Sunday, April 24, 2016

OTC Daily Supplements: Centrum

This article was written by Josh Gitalis, clinical nutritionist and Functional Medicine Specialist, and posted on Meghan Telpner's blog under the title "The Truth Behind Centrum: Supplement Or Chemical Cocktail?" After 20+ years of taking OTC nutritional supplements, from Centrum to GNC and all other in-between, still getting sick and seeing no benefit, I believe people are wasting money on drug store, grocery store or most any OTC supplement. I am aware that many people take these sub-standard daily supplements without any thought, without any analysis on how or if they are improving their life. Unfortunately many will find the cheapest supplements,...and that's the results you get!

"The Truth Behind Centrum: Supplement Or Chemical Cocktail?"

One of the most popular supplements on the market is the multi-vitamin Centrum. What many people don’t realize is that this multi-vitamin is probably doing more harm than good. Is Centrum a vitamin supplement of synthetic chemical cocktail?

A Few Centrum Facts:

• Centrum is a product produced by the company Pfizer, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
• The dosages of most of the nutrients in Centrum are negligible and not even close to therapeutic levels.
• The forms that the nutrients are provided in are the cheapest and the least absorbable forms.
• Supplements that come in tablet form are often hard to digest and contain binders and fillers (more on this below).
• Water-soluble nutrients (vitamin C and the B-vitamins) are either used or excreted within about 4 hours. Thus, a one-a-day multi is completely useless and a sure sign that it is of poor quality.

The Ingredients In Centrum:

• Calcium Carbonate This is the least absorbable forms of calcium on the market. A very small percentage is actually absorbed.
• Ferrous Fumarate This form of iron is incredibly constipating.
• Pregelatinized Corn Starch This is used as a binder to hold all of the ingredients together. It most likely a genetically modified corn which presents a number of problems for sensitive people.
• DL-Alpha Tocopherol This is vitamin E and they are using two forms. The “D” form which is natural and the “L” Form which is synthetic. The “L” form is used to “water-down” the more expensive more bioactive “D” form.
• BHT Butylated hydroxyanisole has been shown to be toxic to the liver, thyroid, kidney, lungs, and affecting blood coagulation. BHT can act as a tumour promoter.
• FD&C Yellow No. 6 Aluminum Lake Why is there food colouring in a health supplement?
• Gelatin Vegetarians watch out!
• Hydrogenated Palm Oil Hydrogenating any oil turns the oil rancid and makes it into a strong free radical. Free radicals promote cancer and heart disease.
• Nickelous Sulfate and Tin I have never come across any nutrition book discussing a nickel or tin deficiency. Have you? We most likely don’t need to supplement it.
• Sodium Benzoate A preservative that may cause organ toxicity.
• Talc Has been shown to cause cancer.
• Sodium Aluminosilicate Used as a food additive for its anti caking effect.
One of my rules when shopping for nutritional supplements is to never buy supplements in a drug store. Centrum is only available in drug stores and is advertised as the “#1-recommended doctor multivitamin” (doctors receive no more than 40 hours of nutrition training). When it comes to a multi-vitamin I recommend going to a health food store and talking to to a trained health practitioner in the supplements department about a good-quality multi-vitamin.

Tips For Choosing A Multi-Vitamin:

• Looks for a multi where the dosage is at least 2-3 capsules per day.
• You pay for what you get. The more expensive the multi is, the better the product.
• Don’t buy it if it says “doctor-recomended” on the label or if a pharmaceutical company distributes it.
• Consult with a certified nutritionist to determine the right multi-vitamin for you.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Kidney Detoxification: 7 Ways to Detox the Kidneys Naturally

Knowing how to detox the kidneys naturally should be common knowledge. Our bodies are constantly exposed to toxins. And while our kidneys are well equipped to handle the removal of harmful impurities, these two bean-shaped organs can be overloaded. When that happens, they cease function properly, putting us at risk for tumors, kidney stones, and a variety of other problems. In severe cases, they may even shut down. This is why kidney detoxification is necessary.

1. Drink More Water One of the best ways to detox kidneys naturally. According to experts, most of us don’t consume nearly enough H20, and water obtained through the foods that we eat is not enough to maintain proper kidney function. How much water is enough? There are different opinions, but health authorities generally recommend eight 8-ounce glasses daily, which is the equivalent of about half a gallon.

2. Add Barley to Your Diet If you’ve been thinking about how to detox your kidneys naturally, consider incorporating barley into your daily diet. This cleansing whole grain is known for preventing urinary tract issues. It’s also been shown to regulate insulin levels in diabetics. Replacing refined flours with barley flour is one way to work in barley. Alternatively, you can try barley cereals or prepare barley waters or teas.

3. Cut Out Junk Food and Stimulants Eliminating unhealthy foods and drinks from your diet is another way detox the kidneys naturally. Foods to steer clear of include those that are processed, fried, and/or high in sodium and sugar (careful, sugar is hidden in lots of foods you wouldn’t expect), while it is best to avoid beverages such as sodas and alcohol. Actually, all of these should be avoided even when you aren’t detoxing.

4. Limit Foods High in Protein Limit the amount of protein you consume when you decide on a natural detox for kidneys. Actually, the body needs protein (between 56 and 75 grams daily), but diets high in foods like red meat and full-fat dairy have been shown to negatively affect kidney function. This is because digesting and metabolizing these foods produces high amounts of wastes like creatinine, which the body struggles to filter.

5. Eat Potassium-Rich Fruit Want to know how to detox the kidneys naturally? Eat fruits high in potassium – bananas, cantaloupes, grapes, oranges, apricots, and kiwis. Prunes and sweet limes are also good options. These fruits help to maintain electrolyte levels in the blood, keeping the kidneys functioning optimally. Note, however, that having too much potassium can be dangerous. To be safe, aim for 4.7 grams daily.

6. Snack on Berries Berries are an excellent choice when you want a natural kidney detox, especially cranberries. Why? Because cranberries are loaded with fiber and quininic acid (quinine), which converts to hippuric acid in the liver. Hippuric acid facilitates the removal of impurities like uric acid and urea in the kidneys. Want to keep your kidneys functioning as they should? Have a cup of cranberries each day.

7. Explore Alternative Medicine You have several options when opting to detox your kidneys naturally using alternative medicines. Dandelion, for example, is a potassium-rich herb that works well as a kidney cleansing agent. Uva ursi and gokshura are other good detoxers to explore. These may not be suitable for everybody, though, particularly people who are on antipsychotic medications. Be sure to check with your doctor first.

Article from Reinventing

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Nutritional Deficit Disorder

This is an excellent article from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, titled "Nutritional Deficit Disorder: A Holistic Approach in Nutrition" and addresses what I have written about several times and that is too many children are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and prescribed drugs, as opposed to at least attempting to treat ADD as a nutritional problem first. I have suggested to several parents, asking me about nutritional requirements and supplements for their ADD children, that trying to minimize high glycemic foods and providing their children with a quality daily nutritional supplements, including an Omega 3 supplement, is much less dangerous than the side effects from conventional prescription medications used to treat ADD, and ADHD for that matter. That's would I would do as a parent anyway.

Nutritional Deficit Disorder

An increasing number of kids are diagnosed with learning and behavior disorders. But rather than labeling these kids with ADHD, or the list of other “D” disorders, I focus on the impacts of nutrition and lifestyle choices, referring instead to it as a nutritional deficit disorder (NDD). Each year, the FDA is approving a record number of new drugs, many of which are for cancer treatment, rare diseases and hematology. Prescription drugs, however, are not limited to those medical uses. Children are increasingly being prescribed antipsychotic and antidepressants as young as 2 years old!

In 2014, 20,000 antipsychotic prescriptions were written for children 2 and younger, which is a 50% increase from 2013, and there were 83,000 prescriptions written for the antidepressant Prozac. Additionally, at least 10,000 children in that same age group were diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Wouldn’t it be better to focus on the how we feed our kids, rather than focusing on what pills we can give our kids? Since nutritional deficit disorder has the same behavior and learning implications of ADHD, I work with parents on understanding how they can naturally help their children before resorting to prescription pills.

The Pills and Skills Model of Health

My treatment for nutritional deficit disorder does not focus on what “magic pill” I can prescribe to help with the increasing number of learning, behavior and health issues that are ailing our kids (and adults alike). Instead I focus on what I call the pills and skills model to health – it’s not about what someone can take, rather what someone can do. Lifestyle and nutrition choices have a major impact on brain development and a child’s ability to perform in school.

The Hole

Pills can cause a problem that I dub “the hole.” Here’s how kids get into the hole. A child is prescribed a perk- up pill, such as an antidepressant. “I think he’s better,” parents report. So the doctor leaves the child on the pill. After a few months on the pill, the brain habituates to, or gets used to, the pill, and the effect wears off. Or the brain gets used to the pill producing an antidepressant effect, so the brain decreases its own production of happy hormones, a drug effect called down regulation. The wise doctor tries to take the patient off the pill. The child gets worse. Here’s the hole. Does the child get worse off the pill because he needs the pill, or is the getting worse really a withdrawal effect from the pill? There is often no way to tell.

The doctor is in the hole, and so are the parents and the child. So the child goes back on the pill – and stays on it for years – or the dose is increased, or more pills are added to counteract the unpleasant side effects of the first pill. The only way for everyone to get out of the hole is to do what is called a washout, which means taking the child off all pills for at least six weeks to see which symptoms are caused by the problem and which are caused by the pills. During a washout, the child may experience unpleasant withdrawal effects, such as anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and mood swings. It hurts to get out of the hole, but a washout is often the only way to tell whether or not a child still needs the medicines. It’s best not to get into the hole in the first place!

Does your child have nutritional deficit disorder (NDD)?

The term nutritional deficit disorder (NDD) is something I use in my practice when parents express behavioral and learning issues with their children. Here are the main signs I look for when diagnosing a child with NDD:

•frequent mood swings
•unrelenting temper tantrums
•restless sleep
•poor attention span
•impulsive outbursts
•labeled with a “D”: ADD, ADHD, BPD, OCD, etc.
•behavior problems at school, home, and day care
•learning difficulties
•frequent infections
•dry, flaky, bumpy skin
•intestinal problems: refulx, abdominal discomforts, constipation, diarrhea
•vision problems
•frequent allergies
•dry, brittle hair
•brittle, thin nails
•very pale skin, especially on the earlobes

The First Step: Understanding

In understanding NDD, it’s important to analyze lifestyle and nutrition choices first. I noticed early in my practice working with families that kids who were raised with real food rather than junk food suffered less from the “D’s.” While there are many studies that support the axiom “you are what you eat,” those are found in journals like the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which don’t get read and appreciated by parents (or even by many doctors!).

Optimal growth and development occur when a growing body is in biochemical balance. In fact, a good definition of health itself could be “the state in which biochemical balance exists in the body,” a concept that has been appreciated in Eastern medicine for centuries. One reason we have so many “D’s” in our schools is that we have so many little bodies that are out of biochemical balance. This is not a result of the lack of care from parents, rather it’s that many parents just don’t know the facts. They are not convinced that fake food harms and real food helps growing brains and bodies.

Once you nourish your body with whole, fresh, natural, real foods and you start implementing this pure way of eating with your family, you’ll notice many positive side effects. For your kids, you can expect that their learning and behavior will change for the better. Why not try that before turning to prescription drugs?

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Common Health Hazards at Home - These are 7 of them

This article came out of Freedom Health News. There is much we take for granted when going about our daily lives, trusting manufacturers to make products that are safe for us. I believe that many manufacturers put product effectiveness for the intended use and manufacturing costs ahead of product safety research. But common sense has to prevail - let the consumer beware.  For instance, if you think that using cleaning products, breathing in the fumes and getting them on your skin, day after day, year after year is safe and will has no effects on your health, then so be it. I choose to believe that avoiding toxins, as much as we can, or mitigating our exposure to them is a key component in protecting our health. Read on, please:

As Americans become increasingly health conscious, it is time to examine the place we spend most of our time. Health experts say our homes are filled with health hazards we probably don’t even notice. Here are some of them:

1. Artificial Sweeteners

With all the news about the devastating effects of sugar, many people have switched to artificial sweeteners. However, sweeteners like sucralose (the ingredient in Splenda) and aspartame can cause their own problems, including insulin sensitivity, glucose intolerance, disruption of gut flora, and promotion of obesity, heart disease, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. Instead of artificial chemicals, try the natural sweeteners stevia and zylitol.

2. Plastic Food Containers and Bottles

Plastic containers are convenient, but they contain bisphenol-A, bisphenol-S, and phthalates, which can leach out when the containers are heated or the surface scratched, causing disruption to the human endocrine system. This can cause reproductive health problems, hypertension, hyperactivity and learning disabilities, and cancer of the breast, prostate and thyroid. To avoid these, switch to glass.

3. Non-Stick Cookware

Non-stick cookware contains perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA), a chemical that has been labeled as a “likely” carcinogen, as well as fluoride. When the cookware is heated, fluoride is released into the air, causing potential harm to people who inhale it. Ceramic cookware has a naturally non-stick surface, and emits no toxic chemicals.

4. Air Fresheners

Deodorizers and air fresheners generally contain the chemicals 2, 5-dichlorophenol (2, 5-DCP) and 1, 4-dichlorobenzone (1, 4-DCB), which are implicated in precocious puberty as well as lung damage. Endocrine-disrupting phthalates are often present as well. Consider using essential oils, which offer other health benefits as well. And don’t forget to open your windows and let the fresh air inside.

5. Antibacterial Soaps and Detergents

Many of the antibacterial soaps and detergents we use actually promote the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. One ingredient commonly used in these products is triclosan, which is responsible for allergies, thyroid and endocrine disruption, weight gain, inflammation, and tumors of the liver and kidneys. Simply washing hands with soap and water is the best approach to germ control.

6. Commercial Cleaning Products

Many brands of cleaning products contain glycol ethers, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and formaldehyde, among others. Try making your own cleaning solutions using baking soda, white vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, and liquid castile soap. There are also completely natural products now available in grocery stores.

7. Personal Care Products

Many personal care products and cosmetics are full of toxic heavy metals and dangerous chemicals, such as lead, beryllium, thallium, cadmium, and arsenic. The Environmental Working Group maintains a database with a list of safe personal care products.

Turning your attention to health hazards at home requires some thought, but the payoff in your health may be significant.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Multivitamins in the prevention of Cancer in Men

This is an article from the Journal of the American Medical Association from a Physicians Health Study and Randomized Controlled Trial to determine whether long term multivitamin supplementation decreases the risk of total and site specific cancer events among men.

This study apparently began in 1997 and ended in 2011 including 14,641 men and 1,321 of those had a history of cancer. They selected a commonly used multivitamin formulation, Centrum Silver, at the time they study (PHS II) was initiated in 1997 to increase the potential generalizability (?? their term  not mine) of their findings.

The study stated that men taking a daily multivitamin had a statistically significant reduction in the incidence of total cancer. There was no significant difference between men with a history of cancer and those without a history.

MyAchingKnees comment: You may as well take nothing if you taking any Centrum product. We call it the original bedpan pill. It is listed close to the bottom in the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. The Linxian Chinese Cancer Prevention Trial 35 targeting 29,584 adults with low baseline nutrient status, tested a combination of beta carotene, vitamin E, and selenium for 6 years and found significant reductions of 9% in total mortality, 13% reduction in cancer mortality, and 21% reduction in gastric cancer mortality. After 10 years of post trial follow-up, the beneficial effects on total and cancer mortality remained with the subjects taking those aforementioned nutrients.  Imagine what you may be able to do with your health taking all the necessary nutrients in robust doses? 

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Should You Change Your Diet?

From an article titled "21 Signs You Should Change Your Diet" posted on Yahoo! Health. If you fall into any of the categories below, then a red flag should go up that you might not be able to keep your weight down in the long run.

Dieting is a lot like looking for love: Many of us turn a blind eye to reality, choosing only to see what we want to see. Why? Because, at the end of the day, people don’t mind dealing with the negative side effects of their diet, so long as they’re reaching their better body goals. But if long-term success is what you’re after (and it should be), then it’s time to snap out of it and take a discerning look at your approach to weight loss. Not sure if your diet is a winner? Vet yours against our list below to find out if yours may ultimately leave you with love handles and muffin tops.

1. It Makes You Pull a 180

If meat and eggs are cornerstones of your diet, turning to a vegetarian or vegan diet to lose weight will likely fail you in the long run. Typically eat on the run? Then a diet that requires extensive home cooking probably isn’t the best fit. If your plan isn’t compatible with your lifestyle, the odds are good you’ll fall off the bandwagon and regain the weight.

2. You’re Dreaming of the Drive-Thru

If you constantly find yourself dreaming of the drive thru and fantasizing about French fries it may be a sign that you’re not giving your body the nutrients it needs, says registered dietitian Cassie Bjork of Healthy Simple Life. “Many diets cut fat since it’s higher in calories than protein and carbs, but this tactic can backfire by increasing cravings. A simple way to keep cravings at bay is to add a couple of tablespoons of healthy fat like avocado, olive oil, nuts or seeds to all of your meal and snacks. These healthy fats will keep your blood sugar levels stable and ward off sugar cravings, which will ultimately aid weight loss!”

3. You Eat Everything In Moderation

Diets that allow you to eat everything in moderation may seem smart, but some experts say that they may backfire. “Though it can be scary to imagine completely cutting out the foods that you love, eating everything in moderation is actually near impossible—especially when it comes to foods with addictive properties, like sugar. More often than not you’ll find yourself going back for more and more which can slow your weight loss results,” explains Bjork. “That’s why it’s more beneficial to completely cut out the foods that increase your cravings and keep you wanting more.” For example, if you know that chocolate is your #1 trigger food it’s best to cut it out altogether rather than trying to stick to one small square.

4. You Cut Out Major Food Groups

On the other side of the equation, diets that forbid entire food groups like carbs or dairy aren’t sustainable either. Unless there’s a medical reason to scratch something from your diet—like lactose intolerance, for example—we advise against it. The reason: If cutting out a certain food helps you shed weight, you can sure it will cause the weight to pile back on as soon you start eating it again.

5. You’re Constantly Binge Eating

Constantly find yourself downing entire cartons of ice cream or sleeves of cookies? Despite what you may think, it’s not because you have a lack of willpower. In fact, it’s likely a sign you need to change up your diet. “Binging is your body’s way of responding to not getting the nutrients that you need—it’s a biochemical response and signal from your brain that you’re not giving it what it needs,” explains Bjork.

6. It’s Really Convenient

There’s no denying that prepackaged meals, shakes and bars make dieting and portion control a no-brainer, but let’s face it, you’re not going to stay on the program forever so gaining the weight back is practically inevitable. “After a while, people tire of the same menus, the same pre-packaged foods, bars, and shakes and want to eat what they enjoy. They want to go out to eat with their friends and invite their family over for meals. For most people, it is simply unrealistic to stay on these programs indefinitely.”

7. You’re Irritable and Hangry

No one knows the meaning of “hangry” quite like someone on a diet. When people first cut back on calories and carbs it can make them crabby—mostly because their blood sugar levels are low, explains registered dietitian Isabel Smith. To counteract your irritability, try adding more carbs to your plate. The nutrient is essential to the body’s production of serotonin, a feel-good chemical that’s produced in the brain.

8. You Plan Your Life Around Your Diet

There’s a fine line between being committing to a weight loss plan and being obsessed with it. If you plan your entire life around your diet, it may be hard to stick to in the long run. Parties, dinner with friends and eating at restaurants are a big part of life—and things you’ll want to partake in without fear of weight gain. A smart, sustainable diet is one that will allow you live a fun, fulfilling life—all while losing weight and getting healthier.

9. You Have Major Skin Issues

If you’ve recently started to break out or develop wrinkles, it may be a sign that your diet isn’t healthy. “Skin issues are frequently a result of inflammation, which can occur if someone is following a diet that’s low in fat and high in carbohydrates,” says Bjork. “Once in the body, all carbohydrates turn to sugar, a nutrient that causes inflammation.” Vitamin and mineral deficiencies and consuming too few fatty acids can also wreak havoc on your skin.

10. Everyday is a Bad Hair Day

“While the biggest predictor of lush, beautiful hair is heredity and age, diet plays a role, too,” says Palumbo. “A poorly planned diet that’s low in calories, protein, iron or fat can result in thinning, brittle or dull looking hair.” The goods news is that it’s totally possible to undo the damage. To boost your hair’s luster, Palumbo suggests enjoying plant oils and oily fish like tuna and wild salmon.

11. You Can’t Stop Shivering

Despite the fact that your thermostat reads 70°F, your teeth are chattering. Unless you have a fever, it’s likely a sign that something with your diet is off. “Low-carb dieters are at risk of developing a low thyroid function, which can make it difficult to regular internal body temperature,” says Bjork. Don’t just ignore your cold fingers and throw on a sweater—head to the kitchen and make yourself a delicious bowl of oatmeal. After you’ve added more carbs back into your diet, the constant chill and chattering teeth should subside.

12. You’re Down In the Dumps

When it comes to the connection between omega-3s and depression, study results have been mixed. Though some research shows no mental health effects of consuming—or not consuming—the nutrient, other reports say that eating too few omega-3 fatty acids (which are found in foods like olive oil, wild salmon and walnuts) can make people more susceptible to the blues. If your change of mood came around the same time as your change of diet, a lack of fatty acids might be to blame. Thankfully, if you up your intake of the nutrient you should feel like your old self in no time!

13. Your Memory Is Zapped

Lost your keys—yet again?! Your crappy diet may be to blame. According to recent reports, what’s bad for your heart is also bad for your brain and memory. In one Annals of Neurology study, women who ate the most saturated fats from things like butter and burgers performed worse on thinking and memory tests than women who ate the lowest amounts of these fats. To keep your memory sharp, cut back on those huge burgers from the McDonald’s Menu and add more fruit, vegetables, whole grains beans, nuts, seeds and lean proteins and low-fat dairy to your diet. “These foods provide the vitamins, minerals, flavonoids and antioxidants that keep our brain cells at peak performance,” says Palumbo.

14. You’re Tired All the Time

If carrying your little one down a flight of stairs feels like a challenge, your diet may be to blame. “Being tired or constantly fatigued is your body’s way of conserving energy when it’s not getting enough of what it needs. It’s a result of your metabolism slowing down—the opposite of what you want to happen for weight loss, ” says Bjork. Smith concurs. “When you don’t eat enough protein, for example, the body will start to break down stored proteins in the form of muscle and other tissues. This can shrink your muscle mass, making workouts and everyday physical activities more challenging.” Other possible culprits: Processed and sugary fare. When eaten in excess, these foods can mess with your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling drained.

15. You Have Digestive Issues

Digestive discomfort, constipation, and diarrhea can all be signs that your fiber intake is out of whack. If you’ve been eating a lot of processed foods or recently cut back on carbs (but didn’t up your intake of fibrous produce), you’re likely not eating the recommended 28 grams of daily fiber. On the other hand, if you’ve recently started eating whole grains, beans and produce, you may have increased your intake too quickly, which can also cause discomfort. To counteract your belly issues, wean yourself onto higher fiber foods, starting with small portions. Another trick: Sip a large glass of water with every high-fiber meal. Fluids help to move fiber through the digestive tract, preventing bloat and discomfort.

16. Your Cuts Don’t Heal

“Whether you’ve cut yourself while shaving or nicked your finger while chopping veggies, eating a healthful diet can optimize the amount of time needed to heal your wound,” says Palumbo. Protein and vitamin C both play vital roles in wound healing, so it’s important to consume sources of each nutrient daily. “Good sources of vitamin C include red bell pepper, papaya, green bell pepper, broccoli, strawberries, tomato juice, cantaloupe mango, cabbage and even potatoes,” says Palumbo.

17. You’re Workouts Are Dragging

“Carbs are the first line of use for energy for the body, so when muscle stores of carbohydrates are low, it can make some people feel lethargic and less able to sustain a high-intensity workout,” says Smith. Dial up your carb count before your workout to ensure you have enough energy to blast away belly fat. And afterward, do the same. This will ensure you’re replenishing lost energy stores so you can hit the gym again tomorrow.

18. You’re Always Sick

Sure, protein helps your abs and glutes look lean and ripped, but more importantly, the nutrient helps us remain healthy. “Protein is needed to keep our immune system running,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Elisa Zied. “If you don’t get enough protein from your diet, the proteins in your body that fight off invaders like bacteria and viruses will be broken down and used for fuel. This makes it more difficult for the body to fight infections so you might find that you experience more frequent colds and illnesses.”

19. You’re Secretive About your Diet

When you’re trying to clean up your diet or lose weight, there’s no need to post about it 24/7 on Instagram, but if you feel like you need to avoid the subject altogether because you’re afraid you’ll be judged for your super-strict regimen, you may be suffering from disordered eating. If you know deep down that your regimen isn’t good for you, and you can’t—or don’t want to—change things up, you should seek help. The National Eating Disorders Association’s website is a great initial resource.

20. Your Progress Has Stalled

At first you were losing weight faster than a contestant on “My Diet Is Better Than Yours” but lately, your progress has been stalled—and it might be because you’re not getting enough carbs. “A low-carb diet can stall weight loss because if you suddenly eat fewer carbs, the liver tries to make up for it by producing sugar,” says Bjork. “When blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas secretes insulin, your fat-storing hormone, so you store fat instead of shedding it.” The good news is that carbohydrate cycling can counteract this. “One day each week, add in more carbohydrates than you normally would,” says Bjork. Don’t down an entire loaf of bread, though. An extra sweet potato or piece of fruit should do the trick!

21. You Get Bad Headaches

While getting headaches from time to time is normal, having them every day after changing up your diet plan may be a sign you’ve taken things too far. “When you don’t eat enough carbs or food in general, blood sugar levels can dip and cause headaches,” says Smith. To keep the pounds coming off and head-pounding pain at bay, incorporate some carb-rich, produce like apples (one of the Best Fruits for Weight Loss), pears, and carrots into your daily diet.

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Monday, February 15, 2016

7 fitness tips from the Marines' top athlete, Olympic hopeful

Meet Capt. Bryce Saddoris, the Marine Corps’ Male Athlete of the Year. The 27-year-old is a four-time Nevada state wrestling champion, two-time college All-American, and is the most successful wrestler in Naval Academy history with 147 wins.

The 2015 U.S. Open Greco-Roman champion is ranked No. 1 in the 146-pound weight class. He is a favorite to make the U.S. Olympic team (trials will be held in April), and is expected to medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August.

Saddoris is officer-in-charge of the Marine Corps' wrestling team, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The 5-foot, 7-inch wrestler knows a thing or two about fitness. While he typically carries 4- to 6-percent body fat, that will drop to near-zero for competitions.

This is due to a daily training regimen that includes two intense workouts totaling six hours that are fueled by a careful and calculated diet. Between wind sprints, he may toss around 100-pound dummies and belt out 120 pull-ups in 10 minutes. This is in preparation for twice-daily, full-on sparring with Marines of similar strength and stature (there is no shadowboxing in wrestling).

It is little wonder that on his team, a 300-point physical fitness test is not a badge of honor — it is a baseline. While the grappler understands that most Marines can't commit to such in-depth workouts, there are ways to improve. Here are Saddoris' top fitness tips:

Discipline yourself

Saddoris’ top advice is that you make a training regimen part of your daily routine. Don't wait until you have time to do it, make it a daily priority. Just as you make time to prepare a uniform or take the kids to daycare, make this a regular part of your day and don't let anything rob you of this time. Repetition will build good habits.

Stretch out

Flexibility provides a lot of athletic "prehab," which will prevent later rehab. This is increasingly important as Marines age and endure injuries. Such preparation is not limited to the stretching of muscles, either. Saddoris warms up his heart and lungs on the treadmill prior to each workout. Get the blood pumping, then the feet thumping. Hydrate right

Water is always your best bet, and you need plenty of it. There is no substitute. Be wary of juices, as many are chock-full of sugars. Sports drinks such as Gatorade are not meant to hydrate, but replenish electrolytes. Avoid sodas, and don't even touch energy drinks.

Cardio, cardio, cardio

You have to get your heart rate up, said Saddoris, who runs 4 to 5 miles daily. “It does no good for a Marine to go in, hit the weights, and walk out.” Use cardio machines to your advantage. He recommends 30-minute interval training that tops out at 80 percent of your recommended max heart rate (determined by age and weight). Follow that with 15 minutes of endurance circuit training with free weights.

Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays, Saddoris recommends a 20-minute run at the fastest pace possible. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, he suggests a 30-minute run at a slightly slower pace — but still fast enough to raise your heart rate. "Days that you run hard, do a lighter lift afterwards and opposite for the other two [days]," he said. "Other than that most of my workouts are done on the mat or with equipment specific to our sport."

You are what you eat

Crash and fad diets are no good. You need calories to burn calories, but make sure you have the right calories. “You put crap in, you're going to crap out,” he said.

Start the day off by eating breakfast within 15 minutes of waking up. It doesn't have to be much, he said, just something to get your metabolism going. Lunch should be the biggest meal of the day, and Marines should drink as much water as they can handle throughout the day. For dinner, Saddoris said he has a protein like a lightly seasoned chicken breast, a palm-sized serving of quinoa or brown rice, fresh steamed vegetables, and water or a glass of milk. "Try to stay away from foods that are high in carbs at night," he said. "Eat before [8 p.m.] — no snacking afterwards." As for fast food — "yeah, right," he said.

Make sure to recuperate

Get plenty of rest, and give your body time to heal when needed. Saddoris does not take supplements because he is not looking to get bigger. He does take multiple vitamins, fish oil, and strongly recommends glucosamine for joint health.

Don't forget to live life

Don't let your regimen become a burden, otherwise it will be easier to quit. It is okay to have the occasional hamburger. Just keep food in its proper place: it is meant for fuel, not comfort.

article from Military Times

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