Archive for October, 2017

Roadblocks to a Thinner You

You’ve gone the whole nine yards and yet you’re still seeing little or no results on your weight loss program. While losing weight seems to be a breeze for some, others find it to be a constant uphill battle they just can’t win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medications

Medicines have a direct effect on our body’s many processes including our body weight. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen), corticosteroids and high blood pressure medication causes fluid retention. Female hormone pills for example hinder weight loss and could actually contribute to weight gain.

If you’re currently under medication, the best thing to do is to discuss this with your physician. Try asking for alternative medications which doesn’t have this side effect. If this is not possible, switch to a low fat diet and a more aggressive exercise program to offset weight gain. But of course this should first be consulted with your doctor to avoid complications.

You’ve reached your normal weight

A Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 25 is considered normal. Losing weight after reaching your ideal weight could be difficult since this could face opposition from your body. BMI is computed by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by the square of your height (in meters).

If you still believe that your are “fat” even if you’ve reached your normal weight, then this could be a  symptom of a psychological or eating disorder. People suffering from Anorexia nervosa for example, go into extreme diets and exercise programs just to have a thinner figure.

Hormonal Changes

There are many factors that cause hormonal changes in our body. Any change in the level of hormones has a direct effect on our body’s normal processes including weight gain. Aging, medication, medical conditions, menopause and menstrual periods are just some of the factors affecting hormone levels.

This is a condition that affects women more than men. Female hormone pills, menstrual periods and menopause for example are just some of the conditions that affect the levels of hormones in the body. The best way to lose weight is to tailor your weight loss program accordingly. Consulting a dietician could help you develop a personalized program could make dieting healthier and more effective.

Extreme diets

If your weight loss program requires extreme dieting then this could actually cause your body to store more fats or reduce the amount of fats being burned. Undergoing prolonged periods of “starvation” causes your body to turn into its own defense mechanisms in an attempt to compensate for such extreme measures. It reaches a point where human nature takes over and you are mentally unable to resist eating. Rather than losing weight in a gradual and healthy pace, suddenly depriving your body of its basic needs could lead to sickness. Our body requires its share of daily supply of nutrients. And that includes fats to power our daily activities.

Stress and Anxiety

Major stumbling blocks to any diet program or any life changing decision is a person’s mental condition. Stress, anxiety and unrealistic expectations leads to self doubt undermining any weight loss program. Any changes to your normal daily routine and eating habits can be very stressing. Having a positive disposition, getting the right support (friends and family) and having realistic goals is your best defense when things are not going your way.

Dehydration – Danger Signs

Water makes 60 percent of our body’s weight, and this simple fact makes drinking water an essential part of keeping our body healthy. We can survive without food for weeks but it only takes days or even a couple of hours for our body to shut down from dehydration.

It is recommended that we drink eight glasses of water a day and drinking more is better. But we don’t have to strictly follow the eight glasses rule since 20 percent of our water intake comes from solid food such as fruits and vegetables.

Water is essential in our body’s normal functioning. It is a natural lubricant that keeps our joints and muscles moving smoothly. It is also a natural antioxidant that helps flush out body waste. Water also function in regulating body temperature, it helps release internal body heat through perspiration. Drinking a glass of water before meals also helps you lose weight. Just like solid food, water takes stomach space helping you feel fuller even when eating less.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signs of Dehydration

Prolonged dehydration can lead to serious health problems and even death. And this can be very dangerous for toddlers and infants who are not able to verbally express their condition. Diarrhea especially in infants can be very dangerous and life threatening. Fluids are easily lost through the stool this along with vital nutrients and electrolytes.

Headache, delirium and light headedness

An ominous sign of dehydration especially for athletes or those participating in physical activities are those that affect their mental condition. Long distance runners for example might feel confused when too much water is lost through perspiration.

Other symptoms include dizziness, weakness and even nausea as not enough fluid is circulating in the body. The brain suffers because not enough nutrients or fluids are reaching it. The brain is one of the hungriest organs and when it is not fed our mental condition suffers.

Dry mouth and extreme thirst

We crave for food when we’re hungry and thirsty when there is not enough water in the body. The body sends clear signals when something’s wrong. And the sooner we identify these signals, the quicker we can remedy the condition.

Water can be lost through the skin when exposed to extremely hot temperatures. Drinking water is highly advised during extreme physical activities or prolonged exposure to the sun.

Fatigue or sudden tiredness

Dehydration affects us physically and mentally. With more than half of our body composed of water, the mind and muscles would not work as efficiently. Without the right amounts of water, we become less alert and confused. This holds true even while we’re exercising or resting.

Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps can also occur with dehydration. Water is not only loss during perspiration, salt and electrolytes are also released. Go the extra mile by drinking sports beverages loaded with electrolytes and sodium. The sodium or salt helps your body retain more water.

Healthy Ways to Cook Vegetables

When it comes to eating healthy, vegetables certainly come on top on our list of must eat foods. It comes as no surprise since this food group are some of the best natural sources of all essential vitamins and nutrients the body needs to function optimally.

But are we getting the most out of our vegetables? Aside from getting our daily dose of vegetables, we should also consider how these are prepared. Cooking food in general creates a chemical reaction which breaks down or even destroys the nutrients contained in our vegetables.

Proper food preparation helps us get the most of the food we eat. While we don’t recommend eating our vegetables raw, we should definitely consider how we cook our vegetables. Cooking actually helps break down the nutrients making it easy for use to digest and take it into our system. And there is no sure fire way to prepare all types of vegetables.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sauté versus Frying

Frying causes fat to enter the vegetables and dehydrates it in the process. A healthy way to go around this is to sauté the vegetable and use healthy types of cooking oil such as virgin olive oil. Using virgin oil actually helps increase the absorption of nutrients. Aside from preparing the vegetable for digestion, virgin oil gives an extra kick of flavor.

Baking or Roasting

Baking or roasting involves intense heat over a predetermined amount of time. And how healthy we prepare our vegetables depend on these factors. The amount of available nutrients after baking or roasting also depend on the type of vegetable.

Eggplants, asparagus, broccoli, artichokes and celery for example works great with baking. Tomatoes are best prepared by roasting. The act of cutting tomatoes and heating it makes lycopene more available for digestion. Lycopene is fat-soluble pigment that is found in rich amounts in tomatoes. It is a powerful antioxidant that reduces our risks for cancer. But technically, tomatoes are fruits.

Microwave

Nutrients found in vegetables are often lost through heating and water. Microwaving does not require water to cook and heats the vegetables internally. This is a great way of preserving the Vitamin C content in vegetables. Phytonutrients contained in vegetables such as carrots and beans are also preserved when microwaved.