5 Daylight Saving Time Mistakes You Make Every Single Year

By Marygrace Taylor

Daylight saving time is right around the corner. And once again, your news feed is flooded with stories about how the annual time change is bad for your health.

We know. One measly hour of missed sleep might not seem like a big deal. But if you’re like most people, you probably turn your clocks forward without giving it much thought—only to end up feeling surprisingly crummy for days afterwards.

Why? Because daylight is your brain’s signal to stop pumping out melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy. When the sun is up for longer, your natural sleep-wake cycle can get thrown off track. As a result, you might suddenly find yourself having trouble falling asleep at night and staying awake during the day.

Which, no surprise, can spell some potentially serious consequences. So let this be the year where you plan ahead, so you don’t feel like a zombie all week. Here are 5 common pitfalls you always make after DST, and how to correct course. (Lose up to 25 pounds in 2 months—and look more radiant than ever—with Prevention‘s new Younger In 8 Weeks plan!)

You drive around like it’s any other day.

Humanity’s collective grogginess means that there’s an uptick in fatal car accidents during the first week of daylight saving time, according to one University of Colorado study. That’s scary stuff, so make sure you’re paying full attention when you’re behind the wheel—absolutely no texting or multitasking. If you’re too zonked to drive carefully, get a ride with someone else. (Can’t sleep? Here’s what 7 sleep experts do when they can’t doze off.)

You overload your schedule at work.
Workplace “cyberloafing” (AKA, spending too much time on Facebook or adding new jeans to your virtual shopping cart) tends to spike in the days after DST, research shows. Why? Your brain just can’t function as well when you’re pooped. It would be nice if your boss gave everyone the day off—but since that’s probably magical thinking, be proactive by keeping Monday’s calendar light. That way, at least you’re not zoned out when you should be finalizing the details of that important project.

You skip your usual yoga class.

Everything is more irritating when you’re running short on sleep. In fact, people produce around 5% more of the stress hormone cortisol when the sunrise gets pushed back by an hour. And that extra stress doesn’t just make you snappy—Swedish findings suggest that it actually ups your odds for having a heart attack. Moral of the story? Don’t let your stress management tactics slide when the clocks move forward. Now’s when you really need them. (If you’re short on time, try these one-minute stress tips from Prevention Premium.)
You don’t plan out your meals.

Sleep deprivation and stress are proven diet wreckers. So if you suddenly find yourself craving a burger and fries or a hot fudge sundae, well, that’s sort of normal. But if you’re smart, it’s entirely possible to stay on track. (Try these 7 meal-prep tricks nutritionists swear by.) Figure out your weekly menu ahead of time and stock up on ingredients, so you have the makings of a clean meal on hand.

You don’t take advantage of the extra daylight.

If you don’t usually leave work until 6 PM or later, this might be the first time in months that you’ve walked into your home while the sun was still shining. So why are you continuing to hole up on the couch and watch Netflix all night long? If you aren’t eating dinner outside, taking a post-dinner stroll, or just hanging out on the porch while you chat with your neighbors (even while wearing your winter coat, if necessary), you’re doing spring wrong.

Source: Prevention | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

5 Brain-Healthy, Mood-Boosting Drinks

By Dominique Astorino

While there’s no definitive cure-all for anxiety and depression, holistic health can play a role in your healing and mood management. Try adding these hot wellness elixirs to your day to reap the natural, mood-boosting, calming benefits from teas, spices, roots, and more. Plus, it’s known that hot drinks are calming and soothing, and can even further aid in your happy, relaxed feelings.

Pink Latte

Love beets? Try a pink latte. Beetroot has tyrosine and the amino acid betaine, which can increase your dopamine levels, in turn improving your mood. This hot vegan latte is subtly sweet and rich in brain-healthy nutrients.

Get the recipe:pink beet latte

ACV Brew

In addition to boosting your metabolism, apple cider vinegar might relax you and soothe your anxiety. ACV can help release tryptophan, which can help with better sleep and a more peaceful mood. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin, which regulates mood and can reduce irritability. If you’re feeling lethargic and looking for a little more energy, ACV can help in that department, too.

Get the recipe:apple cider vinegar brew

Bulletproof Coffee

While drinking coffee for anxiety might seem counterintuitive, the benefit here is the mood-boosting omega-3s. Grass-fed butter — a key ingredient in Bulletproof coffee — is way higher in this uplifting compound than regular butter, giving you all the anti-depressant benefits in your morning cup of joe. If you have anxiety, make sure you drink a glass of water before and after your coffee.

Get the recipe:Bulletproof coffee

Matcha and Green Tea Lattes

Green tea promotes a feeling of tranquility, and matcha in particular is an adaptogen that can give you energy without the anxious jitters. In fact, it can leave you feeling more calm, despite the boost in alertness.

Get the recipe:matcha latte

Golden Milk

We know that golden milk is an anti-depressant, weight-loss wonder thanks to powerful turmeric. Whip up a soothing concoction to calm down, uplift your mood, and alleviate any swelling, bloating, or joint pain.

Get the recipe: golden milk

Get the recipe: iced golden milk

Source: Popsugar | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

The Single Biggest Thing You Can Do For A Healthier Gut

By Sarah Schenck

Two thousand years ago, Hippocrates is said to have noted, “All disease begins in the gut.” As I see it, he was right: Our intestines contain trillions of microbes of many species that metabolize food and make vitamins accessible to us. Adding up to about 4 pounds of body weight, these good bugs protect us against “bad” microbes like tetanus and E. coli, the culprit behind traveler’s diarrhea. They are central to our health.

“Probably one of the most important services your microbes provide is immunity,” says Martin Blaser, director of the Human Microbiome Program at NYU Medical Center and chair of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. But for decades, researchers say, we’ve been inadvertently annihilating microbes through various behaviors: excessive use of antibiotics, scrubbing ourselves with antibacterial soap, and more. The microbes that live inside us amount to a vast community, Blaser explains, and when its balance is disrupted, the bad guys can flourish.

What can we do to support our beneficial bacteria? The single quickest way to change gut microbes for the better is to be selective about the foods we eat. Certified organic, high-fiber, and fermented ingredients show promise in helping to bolster gut health. But so does plenty of exposure to dirt, like you get through gardening. Conversely, processed foods and products like hand sanitizers include chemicals that harm good bacteria.

1. Eat organic.
In her book The Dirt Cure, pediatric neurologist Maya Shetreat-Klein claims that veggies grown in healthy soil move some of the dirt’s diverse microbes into our bodies, promoting health. As for meat, Blaser writes in Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plague, “Seventy to 80% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used for the single purpose of fattening up farm animals.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) links these doses to the spread of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, which it calls “an important problem for human health.” Certified organic meat is antibiotic-free (here are 7 ways to eat organic meat on a budget). 

2. Go whole grain.
High-fiber, whole-plant foods are rich in oligosaccharides, the complex carbohydrates that microorganisms eat, write nutritionists Gene and Monica Spiller in their book What’s With Fiber? These so-called prebiotics, the Spillers say, make whole grains like quinoa and buckwheat, a bowl of morning oatmeal, and whole wheat pasta and brown rice better for fostering the growth of beneficial microbes than refined grains such as white flour. The USDA recommends an intake of 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories consumed. Try supplementing your diet with whole wheat bread (which contains 3 grams of fiber per slice) and high-fiber snacks, such as raw apples (3.5 grams). (Check out this list of the 11 healthiest whole grains you can eat.)

3. Embrace fermented foods.
With an ingredients list that includes live active cultures, yogurt provides billions of microbes per serving. Although some experts aren’t yet convinced, Gary Huffnagle, professor of internal medicine, microbiology, and immunology at the University of Michigan’s Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Center, says that fermented foods containing live cultures—including unpasteurized kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, and pickles—help replenish and protect good gut microbes. Find them in the refrigerated section of your grocery or make your own (here’s how to make your own sauerkraut in a jar).

4. Avoid artificial sweeteners.
According to Andrew Gewirtz of the Center for Inflammation, Immunity, and Infection at Georgia State University, chemicals in these products crowd out good bacteria and may predispose you to diabetes and other obesity-related diseases.

5. Steer clear of commercial emulsifiers.
Many processed ice creams, puddings, salad dressings, and other foods gain their smooth, dense consistency from polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose (CMC). These chemicals, which you won’t find in organic products, disrupt our gut microbes, creating inflammation, says Gewirtz. He cites them as culprits in the surge in metabolic syndrome—a group of heart-disease risk factors, such as high blood-pressure and blood-sugar levels. (Lower your blood pressure naturally with these 8 simple strategies.)

6. Be judicious with antibiotics.
The statistics track together: In the past 50 years, rates of obesity have gone up 200%, diabetes has increased sevenfold, and asthma rates have skyrocketed by 250%; in just the last decade, peanut allergies have tripled. Blaser makes a compelling case that carpet-bombing good microbes with antibiotics has contributed to the rise in these conditions. The CDC reports that one-third of all antibiotic prescriptions are prescribed for viruses, which don’t respond to them. If you or your kids get sick, the CDC recommends “watchful waiting” before dosing: Ask your doctor if you can hold off for a few days to see if the infection dissipates on its own without antibiotics.

7. Get dirty.
Studies done in Switzerland in the 1990s and more recently with Indiana’s Amish community suggest that kids growing up on small farms in close proximity to naturally raised livestock have a lower incidence of allergies and asthma, perhaps because the animals diversify human microbes. Research suggests that pets provide similar benefits. So might organic gardening, suggests Shetreat-Klein.

8. Wash with soap and water.
When you’re finished eating, don’t clean up with hand sanitizers or any products containing triclosan. This antimicrobial substance, also found in some toothpastes, is associated with a sensitization to airborne and food-related allergens (these 7 natural toothpastes work just as well as the stuff with chemicals).

9. Stay tuned.
The microbiome is the subject of ongoing research: Dozens of clinical trials and studies are investigating the relationship between our microbes and illnesses. At the University of Michigan, Huffnagle’s studies have shown the dramatic effect that microbes have on the immune system in animals and humans. Rob Knight of the University of California at San Diego has cofounded American Gut, the world’s largest crowd-sourced research project, through which you can have your own microbiome analyzed for a small fee. And, unsettling as it might sound, Fecal Microbiota Transplants (essentially, poop transplants, which are FDA-regulated for some antibiotic-resistant infections) are 90% effective in combating bacteria and repopulating the gut with beneficial microbes.

Source: Prevention | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Why It’s So Hard to Stop Eating Sweets & Your 4 Step Plan for Killing Sugar Cravings

By Marygrace Taylor

If you have a tough time resisting those cookies on the conference table, you’re not alone. While the American Heart Association recommends women have no more than six teaspoons (100 calories) of added sugar per day in their diets, the Centers for Disease Control reports that the average woman consumes closer to 239 calories per day in added sugar.

While it’s tempting to blame your dessert habit on the simple fact that sweet foods taste delicious, there are far more physiological, mental, and even emotional factors that send us searching for sweetness. Consider the following:

1. YOUR HORMONES LOVE SUGAR.

When you’re hungry, gut hormones like glucagon-like peptide, ghrelin, and insulin basically beg you to acquire energy from food. “These hormones are secreted by your stomach and bowels and send signals to your brain that control your hunger, cravings, and how full you feel after a meal,” says Michael Russo, M.D., a general and bariatric surgeon at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center.

Sugars like glucose and fructose are like gasoline—they burn up fast to give you a burst of energy. If you eat too much sugar, you become accustomed to these quick hits of energy, and you just want more and more.

Your move: Build your meals and snacks around slower-digesting fuel sources like proteins. “If eating sweets is like throwing newspaper on the fire, protein is like a log,” Russo says. Your hormones will then send signals to your brain to help you feel more satisfied with the amount and type of food you’re eating. This leads to fewer cravings for the quick-burning sweets. Try these 6 Muscle-Building Snacks You Can Make With Protein Powder.

2. YOUR BRAIN IS PROGRAMMED TO USE GLUCOSE AS FUEL.

The brain uses glucose for fuel 95 percent of the time. The other 5 percent comes from glutamine, an amino acid, says Craig Koniver, M.D., of Primary Plus Organic Medicine in Charleston, SC. You might crave sugar because your brain is low on glucose, spurring a biological drive to acquire more.

Your move: We can actually “trick” our brains by eating glutamine instead of eating something sweet, says Koniver, who recommends taking a 500-milligram glutamine supplement capsule. Here’s how he explains it to his patients: “When they feel a sugar craving coming on, I tell them to open the capsule and pour the powder underneath their tongue where it will be taken directly into the blood stream.” As with any supplement, check with your doctor first before taking the plunge. (Hit the reset button—and burn fat like crazy with The Body Clock Diet!)

3. YOU USE SWEETS AS AN EMOTIONAL CRUTCH

It isn’t your imagination—that chocolate bar really is making you forget about your troubles. “Sweets produce a hedonic response in the hypothalamus that activates the dopamine reward system,” says Barry Sears, Ph.D., president of the Inflammation Research Foundation. “The increase in dopamine can address emotional pain.”

Alcohol and drugs activate the same dopamine reward system, which is why some people abuse them, he says. A recent study even showed participants who were randomly assigned to a painful experience and who were then offered a choice of two foods (cheesecake and a non-sweet food) chose the cake more often than participants who did not experience pain.

Your move: Learn how to eat proactively, not reactively, says Dan DeFigio, an ACE-certified personal trainer and director of Basics and Beyond Fitness & Nutrition. DeFigio suggests using planning sheets to organize your eating schedule for the next day or even for the whole week (printable meal-planning templates are free and available online). When you have your meals planned out, you’re more likely to stay on target and resist the urge to grab fast, prepackaged foods, many of which contain lots of sugar.

4. CHILDHOOD PATTERNS ARE HARD TO BREAK

If you were rewarded with sweets as a child, or if sweets were withheld as a form of punishment, you may have grown up associating “forbidden sweets” with pleasure, says clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manly, Ph.D. “To further complicate matters, the brain comes to associate sweets with comfort, nurturing, and love,” Manly says. “On a neurobiological level, feel-good neurochemicals are released once the ‘treat’ is obtained and this loop further reinforces the ‘craving, eating, and reward’ cycle.”

Your move: Begin to replace food rewards with healthy, but equally pleasurable ones, such as an after-workout massage. Take notice of when sugar cravings kick in, and then distract and disarm them by doing something else. For example, when a bad mood strikes, lace up your sneakers. In a study from Bowling Green State University, people who jogged at whatever intensity they liked for 15 minutes boosted their mood. And as a bonus, they ended up running harder than they thought they did.

Source: Women’s Health Mag | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Cardio vs. Weights: Which is actually better for weight loss?

By Selene Yeager

For decades, conventional wisdom (and Jane Fonda) said cardio was the best exercise for weight loss.

Then strength training muscled its way into the spotlight as the must-do move for revving your metabolism and losing weight in your sleep, prompting many exercise enthusiasts to join #TeamNoCardio.
So a few years ago, Duke University researchers took to the lab and conducted the largest study of its kind to compare the two and get an answer once and for all.
After 8 months of tracking 119 overweight and previously sedentary volunteers while they performed resistance training, aerobic exercise, or a combination of the two, the clear winner was … aerobic exercise. By a lot.
The cardio group lost about 4 pounds while their resistance training peers gained two. Yes, the weight gain was attributed to added lean mass.
However, that muscle mass didn’t lead to any meaningful fat loss over the course of the study. In fact, the aerobics only group shed more than 3½ pounds of fat while the lifters didn’t lose a single pound despite the fact that they actually exercised 47 more minutes each week than the cardio group.
Not surprisingly, the cardio-plus-resistance group improved their body composition best — losing the most fat while adding some lean mass. But they also spent twice as much time in the gym.
It’s simple math, says study co-author Cris Slentz, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Duke University. “Minute per minute, cardio burns more calories, so it works best for reducing fat mass and body mass.”
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t lift weights, especially as you get older and start losing muscle mass, he notes. “Resistance training is important for maintaining lean body mass, strength and function, and being functionally fit is important for daily living no matter what your size.”
For the biggest fitness gain/weight loss bang for your exercise buck, combine the two, doing your strength training first and finishing off with your cardio. An American Council on Exercise study on exercise sequencing found that your heart rate is higher — by about 12 beats per minute — during your cardio bout when you’ve lifted weights beforehand.
That means more calories burned.
It’s also important to remember one essential fact about exercise and weight loss, says Slentz. “Exercise by itself will not lead to big weight loss. What and how much you eat has a far greater impact on how much weight you lose,” he says.
That’s because it’s far easier to take in less energy (calories) than it is to burn significant amounts and it’s very easy to cancel out the few hundred calories you’ve burned working out with just one snack.
Where exercise appears to matter most is for preventing weight gain, or for keeping off pounds once you’ve lost weight, says Slentz. “Exercise seems to work best for body weight control,” he says.
The National Weight Control Registry, which since 1994 has tracked more than 10,000 people who shed an average of 66 pounds and kept it off for at least five years, would agree.
Ninety percent of successful weight loss maintainers exercise for about an hour a day and their activity of choice is cardio, simply walking.
Source: CNN | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

7 of the Best Foods to Fight Inflammation

By Alle Weil

Whether it’s aches and pains, stiffness, headaches, indigestion, stomachaches, yeast imbalances, viruses, low energy, weight gain, or free-radical damage, it often goes back to two things: acidity and inflammation.

To understand how acidity plays a role in producing bodily inflammation, you first have to understand pH, or the measure of a solution’s acidity or alkalinity from 0 to 14, 0 being the most acidic, and 14 being the most alkaline. Our bodies need a very specific pH balance to function and maintain homeostasis. Even slight changes to the pH of our blood, for instance, can be extremely problematic.

Our grocery stores and diets are overrun with highly acidic foods. Caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, sugars, refined flours, pasteurized dairy, and animal protein are all highly acidic forming in the body, and if you are eating these on a regular basis, chances are you may experience at least some sort of chronic symptom of inflammation. Even natural processes of the body produce acidic byproducts. Stress also contributes greatly to an acidic environment.

So what can we do? How do we reverse the effects of these highly acidic foods and actions? Just as food plays a role in producing an acidic environment, it can be transformative and healing to the body, reducing inflammation and creating an environment that supports health.

The goal should be to consume 80 percent alkaline foods and 20 percent acidic foods. Not all acidic foods are unhealthy necessarily; however, extremely acidic foods like those stated above should be greatly minimized. Fresh fruits and vegetables that have been lightly seasoned and cooked should be the focus of your diet.

Below is a list of some of the most anti-inflammatory foods your should be adding to your diet daily to restore alkalinity and relieve inflammation. Fight inflammation in the kitchen, not the pharmacy, with:

Green Leafy Vegetables

Leafy greens are full of nutrition, loaded with alkalizing minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids. Load up on kale, chard, spinach, lettuces, bok choy, etc, daily. In addition, fruits and vegetables in general should make up most of your plate at every meal.

Turmeric

This South Asian rhizome has long been used and prized for its anti-inflammatory properties. Today, you can find it just about anywhere — in juices and smoothies to supplements and teas. The main compound responsible for its anti-inflammatory benefits, curcumin, has been used to fight simple colds and flus, Alzheimer’s disease, liver damage, prevent cancer, and of course relieve inflammation.

Fish Oils

By now most of us know the importance of omega-3 fatty acids and their role in relieving inflammation. The best source for these fatty acids is fish; however, some sources are better than others. Top of the food chain, large ocean fish can contain high levels of mercury and other heavy metals. Stick to wild salmon, or smaller, oilier fish such as sardines and anchovies. Fish oils can also be taken as a supplement. I recommend taking fermented cod liver oil. In addition to omega 3 fatty acids, it also supplies necessary D and A vitamins in a more bioavailable form.

Berries

Berries in general are lower in sugar than most fruit and contain large quantities in inflammation-reducing antioxidants. Blueberries and dark-colored berries especially, due to their high levels of the antioxidant quercetin, and are especially anti-inflammatory.

Walnuts

Walnuts are not only an excellent source of protein, they are also a source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin E. Consuming walnuts regularly may help to support brain health and function and reduce inflammation throughout the body.

Bone Broth

There is plenty of reason to get behind bone broth. Full of core and essential nutrients and alkalizing vitamins and minerals, bone broth supplies a healthy dose of easily assimilated nutrients from calcium, magnesium, silicon, and phosphorus, as well as collagen, hyaluronic acid, protein, and connective tissues to aid in reducing inflammation and supporting the joints, skin, and bones.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a highly anti-inflammatory fat that is made up of mostly MCFAs, or medium-chain fatty acids, which are easier to digest and not readily stored as fat. In addition, coconut oil contains antimicrobial and antifungal properties from caprylic, lauric, and capric acids, aiding in reducing inflammation, lowering high blood pressure, improving energy, and boosting the immune system.

Source: Popsugar | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Do You Really Need To Finish All Your Antibiotics?

 

By Elizabeth Millard

It’s a health guideline as ingrained as covering your mouth when you cough or washing your hands after going to the bathroom: When you’re taking antibiotics, you need to finish the whole pack—even if you don’t have symptoms any longer.

Doctors give this advice because the conventional wisdom is that stopping too soon can lead to antibiotic resistance. If you don’t completely wipe out the bugs, your condition can re-emerge worse than before, and you’ll have to take even more antibiotics to combat it.

But some experts are pushing back on that advice.

In a recent report about antibiotic awareness campaigns prepared for the World Health Organization, researchers note that an argument can be made for stopping antibiotics when the signs and symptoms of an infection has disappeared—even if you still have some pills left to take.

Continuing antibiotics through the full course of pills can put you at higher risk for developing an allergic reaction, kidney damage, blood cell damage, or liver problems, says Louis Rice, MD, chairman of the department of medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University.

Exposure to antibiotics is what drives bacteria to become resistant, Rice says. When you keep taking the drugs unnecessarily—say, if your infection is already take care of— it gives bacteria more time to learn how to evade the drugs. And that sets you up for antibiotic resistance in the future.

“The longer an antibiotic is given, the more likely that the resistant bug will predominate, primarily in the gastrointestinal tract and the skin,” says Dr. Rice.

When that happens, the resistant bug is more likely to spread, especially in hospitals where there are other people who are on antibiotics and may have compromised immune systems.

But that doesn’t mean you should ditch your meds as soon as you feel better, he emphasizes. There are some infections—like strep throat, Legionnaires disease, and tuberculosis—that need the full course of antibiotics to be knocked out. (Here are 9 reasons your throat hurts.)

For others, though, Dr. Rice recommends talking to your doctor. “Generally, if you feel better, it suggests that your immune system has gotten the infection under control,” he says. “There is no one size fits all here.”

Source: Prevention | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

How To Lose Weight Fast Without Crash Dieting

By K. Aleisha Fetters

Crash diets are the freaking worst. While you might be motivated to lose weight fast, by day four of whatever bananas diet you’re on (hopefully not literally a diet of bananas), looking puffy sounds a lot more appealing than 24 more hours of chicken breast and spinach.

Because we care, we’re here to offer you a much easier, healthier, and saner plan of attack that will actually help you learn how to lose weight fast—the healthy way. No juice cleanses, no hot dogs and a cup of broccoli (seriously, this exists), and no hunger-induced dreams featuring you naked in a kiddie pool full of guac.

Preserve your muscle and your sanity by jump-starting your weight loss results with these eight easy strategies that will set you up for years of healthy living.

1. Don’t eat any one food (except for veggies) more than once per day.
If you have toast at breakfast, choose another whole-grain carb like brown rice or quinoa for lunch and dinner. If you love to eat PB and J for a pre-workout snack, lay off the nuts the rest of the day. By limiting yourself to one portion of any single food, you automatically add a sort of fail-safe to your eating plan, says Rania Batayneh, MPH, author of The One One One Diet. Plus, even more importantly, this strategy adds a wider array of nutrients to each day—increasing your satiety and energy levels so you can crush your weight-loss efforts.

2. Eat legumes at least four times per week.
In one European Journal of Nutrition study, people who followed a low-cal diet that included four weekly servings of legumes lost significantly more weight after just four weeks compared to those who ate the same number of calories—but no legumes. The weight-loss turbocharge may come from legumes’ fiber and antioxidant compounds, since the researchers found that legume lovers had lower levels of inflammatory markers that are linked to obesity. Try adding chickpeas to your salad, cooking some lentils in the slow cooker, or mixing black beans into a Tex-Mex omelet.

3. Get 8.5 hours of sleep.
Yeah, you know your sleep affects your weight. But you probably don’t realize just how quickly that happens: One Annals of Internal Medicine study suggests two weeks is all it takes for your sleep to show up—one way or the other—around your waistline. In the study, men and women followed a calorie-controlled diet. After 14 days of sleeping either 5.5 or 8.5 hours each night, both groups lost about 6.5 pounds—but those who got the most sleep lost twice as much fat as the short sleepers did. (Repeat after us: No more dieting. Ever. Instead, learn how to eat clean—with zero deprivation!—and watch the pounds drop off, with Your Metabolism Makeover.)

4. Drink a liter of water for every 50 pounds you weigh.
While increasing your water intake is vital to preventing overeating, promoting healthy digestion, and keeping your metabolism in tip-top shape, when it comes to dropping weight quickly, water is also your greatest de-bloating ally, says San Diego-based trainer Kyle Brown, CSCS, who is best known for getting celebrities “cut” before photo shoots and red-carpet affairs. That’s because, when your cells are dehydrated, their first course of action is to cling to any fluid that’s in your system, contributing to all-over bloat. He recommends drinking a liter of water for every 50 pounds you weigh, per day. So if you weigh 175 pounds, it comes out to 3.5 liters of water. Sip consistently to prevent overloading your system all at once.

5. Cut back on processed foods and salt.
Another way to ditch excess water weight is to get your sodium and potassium levels in check, says Brown. To do that, he recommends cutting back on processed foods, which tend to be high in sodium, and nixing salt from whatever food is on your plate. Pair this low-salt strategy with plenty of potassium-rich foods like salmon, halibut, and spinach, and you’ll de-bloat over the course of the week, he says.

6. Do 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training.
To lose weight in record time, high-intensity interval training is your exercise strategy of choice. Minute-per-minute, it burns more calories than other workouts like steady-state cardio while also increasing the calories you burn 48 hours after your workout, says Taylor Gainor, CSCS, co-founder of LIT Method in Los Angeles. Plus, over the long term, interval training builds muscle, which is critical for keeping the weight off, says Brown. Your exercise prescription: Perform all-out effort of a given exercise (like burpees, squats, lunges, or pushups) for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds, and repeat until four minutes have passed. Rest one minute, then repeat for a total of four rounds, suggests research from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

7. Avoid pasta, cookies, and candy.
We realize this isn’t groundbreaking advice, but one of the easiest ways to debloat is to reduce your intake of simple, refined carbs. Some sources to watch out for include white pasta, cookies, crackers, and candy. While it goes without saying that the refined sugar in these foods can prevent weight loss over the long term, they can lead to significant water retention in the short term, says Gainor. You’ll be shocked how much weight you lose (even if it is water) within a week or two of cutting back on your regular sugar fix, he says.

8. Eat whole carbs, proteins, and fats every few hours.
Eating balanced meals and snacks, containing all three macronutrients your body needs, every few hours is key to energizing your bod for your workouts, preventing overeating (especially those simple carbs), and keeping your metabolism at peak speed, Batayneh says. Try toast, an egg, and avocado for breakfast, an apple with string cheese for a snack, and a spinach salad tossed with chicken and olive oil for lunch.

9. Eat a handful of nuts every day.
In one Penn State study, people who ate roughly a handful of almonds each day lost significantly more abdominal fat over the course of six weeks compared to those who followed a nut-less (heh) diet with the same number of calories. While this study looked at almond intake, other tree nuts like walnuts and pistachios have also been linked to improved health and weights, thanks to their healthy fat and protein content.

Source: Prevention | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Plantar Fasciitis: How To Spot, Treat And Prevent This Runner’s Nightmare

By Nick Harris-Fry

A couple of months into your marathon training plan the chances are you’re doing more running than you’ve ever done before in your life. This brings with it all manner of benefits – you’ll be fitter, leaner, likely a bit smugger – but also the risk of injury.

One of the worst injuries a runner can pick up is plantar fasciitis, which can cost you weeks of training time or ruin your race entirely.

To help ensure that doesn’t happen, we enlisted Tim Wright, sports physiotherapist and the creator of Virgin Active’s new Beyond Movement service, for advice on diagnosing, treating and preventing plantar fasciitis.

What is plantar fasciitis?

“Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury caused by repetitive over-stretching of the plantar fascia – the thick band of tissue that runs under the foot, forming the arch,” says Wright.

“This leads to possible inflammation and thickening of this tissue. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain but can be commonly confused with a diagnosis of achilles tendinitis.”

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

Pain. Horrible, horrible pain that makes you gasp when you step out of bed in the morning, as Wright explains.

“Symptoms of plantar fasciitis consist of a gradual onset of pain under the heel which may radiate forwards into the foot’s arch. There may be tenderness in the sole of your foot and on the inside of your heel when pressing in. It can make it difficult to fully bear your weight or walk.

“This can range from slightly uncomfortable to very painful, depending on how badly it is damaged.”

The pain tends to be particularly bad in the morning, easing slightly throughout the day.

“It’s usually worse first thing in the morning because the foot has been in a relaxed position all night and the plantar fascia temporarily shortens. Walking around usually helps ease the pain as the tissues warm up and gradually stretch out. Moving after a period of inactivity can also trigger the pain.”

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Like most common running injuries, including shin splints and runner’s knee, plantar fasciitis is most likely to rear its ugly head when you suddenly increase the amount of activity you do, such as with a marathon training plan.

“Through overuse, the plantar fascia can become inflamed and painful at its attachment to the heel bone,” says Wright.

“Most commonly the inflammation is due to poor core stability and tight muscles in the foot and legs (particularly the achilles, calf and hamstrings), resulting in a biomechanical imbalance, particularly in the lower legs.

“It is more common in sports that involve running or jumping. Although overuse is ultimately the cause of injury, there are a number of factors which can increase the likelihood of developing it including overpronation (excessive rolling of the foot upon landing), a high arched foot, tight calf muscles, poor footwear, being overweight and previous injury of the lower legs.”

How do you treat plantar fasciitis?

Although it’s annoying to miss out on training days, you’ll have little trouble convincing yourself to get some vital rest if you suffer plantar fasciitis, because it makes running very painful. Stretching exercises (see below for five plantar fascia stretches) and taping can help ease the pain.

“According to research, a plantar fascia stretching programme produces significant improvements in pain, movement and increased physical activity,” says Wright.

How do you avoid plantar fasciitis?

Injuries like plantar fasciitis are one of the reasons it’s important to do more than running when you’re training for a marathon. Strength training that targets the muscles in your lower body and improving your flexibility will help you avoid it.

“Focusing on flexibility of the lower legs and strengthening leg and hip muscles helps,” says Wright. “Frequent sports massages can help as well, along with not carrying excessive weight.

“Having a biomechanical screen with a chartered physiotherapist or registered podiatrist will also help you avoid the injury.”

How much of a difference can the right shoes or insoles make to plantar fasciitis?

Wearing the appropriate gear can help a huge amount when it comes to avoiding the perils of plantar fasciitis. If you are having real issues with the injury, it’s wise to get advice on footwear from an expert.

“It’s worth trying taping first, and then slowly introducing an orthotic and insole gel is the next thing that’s recommended,” says Wright. “It’s best to seek professional help here from a physiotherapist or podiatrist.”

How long will plantar fasciitis stop you from running for?

IT’S VITAL TO REST WHEN YOU FIRST FEEL THE PAIN

One reason plantar fasciitis is such a brutal injury is the way it can linger for weeks or months, ready to strike you down the moment you think you’re finally clear. It’s vital to rest when you first feel the pain, because it can rule you out for as much as a year if you exacerbate the injury.

“It’s very important not to let the condition become chronic, because then it’s much harder to resolve and can be stubborn – sometimes it can take six to 12 months to fully resolve,” says Wright.

Five stretches to prevent and treat plantar fasciitis

Anyone who’s ever had the misfortune to suffer plantar fasciitis will know that you’re willing to try anything to ease the pain. These five foot stretches from Arthritis Research UK, created in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Physiotherapy, are a great place to start.

1. Achilles tendon and plantar fascia stretch

Loop a towel around the ball of your foot and use it to pull your toes towards your body, keeping your knee straight. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat three times on each foot.

2. Plantar fascia stretch

Sit down and rest the arch of your foot on a round object (try a can of beans). Roll the arch in all directions for a few minutes. Repeat at least twice daily.

3. Towel pick-up

Sit on a chair with a towel on the floor in front of you. Keeping your heel on the ground, pick up the towel by scrunching it between your toes. Repeat ten to 20 times. Once you master this, try adding a small weight to the towel.

4. Seated plantar fascia stretch

Sit down and bring one foot up and over your other knee. Grab the base of your toes and pull them back towards your body until you feel a comfortable stretch. Hold for 15-20 seconds. Repeat three times.

5. Wall push

Facing a wall, put both hands on it at shoulder height and place one foot in front of the other. The front foot should be approximately 30cm from the wall. With your front knee bent and back knee straight, bend the front knee towards the wall until the calf in your back leg feels tight. Relax and repeat ten times on each side.

Repeat this stretch but bring the back foot forward a little so that the back knee is slightly bent. Repeat ten times on each side.

Source: Coach Mag | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Tips to keep feet in tip-top shape while traveling

By Angela Davis

When we travel or go on holiday, we tend to experience foot problems due to sitting through long flights, prolonged standing, and walking more than usual. Many of us buy new shoes when travelling, shoes probably chosen for its design rather than function, and our feet have not adjusted to them.

Here are a few tips on how to take care of your feet when travelling to ensure that you have a comfortable arrival and vacation.

1. When on a long haul flight, we often sit in the same position for a long period of time. This can lead to a deep- vein thrombosis, which is a clot or thrombus that forms in the deep veins of the leg. When sitting with the legs flexed at the knee, blood can pool in the deep veins and this is what can lead to a clot. This is a dangerous condition that can be life-threatening. To minimise your risk on a flight:

  • Walk up and down the aisle regularly
  • Wear compression stockings or flight socks
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Exercise your feet and stretch regularly while seated

2. Blisters and sore feet are common problems when on vacation. Think carefully about the shoes you are going to need. If you are planning on doing a lot of walking, make sure you have cushioned, spacious, supportive walking shoes. Try to have more than one pair so that they can be alternated from day to day. Also, try to avoid brand new, unworn shoes, as you may discover they rub or don’t fit properly.

3. Be aware of any injuries. Taking care of your feet means being alert to any potential problems and treating them, rather than allowing them to worsen.

Carry a small first aid kit that contains bandages and a means of cleaning wounds. Don’t put off seeking medical attention if you need it.

3. Eat healthily. Don’t eat too many salty foods. Be aware that new foods or excess of certain foods, like a lot of red meat, shellfish, rich sauces, and excessive alcohol, can lead to gout.

4. Getting swollen feet while travelling is a very common condition. Due to restricted movement, blood flow within the legs slows down so that it neither gets to or from these limbs at the normal pace. This leads to fluid accumulation around the ankles.

To relieve swollen ankles after a flight, elevate your feet above heart level for half an hour, three times daily. Move your feet around regularly as a lack of movement can cause the blood and fluid to stagnate. You can also ‘ice’ the affected area with a cold pack or ice wrapped in a towel for 10-15 minutes. This works by constricting blood vessels, which shrinks the swelling.

Keeping your feet in great condition while traveling will help you to enjoy your trip and ensure that foot pain does not hold you back.

Source: Jamaica Observer | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide