If you live in America, you’ve seen it: The note on nutrition labels that states “Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.” But what does it mean? It means that the Food and Drug Administration or FDA, needed some way to express average calorie consumption, and it decided going low was better than going high. The FDA was going to list 2,350 calories as “average,” but rounded down for a few reasons. America’s not the only country that settled on that number, as Australians are used to seeing a benchmark of 8,7000 kilojoules, which equals 2,000 calories. In reality, though, 2,000 calories is not a magic number. We have to take into account factors like our age, height, weight, and the amount of exercise we get. Only then can we come up with a diet plan that makes sense.
A right balance of hormones is essential for the human body. Without all the hormones being produced in their designated amounts, it would be almost impossible for a human being to function and live a healthy life. However, when there is a deficiency of a crucial hormone like the Growth Hormone, it is important to understand what it means and how it is going to affect.
What is Growth Hormone?
Growth Hormone, also known as Somatotropin, is a peptide-based hormone which is responsible for growth, cell reproduction and cell regeneration. It is secreted by somatotropin cells which are present in the lateral wings of the anterior pituitary gland of the brain. A balanced secretion of the Growth Hormone is essential for the healthy life of a person as it regulates and controls the physical and mental growth of an individual. While an excessive production of this hormone is detrimental to the health of a person, to the point of causing physical deformity, a deficiency of it also has immense negative effects on the human body.
How does the deficiency of Growth Hormone affect a person?
When the pituitary gland fails to produce adequate amount of the Growth Hormone, commonly abbreviated as GH, it can have several consequences on a person. In children a deficiency of the growth hormone leads to a stunted growth of the child, both physically as well as mentally. In children suffering from low levels of GH, development of bones and muscles takes substantially longer than those of other children the same age, and hence, these children reach their height, weight and development goals slower. Since it also controls the cognitive faculties, children with a GH deficiency as also seen to suffer from an impairment of cognitive functions and memory.
In fully grown adults although GH doesn’t control the height, it is essential for maintaining a healthy functioning of the body. Adult onset of deficiency of Growth Hormone leads to fatigue, lethargy, emotional distress, skewed balance of the right amount of fat, muscle and bone in body etc. This leads to a loss of bone mass, osteoporosis and makes the bones brittle. The deficiency of GH is seen to cause reduced muscle mass, loss of concentration, baldness in men. It can even affect the levels of cholesterol and lipid anomalies.
Treatment of Growth Hormone deficiency
Deficiency of GH can be either congenital or acquired. It might be caused due to several reasons which include genetic issues, disease, trauma, reaction to radiation therapy etc. and it can lead to severe consequences. Hence, it is important to consult an endocrinologist and start on a hormone replacement therapy as soon as possible. Jintropin and other such growth hormone supplements help by making up for the lack of growth hormone and aids in the maintenance of a healthy balance of hormones in the body. It regulates the bone, muscle and fat ratio of the body ensuring that the person maintains a desired physical shape. It is useful in developing stronger bones, better muscle mass and cutting down on excessive flab.
Growth Hormone is important for the healthy functioning of an individual and a deficiency of this should be treated with immediate medical care in order to minimise the damage.
- Wikipedia – Growth hormone
- Academic.oup.com – Growth Hormone Deficiency in Adulthood and the Effects of Growth Hormone Replacement
- Pharmacer – Jintropin®
It seems as though every fitness media outlet has latched onto the newest trend: activated charcoal. The black powder is said to have medicinal purposes as a powerful detoxification agent, and is treated in a way that is safe for human consumption. Before being a fitness fad, it was commonly used in emergency rooms to treat mild poisonings. Basically, activated charcoal is supposed to flush out all toxins and chemicals from your body, giving you a clean slate to begin a healthier lifestyle.
All of this sounds good, but how effective is activated charcoal at removing these so-called “stored toxins”? According to Livestrong, there is no evidence to show that the human body has stores toxins to begin with, or that charcoal can somehow extract them from your body. If you’re trying to use activated charcoal to lose weight, regular consumption of charcoal can lead to more damage than good. Similar to other detox diets out there, the charcoal detox requires participation in fasting for a few days. The weight you may lose during this time is due more to the calorie restrictions during the fasting phase than to the charcoal consumed.
Moreover, the regular consumption of activated charcoal can lead to constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, and in some severe cases, bowel obstruction. With consistent and repeated doses, complications such as abscesses and charcoal deposits can develop in the abdominal wall. Dr. Kamal Patel, a medical professional in Tampa, Florida, has been doing extensive research on the affects of activated charcoal on the body. For those taking daily prescription medications, the interactions between charcoal and the medications could render the medication ineffective. This is particularly dangerous if the medications taken ensure proper bodily function or livelihood.
One of the most popular promotions of activated charcoal, besides consuming it for detox, is using it for teeth whitening. Instructions for it’s use for teeth whitening is to wet your toothbrush, dip it into loose activated charcoal powder, begin brushing it on your teeth, leave it on your teeth for three minutes, then rinse. It’s recommended to use activated charcoal to whiten teeth around two to three times a week in order to begin seeing results. Activated charcoal is also said to be a cure for bad breath.
Unfortunately, dental professionals are wary on recommending activated charcoal for teeth whitening. They recommend only using it around once every other week, if at all. They also warn that since it is such an abrasive powder, it can wear down the enamel on the teeth, causing bigger dental problems down the road. Enamel is the protective layer on your teeth that help prevent cavities or rot, and once it’s gone, it’s very hard to restore. This is certainly a bigger problem than having yellow teeth.
So the next time you’re looking for a healthy way to detox, we recommend sticking to fruits, vegetables, and a large glass of water!
If the last time you saw a delicious-looking, balanced meal was on your favourite celebrity chef’s Instagram page, then it’s time to do something about it. Eating healthy should be high on your priority list, even if your schedule is packed 24/7. With these super-fast ways to eat healthy, you can be the healthiest busy person you know.
Hydrate on the go
Love it or hate it, water is a crucial part of good health and whether you feel thirsty or not, you should be drinking enough water. However, when you are hopping from meeting to meeting, it’s easy to forget to drink some water.
Consider having a water cooler in the office to make it easier to hydrate. Start carrying water with you so you have no excuse not to drink. If you invest in a quality water bottle that you’d love to take with you anywhere, you can easily triple the amount of water you drink in a day.
Also, there are useful apps to track water intake available online. They can help you track the number of glasses you take and you can set reminders to tell you to drink more water throughout your day.
Use grocery delivery services
Shopping for groceries can be time consuming, with the lists you have to make, standing in line to make payments and dragging your purchases home. Grocery delivery services help you get more of your time back by outsourcing your weekly shopping to someone else.
Just imagine all the fresh and juicy ingredients you need to prepare enough healthy meals for a week right at your doorstep. The benefits are too many to count – you’d no longer have to deal with the crowded, long lines; and you’ll avoid the temptation to pick up stuff you don’t need or stuff you shouldn’t be eating.
With an affordable online grocery delivery service, you never have to set foot in a store. This means more time to work, more time to enjoy your family, and even a little time to take off for yourself.
Start meal prepping
Meal prepping has become hugely popular of late, which must have something to do with the fact that it saves time and money, and ensures you follow a healthy meal plan.
With your busy schedule, the best thing you can do is prepare your snacks and meals ahead of time. Meal prepping is more than just eating healthy or looking fit. It gives you the freedom to make any decision about what you want to eat without thinking about where or when you’ll get the food – since you already have it.
This saves you time and energy that you can put towards doing other important like your career, family or relationship. One top tip for successful meal prepping is to get quality plastic containers. They should be durable so that you can freeze your meals and pick them up on your way out the door.
Prepare or buy grab-and-go snacks
Many busy professionals, including entrepreneurs, investment bankers and travel nurses, swear by grab-and-go snacks. Changes in schedule or delays are inevitable, and you could forget to eat lunch on some days. If there’s nothing readily available to snack on at the office, you may find yourself struggling to ignore your hunger pangs for hours, or eyeing the closest vending machine.
No matter how long you plan to stay out, always ensure you have healthy snack options such as protein or nut bars, fruits, granola bars, unsweetened dried fruit, and so on. You could grab a slice of pizza, but an emergency snack supply is a better and healthier option, and ensures there is always something to eat.
Eating healthy snacks every three hours will steady your blood sugar, and lower the need to gorge yourself when it is time for your next meal.
Own a crock-pot
A crock-pot is also known as a slow cooker, but don’t be discouraged by the deceptive moniker; it is one of the greatest multi-tasking tools you can own in your kitchen, and a dream come true for any busy person. With a simple touch of a button and a few ingredients, you can be serving a gourmet meal in no time. Just throw a chicken in there, top with your favourite spices and you’re good to go. It really is that simple.
With a crockpot, you can make anything from chicken dips to lasagnas, butternut squash soup and even hot fudge sundae! If you don’t own a crockpot, take this as a big recommendation to get one online right now. It’s a great investment since you’ll be using it over and over again.
There are tons of delicious crockpot recipes for busy people to get you started on healthy meals cooked just in time. Oh, and did we mention that it can cook your food while you sleep?
Work and other life stressors, in addition to the high prevalence of environmental toxins and poor soil quality, mean that you may not be getting appropriate nutrients in your diets. Therefore, the best way to achieve a good nutritional profile is by taking the right supplements. You can visit online stores like SuperSmart.com to buy high-quality food supplemental products at the best prices.
A good quality multivitamin/ mineral is essential, in addition to probiotic supplementation. If you are dealing with stress, or want to improve your metabolism and immune system, a B-complex vitamin is a good choice. Omega 3 and fish oil supplements are great for boosting brain function, smoothening digestion, lowering stress and controlling appetite.
Start by understanding your diet and your nutrients intake. A registered nutritionist can provide you with the information you need about your nutritional profile. When it comes to taking supplements, each person is unique and needs a specially designed supplementation plan in order to stay healthy.
It’s possible to fit self-prepared healthy meals into your schedule, no matter how busy you are. You simply have to make it a priority. Make time every day to put yourself first by ensuring you can constantly have ready meals when you need it. You’ll see results and know that it is worth all the effort and time for your health and well-being.
Yes, we said the ‘D’ word and the ’S’ word in the same sentence. Afraid? Don’t be! The most important part of any diet is the mental relationship that you have with food. There is no such thing as the perfect diet that will send your fat cells packing and give you the perfect body. Why? Because there is no one food that makes you ‘fat’ and no single food that makes you ‘thin’.
The important thing is to understand that everything begins in the mind. Does this mean that you can stuff yourself with nice treats all the time and expect to be healthy? Of course not! But it does mean that you’re allowed to have that delicious treat every now and then. And dessert is definitely on the cards!
Simple guidelines to a successful healthy diet – with treats included – are below:
- Everything in moderation.
- Change your view towards food. All food is equal and if you’re going to hate what you’re eating then the ‘diet’ is doing more harm than good to your body.
- If you want something sweet make sure that you opt for treats that are made with finely sought ingredients that have a feel-good effect on your mind. Sea salt caramels from McCrea’s are a perfect treat throughout your ‘diet’. They are made by award winning masters and only use the finest ingredients, making this a real treat for your body. They’re small enough to not overindulge by eating one or two when you get your sugar craving and at the same time, they’re really good for you, both mentally and physically.
- We all know the saying, “You are what you eat.” Well this is absolutely true. If you’re going to put fast food and cheap thrill foods into your body that is exactly what you will be getting out. If you choose the healthier but still delicious foods, then your mind and body will find a perfect balance and create a perfect equilibrium for you to steadily lose the pounds and feel great!
- Remember to always affirm the positive. Your diet is successful! You will reach your goal weight. You look incredible. Never affirm the negative such as, I am not fat. Why? Because the subconscious does not ‘read’ negative words such as ‘not’, ‘can’t’ etc. So, what you are affirming when you say ‘I am not fat’ is actually ‘I am fat’, and our mind does exactly what we tell it to do. This means that you will be programming your body to gain pounds instead of losing them.
- Remember you’re perfect exactly the way that you are. If you would like to sculpt your body and fine tune it, that’s great but a positive mind first, then a definite self love, and then of course couple it with a healthy vision.
One last interesting thing to remember is this, the word ‘diet’ comes from the Greek diaita which actually means, ‘a way of life’. And who can live without delicious treats for the rest of their lives? Definitely not me!
Getting into the groove of a new diet and sticking to it is incredibly hard. No matter where you are on your journey, whether two days in, five days, a week, a couple of weeks, or already a month in, you should make sure to set up rewards at certain checkpoints along the way. If you want to ensure that you stick to your diet, make sure you are enjoying your quality of life in this new lifestyle.
It is important that you stick to the diet you have identified as being potentially life-altering. You need to make sure that if you have picked out a new diet that is going to help you be healthier than ever before, that nothing you choose to reward yourself with is going to set you off course. Do not reward yourself with chocolates, ice cream, or big pizzas, telling yourself it’s just a “one-time reward.” This is exactly how recovering addicts fall off of the train! Instead, make sure that you pick rewards that will not jeopardize your dieting success.
If you want to reward yourself without putting your diet at risk, choose a reward like going out to a movie or live show. Head over to ticketmaster’s Groupon Coupons page and swoop in on some of the fantastic deals available. You will love the fact that you can enjoy 2 for 1 tickets, and it will feel so special. You will love having this rare treat, and it will make you long to accomplish your next benchmark for success.
If you are heading into month two, or even just week two, make sure that you set yourself up for success by establishing solid rewards every once in awhile. You want to make sure that you are loving your new diet and the results so much that the rewards outweigh the costs. Sticking to a new diet is difficult, but you can definitely do it with the proper encouragement. Give yourself the gift of entertainment every once in awhile to take your mind off of those dishes you no longer eat, and before long, you will forget they were even once a part of your life.
Proposed new regulations on vaping are meant to clear the haze on the growing trend. But what do we really know about it? (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Nothing signifies the formalization of a trend like government regulations.
The hope is that regulations will also provide desperately needed quality control to a frontier industry that is estimated to grow and be worth $32 billion worldwide by 2021, said Barry Finegan, a smoking cessation expert and anesthesiologist at the University of Alberta.
Reports have surfaced about explosions and accidental nicotine poisonings with vaping. In addition, preliminary studies suggest health risks from the vapour itself, including reduced immunity, hyperactivity, reproductive issues such as lower sperm count and motility, and mental health issues like hyperactivity and agitation.
“We want to respect the autonomy of individuals who want to vape, but at the same time, far more research is needed before we can support them to make truly informed choices,” said Finegan.
So what’s a vaper or would-be vaper to do in the meantime? Here’s some preliminary evidence-based advice for various scenarios that pose the question: to vape or not to vape?
“My friend says there are no side-effects as long as I vape with nicotine-free e-liquid.”
Proponents of vaping contend that quality made eliquid contain nothing but food-grade flavour enhancers, vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol, and then various dosages of nicotine from none to extreme amounts (36 milligrams per millilitre).
Be part of the research
Finegan’s team is looking for research subjects between the ages of 15 and 24 in hopes of better understanding attitudes toward e-cigarettes and whether vaping tends to result in actual smoking addiction.
“The quality of vaping hinges on the device you use.”
There’s some truth to this insofar as there are thousands of vaping devices on the market, many designed with electronics to allow the user to control the amount of vapour they inhale.
“There is also an entire subculture around manipulating these devices,” said Finegan. “The efficiency of them very much depends on the settings used.”
“Vaping is a safer way to smoke dope. Plus, it’s odour-free!”
Since the aerosol produced by e-cigarettes is generally odourless, the devices are popular among marijuana smokers (especially since, in theory, they increase the chemical bioavailability). However, no study has been done looking at the use of vapour devices and drugs.
“I’m better off using e-cigarettes than actually smoking.”
Until more research is conducted, the use of “better” is contentious. Yes, the government in the United Kingdom supports vaping as a smoking cessation tool, but other governments take a harder stance … perhaps with good reason.
“A recent Canadian study showed that people were more likely to quit smoking if they didn’t use e-cigarettes,” said Fadi Hammal, a public health expert at the U of A. “So is vaping less harmful than conventional smoking? Probably. Time will tell, but it is too early to promote it as a sole smoking cessation aid.”
“If that alternative works for you, you should probably give it an attempt, except you need to be careful about the source of the e-liquid and the reliability of the device.”
Anyone over the age of 21 is eventually going to have to have some hard conversations with themselves about where alcohol fits in a healthy diet. It’s such a prevalent part of the food experience, the social experience, and the celebration experience – it’s important to put it in context every once in awhile with a specific regard to nutrition, diet, and health.
Five categories to consider while you’re on this meditative path about alcohol include where the troubling result of addiction can lead you, what the benefits might be, where social value rests, how to pair alcohol with food, and what to consider while trying to gain or lose weight.
The Troubling Result
When you drink too much, or if you have a genetic disposition toward alcohol, you can fairly easily end up with an alcohol dependency. And once you’ve hit that point, it may be rehab or bust. There are lots of functional alcoholics, but they run the risk of issues with drinking and driving, and also failure of various internal organs over time.
Reading About Benefits
On the other side of that, you can read about the benefits of alcohol. A few times per year, usually around the holidays, you’ll see articles written about how a glass of wine per day has certain specific things that it does for your body that are positives. The only thing to be wary about this, though, is the fact that those suggestions and recommendations change fairly regularly when new studies come out. So take all of that with a grain of salt, and be sure to keep on the mellow side of drinking excessively or too consistently.
Understanding Social Value
The social value of drinking alcohol can be quite high. It’s very ritualized in some social circles, some cultures, and a myriad of traditions. You can opt out in some cases if you have specific health or dietary reasons behind you, but it’s not a bad idea to at least appreciate the concept of bonding during certain celebrations and occasions.
Pairing Alcohol With Food For Experience Sake
With many different types of meals, the actual flavor of various types of alcohol makes a huge difference to the overall experience. There is a fine art to pairing alcohol with meat, with certain vegetable combinations, and with a lot of specifically gourmet food. Learn those combinations, and appreciate the results on a dietary level.
For Gaining or Losing Weight
Alcohol has a lot of calories in it, and they’re all empty. People with a big beer habit have to work especially hard to get rid of those calories. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, your drinking habit may be one of the first things that you want to think about paring down.
Figuring and adopting the best eating habits is the basis of building a healthy life. Many people who struggle with their health have tried everything the dieting market has to offer to no avail. Because the changes they make are typically short term, the effects never last very long. Real change requires augmenting one’s habits and building a whole new lifestyle. Check out a few of the best eating habits recommended for a healthy body.
Cut out processed foods.
If it comes in a box and takes 15 minutes to prepare, then it is probably not a healthy choice for a meal. These types of foods are often riddled with sodium and other preservatives that can cause significant damage to the body over time.
Instead of Hamburger Helper, cook fresh vegetables and lean meats daily for better nutrition. Eggs, milk, and plenty of legumes contain vital nutrients for maintaining a strong, healthy body.
Eat whole grain things.
White pasta and bread are not good for the body. They contain high levels of carbs that turn into sugar in the body when ingested. Change to wheat noodles and whole grain breads. Whole grains help the body to feel fuller for longer and have also been attributed to lower cholesterol levels over time. Quinoa and buckwheat will add a slew of nutrients to a soup or salad.
Cook food in a healthy manner.
To live healthier, an individual has to change the way in which the food they eat is prepared. Instead of using vegetable oil to cook, switch to using coconut oil. Coconut oil is far more nutritious and heart-healthy than other cooking oils.
Try not to “do” too much to the food. The more things get added, the higher the chances are that the meal will not be healthy. Avoid deep frying anything, and avoid overcooking vegetables. Overcooking veggies until they lose their color strips them of their good attributes, making them virtually useless to the body.
Learn to eat correct portions.
Portion control is paramount to success when seeking out a healthy lifestyle. Cook less food so that there is not a mound of leftovers tempting you from the refrigerator. Identify the proper portions for your body size and stick to them. This way, a person can eat virtually anything they please as long as it is done in moderation. Moderation is key.
Keep a food diary.
Maintaining a proper food diary will paint a picture of one’s eating habits quickly. A food diary will make it easier to pinpoint unhealthy eating habits and plan a proper attack. Be disciplined, and keep detailed notes of everything that gets eaten to build an accurate portrayal of eating habits.
Hectic lifestyles, demands on time, and processed foods with less and less nutrients have led to an epidemic of overweight people around the globe. Fitting regular exercise into schedules is increasingly difficult, and eating on the run precludes healthy meals prepared at home, and eaten slowly. Bodies are getting too much salt, sugar, and fat, and not enough of the essential vitamins and minerals needed to lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight. Many people are turning to dietary supplements for help.
Products for Weight Loss:
Weight loss is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States. Products are on the market that claim extreme results with no effort, or changes in lifestyle. There are some that ensure unrealistic weight loss in a matter of a few days. Among the ridiculous and the dangerous are natural weight loss products that can really help people who are trying to lose weight. The difficult part is to find what is helpful, and stay away from what is not. The natural weight management products are often on the same shelves as the unhealthy products.
The healthy methods for losing weight, such as diet and exercise, can be boosted by natural dietary supplements. Most supplements contain vitamins, such as D and C, and minerals, essential oils, amino acids, and enzymes. Many ingredients are found in nature, but fail to make it into bodies. Fruits are modified, sprayed with chemicals, and waxed or polished with more solutions to look perfect and shiny. That depletes them of nutrients and vitamins. Natural supplements and ionized water, help replace some of those vitamins and minerals.
Many essential oils for weight management are found in healthy foods that are not part of daily diets. For example, combinations of oils which include cinnamon bark, ginger, peppermint, and lemon may naturally reduce cravings, stabilize blood sugar levels, and help the body use fat as energy instead of storing it. Cooking and baking from scratch used to provide plenty of cinnamon in a diet. That practice is not as prevalent anymore, so using cinnamon oil becomes a viable substitute. Ginger and peppermint oil support digestion; and lemon and grapefruit oil promote healthy metabolism. A few drops of these oils daily can enhance weight management efforts.
Managing a Healthy Weight:
People who are at a healthy weight may be having difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. Travel for business, working overnight shifts, or juggling work and home can get in the way of healthy meal preparation, and regular exercise. Adding weight can happen quickly, and is often not noticed until ten pounds have been put on. That is the basic difference in most clothing sizing, so when pants do not fit well, or dresses get tight, that means approximately ten pounds of weight has been added.
Some natural weight management products to consider include supplements high in calcium, vitamin B and D, and omega-3 fatty acids from fish oils.