By Bob Greene for BestLifeDiet.com
How many hours of sleep did you get last night? If you answered seven (or right around there), then you’re in great shape—seven seems to be the magic number for sleep, according to new preliminary research.
You may already know that skimping on shuteye is associated with a number of problems. Your ability to focus and your reflexes are impaired, which can lead to accidents and decreased productivity. Then, there’s a whole host of physical changes that occur when you’re sleep deprived. For instance, your metabolism slows down and your body pumps out more ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and less leptin, the hormone that signals fullness, putting you at an increased risk for obesity and diabetes.
That’s enough to make you want to pull the covers over your head! But researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that too much sleep is not good for you either. In fact, it seems to impair memory and brain function.
Using data collected from 120,000 nurses who are part of the Nurse’s Health Study, the researchers found that those who logged less than five or more than nine hours of slumber per night scored lower on cognitive tests than those who slept around seven. (They presented their findings at the recent Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.) That means that logging the right amount of sleep may help keep your brain sharp and potentially protect against dementia as you get older.
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“Long-term health and fitness is about the quality of food we eat and exercise we get, not the quantity.” This is how Jonathan Bailor sums up the research found in his new book, “The Smarter Science of Slim. Scientific Proof. Fat Loss Facts!” The book is full of research that points to so many flaws in our current beliefs on dieting and exercise. It’s research that men and women around the country have been relying on to help them finally breakthrough their weight loss; it’s also been assisting former Biggest Loser contestants after they leave the infamous ranch.
A catchy line throughout the book and the press info regarding the book is “eat more, exercise less.” It isn’t a catchy marketing line for Bailor to sell a diet pill, a weight loss device, or even a plan, it sums up the science and research he presents in the book.
Bailor explained that the science in his book is “shockingly different from marketing and common dieting myths.” It shows that the key to long-term fat loss and improved health is in the consumption of satisfying, unaggressive, nutritious foods like water-, fiber- and protein-rich non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense proteins, and whole food natural fats. When we eat this way, he explains that we’re too full for dry, low-fiber, and protein-poor starches and sweets, like bread, candy, cake, soda, and juice.
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Finding ways to increase your metabolism is always important when you are trying to lose weight. There are tons of studies done to figure out which foods will naturally help your metabolism as well as products you can buy that claim to also help.
In my opinion, I prefer to stick with more natural remedies. I like to know exactly what I’m taking and how much. I did some research and found some of the most proven natural methods that will set your metabolism ablaze!
Maybe one of the most widely known ways to increase your metabolism is eating hot peppers. The reason they are able to help with metabolism is because of the chemical capsaicin, it is found in hot peppers and cayenne peppers. This chemical will temporarily cause your body to release more stress hormones, which will cause your metabolism to speed up and help you burn more calories. It will also help suppress your appetite which of course means taking in less calories. Eat a tablespoon of chopped red or green chili peppers at each meal by adding it to your meals. You can spice up your favorite pasta, chili or soups by adding these metabolism fire starters.
If you’re not a fan of the spicy peppers, the sweet chili peppers are another great option. They contain a compound called dihydrocapsiate (DCT) which acts similar to capsaicin as far as our metabolism goes. A study done in California found that people who took nine milligrams of DCT experienced more energy expenditure and burned more calories than the control group. They burned an extra 100 calories per day when they took the nine milligrams three times a day.
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Spring has sprung. And in some regions, we’ve even skipped right to summer. In any case, a transition into warmer weather means two things: spring cleaning and shifting our eating to more seasonal foods.
In addition to spring cleaning your house, one thing you might consider doing is spring cleaning your kitchen. Chances are throughout winter you stocked up on cold-weather foods that are too heavy for spring and summertime. Start by throwing out food that’s gone bad, and then donate any unwanted canned goods to charity. It’s beneficial for you, your family and the community.
Another great way to get spring-ready is by adding more figure-friendly foods to your diet. Foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories are great choices. Here is a list of six healthy foods for springtime from DietsInReview.com’s Registered Dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD, as well as a few easy-to-prepare recipes for even more inspiration.
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Tim Ferriss is the author of the best selling book The 4 Hour Body and a self-proclaimed human guinea pig. He’s tested many health and fitness theories on his own body to be able to provide fully researched and proven advice for some of our biggest health complaints. He shared some new and very interesting things he has learned on Dr. Oz’s show recently.
Ferriss covers the spectrum of human health. From metabolism to mood, he offered some great insight and very unique remedies to our biggest issues.
The 5-minute deep freeze is the method Ferris advised as a metabolism booster. The deep freeze is a cold shower ranging from 5 to 30 minutes. The cold temperatures are said to activate brown fat, the fat-burning tissue that burns energy to keep us warm. Shivering in the cold shower indicates that energy is being used to keep the body temperature up, therefore boosting your metabolism.
Millions of people are taking prescription antidepressants to keep their serotonin levels high and keep their moods positive. Ferriss explained that 90% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut so eating fermented food such as kimchi (Korean pickled cabbage) and its healthy probiotic bacteria will help serotonin in your gut move to the brain. Lacto-fermented food such as sauerkraut or plain yogurt can also aid in increasing serotonin levels and increasing mood.
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