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I Hate to Break It To You, But There Is No “Best Diet” for Fat Loss

I Hate to Break It To You, But There Is No “Best Diet” for Fat Loss

Searching for the elusive “best diet” for fat loss is like hunting for magical unicorns, because it doesn’t exist. If you doubt me, just think about all of the conflicting advice you’ve heard about healthy eating. First, fat was the devil; then healthy fat was okay (trans fat not so much), but watch out for those carbs; and can someone please tell me if eggs are healthy or not – final answer – anybody?

Funny thing, though: what constitutes the “best diet” for fat loss is more hotly debated than ever before.

In one corner, we have followers of the paleo diet, who won’t eat anything if it isn’t all natural. In the other, we have vegetarians who don’t eat meat; vegans who extend that ban to all animal-based products; and pescetarians, who are almost vegetarians but not quite because eating fish is okay in their book. And then there’s folks with a disposition for counting: the calorie-counters, IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros), point systems like Weight Watchers—you get the idea. With so much noise and so little clarity, it’s no surprise you feel overwhelmed by it all.

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What can you do? Tune out the noise and do what’s right for you.

What you eat should be determined by your needs—not somebody else’s opinion. I can’t identify the absolute best foods for you because I don’t know you. I can’t give you a “best diet” for fat loss because there’s not one. But I can help you become a mindful eater who is more aware of food’s influence on your body, mood, and feelings.

Will you try something for me? It’ll be super productive (and fun!). Start a food diary starting today (or tomorrow if you happen to be burning the midnight oil while you read this). Write down every meal, snack, and beverage you consume for the next month. Include any relevant details like:

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  • Your surroundings (are you eating in a restaurant or at home?)
  • How you felt after eating (did your meal make you feel fulfilled and energetic or lethargic and sluggish?)
  • A rating from 1-10 describing how much you enjoyed your meal

I would be willing to wager you’ll discover that natural, healthy foods like fruits and veggies make you feel a whole lot better than processed stuff. This should come as no surprise, but keeping a diary detailing your relationship with food will make it more difficult to dodge this reality.

For those of you thinking, “I just want you to tell me what to do!”

I wish I could tell you exactly what to do, but it’s quite impossible. Could I offer more precise detail if we sat down over coffee to chat about your needs, goals, lifestyle, potential food allergies, and personal preferences? Certainly. But we don’t have that luxury; we’re telepathically communicating VIA this article (which I’m so happy you’re reading, thank you for being here).

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The PointAnyone who claims their diet is THE best diet for fat loss is full of crap. There are too many variables at play for me or anybody else to claim we have it all figured out.

Access the wisdom of your Inner Nutritionist.

Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating and author of “the Slow Down Diet” often refers to the inner nutritionist, which is a helpful guide available to every last one of us. Your inner nutritionist tells you all kinds of things: when you’re hungry, when you’re full, how different foods impact your mood, energy, and body in a variety of ways.

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You might be thinking, “That sounds way too easy, it can’t be that simple.” Valid response, but riddle me thisare you in full control of your eating decisions or do external cues influence what you eat? By “external cues,” I mean things like:

  • How stressful your day was
  • Who you’re eating out with
  • The amount of food available

Your inner nutritionist doesn’t care about any of that stuff. She just wants you to nourish your body with the foods that make you feel energetic, fulfilled, and happy. Begin your food diary today. Writing about your relationship with food will help you get in touch with your inner nutritionist, who will lead you to success if you let her.

There is no “best diet” that every single person should follow. Eat according to your needs (not somebody else’s opinion). Start your food diary today. After every meal, ask yourself: “Am I nourishing my body or am I depriving it?” Answer honestly and adjust as necessary.

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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