You may be worried about eating too much, but are you also concerned about not eating enough, Drastically cutting your calories and going on a fad diet can hurt your body and brain. You may be starving your brain of essential nutrients if you don’t eat enough food.
Your brain needs a healthy diet just like the rest of your body. The cells in your brain need the nourishment that comes from food. Food provides your body with carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It also offers nutrients such as minerals and vitamins that promote brain health.
Your brain benefits from nutrients such as folic acid, omega-3, and others found in food. Your brain needs these minerals and vitamins to function properly.
Find out what happens in your brain if you don’t eat enough to provide the nutrients it requires:
1. Shrinking of the brain. When your diet lacks enough nutrients because you’re starving or participating in a fad diet, your brain can shrink.
* If you don’t get enough B vitamins, your brain can atrophy.
* In addition, if you don’t get enough amino acids by eating protein or omega-3s from fats, then it can shrink.
2. Concentration and memory issues. Without the proper amount of nutrients, your brain can’t focus.
* You may have difficulty concentrating on simple tasks. Math or tasks that are more complex may become impossible.
* You need B vitamins, folic acid, omega-3, vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin, vitamin D, and other nutrients to concentrate effectively. Without them, your brain simply can’t function the way it was designed.
3. Brain damage. If you starve or don’t get enough food for long periods of time, brain damage can be the result. This brain damage may or may not be reversible.
4. Craving food. When you don’t eat enough, you start to crave food. You can’t stop thinking about it or shut off your brain.
* Your ability to make healthy food choices decreases. Since your brain thinks you’re starving, you’ll eat anything you find. You won’t be able to avoid temptations or stop eating junk food.
* Research shows that you’re more likely to eat carbohydrates and sweets to try to refuel.
* The constant cravings for food distract you. They can distract you to the point that you can’t work or study. You may even be in danger as you try to drive or walk since you can’t pay attention to your surroundings.
You may be worried about losing weight, fitting into your old jeans, or looking great in a swimsuit. These things motivate you to reduce your calories and food intake. However, fad diets and desperate attempts to lose weight can leave your brain without the proper nutrients. This is a dangerous and risky practice that can have long-term consequences.
Avoid skipping entire meals for days or weeks at a time. This type of unhealthy practice throws your entire body into starvation mode and hurts your brain, too.
You can avoid overeating without sacrificing important nutrients. You can reduce calories in a healthy way while ensuring you’re getting enough for your height and age. It may take some extra research when considering a diet, but your brain’s health is certainly worth it.
If you’re trying to cut down on caffeine or you accidentally run out of K-cups, there are other ways to wake up fast in the morning. Rub your eyes and take a look at these tips for natural energizers.
Breakfast Ideas for Waking Up without Caffeine
1. Drink water. Your body needs water to function efficiently, so a big glass in the morning will prime your metabolism and help you digest food. Rehydrate with 16 ounces of water served up at room temperature or colder if you prefer.
2. Peel an orange.Citrus smells have a stimulating effect, so indulge in oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines. Whole fruits have an advantage over juice in giving you more fiber.
3. Add mint. Mint is another invigorating choice. Brew a cup of mint tea, sprinkle mint on your eggs, or pop a breath mint on your way to the office.
4. Reach for protein. When you’re planning your breakfast menu, opt for dishes high in protein to give you energy. Some delicious choices are eggs, Greek yogurt, and bean burritos.
5. Focus on complex carbohydrates. Stabilize your blood sugar by eating whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Starting the day with fruits and vegetables will also help you to reach the recommended 7 to 9 servings.
6. Prepare the night before. What if you’d like a hearty meal, but you know you’ll be in a rush, Arrange the ingredients before you go to bed. Whip up a smoothie that’s ready for the blender or a casserole you can pop in the microwave.
Other Lifestyle Ideas for Waking Up without Caffeine
1. Let in the light. Exposure to light signals your brain that it’s time to stop sleeping. Turn on your bedroom lights as soon as your alarm clock goes off. Open a window or go outdoors for at least a few minutes.
2. Skip the snooze button. Those extra few minutes of slumber are actually sabotaging your efforts. You wind up feeling more groggy than if you jumped out of bed. Put the alarm clock out of reach if you need help resisting temptation.
3. Take a cool shower. Count on cold water for an instant jolt. If a freezing shower sounds unpleasant, cool water will do. You can also splash cold water on your wrists and face.
4. Work out. Exercise is a great pick-me-up, especially in the early hours. Join a 24 hour gym where you can visit at dawn, and avoid long lines for the rowing machine. Sign up for a tai chi class in your local park.
5. Have a laugh. You can’t feel drowsy when you’re whooping it up. Spend a few minutes playing with your children or pets. Listen to a funny program during your commute.
6. Make some small talk. Engaging in conversation will challenge your brain to start thinking clearly. Share interesting news stories or daily plans with your family at the breakfast table. Greet your neighbors and chat with retail workers while you run errands before work.
7. Go to bed on time. Giving your body adequate rest is the ideal wake-up strategy. Turn off the TV and computers so you’ll have a full night’s sleep.
Moderate amounts of caffeine are considered safe for most adults, but you don’t have to depend on coffee to help you rise and shine. Even when there’s no Starbucks in sight, there are plenty of options to help you start your day bright and alert.
If you have food allergies, it’s crucial that you avoid cross-contamination. Whether you’re allergic to peanuts, wheat, or another product, these tips will help you stay healthy and avoid trips to the hospital.
Cross-contamination is especially dangerous if you have severe food allergies.
Follow these techniques to avoid eating anything that may be contaminated with the food you’re allergic to:
1. Make your kitchen free from allergens. Depending on your food allergens, your family may or may not be able to eat the same things. It’s common for families to have different sensitivities to the same substances.
* It helps to keep the entire kitchen free from the specific foods that cause your allergies.
* Even if one of your family members isn’t allergic to that item, they can contaminate surfaces that you come into contact with when they eat it in your house. It’s easy for a few crumbs to be carried all over the house.
2. Be careful with restaurants and fast food. Cross-contamination is a big issue in the food industry. A restaurant may claim they can make an allergen-free dish. However, it may still be contaminated by other items in the kitchen. Even if they have a separate space or utensils for these purposes, you run the risk of cross-contamination in your meals.
* For example, a chef may use the same knife to prepare all the food. A waiter may touch the dishes and cross-contaminate them. Food preparers may use the same gloves to make multiple dishes. Cross-contamination is a real threat when you’re eating out, so you may want to avoid it.
3. Read labels carefully. Even if you’ve bought the item before, it’s important to check the label each time. Brands and manufacturers frequently update their ingredient lists and change recipes.
* Possible cross-contamination may be listed on the new label. Food manufacturers are required to note on the label if there is a risk of contamination with the top allergens such as wheat, eggs, dairy, and others.
4. Ask questions. If there’s any doubt about what might be in your food, it’s important to speak up and find out if any of your allergen could be present.
* When it comes to food allergies, politeness needs to take a back seat. It may seem impolite to question a host or waiter about the ingredients in a dish. However, the consequences of cross-contamination can be devastating.
* Find out what ingredients are in each dish and ask about shared kitchen space and utensils. Many people don’t realize that cross-contamination can occur on several levels.
* Consider telling your dinner companions about your food allergies in case they need to rush you to a hospital or use an epinephrine pen.
* Questions are the key to knowing more about your food and keeping yourself safe.
Cross-contamination may have serious consequences if you have food allergies. Take the necessary precautions to ensure that your allergen doesn’t end up in your meal. Then, you can eat heartily and enjoy!
The connection between a nutritious diet and a healthy heart just became even clearer. A recent study by the University of Washington found that almost half of deaths from cardiovascular disease can be prevented by changing what you put on your plate.
To make those choices easier, researchers also identified several of the leading risk factors and measured how much they contribute to the likelihood of heart conditions and stroke.
It’s a big deal when you consider that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the US and worldwide. Find out which dietary changes will have the biggest impact on helping you to lead a longer and more active life.
Top Dietary Factors for a Healthy Heart
1. Go nuts. The single most effective step you can take is eating more nuts and seeds. They reduce 11.6% of the risk of CVD death.
2. Eat more vegetables. Vegetables were close behind. Aim for at least 7 servings a day of fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits.
3. Choose whole grains. Enjoy whole-grain bread, oatmeal, and brown rice. They have more protein and fiber than refined grains. Plus, they’re more filling, so you’ll probably feel satisfied with fewer calories.
4. Limit salt. Excess sodium increases blood pressure, and the symptoms are often invisible. Substitute lemon, garlic, and other flavorful herbs and spices.
5. Eliminate trans-fatty acids. Trans-fats raise unhealthy LDL cholesterol and lower healthy HDL cholesterol. You can avoid them by eating fewer processed foods, especially those that list partially hydrogenated oils in their ingredients.
More Habits for a Healthy Heart
1. Try a Mediterranean diet. Following a Mediterranean diet guarantees heart-healthy choices. This diet consists of mostly plant-based foods, along with fish and moderate amounts of red wine.
2. Increase omega-3s. However you eat, consider adding at least 2 servings of fish a week to your diet, especially fatty types like salmon and tuna. If you’re a vegetarian, rely on flax seeds, walnuts, and beans for your omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Quit smoking. Talk with your doctor if you’re having trouble giving up tobacco on your own. Your physician can help you understand your options, including nicotine-replacement devices and support programs.
4. Use alcohol in moderation. Small quantities of alcohol may actually be good for your heart. That means up to 2 cocktails a day for men and one for women.
5. Turn off the TV. Couch potatoes are at higher risk of heart disease, strokes, and cancer. Limit your daily viewing to 2 hours or less.
6. Exercise regularly. Physical activity makes your muscles stronger, and that includes your heart. Enjoy aerobic exercise, stretching, and resistance training. Design workouts that you love and will want to stick with.
7. Lose weight. Being overweight puts an extra strain on your heart, especially if those excess pounds are mostly around your waist. Slim down by eating less and exercising more. Ask your family and friends for support. They may even want to join you. Losing just 10% of your body weight can greatly enhance your cardiovascular wellbeing.
8. Manage stress. How you deal with stress can also take a toll on your heart if you reach for junk foods, beer, and cigarettes. Learn to relax more safely with meditation, stimulating hobbies, and gentle music.
Cutting your risk of cardiovascular conditions in half is one more worthy reason for eating a balanced diet and making other simple lifestyle changes. Take care of your heart by consuming more nuts, vegetables, and whole grains, and cutting back on empty calories.
“When I get hangry, anything within arms reach could be part of my number 20. Mmm, this is potpourri. Smells good, in my mouth. That’s not food. Hehe don’t tweet this.” ~Tina Fey in an American Express commercial
Ever get hangry? That’s when you get so hungry that you get kinda pissed. That feels awful, if you ask me.
And I don’t know about you, but I am really into being comfortable. And that’s why when I lost 100 pounds, I did it without starving, sweating or surgery – but everyone wants to know: how’d I manage to keep the hunger pangs under control?
As we all know, that feeling in the pit of our stomach that makes us feel like we’re starving can be pretty lethal to our weight loss efforts.
Let’s get real for a minute here: sometimes it’s hard to concentrate on work, family, or anything else because of the cravings. Luckily, there are several ways to alleviate this situation. I have covered a TON of them in Project Blissful, as well as the following:
Breakfast can help you control blood sugar levels throughout the day and stop hunger pangs from ruining your diet. It’s important to eat a complete breakfast that combines carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats into one meal.
3. No “meat,” no eat! Eat your protein.Protein can make you feel satisfied after a meal or snack, so you’re less likely to crave other foods.
You can select food that has protein and still fits your diet. For example, nuts and seeds are a healthy source of protein. Peanut butter and other butters, such as almond butter, alsopack a healthy serving ofprotein.
A handful of cashews will stave off depression!
A few dark-chocolate covered almonds and a cup of coffee makes for a nice mid-morning pick-me-up – especially when you follow tip #10 along with it!
4. Slow the freak down! Chew well and eat slowly. If you swallow your food without chewing it enough, then it becomes more difficult to feel full.The rate at which you eat affects your stomach hormones and how you feel.
A study, titled “Eating slowly increases the postprandial response of the anorexigenic gut hormones, peptide YY and glucagon-like peptide-1,” found that eating slowly was better. The researchers discovered eating too quickly affected the release of stomach hormones related to feeling full. (That’s why I’ve got that 20-minute rule!)
Researchers recommend eating slowly, so the stomach hormones that make you feel full have a chance to become active.
5. Chew through the “pangs.” Chew gum in between meals. Researchers have found that gum can help you avoid temptation and stay on your diet. A study from the University of Rhode Island found that chewing gum encouraged people to eat less during the day. (It’s true! But so can brushing your teeth – and you’ll get less gas that way – just saying.)
6. Low-Carb is so 2010. Eat potatoes.Potatoescan be a useful tool for fighting hunger pangs.They have a resistant starch that takes longer to digest, so you feel full for a greater length of time. You won’t feel hungry while you’re still trying to digest the potato you had for lunch.
It’s important to eat healthy preparations of potatoes, so potato chips and French fries shouldn’t be on the menu. Baked or steamed potatoes can help you stay on your diet.
6. Add more grapefruit to your diet! If you like it, these citrus fruits can help you control hunger while providing more vitamin C. Grapefruits can help control blood sugar levels, so you avoid the dangerous spikes that lead to hunger pangs.
Fresh grapefruits are easy to add to your diet. They can be part of a fruit salad or smoothie for breakfast. They can also be cut into small pieces for a quick snack.
7. Aroma-therapy anyone?Did you know that smelling certain foods without eating them can help you control hunger pangs? Researchers have found that different aromas can be used to feel full.
A study, titled “Food aroma affects bite size,” revealed that aroma could be used to control hunger. Researchers discovered that people took smaller bites of food with different aromas. They noticed that controlling the scent of the food affected how much people ate.
8. Start adding coconut oil to your coffee or tea in the morning. This stuff has seriously changed my life, people. Not only does it reduce hunger, but it also helps your skin look better and can help you lose weight – especially around your midsection. I can’t say enough about the stuff – and you can get a month’s supply for under ten bucks.
Don’t forget to count the calories. Coconut oil has around 130 per tablespoon – but they’re worth it, trust me.
If you don’t drink coffee or tea, you can add coconut oil to your diet by using it in your cooking .
Be sure to get the unrefined, organic coconut oil for maximum benefit.
Remember that a little fat in your diet is necessary, and coconut oil offers one of the best sources of it.
Ice water is best as it will cause your body to heat up and burn a few extra calories, but any water will do.
10. Try my 20 minute rule! Remember that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to signal your tummy it’s full – so anytime you want to have seconds or even eat something that isn’t on your plan for the day, wait 20 minutes before you do it. This deal works for me almost 100 percent of the time – and I totally use it still today. Give it a shot.
Hunger pangs don’t have to destroy your diet – just beat them with these diet hacks instead. By planning ahead and using these strategies, you can stay on your diet and subdue your cravings.
Bonus tip: Check out the MYBFF all-natural weight-loss supplements – not only have they recently launched a new Power Points program that gives you an instant $5 discount (and there are so many free ways to earn those points – you could save more than half of the cost and then some), but they’re insanely useful for getting off the extra weight and they’ll also cleanse your body in the process. I find they give me plenty of energy too.
Now it’s your turn! Tell me what works best for YOU to stave off hunger – leave your thoughts in the comments below.