Eat Yourself Happy: Foods Scientifically Proven To Beat The Winter Blues

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In case you haven’t noticed, the summer is well and truly gone and with the turning of the leaves and the graying of the skies, something more insidious is creeping in with the longer nights. Many of us find ourselves unaccountably experiencing low mood, depression, lethargy and in some cases increased irritability. As fall sets in and eventually concedes to winter, an increasing number of us start to experience Seasonal Affective disorder (aptly abbreviated to SAD). This can not only sap our mood and make us feel depressed and lethargic (even if objectively our lives are great), but also drain our will to eat healthily and live active lifestyles. It can make us want to oversleep and cause us to crave unhealthy foods, especially starchy refined carbohydrates and sugars, resulting in weight gain which only feeds the cycle of inactivity. “Why bother?” we ask ourselves, before grabbing a candy bar and settling down on the sofa.

If the coming of the fall season makes you want to wrap up in a duvet, grab a bag of potato chips and hibernate then you desperately need a pick me up.

Fortunately, with a little know how, you can chomp the blues away while improving your overall health. But first…

Exercise… It’s non-negotiable

On a dark, cold and drizzly morning, going to the gym or out for a jog is probably the last thing you feel like doing which is exactly why it’s the first thing you should do. The benefits of exercising first thing in the morning are many and various. It can raise your energy levels and mood while leaving you secure in the knowledge that the rest of the day is yours to do as you wish. It can also give your brain a much-needed endorphin boost, raising your mood and also boosting your metabolism.

Even a 20 minute jog is a great way to start the day. If that sounds like a nightmare, give yourself a reason to enjoy your jog. Take your phone and listen to some music, a podcast or an audiobook as you jog. Check out this flipbelt review for an alternative to carrying your phone in your pocket. The last thing you want is to start your day with a dropped and broken phone.

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Mood boosting foods

After starting the day with a brisk workout, you’ve earned a delicious breakfast. Now’s the time to capitalize on this natural mood booster and load up on these nutritious mood boosting foods:

  • Avocado- Avocados are full of healthy fats to stabilize your appetite and reduce cravings but they’re also great for balancing your hormones and keeping your serotonin levels
  • Nuts- A great post-workout food, nuts are full of healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants and protein as well as being full of serotonin.
  • Strawberries- They’re tasty, they’re versatile and they’re rich in vitamins and nutrients to facilitate stable brain chemistry.
  • Sesame seeds- Great for sprinkling and snacking, sesame seeds are rich in the amino acid tyrosine which naturally increases the brain’s production of dopamine naturally boosting your mood while also helping your body to assimilate their protein.

 

 

4 Reasons You’re Always Hungry

No matter what you try and do in regards to managing your weight, there’s always an enemy that keeps confronting you: your appetite.

You can start the day with an absolute devotion to the idea of sticking to calorie control and resisting the urge for sweets and snacks. Then midday rolls around, your energy is crashing, and your stomach is roaring. Despite the fact you should be full from that nutritious breakfast you took the time to craft, you can’t help it – you’re hungry. In fact, you pretty much feel hungry all the time.

If this is the case, then getting to the bottom of your seemingly ceaseless pit of hunger is going to be key to maintaining your weight. So why are you always so hungry – and what can you do about it?

1) You’re Not Eating Enough Calories

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We know that science tells us we need to restrict calories in order to lose weight; that’s pretty much a given. However, it is possible to go a step too far in this regard. If you’re not eating enough calories to sustain your energy levels – and particularly if you’re exercising heavily – then hunger is going to be the result.

While you may like the idea of restricting your calories so you lose weight quicker, it’s actually more beneficial to gradually reduce the amount and always ensure you’re eating at least 1,600 calories per day.

2) You’re Thinking About Food Too Much

Research has found that people who are overweight tend to think about food more than their slender counterparts, which in turn makes them feel hungry. If there is something in your brain that is constantly reminding you of food, then you might want to try Lovidia to see if you can regulate your resultant desire for food. You might not be able to stop thinking about food, but methods such as this will at least help you stop feeling the need to act on those thoughts.

3) You Have A Health Condition 

Some health issues can cause excessive hunger. Most noticeably, if you have an overactive thyroid, this can result in not only unexplained weight loss, but a relentless appetite. An overactive thyroid is easily diagnosed and relatively easy to treat, so if this is a relatively new issue for you, it might be worth getting checked over by a doctor.

4) You’re Not Eating Enough Protein

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Ideally, your first meal of the day should be full of protein. The slow-release energy in protein is far more likely to sustain you than carbohydrates; in some ways, it’s far better to have bacon and eggs for breakfast than that healthy, carbohydrate-laden cereal. Nuts have been shown to help suppress appetite throughout the day, so incorporate these into your diet from breakfast and you should be able to manage your hunger better.

Battling with your weight is tough enough in and of itself, but struggling with hunger at the same time makes life even more difficult. Fingers crossed one of the solutions to your issue can be found in the above.

Foods To Include In A Diet Made To Accelerate Your Metabolism

There aren’t any shortcuts to losing weight, the body is too complex and by its design, has not evolved to take on massive changes so suddenly. As we get older, although in our youth we may have been spritely and full of energy, a more mature body slows down. Metabolism is the process in the body which breaks down chemicals in order for life to be sustained. Exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep, are ways which control your energy consumption needs at a molecular level. However, not everyone can lead an active lifestyle and have the time to workout to keep those extra pounds off. But there are certain foods which speed up metabolism, thus accelerating the breaking down of the food you eat, making the energy more viable to be used than be stored; these foods support the mechanisms that will aid in burning fat.

Source – Steve Johnson

Spice

Hot peppers such as jalapeno, green Indian chillies, cayenne and spicy Italian red chillies directly tell your metabolism to speed its circulation. The spicy nature of these vegetables also reduces cravings, for sugar and fatty foods. It’s because the compound capsaicin stimulates the body’s pain receptors and the body reacts to this by increasing blood circulation and the metabolic rate. Some studies have shown that if you eat a chilli dish, that makes you profusely sweat to the point you get a runny nose, it boosts your metabolism by nearly 20% and can last for 2 hours.

Softly softly approach

If you would really not go down the no pain no gain route, whole grains can act just as effectively but in different ways. Oatmeal and brown rice complex carbohydrates which force the body to speed up metabolism by stabilizing your insulin levels. Because, of their slow burn nature, they’re great ingredients for a meal to have with supplements such as HCG Triumph. The body’s natural processes of burning fat are combined with a low-calorie intake diet, that spikes your consumption rate. This the two methods balance each other out by the complex carbohydrates releasing slowly, yet the supplement hastening digestion.

Acidic fruits

Knowledge coming out of the State University of Rio de Janeiro has found that women who eat three small apples, pears, tomatoes and oranges lost more weight than those who did not. The obvious reason is because of the acidity of the fruit, reacts with the stomach’s own acid, creating a calm but turbulent metabolic rate. Whipping into action are enzymes which break food down, and the faster that happens, the quicker the nutrients enter into your intestines. Organic apples are one of the most available fruits in any shopping market, so you can’t complain about not have access to a simple solution to burning fat.

Credit – Robert Judge

Broccoli soup

Rich in calcium

Eat Yourself Fit: Meal Tips That Will Help You Lose That Excess Weight

Most of us feel like we need to lose a little of that excess weight. But actually making it happen is never as easy as we would like it to be. Taking a sustainable approach to eating is the best way to go. This is not about following fad diets or pushing yourself too far at the gym. Instead, it’s about putting the right things in your body and losing weight safely and properly. You can learn more below.

Create a Solid Meal Plan

The very first thing you should do when you’re trying to eat yourself fit is create a solid meal plan for yourself. When you have this kind of a plan in place, you can be 100% sure that you know where you’re heading and what you need to eat. If you take a more relaxed approach, you will be more likely to give into the temptations that could be less healthy. There are no reasons why you should let that happen, though. It’s very easy and straightforward to come up with a few recipes that you can make a plan out of. These meal plans will help with weight loss, so start using them. You can tweak and change them as you want.

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Eat a Healthy Breakfast, But Don’t Skip It

It’s a big mistake to skip breakfast. All those people that tell you over and over again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day are correct. Eating a healthy breakfast is the perfect way to start the day, and it’s something that you really need to focus on if you want to do well and lose that excess weight. You can get your day off to the right start, and you shouldn’t fall into the trap of skipping it. This is what lots of people do, and it can actually make it harder for you to lose weight.

Cut Down Starchy Carbohydrates 

Carbohydrates can be pretty damaging for your health if you eat them too much. Those starchy carbs are full of all the things that your body doesn’t really need. Of course, you can’t cut out carbs altogether because they are an important part of any diet. But that doesn’t mean that you should rely on them too heavily. Far too many people see carbs as the biggest part of their diet. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Find other healthy foods that are less starchy to form your diet 

Swap Meat for Fish More Often

Meat can be a good part of your diet. But too much red meat in your diet can be damaging in the long-term. One of the smartest things you can do is replace some of that meat with fish. Fish is very healthy, it’s great for your body and mind, and you can do lots of great things with fish-based recipes. If you don’t have much fish in your diet right now, this is something that you should try to change. It could be the best dietary change you make.

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Getting Yourself Healthy In Time For July

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If you are anything like us, then you have been saying you’ll get healthy in time for summer since Boxing Day. Yet here you are, at the dawn of summer and you still haven’t done a quarter of what you had intended (read: haven’t done anything whatsoever). Don’t worry, it’s hard, we know that. Time flies like a jet plane and healthy habits are hard to get into. We know this as much as the next couch potato. It’s not too late, though.

It’s only the start of June and that means you have about a month to get super-duper healthy, which is totally doable. All you need to do is follow these simple strategies. It’s not one-size fits all, so pick and choose the ones that will suit your life and go from there.

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Ba-Bye Junk Food

Junk food is the antichrist of a healthy body because it is the polar opposite of healthy food. So if you have junk food in your diet, toss it out. Get rid of that and you’ll get rid of your belly fat. Anything that is fatty, sugary, salty or greasy needs to be gone. Set yourself a challenge of one month whereby you have no junk food in your home – or at work – whatsoever.

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Find Yourself A Diet

What you want is a diet that will use the body’s natural processes of burning and storing fat; something like the HCG diet will get you ready for summer. The reason for getting into a diet plan is that it will give you something tangible to follow and that will act as motivation alongside the ticking clock of summer.

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Cook In Bulk

The best way to stick to a healthy eating plan is to cook in bulk. Get ahead of the game by cooking in big beautiful batches of healthy meals and then store it in the freezer. Not only will this mean you have something healthy to take to work or have at your fingertips, it will also mean less time in the kitchen and more time on the treadmill. That’s two birds with one stone.

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Change Up Your Snacking

When we think snacks we think about crisps, chocolate and that sort of thing (thank you very much, food industry). However, a quick mentality alteration and your snacking can become that much healthier. Things like fruit, raw nuts, and chopped vegetables are a way healthier alternative and will see you summer ready in no time.

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No More Naughty Drinks

Just take a moment to think about what you drink on a normal day. Sugary drinks and coffee with sugar in it (or even coffee without sugar in it!). These are empty calories that are so detrimental to a healthy body. So get into the habit of drinking water or some gorgeously healthy tea, like green tea or jasmine tea or any kind of fruit tea really. Healthy body and mind here we come.

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Bring On A Partner

The hardest thing about getting healthy, as you’ll probably agree, is motivating yourself. At first, it isn’t too bad, but then you miss one gym session and it spirals out of control. That’s where having a partner on board can be so helpful. Your spouse or a friend or someone you work with, anyone that will stop you making up excuses like you just have to watch the next episode of Big Little Lies and then you’re good to go. Having someone with you makes it more fun too, and in one month’s time, you can thank them for the way you look at feel.

Eating Enough Fruit And Veg Made Easy

We all know how important it is to get enough fruit and vegetables in our diet, yet the large majority of us fail to do this. It may not always feel like it, but eating the recommended amount of fruit and veg doesn’t need to be a challenge. Here, we’ll list some of the easiest things you can do to make sure you’re getting enough fruit and vegetables in.

Image: Wikimedia

Keep Them in the Open

Simply making the fruit and veg in your house more visible can be a great first step towards encouraging everyone in your household, you included, to get their fill. Don’t hide them away at the back of your cupboards. Instead, get a fruit bowl for the kitchen, keep it well-stocked, and have snackable things like carrot sticks available at the front of the fridge. Even taking the time to slice up apples, kiwis and so on can give you a little extra motivation to take a bite in passing.

Drink Them (Up to a Point)

Juice and smoothies are excellent ways to get your fill of fruit and veg, and make it feel easier. You can even start following a whole juice diet if you’re looking to lose weight. The next time you’re shopping for fruit, look for labels that say “100% fruit juice”, as a glass of these are guaranteed to give you a serving. Just be wary of the portion size, and make sure you know how much a serving is. It’s completely possible to wind up consuming more calories through juice and smoothies, even though they’re not exactly filling!

Think Frozen

Buying bulk amounts of peas and vegetables, and keeping them in your freezer, is an excellent way to make sure there’s always vegetables in the house. Frozen veg is remarkably easy to prepare, and can be kept for a long time, making them much more economical compared to buying fresh veg here and there throughout the week. Frozen raspberries and blueberries are also great to scatter over a bland cereal in the morning. Despite what you may have heard, it’s a complete myth that frozen fruits and vegetables are less nutritious than fresh ones, although the flavour can be a little dampened depending on where you source them from.

Get Started Early

Like a lot of things, the sooner you get started with eating your recommended amount of fruit and veg, the easier you’ll find it to polish it off. Start getting into the habit of making fruits or vegetables part of your breakfast. Adding sliced bananas or berries to your cereal is a classic, but you can also add vegetables to an omelette, berries to your yoghurt, or simply have a piece of fruit on the side. Soon enough, this will start to feel like part of the routine, rather than a chore you really ought to do. From there, you’ll have that much less to worry about through the rest of the day.

Start applying these tips, and you’ll find it so much easier to get your fill of fruit and veg.

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