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The 14 Most Common Signs of Gluten Intolerance Yasmin Safa Gluten intolerance is a fairly common problem. It is characterized by adverse reactions to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten intolerance. It is an autoimmune disease that affects about 1% of the population and may lead to damage in the digestive system (1, 2). However, 0.5–13% of people may also have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, a milder form of gluten intolerance that can still cause problems (3, 4). Both forms of gluten intolerance can cause widespread symptoms, many of which have nothing to do with digestion. Here are the 14 main signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance. 1. Bloating Bloating is when you feel as if your belly is swollen or full of gas after you›ve eaten. This can make you feel miserable (5). Although bloating is very common and can have many explanations, it may also be a sign of gluten intolerance. In fact, feeling bloated is one of the most common complaints of people who are sensitive or intolerant to gluten (6, 7). One study showed that 87% of people who had suspected non-celiac gluten sensitivity experienced bloating (8). BOTTOM LINE:Bloating is one of the most common symptoms of gluten intolerance. It involves the belly feeling swollen after eating. 2. Diarrhea, Constipation and Smelly Feces Occasionally getting diarrhea and constipation is normal, but it may be a cause for concern if it happens regularly. These also happen to be a common symptom of gluten intolerance. Individuals with celiac disease experience inflammation in the gut after eating gluten. This damages the gut lining and leads to poor nutrient absorption, resulting in significant digestive discomfort and frequent diarrhea or constipation (9). However, gluten may also cause digestive symptoms in some people who don’t have celiac disease (10, 11, 12, 13). More than 50% of gluten-sensitive individuals regularly experience diarrhea, while about 25% experience constipation (8). Furthermore, individuals with celiac disease may experience pale and foul-smelling feces due to poor nutrient absorption. Frequent diarrhea can cause some major health concerns, such as loss of
electrolytes, dehydration and fatigue (14). BOTTOM LINE:Gluten-intolerant people commonly experience diarrhea or constipation. Celiac disease patients may also experience pale and foul-smelling feces. 3. Abdominal Pain Abdominal pain is very common and can have numerous explanations. However, it is also the single most common symptom of an intolerance to gluten (13, 15, 16). Up to 83% of those with gluten intolerance experience abdominal pain and discomfort after eating gluten (8, 17). BOTTOM LINE:Abdominal pain is the most common symptom of gluten intolerance, experienced by up to 83% of gluten intolerant individuals. 4. Headaches Many people experience headaches or migraines once in a while. Migraines are a common condition, with 10–12% of the Western population experiencing them regularly (18, 19). Interestingly, studies have shown that gluten-intolerant individuals may be more prone to migraines than others (20, 21). If you have regular headaches or migraines without any apparent cause, you could be sensitive to gluten. BOTTOM LINE:Gluten-intolerant individuals seem to be more prone to migraines than healthy people. 5. Feeling Tired Feeling tired is very common and usually not linked to any disease. However, if you constantly feel very tired, then you should explore the possibility of an underlying cause. Gluten-intolerant individuals are very prone to fatigue and tiredness, especially after eating foods that contain gluten (22, 23). Studies have shown that 60–82% of gluten-intolerant individuals commonly experience tiredness and fatigue (8, 23). Furthermore, gluten intolerance can also cause iron-deficiency anemia, which in turn will cause more tiredness and lack of energy (24). BOTTOM LINE:Feeling extremely tired is another common symptom, affecting about 60–82% of glutenintolerant individuals. 6. Skin Problems Gluten intolerance can also affect your skin. A blistering skin condition called dermatitis herpetiformis is the skin manifestation of celiac disease (25). Everyone who has the disease is sensitive to gluten, but less than 10% of patients experience digestive symptoms that indicate celiac disease (25). Furthermore, several other skin diseases have shown improvement while on a gluten-free diet. These include (26):
Psoriasis: An inflammatory disease of the skin characterized by scaling and reddening of the skin (27, 28, 29).
Alopecia areata: An autoimmune disease that appears as non-scarring hair loss (28, 30, 31).
Chronic urticaria: A skin condition characterized by recurrent, itchy, pink or red lesions with pale centers (32, 33).
BOTTOM LINE:Dermatitis herpetiformis is the skin manifestation of celiac disease. Several other skin diseases may also improve with a gluten-free diet. 7. Depression Depression affects about 6% of adults each year. The symptoms can be very disabling and involve feelings of hopelessness and sadness (34). People with digestive issues seem to be more prone to both anxiety and depression, compared to healthy individuals (35). This is especially common among people who have celiac disease (36, 37, 38, 39). There are a few theories about how gluten intolerance can drive depression. These include (40):
Abnormal serotonin levels: Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that allows cells to communicate. It is commonly known as one of the «happiness» hormones. Decreased amounts of it have been linked with depression (37, 41).
Gluten exorphins: These peptides are formed during the digestion of some of the gluten proteins. They may interfere with the central nervous system, which may raise the risk of depression (42).
Changes in the gut microbiota: Increased amounts of harmful bacteria and decreased amounts of beneficial bacteria may affect the central nervous system, increasing the risk of depression (43).
Several studies have shown that depressed individuals with self-reported gluten intolerance want to continue a gluten-free diet because they feel better, even though their digestive symptoms may not be resolved (44, 45). That suggests that gluten exposure on its own may induce feelings of depression, irrespective to digestive symptoms. BOTTOM LINE:Depression is more common among individuals with gluten intolerance. 8. Unexplained Weight Loss An unexpected weight change is often a cause for concern. Although it can stem from various reasons, unexplained weight loss is a common side effect of undiagnosed celiac disease (46). In one study in celiac disease patients, two-thirds had lost weight in the six months leading up to their diagnosis (17). The weight loss may be explained by a variety of digestive symptoms, coupled with poor nutrient absorption. BOTTOM LINE:Unexpected weight loss may be a sign of celiac disease, especially if coupled with other digestive symptoms.
9. Iron-Deficiency Anemia Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world and accounts for anemia in 5% and 2% of American women and men, respectively (47). Iron deficiency causes symptoms such as low blood volume, fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, pale skin and weakness (48). In celiac disease, nutrient absorption in the large intestine is impaired, resulting in a reduced amount of iron being absorbed from food (49). Iron deficiency anemia may be among the first symptoms of celiac disease that your doctor notices (50). Recent studies suggest that iron deficiency may be significant in both children and adults with celiac disease (51, 52). BOTTOM LINE:Celiac disease may cause poor absorption of iron from your diet, causing iron-deficiency anemia. 10. Anxiety Anxiety may affect 3–30% of people worldwide (53). It involves feelings of worry, nervousness, unease and agitation. Furthermore, it often goes hand-in-hand with depression (54). Individuals with gluten intolerance seem to be more prone to anxiety and panic disorders than healthy individuals (39, 55, 56, 57, 58). Additionally, a study showed that up to 40% of individuals with self-reported gluten sensitivity stated that they regularly experienced anxiety (8). BOTTOM LINE:Gluten-intolerant individuals seem to be more prone to anxiety than healthy individuals. 11. Autoimmune Disorders Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack your digestive tract after you consume gluten (59). Interestingly, having this autoimmune disease makes you more prone to other autoimmune diseases, such as autoimmune thyroid disease (60, 61). Furthermore, autoimmune thyroid disorders may be a risk factor for developing emotional and depressive disorders (62, 63, 64). This also makes celiac disease more common in people that have other autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, autoimmune liver diseases and inflammatory bowel disease (61). However, non-celiac gluten sensitivity has not been associated with an increased risk of autoimmune disorders, malabsorption or nutritional deficiencies (65, 66). BOTTOM LINE:Individuals with autoimmune diseases like celiac disease are more likely to get other autoimmune diseases, such as thyroid disorders. 12. Joint and Muscle Pain There are numerous reasons why people experience joint and muscle pain. There is a theory that those with celiac disease have a genetically determined over-sensitive or over-excitable nervous system. Therefore, they may have a lower threshold to activate sensory neurons that cause pain in muscles and joints (67, 68). Moreover, gluten exposure may cause inflammation in gluten-sensitive individuals. The inflammation may
result in widespread pain, including in joints and muscles (8). BOTTOM LINE:Gluten-intolerant individuals commonly report joint and muscle pain. This is possibly due to an over-sensitive nervous system. 13. Leg or Arm Numbness Another surprising symptom of gluten intolerance is neuropathy, which involves numbness or tingling in the arms and legs. This condition is common in individuals with diabetes and vitamin B12 deficiency. It can also be caused by toxicity and alcohol consumption (69). However, individuals with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity seem to be at a higher risk of experiencing arm and leg numbness, compared to healthy control groups (70, 71, 72). While the exact cause is not known, some have linked this symptom to the presence of certain antibodies related to gluten intolerance (73). BOTTOM LINE:Gluten intolerance may cause numbness or tingling in the arms and legs. 14. Brain Fog “Brain fog” refers to the feeling of being unable to think clearly. People have described it as being forgetful, having difficulty thinking, feeling cloudy and having mental fatigue (74). Having a “foggy mind” is a common symptom of gluten intolerance, affecting up to 40% of gluten-intolerant individuals (8, 75, 76). This symptom may be caused by a reaction to certain antibodies in gluten, but the exact reason is unknown (77, 78). BOTTOM LINE:Gluten-intolerant individuals may experience brain fog. It involves having difficulty thinking, mental fatigue and forgetfulness. Take Home Message Gluten intolerance can have numerous symptoms. However, keep in mind that most of the symptoms on the list above may have other explanations as well. Nevertheless, if you regularly experience some of them without an apparent cause, then you may be reacting negatively to the gluten in your diet. In this case, you should consult with a doctor or try temporarily removing gluten from your diet to see if it helps.
What’s So Super About Superfoods? Tim Grace
You may have seen news reports, fad diets or ads touting the health benefits of the latest super food — everything from slowing aging to promoting weight loss. The glut of information can be overwhelming. So do superfoods really reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke?
The truth, said nutrition expert Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., RD, is that many so-called “super” foods are good for your heart and your overall health when incorporated into a heart-healthy diet that’s balanced in lean protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat milk and dairy products. This diet also should include nuts, seeds and legumes, fish and liquid vegetable oils.
There are no standard criteria or approved list of super foods, said Kris-Etherton, also Distinguished Professor of Nutrition at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Penn. “Eating ‘super foods’ won’t hurt you. Most are very healthy,” Kris-Etherton said. “As a registered dietician, I’d like to see people eat more of the super foods like whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, fish, fatty fish and all fruits and veggies.” But are they really ‘super’? Most myths about super foods are perpetuated by marketing efforts, said Kris-Etherton, which is why most nutrition experts prefer not to use the term. “A lot of people have unrealistic expectations about these foods, thinking they’ll be protected from chronic diseases and health problems,” she said. “They may eat one or two of these nutrient-dense foods on top of a poor diet.”
Eating too much of one type of food may prevent you from getting the nutrients you need, Kris-Etherton said. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, many people in the U.S. don’t get enough of the potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk and milk products.
In addition to essential vitamins and nutrients, many fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds provide phytochemicals — chemical compounds found in plants — that may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, the buildup of fatty deposits in artery walls. Research has shown that bioactive compounds in dark chocolate may have health benefits, but watch out for ingredients like sugar and fat that up the calories. “Don’t eat so much dark chocolate that you overshoot your daily calorie goal and gain weight,” said Kris-Etherton, who is also an American Heart Association volunteer. What about wine? The potential health benefits of wine don’t justify overindulging in the alcohol or the calories, Kris-Etherton said. The American Heart Association recommends that if alcoholic beverages are consumed, they should
be limited to no more than 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women, and ideally should be consumed with meals. The Skinny on Common Super Foods •
Salmon is a fatty fish that’s low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeats, reduce triglycerides (the chemical form of fats in most foods and in your body) and slow the growth of plaque in the arteries. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two 3.5 ounce servings of fish a week.
Turkey is a leaner substitute for beef that can be grilled, roasted or ground.
Nuts, legumes and seeds are good sources of protein and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats when eaten in moderation. Choices include unsalted almonds, peanuts, pistachios and walnuts. The American Heart Association recommends getting four servings a week.
Berries like blueberries and strawberries have high levels of phytochemicals called flavonoids. One study showed that women who consumed more blueberries and strawberries had a lower risk of heart attack. The American Heart Association recommends nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, about 4.5 cups.
Soy products like tofu, soy butter and soy nuts are high in polyunsaturated fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals but low in saturated fat. They could replace other high-fat proteins in the diet, although it’s unknown exactly how soy affects heart disease risk factors.
Pumpkin is low in calories, high in fiber and high in vitamin A.
Kale provides vitamins A and C, potassium and phytochemicals.
Low-fat or nonfat yogurt, which provides calcium, vitamin D and protein, can be a good substitute for sour cream in recipes.
Dark chocolate is high in flavonoids, but fat and calories too! Treat yourself in moderation to avoid weight gain.
Red wine in moderation may have some health benefits, but the American Heart Association doesn’t recommend drinking alcohol to get them. High alcohol consumption can have negative effects on health, such as increased triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, and liver damage.
Stress Management Using Self-Help Techniques for Dealing with Stress Dinah Rashid It may seem like there’s nothing you can do about stress. The bills won’t stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day, and your work and family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might think. In fact, the simple realization that you’re in control of your life is the foundation of managing stress. Stress management is all about taking charge: of your lifestyle, thoughts, emotions, and the way you deal with problems. No matter how stressful your life seems, there are steps you can take to relieve the pressure and regain control. Why is it so important to manage stress? If you’re living with high levels of stress, you’re putting your entire well-being at risk. Stress wreaks havoc on your emotional equilibrium, as well as your physical health. It narrows your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life. Effective stress management, on the other hand, helps you break the hold stress has on your life, so you can be happier, healthier, and more productive. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun—and the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on. But stress management is not one-size-fits-all. That’s why it’s important to experiment and find out what works best for you. The following stress management tips can help you do that. Tip 1: Identify the sources of stress in your life Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. While it’s easy to identify major stressors such as changing jobs, moving, or a going through a divorce, pinpointing the sources of chronic stress can be more complicated. It’s all too easy to overlook how your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors contribute to your everyday stress levels. Sure, you may know that you’re constantly worried about work deadlines, but maybe it’s your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that is causing the stress. To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:
Do you explain away stress as temporary (“I just have a million things going on right now”) even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?
Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life (“Things are always crazy around here”) or as a part of your personality (“I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”)?
Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?
Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control. Start a stress journal A stress journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them. Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal. As you keep a daily log, you will begin to see patterns and common themes. Write down:
What caused your stress (make a guess if you’re unsure)
How you felt, both physically and emotionally
How you acted in response
What you did to make yourself feel better
Tip 2: Practice the 4 A’s of stress management While stress is an automatic response from your nervous system, some stressors arise at predictable times—your commute to work, a meeting with your boss, or family gatherings, for example. When handling such predictable stressors, you can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose in any given scenario, it’s helpful to think of the four A’s: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.
Tip 3: Get moving When you’re stressed, the last thing you probably feel like doing is getting up and exercising. But physical activity is a huge stress reliever—and you don’t have to be an athlete or spend hours in a gym to experience the benefits. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good, and it can also serve as a valuable distraction from your daily worries.
While you’ll get the most benefit from regularly exercising for 30 minutes or more, it’s okay to build up your fitness level gradually. Even very small activities can add up over the course of a day. The first step is to get yourself up and moving. Here are some easy ways to incorporate exercise into your daily schedule:
Put on some music and dance around
Take your dog for a walk
Walk or cycle to the grocery store
Use the stairs at home or work rather than an elevator
Park your car in the farthest spot in the lot and walk the rest of the way
Pair up with an exercise partner and encourage each other as you work out
Play ping-pong or an activity-based video game with your kids
The stress-busting magic of mindful rhythmic exercise While just about any form of physical activity can help burn away tension and stress, rhythmic activities are especially effective. Good choices include walking, running, swimming, dancing, cycling, tai chi, and aerobics. But whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you enjoy so you’re more likely to stick with it.
How to Start Exercising and Stick to It:Creating an Enjoyable Exercise Routine
While you’re exercising, make a conscious effort to pay attention to your body and the physical (and sometimes emotional) sensations you experience as you’re moving. Focus on coordinating your breathing with your movements, for example, or notice how the air or sunlight feels on your skin. Adding this mindfulness element will help you break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that often accompanies overwhelming stress.
Tip 4: Connect to others There is nothing more calming than spending quality time with another human being who makes you feel safe and understood. In fact, face-to-face interaction triggers a cascade of hormones that counteracts the body’s defensive “fight-or-flight” response. It’s nature’s natural stress reliever (as an added bonus, it also helps stave off depression and anxiety). So make it a point to connect regularly—and in person—with family and friends.
Making Good Friends: Meeting People and Connecting Keep in mind that the people you talk to don’t have to be able to fix your stress. They simply need to be good listeners. And try not to let worries about looking weak or being a burden keep you from opening up. The people who care about you will be flattered by your trust. It will only strengthen your bond. Of course, it’s not always realistic to have a pal close by to lean on when you feel overwhelmed by stress, but by building and maintaining a network of close friends you can improve your resiliency to life’s stressors. Tips for building relationships 1. Reach out to a colleague at work 2. Help someone else by volunteering 3. Have lunch or coffee with a friend 4. Ask a loved one to check in with you regularly 5. Accompany someone to the movies or a concert 6. Call or email an old friend 7. Go for a walk with a workout buddy 8. Schedule a weekly dinner date 9. Meet new people by taking a class or joining a club 10. Confide in a clergy member, teacher, or sports coach
Tip 5: Make time for fun and relaxation Beyond a take-charge approach and a positive attitude, you can reduce stress in your life by carving out “me” time. Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to take care of your own needs. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury. If you regularly make time for fun and relaxation, you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stressors.
Set aside leisure time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule. Don’t allow other obligations to encroach. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries.
Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be stargazing, playing the piano, or working on your bike.
Keep your sense of humor. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways. Consider taking up a relaxation practice
Relaxation Techniques: Accessing the Relaxation Response Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing activate the body’s relaxation response, a state of restfulness that is the opposite of the fight or flight or mobilization stress response. As you learn and practice these techniques, your stress levels will decrease and your mind and body will become calm and centered.
Tip 6: Manage your time better Poor time management can cause a lot of stress. When you’re stretched too thin and running behind, it’s hard to stay calm and focused. Plus, you’ll be tempted to avoid or cut back on all the healthy things you should be doing to keep stress in check, like socializing and getting enough sleep. The good news: there are things you can do to achieve a healthier work-life balance. Don’t over-commit yourself. Avoid scheduling things back-to-back or trying to fit too much into one day. All too often, we underestimate how long things will take.
Prioritize tasks. Make a list of tasks you have to do, and tackle them in order of importance. Do the highpriority items first. If you have something particularly unpleasant or stressful to do, get it over with early. The rest of your day will be more pleasant as a result.
Break projects into small steps. If a large project seems overwhelming, make a step-by-step plan. Focus on one manageable step at a time, rather than taking on everything at once.
Delegate responsibility. You don’t have to do it all yourself, whether at home, school, or on the job. If other people can take care of the task, why not let them? Let go of the desire to control or oversee every little step. You’ll be letting go of unnecessary stress in the process.
Tip 7: Maintain balance with a healthy lifestyle In addition to regular exercise, there are other healthy lifestyle choices that can increase your resistance to
Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day.
Reduce caffeine and sugar. The temporary «highs» caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the amount of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and sugar snacks in your diet, you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll sleep better.
Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary. Don’t avoid or mask the issue at hand; deal with problems head on and with a clear mind.
Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body. Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally.
LIIT vs. HIIT: Which Intensity is Best for You? Find out the differences between these methods. Sandra Sylvia High-intensity interval training has been deemed one of the most effective workouts, lauded for its fat burning, strength training, and efficient nature. However, low-intensity interval training can be just as effective—if done correctly. Get to know both styles of training with our guide to HIIT and LIIT. What is HIIT? HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is any workout that switches off between intense bouts of activity and periods of less intense activity, or total rest. It can lend itself to almost any form of exercise, from indoor and outdoor running to strength training, and everything in between. The goal is to repeatedly raise and lower your heart rate by giving it all you’ve got in the high-energy periods and recovering in the less intense periods.
Typically, a HIIT workout lasts around ten to 30 minutes, making it the ultimate time cruncher. The shorter amount of time makes no dents in your fitness efforts, either. Despite how short a HIIT workout can be, it can burn quite a bit of calories. In fact, in some cases, these workouts can burn up to 30 percent more calories than other workouts. Moreover, your metabolism and post-workout metabolic rate take an impressive hike once your sweat session is done. This is all without the risk of losing muscle mass.
These power-packed sessions can also produce just as many health benefits as longer moderately intense workouts. Sometimes, the benefits are similar to twice as much moderate exercise. This includes reduced blood pressure and blood sugar, as well as improved oxygen intake, digestion, and overall endurance. Not only that, but your workout is completely customizable (you can apply HIIT to a variety of exercises) and far from boring. Constantly switching up your speed, resistance, or movement requires constant attention. This leaves you no time to space out or check your phone. And, less boredom means more consistency. Maximum effects in minimal time? Hear, hear! What is LIIT? LIIT (low-intensity interval training) is similar to HIIT in the way that it consists of intervals of higher and lower intensity. The difference is that the high-intensity periods aren’t nearly as intense. Intensity during a LIIT routine is never at or above a sprint, and recovery time is longer. Think going from a jog into a walk, rather than a sprint into a jog.
No worries, because you can still torch calories this way. Although HIIT is lauded as the best weight loss option, LIIT can be just as effective. What it all comes down to is the amount of time you put into your workout. To achieve similar results performing LIIT as you would from performing HIIT, it typically takes twice as much time. Yet, if you’re willing to put in the extra time you can burn just as many (if not more) calories, plus benefit from a slew of other positive effects. On top of the same health benefits you gain from HIIT, you can gain similar benefits to general low-intensity training, like increased mobility, improved strength, and improved cardiovascular endurance. Basically, LIIT is the perfect alternative to vigorous
exercise. It allows you to gain the same benefits and burn calories without burning out. What’s the better workout for me? A well-rounded fitness routine will include both HIIT and LIIT. Both provide similar health benefits (like improved cognitive health in seniors and reduced blood pressure) and can burn the same amount of total calories. Some situations call for a specific style, though. The best option for you largely depends on your fitness level and available time.
As mentioned before, LIIT is ideal for those who don’t prefer higher-intensity workouts. Fitness beginners, those recovering from an injury, those coming back from a workout hiatus, or even those who want an easier workout on rest days, can all benefit from doing low-intensity interval training. Lower intensities are easier on your joints, make you less prone to injury, and won’t leave you winded.
On the other hand, HIIT workouts are perfect for those who have limited time, want to increase the difficulty of their workout, have good cardiovascular endurance, and are both experienced and seek a workout shake-up. If you’re aiming to push your body to its limits, high-intensity interval training is your best bet.
Ultimately, if you’re able, both options are worth trying. Just about any workout can be done through HIIT and LIIT, so the possibilities are endless.
6 Ways to Avoid Getting Bitten By a Zika Virus Mosquito BY KELSEY KOSS The most effective way to protect yourself from the Zika virus is to prevent mosquito bites. There are no vaccines or treatment for Zika, the quickly spreading mosquito-borne virus that may be responsible for thousands of birth defects. The most effective way to avoid the disease? Don’t get bit by a mosquito. Here, six crucial steps to protect yourself from Zika virus-infected mosquitoes.
1. Pick the right mosquito repellent The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends products with active ingredients DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin, or IR 3535. “DEET is the standard,” Mustapha Debboun, PhD, director of the mosquito control division of Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services in Houston, told NPR. “All the repellents being tested are tested to see if they beat DEET.” When products with DEET hit store shelves in 1957, there were early concerns about its safety. Some speculated it might be linked to neurological problems. While the long-term effects of DEET haven’t been studied, a 2014 study in the journal Parasties and Vectors found no evidence of negative side effects. Another classic study observed the effects of DEET on pregnant women past their first trimester: Some women used DEET products, while a control group did not. Six months after giving birth, the women’s babies showed no difference in neurological performance, weight, height, head, or arm size. The mosquito-borne Zika virus is suspected to be behind thousands of recent cases of microcephaly (when a baby is born with an abnormally small head). There is far more risk in skipping repellent than using it. What to avoid: The CDC does not recommend non-registered repellents such as citronella oil, cedar oil, geranium oil, peppermint and peppermint oil, “pure” oil of lemon eucalyptus (essential oil not formulated as a repellent), and soybean oil.
2. Apply it correctly Bug spray should be applied after sunscreen (otherwise, your SPF may mask it). Don’t wear repellent under clothes; it won’t evaporate and may accumulate on the fabric. Avoid spraying it on cuts or wounds. Importantly, don’t forget to spritz your feet and ankles. The mosquito that carries Zika virus, the Aedes variety, has a particular attraction to feet. To protect a child, spray repellent on your hands before rubbing it into his or her skin. Avoid children’s eyes and mouth, and use the spray sparingly around the ears. Don’t use repellent with a 30 percent or higher concentration of DEET. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children younger than age 3 (it hasn’t been thoroughly tested on children that young) and repellent should not be used on infants less than 2 months old (protect them in a carrier with mosquito netting). Follow the product’s instructions for re-application. Bug spray typically doesn’t need to be reapplied as often as sunscreen.
3. Repel with your clothes You know the drill for avoiding mosquitoes: long pants, long sleeves. Get extra protection with clothing containing permethrin, a synthetic insecticide. The Environmental Protection Agency has determined permethrin products are effective and safe for pregnant women and children. Since Aedes mosquitos have an appetite for your feet, stick to shoes with full coverage (not sandals) and socks. This is also not a good time for yoga pants—mosquitos can easily bite through Spandex. Generally, baggier clothes offer better protection. Protect your head with a hat and sunglasses.
4. Prep your home Many Americans are relatively protected from the Zika virus at the moment because mosquitoes die or go into hibernation in cold winter weather. When temperatures rise to 50 or 60 degrees Fahrenheit, however, mosquitoes can reappear and spread disease. The Aedes mosquitos feed during the day and fly into houses for shade—living and reproducing very close to people. Just one tablespoon of water can serve as a mosquito breeding ground and produce up to 300 mosquitoes. The insects can breed in the bottom of a glass in the bathroom (like one you use to brush your teeth with) or in a film of water next to the sink. Eliminate standing water throughout the home, including in flower pots, bottles, and accumulating garbage. Have a pool? No need to drain—mosquitos are deterred by the chlorine that keeps the pool clean and safe for swimming.
5. Exercise indoors Break a sweat inside. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and heat. Your body naturally emits both, but cranks up the volume when you work out.
6. Travel smart The best way to avoid Zika virus is to avoid affected areas. Check the CDC’s regularly updated list of countries and territories with active Zika virus transmission. If you must travel to an affected country, stay in air-conditioned areas, sleep under bed nets if your room may have mosquitoes, and use mosquito repellent vigilantly. If you’re pregnant, talk to your physician, and possibly reconsider your trip. The CDC issued an advisory this month for pregnant women to consider postponing travel to affected countries. If your trip is already scheduled, check options with your airline. Three major domestic carriers—United, Delta, and American Airlines—are allowing qualified passengers to re-book their trips without cancellation fees.
Just Say No to Foot Pain! Y7 Staff
The importance of foot care Working on your feet all day can do a number on your feet, legs, and back. In the United Kingdom, around 2.4 million work days were lost in 2009 and 2010 due to lower limb disorders. A 2014 survey of 1,000 American adults from the American Podiatric Medical Association found that half of respondents lived with some form of foot pain. Much of this pain and discomfort could be prevented by wearing the right shoe for the job and following a daily foot care routine.
Whether you’re cooking on a restaurant line, cutting hair in a salon, teaching in a classroom, or folding T-shirts at a clothing store, making an extra effort to take good care of your feet and legs can go a long way toward staying healthy and happy.
Wear the right shoe Flat sole shoes may seem like the obvious choice if you work on your feet, but these shoes aren’t recommended for prolonged standing. According to Canada’s Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc., your heel should be elevated by at least ¼-inch and should be less than 2 inches. Work shoes should also provide good arch support. This helps reduce weakness and soreness in the legs and feet. If your shoes don’t provide enough support, you can purchase arch support insoles from a drugstore or an athletic store.
Make sure they fit Many people wear shoes that are too small. This cuts off circulation to your feet, increases your chances of blisters, and makes walking or standing uncomfortable, if not unbearable. Getting your feet properly sized can help you make better decisions when it comes to purchasing shoes and reducing discomfort.
Johanna Youner, D.P.M., a board-certified foot surgeon and podiatrist in New York City, suggests being fitted for your shoes later in the day. “Your feet are naturally larger at the end of the day,” she says. “And for some, buying shoes a half size larger to fit arch supports or custom orthotics will be tremendously helpful.”
Stretch when you can Muscles can become stiff and painful as you stand or walk all day. Stop every hour or so to stretch, relax, and lengthen tightened muscles.
Calf raises help pump blood out of the foot (where it has pooled while you were standing) and back to the body.
1. Stand tall on the edge of a step or platform, with your abdominal muscles pulled in. 2. Secure the balls of your feet firmly on the step with your heels hanging over the edge. 3. Raise your heels a few inches above the step as you stand on your tiptoes, and hold for a second. 4. Lower your heels back to even with the platform. 5. Repeat 10 times. Another great stretch is the runner’s stretch. 1. Face a wall and place your hands against it. 2. Extend one leg behind your body. 3. Push your heel to the floor as far as it will go. 4. Hold for a moment to feel the stretch and then switch sides. 5. Repeat three times on each leg.
Take care of your feet at home When you’re in the comfort of home, you can help your feet recover from the day and prepare for tomorrow. Try one of these treatments. Ice your feet “As much as people don’t want to hear it, immersing the foot — as long as the person doesn’t have vascular problems — in a bucket with water and ice for 20 minutes works to combat the swelling and inflammation that prolonged standing creates in the foot,” says Lucille B. Andersen, M.D., a foot and ankle surgeon in Pleasanton, California. “Each step we take or minute we stand, we are creating micro-damage that the body has to heal. Using ice is an easy, effective way to help the body heal faster.” Massage your feet
Roll your foot from heel to toe over a tennis ball or baseball, Youner suggests. The gentle massage on your feet and arches will stretch tight foot muscles and help your feet recover more quickly. Elevate your feet.
Propping your feet above the rest of your body will help decrease the day’s swelling. You can place them against a wall or on a stack of pillows.
14 Healthy Foods That Are High in Potassium Y7 Staff Potassium is an essential mineral that the body requires for a variety of processes. Since the body can’t produce potassium, it has to come from food.
Unfortunately, the majority of Americans don’t get enough potassium from their diets.
A national survey found that only 3% of Americans meet the recommendation for potassium intake. This is largely due to a lack of fruits and vegetables in the typical Western diet (1).
In the US, the recommended daily intake (RDI) for potassium is 4,700 mg. This level is higher than those set by most other countries but has proven to be beneficial (2).
Getting enough potassium is essential for bone and heart health. It is especially important for people with high blood pressure and may decrease heart disease and stroke risk (1).
This article lists 14 of the foods highest in potassium.
1. White Beans Beans and lentils are both good sources of potassium. White beans are one of the best, containing 829 mg of potassium in one cup (179 grams), or 18% of the RDI (3). White beans contain good amounts of thiamine, folate, iron, magnesium and manganese, too. Additionally, one cup (179 grams) of white beans provides 18.6 grams of fiber, which is almost 75% of the RDI. They are also an excellent source of plantbased protein (3). The high fiber and antioxidant content of beans may help decrease inflammation, improve colon health and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes (4, 5). What’s more, a large review including nearly 250,000 people found that increasing potassium intake by 1,640 mg (about 35% of the RDI) per day decreased the risk of stroke by 21% (6). SUMMARY Beans and lentils are good sources of potassium, with one cup (179 grams) of white beans providing 18% of the RDI. They are also packed with fiber, protein and other vitamins and minerals.
2. Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes White potatoes are not always considered the most nutrient-dense vegetables. However, they are one of the best food sources of potassium available.
A large baked potato (10.6 ounces or 299 grams) provides you with 34% of the RDI (7). Most of a potato’s potassium is found in the flesh, but about one-third of the potassium content is concentrated in the skin. For this reason, consuming unpeeled potatoes gets you the most of this important mineral (8). Sweet potatoes, another starchy tuber, are also a respectable source of potassium. A large sweet potato (6.3 ounces or 180 grams) provides 18% of the RDI (9). Yet potatoes and sweet potatoes are not just good sources of potassium. They are also high in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese. Not to mention, sweet potatoes provide nearly four times the RDI for vitamin A in just 100 grams (3.5 ounces). SUMMARY Potatoes and sweet potatoes are excellent sources of potassium. A large baked potato provides 34% of the RDI, while a large sweet potato provides 18%.
3. Beets Beets are a deep red root vegetable with a naturally sweet flavor. One cup (170 grams) of beets contains 518 mg of potassium, or 11% of the RDI (10). Beets are also rich in folate and manganese. Plus, the pigment that gives beets their rich color acts as an antioxidant, which may help fight oxidative damage and inflammation (11, 12). Beets are also high in nitrates, which may improve blood vessel function, high blood pressure and exercise performance (11, 12, 13). The potassium content of beets may also improve blood vessel function as well as decrease the risk of heart disease (14). SUMMARY Beets are a good source of potassium, containing 11% of the RDI per cup (170 grams). They also contain antioxidants and nitrate, which may provide further health benefits.
4. Parsnips Parsnips are a white root vegetable similar to carrots. One cup (156 grams) of parsnips provides 12% of the RDI, or 572 mg of potassium (15). Parsnips are also a good source of vitamin C and folate, which are essential for skin and tissue health, cell division and preventing birth defects (16, 17). Moreover, the soluble fiber found in parsnips may aid in reducing cholesterol levels (18). SUMMARY Parsnips are a good source of potassium, providing 12% of the RDI per cup (156 grams). They also contain vitamin C, folate and soluble fiber.
5. Spinach Spinach is a highly nutritious vegetable.
One cup (180 grams) of cooked spinach provides 18% of the RDI for potassium, making it a great choice for those wanting to increase their intake (19). It also provides nearly four times the RDI for vitamin A, ten times the RDI for vitamin K, around 30% of the RDI for calcium and almost 90% of the RDI for manganese. These nutrients are important for metabolism, vision health, bone health and the immune system (20, 21, 22).
Leafy green vegetables like spinach are also full of antioxidants (23). In one study of seven women, consuming a drink containing 294 grams (10.4 ounces) of spinach increased total antioxidant capacity by almost 30% over the next 24 hours (24). SUMMARY Spinach is nutritious and a great source of potassium. One cup (180 grams) provides 18% of the RDI. It also provides other essential vitamins, minerals and healthy plant compounds.
6. Swiss Chard Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable with red or yellow stalks. It is packed with nutrients. One cup (175 grams) of cooked Swiss chard contains 21% of the RDI for potassium (25). In addition, it contains 214% of the RDI for vitamin A, 716% of the RDI for vitamin K and a notable amount of vitamin C, iron, magnesium, manganese and fiber. Like spinach and other leafy green vegetables, Swiss chard also contains healthy plant compounds that act as antioxidants to help protect your cells (26, 27). SUMMARY Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable packed with nutrients. It contains 21% of the RDI for potassium in one cup (175 grams).
7. Tomato Sauce Tomatoes and tomato products, such as tomato sauce, are full of potassium. One cup (244 grams) of tomato sauce contains 17% of the RDI for potassium (28). Tomatoes are rich in other vitamins and minerals as well, including vitamins A, C, E, B6 and copper. What’s more, tomatoes contain beneficial plant compounds like lycopene, which may help fight inflammation and reduce the risk of prostate cancer (29, 30). In a small study of people with metabolic syndrome, drinking around 11 ounces (330 ml) of tomato juice four times a week for two months significantly improved inflammation, blood vessel dysfunction and insulin resistance (31).
The participants also experienced a decrease in “bad” LDL and a small increase in “good” HDL cholesterol. The beneficial effects of potassium and lycopene on risk factors for heart disease make tomatoes a great choice for heart health (1). SUMMARY Tomatoes and tomato sauce are rich in several vitamins and minerals, including potassium. One cup (244 grams) of tomato sauce provides 17% of the RDI for potassium.
8. Oranges and Orange Juice Citrus fruits like oranges are well known for being high in vitamin C, but they are also a good source of potassium. One cup of orange juice provides 11% of the RDI for potassium. It is also rich in folate, vitamin A, thiamine and antioxidants (32, 33, 34, 35). Observational studies have found that people who regularly consume orange juice may be more likely to meet vitamin and mineral needs and follow a healthier
diet. They are also less likely to be obese or have metabolic syndrome (36). Additionally, the high level of antioxidants found in oranges and orange juice may help improve the body’s ability to fight free radicals, inflammation and heart disease (37, 38, 39, 40).
And consuming orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D may help improve bone health — especially since a high intake of potassium may benefit bone health as well (1, 41). However, orange juice is much higher in sugar and lower in fiber than whole oranges. Thus, it’s best to focus on whole fruit rather than juice as a source of vitamins and minerals. If you do choose to drink orange juice, be sure that it is 100% juice. SUMMARY Oranges are rich in potassium, with one cup of juice providing 11% of the RDI. Oranges and orange juice are rich in other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, as well.
9. Bananas Bananas are famous as a good source of potassium. Indeed, one medium-sized banana contains 422 mg, or 12% of the RDI for potassium (42). This tasty fruit is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, magnesium, fiber and antioxidants (43). Ripe bananas tend to be higher in sugar than other fruits. However, green bananas are low in sugar and high in resistant starch, which may help control blood sugar and improve gut health (44, 45).
Banana flakes or green bananas may also be an effective home remedy for diarrhea (46, 47). The banana’s convenient, natural packaging makes it an easy and nutritious way to increase your potassium intake on the go. SUMMARY Bananas are known for being a good source of potassium. One medium banana provides 12% of the RDI.
10. Avocados Avocados are extremely nutritious, tasty and unique. They are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and very rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate and pantothenic acid (48, 49, 50). Avocados are also a good source of potassium. One medium-sized avocado provides 20% of the RDI for potassium. The high content of antioxidants, healthy fats and fiber in avocados is most likely responsible for their effects on health. Studies have shown that avocados may be beneficial for heart health, weight management and metabolic syndrome (50, 51). Eating avocados is associated with a better quality of diet, lower BMI, body weight and waist circumference and a significantly lower risk of metabolic syndrome (51). The rich potassium content of avocados, in addition to their other healthy properties, make them an easy choice for helping meet your nutrient needs. SUMMARYOne avocado provides 20% of the RDI for potassium, as well as plenty of heart-healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants.
11. Yogurt Yogurt is a great source of calcium, riboflavin and potassium. One cup (245 grams) of this creamy treat provides you with 11% of the RDI for potassium (52). Because yogurt is a fermented food, it also contains bacteria that may benefit gut health. Some evidence suggests yogurt may be beneficial for weight maintenance or appetite control, too (53). When buying yogurt, aim for a plain variety, as fruit-flavored yogurts tend to have lots of added sugar. If you find plain yogurt is too tart, sweeten it with fresh fruit, nuts or a bit of honey. SUMMARY One cup (245 grams) of yogurt provides 11% of the RDI for potassium. Yogurt also contains beneficial bacteria, though you should avoid varieties with added sugar.
12. Clams Clams are an excellent source of potassium. A 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of clams provides 18% of the RDI (54). Clams are also extremely rich in other nutrients, with one serving providing almost the entire RDI for selenium and at least twice the RDI for iron and vitamin B12. They are also a great source of protein that is high in healthy omega-3 fats, which are associated with a variety of health benefits, including fighting inflammation and related diseases (55, 56). SUMMARY A 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of clams provides 18% of the RDI for potassium and is packed with selenium, iron and B12.
13. Salmon Salmon is an extremely nutritious food. It is packed with high-quality protein, healthy omega-3 fats and many vitamins and minerals, including potassium. Half of a filet of salmon (187 grams) provides 683 mg of potassium, or 15% of the RDI (57). A diet rich in fatty fish has also been linked with various health benefits, most notably a decreased risk of heart disease (58, 59, 60).
In fact, a review of several studies found that every 15-gram (0.5-ounce) increase in fatty fish per day corresponded with a 6% decrease in the risk of death from heart disease (58). The rich potassium content of salmon may make it beneficial for heart disease, as well. One study including nearly 2,000 veterans found that those given potassium-enriched salt over the course of 2.5 years had a lower death rate from heart disease and spent less on heart disease-related medical care (61). SUMMARYA half of a filet of salmon (178 grams) contains 15% of the RDI for potassium as well as plenty of high-quality protein, vitamins and omega-3 fats.
14. Coconut Water Coconut water has become a popular health drink. It is sweet and nutty but low in sugar and high in electrolytes.
The body needs electrolytes for balancing pH, proper nerve and muscle function and hydration (62). One of these electrolytes is potassium. Drinking one cup (240 grams) of coconut water will provide you with 600 mg of potassium, or 13% of the RDI (63).
Coconut water’s high content of electrolytes makes it a great drink for rehydrating after heavy exercise. Several studies have found that coconut water was more effective than water and as effective as sports drinks at rehydrating participants (64, 65, 66).
Two studies found that it caused less stomach upset or nausea. However, coconut water was associated with more bloating and stomach upset in a third study (66). SUMMARYCoconut water is full of electrolytes, which are important for hydration and maintaining the body’s pH balance. One cup (240 grams) of coconut water contains 13% of the RDI for potassium.
The Bottom Line Most Americans don’t meet the recommended intake of potassium, which may be associated with negative health outcomes (67).
The 14 foods included in this list are some of the best sources of potassium you can eat.
Focusing on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy and legumes is a healthy and delicious way to make sure you’re getting enough potassium in your diet.
The 40 Best High Protein Foods Whether you’re paleo, vegan, or counting macros, everybody needs protein. Build muscle, control hunger, and banish taste-bud boredom with the definitive list of high-protein foods for all diets.
Protein builds your body. It creates muscle. It controls hunger. It’s a win-win! Eating enough protein is key, but so is variety, since each kind has its own amino acid profile. Go beyond chicken and protein powder with these great high-protein foods. Eggs Protein Content: 6 g per 1 large egg These white orbs are one of the most perfect high-protein foods at the supermarket: cheap, versatile, lowcarb, and packed with branched-chain amino acids. Look for eggs fortified with extra omega-3 fatty acids to give your breakfast scramble an extra nutrition boost. Hard-boiled eggs are one of the most portable protein foods. You can also make a shake with dried egg protein powder instead of whey.
High Protein Dairy Greek Yogurt Protein Content: 23 g per 8-oz. serving Greek yogurt has become such a popular choice because it has twice as much protein as other types of yogurt. It’s also rich in bone-building calcium and probiotic bacteria, which is great for gut health. Look for plain Greek yogurt to keep sugar—and your weight—in check. Cottage Cheese Protein Content: 14 g per 1/2-cup serving Make cottage cheese your go-to protein for a healthy late-night snack. It’s high in casein, a dairy protein that digests more slowly than whey. Slow-digesting protein feeds your muscles all night so they don’t catabolize, and it keeps you from waking up starving at 3 a.m. Swiss Cheese Protein Content: 8 g per 1-oz. serving Ounce for ounce, Swiss cheese provides more protein than other varieties commonly available in
the supermarket, making it a muscle-friendly option for your sandwiches and burgers. If you’re concerned about the calorie density of full-fat Swiss, low-fat versions have a protein-to-fat ratio of around 8-to-1 while still providing good flavor. 2-Percent Milk Protein Content: 8 g per 1-cup serving You could chug watery, flavorless skim milk, or you could enjoy the richer taste of 2 percent while getting a little extra fat to help you absorb the milk’s vitamin D and get you closer to your macro targets. Organic milk has the highest nutrient content, including protein and omega-3s. Mix it with protein powder for a revved-up shake. Whey Or Casein Protein Powder Protein Content: 24 g per scoop, on average Whey protein powder is clean, fast-digesting, and most of its calories come from protein. It›s also convenient—just mix it with water in a shaker bottle. Reach for protein powder whenever you need quick, no-prep protein, like after a workout, for an on-the-go breakfast, or alongside a low-protein meal. If you need something that’ll help you hide from hunger a little longer, go for slow-digesting casein powder instead of whey. It won’t hit your muscles as fast, but it can keep you full for hours and can help you lose fat without losing muscle mass.
You can also use protein powder to make high-protein pancakes. They make a great pre-workout or postworkout snack if you need a break from shakes.
If you’re sensitive to artificial sweeteners, look for an unsweetened protein powder or one sweetened with stevia. Smoothies Protein Content: 16 g per 1-cup serving, on average Up your protein-shake game by blending casein or whey protein powder into a smoothie with fruit for its vitamin content. You can also buy premade smoothie drinks, but make sure they have a substantial dose of protein (at least 20 grams for a 2-cup bottle) and not just fruit, which can send you into sugar overload.
To make a plant-based smoothie, substitute a vegan protein powder in place of animal-based casein or whey. A blend of rice protein and pea protein is a good option for muscle growth. Frozen Greek Yogurt Protein Content: 6 g per 1/2-cup serving Frozen Greek yogurt is frosty and creamy like ice cream, but contains about twice as much high-quality protein. Compare brands and look for those with the lowest sugar levels (or make it yourself). Some brands
actually list fruit before sugar in the ingredient list, which is a plus.
High Protein Seafood Yellowfin Tuna Protein Content: 25 g per 3-oz. serving This meaty swimmer delivers a boatload of easily digested, high-quality protein. You’ll also benefit from the healthy amount of vitamin B and the potent antioxidant selenium, making it a great nutrition choice.When possible, look for troll- or pole-caught tuna, which are considered the most sustainable options. Halibut Protein Content: 23 g per 3-oz. serving Among white fish species, halibut reigns supreme when it comes to the protein you need to build muscle like a champ. Each 3-ounce serving also has a mere 2 grams of fat, making halibut an even better catch of the day. Pacific halibut is generally considered a more sustainable choice than Atlantic. Octopus Protein Content: 25 g per 3-oz. serving An increasing number of fishmongers are now offering up this seafood choice. So if your goal is to pack on granite-dense muscle, you’d be a sucker not to reel it in for its protein windfall.Frozen octopus actually has an advantage over fresh because the freezing process helps tenderize the meat. Sockeye Salmon Protein Content: 23 g per 3-oz. serving Not only does wild salmon like sockeye taste better than its farmed cousin, it also supplies more protein. In addition, you›ll reap the benefits of its plethora of fat-fighting long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Look for salmon with the skin still intact, as it provides added flavor during cooking. Tilapia Protein Content: 21 g per 3-oz. serving Commonly available at most fish markets, protein-packed tilapia is a mild-tasting fish that will keep your muscles well fed.Look for American-farmed tilapia, which is a safer fish choice than tilapia imported from Asia. Anchovies Protein Content: 24 g per 3-oz. serving Ounce for ounce, anchovies are the surprising winners when it comes to canned protein. Because of their
size, they also don’t accumulate toxins the same way that bigger species do. To reduce their saltiness, soak anchovies in water for 30 minutes, then drain and pat dry. Light Tuna Protein Content: 22 g per 3-oz. serving Frugal shoppers, rejoice! Less-pricey canned light tuna actually provides a little more protein than more expensive canned white tuna. To save yourself some calories sourced from lackluster vegetable oils, opt for water-packed tuna.
Canned tuna is a very low-calorie food. Combine it with something fatty, such as olives, to stay full longer. Sardines Protein Content: 21 g per 3-oz. serving Humble canned sardines are making a comeback! This high-protein fish is full of omega-3 fats and vitamin D, and is relatively low in mercury since it’s small and low on the food chain. Try stirring them into mashed potatoes or cauliflower to cut their strong taste.
High Protein Meats Steak (Top Or Bottom Round) Protein Content: 23 g per 3-oz. serving These leaner cuts of steak provide a fantastic 1 gram of protein for every 7 calories; rib eye, on the other hand, delivers roughly 1 gram of protein for every 11 calories. Plus, round steak is considered one of the more economical cuts. Leaner cuts of steak like round and loin will become drier than the Sahara with overcooking, so prepare them quickly over high heat to medium-rare. Ground Beef (90% Lean) Protein Content: 18 g per 3-oz. serving Using 90 percent ground beef provides just the right amount of fat so your burgers and meatloaf won›t taste like cardboard. Beyond raising your protein intake, this red meat is also a good source of the almighty creatine.If you have some extra cash, opt for grass-fed beef, which is more nutrient-dense than its factory-farm counterparts. Pork Chops (Boneless) Protein Content: 26 g per 3-oz. serving The bounty of amino acids in easy-to-prepare pork chops gives you more than enough of an excuse to pig out on them.Pro tip: Soaking your chops in brine can yield more tender meat. Submerge the meat in a
brine made with a 1/4 cup of salt for every 4 cups of water, and chill for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Chicken Breast (Boneless And Skinless) Protein Content: 24 g per 3-oz. serving This bodybuilding and weight-loss staple is a better protein source than other poultrycuts, which is why it should remain a constant presence in your shopping cart. To save money, stock up on this staple when it’s marked down for quick sale. Turkey Breast Protein Content: 24 g per 3-oz. serving As with chicken, this big bird can flood your muscles with protein while keeping the calorie count low. Like pork chops and chicken breast, turkey breast can benefit from a pre-cook brining. If you’re concerned about antibiotic use in large-scale poultry farming, you can look for turkey breast labelled «antibiotic-free.» Corned Beef Protein Content: 24 g per 3-oz. serving The protein in corned beef is high-quality and tastes awesome.Try sautéing corned beef with chopped vegetables and serve it over rice, or pile it on rye with plenty of mustard. Canned Chicken Protein Content: 21 g per 3-oz. serving Pop the lid on ground white chicken meat to instantly add a shot of high-quality protein to your sandwiches and salads. Treat it the same way you would canned tuna. Compare brands, looking for those that deliver lower amounts of sodium so you don›t pack on water weight. Roast Beef Protein Content: 18 g per 3-oz. serving Roast beef is leaner than you›d think, and higher in amino acids than other deli-counter picks. As with steak, pasture-raised roast beef is more nutritious. Make a roast beef sandwich with spinach and red onions, or just snack on it as-is. Canadian Bacon Protein Content: 15 g per 3-oz. serving Canadian-style bacon is a better high-protein food than regular bacon since it has about six times less fat. And yes, we just gave you permission to eat bacon.
Chorizo Protein Content: 21 g per 3-oz. serving Looking for good high-protein foods for breakfast? This seasoned pork sausage can turn scrambled eggs into a flavor-packed meal. It’s also great for lunch or dinner in pasta dishes, soups, and salads. Spanish chorizo is cured, so it doesn’t need to be cooked before eating, but Mexican chorizo does. Pepperoni Protein Content: 18 g per 3-oz. serving The stellar amount of protein in pepperoni makes it a surprisingly healthy topping for pizza or salad. Sodium levels can vary widely, so compare brands and look for options with the lowest amount. Roasted Turkey Breast Protein Content: 18 g per 3-oz. serving Sliced turkey is an easy way to get a lot of nearly fat-free protein, so pile it high. Steer clear of flavored turkey and other deli meats to avoid bringing home stuff you don›t need, like salt, sugar, and lab-made flavorings. Beef Jerky Protein Content: 13 g per 1-oz. serving Cleaning up your diet might mean saying goodbye to potato chips and microwave popcorn, but you can still enjoy jerky for a salty treat that doesn›t derail your goals. Keep some in your desk at work for an afternoon snack. Look for healthier brands that are free of MSG and nitrites.
High Protein Plant-Based Foods Navy Beans Protein Content: 20 g per 1-cup serving Heart-healthy beans are a fantastically cheap vegetarian protein source, and of the most commonly available canned legumes, navy beans lead the way. They’re also rich in fiber, which is important for healthy eating. Mash navy beans with garlic and lemon as a hummus alternative. Dried Lentils Protein Content: 13 g per 1/4-cup serving Inexpensive dry lentils are a sure-fire way to ramp up your intake of protein, fiber, and a range of vital minerals. Unlike other dried beans, lentils don›t require an annoying presoak. Simply simmer until
tender, about 20 minutes. For a nutritious lunch, toss cooked lentils with chopped chicken breast, diced vegetables, and a lemon vinaigrette. Peanut Butter Protein Content: 8 g per 2-tbsp serving Though not as trendy as other nut butters like almond, peanut butter still leads the way in the protein department. Make sure to watch labels for sugar, though. Natural versions made from just peanuts are best—some stores even let you grind your own. If you’re working to get your weight in check, look for peanut butter powder, which has less fat but the same protein content. You can even use the powder for baking. Mixed Nuts Protein Content: 6 g per 2-oz. serving Nuts like peanuts, cashews, and almonds make for a crunchy way to add more protein and healthy unsaturated fats to your diet. Keep a can in your glove compartment for hunger emergencies. If you’re watching your sodium intake, look for packages labelled “unsalted”. Bean Chips Protein Content: 4 g per 1-oz. serving If you’re craving crunchy chips, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better option than the ones made with protein-rich black beans. For bonus points, use them as a delivery vessel for a homemade Greek yogurt dip. Tofu Protein Content: 12 g per 3-oz. serving If you’re looking to go meat-free, slabs of tofu can fill you up with soy protein. Slices of firm tofu work well in stir-fry, or slap them on the grill to infuse them with some smoky flavor. A good marinade goes a long way. You can even make a smoothie with tofu instead of protein powder. Edamame Protein Content: 8 g per 1/2-cup serving Another great vegetarian option, these nutrient-packed green soybeans will give your diet a boost of plant protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.To avoid snack boredom, prepare shelled, frozen edamame according to package directions, then season with fresh lemon juice, smoked paprika, and a pinch of salt. Green Peas Protein Content: 7 g per 1-cup serving
While protein is not abundant in most vegetables, green peas contain enough that you›ll want to keep a bag stashed in your freezer at all times. They›re also high in fiber, so they help manage your weight and cravings. Wheat Germ Protein Content: 6 g per 1-oz. serving The wheat grain is made up of three components—endosperm, bran, and germ. The germ is the most nutrient-dense part and includes notable amounts of plant-based protein. You can use it to add a protein boost to your oatmeal, pancakes, and even shakes. Soba Noodles Protein Content: 12 g per 3-oz. serving Consider using these buckwheat Japanese-style noodles for your pasta nights since they are a better protein source than most wheat-based noodles. Even better, they cook in about half the time as wholewheat pasta.To remove the excess starch that can make the noodles gummy, rinse cooked soba after draining. Quinoa Protein Content: 8 g per 1-cup serving Among whole grains, South American quinoa (technically a seed) is a rarity in that it contains a full arsenal of essential amino acids, meaning that it’s a complete protein with muscle-building potential. Toasting quinoa in a dry skillet or saucepan before simmering it in water can enhance its natural nutty flavor.
26 Best Healthy Snacks Fill up and get in shape with healthy snacks that taste great. Because you can only eat so much chicken and broccoli. Matthew Howard
Whether you want to build muscle or lose fat, you have to eat enough and eat clean. Stock up on these healthy foods. When you have the right snacks around, you can stop cravings and get fit. Now who’s hungry?
High-Protein Snacks Edamame They have protein, complex carbs, and fat to give you long-lasting energy. Soybeans also are full of folate, vitamin K, iron, and magnesium. Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas) Pumpkin seeds have 7 grams of protein per serving, which is a lot. They don’t have any sugar and are great in salads, oatmeal, yogurt, or cottage cheese. Pouched Fish No need to drain or carry around a can opener—all you need for this fish is a fork. Protein will fill you up even longer when mixed with fat or fiber. Mix some guacamole, which has both, into the pouch. Hard-Boiled Eggs Eggs are rich in BCAAs to help you build muscle. Boil a bunch to keep at work so you don’t head for the vending machine. Look for omega-3 enriched eggs, which are good for your brain.
Plain Greek Yogurt Greek yogurt is made by straining out the liquid. It can have twice as much protein as regular versions. It’s also full of gut-friendly bacteria and bone-building calcium. Icelandic Yogurt Icelandic yogurt, called skyr, has even more protein than Greek yogurt. But flavored yogurt (skyr, Greek, or regular) can have added sugar. Enjoy it plain, or stir in some berries. String Cheese String cheese is an easy way to get more protein and calcium. Reduced-fat versions have fewer calories. Full-fat string cheese is better for gaining muscle mass. Milk (2%) Milk is a source of high-quality protein. The fat in 2 percent milk will help you absorb its vitamins. Organic milk is the most nutritious. Cottage Cheese Cottage cheese has tons of casein-28 grams in a cup. Casein is a slow-digesting protein so it’s great before bed. Some brands of cottage cheese have a lot of sodium, so read the label. Jerky Jerky is high in protein and low in fat, so it’s good for your muscles. You can find beef, buffalo, pork, turkey, venison, and even salmon jerky options. Protein Bars Protein bars are super convenient and feel like a treat.
Keep them stocked in your gym bag and at work for a healthy, yummy snack. Just check the levels of protein, fat, and carbs to make sure they’ll keep you on track.
Low-Carb Snacks Nut-Butter Packets Single-serving packets of nut butters are portion-controlled and ultra portable. Almond, hazelnut, peanut, and sunflower seed butter are all good options. Look for packets with the least amount of added sugar. Celery Celery is 95 percent water, making it a perfect low-carb snack. It’s a good source of vitamin K, which can strengthen bones. Fill celery with nut butter, or slice and add to salads. In-Shell Pistachios Pistachios are packed with protein, healthy fat, fiber, and B vitamins. But it’s easy to inhale several handfuls. If you buy them in the shell, it slows you down so you don’t overeat. Mixed Nuts Nuts like peanuts, cashews, and almonds add more protein and healthy unsaturated fats to your diet.
They’re also easy to find in places with few good choices, like gas stations. If you’re watching how much salt you eat, look for packages labeled “unsalted.” Walnuts Walnuts are very low in carbs. They are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts also give you copper, a mineral that helps your body make energy.
Frozen Grapes These subzero heroes are great for sugar cravings.
Spread whole grapes on a baking sheet, freeze until firm, and store in a zip-top bag. Red grapes have more antioxidants than green ones. Dried Fruit Dried fruit is another good choice for a sweet fix. The natural sugar gives you energy, but the fiber keeps it from hitting you too fast. Dried plums (prunes) have lots of antioxidants. Apricots Apricots are a tasty low-sugar fruit. There are about 4 grams of sugar in each fruit.
Orange veggies and fruits like apricots are rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that’s good for your brain.  Strawberries Strawberries taste sweet but they have the least sugar of all berries, 11 grams per cup. They’re also a great source of vitamin C, which helps keep you healthy. Kale Chips Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. It has a ton of vitamins A, C, and K.
You can make kale chips in the oven or buy them at the store. They’re surprisingly tasty and have way less carbs than potato chips.
Other Nutrutious Snacks Dark Chocolate Dark chocolate is decadent but good for your health. It’s high in plant nutrients.
Chocolate with at least 60 percent cocoa has less sugar and more flavor than milk chocolate. That makes it more satisfying so you can eat less. Tomato Juice If you like orange juice, try tomato juice since it has half as much sugar. Tomato juice is high in antioxidants. That can help you recover from exercise better.
How Top Athletes Meal Prep For Success If yet another Sunday spent meal-prepping feels like a drag, take some inspiration from these athletes who’ve used their meal-prepping commitment as a stepping stone to success.
It’s tough to make meal-prepping a steady habit. It takes at least a couple hours to shop, plan, and prep, and who’s got time for that, except on the weekends? Plus, who wants to spend their precious free time preparing the same meal over and over again? Even if you can commit to that, one busy weekend with no time to cook can send your entire meal-prep system off the rails. And what are you supposed to do during vacations and holidays?
If you’re struggling to make the prep habit stick, take inspiration from athletes who chalk up their success, at least in part, to their meal-prepping ways. If all that stands between you and your goals are a couple hours of prepping, let their experience point the way ahead. Autumn Calabrese Autumn Calabrese is a Beachbody Super Trainer who credits her fitness success to strict adherence to her prep regimen. “Being prepared isn’t half the battle, it’s the whole battle,” Calabrese says. “Meal prepping keeps me on point with my nutrition so I can reach my goal to stay strong, lean, and healthy. For me, that requires eating every three hours. If I don’t have food already prepped, it’s easy to end up behind on my nutrition.”
Just think about how many meals that means she has to have on hand! If Calabrese eats every three hours from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., she has to eat six meals a day, including several on the go. So we’re talking about someone who can prep as many as 30 meals at a time. It sounds tough, but this Super Trainer swears it’s not as bad as it seems.
“Your meal prep doesn’t have to be extravagant,” she says. “Keep it simple. You can roast three or four different veggies in one pan. Grill up chicken and fish at the same time. Mix and match from there.” Tim Hightower Meal prepping isn’t just for physique athletes and fitness trainers, it’s for athletes of all kinds, including NFL running back Tim Hightower, who last played for the San Francisco 49ers. He follows a diet based on his blood type. This specialized eating plan recommends foods that decrease inflammation while naturally increasing hormone production. With such a precise diet, Hightower can’t just swing through a fast-food joint every time his stomach growls.
“Meal prepping provides consistency and convenience for me,” Hightower says. “Whether I need to eat after a workout, practice, or [football game] film study, I need to have the right food on hand. By being good about my meal prepping, I can avoid compromising or giving in to my cravings.”
Just don’t expect Hightower’s Instagram feed to be full of identical chicken-broccoli-rice Tupperware shots. On the contrary, the meals he prepares border on gourmet.
“One of my favorite go-to meals is ground bison spaghetti with black bean noodles,” he says. “I throw in spinach, kale, and onions on the side, and maybe sweet potato chips cooked in coconut oil and an avocado.” Hightower says he’ll usually have a cup of tart cherry juice with it, for a complete meal that gives him plenty of fat, protein, and healthy carbs. That said, he’s quick to point out that everyone’s body is different, and that part of meal-prepping is planning meals that are appropriate for your tastes.
“Pay attention to what foods give you energy, make you bloated, and are harder to digest,” he says. “The more you know your specific nutritional needs, the better you can efficiently create meals and snacks.” Terry Rady Becoming the 90-kilogram World’s Strongest Man requires consistency, not only in the gym but, according to Terry Rady, in the kitchen, too.
“To compete at your highest level, you need to be as consistent as you can, especially with your nutrition,” Rady says. “If you’re missing meals because you have a demanding job, that’s one thing. If you’re missing them just because you didn’t prep, you’re not putting in the work.”
Unlike Hightower, who makes sure his meals are as delicious as they are nutritious, Rady prefers efficiency above all else.
“Between my full-time job, training, clients, and school, my life is constant chaos,” he says. “I have zero time for elaborate meal prep, so I eat for fuel, not taste—although a little hot sauce and peppers can make just about anything taste good.”
Rady agrees that meal prep doesn’t have to be difficult, especially with tools like slow cookers and rice cookers. All he has to do is schedule it so his food cooks overnight and can be easily divided into containers in the morning. For him, meals are mostly about chicken, broccoli, and rice. Specifically, he preps 5.5 ounces of chicken breast, 250-grams of brown rice, and a cup of raw broccoli with a little olive oil for most meals. “It’s easy to prepare, it tastes good and, more importantly, it fuels my workouts,” he says. Rady also suggests seeking out opportunities and solutions to make your meal-prepping easier.
“If you’re able to, find a local meal-prep company. I like Herculean Meal Prep in Indianapolis. If you›re an elite athlete, you might be able to find a meal-prep company to sponsor you.» Allison Warrell Allison Warrell is a Nationally Qualified Women›s Physique competitor who also happens to be a little person with Dwarfism. In fact, she›s the shortest person to ever compete in NPC. As with Calabrese, Hightower, and Rady, her ability to consistently prep her meals is a cornerstone of her training. “Meal prepping frees up my mental energy, especially when I’m going through contest prep for a bodybuilding show,” Warrell says. “It helps that I’ve accumulated things that make prepping easier.” Her best advice is to invest a little bit in the right tools. “Buy a scale, find easy recipes, and get a bag, like a Six-Pack Fitness bag, you can carry all day long to keep your food cold and fresh.” Like Rady, Warrell’s go-to meals mostly consist of chicken, rice, and veggies. She’ll also throw in some highprotein snacks, like B-Up bars, for easy on-the-go snacks. But unlike some preppers, Warrell breaks up her cooking into a twice-weekly affair.
“I cook food on Sunday and Wednesday evenings,” she says. “Doing it twice a week allows me to make adjustments to my diet depending on what’s going on in my week.”
Your No-BS Approach To Effective Fat Loss Putting together a diet plan that works for you might seem way too complicated. This straightforward guide will show you how to create a plan with the right macros and calories to help you lose weight while maintaining your muscle mass and endurance. By Cristina Jacobs
The weight-loss industry is saturated with pills, powders, cleanses, wraps, and creams. (Seriously, there are fat-loss creams purported to burn fat cells!) No matter how heavily advertised these products are, and no matter how gorgeous their models, losing weight the right way just isn’t that easy.
What can work like magic, though, is simply eating fewer calories than you’re burning. It’s pretty easy to do that every now and then. It’s when you try to do it for weeks and months that things get a little trickier. By incorporating insight gained from research-backed fat-loss strategies, you have a better shot at losing the weight you want without compromising your fitness or health.
If you’re serious about losing weight, plan on dieting for 10-14 weeks. This will give you enough time to fine-tune your diet for your particular food preferences and activity level. If you cheat on your plan occasionally, just get back to it and keep moving forward. Get Specific With Your Macros It sounds simple: Just consume fewer calories than you burn and, voila, you lose weight. What that simple formula assumes, though, is that you know how many calories you’re consuming—and burning—every day. You can get an estimate of how many calories you burn every day by using this calorie calculator. When you fill out the form, do your best to pick the level of activity that matches what you do on an average day. If you say you’re more active than you really are, you’ll end up with a lot more calories than your body needs, and you’ll start gaining weight. For the moment, choose “maintenance” as your goal.
Once you know how many calories you should consume every day to maintain your current weight, it’s time to figure out what kinds of foods you should consume to get those calories.
If you ate nothing but Twinkies or apples for a few months, you’d probably lose weight. You’d also lose muscle mass and gym performance—and threaten your overall health. Your goal is to build a healthy diet that gives you the right amount of macros (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) that will sustain you over that time. Let’s look at these macros one at a time. How Much Protein Do I Need Every Day? As a rule, consume 1.0-1.25 grams per pound of body weight per day.
You can also use this protein intake calculator to estimate how much protein to consume every day. To get maximum muscle-maintenance and appetite-management benefits from the protein, consume 2025 grams of high-quality protein every few hours, rather than having one or two protein-rich meals a day.
In addition to giving your muscles the nutrients they need to grow and recover, protein also triggers the release of several appetite-suppressing hormones, primarily cholecystokinin. The more protein you eat, the more cholecystokinin your body produces, and the less hungry you feel. Protein also has a higher thermic effect than carbohydrates and fat combined. This means that your body must burn more calories to digest, absorb, and distribute nutrients from protein than it must to do the same with carbs and fats. Just by eating protein, you’re helping your body lose weight! Good protein sources include chicken and turkey breast (without skin), pork tenderloin, lean beef (filet mignon, steak sirloin, flank steak), lean ground meats (90/10 or leaner), eggs (yolks and whites), fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, tilapia, cod), seafood, low-fat dairy (Greek yogurt, milk, cheese), whey and casein protein, soy (tofu, edamame, seitan), beef, and vegetable protein powders. Signature 100% Whey Protein 25G Of Muscle-Building Whey Protein. Blend Of 3 Types Of Whey For Ultimate Muscle Growth And Recovery*
How Much Carbohydrate Do I Need Every Day? Your goal should be to consume 0.5-2.0 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight per day. You can also use this carbohydrate intake calculator to estimate your daily carbohydrate allowance. The number of carbs your body needs depends on how much energy you expend every day. If you work out on Monday and rest on Tuesday, you’ll need more carbs on Monday.
On a non-exercise day, you need about 0.5 grams of carbs per pound of body weight.
If you exercise for 30-40 minutes a day, you need about 0.75 grams per pound of body weight.
If you exercise for 40-60 minutes a day, you need 0.75-1.0 grams per pound of body weight.
If you exercise for 60-90 minutes a day, you need 1.0-1.25 grams per pound of body weight.
If you exercise for 90-120 minutes a day, you need 1.25-1.75 grams per pound of body weight.
Good carbohydrate sources include brown and wild rice, quinoa, whole-grain pasta, bread and tortillas, oats, beans, legumes, lentils, peas, corn, popcorn, whole-grain cereals, fruits, and vegetables. How Much Fat Do I Need Every Day? There are a couple of ways to determine your daily fat allowance. You can use this fat intake calculator to estimate, or you can dive into it a little deeper and calculate it yourself. It›s more complicated that just using the calculator, but it›ll be more accurate.
1. Multiply the number of grams of protein you consume every day by 4 to get the number of calories you’ll get from that protein. 2. Multiply the number of carbs you’ll consume every day by 4 to get the number of calories you’ll get from carbohydrates each day. 3. Add these two numbers together and subtract the total from your total daily calorie allowance, which you figured out earlier. The result is how many calories a day you have left. These are the calories you’ll get from fats. 4. Divide this number of leftover calories by 9 to determine how many grams of fat you can have every day. For example: 1. You can have 200 grams of protein every day. Multiply it by 4 to get 800 calories. 2. You can have 150 grams of carbs every day. Multiply it by 4 for another 600 calories. 3. Add 800 to 600 to get 1,400 calories a day from protein and carbs. 4. The calculator said you can have a total of 2,000 calories a day. Subtract 1,400 calories from 2,000 calories which leaves you 600 calories left to get from fats. 5. Divide 600 calories by 9 to get a little over 66 grams of fat per day. In this example, your daily macros would be: •
Protein: 200 grams
Carbohydrates: 150 grams
Fat: 66 grams
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Now That I Have My Macros, How Do I Lose Weight? Once you finalize your daily macronutrient targets, stick to those targets each day. At the same time, be sure to weigh yourself every other day or so. Weigh yourself at the same time of day while wearing the same kind of clothes—or no clothes at all.
If you’ve calculated your macros as instructed above, and have stuck to your daily calorie allowance, you should begin losing weight. If you continue following these macronutrient goals, however, your weight will probably start to level off.
In general, a good weight-loss goal is to lose 0.5-1.0 percent of your body weight each week. If your weightloss stalls, it’s because your body has learned how to function on fewer daily calories. To reignite fat loss, reduce your current calorie intake by 15-20 percent. (In the example above, the person could consume 2,000 calories a day. To lose weight, they would have to reduce that by 300-400 calories a day.)
If you need to reduce calories, start by reducing your fat intake. Keep your carbohydrate and protein consumption as high as possible for as long as possible to maintain your energy. Just don’t let your total fat intake dip below 10 percent of your total daily calories. Having fewer fats than that in your diet can harm your performance, recovery, muscle maintenance, and testosterone production.
If you have to reduce your calories even more, stop reducing your fats and start reducing your carbohydrates. That’s All Great, But I’m Still Hungry! If you follow the steps outlined above, you’ll be on your way to effective and sustainable fat loss, but you may start to feel hungry a lot and have less energy. To help you navigate this inevitable rise in hunger and fatigue, try these strategies: •
Each day, drink your body weight in ounces of fluid. Filling your stomach with fluid sends satiety signals to your brain, which can help you feel less hungry. Toward the end of your diet, drink 12-16 ounces of fluid immediately before and after each meal to help keep your appetite from raging.
Choose high-fiber carbohydrates. Fiber slows down digestion, which helps keep your energy levels steady and your appetite in check.
Include vegetables with each meal. Vegetables are high in both fiber and water, each of which helps you better manage your appetite and energy.
Consume your carbohydrates before, during, and after your workouts. To avoid low-energy workouts and poor recovery, get 70-80 percent of your daily carbohydrates from your pre-, intra-, and post-workout meals.
Should I Take Supplements When I’m Dieting? Taking dietary supplements can help you make sure your body has all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. The following supplements can be especially helpful when you’re dieting:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These are essential fatty acids you have to get from food or supplements because your body cannot produce them. Since you’ll be reducing fat early in your dieting phase, supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids will make sure you get the essential fats you need to optimize your recovery, heart health, and cognitive function. Research suggests regular omega-3 fatty acid consumption can even enhance fat loss, as long as you›re eating and exercising properly. EGCG Green Tea: The epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and caffeine content of green tea provides a powerful one-two punch for fat loss. If you’re not a fan of tea, consider a green tea extract supplement, which usually contains more EGCG than a bag of tea.
Creatine: Extensively studied as a sports nutrition supplement, creatine has proven to have a positive impact on strength, muscle, power, and body composition. Taking creatine during a diet helps maximize performance and muscle maintenance, which further helps your body burn more calories and lose more fat.
20 Super-Healthy Smoothie Recipes Dinah Rashid
Healthy smoothie recipes full of the nutrients and protein you need
These delicious healthy smoothie recipes make it easy to eat healthy with fruit, milk, protein, immuneboosting yogurt, and other nutritious ingredients—and they’re great for those on a smoothie diet, too. (Lose weight and take back control of your health with the naturally sweet, salty, and satisfying recipes in Eat Clean, Lose Weight & Love Every Bite!)
Find out how to make your favorite new smoothie recipe now! Here, 20 tasty blends to try:
Banana Ginger Smoothie Soothe digestion, heartburn, nausea, and other stomach trouble with the fresh ginger in this natural remedy smoothie recipe. (This is why you should eat more ginger.)
SERVINGS: 2 1 banana, sliced ¾ c (6 oz) vanilla yogurt 1 Tbsp honey ½ tsp freshly grated ginger
COMBINE the banana, yogurt, honey, and ginger. Blend until smooth.
NUTRITION (per serving) 157 cals, 1 g fat, 0.8 g sat fat, 57 mg sodium, 34 g carbs, 28 g sugars, 1.5 g fiber, 5 g protein
You’ve also got to try this pear-ginger smoothie recipe: Orange Dream Creamsicle
Need to cool down after a tough workout or a hot day at the beach? Lap up this low-cal, citrus-infused healthy smoothie recipe. SERVINGS: 1 1 navel orange, peeled
¼ c fat-free half-and-half or fat-free yogurt 2 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate ¼ tsp vanilla extract 4 ice cubes
COMBINE the orange, half-and-half or yogurt, orange juice concentrate, vanilla, and ice cubes. Process until smooth.
NUTRITION (per serving) 160 cal, 3 g pro, 36 g carb, 3 g fiber, 28 g sugars, 1 g fat, 0.5 g sat fat, 60 mg sodium
Green Tea, Blueberry, and Banana Antioxidant-rich green tea makes this healthy smoothie a nutritional powerhouse. SERVINGS: 1 3 Tbsp water 1 green tea bag 2 tsp honey 1½ c frozen blueberries ½ med banana ¾ c calcium fortified light vanilla soy milk
1. MICROWAVE water on high until steaming hot in a small bowl. Add tea bag and allow to brew 3 minutes. Remove tea bag. Stir honey into tea until it dissolves. 2. COMBINE berries, banana, and milk in a blender with ice crushing ability. 3. ADD tea to blender. Blend ingredients on ice crush or highest setting until smooth. (Some blenders may require additional water to process the mixture.) Pour smoothie into tall glass and serve NUTRITION (per serving) 269 cals, 2.5 g fat, 0.2 g sat fat, 52 mg sodium, 63 g carbs, 38.5 g sugars, 8 g fiber, 3.5 g protein Psst! This is your body on green tea: Very Berry Breakfast Start your day off with a bang with this fruit-packed smoothie recipe. (Try one of these 6 surprising ways to add more protein to smoothies without protein powder.) SERVINGS: 2 1 c frozen unsweetened raspberries ¾ c chilled unsweetened almond or rice milk ¼ c frozen pitted unsweetened cherries or raspberries 1½ Tbsp honey 2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger 1 tsp ground flaxseed 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
COMBINE all ingredients in blender, adding lemon juice to taste. Puree until smooth. Pour into 2 chilled glasses.
NUTRITION (per serving) 112 cals, 1.5 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 56 mg sodium, 25.5 g carbs, 20 g sugars, 3 g fiber, 1 g protein
World’s Best Smoothie Slurp down this smoothie recipe at breakfast, and you’ll feel satisfied until lunchtime. SERVINGS: 1 1 c plain nonfat yogurt 1 banana ½ c orange juice 6 frozen strawberries
COMBINE the yogurt, banana, juice, and strawberries for 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides and blend for an additional 15 seconds. NUTRITION (per serving) 300 cal, 14 g pro, 63 g carb, 5 g fiber, 45 g sugars, 0.5 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 180 mg sodium
This decadently thick smoothie recipe can even satisfy your desire for ice cream and it’s healthy! SERVINGS: 1 1 c low-fat or light vanilla yogurt 6 ice cubes 1 c pineapple chunks
1. COMBINE the yogurt and ice cubes. Blend, pulsing as needed, until the ice is in large chunks. 2. ADD the pineapple and blend at «whip» speed until smooth. NUTRITION (per serving) 283 cals, 3.5 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 167 mg sodium, 53.5 g carbs, 48 g sugars, 2 g fiber, 13 g protein
Stay full and fight disease. This high-fiber smoothie recipe becomes even healthier when you use organic kiwis, which contain higher levels of heart-healthy polyphenols and vitamin C. (Here are 8 fruit
smoothie ingredients that won’t spike your blood sugar.) SERVINGS: 4 1¼ c cold apple juice 1 ripe banana, sliced 1 kiwifruit, sliced 5 frozen strawberries 1½ tsp honey COMBINE the juice, banana, kiwifruit, strawberries, and honey. Blend until smooth. ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW NUTRITION (per serving) 87 cals, 0.3 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 3.5 mg sodium, 22 g carbs, 16.5 g sugars, 1.5 g fiber, 0.5 g protein
Succulent, summer-ripe blueberries burst with flavor in this delicious smoothie. Skip the sugar or artificial sweetener for a healthier pick; the fruit makes it naturally sweet. SERVINGS: 2 1¼ c light soy milk ½ c frozen loose-pack blueberries ½ frozen banana, sliced 2 tsp sugar or 2 packets artificial sweetener 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
COMBINE 1 cup of the milk, the blueberries, banana, sugar or sweetener, and vanilla extract. Blend for 20 to 30 seconds, or until smooth. Add up to ¼ cup more milk if a thinner smoothie is desired.
NUTRITION (per serving) 125 cals, 1.5 g fat, 0.1 g sat fat, 60 mg sodium, 25 g carbs, 11 g sugars, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein
Tropical Papaya Perfection
Thick like a milkshake, this coconut-infused smoothie recipe transports you to a tropical island. SERVINGS: 1 1 papaya, cut into chunks 1 c fat-free plain yogurt ½ c fresh pineapple chunks ½ c crushed ice 1 tsp coconut extract 1 tsp ground flaxseed
COMBINE the papaya, yogurt, pineapple, ice, coconut extract, and flaxseed. Process for about 30 seconds, or until smooth and frosty. NUTRITION (per serving) 299 cals, 1.5 g fat, 0.1 g sat fat, 149 mg sodium, 64 g carbs, 44 g sugars, 7 g fiber, 13 g protein
Just Peachy Fat-free vanilla ice cream makes this protein packed smoothie sinful and slimming. Skip the spoonful of sugar for a healthier pick. SERVINGS: 2 1 c 1% milk 2 Tbsp low-fat vanilla yogurt ½ c frozen peaches ½ c strawberries ⅛ tsp powdered ginger 2 tsp whey protein powder (such as Source Organic Whey Protein) 3 ice cubes 1. BLEND together any liquid ingredients (milk, yogurt, juice, etc.) and protein powder; this will help break down the grainy powder and make sure it›s evenly distributed. 2. ADD mushy ingredients, like precooked oatmeal and fruit, then add ice at the end. For a thicker shake, you can toss in more ice cubes; you›ll add volume without the calories. NUTRITION (per serving) 150 cals, 2 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 73 mg sodium, 26.5 g carbs, 24 g sugars, 2 g fiber, 9 g protein
Fresh lemon juice adds a tangy splash to this sweet smoothie. SERVINGS: 2
6 apricots, peeled, pitted, and chopped (about 2 c) 2 ripe mangoes, 10 to 12 ounces each, peeled and chopped (about 2 c) 1 c reduced-fat milk or plain low-fat yogurt 4 tsp fresh lemon juice ¼ tsp vanilla extract 8 ice cubes Lemon peel twists (garnish) 1. PLACE the apricots, mangoes, milk or yogurt, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in a blender. Process for 8 seconds. Add the ice cubes, and process 6 to 8 seconds longer, or until smooth. 2. POUR into tall glasses, garnish with lemon twists, if desired, and serve immediately.
NUTRITION (per serving) 252 cals, 3.5 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 57 mg sodium, 53 g carbs, 45.5 g sugars, 6 g fiber, 7 g protein
Transform a summer fruit favorite into a delightful healthy smoothie. Just remember to buy seedless watermelon or remove the seeds before you blend! (These are the top 10 reasons to go organic.) SERVINGS: 2 2 c chopped watermelon ¼ c fat-free milk 2 c ice
COMBINE the watermelon and milk, and blend for 15 seconds, or until smooth. Add the ice, and blend 20 seconds longer, or to your desired consistency. Add more ice, if needed, and blend for 10 seconds.
NUTRITION (per serving) 56 cals, 0.3 g fat, 0 g sat fat, 19.5 mg sodium, 13 g carbs, 11 g sugars, 0.5 g fiber, 2 g protein
Berry Good Workout Smoothie
Get the energy you need to power through your workout in minutes with this easy-to-make smoothie recipe. For an extra dose of calcium, try adding a teaspoon of Organic Kale Powder. SERVINGS: 1 1½ c chopped strawberries 1 c blueberries ½ c raspberries 2 Tbsp honey 1 tsp fresh lemon juice ½ c ice cubes
BLEND all ingredients.
NUTRITION (per serving) 162.5 cals, 1 g fat, 0.1 g sat fat, 5 mg sodium, 41.5 g carbs, 32 g sugars, 6 g fiber, 2 g protein
Sunrise Smoothie Blend apricot and peach together, and your smoothie will look like an early-morning sunrise. SERVINGS: 4 1 banana 1 c apricot nectar, chilled 1 container (8 oz) low-fat peach yogurt 1 Tbsp frozen lemonade concentrate ½ c club soda, chilled 1. COMBINE the banana, apricot nectar, yogurt, and lemonade concentrate. Process for 30 seconds, or until smooth and creamy. 2. STIR in the club soda and serve immediately.
NUTRITION (per serving) 130 cals, 0.5 g fat, 0.5 g sat fat, 43.5 mg sodium, 29 g carbs, 16 g sugars, 1.5 g fiber, 2.5 g protein
Berry Vanilla Sensation
Fat-free vanilla yogurt sweetens this tangy fruit healthy smoothie recipe. (Nutritionists count on these 5 drinks to lose weight.) SERVINGS: 2 ½ c frozen unsweetened raspberries ½ c frozen unsweetened strawberries ¾ c unsweetened pineapple juice 1 c (8 oz) fat-free vanilla yogurt
COMBINE the raspberries, strawberries, and pineapple juice. Add the yogurt. Blend until smooth.
NUTRITION (per serving) 192 cals, 0.5 g fat, 0.1 g sat fat, 86.5 mg sodium, 41 g carbs, 35 g sugars, 2.5 g fiber, 7 g protein
A splash of orange juice infuses summer citrus into this healthy and refreshing snack. SERVINGS: 2 ½ c loose-pack mixed frozen berries or strawberries ½ c canned crushed pineapple in juice ½ c plain yogurt ½ c sliced ripe banana ½ c orange juice
COMBINE the berries, pineapple (with juice), yogurt, banana, and orange juice in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, in a blender, or in a large measuring cup with an immersion blender . Process for about 2 minutes, or until smooth.
NUTRITION (per serving) 140 cals, 2.5 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 30 mg sodium, 29 g carbs, 16 g sugars, 2.5 g fiber, 3.5 g protein
LeeAnn’s Luscious Smoothie
To eliminate processed sugar, this reader created a sweet, sugar-free smoothie. SERVINGS: 1 1 c skim milk 1 c frozen, unsweetened strawberries 1 Tbsp cold-pressed organic flaxseed oil 1 Tbsp sunflower or pumpkin seeds (optional) 1. MIX milk and frozen strawberries in a blender for 1 minute. 2. TRANSFER to a glass and stir in the tablespoon of flaxseed oil, or serve with a tablespoon of sunflower or pumpkin seeds instead.NUTRITION (per serving) 256 cals, 14 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 106 mg sodium, 26 g carbs, 19 g sugars, 3 g fiber, 9 g protein See what happens to your body when you eat sugar: Slim-Down Smoothie
Wonderfully thick and tasty, this healthy smoothie recipe easily substitutes for milkshakes and ice cream. SERVINGS: 1 1 c frozen berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries ½ c low-fat yogurt (any flavor) ½ c orange juice or other juice
PLACE the berries, yogurt, and orange juice in a blender and pulse for 30 seconds. Blend for 30 seconds, or until smooth.
NUTRITION (per serving) 185 cals, 2 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 90 mg sodium, 35 g carbs, 26 g sugars, 3.5 g fiber, 8 g protein
Soy Good Smoothie
Skipping breakfast can leave you starving mid-morning—and reaching for tempting junk food. Instead, sip this on-the-go soy smoothie. (Here are 5 ways your smoothie is making you gain weight, plus how to fix it.) SERVINGS: 1 1 c calcium-fortified vanilla soy milk ½ c frozen blueberries ½ c corn flakes cereal 1 frozen banana, sliced
COMBINE the milk, blueberries, cereal, and banana in a blender for 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides and blend for an additional 15 seconds. NUTRITION (per serving) 350 cals, 3.5 g fat, 0.1 g sat fat, 192 mg sodium, 74 g carbs, 44 g sugars, 7 g fiber, 9 g protein
Take advantage ripe mango’s disease-fighting ability with this delicious smoothie recipe. SERVINGS: 2 1 can (8 oz) juice-packed pineapple chunks 1 c fat-free frozen vanilla yogurt 1 lg ripe mango, peeled and chopped 1 ripe banana, sliced Crushed or cracked ice 1. COMBINE the pineapple (with juice), frozen yogurt, mango, and banana. Blend until smooth. 2. WITH the blender running. gradually drop in enough ice to bring the level up to 4 cups. Blend until the ice is pureed.
NUTRITION (per serving) 251 cals, 0.5 g fat, 0.2 g sat fat, 68 mg sodium, 60 g carbs, 50 g sugars, 4 g fiber, 6.5 g protein
25 Natural Energy Boosters That Just Might Change Your Life Y7 STAFF Chase fatigue out of your day with these natural ways to jump-start your energy.
Nurse a coffee throughout the day If you need a quadruple shot of espresso just to bring your eyelids to half-mast in the morning, you may be driving yourself deeper and deeper into a low-energy rut. Compelling research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and other institutions finds that frequent low doses of caffeine—the amount in a quarter-cup of coffee—were more effective than a few larger doses of caffeine in keeping people alert.
Lighten your glycemic load Foods with a low glycemic load—like beans, bran cereal, brown rice, whole wheat bread, and nuts—have less impact on your blood sugar than foods with a high glycemic load—like white rice, spaghetti, potatoes, cornflakes, and sugary juices and drinks. Eating more low-glycemic-load foods will help you keep your blood sugar steady and avoid the lightheadedness and “shakes” associated with blood sugar drops, which usually follow spikes. Nutritionists want you to eat these healthy carbs.
If you have dried rosemary in your kitchen, crush a small handful Take a whiff or three. The herb’s intense woody fragrance is known to herbalists as an invigorating stimulant. Here are other ways to use aromatherapy to boost your energy and mood.
Once a day, go for a 10-minute “thank you” walk As you walk, focus your thoughts on what you feel most thankful for. After the walk, make a mental note of how you feel. “This simple technique combines the power of gratefulness with the positive effects of walking and exercise, flooding your brain with happy neurotransmitters and endorphins. It’s a simple yet powerful exercise that energizes the mind and body and builds mental and physical muscle,” says Jon Gordon, a professional speaker, energy coach, and author of Become an Energy Addict. These tricks can make any walking routine healthier.
When you find yourself thinking a negative thought, picture a stop sign Then either push the thought out of your mind or replace it with a positive one. “Negative feelings take a lot of mental energy,” says Kathleen W. Wilson, MD, an internal medicine specialist and author of When You Think You Are Falling Apart. “Whenever possible, avoid unnecessary self-criticism. Stop blaming yourself for past events that you cannot change, and know that you deserve the same level of consideration and mercy as others.” Also try eating these high-energy foods to beat the afternoon slump.
Drink two glasses of icy water
Fatigue is often one of the first symptoms of dehydration, and if all you’ve sipped all day is coffee and soft drinks, it’s quite likely you’re dehydrated. Plus, the refreshing coldness will serve as a virtual slap in the face. These signs could mean you’re dehydrated.
Soak a washcloth in icy water and place it over your face The icy coolness of the washcloth will quickly rejuvenate your facial muscles and eyes. It likely will lift your spirits as well.
Get enough iron Constantly dragging yourself around? You could have iron-deficiency anemia, a common cause of fatigue. Iron is essential for producing hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to your body’s cells, where it is used to produce energy. Good food sources of iron are red meat, iron-fortified cereal, green leafy vegetables, and dried beans. You may also need a supplement; check with your doctor.
When someone asks you to do something, say, ‘Let me check my schedule and I’ll get back to you.’ This gives you time to think about the request and decide if it’s something you really want to do, or simply an energy-sucking waste of your time.
Have your thyroid checked If it’s not producing enough thyroid hormone, it could be making you feel tired and run-down. A simple blood test will tell. Other symptoms of low thyroid are dry skin, weight gain, constipation, and feeling cold.
List all the people you’re angry with and write each a letter of forgiveness Stewing over past events only drains your energy. “Try to accept others for who they are and don’t expend a lot of effort on changing them,” says Dr. Wilson. Oh, and you don’t have to send the letter. Simply writing it is enough.
Soak up a little sun in winter Have all the energy of a hibernating bear in the winter? Make a point of getting outside for 30 minutes to an hour during the day. The natural light can improve your energy level and help fight seasonal affective disorder—also known as the winter blahs.
In the hour before bedtime, turn off the TV and put away your work Relax with a good book, some needlepoint, a crossword puzzle, or a coloring book. Take a warm bath and listen to soothing music. This ritual will help you fall asleep more quickly and experience a more restful slumber, resulting in more energy the following day. These tricks can also help you sleep better naturally.
Turn off the news for one week Depressing television news of politics, murders, fires, and terrorism can quickly drain your mental reserves. If you’re a news junkie, try this experiment for one week: Stop reading your newspaper and watch only one television news program a day (or none if you can stand it). Notice how you feel at the end of the week. If you feel more energetic and peaceful, stick to your new habit.
Create a mail-sorting center Clutter is not only distracting, it’s frustrating and energy-wasting. (How many times have you scoured the house for lost keys or bills that were right in front of you?) To keep track of your bills and other mail, buy an open file box or hanging files from an office supply store. Place it in your kitchen and use it to sort your mail into categories such as “bills,” “receipts,” and “letters.” “When you know where your bills are, you can pay them on time, thus reducing frustration and stress,” says Audrey Thomas, an organizational consultant and author of The Road Called Chaos. Try these almost effortless ways to be more organized.
Breathe in new energy Sit in a chair with a straight back. Place your hands over your stomach and breathe into your tummy so that your hands rise and fall with your breath. Imagine you are inhaling a white light that fills your body with vital energy. Do this for five full breaths. Then, as you inhale, tighten the muscles that connect your shoulders and neck, pulling your shoulders up toward your ears. “When you have inhaled all you can and your shoulders are snug around your ears, hold your breath for just a second,” says Karl D. La Rowe, a licensed clinical social worker and mental health investigator in Oregon. “Then exhale as you release the tension and your breath in one big whoosh — as if you were releasing the weight of the world from your shoulders. Repeat until you feel clear, refreshed, and revitalized.” These mini meditations can banish stress and anxiety.
Make a list of everything you’re looking forward to in the next month Do this every month when you pay your rent or mortgage. Simply building more anticipation into your life helps stoke your energy.
Get your energy vitamins Research at the University of California at Berkeley found that the amino acid L-carnitine and the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid can boost both memory and energy, possibly by improving the way body cells produce energy. Bruce Ames, PhD, one of the study authors and a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Berkeley, says you can consume the right amount of both nutrients by taking a daily multivitamin and eating a well-balanced diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables.
Eat something crunchy Pretzels, carrots, and other crunchy foods make your jaw work hard, which can wake up your facial muscles, helping you feel more alert.
Chew a piece of peppermint or spearmint gum
You’ll get a burst of energy from the invigorating flavor and scent, not to mention the physical act of chewing (it’s hard to chew if you’re asleep).
Eat every four hours It’s much better to continually refuel your body before it hits empty than to wait until you’re in the danger zone and then overdo it. So every four hours (except, of course, when you’re sleeping), have a mini-meal or snack. A mini-meal might be a handful of roasted peanuts, a hard-boiled egg or slice of lean luncheon meat, and a sliced apple. Nonfat yogurt sprinkled with flaxseeds makes a great snack.
Stay still You wouldn’t think stillness would lead to energy, but often, that’s just what you need to create your second wind. Simply sit for 10 minutes in a comfortable chair and stare out the window. Let your mind drift wherever it wants to go. Some might call this meditation. We just call it “being,” something we’re often too frenzied to remember to do.
Or stretch Stand up, get on your toes, and lift your fingertips as close as you can to the ceiling. Keep the stretch expanding for several seconds, feeling it in your calves, your abdomen, your shoulders, your arms, your fingers. After a few seconds, relax, take a few deep breaths, and do it again. By doing this, you activate almost every muscle you have, sending oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. These energizing stretches you can even do in your bed.
Eat a bowl of all-bran cereal It contains 792 milligrams of phosphorous, an important mineral that the body needs to metabolize carbohydrates, fat, and protein so they can be used as energy, Heck, it will do you a lot more good than those greasy chips from the vending machine! Nutritionists vouch for these healthy cereals.
21 Best Ways to Prevent and Cure Sore Muscles
by Lauren Steele Your muscles make every pullup, press, jump, crunch, run, squat, and curl possible. But after a brutal workout, taking a single step can feel like the greatest form of punishment. That’s because vigorous exercise causes small tears in muscle fibers, leading to an immune reaction as the body gets to work repairing the injured cells. Any type of soreness indicates that your muscles have been broken down. And while “broken down” isn’t synonymous with “injured,” it does mean that your muscles are compromised. That discomfort you feel 12-48 hours after a squat-heavy workout? It’s known as “delayed onset muscle soreness”.
Some soreness is inevitable—in fact, it can be a sign of a good workout. But, to make the most of your sweat sessions, knowing how to prevent and cure (or at least alleviate) sore muscles and muscle damage is key. Here are 21 ways to do just that.
Know the difference between soreness and a strain Knowledge is power—and identifying the cause of your pain is key to recoverying quickly, or ending up sidelined for a while. Muscle soreness can last up to 72 hours, so if you find the feeling of pain in your muscles is lasting a week or more, you may have a strain. It’s important to listen to your body. A strain occurs when those same muscles that are torn during exercise are torn in larger amounts and to more significant degrees—and takes several weeks to heal. Check in with your doctor if you feel like your soreness is beyond “just” soreness.
Keep switching up your workouts If you are constantly doing the exact same routine, the minute you try something new the muscles you haven’t been incorporating are going to suffer tenfold on the soreness scale. Try different workouts, like swimming, rowing, running, or boxing, to build total-body strength so you can keep all of your muscles ready for anything.
Eat protein Eating protein won’t reduce muscle soreness, but it will help your muscles recover more quickly so you don’t feel the pain as long. Consuming 10g of whey protein before and 10g of whey protein following your workout will help reduce symptoms of DOMS, according to a study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
Use compression Wearing compression garments can help speed up muscle recovery when you’re sore. Try TINTIN weighted compression shorts (which come with gel inserts to heat or cool muscles) or any of this compression gear for post-workout recovery.
Get a massage Many pro athletes swear by this tried and true method, and work massages into their weekly training plans. “In prep for Rio, the past four years of my training has included less swimming and more recovery,” says three-time Paralympic medalist Tucker Dupree. “Massages have made a huge difference there.” Scheduling a bi-weekly or once-monthly deep tissue massage is worth it, and it’s backed by science.
Take a day off Since sore muscles are already compromised with slight damage, it’s important to not keep pushing through the pain with tougher workouts. “Soreness is your body saying, ‘Hey, you broke me a little bit, so let me build back up,’” says Aguillard. So, consider a total rest day if the soreness is intense.
Do some light activity That said, there are benefits to a recovery workout in lieu of total rest. Light activity can alleviate soreness just as well as a massage, according to research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Go out for a light 20-minute jog, swim, bike ride, or row session the day after a demanding workout.
Hydrate Drinking enough water ensures that those nasty toxins trapped in your muscles that make DOMS even worse get flushed out faster, and that your muscles are hydrated enough to stay supple. Dehydrated muscles become tight and easily injured, so try to keep them hydrated by drinking at least half of your bodyweight in ounces of water a day. Foam roll Have certain muscles that always feel tight and restricted? Roll them out with a foam roller before you work out to mobilize the muscles, get blood flowing, and keep overuse injuries at bay. “You should foam roll the muscles that get sore often so that you can get full range of motion and build strength in muscles that may be underdeveloped,” says Brooke Ficara, DPT, at Spear Physical Therapy in NYC. Foam rolling is also great post-workout even if it hurts so good. Consider upgrading your go-to roller for The VYPER, a cutting-edge roller that uses both pressure and vibration to improve circulation and work on tight muscles. The VYPER uses three different speed settings powered by rechargeable lithium ion batteries.
Prime your muscles For example, if you have a heavy squat session planned, do a few unilateral bridge exercises before picking up the weights to warm up the muscles you want to engage. This prevents excessive soreness and also imbalances that result in overuse injuries of more dominant muscles, such as hip flexors or hamstrings.
Drink cherry juice One study found that drinking tart cherry juice for one week leading up to a strenuous running event (like a marathon) could help minimize post-run muscle pains and strains. Another study found cherry supplements (1 pill had the anti-inflammatory content of about 100 cherries) reduced muscle soreness by 24% two days after a strenuous resistance workout. And yet another study found post-lift strength loss was reduced 18% among those who drank cherry juice before their workouts.
Take a nap Research suggests taking a nap around two hours after a workout helps the body enter deep, restorative states of sleep, which releases natural growth hormones to improve musculature and helps your body to repair. Alternate muscle groups While many advocate two days between workouts involving the same muscle group, there’s no one-sizefits-all solution for recovery time. So the best assurance that you are giving your muscles the rest they need in between workouts is to alternate the muscle groups that you focus on each day.
Soak in an Epsom salt bath Using Epsom salts in a bath soak isn’t just Grandma’s trick, it’s backed by science to help muscle restoration by supplying your body with the muscle-relaxing mineral Magnesium. Magnesium is a primary component of Epsom salt. It’s a mineral that the body needs, and, unlike other minerals, is absorbed through the skin as you soak in the bath.
Caffeinate According to studies, the muscle’s primary fuel source during exercise, glycogen, is replenished more rapidly when athletes have some caffeine with their post-workout carbs. Research results show that athletes who ingested caffeine with carbohydrates had 66% more glycogen in their muscles four hours after finishing intense, glycogen-depleting exercise, compared to when they consumed carbohydrates alone.
Build up your tolerance In other words, don’t overdo it when you up your intensity. If you normally run five miles at a given pace, then don’t go much above six miles on the next run. For lifting weights, if you normally complete four sets of arms-intensive exercises, don’t go above five sets the next time. If you exceed the 10-20% increase threshold, the chances of experiencing severe muscle soreness soars.
Get some vitamin C Vitamin C is shown to be effective in helping to prevent muscle soreness. Incorporate chili peppers, guavas, and citrus fruits—which are all high in vitamin C—into your diet.
Invest in some technology NormaTec sleeves are recovery leggings that use “dynamic compression” with a peristaltic pulse that squeezes and travels up the leg from the bottom to the top to increase blood flow. Ironman record holders, the Boston Celtics, and Ryan Hall all swear by the high-tech system to speed up recovery.
Eat some kiwi Everyone knows that potassium is a go-to nutrient to keep muscle cramps and soreness at bay, but you don’t have to eat bananas by the bunch to get your potassium. Two kiwis supply more than 540mg of potassium (16% of the daily value) for 100 calories. One extra-large banana also delivers 16% of the daily value for potassium, but it also contains 25% more calories than a serving of kiwi. Bananas are also higher in sugar and carbs than kiwis.
Try a topical cream Think of your typical topical pain reliever as a good standby for quick relief. Rock Saucepacks a combo of hot and cold relief, thanks to ingredients methyl salicylate, menthol, and capsaicin.
9 Health Statistics That Actually Matter—and When You Should Check Them 9
Ryan Lees AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT, you can tap into a wealth of information about yourself. Trackers, WiFi scales, smart clothing, and other gadgets continue finding new figures to dump on you—without necessarily explaining what to do with them. Simply put: We’re drowning in health data, and we can’t stop asking for more. Experts warn that the constant chirping of devices can lead to a fixation that’s often more about ego than understanding your body.
And all that nitty-gritty won’t necessarily give you an edge, either. To live a longer, healthier life requires knowing the statistics that actually matter. Here are the nine numbers to keep an eye on—and how frequently (daily, monthly, or yearly) to check in on each.
1. Hours of Sleep (DAILY) WHAT IT IS: Simply, the time between lights out and your morning alarm. WHY IT’S KEY: A lot of trackers give you particulars on your time in bed, like how often you wake during the night or the amount of REM sleep you get. But that information tends to be both imprecise and unnecessarily specific. Checking the raw hours is enough. (Plus, the way to get more REM time is merely to sleep more.) Research finds that those who get enough rest are fitter and weigh less than their sleepdeprived counterparts. And adequate hours may help fend off anxiety and depression, according to a study in Lancet Psychiatry. AIM FOR: Seven to nine hours a night.
2. Resting Heart Rate (DAILY) WHAT IT MEASURES: The number of heartbeats per minute. WHY IT’S KEY: It reflects the health and efficiency of your circulatory system. “Lower beats per minute indicate your heart is pumping more blood per beat, so it needs fewer bpm to circulate blood and oxygen,” says Myles Spar, an integrative physician and NBA adviser. A study in the British Medical Journal finds that a resting heart rate of 90 to 100 bpm tripled the risk of death compared with a lower rate. Use a tracker, or do it the old-fashioned way, counting your pulse on your wrist for 15 seconds and multiplying by four. AIM FOR: 60 bpm (or in the 50s for athletes).
3. Heart-Rate Variability (DAILY) WHAT IT MEASURES: The variation in time between heartbeats. WHY IT’S KEY: It’s a good measure of stress. Typically, those who are relaxed and fit have a high HRV, while those who are stressed or depressed have a low one. (Meditation and yoga can help.) It’s a feature on some trackers and heart-rate monitors.
AIM FOR: It’s personal. “It’s best not to compare your HRV with others’,” Spar says. Instead, follow your HRV and track with your daily activities to learn what helps it. An elite athlete’s is around 60 milliseconds; anything above 50 is considered good.
4. VO2 MAX (MONTHLY) WHAT IT MEASURES: The maximum rate at which your body can utilize oxygen. WHY IT’S KEY: Use it to test aerobic and cardiovascular capacity. “The more you train, the better you get at using oxygen to work your muscles maximally,” Spar says. Basically, a higher number means you can go harder, longer. But it’s not just a fitness tool: Poor VO2 max is correlated with diabetes, depression, and even earlier death. Get a reading at a performance lab, or use a wearable device while exercising. AIM FOR: 50 to 60 milliliters of oxygen per kilo gram of body weight per minute of consumption (mL/kg/ min).
5. Waist Size (MONTHLY) WHAT IT MEASURES: It’s an estimate of internal fat. WHY IT’S KEY: A spare tire on a guy isn’t just unflattering—it’s also dangerous. Too big a waist size means you’re probably carrying around visceral fat, the kind that surrounds internal organs. Visceral fat produces toxic chemicals called cytokines, which inhibit cell sensitivity, impacting cholesterol, insulin resistance, and blood clotting. Cytokines also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. To get an accurate figure, wrap a measuring tape just above your hip bone and exhale. AIM FOR: A waist circumference that’s less than half your height. So if you’re six feet tall, or 72 inches, make sure yours is 36 inches or less.
6. Body-Fat Percentage (MONTHLY) WHAT IT MEASURES: How much fat is in your body. WHY IT’S KEY: It’s a more accurate replacement for body mass index. The knock on BMI is that it doesn’t differentiate between fat and muscle. For instance, if you’re on a fitness kick, your scale reading may stay the same (or go up) even though you’re losing fat and gaining muscle. More muscle mass corresponds with a faster metabolism, healthier bones, and better cardiovascular health. One shortcoming: Body-fat percentage doesn’t distinguish between subcutaneous (or “surface”) fat and visceral fat, so it’s useful to think about this and waist size together. Find yours using a smart scale. AIM FOR: 6 to 17 percent.
7. Blood Pressure (YEARLY) WHAT IT MEASURES: The pressure exerted on artery walls when your heart contracts (called systolic pressure, the top number) and the pressure when your heart relaxes (or diastolic, the bottom figure). WHY IT’S KEY: High systolic pressure is one of the most direct determinants of cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association. High blood pressure can damage blood vessels throughout your body, harming your brain, kidneys, extremities, and more. Exercise, weight loss, limiting sodium intake, eating potassium-rich foods like sweet potatoes and edamame, and cutting back on booze can help.
AIM FOR: 120/80 or lower.
8. Cholesterol (YEARLY) WHAT IT MEASURES: The levels of a waxy substance in the blood that comes in two forms—HDL, which is good, and LDL, which is bad—as well as triglycerides, a fat. WHY IT’S KEY: It’s a predictor of heart disease. Maintaining a healthy weight, along with a high-fiber, lowsugar diet, can help keep you in the clear, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian and consultant for the Chicago Cubs. High cholesterol is hereditary, so if it runs in your family, you and your doctor should keep an eye on it. AIM FOR: At least 60 milligrams/deciliter HDL; no more than 100mg/dL LDL; under 150mg/dL triglycerides.
9. Blood Sugar (YEARLY) WHAT IT MEASURES: The amount of glucose coursing through your bloodstream. WHY IT’S KEY: It reveals your risk for diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. Glucose, your body’s main source of fuel, is regulated by the hormone insulin. When blood sugar levels are too high, your body stores the excess glucose as fat, which causes weight gain. To get it under control, back off on processed food, simple carbs such as white bread and pasta, and sugar. AIM FOR: 70–99 milligrams per deciliter; 100–125mg/dL is prediabetic.
6 Tips for Staying Hydrated Marie Tripova
Advice on how to help keep your body healthy and hydrated Keeping your body hydrated is essential, especially as seasonal temperatures peak. So how do you do it? There’s the easy answer, of course: Drink a lot of water. But that doesn’t quite satisfy the question. What if you have trouble remembering to drink your daily dose? How do you know if you’re dehydrated in the first place? What if you don’t even like water? Check out the following tips for advice on how to stay hydrated. 1. Keep a Water Bottle Handy Here’s a piece of advice that’s easy and efficient: Always try to keep a reusable bottle or cup of water with you throughout the day. If you’re one of those people who has trouble remembering to drink as much water as you should, having a bottle near you will help keep it at the top of your priorities list. Plus, refills are free. 2. Don›t Wait Until You›re Thirsty Fatigue, headache, dizziness — all can be indicators that it’s time to rehydrate. But what about thirst? Interestingly enough, many maintain that by the time you actually feel thirsty, you›ve probably already lost a significant amount of water. For this reason, it›s important to drink small sips regularly throughout the day (chugging a full drink in one sitting isn›t required, it›s not like you›re at a college frat party after all). 3. Make Your Water More Interesting Not much of a fan of plain water? Many recommend adding herbs and fresh fruit — citrus and berries are popular choices — to you water to boost the flavor intrigue. (We love this recipe for watermelon, mint, and cucumber water.) Some also claim that lemon water (made by mixing in the juice of a quarter a lemon) helps balance electrolytes and promotes the absorption of water into your cells. Or if you›re a big soda drinker, opt for sparkling water or club soda instead which at least offers a similar texture — just make sure it doesn›t have any added sugar or sodium. 4. Drink Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Juices Believe it or not, water is not the only star of the hydration show — electrolytes, essential fatty acids, and minerals are also important when it comes to keeping you hydrated. So opt for fresh juices made from high-water content fruits and vegetables to supplement your body’s needs. Think watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, strawberries, and the like. (Watching your weight? Try diluting the juice with water or club soda to help cut down on the sugar and calories.) And actually, you don’t just have to drink your juice — fresh fruit popsicles are a great (not to mention tasty) hydrating alternative. 5. Other Water Alternatives
Aside from fresh fruit and vegetable juices, drinks like coconut water and skim milk are also good hydrators. Some have claimed skim milk hydrates better than Gatorade, while coconut water is an isotonic liquid, and packed with a variety of good-for-you vitamins and minerals. 6. Minimize Your Caffeine and Alcohol Intake This one’s a bit of a no-brainer but worth stating nonetheless. Both alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, and soda act as diuretics and can contribute to dehydration. You don’t have to give up your morning cup of coffee or nightly glass of wine, just be mindful to consume these types of beverages in moderation.
The health issue.