Are you up or down? It’s not just your mood, but also your weight that can be affected by depression. These tips can help you regain balance.

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Which comes first, obesity or depression? Just like “the chicken or the egg” scenario, the underlying problem with depression and weight gain (or weight loss) can be hard to tell. Symptoms of depression and weight management issues are linked, and the relationship is a two-way street. In fact, a study done in the Netherlands found that obesity increases the risk for depression in initially non-depressed people by 55 percent, and depression increases the risk for obesity in initially normal-weight people by 58 percent.
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For youth and adults engaging in physical activity and sports, healthy eating is essential for optimizing performance. Combining good nutrition with physical activity can lead to a healthier lifestyle.
  1. Maximize with nutrient-packed foods
    Give your body the nutrients it needs by eating a variety of nutrient-packed food, including whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat or fat-free dairy. Eat less food high in solid fats, added sugars, and sodium (salt).
  2. Energize with grains
    Your body’s quickest energy source comes from foods such as bread, pasta, oatmeal, cereals, and tortillas. Be sure to make at least half of your grain food choices whole-grain foods like whole-wheat bread or pasta and brown rice.
  3. Power up with protein
    Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle. Choose lean or low-fat cuts of beef or pork, and skinless chicken or turkey. Get your protein from seafood twice a week. Quality protein sources come from plant based foods, too.
  4. Mix it up with plant protein foods
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Water weight, often called water retention or edema, can be easier to lose than fat weight, and when you start a diet, it’s usually water weight you lose first. Your diet and lifestyle can have a negative impact on your weight by causing your body to retain water. However, making a few changes can help you lose that water weight fairly quickly.

Even though these numbers often fluctuate and do not equate to pure fat loss, getting rid of excess liquids can produce surprising changes! You will note a sleeker and much slimmer figure!

Although real fat loss requires time and persistence, a safe drop in excessive water weight can give you an excellent quick reward for your efforts! Just get rid of those extra pounds with following tips and make your abs more toned, and your hips and waistline slimmer!

If you can’t shed water weight after making changes, see your doctor right away because water retention can signal the presence of an underlying medical condition.
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Snack time is important because it can satiate hunger between meals to prevent overeating and help you lose weight. Snacks can also be a way to get valuable nutrients you’re missing from meals alone. But not all snacks are good ones.

There are some strong opinions out there about whether it’s appropriate to include snacks into the daily meal plan. Although there are no set rules, for many, having a snack or two can help manage hunger levels and maintain blood sugar levels. Snacks can definitely be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle, but as with anything related to one’s “diet,” it depends on what and how much is being consumed.
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Escape the confines of your gym and hit the great outdoors for some sun-soaked exercise.

Quality exercise doesn’t necessarily require a gym, specific clothing or lots of heavy equipment. For these five fat-burning, muscle-shaping exercises you won’t have to travel far at all – just out your back door.

If the ground is soft enough you won’t even need an exercise mat. This is a convenient way to get the exercise you need without all the hassle.

Do a set before breakfast and another when you get home from work. Combine this with some long walks or gym workouts on the weekend, and you’ll be doing your body a big favor and looking good in the process.

These exercises work the whole body and will give you a thorough workout.
Just remember to stay hydrated, do a proper warm-up and try not to make your neighbors too jealous about how much money you’re saving on gym fees.

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Losing Weight with Green Coffee Beans A Detailed Review By Joe Leech, Dietitian

The latest buzz brewing in the nutrition world is the recent link between green unroasted coffee beans and weight loss. A recent study found that overweight individuals lost a significant percentage of their body weight in a short amount of time when they consumed green coffee bean supplements on a daily basis.

For this reason, people have turned to all sorts of supplements in order to make things easier.

Green Coffee Bean Extract is currently among the world’s most popular weight loss supplements.

As the name implies, this supplement is extracted from green coffee beans.

It contains a substance called Chlorogenic Acid, which is believed to be responsible for the weight loss effects.

Green coffee extract was promoted by Dr. Oz back in 2012. He is an American TV doctor and probably the most famous health “guru” in the world.

I’m a big fan of supplements in general, but I am extra skeptical when it comes to weight loss supplements because they almost never work as advertised.

This article takes a detailed look at Green Coffee Bean Extract… what it is, how it works and what the science has to say about it.

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According to Dr. Kharrazian, in the immune system model, there are 4 main reasons for stubborn weight gain.

They are:

* The mix of bacteria in your gut

* Intestinal permeability (also known as leaky gut)

* Low grade inflammation

* Immune reactive dietary proteins

Let’s explore each one of these in more detail.

The Mixture of Bacteria in Your Gut Matters

An important thing to understand is that your body is an ecosystem, or really, a lot of interconnected ecosystems. And the digestive tract is one of the most complex and dynamic of them all.

Each one of us has their own unique mix of bacteria and other organisms that live in our guts. This mix is determined by our genetic profile, our diets, what medications we have taken and our environment.

There are an estimated 100 trillion different cells and over 1,000 different species of bacteria. 90% of these species belong to 2 families: Firmicutes and Bacteriodetes.

The Balance of Bacteria Can Make You Unable To Lose Weight

New research has shown that the balance of these 2 bacterial species matters for whether or not you are able to lose weight.

In obese and overweight people, there is more Firmicutes than Bacteriodetes. The balance between these 2 species of bacteria generates certain signals to specific genes in the intestines that produce more fat cells.

It is also interesting to note that, according to the research, Lactobacillus bacteria (the most common species sold in over the counter probiotics) actually increases body weight. Both dairy and non-dairy sources.

What that means is that while probiotics may be beneficial for the ecosystem of your gut they are not that helpful in helping you shed the pounds.

Increase Bacteriodetes and Lose Weight

Firmicutes really like junk food. To feed them and gain weight, eat like your average American. To starve them and lose weight, read on.

The more important question is: how do you increase the Bacteriodetes? It seems these little critters really like plants. And the best way to increase their number is to increase the amount of plant based foods and fiber in your diet.

Especially oligosaccharides (found in Jerulsalem artichokes, and onions, leeks, garlic asparagus and jicama, etc.) and monosaccharides (found in pears, grapes, peaches, apples, pineapples, apricots, bananas, yams, carrots, onions, and sweet potatoes). And other plant based fibers that come from green leafy vegetables, green tea, etc.

These get fermented in the colon by the good guys and help you to become a mean, lean weight loss machine! But, just so you know, this is not something you can change in 5 minutes or 5 days. It may take a few months to alter this environment.

Leaky Gut Leads to a Bigger Gut

While it is true that people with Hashimoto’s often suffer from intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome, new research shows that this can also lead to fat around the organs.

In leaky gut, the intestines lose their ability to keep tiny particles of all sorts of stuff out of the bloodstream. It turns out that there may be a connection between a fatty liver and the breakdown of the gut barrier system.

In addition, zonulin, a protein that is used by the intestines to bind tight junctions, leaks into the blood stream when people have a breakdown of this barrier. It is also increased with obesity associated insulin resistance.

Finally, the toxins that are produced by bacteria known as lipopolysaccharides have also been linked to obesity and the onset of diabetes.

Bottom line: If you want a smaller gut, you need to heal your leaky gut.

Low Grade Inflammation: The Chicken or The Egg?

Autoimmune disease is a disease that is closely linked to inflammation. So is type 2 diabetes, so is eating a lousy diet and eating too much sugar, salt and fat.

What research is now showing us, is that obesity is also an inflammatory condition. It is becoming less clear which came first. One thing we now know is that adipose tissue (fat tissue) produces inflammation in the body all by itself.

So you have the creation of this destructive cycle of abnormal gut bacteria and leaky gut leading to a process (insulin and leptin resistance) which makes glucose not able to enter cells. When glucose can’t enter cells it gets converted into fat in the liver (triglycerides). These fat cells start the whole process all over again.

Leptin and Insulin Resistance Are Similar

Leptin is one of the main hormones involved in hunger, metabolism and the control of how energy from carbs and fats get stored and used. It comes from the Greek word ‘leptos’ meaning thin.

The amount of leptin produced directly correlates with weight loss or weight gain. (Women have significantly higher circulating leptin than men).

Leptin resistance is very similar to insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, long term elevated levels of insulin make your muscle and fat cells more resistance to the action of insulin.

Chronic elevated levels of leptin end up making you eat way too much. And abnormal gut bacteria and leaky gut feed this process as well (pun intended ;)).

Its A Vicious Cycle That Makes It Harder to Lose Weight

This whole process creates more fat tissue which causes more inflammation, and on and on it goes, snow balling and making it harder and harder to lose weight.

So you can see, while this is kind of complicated, it is hugely important to do everything you can to reduce inflammation that is the root cause of everything that we have just examined.

Immune Reactive Dietary Proteins

Certain proteins can also add gasoline to the flames of inflammation.

Everything that is living in our world is made of proteins. With autoimmune disease the immune system confuses our own proteins with that of an invader like a virus or a food we are allergic to.

There are some proteins in our diet that can cause an immune response that can also lead to inflammation and add more insult to injury.

These proteins are found in gluten, dairy and soy and in some other foods called cross reactors.

These need to be eliminated from the diet if you want to lose weight because this will begin to unwind the vicious cycle of inflammation at the root of the immune system’s influence on weight gain.

 

Article Source: www.hashimotoshealing.com


Overweight does not necessarily equal unhealthy. There are actually plenty of overweight people who are in excellent health.

Conversely, many normal weight people have the metabolic problems associated with obesity. That’s because the fat under the skin is actually not that big of a problem (at least not from a health standpoint… it’s more of a cosmetic problem).

It’s the fat in the abdominal area, the belly fat, that causes the biggest issues. If you have a lot of excess fat around your waistline, even if you’re not very heavy, then you should take some steps to get rid of it.

Belly fat also know as the Visceral fat is usually estimated by measuring the circumference around your waist. This can easily be done at home with a simple tape measure.

Anything above 40 inches (102 cm) in men and 35 inches (88 cm) in women, is known as abdominal obesity. There are actually a few proven strategies that have been shown to target the fat in the belly area more than other areas of the body.

Here are 6 evidence-based ways to lose belly fat.

 

1. Don’t Eat Sugar… and Avoid Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Like The Plague

 

Added sugar is extremely unhealthy.

Studies show that it has uniquely harmful effects on metabolic health.

Sugar is half glucose, half fructose… and fructose can only be metabolized by the liver in any significant amount.

When you eat a lot of refined sugar, the liver gets flooded with fructose, and is forced to turn it all into fat.

Numerous studies have shown that excess sugar, mostly due to the large amounts of fructose, can lead to increased accumulation of fat in the belly.

Some believe that this is the primary mechanism behind sugar’s harmful effects on health… it increases belly fat and liver fat, which leads to insulin resistance and a host of metabolic problems.

Liquid sugar is even worse in this regard. Liquid calories don’t get “registered” by the brain in the same way as solid calories, so when you drink sugar-sweetened beverages, you end up eating more total calories.

Studies show that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to a 60% increased risk of obesity in children… per each daily serving.

Make a decision to minimize the amount of sugar in your diet, and considercompletely eliminating sugary drinks.

This includes sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices, various sports drinks, as well as coffees and teas with sugar added to them.

Keep in mind that none of this applies to whole fruit, which are extremely healthy and have plenty of fiber that mitigates the negative effects of fructose.

The amount of fructose you get from fruit is negligible compared to what you get from a diet high in refined sugar.

Btw… if you want to cut back on refined sugar, then you must start reading labels. Even foods marketed as health foods can contain huge amounts of sugar.

Bottom Line: Excess sugar consumption may be the primary driver of belly fat accumulation, especially sugary beverages like soft drinks and fruit juices.

 

2. Eating More Protein May be The Best Long-Term Strategy to Reduce Belly Fat

Protein is the most important macronutrient when it comes to losing weight.

It has been shown to reduce cravings by 60%, boost metabolism by 80-100 calories per day and help you eat up to 441 fewer calories per day.

If weight loss is your goal, then adding protein to your diet is perhaps the single most effective change you can do.

Not only will it help you lose… it can also help you avoid re-gaining weight if you ever decide to abandon your weight loss efforts.

There is also some evidence that protein is particularly effective against belly fat.

One study showed that the amount and quality of protein consumed was inversely related to fat in the belly. That is, people who ate more and better protein had much less belly fat.

Another study in Denmark showed that protein, especially animal protein, was linked to significantly reduced risk of belly fat gain over a period of 5 years.

This study also showed that refined carbs and vegetable oils were linked to increased amounts of belly fat, but fruits and vegetables linked to reduced amounts.

Many of the studies showing protein to be effective had protein at 25-30% of calories. That’s what you should aim for.

So… make an effort to increase your intake of unprocessed eggs, fish, seafood,meats, poultry and dairy products. These are the best protein sources in the diet.

If you struggle with getting enough protein in your diet, then a quality protein supplement (like whey protein) is a healthy and convenient way to boost your total intake.

 

 

3. Cut Carbs From Your Diet

Carb restriction is a very effective way to lose fat.

This is supported by numerous studies… when people cut carbs, their appetite goes down and they lose weight.

 

Over 20 randomized controlled trials have now shown that low-carb diets lead to 2-3 times more weight loss than low-fat diets.

This is true even when the low-carb groups are allowed to eat as much as they want, while the low-fat groups are calorie restricted and hungry.

Low-carb diets also lead to quick reductions in water weight, which gives people near instant results… a major difference on the scale is often seen within a few days.

There are also studies comparing low-carb and low-fat diets, showing that low-carb diets specifically target the fat in the belly, and around the organs and liver.

What this means is that a particularly high proportion of the fat lost on a low-carb dietis the dangerous and disease promoting abdominal fat.

Just avoiding the refined carbs (white breads, pastas, etc) should be sufficient, especially if you keep your protein high.

However… if you need to lose weight fast, then consider dropping your carbs down to 50 grams per day. This will put your body into ketosis, killing your appetite and making your body start burning primarily fats for fuel.

Of course, low-carb diets have many other health benefits besides just weight loss. They can have life-saving effects in type 2 diabetics, for example

Bottom Line: Studies have shown that low-carb diets are particularly effective at getting rid of the fat in the belly area, around the organs and in the liver.

 

4. Eat Foods Rich in Fiber… Especially Viscous Fiber

 

Dietary fiber is mostly indigestible plant matter. It is often claimed that eating plenty of fiber can help with weight loss.

This is true… but it’s important to keep in mind that not all fiber is created equal. It seems to be mostly the viscous fibers that can have an effect on your weight.

These are fibers that bind water and form a thick gel that “sits” in the gut.

This gel can dramatically slow the movement of food through your stomach and small bowel, and slow down the digestion and absorption of nutrients. The end result is a prolonged feeling of fullness and reduced appetite.

One review study found that an additional 14 grams of fiber per day were linked to a 10% decrease in calorie intake and weight loss of 2 kg (4.5 lbs) over 4 months.

In one 5-year study, eating 10 grams of soluble fiber per day was linked to a 3.7% reduction in the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity, but it had no effect on the amount of fat under the skin.

What this implies, is that soluble fiber may be particularly effective at reducing the harmful belly fat.

The best way to get more fiber is to eat a lot of plant foods like vegetables and fruit. Legumes are also a good source, as well as some cereals like oats.

Then you could also try taking a fiber supplement like glucomannan. This is one of the most viscous dietary fibers in existence, and has been shown to cause weight loss in many studies.

 

5. Aerobic Exercise is Very Effective at Reducing Belly Fat

Exercise is important for various reasons.

It is among the best things you can do if you want to live a long, healthy life and avoid disease.

Getting into all of the amazing health benefits of exercise is beyond the scope of this article, but exercise does appears to be effective at reducing belly fat.

However… keep in mind that I’m not talking about abdominal exercises here. Spot reduction (losing fat in one spot) is not possible, and doing endless amounts of crunches will not make you lose fat from the belly.

In one study, 6 weeks of training just the abdominal muscles had no measurable effect on waist circumference or the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity.

That being said, other types of exercise can be very effective.

Aerobic exercise (like walking, running, swimming, etc) has been shown to cause major reductions in belly fat in numerous studies.

Another study found that exercise completely prevented people from re-gaining abdominal fat after weight loss, implying that exercise is particularly important during weight maintenance.

Exercise also leads to reduced inflammation, blood sugar levels and all the other metabolic abnormalities that are associated with central obesity.

Bottom Line: Exercise can be very effective if you are trying to lose belly fat. Exercise also has a number of other health benefits.

 

6. Track Your Foods and Figure Out Exactly What and How Much You Are Eating

What you eat is important. Pretty much everyone knows this.

However… surprisingly, most people actuallydon’t have a clue what they are really eating.

People think they’re eating “high protein,” “low-carb” or whatever… but tend to drastically over- or underestimate.

I think that for anyone who truly wants to optimize their diet, tracking things for a while is absolutely essential.

It doesn’t mean you need to weigh and measure everything for the rest of your life, but doing it every now and then for a few days in a row can help you realize where you need to make changes.

If you want to boost your protein intake to 25-30% of calories, as recommended above, just eating more protein rich foods won’t cut it. You need to actually measure and fine tune in order to reach that goal.

 

Article Source: http://authoritynutrition.com/


Enjoy the holiday feast without the guilt — or the weight gain.

Nutritionists estimate that the average Thanksgiving meal ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 calories. If our daily needs should not exceed between 1,200 to 1,800 calories, it is not surprising that people complain about weight gain during the holidays.  Year after year, most of us pack on at least a pound (some gain more) during the holidays — and keep the extra weight permanently.

But Thanksgiving does not have to sabotage your weight, experts say. With a little know-how, you can satisfy your desire for traditional favorites and still enjoy a guilt-free Thanksgiving feast. After all, being stuffed is a good idea only if you are a turkey!

Get Active

Create a calorie deficit by exercising to burn off extra calories before you ever indulge in your favorite foods, suggests Connie Diekman, MEd, RD, former president of the American Dietetic Association (ADA).

“‘Eat less and exercise more’ is the winning formula to prevent weight gain during the holidays,” Diekman says. “Increase your steps or lengthen your fitness routine the weeks ahead and especially the day of the feast.”

Make fitness a family adventure, recommends Susan Finn, PhD, RD, chair of the American Council on Fitness and Nutrition: “Take a walk early in the day and then again after dinner. It is a wonderful way for families to get physical activity and enjoy the holiday together.”

Eat Breakfast

While you might think it makes sense to save up calories for the big meal, experts say eating a small meal in the morning can give you more control over your appetite. Start your day with a small but satisfying breakfast — such as an egg with a slice of whole-wheat toast, or a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk — so you won’t be starving when you arrive at the gathering.

“Eating a nutritious meal with protein and fiber before you arrive takes the edge off your appetite and allows you to be more discriminating in your food and beverage choices,” says Diekman.

Lighten Up

Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner or bringing a few dishes to share, make your recipes healthier with less fat, sugar, and calories.

“There is more sugar and fat in most recipes than is needed, and no one will notice the difference if you skim calories by using lower calorie ingredients,” says Diekman.

Her suggestions:

  • Use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy.
  • Use sugar substitutes in place of sugar and/or fruit purees instead of oil in baked goods.
  • Reduce oil and butter wherever you can.
  • Try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles.

Police Your Portions

  • Thanksgiving tables are bountiful and beautiful displays of traditional family favorites. Before you fill your plate, survey the buffet table and decide what you’re going to choose. Then select reasonable-sized portions of foods you cannot live without.

“Don’t waste your calories on foods that you can have all year long,” suggests Diekman. “Fill your plate with small portions of holiday favorites that only come around once a year so you can enjoy desirable, traditional foods.”

  • Skip the Seconds.Try to resist the temptation to go back for second helpings.”Leftovers are much better the next day, and if you limit yourself to one plate, you are less likely to overeat and have more room for a delectable dessert,” Diekman says.
  • Choose the Best Bets on the Buffet.While each of us has our own favorites, keep in mind that some holiday foods are better choices than others.”White turkey meat, plain vegetables, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, defatted gravy, and pumpkin pie tend to be the best bets because they are lower in fat and calories,” says Diekman. But she adds that, “if you keep your portions small, you can enjoy whatever you like.”

Slowly Savor

Eating slowly, putting your fork down between bites, and tasting each mouthful is one of the easiest ways to enjoy your meal and feel satisfied with one plate full of food, experts say. Choosing whole grains, fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, salads, and other foods with lots of water and fiber add to the feeling of fullness.

Spread out the food and fun all day long. At the Finn family Thanksgiving gathering, they schedule dessert after a walk, while watching a movie together.

“We eat midday, and instead of another meal at dinnertime, we continue the feast with dessert a few hours after the main meal,” Finn explains.

Go Easy on Alcohol

Don’t forget those alcohol calories that can add up quickly.

“Have a glass of wine or a wine spritzer and between alcoholic drinks, (or) enjoy sparkling water,” says Diekman. “this way you stay hydrated, limit alcohol calories, and stay sober.”

Be Realistic

The holiday season is a time for celebration. With busy schedules and so many extra temptations, this is a good time to strive for weight maintenance instead of weight loss.

“Shift from a mindset of weight loss to weight maintenance,” says Finn. “You will be ahead of the game if you can avoid gaining any weight over the holidays.”

Focus on Family and Friends

Thanksgiving is not just about the delicious bounty of food. It’s a time to celebrate relationships with family and friends.

“The main event should be family and friends socializing, spending quality time together, not just what is on the buffet,” says Finn.

 

Article Source: http://www.webmd.com/