9 Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

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Fasting has been around for many years.

Say you were a caveman living in the paleolithic era. Your body would go through cycles of feast and famine…out of necessity.

But, in fact our bodies are designed to live this way.

When we live in constant “feast mode” our bodies don’t benefit from the natural repair and rejuvenation they are designed for.

Have you ever been told you should eat frequent, small meals to keep your metabolism fire burning? This actually keeps you in “feast mode” and can make you feel hungrier than an intermittent fast (IM).

I lived this way for years….until I learned the truth.

I realize this may sound counterintuitive, but just try it for yourself a few times and see what you think.

Intermittent fasting can not only help you feel full longer, it also has many health benefits, that are backed by science.

Proven Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

  1. Cellular Repair

    Although our bodies are constantly working to cleanse and detox, when our diets are poor or we are eating round the clock, it doesn’t work as efficiently as needed. This wears out our cells, especially the mitochondria, and they need to be replaced. This process is called autophagy. Most of all intermittent fasting allows the body time to focus exclusively on repairing the cells. Also of note, recent research shows the benefits of fasting for Alzheimer’s patients (1).

  2. Lose Weight And Belly Fat

    IF can boost the metabolism and help you lose weight and belly fat (2). It’s especially interesting that losing weight this way causes less loss of muscle than straight up calorie restriction.

  3.  Hormone Regulation

    IF causes an increase in human growth hormone levels (3). Consequently, this facilitates fat burning and muscles gains.

  4.  Lowers Your Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

    IF can lower blood sugar levels and decrease insulin resistance (4).

  5.  Increased Longevity

    Studies in rats have shown intermittent fasting extends the lifespan (5).

  6. May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s

    Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease. Currently, there is no cure. However, animal studies show that intermittent fasting may give protection against neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s (6).

  7. Reduces Oxidative Stress And Inflammation

    Studies show that intermittent fasting can protect the body against the harmful effects of oxidative stress and inflammation (7).

  8. Reduces Cholesterol Levelsbenefits of intermittent fasting

    IF was shown to decrease triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (8).

  9. May Prevent Cancer

    Cancer is a horrible disease characterized by an uncontrolled growth of cells. Several studies have indicated that IM may help prevent cancer (9). Evidence also suggests it may cut the side effects of chemotherapy.

The Takeaway

In conclusion, intermittent fasting is an easy way to get some pretty amazing health benefits for your body and brain.

For the basics on how to get started with IM-ing please check out

Have you tried intermittent fasting? Please share in the comment section below. 

Also, if you liked this, you may want to read


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Top 20 Best Healthy Snacks

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Who can deny that snacking is an American tradition (at least in my family it is)? What we graze on during the day has a big impact on our health.

Do you have a favorite snack food? Chips, Oreos, Cheetos or Twinkies perhaps? No judgement here. My snack choices haven’t always been perfect either.

Just some food for thought….

As you probably guessed, the best snacks are those packed with nutrients and protein, which fuels the body until the next meal. These snacks are full of flavor, and dare I say, even fun to eat!

I used to teach preschoolers, what can I say? 🙂

20 Healthy Snacks

  1. Nut Butter

    Peanut butter, peanut butter, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways….but, I digress.

    Seriously, who can resist the creamy, nutty confection that is peanut butter?! And don’t forget the lesser known nut butters: hazelnut, cashew, almond and walnut.

    According to the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source, several large studies over the past few years “have shown a consistent 30 to 50 percent lower risk of heart attack, sudden cardiac death or cardiovascular disease associated with eating nuts several times a week.”

    Plus, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter has 7 grams of protein and 180 mg of potassium. Just make sure to check out the ingredient list and avoid added sweeteners and trans fats, especially “partially hydrogenated oil”. Also, don’t bother buying the “low-fat” nut butters. Manufactures of these products simply replace the fat with sugar.

  2. Cottage Cheese

    Once considered a “diet food”,  cottage cheese is now a fan favorite of weight lifters, other athletes, and health foodies alike. This is no surprise considering the whopping 28 grams of casein protein in each cup of cottage cheese.

    A summer favorite of mine is eating a sliced tomato, straight from the garden, topped with cottage cheese and plenty of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. Sounds weird, tastes great! You also might like to try cottage cheese with fresh pineapple. Delish!

  3. Berries

    healthy snacks
    Berries are a low-sugar, antioxidant-rich snack.

    Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries, gooseberries and elderberries just to name a few…They are colorful, juicy, sometimes sweet, and full of vitamins and antioxidants (1).

    Enjoy a cup of berries with a splash of cream for a decadent treat.

  4. Whey Protein Shake

    Whey protein can help you gain muscle, lose fat, and increase strength (2). I sometimes drink one as a meal replacement and I’m amazed how long it satisfies my hunger. You might like to try My Favorite Peanut Butter Protein Shake.

    Most people tolerate regular whey protein concentrate, but if you have digestive symptoms you might find that isolate or hydrolysate is better suited for you.

  5. Hard-Boiled Eggs

    Eggs are incredibly nutritious (3). Like, the perfect food. They are high in protein, healthy fats and amino acids.

    They’re also high in cholesterol, but despite what you may have heard in the past, eating high-cholesterol foods does not increase cholesterol for the majority of people (4).

  6. Plain Greek Yogurt

    It’s creamy and rich in protein and probiotics. It can also cut the appetite and help with weight loss (5).

    You may want to add berries, other chopped fruit or nuts to raise the vitamin and fiber content.

  7. Cheese

    Cheese has many vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc and vitamin K2. Eating it can help prevent osteoporosis and heart disease (6). And the fat in cheese can help you feel full longer, preventing cravings and helping you make it to the next meal.

  8. Jerky

    Jerky is meat, such as veal, beef, turkey or venison which is dried and cut into strips. It is low in carbohydrates and high in protein.

    The healthiest kind is made at home. But the kind you see at the grocery store has all sorts of added preservatives and sugar so please keep this in mind.

  9. Dark Chocolate

    healthy snacks
    Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and makes the perfect snack.

    Are you surprised chocolate made it to this list of healthy snacks? Pretty cool, huh?

    Studies have shown that dark chocolate eaters have a lower risk of heart disease (7). Eating chocolate can also improve brain function.

    Choose dark chocolate with a 70-85% cocoa content (minimum). Any less and you’re looking at a lot of sugar.

  10. Deli Rollups

    Simply take a slice of meat, such as turkey and a slice of cheese. Roll it up, and voila! Another favorite is spreading cream cheese on the turkey and wrap it around a dill pickle. You can slice it first, or simply eat it like this.

  11. Canned Tuna

    Another high-protein snack, tuna is a great choice if you’re on the go. Just be sure your office buddies are cool with the smell if you decide to pop open a can in the afternoon.

  12. Veggies And Hummus

    If you’ve never tried hummus I encourage you to give it a try. Some might say it’s an acquired taste, but I’ve loved it from my first taste and make my own from home.

    I throw some white beans, garlic, lemon juice, cumin and olive oil in the blender and it makes the most delicious hummus in no time.

    Here’s a similar recipe you might like to try:  Super Easy Hummus

  13. Protein Bar

    Homemade ones are the best, in my humble opinion. But if you like to have prepackaged ones on hand I recommend you try the Luna, Kind and Quest ones.

  14. Kefir Smoothie

    Kefir (pronounced like “Kiefer Sutherland” the actor in 24, love that show) is full of tummy-loving probiotics and protein.

    On its own, kefir is tart (and perhaps a little “gloppy”), and many prefer to drink it in a smoothie.

    I love this handy Mix-And-Match Kefir Smoothie Chart for creating tasty smoothies, chock full of delicious flavor and nutrition.

    (You can read more on probiotics in What Are Probiotics And Where Can I Find Them? and 7 Reasons To Take Probiotics)

  15. Seeds

    Pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, flax and chia seeds give you quick, long-lasting energy and satiety. They can be eaten by themselves or in smoothies, oatmeal or granola. One serving of pumpkin seeds (pepitas) has 7 grams of protein.

  16. Bean And Cheese Mini Quesadilla

    Smash 1/3 cup of black beans and spread it on a small tortilla. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons of salsa. Warm in a skillet or pop it in the microwave for a few seconds just until the cheese melts.

    This is a tasty mini-meal/snack that stays with you.

  17. Milk (2% Or Whole)

    Milk is a great source of high-quality protein, as well as vitamin D, calcium and B12. It is linked to higher bone density in humans (8).

    Do not, I repeat, do not worry about the fat in whole milk. As long as you drink a serving size you’ll be fine. The fat keeps you satisfied longer. More importantly, growing research shows a myriad of health benefits of consuming full-fat food versus low-fat (10).

    According to Dr. Mercola, “Accumulating research is showing, however, that this switch to low-fat has not only caused rates of chronic disease to skyrocket; it’s also been making people fat.”

    Please keep in mind, some people are allergic to the sugar in milk, lactose. If you’re lactose-intolerant you’ll want to stay away from milk and other dairy products. There are dairy-free milks on the market, such a coconut, soy and cashew milk which should be fine for you to drink.

  18. 4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Energy Bites

    Liv over at Healthy-Liv.com posted this easy recipe for these incredibly yummy energy bites.

    I just made them for my family to enjoy. But let me warn you, it’s hard to eat just one!

  19. Frozen Grapes

    The perfect sweet treat!

    The anthocyanins and resveratrol in grapes reduce inflammation and lower your risk for disease (9)

  20. Homemade Guacamole And Tortilla Chips

    My personal favorite. 😉 I can eat an entire bowl of freshly made guacamole all by myself…it’s that’s good! (Not that I’m recommending you do this, just keepin’ it real.)

    Here’s my favorite recipe:

Quick And Easy Guacamole

Quick And Easy Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 medium avocados
  • 1/4 to 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 firm tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut the avocados open lengthwise. Remove the pit with a large knife. Scoop out the flesh into a bowl.
  2. Mash the avocado flesh with a fork, to your liking.
  3. Chop and stir the other ingredients.
  4. Enjoy the guacamole right away.
  5. Store in the fridge, tightly covered with plastic wrap to help prevent browning (if you have any leftover)
http://www.lorigeurin.com/top-20-best-healthy-snacks/

The Takeaway

There are so many delicious snacks to choose from. And the best ones are those that help you become the healthiest, strongest version of yourself.

What are your favorite healthy snacks? Please share below in the comments.

Also, you may want to check out this video below for more great healthy snacking ideas.


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The Health Benefits Of Rebounding On A Mini Trampoline

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* This post may contain affiliate links.

What’s airborne and wears a big smile?

You…jumping on a mini trampoline!

Corny jokes aside, rebounding is one of the healthiest (and most fun) activities you can do.

It improves lymph flow, is easy on the joints, increases strength and bone mass and is great for detoxing.

The NASA Rebounding Study

Astronauts lose muscle and bone mass in space due to the weightlessness they experience in the zero gravity environment.

NASA was looking for an exercise which would help astronauts regain bone and muscle mass. As you probably know, weight-bearing exercise increases bone mass.

In 1980 NASA studied the benefits of rebounding. They learned it is a highly effective weight-bearing exercise which is easy on the skeletal system and joints.

When rebounding the pressure, or G-force, is more evenly distributed throughout the body. In contrast, when you’re running almost all of the pressure is at the ankles, which can lead to injuries.

These findings were recorded in The Journal Of Applied Physiology.

And more good news for those of you who despise running — NASA’ s research showed that rebounding can be twice as effective as running on a treadmill! (1) 😉

Benefits Of Rebounding

1. Improves balance

In a study of elderly women, significant improvements in postural balance were recorded after the women completed trampoline workouts for 12 weeks. (2).

2. Relieves stress

Turn on some upbeat jams and jump your worries away!

Once your blood starts pumping you’ll forget about your to-do list.

3. Circulates oxygen to the tissues

Oxygen is vital for survival and strengthens our cells.

In one study, participants jumping on a trampoline showed increased oxygen uptake. Because of gravity changes that take place when rebounding, more oxygen is able to get to the cells. (3)

4. Improves lymphatic circulation and detoxification

Our lymph system is in charge of moving the “junk” out of our bodies.  And exercise encourages this full-body detox.

The up-down movement of rebounding is one of the best ways to increase lymph flow, helping move toxins out.

Many holistic doctors recommend it for their patients.

You may want to read more about the lymph system here.

5. Improves the resting metabolic rate

As your muscles grow stronger, your body burns more energy when it is at rest. This can help if you’re trying to lose weight.

6. Strengthens the heart and other muscles

Rebounding provides cardiovascular benefits and strengthens the heart muscle.

According to James White, Ph.D., director of research and rehabilitation in the physical education department at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD), jumping offers many benefits to other muscles as well:

Rebounding allows the muscles to go through the full range of motion at equal force. It helps people learn to shift their weight properly and to be aware of body positions and balance.

7. Increases bone mass

As I mentioned above, the NASA study showed astronauts returning from space had improvements in bone density after doing rebounding workouts.

8. Strengthens the immune system

The rebounding movement stimulates the body’s immune system due to the increased G-force.

The immune cells include the macrophages and T-lymphocytes. Their job is to rid the body of harmful bacteria, viruses and cancer cells.

How To Do A Rebounding Workout

If you’re just starting out, I suggest taking it slow.

Rather than jumping too high, you can start with small bounces, keeping your feet in contact with the trampoline or mini trampoline.

As you get used to the feeling of being on the trampoline you can jump a little higher, increase the intensity, or try a variety of different moves such as high knees, jumping jacks and trampoline squats.

But if you like to keep it simple, feel free to do a basic bounce.

I usually rebound 5-15 minutes a day for detox.

The Takeawaybenefits of rebounding

Rebounding on a mini trampoline has some pretty impressive health benefits. These include increased muscle and bone mass, enhanced digestion, detox and lymph drainage.

Purchasing a mini trampoline is a small investment. I bought mine through Amazon.com and it only cost $27.22 (with Prime shipping). I’m really happy with it.

You can see the one I bought here.

Academy Sports has a good selection of trampolines also.

Do you own a trampoline? Can you think of more benefits to add to this list?

If you enjoyed this article, you might like to read:

Here’s a beginner’s rebounding workout you might like to try.

 

 


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Extreme Weight Loss And Metabolism: “The Biggest Loser”

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If you’ve ever tried losing weight you might know how difficult it is.

Truth be told, weight loss is often more challenging and complex than the simplified “eat less, work out more” mentality would have us think. Anyone who has tried to lose “those last ten pounds” can attest to this.

Effects Of Extreme Weight Loss On The Metabolism

A recent study published in the medical journal, Obesity, measured the effects of extreme weight loss on the basal metabolic rate (BMR),  resting metabolic rate (RMR) and body composition of fourteen former contestants from “The Biggest Loser”.

If you haven’t heard about it yet, the study focused on where the contestants were six years after losing all the weight. (1) Four of them now weigh more than when they were on the show, and all but one of the contestants have gained a significant amount of the weight back.

One contestant, Danny Cahill, lost an astounding 239 pounds in seven months. I didn’t even know this was humanly possible! But in the years since his extreme weight loss he has gained more than 100 pounds back.

When a person loses an extreme amount of weight it is normal for their metabolic rate to slow down because one who weighs less requires fewer calories to maintain the same weight than someone who weighs more. Makes sense, right?

Normally we would expect the body to adapt to the weight loss and the metabolism to adjust to the new weight. But that’s not what happened with most of the former contestants in the study.

The researchers found even after the contestants gained a significant amount of weight back, their metabolic rate continued to slow. It was lower than other people who weighed the same.extreme weight loss and metabolism

It was as though their bodies were doing everything possible to prevent them from losing more weight, or even maintain their new weight.

What Do We Know About Our Metabolism?

Our metabolism includes all the processes our body goes through to convert the food we eat (calories) to energy our bodies can use.

You may have heard that each of us has a magic weight, or a set point. This is the weight our body wants to stay at. It’s comfortable and easy for our body to stay at this weight, but it makes weight loss very difficult.

When we lose weight our BMR slows down. It reduces the amount of calories we burn when we’re at rest. (2) Some of the former Biggest Loser contestants had a BMR much lower than would be expected of someone who had the same body composition and weight.

This is also why we hear “yo-yo dieting” isn’t good. Each time we gain and lose (and gain and lose) weight it impacts out metabolic rate and body composition.

The Biggest Loser contestants lost an incredible amount of weight. Many of us gain and lose only ten or fifteen pounds at a time, but even so, it can change our BMR. And doing this repeatedly can make it more difficult to lose weight the next time.

Despite these findings, there is hope for anyone wanting to lose weight. In fact there are many things we can do to help increase our metabolism and lose weight.

What You Can Do To Speed Up Your Metabolism

1. Strength Train! extreme weight loss and metabolism

The more muscle you have the more calories you burn.

In addition to lifting weights or using resistance bands, there are so many body weight workouts you can do that will help build lean muscle mass. There are many free workouts available online.

I have a couple of fitness apps on my phone that I love. Most don’t require any equipment and are free. Currently I’m using:

  • Seven This one is based on the 7-Minute Workout concept. It works all the major muscle groups and only takes 7 minutes to complete.
  • 30 Day Push Up Challenge Push ups are great for building and toning muscles in the arms, (obviously) core and back.
  • 5 Minute Planks Call me crazy, but I love planks! There, I said it. 😉 They’re great for building muscle tone in the abs and back.
  • SWORKIT  One of my favorites! This one allows you to choose between strength training, yoga, stretching, or cardio workouts. You can also specify how long you want the workout to last.

I tend to use one for a while, get bored with it, then try another one. (Just keepin’ it real) Do what works for you!

Please keep in mind that your body needs plenty of high-quality protein to build muscle. You might like to try My Favorite Peanut Butter Protein Shake for a delicious and sustaining boost of energy.

2. Eat Whole Foods (And Stay Away From Processed Junk)extreme weight loss and metabolism

Consuming processed foods like prepackaged snack foods, artificial sweeteners (or artificial anything) can slow your metabolism and mess with your thyroid and hormones. The body treats them like toxins, so we need to limit them.

Focus on eating a diet rich in whole foods such as grass-fed beef, eggs, fish, fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, (such as coconut oil) nuts and seeds. These foods have all the building blocks our bodies need to support a strong metabolism.

3. Get Plenty Of Sleep

When you don’t get enough sleep your metabolism slows down to save energy. (3)

Also, when we don’t get enough sleep our bodies aren’t able to regulate our blood sugar as effectively. This can lead to hunger pains and increased cravings for food.

Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night and keep your metabolic furnace burning.

If you liked this article, you might like to check out 17 Ways To Lose Weight Faster and 5 Health Benefits Of Whey Protein.

What do you think about “The Biggest Loser” Study? Please share your thoughts below.


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