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November 30, 2016 OMG CaymanHealth Tips

The internal dialogue you have with yourself can make or break your weight-loss success. Watch out for these negative thinking patterns.

Sure, you want to lose weight, but are you in the right mindset to make it happen? Stop sabotaging your efforts with a self-defeating outlook and stay motivated to reach your goals with these effective techniques.

Negative beliefs and self-talk

The internal dialogue you have with yourself influences your actions. Thoughts such as “I’ll never lose weight” or “I’m no good at exercising” can weaken your self-esteem and stall your progress. Replace these thoughts with positive statements. Instead of: “I can’t stick with an exercise program,” tell yourself: “I can meet one realistic goal today.”

Unrealistic expectations

Many people imagine that losing weight will solve all their problems. Your life will likely change with weight loss — but probably not in all the ways you imagine. Losing weight doesn’t guarantee a better social life or more satisfying job. Keep your expectations focused on those very real benefits like more energy and higher self-esteem.

Inflexibility

Words such as always, never or must place undue pressure on you. Telling yourself you’ll never eat chocolate again or you must walk two miles a day can lead to guilt-ridden lapses. Instead, treat yourself now and then in ways that make sense — when you’re out to dinner with friends, not when you’re feeling sad.

All-or-nothing thinking

One setback doesn’t mean failure. If you eat too much one day, you haven’t blown your plan. Counteract this kind of thinking with moderation — no “good” and “bad” foods, for example, and it’s OK to have dessert once in a while. Remind yourself you can get back on track tomorrow.

Be flexible on your weight-loss journey. Don’t expect perfection. If you have a slip-up, learn from it and move on.

 

Source: Mayo Clinic


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September 21, 2016 OMG CaymanHealth Tips

Sometimes life just doesn’t seem fair. Your best friend feasts on whatever she wants and never gains a pound, while you suffer through carrots and celery and still can’t lose an ounce. Could your metabolism be to blame? It’s possible. Although genetics play a role in how your metabolism runs, you do have some power to increase metabolism and help burn calories more quickly.

Metabolism is a chemical process that converts your body’s fuel (calories) into energy. It’s involved in everything your body does, from breathing to moving and thinking. If your metabolism runs fast, it’s like a furnace quickly burning through fuel. If it runs slowly, it’s more like a smoldering fire using up your fuel supply gradually.

A slow metabolism is actually a very efficient one, says Michael Zemel, PhD, professor emeritus and former director of the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. He explains that our ancestors were hunter-gatherers who often didn’t know when their next meal would come. Their bodies held onto calories as a matter of survival. And because only the fittest people lived to pass along their genes, modern humans probably evolved from those with slower metabolisms.

Fast forward to you: Here’s how to boost metabolism for better weight management.

Build Muscle to Boost Metabolism

Lean muscle burns more calories than fat, even when you’re at rest, says Dr. Zemel. So increasing your muscle mass will help increase metabolism and burn calories more quickly. This is especially important as you move into middle age, a time when metabolism naturally slows down and you risk a loss of muscle mass. The answer is to add weight training to your workout routine. Zemel says this can be as easy as working out with resistance bands while standing in front of the TV.

Get Some Shut-Eye to Increase Metabolism

Sleep deprivation or having an erratic sleep schedule can contribute to a sluggish metabolism, says Zemel. Inadequate sleep also puts you at risk for metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, he adds. According to a study from the University of Chicago, even a few nights of poor sleep can do damage. Researchers say that healthy study participants who got only four hours of sleep for four nights became more resistant to insulin — and insulin resistance is a common precursor to developing diabetes.

Boost Metabolism by Spreading Out Your Meals

Rethinking how you eat can help with better weight management. If you eat cereal and yogurt for breakfast, have the cereal but save the yogurt for a mid-morning snack. At lunch, save part of your meal to eat in the middle of the afternoon. Zemel notes that spreading out meals can have a positive effect on metabolism and blood sugar levels.

Get Off Your Duff to Burn Calories

Zemel says that long periods of inactivity can contribute to a sluggish metabolism and bigger health problems. British researchers analyzed results from 18 studies that looked at inactivity and the risk for disease. They found that the most sedentary people have a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease and an even bigger risk for diabetes.

At the office, don’t spend hours at a time sitting at your desk — get up and move around, says Zemel. Look for opportunities like walking over to a colleague’s office and having a conversation instead of sending an e-mail. Or consider walking around your office while talking on the phone. While watching TV at home, you can get up during commercial breaks to tidy the house or just move around.

Don’t Try a Starvation Diet to Lose Weight

A very low-calorie diet or skipping meals to lose weight can backfire. “Your body will fight you and slow down your metabolism,” says Zemel. It’s possible to lose 30 pounds on a low-calorie diet, but it takes fewer calories to maintain your body weight after a prolonged dip in calories — and most people gain back that weight and then, when they try to take it off again, it’s harder.

Have Your Thyroid Checked

If your weight gain is sudden, it may be due to hypothyroidism, which is an underactive thyroid gland. This is a common condition, especially in women older than 50. When the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones, body functions, including metabolism, slow down. One of the biggest symptoms of hypothyroidism is unexplained weight gain. Simple blood tests can detect an underactive thyroid. There is no cure, but treatment using synthetic thyroid hormones is very effective.

Beware of Metabolism-Boosting Hype

Although spicy food is often touted as a metabolism booster, the effects may be exaggerated. One study in the European Journal of Nutrition did find that people who added capsaicin (the active ingredient in chili and other peppers that makes them hot) to their breakfast food felt more satisfied and ate less the rest of the day. Green tea and caffeine are other examples of dietary factors that can give a minimal boost to metabolism, Zemel says. Just remember that it’s fitness — not food — that can definitely help you burn more calories.

Source: Everyday Health


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Don’t be fooled by false health claims. There are only two true ways to boost your metabolism: weight-loss surgery and weight training that increases muscle mass. But there are many factors that can cause your metabolism to slow and the number on the scale to creep up. The good news is you don’t have to take these changes lying down — you can always fight your metabolic triggers and change your metabolism for the better. Here’s how top docs say you can reverse a bad metabolic trend and rev your body’s calorie-burning engine.

  1. How Hormones Slow Metabolism  (Part 1)
    You could blame your slow metabolism on your hormones — or a lack thereof. A natural lack of estrogen receptors in the brain due to aging caused mice to gain weight without consuming more calories, researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found. The same principle could apply to humans. “People put on 10 percent a decade because of how our hormones change as we age,” says Eva Cwynar, MD, an endocrinologist and metabolic medicine specialist in Beverly Hills and author of The Fatigue Solution. If you’re concerned about your estrogen levels, talk to your doctor to find a healthy solution that works for your body.
  2. How Hormones Slow Metabolism (Part 2)
    Another reason metabolism slows: The amount of the hormone testosterone in both men and women decreases as we age, Dr. Cwynar says. Testosterone helps regulate muscle mass, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even when resting. Men may be able to prevent this change by getting more vitamin D, a recent study in the journal Hormone and Metabolic Research found, but the same effect has not been confirmed in women. Skin-safe ways to boost your vitamin D intake include egg yolks, salmon and other fatty fish, and vitamin-fortified breakfast cereals.
  3. Stress Can Be a Metabolism Trigger
    Stress causes your level of the hormone cortisol to rise, says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, author of Doctor’s Detox Diet: The Ultimate Weight Loss Prescription and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which can harm your metabolism. Increased cortisol levels can cause you to overeat, and when you overeat, you can gain weight. Weight gain causes your metabolism to slow, Dr. Gerbstadt says. To counteract stress, avoid people and situations that cause your stress level to spike whenever possible and adopt a stress-busting exercise routine that will also help you maintain your weight.
  4. Lack of Sleep Can Change Metabolism
    To keep your metabolism revved, don’t skip snoozing. When your body lacks sleep, it can have a difficult time metabolizing carbohydrates, which triggers a chain reaction. When you don’t metabolize carbohydrates, your blood-sugar levels rise. High blood sugar levels spike insulin levels, and the increase in insulin tells your body to store unused energy as fat. To stop the cycle, set your body clock so you will stay caught up on ZZZs: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  5. Eating Too Much Fat Can Change Your Metabolism
    When you eat a lot of fatty foods, your metabolism slows down to conserve some of that fat for future use, and the net result is that you might start gaining weight. To maintain your metabolism or change it for the better, make sure any meat you eat is lean, stick to low- or nonfat dairy, and consume plenty of the healthy monounsaturated fats found in raw nuts, fish, and avocados.
  6. Medications Can Be Metabolism Triggers
    Some medications may cause your metabolism to slow and your waistline to expand. Those known to change metabolism in some people include antidepressants, diabetes drugs, steroids, and hormone therapies. Talk with your doctor if you suspect that medicine is causing weight gain, Cwynar says. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medication, change your dosage, or even suggest a better time of day to take it.
  7. Health Conditions Can Trigger a Metabolism Change
    The classic example of a disease that slows metabolism is hypothyroidism, which is when your thyroid gland doesn’t make enough hormones. “Your thyroid is the ‘thermostat’ of metabolism,” Gerbstadt says. However, some people are quick to blame their slow metabolism on an underactive thyroid or other health condition when it’s really that they’re overeating and not exercising. Find out for sure by asking your doctor to perform a blood test. If you have an underactive thyroid, your doctor may be able to help reset it with medication, Gerbstadt says. If not, you may simply have to redouble your diet and exercise efforts.
  8. Eating Too Little Can Slow Metabolism
    If you overdo your diet and cut too many calories from your eating plan, you could end up sabotaging your metabolism. Your body will slow down its calorie burning because it thinks you’re starving. Another problem if you eat too little is that your body will break down valuable muscle tissue for energy. If you want to change your metabolism and still lose weight, eat enough so that you’re not hungry. Smaller meals throughout the day — every three to four hours — may be a better bet so you stay satisfied.
  9. Lack of Exercise Can Slow Metabolism
    When you don’t exercise, fat can build up in your body and slow your metabolism, says Rakesh Patel, MD, a family medicine physician in Gilbert, Ariz. Now consider what happens when you exercise: Your heart has to pump harder so that blood can transport the nutrients your muscles need, and when your muscles are working, your metabolism speeds up. Try interval training if you want to change your metabolism and burn calories even after your workout is over, Dr. Patel says. For example, you can alternate periods of jogging with sprinting or add steeper hills to your bike route. Regular exercise and especially interval training can boost your metabolism over the long term.

Source: Everyday Health


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