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10 Ways to Boost Your Weight Loss Productivity

10 Ways to Boost Your Weight Loss Productivity

How productive are you in your most commonly inhabited environments? For most of us, this is either work or home. By making sure that your surroundings are conducive to healthy decisions and actions, you can boost your weight loss productivity and really entrench healthy habits and a healthy living mindset. Here are some ideas for your office and your home.

Home

Reorganise your pantry. One of the first things I did when I started losing weight was clear all the crap out of my pantry. Believe me, just not having it there makes a huge difference–we’ve all mindlessly chewed our way through a whole pack of biscuits without actually being starving hungry to begin with.

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Make treats hard to get. Try to reach a stage where it is possible to have treats in the house without needing to eat them all at once. It’s important not to deprive yourself of everything that you love! Just try making it difficult to access in order to lessen the temptation to eat it–put that pack of biscuits right at the top of your tallest cupboard.

Make your workout clothes accessible. If they are easy to grab and throw on, you can start making that mental adjustment when it comes to exercise, turning it from something you don’t like to something you might actually enjoy.

Get some home workout equipment. Working out at home is easy, cheap and fun. It’s also a great opportunity to practise moves you’re not sure about or feel too self-conscious to attempt in a gym or park. Buy some dumbbells and an exercise mat and stash them in a corner of your living room–by making it easy to do some exercise at home, you’re more likely to give it a go.

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Hang up some motivating photos or outfits. Maybe you’ve got a pair of beloved jeans you want to fit into again, or a photo of yourself 10 kilos smaller that’s really motivating you to lose weight. Put those things–things that form part of your motivational toolkit–somewhere prominent, so you’re always being reminded of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

Work

Get moving. Visit the toilet that’s one level up from you in your office building, go and stand outside to get some air, take phone calls standing up–every hour or so, if you can, do something that makes you get up from your desk and move around.

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Drink glasses of water. Aside from the obvious health benefits of drinking lots of water, refilling a glass several times a day is a good way to get up from your desk regularly–water also helps keep hunger at bay.

Stock up on healthy snacks. Avoid the vending machine temptation and fill a drawer with things like raw nuts so you’ve got something healthy to snack on. Go one step further and pack yourself little portions of nuts so that you don’t end up chowing down on a whole bag!

Fill the work fridge with healthy lunch foods. If you’ve got access to a work fridge, fill it with healthy lunch ingredients–cottage cheese, avocado, lean protein–so you can make yourself a healthy lunch at work.

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Ask for a standing desk. These are becoming more common and widely available, and they’re a great solution to the increasingly talked about health risks of sitting down all day. Chat to your boss or HR and see if you can get one–and if you can’t, then try to move around at work as much as you can.

Make your environment conducive to healthy behaviour, and it will naturally follow. It’s productive, it’s practical and it’s easy!

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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