Your Diet is the Key to Long Term Weight Loss

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Are you finally fed up with being overweight and out of shape and ready to get in the gym and get fit for good?  If you want to see the results you are looking for, it is also important that you address your diet.  In reality it is virtually impossible to see any significant results from working out without eating right too.  In fact, most health experts agree that 80% of your results will be caused by your diet.  It simply is not possible for most people to work out hard enough to compensate for a bad diet.  So, if you want to see the results you are looking for, eating right is key.

Stay away from fad diets and instead stick to something that is balanced that you can live with in the long run.  Don’t be tempted to follow diets that require you to eliminate entire food groups, because research shows that this rarely works in the long run.  Rather, eat fruit, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.  Studies have shown that it is especially important to get enough protein in your diet, but that you also need to avoid getting too much fat.  One way to add additional protein is to choose low-glycemic carbohydrates that also contain protein.  As an example, quinoa is a great way to get protein in your diet without extra fat.  Try using it in place of white rice in your favorite stir fry recipe.

To see the quickest possible results, it is important that you weight train and do aerobic exercise.  In a 12 week study that looked at middle age women, those who only walked saw no results, but those who walked and did strength training experienced lower body fat, lower blood sugar and a decreased waist circumference.  The key to long term weight loss is focusing on your diet and including both aerobics and weight training in your plan.

Keeping Your Heart Healthy: How Do You Increase HDL?

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HDL, also known as good cholesterol, is located at the walls of our blood vessels used to get rid of the excess cholesterol. HDL then carries with it the excess cholesterol back to the liver for cleaning and processing. If not for HDL, the excess fat stays in the arteries, thus creates plaques that can eventually lead to various cardiovascular diseases. Think of your HDL as your blood vessel’s personal sanitation worker. So, how do you measure their HDL cholesterol levels? Or better yet, how to increase HDL cholesterol level?

HDL cholesterol levels below 40/mg/dL have a high risk for cardiovascular diseases. HD levels between 40 to 60 mg/dL are considered average, while HDL levels more than 60 mg/dL are considered to protect people against heart diseases – thus, the higher the HDL, the better. But the question ‘how do you increase HDL cholesterol levels is a rather complex question to answer. Luckily, many scientists and medical professionals have done studies on how to increase HDL.
There are a number of ways to increase HDL. Use all these techniques to ensure a high HDL and combat nasty heart diseases:

  • Aerobic exercise – many people won’t like it, but yes, regular exercise such as jogging, biking and walking can increase your HDL levels. Spend around 20-30 minutes exercise everyday. Intensity doesn’t affect increased HDL levels, but the duration does.
  • Stop smoking – Smokers should give up tobacco totally to increase HDL levels.
  • Lose weight! – Obesity increases LDL cholesterol levels and reduces HDL cholesterol levels.
  • Maintain a healthy diet – add monounsaturated fat, healthy oils, fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet. Include other dietary essentials such as cranberry or grape juice, fish, and foods high in omega three to increase HDL.
  • Drink red wine – Yes, you’ve read it right. You may ask how can you increase the levels of HDL by drinking alcohol?’ Studies have found that the right intake of red wine can increase HDL levels. However, limit your intake with one or two drinks a day. More than that and it’ll lead to substantial health problems such as heart attack and heart failure.

Drug therapy for increasing HDL levels has been successful so far, but less effective when it comes to decreasing LDL cholesterol levels. Of all drugs used for treatment, niacin is the most effective drug at increasing levels. How do you increase HDL levels? The best way is always the natural way. So diet, exercise and quit smoking now.

Sleep Cycle – Some Additional Information about Your Sleep

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We are busy which is true, but still it won’t be a good enough reason when it comes to “customizing” your sleep or sleep cycle schedule. Because if you’re not ready to giveaway enough time for your body to rest itself and recover just because you’re “busy” it won’t do any good when health related problems starts to come into the surface. Since this is one of the most basic needs of all types of life forms even the tiniest amount of distractions can create big problems in the future. The reason behind certain types of emotional imbalances is most of the time due to the low amount of sleep that people are getting.

Emotional imbalance also includes other types of illness such as depression for example. This is another deadly enemy of these times we live in. It’s also one of the reasons behind suicide incidents, mental issues, etc. If you used to sleep for about 6-8 hours per day but because of any reason let’s say that last night you were only able to sleep around 5 hours. Some might say this won’t affect your daily activities at all but the actual researches have proven otherwise. Even the slightest amount of change can have big outcomes concerning both body and mind. If this was continued for longer durations it can even reduce the ability of the body to fight again infections for instance.

Another myth that many people have is that the actual quantity represents the quality also, which is a total myth. One person may benefit even from 4 hours of quality sleep more than a person who’s having 8 hours of low quality sleep in comparison. The actual hours depends on the age. For example 3-12 months old babies needs 14-18 hours while a grown adult requires 7-9.

So how can you measure the exact amount that your body needs? The easiest way is to get a proper sleep with right conditions and decide it for yourself.  For instance,

A.    Make sure the cloths and the bed-sheets, etc are clean and the bed itself is comfortable enough.
B.    Avoid drugs and Coffee (anything that contains high amounts of Caffeine).
C.    If you cannot bath daily at least wash your face, legs, hands, etc which can help to improve the sense of comfort which is another important factor.
D.    Don’t go to bed with all your problems and obsessions in mind. Instead try to do anything that makes you calm. Read a book that you love or listen to some soft music, etc.
E.    If you use an Air-Conditioner set the temperature levels around 18 Celsius.

Thanks to the technological advancements there are now even electronic alarm clocks are available (commonly known as sleep cycle alarm clock) which has the ability to not to trigger any sounds while you’re sleeping in your deep stages. So even though there are many other ways that you can use to get the best out of the time that you spend on bed, still I hope that by reading this article at least you received some basic understandings about the subject because that’s what matters the most.