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Why Eating Sufficient Carbs Is a Must

Why Eating Sufficient Carbs Is a Must

In a world where it seems like everyone is on a diet to lose weight as quickly as possible, we see more and more people cutting out their carbs as rapidly as they can while trying to achieve this goal.

But, should you banish all carbs from your diet entirely?

It’s important to realize that some carbohydrates are going to be necessary to help assist with proper bodily functioning, not to mention for health reasons.

Cutting them out of your diet entirely would be a mistake for a number of reasons, so taking some time to learn what these reasons are and why you must be taking them in will help you make sure that you are providing your body with the right amount of nourishment that it needs.

Let’s go over the main reasons why eating sufficient carbs in your diet is a must for success.

Carbohydrates and Thyroid Function

The first place where carbohydrates are going to be needed is in your thyroid function. If you’re on a strict low-carb diet plan, this is going to in turn decrease the circulating levels of thyroid hormone in the body, which can cause hypothyroidism-like symptoms to set in.

If you go low-carb long enough, you may actually start to experience hypothyroidism altogether, so then you’ll have an actual clinical problem on your hands.

Some of the key symptoms to be on the lookout for that would indicate you may not be eating enough carbs is feeling incredibly cold all the time, feeling tired and lethargic, and experiencing weight gain.

In other words, what you originally started doing to help you with your weight loss results may actually turn the tables and cause you to gain weight instead.

Carbohydrates and Metabolic Rate

The next thing that you need to be highly aware of when it comes to your diet and cutting carbohydrates is that carbohydrates are also highly correlated with the metabolic rate.

If you start cutting out too many carbohydrates, this will have negative implications on how fast you are burning calories on a day-to-day basis, which then influences how quickly the fat-loss process moves along as well.

This is in part due to the impact that carbs have on the thyroid, as we just noted above, but it’s also going to have to do with the fact that low carb diets shift leptin levels, which is a key regulation hormone in the body that influences your hunger level as well as your rate of fat burning.

Higher carbohydrate diets tend to keep leptin at a more optimal level, so this can assist with helping you along with your weight loss goals.

Carbohydrates and Energy Levels

Next, don’t overlook the influence that carbs will have on your energy levels. If you’ve ever cut all carbs out of your diet plan, you know very well how this makes you feel.

You’re tired. You’re sluggish.

And, you hardly want to move, never mind actually doing a workout session.

Carbohydrates are the first source of fuel for the body and what it prefers, so when levels start dropping, it’s normal to start to feel some fatigue.

To add to this, carbohydrates are the only source of fuel that the body can use when you’re doing intense workout sessions, so if you’re not eating carbohydrates before or after your workouts, you really won’t be seeing the results that you’re looking for.

Carbohydrates must be consumed at some point if you hope to keep your weight-lifting workouts up. If they aren’t, you can kiss all progress in the gym good-bye.

Carbohydrates and Mood

The next area that carbohydrates and low-carb diets will impact you is in terms of the mood that you experience day to day.

Many people overlook this factor entirely but if you aren’t taking in many carbohydrates at all, this is going to cause a decline in the release of serotonin in the body, which is the key neurotransmitter that impacts your mood and how you feel.

If you notice that when you start low carb dieting you feel a lot more depressed, irritable and angry than when you’re on a higher carb diet, this isn’t just because you’re mad that you can’t have your bread (as some of you may truly feel is the case).

There are actually changes in your brain chemistry that are taking place that are causing this shift in your mood to occur, so that cannot be discounted.

It’s also why when you eat a carbohydrate-rich meal, especially after using a lower carb approach for a while, you instantly start feeling better. It’s like it’s a mood-booster that makes you feel energized, happy and calm.

This isn’t just the food doing this, it’s brain chemicals.

There’s more to the story

What you must realize is that more important than whether or not you’re eating carbohydrates is how much of them you’re eating and the varieties you choose to eat.

At the end of the day, it’s your calorie balance that will establish whether you gain or lose body fat, so if you can maintain the proper calorie balance, you won’t need to worry about the fact that you are eating carbohydrates.

If you choose the wrong carbs, however, sustaining the right calorie balance will feel incredibly trying, so that’s where the problems tend to occur.

So make wise choices and you can ensure that you avoid this from ever becoming a problem in your diet plan. Choose unprocessed carbohydrates that come straight from the ground such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and you will be setting yourself up for success.

Featured photo credit: Dog Welder via flickr.com

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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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