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How to Reduce Your Salt Intake While Still Enjoying Delicious Meals

Tips to Reduce Your Salt Intake

Wondering if you should reduce your salt intake? Has your doctor already told you it would be a good idea to do so?  If you eat an average American diet, even a balanced one, then the odds are that you’re taking in more sodium every day than is likely good for you.

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How to Lose Weight and Build Muscles

Lose How to Weight and Build Muscles

To lose weight and build muscles, it often requires a significant lifestyle transition. With many diet and fitness trends on the market, people believe they can get the physique and health they want in a matter of a week or so. However, it is a long, drawn-out process. To lose weight and build muscles, you need to be committed to a healthy lifestyle. If you are wondering how to improve your body, and start a healthy workout and diet, we have a few tips for you to try.

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Meat-Free Recipes That Are Hearty and Healthy

Hearty Meat-Free Recipes

Trying out some of the best meat-free recipes can be a very effective way to enjoy some delicious meals and make some important changes in your lifestyle.  If you are trying to work toward better heart health and disease prevention, if you’re aiming to enjoy a diet with improved ethics, if you’re attempting to reduce your carbon footprint, or if you just want something new, choosing plant based meals can be a great step.

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Mood-Boosting Foods Can Help You Lose Weight

mood boosting foods for weight loss

Mood-boosting foods can be a terrific way to keep your emotions and weight loss motivation in a good place. That’s right, the foods you eat can actually have a positive (or negative) impact on whether or not you feel happy. Therefore, it’s worth your while to choose the options that will help support your happiness.

After all, the right mood-boosting foods can help you to keep up with your day. They can also help you to cope with whatever life throws in your direction. Overall, they can make you feel better. There’s a reason that experts call the stomach a “second brain”!

Mood-Boosting Foods Start in Your Belly

Your stomach is filled with nerve connections with your brain. As a result, the right mood-boosting foods provide signals directly from your belly to your brain. The right foods provide you with energy, a sense of calm, or can give your mood a shot in the arm.

Therefore, take care to select the right types of dishes to suit what you need from your mood. Do you need mood-boosting foods to power you up for a workout? Do you need them to settle you down after a long day, so you can get a good night of sleep? Are you just asking for the ability to handle things throughout your day, so you can stay driven? Choose the right foods!

Mood-Boosting Foods Aren’t Just Comfort Foods

It’s easy to think that your best mood-boosting foods are the same as your favorite comfort foods. However, you may be surprised to hear that they’re not at all the same thing.

Your cheesy bacon macaroni tastes amazing, but it might not help your energy or wellbeing the way you want it to. The same can be said about that creamy soup, a bag of your favorite chips or a container of gummy bears. These foods are all great while you’re eating them, but they could actually do more harm than benefit to the way you feel

What Are your Best Options?

The best mood-boosting foods are those that will provide your body with hydration and nutrition. For example, recent research has shown that eating large amounts of raw veggies has a very positive impact on mood. In fact, it’s strong enough that it can help to prevent anxiety and depression.

Lean proteins are also positive choices because they give you lasting energy. Helping to prevent spikes and crashes in energy is always beneficial to keeping up that positive feeling.

What Should You Do with Your Nutrition to Keep Up Your Spirits?

Now that you know about the types of mind boosting foods you should be eating, make sure that you’re using them to your best advantage.  After all, regardless of the nutrition they contain, if you’re continually forcing yourself to choke down flavors you strongly dislike, you will feel punished, not uplifted.

Use the following tips to help you enjoy your mood boosting foods so they can help to support you.

Choose a Variety of Dishes

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to learn several dishes – not just one or two. The variety will keep your healthy options from becoming boring.  The more you keep up your choices, the more you’ll be able to select what appeals to you most and will enjoy what you have.

Change Your Perspective

Instead of thinking of mood boosting foods as something healthy you should be eating, think of them as treats you’re giving yourself as a gift.  Think of them as something special to keep up your health and wellbeing.  Instead of forcing yourself to eat them, prepare them in a way that makes it special.  This could mean making a dish that is as complex or as simple as you want, provided you enjoy it.

You might find that simple tastes best to you.  If that’s the case, consider trying to make it visually appealing.  Put a touch of effort into it.  What would you do to the dish if you were going to post a picture of it on Instagram? Instead of making the effort for social media, think about doing it just for yourself.

Get the Best You Can Afford

Just because a food is more expensive, it doesn’t mean that it’s better tasting or better for you.  That said, sometimes the more expensive version is indeed more nutritious and/or more enjoyable.  Consider your mood boosting foods to be your special purchases. Make them your splurge for the week or for the month.

This may mean getting a great piece of salmon instead of choosing canned.  It may mean getting organic strawberries instead of conventionally grown ones which are on the Dirty Dozen list of the produce with the most pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers in them. Make your choices carefully and enjoy the rewards of that care.



How to Tell If a Diet Is Doing More Harm Than Good

Diet Is Doing More Harm than GoodThere are a number of diet fads in circulation. Some can help you lose weight, but others can often backfire on you. Choosing the right weight loss plan can be a hassle, but it is better than sticking to a diet that can harm you. If you are on a diet but not seeing results, or are experiencing even more health problems than before, then your diet is doing more harm than good.

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Is Your Relationship Causing Weight Gain?

Relationship Causing Weight Gain

We tend to ignore our overall lifestyle in this respect, but is it possible that your relationship causing weight gain? This might sound too overwhelming an issue to confront within the context of a weight loss program, but it’s essential to understand the impact of your relationships on your health.

If you are in a relationship that is filled with stress or that causes you to seek comfort in food, then it’s hurting you in more ways than one. You may also be in a perfectly healthy relationship but that is highly focused on food. You may both simply love to eat and choose options and portions that skyrocket your calorie intake each day.  Simply living the way you do is a road to regular overeating.

Step Back and Find Out if Your Relationship is Causing Weight Gain

Take the time to evaluate this issue honestly and ensure that you know how all aspects of your lifestyle are affecting your ability to lose weight.  You may find that your relationship is one of the factors causing weight gain.  Naturally, it isn’t the only factor.  A lifestyle is a complex thing. While there are many different influences, when it comes to something as complex as body mass, it’s unlikely that there is only one thing to blame.

Moreover, when it comes to whether your relationship is causing weight gain, that word, “blame” must be considered carefully.  Remember that many factors are contributing to the number you see on the bathroom scale.  It’s not a matter of playing the blame game. Instead, it’s a matter of discovering how you can tweak your lifestyle for healthier results.

If you discover that your relationship is a factor, you don’t need to blame the other person. Instead, consider what can be done so you’ll know you’re eating what’s right for you, getting the exercise you require, sleeping restfully, and controlling your stress levels.

What Can You Do in Your Relationship, so it Won’t Cause Weight Gain?

Then, before you go about changing every other aspect of your life, start with any necessary adjustments to the relationships that you keep.  This can be very challenging but is important, nonetheless. Take it on out of self-care and out of respect for both yourself and the other person/people in your relationship.
If you wonder about your relationship causing weight gain, then it’s imperative to look at the factors involved. The first thing to remember in this regard is that a great deal of stress can cause weight gain, no matter where it comes from.

Are you simply eating what the other person wants to eat, despite the fact that it’s not necessarily appropriate for you and your health goals? Have you both built habits of eating too much of the types of food that cause weight gain simply because you’re mindlessly choosing foods you know are tasty despite they’re not the right nutrient balance for what your body needs. It could just be a matter of the fact that neither of you is a fan of cooking, so you both enjoy heading to restaurants and getting take-out but aren’t careful about your choices.

When we feel stressed out from personal relationships, for instance, we might gain weight even without overeating. When you feel stress, your body goes to work trying to protect you—and this can lead to added pounds and to accumulation of belly fat. Therefore, if you feel stress from a relationship but think that you have it under control, consider whether you are experiencing any weight gain or difficulty in losing weight. For people with unrelieved stress and anxiety, weight gain is very common.

Emotional and Mental Issues Can Cause Physical Problems

You may also evaluate whether your relationship causing weight gain is attributable to a certain effect on your eating patterns. Some people find that they either skip eating due to stressful circumstances or overeat to cope with emotional pain and anxiety.

Either pattern can result in weight gain! If you skip meals, again, your body tries to protect you and may cause you to store additional fat. You may also overindulge and eat too much when you feel hungry. If you end up eating to seek comfort, this can certainly result in weight gain and health problems. Food is no substitute for healthy living, but we tend to submerge that knowledge when we feel pain in our lives. It’s important, then, to get to the real problem!

Though the exact solution to your relationship causing weight gain may be complicated or difficult, it’s worth the time to think the matter through. If you are not happy, if you are suffering from relationship conflict, or if another person keeps you worried or anxious all the time, then weight gain and other health problems can result. No relationship is worth your health, so be mindful of this when you evaluate those close to you and identify the sources of your stress.



The Importance of Staying Hydrated While on a Diet

Staying Hydrated during dieting

Realistically it’s something that a lot of people forget about, but staying hydrated on a diet is fundamentally important. We put so much into what we eat, but we often move right past what we drink without another thought to it.

Though the foods that we eat matter greatly to our ability to lose weight and stay healthy, so does what we drink. If you have never been a fan of water or you simply never drank enough throughout the course of a day, it’s time for change.

Why Focus on Staying Hydrated?

By staying hydrated you can help your health and even your ability to lose weight in the long term. Naturally, this doesn’t mean that you need to chug water all day long. It is more of a matter of being aware of what your body requires and ensuring you are providing that.

Proper hydration helps just about every function within your body. It helps your organs to function properly. It helps your digestion, your metabolism, and keeps your body working in the way that it’s supposed to.

So, when you are lacking that hydration it really hurts your body. Add to it the fact that when you are dieting or working out more, you need hydration more than ever. Though you may discount this fact, a little hydration can really go a long way. You need to add more water when you diet and exercise as it will matter greatly.

Proper Hydration Can Support Your Weight Loss Strategy

What a lot of people don’t realize either is that staying hydrated during dieting can help to improve your results. You will find that sometimes you are simply thirsty when you feel like you want to eat.

So, by keeping up with your hydration needs you ensure that you don’t reach for food as readily. You keep yourself feeling full for longer, and therefore ward off any cravings. You are in control of your portions if you drink water before, during, and after meals. So it greatly benefits your weight loss to stay hydrated at all times!

Do You Need 8 Glasses of Water Per Day?

There is a rather odd rule of thumb that has circulated for decades. It states that staying hydrated requires you to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.  It may surprise you to discover that this figure is not based on actual science.  It is a relatively random figure that simply seems to have been accepted as a target for everyone.  Many doctors recommend it even without any empirical evidence to support the advice.

It isn’t entirely clear where this recommendation found its start.  However, the truth of the matter is that you may not need eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day to stay perfectly hydrated. You may need more. You may need less. There are many factors determining how much you’ll need.

Keep in mind that your body shape, size, function, activity level, age, gender, and many other issues will decide how much water you need for properly staying hydrated.  Moreover, many people eat lots of foods that have a high water content. That is perfectly hydrating, too!  If you had a salad and a bowl of soup for lunch, you may not need much water – or any at all – to go with that meal.

Isn’t Water Needed for Digestion? Doesn’t That Make Staying Hydrated Harder?

Yes, water is required for digestion.  However, simply eating food will not cause you to burn through that whole bowl of soup or fresh salad. If you’ve eaten only dry, salty foods, you will most certainly need to drink some water in the name of staying hydrated.  However, a healthy meal containing fruits and veggies will often take care of a substantial portion of your water requirements.

If the weather is hot, if you’re very active, if you’re unwell or if you’re thirsty, you can certainly know that sipping water all day long is the right thing for you.  That said, if you’re forcing yourself to drink water you don’t want (and you’re not simply substituting soda and juice when you should be drinking water), you’re likely going beyond your actual hydration requirements.

Be Reasonable and Keep Sipping

Though you may have never given much thought to staying hydrated, it can make a big difference. You may power through a workout more effectively when you are hydrated. You aren’t as hard on your body when hydration is present. You are ultimately giving your body everything it needs and wants when hydration is a factor. Therefore, if you want to be your best, maintain the best health, and lose weight and keep it off proper hydration can be the key to great and lasting success. Drink to your health!



The Most Unconventional Diet Tips Ever

The Most Unconventional Diet TipsAs you work to lose weight, you want to be aware of some of the most unconventional diet tips out there. Sure, some of them rest upon some very real advice and, therefore, be good ideas. The reality is, though, that some of them may actually hurt you, so you need to be informed. Unless you have a doctor available to discuss each one with, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to consistently know the difference between what sounds real and what is real. It’s extremely hard to tell without expert medical knowledge.

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How Your Hormones Affect Your Weight Loss Goals

Hormones Affect Your Weight GoalsYou wouldn’t think that hormones affect your weight loss, but they are very instrumental in how you lose weight. Here we will discuss how stress and hormones affect your weight loss because one will trigger the other easily.

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How to Find a Diet Plan That’s Right for You

Find a Diet Plan Right for YouIt’s relatively easy to find a diet plan that’s right for you over the short term.  That said, if you’re looking for something that will benefit you for more than a week or two, the rules start to change.  Fortunately, there are ways to do it so that the strategy you choose it is something you can stick to.

After all, your goal isn’t just to reach a target weight.  That’s definitely a great place to start, but it goes beyond that.  Once those pounds are gone, you never want to see them again!  The last thing you want is to find yourself right back here where you started in a year or two. Here we will discuss not only how to find a diet plan that will suit your goals but also how you can make it all last long-term.

First Steps to Find a Diet Plan

When you find a diet plan, you probably get into a short-term mindset and look at it as something to be endured until you are done with the chore–then back to the former habits until you diet again. This is not a good habit to develop. This can actually cause you to be a serial dieter, which is not good for weight loss or health.

So, what does one do? Instead of focusing exclusively on that goal, it’s time to learn a new mindset that is conducive to losing weight the healthy way and keeping it off! Give yourself the chance to develop an important perspective change.  You’re not just dieting to lose weight.  You’re trying to find a diet plan that will give you the healthy body and mind you want to maintain for the rest of your life.  You want to build habits, so you won’t feel like you’re always following rules. These habits will turn what is initially rules into just your regular way of living.

Your Relationship with Food

Before you find a diet plan, let’s consider what our mindset is about food. Food is part of the Western lifestyle in such a way that portion control is only considered when dieting. In the East, many people also traditionally recognize a social aspect to food; but they eat it in very small portions, and it is very simple.

In the Western world, people tend to go big and sloppy: America has the largest portions in the world and even boasts about it to get butts in seats at eating establishments. Think about it.  When you sit down to a meal, do you expect to eat the right amount for your nutrition and basic satisfaction, or do you want to be full? For most people in the U.S., the answer is clear. We want to get filled up by every single meal. We stop eating when we can’t eat another bite.

Find a Diet Plan that Builds Better Eating Expectations

So, the mindset should be this: I eat to live rather than live to eat. Does that mean you have to give up family gatherings and social eating? No.  Does it mean you can only eat nutrient-dense ingredients? Nope.  Have you had your last flavorful meal? No, of course not; but when you get your body used to smaller portions, you can eat that way instead. You can teach yourself and your body to be satisfied by less.  It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true.  You don’t need to overeat to be comfortable and avoid feelings of hunger.

How Long Does It Take to Teach Your Body?

After about three weeks of practicing this new way of eating, you will naturally start to want to eat smaller portions. In fact, your stomach won’t be able to handle anything more. This is a good thing. Once you are used to the portion control, it’s easier, and it’s oftentimes cheaper to get groceries for your new lifestyle.

If you’re currently eating an extremely large amount of food, then a gradual process will likely work best for you.  Find a diet plan that will allow you to set monthly goals so you can scale back some of your portion sizes over time instead of all at once. This will make it easier for you to adapt and keep your motivation high.

So, how do you find a diet plan that’s right for you? This is a simple task, actually. In order to choose a plan that will take you into a permanent change, you need to choose it as you would a workout program. If a plan is something that includes things you can do long-term, then you have it made. Consider, for instance, that there are a lot of workout programs out there–but if you aren’t a morning person, then why would you choose a workout that starts with a run at 5 a.m.?