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The Difference Between Weight Loss And Fat Loss

When it comes to looking better, feeling better, what you’re truly after is not weight loss, but rather fat lass. Stop eating and you’ll lose weight, both muscle and fat, which isn’t really what you’re after. What makes weight loss successful is to preserve as much muscle as you can (maybe gain a bit) while losing all the body fat you can.

This is why the body fat percentage is a better indicator of weight loss success than the bathroom scale. What’s worse, the number on the scale can play tricks on your resolve… encouraging you to give in when you are actually making solid progress in terms of body composition.

Muscle is super important to helping you lose the most amount of fat possible. Inside our muscles are fat burning engines known as mitochondria that are responsible for the production of energy. It’s here that fat is metabolized – there’s even a positive correlation between the number of mitochondria you have and the amount of muscle in your body. The more you have, the more fat you can burn.

So how do you get more mitochondria? Offer the body a reason to make more of them by doing high intensity exercise, HIIT (high intensity interval training) or strength training are excellent choices. By naturally creating a demand for energy over and above what your body can produce, you’re forcing the body to create new mitochondria to be ready for the next time your muscles need that extra energy.

Because muscle is active tissue, needing constant energy to maintain, it will burn fat all through the day.

Continues below…


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The Difference Between Weight Loss And Fat Loss Continued…

Focusing on fat loss is a smart way to think about achieving your weight management goals. Try not to get caught up in a number on a device… think instead about how you feel, how you look and how your clothing fits. Before and after pictures are another excellent, unbiased way to judge your progress. Bear in mind that not all progress is able to be measured – you may feel more confident and this is a huge leap in terms of progress toward you long term goal. If you must be obsessed with a number, look to the percentage of body fat you now carry as a great measure of your success and achievement.

Strange as it sounds, the best thing you can do to keep
from sabotaging your weight loss goals is to eat enough calories
. Too few calories causes muscle loss and once you do this, losing the fat is that much harder. This is why so many diets fail.

This is why it’s so important to take in enough calories for your body size and how active you are, making certain they are nutrient dense (from fruits, veggies, meat, eggs, dairy, legumes, tubers, and whole grains). Key the number of calories you get per day on the 10 to 12 times your body weight figure, starting high and dropping the number as needed.

You’ll also want to keep up with the strength or HIIT training, giving your muscles a reason to stay strong. Without constant stimulation your body will naturally shed the unneeded muscle and that’s not what you’re after.

To your good health,

Unsplash / Pixabay

Unexpected Ways Your Tech Devices Can Hurt You

We know that computers, tablets, laptops and cell phones have made life so much easier for many of us. The downside to all the access and convenience is that there are some technology related injuries – milder harm to neck and shoulder for instance all the way to deadly accidents – we need to recognize. A national study from 2009 appearing in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows sudden computer associated injuries rising at a rapid pace in the U.S. What’s worse, younger children are even more at risk than adults.

Here are some of the odd ways your tech devices can hurt you…

Lightening strikes are rare things, and bad enough on their own, but far worse when you’re holding an electrical object. When lightening strikes a person, the current goes over the skin (known as flashover) without entering the body, but holding a metal object against the skin disrupts the flashover and can result in internal injury.

PlayStation palmar hidradenitis (PlayStation rash) is a newly identified skin problem that’s named after the popular gaming system because it comes from holding the controllers too tightly for a long period of time. The game maker defends the product and mentioning how hundreds of millions of people use the game without the condition arising.

TV screens and photosensitive seizures happen to a small number of players when watching some light patterns on a TV screen or in a video game. Almost 3-5% of epileptics have a photosensitive form and should stay away from any regular moving patterns or flickering lights. Strobe lights in clubs and emergency vehicle lights may also product the same effect.

Computer vision syndrome is a risk for those who use a computer for move than 2 hours a day, and may affect up to 70% of users. Gazing at a computer screen is visually demanding and does tire your eyes causing issues like eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision and dry eyes. Most often the problems are temporary, but they can be trouble if they happen all the time or every day. You can help yourself by putting the screen 4-5 inches below your eye level and 20-28 inches away from your eyes. Anti glare screens and good lighting may also be helpful.

Continues below…


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Unexpected Ways Your Tech Devices Can Hurt You Continued…

Death from using counterfeit chargers. The inside of our device charges are rather sophisticated yet also rather easy for third parties to take apart, remake and sell more cheaply. Some of these knock offs have been involved of electric shocks caused by malfunctions of the units. Buyer beware.

Disturbing tinnitus is more likely in those who use their cell phones intensely for long periods, at least according to some recent research. Those with tinnitus hear sounds (buzzing, ringing, etc.) in the absence of external sound. The condition can go from mildly annoying to so severe it interferes with daily living for an estimated 1 in 100 adults.

Quiet death due to headphones that let us escape all the noise yet deafen us to warnings of danger that we’d otherwise hear in our environment. The numbers of traffic accidents that involve pedestrians who are wearing headphones is increasing. Most victims are male, under 30 – over half the accidents involved trains, another third involved vehicles that sounded a warning before the crash.

Nintendinitis and Wiiitis (names now used in the medical literature) cover the increasing numbers of injuries that players inflict on themselves as they play the games on the systems. Injuries traced back to the Wii games include shoulder dislocation, bone fractures and head injuries.

To your good health,

bohed / Pixabay

Seven Smart Ways To Beat Stress Fat

We all agree that stress is an unavoidable part of life, but surprisingly research also finds that it’s a part of fat as well. If you eat right and exercise regularly, chronically high levels of stress can keep you from losing weight, maybe even add on a few pounds.

Here’s how it works. Our bodies react to all stress in the very same way, the brain instructing the cells to release some pretty potent hormones. There’s adrenaline to tap into stored energy so you can “fight or flee” as well as a surge of cortisol that urges the body to replenish the energy even though you haven’t really done anything yet. The body keeps pumping out the cortisol as long as the stress keeps up.

And there are very few of us who respond to stress by reaching for some kefir – instead we want the high fat, salty sweetness because this stimulates the release of pleasure chemicals in the brain. These chemicals help to reduce tension, which is why eating junk food seems to be helpful, comforting. Over time, it’s easy to see why this can become addicting – anxious feelings cause you to reach for something fatty and tasty for immediate comfort.

With all the cortisol being pumped out while the body is under stress, the testosterone production slows. Over time this drop causes a decrease in muscle mass, which has you burning fewer calories. This is a natural fact of aging, but having high cortisol levels accelerates the process. Cortisol also makes it easier for your body to store fat, especially the dangerous visceral fat, the kind that sends fatty acids into your blood, ups your cholesterol and insulin while also making conditions right for both diabetes and heart disease.

Of course no one is suggesting we remove all anxiety and stress – this is impossible. But there are things you can to do help get those stress levels under control. This will help with cortisol levels and you may also see the impact on your weight and your overall health as well.

Now for the seven stress beaters…

1. Move your muscles, vigorously, as this is an instant stress reliever that really works. It fools the body into thinking you are getting away from your stress, while also helping your blood circulate and flush out the cortisol.

2. Eat slowly at meals, paying attention to each bit, savoring the taste, smell and texture of what you’re eating. Be open to feelings of fullness as this can bring down cortisol levels and cut the amount of food you eat.

3. Do not follow strict dieting as research has shown always dieting can raise cortisol levels by 18%. This makes blood sugar become variable so you feel cranky and are absolutely starving.

Continues below…


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WARNING: The truth about Moles, Warts and Skintags…

There are so many “scare” stories that it’s sometimes hard to know what to believe. Which is why this is so timely…

Find out how you, too, can:

- Have freedom from the pain and irritation of your unsightly moles, warts, or skin tags

- Naturally REMOVE moles, warts, or skin tags at the root without any scarring

- Enjoy having clear skin, free from unsightly and painful moles, warts or skin tags

Click through now to discover safe, painless and effective ways to permanently remove moles, warts or skin tags in three days…
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Seven Smart Ways To Beat Stress Fat Continued…

4. Give in, a little, to cravings, as it’s far better to indulge in a small way and limit your cortisol response before it takes over.

5. Cut caffeine as combining stress and caffeine raises cortisol levels more than does stress on its own.

6. Eating a nutrient rich breakfast helps provide the body with B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium and magnesium. Without enough of these come higher cortisol levels and food cravings.

7. Sleep, getting enough (7-9 hours/night) is amazingly beneficial. Being sleep deprived ups cortisol; appetite and naturally, weight gain as well. Getting enough sleep for several nights in a row will restore the balance.

To your good health,

johnhain / Pixabay

How To Become More Creative, Fast

Start by recognizing that creativity isn’t a talent so much as a skill that you can learn, practice and strengthen. It is not restricted to writers, artists or musicians; but can be put into use for all of us. To help find new ways to solve problems and work through challenges. Turns out the more you try to be creative each and every day, the stronger your skills will get.

To strengthen your creative muscles…

1. Doodle as it can help you stay present and engaged during an activity where your mind might otherwise wander. Some of the greatest creators (Steve Jobs, Henry Ford) used doodling to kick-start their creative process.

2. Take a class in something you’ve never done before. Creativity is encouraged when you push yourself out of your own comfort zone and learn a new thing. If you don’t think you have the time, schedule it in.

3. Create an environment for creativity, one that has you feeling relaxed and comfortable, safe to express yourself.

4. Indulge your curiosity, and give yourself the chance to learn about anything that interests you. Stop thinking of curiosity as an indulgence.

5. Move, go for a walk or do some other physical movement as it has been shown to have a positive impact on creative thinking.

6. Begin a sketch book as this is a simple way to preserve memories and make use of time that might otherwise be wasted. Sketch whenever you have time and do it for the fun of the process, not a critique of what you draw.
Continues below…


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How To Become More Creative, Fast Continued…

7. Keep engaging toys near your desk (or workspace) as playing or building something with your hands can be the jolt your creative juices need to start flowing again.

8. Try flash fiction, a form of writing that is very short (100 words) and based on a prompt that’s been supplied. The small word count is reachable for even non English majors, and it will give you an amazing creative challenge that is sure to have you generating new ideas in no time.

9. Try the 30 circles exercise, a creative exercise where you draw 30 circles on a piece of paper. In one minute, adapt as many circles as you can into objects you can recognize – balls, balloons, flying pans. Go for quality over quantity.

10. Engage in role playing as it can help you come up with new solutions to existing problems by putting yourself in the other person’s shoes – maybe a client or coworker. Physically role playing can generate some impressive revelations or solutions.

One of the most critical keys to building up your own creativity is to be willing to take chances… to fail. Sure your efforts might not pan out every time, people might not “get” your idea, but with these efforts you will continue to make your creative skills stronger. Fear of mistakes or failure can paralyze your progress, so put these destructive feelings aside and trust that you’re moving toward having your creative juices flowing readily and regularly.
To your good health,

ADD / Pixabay

The 6 Most Confusing Health Terms Explained

When you walk the aisles of your local supermarket, it’s easy to be confounded by all the claims and counter claims, all the delicious, nutritious looking foods, packaged and presented to win us over. There are a number of terms that sound healthy… all-natural or fat free come to mind, but are actually are anything but. In fact, a Nielsen survey finds almost 59% of us have trouble understanding nutrition labels.

Let’s touch on some of the worst offenders…

NATURAL: Believe it or not, the US Food and Drug Administration has no formal definition for the term natural. It’s okay to use the word if the product doesn’t have any added color, artificial flavors, synthetic substances. Natural does not mean organic, and it does not mean a food is healthy. When you see this word, check the list of ingredients, as it’s the only way to really see what’s inside.

ORGANIC: The USDA Organic Seal tells you that a food was produced without synthetic pesticides, genetics, petroleum or sewage sludge based fertilizers. On meats it signals animals that were fed organic, vegetarian feeds and had access to outside and were not treated with antibiotics or hormones. Again this term does not necessarily mean healthy, so check the ingredient list of what you’re buying.

LOCAL: This term is only an indication that an item was produced within a certain geographic region as determined by number of miles or state borders. There’s no formal definition here, so you should also keep in mind that local isn’t organic – according to recent surveys in both US and Canada that show the false assumptions we have about the term. Many think local products are more nutritious yet they do not carry a Nutrition Facts label for you to check.

GLUTEN-FREE: The US FDA says that a food must limit the unavoidable presence of gluten to under 20 parts per million (ppm), and must not have any ingredient that is any type of wheat, rye, barley or crossbreeds of such grains or derived from them. Foods that are naturally gluten free (water, fruits, veggies) can be labeled as such, and does not mean that a food bearing the label is a whole grain, organic, low in carbs or healthy. Many gluten free foods are highly processed and have refined ingredients.

Continues below…


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Fact: Poor Sleep Increases The Risk of Death/ Disease

Ever lain awake at night and counted the hours till dawn? Isn’t frustrating to be in bed and be unable to sleep?

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The 6 Most Confusing Health Terms Explained Continued…

GRASS FED: The parameters for feeding animals, as set by the USDA, say the cattle must be fed mother’s milk and forage during their life. The forage can be grazed or eaten as hay but the animal must have access to pasture. These cattle can still be given hormones and antibiotics. Grass fed dairy and meat have been found to have more of the good fats (less of the bad) as well as more antioxidants and vitamins. To be sure the product is organic as well, look for the word “organic” on the label and the USDA organic seal.

ALL NATURAL: There is no Food and Drug Administration definition here either, though a manufacturer won’t be bothered so long as an item doesn’t have any added colors, artificial flavors or synthetic substances. There’s lots of room for interpretation with this one, so watch and read labels carefully.

In the end, understand that no matter what a food manufacturer puts on the label, it’s up to you to be sure that product is what you are expecting it to be. Don’t make assumptions. Check the ingredient list or ask how something was made, where it was grown. If you want to be sure you’re eating healthy, you need to be a careful, attentive gatekeeper to each and every thing you put in your body.

To your good health,

geralt / Pixabay

7 Simple Signs Of Health Troubles

Turns out, you don’t need tarot cards or a crystal ball to predict the future… you can do this for yourself by relying on the observations of your own five senses. You might be surprised to learn that many health problems often begin with a physical change you might not think is anything to be concerned about, something so subtle you might not notice it at first. Yet these changes can be warning signs you’ll want to heed.

One of the most surprising links between the senses and chronic disease comes in the form of hearing loss. Hearing loss is more likely in those who have diabetes. The higher than normal blood sugar may also do some damage to the blood vessels in the ears themselves. If you notice a decline in hearing, have a full hearing evaluation, as well as a physical and blood work, to see where you stand.

Vision changes can be an early signal of cognitive decline. The veins in your eyes are very much the same as the ones in your brain, so larger veins in your eyes could indicate a decline in the health of your brain years before any signs appear. Your eye doctor will be able to examine you for this.

If your sense of smell is slipping, this has been shown to be a potential early sign of Alzheimer’s disease according to the latest studies in the area. The changes that come in smell may appear much sooner than those that happen I the rest of the brain. If you’ve noticed a decline earlier than age 70, talk with your doctor.

Bad breath is a well-known (and despised) sign of gum disease, but this unfortunate problem can also be linked to erectile
dysfunction.
Brush and floss daily and make sure you have regular dental exams and cleanings every year. If it persist despite your good dental care, talk with your doctor to look for other causes.

Continues below…


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WARNING: The truth about Moles, Warts and Skintags…

There are so many “scare” stories that it’s sometimes hard to know what to believe. Which is why this is so timely…

Find out how you, too, can:

- Have freedom from the pain and irritation of your unsightly moles, warts, or skin tags

- Naturally REMOVE moles, warts, or skin tags at the root without any scarring

- Enjoy having clear skin, free from unsightly and painful moles, warts or skin tags

Click through now to discover safe, painless and effective ways to permanently remove moles, warts or skin tags in three days…
*Disclosure: compensated affiliate*


7 Simple Signs Of Health Troubles Continued…

Your own reflection can tell you a lot about what’s going on inside your body. Those who look older than their age, with 3 to 4 visible signs of aging, have a higher chance of heart issues later on according to research. If you’re concerned by looking older, ask your doctor to check for any other heart disease risk factions and remember that you can change your risk by the choices you make going forward.

Your hairline can give clues to thyroid issues, and while thyroid issues affect many hormones in the body, one of the most visible is the hormone that is linked to hair growth. You might see your hair getting dry or coarse before it begins to fall out, you might also notice thinning of your eyebrows. Talk with your doctor about your concerns and have blood work done to check for thyroid hormones.

Smooth, spot free fingernails are a sign of good health. If yours have redness underneath this could be an early sign of lupus. You may also notice swelling and puffiness at the base of your nails or a rash on the backs of your hands and fingers.

If you have concerns about these, or any symptoms you are experiencing, talk to your own doctor. An honest discussion and careful evaluation by a trained professional will reassure you, and perhaps set you on the path to better health by making healthy choices about what you eat, and how active you are. Early intervention is also incredibly beneficial, often keeping you healthier, longer than you might be otherwise.

To your good health,

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

To Lose Weight, Eat ENOUGH Calories

We’ve talked before about the typical weight loss strategy – cutting calories to the bone – and how this might not be the best thing for weight loss. Sounds wrong, we know, but give the idea a chance.

Experts know that severely limiting calorie intake, as many dieters do, is actually counterproductive – you trigger inborn survival instincts that actually lower your metabolic rate. You starve and deprive yourself and end up not losing much, if anything. You tell yourself you’ve failed (again) and take one step further away from your weight loss goals, but the real reason may be that your body is using natural, inborn alarms that call for conserving energy in a time of little food.

When you cut calories too drastically, the result is…

- Slowed thyroid production to maintain energy

- Decreased muscle mass, one of the first things your body looks to use for energy

- Low leptin levels, an energy regulating hormone that tells the body it is hungry.
Low leptin levels encourage you to eat more.

- Less energy in part because neurotransmitter action is limited, bringing a lack of motivation, the natural way the body has to slow down, save energy.

What you need to do is eat enough of the right type of (nutrient dense) calories so that you will lose weight the healthy, lasting way. In fact, ideally you want to eat as many calories as you can and continue to lose weight.

Continues below…


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To Lose Weight, Eat ENOUGH Calories Continued…

Unfortunately there’s no magic number for how many calories you need to eat to lose weight – each metabolism is different. Calories counters are all over the internet and can give you a general idea; but they can’t account for the many variables in how many calories your body needs to perform each day. Turns out, your metabolism is as unique as you are.

To find the calorie intake that’s right for you:

- Decide on what amount of weight loss you are looking for per week and use body fat calipers to see where you stand. If you’re losing more than you expect each week, add calories to your diet. You don’t want to drop too much weight, too fast as this means you are losing muscle mass.

- Use a pen and paper food journal, or perhaps an app for your handheld device such as MyFitnessPal or Lose it to keep track of everything you eat, including calories.

- Eat 10 to 12 times (200 lbs. = 2,000 to 2,400 daily calories) your body weight in calories a day; using the lower number if you’re very overweight. Plan your meals in advance so you are sure you’re getting the right number of calories.

- Keep an eye on the scale, and wait at least 2 weeks to see real results.

It’s hard to have the patience real, lasting weight loss requires. Most of us want the weight gone this instant – impatient to see results, to feel better. If you’re truly sticking to your diet and exercise plan and your loss has stalled, consider that your issue might be not enough calories. Focus on taking in as many nutrients as you can in what you eat, and this may spark your weight loss.

To your good health,

bless-you-108901_150

Thyroid Hormone And Weight: The Truth

Weight loss is a common side effect for those with an overactive thyroid, and it’s true that the thyroid hormone (TH) is a key hormone in terms of metabolism and weight loss; but hold off on the celebration – these natural substances are not the newest, no effort way to lose weight. Here’s what you need to know.

It’s well known that severely limiting your calorie intake (as many dieters start out doing) has been found to be counterproductive – you simply trigger inborn, natural survival instincts that actually lower your metabolic rate. You starve yourself and don’t lose a pound. What you need to do is eat enough of the right type of (nutrient dense) calories so that you will lose weight the healthy, lasting way.

The thyroid hormone that’s getting all the attention in terms of weight loss is made up of two parts, Thyroxine (T4) the most abundant form of thyroid hormone and Triiodothyronine (T3). T4 is changed into the more active form, T3. This is the one you would like to increase. Those who have thyroid issues either don’t produce enough T4 or they can’t convert it into the T3 form. T3 is known to directly impact the metabolism in mitochondria (cell powerhouses) and regulates the metabolism of fat, protein and carbs.

You can impact your thyroid levels best by eating a nutrient rich, balanced diet that has enough calories. Not empty calories, but nutrient dense calories. As we mentioned earlier, when most people start a diet plan, they cut calories, but usually lower the level too far. Not getting enough calories causes the body to lower its metabolic rate (not producing thyroid hormone is one mechanism used) in order to more effectively use the food it does get.

Continues below…


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Overweight? Shocking Proof that it may not be your fault

99% of the “professional” weight loss techniques are wrong – ending up with you actually putting on weight rather than losing it.

Find out why counting calories is bad for you and can sabotage your dieting efforts.

Discover a new way to effortlessly shed unwanted pounds and drop 9 lbs. every 11 days.

This diet is called the “Idiot Proof Diet” because it’s all worked out for you and there’s no need for calorie counting or label reading.

Click through to find out how you can be slimmer with this innovative new weight loss system…

Click through now to discover how to drop 9lbs every 11 days…
*Disclosure: compensated affiliate*


Thyroid Hormone And Weight: The Truth Continued…

Another great way to increase thyroid levels is exercise. Research has found that the heart rate you workout at is directly related to the level of thyroid hormone in your blood. As a result, high intensity exercise and weight training need to be a standard part of your routine. You might also try high intensity interval training to get your heart rate up further and cause the natural release of TSH, which when elevated signals the release of thyroid hormones.

You notice we are not suggesting you take any medication, as these substances are intended for those who have a diagnosed thyroid condition such as hypothyroidism that can be treated (not cured) with drugs. A healthy diet and regular exercise are the only safe, effective and natural ways to help you optimize your thyroid hormone production and set your body up for efficient weight loss.

So while research has found excess thyroid hormones can produce more weight loss than just dieting, the studies have also shown that once the hormone is stopped the weight is typically regained. That’s not what you’re after. Using thyroid hormones when you do not need to might also cause you to lose muscle protein and set yourself up for other metabolic issues, perhaps even serious, life threatening consequences.

It seems that metabolism is only one part of the weight loss picture. The relationship between our metabolic rate, energy balance and weight is complex and likely affected by many factors. Altering one isn’t likely to bring the results you might expect.

To your good health,

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Students Learn More If They Must Teach Others

If your child struggles with learning, you’re naturally very worried, confused and unsure as to where to turn. Here’s some timely info to help. The journal Memory & Cognition brings us fascinating findings on mindset while learning. It appears people learn better and remember more when they think they’ll have to teach the material to another. When compared to learners who expect a test, those who think they are going to be teaching recalled more material correctly, organized It more effectively and had better memory for the most important details.

The work is based on experiments where one group of students was told they’ll be tested on a piece of written content, another group was told they’re preparing to teach the passage to another person. In truth, all the subjects were tested, and no one taught. Still it seems that just telling a learner that they’ll have to teach someone else changes the mindset enough so they learn more effectively. It seems that simple instructions can alter a student’s mindset.

When a teacher prepares to explain an important concept, they look for key points and organize information into a structure that makes sense. The study suggests that students also use those types of learning strategies to help them understand the information when they expect to be teaching. What’s more, the improvement to learning is so simple, just altering perceptions before starting to teach is all that was needed.

Lots of times we all get so focused on what our children need to learn, we don’t think about learning itself. Teaching the “how” to learn is as important as teaching the content because this is key to building a lifelong love of learning. A child who is struggling needs help because using fewer learning strategies tends to create more trouble coping with schoolwork and poorer performance overall.

Continues below…


*Highly Recommended*

The Healthy Back Institute’s Back Pain Relief Journal

Jesse Cannone, co-founder of The Healthy Back Institute, has helped over 50,000 “lost cause” back pain sufferers finally get lasting pain relief. Now, he proclaims…

For 15 years their step-by-step system has helped over 50,000 people who’ve suffered from scoliosis … herniated discs … sciatica … arthritis of the spine … spinal stenosis … lower back pain … upper back pain and more…

It only takes a few minutes per day.

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Students Learn More If They Must Teach Others Continued…

One smart take away for teachers is that students often need guidance on how to find those optimal learning strategies. No one strategy works for every student or subject. Even though our children are involved in formal and informal learning for years, they don’t necessarily use strategies that foster learning – even if they have them – as shown by the research.

What’s more, preparing for a test doesn’t encourage students to choose the strategies for learning that lead to their best performance.

The good news is that it’s never too late to pick up the learning strategies a student needs – the how to learn. There are ways for teens (and even older learners) to improve on the basic skills and strategies for acquiring information from what they read. There are strategies to help in organizing and memorizing, for expressing what has been learned on exams or in writing. Even in the often troublesome area of mathematics, there are techniques that can be taught for solving math problems.

There is no shame in admitting your concern and taking the next step – learning what you need to know to help your child (or perhaps yourself). A formal evaluation can help you identify specific issues and get you started on the road to helping them learn, progress and succeed in the future.

To your good health,

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4 Ways To Break The Sugar Habit

There’s no denying that all of us take in a lot of sugar every day, whether we mean to or not. Soft drinks, sweets and cereals are some of the obvious culprits but there are also places where sugars show up that you might not expect. Think yogurt, ketchup, cured ham and even mayonnaise. There are a multitude of names for sugar and it’s literally everywhere, but it doesn’t have to run your life, or ruin your body.

It’s been shown that sugar can actually be addictive; with many similarities to the trouble people have with “street” drugs. In 2007 researchers found that sugar actually has a bigger impact on the brain than so called hard drugs. Use of sugar can even have all the hallmark signs of addiction – loss of control, continued use even with the knowledge of adverse outcomes, withdrawal symptoms, relapse and tolerance.

Refined sugar will make its way through your whole body, setting you up for many health problems, as well as keeping you from feeling your best. Breaking the sugar habit isn’t easy, but it can be done, once and for all. Here are four tips to help.

1. Don’t buy sugar-laden foods, and don’t keep them in the house. Sounds simple, but it is one of the best ways to keep yourself from getting too much sugar. If those foods aren’t in the cupboard, you can’t eat them, or give in during a weak moment. If you’re the one who does the shopping for the household, make a conscious choice to leave the store with a cart full of healthy foods. Never shop when you are hungry, fatigued or in a bad mood.

2. Increase your intake of superfoods, such as berries, fish, greens, avocados, beans and chocolate. Cravings have been seen as a sign of a nutrient deficiency, so you’ll want to short circuit this by feeding your body lots of soluble fiber, essential compounds, phytochemicals, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

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3. Cut stress and get more sleep. Being under stress, coupled with exhaustion, is a well-recognized stimulant to cravings in the brain, making you want those tasty, sugary foods. In fact, you’re more apt to react badly to stress if your blood sugar levels aren’t stable. Sleep deprivation has also been shown to encourage greater craving for the calorie laden junk foods we all know, and the more sleep deprived, the more insistent the craving.

4. Supplement with glutamine and chromium. The brain works off of glucose or glutamine, so if you supply this amino acid instead, it shuts off the need (and craving) for sugar… within minutes. Chromium is a blood sugar stabilizer and has also been found to cut cravings for sugar. Before you take any supplement, talk with your own healthcare team to see if this is safe for you.

There’s no need to feel powerless for a single moment longer. While sugar is widely available, easily accessed, you have the power to limit your intake. Your desire to be sugar free has to be stronger than your desire for sugar. You’ll need to be on guard to keep from replacing refined sugar with artificial sweeteners and fat (but not sugar) free products – eating these supplies your body with sugar. Upping your activity level will also help you as you adjust to sugar free living.

To your good health,

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