3 Surprising Ways Exercise Makes You Feel Better

Look, we get it. Sometimes it takes every single ounce of your energy and willpower just to get off the couch and get a glass of water. And as we’ve wrote about previously, if you really want to move the weight loss needle, you should focus on diet more than exercise because it’s much more efficient to reduce the intake of calories rather than to try to burn them off. Still, movement—let’s not even call it exercise—can be a great addition to any weight loss plan. Plus, once you’re up and moving around, you’re almost certain to feel better.

The United States Department of Health recommends that people get 150 minutes of movement each week. Nutrisystem makes it even easier. We call it My Daily 3: three times a day, move around for at least 10 minutes. Take the stairs. Walk to get a cup of coffee. Maybe sit at your desk and do some gentle stretches and isometrics. Park at the far end of the grocery store parking lot and push your cart the whole way. But there are other reasons to get moving, some of which may surprise you. Here are three surprising ways exercise makes you feel better.

Reason #1: You’ll Improve Your Memory.

People often report thinking more clearly after a workout. It makes sense: the blood and oxygen are flowing. But the hippocampus, the part of the brain integral to learning and memory, is especially active during exercise. Some studies have even shown that aerobic exercise can reverse shrinkage of the hippocampus.1,2 We’re not saying you have to train for a marathon, either. Something as simple and pleasant as an after-dinner stroll with a friend produces benefits. Give it a try.

Reason #2: You’ll Sleep Better.

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), exercise improves sleep. Why? Well, a little exercise can make you pleasantly sleepy. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity has been shown to promote better quality sleep in adults by decreasing the amount of time they lie awake in bed.3

“While longer or more vigorous workouts can lead to more physical improvements, just 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day can alleviate anxiety and help you sleep better at night,” says NSF. Sleeping better can also give you the energy to get moving more often. NSF recommends trying out exercise at different times of the day (morning, afternoon and within a few hours of sleep) to determine the time that works best for you. 4

Reason #3: Your Mood Will Improve.

According to Mayo Clinic, “Doing 30 minutes or more of exercise a day for three to five days a week may significantly improve depression or anxiety symptoms.” The reason: Exercise has been shown to release feel-good endorphins and can also help take your mind off of daily stressors. Experts at Mayo Clinic explain that these benefits may only stick around if you make physical activity a long-term lifestyle change. That’s why they recommend finding activities that you love and enjoy.5

10 Ten-Minute Workouts

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Sources: 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3072565/
  2. https://www.pnas.org/content/108/7/3017
  3. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/physical-activity/exercise-and-sleep
  4. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/physical-activity/best-exercises-sleep
  5. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495

12 Fun Tips to Make Exercise Less Boring

It’s no secret that regular exercise helps you make faster progress to your weight loss goal. It’s also no secret that it can be hard to work up the motivation to break a sweat and get moving. But that doesn’t mean working out has to be a boring chore! In fact, with these 12 fun ways to exercise, you may even discover you enjoy it.

1. Partner up.

 

Exercise partners support each other with a high five

Exercising with a spouse, friend or neighbor helps the time pass as you chat while you’re moving. One study also found that when people participate in a synchronized activity (such as rowing) instead of exercising alone, their bodies release more endorphins (also known as “feel good” hormones) than when they are going solo. According to the researchers, who published their findings in Biology Letters, “This heightened effect from synchronized activity may explain the sense of euphoria experienced during other social activities (such as laughter, music-making and dancing) that are involved in social bonding in humans and possibly other vertebrates.”1

What’s more, having a partner helps you stick with your commitment to regular activity because you keep each other accountable and on track. If your partner is a member of your household, you can also join together on a weight loss journey by signing up for Nutrisystem’s partner plan.

2. Make a playlist.

 

Use music for an added boost to endorphins

Music can boost your mood and keep your mind occupied as you exercise. Choose songs for your workout playlist that are upbeat and fast-paced, so they lift up your energy level as you go. The ideal music for exercise has about 140 to 160 beats per minute. Some music streaming services even tag songs that match the tempo of your workout pace so you can easily identify them.2

3. Dance, dance, dance.

 

Dance rhythms for a better workout

If you love to move your body to the rhythm of music, make dancing your workout. A 155-pound person burns about 108 calories during 30 minutes of doing a waltz and about 198 calories when square or disco dancing.3 For even more fun (and extra endorphins!), look for groups in your area that get together for line dancing.

4. Playground circuit.

 

Join your kids or grandkids for playground fun

If your kids (or grandkids) love to go on swings, the sliding board or do other playground activities, you can get in a quick and fun workout while they’re enjoying themselves. You can do all kinds of calisthenics using the equipment, from pushups or presses on the slide to flexed arm hangs from the monkey bars. A quick search online will provide you with tons of ideas for getting fit at the park using the swings, benches, slides and more.4

5. Play to lose.

 

Outdoor games keep you moving without realizing it

Many outdoor games for kids keep you moving while you’re having fun with the family. Join with them as they play tag, kickball, hopscotch or any of their favorite games and everyone will go to bed tired and happy, while your metabolism stays active.

6. Ride a bicycle.

 

Outdoors bike rides are easy on the joints and good for the mind

You never forget how to ride a bike or lose that joyful feeling of cruising around with the breeze in your face. Even at a modest pace, a 155-pound person burns 288 calories in 30 minutes of riding a bike.3 Many communities these days have bike trails where you can get away from car traffic and enjoy beautiful scenery as you pedal.

7. Break it up.

 

Regular exercise can be broken out into smaller segments

To get the benefits of regular exercise, you need to be active for 30 minutes a day. This can be difficult if you have a busy schedule or are just getting started with your fitness journey. That’s why we developed the My Daily 3 activity plan.

My Daily 3 is our way of tackling this recommendation in an easier way that works with your life. By incorporating three quick, 10-minute activity sessions throughout the day, you can still reap the benefits of regular exercise without making a 30-minute commitment all at once. For example, you could walk for 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch and 10 minutes in the evening. Even better, do 20 minutes of walking and 10 minutes of light training with resistance bands to build muscle.

8. Join a class.

 

Group fitness classes range from Zumba to kickboxing

Gyms now offer so many choices for fun classes, from Zumba to spin to kick-boxing. Sample a few of them to see if one gets you excited to come back for the next session. Look for lively instructors, who can make any kind of exercise more enjoyable.

9. Listen to a podcast.

 

Put on a podcast while you work out

Keep your brain busy while you’re exercising and time will fly by. Whether you love true crime stories, comedy, celebrity interviews, the latest news or just about any other topic, you can find podcasts that will hold your attention as you stay active. You can pick from a wide range of free podcasts available for any mobile device.

10. Buy an outfit.

 

Looking great can motivate you to exercise

When you look good, you feel good. Workout clothes today are more comfortable and more stylish than they used to be. Get yourself an outfit you’ll be excited to wear and you’ll look forward to exercising so you can put it on.

11. Set goals.

 

Set goals to keep your exercise plan moving forward

Challenge yourself to achieve goals you have to work a little to reach. Keep them simple, like walking 10 minutes without a break or going to the gym three times a week. Goals like these help you to focus on the process of regular activity as you get the benefits.

12. Reward yourself.

 

Reward your exercise progress

You know exercise has valuable long-term benefits for your weight loss goals, but you can make it pay off in the short-term with small rewards. Every week that you get in 30 minutes of exercise each day, for instance, you could treat yourself to a spa treatment. Thinking about the reward will keep you from being bored along the way to earning it.

Sources:

  1. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/abs/10.1098/rsbl.2009.0670
  2. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/psychology-workout-music/
  3. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-of-leisure-and-routine-activities
  4. https://www.playgroundequipment.com/20-playground-exercises-to-achieve-a-full-body-workout-without-the-gym/

5 Tips to Plan a Diet-Friendly Backyard Picnic

Celebrate Labor Day and say farewell to summer with a fun backyard cookout! Keep things healthy and diet-friendly with this simple guide that’s packed with tips for grilling, cooking side dishes, playing fun games and whipping up Nutrisystem-approved drinks. Here are five fun ways to enjoy a backyard picnic and still lose weight:

1. Load some veggies on that grill.

grilled vegetables

grilled vegetables

Even veggie haters find grilled vegetables to be irresistible. That’s probably because this particular cooking method brings out their inherent sweetness. Slice up some onions, zucchini, eggplant, carrots and even cabbage “steaks,” then grill them up as a healthy side.

To keep your meal diet-friendly, load up half of your plate with veggies. Trending now: the carrot “hot dog.” Cook whole carrots on the grill and serve them on a whole wheat frankfurter bun with all the fixings. You can also use veggies in another way: in some grilled vegetable recipes, vegetables are layered between cubes of chicken, a firm fish like tuna or swordfish, shellfish such as shrimp or even lean beef. Vegetable kebabs can help you keep your meal balanced between higher calorie protein and lower calorie veggies with a fiber-friendly twist.

Check out these seven foods that taste better on the grill! >

2. Make sides that are the star of the meal.

The Leaf healthy summer picnic tips

The Leaf healthy summer picnic tips

Forget the mayonnaise-laden potato salad, pasta salad and coleslaw that crowd every summer picnic table across the land. They’re as ho-hum as they are fattening. Instead, focus on some of the farm fresh produce that’s readily available this time of year.

Consider replacing slaw with a Zesty Cucumber and Dill Salad that takes minutes to prepare and can sit in the fridge for hours, just getting more and more savory the longer it marinates! You also don’t have to nix slaw completely from the menu—just liven up a cabbage-carrot mix with a dressing of low-sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar and peanut butter. This Spicy Peanut Slaw recipe supplies one PowerFuel and two Vegetables to your daily count.

Love pasta salad? Broccoli, bell pepper strips and cherry tomatoes turn a simple Creamy Pasta Salad (mixed with nonfat Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise) into a work of art. Plus, it clocks in at only 228 calories per serving, even with the chopped turkey bacon added for crunch and protein. One serving counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and one Vegetable. Click here for the recipe! >

You also don’t have to banish potato salad if you make it the Nutrisystem way, using reduced fat mayo, nonfat Greek yogurt or even a piquant vinaigrette. Think outside the summer picnic basket too: Eliminate half of the potatoes from the recipe and mix in turnips, cauliflower or parsnips. Add fun and flavorful ingredients like dill, green onions, chives or capers. Then throw in some of your favorite vegetables, like fresh peas, bell peppers or radishes for a flavorful bite. Make a healthier potato salad for your summer picnic with these five tips. > 

3. Add Nutrisystem foods to the mix.

The Leaf healthy summer picnic tips

The Leaf healthy summer picnic tips

How good would your Nutrisystem Classic Hamburger or Grilled Chicken Sandwich taste if you made it on the grill? Yes. THAT good. You can also feel free to indulge in dessert with one of Nutrisystem’s sweet bars or bites. Click here to stock up! >

4. Plan active backyard fun and games.

The Leaf healthy summer picnic tips

The Leaf healthy summer picnic tips

Exercise off any excess calories from your summer picnic by planning outdoor activities for young and old. If you have enough yard, set up a volleyball or badminton net. Kids aren’t the only ones who can enjoy backyard games like tag, freeze tag or dodge ball, particularly if you incorporate water balloons into the fun. You can even do a riff on the egg-and-spoon relay race with filled water balloons and a wooden spoon. Throw Frisbees back and forth or set up a game of cornhole or horseshoes. Organize a post-picnic walk around the neighborhood or a nearby park.

5. Hydrate wisely.

The Leaf healthy summer picnic tips

The Leaf healthy summer picnic tips

While you can always turn to light beer and wine coolers to save some calories, don’t forget that studies have shown that alcohol can stimulate the appetite center of your brain and make you eat more, says the United Kingdom National Health Service.

Both wine and beer come in non-alcoholic versions. You can also whip up some delicious and satisfying “mocktails” that will wow your guests. Try a non-alcoholic Strawberry Daiquiri that combines fresh and frozen strawberries with water and lime juice in the blender. It’s only 55 calories per serving and counts as one SmartCarb on Nutrisystem. Find this mouthwatering non-alcoholic drink recipe and four more mocktails right here! >

Avoiding alcohol at your backyard picnic can help you avoid unnecessary calories. However, you can still enjoy alcohol in moderation on your Nutrisystem program. If you’d like to have a drink, check out this article on 10 Low Calorie Beers That Actually Taste Good! > You can also brush up on your Nutrisystem knowledge and learn more about alcohol on our program right here. >

Be sure to explore The Leaf for more tips to enjoy this summer season with family and friends, including expert fitness and nutrition tips as well as delicious seasonal recipes for your weight loss journey!

15 Self-Improvement Tips for a Successful September

September is all about new beginnings. It’s a new season and many people begin new routines that will carry them through the rest of the year. Plus, September has been officially designated as Self-Improvement Month. We can’t think of a better time to start anew and better yourself! It’s time to think of every day as an opportunity to take simple steps that will help you look, feel and live better. To get you started, we’ve gathered this list of hints that you can use to build a happier and healthier you this September.

Here are 15 self-improvement tips for a successful September:

1. Reset your habits.

September

September

We make lots of choices every day. However, we also do many things without thinking, simply because they’ve become habits. The good news is that not all habits are harmful. There are many healthy habits that can turn your September into a successful start to a new season. Even better, research shows that it can take as little as 66 days to build a new habit that’s good for you, says University College London. This can include drinking more water, starting a new exercise routine, getting more sleep or even cutting down on screen time.

Not sure where to start? Check out these 10 workday habits of healthy people! >

2. Practice positivity.

September

September

You have more control of your inner dialogue than you realize. By making a concentrated effort to think positive thoughts, you can improve your mood and your health. “People with a family history of heart disease who also had a positive outlook were one-third less likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event within five to 25 years than those with a more negative outlook,” says Johns Hopkins Medicine. They also explain that smiling reduces heart rate and blood pressure during stressful situations, even if it’s a fake smile. You really can fake it until you make it!

3. Give yourself goals.

September

September

Every achievement, big or small, starts with a goal. The goals you are most likely to reach are specific and attainable. Simply saying you want to lose weight or stay in touch with old friends, for example, makes it easy to keep putting those things off. Instead, define your goals as “fitting into my favorite dress for a wedding” or “calling one friend every week.” Click the link below for tips on writing your own goals!

4. Accept setbacks.

September

September

No matter how motivated and focused we are, sometimes forces beyond our control prevent us from reaching our goals. Too often, that makes us feel like giving up, as if we’ll never succeed. However, progress rarely goes in a straight line. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that even when we go two steps forward and one step back, we have moved closer to our goal.

5. Try mentoring.

September

September

People with experience in careers, parenting and life skills have invaluable knowledge to share with those just starting out. Mentoring can be rewarding for both sides—mature people get to pass along their well-earned wisdom and younger folks get help in overcoming obstacles. Plus, when one teaches, two learn! Check out The National Mentoring Partnership: They have a “connector” database that matches mentors with people who want to be mentored.

6. Widen your circle.

September

September

If you have a few close friends, you are fortunate. However, regular contact with a broader range of people is also good for your mental health as you get older. According to research, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, “The midlife wellbeing of both men and women seems to depend on having a wide circle of friends whom they see regularly,” says ScienceDaily.

7. Make time to read.

reading

reading

We all spend more time than ever looking at the screens of electronics. It’s time to put down your smart phone and pick up a good old book! Taking time to read books helps both our bodies and our minds: Research shows that reading can reduce stress levels by up to 68 percent, says the University of Minnesota. Whether you enjoy inspirational self-help, biographies or fantasy fiction, there’s a book out there for everyone. Audio books are also a great option when you’re on the go! Listen to them on your commute, your daily jog or while you’re cooking up a healthy meal.

8. Try new apps.

new apps

new apps

Our phones and tablets bring the world to our fingertips and can make our lives easier. You can try apps that help you work on your memory skills, learn new vocabulary, pursue creative ideas, manage your finances, try new workouts and so much more. Want to lose weight this September? Check out the FREE NuMi app from Nutrisystem, available for both Apple and Android devices! It’s the ultimate app for weight loss because it makes it easy for you to track your progress and provides daily information and inspiration. Learn more here! >

9. Learn a second language.

September

September

Being able to speak two languages not only allows us to communicate with a wider variety of people but it’s also good for our brains. According to Annual Review of Linguistics, “research in recent decades has demonstrated that experience with two (or more) languages confers a bilingual advantage in executive functions and may delay the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.” You can learn a new language using one of the many online courses or apps. Solidify your skills by practicing with native speakers whenever possible.

10. Fix your posture.

September

September

Sitting all day and staring at a screen can cause poor posture. This can damage your spine, cause neck and back pain, decrease flexibility and impact breathing, says MedlinePlus. You can avoid these problems by bearing in mind the basics of good posture throughout the day: Harvard Health Publishing recommends keeping your chin parallel to the floor and your shoulders even. You should have a “neutral spine” with your arms at your sides. Be sure to keep your hips level, knees and feet pointing forward and your body weight distributed evenly. Run down that list when you’re sitting and standing to re-balance yourself and prevent the slumping that pushes us out of alignment.

11. Meditate daily.

September

September

Taking a little time each day to clear your mind of your daily cares and concerns can help you enjoy a stress-free September. According to Mayo Clinic, meditation has been shown to decrease the symptoms of high-blood pressure, chronic pain, anxiety, headaches, sleep problems and more. You can find many apps and online videos to help you get started. However, the basics are simple: sit in a comfortable position in a location that’s free from distractions. Focus on the rhythm of your breathing and let any thoughts or worries that enter your mind drift away. All you need is 10 minutes to get the benefits of this little break from the rush of daily life.

12. Cook often.

healthy cooking

healthy cooking

When you prepare your own food, you pay attention to the ingredients and can avoid unhealthy additives like salt and sweeteners. If you don’t have much experience cooking, start off simple and practice your skills before you take on more elaborate dishes. Don’t know where to begin? Check out The Leaf Weight Loss Blog for thousands of easy and delicious recipes that fit into your healthy diet! You can also pick up a copy of the book How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. It covers all the basics and shares the little tips and secrets that great home cooks learn after years in the kitchen.

 13. Sleep more.

sleep

sleep

You might not think of sleeping as a way to improve your life. However, so many of us are chronically tired that it actually harms our mental and physical health. Lack of sleep even increases our chances of overeating and makes it harder for us to lose excess weight, says Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. Try your best to stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule. If you find yourself tired in the middle of the day, taking a 20-minute nap can refresh you without disrupting your night-time sleep.

Learn more about the importance of getting good sleep! >

14. Lose weight.

weight loss

weight loss

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, being overweight or obese can lead to a wide range of health concerns, such as diabetes and heart disease. Losing the excess weight can reduce your risk of these problems, as well as promote positive feelings, a sense of accomplishment and better self-image. To help you reach a healthy weight, consider trying a convenient meal delivery service that fits into your new September schedule. Nutrisystem provides you with a simple meal plan, food delivery and an amazing support system.  Click here to learn more! >

15. Be grateful, be happy.

September

September

Simply being thankful for the most basic things that we have in our lives—food and shelter, health and safety, family and friends—improves our sense of well-being. Practicing gratitude is associated with “greater life satisfaction,” according to research, published in the medical journal Psychiatry. What better way to improve ourselves this September than to be happier about all the good things we have? Try starting a gratitude journal and reflect on what you’re thankful for throughout the month. It’s a great way to start your day with a positive mind.

10 Simple Hacks to Help You Drink More Water

Weight loss,workouts,weight loss Journey,dehydrated,energy,hydration,Water is required by each cell of your body in order to function normally and help you become the “healthiest you.” While your body will also obtain water from other fluids you drink, water is far-and-away the best choice. Water has so many benefits from increasing energy and relieving fatigue to boosting your immune system and of course, also promoting weight loss. One way that water helps with your weight loss journey is by fueling your workouts. If you’re dehydrated, your workouts will not be as effective. But water also helps you feel full and potentially eat less. Sometimes a glass of water is enough to curb what you thought was hunger.

While you probably already knew the importance of water, you still might struggle with fitting in all that extra hydration. Sometimes it’s even just a matter of getting so busy that you forget to keep up with drinking. We know you’ve heard a lot of tips before, but we did some research and have come up with 10 more water-drinking-hacks that you can add to your arsenal. Try these easy ways to drink more water:

1. Set an Alarm

If you’re like most people you probably always have your phone on you. Well now you can use that alarm for more than your early morning wake-up call. Set an alarm to go off every hour to remind you to drink up. It’s so easy to get caught up with what you’re doing and fail to drink as much as you should but this will help provide an easy reminder.

2. Band It

If you’re more of a visual person, this hack is for you. Start your day with at least eight rubber bands around your wrist. Each time you drink about a cup of water, remove one rubber band. Make sure you’ve removed them all by the end of the day and you’ll know you fit in your eight (or more) cups that day.

3. Hashmark your Bottle

Another visual reminder, by using a permanent marker to add hashmarks to your water bottle, you can know exactly where you stand with water consumption for the day. Next to each hashmark write a time which corresponds with the time you plan to drink up. When the clock strikes that time, drink until you’ve hit the next hashmark.

4. Buy a Water Bottle You Love

It sounds silly but investing in a bottle that you really love just may help you drink more. There are a lot of bottles on the market. In fact, if you’re not much of a DIY type of person, they even sell water bottles that are already hashmarked (per the suggestion above). There are water bottles that allow you to easily infuse fruit and others that advertise keeping your drink cold all day long. Or you could even just buy a cup with a straw that has a favorite saying or character on it. Something as simple as a cup you love just may be the motivation you need.

5. Set a Rule

Another way to remind yourself is to set a rule based around a regular occurrence. For instance, you could decide that every time you go to the bathroom you have to drink one more cup of water. If you have another ongoing occurrence throughout the day, you can set your cup drinking to that. It just serves as an easy reminder to tie it to something you’re already regularly doing.

6. Eat Your Water

There’s no rule that says you must drink all your water. If you really struggle with water consumption try adding more water-packed foods to your day such as watermelon, cantaloupe or cucumber. This will help boost your intake even if you’re struggling with drinking it all down.

7. Switch your Brand

You’ve probably already heard the tip about adding flavor to your water to make it tastier but maybe just switching your brand could make a difference. Or maybe you prefer mineral water. If you’re currently drinking unfiltered water, invest in a filter and see if that makes it more appealing. If you make your water more enjoyable, you’ll likely drink more of it.

8. Add a Straw

Some people find that drinking from a straw is easier. It’s a simple switch but might be worth trying if it will help you drink more water. Whether you drink from a straw or not, sipping water—as opposed to gulping it down—is always much more pleasant so focus on taking it slow and you just may find you can fit more in.

9. Start Early

If you’re like a lot of people you might kick off your morning with a glass of juice or a cup of coffee. Why not try drinking a glass of water before anything else? One of the biggest issues with fitting in eight cups a day is that most people don’t start their water consumption until late morning as they’re typically drinking something else first. But if you make water your first drink of the day you’re setting yourself up for success. In fact, you might even find you don’t need that glass of juice now that you’re fully hydrated on healthy H20.

10. Add Ice

Again, simple but effective. Adding ice may make your water more appealing—particularly on a hot day or after a work-out. You can even take it a step further and use ice as the way to add flavor to your drink. Freeze ice cube trays full of fruits or herbs and plunk them in your drink for both a boost of flavor and a temperature cool down.

Your news here at www.WeghtLossNewsNow.com

Thanks for visiting and please come back for more updates and News on the site, Bernadette.

Your sweat rate: How to check it and why it matters

When I work with any athlete, one of the first questions I ask is, “what is your sweat rate?”. Ninety-five percent of the time, I get a blank stare. When creating a performance nutrition plan, knowing your sweat rate is critical to make sure fluid replacement during exercise is adequate (but not too high). Here is why:

The importance of water
Water plays major roles in the body at any given time, but especially during exercise. During exercise, water inside your body cools your core and muscles, keeping you from overheating too quickly. This helps your perform stronger and longer. In addition, water transports nutrients to your muscle for use in exercise metabolism and then “cleans up” by transporting metabolites away from your muscle to be filtered and excreted. Water plays a key role in preventing dehydration, which also keeps the athlete mentally “on” throughout the workout. Finally, water acts as a cushion to your organs to protect them in case of impact during sports.

Why you should know your sweat rate
What I refer to as a “sweat rate” is defined as exactly how much water an athlete loses per hour of exercise. It is important to know your number because sweat rates vary widely from athlete to athlete. Females generally range from 2-5cups/hr and males range from 4-7 cups/hr.  However, variables such as air temperature, humidity and amount/type of clothing/pads can change sweat rate day to day. Once I know an athlete’s sweat rate, that tells me how much fluid per hour we need to replace during exercise.

How to calculate sweat rate
To figure out your sweat rate, pick a workout that is at least one hour long. Weigh yourself before and after that workout. Do not pee during the workout (unless you want to measure it), and keep track of how much fluid you take in during that workout. After the workout ends, take a look at how much weight you lost compared to how much fluid you drank. If your weights are about the same before and after, the amount of fluid you drank matched how much fluid you lost in sweat. If, however, your weight dropped during the workout, you did not drink enough fluid and need to increase your intake next time. By using this simple method, you can easily estimate your sweat rate. When doing this test, it is a good idea to note temperature and humidity during the test for future reference. If you are a triathlete, be sure to do separate biking and running tests, as most athletes have a different rate for each.

So, get to work! Figure out that sweat rate so you can replace fluids adequately to fit your individual needs for the rest of this summer.

Your Nutrition Coach,

some thanks  for stopping by and come back for more quick tips and advise here @ www.WeightLossNewsNow.com

Picture source

Beauty Food: 6 Nutrients for Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

Sure, you can try every iteration of your favorite shampoo, buy fancy face creams and moisturize your cuticles to your heart’s content—and your hair, skin and nails will likely reap the beauty benefits.

However, the vitamins and minerals that you eat can also affect how great you look and feel—and you’ve likely got room to optimize your nutrition for an even better daily life. According to the peer-reviewed scientific journal Dermato-Endocrinology, “Beauty comes from the inside.”1

Here are six essential beauty-boosting nutrients, and the foods to find them in:

1. Vitamin C

Vegetables and fruits like broccoli, peppers, and tomatoes are high in vitamin C

Vegetables and fruits like broccoli, peppers, and tomatoes are high in vitamin C

Also known as ascorbic acid, your body needs vitamin C to make collagen, a protein that serves as one of the main building blocks of skin. Collagen keeps your skin from sagging and is necessary for wound healing.2,3 Loops around the sun don’t have to completely ruin your hair, skin, and nails. Vitamin C also serves as a powerful antioxidant, with some studies suggesting that it can even help prevent skin damage induced by ultraviolet (UV) light.3

Foods high in vitamin C include:

  • Citrus fruits and their juices
  • Red and green peppers
  • Kiwi fruits
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes2

2. Vitamin E

Load up on squash, avocados, nuts and seeds to get vitamin E’s antioxidant benefits

Load up on squash, avocados, nuts and seeds to get vitamin E’s antioxidant benefits

According to Oregon State University, “Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is essential for the maintenance of healthy skin. Naturally occurring vitamin E is not a single compound; instead, vitamin E is a group of molecules with related structures, some of which may have unique properties in skin.” With its antioxidant properties, vitamin E can absorb the energy from UV light, which damages skin and leads to wrinkles and sagging. It also has anti-inflammatory properties in the skin and works with vitamin C to strengthen cells.4 One small study also found people with hair loss experienced an over 30 percent increase in hair growth after supplementing with vitamin E for 8 months.5

Foods high in vitamin E include:

  • Vegetable oils, like sunflower or safflower
  • Nuts, like peanuts and almonds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Green vegetables, like spinach and broccoli6

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D can be found in salmon, eggs, and fortified dairy

Vitamin D can be found in salmon, eggs, and fortified dairy

While the jury is still out on the extent to which vitamin D can lead to hair regrowth, not having vitamin D negatively impacts hair health. Some studies have even found that low vitamin D levels may be associated with female pattern hair loss, the most common type of hair loss in women.7 Other research suggests the symptoms of alopecia areata—an autoimmune condition that results in hair loss—may be more severe in people with low levels of vitamin D.8 Like vitamin C, vitamin D also may play a role in wound healing.9

Foods high in vitamin D include:

  • Fatty fish, like salmon and tuna
  • Fish liver oils
  • Vitamin-D fortified foods, like milk, breakfast cereal and orange juice
  • Beef liver, cheese and egg yolks (small amounts)
  • Mushrooms (small amounts)10

4. Biotin

Biotin can be found in bananas, meats, and avocados

Biotin can be found in bananas, meats, and avocados

When most people think of vitamins for hair, skin and nails, biotin may be the first thing to come to mind. “Due to its relatively low cost and abundance of availability in cosmetic products, biotin has become the new trend for consumers wishing to have longer, healthier hair and nails,” says researchers in the journal Skin Appendage Disorders.11

Low levels of vitamin B7, also known as biotin, can lead to hair loss.12 In one 2016 study, biotin deficiency was found in 38 percent of women who were experiencing hair loss.11 Most commercially-available hair, skin and nails supplements are extremely high in biotin. A few smaller studies suggest biotin supplements may help strengthen weak and brittle nails.13 However, research on biotin supplementation is limited. “Future studies are needed to determine whether biotin supplements might improve hair, nail, and skin health, especially among healthy individuals,” says the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.14

Foods high in biotin include:

  • Eggs, fish, meat and organ meats (e.g., liver)
  • Vegetables like sweet potatoes, broccoli and spinach
  • Nuts and seeds12

5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3s are beloved, and found in avocados, fatty fish, and oils

Omega-3s are beloved, and found in avocados, fatty fish, and oils

Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that have been shown to help protect your heart, lower blood pressure and even reduce inflammation.15 What you may not realize is that omega-3s may also benefit your skin and hair.16,17 Research suggests omega-3s may help protect against sun damage, as well as help keep your skin stay moist, firm, flexible and smooth.16 Some preliminary studies suggest omega-3s may boost hair growth and reduce hair loss.18,19

Foods high in omega-3s include:

  • Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna
  • Nuts and seeds like walnuts, flaxseed and chia seeds
  • Plant oils, like flax oil and canola oil
  • Fortified foods like some brands of eggs, yogurt, milk and juices20

6. Zinc

The zinc in oysters, red meat, poultry, whole grains, and mushrooms can help skin repair

The zinc in oysters, red meat, poultry, whole grains, and mushrooms can help skin repair

Zinc is a mineral that is essential for every stage of wound healing, from skin repair to preventing infections. Zinc functions as an antioxidant.21 According to the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, research shows that zinc may reduce sebum production in the skin and protect against bacteria and inflammation.22 It’s also used as a mineral on sunscreens to protect the skin from sun damage.

“Moderate zinc deficiency causes pigmentation changes, decreased hair and nail growth, and skin lesions on body sites exposed to repeated pressure and friction in particular,” says Oregon State University. They explain further that six percent of all of zinc in the body is found in the skin. Zinc oxide can also protect the skin from sun damage and is commonly used as a “safe and effective physical sunscreen.”23

Foods high in zinc include:

  • Oysters
  • Red meat, poultry and seafood like crab and lobster
  • Fortified cereal
  • Beans, nuts, whole grains and dairy (limited amounts)24

Thanks for reading this article and I’ve got a lot I’m going to be putting up so stay tuned, coming very soon tons of NEW CONTENT, recipes, etc… don’t miss out. Thanks always for visiting and come back to visit again. Below are some links for you to go to.

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3583891/
  2. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-Consumer/
  3. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-C
  4. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-E
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24575202/
  6. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-Consumer/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5007917/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6380979/
  9. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-D
  10. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5582478/
  12. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Biotin-Consumer/
  13. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/nails/art-20044954
  14. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Biotin-HealthProfessional/
  15. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/17290-omega-3-fatty-acids
  16. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/essential-fatty-acids
  17. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/omega-3-for-hair
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6164340/
  19. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25573272/
  20. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-Consumer/
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5793244/
  22. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23652948/
  23. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/minerals
  24. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-Consumer/

Easy, quick lunches for young athletes cooking on their own

In an ideal world, every young athlete would have a parent waiting at home after a morning practice or before a late practice, prepping and serving a nutrient-dense lunch that will help them perform their best. The reality is that, in the summer, many athletes are on their own when it comes to finding a lunch – either because parents work or are driving around other siblings. The good news is that great lunch options can be created in a short time with little cooking expertise. As long as the ingredients are there, the feat is easy.

Sit down with your young athlete and review the list below. Pick at least 3 options each week that your athlete is willing and able to make on their own. Use this to create your shopping list. Doing this assures you can be away from home with less stress, knowing your athlete is fueling well in your absence.

1. Homemade quesadilla: canned beans (rinse) + 2% fat cheese + veggies cooked inside 2 whole
wheat tortillas. Add fruit and milk or a container of yogurt. If there is leftover chicken or other lean meat, add that to the quesadilla as well.

2. Homemade bagel pizzas: whole wheat bagel split open topped with lowfat cheese +
pizza sauce + turkey pepperoni + veggies. Cook for 5-10 minutes in a toaster oven or 5 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven). Add 1 piece fruit and water.

 

3. Whole grain cereal w/ low-fat milk topped with dried fruit + nuts. Add raw veggies dipped in hummus or guacamole.

 

4. Box mac n cheese with frozen (warmed) veggies mixed into the pasta or on the side. Add 1 piece of fruit and either milk or Greek yogurt.

 

5. PBJ
(whole wheat bread + 2 Tbsp peanut butter + 1 Tbsp jam/jelly) + 1 cheese stick + 1 piece fruit + raw veggies dipped in hummus or guacamole

 

6. Deli meat sandwich on whole wheat bread w/ cheese + 1 piece fruit + ½ cup veggies + ½ cup pretzels
7. Rice and beans: mix of half white/half brown rice topped with black beans and drizzled with olive oil and small amount shredded cheese (optional). Mix in frozen (heated) veggies or eat on the side. Add milk or Greek yogurt for extra protein. Finish with a piece of fruit or 1/2 cup fruit juice.
8. Loaded baked potato: 1 whole baked potato topped with low fat cheese, beans, cooked broccoli and salsa and plain Greek yogurt (optional). Pair with a piece of fruit and added protein from either lean meat, milk or additional Greek yogurt.
9. Eating out: 6 inch sub with lean deli meat (ham, turkey, chicken), condiment of choice and extra veggies + 1 bottle of 100% apple/orange juice + 1 bag baked potato chips/pretzels

 

Armed with the right ingredients and knowledge, a balanced plate can be achieved by all athletes at meals – regardless of their age.

Your  Nutrition 
Coach, Bernadette

Picture source

Snacks for School or Work

It’s back to school time! The summer flew by, and suddenly here we are in September! One of the biggest challenges athletes have during the school year is continuing solid performance fueling during school hours. Challenges of no snacks in class, no nuts in snacks and other roadblocks can threaten to derail efforts to consistently fuel muscles during the day. However, with the right snacks and a little discreteness, there is no need to arrive at afternoon practice starving. These snacks are also great for work, in the car or walking across campus!

Before reading through the list of snack options,  remember the cardinals of building a solid snack: a source of carbohydrate (fruit, grains, dairy) plus a source of protein (nuts, seeds, protein or animal meat). While some of those foods like deli meat or yogurt won’t appear on this list because they are not shelf stable, it is good to remember that they can be a part of a great snack when available.

Beautiful Performance-Enhancing, Shelf-Stable Snacks


Peanut butter & jam/honey sandwich
Sunbutter or soy nut butter & jam/honey sandwich*
Trail mix of dried fruit, nuts and your favorite whole grain cereal
Trail mix of dried fruit, seeds and your favorite whole grain cereal*
Granola bars: Some of my favorites are Clif bars, Picky Bars, Kind Bars and Luna Bars
Energy bites: there are many recipes available online, but look for great ones to include a nut butter or seed butter, whole grain oats, chia seeds or flaxseeds, honey and dark or even milk chocolate chips!*
Piece of fruit with nuts or seeds*
Piece of fruit with lean turkey or beef jerky
Whole grain crackers, bagel or English muffin topped with peanut butter, sunflower seed or soy nut butter*
Dry cereal that is high in protein, such as Kashi cereals*
Whole grain cracker topped with tuna (buy in packets)*
A piece of fruit or dried fruit with a container of shelf-stable low-fat chocolate milk (like that pictured above*

*nut-free

This is certainly not an all-inclusive list, so get creative and find what works for you, your family or your athlete. If you have the challenge of no snacks in class, eat in passing period, choosing foods that are quick and easy to eat, such as trail mix (only about 1/2 cup is needed), energy bites or a granola bar.

Your Nutrition Coach here @ weightlossnewsnow.com


Bernadette

10 ways to *easily* reduce added sugars this season!

Happy Halloween! As all the kiddos prepare to gather their candy stash for the next few months (or at least until Christmas?), it is a good time to remember that the USDA recommends that we only eat about 32gm or 4 teaspoons of added sugar daily. To reach that goal without giving up ALL of the fun Halloween candy, sometimes a few swaps or substitutes on a daily basis can do the trick. Here are few ideas to reduce the added sugar in your diet! (Note: this is an updated version of a posted I created 2 years ago, but it still rings true today!)

1. Cut out regular sodas or reduce your total amount. Currently drink 16 oz daily? Try dropping to 12 oz and keep going from there. Soda is pure added sugar.

2. Choose canned fruit in it’s own juice or light syrup (not heavy!). Also, don’t drink the syrup.

3. Instead of desserts like cookies, ice cream or cake, try fresh fruit with a small amount of whipped cream on top.

4. Be careful choosing breakfast cereals. Sugary, frosted cereals are just as bad as cookies and cakes. With cereal, the more plain, the better; you can always add your own honey to sweeten it up if needed.

5. Opt in to drinking more water or milk and less fruit drinks. Fruit drinks often contain very little actual fruit juice.

6. Monitor your intake of candy, sugary gum or other sweets. These are not only bad for your waistline, but bad for your heart, pancreas and teeth (to name a few)!

7. Beware of added sugars in condiments such as ketchup or salad dressings. Sauces such as spaghetti or pizza sauce often contain sugars as well. Try making your own to better control the sugar intake from these foods. Canned diced tomatoes and/or tomato paste make a great start to a homemade spaghetti or pizza sauce!

8. Limit sugar-sweetened teas and coffee drinks with flavored syrups. If you must have regular, ask for half the number of pumps of syrup; I bet you will be just as satisfied with the resulting flavor!

9. Instead of donuts and sweet rolls, snack on fruits, veggies, low-fat cheese, whole-grain crackers (such as Triscuits) and low-fat/low-calorie yogurt (many have LOTS of added sugar – try a plain non-fat/low-fat Greek yogurt and add natural sweetness using fruit).

10. Watch for sugar in other drinks such as sports drinks and energy drinks. Sports drinks are only meant to be used during an intense level of activity. Sports drinks are not a good fluid option at meals or to sip on throughout the day. Energy drinks are never a good option.

My advice: Pick 2 of the above ideas and implement them for 1-2 weeks. Once you have got them down, add a couple more each week or so. Implementing all 10 ideas at once can be overwhelming and unsatisfying. So, take it slow and steady so that the changes you make are changes that stick around and stay with you this time around, what do you say huh?

Live Extraordinary,

www.WeightLossNewsNow.com

Thanks again for tuning in weather it’s your first time here or your coming back Thanks 🙏 and God Bless, Bernadette

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