All About Mammograms

Women often shrug off having mammograms done despite being reminded every October during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Studies have actually shown that more than half of women who should have the yearly screening done, women age 40 and above, do not follow through with it. This statistic is surprising when another study shows that four out of five women agree that mammogram screening is important for women’s health.

Why are mammograms so important for a women’s health? What can they detect? Simply put, mammograms save lives. They can detect breast cancer when it is in the early more treatable stages, before a woman even has any symptoms or a lump can be felt. This type of mammogram is called a screening mammogram. A screening mammogram takes two or more x-ray pictures of each breast. These images can detect tiny deposits of calcium that can sometimes indicate the presence of breast cancer or they can pick up small tumors that cannot be felt with the hand when doing self-examination.

Another type of mammogram is called a diagnostic mammogram. These specific mammograms are performed after a lump is found or any other symptom of breast cancer is experienced. These symptoms may include nipple discharge, breast pain, change in size or shape of the breast, or an inverted nipple among other things. A diagnostic mammogram can also be used in special situations where obtaining a screening mammogram is difficult, such as with women who have breast implants.

Are there potential harms associated with mammograms? Yes there are, and they include but are not limited to: false-positives, false-negative results, radiation exposure, and unfortunately not reducing a woman’s chance of dying by early detection.

False-positives results happen when abnormality is seen by a radiologist but there is no cancer present.  This happens more often with women who have denser breasts or younger women. This leads to unnecessary stress and anxiety. False-negative results occur when no abnormality is found. This happens in 20% of screening mammograms. The result of this leads to a false sense of security in women and a delay in treatment. As with false-positive results, this tends to happen with younger women and with women who have denser breasts. Abnormalities can easily be missed because of the dense tissue that is found in younger women.

While the risk of harm from radiation exposure is low, the risk is there after having x-rays done repeatedly. While mammograms can detect breast cancer before a tumor is felt, it does not always mean proper treatment will stop an aggressive form of cancer from spreading to other parts of the body quickly. This is usually undetected and a woman’s chance of death has not changed due to early intervention.

The top reasons women state they do not receive a yearly mammogram is the high cost and lack of health insurance. A woman’s health is vital to living a normal life, so always find a way to have your mammogram done every year. It could save your life.

5 Ways Women Can Improve Their Mood During PMS

PMS—or Premenstrual syndrome—affects as many as three out of four menstruating women. The symptoms most of these women experience include breast tenderness and swelling, food cravings, extreme fatigue, irritability, depression and serious mood swings.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the exact cause of PMS is unknown, however there are three factors at play that likely cause women to experience these symptoms. The first—cyclic changes in their hormones—disappears during pregnancy and menopause, meaning it probably contributes strongly to PMS. Fluctuations in brain chemicals like serotonin might also be to blame. And finally, many researchers believe that some women who experience PMS symptoms actually have undiagnosed depression. It’s likely that some women exhibit all three of these causes. This means their symptoms are of greater severity.

Probably the most frequently discussed symptom of PMS—by the women suffering from it, as well as those who live with them—is the mood swings. Some women lash out at others. They rant and rave and even curse at the people they love. Others withdraw from their loved ones. They cry a lot and don’t want to engage with others. They often neglect some of their work and household duties. The children of women who suffer greatly from PMS symptoms can have lasting emotional scars.

There are some things women can do to improve their moods during bouts of PMS. Many of them, such as the following five, are natural.

  1. Acupuncture: Studies show that veering away from some Western practices is key when trying to treat mood swings during PMS. Acupuncture is an Eastern practice that has been very beneficial to sufferers. It is believed that the practice increases circulation and elevates endorphins. Treatment once per month, one week before your period is due, is recommended.
  2. Herbs: Herbs including chaste berry, evening primrose and valerian root have alleviated some of the mood swings caused by PMS in countless women. Evening primrose is believed to stimulate the endocrine system. Evening primrose can alleviate anxiety. And valerian root serves as a muscle relaxer.
  3. Exercise: Exercising before and during your period releases endorphins and triggers dopamine. The combination of the two curbs depression and anxiety and eases pain.
  4. All-natural diuretics: As another glance toward Eastern medicine, all-natural diuretics have been known to curb bloating and that in itself has improved the moods of many women who tried it. Don’t rely on coffee as your natural diuretic, however, as it will also increase anxiety and thus not help your mood. So what are some natural diuretics? You’ve probably got some in your kitchen right now. Try tomatoes, celery, bananas, citrus fruits, watercress and fennel. Simply snack on small portions of these foods throughout the day.
  5. Meditation: Women who meditate before and during their periods have fewer mood swings than those who don’t. The emotional changes that occur when meditating on positive, loving and trusting feelings result in more positive feelings during PMS.

Try one or more of these five ways of improving your mood during PMS. Start a week before your next period and continue during as well. See if you don’t notice some significant mood improvement as a result.

7 Great Exercises for Women Over 60

You can—and should—always make an effort to stay fit no matter what your age is. While there are plenty of workout routines and videos you can find that will highlight the best exercises you can do after 60, there are plenty of options you can utilize on your own to stay fit and rejuvenated no matter where you are in your life.

  1. Swimming

Swimming is always a perfect option for keeping in shape, especially for women. It’s a wonderful aerobic exercise that asks you to move and engage every part of your body, and it is also very safe physically if you haven’t been exercising much before now.

  1. Walking

Walking is a great aerobic exercise you can also start with if you haven’t been too fit before. You can start by just walking for 30 minutes a day, whether it’s through your neighborhood or at the gym. Remember, though, there’s no need to push yourself too hard, so don’t worry about breaking into a run unless you really feel like it.

  1. Strength Training

It’s incredibly helpful to do some strength training at this point in your life, especially because, as you age, you will continue to lose muscle mass and toning. Again, start out slow by lifting small dumbbells or using ankle weights. You can do leg or arm lifts with these in order to give your muscles some toning.

  1. Yoga

Yoga is helpful at pretty much any stage of life for women. Pregnant women are encouraged to try yoga, as are children and adults. You can find a class that is especially designed for women over 60 or start doing yoga at home with a video. Remember that yoga is about building flexibility and learning to be comfortable in your own skin, so there is no need to tug or pull in order to get yourself into the positions.

  1. Joint Stretches

One of the problems you may begin experiencing soon is stiffness in the joints that will make it more difficult to perform everyday tasks. Just making small arm circles or rolling your shoulders can help you avoid this issue and make for a minimal, low-impact exercise.

  1. Rowing

A rowing machine is a great exercise tool that can get your arms and legs moving in a safe environment. Many individuals utilize this type of exercise after the age of fifty, most notably Kevin Spacey’s television character Frank Underwood from House of Cards.

  1. Anything Aerobic

Aerobic exercises can be a great way to get your heart rate up and get you moving. Anything you feel comfortable with that qualifies as an aerobic exercise—like biking, stepping, and even dancing—can be a healthy and beneficial addition to your workout.

Remember…

When you decide to take on a new workout routine, it is always best (no matter what age you’re at) to talk to your doctor about it first. This will help you ensure you are exercising safely and effectively.

5 of the Healthiest Exercises to Practice During Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, it’s important to stay fit and to keep yourself in a healthy state both mentally and physically. Daily exercises can help with this, but because of your current condition, you’ll want to make sure you’re exercising in a way that is healthy for your body and your baby. Here are 5 of the healthiest pregnancy-related exercises.

  1. Swimming

Swimming is one of the best exercises to practice while pregnant. Most health experts agree that this is the safest and most beneficial option at nearly every interval in a pregnancy, as it engages the muscles of the legs and arms, minimizes issues with swelling, and works the same as any other cardio exercise. What’s more, it will allow you to feel weightless, which is soothing and enjoyable especially during the later stages of pregnancy.

  1. Walking

Taking a calm, brisk walk is a good option for those exercising while pregnant. It gets the heart rate up and provides the benefits of cardio while not placing you in a position where you have to run or push yourself too hard. Make sure to get a good pair of sneakers that fit you and won’t cause your feet to hurt when you walk.

  1. Dancing

Dancing is another great option, one that can make you feel cute and sassy as well as happy. Any time your mood is down, dancing is a great way to exercise and get it back up again, especially when you put on some of your favorite jams. You can also take a beginner’s dance class if you want to get out and meet more people. However, it is important to avoid dances that call for any potentially dangerous moves like jumps, leaps, and spins.

  1. Yoga

Many pregnant individuals choose yoga as their go-to exercise. There are a large number of classes and videos created with specific yoga routines designed for those at different points in their pregnancies, so the sky is really the limit when it comes to this option. Make sure you don’t push yourself to get into the positions and remember that the whole point of yoga is to become more flexible, more open, and more relaxed, as well as more comfortable in your own skin.

  1. Weight Training

Weight training is another great option for pregnant exercise, as long as you make sure you have good form and that you move slowly. Start out with small weights that you can handle, and then you can start to build yourself up to a larger amount. Remember, though, you never want to take on more than is safe. Aim for being comfortable lifting the weight of a baby, which you’ll certainly be doing a lot of soon!

There are plenty of exercises that are safe to do during pregnancy, and as long as you talk with your doctor beforehand and make sure you are taking care of yourself and your little one, you should be fine.

Why It’s Healthy for Women to Own Pets

Owning a pet is a healthy choice for you and for your furry friend. Whether you’re a single gal or you’ve got a partner and a family, whether you work late nights or you like to cuddle up at home, having a pet has a number of great health benefits that could really make a difference in your life.

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Decreasing Stress

Having a loving pet to come home to every night will actually provide you with less stress in your life, even though it seems at first that it would cause you more. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pets can actually decrease your blood pressure just by being near you. Pet owners are also less likely to react intensely to stressful situations if their pets are nearby (similarly to parents with children). And of course, just petting a dog or a cat has been scientifically proven to reduce stress.

Reduces Pain

People who have pets experience less pain because they experience less anxiety and stress. It’s true; those with chronic pain issues such as arthritis or a history of migraines are often told to get a pet because of these benefits. In addition, having a pet nearby to cuddle when you’re experiencing cramps can also help.

Boosts Moods

According to Mental Health America, approximately 12 million US women experience clinical depression every year. Depression, as well as other mood disorders, is an issue that disproportionately affects women, and at least 1 in 8 women will experience some sort of clinical depression in her lifetime.

Having a pet obviously cannot cure depression or other mood disorders, but it can help women cope with them. Those who have pets often report feeling less lonely than those who don’t, and since having a pet reduces stress and anxiety, those who have them often feel fewer negative emotions from day to day. And when you come home to a pet who has missed you all day and shows you how much they love you, it’s hard to feel sad.

Aids in Child Development

Having a pet as part of a household can actually help children develop more easily and more quickly. Children learn to love their pets, build attachments, and relate better to others. Pets can also reduce children’s risk of allergies; those who are around pets more often as a baby are less likely to develop allergies later in childhood.

Providing a Much Needed Laugh

Have you ever just cracked up at something your pet did? If you haven’t, you probably don’t own one. Laughter, as they say, is the best medicine, and having a pet surely provides plenty of chuckles, especially when you and your pet are able to build the kind of bond that lasts.

So no matter what kind of pet you choose—be it a dog, a cat, a turtle, a fish, or a ferret (if it’s legal in your state of course)—enjoy the benefits you’ll gain by bringing home your new best friend.

Women’s Health: 6 Health Benefits of Doing Yoga

Yoga has a number of health benefits for women: it can aid in fertility, help relieve a hangover, and even perfect your posture. Here are some of the other important health-giving effects women can gain from regularly taking part in yoga.

  1. Improving Heart Health

Women have to be especially careful of the issue of heart disease because there isn’t as much literature or interest in this problem, even though it still occurs. This is one way yoga can absolutely benefit you and allow you to live a stronger, healthier life. Yoga helps to reduce one’s risk of heart disease, reduce arterial plaque, and increase your ability to exercise well and often, which is very good for your heart.

  1. Regulating Hormones

Your hormones can cause your body a lot of stress. They can often be the cause of high or low energy, fatigue, and, of course, cramps. But yoga can actually assist you with all of these issues while also helping to better regulate the glands in your body that are responsible for secreting hormones. One great posture for this type of result is a twist, which can also help minimize cramps.

  1. Treating Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

According to Psychology Today, depression is more common in women than in men, and there are many reasons for this issue. Anxiety disorders are also very common in women, and stress (either at home, at work, or both) can be a huge factor in causing these types of disorders. Luckily, yoga can help with that.

While it is still important to see a doctor if you are struggling with an anxiety or depressive disorder, to consider the option of therapy, and possibly even medication, yoga can be a great holistic treatment for these disorders. There have been many studies on the relationship between yoga and minimizing stress, anxiety, and depression, and in many cases, women suffering from PTSD have benefitted from practicing yoga.

This practice also allows for individuals to learn mindfulness exercises. Mindfulness helps one recognize and accept the world around them as it is, even if just for a little while, and this can be highly beneficial for those struggling with any of these issues.

  1. Better Cognitive Functions

Yoga can actually help you think more clearly and take out your mental trash, so to speak. Concentrating on yoga allows you to get rid of your physical and mental tension and to let go of the petty problems you dealt with during the day so you can get back to concentrating on what matters. And according to Live Science, yoga can even improve your memory.

  1. Less Insomnia

Yoga can actually fight insomnia, help you sleep better, and allow you to sleep more deeply. Restorative poses that ask you to breathe deeply and allow your mind to relax as well as your body cause you to turn your thoughts inward and to just focus on you. This allows for a deep relaxation that will improve circulation so you can sleep better.

  1. Improves Self-Esteem

Many women suffer from low self-esteem and attempt to self-treat this issue in dangerous ways. However, yoga is a completely healthy way of allowing you to feel better about yourself, mind and body. Yoga practices are about being comfortable with who you are right now and trying to gently help yourself to be better in the future. Practicing this type of thinking often will allow you to focus on yourself in a positive way and to build a better sense of self-esteem.

  1. Minimizes Pain

Chronic pain can be serious, and in some cases, requires medication. Whether you choose to treat your pain this way or not, yoga is a completely natural practice you can use minimize pain, and it doesn’t interact poorly with any medications like another drug or supplement might. In addition, mindfulness practices allow people constantly dealing with pain from disorders like fibromyalgia or carpal tunnel syndrome to acknowledge and deal with their pain without allowing it to control them.

Yoga is a healthful practice for people of any age and can often be altered for the benefit of the practitioner, making it helpful to almost any woman.

3 Best Family Tips for Healthy Eating Habits

It has been said repeatedly that in order to form good eating and exercise habits that will a lifetime, good practices and techniques must be taught and learned at home. Use the following three strategies to help your family get more active and start choosing great-tasting, nutritious food instead of unhealthy, empty foods.

Bad Foods Shouldn’t Be Available

If you have the cupboards and fridge filled with unhealthy, bad foods then you and your family are much more likely to indulge in them versus ignoring the tasty temptations to eat a healthy snack instead. In order to get off the bad food cycle for the entire family at once, you have start at home. Pull out the paper bags and fill them up with the junk food to either toss out or give away.

If you are going to have unhealthy foods in the house, then make sure they are just for special occasions or on a moderate basis (such as weekly). This will go towards preventing old habits from creeping their way back into your lives. Stock the fridge and shelves with healthy, nutritious choices that your family actually likes and will eat. Reduced-fat dairy, lean proteins, fresh fruits, raw vegetables, oatmeal, and natural smoothies are all great choices to please your family’s taste buds.

Put New Spins on Family Favorites & Eat Dinner as a Family

The best way to get your kids to explore their taste buds and try new foods is to eat dinner as a family. Put new spins on the foods your family loves that aren’t so healthy. For instance, bake French fries instead of frying or introduce baked sweet potato fries to the table. Use ground turkey for taco night. Get reduced-fat mozzarella cheese and pita bread for pizza night. Bake chicken fingers at home instead of buying the same ‘ole processed or fried chicken nuggets. When in the grocery store, have everyone pick out their favorite fruits and veggies they can’t wait to eat. Get the kids involved, and have them help make and cook the foods they are going to eat for dinner. The fun and pride of cooking makes them extremely excited and motivated to want to taste the foods they just helped to create.

Cut Down & Control Snacking

Kids and adults alike find themselves snacking through the day and then not eating a proper meal when it is time to sit down for lunch and dinner. Being less hungry also leads to kids being less willing to taste new foods, get proper nutrition and eat their vegetables. Set guidelines for snacking in your home and try to stick to a consistent schedule for meals to ensure better habits. Space all meals and snacks at least two hours apart. Don’t eat more than 2-3 snacks a day. Control portion sizes for everyone in the family and make sure most all snacks are no more than about 150 calories each. Air-popped popcorn, apple slices and peanut butter, healthy homemade trail mix, and low-fat organic Greek yogurt with fruit are all great options for snack time at home or on the go that will satisfy everyone’s sweet and salty cravings in a healthy way! For a frozen and healthy treat your family will love, pour your yogurt blends and fruit into Popsicle molds and put in the freezer.

Now is the time to get your family on the right track when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. While more and more people are screaming for healthier options, we still live in a culture obsessed with convenient and processed fake food options to satisfy our hunger pangs and sweet tooth. Explore how delicious real food can be right now and have the kids help to layout a menu of healthy meals they want to cook and eat for lunches and dinners. Don’t be surprised when the kids grow accustomed to the new routine before you do as they are much more likely to get on board if they are involved in the process and decisions along the way. Come up with activities and outings that focus on the family moving and having fun together rather than only having family time with everyone plopped on a couch or in a theater seat. Your family will reap the rewards and benefits of a healthy lifestyle starting at home faster than you can ever imagine once you get started.

9 Reasons Why Laughter Will Save Your Life

If you are looking for a way to naturally boost your immune system, fight infections, decrease stress, and have more of those awesome ‘feel-good chemicals’ in your body for free and without struggle, there is really an answer. It is simpler than you think. A good laugh truly is medicine for your mind and body alike.

Did you know laughter actually can ease or temporarily relieve pain?

The powerful and potent effect laughter has on us is amazing. The benefit of a good laugh can bring everything back together when it feels like it’s falling apart. Burdens are lightened, inspirations take place, people connect, and anger is able to release from the body when a good laugh happens. The renewing and healing powers of laughter is not only awe-striking but it is easy and most of all—fun!

Check out the 9 reasons why laughter can improve and extend your life while putting you right in the middle of a happy and well balanced mindset and body.

Blood Pressure Benefits

The fact is if you can lower your blood pressure, then you lower your risk for heart attack and stroke. Obviously, if you can use laughter to lower your blood pressure then it is a must for doing at least 15 minutes a day!

The Feel Good Chemical

The release of endorphins benefit the body in many ways, including relieving pain and feeling good. Laughter creates the release of endorphins and is a natural remedy for chronic pain and an alternative to medications with side-effects and high costs.

Helping to Get 6-Pack Abs

Okay, so laughter won’t actually result in 6-pack abs, but it will help to tone the abdominal muscles. The stomach muscles expand and contract from laughter in a similar manner as to when they are exercised intentionally. If you add laughter to the list of to-do exercises for your ab workout, then you will see a jollier and more toned belly.

Immunity Boost

There are special immunity cells in your body waiting to be activated for use. They are called T-cells. These T-cells are activated by the act of laughter. So, if you feel a cold coming on or the flu setting in, get started with deep gutted chuckling to get fast and effective medicine for free and fun!

Overall Wellness and Health

Your overall sense of well-being is actually improved with laughter. There have been cases where doctors have found people with a negative outlook on life tend to have a lessened ability to fight off disease than those who have a positive outlook on life. Those people with an optimistic and positive point of view typically had a stronger immune system that was much more effective at fighting off infection, illness, and disease. This translates into a longer life span.

Kicking Stress to the Curb

You can kick stress to the curb by reducing your stress hormones with laughter as your medicine. Additionally, anxiety is lessened. The reduction in stress hormones also boosts the performance of the immune system. Simply laughing and enjoying one sit-com or joke with a co-worker can cut stress from the day while delivering other health benefits. The best thing is you can laugh most anytime.

Heart Health Help

One incredible benefit to laughter is the improvement in cardiac health. People who are sick or injured are often incapable of enduring a cardio workout but laughter can take its place on a moment’s notice. Laughter results in getting a person’s heart pumping and burning calories, similar to a moderately paced walk. So, go ahead and laugh your way into better heart health.

Stopping You from Going Coo-Coo

When life gets hard, so does your ability to stay mentally focused and on track. However, laughter gives amazing benefits to the mind. So the next time you feel like a challenge or hurdle has you questioning your sanity, pop in a funny movie and laugh your way back into normalcy again. Laughter eases the tensions of the day, helps to get rid of anxiety, adds joy to life, improves a person’s mood instantly, and delivers an overall extra punch of zest to life!

The Life of the Party

Let’s face it….most everyone would rather spend their time socializing with a smiling and laughing person at a party versus the person sitting in the corner looking grumpy. However, it is those people that need laughter the most! While every day is not a party, life is definitely a social event. Laughter is attractive and brings other people to us. It helps to get rid of conflict while also promoting group and family bonding. Teamwork is enhanced and relationships are strengthened. When conflict just won’t seem to go away, opt for a dose of laughter instead.


Top 3 Benefits of Yoga Exercise for Women

Even though Yoga can be done by both men and women, it is still an exercise mostly done by women. A whopping 83% of yoga participants are female according to a prominent Yoga journal. Men just don’t get involved in Yoga for a number of reasons. Most women do Yoga for a number of reasons. It is the type of exercise that not only helps your physical health but your mental health as well. When both mind and body receive the proper attention and exercise, life is more stimulating. And oftentimes, physical exercise affects your mental state and vice versa.

One of the best forms of exercises that help both physical and mental stamina is Yoga. It has gained enormous popularity in recent decades. If you practice yoga on a daily basis, there are 3 great benefits associated with it. Yoga can possibly prevent certain diseases. You can engage in yoga at home, at a fitness center, or with a fitness trainer. And you can get a good strength conditioning, muscle toning, and aerobic workout in about 20-30 minutes. That’s a complete workout without using multiple equipment or doing different types of exercise. Also, Yoga is a safe workout for pregnant women who want to keep in shape throughout their pregnancy.

Physical Health

Women are becoming more prone to certain diseases such as diabetes, digestive disorders, arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, headaches, insomnia, and obesity, Yoga is a natural way to prevent and cure these ailments as opposed to taking medication all your life. Not to mention, the money you will save. Yoga involves a great deal of back exercises to strengthen the back. It helps strengthens and flexes the spine. Yoga improves your blood circulation, strengthens your immune system, and maintains blood pressure and cholesterol.

Yoga Increases Stamina and Flexibility

Stretching is great and very important for women at different stages in their life. Whether you’re pregnant, in menopause, or an older woman, stretching is good for your muscles, joints and breathing. And stretching the wrong way, not enough, or even too much can cause injuries. Yoga allows women to stretch the proper way. Although it may be difficult to do at first, just keep on doing it and eventually you will notice your body becoming more flexible.

This allows your body to stretch and become more flexible, which in turn, helps your stamina, balance, coordination, and an increased ability to engage in other types of physical exercise. It strengthens your bones and muscles while stretching them at the same time, and this can be done without lifting weights. An increase in stamina and flexibility can prevent sustaining future injuries. For pregnant women, it can help strengthen your pelvic bone and make the childbirth process go smoother.

Mental Health

Mental issues such as stress and depression have increased among women, but yoga can help calm your nerves, lower your stress levels, and reduce your chances of depression. It improves your concentration and reduces stress. If you can’t sleep or suffer from insomnia, stressed over certain things, or even suffer from bouts of depression, yoga can help cure these conditions. First, exercise will get your mind off of your worries and problems. Yoga will help release tension and headaches by improving circulation throughout the brain and body. And Yoga provides mental clarity.

Even though yoga doesn’t look like you’re doing much – some would say it’s just a lot of stretching – but the fact is that it is a form of great physical exercise. It is just as effective as aerobics, muscle strengthening or weight lifting for the body. There are a number of pieces of equipment that can be used along with yoga to make it more effective too. Pilates is similar to Yoga and can be used along with different Yoga moves to enhance your workout, increase your stamina, coordination, and overall health.

Women live very busy lives these days working, raising children, and taking care of themselves, yoga is not only a good strengthening workout it also boosts energy levels and stimulates the mind. Although it may be difficult at first, especially if you aren’t use to stretching or are not very flexible, eventually you’ll get more comfortable with the movements and be able to incorporate yoga in your daily lifestyle.

 

 

5 Ways To Really Lose Weight For Bathing Suit Season

Spring is coming fast, which means bathing suit season is quick on its heels! Before getting started on setting your goal weight and starting that ‘great’ new diet, read these realistic ways to shed the pounds and keep them off for good. Healthy weight loss will make every bathing suit season fantastic!

0 to 60! Then, back to 0.

One of the biggest mistakes we make when deciding to drop the pounds is to go full throttle ‘health-nut’ overnight in an effort to embrace our new healthy lifestyle. Although it seems like the best plan to stop eating sweets, exercise 5 days a week, stop smoking, and start shoving nutritious foods down your throat the very second ‘being healthy’ starts—it is not. In fact, going full throttle overnight can send you crashing from the overwhelming changes being made across everything. Drastic changes are not good for your body or mind, no matter how healthy the intention. Additionally, it’s just too hard to feel deprived of everything you like all at one time. So, as you think about setting your goal weight, be realistic about the ways you will get there and the time it will take. Start with small and moderate changes you can stick with and enjoy having as part of your individual lifestyle.

Losing the Wrong WAY

Okay, so while the scale seems to dominate our focus when ‘dieting’ or ‘getting healthy,’ the number lost is not reflective of the true weight loss you NEED to lose. Losing one pound a week is practical and healthy for the average person. When unhealthy dieting practices are taken on, the body doesn’t get all of the protein necessary to perform critical functions in the body and loses the ability to build and repair tissues. This results in the loss of precious muscle mass. In other words, eat the protein you need so your body doesn’t start eating itself to survive.

The Rollercoaster Effect

Even though we’ve all been told a million times rollercoaster dieting is bad for our weight loss goals, it’s rare the real reason behind the warning is discussed. Adaptive thermogenesis. Okay, so maybe it’s just easier to say rollercoaster dieting is bad. At any point, adaptive thermogenesis is the process causing what we cringingly have named the weight ‘plateau.’ When the human body constantly goes from one drastic measure to another (such as weight loss programs, fad diets, detox crazes) it eventually quits trying to respond. This triggers an autoregulation of the metabolism, which can have negative impacts for people suffering with multiple conditions and diseases.

When Dieting Makes You Want To Puke

First and foremost, if you are eating healthy foods during the day, there is no reason to go crazy with your weight loss efforts. Actually, there is little need for extreme calorie reduction. If you are on such a diet, it should only be under the guidance of a physician. If the approach you take to weight loss has your head spinning, you are doing it wrong. If the you way you are eating and ‘getting healthy’ makes you ill—dizzy, nauseous, tired, exhausted, headaches— then it’s unhealthy and will not actually result in long lasting weight loss.

Eat More to Lose More

The more fruits, vegetables, nuts and lean meats you are able to get into your belly throughout the day, the better! It will lead to bountiful positive consequences, including natural weight loss and feeling better mentally and physically. Hormones, blood sugar, metabolism, and numerous other body functions are improved with the nutrients found in real food. The habit of snacking on processed foods will minimize as your body becomes accustomed to properly functioning. The best part is you don’t feel deprived as you can still have your ‘favorite bad’ snacks—you just won’t want them as much because you are full and no longer craving the artificial sugars and carbs.

Weight Loss Wrap-Up

In conclusion, it’s important to remember as you prepare for bathing suit season that weight loss is never easy, not if it is healthy weight loss. Healthy, progressive weight loss is a much better method of achieving weight loss goals. Learning to love the way you eat every day is what will lead to long-lasting weight loss and an enjoyable lifestyle you can maintain. For those already physically active, weight loss may happen slower than desired. Don’t get discouraged! With a healthy and consistent daily routine of good foods and joyful activities, you will achieve sustainable results and look even more phenomenal than you do now!