How a Healthy Diet Can Do More than Slim You Down

by Head Health Nutter on August 30, 2014

Want a few more reasons to choose healthy foods over processed junk that appears to be food? Keep reading today’s guest post by Anita for several very good reasons to maintain healthy choices in food EVERY DAY (a.k.a. the REAL meaning of “diet”). 

Whether you have a high metabolism or you’ve spent the better part of your summer working off some extra weight, being thin doesn’t mean you get to eat whatever you want. Your diet affects more than the numbers on your scale; it also affects your energy and stress levels, your risk of disease, your eyesight, and your physical appearance.

How A Healthy Diet Can Do More Than Slim You Down Energy

Do you skip breakfast and struggle through work in the mornings, wishing you could go back to bed? Does eating lunch make you feel like you need a long afternoon nap? If you are eating a healthy diet, you are more likely to feel energized and alert instead of sluggish and distracted.

To increase your energy levels, avoid snacking on food full of fast-burning sugar. Unfortunately, most junk food falls into this category. Find healthier items to snack on such as carrot sticks, nuts, or fruit. If you want your meals to give you energy and keep you full, protein-rich snacks, fiber, and complex carbs will be your best friend. Of course, energy has to do with the amount of sleep you get as well, so combine healthy eating habits with a healthy sleeping routine.

Stress

Eating a balanced diet gives you energy to deal with life’s problems and helps your body produce the right hormones to keep your mood stable and stress-free. Sugary snacks, on the other hand, may increase your mood while you are eating them, but that feeling fades as your blood sugar levels crash and your energy levels drop. When you feel lethargic, your ability to deal with stress suffers.

Foods that reduce your ability to handle stress include:

  • drinks with caffeine
  • fast food and takeout
  • alcohol
  • sugary drinks
  • sugary foods
  • fatty foods

Disease

The food you eat on a daily basis contributes to your risk of certain kinds of disease. If you eat a lot of fatty, high-cholesterol foods, for example, you increase you risk of heart disease—even if you exercise regularly. Eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins will help you steer clear of heart disease.

Eating a balanced diet also keeps you in a healthy weight zone, which helps you avoid diabetes and the increased risk of cardiovascular, pulmonary, and eye disease that comes with diabetes.

Many studies show that diet can help prevent or slow cancer growth in our bodies. These foods include the usual list of healthy foods—vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes, along with substances like pectin (found in oatmeal) and phytochemicals (produced by plants).

Eyes

If your mother taught you that carrots were good for your eyes, you already know that nutrition contributes to eye health. Carrots aren’t the only food that provides nutrients and decreases the risk of eye disease; Dr. Bishop & Associates, doctors at an eye clinic in Calgary, recommend getting plenty of antioxidants, vitamins E, C, and A, and essential fatty acids.

Vitamins and antioxidants are found in fresh fruit and vegetables. Essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6 acids, come from foods such as fish, vegetable, fish, and flaxseed oil, beef, and dairy products.

Appearance

Besides slimming your waistline, a healthy diet also brightens your complexion. Giving your body the right combination of vitamins and minerals helps your skin stay bright and clear and keeps your hair and nails strong. Skin, hair, and nails all have keratin, a protein your body produces, in them. So it’s important to make sure you get enough protein in your diet to promote keratin production. Protein comes from foods such as meat, eggs, and beans.

Antioxidants also improve your complexion by slowing the effect of free radicals in your body. Antioxidant-rich foods include pomegranates, blueberries, dark chocolate, beans, apples, raspberries, and other berry-like fruits.

Eating healthy affects your body in a variety of ways that don’t necessarily have to do with your weight. Keep your diet balanced, and it will show in all areas of your life. For personalized diet advice, consult a doctor or nutritionist who can evaluate your specific nutritional needs.

About the Author

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO and often writes about health, family, home and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing. 

Do you have any additional benefits to maintaining a healthy diet that Anita hasn’t mentioned? 

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Weight Control: A Key Component of Maintaining Good Health?

by Head Health Nutter on August 28, 2014

Are you ready for another controversial article by guest blogger, Jeffery Morgan? Keep reading for his opinion and research on weight loss diets, weight management and supplementation.

There are two key schools of thought when it comes to health and weight. The first is that you should aim for weight loss, and the second is that you should aim for weight control (or weight management). Almost all experts agree that weight control is the better of the two, but what makes it so good for maintaining good health?

The Flaws of a Quick Diet

Healthy-WeightQuick dieting appears to work – we all know those people who went on a fad diet and lost tons of weight. However, the problem is that quick diets only work short-term. There’s no suggestion that these diets are good for long-term health, and they can often compromise it. Cutting out any food group puts you at risk of missing out on vital vitamins.

If you’re undertaking one of these fad diets – or you have done so recently – it’s worth picking up a multivitamin supplement to ensure you don’t accidentally ruin your health! Two of the worst things to cut out are carbohydrates and fats. They sound effective – and indeed, they are… at first.

The problem with carbohydrates is that you end up eating more protein and saturated fats to replace it, which is bad for the heart. You also cut out a lot of fruit and vegetables – which can lead to a whole host of issues. The problem with cutting out fats is that there are lots of different fats, and these diets often don’t differentiate between the good and the bad kinds.

Most people who diet end up being ‘yo-yo dieters’ their weight fluctuates quite dramatically. This can put a lot of stress on your body, and if you lose/gain weight quickly you’ll likely get stretchmarks, and damage your joints. So what’s the alternative?

Long-Term Weight Control

Don’t aim to lose all your weight at once – people who drop off a lot of weight quickly are usually losing water, rather than fat. Starving yourself can actually lead to your body storing more fat out of panic!

3,500 calories is approximately one pound of weight, so if you cut out 500 calories a day you can lose a pound a week. You can follow a diet plan to do so. This is much safer – and easier – than trying to dramatically do it. It also avoids the issues of missing favourite foods since you can shrink amounts, rather than cutting out food entirely.

While you’re starting to figure out your weight control journey, you may experiment with what works for you. If you’re going to play around with cutting different food groups, make sure you’re replacing whatever you lose – either with another food alternative (so lentils instead of meat) or a supplement of some kind. If you’re really stuck on where to start, speak to a medical professional as they can help you work out a diet plan.

Weight control doesn’t just focus on what you eat, but how and when. People often assume it’s what they’re eating that’s the problem – but you can gain weight on the healthiest diet in the world. It’s much more worthwhile considering how you approach food:

  • Buy smaller plates so you’re not tempted to finish it all or make a big meal and portion it into smaller ones to save for other meals.
  • If you have certain food triggers – boredom or sadness, say, work out alternative ways to tackle this or at least replace chocolate with a healthier snack like pumpkin seeds.
  • If you struggle to feel full after a meal, swap to high fibre foods like wholegrain, as these will make you feel full faster.
  • If you think you’re hungry, try drinking water first – you’d be surprised how often it turns out to be dehydration! We say water, since soft drinks are one of the easiest things to cut out when it comes to calorie-gaining food.

But Is It Healthy?

So we’ve discussed why weight control is better for losing weight – but does that make it better for health? In short: yes. In long: yes, but it’s not the sole way to maintain your health. Weight control is great, but there are other things you need to think about. There are certain vitamins that people struggle to get through their diet – vitamin D being the hardest. This is most reliably gained from sun exposure, but most people simply don’t get enough access to this. It’s well worth speaking to a doctor and starting to take a supplement for vitamin D since there isn’t enough in food to maintain the necessary levels in the body.

If you’re a woman, weight control will help with hormone regulation and thus, PMS, but if you’re prone to terrible cramps you may want to try adding some vitamin B6 into your diet about 3 days before you usually get it and until a few days after it stops. If you’re a man, you may have less specific needs but it’s still worth ensuring you get access to everything you need, whether through supplements or diet.

This combination of weight control and ensuring you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals is the best way to maintain health – it avoids the yo-yo effect of short term health fads, and it’s far easier to implement and keep up than the alternatives!

About the Author

The article is authored by a regular writer and blogger Jefferey Morgan. He writes on health and fitness related issues and has a great knowledge on the related niche. He loves to read books in his free time.

Do you have any experience with fad diets and weight control? Which worked the best for you? And what do you think about supplementation?

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Smart Phone Apps for Healthier Kidneys

by Head Health Nutter on August 25, 2014

As a great follow up to last week’s post on the 10 Technological Wonders For Weight Loss & Health, here’s a few more mobile apps that can help you get healthier. Check out what our kidney and heart health guest blogger picked out of the hundreds of health-related mobile apps for you to try out.

Hundreds of thousands of people are diagnosed with kidney disease every year, but there are multiple ways to aid those who are affected. Along with vitamins specifically designed for kidney disease patients and other prescribed medications, many holistic approaches have shown to both improve the lives of those diagnosed with kidney disease and to prevent it all together.

Diet and exercise are known to be important parts of treatment and prevention. With the help of smart phone apps, monitoring your health can be easy.

argus-mobile-appMany Americans struggle with the idea of regular exercise. People find it hard to take time out of their day to exercise. Modern conveniences such as phone apps make those problems disappear. Anyone can go on their phone and get access to tons of inexpensive or free apps that do everything from monitoring daily calorie intake to setting the user up with his or her own “virtual trainer.”

The possibilities are endless with the amount of apps available. Since these apps are so accessible and easy to use, all of the “ I can’t exercise” excuses don’t hold up anymore.

ARGUS – Exercise Monitoring App

[click to continue…]

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Types of Yeast Infection

by Head Health Nutter on August 22, 2014

Hey, this might not be the most pleasant subject in the world but it is common enough that we all, both men and women, should be aware of what it is, the types and their symptoms. Why? So we can get treatment at the onset before it gets out of control. Read on as guest blogger, Rachel Pharlain, shares with us some of her research.

There are certain things, as humans, we hope we’ll never deal with. Crazy in-laws, car accidents, and unforeseen medical conditions are at the top of the list. A healthy human body contains trace amounts of a variety of bacteria. Yeast cells, also known as candida albicans, are one type of bacteria that can be found in small amounts without any damage to the body (Editor’s note: actually this low level is necessary for a balanced system).

concerned-with-yeast-infectionIn some circumstances the cells begin to grow too rapidly. When this happens, women and men may develop a yeast infection. Here are the different types of yeast infections that can develop:

Vaginal or Genital Yeast Infection

Men and women can develop yeast infections in or on the genitals. Unfortunately three out of four women (and some men) will need to deal with at least one yeast infection in their lifetime. Vaginal yeast infections can develop through the use of certain antibiotics, hormone shifts due to pregnancy or estrogen based birth control pills, health issues like HIV or diabetes, or sexual contact with someone who has a yeast infection.

Symptoms include: [click to continue…]

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10 Technological Wonders for Weight Loss & Health

by Head Health Nutter on August 19, 2014

This is the technological age and there are many benefits that come with it. Although some may argue that technology has created a less healthy, less active society, I believe like most things in this world, it comes down to HOW it is used. Today guest blogger, Jared Hill, shares with us a few ways in which technology has the power to help us become healthier and more active!

Bones’ tricorder on Star Trek was so novel a medical device that it seemed like the stuff of science fiction in the 1960s. However, with advances in technology, there are many devices today that medical workers, patients, and fitness aficionados use that can help lose weight, track nutrition, and even get you fit with the aid of a virtual fitness coach.

screen568x568Many are available on smartphones as apps, but some come as next generation smart devices that work in conjunction with a phone or tablet. The future is set to explode with potential new methods to increase health awareness, treat medical conditions, and network specialists with those people that need them at a touch of a screen – as telemedicine pioneer Jay Sanders says, for health care to evolve in tandem with our technologically advanced lifestyles, “we need to bring the exam room to where the patients are.”

Doctors and medical specialists are especially excited about the future of personal medical technology, as HealthITjobs.com’s blog explains:

“The new surge of health, fitness and nutrition apps make communicating with your primary care provider much easier and can even provide them new information that they previously could not obtain. This allows individuals to monitor their own health in ways we have never seen before so the potential for improving preventative care is tremendous.”

Better understanding of a patient’s habits and fitness lifestyle is, for obvious reasons, integral in improving healthcare. But to get to that point, smartphone and tablet users must first wade through the hundreds of self-tracking medical and fitness apps available. We’ve looked into some of the best below: [click to continue…]

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How To Keep Hydrated With A Healthy Drink

by Head Health Nutter on August 17, 2014

Part of being healthy means avoiding unnecessary, empty calories. But how do we do that when we’re thirsty and water just won’t cut it? We make and reach for infused water! Keep reading as Chelsea Sawyer tells us about the benefits of infused water, tips and even some recipes!

Dehydration is common especially during summer months when the temperature and humidity rises. Anyone can become dehydrated if they lose too much fluid. Children are at greater risk because of their smaller body weights and high turnover of water and electrolytes. One of the means to preventing dehydration is drinking lots of fluids, including water. Although water is said to be the best drink choice, it’s far easier for children to reach for a bottle of soda to quench their thirst.

Fruit Infused Water BottleOver the years, people have started to recognize the importance of hydration, as researchers time and again have proven that good hydration can increase concentration and productivity. Dehydration is said to be a one of the reasons for illnesses, causing headaches, constipation, obesity and joint pains. Drinking water can help prevent these conditions and also promote good complexion, aid weight loss and maintain high energy levels and mental performance.

Children, including adults often complain that they get bored drinking plain water. While purchased flavoured drink mixes to water are readily available, why not make your own flavoured water by infusing it with different fruits and herbs?

Why infuse water with fruits or herbs?

This is to improve the flavour of plain water. By adding fruits and herbs, you are including essential vitamins. Although there are many flavoured waters being sold in the supermarket, a home-made drink is still cost effective and healthier. You can choose the fruits and herbs that are on sale to make new combinations and keep your fruit-infused waters frugal. Feel free to use your imagination to produce a flavour that your children will like.

Steps to infusing water:

[click to continue…]

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Weight Loss with Garcinia Cambogia: Live Life Slim & Beautiful

by Head Health Nutter on August 15, 2014

As a long time Live Lighter reader, you’ll know we advocate getting healthier over slimmer: healthy is beautiful. Our approach to health is through a natural, balanced lifestyle which includes a wholesome meal plan, regular exercise, proper sleep, meditation and stress management. We believe living a healthy lifestyle through hard work and determination is what will pay off in the end and result in long-term success. However, we also believe what works for one person may not work for another. So here is guest blogger, Sharron Hunt, with the scoop on the now popular weight-loss supplement, Garcinia Cambogia, so you can make up your own mind about what’s good for you (with the help from your doctor, of course). 

Weight loss is a major concern for most people living in today’s fast-paced culture. Especially during the summer when we see people with a toned body which is motivation to look more like them!

slim waist Almost everyone wants to have a fit body. In order to achieve these results, exercise and fad diets are a common approach. But due to lack of patience and this time-consuming procedure, diet pills have gained popularity.

Garcinia Cambogia

There are lots of varieties of weight loss pills available on the market with the sole aim to make you lose weight. Weight loss pills contain some useful and powerful ingredients that enable you to lose body fat. If you are looking to lose weight fast and efficiently, then Garcinia Cambogia may be the one. It’s a natural plant extract which helps you lose fat from your body naturally and quickly.

What is Garcinia Cambogia Extract?

Garcinia Cambogia is a small fruit native to Indonesia and also grown in Southeast Asia, India and some parts of Africa. Traditionally it has been used in spices, chutneys and curries. When it is used in the food as an ingredient, it makes the meal more filling. It is used for reducing the appetite. Due to this quality it is used in soups or meals so that there is no extra intake in the body, thus keeping us from over-eating. The pills contain the natural extract from the plant called hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which gives people the capability of losing weight 2-3 times more than any other pills. [click to continue…]

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Allergies: Are You at Risk?

by Head Health Nutter on August 13, 2014

Do you think you have allergies but don’t know for sure? Check out this guest article by Miss Marks to see if you’re at risk of developing allergies – and if you find you are, you might want to book an appointment with your doctor for confirmation.

iStock_000016665350SmallToday allergies are very common, affecting a great number of people yearly, both adults and children. Sneezing, coughing, cramps, skin irritation, difficulty breathing and other symptoms show that something is wrong with your body.

The best way to find out if you are at risk of an allergy is to check out the most common factors that trigger different types of allergies. In this article we are going to give you some information about these factors. Read on:

Food Allergy Risk Factors

The risk factors of food allergies include:

  • Age: most food allergies occur in children, as their bodies are still very immature and unable to deal with all types of food. As a result, they absorb components that can cause food allergies. Fortunately, most of these allergies fade as children grow. But there are allergies that are lifelong such as allergies to shellfish and nuts.
  • Family: if there are members of your family that suffer from allergies, eczema, asthma, hives, then you are at risk of developing a food allergy at some point in life.
  • Asthma: usually food allergy and asthma occur together.
  • Other allergies: if you already have a food allergy, chances are that you develop another allergy.

[click to continue…]

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Get Massive Gains With The Right Testosterone Booster

by Head Health Nutter on August 5, 2014

If you feel less than the man that you used to be, you might be dealing with low testosterone levels. Read today’s article by guest blogger, Chelsea Sawyer, for a natural way to boost your testosterone levels.

Young Muscular AthleteTestosterone is an important hormone that is responsible for primary and secondary male characteristics in men like the presence of facial hair, a deep voice, muscular development and sex drive. Although it is also present in the female body, its role in the development of women remains unclear.

It is natural for the testosterone levels of men to decline once they reach the age of 30. However, low T-levels among young men can also be attributed to a host of causes including medications, pituitary disorders and diseases.

But how do you know if your T-levels have dipped? Among the signs you are lacking in testosterone are: slow muscle gains (even if you go to the gym religiously), the presence of fat especially in the chest area, low libido and other issues in the bedroom, mood swings, and if you have recently become prone to diseases.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, there are several ways that you can boost your testosterone naturally including consuming more nuts, limiting your consumption of alcohol, lifting heavy weights, taking ice baths, getting more sleep, avoiding stressful situations, and using a testosterone booster.

Whatever your goals are for taking testosterone supplements, whether for improved performance beneath the sheets or to help you gain more muscle mass, it is crucial to carefully study the content and effects of these supplements. Some supplements may boost T-levels but may damage your body in the long haul. [click to continue…]

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Staying as natural as possible is what we like to talk about here on Live Lighter. For instance, I recently learned that coconut oil and lavender oil can be a great mosquito repellent (although you have to reapply it often for it to work). If you like where this is going, then keep reading for today’s guest post on natural beauty treatment options by blogger, Dixie Somers.

If you’re a green girl trying to save the planet and look fabulous at the same time, it can be tough to find beauty products that won’t harm the environment either in the making of the product or disposing of it. A lot of products are harmful to the environment, however the toxins and chemicals they include aren’t the best for your body either. If you want to stay beautiful and keep the planet safe, here are a few products that will help you to do both at the same time:

Soft AND Healthy Skin

Green Girl Many moisturizers contain a chemical called BHA that is harmful to fish and wildlife, and BHA can cause allergies and possibly even cancer in humans. Plain yogurt and honey can moisturize your skin without hurting anyone, and honey can help reduce acne. Make a mask by evenly combining yogurt and honey in a mixture big enough to coat your face, and let the mask sit for 15 minutes before washing it off with warm water. Not only will you be helping the wildlife, but you’ll be putting all-natural ingredients on your face—sparing yourself from harmful chemicals.

Easy On The Eyes (And Skin)

Organic Wear Duo Eyeshadow gives you two colors without exposing your eyes to any harmful materials. Those with sensitive skin or eyes can use this shadow to look great without worrying about irritation. There are several choices for colors depending on your preference and eye color, and it’s 100% organic! [click to continue…]

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