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4 Healthy Ways to Lose Your Excess Weight Without Losing Your Mind

4 Healthy Ways to Lose Your Excess Weight Without Losing Your Mind

Take a step down any magazine aisle or bookstore and one of the first things you will notice is a wealth of literature containing weight loss tips and tricks. For the past few decades, Americans have become obsessed with trying to find the newest and most effective fast track to weight loss; be it a super food, magic pill, a sweat-inducing workout video or even surgery. However, everyone’s body is different.

How many different ways can there really be to “melt fat” and attain the physique we desire? Forget everything you thought you knew and learn the truth behind what’s hindering us from realizing our goals.

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1. Clearly outline your lifestyle change so that you can accurately track and monitor your compliance.

If we don’t set rules and guidelines, it will prove difficult to stay committed to a plan for more than a few days or so. This causes constant “failures” which can be discouraging and lead to abandoning the regimen altogether. Know what foods you will allow yourself to eat freely, regularly, moderately, and sparingly.

We’ve all heard it before, but it’s worth repeating; don’t quit your favorite foods cold turkey. By allowing yourself a “cheat meal” or two throughout the week, not only are you satiating your craving,s but the occasional curve ball to your metabolism can actually contribute to more optimal function

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2. Know the right foods to eat and which to eliminate.

Don’t fall for fad diets or any other weight loss plan that aren’t sustainable. Even if you are lucky enough to lose a few pounds, you will likely gain them back once you inevitably succumb to temptation. Recent research is finding multiple flaws in conventional thinking revealing that fat is not the enemy and that carbohydrates really are the biggest contributor to obesity and other health conditions. Fat does not store in the body as fat, it actually metabolizes relatively easily. Carbohydrates however; cannot be broken down by the body to be used as fuel readily. Your body must produce insulin in order to convert those carbs into glucose (sugar) for energy, but when our body cannot burn the sugar quickly enough, it stores them for later use. The problem is, when it is stored it doesn’t make us feel full, so we typically eat again and again constantly storing more and more as fat while burning less and less. This is more evident when we eat Chinese food and feel hungry 30 minutes later.

This spike in our blood sugar level leads to overproduction of insulin and more fat being stored. This perpetual cycle not only causes weight gain, but also creates insulin resistance; our cell’s resistance to storing glucose. Our bodies respond to this by producing more insulin to combat this resistance, often causing type 2 diabetes. Limit your carbs, especially those higher on the glycemic index. Be wary of foods labeled as “fat free” because fat free often means it may be rich in carbs and/or sugars which turn into fat in our bodies.The best way to feel full quicker and to stay full longer is to balance each and every meal. Try to include a fat, protein, dairy, fiber rich whole grains (not whole wheat) and as much “color” (fruits and vegetables) as you wish.

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By adding all of these foods to every meal, we feel full quicker. Our stomachs tell our brain we are full either when we have eaten a lot of calories, or when we eat a large volume of food. When we eat a lot of calories, we become full with less food in our stomach. This is great for reducing hunger pains quickly, but because there is little food to process, just empty calories, we’ll be going back for more before long. When we actually fill our stomachs with food by eating lower calorie or higher nutritionally dense foods such as vegetables, berries, nuts, and proteins, we will sustain that fullness for a longer time.

3. Learn to accept fat

Limit carbs everything else becomes common sense. By reading nutrition labels for sugar and carbohydrate content, our decisions can be made much simpler. The surest way to lose weight and enhance your health is to eat as raw as possible. The more processed a food is, the more expensive and unhealthy it usually becomes.

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Shop primarily from the perimeter of a grocery store, those are the perishable items which typically means fresher and less processed. This way, we are stocking our kitchen with the best our grocery stores have to offer and ridding our freezers and pantries of processed packaged meals.

4. Finally, remember that you are human

We all make mistakes and occasionally relax our standards to some degree. If you cheat, listen to your inner New Yorker and forget about it. Remember how you great you felt the day before and move on. The war is won over the long term and a few slips here and there won’t sabotage your agenda unless you allow it to and give up.

Losing weight can feel out of reach for many of us, but if we invest some consideration, accountability and abandon hopes of a miracle pill, it can be within reach. By utilizing some of the advice within this article paired with common sense – a slimmer waistline may be  just one good call away.

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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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