Get Rid of the Bloats Today!


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All of us have been bloated at one point or another in our lives, and it is definitely not a pleasant feeling. You are taken over by sluggishness, pressure, discomfort, and maybe even the sense that you are swelling up like a human balloon. There are various medical conditions that lead to chronic bloating, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s disease and lactose intolerance, but many people swell up because of a much more controllable problem: overeating. In order to understand how overeating affects bloating, we must first understand how it works and then identify strategies to get rid of your case of the bloats!

When you feel bloated you will feel a fullness and heaviness in your abdomen. It can also be accompanied by sharp pains and stomach cramps. These symptoms are caused when food is not being properly digested by the body, which is often a sign that the body is not hydrated enough: hydration supports that body’s main functions, including digestion. These symptoms can be caused by a medical condition, like those stated above, but they can also be caused by a build-up of excess fat that blocks the body’s ability to digest food and empty the stomach because fat cells are developing that block these processes. Engaging in eating habits that are full of fatty, sugary, starchy foods contribute to this process, and overeating and overindulging on junk food leads directly to it. If you are experiencing chronic bloating and it is not due to a medical condition, you might want to pinpoint your diet as the culprit. If you are suffering from chronic bloating, here are some ways to attenuate your symptoms while you build up better eating habits:

  • Exercise! If you are feeling bloated then nothing helps more than physical activity. Take a walk, stretch, go for a jog-anything to keep your body in motion. You should be doing this regularly anyway, but the bloats give you a good incentive to make exercise a habit.
  • Hydrate! Get that water flowing through your body! Dehydration leads to severe bloating so your body needs lots of water to fight the bloats. Most people do not drink the 8 glasses of water their body needs a day, so challenge yourself to stay properly hydrated.
  • Lemon squeeze! The bloats can be mitigated by sipping on a glass of diluted lemon juice-or straight lemon juice for the brave. Lemon is an alkalizing citrus that will help your body steady its salt levels, detox toxins, and squeeze out the bloats.

Nobody likes coming down with a bad case of the bloats, but the good news is you don’t have to if you know how to manage your eating habits by avoiding overeating. Nobody is perfect and nobody will eat perfectly, so if you do find yourself swelling up after a particularly heavy meal, use the tips above to get rid of the bloats and back to feeling like your perky, healthy, self.

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Skipping Breakfast Is Not A Weight Control Method


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Many people are looking for the ultimate diet, usually as a means of avoiding the harsh, time-consuming reality of exercise. It doesn’t help that the media is obsessed with promoting not only flawlessly skinny body images, but “easy” diets that supposedly involve little or no work. A diet in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, it is the dietary choices that you make that count. Some people choose healthy diets that focus on cutting out sugars and processed foods, but others go a more unhealthy route- they travel the path that leads to anywhere from crash dieting to developing eating habits that mirror eating disorders.

One common misconception related to weight control is that skipping breakfast can help you slim down. In fact, the opposite is true. Skipping breakfast can lead to weight gain and increased weight control issues. One reason for this is that people who skip breakfast are more likely to take in higher levels of calories at their next meal; additionally, they tend to snack more frequently through the course of the day, and snacking is usually sugar and junk food driven. Skipping breakfast also plays with your blood sugar levels, which can cause moodiness and a lack of energy. There are studies that also indicate that people accumulate more body fat when they eat fewer bigger meals than when they eat spread out, smaller meals. Thus, skipping breakfast is in no way a healthy or reliable method of weight control.

You have probably heard the platitude over and over again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but this truth cannot be emphasized enough. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For starters, breakfast gives you the energy you need to be able to execute and complete the tasks for your day ahead. Eating breakfast helps you form consistent eating habits which helps regulate you blood sugar. Eating breakfast is also a complement to your weight control efforts: not eating breakfast means that you are fasting for nearly 20 hours and thus you are not producing the enzymes your body needs to metabolize fat. Without enzymes kicking your metabolic system into gear you cannot lose weight.

While it is important to eat breakfast every morning, this doesn’t mean that you should go to a pancake house or swallow down McDonald’s drive through each morning. Breakfast only supports weight control when it is made up of healthy, balanced foods. Fruits, grains, cereals, eggs, and yoghurt are all great ways to start your morning without falling into the black hole of junk food options. As with all other meals during the day, breakfast must be healthy for you to reap any wellness rewards.

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The Connection Between Weight And Depression


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The medical and psychological communities are starting to come around to a more holistic idea when viewing illnesses of the body and mind: our body and mind are not separate compartments, they have a constant connection and influence on one another. For this reason, many people now recognize that physical problems can start in the mind and problems in the mind can be influenced by physical factors. One area in which researchers find the aforementioned statement to be true is weight control. Many studies, including one published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, are establishing a link between weight control and depression. This conclusion is intuitively self-evident to many people, especially if they struggle with weight control, depression or both. Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between weight control in terms of excessive weight gain and depression in order to better understand how they influence one another and how to end the unhealthy cycle.

One question many people ask when they accept that weight gain and depression go hand in hand, but like the chicken or the egg, many people wonder which one comes first? Unfortunately there is no clear answer to this one: depression and weight gain contribute to each other, but we can’t definitively decide in which direction. Weight gain can cause depression and depression can cause some to gain weight. Weight gain can lead to lower self-esteem and decreased physical functioning; enzyme and metabolic process are not functioning properly and this can affect serotonin levels and brain functioning which can cause depression. Likewise, depression can lead to a decreased physical activity, overeating and indulging in comfort foods and junk food and this can lead to gaining weight. Pinpointing where the cycle starts isn’t necessarily the key to breaking the unhealthy cycle-understanding how both contribute to each other, as mentioned above, is the way to identify unhealthy habits and find a way to create new, healthy ones.

Whether you are suffering from excessive weight gain, depression, or likely both, it is important that you seek professional help to address both issues. Resolving one issue often leads to the resolution of another. Seek a form of therapy and guidance that empowers your sense of control over your body and mind by helping you focus on building healthy habits related to eating, exercise, and mood regulation. Your body and mind are more intimately connected than you realize, and you are the driver of your body and mind. You also have more power than you realize when it comes to controlling your thoughts and habits, so take advantage of professional help that helps you take the reins of your life with strength and confidence.

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Healthy Eating Pitfalls For Teenagers


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Do teenagers need to eat more or differently than adults? In short: yes. The teen years are a time of rapid body development and physical activity, so teenagers need a daily increase of calories, minerals, and vitamins. Teenagers have raging hormones and resultant mood swings, so it is important that they do not miss out on any of the vital nutrients they need. However, what teens should be eating doesn’t vary that much from adults: they still need to consume a healthy, balanced diet comprised of grains, vegetables, fruits, and proteins. The biggest nutrition challenge during the teen years isn’t that they need a special diet that differs from adults, but that they need help avoiding the many dietary pitfalls that can shape the formation of life-long, unhealthy eating habits. Let’s take a look at two of the major issues teens struggle with in terms of healthy eating:

  • Junk Food: Teens are especially prone to overindulging in fast food and unhealthy treats. Gangs of teenager often congregate at McDonald’s and other fast food centers—junk food is a part of the social fabric of Teendom. Since teens have high metabolisms, coupled with very in the moment thinking, they cannot always see the negative impact that junk food has on their future and it is easy for them to form bad eating habits. As parent of a teen, you can mitigate teen junk food consumption by not falling into the junk food trap yourself—make your home a health food haven and model healthy eating habits—sooner or later, they will probably sink in for your teen.
  • Weight worries: Many teenagers, particularly teenage girls, are extremely worried about their weight, and it is no wonder why: super skinny models and celebrities are everywhere, plastered across billboards and beaming out from TV screens. The teen years are a time when eating disorders are a risk, as teenagers are susceptible to peer pressure, low self-esteem, and an unsure sense of self. As a parent, be open and honest with your children about weight worries, and never under any circumstances comment on their weight in a negative way.

As you can see, there are many impediments standing in the way of teens developing healthy eating habits. Teenagers need guidance from their parents in all areas of life, including health and nutrition. As a parent, this means you have an obligation to your children to model healthy habits to your children so they can mirror them. Make sure that you plan meals that stay away from trans fats, sugars, and processed junk food. Make it a priority to have a home that is focused on wellness and nutrition—it will benefit everyone in the long run.

Obesity And Heart Disease: Know The Risks


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With so many people suffering from obesity these days, particularly in developed nations, it is important to understand the health risks surrounding excess weight gain. Obesity wreaks havoc on your physical body, and damages your mental state of mind; the cardiovascular problems associated with obesity affect both your physiological and neurological capacities, leading to issues like diabetes, depression, and most notably, heart disease. Heart disease is one of the most common and dangerous risks that obesity poses to people, so let’s take a closer look at the relationship between the two and what you can do to avoid engaging your body in this destructive relationship.

Obesity is defined as being overweight to the extent that a person’s BMI (Body Mass Index) is over 30. Obesity can be caused by genetic factors, such as a thyroid disorder, but it is most commonly caused by overeating, a lack of exercise, and a diet rooted in sugar, trans fat, and processed food consumption.  A person suffering from obesity will have high levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure, the leading factors that cause heart disease. Additionally, obesity can cause sudden chest pains caused by a decrease in oxygen to the heart (angina) and has been known to cause sudden death from heart problems or stroke without signs or symptoms.

As evidenced above, obesity and heart disease and related and cause a serious threat to your health.  The good news is that you have the ability to reduce the risk of these adverse effects now if you take your life back into your own hands and start developing healthier habits. Even if you are obese, changing your lifestyle to include exercise and healthy eating will decrease your chance for heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol; losing just 10% of your body weight will reduce these risks and get your heart back on track.

While heart problems and obesity can be caused by genetic factors, the ball is really in your court in terms of avoiding these dangerous health problems. You have the power to shape and control your eating and exercise habits—it is up to you to choose a healthy lifestyle and then make the commitment to live it day by day. Visit a nutritionist, make a healthy eating plan, join a gym or make an exercise plan on your own. All of these things will contribute to your overall health and sense of well-being, and will help you to avoid health problems that can impede on your enjoyment of life or even cut it short.

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What Is Metabolism And How Does It Affect Your Body?

You have probably heard a lot of people in good or bad shape saying stuff like “oh my metabolism is just slow” or “oh I just have a really good metabolism.”  Most people refer to their metabolism when talking about physical health and fitness, but do you really know what metabolism is and what it does? Does it really affect your weight as much as most people claim?

Metabolism is the umbrella term for all the physical and chemical processes that occur in the body in order to convert or use energy.  Breathing, digesting food, muscle exercise, brain functioning etc., all undergo metabolic processes that use or convert energy. In terms of weight gain and loss, your metabolism is what controls how fast you both gain and lose weight—it controls how fast or slow we burn calories. In that sense, a fast metabolism means you will have an easier time losing weight that you put on and a slow metabolism means it will take a longer time to burn your calories. The speed of your metabolism is dependent upon several factors:

  • Age: Your metabolism is fastest in your teens and then slows over time, decreasing by about 5% each decade after you reach the age of 40.
  • Sex: Men, in general, burn calories at a much faster rate than women. This is why they are recommended to have a higher daily caloric intake than women.
  • Lean Body Mass Proportion: The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will burn calories.
  • Genetics: some people inherit a physical make-up that just burns calories slower than others. Thyroid problems can also lead to a slower or faster metabolism rate.

It is pretty straight forward: you metabolism controls how fast your body burns calories. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that your metabolism actually controls your weight. A slower or faster metabolism rate shouldn’t matter all too much if you are consistently engaging in healthy eating habits and exercise. Maintaining a weight that is healthy for your body cancels out whether you have a fast or slow metabolism (excepting when there is a severe problem or genetic issue). So when you hear people talking about their weight can be boiled down to their metabolism alone, unfortunately that just isn’t true. The truth is, you and your habits control your level of physical fitness, and your metabolism plays a supporting role in helping you with the process. It is important to understand what your metabolism is and how it works, but ultimately healthy food and activity choices will make a big difference in your ability to enjoy life and maintain the physical fitness level you want.

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What role should fast food play in our lives?


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Junk food, fast food, processed food—whatever you choose to call it, it is everywhere. The proliferation of fast food across the globe has caused a sharp increase in obesity, particularly in the Western world, and according to the Australian government nearly 25% of Australian youth are considered overweight.

Whether or not fast food is good for us, it is omniscient and we are confronted by its smells and advertising daily. So how do we realistically approach the fast food leviathan in our daily lives? Here are a few ways to wrestle successfully with the junk food beast:

  • Don’t be too rigid: While fast food should in no way be a part of your daily diet, there is nothing wrong with indulging yourself every once in awhile. Whether it is to satisfy a craving or to save time when the family needs dinner at the end of a long, stressful day, give yourself the green light to stop at Hungry Jacks every once in awhile.  A healthy diet means balance and balance means it is ok to swing in the bad direction every once in awhile.
  • Plan you meals: Most people choose the fast food option because it is super convenient in our time-strapped world. One way to avoid falling into the pit of junk food is to plan your meals. Make a list every weekend of dinner’s you want to eat the following week—dinner’s that are healthy and balanced. Take the weekend to then shop for your supplies so that you are prepared during the week. An added benefit planning healthy dinners is that they can turn into healthy lunches the next day.
  • Exercise: What does exercise have to do with the role of fast food in your life? A lot, actually. Exercise requires you to be more conscious about what you put into your body. If you exercise, you will need to build healthier eating habits, and you may find that you aren’t so interested in processed foods. Exercise also keeps you healthy and in shape for when you do have your occasional junk food slip up.

Fast food should play a minor role in your life, but not best supporting actor—more like one of the names that flashes up on the credits at the end of the film. You don’t have to be dogmatic about avoiding fast food, but if you are conscious about what you eat and work to build healthy eating and exercise habits, then junk food will naturally be relegated to its proper place—movie nights and stress overloaded days.

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What Is the Thyroid and How Does It Affect Our Weight?


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You have probably heard of the thyroid, but do you know how it affects your health? More specifically, do you understand how it controls your weight? Let’s take a closer look at what the thyroid is and exactly how it contribute to weight fluctuations in order to better understand the way our bodies regulate weight gain and loss.

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid is the largest endocrine gland and it is located in the bottom of your neck. The thyroid regulates the speed with which your body makes proteins and uses energy. It also controls how your body interacts with hormones. The thyroid gland controls most of the metabolic processes in the body and it is therefore a crucial component of both your physiological and psychological health.

Thyroid disorders

You thyroid controls your metabolism, so when it is functioning properly, all of your metabolic processes are regular and normal, and this includes your ability to gain and lose weight. However, there are a number of thyroid disorders that can contribute to weight problems. These include:

· Hyperthyroidism: Hyperthyroidism is when your thyroid over produces thyroid hormones. This encompasses a broad range of disorders, from Graves disease to subacute thyroiditis. In terms of weight gain and loss, hyperthyroidism makes it extremely difficult to gain weight because the system is overactive, and this can cause moodiness, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, and an overproduction of sweat.

· Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is the opposite of hyperthyroidism-it is the underproduction of thyroid hormones. An underactive thyroid makes it very difficult to lose weight and can lead to heightened levels of cholesterol and increase your risk of heart attack.

· Thyroid cancer: The thyroid can be affected by cancer and this can also wreak havoc on your body’s metabolic systems and ultimately be fatal.

As evidenced above, struggling with being overweight or underweight can be a hallmark symptom of a thyroid disorder. If you have tried all other options for weight loss or gain, such as a healthy diet and normal exercise, it might be a good idea to visit your doctor and have your thyroid checked. Thyroid disorders are very treatable-they can be helped with surgery, medication, or radiation. Doctor’s will check a patient’s blood work for thyroid hormone levels and then determine the best course of action for treatment.

Understanding the fact that your thyroid plays a major role in your weight management can save you the stress of long hours at the gym or crash diets that don’t seem to work. If your thyroid causes you to gain weight, then exercise and diet won’t fix the problem. If you suspect that your weight problems are due to a thyroid issue, don’t delay-visit the doctor as soon as possible.

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About Liver Disease


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Liver disease is an umbrella term for the wide-ranging number of disorders that can affect the liver. Hepatitis, Cirrhosis, Cancer, and Gilbert’s syndrome are just a few of the diseases that can hinder your liver’s ability to properly process and regulate the toxins in your body. Liver problems are often hereditary, but they can also occur as a result of viruses and chemicals over a long period of time. Liver problems can be temporary or permanent depending on the ailment.

The liver’s main function is detoxification of the blood and protein synthesis. It is a vital organ as it is responsible for cleansing toxins. Skin discoloration, abdominal swelling, nausea, dark or bloody urine, and fatigue are all signs that something is wrong with the liver and indicate that it is not processing the toxins in your body as it should. Here are some of the risk factors that contribute to the development of these symptoms and the liver diseases that they indicate:

· Smoking: The toxins produced by smoking tobacco make your liver work overtime.

· Excessive alcohol consumption: Similar to tobacco smoke, the liver must cleanse your blood form high alcohol contents, and over time this can damage your liver and impede your body’s ability to cleanse toxins.

· Intravenous drug use: Intravenous drug use both infuses your body with toxins and heightens your risk for contracting liver damaging diseases like hepatitis.

· Tattoos: Tattoos that are done with needles that are not properly cleaned can lead to the same problems as intravenous drug use.

· Unprotected sex: not practicing safe sex can also lead to contracting hepatitis.

· Exposure to chemicals and toxins: Chemicals and toxins can invade your body over time, especially if you work in the mining industry or used to work with products that contained led.

As you can see, aside from regular health problems, liver disease risk factors run the gamut of unhealthy habits related to sex, drugs and alcohol. Staying away from addictive behaviors and unhealthy habits will decrease your chances of developing liver disease and help you to keep your body’s system of regulating and cleansing toxins in order so that you can enjoy a higher quality of life. You can’t control your biological predisposition to contracting liver disease, but you can control the habits that facilitate you consciously putting liver damaging toxins into your body. You only have one liver, and it is important that you treat it well.

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Hypnosis As Weight Loss Management


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There are a plethora of weight loss management methods, but one that you might not know much about is hypnosis. There are many negative stereotypes surrounding hypnosis: that it is mind-control, a magic trance, or that is simply hodge-podge that doesn’t work. However, hypnosis is a genuine therapeutic practice that can be used to treat many mental health disorders and various addictions. Let’s take a brief look at what hypnosis is and then discuss how you can use it as weight loss management.

Hypnosis is a mental state of absorption and heightened focus that is brought on by hypnotic induction, which is a long series of questions and instructions given by a hypnotherapist. Hypnosis allows people to be more aware of their thoughts and feelings and gives them the ability to re-focus their habits and actions. It is not a form of sleep-walking or magic, contrary to the pervasive depictions in popular culture.

Hypnosis has become a popular method for weight loss management, particularly because it is so centered on re-shaping habits. Many hypnotists who help their patients lose weight use a two-fold process:

1. Understanding: The hypnotists first gets the patient to understand his or her behavior. For example, the hypnotist gets their patient to understand that they are overeating and the ways in which they are doing it. They also help patients identify the underlying reasons for their overeating: depression? Child abuse? There are many factors that play a role in excessive weight gain.

2. Suggestions: Once the hypnotists and patient have processed the habits and the underlying reasons for their formation, the hypnotist then uses hypnotic induction to suggest new habits. The hypnotist suggests that the patient, deeply ensconced in a state of heightened focus and awareness, change the way that they eat, replacing cakes with carrots and so forth. These suggestions become the basis for the foundation of new eating habits by the patient.

The steps above are just one way that hypnotists use to help their patients lose weight, but they provide a good example of how hypnotherapy identifies root causes and then re-shapes bad habits and behavior. Overeating is a bad habit, and unless you can get your habit under control, or create a new and healthier one, no amount of exercising and crash dieting can help you lose weight. Creating healthy eating habits in combination with exercise and implementing healthy eating practices is what leads you to health and fitness. Hypnotherapy can help you with weight loss management because it teaches you to take control of your actions and reinforces positive behaviors and habit creation.

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