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Aug 31

Considering Male Hormone Replacement Therapy To Improve Health – Muncie Voice

To achieve optimal health, balanced hormones are required, no matter whether you are a man or a woman. Many men experience symptoms of weight gain, decreased motivation, low libido, depression, and tiredness as they start to get older and their testosterone levels lower. This is known as Andropause, which is commonly deemed male menopause. Going through these symptoms can easily make you feel down and stressed.

There are options available, and one solution to consider is what is known as male hormone replacement therapy. Below, we will reveal everything you need to know about it to get a much better understanding of what it is and what it entails.

The main benefit of male hormone replacement therapy is that it will help to lower and even reverse the symptoms associated with getting older. A lot of people have reported feeling more vigorous and younger after going through the treatment phase. However, all of the symptoms mentioned can cause a person to feel down and depressed, so male hormone replacement therapy helps make sure you enjoy life again.

When it comes to male hormone replacement therapy, otherwise known as testosterone replacement therapy, the man will be given testosterone. This is the hormone responsible for producing male characteristics, such as muscularity and facial hair, as well as the development of the male sex organs.

It is important to talk with a specialist at a clinic to determine whether or not male hormone replacement therapy is right for you. This is why the consultation phase is imperative. It will give them a full understanding of the condition you are experiencing and your medical history. This will enable the professional to come to the best decision on what will be right for you.

There are many different ways that you can go about male hormone replacement therapy. While some of the different methods do include injections, some do not require them at all. We will be able to talk you through some of the different available options. Aside from injections, some of the other choices include patches and testosterone gels.

Because of the rise of the Internet, there is a lot of misinformation out there nowadays. Recent research indicates that there is no link between prostate cancer and male hormone replacement therapy. In a study that was carried out whereby 1,500 patients were observed, it was deemed that higher testosterone levels may even help lower the risk of prostate cancer. Moreover, the risk of prostate cancer may increase if you have low testosterone levels, and therefore, there is no link between this type of cancer and Male Hormone Replacement Therapy.

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Aug 31

Over 60? Do These Exercises to Build Stronger Muscles, Say Experts | Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

Many older adults make the mistake of exercising less than they did when they were younger. But we should know better. In fact, you could make a strong case for exercising being even more important the older you get.

"When we are in our teens and 20s, building and maintaining muscle mass is as straightforward as it's ever going to be, explains Jack McNamara, M.Sc., C.S.C.S., of TrainFitness. "With the right exercise selection, training intensity, and nutrition, our muscles are primed to effectively increase in efficiency, size, and strength. But most people, especially those who don't have a history of lifting, will begin to lose muscle mass from their 30s onwards."

The medical term for what Bailey is describing is sarcopenia, or the gradual loss of muscle with age. You may not care all that much about cultivating a bodybuilder's physique after 60, but sarcopenia can lead to a steep decline in life quality. Balance suffers, bones and joints become weaker, and, before long, everyday tasks like simply climbing a flight of stairs can feel like a challenge. Just like taxes, sarcopenia is unavoidableat least to a certain extent.

"Muscle loss is a natural part of the aging process, but that doesn't mean you can't do something about it," says Josh Schlottman, C.S.C.S. For example, one study published in PLOS One found that a six-month resistance exercise training program "markedly reversed" the aging process among participants' muscles.

When we spoke to fitness experts about the best way for older adults to start building more muscle, a few recommendations kept coming up time and time again. To start, don't push yourself too hard. It's important to begin with exercises, weights, and routines that are right for your body and health.

Rachelle Reed, Ph.D., Senior Director of Health Science & Research for Orangetheory Fitness, recommends that older adults set SMART goals for themselves. "SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely," she says. "As you begin a new exercise routine, remember to be kind to yourself and set reasonable goals. Rather than jumping in head-first, start slowly and in a way that feels manageable with your schedule."

But what about specific exercises?

We all know that muscles are built with weightlifting and resistance exercises first and foremost, but many of the trainers and physicians we spoke with say it's a mistake for those over 60 to focus too heavily on one specific muscle group. "I recommend reducing the total volume per muscle group you do per day and combining several muscle groups in one training session," says Dimitar Marinov, M.D., Ph.D. "This way, there is no risk to overtrain a single muscle group and injure yourself. Instead, you will do 1-2 exercises per muscle and train either half or all of your muscles in one workout. You can do that 2-3 times per week which will compensate for the decreased volume per session."

For the record, he's referring to compound exercises, and this approach is advantageous for older individuals for a few reasons. By spreading out the strain you'll reduce risk of injury while simultaneously targeting and building more muscles. Moreover, compound resistance exercises are also great for increasing testosterone levels, which is essential when it comes to building and maintaining more muscle.

Research published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that just one month of weight training increased testosterone levels among male participants by an average of 36%. Of course, women can also benefit from an uptick in testosterone when it comes to muscle maintenance and growth. "Hormones that impact our ability to build and maintain muscle, such as testosterone, drop by around 1% per year after 40. Performing compound moves stimulates the body to spike production of these hormones and ameliorate the decline as we age," Jack McNamara continues.

If you're ready to get started, read on to learn more about some of the best compound exercises for more muscle after 60. And for more reasons to exercise, don't miss this Secret Side Effect of Exercising More After 60, Says New Study.

Pull ups are an exercise classicand for good reason. They target the lats, delts, triceps, back, and core all at once using nothing but a bar to hold on to and your body weight. Even better, you can target different muscle areas depending on your grip. A close grip will focus more on your biceps and outer lats, while a wider grip will work your traps and inner lats more. And for some great exercise advice, don't miss the Secret Side Effects of Lifting Weights for the First Time, Says Science.

A diligent squatting routine can improve balance, posture, strengthen your core, improve bone density, and even help prevent dementia! Squats don't always come easy, and proper form is notoriously hard for even some experienced exercisers, but the leg muscle building benefits of this exercise makes it an essential part of any workout.

"This exercise is key to building muscle in the legs and lower body. For those over 60 with balance or coordination issues hold onto the back of a chair for balance. Stand with your feet hip width apart with your toes pointed straight ahead. Begin to lower your hips towards the floor by pushing them back behind you like you're going to take a seat. Try to get your legs to go down low enough so they're parallel to the floor. Keep breathing throughout the movement as you return back up to the starting position," Josh Schlottman suggests.

The rowing machine can be pretty intimidating for fitness beginners, but it's ideal for older adults looking to build muscle for a few reasons.

"One of the best exercises for building and maintaining muscle over age 60 is rowing," explains Caley Crawford, NASM-CPT, Director of Education for Row House. "People often associate rowing with cardio, but it is also a great strength-building exercise as it engages over 85% of the body's muscles. Rowing is low-impact and works 85 percent of the body's muscles, which means more bones are loaded and in turn, strengthened. Because rowing is done from a seated position and individuals are strapped into the footholds, there is no risk of falling during the exercise either. This helps offset the effects of bone resorption and conditions like osteoporosis. And unlike a spin bike or elliptical, the erg allows for full range of motion, promoting flexibility and joint health."

One study published in Biomedical Materials and Engineering even reports that rowing can help improve elbow, shoulder, and knee movements.

A regular bench press really only works the pectoral muscles, which is why an incline bench press is the superior choice for those over 60. By lifting at an incline of anywhere from 30-45 degrees (this will vary somewhat depending on your height and body type), you'll be working your entire upper chest, front deltoids, and triceps.

But, remember: Don't push yourself too hard with the weight. Start light and gradually build up your max rep over time. Also, your eyes should be directly under the bar when you sit down to begin. And for some more ways to motivate yourself to get to the gym, don't miss The Secret Tricks for Convincing Yourself to Exercise, Say Experts.

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Aug 31

How to Lose Weight Fast, But Safely – Easy Weight Loss Tips

Lose 5 pounds in one week! It's a trope we see everywhere. And while its possible that someone can lose that much in that time period, it really depends on your metabolism and loads of other factors unique to you, including physical activity and body composition.

Weight loss ultimately comes back to the concept of calories in, calories out: Eat less than you burn and youll lose weight. And while its possible to lose water weight quickly on a low-carb diet, I certainly wouldnt advocate for it. The diet itself can trick you into thinking that this eating style is working when really, you might gain back what you lost as soon as you eat carbs again. That can feel incredibly dispiriting if you want results that last longer than a week.

Based on my experience in nutrition counseling, most of us tend to snack on foods that arent nutrient-dense, but are high in calories. Major culprits often come in the form of refined grains like cereals, chips, crackers, and cookies but also calorie-packed drinks like juice and soda. Skipping sugary beverages is often the easiest way to lose weight faster. You dont feel full from drinks, so swapping those out for sparkling water or unsweetened tea and coffee is the best place to start.

If you're looking to speed up weight loss, be mindful of the foods you eat that you don't choose for yourself. Think: food pushers at work or your kids leftovers. Noticing where your extra calories actually come from is another step to making better choices in the short and long term.

If you're still looking to lose weight, there are a few tips that hold true for almost all of us across the board and theyre concepts that we can put into practice beginning right now.

Editor's note: Weight loss, health and body image are complex subjects before deciding to go on a diet, we invite you gain a broader perspective by reading our exploration into the hazards of diet culture.

Its that simple, I promise! If you think about making any meal mostly veggies (at least 50% of anything that youre having), youre on the right track to better health.

All meals are important, but breakfast is what helps you start your day on the right track. The best, heartiest breakfasts are ones that will fill you up, keep you satisfied, and stave off cravings later in the day. Aim to eat anywhere between 400 and 500 calories for your morning meal, and make sure you're including a source of lean protein plus filling fat (e.g., eggs, unsweetened Greek yogurt, nuts, or nut butters) and fiber (veggies, fruit, or 100% whole grains). Starting your day with a blood sugar-stabilizing blend of nutrients will help you slim down.

Start your day with a cup of joe. Caffeine is a natural diuretic, which can reduce bloating, and an excellent source of antioxidants, which protect your cells from damage. You can have up to 400 mg about a venti Starbucks coffee daily, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Not much of a coffee drinker? Tea is also a natural diuretic, and types of herbal tea such as dandelion or fennel root can also lend a hand. In fact: When a recent study compared the metabolic effect of green tea (in extract) with that of a placebo, researchers found that the green-tea drinkers burned about 70 additional calories in a 24-hour period.

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We just don't feel full by liquid calories in quite the same way as we do real food. Drinking a juice or caramel coffee drink just isn't as satisfying as eating a bowl of veggie- and protein-packed stir-fry. So monitor your intake of juice, soda, sweetened coffee and tea, and alcoholic beverages. If you consume each of those beverages during the day, you'll have taken in at least 800 extra calories by nighttime and you'll still be hungry. (Incidentally, alcohol may suppress the metabolism of fat, making it tougher for you to burn those calories.)

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Strength training builds lean muscle tissue, which burns more calories at work or at rest 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The more lean muscle you have, the faster you'll slim down.

How do you start strength training? Try some push-ups or a few squats or lunges. Use your free weights to perform simple bicep curls or tricep extensions right in your home or office. Mix in some new ab, arm, back, and leg moves if you like. Strength training just three to four times per week can lead to rapid improvement in not only weight loss, but also range of motion, stability, and posture.

It can actually help you cut back on calories. That's because capsaicin, a compound found in jalapeo and cayenne peppers, may (slightly) increase your body's release of stress hormones such as adrenaline, which can speed up your ability to burn calories. What's more, eating hot peppers may help you eat more slowly and avoid overeating. You're more likely to stay more mindful of when you're full. Some great choices besides hot peppers: ginger and turmeric.

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There's a ton of research that demonstrates getting less than the desired amount about seven hours of sleep per night can slow down your metabolism. Plus, when you're awake for longer, you're naturally more likely to snack on midnight munchies. So don't skimp on your ZZZ's, and you'll be rewarded with an extra edge when it comes to losing weight.

People who log everything they eat especially those who log while they're eating are more likely to lose weight and keep it off for the long haul, studies consistently indicate. The habit also takes less than 15 minutes per day on average when you do it regularly, according to a 2019 study published in Obesity.

Start tracking on an app like MyFitnessPal or use a regular notebook. It'll help you stay accountable for what you've eaten. Plus, you can easily identify areas that could use a little improvement when it's written out in front of you.

Exercising at any time is good for you, but evening activity may be particularly beneficial because many people's metabolism slows down toward the end of the day. Thirty minutes of aerobic activity before dinner increases your metabolic rate and may keep it elevated for another two or three hours, even after you've stopped moving. Plus, it'll help you relax post-meal so you won't be tempted by stress-induced grazing that can rack up calories.

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Skipping meals will not make you lose weight faster. If a hectic day makes a sit-down meal impossible, stash a piece of fruit and pack of nut butter in your car or purse and keep snacks in your desk drawer anything that will keep you from going hungry!

Going long periods of time without food does double-duty harm on our healthy eating efforts by both slowing down your metabolism, and priming you for a binge later in the day. (Think: You've skipped breakfast and lunch, so you're ready to take down a whole turkey by dinner!) Make it your mission to eat three meals and two snacks every day, and don't wait longer than three to four hours without eating. Set a "snack alarm" on your phone if needed.

Sure, drinking plenty of water can help combat bloating, but you can (and should!) also consume high-water content foods. Reach for cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, asparagus, grapes, celery, artichokes, pineapple, and cranberries all of which contain diuretic properties that will also help you stay full due to their higher fiber content.

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Potassium, magnesium, and calcium can help to serve as a counter-balance for bloat-inducing sodium. Foods that are rich in potassium include leafy greens, most "orange" foods (oranges, sweet potatoes, carrots, melon), bananas, tomatoes, and cruciferous veggies especially cauliflower. Low-fat dairy, plus nuts, and seeds can also help give you a bloat-busting boost. They've also been linked to a whole host of additional health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, controlling blood sugar, and reducing risk of chronic disease overall.

At any given time, there are dozens of weight-loss hypes in the marketplace that claim to take off 10 pounds in 10 days or more . Desperation can tempt us to try anything from "clean eating" to cutting out food groups entirely. Keep in mind: Just because an avocado-kale-salad dripping in coconut oil is deemed "clean" by a so-called "expert" on your Instagram feed does not make it an unlimited food. Moral of the story? Avoid fads, eat real food, watch some Netflix, and unwind (perhaps with a glass of wine in hand). Now that's my kind of detox.

Many of us can't resist the urge to kick ourselves when we indulge, eat too much, or get thrown off course from restrictive diets. The problem: This only makes it more difficult, stressful, and downright impossible to lose weight. So rather than beating yourself up for eating foods you think you think you shouldn't, let it go. Treating yourself to about 200 calories worth of deliciousness each day something that feels indulgent to you can help you stay on track for the long haul, so allow yourself to eat, breathe, and indulge. Food should be joyful, not agonizing!

Ultimately, long-term weight loss requires some short-term behavior change and healthier habit formation. That's why we created our Good Housekeeping Nutritionist Approved Emblem, which exists to help turn smart food choices into healthier eating habits. All GHNA foods and drinks make it easier to find and eat good-for-you foods without additional time, effort, and cost. We target the lifestyle-related factors that make healthier eating hard, and find simple but creative solutions that actually work! Look for the emblem on labels wherever you shop for food.

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Aug 31

We had to lose weight before facing our colleagues at the office again – New York Post

As some workplaces across the country phase out work-from-home in favor of in-person attendance, wage earners are fretting about how their colleagues will perceive their fleshier physiques.

According to a March 2021 poll by the American Psychological Association, 42% of Americans gained more weight than intended during the lockdown period. The APA found that people in the US have typically put on 15 pounds since March 2020, when COVID-19 first took hold, amidst comfort eating, exercising less and consuming more alcohol.

Some, however, have taken control of the situation and lost the pandemic pudge.

The Post meets three triumphant women whove gotten back into shape.

Within the first three months of lockdown, Holberton put on 20 pounds. She went from being a svelte, healthy mom to a diabetic with outrageously high blood sugar levels.

Working from home, my husband and I would order bacon, egg and cheese bagels every morning, cook huge meals and get through two bottles of wine a day, she said. Id constantly snack on cookies [and] brownies.

The CPA would unbutton her pants during Zoom calls and pray her old colleagues wouldnt notice the change in her looks. When her firm acquired another company during lockdown, she fretted about having to meet new colleagues.

I didnt want them to see me at the worst weight of my life, she said.

So, motivated by advice from her doctor and concern about her eventual return to the office, she lost a total 30 pounds through intermittent fasting and then kicking the booze in July 2021.

The 38-year-old, who is 5-foot-7, is down to 150 pounds and no longer needs to take pills for diabetes. She cant wait to see colleagues new and old after Labor Day. She is also relieved her formal business attire from favorite stores such as Reiss fit once again.

I might even splash out on some new clothes, Holberton said. I finally feel good.

Shortly before the onset of COVID-19, Brumfield interviewed for a new job in HR. She landed the gig, but after nine months of lockdown, the dress shed worn for the big interview no longer fit.

The mom-of-one piled on the pounds and went up two dress sizes while working from home due to eating french fries and her 5-year-old daughters candies, and leading a more sedentary lifestyle.

I avoided the scales, she recalled. Id wear sweat pants that had room to give.

Her lowest point came during a holiday photoshoot with her family. The pictures emphasized her larger figure and fuller face.

I dont know if my colleagues noticed the changes on Zoom calls, Brumfield said. But I wanted to get off on the right footing and make a professional impression when we saw each other in person.

She finally started using the $2,000 Peloton bike shed invested in before Christmas, doing 30-minute rides her favorite instructors include Ally Love, Cody Rigsby and Jess Sims five times a week. The 34-year-old also took to meditating regularly using the Peloton app.

It was a holistic approach and the weight came off, said Brumfield, who reckons she has lost around 40 pounds through a combination of exercise and healthier eating. Her hope is to shed 20 more pounds to complete the transformation.

Her company hasnt yet announced an end date for its remote working practices but she is eagerly awaiting the decision and excited by the opportunity.

Brumfield added: I want to put my best self out there.

The 57-year-old elementary school teacher has not seen her young students in person since March 2020. Shes been instructing them remotely as part of the districts comprehensive distance learning program.

Its been a challenging [time] for everyone which, in my case, led to weight gain and feelings of depression, said Cocheu.

Poor food choices caused Cocheu to go up at least one dress size. She tried to disguise her expanding figure during class video sessions by adjusting her position in front of the camera.

But in June, after school closed for the summer, she resolved to take action. Her aim was to look and feel better before in-person interactions finally resume in September.

She said: I didnt want my principal and colleagues to think I was unhealthy and was keen to show I could keep up with my first graders.

Soon after beginning the online Sparkle Girl plan devised by New York wellness coach Deborah Capaccio, Cocheu experienced a change in her mindset.

She became more optimistic and contemplative, and felt motivated to abandon her poor eating routine and follow a vegetable and protein-based diet while drinking plenty of water.

I met at least some of my colleagues and students at a weeklong summer school in early August, said Cocheu, who is down 16 pounds and back to her previous dress size. I felt good in the shorts I was wearing and comfortable running around with the children.

When the new school year starts after Labor Day, I know Ill be proud of what Ive achieved.

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Aug 31

Suffering from PCOS? Foods to lose weight and reverse the condition – Hindustan Times

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder, affects one out of ten women in India. Women suffering from the condition may have infrequent or prolonged periods, increased levels of male hormones and insulin while the reproductive hormone progesterone is on the lower side. Obesity is said to worsen complications of the disorder, therefore it is advised to lose weight when you are suffering from PCOS.

A sedentary lifestyle and obesity are associated with increased risk of getting PCOS.

"Ideally an active workout of at least 150 minutes per day is recommended for maintaining a healthy weight, improving the heart health and over all mental well-being. This active workout includes cardio activity, own body weight workouts coupled with yogasanas. But due to the urban lifestyle, it is observed that there is less priority given to exercise. Along with this the food choices are skewed and there is more of empty calories coming from carbs and fats and less of protein and fruits and vegetables in the diet. This along with lack of exercise is a major contributor to being overweight or obese," says Avantii Deshpaande, PCOS and Gut health nutritionist.

ALSO READ: Trying for a baby? Here are foods to boost your fertility

Women suffering from PCOS report high insulin which makes them crave for more carbs and sweets. This leads to an extra calorie intake which could contribute towards obesity. So it is important to treat the insulin resistance and not just reduce the blood sugars, adds Deshpande.

To manage PCOS, Deshpande says, apart from losing weight it is important to detox the vital organs, improve gut health and make some healthy lifestyle changes.

She suggests the following foods to lose weight and reverse PCOS:

1. Take high-fibre diet

A high-fibre diet packed with anti-oxidants is recommended to detoxify the body and improve gut health. Fruits and vegetables being low in calories also ensure you do not end up consuming extra calories. Deshpande recommends at least 5 serving of fruits and vegetables in a day to manage the condition.

2. Include proteins

Proteins play an important role in the synthesis of hormones and provide body with a filling food. "Include protein in every meal from breakfast, lunch to dinner. You can take dals, beans, eggs, curds, nuts and oil seeds," suggests Deshpande.

3. Probiotics

Probiotics are not only excellent for your gut health but also reduce inflammation and regulate hormones like estrogen and androgen. "Make it a point to have atleast 1 glass of buttermilk in the day or cup of fresh home-made curds. This will improve the gut health as they contain probiotics," the PCOS nutritionist says.

4. Omega 3 fatty acids

A daily dose of omega 3 fatty acids is known to improve the hormonal imbalance. "Consume 1 tbsp of flax seeds, sunflower and melon seeds together in the day. You could also try seed cycling. Fish and fish oil tablets will also ensure you get omega 3 fatty acids," says Deshpande.

5. Herbal teas

Herbal teas like green tea or green coffee are also useful in boosting metabolism and could be consumed as a replacement for our regular tea and coffee.

6. Avoid milk and wheat

If inflammation is the cause of PCOS removing foods like milk and wheat from the diet for a few weeks will lead to weight loss, but this should be done under the supervision of an expert, says the nutritionist.

Other tips by Deshpande

Include at least 150 mins of workouts in the week which is equivalent to 20 minutes of exercise per day in the form of cardio, weight training and yoga.

Practicing Pranayama will reduce the stress and will also help to balance the hormones better.

You can reduce or stop the consumption of junk food for cutting out empty calories. Replace this with home cooked meals which are filled with nutrition.

Enjoy the journey towards eating healthy and make it a daily habit by following mindful eating, making healthy swaps and following a workout routine.

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Aug 31

Want to Lose Weight but Hate Counting Calories? Try Out These 3 Tips From a Dietitian – Yahoo Lifestyle

For those of us that want to lose weight without counting calories or feeling restricted on what we're able to eat, dietitian Kylie Sakaida, MS, RD, LDN made a TikTok video offering up three helpful tips. Each one of these tips focuses more on what types of foods we should be incorporating into our daily meals, including a tip on how to eat.

Sakaida kicked off her list with one of my personal favorite nutrition tips: eating protein. This is one of my favorite tips because protein shakes are always a go-to breakfast or lunch for me when I'm short on time but need to feel full. As Sakaida says, protein "takes longer to digest than carbs" therefore you'll stay fuller for longer periods of time.

Her second tip is to "stop rushing through your meals." Sakaida reminds us that our brains can take up to 20 minutes to realize that the stomach is full so it's best to take our time when eating if we want to lose weight.

Sakaida's final tip in this video is to count the colors on our plate instead of the calories. Please don't pour a plate full of Skittles and call it a colorful plate. Sakaida mentions foods like orange carrots and red tomatoes as colors to look out for when plating our next meals.

As Sakaida mentions in the TikTok above, these tips are meant to help viewers think of weight loss from a nutrient perspective instead of a calorie counting perspective. Check out her video above and try out her tips if you're trying to lose weight.

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Aug 31

5 healthy snacks that can help you lose weight – Hindustan Times

Is snacking in between the meals a bad thing or good? This is the frequently asked question that people ask health experts or nutritionists. A lot depends on your motivation, say health studies. If you are genuinely hungry, or consume healthy and small portions of food throughout the day it is not harmful, but if boredom, temptation, emotional eating is your motivation, and you choose packaged food high on saturated fat, salt, or sugar to fulfill the craving, snacking can be the villain of your life.

"Snacking isn't harmful for you as long as you don't eat unhealthy items. Rather it can help you stay fuller for longer and reduce your cravings for unhealthy foods," says celebrity nutritionist Ryan Fernando.

When we are not mindful about our eating choices, we pick the wrong snacks off the shelf, and that could result in weight gain and lead to many health problems. "Most products now say "healthy" on the label but are often high in added sugar and unhealthy fats. Snack options such as chips offer no or little nutritional value but are loaded with fats, sodium and are high in calories," adds Fernando.

ALSO READ: Top reasons you are not losing weight

Why we feel the urge to snack in between the meals?

It could be for a variety of reasons from nutritional deficiencies to genetics.

"This could be because of existing nutritional deficiencies or a lack of certain nutrients in your diet. For example, if you have an urge to snack on chocolate, you may have magnesium deficiency in the body, which can be fulfilled by having nuts, seeds and fruits," says Fernando.

"Genetics also plays a major role. You might have a gene that pokes you to eat every now and then. Do your gene test to discover if you have that gene and plan your diet accordingly," he says.

Fernando also suggests 5 healthy snacks that can act as substitute for unhealthy snacks and help you lose weight:

1. Fruit instead of candy or chocolate

Fruits are naturally high in antioxidants, fibre and water content and low in fat, sodium and calorie which helps keep you nourished and feel fuller for longer time. Not to mention who doesnt love a fresh bowl of fruits.

2. Popcorn instead of chips

Fried chips are full of sodium and empty calories. Instead pop some maize and treat yourself to a delicious low calorie, fibre-rich snack which satisfies your appetite and at the same time adds variety to your diet.

3. Peanut butter toast instead of biscuits

Nut butters are a source of good fats in your diet, that help to maintain good cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure and are also good for your heart health. A teaspoon of peanut butter or almond butter on a multigrain or millet toast makes for a crunchy snack.

4. Cut carrots or cucumber instead of potato fries or wedge

If you are craving for those salty French fries, what your body actually needs is water, so choose high water content foods like cucumber or carrot and cut them up like sticks. Serve them with a hummus or hung curd dip which is a good protein source. These healthy sticks are also rich in fibre, antioxidants thus keeping you nourished and full.

5. Fox Nut or puffed rice and chana instead of Namkeens

Namkeens are another high sodium, high fat, high calorie unhealthy snacks which can be replaced with fox nuts or puffed rice and chana mixture. As they are rich in fibre, they will keep you full. Along with that they are also a good source of nutrients like iron, magnesium, zinc which keep you energised.

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Aug 31

Want to lose weight through supplements? This is what you need to know – Gulf News

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Dubai: Struggling to lose weight? If your attempts at dieting or introducing exercise into your lifestyle fail consistently, you may be tempted to try out weight loss supplements that might pop up on your social media timeline, endorsed by your favourite influencer.

However, it is important to sift the facts from fiction when it comes to claims that are made by such supplements. Abu Dhabis Department of Health (DOH) has posted an awareness guide on its website, helping residents understand what these supplements contain and whether they can truly be effective in losing weight. Here is all you need to know.

What do weight loss products contain?

According to the DOH guide, weight loss products contain many ingredients like herbs, fibres and minerals in different amounts and in many combinations.

They are sold in different pharmaceutical dosage forms such as capsules, tablets, liquids, and powders.

Many people use weight loss supplements as a quick and easy way to slim down and lose weight without considering a reasonable diet programme or exercise.

Many users do not have enough knowledge about the components of these products and the health risks and damage they can cause, especially with the widespread availability through their sales at various nutrition stores, online or on social networking sites.

How effective are they?

Weight reduction products can be classified according to their effect as follows:

1. Products that has no effect

There is limited information about these products, and the evidence of their claimed benefits is based on a small number of unapproved studies.

Ideally, several research studies are required in order to determine the safety and effectiveness of these products.

These products are marketed as products that are not fake, are completely safe and have no side effects. However, in reality, they are not effective and have no benefit.

Such products are considered useless and a waste of time and effort.

2. Products with limited effects

These products may help in losing weight, but their effect is often limited and not remarkable, especially if their use is not accompanied by a healthy lifestyle and an appropriate diet. According to scientific studies, most of these products have a temporary effect, as they may have a clear effect in reducing weight at first, but over time, their effectiveness decreases and goes away.

Also, while such products may be effective, they can be risky when used by patients with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes or blood, kidney and liver diseases. In addition, these should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation as they can cause severe complications or side effects.

In general, it is necessary to seek medical advice before using weight loss products.

3. Products that are not safe to use

Some of the products are marketed as being effective in reducing weight, but in reality, they are adulterated products with chemicals or substances that are not disclosed and are not included as an active ingredient of the product. For example, the addition of substances that have been been banned from the market because of the serious health problems they caused or the addition of some medications and hormones that have the effect of reducing weight, but they should not be used except in certain medical conditions with fixed doses and only under medical supervision.

So, how can I stay safe?

The guide provides the following advice:

Remember that dietary supplements might contain several ingredients that have different effects, which might cause dangerous drug-to-drug interactions.

Do not hesitate to speak with your health care provider before starting to use weight loss supplements. Discuss potential benefits and risks, especially if you are suffering from any health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, liver and kidney disease or heart disease.

Read about the dietary supplement before using it as it may contain a component that has a similar effect to one of your medicines.

Check the quality of the dietary supplement before using it; make sure to buy it from authorised selling outlets such as pharmacies and nutritional supplement stores. Beware of buying nutritional supplements from unknown sources through the internet or social media.

Beware of falsified and eye-catching claims, such as magic diet pills, burn the fat and lose weight without diet or exercise. If it is difficult to believe, it is also in fact difficult to achieve.

Weight loss supplements can be expensive and may not be effective. The best way to lose weight and maintain it, is to follow a healthy, nutritional integrated diet, drink enough water, reduce calories, and exercise regularly.

How to check for adulterated substances

In case you need to use any supplement, make sure it is safe and free from adulterated substances.

You can always ask your healthcare professional, ask for advice from the drug information service at 800424 or view the latest safety warnings on supplements from the Department of Health, here - https://www.doh.gov.ae/en/resources/Adulterated-Products

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Want to lose weight through supplements? This is what you need to know - Gulf News

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Aug 31

Why Are Diets and Biodiversity Linked? Food Tank – Food Tank

This is the second piece in a series produced by the Global Action Platform on Sustainable Consumption and Diets. To learn more, visit the webpagehere.

Biodiversity is crucial to societies worldwide. Plants produce oxygen and store carbonboth important for climate regulation and creating breathable airbut they also release water and volatile compounds into the atmosphere, which in turn influence cloud formation and rainfall.Biodiversity enables carbon to be stored in soil and maintains soil fertility. It provides food we eat directly and supports the production of food in agriculture through pollination, pest control and soil health. Biodiversity also provides important cultural and well-being benefits: many societies recognize iconic plants and animals as culturally important and throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, hearing singing birds has lifted the hearts of people around the world.

Despite the fundamental importance of biodiversity,thousands of specieshave gone extinct this century indicating that we are in a sixth mass extinction of species that is human caused and accelerating. The primary cause of this biodiversity loss is the production of ever more food.The conversion of land for agriculture, as well as theintensificationof agriculture, impacts the quality and quantity of available habitat. Food production also affects fresh-water wildlife* through extraction of water and reduction in water quality from soil and farm chemical runoff. Downstream pollution, especially from fertilizers, even affects marine systems. Marine wildlife is, of course, also heavily impacted through fishing.

The biggest driver of habitat loss on land has been theconversion of natural ecosystemsto crop production or pasture. The land occupation of agriculture has increased around 5.5 times since 1600 and is still increasing. Currently,land for food productionoccupies roughly40 percent of the worlds landthat is not desert and uses 70 percent of the available water resources.

Instead of wild animals, a handful of farmed speciesnow dominateglobal animal biomass. Farmed animals (mainly cows and pigs) now constitute 60 percent of the global biomass of all mammals, while humans make up 36 percent and wild mammals make up just 4 percent. For birds, the global biomass is29 percent wild birdsand 57 percent chickens. More than three quarters of agricultural land is used to farm these animals or their feed. Overall, agriculture is anidentified threatto 24,000 of the 28,000 terrestrial species at risk of extinction. In marine ecosystems, fishing is the largest driver of biodiversity loss.

Conserving biodiversity, reducing carbon emissions, and building climate resilience all have a critical role to play in building more productive and healthy food systems and ensuring food security for everyone. While food is currently one of the biggestthreats toandvictims ofenvironmental change, the good news is that its also our best bet at bending the curves on health and sustainability. Thepreponderance of evidencesuggests that sustainably managed food production systems can actually support and enhance biodiversity and reduce carbon emissions. Incorporating a greater diversity of crops and integration of livestock, creating and maintaining well-connected habitat for associated biodiversity,practicing sustainable soil managementand reducing the use of synthetic inputs can increase biodiversity and ecosystem services without negatively affecting agriculture yields.

Changing diets is crucial for conserving biodiversity

Developments on the post-2020global biodiversity frameworksuggest that we need to promote agrobiodiversity both in our diets, as well as biodiversity more generally, in our production landscapes, thus managing the supply side and the demand side malpractices across the food systems. This means we must transition towards bio-diverse and sustainable diets that provide diverse multi-nutrition diets accessible for all, while also adopting nature-based solutions in agriculture and reducing food waste. Dietary change is a potent tool forreducing the pressure on land, enabling land to sustain both nature and more nature-positive farming. We believe this is possible for two main reasons:

1. At a global level, we produce more food than we need per capita. Approximately, 40 percent of the food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted, equal to more than 2.5 billion tons per year.For many people in more affluent societies, eating fewer total calories, but more diverse, plant-based foods and wasting less can radically reduce environmental footprints and yield significant health benefits. Whilst it is clear demand for food is growing, this is often stimulated by markets and increased population wealth, and evidence is rapidly accumulating that, at a societal level, eating less and better can be highly beneficial.

2. The environmental footprint of foodits associated land use, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and biodiversity impactvaries significantly from one type of food to the next. In general, the largest differences occur between animal-sourced and plant-sourced foods, with the latter having lower footprintsin some cases, substantially lower.

If we did not waste food, over-consume calories, or demand excessive amounts of the most environmentally damaging foods, and ate the right amount of the right sorts of food for our health, we would very significantly reduce our total demand for foodand with it, our total demand for land and other natural resources. This is particularly true in more developed countries and urban settings, though in some developing countries consumption of animal-sourced foods may need to increase to tackle burdens of undernutrition.

TheGlobal Biodiversity Outlook 5provides valuable lessons for facilitating systemic shifts towards sustainable food systems transition. Sustainable food transition implies that we must promote sustainable and healthy diets with a greater emphasis on a diversity of foods and nutrients, and more moderate consumption of meat and fish, as well as dramatic cuts in the waste involved in food supply and consumption.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to achieve the necessary shifts in our consumption patterns to restore global biodiversity. For example, while shifting to a more plant-based diet might work well for many western countries, it might be difficult at this time for many others.In fact, in some countries, consumption of animal-sourced foods may need to increase to tackle burdens of undernutrition. We must also recognize that food producers are valuable stewards of our land and waters, and many protect vital biodiversity. In all cases, we must work with deep cooperation and empathy to understand diverse perspectives and situations so that we can achieve healthy and sustainable diets for all while restoring the biodiversity that is fundamental to humanity.

*We use the term wildlife to refer to wildnon domesticatedplants and animals (including fungi and microbes) that contribute to the biodiversity in a place.

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Aug 31

The One Breakfast Food to Eat to Lower Your Blood Pressure, Says Dietitian | Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

You can make the so-called "most important meal of the day" really count for something if you get in the habit of eating certain foods for breakfast. And we're not just talking about healthy foods that nourish and energize your body so you can tackle the day at your best. Depending on what foods you decide you put on your plate, you can manage important aspects of your health, from your heart to your brain.

Specifically, if you're interested in managing your blood pressure, one way you can do that beyond eating a healthy diet, exercising, and keeping stress levels low is by eating one blood pressure-managing food at breakfast: amaranth. This ancient grain is rich in fiber and magnesium: two nutrients that have been linked to low blood pressure.

Before we get into how your diet can influence blood pressure, let's start with what blood pressure really is and how it's linked to your overall health:

"Your blood pressure is the telltale sign of how hard your heart is working to pump blood and oxygen throughout the body, and if your blood pressure is high, it means there's a lot more strain on your heart muscle," says registered dietitian Grace A. Derocha, RD, a national spokesperson with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, who has certifications in diabetes and heart disease prevention and management.

High blood pressure can foretell a related problem: stiff blood vessels. The more rigid your blood vessels, the harder your heart must work, and the combinationblood vessel rigidity and heart straincan increase the risk of plaque build-up (atherosclerosis), heart disease, and stroke.

"We want our blood vessels to be like yoga instructors, really flexible so they don't build up that plaque and further increase blood pressure," Derocha says.

Actually, there are lots of foods that'll help lower blood pressure, but if you want to start your day off with a powerful blood pressure reducer meal, here's your recipe for amaranth porridge.

Make a porridge of amaranth, an ancient grain, rich in fiber and blood pressure-lowering magnesium.

"One cup of cooked amaranth gives you 38% of your daily needs of magnesium," says Deroacha. "Studies show that magnesium is a relaxer of blood vessels. This mineral is lacking in the American diet because we don't eat enough fruits and vegetables, two or three servings at best when we should push 4 or 5. The people who live so long in some of those blue zone areas get 9 to 10 servings."

The fiber in the whole grain also helps to tamp down inflammation in the body, which can impact blood pressure. (Derocha combines steel-cut oats in her amaranth hot cereal for texture and taste; amaranth has a nutty flavor.)

Top that amaranth porridge with berries and pumpkin seeds. "Pumpkin seeds are a good source of the amino acid arginine that helps produce nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels," says Derocha: "The deep colors of berries come from anthocyanins that also help to increase nitric oxide."

Bananas are well known for lowering blood pressure because they're a good source of potassium, a mineral and electrolyte the relaxes the walls of the blood vessels. So, add them to your amaranth porridge if you wish, but you can get more potassium by making a smoothie with coconut water, says Derocha: "Coconut water has six times the amount of potassium in a banana." She recommends a smoothie or smoothie bowl made with coconut water and frozen fruit as a perfect blood-pressure-lowering breakfast when you're in a hurry.

Don't stop at breakfast for heart health. There are many powerful blood-pressure-lowering foods that can work into lunch or dinner. One of the best, says Derocha is Swiss chard, a leafy green rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium that studies suggest can prevent hypertension. Other good sources of potassium and magnesium are beans and lentils, which are also high in heart-healthy fiber.

Raw carrots should be on your bp-lowering food list, too. "They contain powerful plant chemicals. Beets contain nitrates. Broccoli is rich in magnesium. Celery has a phytochemical called phthalides that helps relax blood vessels. Tip: Add celery to soups. Research suggests celery might be better for blood pressure when cooked," Derocha notes.

With 23 years of helping people with high blood pressure improve their diets, Derocha knows the eating strategies that work best to lower BP. But before she tells us what to do, it's important to understand which foods cause blood pressure to rise and why.

The American Heart Association gave the worst food culprits a nickname: The Salty Six, the six common foods that are very high in sodium.

Sodium is essential to your health because it regulates the fluid balance in your body. But when you eat too much salt, it pulls more water into your blood vessels and, in turn, your bloodstream, increasing the volume of blood.

High blood volume increases pressure against the walls of your blood vessels. Over time, this elevated blood pressure injures blood vessels, encourages plaque buildup, and forces your heart to work extra hard to pump blood throughout your body.

The American Heart Association recommends we keep our sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day. For ballpark reference, you get nearly half that amount lunching on a Philly cheesesteak and fries. No wonder the average American consumes 3,400 mg of salt per day. It adds up. We love our salt. And so do food manufacturers, who pile it on for taste and its preservative power for extending shelf life. Restaurants are notorious for oversalting their offerings, too. Beware of these 10 Saltiest Restaurant Foods in America.

"The Salty Six are mostly processed foods," says Derocha. "When life gets in the way, we reach for convenience foods." And that can get us in trouble.

Avoiding those salty foods will help reduce high blood pressure, if you have it, she says. But you can do more by replacing them with foods that contain compounds clinically proven to drive down blood pressure and improve the health of your blood vessels.

(For more details and an infographic, visit Heart.org.)

While food choice is a strong weapon against high blood pressure, it's not the only one in your arsenal. Read on for advice from doctors on Proven Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure Now, especially during the pandemic.

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