September 15, 2015

Smart People Lose Weight Using An 8 Hour Meal Plan

Healthy Meal Plan

You’ve probably heard the rules “Never skip a meal “and “Eat 3 times a day” quite often. According to basic health knowledge, you should never go too long without eating. Intermittent fasting on an 8 hour eating plan turns that idea on its head, focusing on eating less frequently for better health and fitness.

This way of eating makes historical sense because in the past, humans didn’t have the luxury of full fridges or fast food and often went without eating for many hours, while they hunted or gathered their daily meals. And with 8 hour eating plans providing evidence of incredible results from weight loss to cellular repair and cardiovascular protection, it may be time to postpone that meal.

The basic idea behind intermittent fasting is to switch from eating 3 or more meals spread over a day to only eating during a limited 8-hour period every day. Many who practice intermittent fasting prefer to eat only between the hours of 12 pm and 8 pm, while others choose 9 am to 5 pm. Whatever the hours you select, the most important aspect of this type of diet is to strictly keep your meals within a specific timeframe.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

1. Improves Insulin Sensitivity

Intermittent fasting improves your insulin sensitivity while also increasing mitochondrial energy efficiency. These improvements slow down processes such as aging and disease development that are linked to decreased insulin sensitivity and failing mitochondrial energy.

2. Increases Human Growth Hormone Levels

Switching between periods of fasting and feasting can boost your body’s human growth hormone levels. This increase is linked to faster and more efficient fat burning and better muscle gains.

3. Speeds Up Your Metabolism

Short term fasting leads to a faster metabolism by increasing human growth hormone and noradrenaline levels. Intermittent fasting can speed up your metabolism by as much as 14 %!

4. Helps You Lose Weight Effectively

Intermittent fasting was found to be more effective for weight loss than restricting calories. Its relatively simple rules also make it easier to stick with long-term.

5. Targets Your Belly Fat

While it does wonders for over-all weight loss, intermittent fasting could also hold the key to the washboard abs we all crave. It could help you to lose up to 7 % of your waist circumference long-term.

6. Promotes Cellular Repair

When you restrict eating to 8 hours a day, your cells go into a kind of “clean-up” mode, called autophagy. During autophagy, your cells clean out any built-up, broken, waste proteins, helping to prevent the development of many diseases.

7. Improves Heart Health

Animal studies show that fasting works to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol and blood triglyceride levels and reduce blood glucose levels, all of which can help to prevent heart disease.

8. Boosts Your Brain Power

Fasting has been shown to raise levels of levels brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF-deficiencies have been linked to brain-dangers like depression. Intermittent fasting leads to new neuronal growth and in humans, daily fasting reduced Alzheimer symptoms in 9 out of 10 sufferers.

Fasting twice a week could be enough to lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease. It works by stressing out brain cells in a good way-similar to the beneficial stress of working out on muscles.

With benefits like weight-reduction, insulin regulation and the prevention of heart disease and dementia, intermittent fasting looks set to be the natural cure of choice for the top health problems of our time. But while the early results of the 8-hour plan are encouraging, make sure to speak with your health care provider before trying it for yourself.


August 15, 2015

4 Simple Ways To Improve Your Blood Pressure

Healthy lifestyle

Roughly one in every four American adults battle high blood pressure, or hypertension, on a day-to-day basis, and those numbers are steadily on the rise. For some, the disease will stem from genetics, but ultimately its lifestyle choices that will play the most significant role in determining an individual’s chances of being prescribed blood pressure medication, especially if he/she is maintaining a daily blood pressure reading of 140/90 or higher.

With elevated blood pressure, you are risking the likelihood of developing heart disease and kidney disease or suffering from a heart attack, stroke, or heart failure. While medication is probably the most crucial component to managing hypertension, there are also ways you can keep your blood pressure in check simply by changing your lifestyle habits.

Lifestyle Change Strategies

One of the many reasons hypertension is so deadly is because it often comes with no warning signs. This is why purchasing a blood pressure monitor and using it daily is paramount toward your success with hypertension management. The following lifestyle changes will also help:

1.  Lose weight

Undoubtedly, losing weight is one of the most effective ways of reducing blood pressure, since excess weight increases your chances of developing other conditions, like sleep apnea, which has been shown to raise blood pressure. Even by losing just 10% of your weight, you will significantly reduce your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. As you lose the weight, keep tabs on your waistline measurement. Studies have shown repeatedly that the circumference of a person’s waist plays a vital part in maintaining normal blood pressure. Men should strive to keep their waist measurement below 40 inches while women should aim for a number less than 35 inches.

2.  Follow a healthy diet

Not only is eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean meats ideal for lowering blood pressure, but it’s a wise choice for every individual in general. A good way to adopt a healthy eating plan is to record everything you eat in a food diary, which will keep you honest and on track while changing your eating habits. Make a note of the areas where you can improve and seek out healthier food options. Strive for items with lower sodium content. Remove the salt shaker from your dining area. By doing a search on-line, you can find healthier salt substitutes that won’t interfere with your regimen.

3.  Start exercising

Thirty minutes of regular activity on most days of the week will go a long way in helping you lower your blood pressure and maintain it. Some of the best types of activity include jogging, walking, swimming, and cycling, but make it a point to talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

4.  Kick the habit

Did you know that each cigarette you smoke greatly increases your blood pressure for several minutes after you finish? Just by quitting smoking you will substantially lengthen your life span.

Although managing blood pressure might seem like a daunting task in the beginning, the longer life expectancy you gain is certainly worth the effort, not only for you but for your loved ones also.

August 1, 2015

Gluten Sensitivity vs Celiac Disease


If you find yourself regularly experiencing pain, bloating, fatigue or other symptoms after consuming gluten, you may automatically suspect celiac disease. But recent research shows that far greater numbers of people are actually suffering from gluten sensitivity, a condition with certain celiac-like symptoms that is only now being understood.

If grains are definitely getting you down but you’re not sure whether celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is to blame, here’s a guide of the differences between the two conditions to clear away the confusion and help you get to the root of your problem.

1. Antibodies

Celiac disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten consumption and often resulting in permanent intestinal damage. Gluten sensitivity is considered a non- inherited intolerance to gluten. While both conditions can share symptoms such as fatigue and joint pain, that’s where the similarity ends.

Celiac sufferers show tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies in their blood, evidence of a negative response to the proteins found in gluten, while those with gluten sensitivity show no signs of these antibodies.

2. Differing Diagnoses

Celiac disease is mainly diagnosed through blood tests that screen for antibodies and duodenal biopsies looking for damage in the small intestine.

On the other hand, there are no biomarkers currently available for testing gluten sensitivity. Gluten sensitivity doesn’t show up in blood tests or biopsies and is primarily diagnosed by first eliminating the possibility of celiac disease with a blood test. If the test shows no evidence of celiac disease but the individual is regularly experiencing pain or other symptoms after consuming gluten, doctors will then recommend an elimination diet.

All gluten is removed from the diet for up to a month and the individual monitors their symptoms. If their symptoms improve or disappear on a completely gluten-free diet, doctors will counsel that gluten be reintroduced. The individual is then closely screened.

If an increase in symptoms is seen and no other autoimmune cause can be found for this increase, the individual is given a diagnosis of NCGS or Non-Celiac Glutens Sensitivity (gluten sensitivity, for short).

3. Gut VS Brain

Although abdominal pain is a common symptom of both conditions, celiac sufferers often present with severe intestinal inflammation that leads to destruction of the intestinal villi, while those with gluten sensitivity don’t. Celiac disease tends to predominantly target the small intestine, showing up as abdominal pain, nausea, constipation and diarrhea.

Celiac disease also frequently causes malabsorption, a condition in which the intestines are so badly damaged that they can no longer absorb nutrients from food. This leaves those with celiac disease lacking in nutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin D and calcium. Because of these deficiencies, individuals with celiac disease often suffer from unexplained weight loss, damaged tooth enamel and osteoporosis.

In contrast, those with gluten sensitivity don’t generally present with malabsorption and tend to experience fewer abdominal symptoms. Instead, they’re much more likely to complain of symptoms affecting the central and peripheral nervous system, with everything from migraines, “brain fog” and ADD-like concentration problems, to nerve tingling, and even depression being commonly reported by sufferers.

4. Incidence rates

According to available testing, celiac disease is relatively rare, with approximately 1 out of every 100 people affected globally. Gluten sensitivity, on the other hand, may be up to 6 times as prevalent, though it’s believed that both celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are under-diagnosed, so actual numbers may be much higher.

5. Treatment of symptoms

For those with celiac disease, consuming even a tiny amount of gluten is considered a major health risk and celiac sufferers are advised to maintain a completely gluten-free diet for the rest of their lives or risk serious complications including infertility, loss of mobility, intestinal cancer and even death.

Those with gluten sensitivity may experience considerable symptomatic relief from a gluten-free diet but current research does not conclusively point to eliminate gluten permanently. Still, many gluten sensitive individuals do end up deciding that the pain-free payoff of a gluten-free lifestyle is worth the effort.

While both celiac disease and glutens sensitivity are just beginning to be truly understood, many doctors believe celiac disease may be a much more severe and dangerous condition, that if left untreated, may increase the risk of death up to four-fold. For this reason, it’s essential to consult with a doctor and receive proper celiac screening if you suspect you have a problem with gluten, rather than simply trying to self-diagnose.


April 10, 2013

Are Bananas Fattening?

are bananas fattening



There is a nasty allegation circulating the health sphere that bananas are fattening. Various parties are even claiming that bananas aren’t the angelic, low-fat, high-health food we always believed them to be.

But is this actually true? What is the nutritional value of bananas? Are bananas adding extra calories to diets and sabotaging weight loss efforts worldwide? Let’s look at the facts.


The case for bananas as a fattening food:

High in calories
Bananas are high in calories compared to other fruits. A standard banana contains about 105 calories. A cup of grapes meanwhile, contains around 62 calories.

Loaded with carbs
A banana has around 127 grams of carbohydrates, compared to grapes, which contain just 15 grams of carbs. This carb variance is largely because bananas contain less water.

The case against bananas being fattening:

Rich in potassium
According to registered dietician and author, Cynthia Sass, bananas are incredibly rich in potassium. Potassium helps to reduce blood pressure, encourage the maintenance of healthy muscles and also ease water retention and bloating.

Packed with fiber
Anything with fiber helps you stay fuller for longer, so the fact that bananas are packed with fiber is a huge plus in their favor. Fiber also acts as a ‘broom’ to your intestinal tract to ensure healthy digestion.

Contains B6
Vitamin B6 is responsible for equalizing blood sugar levels, which in turn promotes a healthy weight.

Low GI
Bananas have a glycemic index (GI) of 55, which means they release energy at a slower rate than other foods. Low GI foods decrease your risk of heart disease and other blood-glucose related diseases.

Provide instant energy
As bananas are higher in carbs (the fuel our body uses for energy), consuming a banana boosts your energy levels almost immediately.

The verdict
As with most things, moderation is clearly key here. Bananas are higher in calories and carbs than other fruits. But, if consumed sensibly, the health benefits of bananas are that they can actually aid your weight loss efforts by keeping you full and your energy high.

Experts suggest swapping a high-sugar dessert or snack for a banana and if you’re worried about weight gain, consuming a banana before or after a work out.

Overall, bananas are considered to be healthy, nutritious and delicious and when consumed in moderation should not impact any weight loss efforts.

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August 3, 2012

Is Organic Food Better For You?

Filed under: diet,organic — @ 12:50 pm

A lot of people argue that there are more benefits to organic food than any other type. Is that true?

Overall, probably. But in a tough economy, it is a little more expensive. If you are more worried about health and longevity, then you can’t overlook the benefits that organic food provides.

Before we get into why organic food is better for you lets first look at the definition so that you know the differences between organic food vs. non organic food:

Organic foods are made in a way that limits the use of synthetic materials during production.

Doesn’t it just seem more natural to not be eating as many synthetic materials?

The Benefits of Organic Foods

No Chemicals – One of the reasons why a lack of chemicals is a good thing on organic food is because the pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides can soak into the food before it can get washed off. This means that at some point you will be pesticides or other chemicals.

Not Genetically Modified – Have you ever eaten an orange right off the tree? If you have, then you know they are not perfectly orange. In most cases they are light green. Most people find light-green oranges unappetizing. But, this is what all oranges look like, naturally. Know that many food distributors will genetically modify non organic food to hide imperfections Your food may not be as good for you as it looks.

No Irradiation – Did you know that many farmers will use an x-ray machine in order to kill pathogens on food? This may sounds like a good idea, but the biggest problem is that it doesn’t kill all the pathogens and it leaves radiation in the food. So what happens when you eat x-ray blasted food? Studies have shown that any residual radiation can soak into your body. This is never a good thing. Although it has yet to be confirmed, many scientists believe that this will actually increase the odds of a consumer getting cancer.

Scientists have not come out and stated for a fact that organic food is better. Mainly, they don’t have enough solid evidence.

Yes, organic food does seem to be better for your body. However, the study of organic food has not been going on for that long to determine whether or not it will improve your health or your lifespan.

This is one decision you will have to make according to your own evaluations.