Senior Fitness

"Are Hot Workouts Healthier?" Review

If you intend to take (or currently attend) anything from Bikram yoga to heated spin classes, you'll want to read the truth behind these "hot" workouts...they may not have the health benefits you think (from the article Are Hot Workouts Healthier?)!

From Bikram yoga to heated spin classes, fitness gyms are turning up the heat. What to know before you go.


Latosha Lovell is always willing to try something once. "That's sort of my philosophy about life," says the 45-year-old interior designer in Pasadena, California. So when a friend invited her to check out The Sweat Shoppe, a new heated spin studio in North Hollywood, last March, she saddled up. The workout, she thought, could be the perfect cardio substitution for her regular treadmill sessions that had begun to wear on her knees.

That first class was a fog. "I was totally exhausted and a little confused" afterward, Lovell recalls. But the prevailing memory is a positive one: "I felt completely amazing." She soon began taking up to five classes at The Sweat Shoppe each week and now credits the studio with her 8-pound weight loss, strong lower body and core, reduced environmental allergies and mental grit. "It's greatly improved my quality of life on the health level," she says.

While The Sweat Shoppe is the country's first heated spin studio, it's not the only place taking a cue from Bikram yoga – a style of hot yoga that took off in the 1970s. Plenty of studios are turning up the heat during exercise classes, a practice that owners claim intensifies workouts, among other benefits. Gym-goers are eating it up: The Sweat Shoppe, for one, opened with both heated and non-heated classes, but switched to exclusively offering hot classes to keep up with the demand, says Mimi Benz, who founded the studio with her spin instructor husband in 2011 after a broken air conditioner in a spin class spurred the idea.

"People were really into the heated thing," she says. The studio has since relocated to a larger space and has seen a relatively consistent 30 percent growth in revenue year over year, Benz says. The heated classes at CorePower Yoga, a studio chain that fuses the mindfulness of yoga with the intensity of other workouts, meanwhile, are the most popular and widely offered, says Heather Peterson, the company's chief yoga officer. The chain opened its first studio in 2002 and now has 150. "A lot of people just love a really good sweat," she says.

Hot and Beneficial or Hot and Bothered?


Burn more calories and lose weight by working harder; cleanse the body by sweating more; reduce risk of injury by loosening the muscles – there are plenty of theories as to why heated fitness classes may be healthier than their cooler counterparts, but most raise eyebrows among exercise professionals.

"The only benefits [are] if you're an endurance athlete and you're trying to train for a race and you're trying to acclimatize your body and mind toward exercise in the heat," says Diana Zotos Florio, a physical therapist and yoga teacher in the New York City area. "Otherwise, all of the proposed benefits … aren't true. There's no point; there's more risk than anything else. We're just not designed for it."

Still, most experts agree that people who are in good shape and lack certain medical conditions can benefit from heated workouts, as they would from any exercise. "I certainly advocate and promote exercise – you just have to have the preparation and the tolerance level for what you're about to undertake, and then it can be a fun thing and probably pretty good for you," says Michael Bergeron, senior vice president of development and applications in the Center for Advanced Analytics in Sport & Health at Game Changer Analytics. "I just don't think there's anything particularly special about it."

Tempted to turn up the temperature on your workout? Heed these expert tips first:

1. Know the risks.


Some people – namely those with heart or lung problems – should avoid heated workouts. Pregnant women and those taking medications that affect body temperature should consult with their doctors before taking a hot class. And everyone else should be aware of the very real risks of dehydration and overheating, says Dr. Jason Zaremski, an assistant professor in the University of Florida College of Medicine's department of orthopedics and rehabilitation.

"The major concern is that your body's core temperature will begin to rise and you put your internal organs and central nervous system at risk," he says. Another issue: Getting too tired too soon can affect your posture and alter your ability to control your muscles and movements, boosting your risk for injury, Bergeron adds. As Zotos puts it, "people tend to stretch deeper [in heated classes,] but they're not ready for it," she says. "That's where you tend to get injuries to your tendons or ligaments."

2. Do your research.


"Hot" varies from class to class – some may hover around 80 degrees; a Bikram yoga class will be close to 105 degrees. Humidity and ventilation differ, too. All make a big difference in your ability to handle – and benefit from – heated classes, experts say. Benz recommends talking to the studio ahead of time about the room's environment; The Sweat Shoppe, which keeps its classes at 80 to 84 degrees, for example, has cooler "microclimates" in the room where newbies can sit.

3. Manage expectations.


If you're a fitness enthusiast looking for a new challenge or an elite athlete personal training for a race, a heated class could be a good fit. But if you're trying to burn more calories while doing less work, trim fat or "detox," keep in mind the support for such benefits is thin at best. "Hotter workouts are harder than performing the exact same workout at a lower temperature; thus, you will burn more calories," Zaremski concedes. "But if you cannot maintain the same level of intensity and exertion in a heated environment … this defeats the purpose."

Looking to lose fat? Stick to an air-conditioned gym, Bergeron advises. "As your body heats up, you favor burning carbohydrate versus fat," he says. "So, even though you may feel you are getting a 'better' workout, if burning body fat is your goal, exercise in cool conditions."

And while it's true that exercising in hotter conditions can increase plasma volume, reduce resting heart rate, improve cardiovascular efficiency and enhance your sweat mechanism, “these adaptations vary and are dependent on multiple factors,” such as how hard, long and often you work out in those conditions, Zaremski points out. Simply exercising, Zotos says, is the safer way to reap the benefits of an elevated heart rate.

And the idea that sweating profusely purges your body of toxins? Hogwash, experts say. "What you're sweating out is just sodium and calcium and potassium, and those are nutrients your body needs," Zotos says. "The only way you detoxify is by having a fully functioning liver and kidneys." Even The Sweat Shoppe's Benz agrees that the research isn't there to support heat's cleansing effect on the body. "We don't really do it for the detoxing thing," she says, "even though I know people were drawn to that word."

4. Listen to your body – and your buddy.


The Sweat Shoppe instructors are trained to recognize signs of fatigue, teach modifications and encourage people to sit, stop or slow down if they start feeling lightheaded, Benz says. "We don't push people." That's important, experts say, since the heated environment can actually reduce your capability to recognize your limits. "Overheating can affect your brain and cognitive function; thus, you are often not the best person to assess your own status and stop," says Bergeron, who recommends the buddy system for heated classes.

5.Drink lots – lots – of water.


The morning after Ali Hines' first Bikram yoga class, she threw up. "It wasn't the class," says the 31-year-old in District of Columbia, whose next heated classes went smoother. "I just didn't prepare or I didn't drink enough water." Indeed, drinking enough water is the No. 1 priority before heading to a hot workout, pros say. And in heated classes, "enough" probably means more than you think. "Make sure you're well-hydrated well in advance of getting there," says Chris Fluck, a Bikram yoga instructor in Philadelphia, who also recommends adding a pinch of salt to your water after class to replenish minerals lost through sweat.

6. Believe in yourself.


When Lovell feels like she can't push any harder during a fitness class, she draws on the energy of the riders around her and reminds herself that getting through the workout will only make her stronger. It works. "When you're in there and you're subject to that level of heat, you have to get out of your head, and it takes a lot of mental strength to get through that," she says. "It's helped me in other areas of my life."

Copyright 2016 U.S. News & World Report

Is a "hot" workout the right approach for you? What other dangers or cautions have you identified?

Are you having trouble losing weight? You may need to change your morning routine. Read 30 Best Breakfast Habits to Drop 5 Pounds.

Picture Credit: MSN.com/© Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe via Getty Images-Do you need to sweat to lose weight or achieve your best shape?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " Are Hot Workouts Healthier? " on MSN.com.
"Are Hot Workouts Healthier?" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 
Transform your life with Michael's s elf-help book Redefine Yourself here !

Transform your life with Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself here!

 

Over 30 Ways to Lose Body Fat Permanently

Every 6 months I reorganize the weight loss/fitness/health articles that I've given my personal training clients. These tips have helped them collectively lose over 2500 lbs since 2005, and I think they will help you too (no matter if you're trying to lose weight or just get in shape).

Please share this list with anyone (friend, family member, colleague, client, etc) who wants to change their life and finally see a difference in their health and lifestyle. Also, be sure to save this email in a folder and return to it when you're frustrated with your results (which happens to everyone) or need a new idea.

Tip: Skim through this list and find the headlines that are most relevant to your current goals and interests (then spend 20 seconds skimming the article).

***************

Weight Loss (Secrets and More!)


-How to Lose Weight Without Exercise
-The Secret to Losing Nearly 27 lbs!
-"The 50 Best Weight-Loss Tips From 2015" Review

-8 Mindless Habits to Break If You Want to Lose Weight
-Science Confirms Two Ways to Lose Weight Fast
-4 Ways Your Brain Makes You Overeat—And How To Outsmart Yourself

-"17 Weight Loss Rules You Can Cheat On" Review
-10 Weight Loss Tricks You Haven't Tried
-Do This Every Day, and You May Lose 20 Pounds in 6 Months

-6 Things 'Successful Diets Have In Common
-10 Ways to Break Up With Emotional Eating for Good
-7 Ways to Lose Weight After 50

-Will Eating at Night Really Make You Gain Weight?
-"6 Things You Can Do Every Day to Prevent Weight Gain" Review
-5 Non-Diet Ways to Trick Yourself into Losing Weight

-"20 Easy Ways to Lose 5 Pounds at Work" Review
-"10 Secrets to Lose 25 Pounds Now" Review
-Top 10 Rules You Must Follow Every Day to Lose 10 Pounds
-"The 30 Best Breakfast Habits to Drop 5 Pounds" Review

Why You're Not Losing Weight or Body Fat


-Hidden calorie bombs: 9 foods you didn't know are secretly fattening
-"30 Mistakes That Slow Down Your Weight Loss" Review
-The 22 Worst Carbs in America

-4 Weird Reasons Why You're Gaining Weight
-10 Bad Habits That Give You Belly Fat
-2 Foods You Should Avoid During Weight Loss

-More Surprising Reasons You're Gaining Weight
-The Underlying Influence on Your Weight Loss Failures
-6 Diet Tricks That Are Actually Making You Gain Weight

-11 Diet Foods That Make You Fat
-"Don't Fall for These 10 Weight-Loss Gimmicks" Review
-"5 Bad Things about Detoxing You Don't Know" Review

Recipes for Effective Weight Loss


-The Best Fish Nachos for Weight Loss!
-Weight Loss Recipe: Chili Cajun Chicken and Sauteed Vegetables
-The Best Spinach Stuffed Salmon Weight Loss Recipe Ever!

-Weight Loss Quick Supper: Cajun Almond Crusted Chicken with Asparagus and White Beans
-Weight Loss Recipe: Almond Crusted Mahi with Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Garlic Potatoes
-Vera Cruz Fish and Brussels Sprouts Weight Loss Dinner
-15 Minute Weight Loss Dinner from Trader Joes

Truth About Salads (And the Approach You Should Take)


-Why Salad is So Overrated
-"25 Salads That Have More Calories Than a Big Mac" Review

Losing Weight During the Holidays/Seasons


-"10 Foods to Give Up for Lent—and How Many Calories You'll Save" Review
-5 Summer Foods That Cause Bloating
-9 Dishes Doctors Won't Eat at Thanksgiving

The Right Protein for the Right Weight Loss


-Save the Cow! Here is a List of Non-Animal Protein Sources
-36 Ways to Fulfill Your Protein Needs While Losing Weight

Foods You Should Think Twice About....And Here's Why!


-"30 Foods You Should Never Eat After Age 30" Review
-"50 Foods You Should Never Eat" Review
-"25 Awful Ingredients Everyone Still Uses—But Shouldn’t!" Review

-"The 10 Dirtiest Foods You're Eating" Review
-"50 Unhealthiest Foods On the Planet" Review
-11 Foods to Toss Out of Your Kitchen For Good
-You Won't Believe What's in These Girl Scout Cookies!

Drinks That Will Increase Your Waistline


-"20 Coffee Drinks with More Sugar Than a Can of Coke" Review
-How To Fit Alcohol in Your Diet without Ruining Your Weight Loss Goals
-"70 Most Popular Sodas Ranked by How Toxic They Are" Review

-6 Surprising Foods and Drinks You Should Never Eat Together
-"The Best and Worst Booze to Drink if You Want to Lose Weight" Review
-4 Ways To Beat Your Diet Soda Addiction In One Week
-How Caffeine Could Prevent You From Losing Belly Fat

What to Keep in Mind While Eating at Restaurants/Airports


-"The #1 Worst Menu Option at 40 Popular Restaurants" Review
-How to Eat Healthy at the Airport

Fitness/Exercise Myths and More!


-4 Simple Ways to Flatten Your Stomach
-12 Workout Myths That Just Need To Die
-The 15 Most Common Mistakes Personal Trainers See in the Gym

-An exercise scientist told us 4 big things people get wrong about working out and weight loss
-10 Reasons You Should Never, Ever Wear Flip-Flops
-5 Things You Should Never Do Before You Work Out

-End Your Lower Back Pain Today
-"The 21 Worst Things You Can Do For Your Body" Review
-Personal Trainer Wisdom: 1 Fitness Myth Unraveled

How to Improve Your Sleep and Reduce Fatigue


-49 Reasons You're Always Tired
-11 Ways To Sleep Better Tonight
-This simple addition to your bedtime routine could make a huge difference in your sleep

Creating the Life Your Want, Goals, Travel, and More!


-Top 15 Travel Tips That You Need to Know
-99 Ways to Redefine Yourself Today
-Excerpt from the book Redefine Yourself: Define Your Purpose

Are you having trouble losing weight? Read "50 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet" Review. It's probably time to rewrite your grocery list.

Picture Credit: redorbit.com-Is it time to downsize a few things in your diet?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
Over 30 Ways to Lose Body Fat Permanently
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 
Find Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself on  Amazon  today!

Find Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself on Amazon today!

 

"11 Ways To Sleep Better Tonight" Review

If you've been struggling with poor sleep, this list will help without a doubt....it has definitely helped my personal training clients! (from the article 11 Ways To Sleep Better Tonight).

1. Stick with a consistent sleep schedule.


That means going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. On weekends, you can vary your sleep schedule slightly, but try to keep the difference to one hour or less. Otherwise, staying up late and sleeping in on weekends can disrupt your body's circadian (sleep-wake) rhythms, giving you the equivalent of jet lag without ever leaving home.

2. Make your bedroom a sleep-inducing sanctuary.


It should be dark, quiet, and cool, with a comfortable, supportive mattress and bed pillows. To keep out unwanted light, consider installing blackout shades or heavy curtains. Block outside noise by installing double- or triple-pane windows, wearing earplugs, or using a "white noise" machine or one that generates soothing sounds that supposedly entrain your brain waves so you more easily reach delta (stage 3 or 4) sleep.

Keep the bedroom cool (many people prefer a temperature between 60 and 72°) and well ventilated, using a fan if need be.

3. Expose yourself to natural light.


Spending time outside, even on a cloudy day, will help keep your body's internal clock ticking properly and help you maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle. It's best if you can expose yourself to natural light for at least 20 minutes first thing in the morning—by throwing open the curtains, sitting in a sunny window, or using a dawn simulator light or alarm clock.

4. Steer clear of heavy meals in the evening.


Having a large, spicy, rich, or fatty meal too close to bedtime can interfere with sleep and give you a whopping case of indigestion that keeps you up when you'd like to be snoozing.

It's best to finish dinner a few hours before bedtime; if you get hungry later in the evening, have a light snack with sleep-inducing foods that contain tryptophan (an amino acid the brain uses to make calming serotonin). Good choices are a handful of almonds and a banana. Having a cup of caffeine-free chamomile tea can also put you in the mood to snooze. (Avoid chamomile if you are allergic to ragweed; it could trigger a severe reaction. If you are, try another calming herb tea as a natural stress reliever.)

5. Avoid sneaky stimulants that interfere with sleep.


As you probably know, caffeine can keep you up at night, which is why it's best to avoid having coffee, tea, chocolate, and soda four to six hours before bedtime. Similarly, the nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes can rev you up, so avoid smoking in the evenings if you do smoke.

While having a glass of wine or a cocktail (or two or three) can certainly make you sleepy, after a few hours of sleep, alcohol acts as a stimulant, leaving you susceptive to micro- (or full) arousals or awakenings and poorer overall quality sleep as the night goes on; this is another reason why it's best to limit alcohol consumption to no more than one or two drinks per day and to avoid it close to bedtime.

6. Exercise during the day.


Playing sports or working out can set you up for a good night's sleep—but the timing matters for some people. It's best to finish vigorous workouts by late afternoon to give your body temperature, heart rate, and other functions enough time to drop, postexercise, to set the stage for sound slumber. In fact, the 2013 National Sleep Foundation's Sleep in America poll, which included 1,000 adults between the ages of 23 and 60, found that people who exercise vigorously in the morning have the best sleep patterns, including better quality sleep and a lower likelihood of awakening feeling unrefreshed. It's fine to do relaxing exercises like yoga or simple stretches in the evening.

Moody Wisdom: Is there a better time to hire a personal trainer in Chicago? Just kidding. Please visit your local gym, though, and start moving. Doctor's orders.

7. Banish technology from your bedroom.


Don't bring your laptop, your smartphone, or other high-tech gadgets to bed with you. The light alone from these devices can reset your body's internal clock; plus, using these devices tends to be stimulating, which isn't what you want before you turn in for the night. So unplug, shut it down, or turn it off. (Your bed partner will thank you.)

8. Give yourself a chill-out period before bed.


Avoid strenuous or stimulating activities or emotionally upsetting conversations in the hours before climbing into bed. Physically and psychologically stressful activities trigger the release of cortisol in your body, which increases alertness and arousal. Instead, establish a relaxing bedtime routine—taking a warm bath, doing some gentle stretches, listening to calming music, and the like—before going to bed. Also, be sure to dim the lights: Spending time in bright artificial light—from a TV or computer screen, for instance—tells your brain to stay alert rather than get sleepy.

9. Be smart about napping.


The truth is, napping can be a double-edged sword. Yes, a nap during the day may serve as a welcome pick-me-up, boosting energy, alertness, and productivity. But if you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep at night, daytime napping will likely disturb your nighttime sleep patterns even more. If you do decide to nap, it's best to do it by mid-afternoon and limit it to no more than 30 minutes.

Moody Wisdom: Of the 7 regions of the world in which the residents have the longest lifespan, more than half take naps daily. Rest when needed, but don't overdo it, though...you definitely will be staring at the ceiling later that night.

10. Kick your pets—and even your— partner out of bed.


Research suggests that the number of people who let their pets sleep in their beds yet find their animals disturb their sleep is on the rise. As much as you love your dog or cat, it's not worth sacrificing precious sleep to be near your animal. Train your pet to sleep on his or her own bed on the floor—or outside your room.

Similarly, if your partner tosses and turns, kicks, snores, or otherwise disturbs your sleep on a regular basis, you may want to consider having separate beds. You can still have a strong, loving relationship without sleeping together; in fact, your relationship may even improve if you're both well rested.

11. Get out of bed if you can't sleep.


Don't lie awake counting sheep or worries or staring at the clock; get up, go to another room and read, or do something relaxing or monotonous until the mood to snooze returns. Otherwise, you could come to associate your bed with not sleeping—exactly what you don't want to happen!

Moody Wisdom: When I can't sleep, I take a nose-dive into a book until I fall sleep.

What other ways help you sleep better at night?

Are you having trouble losing weight? Read "50 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet" Review. It's probably time to rewrite your grocery list.

Picture Credit: Prevention.com-Is this list a sign of better things to come?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " 11 Ways To Sleep Better Tonight " on Prevention.com.
"11 Ways To Sleep Better Tonight" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
Find Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself on  Amazon  today!

Find Michael's self-help book Redefine Yourself on Amazon today!

 

"The 7 Simplest, Easiest Ways to Lose More Weight, According to Science" Review

If you don't have time to incorporate every weight loss trick in the book, you may want to quickly look through this list (from the article The 7 Simplest, Easiest Ways to Lose More Weight, According to Science).

1. Trade the Treadmill for the Dumbbells


If you're in the personal trainer gym already, you might as well make sure you get the most out of every bead of sweat. And, according to 2015 research from the Harvard School of Public Health, that means strength training. In the study (which followed 10,500 healthy folks over the course of 12 years), those who spent 20 minutes per day performing resistance exercise were more successful in the fight against belly fat compared to those who spent equal time getting their cardio on. Researchers say that, unlike cardio, which burns the vast majority (if not all) of its calories during your workout, strength training causes you to burn calories even after you leave the gym – and hikes up your metabolic rate, thanks to an increase in lean muscle mass.

Meanwhile, if you already incorporate strength training (be it with body-weight moves, free weights or machines), increasing some facet of that training can be a difference-maker. "If, for you, strength training is only a once- or twice-a-week thing, increase frequency. If it's already a three- or four-times-per-week thing, increase intensity. If you've been doing the same routine for a while, add in some new, more challenging moves," says St. Louis-based certified strength and conditioning specialist Kourtney Thomas.

2. Turn Off the Lights (and Draw the Blinds)


This tried-and-true tip will help you catch more than ZZZ's. In one 2014 American Journal of Epidemiology study of more than 100,000 women, participants who slept in the darkest rooms were 21 percent less likely to be obese than those who slept in the lightest rooms.

Any light exposure at night (from your devices or just the sun shining through your windows a couple of hours before your wake-up time) can throw off your body's metabolic rhythms and influence your body's levels of hunger-regulating hormones to spur next-day overeating, according to researchers.

3. Stop Multitasking


It's time to stop priding yourself on your multitasking "skills." According to a comprehensive meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating while doing other things – like watching TV, playing Candy Crush on your phone or driving to work – results in downing significantly more food both during the meal at hand and throughout the rest of the day. (A 2015 study found that caloric intake more than doubled when people ate their prior meal while walking!)

That's because your brain isn't nearly as good at multitasking as you think it is, explains registered dietitian Wesley Delbridge, spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "When you multitask while eating, your brain isn't fully aware of how your food tastes, how much you are eating and when you should be full," he says. "Focus on your meal and you'll automatically increase satiety."

Moody Wisdom: Still having trouble making this change? It may be time to look at the big picture...You may need to change your approach to life. Read "99 Ways to Redefine Yourself Today".

4. Balance Out Each Plate


Take a quick scan of your plate: Does it contain fiber-rich carbs, protein, and healthy fat? If it has all three, you're good to go, says Delbridge, who notes that you can avoid a lot of trouble – like insulin spikes, sugar crashes, and overeating – simply by combining those components at every meal. While carbohydrates are vital for a quick-hit of energy, fiber, fat and protein slow down digestion and the release of carbohydrates into your bloodstream to reduce hunger for hours on end.

The rule applies not just to meals, but also snacks. For instance, if you pair that apple with a stick of protein- and fat-containing peanut butter, you'll stay full a lot longer, and end up eating less throughout the day. Plus, research from the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign shows that by spreading your protein intake throughout the day (rather than eating the bulk of it at dinnertime, like most Americans do) you can build more lean, metabolic-boosting muscle.

Moody Wisdom: Use this Weight Loss Plate to guide your dietary choices, as well.

5. Get NEAT


An acronym for non-exercise activity thermogenesis, NEAT is simply the amount of calories that you burn doing things other than "exercising." It includes walking to the bank, standing in line at the supermarket, taking out the trash and even typing (although that last one doesn't burn many calories), and it's a determining factor in your ability to lose weight – even if you have a regular gym habit, Thomas says.

NEAT varies up to 2,000 calories per day between people, according to Mayo Clinic researchers, who note that simply standing or walking for two-and-a-half hours per day can close much of the NEAT gap between obese and lean individuals. That might sound like a lot of time, but even if you simply resolve to take all of your work calls standing up, you can go a long way toward hitting your goals, Delbridge says.

6. Get Social


Don't underestimate the buddy system. "Being accountable to and getting support from someone else makes an amazing difference in people's ability to stick with their weight-loss efforts and be successful," Delbridge says. And even after losing the weight, women who receive social support from others are consistently more likely to maintain their weight loss compared to those who try to do it alone, according to research published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.

Don't feel comfortable having regular check-ins or working out with your friends or family? Try getting online. Join a weight-loss group on Facebook, reach out anonymously on Reddit or post all of your meals or workouts to Instagram.

7. Use Smaller Plates


If you've never heard of the "small plate" trick, now's the time to start digging through your cupboard. Plate size has a greater impact on the amount of food you eat than most people realize. According to research from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, when people use large, 12-inch plates, they serve themselves 52 percent more food and eat 45 percent more than people who use small and slim, 9-inch plates.

Worried that you'll just wind up going back for seconds? Don't be. Even if you put the same amount of food on a small plate as you would a large one, it will look like it contains more food, per researchers. And, as a result, you'll actually feel fuller than you would had you used your jumbo plates.

What other simple ways do you suggest to achieve easy weight loss?

Are you having trouble losing weight? Read "50 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet" Review. It's probably time to rewrite your grocery list.

Picture Credit: MSN.com-How can you change your "desk approach" to lose weight?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " The 7 Simplest, Easiest Ways to Lose More Weight, According to Science " on MSN.com.
"The 7 Simplest, Easiest Ways to Lose More Weight, According to Science" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
 
What are you waiting for? Create the life you want today with Michael's  self help book Redefine Yourself . Find it on  Amazon !

What are you waiting for? Create the life you want today with Michael's self help book Redefine Yourself. Find it on Amazon!

 

"49 Reasons You're Always Tired" Review

If you typically roll through your day feeling sluggish or tired, you may want to skim this list. It's the most comprehensive list of reasons yet (from the article 49 Reasons You're Always Tired)!

YOU SKIP BREAKFAST.


It's not called the most important meal of the day for nothing. Skipping breakfast can often leave you feeling lifeless the rest of the day. We rely on breakfast to kickstart our metabolism after a goodnight's sleep. The body continues to burn through food and nutrients even as we sleep, leaving our stores depleted by morning. A meal shortly after waking up is important to replenish these depleted energy stores and re-energize the body.

Moody Wisdom: This isn't permission to grab whatever is available (especially if you're trying to lose weight). I grew up on sugary cereals and donuts...not ideal for healthy living. The truth about breakfast: It's really not any different compared to other meals of the day. The only difference: You may want to take it easy on the seasoning (Your fresh taste buds may be a little sensitive first thing in the morning). Not sure what a balanced breakfast looks like? Take a look at this Weight Loss Food Plate.

YOU READ YOUR KINDLE BEFORE BED.


People who read before bed using an iPad or similar device find it harder to wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed than those who curl up with a printed book, according to a recent Harvard study. The reason? The blue light emitted from the Kindle suppresses the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, which controls your sleep and wake cycles, says Robert Rosenberg, DO, FCCP, an Arizona sleep medicine specialist and author of Sleep Soundly Every Night, Feel Fantastic Every Day. Translation: When your melatonin levels are out of whack, you probably aren't sleeping as soundly as you think you are. He recommends shutting down all electronic devices (computers, cell phones, tablets, eReaders) 90 minutes before bed. Also, move your cell phone out of the room; even if it's on airplane mode, a phone emits enough light to interfere with sleep, says Sylvia Morris, MD, MPH, an internist in Atlanta.

YOU HAVE A NIGHTCAP.


It's true that booze can send you off to dreamland quickly, since alcohol does have a sedative effect. But it also disrupts your normal sleep cycle, says Aaron Clark, MD, a family medicine physician at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center. In a 2015 Australian study, people who downed orange juice mixed with vodka as a bedtime drink showed more alpha brain activity while they snoozed, which meant they weren't getting deep, restorative sleep. Women are particularly susceptible to sleep disruptions from alcohol because we metabolize it faster, according to the National Sleep Foundation, so we're bound to wake up sooner. An occasional glass of spirits won't hurt, but to make sure you're getting quality z's, limit yourself to one drink a night and have it a couple of hours before bedtime.

YOU HAVE UNDIAGNOSED SLEEP APNEA.


Half of all adult women have some type of sleep apnea, according to a 2012 study. (Women between the ages of 20 and 44 have a 25% chance of having sleep apnea, which also affects 56% of women ages 45 to 54 and 75% of women ages 55 to 70.) With this condition, "patients briefly stop breathing multiple times through the night, which leads to poor sleep quality," explains Clark. Sleep apnea is especially common in women as they go through perimenopause, when they mistakenly assume that their frequent night awakenings are a result of hot flashes. As a result, you'll often wake up exhausted, even if you've theoretically gotten plenty of sleep. Ask your doctor for a referral to a sleep specialist. The best way to diagnose sleep apnea is via a sleep study—at-home devices can pick up only severe cases. Mild cases can often be treated with weight loss and alcohol avoidance before bedtime, but if you've got a moderate to severe case, you'll need to use a device like a CPAP, an oxygen tube under the nose that emits mild air pressure to keep the airways open.

YOU HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON.


Remember how you spent all night waking up, drifting off, then waking up again? Doing that to yourself come morning via the snooze button just ain't smart. Research shows snooze-button sleep is fragmented sleep (no kidding), and fragmented sleep is not restorative sleep. It's a good rule of thumb for any morning: Set your alarm for the actual time you need to wake up, says Alice Doe, MD, a sleep medicine specialist at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, MI, and then actually get up. Snoozing might also make the process of waking up physically take longer: Getting the gears turning—like increasing blood flow to the brain—takes some time, but snoozing tells your body it's not actually "go time" yet and can delay those processes.

Moody Wisdom: Set up your alarm across the room (it will force you out of bed) and run out of the room as fast as possible.

YOU DWELL ON HOW TIRED YOU ARE.


Never underestimate the power of positive thinking. Yes, you didn't get enough sleep. No, that doesn't guarantee today will be a wash. Put on your favorite top, that special-occasions-only piece of jewelry, a fun lip color—something for you to feel good about, Doe says, then use it to keep up the sunny attitude throughout the day. "Try not to think too much about the sleepless night or blame it for everything that happens during the day," she says. "In time, that can create a negative association that will result in other sleepless nights." It's going to be a challenge, she says, but try to make this a "glass half full" kind of day. It might not make you feel more awake, but studies say positive thinking can help you cope with stressful situations—aka this horror of a sleep-deprived day. Dig deep.

YOU DON'T SPEND TIME NEAR THE WINDOW.


In your beige office under fluorescent lights, your body can lose its sense of what time it is and when you're supposed to feel tired. Sleep experts say natural sunlight first thing in the morning helps communicate to our brains that it is "bright eyed and bushy tailed" time. In one 2012 study, artificial light was linked with more sleepiness and worse performance on certain cognitive tasks. "The more you're outside, the better," Doe says of the days after terrible nights of sleep. At minimum, get in an early morning walk and another stroll in the afternoon, when you feel that inevitable slump coming on, she says.

YOU DON'T EXERCISE.


While it feels like the last thing you can drag yourself to do at the moment, exercising is basically guaranteed to help, even if you can only stand it for a few minutes. Luckily, it can be an easy workout. A group of low-key exercisers experienced a bigger reduction in their fatigue than more hard-core sweaters in one study. In fact, strenuous exercise should actually be off the table, since you're at a slightly higher risk of accidents of all types when you're sleep deprived, Doe points out. Exercise improves blood circulation, which in turn improves attention, so sneak in a brisk walk before an important meeting when you're really feeling zonked.

Moody Wisdom: Having trouble committing to the gym? Hire a personal trainer in Chicago-it will give you the accountability that you need (This isn't a shameless plug....It doesn't have to be me :)).

YOU DON'T DRINK ENOUGH WATER.


"Half of the people who come to me complaining of fatigue are actually dehydrated," says Woodson Merrell, MD, executive director of the Continuum Center for Health and Healing at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Staying hydrated is one of the simplest ways to keep energized and focused. Aim to refill your glass every hour or two.

YOU LIKE OATMEAL WITH ALL THE SUGARY TOPPINGS.


Plain oatmeal is a fantastic energy food, but adding maple syrup or opting for instant flavored packages means loads of added sugar—and, consequently, a quick blood sugar spike and energy-sucking crash later, says Michelle Babb, RD, author of Anti-Inflammatory Eating Made Easy. In fact, just ¼ cup of maple syrup—easy to drizzle even if you think you have a light hand—packs a whopping 50 g of sugar.

Stick with oatmeal, but top your bowl with energy-sustaining fixings like nut butter, chopped nuts, or chia seeds. "These contain protein and healthy fats to minimize your body's blood sugar response," says Babb.

Moody Wisdom: While you're at it, add a veggie on the side too (for a nutritionally balanced meal). Need ideas? Check out The 68 Best Ways to Lose Body Fat and More.

YOU'RE NUTS FOR NUTS.


The problem with 'em: They're easy to overeat, which, in turn, can leave you dragging, says Babb. That's because nuts are high in fat, some of which is good for you, but too much will end up taxing your digestion and may even boost hormones that contribute to sleepiness.

Divvy up ¼-cup servings of nuts into snack-size bags so you don't overeat. Better yet, pair nuts with an apple for a dose of fiber to help fill you up without all the extra fat and calories.

YOU DON'T EAT THE RIGHT VEGGIES.


Veggie chips—a.k.a salty, crunchy, ultra-processed snacks—are often made primarily from potato starch, a refined carb that will leave you feeling lethargic if you overdo it, says Babb.

Make your own veggie chips or fries using fresh kale, sweet potatoes, or beets. Too much work? You can also go old school and pack raw carrots with hummus for a traditional snack that packs energy-sustaining protein and fiber.

Moody Wisdom: Only snack when absolutely necessary. Otherwise, make each grab for food a nutrionally dense meal every 3-5 meals.

YOU'RE A JAVA JUNKIE.


If you have sleep problems, you may want to consider tweaking your coffee habit and have your first cup later in the morning after levels of the stress hormone cortisol, typically higher when you wake up, begin to stabilize. And don't even think about having a cuppa after 3 PM: Research shows that consuming caffeine less than 6 hours before bed can cause you to lose an hour or more of quality sleep.

Drink your morning brew between 10 AM and 12 PM for an optimal energy boost—that's when cortisol levels naturally start to taper, so you'll truly benefit from the caffeine boost. And cut yourself off around 3 PM, or approximately 6 hours before you hit the sack.

Moody Wisdom: Need another reason to skip the java? Read How Caffeine Can Prevent You From Losing Body Fat.

YOU'D RATHER BUY A SMOOTHIE THAN MAKE IT.


Don't be fooled by store-bought fruit smoothies: Jamba Juice's Mega Mango is a sugar bomb in disguise with 52 g of the sweet stuff and not enough fat, protein, or fiber to keep your engine revved. You can do as much damage at home, too, if you're forgetting to add a source of protein or fat to your homemade blend.

Make your own smoothies from fruit and/or veggies, but always include a source of protein and/or a healthy fat like nut butter or avocado.

Moody Wisdom: Read Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live for more smoothie ideas.

YOU FUEL UP ON ENERGY BARS.


Sure, they may be packed with vitamins and minerals, but energy bars are often loaded with sweeteners that can cause drastic fluctuations in energy levels, especially if you're eating them as a snack and not to power through a workout. In fact, the first ingredient in one very well known energy bar is brown rice syrup. "These are pretty much going to behave like candy bars in your body," says Babb.

Opt for energy bars made from real food. The shorter and more recognizable the ingredient list is on a bar, the better. Also, make sure sugar or another sweetener isn't the first thing listed, and opt for bars with a decent amount of fiber and protein.

Moody Wisdom: Nothing compares to the whole choice-skip the bars all together.

YOUR THYROID IS OUT OF WHACK.


Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are totally different in the way the body expends energy, but both can result in a seriously pooped human body. With an underactive thyroid, you lack the energy to do pretty much anything—making Netflix and chill look like heaven, 24/7. That overactive thyroid, however, turns your metabolic rate up to 100, all day, every day, resulting in some serious energy crashes.

"Hyperthyroidism drastically increases heart rate, so people are so jacked up that it tires them out quicker," says R. Mack Harrell, MD, past president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. And these low energy levels translate into bedroom issues—sleep schedules and sex drives suffer from hypo- and hyperthyroidism (i.e., you never want to have sex because all you want to do is sleep).

YOU LIKE JUICE CLEANSES.


A Consumer Reports investigation discovered that some juice cleanses provide only 735 calories per day. A moderately active woman, by comparison, needs about 2,000 calories per day (around 1,600 if she's trying to lose weight). The problem: Living under this kind of a calorie deficit, even for a few days, can leave you feeling weak and sluggish. Cleanses are also notorious for causing big swings in energy, thanks to the high sugar content found in most juices: 70% to 91% of the carbohydrates in popular juice cleanse brands come from sugar, with little fiber to slow the release of that sweet stuff into the bloodstream, according to Consumer Reports. That means each bottle will give you a sugar surge and a boost in energy, only to be followed by a sugar crash shortly thereafter.

Moody Wisdom: Cleanses are intended to detox the body...something your liver and kidneys are already in charge of. Eat a nutritionally balanced diet and let your body naturally do its job.

YOU REACH FOR YOUR PHONE WHILE YOU'RE STILL IN BED.


"The bed is meant for one main thing: sleeping," says Raj Dasgupta, MD, a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "If you stay in bed, then it gives your mind the feeling that it's time to sleep and not start your day." Even worse, he says, is if you fall back asleep. If your "just 10 more minutes" turns into "oops, it's been an hour," then you're waking up from REM sleep instead of the lighter stages of sleep that you would've woken up from had you gotten out of bed the first time. Waking up from that deeper sleep can actually make you even more tired throughout the day than someone who got less shut-eye but woke up from a lighter stage of sleep. Bottom line: When you wake up, get up.

YOU'RE GLUED TO YOUR FITBIT.


Don't get us wrong—fitness trackers are great at motivating you to get in a few (or a few thousand) more daily steps. But if you're also using it to track your sleep, you might actually feel more tired, says Dasgupta. It's not that the Fitbit can't help you sleep better, he says, it's that most people wake up, take a look at their crappy sleep score, and immediately start stressing out. "They think I'm going to have a bad day and anything that doesn't go right today has to be because of my sleep, " he says. That not only makes you stress, sucking the energy out of you before you even brush your teeth, it also puts you in the mindset that you should be tired—even if you actually aren't.

YOU DON'T REHYDRATE FIRST THING.


As you sleep, your body continues to soak up the water you drank during the day. That means you're going (ideally) about 8 hours without replenishing your water supply. If you don't rehydrate, then your energy levels will wane. Research from the University of Connecticut's Human Performance Laboratory shows that even mild dehydration makes you tired and irritable. Get drinking before you even head out the door; Kate Zeratsky, RDN at the Mayo Clinic, suggests 8 oz of liquid, whether it's coffee, water, or tea.

YOU'RE A HOMEBODY.


The best way to get vitamin D, which is crucial for keeping up your energy levels, is from the sun. Research shows that people who have a vitamin D deficiency are more likely to have chronic fatigue syndrome, and correcting the deficiency boosts their energy levels back to normal. While Zeratsky says going out in the sun is better for a quick energy boost, taking a vitamin D supplement will also help you feel more awake if you're low on the nutrient. It won't give you an instant boost, but it will help regulate your energy levels over time.

YOU SHOWER AT NIGHT.


As we fall deeper into sleep, our core body temperature drops to somewhere around 60°F. So "taking a hot shower at night is kind of like exercising at night," Dasgupta says. "It's not a good idea because it increases your core body temperature, so it takes longer to cool down and get to sleep." On the other hand, he says, taking a warm shower in the morning can boost your body temperature from frigid sleeping conditions to warm, energized, and fully awake.

That said, preliminary studies suggest that cold showers can improve mood in people with depression and winter swimming (for the very brave) can reduce fatigue. So while the jury's still out on the ideal temperature for feeling energized, one thing's for sure: You should take a morning shower. Adjust the hot and cold knobs to see what temp perks you up the most.

YOU'RE ANEMIC.


The fatigue caused by anemia is the result of a lack of red blood cells, which bring oxygen from your lungs to your tissues and cells. You may feel weak and short of breath. Anemia may be caused by an iron or vitamin deficiency, blood loss, internal bleeding, or a chronic disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, or kidney failure. Women of childbearing age are especially susceptible to iron-deficiency anemia because of blood loss during menstruation and the body's need for extra iron during pregnancy and breastfeeding, explains Laurence Corash, MD, adjunct professor of laboratory medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

The symptoms: Feeling tired all the time is a major one. Others include extreme weakness, difficulty sleeping, lack of concentration, rapid heartbeat, chest pains, and headache. Simple exercise, such as climbing the stairs or walking short distances, can cause fatigue.

The tests: A thorough evaluation for anemia includes a physical exam and blood tests, including a complete blood count (CBC), to check the levels of your red blood cells. It's also standard to check the stool for blood loss.

YOU'VE GOT DIABETES.


More than a million people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes every year, but many more may not even know they have it. Sugar, also called glucose, is the fuel that keeps your body going. And that means trouble for people with type 2 diabetes who can't use glucose properly, causing it to build up in the blood. Without enough energy to keep the body running smoothly, people with diabetes often notice fatigue as one of the first warning signs, says Christopher D. Saudek, MD, professor of medicine and program director for the General Clinical Research Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The symptoms: Aside from feeling tired all the time, other signs include excessive thirst, frequent urination, hunger, weight loss, irritability, yeast infections, and blurred vision.

The tests: There are two major tests for diabetes. The fasting plasma glucose test, which is more common, measures your blood glucose level after fasting for 8 hours. With the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT), blood is drawn twice: just before drinking a glucose syrup, then 2 hours later.

YOU'RE DEPRESSED.


More than "the blues," depression is a major illness that affects the way we sleep, eat, and feel about ourselves and others. Without treatment, the symptoms of depression may last for weeks, months, or even years.

The symptoms: We don't all experience depression in the same way. But commonly, depression can cause decreased energy, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, problems with memory and concentration, and feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and negativity.

The tests: There's no blood test for depression, but your doctor may be able to identify it by asking you a series of questions. If you experience five or more of these symptoms below for more than 2 weeks, or if they interfere with your life, see your doctor or mental health professional: fatigue or loss of energy; sleeping too little or too much; a persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood; reduced appetite and weight loss; increased appetite and weight gain; loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed; restlessness or irritability; persistent physical symptoms that don't respond to treatment, such as headaches, chronic pain, or constipation and other digestive disorders; difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions; feeling guilty, hopeless, or worthless; thoughts of death or suicide.

YOU'VE GOT RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS.


This autoimmune disease is not always easy to diagnose early, but there are some subtle clues to look for.Rheumatoid arthritis happens when your immune system turns against itself and attacks healthy joint tissue, sometimes resulting in irreversible damage to bone and cartilage.

The symptoms: Many symptoms (such as fatigue, low energy, loss of appetite, and joint pain) are shared by other health conditions, including other forms of arthritis such as fibromyalgia and lupus. Anemia and thyroid disorders, which also cause fatigue, are even more common in people with RA, according to John Klippel, MD, president and CEO of the Atlanta-based Arthritis Foundation. Rheumatologists look for at least four of the following criteria in diagnosing RA: morning stiffness in and around the joints lasting at least 1 hour before maximum improvement; at least three joint areas with simultaneous soft tissue swelling or fluid; at least one joint area swollen in a wrist, knuckle, or the middle joint of a finger; simultaneous involvement of the same joint areas on both sides of the body; lumps of tissue under the skin; and bone erosion in the wrist or hand joints, detected by x-ray.

The tests: A thorough physical exam by a rheumatologist can provide some of the most valuable evidence of the disease, but there is also a test for the presence of rheumatoid factor, an antibody found in the blood. About 80% of people with RA test positive for this antibody, but the test is not conclusive.

YOU'VE GOT ECZEMA.


"People with eczema are itchy, and that itch can wake them up throughout the night," says Jeanette Graf, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York. If you find yourself scratching from dusk til dawn, Graf recommends a menthol-based cream, like Sarna, to immediately calm the itch, followed up with a richer, super moisturizing cream to protect skin's outer layer (which, when functioning well, keeps hydration in and irritants out), like the National Eczema Association-backed Trixera + Selectiose Emollient Cream. If you'd rather go a more natural route, Jessica Hayman, a naturopathic doctor based in Sedona, Arizona, recommends either unrefined, organic coconut oil or manuka honey, two natural options known for their healing and soothing properties.

YOUR BEDROOM IS A PIGPEN.


Ditch that trash can on the side of your bed—it could be setting you up to toss and turn all night, says Wei-Shin Lai, MD, a physician at Penn State University and CEO of SleepPhones. "Your mind picks up on the environment you're surrounded by, so if the last thing you see before entering dreamland is clutter and waste, your thoughts will be more crowded and negative," says Dr. Wei-Shin. What's so bad about a trash can? "When you throw things away, you are done with them. Having things that you're done with next to you makes you re-hash those things in your mind rather than letting them go." And that can lead to a lot of tossing and turning.

YOU DON'T SNACK BEFORE BED.


A small 150-calorie snack before bedtime puts the right amount of energy in your body to promote restful, sound sleep, says Robert Oexman, DC, director of the Sleep to Live Institute in Joplin, Missouri, who conducts research on sleep and the impact of your sleep environment. "In particular, carbohydrates are helpful because the increase of insulin they trigger leads to an increase in the sleep-promoting brain chemical, serotonin."

YOU NAP TOO MUCH.


Your own bedroom provides cues for sleep, says Rosenberg. Catching a cat nap on the train on your way to work, or falling asleep on the sofa after dinner, meanwhile, sends mixed messages to your brain about when—and where—your body should go into rest mode. Basically, if you're sleepy and it isn't bedtime, stand up and stretch instead of resting your eyes.

YOU TRY TO PLAY CATCH-UP.


"There's no such thing as catching up on sleep. You can't 'undo' sleep deprivation," says Rosenberg. In fact, trying to do so could actually make you more tired. "If you're getting by on four to five hours of sleep a night and then sleep eight, nine, ten or more hours on weekends, you're messing with your body's sleep clock," says Rosenberg. You're also keeping your body from falling into a normal sleep-wake cycle. Stick to your sleep schedule every night—no excuses.

YOU'RE ON YOUR PERIOD.


Having your period can interfere with the quality of your sleep. Your REM sleep is reduced during menstruation, says Mathew Mingrone, MD, lead physician of Eos Sleep California Centers in Southern California. "That's because the sudden drop in progesterone associated with your period, perimenopause, or menopause affects the body's temperature control, making you warmer, which can affect sleep quality." Meanwhile, a drop in estrogen can leave you more vulnerable to stress, another sleep disturbance.

YOU'RE ADDICTED TO THE 24/7 NEWS CYCLE.


Stress: you know it's an energy killer, but your boss, your to-do list, and your mother-in-law might not be the culprits (well, not entirely). If you're a Twitter-scroller, a cable news addict, or a rabid headline-watcher, you could be prone to feeling drained, according to research from the University of Montreal. Researchers found women in particular were more susceptible than men to feeling stressed by negative news stories, as well as more likely to remember them. Try limiting your news consumption to once a day, and balance it with a dose of good news (upworthy.com is a good place to start) and see if it makes a difference.

YOU'VE PERFECTED THE SAD DESK LUNCH.


If taking a proper lunch break is as foreign to you as Vegemite, it's no wonder you're feeling less than your best, say researchers at the University of Rochester. They found that spending only 20 minutes outside in nature gave a better energy boost than a workout or spending time socializing. Chained to your desk? Try surrounding your workstation with images of the great outdoors: A University of Michigan study found they pump up feelings of vitality, even more so than walking down a busy urban street.

YOUR DESK IS A CLUTTER-ZONE.


If the piles on your desk are overtaking your office, you could be living in an energy-zapping zone. When clutter starts to creep in, it can make your brain overwhelmed, distracted and unable to focus, say researchers at Princeton's University Neuroscience Institute. Hello, three o'clock slump. How to keep clutter under control? Try pairing your to-do list with five minutes of clearing, whether it's your workspace or your pantry.

YOU EAT TOO MANY—OR TOO FEW—BANANAS.


Or pumpkin seeds, halibut, Brazil nuts, tuna, and green beans. That's thanks to those foods' high magnesium content, a mineral that's crucial to energy levels. Too little and you'll struggle with both physical and mental fatigue (magnesium can be depleted by alcohol, birth control pills, and exercise); too much and it can have a muscle-relaxing effect. See your doctor to get your levels checked.

YOU'RE CUTTING CARBS.


Low-carb diets might be popular, but they won't do any favors for your energy levels. Your body and brain need carbs—the right kind—for fuel, according to a study in the journal of the American Dietetic Association. It found low-carb dieters experienced greater fatigue and less motivation to work out than healthy eaters who included carbs in their diet. But think naturally occurring carbs, like sweet potatoes, whole grains, and fruit, rather than processed foods like cereal and bread.

YOU'RE SURROUNDED BY COOL COLORS.


Warm colors, such as red, yellow, and orange, are more energizing than their cool counterparts and can help you bust through fatigue. That's because, according to research at the Eiseman Center for Color Information & Training, they're attention grabbing—which activates our brain circuitry. Your best bet for a dreary day's attire, then? "Orange," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. "It's a blend of red, which is adrenaline producing in the viewer, and yellow, which reminds us of the sun and feelings of exuberance."

YOU'RE FULL OF REGRETS.


Still torturing yourself over that fight with your sister or your benign blunder at the office last week? It's understandable, but when you beat yourself up over the past, you're sucking your energy dry too. "Regret is experienced as a major loss, causing us to shut down psychologically and physically," says Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, PhD, chair of the department of psychology at Yale University. "That leads to fatigue and a loss of motivation—in other words, feeling drained." Feelings of remorse can also cause your blood pressure to go up, and that translates into a bona fide loss of steam.

YOU DON'T TALK YOURSELF UP.


Who hasn't had a day when it feels like you can't do anything right? Luckily, remembering what you did well is the perfect antidote to negativity and fatigue. This past fall, researchers at the University of California, Riverside, asked Japanese office workers to write down three good things that happened to them at work each week. They also asked others simply to write down tasks they'd performed. "We found that the people who had recorded feel-good achievements moved more," says professor Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, author of The How of Happiness. "There's a logic to this: We know that thinking about things you're proud of can induce a positive mood and that a positive mood is associated with more energy."

YOU SLEEP IN A BAD POSITION.


Sore back ruining your entire day? It may be from sleeping on your side all night, which can create significant flexion at the hip, says Benjamin Domb, MD, founder of the American Hip Institute. If you're one of the 57% of Americans who slumber in this position, it's a good idea to sleep with a pillow between your legs to maintain proper hip alignment. "Hip injuries are some of the most common, yet trickiest, sleep injuries because the pain from the injury often shows itself in a different part of the body—like in the lower back," says Domb.

Moody Wisdom: You need to maintain a natural, neutral position while you sleep...which can be tough while sleeping on your side. Train your body to sleep on your back (your lower back will thank you). Dealing with back pain? Check out End Your Lower Back Pain Today.

YOUR PILLOW SUCKS.


That huge fluffy pillow may seem like luxury, but it can cause massive pain. "Sleeping with your head propped up pulls your spine out of alignment—it's like walking around for 8 hours during the day with your neck tilted down," explains Shawn Stevenson, BS, FDN, founder of the Advance Integrative Health Alliance and author of the 2016 book Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to a Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success. Use a pillow that's soft but has a supportive foam core, like the Intelli-Gel pillow.

YOU GRIND YOUR TEETH AT NIGHT.


If you wake up with a headache, it's most likely because you've been clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth overnight, says Kathy Gruver, PhD, a massage therapist in Santa Monica, CA. Research shows that massage can help with symptoms, so apply some gentle pressure and/or a warm, damp cloth to the jaw area right before you go to sleep and as soon as you wake up in the AM to help break the cycle. Also consider seeing your dentist for a mouth guard, which keeps your teeth from grinding down.

What other reasons do you think are causing your sleepiness?

Are you having trouble attaining any level of weight loss success? Check out the list of tips and tricks in my post The 68 Best Ways to Lose Body Fat and More.

Picture Credit: tenetnews.com-Is coffee making you more sleepy?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " 49 Reasons You're Always Tired " on MSN.com.
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