Archive for the ‘Stress Reduction’ Category

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Controlling Emotion and Stress to Drive Weight Loss

September 2, 2010

(Article first published as Controlling Emotion and Stress, Tips to Fuel Weight Loss on Technorati.)

American waistlines continue to expand at an ever alarming rate, increasing the incidence of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia and cancer. Successful weight loss consists of three critical components: reduced calories from a well balanced diet, regular physical activity and controlling stress and emotional eating.

Emotional Eating Can Derail Weight Loss Efforts

Emotion and Stress Can Prevent Weight Loss

Emotion and Stress Can Prevent Weight Loss

Despite your best efforts to control eating and exercise daily, stressful situations arise which can throw you off track, making it difficult to lose weight. Sometimes stress comes from an emotional situation, the loss of a job or adverse financial situation. Other times, hitting a weight plateau can be enough to disrupt your best efforts and cause binge eating or other disruptive negative behavior.

Information provided by the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research explains the connection between mood, food and weight loss, along with proven methods to ensure you don’t develop an emotional eating pattern regardless of stressful situations which may surround you. While some people eat less under stress, most will opt for high calorie ‘comfort foods’ to get them through a difficult emotional stretch. Try these tips if you find yourself in an emotional eating pattern.

Tip 1: Slow Down and Relax

Yoga and Meditation Can Lower Stress Levels

Yoga and Meditation Can Lower Stress Levels

When stress is the cause of your emotional eating and failed weight loss goal, reduce the negative effects by using popular stress reduction techniques. Yoga and meditation are very effective methods to lower your stress level. Better yet, determine the cause of your stress and resolve the situation to jump start your weight loss efforts.

Tip 2: Listen to Your Hunger

Many times we eat just because we’re bored, and not due to true hunger. It’s important to learn when you really need food, and when you’re eating just to pass time or because you’re feeling stress. If you find yourself in front of the refrigerator, drink an 8 ounce glass of water first, and wait 15 minutes. More often than not you’ll find the sensation to eat will disappear, and you can save yourself that high calorie snack.

Tip 3: Keep a Food Mood Diary

Track Your Food and Stress Levels for Conflicts

Track Your Food and Stress Levels for Conflicts

For a two week period, write down everything you eat, along with how you felt at the time. Did you feel stressed, depressed or especially emotional when you ate, or were you actually hungry? Over time you’ll find that you’re eating up to half of your daily calories during times when you feel stressed or emotional. Food eaten under stress is typically high calorie, non-nutritional junk food which halts your weight loss progress.

Tip 4: Treat Yourself Occasionally

It’s important not to deprive yourself of an occasional treat, as this can lead to cravings and binge eating which will pack on the pounds. Allow yourself a special treat once per week and savor the moment. This will help you avoid cravings and keep your weight loss progress in check.

Natural weight loss is a complicated process which must be accomplished by combining several steps to deliver your ultimate weight loss reward. A well balanced diet and regular exercise are critical tools in your weight reduction arsenal, along with appropriate stress reduction techniques to control emotional eating. Following these tips will help you to control the negative effects which stress places on your lifestyle and diet, allowing you to reach your weight loss goal.

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Tips to Control Emotion and Stress, Fuel Weight Loss

September 2, 2010
(Article first published as Controlling Emotion and Stress, Tips to Fuel Weight Loss on Technorati.)
American waistlines continue to expand at an ever alarming rate, increasing the incidence of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia and cancer. Successful weight loss consists of three critical components: reduced calories from a well balanced diet, regular physical activity and controlling stress and emotional eating.

Emotional Eating Can Derail Weight Loss Efforts

Despite your best efforts to control eating and exercise daily, stressful situations arise which can throw you off track, making it difficult to lose weight. Sometimes stress comes from an emotional situation, the loss of a job or adverse financial situation. Other times, hitting a weight plateau can be enough to disrupt your best efforts and cause binge eating or other disruptive negative behavior.

Information provided by the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research explains the connection between mood, food and weight loss, along with proven methods to ensure you don’t develop an emotional eating pattern regardless of stressful situations which may surround you. While some people eat less under stress, most will opt for high calorie ‘comfort foods’ to get them through a difficult emotional stretch. Try these tips if you find yourself in an emotional eating pattern.

Tip 1: Slow Down and Relax

When stress is the cause of your emotional eating and failed weight loss goal, reduce the negative effects by using popular stress reduction techniques. Yoga and meditation are very effective methods to lower your stress level. Better yet, determine the cause of your stress and resolve the situation to jump start your weight loss efforts.

Tip 2: Listen to Your Hunger
Many times we eat just because we’re bored, and not due to true hunger. It’s important to learn when you really need food, and when you’re eating just to pass time or because you’re feeling stress. If you find yourself in front of the refrigerator, drink an 8 ounce glass of water first, and wait 15 minutes. More often than not you’ll find the sensation to eat will disappear, and you can save yourself that high calorie snack.

Tip 3: Keep a Food Mood Diary

For a two week period, write down everything you eat, along with how you felt at the time. Did you feel stressed, depressed or especially emotional when you ate, or were you actually hungry? Over time you’ll find that you’re eating up to half of your daily calories during times when you feel stressed or emotional. Food eaten under stress is typically high calorie, non-nutritional junk food which halts your weight loss progress.

Tip 4: Treat Yourself Occasionally
It’s important not to deprive yourself of an occasional treat, as this can lead to cravings and binge eating which will pack on the pounds. Allow yourself a special treat once per week and savor the moment. This will help you avoid cravings and keep your weight loss progress in check.

Natural weight loss is a complicated process which must be accomplished by combining several steps to deliver your ultimate weight loss reward. A well balanced diet and regular exercise are critical tools in your weight reduction arsenal, along with appropriate stress reduction techniques to control emotional eating. Following these tips will help you to control the negative effects which stress places on your lifestyle and diet, allowing you to reach your weight loss goal.

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Foods and Lifestyle Changes That Prevent Heart Disease

September 2, 2010
(Article first published as Top Foods and Lifestyle Changes Promote Heart Health on Technorati.)
Heart disease is the number one killer in the US, and results from decades of dietary and lifestyle abuse leading to damage of the delicate arteries that supply blood to the heart. The condition is called coronary artery disease (CAD) and is the primary type of heart condition which leads to sudden death from a heart attack, as foamy plaque builds up in the lining of the vessels and increases the risk of a clot blocking blood flow to this critical muscle. Fortunately you can lower your risk of disease by taking charge of the factors which precipitate CAD.

Create a Plan to Reverse Heart Disease

Medical research continues to provide important information which reveals that the negative effects of poor diet and lifestyle can be reversed by implementing a structured plan to correct poor habits. The results of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrates that making the correct food choices is more heart protective than taking statins.

The study highlights a small group of super foods which affect heart function and have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease development, and can actually work to reverse the buildup of coronary plaque. In addition to adding these foods to your diet, there are essential lifestyle modifications you can incorporate which can significantly reduce your risk of a heart attack.

Super Foods for the Heart

Every bite of food we eat has a direct and calculable effect on our genes, and specifically our heart. Eliminating sugar, refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated trans fats from the diet is an important first step toward regaining control over heart health. As you slowly cut damaging foods from your diet, substitute these super foods to improve your heart healthy menu.

Salmon and Omega-3 Fat Sources: Salmon and most fish are excellent sources of the Omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA which have been shown to lower the risk of sudden death from a heart attack by one-third. Omega-3 fats reduce dangerous blood fats known as triglycerides, and help to prevent the formation of blood clots. Eat salmon or fatty fish twice a week, or supplement with fish oil for maximum benefit.

Blueberries: Blueberries are packed with powerful antioxidants which have been shown to alter the plaque forming characteristics of oxidized LDL cholesterol. This means that this damaging form of cholesterol is less likely to become incorporated into plaque which narrows the arteries supplying the heart. Blueberries also taste great and play an important role in brain health as well.

Make the Right Lifestyle Changes

Once you’ve made the appropriate changes to your diet, researchers have identified specific lifestyle alterations which provide protection against heart disease. Plan to make changes slowly and you’ll be more likely to maintain them for life.

Physical Activity: Next to diet, incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine will have the most impact on heart health. You benefit by strengthening this critical muscle and the supporting vascular system, lowering blood pressure and stabilizing blood sugar and insulin response. Plan at least 20 to 30 minutes each day.

Lose Weight: Excess weight forces the heart to work much harder than necessary, and eventually the heart enlarges in an attempt to keep pace with the increased load. Studies show that losing as little as 5 to 7% of your body weight can have a dramatic effect on heart health.

No Smoking: Smoking is the leading preventable cause of heart disease, as it negatively affects every organ in the body, especially the heart. Smoking causes dangerous constriction of the blood vessels which forces the heart to work much harder. Get professional help to drop the habit, as studies show positive heart health benefits after just 6 months.

Reduce Stress: The effects of stress can be as devastating as smoking. Often referred to as a silent killer, continual stress causes the release of hormones such as cortisol which increase blood pressure and systemic inflammation. Stress reduction techniques such as yoga and meditation are helpful in negating the damaging effects of stress.

Heart disease is preventable and reversible with a solid plan to improve diet and lifestyle. Substituting heart healthy super foods such as blueberries and salmon can have an immediate impact on your heart. Make time for daily exercise, lose weight and eliminate the cause of stress which is harming your health. You can minimize or even eliminate the risk from heart disease by taking charge of your total lifestyle.

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Diet and Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Heart Disease

September 2, 2010

(Article first published as Top Foods and Lifestyle Changes Promote Heart Health on Technorati.)

Heart disease is the number one killer in the US, and results from decades of dietary and lifestyle abuse leading to damage of the delicate arteries that supply blood to the heart. The condition is called coronary artery disease (CAD) and is the primary type of heart condition which leads to sudden death from a heart attack, as foamy plaque builds up in the lining of the vessels and increases the risk of a clot blocking blood flow to this critical muscle. Fortunately you can lower your risk of disease by taking charge of the factors which precipitate CAD.

Create a Plan to Reverse Heart Disease

Heart Disease is Preventable with Through Diet and Lifestyle

Heart Disease is Preventable Through Diet and Lifestyle

Medical research continues to provide important information which reveals that the negative effects of poor diet and lifestyle can be reversed by implementing a structured plan to correct poor habits. The results of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrates that making the correct food choices is more heart protective than taking statins.

The study highlights a small group of super foods which affect heart function and have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease development, and can actually work to reverse the buildup of coronary plaque. In addition to adding these foods to your diet, there are essential lifestyle modifications you can incorporate which can significantly reduce your risk of a heart attack.

Super Foods for the Heart

Salmon is and Excellent Source of Omega-3 Fats

Salmon is and Excellent Source of Omega-3 Fats

Every bite of food we eat has a direct and calculable effect on our genes, and specifically our heart. Eliminating sugar, refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated trans fats from the diet is an important first step toward regaining control over heart health. As you slowly cut damaging foods from your diet, substitute these super foods to improve your heart healthy menu.

Salmon and Omega-3 Fat Sources: Salmon and most fish are excellent sources of the Omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA which have been shown to lower the risk of sudden death from a heart attack by one-third. Omega-3 fats reduce dangerous blood fats known as triglycerides, and help to prevent the formation of blood clots. Eat salmon or fatty fish twice a week, or supplement with fish oil for maximum benefit.

Blueberries: Blueberries are packed with powerful antioxidants which have been shown to alter the plaque forming characteristics of oxidized LDL cholesterol. This means that this damaging form of cholesterol is less likely to become incorporated into plaque which narrows the arteries supplying the heart. Blueberries also taste great and play an important role in brain health as well.

Make the Right Lifestyle Changes

Walking Strengthens the Heart and Improves Blood Flow

Walking Strengthens the Heart and Improves Blood Flow

Once you’ve made the appropriate changes to your diet, researchers have identified specific lifestyle alterations which provide protection against heart disease. Plan to make changes slowly and you’ll be more likely to maintain them for life.

Physical Activity: Next to diet, incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine will have the most impact on heart health. You benefit by strengthening this critical muscle and the supporting vascular system, lowering blood pressure and stabilizing blood sugar and insulin response. Plan at least 20 to 30 minutes each day.

Lose Weight: Excess weight forces the heart to work much harder than necessary, and eventually the heart enlarges in an attempt to keep pace with the increased load. Studies show that losing as little as 5 to 7% of your body weight can have a dramatic effect on heart health.

No Smoking: Smoking is the leading preventable cause of heart disease, as it negatively affects every organ in the body, especially the heart. Smoking causes dangerous constriction of the blood vessels which forces the heart to work much harder. Get professional help to drop the habit, as studies show positive heart health benefits after just 6 months.

Reduce Stress: The effects of stress can be as devastating as smoking. Often referred to as a silent killer, continual stress causes the release of hormones such as cortisol which increase blood pressure and systemic inflammation. Stress reduction techniques such as yoga and meditation are helpful in negating the damaging effects of stress.

Heart disease is preventable and reversible with a solid plan to improve diet and lifestyle. Substituting heart healthy super foods such as blueberries and salmon can have an immediate impact on your heart. Make time for daily exercise, lose weight and eliminate the cause of stress which is harming your health. You can minimize or even eliminate the risk from heart disease by taking charge of your total lifestyle.

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Reduce Stress to Lose Weight and Burn Fat

August 19, 2010

(Article first published as Assist Weight Loss With Stress Reduction Techniques on Technorati.)

Excess Stress Fuels Junk Food Binges

Excess Stress Fuels Junk Food Binges

Weight gain is accelerated by poor diet, lack of physical activity and stress. While most people understand the impact of food and exercise when beginning a weight loss program, most don’t consider stress as a significant factor. Stress exerts a powerful physiological effect that fuels abdominal fat storage and inflammation throughout the body.

Stress Leads to Inflammation and Weight Gain

Information published in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that higher levels of stress result in more weight gain, and the pounds were more likely to be stored as dangerous belly fat. Stress hormones such as cortisol are released in response to unresolved situations, triggering inflammation and a systemic immune response as the body attempts to protect itself.

Unresolved stress drives weight gain through a variety of physical manifestations which alter metabolic function within our body. Stress reduction techniques and lifestyle changes are necessary to reverse the negative effects, and place healthy weight loss within your command.

Tip 1: Relax with Meditation and Yoga Techniques

Meditation and Yoga Reduce Stress Factors

Meditation and Yoga Reduce Stress Factors

Relaxation techniques are the most popular way to reverse the damaging effects that stress exerts on your body. Meditation and Yoga elicit the relaxation response which lowers cortisol levels and the cascade of deadly effects caused by continually elevated levels of the hormone. Combined with proper diet, relaxation techniques have helped many people to lose weight by stimulating the release of belly fat.

Tip 2: Kick Impulsive Eating Habits

People under stress tend to habitually gravitate toward unhealthy high carbohydrate junk foods which promote blood sugar surges and insulin resistance. This leads the way to metabolic diseases such as diabetes, excess calories and packing on weight around the abdomen. The best way to combat the munchies is to keep those uncontrollable foods out of the house, so temptation won’t get the best of you.

When stress overcomes your willpower, opt for carrots, nuts (limit to a handful each day), edamame, sunflower seeds or fresh water. Most of these travel well, so keep them with you when you’re away from home. Many times the hunger signal is really thirst, so always drink a large glass of water and wait a few minutes for the hunger cue to subside.

Tip 3: Eat at Home and Avoid the Drive Thru

Plan to Eat Healthy Meals at Home

Plan to Eat Healthy Meals at Home

When you’re feeling stress, the last thing you want to do is spend time in the kitchen cooking a healthy meal. Fast food is a staple for those feeling the effects of stress, as it offers a quick and easy sugar, fat and refined carb fix. Concentrate on family meals which emphasize reduced calories, plenty of fresh vegetables and protein with no processed or prepared foods that promote excess fat storage.

Tip 4: Incorporate Physical Activity into Your Daily Schedule

Regular physical activity is essential to your stress reduction program, as it reduces cortisol levels and promotes the conversion of stored fat to energy. It has also been shown to increase the release of important brain chemicals, lifting mood and boosting coping mechanisms. Try taking the stairs instead of an elevator or park at the far end of a parking lot. Aim for 20 to 30 minutes of exercise daily.

Stress is a critical factor which influences body weight and the ability to achieve your weight loss goal. Continual stress increases cortisol levels and drives systemic inflammation which will extinguish your best efforts to drop weight through healthy diet and exercise. Special relaxation techniques and diet tips designed to lower stress levels and eliminate unhealthy eating patterns will enable you to feel better about yourself and lose weight for improved health and quality of life.

h1

Top Stress Reducing Tips Drive Weight Loss

August 19, 2010
(Article first published as Assist Weight Loss With Stress Reduction Techniques on Technorati.)

Weight gain is accelerated by poor diet, lack of physical activity and stress. While most people understand the impact of food and exercise when beginning a weight loss program, most don’t consider stress as a significant factor. Stress exerts a powerful physiological effect that fuels abdominal fat storage and inflammation throughout the body.

Stress Leads to Inflammation and Weight Gain
Information published in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that higher levels of stress result in more weight gain, and the pounds were more likely to be stored as dangerous belly fat. Stress hormones such as cortisol are released in response to unresolved situations, triggering inflammation and a systemic immune response as the body attempts to protect itself.

Unresolved stress drives weight gain through a variety of physical manifestations which alter metabolic function within our body. Stress reduction techniques and lifestyle changes are necessary to reverse the negative effects, and place healthy weight loss within your command.

Tip 1: Relax with Meditation and Yoga Techniques

Relaxation techniques are the most popular way to reverse the damaging effects that stress exerts on your body. Meditation and Yoga elicit the relaxation response which lowers cortisol levels and the cascade of deadly effects caused by continually elevated levels of the hormone. Combined with proper diet, relaxation techniques have helped many people to lose weight by stimulating the release of belly fat.

Tip 2: Kick Impulsive Eating Habits
People under stress tend to habitually gravitate toward unhealthy high carbohydrate junk foods which promote blood sugar surges and insulin resistance. This leads the way to metabolic diseases such as diabetes, excess calories and packing on weight around the abdomen. The best way to combat the munchies is to keep those uncontrollable foods out of the house, so temptation won’t get the best of you.

When stress overcomes your willpower, opt for carrots, nuts (limit to a handful each day), edamame, sunflower seeds or fresh water. Most of these travel well, so keep them with you when you’re away from home. Many times the hunger signal is really thirst, so always drink a large glass of water and wait a few minutes for the hunger cue to subside.

Tip 3: Eat at Home and Avoid the Drive Thru

When you’re feeling stress, the last thing you want to do is spend time in the kitchen cooking a healthy meal. Fast food is a staple for those feeling the effects of stress, as it offers a quick and easy sugar, fat and refined carb fix. Concentrate on family meals which emphasize reduced calories, plenty of fresh vegetables and protein with no processed or prepared foods that promote excess fat storage.

Tip 4: Incorporate Physical Activity into Your Daily Schedule
Regular physical activity is essential to your stress reduction program, as it reduces cortisol levels and promotes the conversion of stored fat to energy. It has also been shown to increase the release of important brain chemicals, lifting mood and boosting coping mechanisms. Try taking the stairs instead of an elevator or park at the far end of a parking lot. Aim for 20 to 30 minutes of exercise daily.

Stress is a critical factor which influences body weight and the ability to achieve your weight loss goal. Continual stress increases cortisol levels and drives systemic inflammation which will extinguish your best efforts to drop weight through healthy diet and exercise. Special relaxation techniques and diet tips designed to lower stress levels and eliminate unhealthy eating patterns will enable you to feel better about yourself and lose weight for improved health and quality of life.