The Truth About Fasting for Weight Loss

Tortoise

When it comes to losing weight quickly, it seems fasting is di rigeur. I really wish it wasn’t.

Do periodic fasts help you lose weight?

Fasting is when you go without food, and there’s no fewer calories than zero. Fasting definitely will cause you lose weight. But there’s a hidden cost. Every time you fast, your body goes into prehistoric starvation mode telling every cell, Slow down, there’s no food. By slowing your metabolism you set yourself up to gain back the weight plus some the next time you eat.

Slow and steady wins the weight loss race.

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5 Tips for Starting a Morning Exercise Routine

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They’re morning people. They don’t need as much sleep as I do. They don’t have kids.

Excuses. The best of us have them.

Working out is difficult for most. Finding time to work out is onerous. But consider this: Studies show that people who exercise in the morning are more consistent exercisers, less likely to find excuses, and less likely to make poor eating decisions later in the day.

Here are 5 ways to help you start a morning exercise routine:

1. Set your alarm at NIGHT to go to bed 30 minutes earlier.

2. Set out your gym clothes before you go to bed.

3. Once it’s time to get up, don’t try to argue yourself into working out. It doesn’t work. Instead, tell yourself, “I work out every day. That’s what I do.”

4. Put on your gym clothes and lace up as soon as you stand up out of bed. Dressed like this, there’s no place to go except to work out.

5. Talk someone else into getting up early. You’ll be up to 60% more likely to follow through with your exercise plan if you have a partner who holds you accountable.

Got any tips for exercising in the morning? Please share them.

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Are Your Friends Making You Fat?

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Your parents were right: You hang with the wrong crowd, you’ll become like them.

We humans are built to form groups. That’s how we survived on the savannah. However, groups can be good or bad for your health.

Studies show that over time you become like your friends. Are your friends overweight? Do they eat unhealthy foods? Do they have diabetes? Your’re more likely to have the same problems. Are you trying to lose weight, eat healthier, or cure your diabetes? Then find a group of people trying to do the same. This is why programs like Weight Watchers are so effective — they are small groups of people trying to get healthy, just like you.

Whether a fitness class, an online community, or a program like Weight Watchers, find a group that’s heading in the direction you want to go, and join them.

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8 Reasons to Get More Sleep

Babies are much smarter than adults. They understand the importance of sleep.

In case you need a reminder, here are 8 reasons to get more sleep:

1. Anti-Inflammatory: Sleep reduces inflammation which means it can help with inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne.

2. Pain Blocker: Studies have shown that lack of sleep lowers our pain threshold, while increased sleep can lower actual pain. Aim for 8-9 hours a night, especially if you’re in chronic pain.

3. Fend Off Cravings: Sleep helps regulate leptin, an appetite-regulating hormone, which means more sleep leads to less hunger and fewer cravings.

4. Increased Willpower: When you’re tired, you’re more likely to eat poorly, drink more alcohol, skip exercise, and make other unhealthy choices. Sleep better and you’ll feel less tempted.

5. Increased Weight Loss: #3 + #4 = #5.

6. Fewer Headaches: Lack of sleep is a known trigger for headaches, especially migraines. Aim for a regular sleep schedule, and try to take short 10-20 minute power naps when a headache hits. It can help take the edge off.

7. Beauty Sleep: Yes, there is such a thing as beauty sleep. Sleep helps repair your skin. Ever notice how flush and vibrant your skin looks after a restful sleep or nap? So splurge on some 800-count thread sheets. Doctor’s orders.

8. Better Sex: It’s well known that many people skip sex because they’re too tired. It’s not as well known that lack of sleep can increase cortisol levels which can lower testosterone and your libido.

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The Life Lesson that Golfer Adam Scott Taught Us All on Sunday

By most accounts Adam Scott choked on Sunday. He had the lead, the swing, and the confidence. He should have won the Open. He lost.

The lesson he taught us was not how to collapse but how he handle a loss like a champion. When asked about his loss he didn’t makes excuses, he didn’t berate himself, he didn’t fire off positive statements about how he’s gonna get them next time. He simply expressed gratitude:

“I managed to hit a poor shot on each of the closing four holes. Look, I played so beautifully for most of the week. I shouldn’t let this bring me down.”

Scott was grateful to have played so well in one’s of golf’s greatest tournaments. Studies show that expressing gratitude in a journal or to others leads to more happiness, optimism, and better health.

At the end of the day today, write down something for which you’re grateful. That’s a lesson from a pro that will elevate your game.

Photo credit: FCC, Hone Morihana

5 Ways to Fend Off Cravings

Everyone, including your spinning instructor, succumbs to cravings, even if she won’t admit it.

Here are five ways to fend off food cravings:

1.  Procrastinate: You know you’re good at this. Tell yourself you’ll eat it later and do something else. Most times, you won’t get back to it.

2. Toss it: The peanut M&Ms you hid behind the Kashi cereal in your pantry are calling you. Throw them away, and take the trash out. Then see #3.

3. Get moving: When a craving grips you, walk your dog, turn on your Wii Just Dance, or tackle that mountain of clutter on your desk. You’ll feel self-righteous, which is a powerful antidote to food cravings.

4. Drink up: Mild dehydration can cause feelings of hunger. Drink a tall glass of cool water, wait 10 minutes, and see if that craving doesn’t go away

5. Change your habits: Cravings are often psychological. So remove food triggers. Associate Jay Leno with a nightly bowl of ice cream? Change up your routine to break the pattern.

How about you? Got strategies that work? Share them with us below.

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