Health & Fitness Have To Be Holistic: Here’s Why

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The quest for perfect health and fitness is not a simple one. If it was, there wouldn’t be a huge industry worth billions worldwide trying to bring solutions to the variety of concerns we have about our bodies.

One of the major reasons that overall wellness is such a problem is because we don’t treat it as overall wellness. Instead, we break down our issues into separate groups, usually along the lines of:

  • Weight concerns, primarily wanting to lose weight. Surveys have shown that at any one time, over 50% of women want to lose weight. Whether or not they are actively trying to do so is another story, but that’s still an overwhelming number of people who are fixated on weight loss.
  • We know that we should be fit due to the way it can control our health not just in the now, but in the future too. Sometimes weight concerns and fitness are grouped together, but not always.
  • Whether it’s for weight loss or just because you’re focused on consuming the right nutrients, diet is an important consideration for many of us.
  • Mental health. Depression and anxiety disorders are commonly diagnosed these days, with around one in three people having a direct experience of mental illness. In an ever-busier world, taking care of our mental health needs has become a priority.
  • Emotional health. This tends to encompass things like the need for meditation, self-care, and ensuring we’re thriving in life rather than just surviving.

Compartmentalizing Health Is A Problem 

A big problem.

Our bodies are a living organism; our very own ecosystem. Like any ecosystem, how one part of the system is doing has a direct impact on how everything else is able to function.

This is why looking at health and fitness as an overwhelming singular entity – rather than splitting it down into groups – is an essential.

An Example 

If you suffer from depression, then you have a chemical imbalance in your brain. That’s what medication and therapies try to correct. For you, your focus would be on mental health – and that’s fine.

However, the other areas influence your depression too. For example, exercise has been shown to be able to alleviate the symptoms of depression. There are also foods you can eat that can help ease depressive symptoms.

If you were just focusing on mental health, you’d never know about the exercise and food changes you could make that would also help your mental health. This is a fundamental reason why health and fitness should be approached as an overall, holistic concern. You don’t know what you could be missing out on if you choose to focus on one area selectively.

What Happens With Single Focus

If you do just choose to focus on one area, then the chances of success are slim. Let’s investigate another example to learn how focusing on a single area can be ineffective, and potentially even harm your progress.

If you make the decision to lose weight, you can throw yourself into a diet plan, count calories, and all those other activities. However, when you have a bad day at work, you forget all your good motivations and head right for the chocolate. Emotional eating is a real problem – but you wouldn’t know it, because you have only been focusing on losing weight. By not examining issues regarding how your emotions impact your appetite, you’re always going to be at risk of stymying your own progress.

So when you just drill down into a single area, it’s actually an inherently bad thing. The only way you can ever fix or improve your mind and body is by treating them as part of the same system – which, of course, they are: they’re all you.

How To Do It

There are numerous programs such as Thrive by Le-Vel that focus on bringing together all aspects of health. This can be extremely useful if you’re entirely new to holistic methods and need some guidance.

You can also self-manage holistic treatments. Start by taking an issue that you have and then looking for a solution in every one of the categories listed above. You can then tackle whatever your concern is from a multi-pronged stance, giving you far more chance of success.

This might take a little work, especially if you have previously been only focusing in one area. However, it might just be the key you need to finally solve issues that have plagued you for a number of years. So why not do something different, and give the holistic approach a try?

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Grow Old Healthily, Not Just Gracefully

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When it comes to aging, we all want to make sure that we handle it well. Not only do we want to make sure that we feel as good as we can, but we often want to look it too. And hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. You’ve got to look after the skin you’re in if you want it to stand the test of time. And that means starting now. In order to age well, and that means healthily and not just gracefully, you’ve got to start doing things that are going to help you as you age – both inside and out.

Stay Active

Firstly, you’re going to want to make sure that you stay active. Even if you’re young now, be sure to keep up your exercise and stay that way until you physically can’t. When you start to get lax, your body knows. A lot of older people find that they’re unable to do things because they’ve stopped being as active. Therefore, their muscles find it hard to start again. But, if you keep your body agile, it should serve you well.

Stay Out Of The Sun

If you’re worried about the visible signs of aging, you’re going to want to avoid the sun as much as possible. Of course, you’re going to want to get a healthy dose of vitamin D, but be sure to wear sunscreen and avoid midday sun. That way, you can avoid drastic procedures, or opt for just an upper face lift if you do need it later in life, rather than having to undone too much damage. The sun is a huge cause of premature aging, so remember that prevention is better than cure.

Get Your Omegas In

You should also make sure that you’re caring for your joints. We all know that they can cause you problems later on in life, so you should do what you can to care for them now. These tips on healthy joints should help you, but also remember to get your Omegas in. Whether you eat more oily fish or choose to take supplements, it’s just one way that you can keep your joints supple and healthy for longer.

Keep Your Mind Calm

But aging is also about your mind and not just your body. Although some things can’t be avoided, you should aim to keep yourself as calm and as stress-free as possible throughout your life. It’s not always something you can start to implement yourself, so be sure to look into ways that you can calm an anxious mind. Exercises will often help you to gain better mental clarity and enjoy a happier and healthier life because of it.

Avoid Toxins

And finally, you should try to make a conscious effort to avoid toxins is you want to age healthily and gracefully. You may not realize it, but the chemicals caused by stress, found in some foods, and even in your beauty products can be bad for your health and even bring on early signs of aging. But, by doing what you can to avoid them, you’ll be helping your easy aging process.

 

 

Push Past The Marathon Pain With These Awesome Running Tips

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Running a marathon ain’t easy. Even the most experienced runners will tell you that getting to the finish line is a very tough challenge, and you will certainly need to put in enough training to be able to get there. Not only that, though, but you also need to come up with a plan to push through all the pain when it hits. And we’re talking physical and mental pain!

You can reduce the amount of physical pain you experience with sufficient practice. However, the mental pain is something that can be problematic. But as long as you follow these awesome running tips, you shouldn’t struggle with it too much!

Forget Pre-Race Nerves

Pre-race nerves can really mess with a runner’s mentality before the race. If the nerves really get to you, they could scupper your chances of beating your personal best. It is very important that you try to stay relaxed right before the race so that you can forget all about your nerves. One way to ditch the nerves is to focus on your strengths and what makes you a good runner. That way, you won’t be thinking about the different ways things could go wrong!

Use The Best Source Of Energy

If your body doesn’t get the right energy to burn during the marathon, there is no way it is going to make it to the end. But getting the right energy can help reduce the physical pain, which will help you stay motivated and focused throughout the race. Carbohydrates and sugars are packed full of energy and protein is necessary to help the body repair itself. Most runners pack a load of these food groups into their meals the day before the marathon. As well as preloading, you will be able to buy energy supplements that you can take during the race.

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Think Of Pain Positively

Ok, so this might sound very hard to do, but if you manage to think of pain in a positive light, then it won’t bother you half as much. Try to connect your pain to a positive thought, as you will then feel it a lot less. Once you start to think all of the usual negative thoughts when you first feel the pain, it will make it a lot worse than what it actually is.

Keep The Finish In Mind

When you are running and start to feel the pain build up, you should start to think of the payoff that is waiting for you at the finish line. Once you cross the line, it will all be over, and you will have certainly achieved something amazing! Not only will you have completed a marathon but you might also be able to beat your personal best! Keep thinking of this personal achievement and all the joy you will feel once you are finished.

No one said running a marathon was going to be completely painless but, hopefully, this guide will help you push past it all!

Good luck with your next marathon!

 

Bad Gut Health Gets In The Way Of The Rest Of Your Life

Bloating. Constipation. Stomach aches. Gas. They are all very annoying in their own way, but gut health is about a lot more than just how often you encounter those issues. It’s about enjoying your life, getting in better shape, avoiding sickness, and even dealing with long-term health issues. Here, we’ll look at why you should be more concerned about your gut health.

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It might be more than a tummy ache

If you experience the problems mentioned above on a more regular basis, then there might be a couple of reasons. For one, you might eat gassy foods that get in the way of your digestive system working properly. Stress might be shutting down that system. Or you might be dealing with irritable bowel syndrome. The word syndrome makes it sound scary and chronic, but it can be easily dealt with through an IBS natural treatment that targets not only the symptoms but the causes. If you’re dealing with gut problems often, it’s best to get it diagnosed as quickly as possible so you can take preemptive action against it.

Sleeping issues

Poor gut health often plays a key role in insomnia, as well. In return, not getting the correct amount of sleep then makes your digestive system less effective at its job. The two issues need to be tackled together. For one, schedule your meals more regularly and give yourself two-to-three hours between your last meal and bedtime. Improve sleeping habits by tracking your sleep cycles and using therapeutic methods like lavender scents to easier fall asleep at night.

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Get more good

Your gut is the key to the rest of your health. That’s because your stomach and intestines are the stars of the show when it comes to absorbing nutrients from the stuff that you eat. Find out what probiotic and prebiotic foods you can include more of in your diet. These foods help create a home for the helpful bacteria that assist in breaking down food properly, allowing your body to better absorb them. If you’re not looking after your gut health, you will never get the full effects of a nutritious and well-balanced diet.

Stop reaching for those tissues

Good gut health also plays a role in helping you stay healthy in general. It’s no understatement when experts say that the gut is where sickness begins. Bacterial diseases, colds, and the flu all have their beginnings here. By helping promote your gut health, you are also promoting a more effective immune system. Beyond the aforementioned healthy foods, you should also look at increasing the amount of vitamin C you get and consider taking fish oil. You’ll start seeing the effects when you breeze past all the bugs and maladies that seem to get everyone else in the family and the workplace.

Foster healthy bacteria in your gut. Avoid foods and habits that get in the way of a healthy digestive system. Sleep better, get better results from health pushes and get sick less often. These are all the things that good gut health can help you with.

 

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.

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Broccoli soup

Rich in calcium

Getting the Right Amount of Sleep

When you head to bed, how many hours of sleep do you aim for? Are you trying to go for the standard 8 hours, do you get by with 5, or are you one of those people that try to sleep for as long as possible? Whatever your sleeping pattern is, there are most likely a few ways to optimise your sleep schedule so that you’re more likely to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the next day.

Contrary to popular belief, recommended amounts of sleep don’t make much sense. Everyone’s body is different and, as a result, everyone sleeps a different amount every night. There’s a reason why some people sleep in for many more hours than others, and there’s also a reason why everyone manages to get by with however much sleep they get. There could be lifestyle decisions or health issues that affect how much sleep you actually get, and it’s possible that you’re sleeping too little or too much.

There are a couple of ways that will help you get the right amount of sleep, but it takes a little trial and error and it does involve some experimentation. So to help you get the most out of your bedtime, here are a few tips.

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Start with your bedroom

First of all, we need to remove any suspicion that it’s your bedroom that’s causing your lack of sleep. There are several issues that need to be taken care of before we can start experimenting with how much sleep you get each night. First of all, remove any kind of electronics in the room. For instance, if you find yourself lounging in bed at night watching late night television, then you want to remove the TV and watch all of your shows before bed. You want your body to associate sleeping with the bed, not films.

Next, visit a mattress comparison site like ChooseMattress and pick something that’s fairly expensive and meets your needs. We sleep on our beds for roughly a third of our lives, so make sure you’re not cheaping out and getting a budget mattress—your back will thank you in the future. Try to remember that your bed frame also matters.

The sleep experiment

So to start, set a baseline of around 7 hours. Set your alarm to when you want to wake up, count back 7 hours, then sleep at that time. Sleep means you’re in bed and already closing your eyes by the time that time strikes, so don’t delay it too much. If you manage to wake up on time consistently for a couple of days, then that’s your target bedtime. If you find yourself waking up consistently before your alarm, then you can reduce your sleep needed by around 10-15 minutes. If you find yourself snoozing more often, then add 10-15 minutes.

Keep repeating this process until you’ve completely grown used to a certain sleep time. It’s important to practice this experiment for at least a week until you’re comfortable sleeping and waking up at the same time. Remember a lot of sleep problems can be solved with a regular schedule that you stick to so that it adjusts your body’s inner clock. Sleeping the correct amount can solve everything from weight issues to managing your chronic pain, so make sure you’re sleeping the correct amount each night.

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.

Get Your Heart Racing: Exercises To Improve Health And Lifestyle

We are all very much aware that exercising is good for us, but do we do as much exercise as we should be? The truth is, exercise should be part of our daily lives, where on average you do something that increases your heart rate or stretches your muscles or mind at least for 30 minutes each day. This, however, may sound like a tall task to ask of you. After all, we can all be living hectic lives as it is. Work commitments, social lives, they all take up our precious waking hours, so where can the exercise fit in? However, some exercises are very enjoyable, and they can fit seamlessly into your day by making a few simple changes to your routine. I thought I would share with you some of the most common exercises that can have a huge impact on your health and lifestyle.

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Going for a run

One of most common forms of exercise is simply going for a run. A lot of people tend to fit this in after work, as it’s a great way to calm your mind and transition from work mode into an evening of relaxation or family time. Running, of course, is a cardio workout, so it definitely enables you to increase your heart rate. You don’t need much other than some active wear and a decent pair of jogging trainers, and you can simply just head out of your front door and run. It is a great form of therapy psychologically, and many people would agree that it is the easiest ways to exercise frequently, and it can be rather enjoyable once you get into it. Many people even then sign up to do distance runs such as 10ks and even marathons.

Biking your commute to work

We can all agree that daily exercise can be a huge task to fit in, so why not turn something you would normally do into exercise? Instead of relying on your car or public transport, why not bike your way into work instead? Many employers actually encourage this and have facilities in which to park your bike for the day, and for you to change into your work attire. Of course, you may need to invest in a decent bike and some cycle insurance to ensure that you are covered. But it’s a great way to incorporate your daily exercise.

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Practicing yoga in an evening or morning

While yoga may not be seen as a cardio workout, when combined with regular exercise it’s a great way to vary the type of exercise you do. Yoga concentrates on stretches and muscles while encouraging you to focus on your mind and breathing techniques. This is a great way to destress from an especially busy and stressful day, while still getting some important exercise. Some people also combine yoga with meditation practice as a way to prioritise their thoughts or simply as a relaxation technique. There are plenty of tutorials online to help you master some of the most common yoga poses.

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Attending a gym for an aerobic class

Sometimes you need to be accountable for the exercise that you take, so joining a gem may be your best option. Although it can be pricey, they offer various classes and facilities, making it much easier to attend and do a workout. An aerobic class is a great way to incorporate a block amount of time of cardio workout. Plus being with other people can be an excellent motivator.

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Swimming

 

Swimming is seen as a full body workout, and a great way to not only increase your heart rate but work on muscles all over your body from one form of exercise. Swimming doesn’t require any fancy equipment, just a costume and yourself. You don’t have to be a member of a gym, as there are plenty of local pools you can enjoy the facilities of. It;s also a refreshing exercise and can actually be relaxing if you love being in the water.

Seeking out the expertise of a personal trainer

Finally, if you have some money to invest into your exercise, then you may want to gain the expertise and knowledge of a personal trainer. These people tend to tailor exercises to your needs, abilities and your end goals. They will know what exercises and equipment you should be using, and the workout can be tailored to the amount of time you have. It can also help to have someone there to spur you on, especially if you begin to flag towards the end. They can be a worthy investment, but may not be a long-term option.

I hope this has inspired you to incorporate more exercise into your daily routine.

 

Wacky Ways to Lose Belly Fat!

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If there is one thing we all want in life it’s to lose a little weight. Sometimes, we just enjoy food too much and let go of our inhibitions. Although it’s delicious, it’s also unhealthy, especially if you’re carrying a little more timber than necessary.

Of course, you’re reading this thinking ‘this isn’t my first rodeo, pal,’ and you’re right. Lots of people try to lose weight on a daily basis, so what makes this post any different? Well, aside from the fact that these tips work, they are also weird and wonderful. When you spend a lifetime following the rules, sometimes it’s good to cut loose.

With that in mind, here are four wacky ways to lose weight that you won’t find on a conventional dieting blog.

The Sniff Test

 According to a study by the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, sniffing food works. In fact, their research shows that people lost nearly two stones. The method behind the madness is that the aroma of the food tricks the brain into thinking you’re eating. As a result, the brain tells the stomach you’re full, and the hunger pains cease. Sure, you’ll feel like an idiot the first time, but persist and you’ll look like a skinny idiot!

Testosterone Replacement

As you know, testosterone is a hormone found in the human body. What you might not know is that it is prominent in both males and females, and it’s responsible for burning fat. In fact, experts believe it’s the main hormone in charge and advocate supplements like Elite Testosterone Replacement. The stats do add up too. For starters, low testosterone can affect energy levels, which in turn make you less likely to exercise. Plus, low hormone levels also make you more tired. Fatigue is a killer when it comes to health because it lowers the body’s overall efficiency.

Bigger Breakfast

Because we don’t feel like eating in the morning, breakfast is usually quick and easy. Although it’s a good way to start the day, it isn’t the best way to lose weight. Simply put, eating more calories in the morning gives you more time to burn them off. Plus, it should provide you with more energy to workout. Shifting the balance so that your lunch and dinner have fewer calories can help you lose a ton. Okay, it won’t be a ton, but it’ll be a lot! In fact, try and avoid eating at night altogether because the body doesn’t have the time to digest the intake.

Packaged Snacks

The fact is that you will still snack even if you are on a health kick. It’s just an occupational hazard of being a human being. The good news is that you can curb it by sticking to wrapped products. Studies show that people that have to unwrap junk food cut their intake by up to thirty percent. It seems that the hassle of fiddling with packaging makes snacking less desirable. What a result!

See, you don’t have to stick to the tried and tested methods to reach your goals.

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