8 Natural Ways to Lose Weight Fast

Lose Weight

When you do a Google search, you can find a lot of information on weight loss. However, not all that information would be effective. There are many rapid weight loss methods, different types of diets and supplements, but most lack scientific evidence.

A Medical News Today article discussed certain weight loss methods that scientific research supports. Let’s take a look at this:

  1. Include Protein in your Diet
  2. As protein is rich in nutrients, it supports weight loss. A high-protein diet can reduce your appetite, boost metabolism (up to 80–100 calories per day) and make you feel fuller. Reports prove that for a high-protein breakfast, the hormonal effects can last for several hours. Make sure to include eggs, oats, nut, seed butters, quinoa porridge, sardines or chia seed pudding in your breakfast to make it protein rich.

  3. Intermittent Fasting (IF)
  4. This eating pattern involves regular, short-term fasts that helps you consume less calories, resulting in weight loss over time. This fasting method also help modifying risk factors such as lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels for health conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. Some of the most popular intermittent fasting methods include:

  5. 16:8 Method
  6. This method recommends fasting for 16 hours and eating during a set window of 8-hours per day. It was proven that consuming food during a restricted period help participants eat fewer calories and thus lose weight.

  7. 5:2 Diet
  8. In this intermittent fasting plan, participants can eat normally five days per week without any restriction on calories and on the rest two days, they should reduce calorie intake to one-quarter of their daily needs.

  9. The Warrior Diet
  10. Based on the eating patterns of ancient warriors, this method recommends eating very little for 20 hours a day, and then consuming as much food as desired throughout a 4-hour window at night. With this diet, you can consume any non-calorie fluids, dairy products in small amounts, hard-boiled eggs, raw fruits and vegetables during the 20-hour fast period.

  11. Eat-Stop-Eat
  12. In this plan, dieters identify one or two non-consecutive days per week during which they abstain from eating, for 24-hour period. Then for the remaining days of the week, dieters can eat freely, but around a well-rounded diet without over consuming food.

  13. Mindful Eating
  14. To maintain a healthy weight, it is important to enjoy the food you eat and pay attention to how and where they eat food. This practice is referred to as mindful eating, which helps gain control over eating habits. This proven technique involves eating slowly without distraction, listening to physical hunger signals, observing the effects food has on feelings and figure and more. This technique is also ideal to treat many conditions such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and other food-related behaviors.

    Healthline recommends that to practice mindfulness, make sure you –

    • Eat more slowly and never rush your meals.
    • Chew thoroughly and eat in silence.
    • Turn off the TV and put down phone to eliminate any distractions.
    • Focus on how the food makes you feel and stop eating when you’re full.

  15. Reduce Intake of Sugar and Heavily Processed Foods
  16. It is important to limit your intake of added sugar to improve your diet and prevent obesity and many other diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Also avoid consuming refined carbohydrates or heavily processed foods such as bread or white rice, as those foods do not contain fiber or other nutrients and may contribute to weight gain. Instead of sugary foods and refined carbohydrates, consider including whole-grain bread and pasta, fruit, nuts, and seeds, herb teas and fruit-infused water and smoothies with water or milk in your diet.

  17. Consume Fiber-Rich Foods
  18. Including fiber-rich foods such as whole-grain breakfast cereals, peas, beans, pulses, nuts and seeds in your diet can increase the feeling of fullness, which could potentially lead to weight loss. Choose fruits and vegetables too, as you could eat large servings without consuming too many calories.

  19. Get Enough Sleep
  20. Getting enough sleep is necessary for weight loss and to prevent future weight gain. Many studies indicate that sleep-deprivation could lead to obesity and the number is even higher for children. Lack of sleep slows down the body metabolism process and could also lead to poor appetite regulation.

  21. Focus on Stress Management
  22. Tension or stress can release hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol in body. Though these hormones initially decrease appetite, constant stress will increase the appetite, potentially leading to eat more. You can rely on stress-management programs to reduce the body mass index (BMI). Consider yoga, meditation, any breathing or relaxation techniques to manage stress.

The most effective way to lose your weight is to track what you eat and drink each day. To manage your weight, make sure to log every item you consume in an app, diary or an online tracker. The best way to reach and maintain a healthy weight is to eat a nutritious and balanced diet.

Top 8 Weight-Loss-Friendly Vegetables

Top 8 Weight-Loss-Friendly VegetablesBeing obese or gaining weight not only affects your aesthetic confidence, it’s also dangerous and closely linked to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and so on. Incorporating plenty of veggies in your diet can prevent weight gain and keep these diseases at bay. Vegetables are packed full of protective vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients and antioxidants that can prevent many diseases.

Here are 8 vegetables that can support your weight loss efforts:

  1. Cauliflower: A good source of fiber and low in calories, cauliflower has several properties that may help with weight loss. One of these properties is its high water content — 92% of this vegetable’s weight is made up of water. Generally, consuming lots of water-dense, low-calorie foods is associated with weight loss. Also, as per the USDA National Nutrient Database, cauliflower is fat-free, cholesterol-free, and low in sodium. It also helps in slow digestion and promotes a feeling of fullness.
  2. Spinach: Spinach is rich in insoluble fiber which is the key element that helps weight loss. It can speed up the weight loss process and make it easier for you to shed those extra kilos. Including this leafy vegetable in your diet would provide many health benefits.
  3. Broccoli: Rich in dozens of nutrients, broccoli is a hearty and tasty vegetable. A good. Fiber-rich carb, broccoli aids in digestion, prevents constipation, controls blood sugar, and checks overeating. Apart from high-quality fiber, minerals and vitamins, broccoli also contains phytochemicals that help enhance fat loss in the body. One of the best ways to eat this veggie is to put it in salads.
  4. Mushrooms: A true superfood with numerous health benefits, mushrooms are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These edible fungi promote weight loss and burn fat by regulating the levels of glucose in the blood. They’re also rich in protein and can help you increase your metabolism, resulting in fat loss.
  5. Sweet potato: With a bit more fiber than white potato, sweet potato aids weight loss by forming a gel like mesh in the stomach which makes you feel fuller for longer and thus prevents you from overeating.
  6. Cucumbers: According to Fitness Health Forever, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recognized cucumber as a carrier of fat-free, saturated fat-free, cholesterol-free and sodium-free nutrients. lLow in calories and high in water and fiber, cucumber will fill you up and eliminate the need for you to eat more often.
  7. Green peas: Another rich source of veggie, green peas are good for weight loss. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients like complex carbs, green peas offer many health benefits while prolonging the feeling of satiety. Peas are also packed with proteins, another component that adds to your feeling of fullness and reduces appetite.
  8. Asparagus: As its low in calories, high in water and rich in fiber, asparagus has several features that make it a weight-loss friendly food. It is packed with vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6, as well as folate, iron, copper, calcium and protein.

In addition to incorporating these weight loss friendly foods in your diet, make sure you exercise too. Regular exercise is very important for weight loss. Also, reduce stress, get adequate sleep, and drink enough water.

7 High-Fiber Foods for Weight Loss

High-Fiber Foods

If you are looking to lose weight through food, incorporate lots of high-fiber foods in your diet. Healthy fiber-rich foods are super-filling, support your digestive system, and make achieving your weight loss goals a lot easier. Naturally found in complex carb foods such as fruits, veggies, grains, and legumes, dietary fiber is a class of complex carbohydrates that comprise a long chain of sugar molecules.

There are two forms of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber which dissolves in water helps to slow digestion, keeps you full for a longer time, helps balance blood sugar and lowers cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber moves through your digestive tract undigested. It’s important to include healthy, soluble and insoluble high-fiber foods in your diet consistently. Not doing so will result in dips in energy, difficulty in losing weight, and also increase your risk of diabetes and inflammation.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Americans should consume 28 grams of fiber per day if they’re following a 2,000 calorie diet. However, a report from the FDA notes that the average American woman eats only 15 grams of fiber a day, while the average American man eats just less than 19 grams of fiber per day. This should change. The recommended daily intake of fiber for women is at least 25 grams and at least 36 grams for men. You can achieve these goals by increasing your intake of high-fiber foods. Here are 7 top high-fiber foods to include in your diet.

  1. Leafy Greens: Loaded with fiber, leafy greens such as spinach, kale, Swiss chard, bok choy have several properties that make them perfect for a weight loss diet. They are low in calories and carbohydrates and make you feel full without increasing the calories in your diet. Along with being fiber-rich, leafy greens are also incredibly nutritious and high in many vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.
  2. Cruciferous Vegetables: Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables. They are high in fiber and protein and tend to be incredibly filling. Cruciferous vegetables combine protein, fiber and low energy density which make them an ideal option to include in your meals if you want to lose weight.
  3. Beans and Legumes: Some beans and legumes – such as lentils, black beans, kidney beans and some others – can be beneficial for weight loss. These foods tend to be high in protein and fiber – two nutrients that have been shown to lead to satiety.
  4. Avocados: A unique fruit – that is loaded with healthy fats, avocados contain a lot of water and fiber, making them less energy-dense. Make sure to keep your intake moderate.
  5. Whole Grains: Whole grains such as oats, brown rice and quinoa are loaded with fiber and contain a decent amount of protein. If you are trying to lose weight, avoid refined grains and eat whole grains as they are packed with fiber and other nutrients.
  6. Chia Seeds: One of the most nutritious foods on the planet, chia seeds are a great source of fiber. This food fills you up and reduces appetite.
  7. Berries: One of highest-fiber fruits, berries such as raspberries and blackberries can decrease calorie intake and make weight management easier.

Apart from keeping your appetite and your weight in check, fiber is heart-healthy, good for gut health, and can reduce risk of diabetes and certain cancers.

10 Mistakes To Avoid When Trying To Lose Weight

Lose Weight

A low calorie diet and regular exercise can help you shed pounds, but there is much more to succeeding in your weight loss journey. You may know about things that you should do, but not about the things that you shouldn’t do to succeed with weight loss. These mistakes can pause or upset your progress. Every person is unique and some weight loss methods that work for another person may not be effective for you. It’s important to work you’re your doctor to craft a proper plan to complete your weight loss journey successfully.

Weight loss is much more than reducing calories, it depends on your sleep, stress, etc. You also need to watch out and not do anything that can set you back. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when trying to lose weight:

  • Not having a Solid Plan: When you decide to lose weight, not having a realistic plan is a mistake. You should be ready to meet challenging situations. Start off with a few specific, actionable goals for the first week. Once you become an expert in that, keep adding on. These action steps will gradually become lifelong habits.
  • Buying items labeled ‘fat-free’, ‘gluten-free’, or ‘sugar-free’: Knowing the actual ingredients in any food item you buy is necessary. Make an informed decision after reading the label. For instance, a fat-free flavored drinking yogurt may contain as much sugar as a chocolate bar, which means it is not healthy at all. So, shop wisely.
  • Drinking your Calories: Fruit juices, beer, wine, etc. are full of carbs and calories that will leave you hungry. Your brain doesn’t react to liquid calories the same way as they it does to calories from food. Drink water, but not sweetened drinks that don’t provide any nutrients. Smoothies and prepackaged juices are usually loaded with extra sugar, harmful chemicals, and preservatives, and will work against weight loss, besides being bad for your health.
  • Skipping Meals: Eating patterns like the frequency and distribution of eating the entire day can significantly impact weight loss progress. Many people think that reducing calorie intake by skipping meals can speed up the weight loss process. The truth is that skipping meals can lead you to overeat at the next meal since you are even hungrier. It can also negatively impact your blood sugar levels, metabolism, and energy level.
  • Not Getting Enough Sleep: Losing sleep while dieting can reduce the amount of weight lost and encourage overeating (www.sleepfoundation.org). Sleep deprivation can lead to the levels of leptin (the fullness hormone) to go down and overproduction of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. When you don’t get enough sleep, you will feel hungry and will eat more, leading to weight gain. Make sure you get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep.
  • Not Getting Enough Protein: If you are trying to lose weight, including protein in your diet is necessary. Protein reduces your appetite, increases the feeling of fullness, and boosts your metabolic rate. To optimize weight loss, ensure your every meal contains high-protein food.
  • Not Consuming Enough Fiber: Incorporating fiber-rich foods in your diet is a crucial element in weight loss. Soluble fiber is helpful because it absorbs water, becomes gel, and then moves slowly through your digestive system, making you feel full for a long time. Fiber is also believed to slow fat absorption and keep blood sugar levels in check, both of which help your body store less fat.
  • Not Staying Hydrated: Not staying hydrated can impact how your body burns fat. Dehydration encourages excessive calorie intake and slows down your metabolism. It can make you tired and restrict you from being active.
  • Not Exercising or Exercising too much: While restricting calories, not exercising at all can lead to loss of muscle mass and lower metabolism. Exercise helps burns fat, prevents your metabolism from slowing down, and minimizes the amount of lean muscle mass you lose. On the other hand, over exercising is unhealthy as it can lead to severe stress as you are forcing your body to burn more calories.
  • Eating too many or too Few Calories: You need to burn more calories than you consume. Even if you eat healthy caloric-rich foods like nuts and cheese, it’s important to watch portion size. On the other hand, too little calorie consumption can make you hungry and reduce your metabolism and muscle mass. Studies have found that a low-diet providing less than 1000 calories per day can lead to muscle loss and significantly slow down metabolism.

Weight loss is not just about reducing calorie intake. It also depends on your sleep patterns, exercise regimen, and stress levels, as well as factors beyond your control, like genetics. Avoiding these weight loss mistakes and following the rules most of the time is critical to succeed. Also, don’t forget to set realistic goals- this is important to help you stay motivated and on track.

10 Effective Weight Loss Strategies

Weight Loss

People gain weight due to many reasons, the most common one being eating more calories than their body needs. Some people eat whatever they want and they don’t put on weight while other gain weight no matter how little they eat. Weight gain depends on your calorie intake, how many calories you store, and how many you burn up. The fact is that each of these factors depend on your genes, your environment and your lifestyle. The balance of calorie intake and how many you burn depends on your genetic makeup, level of physical activity, and the calories burn while you rest.

The best way to meet your weight loss goals is to keep track of everything you put in your mouth. Along with that, follow these tips:

  • Reduce carbs intake: Reducing sugars, starches, and carbohydrates is an important part of the weight loss process. When you cut these, your hunger level decreases, which leads to less eating. Now your body burns stored fat for energy instead of carbs for energy. Cutting carbs also lower your insulin levels and cause kidney to shed excess sodium and water. It will reduce unnecessary water weight and bloating. Cutting carb intake can reduce body weight and water weight by reducing hunger and lead to quick and easy weight loss.
  • Don’t skip meals: When you are hungry your body knows that and will crave for the foods that are high in energy density. This will go against all your dieting plans, so pay attention to hunger and don’t let your body think that you are starving it.
  • Drink water before meals: According to a study, drinking a half-liter (17 ounces) of water half an hour before meals helped dieters eat less calories. It helps them reduce 44% more weight compared to those who didn’t drink water. Drinking water before meals will boost your metabolism by 24-30% in an interval of 1 to 1.5 hours, helping you burn a few more calories.
  • Have barley for breakfast: Researchers have found that barley has a reputation for fighting hunger, and having it or rye kernel for breakfast kept blood sugar on a base level. These are low glycemic index (GI) foods, which means they raise blood sugar levels slower compared to other carbohydrate foods.
  • Drink green tea: Green tea contains small amounts of caffeine and loaded with powerful antioxidants called catechins. It is believed that they work with caffeine to improve the fat burning process. Studies also show that green tea either as a beverage or a green tea extract supplement will promote weight loss.
  • Use portion-controlled dishes: Another way to eat less is to use smaller plates, bowls, and cups to reduce the amount of food you take. While using smaller plates, fill them up – this will keep you from feeling deprived. A study related to this shows that people who used a 9-inch plate vs. a 10 to 12 inch plate ate up to 22% less.
  • Beef up your lunch salad: Having a vegetable salad is good but it will make you starve by mid-afternoon. A salad is a great choice and if you add some protein and a little fat it can keep you full longer, says Joan Salge Blake, RD, professor of nutrition at Boston University. So, balance your plate with a 3oz piece of chicken breast and add about two tablespoons of light salad dressing. This will make you feel full for longer without affecting your diet plan.
  • Keep healthy food around: Keep healthy foods handy and reach for them when hunger strikes. Whole fruit, baby carrots, yogurt, and nuts make great snacks. They will calm your hunger and prevent you from eating unhealthy food.
  • Eat fiber-rich foods: Foods with fiber content keep gut bacteria healthy, reduce appetite and promotes overall fat loss. Studies shows that eating 30 grams of fiber every day can help lose your weight, lower blood pressure, and improve your body’s response to insulin – similar to a more complicated diet.
  • Do aerobic exercises: Aerobic exercise can help burn calories, and enhance physical and mental health. It is particularly effective for losing belly fat – the unhealthy fat that surrounds your organs and cause metabolic diseases.

Weight gain is largely a result of eating behavior and lifestyle. You can successfully achieve your goals with some willpower, dedication, and perseverance. Follow the above-listed strategies and avoid a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food.

Health Goals You Achieve If You Walk Daily

Walk

The great Greek physician Hippocrates once said “Walking is man’s best medicine”. Walking daily can reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases and increase health benefits not only physical, but also mental well-being by reducing stress. It is an aerobic exercise, which means that it increases oxygen flow in the bloodstream and helps eliminate toxins and wastes.

The Impact of Walking Exercise on Weight Loss

The effect of walking exercise is amazing if you do it daily. For instance, when you consume food that contains 300 kcal, you can expend approximately 300 kcal if you walk at 3 miles per hour, which means that the energy intake from the consumed food (300kcal) is equal to the energy consumed by moderate walking 30-60 min at 3 Mph. This type of activity would help with weight loss. If this continues for a period of two to four months the body weight is reduced. Walking combined with a healthy diet, will increase your heart rate which, in turn, will improve your fitness. Walking outdoors is a great immunity booster, it boosts your mental health. Exposure to sunlight helps produce vitamin D, and it will also enhance the functioning of the immune system.

Fitness and Life coach Lisa Olona, recommends that while you walk it is important to keep your heart rate up i.e. between 120-150 bpm. “So, do a power walk, “she says. Focusing on a power walk will help maintain your elevated heart rate. When walking, your arms should be involved with your elbows at a 90-degree angle. The higher your heart rate, the more calories you will burn. You will burn more calories if you walk briskly for 30 minutes at a heart rate of 130bpm, than walking slowly for 45 min at a heart rate of 90 bpm. You can increase your heart rate by walking up and down hills without having to increase your pace. It is important to keep track of your diet, pace, distance and heart rate if you are doing this specifically for weight loss. It is recommended to include whole foods, such as lean proteins, fresh-veggies and fruits, low carb foods and good fats that are nutrient-dense in your diet.

Practice This to Make It a Routine

  • Take an easy paced 15 minutes’ walk
  • Walk 5 days a week to build a habit
  • Add a few extra minutes each time
  • Aim for a brisk space

Walk Properly with These Tips

  • Always keep your head up
  • Shoulders should be kept down and back, don’t hunch over, because it can strain the muscles and joints in your shoulders, neck and back.
  • Focus on core muscles by pulling your belly button in towards your spine
  • Swing your arms, but don’t swing across the body or up too high
  • Maintain a heel to toe pace, means strike the ground with your heels first

You Should Not Do the Following Things While Walking

  • Don’t look down
  • Don’t roll your hips
  • Don’t slouch
  • Don’t walk in the wrong shoes.

Other Benefits Are

  • Improved Eyesight: It helps combat glaucoma by relieving eye pressure. Glaucoma is developed when too much fluid builds up in the eye, increasing the pressure inside. That pressure affects the optical nerve which results in visual impairment. The glaucoma research foundation recommends walking as one of the best ways to reduce the risk of developing glaucoma and even relieve its symptoms.
  • Improves Asthmatic and Respiratory Conditions: Walking is a slow intensity activity and you can build it up when you feel comfortable. It is a good option to improve your lung capacity, make breathing a bit smoother and reduce your asthma symptoms. It is better for asthma patients to breathe through nose rather than the mouth because air is warmed and filtered before reaching the lungs.
  • Prevents heart disease: According to the American Heart Association, walking is no less effective than running when it comes to prevention of heart disease and stroke. A half-an-hour walk daily helps improve blood circulation, and avoid serious problems like coronary heart disease, by lowering high BP and cholesterol levels.
  • Prevents chances of Alzheimer’s: Being sedentary for a long period of time can affect the proper functioning of the brain, that means the brain starts shrinking for sedentary people. By doing exercise like walking, you bring change to your sedentary lifestyle and this will rejuvenate your brain activity. It will increase the oxygen circulation throughout the body and the brain starts functioning better than earlier, this reduces the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
  • Improved digestion: Walking half an hour daily not only reduces the risk of developing colon cancer, but also improves digestion and regulates bowel movements.

Walking can help you gain social life, good mood, creative thinking, reduce stress, reduce risk of other health conditions, other diseases and many more. If you are not able to work out due to your busy lifestyle include your walking exercise in your daily routine, like using stairs instead of lift, walk to the local shops instead of driving, walk part of your commute, engage in house cleaning etc. Remember, even a little is good but more is better.

Exercise at Home: Stay Active and Get Fit without a Gym

The coronavirus outbreak led to lockdowns for gyms, parks, theatres and for other several businesses. These measures of putting citizens under lockdown for social distancing is the only way to reduce contact between people and prevent spread of the virus. Gyms are one of the businesses that were forced to shut down during the pandemic and exercise enthusiasts wondered how they could do without them. But even as gyms in some states are starting to reopen, many people wonder if it’s safe to go.

exercise at home

The good news is that fitness experts say that even if you don’t have a dedicated workout space or fancy machines, you can still manage to get a good workout in your home. As doing regular exercise and staying healthy under normal circumstances is very important to ensure good quality of life, exercising at home should be considered.

Strength training refers to any exercise that uses resistance, either from your own body weight, free weights, or specialized machines. Body weight routines are one great way to go, and you can do them without any equipment or machines. There are a number of exercises you can do at home:

  • Squats: Start by standing straight, with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and your arms at your side. Keep your chest and chin up, push your hips back and bend your knees as if you’re going to sit on a chair. Make sure that your knees don’t bow inward or outward, drop down until your thighs are parallel to the ground, bringing your arms out in front of you in a comfortable position. Pause for one second, then extend your legs and return to the starting position.
  • Push-ups: This is a basic exercise where you start with plank position, keep your body tight, shoulder pulled down and back. Bend your elbows and slowly lower your body and when your chest grazes the floor, extend your elbows and return to the start. Keep your elbows close to your body during the movement.
  • Sit-ups: This is an effective exercise for the abdominal muscles. Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Keep your arms behind you head and slowly begin to roll up from your head, engaging your core throughout. Don’t strain your neck during the upward motion. When your chest comes close to your legs, begin the controlled phase back down to the starting position.
  • Bent Over Row: Hinge forward at your hips. Pull a weighted barbell toward your torso while keeping your elbows close to your body and your back straight. Perform sets of six to 12 repetitions, performing each set to muscle failure to improve muscular strength and endurance.
  • Burpees: This is an effective exercise for your whole body. Begin by standing upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms on your side. Put your hands on the front and start to squat down and as soon as your hands reach the ground, pop your legs back to a push-up position. Do a push-up and then get back to the starting push-up position and jump your feet up to your palms by hinging at the waist. Your feet must be as close to your hands as possible, landing outside your hands if necessary.
  • Wall Sit: Lean on a wall in the house and sit against it as if it’s a chair with your legs at 90 degrees. Stand still in the position and hold. Back straight, stay in that position for three minutes. Once you get used to it, increase your time. Do it three times in the set of three.

One of the best things about exercising at home is that it can be done in your living room while watching television or listening to your favorite music. However, check with your doctor before you start any new exercise regimen.

8 Best Postpartum Exercises for New Moms

Gestation brings drastic changes to a woman’s body, her emotions, and her life. One of the common changes that many new moms have to deal with is weight gain. In fact, most are looking for ways to regain their pre-pregnancy body. The answer lies in postpartum exercise. No matter how fit you were before and even during pregnancy, postpartum exercise is good for your overall health as it helps you to get your body back after having a baby and also help reduce the risk of postpartum depression (PPD). Even, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that new moms incorporate exercise in their daily routine. According to the ACOG,resuming exercise activities or incorporating new exercise routines after delivery is important for supporting lifelong healthy habits. Of course, it’s important that you talk to your doctor before beginning your workouts.

Best Postpartum Exercises for New Moms

Besides helping you get your pre-pregnancy body back, postpartum exercises can boost energy, restore physical strength, and promote better sleep. ACOG recommends aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity – anything that bumps up your heart rate and makes you break a sweat, like brisk walking or bike riding – every week, along with two days of strength training (which includes yoga, Pilates and lifting weights).

Before you starting working out again, it’s important to have realistic expectations as your body is different now and you won’t immediately be as strong as you once were. Start with simple, functional exercises you can later build on. Here are 8 best postnatal exercises that experts say new moms can easily carry off:

  1. Walking: This is one of the simplest and most beneficial of exercises. Walking can be done anywhere.Walking not only gets your heart rate up and builds a stronger heart, but also enhances your endurance, allowing you to work your way back to a regular exercise routine.
  2. Diaphragmatic Breathing: A core exercise that promotes relaxation, diaphragmatic breathing is a gente postpartum ab workout. Begin in a supine position (on your back) with your legs extended straight out and your arms relaxed by your side. Inhale and fill your belly up. Then exhale all the air out as you press your lower back into the ground.
  3. Swimming: Swimming is a great option to boost overall strength. This low impact workout would be gentle on the joints. A great full-body workout, swimming helps you lose excess weight and also improves muscle tone.
  4. Yoga: This is a relaxing but effective workout that helps stretch and strengthen your muscles. The benefits of yoga postpartum include loosening stiff muscles, reducing stress, combating fatigue and strengthening the abdominal and pelvic region. Performing yoga under expert guidance is crucial to maintain correct posture and prevent injuries.
  5. Kegels: Kegel exercises involve contracting and releasing the pelvic muscles and can be done almost immediately following child birth (www.babycenter.com). They improve circulation to the pelvic area and helps prevent incontinence. As the pelvic muscles tire easily, it’s best to do several contractions repeatedly throughout the day rather than in one session.
    • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
    • Tighten the pelvic floor muscles.
    • Hold for a count of ten, then release. Repeat ten times. Try to work up to three or four sets about three times a day.
    • Don’t tighten leg or abdominal muscles.
  6. Lying March: This workout mainly targets the abs.
    • Lie face up with knees bent 90 degrees and aligned over hips, arms extended at sides and palms on the ground.
    • Pull abs in, then slowly lower right foot, stopping just before it touches the ground.
    • Raise right leg to starting position and repeat on left side to complete 1 rep.
    • Twice a week, do 1 set of 12 to 15 reps, resting 30 to 60 seconds between sets.
  7. Cycling: Another great low impact workout, cycling will get your heart rate up. Start slowly and don’t worry about picking up the pace too quickly, as this will gradually happen over time.
  8. Pilates: One of the best workouts you can do after delivery, Pilates encourage proper, slow, yet precise, strengthening of your abdominal muscles, hips and back, which helps relieve lower back and pelvic floor discomfort from pregnancy.

However, postpartum exercise presents a unique set of challenges as your body is still healing from delivery, and with a newborn in the house, you might be feeling very tired. As every pregnancy and delivery is different, you would also need to get clearance from your doctor before you start any exercise program.

6 Top Weight-Loss Diets for 2020

Weight-Loss DietsIt’s estimated that nearly half of American adults attempt to lose weight each year. Diet and exercise are necessary to improve health and lose weight. There are many types of diets available now and each one has its supporters, who post all over social media about how their particular choice helped them achieve their goals. Experts say that the key to success is to find which diet will help you lose weight and more importantly, help maintain outcomes long-term. Here are six ideal diets for weight-loss diets in 2020:

  1. Mediterranean diet: This is one of the most healthy eating plans recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to promote health and prevent chronic disease. This diet plan also helps weight loss if you limit your calorie intake to 1,500 a day or less. A PREDIMED study that aimed to assess the efficacy of the Mediterranean diet in the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases showed that people lost slightly more weight when following a Mediterranean diet, compared to a low-fat diet.

A Mediterranean-style diet includes healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, nuts, and fish at least twice a week, plenty of beans, fruit, leafy greens, and whole grains, and even a daily glass of red wine. You can also eat cheese in moderation, but red meat needs to be limited to once or twice a week.

  1. Volumetrics diet: Ranked second in Best Weight-Loss Diets by U.S. News& World Report, the Volumetrics diet focuses on the energy density of foods which is the key to achieving healthy, long-term weight loss. This diet plan aims to help you quit on-and-off dieting by living a healthy lifestyle based on nutritious food and regular exercise. Created by Barbara Rolls, PhD, a professor of nutrition at Penn State University, foods are divided into four categories in the Volumetrics diet:
  • Category 1 (very low-density): Nonstarchy fruits and vegetables, nonfat milk and broth-based soup
  • Category 2 (low-density): Starchy fruits and veggies, grains, breakfast cereal, low-fat meat, legumes and low-fat mixed dishes like chili and spaghetti.
  • Category 3 (medium-density): Meat, cheese, pizza, French fries, salad dressing, bread, pretzels, ice cream and cake
  • Category 4 (high-density): Crackers, chips, chocolate candies, cookies, nuts, butter and oil.

In general, diets rich in low-energy-dense foods have been shown to promote fullness on fewer calories and deliver weight loss, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A U.S. News & World report notes that “you will very likely lose weight following the Volumetrics plan.

  1. Moderate protein plan: Also referred to as a moderate carbohydrate plan, this diet emphasizes whole grains, produce and animal proteins (for meat eaters). A high-protein diet decreases hunger, making it easier to stick to the plan. Intake of processed foods and added sugar should be limited. The diet aims to provide 30% of your daily calories from protein, 30% from fat, and 40% from carbohydrates.
  2. Dash Diet: Short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, the low-sodium DASH diet was designed as a way to curb high blood pressure without using drugs. The DASH plan breaks out the number of servings you should eat from each food group. This style of eating helps with weight loss and lowering cholesterol.

The DASH diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or nonfat dairy and limits saturated fat and dietary cholesterol. A personalized, calorie-limited plan can provide anti-inflammatory, high fiber, heart-healthy benefits and help you lose weight too.

  1. Ornish Diet: Created in 1977 by Dr. Dean Ornish – a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and founder of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute in nearby Sausalito, the Ornish diet helps people feel better, live longer, lose weight and gain health. Ranked sixth in Best Weight-Loss Diets by U.S. News& World Report, the Ornish diet is low in fat, refined carbohydrates and animal protein.
  2. Vegan Diet: Vegans shun all animal products, including dairy, eggs, and honey for ethical and environmental reasons. Vegan diets can also support weight loss. However, you cannot lose weight by simply cutting intake of animal products. Instead, you need to eat healthy-quality vegan food like leafy greens and plant-based proteins. Studies confirm that those on a plant-based diet have a lower average BMI than those who eat animal products (prevention.com).

Other widely popular weight loss diet plans include the Flexitarian Diet, Intermittent Fasting, and the Mayo Clinic Diet.

There’s no one diet that will fit everybody’s needs, personalities, lifestyles or food preferences, says registered dietitian Andrea Dunn, RD (www.health.clevelandclinic.org). She recommends choosing a scientifically proven eating plan. Dunn notes, “It’s about matching your lifestyle with the foods you enjoy and what will work best for you long-term, without feeling deprived or ripped off.”

Different Methods of Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss

Different Methods of Intermittent Fasting for Weight LossIntermittent fasting is currently one of the world’s most popular health and fitness trends, and considered the silver bullet to fat loss and muscle gains. This diet program involves alternate cycles of fasting with either no food or significant calorie reduction, and periods of unrestricted eating. It can promote weight loss, improve metabolism, protect against disease, and even help longevity. Researchers found that intermittent fasting or periodic fasting, without a reduction in calorie intake, can be a preventative and therapeutic approach against obesity and metabolic disorders (www.medicalnewstoday.com).

Intermittent fasting – cycling in and out periods of fasting and eating – can provide many benefits for your body and brain. It’s not a diet, but a timed approach to eating. Unlike a dietary plan, this fasting technique doesn’t specify what foods a person should eat or avoid. The principle behind intermittent fasting is simple – when our insulin levels go down far enough and for long enough, as they do during a fasting period, we’re able to burn off fat.

There are seven different ways to do intermittent fasting:

    • Fast 12 hours a day: This rules of this method are simple – the person (can also a beginner) needs to decide on and stick on to a 12-hour fasting window every day. You can follow this simple diet plan by including your sleeping hours in it. As the fasting window is relatively small, much of the fasting occurs during sleep, and the person can consume the same number of calories each day. According to the study that Medical News Today reported on, fasting for 10-16 hours can cause the body to turn its fat stores into energy, which releases ketones into the bloodstream, which should encourage weight loss.

 

    • Fasting for 16 hours – the Leangains diet: This diet plan involves fasting for 16 hours a day and leaving an eating window of 8 hours (it is also called the 16:8 method). Men and women follow different hours in this diet plan – men fast for 16 hours each day and women fast for 14 hours. This type of intermittent fast may be helpful for someone who has already tried the 12-hour fast but did not see any benefits. With this method, people usually finish their dinner by 8 p.m. and then skip breakfast the next day, not eating again until noon.

 

    • Fasting for 2 days a week – the Fast diet (5:2 diet): This fasting plan involves people eating standard amounts of healthful food for 5 days and reducing their calorie intake on the other 2 days. During the 2 fasting days, men generally consume 600 calories and women 500 calories. There should be at least 1 non-fasting day between fasting days. However, there is limited research on the 5:2 diet, which is also known as the Fast diet. A study involving 107 overweight or obese women found that both restricting calories twice weekly and continuous calorie restriction led to similar weight loss. It also found that this diet reduced insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity among participants (www.medicalnewstoday.com).

 

    • Alternate day fasting: An extreme form of intermittent fasting, this method involves fasting every other day. Some people completely avoid solid foods on fasting days, while other people allow up to 500 calories. This method generally leads to indulging in more food on feeding days, which might be difficult to maintain the fast in the long term. One study reported that alternate day fasting is effective for weight loss and heart health in both healthy and overweight adults. The researchers found that the 32 participants lost an average of 5.2 kilograms (kg), or just over 11 pounds (lb), over a 12-week period.

 

    • Eat-Stop-Eat diet – the weekly 24-hour fast: This method involves eating no food for 24 hours at a time or fasting completely for 1 or 2 days a week. Many people fast from breakfast to breakfast or lunch to lunch. Those on this diet can have water, tea, and other calorie-free drinks during the fasting period. People should return to normal eating patterns on the non-fasting days.
      This fast can be challenging and may cause fatigue, headaches, or irritability. However, many people find that these effects become less intense over time as the body adjusts to this new pattern of eating.

 

    • Meal skipping: This approach involves occasionally skipping meals and may be good for beginners. According to one’s level of hunger or time restraints, the person can decide which meals to skip. Skipping 1 or 2 meals when you feel so inclined is basically a spontaneous intermittent fast.
      Make sure to eat healthy foods at the other meals. This approach is likely to be most successful when individuals track and respond to their body’s hunger signals. People who follow this type of intermittent fasting will eat when they are hungry and skip meals when they are not. This may feel more natural than the other fasting methods.

 

    • The Warrior Diet: This diet is relatively extreme form of intermittent fasting. It entails eating a whole day’s worth of food in short time. The Warrior Diet involves eating very little, usually just a few servings of raw fruits, vegetables, proteins, healthful fats, and some carbohydrates during a 20-hour fasting window, then eating one large meal at night. The eating window is usually only around 4 hours.

 

Consult your physician before you try intermittent fasting or any other kind of weight loss method.