Curb your cravings with these helpful tips

Curb your cravings with these helpful tips.

The donuts in the break room, an ice-cold soda for lunch, chocolate cake for dessert, the whole bag of chips, or a midnight snack. What are you craving? Maybe it’s certain times of day, triggers in your surroundings, or your emotional state that makes you crave certain foods. Whatever the cause, suddenly you realize your mouth is watering and your mind can’t think of anything else. Whether sweet or salty, it’s unlikely your cravings are part of your diet plan.

You want to reach your weight loss goal but when the cravings hit it’s hard to stay on track. Keep reading to learn a few tricks of the trade to keep cravings at a minimum or how to stay strong when they hit.

Eat on a Schedule
One reason you crave foods is because you’re hungry and depleted of energy. Waiting too long between meals or snacks can make you crave sweets or simple carb foods that fill your belly and give you a quick rush of energy. Make it your routine to eat a small snack between meals and eat your meals at consistent times each day to help keep you from feeling excessively hungry when you finally do eat.

Eat the Right Foods
At each meal and snack, plan to include a source of protein and fiber. Doing this gives you the best chance at feeling full long after you’ve eaten and having a store of energy that will last. Studies show protein, in particular, is helpful at reducing cravings.

Drink More Water
It’s easy to think you’re hungry when you’re really just thirsty. Keep a water bottle nearby to sip on throughout the day. When you start to crave a certain food, take a big drink of water and wait a couple minutes. You may likely find that your craving goes away. Do this enough times and your gut will go away as well.

Get More Sleep
Lack of sleep affects the hormones responsible for appetite and cravings. Sleep-deprived people are much more likely to be obese. Plan to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night to help keep your hormones balanced and your cravings in check.

Distract Yourself
It may sound odd, but sometimes, one of the best ways to avoid giving in to your cravings is to distract yourself. When you can’t get your mind off the carton of ice cream in the freezer, go for a walk, read a magazine, chew a piece of gum, or take a shower. Changing your surroundings and thinking about other things can help you forget about your cravings.

Enjoy Healthy Snacks
Snacks aren’t the enemy. Junk food and overeating are. Keep healthy snack options on hand. When you feel the urge to eat something sweet, eat a piece of fruit or a cup of Greek yogurt. If you’re craving a salty treat, snack on a handful of trail mix, some air-popped popcorn, a few nuts, or some cheese and crackers. Whatever snack you go with, just be smart.

Manage Stress
Many people turn to food as a way to cope with negative emotions and stress. Overeating is common when you’re anxious, bored, or upset. Learn to recognize your triggers and adopt healthy ways of managing stress to help reduce your cravings. Exercise, yoga, and relaxation techniques are a few options to push stress and overeating out of your life.

Give In on Occasion
Depriving yourself all the time of all your favorite foods sets you up for giving up altogether and overindulging. When you’ve tried the other tricks but still can’t get chocolate off your mind, enjoy a few bites. Or eat a fun-size candy bar instead of a regular size. If you get back on the wagon fast, these treats won’t ruin your diet and won’t keep you from reaching your weight-loss goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2009-2010 Keuilian Inc.
Powered by FitPro Magazine™. Terms of Service | Legal Disclaimer
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

Screenings through the ages

Want to maintain your good health? Better take these tests.

Whether you prefer to get your kicks shopping, watching football, going out for a night on the town, or just snuggling with your significant other, there are some things every lady loves to do. And if you’re like most women, undergoing regular health screenings probably isn’t on the list of most beloved activities. While health tests may never be your favorite things to do, it may be time to put them on your agenda.

Ready to take a step in the right direction? Protect your good health and peace of mind by getting these screenings through the ages.

20s & 30s
You may feel invincible at this point in your life, but a variety of unwanted health problems can arise. That’s why visiting your physician for an annual exam is so vital. While there, you may be recommended a variety of screenings, tests, and vaccines. Booster shots or vaccines are often recommended for chickenpox; tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough; tuberculosis; HPV; flu; hepatitis A and B; and measles, mumps, and rubella, as is testing for blood pressure and cholesterol. While you may suspect cholesterol screening to be a bit premature, getting this reading early on will give your physicians an early baseline of your cholesterol numbers. This way, they can easily notice if your cholesterol makes dangerous shifts as you age. A pap test is also typically started at age 21 and in healthy individuals is repeated every three years. If you are sexually active, you may need to begin testing for sexually transmitted infections at this time.

There’s nothing more important than our good health—that’s our principal capital asset. – Arlen Specter
40s
Once you reach your 40s, the recommendations don’t slow down. You’ll still need all of the screenings and tests from your younger years, and a few others as well. At this age, cancer becomes an increasingly real threat. For women, this may mean starting mammograms. However, medical science is still figuring out when the first mammogram should take place and how often. At this point, it is thought that women with a family history of breast cancer or personal history of other cancers should have a first screening at the age of 45. If all is well, the next won’t occur for another five years. Your 40s are also the time when you will begin getting screened for diabetes, one of the most rampant diseases in the world today.

50s
Mammograms start for all women at age 50 and should be undertaken every two years unless there’s something suspicious. Then you may need a more frequent mammogram. Along with continuing tests and immunizations from previous decades, the 50s increase your risk for lung and colorectal cancer. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to undergo screening for both. If you smoke or have smoked cigarettes in the last 15 years, lung cancer screening is suggested at age 55 and every year after. Otherwise healthy individuals should also begin colon cancer screenings around age 50 and have the test repeated every 5 to 10 years depending on findings and the type of test you opt to undergo.

60s & Beyond
Starting in your sixth decade, a few new threats to your good health creep in: osteoporosis, pneumonia, and shingles. After age 65, it is recommended that everyone receive the pneumonia vaccine, and you’ll want to get the shingles vaccine five years earlier. As for osteoporosis, it’s a good idea to get your first bone density screening at age 65. If you have a family history of osteoporosis, are thin, smoke cigarettes, or have suffered broken bones in the past, your risk for osteoporosis increases, so you may need to get screened earlier.

 

 

 

 

© 2009-2010 Keuilian Inc.
Powered by FitPro Magazine™. Terms of Service | Legal Disclaimer
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

What you should know about chronic fatigue syndrome.

What you should know about chronic fatigue syndrome.

It’s a disease shrouded in mystery. The cause, the diagnosis, and the treatment are complex, complicated, and confusing to medical professionals and patients alike. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is often abbreviated as ME/CFS. This serious, chronic disease affects multiple body systems. Many who live with ME/CFS are confined to their beds, unable to find the energy necessary to live a normal life. Even a small amount of activity makes their fatigue worse and rest doesn’t help them regain the energy they need.

Odd as the condition sounds, it’s estimated that millions of people have ME/CFS but haven’t yet been diagnosed. What are the symptoms of this debilitating disease and what causes it? Is there any form of treatment? Look below to find out.

A Range of Symptoms

To be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, you must have three core symptoms: a reduced ability to perform normal activities due to fatigue that has lasted for at least six months, a worsening of symptoms following physical or mental activity, and difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at night.

The fatigue aspect of ME/CFS causes the sufferer more than just feelings of tiredness. It’s a severe fatigue that’s not improved by rest or sleep and isn’t the result of excessive exertion. Unlike other causes of fatigue, the lack of energy is a new problem, not something that has been a life-long struggle or caused by other underlying conditions.

Additional symptoms of ME/CFS include headache, dizziness, sore throat, sleep troubles, foggy thinking, muscle aches, joint pain, tender lymph nodes, digestive issues, night sweats, chills, allergies, and sensitivities. Known as a crash, collapse, or relapse, these symptoms may worsen for days, weeks, or months following exertion. The symptoms are known to be unpredictable, range in severity, and come and go. As a result, those with the condition are often not believed regarding their symptoms.

How It’s Diagnosed

Fatigue is a common complaint for many. Multiple other health conditions such as diabetes, depression, infections, anemia, heart disease, sleep apnea, obesity, thyroid issues, and multiple sclerosis also list fatigue as a symptom. Since there’s not a test to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome, diagnosis of the condition is a matter of elimination. This means numerous medical tests may be necessary to rule out other health conditions with similar symptoms.

What’s the Cause?

The cause of ME/CFS currently remains unknown. It’s suspected people with the condition have a genetic predisposition. When a virus, hormonal imbalance, unmanaged stress, or a problem with the immune system arises, the condition is triggered and sets in.

Anyone at any age can develop chronic fatigue syndrome, but it’s most often diagnosed in people in their 40s and 50s. The disease is also found to affect more women than men and whites suffer the condition more than other races.

Is There Treatment?

Though there’s no cure for ME/CFS, there are ways to manage some of the symptoms. Your doctor may refer you to a variety of specialists to help treat symptoms and improve your quality of life. The most debilitating symptoms should be addressed first.

To help manage the fatigue that’s worsened by activity, patients must learn to pace themselves and set limits. A fatigue diary can help you know how to set boundaries. Medications may be used to bring relief for sleep troubles, dizziness, headaches, muscle aches, and joint pain. Massage, acupuncture, or water therapy are other forms of pain management.

It’s important for people with chronic illness to realize they’re at an increased risk for depression, anxiety, and stress. In the event these affect you on top of chronic fatigue, seek medical intervention to determine if medication, therapy, deep-breathing techniques, massage, or stretching exercises such as tai chi or yoga would be beneficial.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a peek behind the curtain of the teenage vaping fad

Take a peek behind the curtain of the teenage vaping fad.

 

It’s hip, it’s modern, and it’s considered a better option than traditional tobacco cigarettes. And while it may not smell as badly as cigarettes, you may be wondering whether the electronic cigarette your teen just got caught with is actually not all that bad. With one in five teens giving vaping at least a try, parents need to get the lowdown on these electronic, less smelly versions of smoking sooner rather than later. Their teens’ health may be at stake.

What’s the scoop on vaping devices and what risks do they pose specifically for teens? You’re about to find out.

Understanding the Vape

Whether an e-cigarette, a vape pen, or an advanced personal vaporizer, vaping devices all essentially function the same. The user inserts the mouthpiece into his or her mouth and hits the power button. (Some don’t require a power button but rather rely on sensors.) This causes the mechanism’s battery to turn on the heating component, which quickly transforms flavored liquid into vapor, which the user inhales.

As with cigarettes or pipes, the user allows various amounts of vapor into the lungs. Unfortunately, this so-called vapor from which the device gets its name is not exactly harmless water vapor. Rather, it is an aerosol that consists of toxic chemicals. Of course, saying you’re using a toxic aerosol-creating cigarette isn’t as catchy as vaping, so the term “vaping” won the day.

Thus far, researchers are scrambling to evaluate the effects of vaping. Because it is such a new technology, there hasn’t been enough time to see its effects on a generation of users. However, a growing pile of evidence is finding that willingly inhaling the chemicals created by vaping is a health hazard at any age.

We see clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion, and we must adjust certain aspects of our comprehensive strategy to stem this clear and present danger. – Scott Gottlieb, MD, Commissioner with the United States Food and Drug Administration

Teenage Draw

Though harmful to all, the dangers seem most poignant for young users, largely because of the exploding popularity of vaping amongst teens, who are amongst the most prone to peer pressure. In America alone, more than 3 million students in middle and high school vaped in 2015, a 20-percent increase over the year before. Also, while fewer than two percent of high school students admitted to using an e-cigarette or other vaping device in 2011, eight times as many had a mere four years later.

The attraction of vaping on a young audience is obvious: it smells better, comes in all sorts of flavors, and doesn’t leave users smelling of cigarette smoke. Tack on the facts that vaping can be done more discretely than cigarettes, they’re often sold to underage children with no questions asked, and that it’s considered “potentially healthier than tobacco cigarettes,” and it’s no wonder teens are falling all over themselves to vape their lives away.

Real Dangers

Great as vaping may taste, it still comes with some significant risks. Those with asthma will likely experience worsened symptoms, as the aerosol irritates the lungs. The chemicals used in the liquid may cause a host of diseases, including cancers. And getting started early with vaping puts teens on the fast track to becoming addicted to vaping and eventually moving into smoking cigarettes.

Making vaping even more dangerous for teens is their bent toward risky behavior. Because of this tendency, teens are more likely to vape items not meant to be vaped. This includes alcohol, marijuana, and more. Additionally, while vaping does not cause the user to ingest tar, there is nicotine, making vaping addictive just like cigarettes.

So are e-cigarettes the great smoking alternative as many have claimed? You be the judge.

Tips to make the holiday season as enjoyable and stress-free as it should be.

Tips to make the holiday season as enjoyable and stress-free as it should be.

As the cooler months arrive and the holidays begin to nip at your nose, your excitement of the season may be tempered by the expectation of stress. Sure, years past didn’t go as planned—you burned the turkey and that unwanted, awkward conversation took place once again—but that doesn’t mean this year has to be the same.

If you’re ready to enjoy the holidays without the stress of years past, keep reading to find out how to do just that.

At Christmas, tea is compulsory. Relatives are optional. – Robert Godden

Practice the Big N-O

For some people, saying “No” is difficult. During much of the year, this means giving someone a ride home, lending a hand to someone moving, or providing menial tasks sporadically. Unfortunately, if you struggle with the big N-O, the holidays are a season of constant frustration as you find yourself constantly on the go. The only way you can overcome this is to start saying “No.” No, you won’t be able to make another party or bake another dessert. Why? Because you’ve been too busy and need to go home and rest. Believe it or not, that is a valid excuse.

Be Grateful

Since marketing has infiltrated and nearly overwhelmed the holidays, it’s easy to find yourself wanting more of everything. Do this and you’ll find yourself discontent, envying those who have more than you and attempting to keep up with those who have much more wealth to buy it. Boost your holiday spirit by focusing on what you have rather than what you want. A grateful spirit will do wonders to cut back on your holiday stress, so focus on what you do have: family, good health, a roof over your head, and food on the table.

Plan Ahead

No matter how many party invitations you decline, there will still be a lot to do during the holidays. Regardless of how busy your holiday schedule is, you can lower your stress by planning as much as possible. Start by creating a to-do list. Days or even weeks beforehand, start setting out decorations so you don’t have to scramble to find them. Buy gifts throughout the year so you’re not online three days before Christmas to get the perfect gift. And when you complete a task, mark it off your to-do list.

Know Yourself

During the holiday season, the focus is on others, and this is a good thing. However, if you don’t pay attention to yourself a little bit, you’re in for a heap of trouble. This holiday season, keep an eye on yourself. If you feel tired all the time, find yourself struggling with bad moods or depression, or have more frequent headaches or other pains, step back and away from the holiday craziness. Work to regain your health so you can better care for others.

Call for Backup

No matter how good you are at managing the holiday season, you have your limits. Make the holidays more enjoyable by admitting these limits and being willing to ask for help. More than likely, there are friends and family who are ready to pitch in, and by asking for help, you’ll encourage others to do the same. And nothing brings holiday cheer like helping others reduce their stress.

Have Fun

At the end of the day, the holiday season is all about being with family and friends. Ideally, these times are full of fun times that will leave you with cherished memories the rest of your life. Make sure they are good memories by taking a deep breath and smiling. When things take a turn for the stressful, put on a funny movie. Whether an old family favorite or one you’ve wanted to see, a good comedy can push you out of stress and into smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small bits of exercise can add up to weight loss

Small bits of exercise can add up to weight loss.

 

 

Eating fewer calories and burning more calories will help you shed pounds, and anyone trying to lose weight knows that diet and exercise are important pieces of the puzzle. However, some people are naturally better at dieting than exercise and others find exercise the easier task. Maybe you’re one of the people who struggle with making physical activity a regular part of your daily routine. You know you need to exercise more, but finding the time and making it a priority just isn’t happening.

The good news for people like you is that while you may not be able to commit to half an hour or hour of exercise every day, there are ways to add small amounts of exercise into your day. Over time, those small changes add up to make a big difference.

Here are a few ways to increase your physical activity to help you reach your weight-loss and fitness goals.

Lunch Break

Take advantage of your lunch break. Instead of going out to eat, bring a packed lunch and some walking shoes. When you’re finished, eating take a walk. Put in your earbuds or ask a co-worker to join you for company. Whether it’s for 10, 15, or 30 minutes, a walk around the block or around the office complex, the benefits will pile up. Go up and down the stairs as you come across them. And remember—you don’t have to go full speed or even break a sweat to reap the rewards of walking. Increase the number of steps you take each day and you’ll burn more calories along the way!

Commercial Breaks

Depending on your television service, you may or may not have commercial breaks. If you do, take advantage of them. If you don’t, you can still move around while watching your show. Get on the floor and do some push-ups, sit-ups, or planks every few minutes. Work your legs with squats or lunges. Turn things up a notch and do some burpees or high knees. In other words, if you’re going to watch television, don’t just watch television. Move!

Desk Exercise

At least once an hour, take a short break from what you’re doing and move around. If it helps, set a timer on your phone to remind you. Walk to the break room to refill your water bottle. Do some tricep dips on the edge of your chair. Keep a couple hand weights at your desk and do a few bicep curls, upward rows, overhead extensions, or tricep kickbacks. They may seem small and insignificant, but these will help you feel and look better.

Skip the Ride

In your daily routine, you likely have ample opportunity to exercise if you stop trying to make life as easy as possible. Instead of driving around and around the parking lot in search of the closest spot, go for the spot farthest from the door and walk. Rather than waiting for the elevator to arrive, choose to take the stairs. When you have to drive a short distance, why not ride your bike instead? You’ll save gas, trim your waistline, and add to your life expectancy.

Walk the Dog

You may normally open the door to let your dog out in the fenced yard, but there’s a better option. Take your dog for a walk once or twice a day and you’ll burn calories. Not to mention the fact that your dog will love you. Move at a brisk pace or jog for a few minutes. Just going around the block is hundreds more steps than you would have taken by just letting your pooch out the door alone.

Exercise Dates

Outings with friends and family may typically include eating out, happy hour, or movies, but why not plan to do something active? Play Frisbee in the park, go dancing, get a group together to play soccer or volleyball, go roller-skating or ice skating, or join a sports recreation league. You’ll have so much fun it won’t feel like exercise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2009-2010 Keuilian Inc. 
Powered by FitPro Magazine™Terms of Service | Legal Disclaimer
The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise or diet program.