How To Stop Stress Eating

How To Stop Stress Eating

When you’re feeling stressed, the need to find a source of comfort is natural. For some people, that’s eating food. Stress eating or emotional eating is a very real problem that can lead to serious consequences, both physical and mental. Maybe you need to eat to deal with uncomfortable issues or you use food as a reward. Maybe your irritability can only be cured by your favorite food or salty or sweet foods are the only way to get you to relax. These habits can leave negative long-term effects and it’s important to curb them as soon as possible. At first, it may seem difficult to control or to even identify the moments you’re emotional eating, but there are some expert-approved tips to help you keep your emotional eating at bay.

Awareness

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Exploring your triggers is essential in monitoring your emotional eating. Before you can change, you need to come up with an effective strategy and that means identifying what needs to be changed. Emotional eating is often called “mindless eating” and this is because there’s a certain lack of awareness when your unchecked needs and habits take over.

A crucial step to achieving awareness is being aware of how you feel the moment just right before you’re about to eat. Why do you want to eat right now? Why this particular food? Emotional eating can be your body’s way of saying it’s deprived. To study patterns, keep a food diary. Note the time, type of food and the emotions you’re associating with before, during and after you eat. Also record how full you felt after. This can help in determining whether you’re eating for the right or the wrong reasons.

Relaxation techniques

There’s a physiological reason for craving sweet and salty foods when you’re stressed. Cortisol is a hormone that triggers this craving and is produced at higher levels when you’re under stress. Stress management, then, should be a key component of your strategy.

Explore other, healthier ways to handle stress. Set up a support system of friends who you can speak to, write about your issues in a journal, or get into the habit of regular physical activity. Even simple coping mechanisms can help, like putting on music, hugging your pet, or taking a moment to enjoy the view from your window. The key is to find an activity that isn’t related to food.

Mindfulness exercises

Mindfulness is a great way to build a keen sense of awareness and to take control of your actions. You can even practice mindfulness while you’re eating. Forms of mindfulness exercises include meditation, deep breathing, or even cleaning up your house. Mindfulness can also involve simply observing your thoughts. Instead of ignoring them or deflecting through emotional eating, take a moment to focus. Sit back and listen instead of working against your jumbled, stressed out thoughts.

Healthy alternatives

Working to change your emotional eating habits can take some time and if you can’t eliminate it, then at least consider healthier options. It can take some getting used to, but choose fresh and nutritional foods over junk food.

Foods to Combat Sugar Cravings

Foods to Combat Sugar Cravings

Our bodies are more dependent on sugar than we think. Added sugars can be found in a variety of foods today. They can even be disguised under names like agave nectar, evaporated cane or turbinado. Sugar addiction has often been likened to drug addiction and essentially, they’re similar in the sense that building a dependence can be detrimental. Like drugs, sugar can spike the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which can bring about feelings of pleasure. The more sugar we take, the higher our tolerance becomes, and the more sugar we crave.

When cutting down or even completely cutting off your body from sugar, there are ways you can fight the cravings. This includes eating the right foods to fend off the hormonal changes throughout your body and ease those alarming mood swings.

Nuts

personal training brookfieldFats, the healthy kinds, are your best bet to keep your taste-buds satisfied and stomach satiated when craving sugar. Nuts in particular have beneficial minerals and vitamins that can keep your blood sugar levels and blood pressure steady. Almonds and Brazil nuts are mildly sweet if you’re looking for that flavour.

Spices

If your taste-buds insist on getting that sweetness, shock them instead with flavoursome spices. If a recipe calls for sugar, switch it up with unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon or vanilla extract. When eating savoury dishes, throw in some extra garlic and onions or a dash of lime juice.

Dark chocolate

Pick up dark chocolate instead of your usual milk chocolate bar, which typically contains excessive amounts of sugar and fat. Make sure to choose the variety that has more than 70 percent cocoa. Cocoa is rich in polyphenols, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Fermented foods

If you love snacking on yoghurt, kimchi, kombucha, pickles and sauerkraut, then keep eating them. Fermented foods are rich in beneficial bacteria, which can keep your gut clean and fight off diseases. A healthy gut can influence your cravings and appetite.

Dates

A sweet treat you can opt for are dates or the dried fruit of the date palm tree. They’re terrific sources of fibre, potassium and iron. Dates are also another good example of healthy, plant-based fats that can keep your cravings at bay. It’s a great substitute for sweetness and can even be added to a smoothie.

Sweet potatoes

Still craving a hint of sweetness in your meals? Sweet potatoes could be the answer. This healthy food is sweet and nutritious. It contains fibre as well as vitamin A and C and potassium.

Eggs

High-protein foods can also aid in regulating your appetite and cravings. This is due to the fact that a high-protein meal taken at the start of the day can suppress the hunger hormone ghrelin while increasing the hormones that make you feel full. Eggs are a good example of that. Incorporate them into your breakfast to keep you feeling full for a longer period of time.

Smoothies

Fruits are great sources of healthy, natural sugars and packing it into a smoothie with other healthy ingredients make for a great snack. It can even be a great substitute for dessert. Adding in yoghurt also makes you feel fuller for longer, which can fight off those cravings. Just be sure to use fresh whole fruits to get the healthy fibre and not fruit juice, which usually contains sugars.

Live an Extra Decade with These Easy Healthy Habits

Live an Extra Decade with These Easy Healthy Habits

Here’s a sobering fact: cardiovascular disease and cancer are the two leading causes of death in Australia. Now, here’s a comforting notion: a new report suggests that five, very simple habits can lead to a longer life. These are:

  1. Not drinking too much alcohol
  2. Eating a healthy diet
  3. Exercising regularly
  4. Maintaining a healthy weight
  5. Never smoking

Researchers discovered that adults who regularly practice these five habits can extended their lifespan for as much as up to 14 years. Participants of the study were 82 per cent less likely to die from cardiovascular diseases and 65 percent less likely to die of cancer. The study, which involved 34 years of data, also noted that when maintaining these lifestyle habits at age 50, men could live an extra 12.2 years and for women, another 14 years.

The global average life expectancy is at 80. For Australians, we rank 14th in the list of countries with high life expectancy rates at 82.3 years. Monaco is at number one with 89.4 years and Japan second with 85.3 years.

One medical professional has cited that never smoking is the most important factor, which may be a wake-up call for many Australians. According to the Cancer Council Australia, smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the country.

Consuming alcoholic beverages is a line people must carefully walk. There are some benefits to the occasional glass of wine, some studies show. Aside from inducing a relaxing effect, moderate drinking can reduce the risk of death by heart attacks, clot-caused strokes and other cardiovascular issues. Red wine is one particular form of alcoholic beverage that fare better than most. Red wine has a high concentration of polyphenols that can reduce blood pressure.

The downside of drinking is going from moderate to binge drinking, which leads to inflammation of the liver, increased blood pressure, heart muscle damage, and several cancers, like breast, colon, mouth and liver.

Weight loss pinjarra hillsMeanwhile, a healthy diet, as defined by the World Health Organisation, is defined as a balanced intake of energy or calories. The total fat should not exceed 30 percent of the total energy intake to avoid unhealthy weight gain. One should also decrease saturated fats and cut out trans fats. Free sugars should be limited to less than 10 percent of the total energy intake. Salt intake should be less than 5 grams per day to prevent hypertension and heart disease.

The ideal body weight is entirely individual and depends on factors such as height, gender, age, build and degree of muscular development. The body mass index (BMI) has been commonly used to measure the “healthiness” of one’s weight, but the BMI system has its flaws. The 200-year-old system does not account for age, sex, bone structure and fat distribution.

As for exercise, the Australian Heart Foundation recommends half an hour of physical activity each day, which reduces the risk of heart disease by 35 per cent. Alternatively, 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise is also recommended. For people who like to walk or who usually commute, 10,000 steps per hour a day or walking at a rate of 6 km/hour is also a great form of exercise.

Advantages of Being a Runner

Advantages of Being a Runner

Runners, especially those who run long distance, generally have two things in common: sinewy quads and a heavy duty set of lungs. But the perks of running does not stop there. There is so much more that long-distance running can do for you including for your mind and body.

In a recent study done in Finland, researchers found that long distance runners tend to be smarter. In this research, they studied the effects of resistance training on adult rat brains. They used rats with both genetically high and low response to aerobic training. All subjects underwent a 6 to 8 week aerobic training in which they were urged to complete HIIT or resistance training workouts and run.

Fitness Training KenmorePrior to doing the research, the scientists had already established the fact that aerobic exercises do have positive effects on the function and structure of the brain. However, they did not know whether HIIT or anaerobic resistance training had the same effect on the brain, specifically to the growth of neurons in it.

It has quite a similar effect to humans. Here are some of the amazing health perks enjoyed by those who run very, very far.

Good memory

Humans, mice and monkeys share a common peculiarity:  a protein that is identified with memory flows in the brain after a run, as stated in the research that was published in Cell Press.

Another odd discovery was unearthed by the University of North Florida when they found that running barefoot can also enhance your working memory. There is about 16% increase in working memory performance in barefoot runners after exercise. This was determined by their ability to remember instructions, directions and understanding information. It is believed that the extra “tactile and proprioceptive demands” stimulates your brain into tapping your working memory more forcefully, boosting its growth and function.

Strong knees

It’s a common notion that running can ultimately have a bad effect on your knees and joints. In some degree, this is true especially when running on high terrain, your knees may experience some pain due to excessive use. On the other hand, something good can actually be benefited from long distance running. According to a research at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, regular running can actually put off late onset knee pain.

Longer life

It seems that running is particularly advantageous in fighting cancer, according to a research issued by the British Journal of Sports Medicine. In this research, they took 2,560 middle aged men as their subjects and observed their health over the span of 17 years. They have observed that the men who were more physically active were less likely to develop cancer. In fact, runners who run for at least 30 minutes per day are 50% less likely to acquire the disease.

Live happier

A long distance run can put you on a high. Anyone who’s been jogging regularly can attest to feeling much better after a not so pleasing day at work — once you’ve gotten past the first few kilometres.

If you’re still not convinced, there is further research done where it was discovered that jogging (as well as other aerobic exercises) changes the skeletal muscles and removes kynurenine (an amino acid that accumulates when you are stressed and depressed) from the blood. After a run, the body also releases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that improves your disposition.

How To Treat Exercise Pain

How To Treat Exercise Pain

We always assume that “no pain, no gain” is the standard when it comes to achievement, particularly in terms of fitness. The more you sweat, the more your muscles ache, this means the more calories you’ve burned and the more toxins you’re eliminating, right? Not necessarily. A little post-workout soreness is common, especially if you’re a beginner or you’ve just introduced your body to a new form of exercise. However, experts agree that experiencing muscle soreness well after two days of your workout can be dangerous.

If you’re still hurting after two days, you might have delayed onset muscle soreness. During exercise, your muscle fibres get torn and, as the body heals them, this causes inflammation. That inflammation is the reason for that soreness making you feel like you can barely move. To treat delayed onset muscle soreness, the expert recommendation is to hydrate. You’ll also want to keep your blood flowing, which can you do by relaxing in a sauna or by exercising some more. More physical activity may be the last thing on your mind, but light exercises, such as swimming, yoga and working with foam rollers can ease your soreness.

Even if you’re a regular exerciser, perhaps you might be vulnerable to pain in certain areas of the body, like your joints. If you’re experiencing specific kinds of exercise pains in particular areas, there are some ways to treat them.

Knee pain

If you’re fond of running and doing squats and lunges, your knees are probably prone to more pain than most areas of your body. This can be caused by not having proper form and can be an effect of sitting all day. Physical therapists recommend a specific stretch to improve your knee strength. Sit on a chair, extend one leg out straight and lock your knee join as hard as possible for five seconds.

Back pain

personal training near meDeadlifts, cycling, and bent over rows can lead to pain in your spine and back muscles. When performing these exercises, it’s important to maintain the natural arch in the small of your back. To alleviate and prevent pain, you can try this before and after exercises: Create a hollow as large as you can in the small of your back and then round your lower back as much as you can, creating as much movement in the spine as you can. Repeat this for 15 to 20 times.

Hip pain

Running and jumping causes your hip joint to be flexed and can even cause mis-alignment. Re-align the joint before your exercise by doing this: Place a pillow on the floor and rest one knee on it. Take a wide step forward, like you’re doing a lunge. Move your hips and trunk forward until you feel a stretch in the hip flexors and/or groin area. Move in and out of the stretch slowly.

Shoulder pain

If pull-ups, push-ups and presses are making your shoulders feel tight, you need to practise internal and external shoulder rotations before each workout. This can be best accomplished using resistance bands.

Daily Habits for Losing Weight

Daily Habits for Losing Weight

Losing weight seems like the most impossible task. Who has the time? Who has the money? Who has the willpower? You’d be surprised that making some small lifestyle changes can make a huge difference. And, you don’t even have to (completely) give up your favourite foods in the process. Sounds too good to be true? Read on and you’ll be shedding weight in no time.

Always start your day with a protein-packed meal

The idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day holds true for most people. Try to carve some time to prepare and sit down for that first meal of the day. Your breakfast should be full of lean protein and rich in fibre. This will deliver you the energy you need to get the day going without slowing you down. Steer clear of sugary carbohydrates like bagels, cold cereal, and pastries. You can cook up something as simple as scrambled eggs on whole grain toast with a cup of fruit or Greek yoghurt on the side.

Put your knife and fork down after each bite

It can seem like such a trivial thing, but you’ll soon notice how putting your knife and fork down after each bite can make you feel fuller for a longer period of time. The recommended amount of time you should spend consuming a meal is 20 minutes. By setting down your knife and fork after each bite, you’re giving your stomach more time to process and allow the feeling of satiety to ‘kick in’.

Stay focused on your meal

Weight Loss Program KenmoreEating in front of a screen can seem like a great way to multitask or decompress after a long day, but this habit can actually have an effect on the way you eat. According to experts, keeping your mind busy while eating can block certain signals alerting you that you’re satiated or full. You’ve probably been staring at screens the whole day anyway, so why not take 20 minutes off to just enjoy the food you have in front of you?

Stay hydrated

Most nutritionists agree that we commonly mistake thirst for hunger. So, instead of reaching for that pack of crisps, try drinking a glass of water first. If you’re having trouble keeping track of staying hydrated, you can add flavour by making infused water with lemons, cucumbers, or berries.

Eat in

Ideally, you should be making and consuming most of your meals at home. It can be difficult to track the nutritional content of foods from restaurants. There may be more sugar, salt, or even just portions than you need.

Prep meals

If you’re having trouble figuring ways and time to cook meals at home, make a plan or else you’ll be reaching for a microwavable meal or ordering take-away.

Be mindful when eating out

If you are dining out, there are a few easy tips you should remember. Start with a salad since that can help you stay fuller for longer. Be decisive by being the first to order, since some studies have shown that a group will make similar choices to the first person to voice their order. You can even look up the menu online on your way to the restaurant and have a decision ready by the time you’re seated.

Don’t eat after 9 PM

High-energy foods like sugar and fat will not only make you gain weight but eating them late in the evening will make it harder for you to fall asleep. And, a lack of sleep has been proven to be detrimental to weight loss goals. Try to go to bed as early as possible to break that midnight snacking habit.