Tried All Ways To Lose Weight? Did You Miss Out On Sleep?

Are you trying all sorts of things to lose weight and have overlooked one factor, i.e sleep?

This can be one big reason why your efforts are not giving you expected results when it comes to weight loss. It seems to be a common problem with people who juggle career and fitness and make sure they don’t miss out on the gym or yoga or may be just plain running in the morning. In the strong motive of trying to lose some weight it may happen that you actually are not paying enough attention to your sleep and this might in turn result in weight gain instead of weight loss or you may not all see any improvement in weight loss as you had expected it to be despite putting a lot of efforts. This can be dangerous as it may de-motivate you and make you go off track from your weight loss plan.

Cutting down on your sleep is not going to help at all as some studies have pointed out that sleep and weight loss indeed has some connection. People who don’t work out at all but still don’t sleep for the required 7 to 8 hours daily are at a greater risk of getting obese. Now, come on, you cannot sleep all day long to lose weight, which would be the height of laziness, due to which you are gaining fat and nothing else.

Have you experienced a sudden rise in appetite which made you go for a quick fix, like a burger or a pizza? Or have you not been able catch up on sleep and feel hungry instead which made you go for anything appealing in your fridge or some nice creamy biscuits. You probably must experience this often if you don’t give your body a healthy amount of sleep. Well your hormones can pretty much mess up your efforts to lose weight. It’s best to understand how they work so that you can optimize your weight loss training to lose excess weight quickly.

Hormones that make you feel hungry and fuller

Hormones Leptin and Ghrelin are the ones which suppress and stimulates your appetite. Leptin is produced by the body’s fat cells and tells your body when to stop feeling hungry. Ghrelin on the other hand is produced by your stomach which stimulates your appetite and makes you eat, eat and eat (yeah,this one is the main culprit). But Ghrelin is important as you got to eat after all. But why do these hormones play crazy which makes you feel more hungrier than full?

These hormones are very much dependent on your sleep patterns. Lack of sleep will lower the levels of leptin (you may not feel fuller) and increases the levels of ghrelin, which will make you feel hungry all the time. Yeah, now you know why you eat like crazy sometimes.

So this is supposed to be a no brianer, get enough sleep so that your body produces enough leptin which will make you feel less hungry and help you in losing weight fast.

I read this interesting line somewhere, ‘Sleep is like a credit card debt, if you keep accumulating this debt, you will have to pay high interest rates or your account will be shut down until you pay it all off. If you accumulate too much sleep debt, your body will crash.’

 Hormones that make you grow

When you sleep your body gets into a maintenance mode. As you sleep, the pituitary glands secretes growth hormones. These hormones help in cell generation and growth and play an important role in building your muscles. If you have been weight training, your muscles breakdown while you work out. A good amount of sleep will help in building your muscles. More the muscles in your body more will be your body metabolism. More the metabolism, more the calories you will be able to burn, which will aid you in weight loss.

Cortisol effect

It’s important that you maintain low levels of cortisol in your body. High levels of cortisol will slow down your metabolism. Lack of sleep raises cortisol levels in blood and this can get really bad as it stimulates the breakdown of protein into glucose and if you have more glucose in your body then it will get stored as fat. So cortisol basically will not help you make muscle mass but will make you gain weight. A good amount of sleep will ensure that your cortisol levels stay really low.

Exercise smart

Exercising regularly not only helps you in staying fit but tires your body well and helps in inducing sleep. Your body heals and recharges well when your sleep well and this in turn helps you workout at your optimum energy levels the next day. When you don’t sleep well, you very well know how dull you feel the next day, which pretty much doesn’t allow you to anything.

Sleep is a crucial for you to lose weight fast and maintaining a good overall health for your body. A good amount of sleep can make you feel less hungrier and also will make you eat only how much exactly is required for your body. Make sure that your body gets a good 8 hours of sleep for you to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Benefits Of Peach Fruit For Your Skin

Peach is usually not a favorite for many but it has some great benefits for a healthy skin. Well yes there are many fruits which do a lot of good things to your skin, but when it comes to rainy season you should definitely not miss out on the peach fruit and its benefits.

Peach has a great aroma and its juicy too. It is power packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other chemical components which are a real blessing for your skin. No wonder you will find peach extracts in many skin care cosmetic products.

The cosmetic products come with other chemicals as well which may not suit your skin and you will remain devoid of the benefits that peach has to offer. Why not to use peach in its natural form and give your skin a healthy treat. Here is what peach can do for you..

Take Care Of Dry Skin Problems

With its great aroma, peaches are one of the few fruits that you will love applying to your skin. Peel off the skin of the fruit and mix the pulp with some yogurt to make a paste. Applying this paste to your face will moisturize your skin and will give it a soft and supple feel. Take a peach, cut open the skin from one side and apply the juice on your face and leave it on for a couple of minutes. This will make your skin glow, make sure you do it on a pre-washed face.

Helps To Heal Your Skin

Peaches are good source of proteins and helps in tissue repair and tissue regeneration. They can help your skin heal faster from cuts and helps to maintain a supple feel to your skin. Consumption of peaches also helps to improve your overall immune system and helps your skin to keep away from infections.

Helps To Reduce Wrinkles

Peach contains certain nutrients which are good tightening agents which help in reducing wrinkles from your skin. Yeah, now you know why they are used in so many face masks, peel offs and anti-ageing creams. It also helps to tighten the skin pores and gives your skin a refreshing look. Peach contains a lot of Vitamin C will help you to get rid of dark circles and spots.

Protection From UV Rays

Peaches contain a load of nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, beta carotene, magnesium, potassium and selenium which helps protect the skin from harmful effects of ultra violet rays. Peel off the skin and apply it on your face for getting a good cleansing.

Goodness Of Antioxidants

Peaches contain antioxidant components which help in getting rid of oxygen free radicals. Your skin hates these radicals as they can create some problems like psoriasis and eczema, so it’s important that you get rid of them by regular antioxidant consumption.

Apart from the benefits to the skin, peaches have many other benefits as well.

  • Peaches are very good for your eyes as they contain beta carotene which helps to improve your vision
  • Peaches contain a high amount of fiber and potassium which reduces kidney related diseases and reduces the risk of ulcers
  • Helps in weight management as they contain a lot of fiber but are very low on calories and have no fat
  • Lycopene and lutein in peach helps to prevent cancer and reduces risk of heart diseases

Sometimes it’s really difficult to make children eat peaches and many of us too are not really fond of it. But peaches can help you make some very fine unusual culinary treats. Click here to know some great recipes for some great peach flavored foods.

Peach is a real wonder fruit provided by mother nature. Make the most of it now as the markets will by flooded by them during the rainy season and make the most of the benefits provided by the peach fruit for your skin.

Photo Credits: Old Shoe Woman

Health Benefits Of Walnuts Can Make You Live Longer

The health benefits offered by walnuts are so great that they could actually help in making you live longer. Walnut has been a devoured nut since long and it’s use in various culinary treats in not uncommon. Walnuts added to cereals or muesli for breakfast is the best thing that you can do to your body and it maximizes the pleasure or the feeling of that spoonful of breakfast that you load in your mouth.

Due to the tremendous health benefits that are offered by walnuts they always have been a favorite food among researchers for study. Such a study was conducted at the Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona, Spain on 7000 people aged over 55 years and it was published in the journal BMC Medicine.

Researchers in the study found that walnuts cut down the risk of dying from heart diseases by 55 per cent and from cancer by 40 per cent. Overall walnut eaters had 45 percent lower mortality risk.

Walnuts are wonderful for your heart as they contain unsaturated fat, minerals and other nutrients. Whenever you think of having a light snack like biscuits or wafers or chocolates, you should instead go for walnuts as they will fare far better on health scale. Having a handful of walnuts minimum two to three times in a week will help in making you live longer.

Health Benefits Of Walnuts

Now that we know how walnuts can make us live longer, let’s have a look at what these nuts actually contain due to which they have so many health benefits to offer.

  • The most important thing that the walnuts contain is Omega 3 fatty acids like linoleic acid, alpha – linolenic acid and arachidonic acids. These are very important nutrients which help to increase the HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and reduce the overall cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). The omega 3 fatty acids in the walnuts help your heart to maintain a healthy state by promoting HDL cholesterol, no wonder how the study mentioned above got such results.
  • The next important thing that the walnuts have are the antioxidants. Antioxidant is very important in getting rid of free radicals which only does bad things to your body. Walnuts contain melatonin, vitamin E, carotenoids and poly phenolic compounds. The compounds have antioxidant properties which protects from cancer, ageing, inflammation and neurological disorders.
  • The omega 3 fatty acids and the antioxidants in walnuts take care of a lot of bad stuff like blood pressure problems, heart diseases, strokes, breast cancer, colon and prostate cancer.
  • Walnuts are also a rich source of vitamin E, which your skin loves as it is an antioxidant which protects the skin from the harmful oxygen-free radicals. Vitamin E will also help in giving a boost to your sex life.
  • Walnuts also contain lots of minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc and selenium. These minerals are very important for may metabolic activities in your body. Although most of them are required in small amounts, but their deficiency will cost you certain dysfunctions. Like zinc is important for production of certain enzymes which are used for body growth and development, digestion and sperm generation.
  • Walnuts are also loaded with B vitamins like niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and folate.
  • Walnuts are really good if you are experiencing hair loss problems. The omega 3 fatty acids are very important nutrients for the hair follicles and maintaining hair in a healthy state. Walnuts can also take care of certain other deficiencies that your body is probably experiencing due to which you may be experiencing the hair loss. Omega 3 fatty acids also help in reducing dihydrotestosterone due to which many men lose hair due to male pattern baldness.
  • Walnuts are also important for the brain as the omega 3’s in them keep the brain cells healthy and makes you feel mentally alert. If you are feeling grumpy in the morning after you wake up then have walnuts with your breakfast or you can have them with milk after you wake up.

Omega 3 Chart

As per the USDA national nutrient database for standard references, among all other nuts, walnuts are the one which contain pretty high alpha-linolenic acid (type of omega 3’s). Alpha -linolenic acid helps a lot to prevent and treat the diseases of the heart and blood vessels. They help to prevent heart attacks, reverse the thickening of the blood vessels (atherosclerosis) and lowers cholesterol and high blood pressure. Alpha-linolenic acid also helps to prevent the disorders of the skin,like psoriasis and eczema.

There can be lot more to it as these nuts are loaded with so many wonder nutrients that one who has them may definitely live a longer life. A lot of matter regarding walnuts are still under study.

Including walnuts in your diet can do wonders for you. Instead of going for biscuits or chocolate bars go for walnuts as they will help in weight management as well. Keep a jar of walnuts always on your dining table so that children can have them any time they want.

If you don’t have walnuts at home at all (please don’t kid me) get some finest quality walnuts by clicking here.

The health benefits that walnuts have to offer are tremendous and one can definitely improve his/her quality of life and live longer by having a handful of them at least thrice in a week.

Photo Credits: Ioan Sameli

Why Healthy Diet Is The Key To Happiness

Why Healthy Diet Is The Key To HappinessOn my quest to finding out how can a healthy diet make a person feel really good and happy. I came across this great picture which says it all. Hats off to the artist who created this picture.

It shows the comparison of the thought process of a healthy and an obese guy who pretty much say it all through their body language.

Notice the triangles on these guys. The happy guy has his triangle facing downward which indicate broad shoulders and a narrow waist and the not so happy guy has his triangle pointing his head thus indicating his broader waist than his shoulders.

The colours represent the thoughts and actions of these guys and what they actually mean is given at the bottom of the picture. The happy guy has got a lot of green on him, whereas the not so happy guy has very little green on him.

Our thoughts,actions and the diet we have exhibit the kind of person we are and you and only you can bring about a change if you are not feeling really happy all the time.

I don’t know what kind of person you are, but by looking at this picture you very well know in which frame do you fit. If you are in the not so happy frame then just flip the triangle and start turning things around for good.

Healthy Food For Kids – Raisins

Raisins should be the word for you if you are a mother a kid who doesn’t seem to control his appetite and always seems to have room for some more. Childhood obesity is on the rise and what healthy foods should be given to such children should be considered very well. It not an odd sight these days to see some kids going for a couple of hamburgers and fires along with cola. Such eating habits only leads to health complications in children in their later years.

Well a lot of studies have been going on these days to understand the modern-day eating habits of these younger lot and what healthy foods can be the best alternative for them. Raisins have been an interesting food item for study as it has got a lot of benefits to offer as a healthy food for kids.

Why Raisins?

Raisins are one of the best foods, especially for children. Raisins are available in various sizes but each one is packed with a lot of nutrients. Let us see what benefits they have to offer..

  • Well the most important of them all is that, these raisins contain natural sugars which are simple to be broken down and don’t pile up on calories. Give a bowl of those to toddlers and they will have them all day long because of its sweet taste.
  • Raisins are really low on fat
  • They have a pretty good fiber content
  • They are a good source of iron and potassium, your kid will always need that for sure

Raisins should be made a part of the daily diet for children as it can alone take care of lot of problems your kid may be facing.

If you kid cannot seem to control his appetite and keeps on munching on food then raisins can work wonders in this case. In a study, some 26 eight to eleven year old kids were given either raisins, grapes, potato chips and chocolate chip cookies as snacks and they were allowed to eat until comfortably full.

These kids were then analyzed for their cumulative food intake by the researchers and it was found that raisins and grapes led to lower cumulative food intake, while the chocolate chip cookies increased the cumulative food intake as compared to the other snacks.

Raisins are a great snack for children who need something always to keep munching. If you are planing to go out for dinner with your kid then make him/her have a bowl of raisins before you leave the house. As raisins contain fiber, it will keep your kid full for some time and this will also avoid him/her overeating at dinner.

Another great benefit of raisins is that they can treat constipation in kids. If you are thinking of giving pills to your kid, you don’t need to do that as raisins are one of the oldest home remedies to cure constipation. You can also soak raisins over night in water and make your kid drink the water the following morning. This will help to clear constipation in children.

Raisins are the most ready to eat hassle free snack that kids can have anywhere and anytime. It’s simply great for guys who are into sports to carry some dry raisins in their pockets. This will not only kill their hunger but will also provide them with energy during the game. It’s a great snack for toddlers (of 8 months and above) as they always want something sweet in their mouth and they can spill as much as they want as they are very easy to clean up, a lot of time and energy saved for mothers. Isn’t that great?

Make sure you have a jar of raisins full on your dining table and make sure that your kids enjoy the natural stuff than the junk food.

Photo Credits: Harshad Sharma