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"How to Deal With All the Negativity on the News" Review

If you've been stressed or down on yourself, it may be time for a personal check-in. The negativity that surrounds you may be seeping into your unconscious. Check out Kate Cummins' suggestions for how to deal with this overbearing challenge (from the article How to Deal With All the Negativity on the News).

1. Check Your Emotions Regularly

News stations purposely engage you through emotional content. For them it’s just business. But unfortunately, negative news has the ability to keep you engaged without fully realizing how the information makes you feel.

So observe your news-watching habits. As you view local stations, do you pay attention to the way you connect to the information? Do you ever flip through channels and stop to watch a story that you never expected to be interested in seeing? Some content makes your heart race, holds your attention and keeps you engaged in the story, while other content fills you with anger or sorrow.

Then observe how your body reacts to the news you’re watching. Do you feel your heart racing? Do you feel your stomach twist with nerves or feel the weight of sadness coming over you? These bodily symptoms are connected with negative emotions, and they are called somatic symptoms. They engage your sympathetic nervous system (the part of your body that runs in attack mode) and can mimic anxiety.

So the next time you’re watching the nightly news or scrolling through stories on your go-to news site, check your body and feelings. If the information is making you stressed, turn it off. Get away. Detach. Knowing your limit of information flow will help decrease your connection to unhealthy emotions and keep you in control of your mental health.

2. Change Your Environment

Do you pay attention to where you get your news? Do you watch the morning edition while getting ready for work? Tune in at night while making dinner for your family? Or do you do one last check of Facebook/Twitter before you go to bed?

Negative information has the ability to wrangle its way into your long-term memories and means you’re likely to connect negative emotions to the place where you view the sad stories. Paying attention to where you watch news and limiting the environment can help you stay positive.

Think about it this way: Would you invite someone to sit on your couch if he or she told horrific stories the entire time? Probably not. As human beings, we need a place to detach from the world.

You work hard to create a peaceful living space and to make your house a home. Try to only watch the news on the bus, in your office or some other neutral location. Or bring your computer to a coffee shop and limit your news searching to certain spaces, so you can be free of negativity in your own space.

3. Talk About What You See, and Let It Go

It may seem counterintuitive to talk about the sad or horrifying stories you see on the news, but it can actually help you put them out of your mind. Do you have someone you feel safe talking about tragedy with? It’s important to engage in conversation with people you trust. Getting emotional information out in the open can release it from becoming internalized worry and concern.

There are also many community resources that you can use to discuss concerns and take action. For example, social-media groups and meetup events in the community are geared toward specific audiences. You can find like-minded people in these groups that may help you discuss the world around you.

Always make sure you have someone available to lend you an ear about negative information. If you can, find someone who will help encourage you out of the depression and anxiety that can arise from sad stories.

4. Be Aware of What Others Around You Are Saying

Social media has become a main source of connection in our world. However, it can also be a place of negative content. Do you find yourself cringing when a specific person’s posts pop up? Do your friends post a lot of negative information? If you’re surrounding yourself with people posting stories that are bringing you down, it may feel almost impossible to find positivity in life.

Sometimes the best remedy is disconnecting from social media. Don’t feel bad for unfollowing pessimistic people. Your social network, via online or in person, has to be a source of encouragement. Find stories that make you feel good. Most news sources have positive highlight stories in certain sections of their websites. Search for hero stories and you’ll find yourself in a better place emotionally.

5. Go Do Something to Change Your Tune

One of the biggest problem with disheartening news stories is that most of the time it seems like there’s nothing one person can do to change it. And that can make you feel like things are out of your control.

The best way to combat internal sadness is to do something good in your community. Turn off the television, get online and find an organization that compels you to get involved. Buy a meal for someone in need. Volunteer at a place that could use your help.

Behavioral activation increases your feelings of hope. And hopelessness is directly linked to depression. If you’re able to increase your ability to change something small in your environment, you will increase feelings of hopefulness. The world needs you to do great things. Go volunteer with your family or friends and get moving!

How do you deal with negativity? This topic is definitely worth reflection. You may also want to read "99 Ways to Redefine Yourself Today" for more life-changing inspiration.

Picture Credit: Livestrong.com-How do you think the "news" is really making you feel about yourself and the world?

More to Read:
Are you having trouble losing weight? Read "The 50 Best Weight-Loss Tips From 2015 " Review. This list helped my personal training clients in 2015 and will help you today.

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " How to Deal With All the Negativity on the News " on Livestrong.com.
"How to Deal With All the Negativity on the News" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.
Transform your life with Michael's  self-help book   Redefine Yourself here !

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


"Do These 10 Things in Your Kitchen to Lose Weight" Review

It's the start of the week and you're ready to jump back on the weight loss bandwagon. Your first focus should be your kitchen. Take a look at this quick list and adapt your cooking space for success (from the recent msn.com article "Do These 10 Things in Your Kitchen to Lose Weight")!


Wash, cut up, and store produce such as grapes, melon, kiwi, strawberries, carrots, peppers, and celery in reusable containers in the fridge so they're easy to grab. Make sure they're right up front at eye level so they're the first thing you see when you open the fridge door.

Moody Wisdom: Be careful choosing "healthy" foods...some options aren't what they claim. Check out the article "4 Foods That Sound Healthy But Really Aren't" for everyday examples.


Having a salad before dinner is a great way to fill you up so you eat less of the main course, but preparing a salad every night takes so much time that it's tempting to skip out. Ensure you get a bowl of greens every night by making an enormous bowl of salad at the beginning of the week. You're sure to eat a salad with dinner if it's already made -- just scoop out a bowl, top with vinaigrette, and enjoy.

Moody Wisdom: Salad greens aren't enough. Be sure to add a heaping amount of vegetables with substance like bell peppers, tomatoes, black beans, and more. You may want to read Why Salad Is So Overrated too.


Measuring your food will keep portions in check since overestimating serving sizes is a huge reason people don't lose weight. Seeing measuring spoons and cups on your kitchen counter will be a visual reminder not to forget to use them.


You know what happens when you eat chips or crackers out of the box -- you practically end up polishing off the entire package! Take your favorite healthy snacks such as mixed nuts, popcorn, cheese, and fresh fruit, grab some Ziploc baggies, and make some 100-calorie or 150-calorie snack packs you can keep in your cupboard or in a snack box in your fridge.


Buy larger bags of fruits and veggies at the store and wash, cut, and store them in baggies in the freezer. You'll not only save money when you buy in bulk, but you'll also have them on hand to add to your smoothies, yogurt, pasta dishes, soups, and omelets. You can also puree veggies and freeze cubes to add to soups, tomato sauce, mashed potatoes, dips, and smoothies.


If you're in a rush in the morning, prep these fruit and veggie smoothie bags and keep them in the freezer. Just empty the contents in the blender, add the extras labeled on the bag, and you'll have a low-cal, fiber- and protein-packed breakfast that'll keep you full all morning long.


Your spouse and kids might be fans of an occasional can of soda, bowl of cookie dough ice cream, or Hershey's Kiss, but if those foods are within your reach, you're bound to crave them. Throw out or give away the junk, because if it's not in your kitchen, you can't be tempted to eat it.

Moody Wisdom: Add diet soda to this list. Can't fight it? Here are 4 Ways to Beat Your Diet Soda Addiction in One Week.


When we prepare a plate of food, we feel the need to fill it up completely. If you start out with a smaller-sized salad plate, there's only so much you can pile on, so you'll end up consuming fewer calories.


Whether you're making soup, roasted veggies, homemade veggie burgers, or something else for dinner, don't just make enough for one meal. Package the leftovers in containers you can easily grab for the next few days' meals. If your lunch or dinner is already prepared, you won't have to resort to unhealthy takeout.


After you've cooked up an amazing vegan mac and cheese, serve yourself an appropriate serving size and then wrap it up and put leftovers in the fridge. If you leave it out, you're more likely to go back for unnecessary seconds or thirds. Out of sight means off your hips.

What other tricks will help you lose weight? Check out the list The 68 Best Ways to Lose Body Fat and More to find the most efficient ways while you meet with a Chicago personal trainer or try on your own.

Picture Credit: MSN.com - What can you pre-pack to help you lose weight?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "Do These 10 Things in Your Kitchen to Lose Weight" on www.msn.com.
"Do These 10 Things in Your Kitchen to Lose Weight" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

"What's Really Inside McDonald's Chicken McNuggets?" Review

Are McDonald's Chicken McNuggets the real chicken that they claim? You may be suspicious but probably don't know the true makeup of this cheap go-to. Without a doubt, you may want to rethink chicken as the health alternative on your next fast food trip (especially if you're trying to lose weight). Your Chicago personal trainer will thank you. Check out this recent article from www.livestrong.com to learn the real truth.


McDonald's started out as a beefy burger joint back in 1948, but the world-famous fast-food chain has been offering another high-protein meat – chicken – since the specially molded McNugget made its debut in 1983.

Perhaps now as iconic as the Big Mac or Quarter Pounder, these tiny deep-fried chunks seem harmless on the surface. And over the years, McDonald's has added dipping sauces that make these bite-sized bits appealing to the taste of just about anyone – adults and kids alike.

White meat from poultry has less saturated fat than red meat. While that might appear to be a healthy advantage, the other ingredients McDonald's adds make its nutritional value questionable. If you're not too squeamish or too chicken to hear all the details, read on to get some nuggets of truth about these little golden treats.

THE SUSPECT: McDonald's McNuggets (6-piece serving size, 3.4 oz)

THE DETECTIVE: Christopher Ochner, Ph.D.,a research associate at New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center. Ochner is very familiar with McDonald's menu. A few years ago, he conducted his own “Super Size Me”-type diet experiment: Every day for two months he ate one meal at the fast food restaurant as part of a study.


Without sauce: 280 calories, 18 grams fat, 18 grams carbs, 13 grams protein, 0 grams sugar, 540 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.

With barbeque sauce: 330 calories, 18 grams fat, 29 grams carbs, 13 grams protein, 10 grams sugar, 800 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber.


Chicken McNuggets: White Boneless Chicken, Water, Food Starch-Modified, Salt, Seasoning (Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Salt, Wheat Starch, Natural Flavoring [Botanical Source], Safflower Oil, Dextrose, Citric Acid), Sodium Phosphates, Natural Flavor (Botanical Source). Battered and Breaded with: Water, Enriched Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Yellow Corn Flour, Bleached Wheat Flour, Food Starch-Modified, Salt, Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Lactate), Spices, Wheat Starch, Dextrose, Corn Starch. Contains: Wheat.

*Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.

Tangy Barbeque Sauce: High-fructose corn syrup, water, tomato paste, grape vinegar, distilled vinegar, salt, soy sauce (water, wheat, soybeans, salt), food starch-modified, spices, dextrose, soybean oil, natural smoke flavor (plant source), xanthan gum, caramel color, garlic powder, cellulose gum, dried chili peppers, malic acid, natural flavor (fruit and vegetable source), onion powder, sodium benzoate (preservative), succinic acid. Allergens: Wheat and Soy.

How Much Actual Chicken Is in McDonald's McNuggets?

It's always good to see the actual food listed as the first ingredient —white boneless chicken.

“The first item on the nutrition label means the food contains more of that one item than any other single ingredient,” said Ochner. So while McNuggets are "made with 100 percent USDA Grade A chicken," as McDonalds.com states (note it says “made with” not “made of,” Ochner pointed out), there's no way of knowing what percentage of the whole nugget is actually chicken.

“White boneless chicken is almost a pure protein, boasting a phenomenal 0.2 protein (grams): kcal ratio with less than 20 percent fat,” explained Ochner. “McNuggets, on the other hand, have a very mediocre 0.046 protein:kcal ratio with 57 percent of kcal from fat. This seems to suggest that the other ingredients, besides chicken, are the primary driver of the macro-nutrient profile,” he said.

With over 30 ingredients listed, it's easy to see how chicken may actually play a minor role in this dish. It may also explain why the chicken seemed to disappear in an alarming YouTube time-lapse video shot in March 2013, showing McNuggets left at room temperature over a two-day period.

When Ochner performed this experiment himself (he left them in the fridge for 10 days), the so-called chicken in the McNuggets pieces remained intact. This disturbing mystery remains unsolved.

Did You Know That McNuggets Are 57 Percent Fat?

Holy cow, er, chicken: McNuggets are 57 percent fat!

One big fat contributor may be hydrogenated soybean oil, which is loaded with trans fats. “I don’t suspect there is a ton of it in there because the saturated fat is relatively low,” Ocher said. “However, some of it is almost certainly still partially hydrogenated, which also helps with preservation.”

What the Heck Is TBHQ (Tertiary Butylhydroquinone) and Why Is It In McNuggets?

You might recognize this hard-to-pronounce ingredient (hence the acronym) from our “What's Really Inside those McDonald's French Fries” exposé.

This powerful petroleum-based preservative (which is also found in varnishes, lacquers, pesticide products, cosmetics, and perfumes) may be used to help the chicken and other ingredients maintain their distinct shapes.

Eaten in high doses – and it's hard to determine exactly how much is added to McNuggets – this chemical can be toxic.

Possible side effects include nausea, delirium, collapse, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and vomiting. Some studies have linked it to hyperactivity in kids, asthma, rhinitis, dermatitis, aggravated ADHD symptoms and restlessness.

Furthermore, animal studies have reported that it may cause DNA damage. This mounting scientific evidence was enough that McDonald’s entirely removed this bad-news ingredient from the version of their McNuggets sold in the United Kingdom.

Oh America, can we please take a cue from the British on this one with regard to concern for our citizens’ health?

The British Won't Stand for Dimethylpolysiloxane, But Americans Eat It in Their McNuggets

Here's another ingredient the British won't stand for in their McNuggets: Dimethylpolysiloxane. But Americans are still eating it.

This silicone-based anti-foaming agent has been removed from the United Kingdom's McNugget ingredient list – and with good reason.

While McDonalds.com admits that “a drop of an additive in vegetable oil is added to simply prevent foaming on the surface that naturally occurs in cooking,” what it isn't telling you is that this same chemical is found in silly putty, contact lenses, medical devices, shampoos, lubricating oils, heat-resistant tiles and breast implants.

“No studies have suggested any toxic effects,” Ochner said, “but it's definitely gross to think about.”

Autolyzed Yeast Extract, a.k.a. MSG in Your McNuggets

This sneaky ingredient -- Autolyzed Yeast Extract in the McNuggets' seasoning -- contains monosodium glutamate (also known as MSG) which allows McDonald's to create the illusion that you're getting more protein with each bite than you actually are.

This cheap, flavor-enhancing filler is FDA-approved (even though approximately 15 percent of Americans have MSG sensitivity and suffer from headaches, nausea, and heart palpitations when they consume it).

That said, even if you’re not one of the people affected with MSG sensitivity, including MSG in the McNuggets recipe is still a devious way of cheating you the consumer out of real chicken (seriously, how much poultry is in those things?!), cutting corners on costs and avoiding listing the word “MSG” on the label.

Those McNuggets Contain Sodium Aluminum Phosphate Too

Key word here is “aluminum.” You know, the silvery metallic element you use to line your oven rack before baking or roasting?

Ochner explained that this ingredient is synthetically produced from aluminum as well as phosphoric acid and sodium hydroxide.

While this all sounds highly unappetizing, its function isn't to entice you but rather to act as a leavening agent that's often used in flour mixes, like the breaded part of the McNugget.

In terms of its safety, the FDA allows a daily aluminum intake that ranges from 10 to 100 mg, so as long as McDonald's stays within that range, it's within the legally acceptable limit.

The Final Verdict on McDonald's Chicken McNuggets

McNuggets are McNasty.

THE SENTENCE: Though they're supposedly made of good-for-you lean white meat chicken, McDonald's McNuggets are far from healthy and nutritious. So, if your options are all about deciding whether to nosh on a McNugget or not, your best bet is to fly the coop.

What other foods do you think aren't what they seem? Check out the list The 68 Best Ways to Lose Body Fat and More to see what other foods that you'll want to avoid while losing weight.

Picture Credit: www.livestrong.org - Are McDonald's Chicken McNuggets really what they seem?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "What's Really Inside McDonald's Chicken McNuggets?" on www.livestrong.com.
"What's Really Inside McDonald's Chicken McNuggets?" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

"30 Worst Vacation Habits for Your Waistline" Review

It's amazing how easy it is to gain weight or inches on your waistline while on vacation. While I don't think you should live perfectly on vacation, you should consider this list if you want to maintain your results (and not become another stat). I've chosen 22 of the worst habits commonly faced by my personal training clients from the article "30 Worst Vacation Habits for Your Waistline".


While complimentary WiFi and a flat-screen TV are nice, we're talking about the amenities that will help you maintain your body goals. Picking a hotel that has a fridge in your room will make it easier for you to stock up on healthy snacks like veggies, hummus, and fruit. No fridge? You can still load up on other options like apples, bananas, and nuts. Just as important as getting a room with a kitchen (and a view) is choosing a hotel that has a gym. While running outside or doing an ab routine in your hotel room will suffice, it's easier to stick to your daily routine with a gym—plus, having one won't give you another excuse to not work out.


Certain kinds of vacations—like road trips—make it harder than others to maintain a healthy diet or workout routine. While a road trip is a great opportunity to tour the country, the essence of the vacation is sitting stationary in a car all day. Besides lacking time for exercise, sitting in a car all day is a little boring, and when you're bored, you lose your ability to make smart food choices. According to a study in the Journal of Health Psychology, you become an " emotional eater " who can not only make the wrong food choices, but you can also eat more of those fattening foods than you normally would.


Whether you're on a cruise or staying at an all-inclusive resort, these packages typically include all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink options, which give you unlimited access to some unhealthy choices. The biggest mistakes people make at all-inclusive resorts are eating more often, eating multiple helpings, and eating dessert at every meal, because hey, it's free! If you want to make sure you can still fit into your skinny jeans by the end of the week, stick to three main meals a day, and incorporate a couple healthy snacks in-between meals—and no, a strawberry daiquiri doesn't count.


We've all been there: you've been up all night packing for your trip, and the thought of packing food for your 7 a.m. flight doesn't even cross your mind. When this happens, you're stuck eating airport and airplane food all day. Unfortunately for you, the average airline meal has 1,054 calories, and some snack boxes pack a higher caloric punch. It gets worse: Because the change in pressure at altitude numbs one-third of your tastebuds, and food has to be prepared 10 hours before it's eaten, those dishes are most likely packed with flavor enhancers and sodium-laden, belly-widening preservatives.


Surrounding yourself with good people isn't just beneficial for your sanity, it can also help keep you healthy on vacations! Your friends are so influential in your life that, according to research from the New England Journal of Medicine, when a friend becomes obese, it ups your chance of obesity by up to 57 percent. If your travel buddies are planning on just sunbathing at the beach all day, you're most likely going to do the same. Travel with friends who share your flat-belly lifestyle habits, whether it be going to the gym or staying in one night to cook a meal, or choosing exciting activities.


You bring your reusable water bottle with you everywhere, but you don't bring it on vacation? Drinking water is what many of us forget to do—even when we're surrounded by oceans and pools! Whether you spend the day touring, hiking, or lounging by the pool, if you're in the sun or being active, your body is steadily becoming dehydrated. That's because your body has to work hard to stay cool and because you're losing fluids and salts through sweating. When you're dehydrated, you're more likely to confuse thirst as hunger, leading you to overeat.


Yes, sunburn can lead to potentially lethal melanoma, but it also has an adverse effect on your waistline. When you turn into a lobster on your first day of vacation, you're likely to be out of commission for a few days. What happens when you can't expose yourself to the sun? You guessed it—you sit around in the cool air conditioning or under an umbrella. And good luck getting those tight-fitting spandex on over that burn. Wave good-bye to working out!


You found room to fit in seven different options for that one night you were planning to go out (along with shoes and the proper jewelry), but couldn't squeeze in shorts, a t-shirt, and sneakers? If you don't vacation with the tools to work out, you're most likely not going to work out. To add to the damage being done: According to experts, you may not lose all of your strength and endurance after a week off, but taking a break will cut down 50 percent of the improvements you made in the weeks prior.


Your job is already making you fat, you don't need to bring it on vacation with you. To keep up or get ahead, many people feel the need to continue to work on days off. In fact, a survey conducted for a car rental company indicated that 35 percent of millennials reported that they worked every day of their vacations, and other studies have shown that six out of 10 employees admitted to conducting some work on a recent vacation. Not only does this prevent you from being able to relax fully and destress—which means your cortisol levels will continue to trigger hunger and fat storage—but it's a huge time suck, leaving you less time to be with your family and enjoy your free time and planned activities.


Whether it be endless buffets or trying a bunch of new, foreign dishes, vacations often revolve around food. It's certainly tempting to try everything and never reject the food that is offered to you. But just because it's in front of your face (or free), doesn't mean you have to try everything. It might be a little taste here and there, but those calories can add up over the course of the day. It's fine to give into indulgences—in fact, it can help you lose weight —but you have to choose them wisely and plan accordingly.


A frozen margarita, pina colada, or strawberry daiquiri can add hundreds of calories and over 50 grams of sugar (the daily limit, according to the FDA) to your daily diet. Bad for your health, and your waistline. Sarah-Jane Bedwell, RD, LDN explains, "When simple sugar is consumed in excess, the sugar molecules combine with proteins in the body and form compounds that can damage the skin's collagen. This, in turn, has an aging effect." Drinks on the rocks are typically lower in calories than frozen blends, or you can go for a glass of wine, like celebrity personal trainer and author of Eat This, Not That! for Abs Mark Langowski.


Bottomless mimosas at breakfast, pina coladas by the pool, sangria at sunset, and martinis at midnight. A big part of vacations is kicking back and enjoying a few libations—you deserve it. But you don't want to be boozing from start-to-finish at every meal. Not only are you consuming empty calories, but the alcohol will dehydrate your body, leading to fatigue and mistaking thirst for hunger. The best way to tackle vacation is by making a plan for when you're going to drink alcoholic beverages and how many you will consume, and be sure to continue to drink water between alcoholic beverages.


One of the biggest reasons we choose to avoid working out on vacation? No time. Trying to squeeze in gym time when you have a packed vacation schedule can seem impossible. Plus, if you want to work out in the middle of the day, you either feel like you're interrupting other people's schedules or you feel left out if they're doing a fun activity. Make time to work out in the morning. Not only are morning exercisers most likely to stick with their fitness routine on the road, but this is also a way not to disrupt your travel buddies' schedules. Taking a walk before breakfast is an easy way to make time while on vacation.


Travel is already taxing on the body, but losing sleep is even more so. Typically, one of three things happens when you stay up late: You will either lose sleep if you try to maintain your sleep schedule, you end up sleeping in and missing your workout window, or you wind up so fatigued during the day that you won't have the energy to work out. Even worse, the later you stay up, the greater chance there is of you making poor decisions when it comes to ordering another drink or getting the late night munchies. Getting an adequate amount of sleep—around 7-8 hours a night—will help you feel rested, energized, and it can help keep your immune system strong so you can stay healthy on your trip.


Yes, your vacation may give you time to catch up on sleep, but sleeping in every day of your trip is one of the worst vacation habits for your waistline. According to a recent study, sleeping those extra hours can make it difficult to get rid of belly fat: people who woke up around 10:45 a.m. consumed 248 more calories a day, half as many fruits and vegetables and twice the amount fast food than those who set their alarm earlier. Besides gaining belly flab , you're also more likely to miss a workout if you sleep in.


Sure those carb-heavy, hotel continental breakfasts are certainly not very appealing—or healthy—but that doesn't mean you should skip breakfast entirely. After examining twenty years of data on dieters who lost more than 30 pounds and kept it off for more than a year, we found that more than two-thirds of dieters ate breakfast every day. There's no excuse not to get in a well-rounded breakfast on vacation.


Vacationing is a time to treat yourself. You worked hard for this time off, and you deserve to enjoy it! We all enjoy not having to cook for ourselves every night, but getting treated like that can lead to overindulging. One way to stave off the extra pounds is to eat smaller portions by sharing your restaurant meals with your family or friends. This way you still can experience all the flavors, but another fork in the mix will help keep fewer calories from being shoveled into your mouth.


Even though vacation is a time to relax, that doesn't mean your typical daily schedule should fly out the window. Researchers at Brown University have already shown that an erratic sleep schedule can sabotage a healthy diet and workout regimen enough to promote weight gain. Try to maintain as much of your normal nutrition and exercise routine as you can—if you always start your day with a fiber/protein punch and cardio, continue to do that. With all the unknowns in travel, it's understandable that things might come up one day, and that's ok. As long as you maintain your commitment to prioritizing healthy foods and exercise, it doesn't matter so much how you do it as it does that you continue to do it.


Most people spend a decent amount of time and effort researching and planning their trip, but many drop the ball on where they plan on going out to dinner. When you pick a restaurant just based on a flyer or ease of accessibility, you might be left sitting down to a fried chicken dinner. Not only should you research restaurants and make an eating-out plan ahead of time, but also take a look at the restaurants' menus online so you can see if they have options that fit into your diet.


Nothing beats sitting down to a sunset dinner and seeing the tabletop candles slowly dwindle down to a wick in their glass jars as the conversation continues to flow through the night. Vacations are a great time to reconnect with a spouse, family, and friends, but make this a priority in places besides a dinner table. When you linger at a dinner table longer, you're more likely to continue to pick at your food, even after you've had your fill.


So you decided to go on a non-fitness-related vacation. Fine by us! But just because you aren't on a mountain biking tour or hitting the slopes doesn't mean your vacation should lack adventure—especially if your hotel doesn't come equipped with a gym. Go sight running, scuba diving, play golf, play basketball, swim, kayak, ride bikes, walk along the beach, go sledding, rock climbing. Planning something for you and your family to do will give everyone a chance to be active, bond over a joint activity, and most will allow you to explore the area—lounging poolside won't.


There's a reason the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts' motto is "Be Prepared." Say you're shopping in town and end up running into a local who tells you about this great landmark a mile down the road. If you threw on a pair of flip flops when you ran out the door, odds are you're not going to take his advice and mosey over there spontaneously. Immediately you've lost the opportunity to get in an extra two-mile walk. And if you do end up going—and get blisters—you could be out of commission for a day or so. If you're leaving the hotel to walk around, make sure you're wearing comfortable shoes.

What other bad habits affect your waistline on vacation?

Picture Credit: www.MSN.com - My personal training clients are always looking for ways to enjoy the best of life and to lose weight. Is sharing their dinner plates on vacation the weight loss answer ?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "30 Worst Vacation Habits for Your Waistline" on MSN.com
"30 Worst Vacation Habits for Your Waistline" Review
Learn how to lose weight from a personal trainer in Chicago.

"Is the Food You're Eating Aging You?" Review

While death and taxes are inevitable, is there a way to slow down aging? The most likely answer is "no". Nevertheless, we can take steps to avoid speeding up the process. Dr. Shawn Talbott, author of Best Future You: Harnessing Your Body’s Biochemistry to Achieve Balance in Body, Mind, and Spirit, will tell you that the first step is looking at what's in front of you: Your plate. You should be interested in what he has to say below - you might just learn how that cupcake is subtracting years off your face and life (from LIVESTRONG.com article "Is the Food You're Eating Aging You?").

You’ve probably heard the saying that “you are what you eat.” But have you ever considered that you may also be “as old as what you eat?”

The Biochemistry of Aging

I’ve written about different aspects of metabolism and biochemistry that can become unbalanced and lead to ill health, weight gain, poor performance and even faster aging at the cellular level. I refer to each of these four major aspects of cellular biochemistry as “pillars” of health: oxidation, inflammation, glycation and allostation. Any imbalances in any of these pillars can lead to more cellular stress, tissue dysfunction and accelerated aging.

Scientists and doctors agree that excessive inflammation can lead to accelerated tissue damage and breakdown, so it makes sense to control inflammation to reduce cellular stress and promote overall health.

But if you look deeper to find the causes of inflammation, you quickly see other factors that you can control. Because oxidation caused by free radicals leads to inflammation at the cellular level, why not also control oxidation as another “trigger” of cellular stress?

Great idea — but why not look even farther up the chain of events to see if you can control or modulate the causes of oxidation? Doing this shows that cell damage caused by overexposure to certain sugars (glycation) can lead to oxidation, which can lead to inflammation.

When you look even higher up the stream you see that an imbalance in stress hormones like cortisol, and the resulting inability to adapt to and recover from stress (allostation) can lead to glycation, which can lead to oxidation, which in turn leads to inflammation.

How Foods Age You

The term “AGEs” refers to advanced glycation end-products that cause cells to lose functionality and basically “age” faster. AGEs accumulate very quickly in response to three processes:

Direct Glycation: This can occur whenever your blood sugar is too high for too long (eating the wrong foods, too many refined carbs, etc.).

Inflammation: This can be exacerbated by an imbalance between inflammatory fatty acids (like omega-6) and anti-inflammatory fatty acids (like omega-3). Having too many omega-6s in your diet can lead to an overproduction of inflammatory compounds that can lead to faster cellular aging and dysfunction.

Stress: This can include mental/emotional issues, overexercise or sleep deprivation. All of these stressors lead to a chronic overexposure to cortisol, a primary stress hormone that can interfere with normal control of both blood sugar and inflammation. Too much cortisol sort of “short circuits” your attempts to control glucose and inflammatory compounds. The bottom line is that aging happens faster when you’re stressed and eating highly processed foods, which are high in sugar and omega-6 fatty acids.

Top Food Swaps

Avoid partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs)

These oils can promote inflammation. While the FDA has banned the use of unhealthy trans fats, small amounts of PHOs can still be lurking in your foods, so check labels and read ingredient lists to see if “partially hydrogenated oil” might be lurking in your favorite foods. Some of the most common offenders include coffee creamer, cookies, frozen pizza, microwave popcorn and stick margarine.

Switch to palm oil.

Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil is a tropical oil that is more saturated compared to PHOs, but it has a much healthier metabolic profile. This makes palm oil a much less inflammatory choice for many foods and one that many food companies are moving toward as a replacement for trans fats. In cooking, try using red Malaysian palm oil, which gets its red color from a higher level of healthy antioxidants, such as vitamins A and E, carotenoids and flavonoids.

Avoid high-sugar foods and foods with a high glycemic index.

These include sodas and energy drinks, white bread, chips and sweetened cereal. The glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) refer to how foods affect blood sugar and insulin. The lower a food’s glycemic index or glycemic load, the less it affects blood sugar and insulin levels and the more effective it may be in controlling appetite and body weight.

Refined carbs are really just different forms of simple sugars in disguise, and starchy carbs turn into sugar the minute they hit the bloodstream. The result is a blood sugar spike, often followed by a crash, with the endgame being a higher risk for diabetes, metabolic syndrome and weight gain. In addition, crashing and spiking blood sugar, wreaks hormonal havoc, promotes inflammation and drives unhealthy food cravings.

Excess sugar ages you in many ways. It can slow your body’s repair mechanism, causes wrinkles to happen faster and may even lead to age-related complaints like memory loss. Instead, if you need to satisfy a temporary sweet tooth, look for foods made with less heavily processed natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. And be sure that the sugar is combined with some fat and protein to lessen the rise in blood sugar.

Switch to foods that are less processed and foods that have a lower GI/GL.

Eat more whole-food carbs with lower GI/GL, such as vegetables and legumes. Cut back on the sugar you use in recipes at home, and try adding less sugar to your coffee, tea and other drinks you consume frequently.

On their own, sugar substitutes like honey, brown-rice syrup, agave nectar and others aren’t really that much better than plain white sugar. The biggest difference is that foods sweetened with alternative forms of sugar also tend to be less refined in general — perhaps containing higher protein content — and that can often be an important benefit for reducing sugar load.

Overall, focus on food as an entire package and not just on whether it contains a refined carb or not (e.g., even a “bad” refined carb like white bread can be considered “nonlethal” if you eat it with peanut butter).

Avoid going too long between meals.

When your stomach is empty, its secretion of ghrelin, also called the “hunger hormone,” doubles. When the stomach is full, secretion of ghrelin slows and its hormonal opposite, leptin, signals that the body is satiated, so you feel full. But it can take 20 minutes for this process to occur.

During this time, it’s easy to overeat, especially when you’re starving and your brain is screaming at you to eat sugar. When you gorge on sugar and refined carbs you eat more, your blood sugar spikes higher and your body stores even more calories for later because it’s in feast-or-famine mode. Significantly, frequent blood sugar spikes are linked to insulin resistance, a precursor to Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and to body-wide inflammation.

Switch to planning your meals.

Make sure you eat throughout the day so you’re getting a balanced blend of smart carbs, lean protein and healthy fats on a consistent basis every few hours. This approach keeps your metabolism balanced so your appetite, energy, mental focus and fat-burning machinery are functioning at top capacity.

Dr. Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACSM, FAIS, FACN, is a nutritional biochemist and exercise physiologist and the author of more than a dozen books on nutrition and health. His most recent book is Best Future You: Harnessing Your Body’s Biochemistry to Achieve Balance in Body, Mind, and Spirit.

What are you willing to change in your diet to slow down the aging process? My personal training clients and I have read Dr. Fuhrman's book Eat to Live and maybe you should it add it to your list too.

Picture Credit: Photo Credit Brent Hofacker/AdobeStock/LIVESTRONG.COM - As a Chicago personal trainer, I always help my clients redefine their diets to lose weight (especially by cutting out cupcakes :)). Perhaps, the aging properties of food should be our focus instead.

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article "Is the Food You're Eating Aging You?" on LIVESTRONG.com
"Is the Food You're Eating Aging You?" Review
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