Respect your body’s limitations and listen to what it needs. Everything else is silliness. Health and beauty are not in competition; they are one and the same.
Feeling Full-Filled—Dieting Pointers And Nutritional Tidbits
Listening to your body can be difficult and here’s why: Human beings have a way of eating and drinking for pleasure, as well as necessity. This is not condemning—we all know how awesome ice cream is—it’s just that this tendency of ours has caused some metabolic confusion.
What should be an automated sense of when we need to eat or drink has been somewhat diminished by our diet habits.
Our bodies can tell us what we need, but we have to relearn how to read them.
Individual nutritional requirements are varied: Some of us need more bananas to supplement our potassium; some of us hate carrots and should check out mangoes, so we get our vitamin A, etc.
If you really want to know what foods are best for you, keep a detailed record of your meals and daily energy expenditure (i.e., how much you exercise) and, with that, have a doctor assess your needs and help you adjust your diet accordingly.
Although, be careful not to continue this practice past the point of having reached an understanding of where you stand in regards to your health. It can, in excess, perpetuate unhealthy mental patterns.
As your body regains balance, you’ll become much more sensitive to when things are not quite right and you’ll learn how to adjust.
Eat And Sleep
We have support, across the board, for eating in rhythm with our circadian cycle.
Countless studies show that nighttime eating damages quality of sleep and increases the risk of unnecessary weight gain.
Our metabolism and sleep cycles are linked. Our bodies produce a hormone, called melatonin, that registers darkness as a cue to sleep. Our metabolic processes are then restricted as we enter into what is known as the “fasting” state.
So, it’s encouraged to eat earlier in the day, in order to maximize our metabolism.
An anti-inflammatory diet is uncontested. You cannot lose out from designing a diet that reduces inflammation.
Many, if not all, major diseases have been found to involve chronic inflammation: Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, Neurodegenerative disorders, Arthritis, Cancer, etc.
It is also quite possible that if you have been experimenting with different diets, like the 1200 calorie diet, your digestion might be feeling a little irritated. An anti-inflammatory diet can help rebalance your system.
- Olive oil
- Green leafy vegetables, like spinach, kale, and collards
- Nuts such as almonds and walnuts
- Fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
- Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
- Refined carbohydrates, like white bread and pastries
- Fried foods
- Soda and other foods and beverages with refined sugar
- Red meat and processed meat
- Margarine, shortening, and lard
There are numerous anti-inflammatory diets online to choose from, depending on your taste or if you’re treating a particular condition (again, it’s best to confirm with your doctor that your chosen diet is reputable and right for you).
And if you prefer a book, there is Calimeris’ and Bruner’s The Anti-Inflammatory Diet & Action Plans: 4-Week Meal Plans to Heal the Immune System and Restore Overall Health.
There are many anti-inflammatory diet cookbooks, of course, but this one boasts 130 “delicious, affordable, easy-prep recipes”; “4 diet plans, including Vegan, Paleo, Mediterranean, and Time-Saving diets”; and “Helpful food lists and nutritional information”.
Nutrition For Teens
Did you know that our brains are still developing up to the age of 25?
Did you know that if you can maintain a steady metabolism till you’re 30, chances are you’ve set yourself up nicely for the rest of your life?
People often say, “Oh, you can eat anything when you’re 15”, but that is categorically untrue. As you are still growing and developing, it’s that much more important that you get all the nutrients you can.
Forcing your body to comply with the 1200 calorie diet during this time of life can lead to numerous health complications.
Tips For Teens—Healthy Eating Habits
The Canadian Pediatric Society provides the following recommendations:
- Eat a wide variety of foods, every day
- Eat breakfast, every day
- Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full
- Drink water instead of soft drinks
- Choose high fiber foods and whole grain wheat products
If you’re not eating enough, you may feel distracted and tired, unmotivated, sad, cold, and dizzy.
If you experience negative emotions when thinking about or eating food, have low self-esteem, or are experiencing social or familial alienation, consider speaking to someone you trust (like a doctor or therapist) about how to move forward.
Nutrition For Men
When men are looking to lose weight, it‘s important to keep in mind hormonal particulars.
On a whole, nutritional requirements between men and women are not so very different. However, prevalent conditions, like Prostate Cancer (PC), call into question what men could be including in their diets to help prevent diseases particular to them.
The Mediterranean diet has been shown to combat Prostate cancer.
Once again, metabolic dysfunction and insulin resistance play a part in PC. So, reducing carbs and refined foods and partaking of anti-inflammatory foods will be helpful.
To kick things off, we’ve created a free download for you which contains anti-inflammatory, as well as low sodium recipes complete with nutrition facts. You can grab your copy below.
Animal proteins, like chicken and fish are good, but should be prepared on low heat.
Omega-3 fatty acids and fish protein, in particular, show potential for preventing PC.
Other foods containing Omega-3s are flaxseed oil, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds.
Dairy products are inconclusive and more research is being done. However, it has been suggested that diets high in calcium may increase the risk of prostate cancer.
Substances that are high in antioxidants, like green tea, are great. Definitely drink green tea and eat blueberries.
Nutrition For Women
Diets for women should take into consideration that a woman’s metabolism rises during menstruation (sometimes to the point of hyperthyroidism).
It’s Getting Hot In Here
We know that metabolism is responsible for “burning” up our food, turning it into energy and then waste. But did you know that the center of that heat production is the thyroid gland?
Normal function of the thyroid is very important to a healthy metabolism, but due to hormonal shifts during menstruation, a woman’s thyroid can go on the fritz.
Another way to term this is, “overactive thyroid”, and it means your thyroid is producing an excess of the hormone thyroxine.
Thyroxine regulates our metabolism, heart and digestive functions, muscle control, brain development, and maintains bone health.
Symptoms of an excessive thyroxine secretion include:
- Sudden weight loss, regardless of eating habits
- Rapid heartbeat (arrhythmia) or pounding heart (palpitations)
- Increased appetite
- Nervousness, anxiety, and irritability
- Tremor—usually seen in hands and fingers
- Changes in menstrual pattern
- Increased sensitivity to heat
- Changes in bowel movements
- Swelling in the base of your neck, which may indicate an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
- Fatigue and muscle weakness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Skin thinning
- Hair thinning or becoming brittle
The symptoms of hyperthyroidism are sometimes similar to other health conditions and, so, can be hard to pin down for some women. For example, aspects of the above are also associated with iron deficiency.
If any of these symptoms seem applicable to you, definitely bring it up to your doctor. And, regardless, it might be worth asking how you might enhance your iron intake.
Anemia is not at all uncommon among Western women. Studies have shown that increasing your intake of iron-rich foods or taking a weekly iron supplement can have great benefit (not just during menstruation, but all year-round). That being said, I’ll reiterate the importance of having your intake guided by a medical professional.
Iron and vitamin C have a very specific threshold of tolerance for each other. Therefore, your body chemistry, your diet, or any environmental/lifestyle factors, at all, should all be taken into consideration before the any dietary changes are made.