8 Sneaky Reasons You're Always Hungry

Do you find yourself constantly heading to the fridge for a snack? If you don't have an obvious reason for the increased hunger, such as pregnancy or tougher workouts, you might want to see if your insatiable appetite is due to a sneakier cause. Your stress levels, quality of sleep, and diet may be to blame. Watch the video for more.
Source: Health bests

The Future of Dieting Is Personalized Algorithms Based on Your Gut Bacteria

Your friend has cut out sugar and feels amazing as a result. Another friend, on the other hand, is on what sometimes appears to be a strict all-candy diet and still stays perfectly healthy and trim. And you have tried both of these dietary tactics and have seen no real changes in your own body.

The same could be said for dairy or carbs — whatever the nutrient may be, you likely know from experience that just because some eating habit works for somebody else, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll work for you. Everyone’s body is different, of course, which means everyone’s body responds to food a little differently. And this, some scientists across the globe are now arguing, points to the potential future of healthy eating. The key to fighting the increasing threat posed by diabetes and obesity may be personalized diets — that is, eating plans tailored specifically for each individual — instead of the generalized nutrition guidelines we have now.

The answer is in your gut — more specifically, the trillions of bacteria currently residing there. Two of the scientists currently studying the interaction between the gut microbiome and diet are Eran Segal and Eran Elinav, the biologists behind the Personalized Nutrition Project in Tel Aviv. Preliminary results from their research, presented earlier this summer at the Human Microbiome conference in Germany, suggest that a computer algorithm can predict how individuals’ bodies will respond to certain foods, thus creating a tailored meal plan for each according to his or her own unique bacterial profile.

This project began more than two years ago and has so far included more than 1,000 people. Segal and Elinav first instructed their participants to wear glucose-monitoring devices, which measured and recorded their levels of blood sugar every five minutes for a week; they also used a mobile app to record what and when they ate that week. Altogether, they collected data on more than 50,000 meals and snacks, plus how each person’s blood-glucose levels responded to each food.

Your gut converts the food you eat into sugars, which are subsequently released into the bloodstream; from there, these sugars are either converted to energy or stored away as fat. Certain foods cause too muchsugar to flow into the bloodstream, and this too-high level of glucose in the blood is what can lead to things like diabetes and obesity. But what foods do this? This is part of the point of nutrition guidelines, to recommend the foods least likely to cause this potentially dangerous spike in blood glucose

But from their data, Segal and Elinav could see that the people in their study were responding to similar foods in wildly different ways. “Already, we could see at a very large scale that, indeed, for any food we looked at, we could see a huge variability in the response,” Segal said. “Some people, you give them sugar and they have a very faint response — even to pure sugar. Whereas others, they have a huge response. And this holds for basically every food that we examined.” And there were more surprises. “Some individuals, they eat whole-wheat rice and their blood-sugar levels remain low, and when they eat ice cream they spike,” Segal said. But for others the results showed just the opposite.

Theirs is not the first study to find an individualized response to similar foods. Studies of twins, for instance, have shown that even people with identical DNA sometimes respond differently to the same diet. And so these results, the researchers argue, suggest “that a universal diet, or universal guidelines, they could never work for everybody, because people are different,” Segal said. “General guidelines are going to have limitations, and they might actually be bad for some people.”

But why might this be the case? Segal and Elinav thought that if they could understand the underlying mechanism that might explain these differences in reactions, they could possibly learn to predict them. Their investigation takes a turn here into the gross: They took stool samples from 800 of their participants, sequencing the genes in each person’s DNA, and used this to complete profiles of the bacterial composition of each individual’s gut. (Basically, they knew that a particular gene is present in a particular type of bacteria, so if they found that gene, it means that bacteria is present, too.) They combined this with the records on their glucose responses to certain foods and used the two data sets to create a computer algorithm, which would create a list of foods that would not trigger that spike in blood-glucose levels.

To investigate the algorithm’s accuracy the researchers started the study that would later be presented at the Human Microbiome conference. They used the algorithm to tailor diets for 25 individuals, all of whom had high enough blood-sugar levels to be considered prediabetic. Some of the foods included on the “approved” list were not exactly the foods you might expect. “For some people it included chocolate, ice cream, pizza — things a dietitian would not prescribe,” Segal said. (Plenty of others didn’t, of course, and stuck to things like whole grains or veggies.) For one week they ate according to their personalized food plan; the following week they ate a diet that was similar in total calories consumed and was in line with more typical dietary guidelines for prediabetics. After the week following their personalized diet, fewer individuals experienced those spikes in blood glucose when compared to their week on the standard diet; some of them even saw their blood-sugar levels dip back down to healthy levels.

It’s an intriguing finding, though very much still a preliminary one. More research needs to be done involving many thousands more people, who are followed for a longer period of time, before anything becomes definitive or clear. And it’s also worth noting that other scientists working on the link between the gut microbiome and diet are skeptical of the notion that this research will eventually lead to eating plans tailored for an individual person. Jens Nielsen, a biochemical engineer at Chalmers University of Technology, believes that it’s more likely that this research will eventually lead to groupings of people, categories of individuals who respond to particular foods in similar ways.

Nielsen is co-author of a study published last month in the journal Cell, which found that people with more diverse populations of gut bacteria are healthier even if they are overweight, when compared to people with less diverse bacterial profiles. Within a decade or so, Nielsen expects that his work may be applicable to weight loss. He’s currently working on the inverse of this problem, investigating the microbiomes of children in developing nations who simply cannot put on weight, even when eating foods expressly designed to help them do so.

And Segal and Elinav expect their work, too, will one day be made available to a wider group of people interested in a personalized meal plan, though, again, the practicalities here are undeniably unpleasant. (Musing on future applications of their work, Segal and Elinav could see a world in which it becomes mainstream to mail stool samples into the lab to get diet advice.) We’re still many years away from that, but the more these researchers look into it, the more individual differences they find, each discovery undermining the idea of blanket nutrition guidelines a little further. “The entire nutritional paradigm we all base our decisions on in our study is proven to be at least partially wrong,” Elinav said. “So we are shifting the paradigm to individuals.”

More from Science of Us:

Your Personality Could Be Making You Fat

15 Ways Your Environment Makes You Eat More (or Less)

Watching Cooking Shows Might Lead to Weight Gain

How Many Steps a Day Should You Really Walk?
This article originally appeared on nymag.com
Source: Health bests

The Best Plant-Based Sources of Protein

In some circles meat is king when it comes to high-protein eating (just ask any Paleo dieter), but animal foods are not the only way to get this muscle-building nutrient. Plant proteins such as beans, whole grains, fruit, nuts, and seeds have many benefits: In addition to offering up lots of digestion-helping fiber, they may help lower your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. But you may wonder how much protein you’re getting from these different varieties. Not all are equal providers: A cup of raw broccoli, for instance, contains about two grams protein, while one ounce of almonds has six grams protein. Three ounces of firm tofu offers about eight grams protein, or 14 to 17 percent of your daily need.

Proteins in food provide amino acids, which the body uses as building blocks for other proteins—such as muscle and the collagen that holds your skin together. Food proteins can contain up to 20 amino acids, and the liver is able to produce all but nine of these. The remaining 11 are essential, meaning they must come from food sources. Without them, the body’s cells will take apart their own proteins to secure the missing amino acids—eventually degrading the body’s muscles and organs.

When a protein contains all the essential amino acids—as is the case with animal proteins and a small set of plant proteins including soy (edamame, tofu, tempeh, soy milk and soy nuts), quinoa, amaranth, chia, and hemp—it’s known as a complete protein. When it doesn’t, it’s an incomplete protein, as is the case with other plant proteins such as beans and nuts.

While one plant protein may be deficient in an amino acid or two, another plant protein may balance it out. For example, legumes (such as beans) offer isoleucine and lysine but are low in methionine and tryptophan—all essential amino acids. Grains (such as rice) contain the opposite balance of nutrients. You don’t need to eat these complementary proteins together at one meal, rather in the same day. “A person doesn’t have to be concerned whether every bite of protein is complete,†says Keri Gans, R.D., a dietitian in New York City and author of The Small Change Diet. “Rather, consume a wide variety of foods daily and you will be sure to eat all your amino acids.†Also be watchful that you’re eating a protein source with every meal, which will help assure that you’re getting the amino acids you need.

If you’re not familiar with plant proteins, start slowly. “Have one meal a week that’s totally plant-based,†suggests Gans. “For example, join the Meatless Monday crusade. Every Monday, create a meal featuring plant-based protein. Swap out the beef burger and try a veggie burger for dinner, or for lunch go with a hummus and veggie wrap.â€

Here are more ideas for getting started, featuring the five complete plant proteins:

Edamame (17 grams protein per cup)

Soy beans are an excellent protein source and contain 11 to 13 percent of your daily need for immunity-helping vitamin C. Plus, eating soy daily can slightly lower “bad†LDL cholesterol.

Prepare it: Heat and lightly salt as a snack; add to a cold pasta salad or a stir-fry; puree in a dip with avocado, lemon juice and olive oil; make Sonima’s edamame and quionoa burgers.

Hemp seeds (10 grams protein per ounce)

Hemp seeds are an excellent source of the minerals magnesium and zinc, both important for immunity.

Prepare it: Use as a salad, pasta, or stir-fry topper; add a handful to a smoothie (blend in or sprinkle on)

Amaranth (9 grams protein per cup)

Each grain of amaranth consists of between five and nine percent oil. Phytosterols are present in this oil and are known for their cholesterol-lowering properties. A common variety of amaranth grown in the U.S. has the highest levels of these phytosterols.

Prepare it: Cook in a pilaf; pop in a dry, hot skillet while stirring with a wooden spoon and eat in lieu of popcorn or use in place of croutons on a salad

Quinoa (8 grams protein per cup)

This grain-like seed is a good source of satiating fiber—and it provides 7 percent of your daily need for potassium, which may help control blood pressure.

Prepare it: Add to soup; use as a stuffing for roasted bell peppers; chill and mix into a salad; mix with sweet potatoes and bake into quinoa cakes topped with a salad.

Chia seeds (5 grams protein per ounce)

When the seeds become wet, their fiber forms a gel and expands. This gel helps keep you fuller for longer and may also prevent constipation. Just one ounce of these nutty brown or black seeds provides 26 to 39 percent of your daily fiber need.

Prepare it: Mix into yogurt or oatmeal; make a pudding by soaking in almond or hemp milk for about 20 minutes, then sweetening with honey or agave

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This article originally appeared on www.sonima.com
Source: Health bests

How the Cold Weather Can Help You Slim Down

I spent the first 30 years of my life in Canada, so as you can imagine, I’ve braved my share of cold weather days. But watching CNN this morning, I can truly empathize with those of you freezing your butts off on the East Coast this week.

As you bundle up in your stocking hat, fur-lined gloves, fleece jacket, puffy vest, insulated boots and any other winter gear that makes you look like the Michelin Man, take comfort in this: cold weather has an upside. We’ll get to that shortly, but first I want to tell you about some hot-off-the-press research:

A “New” Protein Discovered

Scientists at the University of California-Berkeley report that they’ve discovered a protein that can increase the production of “brown fat.” What is “brown fat” and why is that good news? Scientists have known for years that there are two kinds of body fat: what’s called “brown fat” and what’s called “white fat.” The former triggers your body to burn its own fat to keep you warm, the latter encourages the storage of body fat. On average, about 90% of our body fat is the white kind, which is obviously far from ideal in terms of weight management. We want to burn, baby, burn—not store—fat.

Back to this new protein. Working with mouse embryos, the Berkeley researchers discovered that when they raised the level of the protein (known as transcription factor Zfp516) to which the embryos were exposed, baby mice were born with higher amounts of brown fat. What raised the level of the protein? Exposure to cold air—and the more exposure to cold, the greater the production of brown fat. When the same researchers disabled the gene for the Zfp516 protein, the mouse embryos did not produce any brown fat.

When all the baby mice were fed the same high-fat diet, mice with no Zfp516 became obese, while those with the protein gained far less weight. Increased levels of Zfp516 also appeared to enable white fat to burn calories as brown fat does. The researchers hope that their these findings will one day lead to a treatment based on this protein, which could “signal” human genes to transform white fat to brown fat. This could speed up metabolism and result in weight loss. But that possibility is a long way off.

Lower Temperature, Lower Weight

So what can we do with this knowledge at this time? In the days before central heating, people simply tolerated chilly temperatures for part of the year. Their ratio of brown and white fat varied with the season. They needed more brown fat when temperature dropped so their body fat could self-regulate body temperature in cold conditions.

Today, air conditioning and radiators have narrowed what we regard as a comfortable temperature range within our homes. Why subject yourself to cold (or heat) if you can just adjust the thermostat? We also spend more time indoors, both for work and entertainment, than previous generations did. As a result, we have less brown fat and more white fat than our grandparents and great-grandparents, which is yet another reason why we tend to be heavier than they were.

Go for the Brown

To remain slim or reduce your weight, you want to increase the ratio of brown fat to white fat by encouraging the conversion of metabolically inactive white fat to metabolically active brown fat. And one of the ways to do that is to spend time outside when the thermometer dips.

Simply being outdoors in the cold air enables your body to burn more calories as it makes an effort to warm your body. Surely you’ve noticed that when you’re chilled, you shiver and shake, which is your body’s way of warming itself by increasing its resting metabolic rate. One study found that spending time outdoors in cold weather can increase the number of calories burned by as much as 30%. And the more time you spend in cool temperatures, the more you can tolerate the cold and the less you shiver. How come? Your body has more brown fat.

Do you have to venture out in subzero temperatures to increase your ratio of brown fat? Fortunately, the answer is no. Dutch researchers have studied what they call “non-shivering thermogenesis” and found that even milder cold temperatures, say 55° Fahrenheit, can raise your resting metabolic rate so that you burn additional calories. Another study revealed that spending just two hours daily at about 63° Fahrenheit for six weeks burned more calories than the same amount of time in a warmer situation.

5 Ways to Chill Out and Slim Down:

1. Spend more time outdoors in cool weather
2. Take up ice-skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or another cold-weather activity
3. Wear one less layer of clothing—your body will acclimate
4. Turn the thermostat down to no more than 68° Fahrenheit during the day and no more than 63° Fahrenheit at night
5. Drink cold water before a meal

Pasternak is a celebrity trainer and nutrition expert who has worked with stars from Halle Berry and Lady Gaga to Robert Pattinson and Robert Downey Jr. He’s also a New York Times best-selling author, with titles including The Body Reset Diet and The 5-Factor Diet. His new book 5 Pounds hits shelves in March 2015. Tweet him @harleypasternak.
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE Great Ideas.
Source: Health bests

7 Foods to Eat When You're Exercising Less

There is always an offseason in training when athletes can find themselves a few pounds heavier than they prefer. First, remember to match your caloric intake with your energy expenditure. During the offseason, try to make sure your diet consists of a better balance of foods, and use this time as an opportunity to try new foods. I recommend the color “green” as a definite go-to for better health. Check out the top seven foods to eat during the offseason.

Kale
If you have not jumped on the kale bandwagon yet, this is a great time to do so. Whether you eat it sautéed, in a soup, salad or as baked chips, this vegetable is loaded with iron, vitamins A, C, Bs, calcium and iron. It’s also packed with fiber and antioxidants, and there are only 34 calories in 1 cup of kale.

More: Savory Shitake Bowl With Kale

Avocados
Avocados are nutrient-dense fruits—they pack 20 vitamins and minerals into a creamy, versatile package. In addition to fiber, avocados contain monounsaturated fatty acids that are great for your heart. Use avocado in place of mayo on a sandwich, throw it in a shake, find an easy soup recipe (hot or cold), or just eat it right out of its skin.

More: Avocado Cheesecake Recipe

Edamame
Edamame are soybeans in the pods that are picked before they mature. Appearing often as an appetizer in Japanese restaurants, they can be found in just about every frozen food aisle. They’re easy to cook, mildly flavored, and are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, essential fatty acids and protein. You can also find them freeze dried for grab-and-go snacking. Mix edamame with chickpeas when making hummus for a healthy, protein-rich snack.

Green Tea
A surge in research touting the health benefits of green tea has been published over the last decade. Considered a wonderful antioxidant that helps with blood flow, heart health, cholesterol, and improving immune function and preventing cell damage, green tea contains the amino acid theanine (sometimes referred to as L-theanine), which can help you remain calm and focused. Dr. Dean Ornish recommends drinking it every day.

More: Your Favorite Caffeinated Drinks Made Healthier

Spinach
Spinach is not just for Popeye. Whether you eat it sautéed or in a salad, this green leafy vegetable is another powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and fiber—all for only 7 calories per cup. Yes, you read that right, 7 calories.

Broccoli
Broccoli is another green food that is great raw or cooked. Filled with vitamins K, C, A and Bs, it also contains folate, fiber and potassium. Try dicing it up into small pieces and eating it with your other salad accompaniments or throwing it into soups.

Kiwi
This small fruit is filled with vitamins A, C and E and has as much potassium as a banana. Kiwi seeds contain alpha linoleic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that repairs tissues and helps fight inflammation.

More: Nutrition Quick Tip: Add Peels to Your Meals 

Offseason Fuel Tip: Rethink What You Consume
Be mindful of the number of calories you eat if your daily energy expenditure has decreased. Think about the foods and beverages that you put into your body as tools to prevent illnesses, promote longevity, and power the activities you do.

More: Nutrition Quick Tip: Offseason Fueling Tips 

Offseason Fuel Tip: Watch Your Alcohol Consumption
You may find that you consume more alcohol when you are not training. There are 7 calories per gram in alcohol—this is closest to fat calories. So to help your body stay well nourished and ready for training, consume alcohol in moderation.
This article originally appeared on Active.com
Source: Health bests

All Day, Every Day! Save 100+ Calories at Every Single Meal

Cutting calories doesn’t have be a confusing battle. Whether it’s morning, noon, or night, these helpful swaps will make a big difference in your total calorie count for the day. It might be difficult at first, but with time you’ll find that these switches feel like second nature. Make one at every meal, and you’ll be saving over well over 400 calories a day!

At Breakfast

  • Save 104 calories: Skip two cooked sausage patties (170 calories) with your eggs, and eat two ounces of smoked salmon (66 calories).
  • Save 113 calories: Instead of pouring two tablespoons of honey (128 calories) on your yogurt, top things off with one-fourth cup fresh blueberries (15 calories) for a little sweetness.
  • Save 114 calories: Instead of one-half cup of all-natural granola (280 calories), opt for one cup of oatmeal (166 calories).
  • Save 139 calories: Skip two tablespoons of Coffeemate (150 calories), and try two tablespoons of skim milk (11 calories).
  • Save 165 calories: Instead of starting the day with a plain bagel (285 calories), opt for an English muffin (120 calories).

At Lunch

  • Save 104 calories: Instead of spreading three ounces of honey-mustard dressing (119 calories) on your sandwich, try three teaspoons of Dijon mustard (15 calories).
  • Save 107 calories: Instead of one-half cup crushed Oyster crackers (147 calories) on your favorite chili, add three tablespoons low-fat shredded cheddar (36 calories) and two tablespoons fresh chopped scallions (4 calories).
  • Save 112 calories: Instead of dressing your salad with three tablespoons of Italian dressing (128 calories), opt for four tablespoons of lemon juice (15 calories) with one-fourth teaspoon dried oregano (1 calorie) and one-fourth teaspoon dried basil (less than 1 calorie) for a similar flavor.
  • Save 126 calories: Instead of two slices of cheddar cheese (226 calories), enjoy two slices of low-fat Swiss cheese (100 calories).
  • Save 180 calories: Since one flour tortilla has (190 calories), enjoy all your favorite burrito fillings on three ounces of shredded lettuce (10 calories) for a taco salad.

At Snack Time

  • Save 109 calories: Instead of a tiny order of french fries (267 calories), snack on a serving of unsalted tortilla chips (138 calories) and two ounces of fresh pico de gallo salsa (20 calories).
  • Save 114 calories: Instead of 15 classic potato chips (160 calories), snack on one and one-half cups air-popped popcorn (46 calories).
  • Save 122 calories: Instead snacking on cheese with 15 Ritz crackers (240 calories), get crunching on one cup of fresh apple slices (118 calories).
  • Save 123 calories: Instead of one full-size Snickers bar (250 calories), enjoy two fun-size Three Musketeers bars (127 calories).

At Happy Hour

  • Save 100 calories: All you have to do is swap out your drink’s tonic water (100 calories) for a bottle of club soda (0 calories).
  • Save 110 calories: Instead of six ounces of margarita mix (163 calories) with one jigger of tequila (96 calories), sip on a classic mojito (149 calories).
  • Save 127 calories: Instead of one bottle of classic Budweiser (182 calories), sip on a bottle or can of Budweiser Select 55 (55 calories).
  • Save 152 calories: Instead of one frozen strawberry daiquiri (250 calories), sip on a vodka soda (64 calories) with a splash of cranberry juice (34 calories).

At Dinner

  • Save 92 calories: Skip the four ounces of alfredo sauce (189 calories) on your pasta, and enjoy almost twice as much (seven ounces!) marinara sauce (97 calories).
  • Save 103 calories: Instead of serving your favorite stir-fry over one cup of brown rice (216 calories), serve it over one cup of soba noodles (113 calories).
  • Save 190 calories: Instead of splitting an order of fried calamari (286 calories), share a shrimp cocktail appetizer with cocktail sauce (95 calories).
  • Save 250 calories: A typical sushi roll is served with one cup of white rice (267 calories); ask for your sushi to be wrapped in cucumber (17 calories) instead.
  • Save 280 calories: Quit eating your share of deep-dish pizza (640 calories), and order thin-crust pizza (360 calories) instead.

This article originally appeared on POPSUGAR.com
Source: Health bests

How Your Car Helps You Lose Weight

Driving can definitely cause weight gain. If you’re bored on long work commutes or road trips, snacking or hitting the drive-through can make the time pass. And sitting in traffic all the time doesn’t quite burn calories the way running does. It doesn’t have to be this way! Here’s how your car can actually help you slim down.

    1. Sip on this: Keep a reusable water bottle in your cup holder so you can sip it when you feel like snacking.
    2. Stash healthy snacks: Forget McDonalds! Stash nonperishable healthy snacks in your car so you can reach for those instead of hitting the gas station mini-mart. Nuts, trail mix, granola bars, whole grain pretzels, and shelf-stable soy or almond milk are great options. If you know you’ll be in the car for a few hours, pack a healthy meal so you can avoid having to hit the drive-through. Eating every few hours keeps hunger at bay and can prevent overeating at mealtimes.
    3. Extra kicks: You never know when inspiration will strike. You could be driving to see a friend, and she invites you to try out a new fitness class at her gym. So keep an extra pair of sneakers and a workout outfit in your trunk, just in case.
    4. Power of tunes: If you’re driving home from work and feeling too sluggish to go on that postwork run, get pumped by blasting the music playlists you normally listen to while working out. It’ll motivate you to stay on the healthy path.
    5. Work your abs: Think of all the ways you can safely tone your muscles while driving the car. Do glute squeezes, pull your abs into your spine and release, and do shoulder lifts. If you’re a passenger, you can also do leg lifts and bicep curls with water bottles.

This article originally appeared on POPSUGAR.com
Source: Health bests

Waking Up to Water — It's Crucial!

Aside from avoiding your snooze button, it’s time you make water a top priority each morning. While its importance is no secret, sipping water first thing in the morning that can significantly alter your day — for the better! Whether you’re looking to lose weight or simply stay healthy, here are the exact reasons why water is crucial to your morning routine!

It Hydrates Your Cells
After a long night’s rest, it is common to wake up dehydrated. Hydration first thing in the morning is important, because it increases the rate at which new muscle and blood cells are produced. A hydrated body allows for a healthy flow of oxygen, allowing you to stay alert and energized.

It Detoxes the Body
Water, especially lemon water, is a natural detox. Drinking water flushes out toxins and impurities. Not only does this keep you healthy, but it also leads to clear skin. Water purifies the colon too, allowing for the proper absorption of nutrients. While a plain glass of water is great, adding lemon increases the rate of urination in the body, maximizing enzyme function and stimulating the liver for detoxification.

It Aids in Weight Loss
Consider water a wake-up call for your digestive system! Drinking water on an empty stomach in the morning boosts your metabolism heading into the day. In fact, research shows that an increase in water consumption leads to an increase in the rate at which people burn calories as opposed to storing them as fat. Water also fills you up, curbing your appetite. Chances are that starting your day off with a healthy glass of water instead of a sugary latte will help you make smarter choices throughout the rest of your day.

It Prevents Sickness
If you’re getting sick often, it could be that you’re not drinking enough water. Water plays a crucial part in maintaining a healthy a lymphatic system. When this system is balanced, your body can properly fight off infection. Studies have also shown that dehydration leads to higher cortisol levels and, in turn, stress and sickness.
This article originally appeared on POPSUGAR.com
Source: Health bests

A Sneak Peek at the New Twists (and Famous Faces) on The Biggest Loser

Season 15 of The Biggest Loser premieres in just one week! We can’t wait to see trainers Bob, Jillian, and Dolvett back on the ranch and get to know a new crew of inspiring contestants. As always, this season is bringing a number of new twists and exciting things to look forward to. Here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect come Oct. 15.

The Casting Process
Wonder what it takes to be selected for The Biggest Loser? For the first time ever, The Biggest Loser trainers played a significant role in the casting process. Hopefully, this will insure that only contestants who are both physically and emotionally prepared to make these big lifestyle changes have the chance to compete. As for whether the trainers enjoyed this process or not, Bob Harper said “it was heart-wrenching.” Instead of just 15 contestants, he wished he could have invited everyone he interviewed to the ranch!

Two Familiar Faces
Checking out the lineup, you’ll see two faces you probably recognize. One is Olympic weightlifter Holley Mangold and the other is 2003’s American Idol winner Ruben Studdard. Both had very different reasons for being on the show but jumped at the opportunity to compete. Holley has always been comfortable being a “bigger girl,” but is planning to compete at the next Olympic games in Rio. While Holley is a proud Olympian, she explained that “the one thing that has been limiting me [from medaling] is my weight.” It will be interesting to see how these fierce competitors fair this season!

At one point, you might remember that Ruben lost 100 pounds by going on a vegan diet but eventually put the weight back on. He explains that veganism didn’t translate to “a real lifestyle change” for him; instead, he treated it like a fad diet. He’s hoping his time on The Biggest Loser ranch will solidify his commitment to living a healthier life.

The Trainer Save
The part of season 15 we’re most excited to see? The new addition of “the trainer save.” For the first time ever, trainers have a chance to save one contestant they believe needs (and deserves) more time on the ranch. If someone is about to be voted off, Bob, Jillian, and Dolvett can keep them on the show for an additional week. Apparently, Jillian had been asking for the trainer save for years, since it forces contestants “to stay honest and not phone it in” — Dolvett only wishes the trainer save was around last season. In one interview he said season 14’s Lisa Rambo comes to mind when discussing this new twist; “I needed more time [with Lisa]. She did not need to be voted off . . . I knew she had it in her.” Since each trainer can only save one contestant for the entire season, it will be interesting to see how this new twist plays out and affects the competition.

Source: NBC

This article originally appeared on POPSUGAR.com
Source: Health bests

3 Morning Mistakes That Slow Down Metabolism

Metabolic rate is affected by several factors including age, weight, and genetics. Although there’s not a whole lot you can do about those things, there are still choices that can cause metabolism to fire up or fizzle. If losing weight is your goal, avoid these metabolism-slowing mistakes in the morning.

    1. Eating too late: Skipping breakfast is one of the worst things you can do for weight loss since it causes your metabolism to slow down. When you don’t eat, the brain sends a message to the rest of the body to conserve energy, signaling it to hold onto the stored fat that you’re trying to get rid of. Eating within an hour of waking sparks the metabolic process called thermogenesis that turns the food you eat into energy. And no — a cup of coffee does not count as breakfast! Instead choose one of these high-protein breakfast ideas under 350 calories. Make sure to eat throughout the day to maintain blood sugar levels since any drops can cause the body to burn muscle for fuel.

  • Not exercising: Research shows you continue burning calories up to 24 hours after working out, and studies also show that morning exercises burn more calories than those who sweat it out during other times of the day. If you’re planning on exercising anyway, for maximum calorie burn, your best bet is to get it done in the a.m. Include high intensity cardio intervals since challenging yourself is proven to activate fat-burning genes, which translates to an increased post-workout calorie burn — 100 to 200 more.
  • Not pumping iron: Lean muscle mass burns calories, and just adding five to 10 pounds of lean muscle to your frame will increase your daily calorie burn by 100 calories. Include strength training in your morning routine such as this 10-minute metabolism-boosting workout.

This article originally appeared on POPSUGAR.com
Source: Health bests