Sustainable Weight Loss for a healthy lifestyle

Everyone either wants to build muscle and get in shape, or lose fat. If you fall into the later category, then you need to consider what approach you will take.lifestyle

There is a lot of information on the topic, and not planning is planning to fail. You need to choose a sustainable weight loss regime. For example, the article over at which-weight-loss.com on how to lose a stone in 2 weeks, covers a sustainable approach.

Many other articles will give you unsustainable methods. Now why on earth would you choose an unsustainable method? Granted you can lose a lot of weight quickly in a short timeframe. However you can not keep this up. Statistics show, crash diets do not work. Those who lose weight fast, generally put it back on very quickly.

My advise would be to start counting calories. Now this does not need to be an obsessive thing. You don’t need to count them exactly to the last calorie, although you can’t be too rough either.

To do so you need to first determine what you BMR is. You can easily get a rough guide by searching BMR calculators online.

Once you have the figure, you need to start monitoring the amount of calories you eat a day and how your weight is affected. Now this sounds complicated, but it really should only take a week or two weeks. If you are not gaining or losing weight, then you know you are eating at about maintenance and in order to lose weight you need to reduce calories. This also works the other way too.Leading a healthy lifestyle

Remember, you shouldn’t try and eat more than 500 calories less than your BMR each day. Once it gets more than 500 it becomes hard to maintain and you are likely to slip up. The goal is to lose weight slowly and sustainably and keep it off for good.

I would also advise researching the glycemic index and understanding how different foods can affect your appetite. Keep in mind that high GI foods will make one feel more hungry quicker. So if you can avoid these if possible then you make things a lot easier.

If you are always starving, your results are likely to suffer. And most importantly, it is not healthy nor a lifestyle that you are going to enjoy. You need to think this through before deciding on any weight loss plan.

Avoiding common hair issues such as dandruff

Whilst there is plenty of information about products to keep your hair healthy, often they only address symptoms of larger underlying health issues. Whether it be dandruff, split ends or an early onset of graying, these issues are often in part due to poor diet or an overall lifestyle that could be prevented or minimized by making better lifestyle choices.

One common hair problem is those pesky white flakes. That’s right, we are talking about dandruff. Now there is a range of ways we can approach this problem. Firstly, before we touch on health, it is beneficial to know how to get rid of dandruff symptoms as well as how to prevent them re-occurring through a healthier lifestyle. Now getting rid of dandruff should be approached through researching suitable shampoos and possible remedies. However, as soon as you stop using these often expensive products, the issue generally tends to come right back. So whilst they do seem to fix the issue, they are not actually addressing the cause of the dandruff. These products are just preventing the symptoms from occurring by treating a dry and oily scalp. By all means, use anti dandruff shampoos ( I am not at all against this) if you are suffering from the condition, however fix your diet to! By doing so, you may not get such a dry and oily scalp in the first place.healthy eating

Eating nutrient dense food will give your hair larger benefits than you probably think. Iron and zinc are vital in helping hair follicles grow. Whilst supplements can be helpful, look at eating foods that will increase the levels of iron and zinc in your body. This includes red meat at least two or three times a week, or if you are after a vegetarian option then include foods like lentils or soy beans in your diet. Vitamin D has also been shown to generate hair growth, many people have a vitamin D deficiency. I would advise seeing your doctor who may be able to suggest a vitamin D supplement.

Eating a diet rich in protein will actually help strengthen your hair. It encourages hair re growth and if you are not getting enough protein in your diet, it can become noticeable in your hair. Depending on your weight and gender you will need a different amount of daily protein in your diet. Remember to keep it simple, foods like chicken, red meat and fish are high sources of protein. Before rushing of to buy expensive supplements, think about what changes you can make to your diet. Your hair and scalp will thank you for it.

So apart from maintaining a balanced diet, how else can I treat common hair conditions like dandruff and split ends?

There is a range of natural remedies that you can also use together with diet changes and the use of over the counter shampoos.

Lemon Juice:
Using lemon juice as a remedy is a great idea. It is extremley cheap and easy to source and has some great benefits. I generally like to recommend about three tablespoons, or slighlty more if you have very long hair. Massage it into your hair and leave I there for around ten mins before you rinse it off. Do this 3-4 times per week and you should start to see changes. It won’t help split ends but it will certainly help your scalp to fight off dandruff.

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Vinegar
Just like lemon juice, this is an ordinary household item that is cheap and effective. There is really no correct way to use it, but generally you will want to mix it with something (usually water). Run this through your hair before you rinse it off.

Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is known to have anti fungal properties. This will help keep dandruff away by targeting the areas on the scalp that are susceptible to this condition. I would recommend using Aloe Vera gel if possible. Apply this to you hair once or twice a day before you use your shampoo.

“Ok, so we have covered dandruff and how to approach it with diet, remedies and products. But what about split ends?”

Split ends are a bit more complicated and can occur for a number of reasons. My best advice would be to visit the wikihow page on split ends. Sheknows.com is also another great resource for approaching this issue.

So in conclusion, we can see that diet can play a large role in general health issues. This includes the health of your hair. Whilst products have uses, if you can concentrate on keeping yourself healthy and eating nutrient dense food, then you are halfway there.

 

Health Benefits of Grapes

We all understand that consuming fruit and vegetables is critical to your overall health. One such fruit that often gets overlooked is grapes. Grapes are high in water and nutrients, as well as having relatively little calories. They are also a great source of potassium, vitamin c and vitamin B6. Grapes are also high in antioxidants which has a range of health benefits. So ok, we understand they are healthy. But what are the actual health benefits?healthy foods for the body

Heart Disease:
Grapes are known to increase the level of nitric oxide found in ones blood. By doing so the risk of blood clots is decreased. The antioxidants that are found in grapes also help to prevent the blockage of blood vessels. Grapes are also high in potassium, and whilst we all know the high sodium levels can cause blood pressure, the affects of a diet with low levels of potassium is often ignored. Many studies show that having a deficiency of potassium in ones diet also be a cause of high blood pressure.

**Note: If you are on medication for heart disease, make sure you consult your doctor before consuming a diet high in potassium. Whilst high potassium foods can often be eaten in moderation whilst on these types of medication, too much potassium can be extremely harmful. If you are on medication for heart disease, ensure you discuss this with your doctor before making changes to your diet.

It is believed that heart benefits from grapes are most likely due to an antioxidant called resveratrol which is found in grapes. The Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmology also concludes that pronanthocyandins (another antioxidant found in the actual grape seeds) may also be another positive factor for heart health.

In short, Resveratrol is known to reduce stroke risk by the changes it has upon blood vessels. It is able to protect against natural hormones that can actually cause blood vessels to narrow causing higher blood pressure. It also increases nitric oxide in the blood which helps blood vessels relax.

Our cardiovascular system also experiences a range of benefits from including grapes in our diet. Some of these include:

  • Improved regulation of blood pressure
  • Cholesterol reduction
  • Enhanced release of nitric oxide (as previously discussed)
  • Higher levels of gluthaoline

Constipation
Grapes are great for your intestinal muscles. They have a high amount of insoluble fiber that helps to produce a healthy stool. Whilst grapes should not be used alone to treat issues with your bowel movements, in a balanced diet grapes play a great role. However if you have a loose stool or issues with diarrhoea they may be a food to avoid, but do so with consultation with your doctor. However for the majority of people, grapes will be of benefit for bowel or constipation issues. Grapes are also known to help with indigestion and the fact they are light and low in calories makes them an even better choice.

Hair & Skin Benefits:
We will touch on this more in an upcoming article (so stay tuned), however the natural antioxidants in grapes have been known to have a positive affect on hair growth, dandruff treatment, hair-loss and oily skin.

Iron Levels
Including this magical fruit (ok it’s not really magical) in your diet can help keep your iron levels in check. Just remember though, this refers to white grapes. Dark grapes may decrease iron levels, we are no suggesting to avoid dark grapes, but just keep this in mind. Low levels of iron often lead a general flat feeling and can certainly cause tiredness if the body is low on iron.

Resveratrol is found naturally in grapes

Grapes can have a huge impact on contributing to and preventing a range of different health issues as discussed in this article. They are not a magical fruit that will fix a poor diet and lifestyle, however they are loaded with nutrients and can help treat a range of disorders. They should be high on the priority list when in the supermarket. And of course, finally, they actually taste pretty damn good!

 

Resveratrol is found naturally in grapes.