an influence. It may even be detrimental.

If youre underweight or have a history of eating disorders, you should not fast without consulting with a health professional first. In these cases, it can be downright harmful.

There is also some evidence that intermittent fasting may not be as beneficial for women as it is for men. For example, one study showed that it improved insulin sensitivity in men, but worsened blood sugar control in women. Another study suggested that it can lead to shedding muscles, not fat, which would be counterproductive.

There are a number of anecdotal reports of women whose menstrual period stopped when they started doing fasting and went back to normal when they resumed their previous eating patterns. For these reasons, women should be especially careful with intermittent fasting. They should follow separate guidelines, like easing into the practice and stopping immediately if they have any problems like amenorrhea (absence of menstruation). This eating pattern is likely also a bad idea if youre pregnant or breastfeeding. As always, consult with a professional before embarking on any diet.

Among the side effects, hunger is considered the main one the bane of all diets. People also feel weak and their brains may not perform as well as they are used to. This may only be temporary, as it can take some time for the body to adapt to the new meal schedule. Most people seem to get on and adapt after a couple of weeks.

If you have a medical condition, you should consult with your doctor before trying intermittent fasting. This is particularly important if you have diabetes, problems with blood sugar regulation, low blood pressure, take medications, are underweight or have a history with eating disorders.

All that being said, intermittent fasting has a rather remarkable safety profile. There is nothing dangerous about not eating for a while if youre healthy and well-nourished overall. Unlike other diets which can be extreme, it doesnt seem to produce any major risks.

Its likely that at some point in your life, youve inadvertently done some intermittent fasting. If youve ever eaten dinner, then slept late and not eaten until lunch the next day, then youve probably already fasted for 16+ hours. Ever skipped breakfast or dinner? Same thing. Some people instinctively eat this way. They simply dont feel hungry in the morning.

Many people consider the 16/8 method the simplest and most sustainable way of intermittent fasting, so this one might be the best one to try first. If you find it easy and feel good during the fast, then maybe try moving on to more advanced fasts like 24-hour fasts 12 times per week.

Another approach is to simply fast whenever its convenient simply skip meals from time to time when youre not hungry or dont have time to cook. There is no need to follow a structured intermittent fasting plan to derive at least some of the benefits.

Intermittent fasting is not something that anyone needs to do. Its simply one of many lifestyle strategies that can improve your health. Eating quality food, exercising, and taking care of your sleep are still the most important factors to focus on.

If you dont like the idea of fasting, then you can safely ignore this article and continue to do what works for you. At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to nutrition. The best diet for you is the one you can stick to in the long run.

Intermittent fasting is great for some people, not others. The only way to find out which group you belong to is to try it out. If you feel good when fasting and find it to be a sustainable way of eating, it can be a very powerful tool to lose weight and improve your health.

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Whats intermittent fasting? The science behind it - ZME Science

Nov 26

Fast & Furious Director Reveals the Film’s Biggest Errors You Never Caught – The Drive

Rob Cohen, director of the first Fast & Furious movie aimed to be as authentic as possible with technical details of the movie. However, according to the movie's technical director Craig Lieberman, Cohen reportedly said that the movie was not meant to appeal to gearheads. It was made to attract audiences who like action movies." Now, Lieberman's newest video exposes some of the film's biggest technical errors.

As we've covered before, Lieberman helped with finding the cars, the parts, and extras for various scenes. At the time, he was deeply immersed in the import street racing scene and was well connected, which benefited Universal Studios. Nowadays, hes a YouTuber with a fervent passion for not only the Fast & Furious franchise but for technical perfection. He has owned more than 40 cars including a Supra, GT-R, and Maxima that played starring roles in the first movie.

For instance, one of the errors that Lieberman covers is where a truck follows a Supra with a white bumper. Nobody called it out until just this year, Lieberman says, but it was actually a Miata bumper on the roof, not a Supra bumper.

As a technical advisor, Lieberman had a chance to review the script and make recommendations for changes, but as he notes in his video, I gave advice; they didnt always take it.

The net result is that some scenes wouldnt be feasible in real life and some of them are just pure drama for the fun of it. But only the most ardent tuner superfans would pick them out.

For example, in the opening sequence during a truck hijacking, the lead Honda Civic has a double-decker rear wing. Then youll see later in the scene that it has a single wing; the second airfoil was removed to keep the stuntman from getting tangled up in it. Further, that same Civic slides under a semi-trailer as part of the plan, which would not be possible in real life. To help viewers suspend disbelief, the truck was custom made to be an extra 18 inches off the ground. Now you know.

I particularly enjoyed the explanations about what nitrous oxide does and what it doesntand the improbability of the massive nitrous Mitsubishi Eclipse explosion. "You dont have two nitrous systems on a wheezy naturally aspirated stock block 428 Eclipse," Lieberman scoffs in the video.

If you prefer your movie magic to be complete immersion, dont watch this. Personally, Id recommend you listen to all of the delicious details, and heres Liebermans video explaining it all.

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Fast & Furious Director Reveals the Film's Biggest Errors You Never Caught - The Drive

Nov 19

Ultimate MMA workout: Michael ‘Venom’ Page reveals strength and power building workout of champions – T3

MMA fighters are tough. In order to build muscle mass, they train hard and utilise resistance training and cardio sessions that could break an average person. British MMA star Michael 'Venom' Page (or MVP for short) is known for training hard and he is also fully aware that apart from 'just' hitting the gym, he also needs to be confident in a variety of different martial arts, including jiu jitsu, wrestling and kickboxing.

Sure, Venom doesn't need any tips on how to lose weight but to maintain his muscular but lean physique. MVP doesn't only spend an hour in the gym, he also maximises muscle activation by doing supersets.

You can read all about it here, but please don't try this workout unless you're in reasonably good shape already. This is not a Couch-to-5K type opportunity.

You can't avoid resistance training if you want to build muscle mass

(Image credit: Michael Page)

To perform a superset, you will have jump from one exercise to another exercise without resting in between the exercises. Supersets are a great way to make already hard exercises even harder. No rest for the wicked.

An average weight lifting session is roughly an hour long and it contains a lot of supersets. "In MMA, its more about explosive power, so we do more explosive weight training." - explains Michael - "Everythings very dynamic and done as quickly as possible. So, even when we do bench press its all about being explosive on the way up and slow on the way back down. Then as soon as youve done eight reps you jump on the floor and do five clap push ups and we do this for five sets".

Same applies to leg exercises. This means that after finishing a set of power cleans or split squats, MVP does some tuck jumps straight after.

A typical MMA weightlifting session for MVP is as follows (not for the faint hearted!):

Do three sets of ten.

Front squats are similar to back squats, difference being that as opposed to holding the barbell on your shoulders, you rest it on the top of your chest.

This exercise is normally performed with a smaller weight than back squats, and if you haven't tried this variation, do a set or two with smaller weights so you can get a feel for how to balance the weight. Even better, get a training buddy to spot you.

Do a set of eight power cleans and then a set of eight tuck jumps without rest. Repeat three times.

To do a power clean, start off in the classic deadlift starter pose, the loaded barbell resting in front of you, back straight, As you straighten up, as opposed to stopping when your body is upright, you hurl the barbell up onto the top of your chest. Once there, you can drop it back down and star the movement again.

Once you're done with the eight reps, do eight tuck jumps straight away. Make sure you really get your feet off the ground so they are all tucked in under you in the highest position.

Do a set of eight bench presses and then a set of five clap jumps without rest. Repeat three times.

Doing a bench press is pretty self explanatory, but in case you need a reminder, read our article on it.

Once you're done with your eight reps, on the floor you go to do five reps of clap push ups. Clap push ups are more explosive than regular push ups because you have to push yourself up enough to be able to lift off the ground and clap.

Do three sets of ten.

Another back squat variant. This works only one leg at a time, so work with less weight on a regular back squat.

To perform a Bulgarian split squat, rest one of your legs behind you on a box, so it is elevated. Barbell on your shoulders, core activated as you perform the squat. Once you did your ten reps with one leg, do ten reps with the other leg too.

Do a set of ten lunges and then a set of ten tuck jumps without rest. Repeat three times.

Best way to do weighted lunges is to use kettlebells. Hold the kettlebells in both hands, arms next to the body on the sides as you do the exercise. If you have space, you can walk forward, or you can do lunges on the spot too. The set of ten means you do ten per leg in each set.

Without a rest, go into doing ten tuck jumps.

MVP's explosive style requires excellent muscular strength

(Image credit: Michael Page)

"Theres so much to learn in MMA" - says Michael - "I can spend an hour and a half training in jujitsu, before an hour and a half wrestling. Then Ill take a break and come back and do some ground and pound training. Then youll do fitness training, take another break, come back and have another wrestling class. It really does depend on the fight camp and the opponent."

On Wednesdays and Fridays, he mostly does sparring. "If my coach wants me to spend more time sparring then we spar on more than two days". In previous camps MVP did sparring training literally every day, too. "Its the same with the fitness training. Ive done fitness training every day before as well as doing hours of technical MMA training. Its a lot of work and its very hard to break down into a day. Theres so many different aspects to learn".

As for actual fitness training, MVP does a lot of weightlifting early in the day, followed by cardio work on a torture chamber of machines. You'll find him on the running machine, the exercise bike, the vertical climber or the rowing machine.

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Ultimate MMA workout: Michael 'Venom' Page reveals strength and power building workout of champions - T3

Nov 17

The weight-loss benefits of quality sleep – Gaston Gazette

Deena Bouknight More Content Now


It makes sense that activity plus a healthy diet equals weight loss. But what about weight loss while snoozing? Psychology Today answered in the affirmative:

Contrary to what many people think, sleep is not an inactive state. In fact, several functions are active while a body seemingly rests:

Cells and tissues are repaired. Immune system is restored. Neural cells and networks of the brain are rebooted.

For a 150-pound person, the estimated calorie burn over a 7-hour night of rest is just over 440 calories, stated Psychology Today. Thats a 40-minute jog on a treadmill.

However, the June 2019 report indicated five factors that can inhibit sleep and keep an individual from achieving optimum weight loss advantages while sleeping:

1. Blue light exposure, which can delay melatonin production and alter circadian rhythms (internal clock)2. Late night bedtimes3. Late night snacking especially sugary and salty food and drinks4. Little-to-no natural daylight exposure5. Bedroom temperatures that are too hot; staying cool at night stimulates your metabolism. Essentially, you need to burn more calories to keep warm.Eating Well in 2019 offered four more before-bed no-nos: 6. Caffeine: Some individuals are not affected, but even caffeine consumed in an afternoon can remain in the body and affect sleep patterns.7. Inactivity during the day: Burning calories and sleeping better is a double win when trying to lose weight, so establish (and stick with) a regular workout schedule.8. Excess alcohol: High in calories, and although it may make an individual fall asleep quickly, it often disrupts sleep patterns.9. Inadequate hydration: A body needs steady hydration from morning through mid-afternoon so a full nights rest is possible and necessary bodily functions take place during sleep.

Healthline last November added that quality sleep also helps with weight loss because people tend to have fewer food cravings, especially a desire for high calorie foods: When combined, changes in hormone production, appetite and cravings induced by inadequate sleep may contribute to increased weight and obesity risk.

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The weight-loss benefits of quality sleep - Gaston Gazette

Nov 17

The 4 Best Lunch Foods to Fire Up Your Metabolism, and 2 to Avoid – LIVESTRONG.COM

Chickpeas are high in fiber and protein, both of which keep your metabolism humming.

Image Credit: julief514/iStock/GettyImages

While no one food or nutrient can rev up your metabolism so much that any excess weight will just "fall off," there are certain foods that can support a healthy metabolism because they require more energy to digest.

These foods typically include one or more of these specific nutrients:

Protein: Protein is satiating, meaning it leaves you feeling fuller longer but it also has a higher diet-induced thermogenesis value compared to the other two macronutrients, carbohydrates and fat, according to an often-cited April 2004 study in Nutrition & Metabolism. In other words, the energy needed (and burned) to fully process your meal is highest when you're eating foods rich in protein.

There's another way protein supports your metabolism: muscle mass. Eating adequate protein helps maintain your lean muscle, according to a March 2020 paper in The Journal of Nutrition. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so keeping more muscle on your body helps keep your metabolism up.

Healthy Fats: Monounsaturated fat may increase your overall calorie burn. A February 2013 study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that increasing monounsaturated fats (found in avocados and olive oil) and decreasing saturated fat (in red meat and dairy) resulted in a small increase in resting energy expenditure.

Fiber: Foods rich in fiber like whole grains, legumes, fruit and vegetables take longer to digest, which supports your metabolism and keeps you feeling fuller longer. In fact, our bodies aren't able to absorb fiber instead, gut bacteria break it down, releasing anti-inflammatory short-chain fatty acids.

Because we don't absorb fiber, we don't retain the calories or energy from it either, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Adding foods rich in these three nutrients into your lunch routine will help support your weight-loss efforts.

4 Lunch Foods That Stoke Your Metabolism

Tuna serves up protein and avocados are rich in healthy fat.

Image Credit: I_rinka/iStock/GettyImages

Whether you're bringing lunch from home or grabbing something on-the-go, try adding these delicious foods to your next afternoon meal.

Enjoy grilled tuna when picking the protein for your lunchtime tacos, or keep it simple by using canned tuna for a tuna salad sandwich, or flaked atop a big bowl of salad.

Tuna is an excellent source of protein; half a can has almost 25 grams, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Plus, like salmon and other fatty fish, it contains omega-3 fatty acids. While omega-3s may not help you lose weight specifically, an August 2018 review in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry notes that they may help you maintain your weight.

Use hummus as a spread on a sandwich or add chickpeas to your grain bowl or salad. Why? Because like other legumes (including peas and beans), chickpeas are high in protein and fiber a double-win for weight loss.

An older 2009 clinical study in the Journal of Medicinal Food compared the effect of different treatment diets: control diet, legume diet, fish diet and high-protein diet. The researchers found that after eight weeks, people on the legume- and high-protein diets lost the most weight. They noted a change in mitochondrial oxidation, which may have a positive affect on metabolism.

Whether it's a little guacamole on your burrito bowl or chopped avocado in your salad, eating the fatty fruit will support your metabolism.

Avocados are a rich source of monounsaturated fats, which we know may increase our metabolism when substituted for sources of saturated fat. A serving of avocado (a third of the fruit), has about 7 grams of monounsaturated fat, per the USDA.

In fact, an April 2017 review in Phytotherapy Research reported that adding avocado to the diet may lead to a decrease in body weight and body fat.

Bulgur salads are an easy and nutritious lunch to whip together. Plus, you can make it once and enjoy it for a few days. Another option is using bulgur as your grain in your next grain bowl creation.

Bulgur is a top-notch whole grain because it's especially high in fiber. A cup of cooked bulgur has just 150 calories but contains 8 grams of fiber along with 6 grams of protein, per the USDA. This serving provides about a third of women's fiber needs for the day.

Steer clear of drive-through staples like fried chicken and french fries.

Image Credit: Bogdanhoda/iStock/GettyImages

Even if you're in a pinch, try to avoid indulging in these lunch foods, especially if you're trying to lose weight.

If you're bringing a sandwich from home or grabbing a sub from the deli, make the bread whole-grain instead of one made with refined (white) grains. Refined grains are lower in fiber so they don't have staying power they're more quickly processed and digested. This will leave you feeling hungry sooner than you may like.

Don't fall for healthy-sounding bread, like "multigrain" or "wheat" it should be described as "whole-grain" or "whole-wheat" instead.

OK, this isn't one specific food, but really any fried food, whether it's french fries or chicken tenders. When food is deep-fried, it means it's usually been tossed in some kind of coating (usually made of refined grains) and then soaked in oil, which is typically not one of the healthier oils high in monounsaturated fat. Both of these add calories without much (or any) nutritional benefit.

Plus, you're typically dipping fried foods in sugary condiments like ketchup or a barbecue or honey mustard sauce, which won't do your waistline any favors, either.

Read more here:
The 4 Best Lunch Foods to Fire Up Your Metabolism, and 2 to Avoid - LIVESTRONG.COM

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