Changing diet, behavior and exercise

Changing diet, behavior and exercise

You have already taken the first steps toward changing diet, behavior, and exercise patterns. Only you have the power to take charge and follow through on your new plan for better health.

Keep in mind the factors that increase risk for atheroselerosis and coronary heart disease in persons who, like you, have been diagnosed as having elevated cholesterol. Cigarette smoking, obesity, insufficient exercise, high blood pressure and diabetes all compound the danger of disease in a person who also has the major risk factor of high cholesterol. How fortunate that you can eliminate or control these risk factors by simply making the one-day-at-a time choice to live a healthy life.

Millions of Americans have already made this choice, shifting toward vegetables, fruit, fish and chicken and away from the saturated fats found in meat, butter, lard, milk and cream. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there has been a marked improvement in per capita consumption of products affecting coronary heart disease risks. Since 1960, use of eggs is down 21 percent,fluid milk and cream down 19 percent and butter down 43 percent. Consumption of fish and chicken are up 20 percent, respectively. Purchase of low-fat and skim-milk products has increased by 300 percent since 1970. Advice from the Framingham Heart Study, a recent epidemiologic study on heart disease and diet, states: “If Americans would smoke less, get more regular exercise, keep their weight normal, follow a diet lower in fats and take care of their blood pressure, they would have better chances of avoiding, or at least postponing, heart problems.”Is Diet alone-monitoring intake of calories, cholesterol, fats and sodium–can go a long way in reducing the risk of atheroselerosis and coronary heart disease. For example, excess weight and high blood pressure go hand in hand.

Besides controlling weight by reducing fluid retention, lowering sodium intake is an important step in controlling blood pressure.

Diabetes, another risk factor, may often be controlled by diet. Just losing weight will bring certain types of diabetes under control:

A healthful diet combined with exercise is doubly effective in helping to guard your health. Studies have shown that exercise alone helps keep cholesterol levels low.

For one study, Finnish lumberjacks consumed about 4,760 calories daily, with a high proportion of their fat obtained from animal sources. Yet their blood cholesterol levels were no higher than those of other men in the same area who ate less fat. The Finnish researchers believe that physical activity was an important factor in keeping cholesterol levels low. After receiving your doctor’s approval, it is recommended that you begin your exercise program with walking. As soon as you get the medical okay, get started! You don’t need trendy, expensive clothes; you don’t need a team, an opponent or a partner; you don’t need to drive anywhere, invest in equipment or join costly dubs. All you have to do is step out your front door to start on the path toward living healthfully.

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Training and Diet

Training and Diet

Beneficial athletic training is nothing but a building-up process of the nerves and muscles. Every man starts with a certain quantity of each, and if he wishes to add to his supply he can easily do so by judicious treatment. The main questions with ambitious athletes are what shall I eat, how often shall I practice, how much shall I take, and how am I to know when to stop. These are pretty hard questions to answer, for men vary so in the amount of exercise that they can take.

In treating to show that training can this subject my intention is a method of healthy body easily be followed by the average business or professional man who has athletic propensities. The great drawback to most essays on athletic training is that a mode of life is advised which is too far out of the way of a man’s ordinary routine to be followed with comfort or even success. The average amateur can afford neither the time nor the inconvenience to train the way a professional would.

College men as a rule, train very much as professionals do, for they have the time and generally the enthusiasm. When a man’s training becomes irksome it does him no good, for the state of his mind prevents his system from being built up. The ideal training is the kind that is taken with no especial object in view, for there is no fear then of its being overdone, and the amount of physical work a man can take with profit is a question that can be solved ‘with a little experience by himself in a better way than others can do it for him.

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Is Greek yogurt really healthier?

Is Greek yogurt really healthier?

There are two reasons nutritionists love the trendy breakfast food even more than regular yogurt.

Move over, regular yogurt. Going Greek is in, and this exotic option has elbowed its way onto refrigerator shelves everywhere. Most give a big thumbs up to its taste—tangier and less sweet, as well as creamier—but is it healthier than its conventional counterpart?

First, to be clear: Both Greek and regular yogurt, in their plain, nonfat or low-fat forms, can be part of a healthful diet. They’re low in calories and packed with calcium and live bacterial cultures. But our Mediterranean friend—which is strained extensively to remove much of the liquid whey, lactose, and sugar, giving it its thick consistency—does have an undeniable edge. In roughly the same amount of calories, it can pack up to double the protein, while cutting sugar content by half.

Those are “two things dietitians love,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian and author of The Flexitarian Diet. “For someone who wants the creamier texture, a little bit of a protein edge, and a sugar decrease, going Greek is definitely not all hype.” And it’s really got a following: In the past five years, Greek yogurt sales nationwide have skyrocketed, likely because it satisfies consumers’ needs for health, convenience, and taste, according to Nielsen, a global marketing and advertising research company.

Here’s a closer look at how the two stack up nutrition-wise.

Protein

Greek yogurt is high in protein, which helps promote fullness. A typical 6-ounce serving contains 15 to 20 grams, the amount in 2 to 3 ounces of lean meat. That makes it particularly appealing to vegetarians, who sometimes struggle to get enough of the nutrient. An identical serving of regular yogurt, on the other hand, provides just 9 grams, meaning you may feel hunger pangs sooner.

Carbohydrates

Going Greek is a smart choice for low-carb dieters. It contains roughly half the carbs as the regular kind—5 to 8 grams per serving compared with 13 to 17. Plus, the straining process removes some of the milk sugar, lactose, making Greek yogurt less likely to upset the lactose-intolerant. Remember, however, that “both types of yogurt can contain high amounts of carbs if they’re sweetened with sugar or another sweetening agent,” says Kari Hartel, a Missouri-based registered dietitian. “No matter which type you choose, opt for yogurt with less added sugar.”

Fat

Be wary of Greek yogurt’s fat content. In just 7 ounces, Fage’s full-fat Greek yogurt packs 16 grams of saturated fat—or 80 percent of your total daily allowance if you’re on a 2,000-calorie diet. (That’s more than in three Snickers bars.) Dannon’s regular full-fat yogurt has 5 grams of saturated fat in an 8-ounce serving. Saturated fat raises total and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, increasing the risk for heart disease. Read nutrition labels carefully. If you’re going Greek, stick to low-fat and fat-free versions.

Sodium

A serving of Greek yogurt averages 50 milligrams of sodium—about half the amount in most brands of the regular kind. (Low-sodium versions of regular yogurt are available.) Too much salt can boost blood pressure and increase the risk of other heart problems. The federal government’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines urge Americans to cap sodium at 2,300 milligrams a day, or 1,500 milligrams if they’re older than 50, African-American, or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.

Calcium

Regular yogurt provides 30 percent of the federal government’s recommended daily amount. Greek yogurt loses some of its calcium through the straining process, but still packs a wallop. A 6-ounce cup typically supplies about 20 percent of the daily recommendation. If you’re still worried about calcium intake, load up on milk, seeds, and almonds, says Sarah Krieger, a registered dietician and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.Still undecided on which team to join? Compare the labels of Dannon’s regular and Greek varieties. (Other popular brands of Greek yogurt include Chobani, and Stonyfield Farm’s Oikos.)

Greek (5.3 ounces, nonfat, plain)

Calories: 80
Total fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 10 milligrams
Sodium: 50 milligrams
Sugar: 6 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Calcium: 15 percent on a 2,000-calorie diet

Regular (6 ounces, nonfat, plain)

Calories: 80
Total fat: 0 grams
Cholesterol 5 milligrams
Sodium: 120 milligrams
Sugar: 12 grams
Protein: 9 grams
Calcium: 30 percent on a 2,000-calorie diet.Greek (5.3 ounces, nonfat, plain)

Though most experts agree that Greek yogurt has a nutritional edge, both kinds help you lose weight by keeping you full on fewer calories. The key is sticking to plain, nonfat, or low-fat varieties. In a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Harvard researchers found that yogurt can keep help keep age-related weight gain in check. People tended to lose nearly 1 pound every four years if they added a daily serving of yogurt to their diet, probably because of the way bacterial cultures affect our intestines.

If you do opt for Greek yogurt, take advantage of its versatility. Mix it with seasonings like garlic, dill, and parsley to create a unique dip for carrots, celery sticks, or cucumber slices. Toss in some berries or high-fiber granola. You can also substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream on tacos, for example, or for the eggs and oil in baked goods. It’s an acceptable replacement for fatty ingredients like cream cheese, mayonnaise, and butter. “Its thick texture makes it an excellent swap for mayonnaise on sandwiches, or in dishes like potato salad, egg salad, pasta salad, and coleslaw,” Hartel says. “Since these are comfort foods, it makes it easier to transition to using yogurt in recipes.”

Diet foods that make you hungrier

Diet foods that make you hungrier

An apple is a healthy snack, but if you do not eat anything else with it, you can eat too late.

Place the yogurt light, it can be done growing. As it turns out, a number of foods that are generally thought to be a great weight loss can actually stimulate the appetite. Marjorie Nolan, national spokesman for the American Dietetic Association, talks about the skinny on foods that can trigger hunger and sabotage your diet.

1. Apple

Yes, apples are great for you because they contain lots of vitamins and fiber, but only one apple is not a balanced meal. If you do not eat anything else with your apple in the afternoon, you can eat too much dinner.

Best choice: Apple Almond 5-10 or a cheese stick. Spend a few more calories to your meal you will not be ravenous later

2. Light yogurt

The explosion of sweet (often artificial) flavor causes the stomach to start producing gastric juices. With only four to six ounces of fat-free yogurt in a container and typically, the body does not have enough food to digest leaving the stomach rumbles again.

Best choice: Nolan likes lubricity and high protein content of the plain low fat yogurt Greek. Add fruit and a dash of cinnamon for flavor. If you choose non-fat variety, add one tablespoon of sunflower seeds for the crisis and the satisfaction-the fat in nuts and seeds are slow to digest for a small portion keeps you feeling full.

3. Puffed cereals with skim milk

The combo of skim milk and puffed cereals has too few calories to keep you on for a long time. Many dieters reach for puffed cereals because it seems to fill in a large bowl. However, the low fiber content makes you want to continue after lunch. Puffed cereals also has a high glycemic index, causing blood sugar drop after initial thrust of energy.

Best choice: Rolled oats or steel cut. Oatmeal is high in fiber, which makes a satisfying breakfast. Add a spoonful of brown sugar maple if you need something sweet. Cook your own plain oatmeal and adding a small amount of sweetener is much more nutritious than using pre-sweetened packets. Nolan likes to cook oats with milk or low fat stir a tablespoon of peanut butter for even more stick-to-your-ribs goodness.

4. Big green salad with vinaigrette low fat or fat-free

The meal diet typical “of a salad with low fat dressing can have a boomerang effect on appetite. It’s full of fiber and filler, but visually the low protein and fat will not satisfy for long. Stay away from fat-free sauces, which are loaded with sugar.

Best choice: Add three to six ounces of lean protein such as lean beef, chicken, or beans (the leanest choice, you should eat more) to your bowl.

5. Rice cakes

A rice cake = good, rice cakes four overindulgence =. And that’s about how it will feel really happy. Low fiber with a high glycemic index, the typical diet snacks will not leave your tank full for long.

Best choice: Spread a tablespoon of peanut butter or cream cheese on a rice cake for a more balanced food. Or choose whole grain crackers with a standard or small portion of cheese for fiber and carbohydrates and proteins.

6. Chewing Gum

A small stick of gum is a stealth saboteur. While some advocates of chewing gum that she can push snacking, Nolan disagrees. She explains that the explosion of flavor gets the gastric juices flowing. The act of chewing the digestive system turns even more, he prepares a meal. If you want an express ticket to the all-you-can-eat buffet, chomp on gum.

Best choice: We all have our days munchy, so if you just want something to keep your mouth occupied, air-filled corn or raw vegetables are a safer bet.

6. Diet Soda

Such as gum, sweetness wakes up in the digestive process constantly pay nutritional stimulates the appetite. Caffeine and carbonation can curb your hunger for a short time only to have them come roaring back with an energy crisis. If this is not enough to make you rethink your daily dose, a study by the University of Texas Health Center at San Antonio has shown that people who consumed diet soda was an increase from 70 to 500% of the abdominal fat more than ten years compared to those who do not drink diet soda.

Best choice: Drink a hot drink can slow your appetite and allow you to think about your desire. Also, sometimes signals are confused thirst with hunger, so you just need hydration. Caffeine-free herbal tea does not cause a drop in energy.

7. Low-calorie frozen meals

Light frozen meals are low in fiber and only about half the calories you need to feel full. They are also loaded with salt. If you have no other option, the search for a frozen dinner that contains 400-500 calories, 20-30 grams of protein, about 5 grams of fat, and 5-10 grams of fiber.

Best choice: If you are too busy to cook, Nolan offers a “meal assembly based.” Roasted Chicken sausages, a slice of whole grain bread, vegetables, salad bar and a piece of fruit add up to a quick, healthy dinner.

9. Fat free graham crackers and other baked goods

Nolan said that people watching their weight tend to join automatically foods labeled “fat free” on the package, assuming that it is better for food than the regular version. However, when manufacturers make fat free foods, they often have the sugar content. Check the nutrition information on the back – light versions may contain more calories.

Best choice: Regular graham. A little treat, like a graham cracker or chocolate squares quality makes things interesting and not break the bank Calorie-Wise. Nolan said that boredom is the enemy of the diet, and causes people to fall off. “You are better to eat real food and more calories and feel physically and emotionally satisfied than eating” diet “and to be hungry in an hour.”

Eating for High Energy

Eating for High Energy

The more you exercise, the more you need to eat a balanced diet. The nutritional rules still apply, but with an added carbohydrate intake. The combination of healthy food and physical exertion combats stress, encourages tissue repair, rebalances hormones and releases endorphins and encephalin. Mood and outlook should improve markedly.

To boost your sporting performance, you need glucose. The body makes glucose from starches and sugars in carbohydrates, including bread, potatoes and rice and stores it in the muscles and liver as glycogen. Like everyone else, sportspeople need protein, obtained mostly from pulses, poultry, red meat, fish, cheese, eggs and seeds, and vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Sufficient fluids, particularly in advance of sport, are vital. You should also drink water during (if possible) and after exercise to replenish fluids.

The more you train, the more you need to eat a balanced diet. The dietary rules still apply, but with an added carbohydrate intake. The combination of healthy eating and physical stress of fighting effort, promotes tissue repair, rebalance hormones and releases endorphins and enkephalins. Mood and outlook should improve significantly.

To improve your sports performance, you need glucose. The body makes glucose from starches and sugars in carbohydrates, including bread, potatoes and rice and stores in muscles and liver as glycogen. Like everyone else, need protein Sport, made mainly from pulses, poultry, red meat, fish, cheese, eggs and grains, and vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. adequate liquid, especially in advance of the sport, are essential. You should also drink water during (if possible) and after exercise to replenish fluids.

If an intense exercise and fitness are an integral part of your life, you need to think long term and always stick to a balanced input, but varied food. Most athletes have a hearty breakfast and nutritious, especially the day of the event, and eat a diet rich in complex carbohydrates permanent.

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Can drinking water help you lose weight?

Drinking water before meals aids weight loss

Dieters have been encouraged to try this trick for ages, but many wonder if it works.

Late November marks the start of the gluttonous holiday season. But a simple step might help keep food intake in check: a glass of water before meals. Dieters have been encouraged to employ this trick for ages, with the reasoning quite simple: the water fills the stomach, thus reducing hunger. But only in recent years have studies borne this out.

In the most recent, a randomized trial published in the journal Obesity in February, scientists at Virginia Tech followed a group of overweight subjects age 55 and up on low-calorie diets for about three months. Half the people were told to drink two cups of water before every meal. At the end of the study, the water group had lost an average of 15.5 pounds, compared with 11 pounds in the other group.

A 2008 study showed a similar effect, finding a 13 percent reduction in calorie intake in overweight subjects who consumed water before breakfast. But a third study, this one in 2007, had a peculiar finding: drinking water 30 minutes before a meal reduced calorie intake and feelings of hunger in older adults, but had little effect on subjects under 35. It’s not clear why, but the researchers pointed out that because older adults are at increased risk of being overweight and obese, further studies should determine whether this is effective for the aging population.

Studies show the average person gains about a pound between Thanksgiving and January. Most adults gain one to two pounds a year over a lifetime, so staving off the holiday pound can go a long way.

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How co-workers can make you fat

How co-workers can make you fat

Peer pressure to indulge in a homemade treat isn’t the only potential diet danger at the office.

It’s one thing to keep an eye on workplace rivals. But another type of sabotage can be much harder to spot. Shawna Biggars’s saboteur would deliver dense, creamy slices of homemade carrot cake to her desk, “wanting affirmation that he was a great cook,” she says. When she politely declined, he would press, saying, “You can’t not have cake for the rest of your life,” she says.

Finally, Ms. Biggars, a human-resources director in Wichita, Kan., “had to sit him down and say, ‘If I were an alcoholic, you wouldn’t say, ‘Just take one drink.’ ” Over 2½ years, Ms. Biggars lost 120 pounds.

Some 29% of people on diets say colleagues pressure them to eat more, make fun of their diets or order them restaurant food they know isn’t on their diets, according to a recent survey of 325 dieters by Survey Sampling International for Medi-Weightloss Clinics, a Tampa, Fla., franchiser of physician-supervised weight-loss clinics.

The approach can seem innocuous, but can result in weight gain over time. A colleague brings in home-baked cookies to celebrate a promotion, a birthday or to rally the team, and who wants to look like they don’t appreciate the work of others if they decline?

Patrice Gibson, a sales representative for a medical-supply company, often sparred with her co-worker Michelle Nunemaker while they ate lunch at their desks. As Ms. Gibson laid out small, measured portions, Ms. Nunemaker “would make fun of what I was eating,” Ms. Gibson says. She predicted failure, saying, “I know people who did that and the minute they went off it, they gained it all back,” says Ms. Gibson, of Tampa, Fla. She let the criticisms “bounce off” her.

Ms. Nunemaker says she regarded Ms. Gibson’s strictly controlled diet as unhealthy and prefers “exercise and watching what you’re eating.” While she and Ms. Gibson kept the conversation light and friendly, “I was saying serious things that I really believed,” she says.

When Ms. Gibson shed 35 pounds, Ms. Nunemaker congratulated her. But “it didn’t change my opinion,” she says. Peers’ attitudes and behavior are linked to success in weight loss, according to a study published last month in the journal Obesity. Among 3,330 participants in a team-based weight-loss competition, including many teams of co-workers, those who reported having positive influence from teammates lost a larger percentage of their body weight than others.

“Social contacts can be extremely powerful,” says Tricia Leahey, the study’s lead author. While peers’ encouragement helps, dieting failures or negative attitudes among colleagues can discourage people from sticking to their own weight-loss plans, says Dr. Leahey, an assistant professor of research on obesity at the Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I. “It cuts both ways.”

At the annual “chili and dessert cook-off” competition Ms. Biggars helps organize at her company, co-workers asked again and again, “Why aren’t you eating?” she says. “It’s a dieter’s nightmare.”

Deep down, some co-workers may feel abandoned by a dieter who no longer joins them for big lunches or happy hour, says Chelsey Millstone, corporate dietitian for Medi-Weightloss Clinics. Some feel jealous because they aren’t losing weight. Or they see a trimmer colleague as a career threat, Ms. Millstone says. Consciously or not, these co-workers may pressure a dieter by “calling them out” with embarrassing personal questions or comments, she says.

Pushing back can cause some “very touchy” conversations, however, says Becky Hand, a registered dietitian with the weight-loss and fitness website SparkPeople, based in Cincinnati. Colleagues often think they’re showing appreciation by bringing in food or building harmony in a department, and they can get annoyed or hurt. In her work as a hospital nutritionist, Ms. Hand coaches weight-loss patients to script a response in their heads and practice in front of the mirror, saying such lines as, “I’ve had your food in the past and it’s always delicious. But I’m sorry, at this time in my life, eating those extra whatever isn’t benefiting my health.”

Three diet mistakes that can make you fat

Three diet mistakes that can make you fat

Decadent dips ruin the benefits of healthy choices like raw veggies.

Sometimes a carrot stick is just a carrot stick. But for many of us, it’s a crunchy, bright orange vehicle for decadent dip—blue cheese, perhaps, or a nice herbed ranch. And as you dunk your sixth or seventh spear into that delicious dressing, you might tell yourself, Well, at least I’m eating a hearty serving of veggies right now. True–but you’re also consuming quite a lot of salt, fat, and calories.

Wrecking our otherwise healthy food picks along with our waistlines is often beyond our control. In his book The End of Overeating (Rodale), former FDA commissioner David Kessler, MD, explains that when you smell, see, or even think about “highly palatable” foods–ones that are high in fat, sugar, or salt–your brain can trigger the release of dopamine, the reward-seeking neurotransmitter. So in a way, you can blame the dopamine surge for forcing you to eat that glazed doughnut. The fact is, it’s possible to stop your pleasure-seeking brain from making menu decisions.

You dunk veggies into fat traps

While it may seem like a good idea to watch Parenthood with a plate of crisp crudités on the coffee table in front of you, that jar of peanut butter sitting right next to it can spell trouble. Sure, peanut butter provides healthy fat and protein, but it also has 94 calories per tablespoon–so this seemingly healthy snack can tip the scale in the wrong direction. And 2 tablespoons of creamy dressing can pack 145 calories and 15 g of fat. “Eating just one hundred calories more each day can translate to about a ten-pound weight gain over the course of a year,” says Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think.

The healthy move: If you’re dying to dip, mix fat-free plain Greek yogurt (it has about twice the protein of regular yogurt) with salsa or zingy seasonings such as horseradish or curry powder. Prepared hummus or black-bean dips coat raw veggies with protein, fiber, and flavor; just check the labels because fat and calories can vary among brands. Finally, beat boredom by introducing new vegetables into your rotation, such as crunchy jicama or radishes that offer a naturally peppery bite.

You go for fried sweet potatoes

Besides the beta-carotene (a disease-fighting carotenoid that our bodies convert to vitamin A) that’s responsible for their vibrant color, sweet potatoes provide vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, and fiber–all for about 100 calories in a medium potato. But when you fry these and other vegetables (hello, broccoli bites and zucchini sticks), the fat and calorie counts skyrocket. Not only that, but a study in the Journal of Food Science found that certain vegetables, like zucchini, actually lose some of their antioxidant power when fried.

The healthy move: A baked sweet potato is the worry-free choice (mash in 2 tablespoons of a creamy fat-free dressing for extra flavor); eat the skin and you’ll also get at least 4 g of fiber. If you’re just not satisfied with a baked spud, buy a bag of oven-ready frozen fries at the supermarket. Compare labels and choose ones that have no trans fat and no more than 0.5 g saturated fat per serving. See the packaged sweet potato “fries” that Prevention likes best.

You drown your food in olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is high in “good” monounsaturated fat–the kind of fat that can help lower LDL cholesterol–but it also has about 477 calories and 54 g of fat per 1/4 cup. If you don’t measure the amount of oil you use to sauté, grill, broil, or roast, you can end up with way more than you need.

The healthy move: When grilling or broiling, use a pastry brush or nonaerosol pump to lightly glaze food with oil, says Jennifer Nelson, RD, director of clinical dietetics and nutrition at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. If you’re making a stir-fry, wipe a paper towel dipped in olive oil around the wok before adding ingredients–or better yet, use a nonstick skillet. You can also make your sautés sizzle with wine, soy sauce, chicken broth, or 100% carrot, tomato, or vegetable juice.

Daily habits to guarantee weight loss

Daily habits to guarantee weight loss

It’s not just what you eat or how much you exercise that can impact your fitness goals.

Understanding and working with your body’s natural hunger and sleep rhythms will vanquish cravings, increase energy, and help you lose more weight.

It’s not just what you eat or how much you exercise that matters; it’s the timing of each component that is the true secret to weight loss success. Research shows that our bodies’ inner eat-and-sleep clocks have been thrown completely out of whack, thanks to all-day food cues and too much nighttime artificial light. The result: You’re caught in a “fat cycle”: a constant flow of hunger hormones that makes you prone to cravings. By tuning in to your body’s natural eat/sleep schedule, you can finally say good-bye to your belly.

The Perfect Day of Eating

Drop Around The Clock! Follow this hour-by-hour slim-down schedule to control hunger hormones, banish cravings, and get trim and toned–fast!

6 to 8 AM: Get Moving.
Within a half hour of rising and before you eat breakfast, do 20 minutes of cardio. Research has found that exercising before breakfast may help you burn fat more efficiently. If you can get outside, even better. Early morning sunlight helps your body naturally reset itself to a healthier sleep/wake cycle (regular indoor lights don’t have the same effect).

6:55 to 8:55 AM: Drink Up.
Before every meal, drink two 8-ounce glasses of water. Research shows that people who drank this amount lost 5 pounds more than nonguzzlers.

7 to 9 AM: Eat Breakfast.
The alarm clock also wakes up ghrelin, the “feed me” hormone made in your stomach. Ignore ghrelin and your body will produce even more, eventually making you ravenous. To suppress ghrelin’s effect, eat a mix of complex carbs and protein, such as eggs and whole grain toast, within an hour of waking.

10 to 11 AM: Munch Midmorning.
Ghrelin begins to rise again a couple of hours before lunch. It turns off when you chow down, particularly on carbs and protein, so have a small combo snack, like blueberries and Greek-style yogurt.

12 to 1 PM: Have Your Midday Meal.
Galanin, another hunger hormone that makes you crave fat, rises around lunchtime. However, dietary fat causes you to produce more galanin, which then tells you to eat more fat. Instead, fill up with complex carbs and protein, such as chicken-vegetable soup or black bean chili.

2 to 3 PM: Take a Nap.
Instead of hitting the vending machines, find a quiet place to grab a few Zzzs. (Hint: Your parked car is the perfect impromptu sleep pod!) Just set an alarm–15 to 20 minutes will energize your body without affecting your ability to sleep at night.

3:30 PM: Get Buzzed.
Need a boost? This is your last chance to have a cup of joe. Drinking coffee after 4 PM disturbs circadian rhythms and can keep you from falling asleep at night.

4 to 8 PM: Trim and Tone.
Now’s the time to do your strength training, plus any additional cardio. This is when your body temperature is highest, so you’re primed for peak performance. In one study, subjects who worked out in the late afternoon or early evening built 22% more muscle than morning exercisers.

5 to 7 PM: Time to Dine.
To ensure you don’t wake up hungry in the middle of the night, add a serving of healthy fats, such as flaxseed or fish oil, to your meal. If you’re a wine drinker, pour a glass now. Drinking later can delay dream (REM) sleep, waking you frequently during the night.

9 to PM: Have a Presleep Snack.
Enjoy a carb-based bedtime snack, such as a serving of low-fat frozen yogurt. Nighttime carbs create tryptophan, which helps your brain produce serotonin. This feel-good chemical triggers your body to make melatonin, the sleep hormone.

9 to 10:30 PM: Power Down.
Step away from digital devices, including the TV. They emit a blue spectrum of light that’s even more disruptive to sleep than regular bulbs. Do something calming–read, take a bath–in dim light so you’re ready to nod off when you hit the sheets.

9:30 to 11 PM: Go to Sleep.
Crawl under the covers at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, even on weekends. Having a regular sleep-and-wake schedule helps you fall asleep faster over time.

Lowering Blood Pressure

Lowering Blood Pressure

New studies conducted at the National Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas and the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, demonstrate that aerobic exercise alone (without special dietary or lifestyle changes) can lower high blood pressure. These studies are the first to show that exercise alone lowers blood pressure.

The biggest drop took place in those subjects who had mildly high blood pressure. However, the National Institute for Aerobics Research recommends that the first-line defense for hypertension be weight loss, cessation of smoking, salt reduction, medication and exercise. Exercise also allows smaller drug doses for those who need to take hypertension medication.

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