April 25, 2012

A Coffee Lover? A Health Freak? Read On.

Filed under: Eating Healthy — Tags: , , — mjones @ 8:35 pm

coffee loverIf you just take a casual look around you, you would notice that the world is going at an ultra fast pace buzzing with activity aided by today’s technology that was literally non-existent a good fifty years back. Today the value of living a healthy, fit and quality life cannot be stressed enough. There must have been a moment when you would have thought about how to lose weight in a faster and quicker manner without having to exercise. The reasons may be various like not having time, inability to get rid of bad habits or being plain lazy. Whatever the reason maybe, recent research has shown that caffeine is a good fat-cutting agent.

Is Caffeine, That Makes You Feel Good, a ‘Do-Good’er Too?

A team of researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden have studied the actual activity taking place in the human body when and after they exercise. The human body is more vulnerable to lose weight only after sixty minutes of exercise. After considerable exercise, the fat-reduction genes that are produced by the body are also produced by the consumption of a large amount of coffee. Something in the range of 50 cups a day. But such a humongous amount of coffee is only more deteriorating to the body by causing insomnia, nervousness and other major side effects.

Another line of thought includes having coffee just before a work-out routine. Research suggests that such a habit may not hurt much. In fact it might just help you in running those extra miles more than the target that you have set for yourself. What exactly happens is that caffeine heightens your alertness while reducing your perception of pain. This enables you to exercise more before you get exhausted that in turn makes you burn fat faster. Coffee is the best stimulant that affects your adrenal (fight or flight) glands and makes you stay alert.

Less Caffeine, More health

General studies indicate that coffee consumers do tend to lose weight over a period of time but the weight-loss is not very significant. And coffee must definitely not be considered to be a weight-loss agent. Caffeine is a wonderful substance that when taken in moderation stimulates our brain activity. The ideal caffeine intake depends on a case-by-case basis and cannot be determined in general. 3 to 4 cups a day is what would suit 80% of the people. And as for weight loss, diet and exercise are the only tools to be used. There is no other short cut to a fab body and a sound mind. Start your healthy living regime with a balanced diet, a daily workout and lesser caffeine.

April 20, 2012

Eating Habits Dictated by Stress and Anxiety are Unhealthy

Filed under: Eating Healthy — Tags: , — mjones @ 8:35 pm

How often have you binged on yummy fast food without really feeling hungry? Then it is time to analyze the quality of your lifestyle that you are leading. Research shows that women who experience higher stress levels are more prone to becoming obese than their no-stress counterparts. Women who are totally burned out due to stress, anxiety, and depression, tend to eat in excess, more out of habit than out of hunger. The main reason for this behavior is the general comfort feeling that they get out of food. This behavior is called ‘Emotional Eating’ and those engaging in it can ‘burn out.’ The upside to it is the feeling of comfort, while the downside is the tendency to become obese, and a reluctance to adopt healthy eating.

The Underlying Logic in Emotional Eating

The results gathered from a survey of people lists some reasons why women start eating comfort food. Most of the time, it is how we feel, that decides our determination to eat healthy food. So negative feelings emerging out of unemployment, work-life balance, stress and anxiety at home, work related pressure etc may fuel the consumption of comfort food. A widely distributed survey also reveals that when you are happy, pizza or steak may be a popular choice. When you are depressed, cookies, chocolates or ice-creams may tempt you. At times when you are bored, potato chips beckon you.

Also emotional eating turns out to be a vicious cycle where you might eat unhealthy to relax and feel at peace. And the same food might actually leave you a tad glum. When this cycle continues unbroken, obesity is its direct consequence. Studies show that women who continuously consume comfort food are more reluctant to give it up for better habits than those who are not so much under stress.

How do we adopt healthy living?

One of the first steps to switch to a healthy diet is to identify true hunger and pseudo-hunger. Emotional hunger is like a sudden pang of hunger where as physical hunger mounts gradually. Eating in spite of your stomach being full is due to your effort to soothe those negative feelings in you. Whenever the temptation to binge arises, try indulging in your favorite activities like sports or connecting with an old friend or just go for a walk and finish up any unfinished household chores, since these are great stress busters. Once you are in control of your feeling of hunger, the next step is to do some research and decide upon the perfect diet that would suit you. The last and final step is to follow it with some will power. These above steps will definitely get you out of the vicious circle.