PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Five Tips To Lose Weight, And Keep It Off

If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve probably had your fill of tips on how best to do it. For those who’ve reached that a weight loss goal, and are now struggling with the even harder task of keeping those pounds from creeping back, smart tips on weigh management seem in short supply. In a recent @ABC Tweet Chat hosted by Dr. Richard Besser, experts and average dieters talked about what worked for weight loss, shared stories and strategies from their own lives. From this, we’ve compiled the five most often repeated bits of wisdom.

1. Stop the soda – did you know that burning off the calories from drinking a single 20-ounce soda takes 3 miles of brisk walking? Drinking your calories is not something you think about, but it’s surprisingly easy for those liquid calories to add up. Your best bet in terms of weight loss and maintenance is to switch from soda to those drinks without all the calories and artificial sweeteners. Average dieters agree that cutting out the soda was one of the best things they could have done for their body.

2. Start small – that is make small, tolerable changes first and build on them, on the feeling of power and success you get from following through, taking real positive steps to reaching your weight goals. Things to try include cutting out soda, eating a serving of fruits or veggies in place of a less healthy food, limiting sweets to treats, not every day, watching portion sizes, changing from refined grains to whole wheat. Small changes are easier to manage and can really add up to a healthier diet, while those radical, all or nothing changes aren’t able to be maintained over the long haul.

3. Write everything down – keeping an accurate food journal is the best way to become aware of what you eat and when you eat most. You’ll see patterns and likely be amazed at what you find out about your own eating habits. This is a powerful technique, a tried and true weight loss strategy according to Marjorie Nolan Cohn, who is a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the Academy on Nutrition and Dietetics. It’s also a great way to keep yourself on track once you’ve reached your goal, keeping you honest.


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Five Tips To Lose Weight, And Keep It Off Continued…

4. Have healthy stuff on hand – keeping your fridge and pantry stocked with healthy foods and snacks is a smart strategy when it comes to losing weight, and keeping those pounds away. When hunger strikes, healthy foods will be ready to fill the void. Removing all the junk foods from your home is also a key step, leaving you with less chance to snack on foods that carry all those empty calories. If you want something sweet or salty, you’ll have to go get it, and this makes it far less likely you’ll end up eating it.

5. Add movement – beyond what you eat, how active you are is a key component of your weight loss efforts. Daily exercise is key for adults trying to lose weight or keep it off, so look for those chances to be active instead of sitting. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park at the far end of the lot, walk as often as possible. Activity will help your body use the calories you take in, while also making for a healthy heart and lungs, and strong muscles.

To your good health,

alexramos10 / Pixabay

Risk For Heart Trouble and Marriage

Putting all the late night jokes aside… a team of researchers in Finland has found that being married is actually good for the heart of both spouses. Earlier research that focused on only men suggests that being single, or living alone, ups the risk of being diagnosed or dying from heart disease. This latest work is the first bit of research to look at both men and women in terms of marriage, heart health and survival after a heart attack.

The report, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, included over 15,300 patients who’d had a heart attack between the years 1993 and 2002. Of these, 7,700 died sometime in the 28 days after the initial cardiac event. Heart attacks happen when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked for enough time for part of the muscle to be damaged or die. Each year an estimated 935,000 people have a heart attack in the U.S. and fortunately a good many return to work and their normal lives within weeks of the event.

This latest research included both sexes and suggests that marriage cuts the risk of acute coronary events and death from these events in both men and women, and for all ages according to lead researcher Dr. Aino Lammintausta, who is from Turku University Hospital. Especially at midlife, men and women who are married and living together are expected to have a considerably better prognosis after a heart attack and less risk of heard disease than those who are single.

Unmarried men were from 58% to 66% more likely to have a heart attack, the rate for single women was 60% to 65% when compared to the same sex part of a couple who were married.

When it came to risk of death from heat attack, the risk was far greater for single men and women. The risk for men was 168% higher than for married men, the risk for women 175% higher than for their married counterparts. The odds held even after adjusting for age.

Why does marriage appear to confer such a benefit? Single people are more likely not to take care of themselves, to be in poorer health overall than those who are married. It’s also possible that single people are not as ready to take preventive measures, things like daily aspirin, statins for cholesterol or blood pressure medications, as a married person would be.

Continues below…


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Fact: Poor Sleep Increases The Risk of Death/ Disease

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Risk For Heart Trouble and Marriage Continued…

Other factors? Married people are usually better off financially, have more friends and social support and live healthier lives – all these things encourage good health. It’s especially important to acknowledge the role of social support in heart health.

Another possibility, married people may call for an ambulance sooner than a person alone, on their own. As to why marrieds survive better after the event, they often get better treatment in the hospital with a healthy mate to advocate for them, and certainly after discharge, at home with that same person there to see they take medication, eat right and follow the treatment plan.

For better or worse, it appears that being married is associated with better heart health and a lower risk of death from a heart attack, though more study is needed to confirm the finding. And if you’re single… there are things you can do to help yourself. For starters, set up a support system for yourself, someone to turn to when illness or emergencies strike.

To your good health,

romanov / Pixabay

Dangers To All Fruit Diet?

You’ve heard time and time again how you should eat more fruit, but recent reports of actor Ashton Kutcher being hospitalized after following the Steve Jobs’ all-fruit diet have got some people wondering, Can an all-fruit diet be bad for you? We know that fruit naturally has a lot of sugar, and this needs to be controlled by insulin. If Kutcher’s body was getting too much sugar, it might explain pancreas levels that were “completely out of whack.”

The eating plan is based on the Mucusless Diet Healing System written by Arnold Ehret, calling for eating only fruits and starchless veggies (spinach, carrots and cucumbers) and often used as a way to cleanse the body. Another name you might have heard is a Fruit Flush. Clearly the all fruit way of eating isn’t meant as an long-term eating plan.

As Mr. Kutcher saw, eating an all-fruit diet can do more harm than good.

When you’re only eating fruit, you aren’t taking in a lot of other valuable nutrients as part of your diet. Things that are essential to normal metabolic functioning. Protein is a one example as it’s a building block for the muscles, organs and skin. Without protein you lose weight. The other example is fats, though we know some are bad, these nutrients are also known to play a key role in hormone levels and brain function.

Many wonder if an all-fruit way of eating led to Jobs’ diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in 2004, the disease that took his life in October 2011. Medical science doesn’t yet know what brings on this form of cancer; it may be due to some inherited DNA mutations, or chemicals that are part of our environment or in our food. What we do know is that the pancreas is a large organ positioned just behind the lower part of your stomach that makes/releases enzymes into the intestines to help digest foods. Hormones that help the body control blood sugar levels are also made in the pancreas in a special type of cell known as islet cell.

If you smoke, have diabetes or chronic pancreatitis you are slightly more at risk for cancer of the pancreas. Odds also appear to go up as you get older. The worrisome thing about pancreatic cancer is that the disease has such a poor prognosis, even when found early. This type of cancer seems to spread more rapidly, and because it typically presents few symptoms, isn’t usually found until it’s fairly advanced.

Continues below…


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Dangers To All Fruit Diet? Continued…

Even without the risk of overworking your pancreas, the all-fruit diet made famous by Steve Jobs certainly doesn’t give you enough calories. This is well known to send the body into a starvation mode that can lead to some pretty serious medical conditions (osteoporosis, severe dehydration, heart failure to name a few). So while one to two cups of fruits a day is fine, more is not better.

A balanced eating plan that includes both fruits and veggies, as well as whole grains and low fat dairy is always best for optimal health and is key in terms of controlling your weight, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself from pancreatic cancer. If you’re a smoker, you need to take serious steps to stop – talk to your doctor, as there are many strategies to help. You also want to be sure that you’re exercising regularly, not only will this help you keep your body strong and healthy, it will also help keep your weight under control.

When it comes to pancreatic cancer, the best medicine is prevention.

To your good health,

Unsplash / Pixabay

Serious Downside To Tech Use

Here’s something to think about for you guys who can’t live without technology in hand. Studies have found that mobile use appears to play a role in both erectile dysfunction and poor sleeping patterns. Neither is a topic that easy to talk about, but the facts are important, and will help you suffer less, recover faster.

Some new studies have found that men who spend too much time with their phone deal with these unpleasant problems in the bedroom. In one project that was published by the Environmental Health Trust, men who carried powered on mobile phones for more than four hours a day had a higher risk of erectile dysfunction, perhaps the result of the heat or radiation emitted by the device. It’s the length of time carried that matters, and is especially worrisome when you think about where you keep your phone… if your phone is between your desk and your private parts for hours at a time you might want to rethink that.

Erectile dysfunction, ED, is the name given to the condition when a man can no longer get (or keep) an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Having trouble in this area once in a while is not unusual… fatigue or too much alcohol can do that. When ED is an ongoing problem, it can bring terrible stress for a man, be the source of relationship problems and certainly impact his feelings of self-confidence. ED can be the result of poor blood flow to the penis due to narrowing blood vessels. It can also be caused by medications or a chronic illness such as heart disease or poorly controlled diabetes.

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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…it’s clear that there’s a national epidemic.

So, what do doctors do when they can’t sleep?

Here’s the answer.

Learn how a retired M.D. Laney Chouest from New Orleans broke his 5-year addiction to Ambien, and now sleeps peacefully without medication.

Also, discover how a Licensed Psychologist, Sharon Stein McNamara, Ed.D.fromMinnesota broke her insomnia cycle.

Click through today to discover the 7 mistakes that are killing your sleep, and how overcome them…
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Serious Downside To Tech Use Continued…

When it comes to poor sleep, technology is being found to play a pretty significant part.

A recent UK YouGov poll uncovered that 28 million adults (nearly 6 in 10) get under seven hours of sleep a night, 78% of the people told researchers they used electronic gadgets (phones and laptops or tablets) before bedtime.

The blue light that comes from these devices suppresses the production of melatonin, the body’s natural sleep-inducing hormone according to respected expert on sleep, psychologist Richard Wiseman.

It’s harder than ever to unwind before going to bed. Our culture over stimulates us so that by the time we get to bed… we’re even more tired than ever. But the bedroom is no longer treated as a sleep only place, there’s a TV in the bedroom. More than half of those examined in research admitted to having a television in the bedroom. Another 29% said they had a laptop or mobile phone there. Worse yet, more than one in ten said that the bed has turned into an extension of their workspace. This is a growing cause of concern for many… lack of sleep due to technology, overstimulation is not a good thing for people.

No one is suggesting you destroy your devices… but it’s likely there are limits you’ll want to set on how often you use them. Power down all devices about two hours before bedtime, keep limits on how often you check them during the day and practice leaving the devices at home once in a while. If the thought of turning your device off for a few hours at the movies makes you break into a cold sweat, it might be time to take steps to end your dependence on that device.

To your good health,

Lazare / Pixabay

Boost Your Energy With These 7 Tips

When we talk about an energy crisis, it’s not only fuel for our technology that we mean; it’s also the increasingly tough challenge of keeping our own selves running in a world where sleep and taking care of yourself are not a priority. When we find ourselves run down and needing a pick me up, most of us reach for the caffeine infused beverage of choice. In fact, a recent USDA report found that women in their 30s consume almost 165 milligrams of caffeine a day, but by age 50 the daily intake jumps to 225 milligrams a day.

While the natural antioxidants in coffee are beneficial, you don’t want to rely on a daily intake of caffeine to keep you going. That’s really a bandage on your fatigue problem. Instead, try one of these seven energy boosters and see how you feel.

1. Chew gum – it’s not just good for your breath; it can wake up your body as well. According to a 2012 UK study, those who chewed gum for 15 minutes reported feeling more alert than those who didn’t. When you chew gum you up your heart rate and this naturally increases blood flow to the brain, as well as stimulating the autonomic nervous system. Think of gum chewing as the equal of splashing ice cold water on your face.

TIP: mint flavored gum is best as this stimulates nerve fibers.

2. Eat whole grains – the opposite of the stripped down refined carbs most of us are accustomed to eating. Whole grains give you real energy according to a study appearing in the journal Appetite where subjects replaced three servings of refined carbs with whole grains and reported having more energetic. By front loading (at breakfast) the whole grains it was easier to get the daily intake. Whole grain cereals and toast are readily available choices.

TIP: more (say 6 servings/day) is not better in terms of energy. Too many whole grains release serotonin and this can make you drowsy.

3. Try bright light – this is a natural way to wake up your brain, the thing is, not all rays are the same in terms of stimulation. A study from 2013 found that red light is a stronger wake up call in the afternoon than blue light. Red light brings more of an edgy, irritable alertness, while blue brings a more calm though still alert state.

TIP: put blue light bulbs in your desk lamp to use after lunch. Save red for the bedroom where the type of alertness is more apt to be appropriate.

4. Learn – recent research from the University of Michigan finds that the typical tactics we all use to address a slump aren’t the ones that work, learning a new thing is. The more actively you can engage your brain, the more alert you’ll feel. Interesting that you can overcome a lot of the need to sleep just by engaging in something that interests you.

TIP: find something to learn, update your software skills, check out a podcast on a compelling subject, take up a new language, whatever interests you is what’s needed.

Continues below…


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Boost Your Energy With These 7 Tips Continued…

5. Work in the dirt – you get two for one here, the physical demands of gardening
count as a workout, while working in the dirt exposes your skin to soil contact
that’s beneficial, though dirty. German research finds that active hobbies such
as gardening are more energizing than sedentary ones.

TIP: go barefoot in your garden, or ditch the gloves for a bit of planting or weeding. Just be sure to wash up well once you go inside.

6. Sing out loud – music is energizing, especially if you sing along. A team of experts in London found that singing solo ups energetic arousal and eases tension almost as much as a cardio workout. You disconnect from worries, just being free and in the moment for a little slice of your day.

TIP: choose a song that makes you want to sing at the top of your voice, not caring who hears you or how you sound.

7. Massage your outer ear – applying pressure to the outer rim of your ear might help recharge your whole body according to experts. The reason is that all you body’s acupressure meridians (energy pathways) pass through the outer ear. The thinking is that massaging the area unites all of the meridians and gets energy flowing again.

TIP: hold the rim of your ear between thumb and pointer finger, rub up and down for 10 to 30 seconds, move to the other ear and repeat.

To your good health,

herryway / Pixabay

Going Gluten Free And Heart Disease

Those who have celiac disease appear to also have two times the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), so says new research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific session. CAD is the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. It happens when the arteries that bring blood to the heart muscle get hardened and narrowed due to the buildup of cholesterol and other materials (plaque) on the artery walls. Over time, CAD weakens the heart muscle, contributing to heart failure and arrhythmias.

Celiac disease is considered a two edged condition of both malabsorption, and an abnormal immune reaction to gluten. The condition affects almost 1 in 133 Americans, and if its symptoms weren’t terrible and disruptive enough, it has also been associated with both heart failure and heart rhythm problems. The association between CAD and celiac disease adds to growing evidence about the role of chronic inflammation in heart issues.

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that damages the small intestine and causes trouble with the absorption of nutrients found naturally in food. Those who have celiac disease can’t tolerate the protein in wheat, rye and barley known as gluten. Gluten can be in foods but also part of medicines, vitamins and even lip balms.

When those who have celiac disease come in contact with gluten, their own immune system reacts by damaging (or destroying) villi, the tiny protrusions that line the small intestine. Villi allow nutrients from food to be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine and into the bloodstream, but without them you become malnourished, no matter how much you eat.

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Going Gluten Free And Heart Disease Continued…

For this most recent work on celiac and CAD, the team of researchers from the Cleveland Clinic examined the health records of almost 22.4 million adults, 24,530 who had been diagnosed with celiac disease. After looking at the figures the researchers, led by R.D. Gajulapalli, noticed a far higher prevalence of CAD among those with celiac disease, plus after accounting for other risk factors (smoking, cholesterol, diabetes) the results were found to apply to those of all ages with celiac disease.

Sometimes celiac disease is triggered after surgery, viral infection, pregnancy, childbirth or severe emotional stress. Symptoms vary from person to person and adults to children. Those with celiac disease are known to have persistent low-grade inflammation in the stomach, which can put immune mediators into the blood and accelerate atherosclerosis, and this results in CAD. As for those who have gluten sensitivities but not full blown celiac disease, the experts are still unsure, while there’s a theoretical possibility of a link to CAD, it will need long term studies to confirm, and these are years away.

We know that celiac disease has no cure, so you need to continue with your current treatment plan and keep on watching for CAD. Living a healthy lifestyle, getting plenty of doctor approved exercise, lots of sleep and watching your stress level will also help you stay healthy and feeling well.

To your good health,

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Six Tips To Gorgeous Skin

Your skin is the one thing that really impacts how good you look (and feel), more than the right clothes or makeup, the trendy haircut or fine jewelry. A lit from within complexion will get you noticed faster and more often than any of these things. And while some people win the lottery in terms of heredity when it comes to skin, there are still things you can do to help keep your skin glowing.

1. No smoking as researchers found when studying identical twins, those who smoked looked years older than a twin who didn’t. Studies have shown that smoking is linked to premature wrinkling, and we all know it is not good for your health. If you can’t quit for health reasons, maybe looking older before you time might motivate you.

2. Use sunscreen as the same research on smoking saw that the twin who wore sunscreen looked far younger than the one who did not. Dull, rough skin and uneven skin tone are often related to being out in the sun without sunscreen, getting that golden tan.

Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects you from UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30. Do this even on overcast days and remember to reapply every two to three hours while you’re outside.

3. Consider retinoids to unclog pores, help clear acne as well as reduce fine lines, boost collagen production, lighten brown spots and freckles and even help with skin texture. They are even thought to be helpful in treating precancerous lesions. These are available by prescription only and are a good part of any topical anti aging regimen.

Making a retinoid part of your nighttime regimen starting in your 20s is a smart move. The side effects of retinoids are dryness, flaking and redness in the beginning. You might try by applying a pea sized amount every second (or third) night to help your skin adjust.

Continues below…


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Six Tips To Gorgeous Skin Continued…

4. Keep skincare simple because overuse of skincare products is one of the biggest mistake people make in taking care of their skin. Using a lot of different ingredients is often irritating; what’s more, some cancel out each other’s benefits. The acid in salicylic or glycolic acid breaks down an ingredient like retinol, hydroquinone or vitamin C. So more isn’t better, instead choose a simple cleanser, sunscreen, a moisturizer and a retinoid or retinol.

5. Be patient and give skincare products time to work. Changing your skincare products every few weeks can really do more harm than good. You need to give the products you choose a chance… finish the whole tube or bottle of an item before you decide how well it works. The only exception to this rule is if your skin reacts with swelling, redness or burning.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make changes with the season. Swap the oil free moisturizer you use in the warmer summer for one that’s more emollient during the winter, when the cold and indoor heating can take moisture out of your skin.

6. Live a balanced life which includes eating right and staying away from processed foods as much as you can. A key part of a healthy lifestyle is to exercise regularly as a workout ups circulation and the natural flow of nutrients to the skin. Also important is to be sure you are getting enough sleep, at least seven to nine hours a night. Regular sleep is especially good for your skin as it optimizes the natural secretion of human growth hormone and promotes cell turnover and collagen production.

To your good health,

nuzree / Pixabay

Cut Yourself A Break, Enjoy Better Health

We all deal with stress in our lives… bad commutes, trouble at work or home… there’s an interesting, rather unexpected, thought process that has been found to offer relief from this type of stress. Researchers have uncovered a link between a self-compassionate (give yourself a break) attitude and lower levels of inflammation brought by stress. Such a discovery could be the beginnings of new techniques to ease stress and do better for our health and longevity.

Experts have long understood that psychological stress can bring a biological response that’s similar to illness or injury and this includes inflammation. Inflammation can be used by the body to fight infection, promote healing, it’s only when this inflammation is not regulated that issues like cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer become a danger.

It’s certainly something to think about. How often do you treat yourself with the same kindness, caring and understanding you show to a good friend, perhaps even a virtual stranger? Compassion is an easy thing to show to others; showing it to yourself doesn’t come as readily. The knee jerk reaction is that treating yourself this way makes you lazy, selfish, weak when in fact the very opposite is true.

Self-compassion includes things like self-forgiveness and just cutting yourself a bit of slack sometimes, admitting your flaws to yourself but not beating yourself up about them. Those who are self compassionate appear not as likely to blame themselves for stressors beyond their control, be more willing to move on from a fight rather than dwelling on the disagreement and imagined consequences.

To learn more about the link between self compassion and inflammatory reactions to stress, a psychology professor from Brandeis University, Nicolas Rohleder, led a team who asked 41 participants to rank just how self compassionate they were.

Some of the statements the subjects choose from included

-
I try to be understanding/patient to aspects of my personality I don’t like.

-
I’m disapproving/judgmental about my own flaws and inadequacies

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Cut Yourself A Break, Enjoy Better Health Continued…

After this, the subjects took a single stress test a day for two days, while
levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) that’s an inflammatory agent tied to stress were
recorded both before and after each of the stress tests. After the initial test
those who had higher self-compassion also had far lower levels of IL-6.

On the second day of testing, Rohleder and the team saw something they hadn’t expected. Those with low self-compassion had higher baseline levels of IL-6 before the stressful test. Had they carried the stress from the day before with them into the next exam? The high response of IL-6 on the first test day, and then higher baseline levels on the second day suggest that those who have low self compassion are especially vulnerable to the bad effects of this type of stress. We also see how easy it is for stress to build over time… a small daily stressor can impact your health if you don’t have some strategies in place to deal with it.

This study, funded by The American Federation of Aging Research, points out how important stress management really is. It eases the negative emotions but also fosters positive things like self-compassion. The research on self-compassion and stress appears in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

To your good health,

bykst / Pixabay

Study: Chewing Gum For 15 Minutes Eases Stress

Stress is one of those things all of us experience, now there’s some new research on a coping strategy that many of us can use – chewing gum. A study appearing in the Journal of Prosthodontic Research by Japanese researchers has found that chewing gum for around 15 minutes can ease stress. This finding adds to a growing body of work that’s showing gum chewing to be a stress relief technique that really works.

In truth, humans have been finding things to chew on from our earliest beginnings. The first real gum, as we know it, was created in the 1800s from a kind of rubber called chicle. Today’s research projects are suggesting that these ancient people might have known something about handling stress.

The current research on gum chewing and stress included 14 healthy male subjects who were asked to do arithmetic calculations for 30 minutes in order to build their stress levels. This was followed by chewing gum for periods of 5, 10 or 15 minutes or not at all. Every participant was assigned to each of the chewing conditions on different days. The team collected saliva samples before and after the arithmetic was done, while also measuring subjects’ cortisol levels.

Indeed cortisol levels, known to be a biological measure of stress, dropped after prolonged gum chewing. It seems that chewing time might impact the reaction of the endocrine system to stress, and continuous chewing is an effective way to cut that stress.

There was no difference in salivary alpha amylase action for the gum chewing conditions, but there was a large drop in cortisol levels at 15 minutes of gum chewing when compared to 5 minutes. What sets this study apart from earlier work is that those used blood collection instead of the salivary markers to measure stress, and as anyone knows, drawing blood can (and does) induce stress.

Continues below…


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

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Study: Chewing Gum For 15 Minutes Eases Stress Continued…

Incidentally, the gum used in the research was tasteless, supplied by a South
Korean company. Flavored gum appears to increase arousal in the brain and also
stimulates our senses of smell, taste and touch. As your dentist will agree,
sugar free gums are the better choices as they have fewer calories and, of course,
sugar. These types of gums help keep teeth clean, keep your breath fresh and
your mouth less prone to cavities.

There have been earlier studies that link gum chewing to reduced stress. In three projects appearing in the journal Appetite and funded by gum maker Wrigley, gum chewing was found to improve measures of stress and bring a more positive mood. While chewing gum would not take stress away, it certainly makes it more manageable for many people, accounting for about a 10% change.

Gum chewing might also cut symptoms that come as part of depression. Daytime tiredness might also be eased by chewing a piece of gum, though there are also studies that link too much gum chewing with headaches in both children and teens. It’s also important to understand that chewing gum is not an appetite suppressant. Mint flavored gum might even keep you from finding healthier foods (like fruits) appealing.

Also important to keep in mind, when you chew gum as a stress release, you might be chewing a bit too vigorously. That can cause jaw issues like fatigue and soreness and might even trigger painful TMJ. Go easy, chew for a time, but if you do notice soreness or pain, stop and try a different approach to managing stress instead.

To your good health,

geralt / Pixabay

Research Backed Ways To Be More Satisfied With Life

Happiness is wonderful, certainly, but being satisfied with your life is something a bit different. Think of happiness as being happy in your life; it’s immediate and part of a moment. Being satisfied is being happy about your life, how you feel when you think or talk about past, the present and the bigger picture. Many people wonder if there are things you can do to be more satisfied with your life… and the answer from experts is yes.

Researchers have weighed in, identifying five things that can make a difference in how satisfied you are with your life

1. Having friends boosts life satisfaction by almost 20%. To put a dollar value to it amounts to as much as $131,232 a year in terms of satisfaction with life. If you like your neighbors that’s a double-digit boost in life satisfaction as well, with positive feelings linked to a 16% life satisfaction, 25% lower chance of feeling lonely.

What’s more, the friends that are part of a religious community, with ten being the magic number, appear to have a significant impact on feelings of satisfaction with life. It’s not the faith that makes us satisfied, but the friendships that come from that faith.

Mentoring a young person is 4 times more predictive of happiness than either your health or income. Having a positive impact on a young person is a very powerful thing.

2. Having a life story to tell matters, as research shows that meaning in life is derived from the stories we tell ourselves about how we’ve lived our lives. Writing that story down can lead to a more than 10% rise in happiness with life, 17% better chances of being optimistic on the future. Knowing all about your family tree also adds to your feelings of satisfaction, which makes sense when you see how popular family research has become over the last few years.

And then there’s this… children who know the stories of those in their family have higher self-esteem, as well as a sense of real control over their own lives.

3. Have goals to strive for, and you’ll be almost 20% more satisfied with life. Anyone who could identify a goal they were striving to reach was 19% more apt to be satisfied with life and 26% more likely to feel positive about their own selves. Passion makes a difference in terms of positive psychological indicators.

What’s great about this is the goals don’t have to be big things… a consistent level of minor success gives much more satisfaction that one big win. Having determination to keep pursuing a goal has been shown to be linked to increased life satisfaction (42%, in fact) by research.

Continues below…


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Research Backed Ways To Be More Satisfied With Life Continued…

4. Money is not the answer because the more materialistic you are, the less satisfied
you are with your life according to researchers. Spending more on holiday gifts
has also been shown to make them less enjoyable by 2%.

Having meaning in your life ups satisfaction two times as much as being wealthy.

5. Keep growing, and not in terms of the number you see on the scale. Changes in viewpoints or behavior were found to bring an 8% better chance of feeling hopeful about the future, 5% more apt to be in a good mood, So keep reading and learning as you’ll likely feel more satisfied with your life. Keeping an open mind is a major benefit to you as the years pass.

To your good health,