Dearborn Boot Camp, Dearborn Personal Trainer, Dearborn Weight Loss

Dearborn Boot Camp | Dearborn Personal Trainer | Dearborn Personal Training - Part 4

          Learn How to Lose Weight Fast             

                 Dearborn Weight Loss                     

Hi, My name is Nick Lopez and I'd like to welcome you to Dearborn Boot Camp and Personal Training blog. I have helped hundreds of your family and friends right here in Dearborn/Dearborn Heights get in the best shape of their lives and I can do the same for you.

This blog is designed to help Dearborn/Dearborn Heights residents feel great, lose weight and add years to their lives.

I love being a personal trainer because it allows me to change lives. So let’s get started!

You'll discover simple, yet effective ways to help you lose weight fast without spending hundreds of dollars on stupid gadgets and diet pills.

If you're tired of spinning your wheels trying to lose weight, come back often because you've discovered the #1 Dearborn/Dearborn Heights weight loss site on the internet. In addition to the killer posts and articles on this blog, you'll also get resources, tips, ideas, and systems for losing weight fast. Best of all, you'll get information that you can apply today and get results now!

Whether you want to lose 10 lbs or 100 lbs of weight, or if you just want to know how to live a healthier life - this is the resource site for YOU.

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How long should you workout each day to see results?

If you had to guess, do you think an overweight adult would lose more weight by exercising 30 minutes a day or an hour a day?

Common sense would tell you that the longer you workout, the more weight you lose. A new study, however, has shown that this may not be the case. The study’s results show that just half an hour of exercise a day may be just as effective—if not more so than a whole hour of exercise each day.

If you’re overweight and are seeking to lose weight through diet and exercise, keep reading. You might just save yourself a lot of time and lose yourself a lot of weight.

Study Results

When 60 overweight men were followed for three months as they sought to lose weight, researchers were surprised at their findings. During the study, 20 of the men performed moderate aerobic exercise each day for half an hour, 20 underwent a high-intensity exercise routine that included activities such as cycling or running for an entire hour each day, and another 20 men remained sedentary. The men all wore calorie counters and heart rate monitors.

What did this study show? After 13 weeks, the overweight men who did 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day lost, on average, 8 pounds.

Those men who did high-intensity exercised for an hour only lost an average of 6 pounds.

Baffling results to say the least. Somehow those who exercised for less time burned more calories than would be expected for the type and amount of exercise they performed. The men who exercised longer and more vigorously lost less weight than expected for the number of calories they burned.

Why would this be the case? There are two theories. One possible explanation may be that the men who only exercised for half an hour had more desire and energy to do more physical activity throughout the rest of the day.

A second possible explanation could be that the men who exercised for longer periods of time were hungrier during the day since their bodies required more energy. They may have compensated by eating calories that countered the calories they burned.

Can You Trust It?

Interesting as this research may be, these are the findings of just one study. Other studies show different results. Obviously, more research is needed in this area, and you may not want to change your routine just yet.

But remember that each person loses weight at a different rate. To stay healthy and maintain your weight, aim to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise a week. Then remain active during the rest of the day.

The best exercise to help you lose weight is whatever exercise you’ll actually do on a regular basis. If your main method of exercise is running and you hate to run, then you probably won’t have much luck sticking with it. Your best bet is to find a few cardio exercises that you enjoy and then rotating them and varying the intensity.

If strength training is your exercise of choice, know that you burn more calories during cardio exercise, but they are both part of a well-balanced exercise routine. Also take comfort knowing that by adding extra muscle, you’ll be burning more calories when you’re not working out.

You my need to experiment to find what weight loss strategy gives you the results you desire. A personal trainer can help you determine how much exercise you need and what types of exercises are best for you to reach and maintain your weight loss goal.

Always remember that your goal is attainable! Whether you exercise 30 minutes, an hour, or two hours a day, you can reach your goal.

Time Matters

There are 24 hours in a day, 168 in a week, and 61,320 in a year. How many are you spending to work out?

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Knowing what type of headache you have is the first step in treating it properly.

With more than 100 types of headache categories out there, can you ever know what type you have? Yes, you can. And fortunately for you, most types of headache are rare. In fact, chances are, if you’ve got a headache, it’s one of the five most common types of headaches.

Treatment for finding relief often depends on what type of headache you’re suffering from, so correct diagnosis is important.

To help determine what variety of headache you’re prone to, you may want to keep a diary of your headache symptoms. Write down the time of day and date you get headaches, recent foods you ate before the headache, emotions you experience when the headache comes on, type of pain, and length of pain. Then use this to figure out what type of headache you experienced and how to treat it.

Here’s a brief description of the most common types of headaches and the best treatment for each.

Tension

By far the most common type of headache among adults and teens, tension headaches result in a dull and achy pain that ranges from mild to moderate.

You’ll feel pain on both sides of your head and may feel like something is squeezing your head. Tension headaches are often brought on by stress, hunger, irregular sleep patterns, neck strain (staring at computer screen all day), poor posture, alcohol use, or depression. You may experience these headaches only occasionally or they may be chronic, and they can last anywhere from half an hour to a week.

Most tension headaches are successfully treated with over-the-counter pain medications. Relaxation therapies such as meditation or regular exercise to reduce stress may also be beneficial.

Migraines

A painful variety of headache, migraines affect women more than men and brings on pain that is throbbing and often intense. Pain may only be on one side of the head and may worsen with activity. Migraines may also cause sensitivity to sound, odor, or light and cause visual disturbances, nausea, and vomiting.

When suffering a migraine, all you’ll want to do is lie in a quiet, dark room. Migraines can last anywhere from several hours to three days. The cause is unknown but triggers include hormones (when it’s that time of the month), dehydration, alcohol, hunger, odors, chocolate, cheese, or vitamin deficiencies.

If you suffer migraines, do your best to avoid triggers. Use over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription drugs, get plenty of rest, place cold or hot compresses on your head, and drink small amounts of caffeine for relief.

Cluster

Worst of all headaches is a cluster headache. These headaches are fairly rare, affect more men than women, and smokers are more susceptible to them. Pain is an intense burning or piercing that either throbs in your head or is a constant. It is usually felt around one eye and can last 15 minutes to several hours. Many people feel a sense of restless agitation while the pain lasts. You may have a cluster headache several times a day for several weeks or months. Then they go away for a few months only to come back again.

Since pain comes on suddenly and may go away quickly, over-the-counter meds often don’t help. Injections, nasal sprays, or inhalation medications may provide fast relief.

Sinus

When your sinuses, the area around your eyes, nose, and cheeks, are inflamed or swollen due to infection, a sinus headache ensues. You’ll feel a deep, constant pain in your forehead and cheekbones that may worsen with movement. A sinus headache often occurs along with additional symptoms including a runny nose, stuffy feeling in the ears, facial swelling, and a fever.
Treat the infection appropriately, and your sinus headache will go away.

Medication Over-Use

Taking pain medication to relieve a headache more than two or three days a week can lead to rebound headaches. This happens when the frequent use of medication causes the brain to overreact, triggering a headache. Or the brain may go into state of withdrawal when medication wears off, resulting in a dull, throbbing headache that last all day.

Stop a rebound headache by weaning yourself off of pain medication slowly. Then limit the number of days you use pain medication to less than 10 days each month.

Half Way There.

It is estimated by the World Health Organization that approximately 47 percent of adults across the world have experienced at least one headache within the last year.

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What gets you off the couch and into your workouts?

Why do you work? To get paid. Why do you eat? Because you’re hungry. Why do you clean house? You can’t stand the mess any longer.

Everything you do in life is motivated by something. When it comes to exercise, there must be something to motivate you as well. Even the promises of a healthy heart and weight loss aren’t enough to get many people motivated to work out.

What could motivate you to pursue an active, healthy lifestyle? It may be time to find your motivation and put it to work.

Set Goals

A personal goal can be a powerful motivator. Great goals to work towards might be losing a certain number of pounds, lowering your blood pressure to a healthy range, being able to bench press a determined weight, or running a 5K.

Set a realistic, attainable goal. Write it down where you can see it on a regular basis as a reminder. Tell your family and friends so they can help keep you on track.

Keep Records

It’s a proven fact that keeping track of your weight will help you lose it. The best way to do this is through a food diary or an exercise log. Each day, keep track of the variables to affect your weight gain. These include how long and how hard you exercise, how far you run, how much weight you lifted, and what you ate. Once a week weigh yourself to track your weight loss. Though it may be stagnant for a bit, keeping an eye on it will keep your weight from moving in the wrong direction.

Smart phone apps are another great way to record your workouts. Download an app that tracks your exercise and eating habits and keeping track will be possible no matter where you are.

Create a Contest

The TV show “The Biggest Loser” is a prime example of how competition can lead to a commitment to exercise. While a contest you create won’t promise large monetary rewards or fame, it may be fun, rewarding, and inspiring.

Find 5 to 10 friends or coworkers who want to work toward a similar goal. It could be losing the highest body weight percentage, walking the most steps each day, or logging the most time spent exercising. Set rules and then check in with each other on a weekly basis. Losers each week have to pay a certain fee. At the end of the set time, the winner gets the money.

Find a Partner

Accountability when it comes to exercise ranks high on the list of motivators. It’s a lot harder to hit the snooze button when you know your friend is waiting for you at the gym. Another great option is to work with a personal trainer who will offer advice, support, and accountability.

If nothing else, cyberspace can help keep you on track. Update your progress on Facebook or another social media site and friends (or even friendly strangers) can encourage you toward your goal.

Make It An Investment

You don’t want to exercise out of guilt, but spending money on a gym membership, stylish workout clothes, and a personal trainer are great motivators to work out. When you know you’re spending hard earned money on your new habit, you can’t help but get to the gym.

So spend a little extra on workout clothes, shoes, and accessories you feel comfortable and attractive in. Buy enough outfits to last a week in case you get behind on laundry, and don’t let lack of clothes be an excuse.

Naked Motivation

If these ideas don’t motivate you to get active, it’s time to think of something that will. Maybe standing in front of a mirror naked will do the trick!

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The dangers of dehydration.

More than half of the adult human body is made of water. So it goes without saying that water is an essential part of life and health. When your body loses more fluid than it takes in, you’re in danger of dehydration.

Without a balance of fluids, your body parts can’t perform their normal functions. Minor dehydration can be easily remedied by drinking additional fluids, but severe dehydration is a dangerous condition that requires emergency medical attention.

All day long, your body loses fluid through sweat, vapor in your breath, urine, and stool. And all day long, you replenish lost fluid by drinking and eating. There are times, however, when fluid is lost at a faster rate than you can replenish. These include bouts of diarrhea or vomiting, sweating during hot weather or strenuous exercise, or during a fever. Anyone at any age can get dehydrated, but kids, the elderly, and those chronically ill are at increased risk.

What are the warning signs of dehydration and how can you keep yourself and your family adequately hydrated when at risk?

It is chronic water shortage in the body that causes most diseases of the human body.
- Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj

Mild to Moderate

You’re out cycling on a hot, humid day. The first clue that you could be getting low on fluids is thirst. Your mouth feels parched and sticky and you feel thirsty. Additional signs of dehydration include sluggishness, headache, and dizziness. As time goes by, you may notice you haven’t used the bathroom in a while. When you do, your urine is not a healthy, pale yellow color.

These are all signs of mild to moderate dehydration. If you’re a healthy adult, you’re still in the safe zone, but you should take these signs seriously. Hydrate yourself by drinking plenty of water or sports drinks to replenish lost fluids. Call your doctor if these symptoms are noticed in a child or older adult.

Severe Danger Zone

When you’ve gone too long without adequate fluids or you just can’t keep fluids down, your body can reach the point of severe dehydration. If this happens, it’s time to get emergency help. Perhaps you have been sick with vomiting or have had a high fever for several days. Regardless of the cause, watch for these warning signs: extreme thirst; dry mouth, eyes, nose, and skin; no sweat or tears when crying; little to no urine output and if there is, it’s dark yellow; skin loses elasticity; blood pressure may be low; breathing may be fast; heart palpitations; fever; a sunken soft spot on a baby’s head; confusion or loss of consciousness.

If you notice any of the above signs of severe dehydration, get to your local emergency department as quickly as possible.

Drink, Drink, Drink

The best way to fend off dehydration is to drink it away. If you’ll be out in the heat, in high altitudes, or doing strenuous exercise, drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your activity to replace the fluid you lose through sweating. You should also avoid drinking much alcohol, as it increases your loss of fluid and decreases your ability to detect signs of dehydration.

In the event you’re sick or suffering a fever, remember that your body will be losing more fluids than usual. Therefore, begin sipping on water, sports drinks, or Pedialyte at the first sign of sickness. Start with tiny amounts of fluid, and as time passes, if the fluid stays down, slowly increase the amount of fluid. Another alternative is to suck on popsicles or ice chips. However, be careful to avoid sodas, milk, coffee, alcohol, or fruit juices, as these may actually worsen the problem. Finally, keep cool and take action if the signs of dehydration don’t pass or grow worse over time.

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Don’t let it keep you down.

For most folks, peanut butter is a delicious food that goes well with anything. For others, however, eating a little bit of peanut butter or a single peanut is a matter of life and death. A nut allergy is just one of many food allergies prevalent today. Chances are, you or someone you know is allergic to or intolerant of a specific type of food.

Over the last 15 years, food allergies have drastically increased. Scientists don’t know the exact reason for this, but they have their suspicions. What exactly is a food allergy, what’s the difference between an allergy and intolerance, and how can it be treated?

Putting You at Risk

The most common foods that cause allergic reactions in adults include peanuts, nuts, shellfish, eggs, and milk. For children, the most common offenders are peanuts, milk, soy, and eggs. But any food can cause an allergic reaction.

Fortunately, kids with food allergies have a chance to outgrow their allergies. On the downside, adults that develop food allergies are stuck with their allergies forever. The type of food you’re allergic to is usually one you eat a lot of, so food allergies differ around the world. As an example, rice is a common allergy in Japan, while codfish allergy is often seen in Scandinavia.

Why the increase in food allergies? Experts propose a few possibilities: the way food is now processed, the lack of bacteria in an overly clean environment, or a folate imbalance. Whatever the source, they’re always dangerous and frustrating.

A True Allergy?

Many people think they have an allergy when they’re just suffering a food intolerance. Allergies and intolerances often have similar symptoms, but a true allergy is an immune system response to a particular protein found in food.

When your body is exposed to the protein, it doesn’t recognize it as friendly and begins to fight it, resulting in an allergic response (hives, eczema, itching, vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing, anaphylaxis, etc.) within an hour. Depending on the severity of your body’s reaction, an allergy can be minor or life threatening.

Food intolerance, on the other hand, occurs when the body isn’t able to properly digest a certain food. For example, those who are intolerant to milk lack the enzymes necessary to digest the lactose found in milk. Other items that cause intolerances include food dyes, monosodium glutamate, or sulfites.

Symptoms of a food intolerance include gastrointestinal problems such as gas, bloating, or diarrhea that occur within a few hours time of exposure. Frustrating and embarrassing as it may be, a food intolerance is not life threatening.
Through a variety of tests, your doctor can determine whether or not you have a true allergy or an intolerance.

Course of Treatment

The best way to avoid an allergic reaction to a particular food is to avoid the food. This means carefully reading ingredient labels. Some food proteins have a variety of names, and allergens are often found in foods you wouldn’t suspect, so if you’re allergic, do your homework and know what to look for!

While many food packages now list common food allergens included in the food, don’t depend on these lists. Read the entire ingredients list. Additionally, pay attention to things you put on your skin, as some food proteins can be found in unexpected places like makeup!

Individuals who are severely allergic or have an anaphylactic reaction must constantly be prepared for accidental exposure. If this is you, always wear a medical necklace or bracelet that alerts others of your condition and carry an adrenaline syringe in case of an emergency.

There’s no medication to prevent an allergic reaction, but medications are available to relieve minor allergy symptoms if you’re accidentally exposed. Allergy shots for food haven’t been shown effective, but new treatments are being developed, including oral immunotherapy (eating tiny portions of the food over time to develop intolerance) and allergy vaccines.

Regular Occurrence

It’s estimated that someone heads to the emergency department every three minutes in response to a food allergy.

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This dish is slightly spicy. It has a unique and awesome taste!

  • 1 (16 ounce) package whole wheat dry penne pasta
  • 3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat – cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
  2. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente.
  3. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  5. Saute chicken until firm and lightly browned; remove from pan.
  6. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet.
  7. Cook and stir garlic, asparagus, and red pepper flakes in oil until asparagus is tender.
  8. Stir in chicken, and cook for 2 minutes to blend the flavors.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Toss pasta with chicken and asparagus mixture.
  11. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Servings: 8, Calories: 318, Fat: 7.3g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 151mg, Carbohydrate: 43.3g, Protein: 21g

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What happens when normal anxiety turns into a mental illness?

Are you a human being? Then you have experienced some degree of anxiety in your life. After all, it’s a normal emotion in response to fear or stress.

Whether you’re starting a new job, having marital trouble, or preparing for a test, nervousness, apprehension, and stress are completely normal. In fact, they can actually be beneficial for you to perform your best.

But what if these feelings of worry, fear, and anxiety seem to run your life?

What if you can’t seem to escape or control the constant, overwhelming sense of dread you suffer, and any hope of leading a normal life is gone. If this describes your situation for six months or longer, you may have an anxiety disorder.
A recognized mental illness, anxiety disorders come in all shapes and sizes. Learn about the many different faces of anxiety disorders and know you’re not alone if one of them describes you. There’s help and hope available to overcome anxiety.

What’s Your Type?

Anxiety disorders come in a variety of forms. The recognized types of this mental illness include panic disorder (panic attacks that strike suddenly), obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD (fears that lead to compulsive, unusual behaviors), post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD (recurrent frightening thoughts following a traumatic event), phobias (intense fear of a situation or object), social phobias (overwhelming fear of judgment by others or humiliation in front of others), and generalized anxiety disorder (constant, unrealistic fear and worry).

Is This You?

Each of the six disorders listed above has different symptoms, but all anxiety disorders have one thing in common: extreme, unwarranted fear and worry.

Other common symptoms include feelings of panic, obsessive thoughts, nightmares, ritualistic behaviors, recurrent flashbacks of trauma, insomnia, heart palpitations, clammy feet or hands, restlessness, shortness of breath, dry mouth, nausea, tension, nausea, or dizziness.

Symptoms may begin as early as age 6, but most often present themselves in early adulthood. And anxiety disorders are much more common in women than men.

What Brings It On?

If you live with an anxiety disorder, you probably long to know what is at its root. However, scientists are still trying to determine the cause of anxiety disorders. If you’re one of the millions of individuals who suffer from an anxiety disorder, don’t blame yourself or your past.

Most likely, the cause of your and any anxiety disorder is a combination of changes in brain structure, chemical imbalances, genetics, environmental factors, diet, and long-lasting stress. As research continues on how the brain creates and reacts to anxiety and fear, new medications and treatments will become available.

How Is It Managed?

If the symptoms listed above describe you, seek treatment. Your doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist, healthcare professionals with the expertise to diagnose and treat mental disorders.

Your treatment will depend on what type of anxiety disorder you have, but will likely include one or more of the following: medication, psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments, self-help support group, or relaxation techniques.

Medications include anxiety-reducing drugs, beta-blockers, and anti-depressants. They will not cure an anxiety disorder, but will help keep it under control while the sufferer receives therapy.

Psychotherapy is counseling that is performed by a mental health professional, who can help talk through the origins of anxiety and implement effective strategies for dealing with the specific disorder.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is also led by a professional who seeks to help sufferers recognize their disorder for what it is and then change the thoughts and behaviors that lead to their anxious feelings.
Additionally, symptoms of anxiety disorders can be lessened with

lifestyle modifications. Good first steps include regular exercise and avoiding caffeine, certain herbal remedies, certain cold medications, and illicit drugs.

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The bone-building benefits of exercise…coming to a skeleton near you!

When you think of the benefits of exercise, you probably think first of weight loss or heart health.

But exercise is good for alleviating any number of health conditions you may be facing, including back pain, anxiety, low libido, and insomnia, to name a few. Before you head to the doctor for medicine, try adding exercise to your daily routine and see if you notice any improvements. You may be surprised.

Learn how exercise can help treat your condition as well as what type of exercise is most effective.

Medicate Pain

Your body has natural painkillers called endorphins. Exercise causes your body to increase the production of endorphins, which raises your pain threshold. Not only will exercise help you cope with pain, but also it will lessen pain by improving your joint, nerve, and muscle function.

Many people suffer with an aching back from sitting hunched over at a desk or standing on their feet all day. Perhaps your back hurts when you perform certain movements or maybe there’s a dull pain at all times. As you age, the muscles in your back that support your spine weaken and this contributes to an aching back. Back pain can wear you down, but is rest really what you need?

Try strength training to strengthen your lower back, oblique, and abdominal muscles. Strong core muscles go a long way in taking pressure off your spine and improving your range of motion.

Medicate Anxiety

Stressed out? Anxious thoughts keeping you from falling asleep? Relieve stress naturally with cardio exercise. When your heart rate increases, your body produces more mood-enhancing brain chemicals such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and GABA to help you relax for hours to come. Have a stressful day ahead? Start your day with exercise.

Medicate Hormonal Imbalance

Suffering from hot flashes, low libido, PMS, or polycystic ovary syndrome? Rather than drugs, exercise may be your answer. Getting 150 minutes a week of moderate cardio exercise will help balance your hormones, increase your stamina, improve circulation, and release the endorphins that fight fatigue, pain, and stress.

As an added perk, overweight women have a higher rate of severe symptoms related to their hormones. As exercise is an effective tool for weight loss, it’s certainly worth a try.

Medicate Sleep Disorders

Can’t fall asleep at night? Wake up and can’t go back to sleep? There’s little in life more frustrating than insomnia. What you need may be regular moderate cardio exercise early in the day. Vigorous strength training or high intensity cardio exercise may have a negative effect on sleep—especially when done right before bedtime.

Following exercise, your body temperature drops, promoting sleep. Exercise also relaxes you and lessens symptoms of anxiety and depression, which often keep people awake at night. In addition, exercise helps regulate your body’s natural circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle).

Maybe you sleep fine at night, but feel sleepy during the day. Rather than relying on caffeine, try getting off the couch and taking a walk. People who exercise report less daytime sleepiness and more daytime energy.
Overall, exercise will help you fall asleep quicker, stay asleep longer, and feel energized during the day.

Medicate Sickness and Disease

Who doesn’t want to live a long, healthy life? Exercise can help you toward that end. Regular exercise not only helps you manage health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease, but it also helps prevent them. Reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by 33 percent, colon cancer by 60 percent, heart disease by 40 percent, and diabetes by 50 percent. All with a little bit of exercise.

Mandatory Medication

Exercise shouldn’t be an option. Your body was made to move and functions best when it gets regular movement. Take advantage of the enormous benefits of exercise by moving your body!

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Understanding what triglycerides have to do with your heart.

When you hear talk about triglycerides, you may cringe.

After all, it’s not the prettiest word around, and hearing it may make you think of something bad for you. However, triglycerides are a necessary part of good health, as it’s a type of fat that circulates in your blood and is used by your body for energy. However, when your triglycerides are too high, it can put you at risk for heart disease.

What causes high triglycerides and how can they harm your health? What steps can you take to lower them? You’re about to find out.

You Gotta Get Tested

A routine blood test called a lipid panel test measures your triglyceride level along with your total, HDL (high-density lipoprotein), and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels. Get a baseline measurement around age 20, and then have your levels checked every five years until age 40, when you’ll need your levels checked yearly. If you or a family member has a history of heart disease, stroke, or diabetes, have a lipid panel test every two to three years until age 40. If you already have heart disease, you’ll probably need your levels checked every couple months.

Once you undergo your test, compare your results to what’s normal and what’s not.

Optimal: less than 100 mg/dL
Normal: less than 150 mg/dL
Borderline-high: 150–199 mg/dL
High: 200–499 mg/dL
Very high: 500+

Reasons for High Triglycerides

If your test results reveal a higher than normal level of triglycerides, it may be attributed to obesity, uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, a regular consumption of too many calories (especially calories from carbs and fat), kidney disease, hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid), or excessive alcohol consumption.

Certain prescription drugs can also affect your triglyceride levels. These medications include steroids, beta-blockers, Tamoxifen (a breast cancer drug), diuretics, birth control pills, and estrogen. Though rare, high triglycerides can be genetic. In this case, you may be suffering from fatty deposits located under the skin, a condition known as xanthomas.

Dangers of High Triglycerides

Unless results from a lipid panel test indicate high triglycerides, you probably wouldn’t know your levels are high. With that in mind, you may wonder what the big deal is when it comes to triglycerides. Think of it this way: A measure of your triglycerides is a good measure of the health of your heart. If you have high triglycerides, you may have other issues that put your heart at risk.

For some reason, too many triglycerides lead to the thickening or the hardening of the arteries. When this happens, your likelihood of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease increase dramatically.

High triglycerides are also an indication of other health conditions that contribute to heart disease and stroke such as obesity and metabolic syndrome (a combination of health conditions including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels, high triglycerides, and excess fat around the waist). So paying attention to your triglycerides is vital to your most vital organ!

Lower Your Triglycerides

Have high triglycerides? Don’t ignore the issue or hope it resolves on its own. Instead, take the time to be proactive for the sake of your heart. The good news is that triglycerides respond very well to diet and lifestyle changes, so if you make changes now, you probably won’t have to be on medications the rest of your life.

To effectively lower your levels, lose weight. Shedding even 5 or 10 pounds can make a big difference. Once you’ve lost weight, strive to maintain a healthy weight. Since excess calories are converted into triglycerides and then stored as fat, reduce your calorie intake by limiting fats, sugars, and simple carbohydrates. Eliminate foods with trans fats and avoid the saturated fats found in meats by eating more fatty fish high in omega-3s. For cooking, use olive oil or canola oil. Eating fewer calories will lower your levels and boost your heart health!

No Eating, Please.

Interested in having your triglycerides measured? You’ll have to avoid eating for a bit. For the best test results, your physician will ask you to fast overnight before testing. Eat right before the test and expect to be sent home without undergoing the test. Yes, it’s that important.

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Feel full until your next meal with these sweet and savory, healthy snack ideas.

It’s only 10 in the morning, your stomach is growling, and you’re feeling sluggish. You’re trying to watch your weight and don’t want to overdo your calorie limit on a measly snack. But you don’t know if you can make it until lunch without something to nibble on.

It can be hard finding snacks that are both low in calories and filling at the same time. The trick is to find a snack that has both protein for energy and fiber to keep you satisfied. No matter if you’re in the mood for something sweet, savory, or a combination of the two, here are some great low-calorie ideas to satisfy your cravings. Each option is less than 100 calories.

Sweet Tooth Snacks

Depriving yourself of sweets is a recipe for diet failure. Give yourself a small break every now and then to enjoy in the foods you love. Otherwise you’ll reach a breaking point and overindulge.

If sweets are what you’re craving, try the following low-cal options:

  • a cup of frozen grapes
  • a cup of nonfat Greek yogurt mixed with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a teaspoon of honey
  • a cup of your favorite berries mixed with two tablespoons of whipped topping
  • a teaspoon of peanut butter spread on a fig bar
  •  three squares of dark chocolate
  • a six-ounce glass of skim milk mixed with two teaspoons of chocolate syrup
  • a cup of unsweetened applesauce with a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • a four-ounce container of chocolate pudding
  •  a small banana-and-nonfat-yogurt smoothie
  • two squares of cinnamon graham crackers with one teaspoon peanut butter
  • a scoop of lime sherbet with sliced fruit

Savory Snacks

Just as easily, you can go overboard when munching on salty snacks. It takes a lot of will power to eat only a few potato chips. It’s better to just keep them out of the house.

So when you’re in the mood for something savory or salty and low in calories, go with one of the following:

  • 10 baby carrots dipped in two tablespoons of hummus
  • 25 pistachios (about two handfuls)
  • five multigrain crackers and a stick of low-fat string cheese
  • one egg and a slice of whole-wheat toast
  • two cups of air-popped popcorn
  • two long pretzels dipped in one tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • eight boiled shrimp dipped in two tablespoons cocktail sauce
  • one ounce of low-sodium beef jerky
  • about 40 goldfish crackers
  • a cup of tomato soup sprinkled with one tablespoon of low-fat cheddar cheese
  • three cups of raw peppers dipped in two tablespoons of balsamic vinaigrette
  • a roll of four slices of thin-sliced deli turkey dipped in two teaspoons of honey mustard
  • 10 baked tortilla chips dipped in salsa

Sweet + Savory Snacks

Perhaps you’re craving a combination of salty and sweet foods. Sound good to you? Get your appetite satiated without feeling guilty by indulging in the following snack ideas:

  • a non-fat cheese stick with half an apple sliced
  •  one tablespoon of peanut butter spread on a stalk of celery
  • a cup of chopped melon in a cup of non-fat cottage cheese
  • trail mix made of four chocolate chips, eight almonds, and one tablespoon of raisins
  • two teaspoons of almond butter spread on a rice cake
  • a whole apple sliced and dipped in one teaspoon of peanut butter
  • four wheat thin crackers with one teaspoon of Nutella

Green Light on Snacks

If you’re on a diet, you don’t have to outlaw snacks. Especially since starving yourself is another way to sabotage your dieting efforts.

If you’re overly hungry when mealtime comes, you’ll be more susceptible to overeating. None of these 32 snack ideas sound appealing to you? Then get creative and make your own.

Because contrary to what your past eating habits may indicate, wise snack choices can be part of a healthy, balanced diet.

 

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