There’s been a lot of talk in the media about the evils of sugar consumption. Sugar is hidden in all sorts of foods including bread and salad dressing. Add to that our love for things like cookies and ice cream and it’s no wonder our sugar consumption is skyrocketing. Unfortunately, all this added sugar is doing a lot of damage to our health and it’s making us gain weight in record numbers.
It’s time to cut added sugar from our diet. Here are 5 Serious Reasons To Cut The Sugar From Your Diet, why you should do a sugar detox and do what you can to avoid consuming sugar as much as possible.
Consuming Sugar Spikes Your Insulin
As soon as your body starts to digest sugar, your insulin spikes up. Insulin is the hormone that is in charge of keeping blood sugar levels from rising too high and converting extra sugar into fat for storage.
It’s a delicate process and consuming sugar in large quantities will cause your insulin to spike and deal with more than it is designed to handle. Over time it becomes less and less effective this is when things start to negatively affect your health.
Consuming Sugar Makes You Gain Weight
Because of the insulin and because sugar adds a lot of calories to food, it can make you gain weight and you don’t have to be eating a lot of candy and cakes for that to happen.
Since the late seventies, when health authorities advised consumers to watch and lower their fat intake, the food industry has provided us with all sorts of low fat and fat free food options. To make these low fat foods taste ok, they had to add a lot of sugar.
Take a look at regular and low fat or fat free salad dressing. The lower fat options have a lot more carbs and in particular, sugar. You may not taste it, but it’s there. Since sugar is much more quickly digested than fat, you’re hungry sooner after consuming a low fat meal and you eat again. The end result is weight gain.
Consuming Sugar Increases Your Risk For Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
With all that increased sugar and weight gain comes a higher risk for diabetes and a condition called metabolic syndrome. Metabolic Syndrome is a group of symptoms and behaviors that put you at a much higher risk of developing heart disease and Type II diabetes.
Thankfully both conditions are reversible and the first step toward better health is to cut out the sugar.
Sugar Doesn’t Have A Lot of Nutritional Value And It Makes You Hungrier
Last but not least, it’s important to remember that aside from a little boost of energy, sugar doesn’t provide a lot of nutritional value to your body. If you want something sweet, you’re much better off grabbing a piece of fruit than a cookie. At least with a piece of fruit you’re getting some vitamins and fiber with your sugar fix.
If you want or need to lose weight, the first thing you should cut out is sugar. It causes spikes in your blood sugar, that then make your body produce a large amount of insulin to pull the sugar out of your system (and convert it to body fat). The sad little side effect of that process is that your blood sugar goes on a roller coaster ride that will leave you hungry and craving more sugary treats.
If you do consume sugar you need to eat it right before or after your workouts.
10 Things You’ll Notice When You Start Eating More Vegetables
When you start eating more vegetables after eating a poor diet, you’ll notice many positive changes about your body, and so will others. Vegetables contain the nutrients and vitamins your body needs in order for you to feel your best. The longer you eat a diet high in vegetables, the more positive changes you’ll notice in your body and the better you’ll feel. Below you’ll learn about 10 things you’ll notice when you start eating more vegetables and their significance in your life.
More energy – Anywhere from a day to a week, you’ll notice that your energy levels will stabilize and possibly increase. You won’t be tired and sluggish throughout the day, and you’ll start feeling better. You may not even realize how low your energy has been until it begins to increase. All of the vitamins and minerals that vegetables contain will have you feeling your best.
Better gut health – Before increasing your vegetable intake, your digestive system might be sluggish or you might have problems with bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. Once you start eating more vegetables, you’ll notice that you will be more regular and have fewer problems with your digestive system.
Clearer skin – When eating more vegetables, you’ll naturally eat less junk food or other foods that make acne worse, and your skin will begin to clear up. Your skin will look brighter and healthier as you replace unhealthy foods with more vegetables.
The whites of your eyes will be brighter – Surprisingly, even the whites of your eyes will become brighter and more white when you start eating more vegetables. This is because of all the nutrients found in vegetables.
Healthier gums – Healthy gums are extremely important, and eating more vegetables will help your gums repair and strengthen. Vegetables have many nutrients that will help your gums, and the texture of the vegetables will also help clean your teeth near the gum line.
Less brain fog – When you eat a poor diet, your brain can’t function at its best. A poor diet will lead to tiredness throughout the day, and it will be difficult to concentrate and focus. Feeding your body more vegetables helps is get oxygen to your brain and other vital organs.
You won’t be as stressed – Green leafy vegetables are high in folate, and folate will help your body release neurotransmitters that will help stabilize and improve your mood.
You won’t get sick as often – Eat your veggies will help give your body what it needs to strengthen it’s immune system. A diet high in nutrients will also help you recover faster for when you do get sick.
Improved blood test results – After eating a diet high in vegetables for a while, your doctor will notice you’ve made some changes. You will lower your blood pressure and your blood sugar levels will be more stable after eating a healthier diet loaded with vegetables, fruit, and whole grain.
Hopefully, this list of 10 Things You’ll Notice When You Start Eating More Vegetables has convinced you to start eating more vegetables so that you can have these benefits. You’ll have better overall health if you start adding more vegetables to your diet because you’ll be eating more healthy foods and less of the foods that cause major health problems. The above benefits listed here are just beginning of what will happen in your life if you start eating more vegetables.
Whether you have 10 lbs to lose or 100 lbs to lose you need to make changes. It really does come down to diet and exercise but it doesn’t have to be daunting. I’ve added some ways to cut calories without starving. Want extra help on your weight loss/ get healthy journey? Join our Fitish Moms Facebook group (you don’t have to be a mom to join)
Don’t Drink Your Calories
Drinking cokes, sweet tea, beer, and wine, it is all adding unneeded calories. One can of coke is 150 calories. If you have 4 cokes a day that is an extra 600 calories which it half of your daily calorie intake if you are striving for 1200 calories a day. Learn to drink non-calorie sodas, unsweetened tea, and water. It will take some getting used to but you can do it. I was addicted to Southern ‘sweet tea’ and now I only drink unsweetened with lemon.
Use Smaller Plates
This is completely psychological. Studies have shown that when we use smaller plates we eat 30% less. We serve our self less, we eat less and we don’t feel like we are missing out on anything.
Vegetables have less calories than food like meat, cheeses, breads, and desserts, they are also much healthier. I try to make my plate 2/3 vegetables. I’m eating just as much as I was before, I’m full, and I’m eating less calories. You get the minerals and vitamins your body needs.
Water, Water, and More Water
Drinking water can help you control your calorie intake since water has no calories and easily substituted instead of drinking high calorie beverages. It is also great for your skin and helps energize your muscles.
Eat Soup or Salad before Your Dinner
Eating a broth based soup or a salad with light dressing can significantly cut your calories. When you fill up on the soup and/ or salad you will eat less of your entree. I do this a lot when I go out to eat.
Related –> 5 Busy Mom Workout Tips for the Beginner
Relax and Enjoy Your Meals
The French have it right, relax when you eat. When you rush you eat more and it slows down digestion. Eat slowly and you’ll see that you are actually filling up and don’t have to eat as much to fill full.
Measure Your Fat
This is common sense, the fat you eat is the fat you wear. Sure that candy bar sounds good but it is high in fat so you should skip it and grab a piece of fruit instead. When you measure your fat you will actually see how much fat is in everything and can make better choices. I love the My Fitness Pal app to help me keep track of my food.
What? But you just said to make better choices and yes you should but I also don’t believe in never enjoying yourself. No, don’t have dessert every day and when you do have dessert just have a small portion. I like to share a piece of cake with friends.
Skip the Bread
You don’t need the bread brought out before your meal at a restaurant. It won’t kill you not to eat it, I promise. It is added calories you don’t need. I rarely eat bread unless it is wholegrain and usually when I make a sandwich for a picnic.
Related –>Applesauce Banana Bread
Focus on Your Task at Hand
Ever find yourself mindlessly eating snacks while you are working or reading? That is added calories you don’t need. Eat at meal time and when it is meal time focus only on eating.
Eat Half of Your Meal at Restaurants
Restaurants, especially in the USA serve REALLY big portions. Pack half up for later as soon as your meal is served so you won’t be tempted to overindulge. My daughter and I like to split dinner and split a salad. We are never hungry for more.
Enjoy Low Calorie Alcohol
You probably should skip alcohol if you are trying to lose a lot of weight but we are Fitish around here and like to enjoy drinks on the weekends. I love IPA beers but they pack a lot of calories so I have a light beer. Make sure to skip the fruity drinks, they are packed with sugar! Cabernet wine has low sugar as well as liquor (without adding the juices). It is all in what you get used to.
Remember how I said no snacking while working or reading, etc? That doesn’t mean no snacks at all. I have a mid-morning snack and another in the afternoon but it is a designated time meant only for eating. Skip the chips and candy bars. Switch them out with boiled eggs, low fat yogurt, low fat cheese, or popcorn.
Skip the Cheese
Unless it is low fat and lower calorie that is. One slice of cheddar cheese on a burger is an extra 113 calories! That is easy to leave off because all of those little extra calories here and there really add up.
Swap out Your Sides
I love french fries as much as the next girl but no, just no. Eat vegetables or if you must have fries then go for sweet potato fries instead. That isn’t to say I won’t reach over and grab a few fries off of someone’s plate when we are out to eat…
Grill Instead of Fry
As much as fried food tastes good skip it. Grilled food is delicious and your body will thank you.
There are plenty of foods that you can eat so you will not starve. Even if you aren’t a big fan of healthier foods you will get used to it and you will start to feel better.
As moms, we’re all pressed for time. This is why I developed this list, 5 Busy Mom Workout Tips for the Beginner. Energy can be severely lacking, especially when our kids are little. This, however, is why we need to focus on our own health and fitness even more so to be able to have the stamina to keep up with the daily demands of caring for our children.
So, what’s a busy mom to do? The gym is usually the first stop, but what if you don’t have the time or the funds for such an “extravagance”? What if purchasing equipment is out of the question? Here are 5 Busy Mom Workout Tips for the Beginner that you can do at home…you know, in between diaper changes and keeping kids out of the dryer.
Dining room chairs, the couch, a low coffee table… All of these can assist with squats and other exercises where you need stability. As a newbie (especially postpartum), it’s important to take it slow and use a means of stabilization until you’re comfortable and able to balance.
You don’t have to set aside an hour, or even a half hour, all in one block. Anyone with kids knows that unless they’re in school, this is virtually impossible. Ten minutes in the morning before they get up, ten minutes during nap time, ten minutes after bed time. Find ten minutes a few times per day and do something simple.
Exercise equipment like weights and yoga mats can become a large expense. If you want weights, fill gallon jugs with water (preferably with a screw-on cap). A gallon jug of water weighs approximately 8 lbs. Fill to the desired amount (or use half gallon jugs for less weight). A thick towel can double as a yoga mat. Even a small child can be useful for weight training!
And speaking of children…
You’re never too young to start engaging in a physical fitness routine. Involve your little ones. Lay on your back and lift your baby. Make it a game. Ten reps, up and down. I guarantee your little one will love it! Do lower leg lifts while sitting…with your child on your lower legs. The added weight will increase strength, and it’s a fun ride! Put on some music and have a dance-off with your older kids. Get your hearts pumping and have some fun!
There are amazing exercises that you can do while on a walk with your little one. A quick internet search provides loads of options and workout routines. Stroller exercises serve a multifaceted purpose. You’re getting a workout (of course), you’re getting out of the house (which fends off depression and helps with the baby blues), and your baby is getting their fill of outdoor time which can help with naps and crankiness.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you always start with a warm-up and stay hydrated. Remember, fitness isn’t a quick fix, but a lifestyle. Slow and steady, and enjoy the journey! I hope you enjoyed the list of 5 Busy Mom Workout Tips for the Beginner.
I also recommend using Youtube for videos. I use my chromecast to display on my t.v. My favorites are Zumba and Yoga. It is perfect for rainy days or if you are busy. We all deserve 40 minutes to take care of ourselves and you can pause the videos if you have to!
8 Ways to Sneak More Exercise into Your Busy Day
Finding the time to exercise isn’t always easy. There’s work, school, activities, appointments, meetings, errands, chores, and many other things that can get in the way of exercise. Sometimes going to the gym or out for a run just isn’t possible. So, what is one to do when life gets in the way of staying fit? You may not have time for an hour at the gym, but most people do have time for some small bursts of exercise throughout the day. Below you can learn 8 ways to sneak more exercise into your busy day, and afterwards, maybe you can think of other ways that would work for you.
If you’re too busy for the gym, you may consider adding exercise and movement throughout your day instead. You have just learned several ways to do this. Hopefully, this will get you to thinking about what you can do throughout your day. There’s always time to improve your fitness, even if it’s with small bursts of movement during your day.
Setting aside some time to go for a 45 minute walk isn’t always easy, especially when you have kids! We all live busy lives and between family and work, fitting in a workout isn’t always possible. What if I told you that you didn’t have to dedicate a set block of time for your walking workouts? What if you could get the same health benefits by working in a little more activity here and there throughout your day? And what if there was a fun little gadget that helped you keep track of it and motivated you to move more?
The pedometer will track how many steps you take on any given day. It will also track how many minutes you’ve spent being active and how many miles you’ve walked. In other words, it keeps track of how much exercise you get during your day. And the good news is that it doesn’t matter if you head out after work for a 45 minute walk, or if you work out in little spurts here and there throughout the day. Maybe you start your day by parking a little further away from the office and walking a couple of hundred extra steps. Then you take a quick stroll during your lunch break. You wrap up your day by walking around the park while your kids play. And just like that you’ve gotten your exercise in without having to block out any additional time.
Give it a try. Put on a pedometer, or start tracking with that phone you’re always carrying around anyway and see how much you’re walking around any given day. From there, try to get a little more active as time goes by until you hit your stepping goal. For most of us 10,000 steps per day is a good long term goal, but if you’re feeling more ambitious than that, go for it.
Keeping track of your steps is very motivating. Looking at your pedometer and realizing you’re 2,000 steps away from your daily goal may be just the motivation you need to head out for that after dinner stroll.
Are you looking to get fit? Of course you are, that is why you are reading Fitish Moms!
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How Does Exercise Affect Your Mental Health?
It’s often difficult to think about the physical aspects of your body as being associated with the mental aspects of your body. However, the link between both physical and mental is very strong, and the things that you do physically to your body can have a massive effect on your emotions and how you feel on a day to day basis. When you start exercising, you might notice that there are certain affects on your mental health. Here are some of the main ways your mental health will be affected when you start exercising regularly.
Lots of people start exercising in the first place in order to build their self-confidence. A lack of self-confidence can be a terrible thing, and it can stop people from doing the things that they want to do. Exercise helps to build confidence since it gives you a sense of achievement regarding your body, and if you work hard enough to start seeing results, you’ll become happier with your body.
Endorphins are the hormones which make you feel happier, and one of the most common ways these are released is through exercise. They can also be released by eating healthy foods, hugging someone or being intimate with a person you love or are very close to. If you’re feeling down and you want a quick way to give yourself a boost, go for a run or head to the gym.
Exercising regularly can help to give your immune system a boost, and while this is definitely a physical side effect of working out, it is also a mental side effect too. With a better immune system, you’ll be less likely to develop depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. A strong immune system also means that you will develop less colds and flus, which can make you feel low and down about yourself, particularly if you need to take time off work or have to miss out on certain occasions or engagements.
If you have anxiety, you can get rid of some of it in the short term by exercising. If you exercise using intense workout methods, it can be a great way to release tension and worry that you might be feeling. A regular exercise schedule could mean that you greatly alleviate your symptoms of anxiety in the long term too.
9 Tips for Sticking to Exercise Long-Term
Starting an exercise program is only half the battle. Sticking to exercise long-term is a huge challenge for most people. You may start out strong, never missing a workout, and you may even be seeing some positive challenges with your body and energy, and then suddenly life gets in the way. You may start missing a workout once and while, but then before long, you’re missing several a week. Once you start skipping workouts, it gets easier to skip the next time. Once you get out of the regular routine it’s difficult to get back on track. You might just hate exercising and eventually stop because you’re miserable, or maybe you’ve become bored with your routine. No matter what is affecting your motivation to keep up with your exercise program, you’ll find some helpful tips below on how to stick to exercise long-term.
Find something you enjoy. – If you hate your exercise program, chances are good that you won’t stick with it long-term. Life’s too short to stick with a type of exercise you hate. Take the time to find something you enjoy. Don’t be afraid to try new ways of getting exercise, and don’t give up till you find something that you enjoy.
Schedule your exercise to ensure you have the time. – Make exercise a priority by scheduling time for it. Many people find it helpful to exercise in the mornings so that nothing gets in the way of it later in the day. If you schedule your exercise time like you would a doctor’s appointment, then you’ll be on your way to achieving your goals and you’ll set yourself up for long-term success.
Track progress. – Be sure to track your progress so that you will have something to look back at when your motivation starts to wane. If you can see how far you’ve come by looking at a fitness journal and pictures, you’ll be more likely to succeed long-term.
Take pictures. – Take pictures once a week so that you can see your progress. Some people prefer to take monthly pictures, and that’s perfectly fine. You will see more changes month to month than from week to week, and that works better for some people Just be sure you record your progress through pictures.
Start slow. – It is human nature to want to start out full force with an exercise program when motivation is high, but avoid this temptation. If you jump in too fast you could risk injury, excess soreness, and you are at risk to burn out and quit.
Don’t be afraid to change up your routine if you get bored. – Don’t let your exercise routine get stale, be willing to change things up to keep it exciting. Try a new class, a sport, or change your weightlifting routine. Do what it takes to keep the fun and excitement in your workouts.
Celebrate milestones. – Did you lose 5lbs? Did you meet a weightlifting goal? Did you go down a jean size? Celebrate these small milestones with something other than food.
Keep a packed gym bag ready. – Everyone has busy mornings where they’re running around trying to get everything they need, and these are the mornings you’re at risk of skipping a workout. Pack your gym bag the night before and prepare any meals you may need. Set yourself up for success.
These tips can help you stay on track with your exercise program long-term. If you plan ahead, celebrate your success, and find something you enjoy, you will succeed with your exercise program. You will feel awesome once you meet your fitness goals, and these tips will help you on your fitness journey.
20 Top Gut-Friendly Foods
Are you having digestion problems like bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation? None of these issues are fun to deal with, and they can be embarrassing to live with or even talk about. There’s no need to be embarrassed though, because everyone has dealt with these things from time to time. Sometimes poor gut health is linked to serious diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases, obesity, diabetes, liver diseases, chronic heart diseases, and some cancers. Even though poor gut health can have serious consequences, there is help available, and in fact, much of what you need is just the right types of food. There are many gut-friendly foods to help you get your digestive tract back in balance. You will feel better, look better, and you will actually be healthier once your gut health has improved.
There are two types of gut-friendly foods, probiotics and prebiotics. The type you normally hear the most about are probiotics because you hear about them being in foods, especially yogurt. Probiotics are healthy bacteria to help improve the health of your gut flora or gut microbiome. Prebiotics are different. Prebiotics provide food to your healthy gut bacteria. They help your good bacteria grow so that they can keep the bad bacteria in check. If your good bacteria to bad bacteria ratio is good, you will be healthier and will reduce your risks of some serious health problems. Below you’ll learn about 10 of the best foods with probiotics and 10 of the best foods with prebiotics so that you’ll know what foods to eat to improve your gut health and in turn improve your overall wellness and health.
10 Probiotic Foods to Improve Gut Health
Use these foods to increase the good bacteria in your gut, so that they can fight the bad bacteria and improve your gut health.
10 Prebiotic Foods To Improve Gut Health
Use these foods to feed the good bacteria in your gut so that they grow stronger than the bad bacteria.
Eating the foods above regularly will ensure that your gut flora and microbiome are in optimal health. The list of probiotic foods will add healthy bacteria to your gut, and the list for prebiotics will feed and strengthen the good bacteria. As your good bacteria to bad bacteria ratio improves, your health will improve and you’ll lessen your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. Paying attention to your gut health is vital, and these foods will help you improve it so that you can be as healthy as possible. Once your gut health improves, you won’t have as many digestion problems such as gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.