According to statistics, over half of the world’s population is overweight. While some people are not bothered by their weight, thousands, or perhaps millions, struggle to shed extra pounds. If you are one of the people trying to lose weight and get back to looking great, you may already know how difficult it is to do this.
Weight management requires a lot of commitment, discipline, sacrifice, and use of the right sports equipment. If you lose any of these attributes, you may not achieve your target. However, there are weight management tips that can help you reduce those fats within the desired timeframe. Here are seven weight management tips you can include in your weight management journey.
1. Avoid eating before exercise
Body exercise or workout can drain a lot of energy from you, leaving you light and almost empty. Thus, eating before an exercise may sound like the best option because you think you need more energy to lose weight. However, you should avoid eating any food before a weight management exercise. Eating before an exercise is an effort in futility. You will not ban any fat.
When you eat before heading to the gym or field for your workout, the carbohydrate present in your body will stimulate the release of insulin, which will, in turn, inhibit the reducing of body fats. Some proteins may also stimulate the release of insulin. Also, if you eat a fatty diet before a cardio session, your body will reduce the same fats for energy, leaving the stored fat mass intact. In essence, you shall have burnt the fats you just ate and not the one you intended to burn.
2. Eat at regular intervals
Some people believe that they can activate weight management processes by skipping meals or fasting for a more extended period. However, there are dangers to staying for a long time without eating. One of the dangers is the spike and crash of eating a large quantity of food on an empty stomach. When you are hungry, you will develop food cravings and hunger pains, leading you to snack on junk food. Therefore, if you want to reduce fats and stay healthy, you need to eat regular intervals to not run out of calories.
However, eating regularly does not mean clearing everything on the table. It would be best if you control your portion. Also, ensure that you eat weight management foods that are nutritious and balanced meals. If you must snack, choose healthy snacks like nuts and fruits. Avoid processed food as much as possible.
3. Include cardio as weight management exercise
Cardiovascular exercise is one of the most excellent ways of reducing fat. There are two types of cardio exercises that you can choose for your weight management; high-intensity interval training and low-intensity training. While opinion is divided on which of the two is best for reducing body fats, both have their pros and cons.
HIIT workout involves a high-intensity exercise over a short period followed by a short recovery phase. You can repeat the exercise several times over the duration. HIIT often lasts 15-20 minutes. Low-intensity training involves an activity or exercise over a long period, often over 30 minutes. However, the activity is not as intense as in the HIIT workout.
Since fats are energy-intense, you will require a lot of energy to increase your fat reducing capacity. Therefore, you should engage in a cardio exercise that allows you to take in more oxygen. Avoid exercises that make you pant or gasp for air. Otherwise, you may end up burning more sugar and protein than fat.
4. Supplement your weight management workout with supplements
While a weight management workout can help you lose weight by getting rid of the fat masses in your body, you can use supplements to speed up the process of weight management. Supplements can help you get rid of the extra pounds and improve your overall health. For instance, Omega 3 fatty acids can speed up weight management in obese people.
Although low-intensity cardio will help you lose weight, it is a slow weight management process. You can speed up the process by using thermogenic weight loss managers like Synephrine. These supplements will stimulate fatty cells, which will, in turn, release fatty acids. Other supplements that you can use are Vitamin D and L-Carnitine.
5. Increase protein intake
Weight management at home without going to the gym can be as easy as increasing your protein intake. Proteins are present in various foods, including almonds, broccoli, lean beef, chicken, and fish. These food sources are delicious and can curb your food craving and also manage fats. According to some studies, protein can boost your energy expenditure and metabolism, resulting in an increased weight management. Remember, every functioning unit of your body consists of protein with minerals, vitamins, and fats being its cofactors.
6. Add fruits and vegetables to your diet
A weight loss management diet is essential for weight management and healthy bodies. While protein is essential for the body, fruits and vegetables not only help you to get rid of excess fat but also prevent you from gaining a lot of weight. Fruits and vegetables also help you feel full for longer without adding any calories to your body. So, you don’t have to keep visiting your fridge for snacks and drinks.
7. Drink a lot of water
Water is life, and experts will encourage you to drink plenty of it if you want to stay healthy. Drinking water regularly is the easiest way of weight management without sweating. Regularly drinking water makes you feel fuller and takes the food craving or appetite away. More water in the body is good for your health since you are always hydrated. On the flip side, avoid sweetened beverages like soda and booze. They will only add tons of calories, which contain a lot of fat.
Although body fat is essential for your health and keeps your metabolism on the check, it can trap and expose you to health risks, including threatening diseases. However, if you want to reduce fats, choose healthy, manageable measures like those discussed above. Remember that weight management takes time. So, be patient and don’t expect instant results.
Aspartame is one of the most popular and widely available artificial sweeteners found in low-calorie food and drinks, such as diet soda and sugar-free treats. Not only that, but it’s also a component of certain medications. Despite its ubiquitousness and stamp of approval from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), aspartame has become a source of controversy, with several studies claiming it may have adverse side effects.
Today, we’ll look at some of the most recent evidence on the safety of this substance and how it might affect weight and appetite:
Can Aspartame Help Me Lose Weight?
Food and beverages containing artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are often marketed as a healthier option. Since it is substantially sweeter than sugar (around 200x), aspartame can be used in small amounts and contribute little to no calories to daily intake. Because of this, many have turned to products containing aspartame to enjoy a flavorful diet in efforts to lose weight. However, findings suggest the truth may not be as sweet as it seems.
A 2017 meta-analysis of research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found no evidence of weight management benefits for artificial sweeteners in randomized clinical trials. It reported that cohort studies associate artificial sweeteners with “increases in weight and waist circumference.”
Dr. David Ludwig, a weight-management specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital, pointed out another concern in an article published by Harvard Medical School; the use of artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, may replace lost calories through other sources, therefore possibly offsetting weight management or health benefits. “I’m drinking diet soda,” says Dr. Ludwig, “So it’s okay to have cake” — a verbalization of the mentality that can quickly undo any calorie-restrictive diet aspartame may instigate. This leads us to our next point:
Will Aspartame Suppress My Appetite?
Another red flag concerning aspartame goes beyond how it directly affects your weight, but instead, how it makes your body feel — and how you act upon it. Research indicates that even acceptable daily intakes of aspartame, as regulated by the FDA, could actually make you hungrier — prompting you to overeat or make unhealthy food choices to satiate — ultimately leading to a gain in weight. Other studies in rodents show that, compared with sugar, sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin cause weight gain, not management.
Something Sweet: Alternatives to Aspartame
Those who wish to limit their aspartame intake can try the following alternative natural sweeteners:
While the above options may be preferable to aspartame, individuals should still only use them in small amounts. These sweeteners can be high in calories, akin to sugar, with little to no real nutritional value.
To browse our aspartame-free supplements or learn about their benefits, reach out to Feed Me More Nutrition today!
Even though our immune system does a tremendous job of protecting us from diseases, sometimes it fails, and we eventually get sick. However, did you know that making a few changes to your lifestyle and diet could help you boost your immune system?
Just like with anything else, when it comes to a robust immune system, balance is the key. Read on to discover what you can do to strengthen your body’s natural barrier and protect yourself from bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.
Your Immune System
Your immune system consists of organs, cells, tissues, and proteins. When an alien microorganism enters your body, your immune system acts as a first responder. It fights hard to protect you from getting infected. However, if your immune system isn’t strong enough, it might lose the battle and let harmful bacteria have a feast in your body.
The healthier your immune system, the better it works. That’s why it’s so essential to keep it that way for as long as possible.
If you did end up getting Flu or any other common cold, you’re most likely to experience fever. Of course, it’s not a pleasant feeling at all, yet it means that your immune system is working and trying to get rid of that infection.
Since the immune system is so critical for the prevention of various illnesses, you should take any chance you get to keep it strong.
No matter what, keep calm and try solving any problems without putting yourself into this terrible condition. Of course, sometimes, it’s hard to avoid stress, especially with all negative events happening in the world every day. Yet, stress has a powerful effect on your immune system, making it weaker and more vulnerable.
So, if you want to stay healthy and have your immune system as your best friend, try to lower your stress levels. Meditate, try yoga, read, listen to music; in other words, do anything that could make you feel relaxed.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleeping for at least 7-9 hours per day might be one of the best things you can do to regulate your immune system. Plus, it’s one of the easiest ways to do it, because all you need to do is lay and relax.
Not getting enough sleep might cause stress, and consequently, lower your body’s immune function. A study has shown that people who sleep less than six hours a night are more prone to catching colds and other respiratory infections. So, make sure you always get your well-deserved eight hours of sleep.
Increase Vitamin Intake
The more vitamins there are in your diet, the stronger your immune system will be. You can find vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E in both fruits and vegetables. For example, try including such foods into your diet as kale, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, turmeric, ginger, garlic, bell peppers, salmon, tuna, elderberry, blueberry, and all the citrus fruits. They are full of nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and some of them (e.g., turmeric) even have anti-inflammatory effects.
Although it’s better to consume all the vitamins directly from their source, there are also a lot of supplements that can help you get all the essential nutrients and your daily dose of vitamins.
Improve Your Lifestyle
There are a few things you can do to become healthier:
Exercise: Moderate exercise strengthens your immune system, keeps you more energetic, happy, and lowers the risk of getting sick.
Quit smoking: Even though it might be hard for long-term smokers, you should do your best to get rid of this bad habit (better slower than never.)
Moderate your alcohol consumption: Alcohol can also lower your immune system defense function, so try balancing its intake or eliminate it at all.
Practice Better Hygiene
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds is one of the best ways to keep bacteria away. That’s why you should develop a habit of doing it every time you cough, sneeze, use the bathroom, or come back from outside. You can also take advantage of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory products to help you fight germs.
The Bottom Line
Your immune system is complex; that’s why it takes some time and effort to keep it healthy. However, if you manage to eat a lot of vitamins, get enough sleep, exercise, and eliminate bad habits, you’re already one step closer to boosting your immune system.
If you tend to get sick very often and worry about your immune system, you should always consult your doctor first and avoid self-medication by all means.
Here are some tips to stave off sickness and ensure your immune system is functioning most optimally!
Boost Your Immune System
Feeling under the weather every now and then isn’t typically cause for concern (although in some cases it can be). The common cold, flu season, and less than optimal lifestyle habits are a part of life. But it’s our responsibility to ensure that we’re taking care of our bodies and minds by consciously maintaining good lifestyle habits.
And yes, we know, It’s easier said than done. But with the right information, you can start implementing a healthy immune-supporting diet. It’ll definitely be worth it. The immune system protects us against disease-causing bacteria. But if it’s not functioning adequately, we become susceptible to substances that invade our well-being.
Now, the correlation between immune function and healthy habits is not entirely understood. But… our habits and knowledge absolutely have an effect on our overall health. (1)
So, here are some awesome diet tips for a healthy immune system…
Note: The following information is not medical advice and you should not treat it as such. Seek medical treatment for any health concerns and do not try to self-diagnose.
Water is your most important nutrient
Water is a crucial component of life and the most essential nutrient to the body. This is evident by the fact that there’s a good chance you’d die if you went 4 days without it. Oh, and we’re also made up of 60% or more of water. (2)
It’s even more important than food which you can go weeks without (not a good idea but you get the point).
So, just imagine what it does to your body when you’re dehydrated… And by the way, did you know most people are dehydrated? Insufficient water intake creates homeostasis imbalance and you’re asking for disease.
And research shows evidence of the link between dehydration and chronic disease (hypertension, diabetes, asthma, obesity and more). Not mention, a lack of water reduces energy levels, brain function, and performance. (3, 4)
So, do yourself a favor and drink lots of water, especially in hot environments, if you’re more active, and if you suffer from chronic illness of any kind. There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for the amount of water you should drink every day but try to stay hydrated so that you don’t become excessively thirsty.
Many foods also contain water too such as fruits, veggies, coffee, green teas, and even some meats and dairy. So, a balanced, healthy diet will also ensure you stay hydrated while providing electrolytes. (5)
Greens are vital for life
There’s a reason why greens are classified as a food that we can safely consume in unlimited quantities. They’re loaded with health-promoting vitamins, minerals, fiber, disease-preventing antioxidants and they contain no sugar.
Greens contain vitamins A, E, D, plus the minerals iron (blood cell health), folate, and more which supports healthy immune function.
More greens in your diet will lead to a healthy body, mind, and lifestyle overall. (6)
Excellent sources include kale, spinach, collard greens, lettuce, arugula, broccoli, etc. Not only do these greens contain plenty of vitamin C and other vitamins but they’re packed with carotenoids-antioxidants that fight against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when disease-causing free radicals weaken cells due to many factors such as stress, bad lifestyle habits, etc.(7)
As a result, cancers, autoimmune disease, heart disease, and more can occur. So diet plays a big role in our overall health through several different mechanisms.
Fruits such as elderberry, aronia, strawberries, acai, watermelon, apricot, mango, and papaya have a nice dose of disease-preventing antioxidants. Berries contain anthocyanins and phenolic compounds which are believed to possess the health benefits. (8)
But there need to be more studies on the exact mechanisms between the two compounds to come to a better conclusion on the effects. Although, all you need to know is that you should eat more healthy fruits for health benefits.
Two-four servings per day should be sufficient for most people. And if you’re worried about the sugar content, the fruits listed above are generally OK for those with diabetes. (9)
In fact, research shows that since fruits contain fiber, it can help with blood sugar. (10, 11)
But you need to make sure you’re eating more low-glycemic fruits as not all contain the same amount of sugar and fiber.
Get your daily vitamin C
Vitamin C definitely contributes to a healthy immune system by supporting various cell functions, although it can only do so much. It also protects the skin against pathogens and oxidative stress from the environment. (12)
So it’s definitely a good idea to eat plenty of foods that contain a good amount of this vitamin.
High vitamin C foods include:
According to research, vitamin C contributes to the production and function of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes. As a result, our bodies are better protected against infections and disease. (13)
The deficiency of this essential vitamin is also linked with pneumonia. (14)
And of course, vitamin C has plenty more benefits but it’s especially important for immune health.
Eat foods that contain healthy amounts of zinc
Zinc is a mineral that has an important role in immune health and a deficiency often results in impaired immune system function. It’s also required for cell metabolism, protein synthesis, enzyme activity, growth/development, and a few other processes.
Foods high in zinc are typically shellfish such as oysters that contain more zinc than any other food. Although, poultry and red meat typically make up most of the intake in the American diet. But crab, lobster, beans, whole grains, seeds, yogurt and many more foods contain a decent amount too.
The recommended daily allowance for zinc for the average adult is 11mg for men, 8mg for women, 11mg for pregnancy, and 12mg for lactating. But the tolerable upper level for most adults is 40mg.
Too much zinc, however, can result in very undesirable side effects including adverse effects of urinary physiology. So, make sure you’re not overdoing your intake.
Certain herbs have been shown to elicit improved health and reduce disease risk factors.
Ginger is a well-known superfood that has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It’s one of the most proven herbs as well when it comes to improving/maintaining overall health. (15)
Astragalus, which is used as Chinese medicine, has shown intriguing results when it comes to immune health in scientific studies. (16)
Angelica root is another Chinese herb that is used for blood circulation and immune system modulation. (17)
Honey, a natural sweetener also used for medicinal purposes, has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. It’s used in the treatment of many things such as gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and nervous system issues. Other uses are wound, ulcer healing and even cancer to name a few. (18)
Honey also contains lots of flavonoids and polyphenols which act as antioxidants and there’s good evidence for its use in many cases.
Curcumin, a component of turmeric, is a popular herb with anti-inflammatory properties. Scientific literature explains that in the last two decades, curcumin has been shown to be a potent immunomodulatory agent. (19)
Eat gut-healthy foods and consider supplementation
Probiotics are live microorganisms found in the gut and body. They’re found in fermented foods and many people supplement to get their daily dose of live bacteria. These live bacteria function to maintain a healthy gut flora (community of microorganisms).
There are many different types, some good and some not. The two most common forms which are commonly used are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. The good kind of gut flora is believed to play a role in several different processes.
These include the processing of nutrients, maintaining your gut wall to keep away bad germs, and it may also play a role in strengthening your immune system.
But it’s important to note that there isn’t sufficient evidence which suggests probiotics can improve certain conditions.
But there is some research that shows promise for minor gut-related issues such as antibiotic-associated diarrhea, colitis and more.
Although, there is the possibility of side effects especially in those with compromised immune health and illness. A few possible side effects include infection and the production of undesirable substances from the probiotics.
So, we recommend only healthy individuals consider probiotic supplementation. But most people can generally consume probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, tempeh, miso, etc.
Garlic is one of the best foods to cook with due to its amazing flavor and mouth-watering aroma. But this plant bulb may have some health properties too. Although, the evidence isn’t entirely sufficient due to mostly low-quality studies. (20, 21)
Research suggests that it may have a small effect on blood pressure. Some studies have also shown the food garlic to potentially reduce the risk of developing stomach and colon cancer.
As far as immune function, there are a few pieces of scientific literature that support some type of effect on the immune system. (22, 23)
One study of 146 volunteers found that garlic can prevent the common cold while also reducing the duration of symptoms compared to a placebo group. There are a few other reviews that support its use for the common cold. But again, the studies overall are not of high-quality or sufficient. (24)
Add mushrooms in your diet
That’s right, mushrooms can boost your immune system and they’ve been used in Eastern medicine for many purposes for quite some time.
Reishi mushroom has shown to have effects on the immune system, while also promoting weight management and acting as a powerful calming agent. Plus, it may also increase white blood cells. (25)
Chaga mushroom contains plenty of zinc in addition to more antioxidants than other mushrooms on a gram for gram basis.
Turkey tail, shiitake, and Lion’s Mane are all also very good for the immune system as well. And it’s important to note that mushrooms contain the mineral selenium which has a favorable effect on the immune system. (26)
Other factors that affect the immune system
While this article is focused on the diet for improving the immune system, it’s not all you should consider.
Other crucial factors for immune health include:
Stress levels (relationships, jobs, etc)
Lack of physical activity
Lack of sun exposure (vitamin D plays a role in immune health)
Once again, your lifestyle habits will determine your overall health. Some things may be out of your control. But, for the most part, we can do our due diligence to ensure we’re making the right choices. Then, we have to take action and make it a daily habit.
You can get to bed earlier, meditate, exercise, change your personal situation, cut out bad habits, and commit yourself to being a healthier person overall. Because living in stress is a recipe for disease.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the function of the immune system?
The immune system protects the body against infections and disease. It’s a crucial component of overall health in general.
How can I tell if I have a weak immune system?
Sings you may have a weak immune system…
Numb hands and feet
Unexplainable weight fluctuations
What causes a weak immune system?
There are many factors when it comes to healthy immune system function which include…
Stress levels (relationships, jobs, etc)
Bad sleep habits
Lack of physical activity
Lack of sun exposure (vitamin D plays a role in immune health)
We can improve most of these factors by making healthier lifestyle choices.
What are the best foods for immune system health?
There are several foods that will promote good overall health and likely improved immune health which include…
Fruits high in vitamin C
Oysters and other shellfish
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water as well which is crucial for healthy immune function!
Immune health is very important for your overall well-being. So don’t take your health lightly and implement the necessary dietary habits a part of your daily life if you haven’t already.
Of course, everyone is different which means so are nutritional choices. But we know that in general, many of the food groups we mentioned here are non-negotiable. So, do your best and remember that your immune system will function optimally when you take care of your body and mind.
If you’re in the gym and trying to build muscle, chances are you’ve heard about creatine.
Opinions on the controversial supplement run the gamut, and it seems like it’s always a hot-button topic.
But what does creatine do?
Don’t let ignorance stop you from taking advantage of a valuable supplement!
Here’s everything you need to know about what creatine does and how you can use it.
What Does Creatine Do?
Creatine is a naturally-produced combination of three different amino acids: glycine, arginine and methionine. Your body already produces minimal amounts of these amino acids, and creatine can be found in high-protein sources of meat.
When your body produces creatine, or you ingest it, the creatine helps to increase your energy stores. More energy allows you to train longer and harder—meaning more strength and more repetitions, resulting in greater overall strength.
Some argue that all creatine does is suck more water into your muscle cells, making your muscles seem bigger. But that’s not entirely accurate. Yes, creatine does hydrate your muscle cells. But when your muscle cells are hydrated, protein synthesis increases, boosting muscle growth.
Your muscles don’t just temporarily look bigger, creatine helps you build muscle faster. That means if you stop taking creatine, your muscles don’t just deflate. You keep the gains you made! But your muscles cells will become less saturated with water, leading to a smaller appearance.
To date, there are no safety issues with taking creatine, but long-term studies have not been conducted.
Before creatine can become fully effective in your body, your muscle cells must be saturated with the amino acids. Because of this, most people start taking creatine with a “loading” phase.
A loading phase is simply when you take larger doses of creatine to saturate your muscle cells quicker. Depending on the creatine, your loading dose will be between 15-25 grams. Usually, this phase lasts 5-7 days. Please note, all of these measurements should be adjusted based on your bodyweight. Be sure not to take too much too fast.
Once the loading phase is over, you return to the daily dose of 5 grams. Loading isn’t mandatory, but it can help creatine work faster.
A study conducted by the International Society of Sports Nutrition found “creatine cycling” is not necessary and will give you no added benefits. This you don’t need to cycle creatine to continue experiencing results.
That brings us to the next question: should you take creatine post-workout or pre-workout? Studies have found post workout to be only slightly more effective, but the difference is minuscule. So take creatine whenever is best for you!
Be careful when buying pre-workouts that claim to have creatine. Most only contain 1-2g of creatine, which is far below the recommended serving size.
Increases muscle size and strength due to elevated power output
Enhances muscle recovery during high-intensity exercise
The Side Effects of Creatine
Some people believe that consistent use of creatine will damage your kidneys, but no research has been cited to validate this claim. Quite the contrary, actually.
Dehydration, injury and muscle cramps are often linked with creatine, but again, no data supports these myths.
Although creatine helps improve muscle recovery time during workouts, there is no indication that creatine supplementation will improve post-workout recovery time.
The opposite is actually more likely! Increased energy levels during high-intensity workouts enable your body to perform at a higher level. When you lift more weight for more repetitions, you’re going to increase the strain on your muscle fibers. This is great for growth, but greater strain will necessitate greater recovery, not less.
A small percentage of supplementers find creatine causes gastrointestinal issues. As a result, companies have refined creatine powder further into what is known as Micronized Creatine. This smaller form of creatine helps the body more readily absorb creatine, decreasing stomach issues.
Creatine does cause initial weight gain. Your muscles pull in and store additional amounts of water, causing you store a couple extra pounds. Additionally, you should start to gain more weight as muscle growth and size increases.
Creatine Tips: How to Incorporate it into Your Training Program
If you want to try taking creatine to see if it will help you with your fitness goals, we highly recommend Micronized Creatine Monohydrate Powder. This is because the monohydrate is the simpliest, purest form of creatine. Also, the micronized power mixes very well in water.
Creatine is most effective for high-intensity training, and you’ll find it within most pre-workout supplements.
Research shows creatine “may enhance exercise performance in sports participants requiring maximal single effort and/or repetitive sprint bouts.” If you want to take it as effectively as possible, here are a few tips to help you get started:
Take creatine with food. Some individuals experience gastrointestinal issues when they take creatine on an empty stomach. Because creatine timing isn’t important, you should always take creatine with a meal or at least a protein shake. This will help reduce any potential stomach problems.
Expect to see weight gain initially. When you start taking creatine, don’t be disappointed if you see your weight start to spike. You’re not gaining fat! Increased water muscle retention is the cause.
Start small. Take 3-5 grams of plain creatine monohydrate powder daily.
The Case for Creatine
If you’re skeptical about creatine, you’re not the only one. When taken correctly, though, creatine can increase your energy levels, make it easier to push yourself, and help you build muscle.
Science fully supports creatine! It’s safe to use and as legal as whey protein. Give yourself an advantage and give it a try.
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