Four Easy Tips To Avoid Burnout After Committing To A Healthy Lifestyle

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So, you’ve made a commitment to become healthier, take better care of yourself, and ultimately lose that extra unwanted weight. You’ve been absolutely killing it and honestly can’t believe how well you’re doing. Then suddenly, that moment happens. Yes, that dreaded moment of burnout.

You’re having a motivation meltdown! Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there at one time or another, and it’s not a fun feeling, especially after all the work you’ve put in. The truth is, you know at the end of the day quitting isn’t worth it, but you’re almost to the point where you don’t care — you’re ready to throw in the towel.

Before you do, however, we’ve got a few easy tips to help you remember why you started living healthy in the first place. Don’t give up all hope just yet and take a look below.

1. Don’t set unrealistic goals.

Don't set unrealistic goals
Photo Credit: / Flickr

Many of us are guilty of superwoman or superman syndrome. This is when you want to do everything and please everyone! You’re saying yes to all that’s asked of you and ultimately end up saying no to things you want to accomplish. Take a look at just how many times you say yes so that you can also say yes to yourself.

2. Remember your reasons.

Remember your reasons
Photo Credit: dacadoo health platform / Flickr

The question “Why?” is your internal motivation. Why do you want to reduce your blood sugar? Why do you want to lose weight? The whys are what actually remind you of the reasons you’re doing this in the first place.

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3. Say ‘choose’ instead of ‘can’t have.’

Say choose instead of can't have
Photo Credit: Jonny Keen / Flickr

Reframing your thinking does wonders whether you know it or not. When you say “I choose to feel more comfortable in my clothes” vs. “I can’t have ice cream,” your life will change drastically. When you choose health and wellness, that’s a positive mindset.

4. Have a plan for challenges.

Have a plan for challenges
Photo Credit: Patrick Marelle / Flickr

As we all know, motivation is fleeting, meaning we need to strategize around the barriers. Problem-solve around your busy schedule and any challenges. Then you’ll have solutions instead of throwing your hands in the air and saying, “I quit!”

Article is contributed by Amanda Selsky for


10 Seriously Easy Tips For Losing Weight By The End of Summer

Incorporating these small lifestyle changes can make a big difference in your weight-loss goals.

10 Seriously Easy Tips For Losing Weight By The End Of Summer

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Have a Plan

Confronting our food-centric world without a plan is a recipe for diet disaster. From free samples at Sam’s Club to candy bars at the drugstore checkout and fast-food commercials hawking the newest guilty pleasure, temptation really is everywhere. But losing weight doesn’t have feel like work—or like a punishment. We talked to three registered dietitians to find easy, healthy ways to eat better and drop pounds consistently in the process.

Eat Fresh

Tip: Every Sunday, take 15 minutes to plan what you’ll eat for dinner in the coming week, and then hit the grocery store with a list. If you’ve got what you need to make dinner each night, you’re less likely to reach for a takeout menu or other convenience foods.

“Highly processed packaged foods aren’t nearly as satisfying, because whole foods take longer to chew and digest,” says nutrition consultant Karen Ansel, MS, RD. “So eating fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats and low fat dairy means you’re a lot less likely to overeat compared to a burger or pizza which you can wolf down in minutes.”

Choose High-Quality Carbs

Tip: Slowly-digested carbohydrates like whole grains and beans keep you fuller longer and provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

“It’s perfectly okay to eat carbs if you’re trying to lose weight, butthe type of carbs you choose can make a big difference,” Ansel says. “Many of us think whole grains just mean whole wheat bread. But there are loads of healthy, easy options out there. Try oatmeal for breakfast, stir-fried veggies with brown rice for lunch, or grilled salmon overquinoa for dinner.”

Eat Every 4 Hours

Tip: Eating regularly both fuels your metabolism and makes it less likely that you’ll be ravenous at mealtimes and overeat.

“We need to eat frequently throughout the day to keep our metabolism up,” Ansel says. “The trouble is, it’s hard to draw the line between eating frequently and all-day grazing. In reality, most of us only need 3 meals and 1 small snack of about 100-150 calories (unless you are extremely active in which case you’d need 2 snacks). To get the most mileage from your snacks, eat them when you’re hungriest—namely 3 to 4 hours after your last meal.”

Cut Out the Soda

Tip: If you cut out two cans of soda a day, you can lose 1/2 pound a week—even if you make no other changes.

“A can of Coke is 140 calories, and most people who drink regular soda have more than one 12-ounce can per day…I try to get people to cut it out entirely,” says Kelly O’Connor, RD, LDN, Director of Diabetes Education at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. “Soda is purely empty calories with no nutritional value at all.”

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Stop Eating Two Hours Before Bedtime

Tip: Eating just before bed or (horrors!) in bed, causes a calorie pile-up! Most of us end up making unhealthy food choices, and what’s more, our bodies won’t efficiently burn the calories while we sleep.

“Eating right before bed is a not helpful practice to get into,” O’Connor says. “I usually tell my patients if you must eat sweets or other high-calorie, high-fat foods, eat them early in the day(and be moderate in portion), so you can better burn them up!”

Having a snack two hours after dinner (but not right before bed) is perfectly fine, she says, as long as it’s 100 to 150 calories. Her snack suggestions include 1 slice of whole grain bread with peanut butter, low-fat yogurt, or 3/4 cup Cheerios and 1/2 cup low-fat milk.

Continue to Eat Your Favorite Foods

Tip: Cutting back on the unnecessary calories from filler foods, like rolls or bread with dinner, allows you to indulge occasionally in the treats you love.

“I’ve never been successful in counseling someone long-term, when they took their favorites out of their diet entirely,” O’Connor says. “Cut back in other places, so you can continue to enjoy your favorite foods on occasion. Not that I recommend fast food, but if you love McDonald’s, get a Happy Meal every once in a while. A cheeseburger Happy Meal has about 515 calories if you choose apple juice as the beverage.” (Compare that to a Quarter Pounder with Cheese value meal, which weighs in at 1,100 calories.)

Measure Servings with an Ice Cream Scoop

Tip: Using an ice cream scoop at home to serve yourself foods like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, and tuna salad ensures that you get a proper portion every time.

“If you were to use a scoop for your potatoes, rice, corn, egg salad and many other scoopable foods, you’d be ensuring you get a consistent portion each and every time,” O’Connor says. “I usually tell folks two scoops max (which is equal to 1/2 cup) or preferably, one scoop.”

Eat Breakfast

Tip: Just as snacking helps prevent overeating later, so does eating breakfast first thing in the morning.

“When we eat at regular times, our body uses the energy more efficiently,” says Dee Sandquist, MS, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Think about keeping a log on the fireplace to keep the fire burning—if your body doesn’t know when it’ll get fed again, your metabolism slows down and burns less energy.”

Eat Protein Three Times a Day

Tip: Every meal should include 2 to 3 ounces of protein, which is equivalent to a portion of chicken or meat that’s the size of a deck of cards or 2 small eggs, for example.

“A lot of people might save up and eat protein for dinner, but the body uses protein more efficiently if you spread it out,” Sandquist says. “Your body needs protein topromote lean muscle mass. Excess is stored as energy or fat, instead being used to feed muscles.”

Make a Few Easy Substitutions

Tip: You can save calories, without eating like a runway model, when you make a few smart substitutions that boost flavor to boot!

Sandquist recommends:

  • Smashed or thinly sliced avocado, instead of mayo, as sandwich spread
  • Lettuce, instead of a flour-based tortilla, to make wraps
  • Spices, instead of heavy sauces, to season meals

Other substitution ideas: plain low-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt, instead of sour cream, on baked potatoes or tacos; English muffins instead of bagels; broth-based soups instead of creamy soups; seltzer or soda water with lime for tonic water.

How to Get Results

The No. 1 takeaway: Be consistent.

“Whichever way you choose to lose weight, whether it’s counting calories, fat, or carbs, or cutting portions, do it faithfully every day to get results,” O’Connor says. “This should allow weight loss to start within 2 to 3 weeks of making some changes to your eating habits.”

And Sandquist cautions patience: “Give it time. The weight comes on over time — it won’t come off all at once.”

This post is written by Sara Schwartz for


4 Ways Chili Oil Can Seriously Upgrade All Your Summer Recipes

Ever heard of chili oil?

Maybe you love relying on a little of the spicy excitement to make your recipes sing or as a companion to the meals you serve.

This condiment and cooking ingredient sounds like some essential oil made from the juice of squeezing hot chilies. But in reality, it’s an infusion of dried chili pepper in oil that’s easy to make at home.

And while the concentrated punch of heat from your chili oil might just seem fun and frivolous, you’re gaining powerful health benefits every time you indulge.

chili oil
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

1. Spice up your life.

Maybe there really is something to putting a little more spice in your life. Enjoy more of those hot, spicy foods and you may live longer, says a study in The BMJ.

You know what’s spicy? Hot chili oil!

The 2015 study looked at people in different parts of China. The researchers found continually eating spicy foods cut down on amounts of total and certain cause-specific mortality, with the risk of death going down as the number of days of eating spicy food went up.

So, there you have it: Go nuts on your spicy chili oil because it could save your life.

2. Boost your nutrient intake.

The dried chili peppers found in chili oil come with a wealth of vitamins and minerals that can help the various organs and systems of your body function as they should. They can also improve your body’s immunity.

From the tiny flakes or powder, you gain a powerful boost from vitamins E, A, K, B2, B3 and B6. You also get a healthy dose of the minerals iron, copper, manganese and potassium.

Dried chili peppers even give you some digestive-system-regulating fiber.

You can add all of the healthy fats, vitamins and minerals you’ll obtain from the oil into whatever you’re cooking.

3. Beat pain and inflammation.

The hotter the chili pepper, the more benefits of capsaicin you’ll gain. Capsaicin is a healing substance that counteracts pain and inflammation, among other benefits.

A 2011 study in the British Journal of Anesthesia found that a patch with a high concentration of capsaicin was effective for providing pain relief in patients who had neuropathic pain. The study also noted many other studies have shown low concentrations of topical capsaicin effective.

Capsaicin is also associated with reducing inflammation, improving congestion and counteracting prostate cancer cells.

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4. Improve your heart health.

It’s easy to have a fire burning in your heart for the taste and sensations of chili peppers, but these delicacies also benefit the health of your heart. It’s the capsaicin and other capsaicinoids in chili peppers that can benefit your heart health.

An American Chemical Society report noted that these substances support cardiovascular health. They do so by reducing cholesterol levels and helping blood flow properly through your blood vessels when a gene is contracting arteries and cutting down on normal blood flow.

When you add chili oil to your diet, you gain all these health-enhancing benefits of chili peppers. And these are only some of the positive health effects of enjoying your favorite condiment.

Chili peppers are also associated with weight loss, preventing the start of stomach ulcers and reducing your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Indulge all you want in the spicy goodness of this oil because it’s improving your body at the same time.

Article is contributed by Sharon Chen for


Artificial Sweeteners Increase Flies’ Appetites

Flies given the artificial sweetener sucralose get hooked on the taste, eating more sugar and negating any calorie reduction they might experience from using the artificial sweetener in the first place. The researchers of the paper in Cell Metabolism are wary of extrapolating to humans, but advocate at least knowing how much artificial sweeteners are in one’s diet.

Artificial Sweeteners Increase Flies' Appetites
Photo Credit: iamharin/Shutterstock When fruit flies get a taste of sucralose, it makes them chase more high-calorie foods.

Artificial sweeteners have become a huge industry. However, according to senior author Dr Greg Neely of the University of Sydney, there is conflicting evidence as to whether they replace sugar consumption, or stimulate more demand. That’s not all that surprising. Nutritional studies on humans are notoriously hard, because so many people don’t stick to the diet and don’t admit it to researchers when they stray. Tightly controlled nutritional research tends to be on very small groups, for short periods of time, or both.

Animal diets are much easier to control. Neely told IFLScience that fruit flies are particularly good to work with because it is possible to test a lot of diets quickly.

“We then applied one component to mice,” Neely said. “We couldn’t do the whole thing in mice because it would take years.” Confirming that, at sufficient doses, sucralose triggers a similar craving in mammals gave Neely’s team more confidence of its wider application.

“After chronic exposure to a diet that contained the artificial sweetener sucralose, we saw that animals began eating a lot more,” said Neely in a statement. “Through systematic investigation of this effect, we found that inside the brain’s reward centers, sweet sensation is integrated with energy content. When sweetness versus energy is out of balance for a period of time, the brain recalibrates and increases total calories consumed.”

He added: “Using this response to artificially sweetened diets, we were able to functionally map a new neuronal network that balances food’s palatability with energy content. The pathway we discovered is part of a conserved starvation response that actually makes nutritious food taste better when you are starving,”

Neely cautioned that the work may not be applicable to all artificial sweeteners. “Fruit flies don’t like saccharine,” he told IFLScience, while aspartame proved difficult to administer. Nevertheless, the same mechanism could easily apply to anything that tastes sweet.

When the fruit flies were given sucralose for more than five days, their energy intake increased by up to 30 percent, with Neely telling IFLScience that the more sweetener they were given, the more they ate.

The implications for our own diets are less clear. Neely told IFLScience that to a human, sucralose is 600 times as sweet as sucrose, gram for gram, while flies only find it four times as sweet. So the flies were consuming quantities, relative to body weight, no human would touch. Rather than suggesting dieters should cut artificial sweeteners out entirely, Neely suggested clearer labeling might be beneficial so that people know how much they are consuming.

Article is written by Stephen Luntz from


3 Reasons Weight Loss Doesn’t Necessarily Fix Insecurities

Looking good is one of the biggest motivators for weight loss of all types. Seeing the results in the mirror or receiving compliments from other people gives many the willpower to keep going. Yet, many people find that weight loss is not the cure-all for insecurities.

Many of the insecurities we face manifest themselves in our own appearance. But, they are often so deeply rooted that even a significant physical transformation cannot relieve them entirely.

3 Reasons Weight Loss Doesn’t Necessarily Fix Insecurities

Photo Source: Jovo Jovanovic

Here are three reasons losing weight can help, but will not cure your insecurities.

1. Adjusting to a new image is hard.

Losing a lot of weight does not necessarily change the way you see yourself in the mirror, and adjusting to the new image in the mirror is hard. You may look at your reflection and see a trimmer, toned body, but you may not feel like the person staring back at you.

According to Elayne Daniels, a psychologist who works with people on body-image issues, people who were previously overweight or felt they were overweight carry around their perception of that image with them, even after the extra pounds are gone.

The phenomenon of feeling like you are still fat, even when you are far from it, is referred to as “phantom fat.” While it is disheartening, it is common. The perception of phantom fat particularly affects those who were overweight for a long period of time, and then dropped the pounds at a rapid pace.

You may also experience phantom fat if you are anxious about gaining the weight back. Those who have struggled with yo-yo dieting are likely to be more worried about small fluctuations on the scale.

Along with weight loss, it is important to retrain your brain to look at yourself without placing such heavy importance on your looks. You need to understand being thin does not mean being perfect. It will go a long way to helping you reduce your insecurities, regardless of your BMI.

2. Losing weight changes your size, not your life.

There is a lot of talk about changing habits and lifestyles when it comes to losing weight. Many people say, “If I could just lost 30 pounds, then I could….” There is a perception that weight loss results in dramatic life changes that allows you to finally reach your full potential as a human being.

But, changing a habit like overeating does not change who you are. It might change specific aspects of your life, like what size clothes you wear. But, your physical weight will not make you more or less likely to achieve all your dreams.

That is because losing weight and changing your personality are two different goals, and they need to be treated as such.

Encourage yourself to set different goals for different areas of your life. Set goals for your mental health and happiness. Keep weight loss in your physical health goals, and avoid feeling the “need” to lose weight.

If you feel like you “need” to lose weight psychologically, consider switching this mindset to goals that are physical. Train yourself to accept mental goals like enjoying being healthy instead of looking a certain way.

This will set you up to lose weight and also make those important changes to your life that will help you live your dreams.

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3. Finding happiness is not as easy as losing weight.

Happiness and weight loss are often referred to as a package deal. You have never seen a weight-loss success story featuring newly thin people looking grim. But, those are advertisements. They do not reflect reality.

Weight loss often puts you on what is known as the hedonic treadmill. The hedonic treadmill says you might be extra happy after losing weight. But, you will return to your previous happiness level after the excitement wears off.

In other words, you might be elated you have lost weight and spent all that plan devising a workable meal plan. But, that happiness is not a long-term event.

Real, long-term happiness means working toward new goals. It means not expecting a singular event to solve all your problems forever.

Learning to accept the elation you experience after losing weight does not last is important because returning to natural happiness levels is not a reason to let your previous physical goals slip. It also does not take away from your accomplishments in losing weight.

Losing weight is a great start to providing yourself with a physically healthy life, and it might limit certain insecurities for a while. But, if you are not prepared to face yourself and your continued challenges after weight loss, you might see those insecurities are not shed with the extra pounds.

To help support your weight loss and reduce negative feelings, learn how to keep your physical goals separate from your psychological ones. Accept that life is a work in progress, regardless of the number you see on the scale. Embrace that, and you will find it easier to embrace yourself.

This article is from Katie Mather of


5 Bedtime Habits That Will Help You Sleep Your Way To Weight Loss

Weight loss is an extremely tough task and if you’ve ever tried to bring your inches down, you’ll know what we are talking about. But did you know that you can sleep your way to weight loss? We’re not joking. Some useful bedtime habits can actually speed up your metabolism and will help shed those kilos. So here’s what you should do before you get ready to snooze.

5 Bedtime Habits That Will Help You Sleep Your Way To Weight Loss

1. Eating pepper:

Scientific studies have shown that peppers have great fat-burning qualities which help your body metabolise even while you sleep. So if you can and it suits your palate, eat pepper as it helps you lose weight faster.

Eating pepper

2. Maintaining a sleep routine:

When you maintain a sleep routine and sleep at the same time every night your body clock gets used to the schedule and begins to work accordingly. This helps your metabolism work in your favour too working positively towards weight loss.

3. Take in protein:

Having protein in the form of milk, Greek yogurt or a protein smoothie is a great idea helps you fight midnight hunger pangs. This will also help your body build more muscle in sleep which is a great way to increase your metabolism for speeding up weight loss.

4. Do stretches or yoga:

Avoid intense exercise at night as it will increase your energy levels and not let you sleep but you can still do some light stretches and yoga poses that will help you sleep better, relax your muscles and keep your metabolism going too.

Do stretches or yoga

5. It keeps the munchies at bay:

There are two key hormones here that sleep affects: leptin, which regulates hunger and ghrelin, which works up your appetite. When you don’t get enough sleep, ghreline levels rise, which make you more hungry. Conversely, by getting good shut-eye, your leptin count goes up which means your hunger pangs are kept at bay.

Photo Sources: Image courtesy: Thinkstock / Getty Image

This article is from Zahra Motorwala of


We should never have told people to start taking vitamins

It seems like simple, obvious advice: Eat your vegetables, get some exercise, and, of course, take your vitamins.

Or not.

Decades of research has failed to find any substantial evidence that vitamins and supplements do any significant good. And our obsession with vitamins masks a much bigger problem: We’re not getting the nutrients we need from our diets.

We should never have told people to start taking vitamins

Photo Source: Reuters

That’s the premise of science writer Catherine Price’s latest book, “Vitamania,” which explores how the tiny, colorful pills transformed the way we think about food.

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“We use vitamins as insurance policies against whatever else we might (or might not) be eating, as if by atoning for our other nutritional sins, vitamins can save us from ourselves,” Price writes.

They can’t. And some of them might actually be hurting us instead. Several supplements have been linked with an increase in certain cancers, while others have been associated with a rise in the risk of kidney stones. Still others have been tied to an overall higher risk of death from any cause.

So if we’re not eating right, and vitamins aren’t the solution, what do we do?

First, we can change what we eat. For most of us, this means eating less red meat, fewer sweets, and more fresh fruits and vegetables. New USDA guidelines announced in January echo these recommendations.

Several leading nutritionists and public health experts have said that in addition to doing all of the above, we should also eat more healthy fats like those from avocados, oily fish, and nuts.

eat more healthy fats

Photo From: Flickr/Sonny Abesamis

These basics are a good place to start:

  • Keep vegetables as the cornerstone of your meals. Or, in the words of the famous journalist and food writer Michael Pollan: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
  • Snack on nuts. Since they’re high in protein, nuts can help stabilize blood-sugar levels – which, if they plummet, can make healthy people feel “hangry” (hungry and angry) and is especially dangerous for people with diabetes. Nuts are also a good source of fiber, a key nutrient that helps aid digestion and keeps us feeling full.
  • Cut back on added sugar and refined carbs. Diets that are high in sugar and refined carbs (white rice, sweet snack foods, white bread) and low in whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat) have been linked with health problems, while diets high in whole grains and low in refined carbs tend to be linked with more positive outcomes.
  • Incorporate oily fishlike salmon into your diet. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fats, which help protect our cell membranes, the structure protecting the inner components from their outside environment. They’re also the building blocks of the hormones that regulate blood clotting and inflammation.
  • Eat avocados. While they’re high in fat and calories – just half of one packs 120 calories, about the equivalent of a slice of bread – avocados are low in sugar and rich in fiber. So add a few slices to your next meal.

As it turns out, all of the above foods are rich in various vitamins and minerals. Most green, leafy veggies are high in vitamins A, C, and E; colorful peppers and carrots are rich in vitamin A; fish and nuts are high in omega-3s; and avocados are a great source of potassium and vitamins C and E.

With this knowledge, writes Price, “we might rediscover something both surprising and empowering: that, while nutrition itself is amazingly complex, the healthiest, most scientific, and most pleasurable way to eat is not that complicated at all.”

This article is from Erin Brodwin of

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