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4 of the Worst Foods to Eat When You’re Trying to Lose Weight

4 of the Worst Foods to Eat When You’re Trying to Lose Weight

Although physical activity has many proven benefits, new studies reveal that eating right is the foundation for successful weight loss.  For instance, if you reduce your daily calorie intake by 500 than you expend you are going to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories in a week which will lead you to lose one pound. On the other hand, if you aim to lose the same amount of weight in a weeks time through exercise alone, you have to walk everyday for about 3.5 hours at a speed of 2 mph. Hence, it is justifiable to say that watching what you eat is a lot more effective than working out if you aim to lose weight.

Eating right could mean different things to different people. But generally, it means eating healthy, balanced meals as suggested by the USDA Food Guide. More specifically, eating right means letting real, natural foods such as vegetables, fruits, and proteins as well as complex carbohydrates make up most of your daily food intake.

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The 4 worst foods when you’re trying to lose weight

All the while, you should be avoiding foods that offer empty calories or no nutritional value. There are a lot of these types of food out there — but here are some of the worst.

1. Soda

Soda is said to be the leading source of empty calories. It is filled with nothing but sugar and offers absolutely no nutritional value. In short, it fills your body with a great deal of calories but zero nutrition. If you drink soda on a regular basis, you will be susceptible to gaining weight. See for instance, a can or 330 ml of Coke contains around 160 calories. This means that if you drink one can of Coke every single day, you will end up with 4800 extra calories or 1.4lbs at the end of a month and 57,600 extra calories or 16.8lbs in a year.

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    2. Alcohol

    If you want to lose weight fast, you need to stay away from all the booze. Like soda, alcohol also contains only empty calories and has no nutritional value. It does not in any way satisfy your appetite or give you the feeling of fullness, so it does not keep you from eating less food but still adds a sizable amount of calories to your diet. They also have this tendency of loosening up your resolve to lose weight and make you eat without thinking. And lastly, being a depressant, alcohol slows down your metabolism. Drinking a can of beer is like gulping down the same amount of calories you get when you eat 3 whole apples.

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    3. Trans Fat

    Trans fat, which is found in many fried and processed foods, is said to be the worst form of fat. Studies reveal that a person whose calorie consumption is composed of 8% calories from trans fat is bound to gain 7.2 percent increase in body weight in 8 years time. Trans fat does not only trigger weight gain but also cause fat from other regions of the body to be transferred and stored to the abdominal region. The best way to avoid trans fat is to keep away from processed food. When buying products, check the label or ingredient list for words like partially hydrogenated, hydrogenated,  high stearate, and stearic rich.

    4. Refined Grains

    Basically, refined grains include white flour, white bread, white rice, white pasta and their derivatives. These are what nutritionists often label as “bad carbohydrates.” They are termed as such because they are mostly responsible for many people’s weight gain and are also associated with many degenerative diseases. Refined grains are stripped of their fiber and nutritional contents as they are processed, leaving only sugar, starch and an enriched taste. Starch and sugar tend to get converted to fat and stored in the body; hence, making people fat. If you want to lose weight without totally eliminating grains from your diet, go for whole grains or whole grain products.

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    Featured photo credit: Refreshing Brown Soda via Shutterstock and inline photo by Dov Harrington via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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    Last Updated on June 20, 2019

    Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

    Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

    There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

    More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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    Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

    You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

    During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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    Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

    Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

    The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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    This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

    Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

    The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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    This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

    This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

    Conclusion

    While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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    Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

    Reference

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