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Simple Carbs Are Linked To Infertility, Study Finds

Simple Carbs Are Linked To Infertility, Study Finds

What are simple carbs?

Simple carbs are forms of carbohydrates that are quickly digested and moved into the blood stream as various forms of sugar, usually glucose. Simple carbs are often highly processed. For example, white pasta and French bread are two common foods that are considered to be high in simple carbs. They are made from wheat which has been subjected to refining processes that strip away a high proportion of their natural fiber and other nutrients. Whole grain foods take longer to be broken down by the body and are sometimes referred to as “complex carbohydrates” or “slow carbs.”

You may already know that simple carbs are not good for digestive health. They tend to lack fiber and so relying on them as a primary source of carbohydrates can leave you at increased risk of constipation and digestive discomfort. Ingesting too many simple carbs can also cause blood sugar levels to crash, resulting in symptoms such as irritability, tiredness and strong cravings for yet more simple carbs. Simple carbs also tend to be high in calories yet contain little by way of nutrition, meaning that a diet high in these kinds of foods puts you at risk of unwanted weight gain.

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The link between simple carbs and fertility

In addition to these considerations, there is also a connection between simple carbs and fertility you should be aware of if you are trying to become pregnant. When your body ingests a simple carb, it rapidly breaks it down into sugars. This triggers the pancreas to release insulin so that the amount of sugar in the bloodstream can be regulated.

If you consume simple carbs on a frequent basis, you are likely to have high levels of insulin circulating in your bloodstream. This can impair a woman’s ability to ovulate on a regular basis because insulin encourages the production of abnormally high levels of male hormones in the ovaries. This hormonal disruption can drastically lower a woman’s fertility.

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Research looking at the dietary habits and fertility of 18,000 women carried out by those behind the large-scale Nurses’ Health Study concluded that whole grains, healthy fats and lean proteins are helpful for women looking to get pregnant. Making dietary changes will not help every woman who is struggling to get pregnant, because fertility is caused by a lack of ovulation (also known as “anovulation”) in a quarter of cases. If you have been trying to conceive for over a year and have not become pregnant despite making significant lifestyle changes, it is important to consult with a medical professional in order to uncover the underlying reason behind your infertility. However, a significant minority of women may find that changing the foods they eat may bring them the result they want.

Moreover, eating fewer simple carbs will help you feel more energized in general, which is important throughout pregnancy and beyond. Even if you require additional medical help in order to conceive, eating a healthier diet is always a smart move.

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Make sensible dietary swaps to increase your chances of conceiving

As a first step in improving your diet and increasing your chances of a natural conception, consider swapping your favorite processed carbohydrates for some more wholesome alternatives. Try whole-wheat bread instead of white versions and cauliflower rice in place of white rice, for example.

If you dislike the taste or texture of whole grain foods, remember that it can take time to retrain your taste buds. Start by including whole grain foods with one meal of the day and building from there. If you like to eat toast for breakfast, you could begin by swapping white bread for a whole grain variety. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is another great way to control your blood sugar levels and regulate the amount of insulin circulating in your body.

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More by this author

Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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