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Not Losing Weight? Listen Up!

Not Losing Weight? Listen Up!


    You’ve been watching what you eat for weeks, but you can’t seem to get the scale to budge.

    To rev up your metabolism and get the process started of losing weight, you might want to take a better look at what you’re putting in your mouth.

    SEE ALSO: The Top 10 iPhone Apps for Losing Weight and Getting in Shape

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    But it’s not all about the food.

    Let’s dive in and help you shed those unwanted pounds…shall we?

    It’s time to get clean

    While we’ve all been told to check the labels, foods that require labels are processed, and processed foods can be poison to a diet plan. While low-fat granola bars and fuel-packed protein bars might have their place in an emergency (like hiking the Appalachian Trail, where there’s not a salad bar in sight), in the real world eating “clean” is the way to go.

    That means eating foods as close to their natural state as possible is the best for losing weight – fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats and healthy fats. Keep the empty calories of processed foods out of the shopping cart. Instead, opt for foods in their natural state and not in a wrapper.

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    Get Off the Couch

    Are you a couch potato, crashing after a day of work with a marathon session of your favorite TV show rather than a walk around the block?

    The key to successful weight loss is torching more calories than you take in, so couch potatoes will have a tougher time dropping pounds.That’s not to say you need to channel your inner Arnold Schwarzenegger…hmmm, bad example, to successfully lose weight. You just need to recognize that exercise is a great way to burn extra calories and will help you have a better shot at seeing the numbers on the scale drop.

    Take a walk, head to the park for a game of Frisbee or revisit your childhood and tune up that bike so you can hit the road for a burst of cardio your body will appreciate. The biggest perk is that the added activity will likely lead you to try new forms of exercise, and could inspire you to hit the gym to bust some weightlifting moves that will give your metabolism an added boost.

    Keep Your Cool

    Living on the edge with high stress levels and a constant anxiety can wreak havoc on even the best of diets and your process of losing weight.

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    Stress results in a flood of cortisol rushing through your system, an age-old response that began in the cave man era, when our bodies warned us of life-threatening dangers with the flight-or-flight response we now know as stress. The thing is, we now see rush-hour traffic and cranky co-workers in the same way as deadly cougar attacks, and we’re not fleeing the scene to reap the benefits of the response.

    Those elevated cortisol levels lead to attacks on muscles, reduced insulin resistance, and the storage of unwanted fat (just in case that cougar blocks our path to the grocery store for a few weeks).

    Try to find a little more Zen in your life, through yoga, meditation or massages might do the trick.

    Time Your Meals

    An effective way to build the healthy eating habit is to time your meals. Predetermined the day before exactly what time you will be eating. Schedule them roughly four hours apart. So for example; 8am, noon, 4pm, and 8pm would be your meal times for the day. This will keep you metabolism running high, blood sugar stable so your body can stay primed for buying stored fat as fuel, and satisfied to stave off any cravings. Prepare meals ahead of time so that you are ready to roll.

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    Dieting is Outdated

    Really what it all comes down to is lifestyle changes — and seeing a healthy lifestyle as a choice that makes living an adventure.

    If you eat right, you have the energy to head to the hills for a hike, hop on the mountain bike and tackle that challenging new trail or take the dog for a walk around a bigger block. And that opens the door for the life you want to live, not a life you only have the energy to dream about.

    It’s just a matter of making slow, easy-to-manage changes that reflect a new found attention to a healthy way of living, like trading water for soda or a more nutrient-packed veggie place of mashed potatoes.

    (Photo credit: Mature Woman on Scale via Shutterstock)

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    Justin Miller

    Healthy Lifestyle Architect, a Fitness and Nutrition Coach

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    Last Updated on March 25, 2020

    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

    When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

    So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

    1. Exercise

    It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

    2. Drink in Moderation

    I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

    3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

    Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

    4. Watch Less Television

    A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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    Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

    5. Eat Less Red Meat

    Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

    If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

    6. Don’t Smoke

    This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

    7. Socialize

    Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

    8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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    9. Be Optimistic

    Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

    10. Own a Pet

    Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

    11. Drink Coffee

    Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

    12. Eat Less

    Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

    13. Meditate

    Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

    Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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    How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

    14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

    15. Laugh Often

    Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

    16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

    Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

    17. Cook Your Own Food

    When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

    Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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    18. Eat Mushrooms

    Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

    19. Floss

    Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

    20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

    Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

    Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

    21. Have Sex

    Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

    More Health Tips

    Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

    Reference

    [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
    [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
    [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
    [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
    [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
    [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
    [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
    [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
    [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
    [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
    [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
    [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
    [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
    [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
    [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
    [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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