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10 Quick and Healthy Shaving Tips For Busy People

10 Quick and Healthy Shaving Tips For Busy People

Shaving each day can get a bit annoying. No wonder many guys end up growing a beard. But hey, it could be worse.

Women will often shave their legs and armpits before they leave the house, and guys just have to worry about shaving their faces. OK, so some women might also need to shave their faces, but no judgement.

And OK, some guys might like shaving their legs and armpits, and again, no judgement.

A too-quick shave can be a recipe for disaster, or at least a recipe for a shredded and bloody face. There are quite a few ways to streamline your shaving so that you don’t waste time when you don’t have to, without sacrificing quality.

So what are these amazing healthy shaving tips that are perfect for busy people?

Shower and Shave

Shave, then shower. This is probably the way you do it, right? It shouldn’t be. Hot water softens the hairs of your beard, making them easier to remove with the razor. This is not exactly news. But it’s weird that so many guys shave and then shower, when the heat of the shower makes your facial hair so much softer than hot water from the faucet can.

So take a shower, and then shave. The hairs on your face become about as soft as possible, and your razor can then slice them off like a hot knife through butter. Making the shave as easy as possible reduces the chance of any post-shave redness and irritation, so hopefully you won’t have to clean up any cuts. But just in case…

Bleeding After You Shave

Yeah, it happens no matter how careful you might be. The super-quick shave is never a good idea since you often waste a lot of time tearing off tiny squares of toilet paper and sticking them to your cuts. This method actually works, although only when you don’t need to leave the house anytime soon. If you’re in a hurry, use a small amount of antiperspirant deodorant on your face.

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It sounds weird, but seriously it works.

Antiperspirant deodorants contain aluminium chloride which clogs your pores (which is how it reduces your sweating).

A cut is not a clog, but it has the same general effect and will stop the bleeding much more quickly than an untreated cut. Chapstick/lip balm works, but only those in the waxy tubular form, not the moisturizing gels. The wax forms a small seal over the cut which keeps it clean while the blood forms a clot.

It doesn’t look so pretty, but is efficient for stopping the bleeding.

Post-Shaving Bumps

Sadly, pimples aren’t always a teenage problem. Adult post-shaving bumps or pimples aren’t generally due to excess skin oil combining with dead skin cells and forming a clog, but are more likely to be ingrown hairs. Shaving scrapes a minute amount of surface skin off along with your facial hair, which makes your skin start to heal itself.

Sometimes a freshly cut hair follicle can become trapped under the surface as this healing process takes place. It will begin to curl around and grow inwards, causing that damn annoying shaving bump. You can squeeze it like a pimple, but this is never a good idea.

Remember when you were a teenager and you squeezed your zits? It usually took several days to look OK again. You can gently scrape the skin with a pair of clean tweezers to reveal the hair.

Don’t pull it, as the problem will start all over again.

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Just gently tease it until it’s growing outwards again. You can also just see your pharmacist for some decent anti acne cream, as it will also work on pimples caused by ingrown hairs.

If the bumps are red and irritated, get a topical hydrocortisone cream as this has strong anti-inflammatory properties.

Is Aftershave Necessary?

Well, yes and no. Aftershave splash will clean your skin and reduce the chance of infection, and aftershave balm will soothe your skin to reduce the chance of irritation. You should make use of one or the other, and a balm is best.

It keeps your skin moisturized, so you are less likely to have redness after shaving. Aftershave splashes often dry out your skin and can do more harm than good with prolonged usage.

Coconut Oil: Your New Shaving Buddy

You’re going to find coconut oil in the food section instead of where the grooming products are kept. Try frying with it because it’s amazingly delicious. But use it on your face as well (just so long as your get the virgin coconut oil with no additives). It’s ultra hydrating and so will soften your facial hair surprisingly well. Just use it as you would a standard shaving cream.

It’s somewhat less pliable than cream, but it won’t harden unless you store it in the fridge. Its intensive moisturizing properties means that it works well as an aftershave balm, as well as having anti-aging uses too. So get ready to be well-shaved, look younger, and smell slightly of coconut.

Straighten Up Your Shave

Straight razors seem to have gone the way of the dinosaur and Coldplay’s musical credibility. This is a pity because there’s something undeniably cool about shaving with a straight razor that folds discreetly back into its handle. The protection of the handle keeps the blade clean and sharp, and it’s easy enough to sharpen it, much like you would a knife.

This means that a good-quality straight razor can last you for years. It takes a bit of effort to learn how to do it, so you should carefully read the instructions and watch a few online training videos.

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Also be prepared for a not-so-close shave the first few times as you get used to using the blade at the correct 30-degree angle.

Are You with Us or Against Us?

Yeah, shaving with the grain (the direction the hair grows in) is best. The hair comes off way more easily, and this generally results in less irritation. But for a super-close shave you can easily shave against the grain without troubling your skin too much. Just shave as you normally would (with the grain), and then repeat the operation while shaving against the grain.

The vast majority of the hair is already gone, so you’re slicing off the minute amount that remains. If you shave with the grain, and then against it, you will get a brilliantly close shave without irritation.

Having said that, a super-close shave makes it more likely that you will get ingrown hairs.

So be sure to exfoliate your face using a cream designed for the purpose, and don’t shave against the grain too often.

Do You Even Need Shaving Cream?

Shaving with a disposable safety razor or a straight razor? Then yes, you need shaving cream (or some kind of lubrication, but more about that shortly). A dry shave with a manual razor just isn’t worth the effort.

The only safe dry shave is using an electric razor, and this really is a matter of personal preference. You can get some types of waterproof electric razors that allow you to shave with shaving cream, but this really is overkill.

Banish Post-Shaving Irritation

A little bit of redness can be expected, particularly when you shave in a hurry. So you need to get rid of it in a hurry! A warm compress will quickly banish that redness, so just use a washcloth that has been soaked in hot water (not too hot). Wring it out and hold it against your skin for 30 seconds or so. Tea tree oil is also great.

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It can tingle a little, so if this is annoying to you just dilute it with a little water.

It has antiseptic properties too so it will keep your skin clean. Allow enough time for it to be absorbed into your skin before you leave the house, otherwise you might look a little bit shiny. A tiny amount of that coconut oil will also do wonders when it comes to getting rid of post-shaving irritation.

For When You Don’t Have (or Want) Shaving Cream

It’s not like shaving creams and gels are some sort of scam, but it’s not as though you need them. They’re just the easiest option.

You do need some sort of lubricant when you use a manual razor, so try using coconut oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, baby oil, hair conditioner, shea butter, moisturizing body lotion, or aloe vera gel.

When using oils or gels, you usually only need a tiny amount. Don’t go overboard as your skin will become slippery and it’s easier to cut yourself.

Featured photo credit: http://stokpic.com/ via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on November 15, 2019

Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

Wouldn’t you like to be able to eat twice as much as you do now without gaining weight? If so, I have good news for you because this is possible when you learn how to increase metabolism.

How Much Do You Know About Metabolism?

Before we get to the meat, let me say that metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body.[1] These chemical reactions keep your body alive and functioning, however, the word metabolism is often used interchangeably with the metabolic rate or the number of calories you burn.

The metabolic rate is a rough estimate of how much energy your body needs to simply stay alive and perform all its biochemical reactions. These reactions require energy, aka burn calories.

Imagine that your brain alone consumes nearly 20% of your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure at rest),[2] your digestion and the detoxifying system come second, repairing tissues third and so on.

Staying alive is expensive for your body and its two main currencies are fats and sugars.

When I am talking about improving your metabolic rate (metabolism), I mean improving the amount of energy, your body requires to (pretty much) lay down in bed and do nothing for 24 hours.

Extra physical activity, extra thinking or fighting illness are things that require a lot of energy (burn a lot of calories) but they don’t really increase metabolism… actually they can decrease it.

Can You Naturally Change the Speed of Your Basal Metabolism?

The answer to this question is yes and you can also achieve an increase in metabolism and a drop in body fat by eating more.

Shocked? Well, I was too.

The way I came across this phenomenon is quite funny. Over my 10 years as a coach, I helped many busy professionals to naturally increase their metabolism by getting them leaner, fitter and stronger but, at the beginning of my career, I actually had no idea whether they were losing weight because of an increase in metabolism or because we created a calorie deficit with diet and exercise.

When I was training my clients regularly, they would lose weight. Every time I would take a few weeks of vacation, I would come back to London and find out that most of them gained back a generous amount of weight despite the fact that they were following their diet and they swapped our weight training sessions with cardio.

On the contrary, when they were going on vacation, they would do zero exercises and binge like there was no tomorrow but come back either lighter or weighing the same (but looking more muscular).

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Observing this phenomenon happening over and over again, got me curious about the mechanics of our metabolism and the ways to hack it.

Was it really possible that by relaxing and eating more food, someone could actually maintain his/her current weight or even be losing fat?

Driven by the desire to answer this question, I spent a good amount of years researching and testing different food strategies until I finally cracked the code to an improved metabolism that allows you to eat like a king and look like a Greek God.

Does Eating More Increase Metabolism?

Before I explain why eating more increases your metabolism, let me dig into something that I see people doing much more often: “eating less and moving more.”

It is quite common to see people embarking their yearly weight loss journey (usually after Christmas or Easter) by following very restrictive diets and bombarding their body with several hours of exercise per day.

Despite the short-term effectiveness of this approach, in the long run, if the goal is to increase metabolism and lose a lot of fat over an extended period of time, this simply won’t work.

As I have mentioned before, eating fewer calories and exercising more are energy-consuming activities for your body. In the first case, your body needs to use its own energy reserves to top up the missing energy it needs to fully function; and in the second, it takes your body extra energy to contract your muscles.

In both cases, your TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure at rest) doesn’t vary much; therefore your metabolism stays unchanged.[3]

A different scenario happens when you eat less and move more for an extended period of time (weeks or months). In that case, your metabolism will slow down because your body is receiving a “we have little access to food and we need to run away from threats” signal.

Your metabolism is like your bank account.

To understand this concept, let’s imagine that you have $4,000 coming into your bank account each and every month. The money you spend on housing, transport, food and leisure are calibrated according to this monthly income.

Now, imagine that a rich uncle starts to send you $1,000 each day. What would you do? Probably, you would save that money for the first two or three days but, when you notice that $1,000 keep on coming every single day, you would likely start to spend more right?

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What if, instead of a rich uncle sending you money, a poor uncle needed your financial help to pay for the treatments of his illness? You would probably try your best to adjust your spending according to your old $4,000 monthly budget.

That’s exactly how your body reasons:

More Resources Coming in = More Energy Released (Improved Metabolism)

Fewer Resources Coming in = Less Energy Released (Decreased Metabolism)

Note that activities like weight training[4] and high-intensity interval training (HIIT),[5] when combined with an increase in nutrient-rich foods, will also improve your metabolism.

For this reason, today, when I coach a new client, I always start by increasing their daily food intake and their physical activities. Usually, people are quite confused because they come to me to lose weight and I tell them to eat more but, without fail, the next weekly weight-check shows a lower number.

Be aware that not all foods are equal and only certain foods have the power to increase metabolism to a noticeable extent.

Foods That Increase Metabolism

Doubling up on Snickers bars won’t improve your metabolism and you know that. What you may not know is that certain foods that are marked as “healthy” doesn’t help you with increasing your metabolism. They also make you gain weight.

Before giving you a list of foods to eat or avoid, let me explain a simple principle of human biochemistry.

Your body uses energy from three (or four) main sources:

  • Sugars: whether you eat a Snickers bar or a banana, the carbohydrates contained in both get absorbed in the gut and become blood glucose (the basic form of sugar our body utilizes as a source of energy).[6]
    When blood glucose is present in the bloodstream (elevated levels), the body always uses it as its primary source of energy. When blood glucose levels drop (this phenomenon happens when you’re using these sugars to fuel a physical activity or when your pancreas produced a spike of insulin and stores that glucose into fat and muscles), your body starts to release fatty acids into the bloodstream to use as a source of energy.
  • Fatty acids: either from your own fat cells (adipocytes) or from whatever fat-containing foods you ate in the past 2-3 hours. Fatty acids are a slower and more consistent form of energy than sugars that your body can utilise.
  • Amino acids: Amino acids are the broken-down form of proteins. Proteins cannot be used by the body as a source of energy, not even in their broken-down form. Your body can transform amino acids into glucose with a process called gluconeogenesis.[7] This is a very inefficient process where a decent amount of energy gets wasted (and that’s a good thing for us but I’ll get to that later).
  • Ketones: when you don’t feed your body any source of carbs (or proteins in excess), your liver produces an alternative source of energy called Ketones. It can replace the need for glucose (most of it at least).[8]

Now that you know the four energy sources the body can use to fuel its metabolism, let’s get to the meat (quite literally).

To make this simple for you, I am going to divide foods into three categories:

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  1. Red Flags – Avoid the red foods because they slow your metabolism. They are usually extremely low in micronutrients and high in antinutrients (agents that are highly toxic). They are highly processed or spike your insulin levels (therefore stopping your fat burning process).
  2. Orange Foods – Limit your consumption of orange foods. The orange foods on the list are suboptimal choices but they don’t have a negative impact on your metabolism when consumed in moderation. In fact, they contain a decent amount of micronutrients and, if eaten in small amounts, they shouldn’t stop your fat burning process.
  3. Green Foods – These are foods to consume most. Green foods will improve your metabolism and should be the main bulk of your diet.

Next, I’ll get into details exactly what foods to eat and avoid:

Sugars and Carbs

Sugars do not directly improve metabolism because they stop the process of fat utilisation. There is an exception to this rule though. When you eat a diet extremely low in carbohydrates and sugars for an extended period of time (two to six days onwards), introducing carbohydrates and sugars can actually improve metabolism quite a bit.

Unfortunately, for most of us that love eating bread, pasta, fruit and yoghurt, unless we were on a low-carb diet for the past few days, these foods are not an optimal choice.

Sugars like fructose (found in fruit or commercial sugar) actually decrease metabolism and should be limited. Heavily processed sugars and carbohydrates should be also limited. Here is the colour list of sugars and carbs that affect metabolism:

Red Flag Sugary Foods You Should Avoid:
  • Dried fruit
  • Commercial and packaged corn
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • All sorts of candies and lookalike
  • Packaged fruit juices and purees
  • Sugary dairy products like flavoured yoghurt, condensed milk etc
Orange Sugary Foods You Should Limit:
  • Bread and flour-based products
  • Milk and also vegan milk alternatives that are sweetened
  • Most fruit (exceptions are in the green list below)
  • Potatoes and potato starch products
  • Oatmeals and other grains
Green Sugary and Carb-Containing Foods That Improve Metabolism
  • All berries except strawberries
  • Tubers like squash, carrots, parsnips etc
  • Sweet potatoes
  • White rice
  • All green vegetables

Fats

Fatty acids and fats, in general, can improve or decrease metabolism depending on their composition.

Red Flag Fatty Foods You Should Avoid:
  • Margarine and hydrogenated fat
  • Lard
  • Gmo oils
  • Most vegetable oils from seeds and peanut oil
Orange Fatty Foods You Should Limit:
  • Nuts
  • Meat fat
  • Nut oils (macadamia, almond, cashew etc..)
  • Seeds
Green Fatty Foods You Should Eat Daily
  • Extra virgin olive oil (non-heated)
  • Avocado
  • Coconut oil
  • Butter (organic)
  • Egg yolks (free-range)
  • Bone marrow

The fatty foods in the green section tend to be very effective in increasing metabolism, especially in the absence of carbohydrates because they stimulate the production of ketones (I’ll talk about this later).

Bear in mind that 1 gram of fat has 2.5 times the calories of a gram of protein or carbohydrates; therefore “eating more fats” to increase metabolism should be done very gradually to avoid weight gain.

Proteins

Eating food not only sends regulatory signals to your brain about abundance vs scarcity of resources, but it can also increase your metabolism for a few hours. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF).[9] It’s caused by the extra calories required to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meal.

Protein causes the largest rise in TEF.[10] It increases your metabolic rate by 15-30%, compared to 5-10% for carbs and 0-3% for fats

Eating protein has also been shown to help you feel more full and prevent you from overeating, in fact, a study found that people were likely to eat around 441 fewer calories per day when protein made up 30% of their diet.[11]

Also, proteins help preserve muscle mass.[12] The more muscle mass we have, the higher our basal metabolism is.

For these reasons, the first nutritional advice I usually give to clients is to reduce sugars and increase proteins. This quick swap is often enough to kickstart their metabolism and commence the fat burning process.

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Red Protein Sources That Should Be Avoided
  • Cheap whey proteins
  • Soy proteins
  • GMO meat
  • GMO eggs
  • Packaged meat
Orange Protein Source to Be Limited
  • Canned tuna
  • Canned fish
  • Canned meat
  • Gluten-rich products like Seitan
  • Farmed fish
Green Protein Sources to Have Daily
  • Free-range meat
  • Free-range eggs
  • Wild meat and fish
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Collagen and beef protein hydrolyzed

Note that this is a general categorisation of the foods that, when added to your diet, have the power to increase or decrease metabolism. There are some specific foods and supplements worth mentioning because they have been proven to improve metabolism by increasing thyroid output or resting heart rate, they are as follows.

Other Foods and Supplements

Cold water

Drinking water may temporarily speed up your metabolism. Studies have shown that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 litres) of water increases resting metabolism by 10-30% for about an hour.[13]

This is not a surprise since our body is made up mainly by water and proper hydration is key to a fast metabolism. This calorie-burning effect may be even greater if you drink cold water, as your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature.

MCT Oils or Powders

Medium-chain triglycerides or MCT have been shown to improve metabolism by stimulating Ketone production.[14] Coconut oil contains MCT fats and, when used as a replacement for cooking oil can help you improve metabolism.

You can buy the concentrated version of MCT oils and eat it separately to further enhance this effect. Either way, coconut oil or pure MCT oil can be a great addition to your diet if you’re following a ketogenic or intermittent fasting protocol.

Caffeine

Caffeine and coffee have been shown to improve metabolism by improving heart rate and, therefore improving calorie consumption.[15]

Green Tea

Green tea

is thought to increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation, and to reduce fat production and absorption.[16]

Bottom Line

In this article, I just covered the basics of food and metabolism but, there are many other non-food related things you can do to improve your metabolism, like improving your sleep quality and following certain exercise routines.

For now, just know that making small and gradual changes to your diet can increase your metabolism and improve your general health. Starting from changing one habit at a time is always the best strategy to accomplish any goal.

Once you improve your diet, your hydration and your supplementation you can think about testing more advanced “bio-hacks” or techniques like ice baths and fasted HIIT training.

And remember, having a higher metabolism doesn’t only help you lose weight and keep it off but it also give you more energy and a feeling of vibrancy. If you give it time, it really is worth the investment.

Featured photo credit: Fitsum Admasu via unsplash.com

Reference

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