Body Composition: Weight Is Not The Only Measure Of Health

Body Composition: Weight Is Not The Only Measure Of Health

If you’re trying to get healthier through diet, exercise, or both, you need to become familiar with the term “body composition.” Understanding your own specific body composition can help you more accurately determine your weight loss goals and how to effectively achieve them. A Quick Definition Body composition is a way to describe what our bodies are made of, including protein, minerals, fat, and water. However, a discussion of body composition generally refers to the amount of muscle and fat on a particular body. A recent article on InBodyUSA.com states, “Put simply, you’ve got to know your body composition if you are in any way serious about managing your weight and improving your quality of life. Without knowing what you’re actually made of, you can only guess at how much muscle and fat you actually have. Guessing leads to frustration, frustration leads to indifference, and indifference leads to quitting.” Body Composition And Weight Loss Being healthy is not just about deciding to lose a certain number of pounds. It’s about ensuring that your body as a whole is functioning effectively based on a number of factors, particularly the amount of body fat that works for you. Another InBodyUSA article puts it this way. “If you just track weight, this invariably leads to comparing yourself to someone else. Even though there could be significant differences in height, muscle mass, genetics, or other factors, all people hear when they talk about or think about their weight is the number.” Two people might weigh the same but have very different body compositions. One person might exercise regularly so the number on the...
You’re Not Done Once You Lose The Weight

You’re Not Done Once You Lose The Weight

You made the commitment. You stayed on track. You overcame temptations. You changed bad habits. And you hit your goal weight! If you’re suddenly feeling a little disoriented because there’s no longer that goal in front of you to keep you motivated, you’re not alone. Most people feel better and function better when there’s a goal in front of them. Once you hit a goal, it’s hard to know what to do next. Let Go Of “Before and After” A recent blog on the site Nerd Fitness says one way to gain direction is to stop thinking in terms of “Before and After” and instead go to “Before and Now,” because “we are never truly done.  There’s always a bigger mountain to climb, another race to run, another goal to achieve.” Look at your new, healthy life as “now” rather than “after the weight loss.” In this now period, you can find new goals to keep you just as healthy and motivated as you were in your diet phase. Binge On Progress Studies have shown that any kind of “win” releases dopamine into our system, which makes us want to keep progressing and feeling great. It can even make us smarter, says this article. As humans, says Nerd Fitness, “We love making progress so much that we can actually enjoy it more than getting the thing we wanted in the first place! It doesn’t need to be big progress, it just needs to be enough that we realize we are moving forward, improving….it’s why we play a game long after it’s ceased being enjoyable just to get that 100% completion trophy.” So now it’s...
To Stay Healthy, Stay Hydrated

To Stay Healthy, Stay Hydrated

Most everyone loves the summer. Long, sunny days provide opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in a variety of ways. However, those hot sunny days also come with the risk of dehydration—which simply means that more water is moving out of our bodies than we’re replacing through drinking. Dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion and other serious health issues, so it’s more important in summer to keep the fluids going along with staying out of the heat. And although there are lots of options, water is the best choice for maintaining hydration and overall health. Causes And Symptoms Of Dehydration In the summer, dehydration is generally caused by excessive exposure to heat combined with not taking in enough water. A sunburn or skin ailment can also cause dehydration because water is more easily lost through damaged skin. WebMD lists these symptoms of dehydration in adults, from minor to severe: Increased thirst Dry mouth and swollen tongue Weakness, Dizziness, Fainting Jumping or pounding heart Confusion Inability to sweat Decreased urine output   “If you are concerned that you are not drinking enough water,” says FamilyDoctor.org, “check your urine. If your urine is consistently colorless or light yellow, you are most likely staying well hydrated. Dark yellow or amber-colored urine is a sign of dehydration.” Benefits Of Proper Hydration Besides keeping you out of the hospital, staying hydrated has many other health benefits starting with appetite control. The site LiveStrong.com states, “Drinking water before a meal can decrease your appetite and help prevent overeating. Researchers from the American Chemical Society found that dieters who drank 2 cups of water before each meal lost 5...
4 Tips To Make Fast And Healthy Food Choices

4 Tips To Make Fast And Healthy Food Choices

Making the commitment to lose weight gives you a great feeling. You’ve taken control of your life and you’re looking forward to getting healthier day by day. But then reality steps in. Managing Food Temptations The fact is that it can be hard to eat healthy—not just in making the right food choices but in the extra time it can take to prepare those good-for-you meals and snacks. When you’re hungry, it’s so easy to reach for a bag of chips or box of cookies if there’s nothing better on hand or nothing you can fix in a matter of minutes. But with a little imagination, you can create meals and snacks that are not only fast, but also healthy. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Tips For Taking Control of What You Eat CREATE MEAL PLANS – This is often the hardest habit to get into, but once you start it brings amazing results. Take time on the weekend to plan out your meals for the week, or at least your dinners. Try one new recipe each week to keep things interesting. MAKE EASY-REACH HEALTHY SNACKS – Wash and cut your favorite fruits and veggies, then put them into containers in your fridge. Storing them at eye-level helps you spot them quickly so you can make a better choice. DONE-FOR-YOU SMOOTHIE PACKS – Put all your smoothie ingredients into a zip-lock bag and then freeze them. You can write any additional non-frozen ingredients or directions on the front of the bag. Then just grab a bag and throw in your blender or food processor for...
Want To Lose More Weight? Use Your Brain

Want To Lose More Weight? Use Your Brain

Open any magazine, watch any TV show, and you’ll see ads on the “science” of weight loss: what foods to eat, how certain foods affect your metabolism, the right time to eat—and more. While these are indeed important aspects of dropping pounds and getting healthy, studies are now proving that your mind also plays a huge role in your overall health and your ability to lose weight through the brain-gut connection. One mind-based strategy that could help you reach your weight loss goals is mindfulness, specifically mindful eating. Focus, Focus, Focus Research by the Harvard Medical School have shown “that a slower, more thoughtful way of eating could help with weight problems and maybe steer some people away from processed food and unhealthy choices.”  One study indicated that mindfulness-based therapy helped binge eaters to enjoy their food more and control their eating with less difficulty. Mindfulness is keeping a moment-by-moment focus on our thoughts, feelings, and environment while doing something. Mindful eating entails: Taking small bites and chewing slowly Noticing the flavors, colors, smells and textures of the food you’re eating Not watching TV or reading while eating Eating with your non-dominant hand Putting your fork down between bites Your Body Gets It Darya Rose, author, PhD in Neuroscience, and owner of the site Summer Tomato, partnered with NordicTrack to create a great mindful eating infographic that explains just how your body benefits from this practice. Among the proven benefits are: Increased immune functions An enhanced feeling of fullness so you feel satisfied and don’t over-eat Decreased stress levels which can enhance gut health and improve overall mind function Improved...