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The Importance of Drinking Water Throughout the Day

The Importance of Drinking Water Throughout the Day

One of the most common pieces of health and wellness advice you’re bound to hear over and over again is to drink lots of water—and for good reason! There are tons of great health benefits associated with proper hydration. In addition to preventing dehydration, drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help you slim down, fight fatigue, elevate your mood, enhance your skin and improve your digestion.

But how much water should you be drinking each day and what can you do to make sure you’re drinking enough? Keep reading to learn more about the many benefits of drinking more water, including exactly how much to drink each day. We’ve even got a few quick tips to help you develop good habits for daily H2O consumption.

The many benefits of drinking more water

The benefits of staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day are virtually endless. Not only does it contribute to healthy digestion and prevent several adverse medical conditions, you’ll look and feel better too. Grab a water bottle and drink up! Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Prevent dehydration: It may sound obvious but drinking plenty of H2O prevents your body from becoming dehydrated. Beyond avoiding severe thirst, dehydration can be a very dangerous condition, especially chronic dehydration. It’s a problem easily avoided by drinking water regularly throughout the day.
  • Slim down: Did you know water has no calories? Also, drinking cold water can have a positive impact on your metabolism, helping you burn more calories throughout the day. It can even assist in eliminating waste from your body, contributing to a slimmer physique.
  • Fight fatigue: As mentioned, it’s crucial for you to avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water. When you’re dehydrated, you may feel tired and groggy, and experience muscle fatigue. Conversely, drinking water can provide you with increased energy levels, along with better concentration and improved mental alertness.
  • Improve mood: Are you the type of person who gets cranky and irritable when you’re hungry? Eating usually fixes the problem. But did you know not drinking enough water can lead to some grumpy side effects, too? Dehydration can contribute to stress, tiredness, lack of focus and a generally negative state of mind. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to keep your “glass half full!”
  • Enhance skin: Drinking water can also prevent signs of aging, improve your skin tone and prevent pimples. Dehydrated skin is more prone to wrinkling. Using a moisturizer is one way to keep it supple but hydrating from the inside out is your best bet for enhancing the appearance of your skin. Drinking plenty of H2O will also increase circulation and blood flow, while flushing toxins out of your body. The result is healthy, clear skin and a beautiful, glowing complexion.
  • Digest better: Common side effects of dehydration are bloating and constipation, both of which are associated with poor digestion. Consuming water can have a positive effect on your digestive tract by allowing waste to pass through your body. Good hydration can reduce constipation, bloating and other inflammatory health conditions affecting your gut and bowels.

How much water is enough?

All these benefits are great, but you’re probably still wondering: How much water is enough each day?

There’s no perfect answer, but there are some great benchmarks. For starters, aim to drink about half your body weight in ounces of water every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink around 75 ounces of water. There’s also the 8×8 rule: eight ounces of water eight times a day. 

Something else to keep in mind is that if you feel thirsty, you’re probably already dehydrated. Have a glass of water right away to get back on track.

Quick tips for drinking more water

  • Get a water bottle you like! Believe it or not, using a water bottle you like can increase the amount you drink each day.
  • Keep your water bottle filled up and keep it with you at all times––at your desk, in the car and anywhere else you go throughout the day.
  • Set an alarm on your phone or download a water reminder app to remind you to drink water regularly throughout the day.
  • Build drinking into your habits. Every time you stand up or send a text message, make it a rule to take a sip of water.
  • Don’t like plain water? Try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime. Drinking tea also counts toward your daily water consumption.
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Don’t Forget to Exercise…even with a busy schedule!

Don’t Forget to Exercise…even with a busy schedule!

With a hectic lifestyle, exercising might be low on your list of priorities. Whether you’re consumed with work, family, travel, a social life, a side hustle, a major life event, or all of the above, finding time to exercise is critical in remaining healthy and happy. But when your schedule is busy, it can be extremely difficult to fit a sweat session onto your calendar.

Keep reading to discover the benefits of working out regularly, including how morning versus night workouts affect your body. You’ll also learn how to stay fit while at your desk, why any movement is beneficial, and how to prioritize daily physical activity!

Make time for the gym, day or night

When is the right time to work out? In general, the best time to sweat each day is when you have the time, whether that’s in the morning, on your lunch break, or in the evening. However, you might yield different benefits with physical activity depending on the time of day. Here’s how making time for exercise, day or night, can boost both your mental and physical wellness.

Advantages of a morning workout

Are you a morning person? It may play to your advantage. For people who don’t totally love working out, pre-work exercise can work well because it allows you to check it off your list first thing in the morning. It makes you feel accomplished and ready to tackle the day ahead, as opposed to dreading an after-work workout. Other benefits to working out in the morning include increased energy and elevated mood throughout the day, as well as lower blood pressure and a decrease in cortisol (a stress-response hormone).

Benefits of exercising in the evening

If you’re more of a night owl and can’t find the motivation to get moving in the morning, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Getting your sweat on in the evening allows you to get a longer workout in if you have more hours to spare. It’s also a superb way to let go of pent up stress after a long day at work. Evening workouts may also help you build muscle faster and get to sleep more easily.

How can you work out at your desk?

When it comes to working out, every little bit of movement counts. You can even make some adjustments and develop certain habits to sneak some exercise in at your desk!

One of the more obvious solutions is to get a treadmill desk or a standing desk. With a treadmill desk, you can send emails and take calls while burning calories as you walk in place. With a standing desk, you won’t burn quite as many calories, but you’ll burn more than if you were sitting all day. Plus, you’ll reap additional benefits such as increased blood flow and better focus.

If you can’t come by a standing desk, don’t worry: Your traditional desk-and-chair setup is a personal gym in disguise! There are tons of discrete workouts you can do in mere minutes to help you stay active throughout the day. Here are a few:

  • Squats onto your chair
  • Triceps dips from your desk
  • Calf raises while holding the back of your chair
  • Glute squeezes while sitting or standing
  • Wall sits
  • Stationary lunges
  • Incline pushups from your desk
  • Various stretches

See daily exercise as a priority

You’ve got a lot of priorities. And while your main focus might be on work, family or other obligations, it’s also crucial to view daily exercise as a priority. How can you hold yourself accountable to working out regularly? You can sign up for an exercise class, meet up with a friend for a walk or jog, invest in a standing desk, or put your workouts directly on your calendar. Just make sure you’re doing something to prioritize fitness each day.

At a minimum, keep your body moving

Even if you feel like you don’t have time to exercise every day, it’s important to keep your body moving. Whether you’re completing a 30-minute workout, running for an hour, exercising at your desk, standing instead of sitting, or walking on your lunch break, the goal is to keep your body moving no matter how busy you are. Every minute counts.

Be adaptable; exercise around life

The best way to make sure you exercise in the middle of your busy schedule is to be adaptable. Exercise around your life. With a hectic calendar, there’s a good chance that no two days will look exactly alike, and the same goes for working out.

You might have time for a spin class on Monday, but on Tuesday, you may only get the chance to take a brisk walk on your lunch break. Wednesday might be filled up with meetings, so you take the stairs and try to sneak in some workouts at your desk.

Prioritizing exercise will look different for everyone––do what works for you! Just make sure you’re making the time for fitness and not giving it a backseat to everything else life throws at you.

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It’s time to bury the world’s most misleading measure…the calorie!

It’s time to bury the world’s most misleading measure…the calorie!

The most common advice you receive when you want to lose weight is to cut calories.  The problem with that simple advice is that all calories are not equal.

The calorie as a scientific measurement is not in dispute. A calorie of carbohydrate and a calorie of protein both have the same amount of stored energy, so they perform identically in an oven.

The calorie counts that you see printed on food labels are based on how much heat a foodstuff gives off when it burns in an oven. But the human body is far more complex than an oven. When food is burned in a laboratory it surrenders its calories within seconds. By contrast, the real-life journey from dinner plate to toilet bowl takes on average about 24 hours but can range from eight to 80 hours depending on the person.

Besides the differing speeds that calories journey through our bodies, each of us processes calories differently.  Research studies have shown that when different people consume the same meal, the impact on a person’s blood sugar and fat formation will vary according to their genes, lifestyle, mix of gut bacteria and even the length of their intestines (shorter intestines absorb fewer calories).  Even the time of day that you eat matters.     

The amount of energy we absorb from food also depends on how we prepare it. Chopping and grinding food essentially does part of the work of digestion, making more calories available to your body by ripping apart the cell walls in the food before you eat it. That effect is magnified when you add heat: cooking increases the proportion of food digested in the stomach and small intestine, from 50% to 95%. The digestible calories in beef rises by 15% when cooked, and in sweet potato up to 40% depending on whether it is boiled, roasted or microwaved.

In addition, the calories in some foods are much more likely to add weight than calories in other foods. A lollipop and an apple may contain a similar number of calories but is there any doubt which is better for us?   While the apple is healthier, both apples and lollipops are types of carbohydrates – as are all sugars and starches.  Carbohydrates break down into sugars, which are the body’s main fuel source. But the speed at which your body gets its fuel from food can be as important as the amount of fuel. The body absorbs the sugar from a soda drink at a rate of 30 calories a minute, compared with two calories a minute from complex carbohydrates such as potatoes or rice. That matters, because a sudden hit of sugar prompts the rapid release of insulin, a hormone that carries the sugar out of the bloodstream and into the body’s cells. When there is more sugar than the body needs, the liver and muscle can store some of the excess, but any that remains is stashed as fat. So consuming large quantities of sugar and even excess “healthy” carbohydrates is the fastest way to create body fat. And, once the insulin has done its work, blood-sugar levels slump, which tends to leave you hungry…as well as plumper.

The other two macronutrients (protein and fat) have different functions. Protein, the dominant component of meat, fish and dairy products, acts as the main building block for bone, skin, hair and other body tissues. In the absence of enough carbohydrates, it can also serve as fuel for the body. But, since it is broken down more slowly than carbohydrates, protein is less likely to be converted to body fat.

Fat is a different matter again. It should leave you feeling fuller for longer, because your body splits it into fatty acids more slowly than it processes carbohydrates or protein. We all need fat to make hormones and to protect our nerves (a bit like plastic coating protects an electric wire). Over millennia, fat has also been a crucial way for humans to store energy, allowing us to survive periods of famine. Today, even without the risk of starvation, our bodies are still programmed to store excess fuel in case we run out of food. No wonder a single measure – the calorie – can’t capture that complexity.

If these issues with the ‘calorie’ are not troubling enough, the number of calories listed on food packets and menus are routinely wrong.  Government regulations allow food labels to understate calories by up to 20% to ensure that consumers are not short-changed in terms of how much nutrition they receive.  Susan Roberts, a nutritionist at Tufts University in Boston, has found that labels on American packaged foods miss their true calorie counts by an average of 8% and some processed frozen foods misstate their caloric content by as much as 70%.

The calorie system lets food producers off the hook: “They can say, ‘We’re not responsible for the unhealthy products we sell, we just have to list the calories and leave it to you to manage your own weight’.”  Large food companies are obviously driven to maximize their profits and not to optimize your health.  Your answer should be to take charge of your own health!

The more we learn, the more we realize that counting calories will do little to help us control our weight.

The LOVIDIA Way doesn’t focus on calories or calorie restriction.  Instead, our focus is on what foods to eat and when to eat them and making your hormones work for you, not against you.  We believe the quality of your food is much more important than the quantity (calories). The combination of LOVIDIA, intermittent fasting and a reduced-carb diet will not only keep your weight in check but will help you avoid chronic lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

REFERENCE: The Economist

https://www.1843magazine.com/features/death-of-the-calorie

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Should you go low-carb and, if so, how low should you go?

Should you go low-carb and, if so, how low should you go?

Before answering this question, let’s first cover the basics.

What is a carbohydrate? 

A carbohydrate is a type of calorie-providing macronutrient found in many foods and beverages.  Carbohydrates can be simple or complex. They can further be classified as simple refined (table sugar), simple natural (lactose in milk and fructose in fruit), complex refined (white flour) and complex natural (whole grains or beans).  Common sources of naturally occurring carbohydrates include grains, fruits, vegetables, milk, nuts, seeds and legumes (beans, lentils, peas).

Food manufacturers also add refined carbohydrates to processed foods in the form of sugar or white flour. Examples of foods that contain refined carbohydrates are white breads and pasta, cookies, cake, candy, and sugar-sweetened sodas and drinks.

What is a low-carb diet? 

Very simply, a low-carb diet involves eating fewer carbohydrates and more healthy fats and protein than the current nutritional recommendations in the government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  A low-carb diet limits carbohydrate — such as those found in grains, starchy vegetables and fruit — and emphasizes foods high in protein and fat. There are many types of low-carb diets such as Keto, Paleo, and Atkins and each has varying restrictions on the types and amounts of carbohydrates you can eat.

There are three levels of low-carb diets

  • VLCK (very low-carbohydrate ketogenic) diets recommend 30g or less of dietary carbohydrate per day (Hallberg et al., 2018).
  • LCK (low-carbohydrate ketogenic) diets recommend 30-50g of dietary carbohydrate per day (Saslow et al., 2017).
  • RC (reduced-carbohydrate) diets recommend 50-130g of dietary carbohydrate per day, a level that is higher than levels listed above and lower than the S. DRI for carbohydrate.

Is reducing carbohydrate intake safe and healthful? 

Carbohydrates are not actually an essential nutrient for human survival – only proteins and fats are essential nutrients.   Our ancestors lived for thousands of years with very little carbohydrates in the diet, simply because of a lack of availability of produce and grains.

However, the body can use carbohydrates as a fuel source. Here’s how it works:  complex carbohydrates (starches) are broken down into simple sugars during digestion. They’re then absorbed into your bloodstream, where they’re known as blood sugar (glucose). In general, natural complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly and they have less effect on blood sugar. Natural complex carbohydrates can also provide dietary fiber, and vitamins as well in the form of vegetables. 

Rising levels of blood sugar trigger the body to release insulin. Insulin helps glucose enter your body’s cells. Some glucose is used by your body for energy, whether it’s going for a jog or simply breathing. Extra glucose is usually stored in your liver, muscles and other cells for later use or is converted to fat.  Decreasing carbs lowers insulin levels, which causes the body to burn stored fat for energy and ultimately leads to weight loss.  Low-carb diets may help prevent or improve serious health conditions, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

Carbohydrate restriction is generally safe, however, if you suddenly and drastically cut carbs without taking in adequate fluids and vitamins, you may experience a variety of temporary symptoms, including headache, bad breath, weakness, muscle cramps, fatigue, skin rash and constipation or diarrhea.  In addition, severe carbohydrate restriction in the long term can result in vitamin or mineral deficiencies, bone loss and gastrointestinal disturbance.  It’s not clear what kind of possible long-term health risks a low-carb diet may pose because most research studies have lasted less than a year.  But given that data is showing improvement or even resolution of chronic health conditions like diabetes that shorten life, it’s believed that low-carb diets may be the best option for management of abnormal blood sugar, fatty liver, and metabolic syndrome. 

OK, now that you have the background information, should you go low-carb?

We recommend adopting a reduced-carb diet with a daily carbohydrate target of 100 grams as a key component of the LOVIDIA Way lifestyle.  A reduced-carb diet has many of the health benefits of low-carb (VLCK & LCK) eating without the extreme carbohydrate restriction.  A reduced-carb diet is a healthy, smart-eating approach.  It’s sustainable for life…and you don’t necessarily have to give up pizza!

A greater or lesser degree of carbohydrate restriction may be most appropriate for you as an individual since there is no “one size fits all” approach.  Check with your doctor before starting any lifestyle change program, especially if you have any health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.

REFERENCES:

Hallberg, S. J., McKenzie, A. L., Williams, P. T., Bhanpuri, N. H., Peters, A. L., Campbell, W. W., Volek, J. S. (2018). Effectiveness and Safety of a Novel Care Model for the Management of Type 2 Diabetes at 1 Year: An Open- Label, Non-Randomized, Controlled Study. Diabetes Therapy: Research, Treatment and Education of Diabetes and Related Disorders, 9(2), 583–612. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13300-018-0373-9

Saslow, L. R., Daubenmier, J. J., Moskowitz, J. T., Kim, S., Murphy, E. J., Phinney, S. D., … Hecht, F. M. (2017). Twelve- month outcomes of a randomized trial of a moderate-carbohydrate versus very low-carbohydrate diet in overweight adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus or prediabetes. Nutrition & Diabetes, 7(12), 304. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41387-017-0006-9

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Why Does LOVIDIA Contain Certain Ingredients?

Why Does LOVIDIA Contain Certain Ingredients?

One of the first questions many of our customers ask is “what’s in LOVIDIA?” People want to know about the ingredients and rightfully so.

The key ingredients in LOVIDIA have been carefully selected based on their safety profile and beneficial effects. Each ingredient is all-natural, gluten-free, non-GMO, and GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe).

The next question we often get is “why do you use “X” ingredient in LOVIDIA?” You can replace that X with stevia, pomegranate, berberine, gymnema sylvestre, sodium alginate or amino acids. The key ingredients in LOVIDIA are described below but first, it’s important to understand how these ingredients are used in LOVIDIA formulations.

How does LOVIDIA work?

LOVIDIA is based on the science of Gut Sensory Modulation (GSM). Here’s the nutshell version of how it works:

When you take a LOVIDIA tablet, the special coating allows it to pass through the stomach without breaking down.   Once it reaches the lower gut, the tablet releases its blend of ingredients that stimulate intestinal cells to release important hormones into the blood stream.  These hormones then travel to the brain and other organs to produce a range of beneficial effects.

Click here to learn more about GSM.

Why does LOVIDIA contain stevia?

LOVIDIA contains a stevia leaf extract called rebaudioside A (Reb A for short).  Reb A is the sweetest component of the stevia leaf.  In fact, on a gram-for-gram basis, Reb A is 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar. Its purpose in the LOVIDIA proprietary blend is to stimulate L-cell sweet taste receptors to release GLP-1 and PYY.

Why does LOVIDIA contain pomegranate fruit extract?

Just as Reb A targets the sweet receptor, pomegranate targets the bitter receptor.  It is a highly bitter compound, and its purpose is to stimulate the L-cell bitter receptors to release GLP-1 and PYY.

Why does LOVIDIA contain berberine?

Berberine is one of the most tested and most effective natural ingredients available.  One of its main actions is to activate an enzyme inside cells called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK).  This enzyme is found in the cells of various organs including the brain, heart, liver and kidneys and plays a major role in regulating metabolism.  AMPK is sometimes referred to as a “metabolic master switch”.  The metabolic and cardiovascular benefits of berberine are impressive.  For a detailed review of berberine and its health effects, click here.

Why does LOVIDIA contain gymnema sylvestre?

Gymnema sylvestre is a natural ingredient that reduces the amount of sugar absorbed into the bloodstream providing a two-fold action to combat weight gain and diabetes. Gymnema is an herbal that increases insulin secretion and sensitivity.  For a detailed review of the benefits of this impressive botanical, click here.

Why does LOVIDIA contain several amino acids?

LOVIDIA proprietary blends include three amino acids: glutamine, lysine and leucine. Glutamine stimulates greater release of GLP-1 than any other amino acid. It can help keep weight off by reducing food cravings and giving your body more energy.

Leucine and lysine stimulate the production of ketone bodies. They are the only two amino acids that are exclusively ketogenic.

Why does LOVIDIA contain sodium alginate?

Sodium alginate is naturally present in the cell walls of brown seaweed.  It is a non-digestible carbohydrate fiber that helps to reduce appetite, lower blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

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10 Ways to Enjoy a More Active Family Life

10 Ways to Enjoy a More Active Family Life

One of the best ways to increase your personal wellness is to find someone to hold you accountable, and for you to do the same for them. Who better to do this with than your own family? Whether you and your partner are looking for a way to get motivated or you have young kids who need to learn the importance of wellness, making fitness a family activity is a great idea. 

Not sure how to get started? Below are 10 ways to enjoy a more active family life. You’ll get the dual benefit of spending time with the people you love, while also making fitness and activity a priority. Give any or all of them a shot:

  1. Enjoy a brisk walk: Walking is the easiest way to get the whole family up and moving. Take a walk around the block, head to a nearby park, stroll through the local cemetery or hop on a local path for a quick jaunt. If you have a dog, it’s the perfect excuse to put on your walking shoes.

  2. Go for a bike ride: Biking is a great alternative to walking and something everyone can enjoy. Find a scenic bike trail nearby and put a few miles in. If you live near a lake or lengthy park, scenic rides are a great way to spend an afternoon. Plus, biking is easy enough to enjoy, yet strenuous enough to leave you feeling accomplished after.

  3. Run for a cause: Lace up those shoes and put on a bib! Entering the family in a 5k run/walk or any other short distance run is a run way to encourage a little healthy competition. Run together, see who finishes first or make a few new friends while your team races for a good cause.

  4. Go for a swim: If your family is more aquatically inclined, trade in running shoes for a swim cap and hit the pool. Swimming is a wonderful way to condition your whole body and offers zero impact compared to running. Everyone from toddlers to grandparents can enjoy time spent in the water.

  5. Take a hike: If you live in an area rife with hiking trails, make them your destination for a weekend excursion. Hiking not only builds stamina and burns calories, it connects you to nature and exposes you to the natural beauty of the world around you. Pack a map and some trail mix for the whole family!

  6. Vacation and explore: Going on vacation doesn’t have to mean lazing by the beach all day. Pound the pavement in a major metropolitan city or kayak and hike through untamed wilderness. Take a vacation to a place the whole family can explore and spend time doing things, instead of staying cooped up in a hotel room.

  7. Divvy up the chores: Your family can get active and stay fit without leaving home. Take the growing list of chores and divvy them up, giving everyone jobs to accomplish. Whether it’s mowing the lawn, cleaning the bathroom or reorganizing the garage, there’s bound to be plenty of calories burned.

  8. Play a sport: There are so many sports to consider and plenty of opportunities to join recreational leagues. Enroll you and your partner in an adult kickball league, sign the kids up for soccer, or hoop it up in your own driveway with a family game of Horse. Sports keep you active and teach skills like hand-eye coordination and decision-making.

  9. Get involved with the community: Community events are a great place to enjoy time with family, stay active and get to know the neighborhood. Walk through the local farmer’s market, sign up for a community cleanup day or traipse through the neighborhood visiting rummages. You’ll stay active and meet your neighbors!

  10. Go on an adventure: One of the best ways to stay fit is simply to see the world as an adventure. Take the family geocaching, be tourists in your own city or make it a point to explore nearby destinations you’ve never been to. With the spirit of adventure, you’ll spend more time up and active than you do sitting on the couch.

Each of these activities can accommodate your whole family, no matter how many of you there are. See what activities are most popular with everyone and get out there to try those first! Or, toss them all into a hat and take turns picking which activity you do next. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you stay active and do it as a family!

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8 Ways to be a Little Healthier at the Office

8 Ways to be a Little Healthier at the Office


If you work an office job, you’re spending 40 or more hours each week confined to a desk. Naturally, this causes some health concerns. Sitting, looking at a computer monitor, eating convenience food and stressing all take a toll. But it’s hard to escape these habits! You can’t just abandon your work.


Despite being cooped up in an office five days out of the week, there are a few ways to be a little healthier at work. Here are eight simple things you can start doing today to improve your health. Give them a try one by one, until you’ve incorporated each of them into your workday routine:

  1. Take breaks: Taking a lunch break is nice, but the real benefit to your health comes from hourly breaks. At the end of every hour, take two minutes to stand up, stretch and breathe deep. You’ll feel stress melt away! Limbering up also helps prevent muscle fatigue from sitting all day. Two minutes is all it takes. Refill your water bottle, go to the bathroom or walk a lap of the office.
  2. Stand, don’t sit: If possible, try to stand as much as possible at work. If your office will allow a standing desk, get one! Sitting for extended periods of time will cause compression in your lumbar spine, strain your hamstrings and quadriceps muscles, and reduce your circulation. Standing remedies these problems, keeping you healthy and fit.

  3. Keep drinking water: Drinking more water is something most people need to do. Try filling up a water bottle and making it your goal to drink at least 8oz of water per hour. Keep track by filling up a 16oz water bottle every two hours. You’ll start to feel the positive effects of better hydration in just a few days. You’ll be more alert, have more energy, enjoy a better complexion and feel generally better.

  4. Keep your workspace clean: A clean workspace has both physical and mental wellbeing benefits. Physically, a clean workspace is less prone to germs and bacteria. Mentally, the cleaner your workspace, the more organized and on top of things you’re likely to be. Take a few moments each day to give your area a once-over. Tidy it up, clean up any trash and make sure it’s sanitized.

  5. Invest in ergonomics: Ergonomics focus on best practices for supporting the body’s biomechanics. Things like sitting up straighter, looking forward and supporting the low back are all examples of ergonomics in action. Design your workspace to be ergonomic by getting a supportive chair and ensuring your computer monitor is properly positioned. Ergonomics go a long way towards helping you feel comfortable throughout the day.

  6. Manage stress: Stress is unavoidable at work. Learning to manage it is a great way to avoid a slew of health problems. Stress can cause everything from inflammation, to autoimmune reactions, to physical pain! Avoiding these issues means learning how to recognize when you’re stressed and having an outlet for it. Use a stress ball, get up and go for a cooldown walk, put on some calming music—whatever it takes to give you room to process stress appropriately.

  7. Take the stairs: make the conscious decision to embrace physical effort! While your coworkers are cramming into the elevator, take the stairs and get a small workout right away in the morning. If you work on a floor in the teens, build yourself up to climb a few floors at a time. At the end of the day, take the stairs down as a last triumph before leaving work. As much physical activity as you can work in will help offset sitting for eight hours at a time.

  8. Vary your tasks: It’s easy to get involved in one task as the hours fly by. Do your best to switch things up and vary your work. When you focus too intently for too long, your body suffers. Your muscles tense up, eyes strain, back hunches and more. Your mental health can suffer too—especially if task fatigue sets in. Try to keep yourself engaged with new tasks every half hour if possible. The variability will do your mind and body good.

It doesn’t matter how much money you’re making or how happy you are with your work, there’s no substitute for good health. Take these tips to heart and try incorporating them into your day. The more you can include, the better you’ll feel when the weekend rolls around and the real fun begins!

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Summertime Healthy Weight Loss Tips

Summertime Healthy Weight Loss Tips


Summer is almost here! Many families welcome this time for vacations, and relief of pressures of the school/work year.

However, watching your weight can be tricky with disruption of your regular routine. Plus, the hot sticky weather can make us feel heavy and bloated. Here are some tips to keep you feeling and looking your best for fun in the sun.

Watch the alcohol.
With summer parties and barbeques, sugary cocktails like mojitos and mai tais are everywhere, along with calorie-and carb-rich beers. If you are not careful, these can quickly pack on unwanted pounds. Also, drinking alcohol typically results in over-eating by dis-inhibiting feelings of fullness- basically, when we drink, we tend to overeat! Excess alcohol can also cause dehydration, making you feel extra fatigued from a long beach day. Instead of the sweet cocktails, take an “alcoholiday” – go for sparkling water with lemon, lime, or a slice of orange. If you must drink, choose a wine spritzer or a low-carb “lite” beer, and alternate one alcoholic drink with one glass of water.

Follow the 75/25 rule
Try to fill your plate with 75% watery vegetables like greens, and 25% protein. Eating more greens gives you extra vitamins and boosts hydration, and choosing protein over starches will help you feel less bloated and sluggish. Adequate protein is also critical to maintaining your lean body mass, and helping you recover from exercise.

Choose beverages wisely.
Try junking the juice – while it does contain antioxidants and vitamins, juices flood your body with excess sugar it doesn’t need. Eating the whole fruit is a far better choice – you get a higher fiber to sugar ratio. Also, flavored coffee drinks give us far more sugar than is good for us. Instead of the usual syrup-ey mocha frappe, try swapping your drink for an iced black coffee or flavored unsweetened tea.

Pack healthy snacks
Having fresh, healthy items in your cooler will make it far less likely that you will reach for junk. Try freezing individual yogurt cups – they’ll stay cool till you are ready to nosh. Go for sugar-free Greek yogurts for extra protein without the extra calories and carbs – a good brand is Oikos Zero. Fresh watermelon slices or a berry salad (strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, raspberry) make great sweet treats that everyone, especially kids, really love out at the beach or on the trail. Nuts also can be nutritious and filling, but they also are high-calorie. Measure out ¼ cup portions in individual baggies to be sure you don’t overdo.

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Here’s Why Reduced-Carb Diets are So Effective (and Popular)

Here’s Why Reduced-Carb Diets are So Effective (and Popular)

It seems like there’s a new fad diet every few years that people are eager to hop on the bandwagon for. But just as quickly as they come, they disappear—most of them anyway. There are a few that stick around, and they all have something very important in common. Atkins, the South Beach Diet, Paleo, Whole30 and Keto are all reduced-carb diets.

There’s a reason reduced-carb diets tend to become popular and stay popular: Because they work! The merits of reduced-carb dieting are widely proven. And, they’re extremely easy to follow. Instead of counting calories and starving yourself, the name of the game is avoiding carbohydrates.

Let’s take a look at how reduced-carb diets work, why they work, why they’re so popular and what the benefits of being on one are.

How reduced-carb eating works

Every reduced-carb diet has the same principle: Stay away from carbohydrates. Instead, the major makeup of these diets are proteins and healthy fats. This sets the stage for metabolic change.

Generally, our bodies burn carbohydrates for energy. But, when we eat fewer carbs, our bodies need to adapt. We enter a metabolic state called ketosis, where the body begins to burn fats for energy. This usually happens when we consume less than 50g of carbohydrates in a 24-hour period. It can be a bit of a shock to the system at first, but the body is resilient and quick to adapt.

Why reduced-carb dieting works

The longer you stay on a reduced-carb diet, the more adept your body becomes at sustaining ketosis. Eventually, your body will not only burn the fats in your diet, it’ll also begin burning fat stores, leading to weight loss. At the same time, your body is also going to burn off excess glycogen, which is primarily responsible for holding water weight. It’s a weight loss double-whammy!

Despite burning fat for energy, protein is actually the secret weapon in the reduced-carb diet. Protein plays an important role in satiation. Eating protein leads to a feeling of fullness with fewer total calories, which helps tip the “fewer calories in, more calories out” equation in your favor. Plus, protein keeps you feeling satisfied for longer.

Protein also has a higher thermogenesis than fats or carbs—meaning the body works harder to digest protein, thus burning more energy and expediting weight loss. 

The metabolic switch to ketosis your body makes will have immediate effects (loss of water weight) and continuous long-term benefits (weight loss, energy). Whether you’re on Atkins, Paleo, Keto or one of the other low-carb diets, chances are you’re seeing results. And, people stick to diets when they see results!

Benefits beyond weight loss

People love reduced-carb diets because they show proven weight loss. But there’s so much more to love about the effects they have on your body:

  • Reduced-carb diets are actually great for heart health. Intaking fewer carbs will push your triglyceride levels way down and raise your High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels.
  • Entering ketosis helps the body control its glycemic index, which is great for people living with Type 2 diabetes. Avoiding high-carb foods also means avoiding complex sugars that can drive up insulin levels.
  • Reduced-carb diets have been widely studied for their relation to lower blood pressure. Not only does cutting carbs help lower blood pressure, it can lower a person’s risk for heart disease, stroke and heart attack.
  • People report generally feeling better when eating reduced-carb. More energy, improved mental focus and clarity, and better mood are all associated with a reduced-carb diet. This is consistent with findings that reduced-carb eating can lower the risk of metabolic syndrome.

All of these benefits add up to one big idea that resonates with reduced-carb dieters: They’re healthier. The scale shows them a number that’s getting lower every day. They’re focused and have more energy. Their annual checkups go better. All around, they look, feel and are healthier!

While some fad diets come and go, diets rooted in the reduced-carb philosophy have stayed because they’re proven. More importantly, they’re easy to follow and deliver measurable results. They’re effective and popular, and that makes them a viable option for anyone who not only wants to lose weight, but live a generally healthier life.  

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Unlock the Many Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Unlock the Many Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Fasting—the practice of abstaining from food for extended periods of time—dates back centuries. In fact, fasting is still common in many situations today. Patients fast before undergoing surgery to avoid complications from general anesthesia. Muslims fast during Ramadan as part of their religious observance. Now, people are beginning to fast as part of a healthier lifestyle.

Intermittent fasting (IF) is restricting the time you eat, either on a daily or weekly schedule.  Time restricted eating can be a powerful weight loss tool due to hormonal hunger control, a lessening of blood sugar spikes and a propensity to eat fewer calories overall.  In addition, Intermittent Fasting is simple, leading to sustainability.  As more people turn to fasting for health, they’re also beginning to realize benefits beyond weight loss.  

Sticking to an intermittent fasting regimen could have you experiencing improved focus and mental clarity, lower blood sugar and insulin levels, reduced inflammation, better cholesterol levels and much more.

The science behind IF

On the surface, intermittent fasting is easy enough to understand. Not eating for long periods of time means not taking in calories while your body is expending them. Part of weight loss is a simple equation: fewer calories in and more calories spent means a calorie deficit, which can lead to weight loss.

But under the surface, intermittent fasting is much more complex.  If done right, a person fasting intermittently will change their body’s metabolic processes.

When faced with fewer calories and a more controlled eating schedule, the body gets smarter about how it uses the calories it’s given. This means burning those calories for energy with as little waste as possible and, when necessary, dipping into fat stores to burn those calories. Over time, you’ll see weight loss, more energy, less lethargy and lower inflammation. Your body will start converting fat into energy!

You may have heard the term “ketosis,” popularized by the Keto Diet. The goal of intermittent fasting (and the Keto Diet) is to induce ketosis, optimizing the body’s metabolism of fat. When your body reaches ketosis, the true benefits of fasting start to kick in—improved focus, memory, mood and mental clarity.

What’s the schedule for IF?

Intermittent fasting only works if you stick to a consistent fasting schedule.  To achieve ketosis and experience the full benefits of intermittent fasting, you’ll need a fasting schedule that works for your lifestyle longterm. Here are some of the most common:

  • 16/8: Fasting for 16 hours and eating 2-3 healthy meals in an 8-hour window
  • 5/2: Fasting for 24 full hours (eating less than 500 calories) 2 days per week
  • 1/7: Fasting for 24 full hours (eating zero calories) once per week

These are the simplest intermittent fasting schedules, but by no means the only ones. Typically, ketosis sets in about 8-12 hours after your last meal. To develop your own IF schedule, plan to fast for more than 8 hours at a time and space fasts far enough apart to resume normal eating habits in-between them. For example, other common fasting schedules include alternate-day-fasting ,with fasts every other day, and feast-and-fast, which involves eating one big meal at night and fasting throughout the day.

What can you expect while fasting?

The idea of abstaining from food for long periods of time can be a little scary. Will I get light-headed or pass out? Will I feel disoriented or sick? Can I still walk my dog or go to the gym?

These concerns and more are valid. Intermittent fasting takes a little getting used-to. The good news is, skipping meals a couple days a week won’t impact you as much as you’d think. As you adjust to the schedule, you’re likely to be a little cranky and at first, your energy levels might take a dip. It takes your body about two weeks to get used to fasting habits. After that, you should feel more energetic, happy and healthy!

A few fasting tips to keep in mind

Intermittent fasting sounds easy enough, but a surprising number of people cheat and prevent their body from entering ketosis. For the first few fasts, you’re going to crave food. Resist these cravings! Instead, give these tips a try:

  • Drink more water to satiate your body. Plus, the hydration is good for your skin, hair, nails and general wellness.
  • When you break your fast, eat lots of protein. Protein is a slow-burning source of energy that’ll leave you feeling full for longer into your next fast.
  • Try to keep yourself busy. You’ll be less likely to notice your rumbling stomach if you’re occupied by something else.

Give intermittent fasting a try!

If you’re trying to lose weight or want to explore some new opportunities for personal wellness, intermittent fasting is a great option. Most people can do it, so long as you stick to your fasting schedule. That said, everyone should consult a physician before fasting. Some groups of people may need to take special precautions, like those with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes or anyone taking prescription medications.

Intermittent fasting is more than a weight loss trend, it’s a lifestyle shift with so many benefits beyond weight loss!