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high carb diet brain health

New Study: Low-Protein, High-Carb Diet Good for Brain Health (What!?)

It’s no mystery that people want to live longer. Ponce De León sought the Fountain of Youth. King Arthur sought the Holy Grail. And today researchers seek to make us live longer through science.

But living longer isn’t glorious if your brain quits working before you die. Life expectancy for humans is longer than ever. Yet we still experience dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The race is on to find a cure for brain diseases. Until we do find an actual cure, the focus has to be on preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Today we’re going to examine one study that suggests diet could be the key.

1. What Causes Brain Degeneration?

We’re good at talking about heart health. We label heart-healthy foods. We talk about cholesterol. But we rarely talk about brain health.

And if you’re merely looking at what kills us, this approach makes sense. Heart disease is the leading cause of death, after all.

Some in the health field feel it’s not enough just to focus on death. While still not popular to talk about, quality of life is gaining traction as an area of health study. And we’re finding out some interesting things about brain degeneration that might enhance quality of life.

Each time you learn something new, you break your DNA. But don’t worry, your body knows how to repair the damage.

Neurons in the brain must break their own DNA to initiate the transcriptional program that allows learning and memory function. The cells quickly repair the damage and keep functioning.

The problem comes when our bodies age and slow down. The process of repairing DNA slows down as well. Eventually, our bodies can’t keep up the repairs and we accumulate damage over time.

Since this damage is in the neurons that process memory and enable learning, we see symptoms like memory loss, anxiety, and depression.

Researchers still don’t fully understand what causes the body to slow down its repair mechanisms. But they have found that diet is one way to reduce the damage we see in the brain during aging.

*Related: Is Nutrisystem really healthy?


2. Low-Calorie Diets Aid in Mice Longevity

Recent studies show that, at least in mice, a severe calorie restriction aids in longevity.  There is improvement in learning and memory in old rodents.

How much did they reduce the diet of mice? 10-50%. They also tried extended periods of fasting.

Scientists then used various common tests including the Morris water maze, Barnes maze, and object recognition. The tests determine how well the mice are learning and retaining information.

They found that mice who experienced the severe calorie restriction did better at the various mazes. Their times improved as well as their ability to learn easier pathways through the maze.

They’re going to take over the world.

They tested these mice for one year and found that the best calorie restriction percentage was 40% (they found decent results at 20%). If you translate that to a common diet of 2500 calories and you’re looking at only 1500 calories a day.

For most people, such calorie restriction won’t be tenable, especially in developed countries where food is so bountiful. So scientists are looking for other ways to get the same diet effects without severely restricting calories.


3. The Opposite of Keto (Low Protein + High Carbs!) 

The keto diet, eliminating carbohydrates and increasing protein and fat sources, is a popular and often misunderstood diet. Many claim it’s changed their lives for the better. Just about all of the popular diets including Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem subscribe to the high protein / lower carb

But as it turns out, the opposite of the keto diet is what might reverse brain degeneration in humans.

When researching how calorie restriction might negate the effects of brain degeneration, scientists looked at five areas: Cardiometabolic health, hippocampus RNA expression, nutrient sensing pathways, dendritic spine density, and cognitive function during aging.

They found a diet that improves all of those areas at once without severely restricting calories. It’s a diet of low-protein and high carbohydrates.

So, runners rejoice! Your pre-race carb-loading pasta-fest is also protecting your brain health.

How Did They Figure it Out?

For a long time, we’ve known that this diet increased longevity. In fact, in many “blue zones” such as Okinawa where more people live to see 100 than any other place on the planet people eat a low-protein, high-carb diet.  Until the calorie restriction studies, scientists hadn’t considered turning to a low-protein, high-calorie diet for improved brain health.

In the study, they used pure starch-derived complex carbohydrates like what you find in whole grain rice. And they used casein protein, which is in dairy.

To make sure they could see the results of calorie restriction first hand for comparison, they restricted another set of mice to 20% reduced calorie diet. They then studied the hippocampus or the area of the brain related to memories. Specifically, they looked at RNA expressions in mice brain cells.

They used the same maze and memory tests of the previous calorie restrictions studies.

What Did They See?

The hippocampus is where we see the brain deteriorate first with diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. But the low-protein, high-carbohydrate diet seemed to improve hippocampus health. In fact, some areas showed greater improvement than the calorie restriction diet.

This could be yet another reason to question diets like keto that drastically cut carbs. (especially good carbs like veggies!) 


The Best We Have Now

There are no pharmacological treatments for dementia. We can cure various cancers or fix a heart, but we can’t medically cure dementia.

Diet and lifestyle seem to be our only tools right now to combat this ugly side of aging. Other lifestyle changes could help with dementia as well.

Continued education in later life seems to help with dementia. People with low blood pressure also are less likely to experience dementia. But diet seems to be top of the list when it comes to improving brain health.

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top diet myths

The Top 8 Dieting Myths (Debunked!)

Approximately 45 million Americans go on a diet–officially or unofficially–every year.

In fact, the U.S. Weight Loss Market (yes, there’s a market!) is worth approximately $66 billion. These digits are only likely to grow as more and more Americans commit to healthier lifestyles.

Yet with all of those dieting headlines plastered on magazines, news articles, and bookstore shelves, the dieting industry is fraught with mythology. It can be tempting to buy that issue of Prevention that promises the loss of twelve pounds in two weeks–but how do you sift fact from fiction?

I always recommend doing your research prior to committing to any diet program or initiative. This is especially important for diets that require a monthly commitment, like WW, Nutrisystem, and Noom. In the meantime, however, here are some of the most prominent dieting myths debunked for your benefit.


#1. Myth: Most diets don’t work.

flying fail

There is a cynic in all of us, and when we’re trying to lose weight, it’s hard to bypass that sensation of dread that suggests all of this is for naught. This myth maintains that diets may be helpful in the moment, particularly for rapid weight loss, but they are ultimately unsustainable–and fruitless.

In fact, the myth that 95% of diets fail has been circulating online for years.

Proponents of this theory claim that many dieting programs are driven by commercial interests; others suggest that the very idea of restraining and restricting is repulsive and unrealistic for dieters.

Fact: The right diet can work for the right person.

Well, the 95% failure rate is just not true. In fact, the myth seems to have originated from a dubious weight loss study from 1959 that only involved 100 people.

There may be credence to the fact that some dieting programs don’t work, yet it is definitely a myth to claim that most diets are vain endeavors to lose weight.

In fact, the diets that don’t work may be those that are hazardous–those, for example, that eliminate key nutrients and fail to consider individuals’ unique biological and psychological makeup in their approach to weight loss.

*Important: ask yourself whether your over-eating is driven by emotion. If so, then it’s not realistic to think that you’ll find health and balance in your life by merely changing your diet. For a diet to succeed long-term, you may also need to address deep-seated issues in your life that bubble up to the surface in the form of emotional eating.

A diet is more likely to be effective if a dieter is committed to a healthier lifestyle along with a healthier relationship with food; not just the narrow goal of a smaller pant size.

Effective diets are also more sustainable when they involve community support and accountability (much like the Weight Watchers’ Freestyle Program) and/or convenience (like Nutrisystem’s meal delivery service).


#2. Myth: Your diet should have nothing to do with your Body Mass Index (BMI).

Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat that takes your height and weight into consideration. In general, your ideal BMI involves a “healthy” balance of fat in relation to muscle mass.

Supporters of this myth claim that BMIs fail to assess a person’s genetics, ethnicity, general build, and fitness level. For this reason, BMIs are less important than values like “goal weights” or “healthy weights.”

Diets are, these people argue, about what you eat–and reducing the intake of fat.

Fact: BMI can determine the right diet for you–or even your need to diet!

Your BMI is more important than you may realize. It can give you a quick assessment of what a “healthy” weight should look like given your stature; it can also indicate whether or not you are underweight (more crucial for dieters than often assumed).

In fact, aiming to reach a healthy BMI may be a more realistic goal than aiming to reach a goal weight. For one thing, it becomes less about obsessing over singular pounds and more about striving towards holistic health (a key principle of successful dieting programs).

This can help you determine the type of diet you pursue, particularly when it comes to analyzing nutrition needs and meeting these diligently. Oh, and not all “fat” is bad–simply reducing intake of fat is not likely to reduce weight, particularly if it means the eliminating of healthy fats our brains and bodies need for daily success! (You can Calculate your BMI here!)


#3 Myth: Diets are all about restriction.

diet restrictions

This is a hard myth to debunk, especially when the Merriam Webster Dictionary defines dieting as “restrict[ing] oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.”

The theory is essentially that overweight individuals have arrived at their current weight due to excessive caloric intake. Thus, to lose weight, one must eat less–or, at the very least, within the caloric range appropriate to their basal metabolic rate (BMR) and body mass index (BMI).

Fact: The situation is not de facto. While caloric restriction can certainly aid in an individual’s efforts to lose weight, diets are not all about restriction.

In fact, severe caloric restriction can be potentially damaging, particularly if a restricted diet is lacking in key nutrients.

Some dieters develop eating disorders–such as anorexia or bulimia–as a result of taking restriction to the extreme. Others may contract fatigue, increase risk for fertility issues, and tank their metabolism.

Diets are more likely to be effective when they are part of a holistic lifestyle; that is, when paired with a fitness plan, mental wellness, (try mindful eating) and customized nutrition, they can deliver the results desired.

It’s also possible to explore dieting programs that do not emphasize restriction. Programs like Weight Watchers Freestyle, for example, permit flexibility in food choices yet underline the value of making healthy (rather than restrictive) selections.


#4 Myth: You can’t eat out when you are on a diet.

The language of diets is often extreme: these foods are “bad,” for example, while these are “good.” Proponents of this myth argue that eating out in restaurants and cafes is an automatic “bad,” simply because most outside food is unhealthy.

Thus, if you’re on a diet, restaurants are out of the question–unless you wish to counteract your existing efforts to lose weight. Even conscious eating out can pay a caloric price. And let’s not even get started with alcohol!

Fact: Dieters can still lose weight and eat out when they wish.

It may be true that many on-the-go or outside food options incorporate “unhealthy” ingredients. It is certainly difficult to line up for a McDonald’s breakfast every morning, for example, and attempt to shed those pounds.

Yet it is nearly astounding how many restaurants now cater to health-conscious individuals, striving to dissolve the myth that all outside food is “bad” food. From plant-based and gluten-free to whole-grain and organic, food manufacturers are prepared to meet your appetite and your dieting needs at the same time.

The key to eating out on a diet, of course, is knowledge. Depending on your diet’s terms, you may be able to eat out as many as five times a week, provided you are attentive to food cooking and preparation processes, ingredients, and nutritive value.

Some dieting programs incorporate ‘restaurant nights’ in their curriculum. Once again, Weight Watchers takes the cake here for such efforts to emphasize the flexible “I” in diet!


#5 Myth: Most diets are unsustainable.

Back to the sustainability topic again: many people assume that diets may be effective in-the-moment; outside the bounds of a dieting program, however, they argue that lost weight is more likely to return, establishing old habits and wasting prior effort.

Fact: A diet’s sustainability depends on the diet–and the dieter.

Yes, some diets may be unsustainable, particularly if they emphasize results rather than practices. The modern notion of a diet also has an element of ephemerality to it, too–when someone says “I’m on a diet,” it often sounds like a temporary claim to weight loss.

Yet many dieting programs are designed with this challenge in mind–and an aim to deliver sustainable, long-term results. The most successful programs are those that knit instruction and consciousness into their deliverables, training dieters not to just count calories or points but, more importantly, to develop a nuanced food awareness.

If you choose such a program with a commitment to changing your relationship to food and health, you are already eligible for sustainable results.


#6 Myth: Carbohydrates are bad (really, really bad!)

eating carbs pasta

A ‘low-carb diet’ is one of the most touted programs out there, and (this myth maintains) for good reason. Carbohydrates are just a fancy word for processed sugars, which are immediately stored as fat in the body.

Low-carb diets eliminate foods your body is likely to turn into fat, boosting your odds of successful weight loss.

Fact: We need (the right) carbohydrates to function!

It’s easy for diets to villainize certain foods, particularly when it comes to fats and carbohydrates. While some carbohydrates are derived from processed sugars, many exist naturally in a variety of healthy food ingredients.

What’s more, studies suggest that we need the right kind of carbohydrates to function: namely, complex carbohydrates, those that give our brain the power it craves. Examples of complex carbs include sweet potatoes, brown rice, multigrain bread, and a variety of cereals (not the colored box, breakfast aisle kinds, though).

Aim to follow a diet that permits intake of nutritive carbs and limits intake of those that are more likely to be converted into fat (and spike your blood sugar levels, too).


#7 Myth: People who can cook are likely to be better dieters.

Here’s the theory: a lot of prepared or processed food out there isn’t good for you, containing high amounts of sodium, unhealthy fats, and starches. Successful diets are thus those that involve meal preparation–where you can have control over what goes into your meals.

Those who can cook or have access to a comfortable kitchen are at an advantage here. Dieters who stay away from pots and pans may have a steeper mountain to climb.

Fact: Meal delivery systems may outcompete home-cookers.

Meal delivery systems like Nutrisystem minimize the home-cooking aspect of dieting, providing dieters with pre-packaged–yet carefully curated–meals designed to help them meet their dieting aims.

In fact, the convenience of meal delivery means dieters often spend less time in the kitchen and more time engaging in other health-conscious activities, such as workouts at the gym. Rather than developing their own recipe-crafting savvy–and having to cull nutrient-full recipes from the web–dieters of meal delivery programs can tap into their weight loss potential more easily (and, often, faster).


#8 Myth: Dieting is the only way to lose weight

woman weight loss

Enough said. Food makes our world go round; proponents of this myth claim that food is thus the ultimate culprit when it comes to excess weight. Changing what appears on our dinner plates is the only means of fitting into those size zero jeans.

Fact: Food is only part of the equation.

Every diet is different; every dieter has a distinct aim. It only makes sense, then, that food would be part of the equation.

Effective weight loss is often the result of a union of factors, including exercise and fitness, psychological well-being, caloric intake and value, and even relationships. Food may simply be the easiest place to begin in all of this.

Why not learn more about the dieting programs available to you here at Mighty Diets? We even have discounts!

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donald trump diet

Trump’s Health {Diet, Exercise, Stress, Sex, Sleep} Risk of Heart Attack?

Is Donald Trump at Risk of Having a heart attack? Donald Trump received his first comprehensive physical exam as sitting president this January (2018) at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Navy Rear Adm. Ronny L. Jackson conducted the exam and claimed that the President was “in excellent health.”

While such exams are voluntary, presidents can decide which details they wish to disclose to the public. Furthermore, Trump is currently the oldest sitting president in U.S history, and many have questioned the state of his health given his proclivities for fast food meals and scant exercise.

In particular, many have suggested that Trump’s diet puts him at major risk of heart failure, if not a heart attack while in office.

Could Trump have a heart attack? Let’s look at Trump’s health including his diet, exercise routine, stress level, sex life, and sleep habits to determine potential health risks.


1. Trump’s Diet: What Does He Eat?

One of the most fundamental places to begin when assessing any individual’s risk for heart disease of any kind is diet.

Overweight and obese people are at greater risk of heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, cancer, gout, respiratory issues, and even stroke; the popular Weight Watchers program is founded in the belief that a healthy lifestyle and diet can help combat these serious medical conditions.

While the President conducts most of his affairs, both personal and professional, behind closed doors, we do have a general idea of what Donald Trump eats on a daily basis.

Breakfast:

Trump has reputedly claimed in press interviews that he tends to skip breakfast, avoiding it in order to prioritize his favorite meal of the day: dinner.

If he must eat what is arguably the most important meal of the day, he opts for McDonald’s McMuffins (one or two) or a portion of crispy bacon and over-medium eggs. He does not consume caffeine in the morning.

Trump’s tendency to avoid calories in the morning is risky. Skipping breakfast has long been associated with coronary heart disease. In fact, a new Harvard study discovered that men who skip breakfast are 27% more likely to experience a heart attack than those who do start their days with a small meal.

The Egg McMuffins aren’t helping Trump out in this regard, either. 36% of a McMuffin’s 300 calories come from fat; one McMuffin delivers a whopping 30% of the daily recommended intake of saturated fats.

The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation asserts that overconsumption of saturated fat raises LDL cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol can elevate a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease.

Lunch & Dinner:

The current president does at least consume lunch and dinner, although according to his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, Trump will sometimes forgo food for 14 or 16 hours at a time.

For these meals, Trump will opt for his favorites: steaks with sides of ketchup, Big Macs, Filet-o-Fish McDonald’s sandwiches, pizza (without the crust), and chocolate shakes.

Throughout the day, Trump reputedly indulges his penchant for Diet Coke, sometimes drinking up to twelve cans a day. The White House pantry is also allegedly brimming with Lay’s potato chips and bags of Doritos.

*Related: Boost Drinks: 30% Off Coupon

Unfortunately, in terms of heart health, Trump’s lunch, snack and dinnertime habits aren’t scoring many points. While routine periodic fasting can be, at times, surprisingly beneficial to your health, fasting that culminates in fast food feasting (Big Macs, etc.) can more than negate those benefits, coaxing the body to consume more saturated fat and carbohydrates than are strictly necessary.

The notable absence of fiber culled from fruits and vegetables, whole grain carbohydrates, and healthy fats in Trump’s current diet is also unsettling. Dietary fiber can improve blood cholesterol levels and lower risk of heart disease and stroke.

A fast-food diet high in saturated and trans fats also increases one’s risk of heart disease and stroke due to its capacity to elevate blood cholesterol levels. Trump currently takes medication to reduce high levels of blood cholesterol.

While researchers have yet to pinpoint a definitive relationship between sugary beverages like Diet Coke with cardiovascular disease, such beverages have historically been associated with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.


2. Trump’s Exercise Routine:

trump playing golf
Photo credit: Scott Heppell / AP

Fitness and stress are additional factors that can either increase or decrease one’s risk of heart disease. Individuals who live high-stress lives are at greater risk of conditions that lead to heart conditions, such as hypertension and high blood pressure.

Following Trump’s January physical exam, the president was encouraged to exercise more. Yet little evidence exists as to whether or not Trump actually follows a legitimate exercise regime, save for his frequent golfing trips. (It’s really hard to find a recent photo of Donald Trump exercising, which isn’t a good sign!) 

In fact, Trump seems to believe that copious exercise may actually be counterproductive, as earlier this year he told Reuters:

“A lot of people go to the gym and they’ll work out for two hours and all… Then they get their new knees when they’re 55 years old and they get their new hips and they do all those things. I don’t have those problems.”

OK, so apparently Trump doesn’t think that lack of exercise (or climate change) are an issue. However, a 2012 study revealed that lack of physical activity is a major cause of most chronic conditions, including heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes.


3. Trump’s Stress Level:

trump stress level

Stress can limit the amount of healthy exercise we engage in on a weekly basis, and it’s been proven that frequent anger and negative emotions can increase risk of heart disease.

Trump’s mental health is a topic of heated debate, but most people would at least agree that he’s an, “angry person.” 

Also, the office of president is notorious for its extreme physiological and emotional demands due to the sheer amount of stress it incurs. and This study seems to confirm that being president is, quite simply, “bad for your health,”


4. Trump’s Sex Life:

donald trump sex life
Photo Credit: Molly Riley/AFP/Getty

Ok, we don’t mean to pry into Donald Trump’s sex life, but it’s relevant to whether he’s at risk of having a heart attack. Why? Because regular sex can reduce your risk of heart attack by up to 50%!

Unfortunately, I don’t there’s positive news when it comes to this heart attack risk factor either, as Melania and Donald are rarely together. In fact, although Melania has moved from New York and now lives in the White House, the couple still sleeps in different bedrooms.

Factor in that Trump is often in Melania’s doghouse due to revelations about various affairs with other women, (Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, etc.) and I have to assume that their physical bond isn’t always strong.


5. Trump’s Sleep Habits:

donald_trump_sleep habits

Trump’s former doctor, Ronny Jackson, stated that Donald Trump only sleeps 4-5 hours per night. That’s far less than the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night.

“You know, I’m not a big sleeper. I like three hours, four hours, I toss, I turn, I beep-de-beep, I want to find out what’s going on.” – Donald Trump, 2016

While some scientists believe about 1% of people, called “short sleepers,” only need 5 hours of sleep, we aren’t sure if Trump is part of that group. However, we do know that for most people lack of sleep doubles the risk dying from of heart disease.


Trump’s (Real?) Height, Weight, BMI

Let’s look at Donald Trump’s height and weight for more clues to his health and potential risk of heart attack.

Trump claims that he is 6′ 3″ and weighs 239 pounds. However, many people believe that’s “fuzzy math,” especially after revelations that Trump dictated most of his own medical report for his doctor to write. (Um, really!?)

Also, that height and weight would put Trump’s BMI (body mass index) at 29.9, just under the “30” level, which would categorize him as “obese,” clearly a distinction that the President would want to avoid.

After Trump’s dubious exam results claimed that height and weight, a number of people trolled Trump mercilessly on Twitter:

Ok, it’s not fair to compare him to a professional athlete, but the idea is that Trump is understating his weight, and maybe adding an inch or two to his height. (His N.Y. driver’s license says 6′ 2″… Fake news!?)

So, it may not be possible to calculate an accurate risk of heart disease from the numbers that Trump’s doctor claims, but let’s try anyway. Using the Mayo Clinic’s Heart Disease Risk Calculator, they give Trump a 30% risk of heart disease.

However, if the President’s weight and resulting BMI is more than he claims, his resulting risk of heart disease and having a heart attack would be higher. (Also, there is no question on the form about, “how many Big Mac’s do you eat a week?” or, “how many angry tweet-storms do you engage in after midnight?” on their calculator!) 

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Trump’s Relative Heart Health

Given all of this evidence, what is Trump’s relative heart health?

The American Heart Foundation defines heart health in relationship to cholesterol levels, blood pressure, diabetes, mental health, physical activity, and nutrition.

It suggests that a diet low in salt and unhealthy fats can help maintain a healthy weight and lower blood cholesterol levels. Regular physical activity and healthy social support systems can also contribute to heart health.

We do not have extensive details from Trump’s physical exam to fully answer this question. Yet broad analysis of Trump’s dietary and physical habits suggest that Trump’s heart health is not where it could be.

In fact, Trump’s doctor, Ronny Jackson, did reveal that Trump underwent a coronary calcium CT scan as part of his routine physical exam, and got a score of 133.

Here’s what a 100+ score means:

“A moderate amount of plaque is present. You have heart disease, and plaque may be blocking an artery. Your chance of having a heart attack is moderate to high.”

Yikes, that’s not good! At this point in time, Trump lacks key components of good heart health: regular physical activity and a nutritious, low-sodium, low-fat diet.


Conclusion: Could Trump Have a Heart Attack?

trump heart health

At the end of the day, will Trump have a heart attack?

While it is impossible to confidently answer this question, it is safe to claim that high blood cholesterol levels, poor eating habits, and lack of physical exercise do indeed put Mr. Trump at risk of heart disease.

Accumulated levels of LDL cholesterol–the “bad” kind of cholesterol–can line and clog the body’s arteries, preventing blood flow to the heart. Obstructed blood flow can easily cause a stroke or heart attack.

Certainly, Trump is allegedly taking medication for his cholesterol.

Yet, Trump has not visibly altered his commitment to a diet that is likely contributing to his high cholesterol levels; nor has he demonstrated a desire to implement regular physical activity into his daily routine. The extreme stresses of his professional life are likely not helping his current heart health, either, making heart disease or a heart attack more likely.

The idea that the health of the leader of the free world may be at risk of a heart attack is disconcerting. In fact, in this polarized era of fake news, I imagine that a headline reading, “Donald Trump Suffers Massive Heart Attack” could be met with violence, conspiracy theories, and global chaos!


Lifestyle Changes: What Can Donald Trump Do to Reduce His Risk of Heart Attack?

There are a number of actions that Donald Trump could take immediately to reduce his risk of a heart attack:

  1. Adopt a healthier diet
  2. Reduce stress level & anger
  3. Improve sleep habits
  4. Increase exercise
  5. Improve sex life / marital relations

Well, I just don’t see Trump taking the time to improve his diet and lifestyle. (Perhaps Melania could download an app like WW or Noom on his phone?) While there’s nothing we can do improve Trump’s health and diet, we can certainly improve our own.

Are you ready to reduce your risk of heart failure? At MightyDiets.com, you can find the information you need to learn about the most effective dieting programs available to consumers.

So, why not consider living a healthier lifestyle and losing weight with a popular and inexpensive program like Weight Watchers or a free app like MyFitnessPal?

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how lose pound day

How to Lose a Pound a Day: 7 (Easy!) Tips You Can Start Right Now

Want to lose a pound each day for a week or 30 days? According to the CDC, even losing 5 to 10 percent of your total body weight can produce excellent health benefits. But most people find they struggle even losing one percent. They’ll get on the scale one day, have lost a pound or two only to find they’ve regained those pounds the next day.

Weight loss is one of the most talked about subjects in fitness and it’s also one of the most difficult to accomplish. But it’s not impossible.

The problem is twofold: information overload and lack of motivation.

The two feed into each other and create a vicious cycle.

The Vicious Weight-Loss De-motivation Cycle:

  • Decide You Want to Lose Weight
  • Google “Weight Loss”
  • Get Overwhelmed by Information Overload (or buy shady weight loss pills!?) 
  • Give Up
  • Wait a Few Months
  • Repeat

If this is you, it’s time to cut the B.S. and break the cycle. You can learn how to lose a pound a day without spinning your wheels online or spending money on quick fixes that are doomed to fail. The trick is to create small changes in your lifestyle that add up to quick weight loss.

Want to lose a pound a day for a week, or even 30 days? More important than hitting a lofty weight loss goal like that is sustainable weight loss. Skip the diet pills and make healthy changes to your lifestyle. Here are a few changes you can make right now that may result in an initial pound a day weight loss.


1. How to Lose a Pound a Day: Fewer Calories in than Out

weight loss fewer calories

It’s so simple!

Formula: Calories consumed – calories burned = weight loss (or gain) 

There are 3500 calories in a pound, so losing a pound in one day ultimately means that you need a combination of eating less and exercise to hit that goal.

Popular programs like Nutrisystem (review | coupons) and South Beach Diet (reviews | coupons) are based on this simple math of keeping your calorie intake lower than the number of calories you burn, but usually aim for closer to 1-2 pounds per week of weight loss.

All these diets stop short of promising a pound a day of weight loss because that high rate of weight loss may be unsustainable. However, they do offer quick starts to their programs like, “Drop 18 Now!” and “FreshStart®(Nutrisystem) promising you’ll lose up to 18 pounds in 30 days.

With Nutrisystem, they send you the meals (totaling 1200-1500 calories per day) and give you the tracking tools. With Weight Watchers, they assign points to each food and cap the number of points you can eat.

But even if you plan on starting a diet program, you don’t have to wait to lower your calorie intake. Almost any fitness app on the market right now lets you keep track of your calorie intake. Many of them are free.

If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, on average you’ll burn about 1620 calories a day. To lose a full pound in a day (another 1880 calories) you must either increase calories burned or decrease calories added. (Do both for maximum effect.)

The math is fairly simple. If you decrease your calorie intake by 500 calories and maintain your current lifestyle, your body must find sources outside of food for energy. This means your body breaks down fat instead of carbs, and you will lose weight.

The problem arises when you begin to feel hungry. The next few tricks will help curb your hunger while you decrease your calorie intake.

2. Fiber: It Does the Body Good

If you want to lose weight fast and continue to feel satiated at each meal, add fiber to your diet; it keeps you feeling “full” longer, and curbs those cravings in between meals. This doesn’t mean go out and get Metamucil, it means finding whole foods that are high in fiber like lentils, Brussel sprouts, almonds, and raspberries.

Consequently, high-fiber foods contain many nutrients. Oranges contain vitamin C (great for winter dieting). Bananas contain Potassium (great for your muscles when working out and great for sleep regulation).

Change out all your white and processed carbs for whole wheat options. Whole wheat options contain more fiber, more protein, and keep you full longer. Plus, you’ll get full faster on whole wheat foods, making it easier to cut those calories.

3. Eat Snacks

The three square meals a day concept isn’t natural. Society conceived this idea to fit the workday schedule, but 5-6 smaller meals each day are much better for you. To make things worse, because of time constraints during the rest of the day, Americans have adopted the unhealthy habit of eating our largest meal at dinner time.

Your body burns fuel faster if you’re constantly feeding it. If you want to know how to lose a pound a day, look no further than healthy snacking. It will increase your metabolism and help you burn more calories.

But you must choose healthy foods. Snacking on high calorie, low-quality items defeats the purpose. Instead of opening that Little Debbie box, reach for a Kashi bar.

If you work in an office, have a bowl of almonds or dried fruit within arm’s reach. Or even better, plan to eat a piece of fruit or two between meals.

Diet programs often provide healthy shakes full of fiber and nutrients to help you snack between meals. And you’ll often find they provide dry snacks like fiber bars to help you feel full throughout the day.

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4. Incorporate Healthy Fats and SuperFoods

Just like snacking, the concept that you need to eat fat to burn fat seems counter-intuitive. But it’s true. Your body needs fat.

Good fat protects your organs, cleans your arteries, and helps you fuel your body.

But how do you determine good fat from bad fat?

You don’t.

You just eat the right foods. Most superfoods (moringa, chia seeds, barley grass) contain good fat. Avocado, olive oil, fish, all of these things have good fats. They often contain antioxidants like Omega-3 that keep you healthy and slow the aging process.

5. Drink Lots of Water:

drink water healthy

Hmmm… Maybe get that tap water tested?

Your body can’t function well when it’s dehydrated. And keeping your blood volume at a healthy level will speed up the process by which your body burns calories (metabolism).

You should be drinking at least 8 cups a day already. And if you’re exercising, you should be drinking 8-10 cups per day to replenish your body’s water.

6. Eat Nothing After 7 P.M.

Your metabolism slows down when you go to bed. And if you eat too soon before you go to bed, your body will just store the calories in fat cells rather than burn them.

Depending on when you go to bed, be sure to eat nothing in the two hours beforehand. If you feel hungry, drink some calming tea or drink water.

You can also chew calorie-free gum to curb your appetite after dinner. You’ll clean your teeth this way and burn a couple extra calories from the chewing effort.

7. Stay Active:

weight loss pound day tips

Fitness? You’re doing it wrong!

While exercise alone isn’t how to lose a pound a day, it can be the capstone of your efforts. Remember, that the more calories you burn, the more weight you will lose.

And staying active doesn’t have to mean running on a treadmill or lifting weights. Just getting your body moving every day can have an impact on how many calories you burn.

Try going for a short walk around the block every day. Or even better, take the stairs instead of the elevator at work.

As you make these small changes in your routine, you’ll feel more energetic. As you lose weight and become more fit, you can eventually add more intense exercise to your routine. Not only will you maintain a healthy weight this way, you’ll improve your heart’s health.

Want to lose a pound a day? It All Boils Down to Food:

If you want to learn how to lose a pound a day, always start with diet. Where can you improve? What unhealthy things can you cut? What kinds of healthy snacks can you incorporate?

You must be disciplined to keep your calorie intake down and you must make lifestyle changes. But neither of these things have to happen overnight. Make changes incrementally and you’ll eventually start losing weight as fast as you want or need.

Don’t try to lose a pound a day for 30 days if you’re only 30 pounds overweight! Like the major diets, you may want to aim for a more sustainable half-pound a day. Remember, you’re going for a healthy lifestyle change and want to avoid yo-yo dieting.

What are some methods that helped you lose weight? Let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to check out our diet reviews on MightyDiets.Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

is stevia healthy

Is Stevia Good or Bad? Dangers + Benefits of This Natural Sweetener

If you’re looking for a plant-based alternative to sweeteners and sugars, you may just have found it. Stevia is all the rage right now, but how much do you really know about it? If you’re looking to find out more, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about Stevia:

What is Stevia?

You’ve likely heard a whole load about the sweetener before now, but what actually is it? Well, it may surprise you to learn that it actually comes from a plant.

Yes, Stevia is a subdivision of the Asteraceae family of plants and herbs in Latin America. Native people in both Brazil and Paraguay have actually used this type of plant to sweeten their food for centuries, and so it’s nothing particularly new.

Since Stevia sweetener has risen in popularity, though, there have been many different versions available on the market. Sadly, not everything that you buy online will actually be pure Stevia. Often enough, manufacturers will fill this stuff with added extras in a bid to bulk it out.

For example, you may find that a Stevia product has agave inulin or even a GMO product as an extra ingredient. For that reason, it’s absolutely vital that you investigate what you’re buying online before you press that ‘pay now’ button.

What Stevia reviews say… (It’s Really Sweet!) 

Like every trend, people are hopping aboard like crazy. So, what do the reviews of the product have to say? Well, rather unsurprisingly, many are very positive about the substitute online. Take a look for yourself. Here are some of the top reviews on Stevia sweeteners:

“I have been using stevia products for many years before it was popularized. It is the best natural, non-sugar, sweetener on the market without fillers like Truvia and other stevia products. Suitable for baking and anything where you would use sugar. Excellent product for the diabetic as well.” — Dr. Z.

“Bought this due to the health benefits over Aspartame and Sucralose… Be warned…It is VERY sweet!! I have a sweet tooth, and two heaped spoons of sugar is about as sweet as a level teaspoon of this stuff… The pack says use half as much as you do sugar, but I’d say it’s really best to use about a third. Use it in tea, coffee, desserts, custard, cakes… All sorts. No nasty after-taste, and will continue to use this… It is rather expensive though.” – Martin

“I use stevia as a sugar alternative in beverages and certain recipes. Stevia in the raw is an excellent brand that provides a “true” stevia taste that is neither bitter nor too sweet. The packets are convenient and include about as much stevia as you would get in a normal sugar substitute sachet. I typically use one stevia packet per 8oz of coffee or tea. This leaves my beverage slightly sweet but not too sweet. If you are changing from a sugar substitute such as Equal or Sweet N Low, you might find you need less stevia than you were using of sugar substitute.” – BlondiePhD


What are the health benefits of Stevia?

stevia health weight loss

Needless to say, one of the biggest selling points of Stevia is the health benefits that it has to offer. Of course, there has been a whole load of research in this area.

Over the last few years, scientists and experts have been looking into the potential advantages that the supplement has to offer. With that in mind, there are a couple of reasons that you may well want to try this sweetener for yourself:

Stevia can promote weight loss:

If you’re hoping to shed a few pounds, it may be worth switching from sugar to Stevia. There’s been a body of research which suggests that eating sugars adds around 16% worth of calories to the average diet. Yikes!

The great news about Stevia is that it’s a plant-based, zero-calorie alternative to sugar products you may find on the market. That should mean that you can lose weight in a sensible way by making this small change to your diet.

Stevia can lower cholesterol levels:

As though that weren’t enough, there’s also been evidence that using Stevia could help you lower your cholesterol levels somewhat. In fact, one 2009 study found that the extract had “positive and encouraging effects” on people’s cholesterol profiles. The takeaway could be that switching to this alternative will help you improve your health.


Are there any possible side effects?

But wait a minute, what about the side effects? You’ve likely heard that there could be a whole load of nasty little side effects associated with the extract. Some people have found that they have had an oral allergic reaction to Stevia. Here are some of the signs of just that:

  • Mouth swelling
  • Hives 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Vomiting (worst case scenario!) 

If you discover that you have any of these symptoms, you should go to the doctors immediately and speak to them about the issue. They will help to advise you on what to do next.

Conclusion

So, is Stevia all that it’s cracked up to be? Well, you really need to make up your own mind on that one. In truth, the sweetener is a nice, natural alternative that may help you improve your health. However, the potential side effects are not ideal. So, should you wish to try this for yourself, it’s well worth doing your research ahead of time!

Have you tried Stevia? Let us know with your own review below:Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

salt health uses

Salt Hacks: 5 (Unexpected) Healthy Uses for Salt

Ah, sodium chloride. Or, as most people refer to it: salt.

Salt’s gotten a bad rap over the years in health circles as it’s said to increase the chance of heart disease. However, many people will argue that this is greatly exaggerated, and remind you that salt actually offers a number of health benefits.

So, what are some of the beneficial things which salt can be used for?

5 Unexpected Uses for Salt:

1. Relieve Itching

Have you ever suffered a bee sting? Maybe you’ve been bitten by a litany of annoying mosquitoes. Or perhaps you’ve fallen into a patch of poison ivy?

In any case, you’ve had to deal with severe itching and skin irritation. What you probably didn’t know is that you could have used salt to quell that itching.

By moistening the area in which your itching occurs, and then covering the area with salt, you can help to relieve both the itchiness and swelling associated with your current skin condition.

Another option is to take a dip in a salt water bath. This is great for occasions in which large areas of your body are irritated.

2. Degrease Hair

If you struggle with inordinately oily hair, salt can be a huge help to you.

To use directly salt in your hair, just add a couple of teaspoons of it to your conditioner or shampoo.

You can, of course, also take a full-body Epsom salt bath, ensuring that your hair becomes soaked in the water as well.

Either way, the salt contained in the liquid will strip away unnecessary oils, leaving your hair silky and smooth.

3. Relieve A Sore Throat

You may or may not be aware of the fact that salt works terrifically to counteract the effects of a sore throat.

To use salt in order to counteract your sore throat, mix a teaspoon of it in with about half a cup of warm water. Once the water-salt elixir is mixed, gargle it for around 10 seconds at a time, and spit it out.

Doing this a few times throughout the day should yield you results as long as your sore throat is not too serious.

4. Clear Sinuses

Being stuffy and blocked up during a cold can be something close to torture.

A great, natural way to unblock your sinuses is by making use of salt. No, you don’t ingest the salt, but inhale its fumes instead.

Warm up a cup of water and mix in around 2 teaspoons of salt. After you’ve done so, hold it up to your nose and breathe in the fumes for around 10 seconds.

Doing this a couple times throughout the day will almost certainly provide results.

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5. Ease Aches And Pains

Perhaps the most surprising of uses for salt is the easing of body pain. Salt actually has the power to reduce the general pain of joint and muscle aches.

To use salt for this purpose, you’ll be best served by setting up an Epsom salt bath (a great alternative to Epsom salt is magnesium flakes).

Fill up your tub so that there’s enough water for you to soak your entire body in. After it’s filled add around 2 cups of Epsom salt.

This salt will help to ease inflammation, reducing overall muscle and joint pain.


Looking For More Unconventional Health Tips?

If you’re seeking out alternative and unconventional health tips, you’re in the right place.

Mighty Diets has loads of information on everything from diet plans, to nutritional supplements like coq10, and much, much more. This site will help you to lead a much more health-conscious life. Check out the Mighty Diets blog.

Related: Is Nutrisystem high in sodium? Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

work out clothes gym fit

How to Find Workout Clothes That Suit You Perfectly

Dressing for success doesn’t only apply to the corporate world. If you want to make the most out of your fitness goals, you have to invest in good workout clothes. And by invest, we don’t mean buy more cotton shirts in different colors.

You have to get proper gear – tanks, leggings, sneakers, sports bra, socks, and so on. Because the right workout clothes don’t just make you look good and more motivated to work out. They also prevent injuries and keep you protected in different weather conditions.

That said, here are some tips to help you find the perfect workout clothes.

Focus on Fit, Not Size

There’s an Instagram post that went viral a couple of months ago. It shows one woman trying on two size 10 short jeans from the same store. Long story short, one fits and the other one doesn’t.

LOL sizing can be SUCH bullshit 😂😂 these are both a size 10 short from express in their low rise leggings. Literally the same store, cut, size, etc. The one was a hair too big & the other didn’t even go over my thighs 😂😂 like WHAAAT?! My reason for sharing is…If you ever find yourself in a fitting room ready to bust into tears when something doesn’t fit (we’ve all been there, myself included…millions of times…ask my mom) REMEMBER THIS PIC! There are times I’m a small, times I cant even muscle into a large, times a 10 falls off my hips & times, like this, it doesn’t even get past my thighs. Sizing is silly…no one will know if you had to bump up or down because of the cut, style, or likely completely wrong sizing on the store’s part. You mean so much more than fitting into the smallest size you can. Our value should never come from a number…on the scale or in our clothes. 😘✌🏼

A post shared by WODtheFork (@wodthefork) on

It just goes to show that sizing isn’t consistent across brands and even from garment to garment within a store. That’s why when you’re shopping for workout gear, you can’t just look at the number or the letter on the tag.

You have to try it on and make sure the material allows you to move comfortably. You also want to avoid materials that can cause chafing or skin irritation.

*New: Weight Watchers Free Signup + Free Month

Go for Versatile Pieces

Have you ever heard of the term ‘capsule collection‘? It’s a fashion terminology, referring to a collection of essential items that can be combined and interchanged.

When building your collection of workout clothes, you should also use this approach. Go for items that can be layered so you don’t have to overspend on season-specific workout pieces.

You could start with a wicking shirt or tank top. When the weather gets colder, layer with a fleece pullover. Your last layer could be a windbreaker or a nylon shell, which are best for waterproofing and windproofing.

Try Tech-Advanced Options

Remember toning shoes, sauna suits, and vibration belts? These fitness fads flopped. But that shouldn’t turn you off from trying out technologically advanced items such as UV fitness apparel or anti-stink workout gear.

Another option to consider is compression garments. They help prevent soreness and give you a mental boost for activities such as running, basketball, and tennis. Click here if you want to know more about seamless compression tights.

leggings workout

Choose Activity-Specific Gear

For many fitness activities, you can’t go wrong with an athletic top and fitted pants or shorts. But just like tailoring your diet for running a marathon, you also have to consider fitting your gear to the activity you’ll be doing.

With shoes, for example, you can’t expect hiking shoes to perform just as well as running shoes if your preferred activity is running. Likewise, if you play tennis and basketball, you have to have a specific pair for each activity.

*Related: Nutrisystem or Weight Watchers; Which Is Better?

Best Combo: Right Workout Clothes + Right Diet

You know the saying, “Muscles are made in the kitchen, not in the gym?” It’s true. That’s because no matter how diligent you are with working out, there’s no out-exercising a bad diet.

If you want to know more about diets that work, we’ve got you covered!Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

eating habits diets geniuses

The DIET, Sleep, & Exercise Habits of Geniuses: Einstein, Tesla, & Edison

The (sometimes quirky) diets, sleep, and exercise habits of geniuses – Although we often think of genetics as the main factor in genius, your health and diet has a lot to do with it as well.

Consider that the brain uses a whopping 20% of your body’s total energy; more energy than any other organ. They say, “you are what you eat,” so the fuel you’re putting in your body directly affects your mind.

While we still haven’t invented any pills to quickly transform the average person into a genius (despite the plethora of websites selling such pills!), you can certainly be “smarter” and more energetic with a healthy diet, daily exercise, and good sleep habits.

Let’s look at some of the quirkier diet and exercise habits of a few of history’s greatest geniuses:

Albert Einstein:

albert einstein diet genius

“I have always eaten animal flesh with a somewhat guilty conscience” – Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein wrote the above quote in a letter to his friend, Max Kariel, and soon after became a vegetarian.

Einstein also reportedly slept for at least 10 hours a night, which is even more than is commonly recommended for the average adult. In addition, he also took regular naps throughout the day. But the celebrated physicist didn’t spend all his time asleep, despite the known powers of sleep to solve problems.

He also made sure to get some physical activity. And he walked outside, which is said to further stimulate creative thinking. During his tenure at Princeton, he’d walk to school every day, perhaps inspired by Nikola Tesla, another notorious walker.

Despite getting plenty of rest and exercise, which are known key components of success, his other habits may have been less healthy. Einstein enjoyed carbs in the form of spaghetti and was also a devoted pipe smoker.

*Related: Ensure protein drinks: 30% off with coupon!


Thomas Edison:

thomas edison diet

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas Edison

Unlike Einstein, Thomas Edison reportedly slept very little, only around three to four hours a night. Although his invention of the lightbulb meant that he was able to work longer hours, he did sneak in quite a few power naps in unusual spaces, which he apparently didn’t count as sleeping, but likely went a long way toward his inventive prowess.

Edison didn’t exercise purposefully and considered standing and walking around his lab all the movement that was necessary. But, he seems to be an early proponent of preventative medicine, at least according to his famous quote that doctors of the future will stop people from getting sick, rather than doling out medicine based on a current illness.

Hollywood probably won’t ever be swept by a trendy, “Thomas Edison Diet,” as It seems that he engaged in some sort of milk diet fad that touted milk as a healthy cure-all.

Ironically, this “diet” may have contributed to his deadly struggle with diabetes, as milk has a naturally high sugar content and caused his blood sugar to skyrocket.


Nikola Tesla:

nikola tesla diet

Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison’s notorious nemesis, also had some interesting ideas when it came to health and could be considered an early health guru in addition to a scientific genius. He reportedly performed nightly toe exercises to improve his brain function.

Tesla also walked up to 10 miles each day, and would even exercise while bathing.

Although he disliked caffeinated products, he was a fan of alcohol and enjoyed a daily whiskey. Like Edison, he enjoyed a daily intake of carbs, but in the form of potatoes, not pasta. One of Tesla’s interests was to live longer in good health to be able to do his work for longer.

Tesla also drank a lot of milk and was an early advocate of avoiding overeating and filling up on vegetables and was reportedly mostly vegetarian.


More Genius Diets

Madame Curie may have discovered radium, but she was woefully inept when it came to eating. During her younger, poverty-stricken years, she ate so little that she eventually passed out. When she was older, Curie reportedly would get so caught up in her work that she would forget to eat and didn’t want to take precious moments away from her lab to learn how to cook.

Of course, in some cases, unusual eating habits may not be the path to genius and longevity. Steve Jobs is commonly admired as a modern genius but eventually succumbed to cancer after a diet consisting of enough carrots to change the color of skin from time to time. Jobs also ate dates and almonds and was a fan of weeklong fasts.

French writer Honore de Balzac was a huge fan of caffeine for stimulating his ability to put pen to paper and even wrote an essay on the value of coffee. Known for drinking 50 cups of coffee at once, he eventually died of caffeine poisoning, which was either a case of too much of a good thing or shows that Tesla was correct in avoiding the stuff.

“I’m gonna go get coffee. #CoffeeTheMusical” (tweet) – Lin-Manuel Miranda

Hamilton creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda is considered by many (including myself) to be a genius. Unlike Balzac, he’s never risked his life on a caffeine binge, but he does frequently tweet about drinking coffee. (and his dog, Tobillo!)   


Many geniuses were vegetarians

“Nothing will benefit health or increase chances of survival on earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” – Albert Einstein

Although geniuses frequently have differences of opinion, it seems that a great many of them were vegetarian, or leaned toward vegetarianism, include both Einstein and Tesla. Not to mention Gandhi and possibly Leonardo da Vinci.

Adopting some of these curious habits may or may not help you enjoy clearer thinking, but tread cautiously because while Tesla lived into his 80s, other geniuses had considerably shorter lifespans, for one reason or another!

If you want to be smarter, consider a healthy (vegetarian?) diet with plenty of sleep and exercise.  You could also consider the popular MIND diet, as well as daily supplements for your mind like Ginko Biloba, vitamin B-12, and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Ironically, our foraging ancestors ate a diet that naturally made them healthier and smarter, but these days you have to make more of a conscious effort!

Looking to lose weight? For motivation, check out our favorite inspirational quotes. We also have great articles on top diets like WW (reviews, coupons) Nutrisystem (reviews, coupons) and South Beach Diet (reviews, coupons).

Thanks for stopping by Mighty Diets!

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abundant food obesity dna

Gorging Gene: How Our “Hunter Gatherer” DNA Is Making Us Fat Now

How is our pre-historic DNA making us obese? For most of human history, we lived as foragers. This means that for tens of thousands of years we travelled in search of food instead of settling in one place.

Our ancestors’ nomadic lifestyle was dictated largely by the seasonal migration of animals and the growth cycles of plants. (and they were generally in great shape!)

Then, sometime around 10,000 years ago, we collectively decided to settle down. We stopped chasing our food and decided to domesticate animals and plant crops instead.

This relatively swift transition of our species from “hunter gatherers” to farmers and herders is known as the “Agricultural Revolution.” 

History and science books applaud this evolution of our species as “progress,” but in some ways we’re still struggling to make the transition.

Although it’s been a long time since we stalked migrating bison, or dug for edible roots in the woods, our DNA still hasn’t forgotten when food was scarce. Enter the, “gorging gene theory.”

hunter gatherer diet wall

“You guys up for Happy hour at The Cheescake Factory?”

The Curse of Abundant Food

Our lifestyle has changed dramatically over the millennia, but our DNA has been struggling to catch up.

In fact, many of us are consuming nearly double the recommended amount of calories each day.

As food becomes more abundant, more accessible, (and lower quality!) we find ourselves plagued by a worsening obesity epidemic, which is now even spreading to poorer, developing nations.

Obesity costs us hundreds of billions of dollars each year, and puts crushing weight on our already groaning health care system.

Even historically poor rural China is now grappling with an obesity explosion, as 17% of boys under age 19 are obese. (Up from only 1% on 1985)

We don’t want to be fat, so why to we have such a problem eating in moderation? 

Part of the answer to this question may be found in our DNA, and the eating habits we formed during the tens of thousands of years when we were foragers.

The “Gorging Gene” Theory

During most of human history, food was generally in short supply. We didn’t have the means to preserve or store much of it, so we were always on the move to find our next meal.

Imagine the excitement of our “hunter gatherer” ancestors when presented with a greasy slab of freshly cooked bison meat, or upon discovering a tree full of ripe fruit.

Such a bounty of food was rare, and our survival instincts told us to gorge while we could. After all, there was no telling when we’d be presented with such a feast again, and we’d be wise to store extra calories, especially because our ancestors lived such active lifestyles.

Over thousands of years, these eating patterns became imprinted in our DNA. They seem to be contributing to our weight problems today, as (low-quality) food is cheap and abundant in most places.

obesity dna

Our DNA Still Thinks That Food Is Scarce

If you think of human history as a 24-hour day, it’s really only been in the last few “minutes” that food has been so easily accessible and abundant.

You might say that opening an over-stuffed refrigerator today is like our foraging ancestors discovering a bush full of ripe berries in the woods.

Even in a time of abundance, our survival instincts still tell us that food is scarce, and implore us to feast while we can.

The gorging gene is still in our DNA, telling us that food is scarce. (and we listen) 

You could say that by trying to eat in moderation (in a time of abundance) we are literally fighting tens of thousands of years of evolution!

  • Idea: Don’t drive. Take a long walk or bike to a restaurant or supermarket instead. The extra effort will awaken out your “inner-forager,” and the food will definitely taste better! 

*New: Nutrisystem DNA Blueprint ReviewWeight Watchers Specials | Nutrisystem.com promotional codesFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

morninga health benefits

What is Moringa? New Superfood Offers Health Benefits + Weight Loss

Moringa health benefits: “Moringa!” It sounds like it could be Sheldon’s newest tagline on “The Big Bang Theory,” or maybe the stage name of an up-and-coming pop star. But nope – it’s the newest buzzworthy word that’s making waves in the world of healthy eating and diet.

So what exactly is moringa?

Moringa is a plant that’s jam-packed with so many nutrients, it puts kale to shame, and it’s poised to be 2017’s newest superstar veggie superfood. Researchers discovered that moringa is overflowing with vitamin A, B, and C, has unusually high calcium content, and is brimming with iron.

But wait, there’s more – moringa is also an excellent source of protein and has nine essential amino acids.

You can pluck this nutrient-rich jewel right off a drumstick tree, also known as Moringa oleifera if you’re into all that scientific, technical stuff. So where on earth are you going to find a drumstick tree? Pack your bags and get your plane ticket – you’re heading to Africa (or Asia if you like).

The hub of moringa’s biodiversity can be found in the Horn of Africa, which is a region that includes Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. However, you can also find other species thriving in the Himalaya’s foothills.

But while moringa was once living in quietude and peace among its African and Asian natives, it’s now become the talk of the town among American health nuts.

The West is trying their darnedest to get their hands on this foreign leafy green and want to place it smack dab in the middle of our car-zooming, skyscraper-towering cities.

moringa leaves for health

Is Moringa the new kale?

With 28-year-old Lisa Curtis at the helm, San Francisco-based food start-up Kuli Kuli raised a cool $4.25 million from investors to get moringa to become more accessible in grocery stores because, well, how many of you have come across moringa leaves at your local market?

My point exactly.

Curtis is on a mission to bring this protein-packed plant to more American plates. Whole Foods and other health food locations are already shelving Kuli Kuli’s products. The company has sold $1 million worth of moringa products within the first half of 2016. Cha-ching!

“We’re hoping moringa becomes the new kale,” Curtis told The New Yorker. According to the Kuli Kuli website, moringa outperforms kale two-fold in protein, four-fold in calcium, six-fold in iron, and a whopping 97-fold in vitamin B12.

Curtis inked sweet deals with farmers from West Africa, the Caribbean, and South America to acquire their moringa harvests in order to shove kale out of the way and crown moringa as the new superfood trend among diet-conscious Americans.

Moringa & Weight Loss

Where do we even start? There’s a reason why some call moringa “weight watchers dream” – drumstick leaves can help to hinder those pesky cravings that cause many to overeat. Yay for weight loss!

It’s also heralded as a powerful anti-aging agent, helps to improve sleep, and stabilizes blood sugar and blood pressure, according to Christopher Calapai, a New York-based osteopath. Researchers have also found that moringa leaves have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties.

What Does Moringa Taste Like?

A book entitled “Lost Crops of Africa: Volume II” notes that moringa leaves can be compared to asparagus in taste.

But if you ask The New Yorker, on the other hand, they’ll tell you moringa leaves give off a “bold, peppery” flavor, very similar to that of arugula, which might not be pleasant for many taste buds.

However, you don’t have to yank the leaves right off the tree and start chewing. There are ways you can incorporate ‘em into your diet to make moringa more palatable.

eat moringa

How You Can Eat Moringa?

If you don’t have a modicum of adventure, you can simply boil moringa leaves, eat ‘em, and call it a day. But here’s a better idea: you can find fun, interesting ways to experiment with this exotic leafy green.

  • Kuli Kuli: As aforementioned, the promising food start-up has recently introduced moringa-infused products to the U.S. so, if you’re a little shy, you can ease your way into this rising superfood star. This includes powders, teas, green energy shots, and bars.
  • Sambar: India has been slurping moringa leaves and all of its nutritional goodness in a recipe known as ” sambhar.” It’s a lentil stew that is spiced with turmeric, red chili powder, tamarind, a slew of other yummy goodies, and of course, moringa leaves.
  • Omelets: Start off your day with a healthy helping of eggs, taken up a notch with a zap of moringa leaves to awaken your palette.
  • Cake: You have to wonder – who was the experimental madman who thought it was a great idea to add moringa to a cake? But we thank him or her nonetheless for giving us the opportunity to satisfy our sweet tooth while simultaneously savoring a bit of moringa.

While you can indulge on many more cooked moringa-infused dishes, some say it’s best to eat moringa leaves raw so that you’re eating it as its peak level of nutrient retention – if you dare!

Moringa for your health

Whether you’re seeking to ameliorate your diabetic symptoms, curb your appetite, or shave a few years off your perceived age, you really can’t go wrong with moringa leaves. Plucked right out of what many call to be a “miracle tree,” moringa is a health treasure for dieters everywhere – if you can ever get your hands on one.

Written by Kimberly GedeonFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

Weight Watchers Named The EASIEST Diet to Follow, AGAIN!

Weight Watchers Is on a Winning Streak:  Well, if you’re looking for a diet that is a) easy to follow and b) actually works, you might just have found it.

According to the Best Diets report, which came out just this month, Weight Watchers is the Best Diet For Weight Loss and the “Easiest Diet To Follow.” As if that’s not enough, the program also took the “Best Diet For FAST Weight Loss” and “Best Commercial Diet” as well.

What else could go right for Weight Watchers? How about the “Oprah Effect,” as the influential celebrity recently blew people away with her success on the Weight Watchers diet, sending a flood of people to Weight Watchers Online, and pushing the stock up 40% this year:

Join Weight Watchers Online for $20 FREE here!

Get AT LEAST a $20 discount through the link above. Sweet!


What Makes Weight Watchers So Easy?

weight watchers coupon logoJust in case you’ve never tried it, here’s a quick breakdown of how Weight Watchers actually works. Once you start the diet, you learn all about the SmartPoints system. Each day and week, you get an allotment of points that you are allowed to eat. Different foods are assigned different points depending on how calorific or high in fat they happen to be.

The core idea is that you need to strike a balance between low-fat foods and high-in-protein foods for a healthy diet. If you choose to eat low-point foods, you can essentially eat more of them than if you choose high-point foods. It really is that simple. It’s all about counting how many points each food has and deducting it from your total. It makes sense, then, that many people find this diet strikingly simple to follow.

When you combine that system with a healthy and active lifestyle (i.e. one including regular exercise), you should find that it works wonders for you. This is not a crash diet, but a change in your general lifestyle. Rather than shedding all your weight at once, the program recommends that you lose around 1-2 pounds per week.

“Everyone Knows Someone on Weight Watchers” – Real Testimonials


You probably have a friend who has tried Weight Watchers, and if so, they might describe it as, “a positive lifestyle change.” Maybe that’s why it’s recognized as the best weight loss diet once again!

Why it’s so effective & Voted the “Easiest Diet to Follow”

If you’re hoping to shed a few extra pounds here and there, you’ll have likely researched a whole bunch of different dieting programs. The fact of the matter is that there’s just so much information out there that you may not know who to trust at all. At first glance, the sheer wealth of so-called ‘easy diets’ out there can seem utterly overwhelming.

The fact of the matter is that losing weight is about finding a program that not only fits into your daily lifestyle, but one that works for you. Put simply, picking the right diet for you is a tricky decision and one you really ought to take the time to research thoroughly. After all, the last thing you want to do is choose a fad diet that doesn’t really work.

One of the reasons that so many people struggle with diets is because they have to limit their food options. Trying to cut out an entire food group all at once can be difficult, to say the least. The truly excellent thing about the Weight Watchers program is that you can still enjoy the food that you adore the most. For example, if you’re a huge fan of freshly baked bread, you can eat it as and when you want. The truth is that it’s all about moderation and not binge-eatingfoods that can potentially make you pile on extra weight.

Most Diets Are Hard to Follow, Causing People to Quit

If you’ve been on numerous diets in the past, you will know that many of them can be ridiculously hard to follow. There are just so very many rules, which means that you can easily stray from the program accidentally before too long. The fact that Weight Watchers has a seriously simple points system means that you can monitor your food intake without it becoming a hassle. It’s just about deducting points as you eat and ensuring that you stay without your given allotment. Plus, if we’re to believe the reports, it’s by far the easiest dieting system of the year!

No wonder this recent award sweep has Marie Osmond, (spokeswoman for Nutrisystem) on her heels, taking a shot at Oprah! Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest

mind diet weight loss alzheimers

MIND Diet: Weight Loss + Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention = Really Smart!

The MIND Diet: It’s something that none of us want to imagine. There’s nothing scarier than the thought of losing your memory. Waking up one day to find that your most precious moments have simply slipped from your mind is u completely terrifying thought. Sadly, though, that could one day be a reality for a large number of us.

Here in the US, more than five million people are living and struggling with Alzheimer’s disease and every 66 seconds someone new gets it, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. These are rather shockingly high stats, I’m certain you’ll agree.

The aging process is something with which we will all have to cope one day. The least we can hope, though, is that we can maintain both our physical and mental faculties well into our golden years.

It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that after the age of 65 your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease are heightened. Just 200,000 people in the US who suffer from the illness are actually under 65 – after that age bracket, the numbers seem to soar.

So, what can you do to try to reduce your risk of being afflicted by this terrible disease? Well, it may surprise you to learn that what you eat can actually have a striking effect on your mental well-being.

The MIND Diet & Alzheimer’s

If you’re hoping to beat the disease, there is a little something that you may want to try. A new dieting technique developed by the Rush University Medical Center seeks to decrease your chances of developing Alzheimer’s in both earlier and later life.

The so-called MIND Diet (that stands for Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) is a unique combination of the well-known Mediterranean Diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Diet. According to recent research, this nutrition regime can not only help you stay healthy and in shape, but it can also help you avoid the onset of the disease.

mind diet alzheimers

Here’s the science! – MIND Diet Study

Of course, it’s all well and good simply telling you that this diet works to keep your mind healthy, but where’s the science to back it all up? Well, the good people at Rush University Medical Center worked for more than 20 years on this particular study*.

The researchers used 923 volunteers who had not yet got the onset of Alzheimer’s disease from the Rush Memory and Aging Project (MAP) in Chicago. Each volunteer was given two annual medical checkups and asked to keep a dietary log between 2004 and 2013.

After taking the time to painstakingly review the results of the food logs and medical records, the researchers were able to come forward with some very intriguing findings. Volunteers who rigorously followed the MIND Diet decreased their risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease by a massive 53%. What’s more, those who loosely followed the guidelines of the diet decreased their risk by 35%.

So, how does the MIND Diet work?

us news dietsThe MIND Diet works by putting food types into different categories. There are five categories of ‘unhealthy’ food types and a whopping ten of ‘brain healthy’ food types.

The basic idea of the MIND Diet is that you should eat more food from the ‘brain healthy’ categories than you do from the ‘unhealthy’ ones. It’s just a matter of monitoring what you eat on a day to day basis and changing it according to the category system.

It all sounds surprisingly simple, right? Well, it is. In fact, this particular diet has been ranked as one of the easiest to follow, and #3 overall diet and #4 for Best Diabetes Diets according to a U.S. News & World Report. This just edges out Weight Watchers, (#4 overall) while making diets like Nutrisystem (#16 overall) and the Medifast diet (#29 overall) not look so “smart.”

With the MIND Diet, there’s no calorie-counting or cutting out entire food groups. Instead, it’s all about eating different food groups in moderation. At its heart, it’s essentially maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. What could be easier than that?

mind diet food list

The MIND Diet: Food Lists & guidelines

If you’re hoping to give the MIND Diet a go for yourself, it’s much easier than you may imagine. First of all, you need to know which food groups fall into the ‘brain healthy’ category. These are food which you should be eating on a regular basis – if only for the sake of your mental health! Some of them might even surprise you.

Here is the ‘brain healthy’ food list, and how often you should eat them:

  • Whole grains – three servings per day
  • Vegetables – one serving of leafy vegetables and one other per day
  • Nuts – eat as a snack most days
  • Poultry – two servings per week
  • Red wine – one glass per day (hurrah!)
  • Fish – one serving per week
  • Berries – two servings per week
  • Beans – one serving every other day

Following the guidelines here is sure to give you a decent chance of keeping your mind healthy well into your senior years. However, there are some ‘unhealthy’ foods that you need to avoid as much as possible.

Here is the ‘unhealthy’ food list. Avoid these foods as much as you can:

  • Pastries and candy
  • Fried food
  • Whole fat cheese
  • Red meat
  • Butter and margarine

Of course, it’s unreasonable to expect you to cut these food groups out of your life completely. However, it’s worth trying to cut back on this food list as much as you can. Only then, will you see some real benefits when following the MIND diet!

It’s important to remember that no diet is supposed to be super extreme. The MIND Diet, like many diets, is all about moderation. Good luck!

Post written by: Charlotte Grainger


References

*Morris, Martha Clare et al. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association MIND diet associated with reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease Volume 11 , Issue 9 , 1007 – 1014 and Morris, Martha Clare et al. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association MIND diet slows cognitive decline with aging Volume 11 , Issue 9 , 1015 – 1022. photo credit: mightygourmet.comFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterest