Is Weight Gain Inevitable

Hello everyone and welcome back to The Skinny. Weight loss, although tricky, can be done. However, in today’s blog, I’d like to talk about a time when weight loss may seem even more difficult to accomplish. (Can you imagine?) I’m talking: Weight Loss After Menopause.

Many people say that once women reach over ages 40 – 55 or begin menopause, weight gain seems to go hand in hand. But, the question still remains: Is weight gain inevitable at this point? It doesn’t have to be. Aging does not have to equal weight gain. So, today I’m here to let you all know what you can do lose weight after menopause.

The reason people say that menopause and weight gain go hand in hand is because of factors such as decreased estrogen, slower metabolism, as well as lifestyle factors like poor diet and lack of exercise. Still, it isn’t hard to tip the scale in your favor if you know what to do.

First thing’s first, eat less sugar.

Fluctuations in your hormones can affect the body’s ability to maintain a stable blood sugar level. For this reason, reducing your sugar intake will lead to weight loss and maintenance. This means eat less desserts, fried foods, and more fish. Heart disease risk is likely to rise after menopause, so you should try to eat at least two servings of fish per week or fish oil.  Also, keep the natural sugars in your diet by eating fruits

Next, it is important to stay away from fat-free or reduced-fat foods.

I know, it’s surprising, right? Reaching for fat-free or reduced-fat foods keep you from eating the healthy fats your body needs to combat heart disease. Also, with many fat-free foods, including salad dressings and peanut butter, you’re gaining in sugar what you’re losing in fat, which is not good for weight control, energy, and overall health. Instead, stick with minimally processed, plant-based sources of fat that are rich in vitamin E, antioxidants, and omega-3s, such as nuts, fish, and avocados.

This next one may sounds a little harsh ladies, but it is true. You have to remember that you’re not in your 20s or 30s.

The workouts and diets that you use to rely on may not (probably don’t) work anymore. You have to realize that your body is changing and adjust to that change. You can even work with your health care physician or nutritionist to cut back on your calories and find what’s best for you.

Don’t overdo it with the calcium.

It’s true that bone density may decline after menopause, which is why some women opt to taking 1,000mg or more of calcium/day. But, too much of a good thing is also bad. Excessive calcium intake carries health risks including kidney stones, constipation, and heart disease. Instead, eat foods like dark green leafy vegetables and dairy (even nondairy milks like almond or coconut milks are fortified with calcium).

My fifth tip about losing weight postmenopause is rethinking that drink.

An actual serving size of wine is 4 oz. Overfilling your wine glass can even lead to breast cancer.

Another commonly heard “savior” is soy. And while I do agree to say yes to soy, but don’t say too many yes’s.

Soy foods like tofu, soy nuts, and soy milk may offer relief from mild hot flashes and are not thought to increase breast cancer risk. Protein powders or other highly processed soy products are far more concentrated than natural soy, so with women that have thyroid issues or history with breast cancer, I would say be careful.

Last, but not least, I would say to find a diet that fits and don’t forget to hydrate.

Losing weight is not science experiment. Although tougher, the overall gist stays the same. Reduce your calorie intake and exercise. Any balanced diet that cuts calories should do the trick. Also, if you get in your 64 oz of water/day it may even contribute to less cravings than normal.

I hope these seven tips that I have outlined shed some light on a difficult subject. Remember, losing weight isn’t impossible and weight gain certainly isn’t inevitable.

The Diet Dilemma




Diet Dilemma – So many to choose, but which one is the right one for me?

With so many diets out there, how do you pick which one is right for you?

Not a lot of people know that losing weight is 80% nutrition and 20% fitness. So picking the right plan for you is essential. Here are 3 diet plans that are good for your heart.

The Dash Diet

This diet has all-around healthiness and benefits for the heart. DASH improves health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and its associated with lowering risks for some types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and heart failure. When combined with increased levels of cardiovascular and muscle-building exercises, the diet is particularly effective.

This plan is pretty straightforward — it included eating lots of fruits and vegetables. It also features low fat and nonfat dairy, nuts, seeds, and beans. So of course this means that processed foods, fatty meats, and full-fat dairy isn’t a part of the diet. If you add plenty of fiber rich vegetables it’ll add bulk, provide satiation, and reduce cravings. Ano ther important part is to eat lean proteins and foods containing heart-healthy fats such as avocado or olive oil.

The Pamm Diet

This diet combines the best of the diet traditionally followed by the people on the Greek island of Crete, known as the Mediterranean diet, with aspects of the diet common on the Asian side of the Pacific Rim. This Pan-Asian modified Mediterranean diet is excellent for promoting heart health. The Key features are an abundance of essential fatty acids from vegetables and fish and a reduction in other animal fats. Plenty of leafy vegetables and whole grains are also important to promote good nutrition and increase feelings of fullness.

The Engine 2 Diet

This diet, like the others, does center around being “plant strong”, however, unlike the others, this diet is said to reverse the diseases caused by the so-called Standard American Diet, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer, according to Engine 2 Diet creator Rip Esselstyn, a firefighter, former professional athlete and medical scion. You’ll also lose weight, increase lean muscle mass, sharpen your mind and energize your body.

Restock your kitchen with whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits

T he four-week program is as follows: Week one, dump dairy and processed foods; week two, rid your diet of all animal products, including fish and eggs; week three, ditch added oil; and week four, stay with the program. The book supplies weekly meal planners to help cadets navigate the four-week challenge. However, these planners, which recommend dishes from the book’s recipe section, are only suggestions for those who want extra help.

Now that we have looked at some of these plans, your homework is to figure out which one is the right choice for you and your lifestyle.  You might want to discuss them with your primary care physician and see what he or she has to say.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Adaptogenic herbs

Hey guys,

 Today I would like to talk about something you all may have never heard of. I know I didn’t before doing my own personal research. However, I think these are important for more people to not only know about, but also incorporate into their diets.

 So, I present to you adaptogenic herbs! I know what you’re thinking. What is that?

Well, besides the long name, adaptogen herbs are one of the most important groups of herbs to take into the 21st century. This is because adaptogens not only increase the resistance to the effects of long term stress, but they also are a tonic, which stimulates the immune system and a general sense of well-being.

There actually has been plenty of research over the years into adaptogenic herbs. From the Russians that studied them so heavily as to create its own field of study in 1960, to later research done by Germany and Japan. The term adaptogen was first defined by Lazarev, a Russian pharmacologist, in 1947. He defined “adaptogens” as agents which help an organism to counteract any adverse effects of a physical, chemical or biological stressor by generating nonspecific resistance.

 In the many studies conducted by these various countries and scientists, adaptogens have been shown to: 

  • Increase physical and mental stamina and performance
  • Protect against the effects of radiation
  • Reduce the side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs
  • Reduce the incidence of infection
  • Increase resistance to chemical carcinogens

 Now, the herbs with well-established adaptogenic activity are:

  • Chinese/Korean ginseng
  • Astragalus
  • Siberian ginseng
  • Withania
  • Ashwagandha
  • Eleuthero
  • Licorice

 I’ve already said that these herbs are good for stress as well as being beneficial to the immune system, but there are other positives that come from incorporating these herbs.

Adaptogenic herbs may be used as the treatment or as part of the treatment for the following:

  • Stress
  • Exposure to stressors such as high altitude, intensive training etc
  • Chronic illness
  • Debility
  • Convalescence
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • To increase physical and mental performance

 But wait! There’s more!

Because of their effects on the body’s capacity to deal with stress, plus heir tonic activity, these herbs can be used in a huge number of conditions. Here are some examples:

As well as being adaptogenic, astragalus is also cardiotonic. It is reported to have favorable outcomes in the treatment of cardiac problems. It also is said to aid in the treatment of liver and kidney disease.

Ashwagandha-Withania somnifera

Unlike most other adaptogens, this is slightly sedative rather than stimulating. This is helpful to be used on a person who finds it impossible to relax.

Contraindications

Panax ginseng is stimulating and warming. For long term use, it is probably best suited for older people. For short term use, it is even great for adults and children. However, it can increase anxiety and irritability, so it needs to be used cautiously. Similar effects from Siberian ginseng has also been reported.

Panax ginseng, Siberian ginseng and Astragalus are contraindicated in acute infection. However, can be used with adaptogen/tonic herbs in the wake of an acute infection to ensure a full recovery.

Still, there is more power that these herbs have. There are some that are recommended for improving immune response.

Imm Formula contains both astragalus and echinacea, both adaptogens which stimulate your immune system to work better at defending it against foreign invaders and boosts your adrenal glands.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that increases the bodies vital energy and overall health and longevity.

Adr Formula aids the adrenal glands, which control and regulate the bodies self-defense mechanism against stress, a reaction to any stimulus which upsets normal functioning and disturbs mental or physical health. The adrenal glands generate the energy needed to perform strenuous tasks, deal with emotional crises, and fight infections.

Milk thistle is composed of silymarin which works directly on the liver to increase its effectiveness. When your liver is not functioning properly it can not remove the toxins from your body and they build up and it effects your immune system causing conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, chronic illnesses.

Now that you have all the information, I hope you can now see the real benefits that adaptogens have to offer. If you are interested in including them in your health care regimen, then please make sure to speak to your physician.


What’s the SKINNY on Carb Cycling?

What’s the SKINNY on Carb Cycling? and How Does It Work?

There are so many diet options out here for you to be successful on losing weight and there are twice as many that keep us asking ourselves “why did I try that?”  But, one thing for sure, is that we all know that an excess of carbs will leave us craving for more and it will go straight to the middle (belly fat), in case you didn’t know what I meant.  On the other hand, when we are dieting and exercising we need those carbs for energy and that’s when Carb Cycling makes sense.

How It Works

Carb cycling utilizes a weekly regimen of high and low carb days.  High carb days help promote muscle growth by replenishing glycogen stores and stimulating insulin response while low carb days help promote fat loss while preventing weight gain as the body burns fat for fuel rather than dietary carbs.

Choosing Carbs

Due to the heavy influence on the body, the focus is on carbs rather than fats or proteins.  For fat loss, on high carb days choose simple carbs that are high in glucose or complex carbs that break down into glucose.  Starchy vegetable, whole grains and other complex carbs keep you feeling satisfied and energized for longer periods so you won’t feeling like overeating.  Avoid fructose-based carbs such as high fructose corn syrup that are not as easily stored in the muscles and are more likely to become fat.

When To Cycle

Typically, you can alternate between high and low carb days, but of course for faster weight loss, you can have fewer high carb days.  For muscle gain, you can have more high carb days than low but, avoid putting two high carb days back to back.  On heavy training days, it’s advised to load up on the carbs for fuel during your workout.

Building A Meal Plan

Whichever plan you choose make sure that you stay within your calorie range for weight loss.  If you are not sure what that is for you, seek the recommendation of your healthcare provider.  Typically, you will want to eat plenty of protein, starchy vegetable and healthy fats on heavy workout days and on low-carb days, you can eat lean proteins and non-starchy vegetables.

Water Weight Gain

On high carb days, water weight accumulation is higher, your body will store 4 grams of water for every 1 gram of carbs.  Although this is temporary weigh gain, it is not to be confused with fat gain.  The water weight will decrease in about a day or so.

So, now that you know there is a more satisfying and healthier way to start a low carb diet, I encourage to explore the diet more thoroughly to truly see if this is a viable option for you and as always please seek the advice of your health care provider.

With your health in mind,

Natonee

Sources – Bodybuilding.com – DailyBurn.com