The Truth About 6 Meals a Day for Weight Loss

The Truth About 6 Meals a Day for Weight Loss

Three squares a day — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — is a way of life for many of us. But some diet experts believe more frequent meals could be better. Eating six small meals a day, they say, helps regulate blood sugar, control cravings and keep hunger at bay.

As long as you choose the right foods and watch portion sizes, “grazing” throughout the day can help you lose weight while keeping you energized. But it’s not for everyone — especially if you have trouble controlling the amount you eat or if you don’t have time to plan and prepare and healthy snacks and meals.

The Truth About 6 Meals a Day

Hunger is a dieter’s worst enemy. That gnawing feeling usually occurs between meals, when blood sugar levels drop. In theory, if you divide your daily calorie allotment into several small meals throughout the day, hunger won’t be an issue.

Jorge Cruise’s The 3 Hour Diet is one diet book that claims frequent small meals can rev up your metabolism and help you burn calories. But while eating more frequently seems to help some people control hunger, the scientific evidence indicates that there’s nothing magical about it. Ultimately, what matters most is reducing your total calories — regardless of the number of meals or snacks.

A review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded there was no real weight loss advantage to eating six meals a day. Another study, in the British Journal of Nutrition, found no weight loss difference between dieters who ate their calories in three meals daily or six meals a day.

What Should You Eat?

Eating more frequently could actually mean less nutrition and more calories if you don’t carefully plan out your snacks and meals.

Calorie requirements are determined by age, sex, physical activity levels, and weight loss goals. Most adults need about 1,500-2,200 calories for weight loss, unless they’re very active. (See WebMD’s Food and Fitness Planner to calculate your own calorie requirements.)

For maximum satisfaction, each mini-meal or snack should include lean- or low-fat protein, fiber, and a little healthy fat. For good nutrition, try to include at least one fruit or veggie in each mini-meal.

Good protein sources include lean meat, seafood, low-fat dairy (yogurt, cheese, milk), eggs, nuts, beans, and soy. Fiber-rich foods include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. Healthy fats come from vegetable oils, avocados, nuts, and fatty fish.

Here are some healthy mini-meals that are easy to prepare:

  • An apple with a piece of cheese and light popcorn
  • Egg, slice of whole-wheat toast, and half a grapefruit
  • Grilled chicken sandwich with veggies
  • Whole-grain roll with peanut butter and banana
  • Hummus, whole-grain crackers, and baby carrots
  • Smoothie made with yogurt, fruit, and juice
  • Waldorf salad and half a turkey sandwich

Beauty Foods

Inner health, outer glow

“Your skin is an outer reflection of your inner health,” says Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D., and author of Eat Your Way to Happiness. As a registered dietician, she suggests peeking into other people’s grocery carts as you shop. “We look just like the food we buy. Carts filled with white bread, doughnuts, soft drinks and potato chips are most likely pushed by people with pasty completions and lifeless hair,” she says.

In contrast, the person pushing a cart loaded with fresh spinach and strawberries, fat-free milk, whole-wheat bread, fresh salmon and beans most likely has a rosy glow and healthy, shiny hair. “What you eat affects how you look, both today and down the road,” she explains.

Beauty diet tips

Some of the worst things we can eat when it comes to appearance include fatty foods (especially when the fats are from meat), full-fat dairy, processed foods, refined grains, excessive added sugar, alcohol and salty foods. Bye-bye beer and extra cheese pizza! The good news is that the nutrients needed for a healthy glow also revitalize your whole body, so making diet changes to improve your skin and hair will have an even larger positive effect. Somer suggests following these guidelines on what we should be eating every day:

  • At least nine colorful fruits and vegetables
  • Five or more servings of 100 percent whole grains
  • Three servings of calcium-rich foods
  • Two servings of iron/zinc-rich foods, such as extra-lean red meat, chicken breast, seafood or legumes
  • At least eight glasses of water

The brighter, the better

When shopping for products at the grocery store, remember that the brighter the color, the more antioxidants in them, says Dr. Angela Vecellio of Palm Beach Medical. “Take bell peppers for example. They come in four colors: green, red, orange and yellow. The yellow bell pepper has 30 percent more antioxidants than the green bell pepper. Other sources of antioxidants are berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and cranberries).”

The most important beauty foods

Deficiency in any nutrient will cause changes in the skin, hair and nails, as well as in blood circulation, which supplies nutrients to the skin and removes toxic waste products, Somer explains. Here are the most important things we need and what happens when we don’t get enough:

  • DHA: Omega-3 fats make hair shiny, protect skin from sagging and wrinkling, speed healing, slow aging and reduce skin cancer risk. Get the glow-inducing benefits from omega-3-rich seafood, antioxidant-packed produce, nuts and olive oil.
  • Antioxidants: These help protect the skin from free-radical damage (which can cause rough texture, wrinkles and sunspots), but frequent sun exposure and smog deplete them. Since it takes up to three months to accumulate antioxidants in skin, load up on colorful fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Zinc: This trace mineral helps maintain collagen and elastin fibers that give skin its firmness and help prevent sagging and wrinkles. Zinc is important in healing cuts and scrapes, while a deficiency causes dry, rough skin.
  • B vitamins: Poor intake of almost any B vitamin can cause dry or scaly skin, itching and a burning sensation. Vitamins B2 and B6 also are important in maintaining the oil-producing glands, which keep skin moist and smooth.
  • Vitamin A: This fat-soluble vitamin is essential for maintaining epithelial tissues, and skin is the largest epithelial tissue you have. Skimp on this vitamin and your skin might be dry, scaly and rough.

Why vegetables are so crucial

According to popular registered dietitians and personal trainers, The Nutrition Twins, veggies are naturally rich in water, so they create moisture within your skin, plumping the cells and filling the crevices. “Think of them as your body’s natural lotion, plus a whole lot more.”

Here’s what else they’ve got:

Vitamin C: Keeps skin youthful and elastic by aiding in collagen formation. Think: tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, broccoli and potatoes.

Beta-carotene: Helps give a healthy glow and hue, while protecting skin from sun damage. Go for: carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and other orange and green-colored produce.

Antioxidants: Guard against premature aging by helping to prevent cell damage. They mop up free radicals, including those caused by pollution and other environmental toxins, stress and the sun. Eat up: most veggies.

Omega-3s: Contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that give skin a smoother appearance. Great source: cabbage.

Water and potassium-rich: Keeps skin hydrated and restores fluid balance so it doesn’t look wrinkled and withered. Indulge in: most veggies.

The beauty benefits of biotin

Biotin is a vitamin that helps improve and strengthen the keratin protein (which makes up your hair, skin and nails) in your body, says celebrity hairstylist Julia Papworth. “Increasing your biotin intake can help make your nails stronger, not to mention your hair longer.” So, how do you get your daily dose? Easy. Simply take Nature’s Bounty Optimal Solutions Hair, Skin and Nails supplement. Not only does it contain biotin, but it also provides you with other vital nutrients, such as vitamins B, C and E, to ensure you’re beautiful from the inside out.

Easy ways to get skin-healthy and hair-healthy foods into your diet

It’s not always easy to eat right. Health often takes a backseat to busy schedules, family commitments and social obligations. But Somer has some suggestions for how even the busiest women can incorporate skin- and hair-healthy foods into their day:

  • Aim for two colorful fruits or vegetables at every meal and at least one at every snack.
  • Switch to 100 percent whole-grain bread.
  • Pack a cup of spinach into sandwiches.
  • Grate carrots into spaghetti sauce.
  • Snack on watermelon instead of chips.
  • Pop frozen blueberries in your mouth instead of ice cream at night.
  • Make a rule that 75 percent of your plate will be filled with unprocessed, real foods.

Which is a better workout – swimming or running?

Go to any online fitness forum and ask the simple question, “Which is a better workout – swimming or running?” Then stand back and watch the sparks fly.

Apart from being somewhat entertaining, it’s interesting to see all the different responses you get to such a simple question. Every exercise has both its fan-boys and detractors – swimming and running being no exception.

Most of the disagreements over running and swimming revolve around how the benefits of these exercises are measured. Some choose to measure in terms of calorie burn while others measure by the amount of time it takes to reach a specific goal. When different athletes use different means of measurement, it’s inevitable that they will disagree on the benefits of a given exercise. Whether or not swimming is better than running, or vice versa, really depends on how you measure results.

Is it true that swimming requires more physical effort than running?

One of the things cited by proponents of swimming is that it takes more physical effort than running to cover the same amount of distance. In other words, the average person will work harder to swim two miles than he would to run the same distance. As the theory goes, the more physical effort exerted, the more productive an exercise is. While that may be true in the most literal sense, it’s not really measurable in real terms.

What most personal trainers and weight loss experts know is that time is a more important measurement than distance. Studies indicate that 20 minutes of swimming and 20 minutes of steady running produce cardio results that are nearly identical.

While it’s true that you cover more distance in 20 minutes of running, you don’t get a better cardio benefit “per mile” than you do from swimming the same amount of time. What matters is the fact that you’re spending 20 minutes in an intense cardio workout, regardless of which exercise you choose.

I thought that swimming was better exercise because it provides more resistance; is that true?

Swimming does indeed provide more resistance and works almost every muscle in the body. Yet, at the same time, the average swimmer does not continually knock off his laps, without stopping, for 20 straight minutes. In most cases people pace themselves in such a way that includes gliding or floating every few minutes before resuming hard swimming. In addition, at the end of every stroke there is a period of very low resistance, even if it’s minimal.

In contrast, running provides a consistent amount of resistance throughout the exercise. Most runners consistently continue their exercise without stopping, from start to finish. Have you ever seen runners held at a traffic light and running in place? So while the total resistance on the body may be less with running, it’s a wash in the end because the resistance it does provide is more consistent.

If all things are equal, why would someone choose one exercise over the other?

The greatest attraction to running is that it’s one of the simplest and most convenient exercises you can do. All you need is a good pair speakers and a place to run, be it inside on a treadmill or outside on the street. While serious runners tend to buy clothing specifically made for the task, the average person can effectively run with whatever clothing he has.

With a running workout you are not bound to a pool schedule, your workout is not affected by others competing for the same space, and you can do it whenever it’s most convenient for you. On the flip side, the negatives of running include dogs, bad weather, and the impact of the exercise on the knees and hips.

Those who prefer swimming generally cite its low-impact nature and its overall comfort level as the reasons for preferring it. While water resistance provides great exercise, it is low-impact exercise which causes very low stress on the joints. Elderly people, and those with joint diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, tend to find swimming to be an optimal exercise.

The comfort of being in warm water also helps those with joint diseases feel better. On the downside, using swimming as an exercise often runs into complications when trying to work your schedule around that of the pool and other swimmers who are exercising at the same time.

So after you’ve posted your question on the fitness forum and tabulated the results, you’ll most likely find that they are split. The lesson here is that both exercises are great and you would probably do well to swim and run.

What are the health benefits of green tea?

Green tea, native to China and India, has been consumed and hailed for its health benefits for centuries globally, but has only recently gained popularity in the US.

Tea is considered the most consumed beverage in the world behind water, however 78% of the tea consumed worldwide is black and only about 20% is green.1

All types of tea except herbal tea are brewed from the dried leaves of the Camellia sinensis bush. The level of oxidation of the leaves determines the type of tea.

Green tea is made from un-oxidized leaves and is the least processed type of tea and therefore contains the most antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols.

Green tea was used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to control bleeding and heal wounds, aid digestion, improve heart and mental health and regulate body temperature.4 Recent studies have shown green tea can potentially have positive effects on everything from weight loss to liver disorders to type 2 diabetes.

This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of a collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods. It provides a nutritional breakdown of green tea and an in-depth look at its possible health benefits, the different forms of green tea, and some precautions when consuming green tea.

Nutritional breakdown of green tea

Unsweetened brewed green tea is a zero calorie beverage. The caffeine contained in a cup of tea can vary according to length of infusing time and the amount of tea infused.

In general, green tea contains a relatively small amount of caffeine (approximately 20-45 milligrams per 8 oz cup), compared with black tea which contains about 50 milligrams and coffee with 95 milligrams per cup.2

Green tea is considered one of the world’s healthiest drinks and contains the highest amount of antioxidants of any tea. The natural chemicals called polyphenols in tea are what are thought to provide its anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects.

Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most studied and bioactive polyphenol in tea and has been shown to be the most effective at eliminating free radicals.1, 4

Green tea is approximately 20% to 45% polyphenols by weight, of which 60% to 80% are catechins such as EGCG

What Can People Do to Prevent Sports Injuries?

These tips can help you avoid sports injures.

  • Don’t bend your knees more than half way when doing knee bends.
  • Don’t twist your knees when you stretch. Keep your feet as flat as you can.
  • When jumping, land with your knees bent.
  • Do warmup exercises before you play any sport.
  • Always stretch before you play or exercise.
  • Don’t overdo it.
  • Cool down after hard sports or workouts.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly, are stable, and absorb shock.
  • Use the softest exercise surface you can find; don’t run on asphalt or concrete.
    Run on flat surfaces
  • .

For adults:

  • Don’t be a “weekend warrior.” Don’t try to do a week’s worth of activity in a day or two.
    Learn to do your sport right. Use proper form to reduce your risk of “overuse” injuries.
    Use safety gear.
  • Know your body’s limits.
  • Build up your exercise level gradually.
  • Strive for a total body workout of cardiovascular, strength-training, and flexibility exercises.

For parents and coaches:

  • Group children by their skill level and body size, not by their age, especially for contact sports.
  • Match the child to the sport. Don’t push the child too hard to play a sport that she or he may not like or be able to do.
  • Try to find sports programs that have certified athletic trainers.
  • See that all children get a physical exam before playing.
  • Don’t play a child who is injured.
  • Get the child to a doctor, if needed.
  • Provide a safe environment for sports.

For children:

  • Be in proper condition to play the sport.
  • Get a physical exam before you start playing sports.
  • Follow the rules of the game.
  • Wear gear that protects, fits well, and is right for the sport.
  • Know how to use athletic gear.
  • Don’t play when you are very tired or in pain.
  • Always warm up before you play.
  • Always cool down after you play.

What Should I Do if I Get Injured on a Sport Match?

Never try to “work through” the pain of a sports injury. Stop playing or exercising when you feel pain. Playing or exercising more only causes more harm. Some injuries should be seen by a doctor right away. Others you can treat yourself.

Call a doctor when:

  • The injury causes severe pain, swelling, or numbness
  • You can’t put any weight on the area
  • An old injury hurts or aches
  • An old injury swells
  • The joint doesn’t feel normal or feels unstable.

If you don’t have any of these signs, it may be safe to treat the injury at home. If the pain or other symptoms get worse, you should call your doctor. Use the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) method to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and speed healing. Follow these four steps right after the injury occurs and do so for at least 48 hours:

  • Rest. Reduce your regular activities. If you’ve injured your foot, ankle, or knee, take weight off of it. A crutch can help. If your right foot or ankle is injure
  • d, use the crutch on the left side. If your left foot or ankle is injured, use the crutch on the right side.

  • Ice. Put an ice pack to the injured area for 20 minutes, four to eight times a day. You can use a cold pack or ice bag. You can also use a plastic bag filled with crushed ice and wrapped in a towel. Take the ice off after 20 minutes to avoid cold injury.
  • Compression. Put even pressure (compression) on the injured area to help reduce swelling. You can use an elastic wrap, special boot, air cast, or splint. Ask your doctor which one is best for your injury.
  • Elevation. Put the injured area on a pillow, at a level above your heart, to help reduce swelling.

Are sleeping pills harmful?

What are they?

There are several types of sleeping pills. Some are only available with a prescription, such as benzodiazepines. These are a group of drugs that slow down the brain and central nervous system and are used to reduce anxiety, relax the body and help with sleep. There are about 30 different types and each can be sold under several brand names. The most well-known brand name, Valium, is the generic drug diazepam. Different types of benzodiazepines work for different lengths of time.

The z-drugs – zolpidem, zoplicone and zaleplon – are also only available on prescription and have a similar affect to benzodiazepines. Most over-the-counter pills contain antihistamines as the active ingredient. They are also used to treat allergies and hay fever and are not as powerful as benzodiazepines or z-drugs.

There are also a number of “natural” sleeping tablets. Most contain the herb valerian or the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is made in the brain by the pineal gland and affects our internal body clock and sleep cycle. The Australian Consumers’ Association says valerian is the most popular natural sleeping aid as it has undergone the highest number of trials. Other pills contain herbs such as passionflower, hops and chamomile and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and vitamins B6 and K.

The pros

  • Prescription tablets are very powerful. They may be prescribed for a short time to get you over a bad bout of insomnia.
  • A Harvard Medical School study found that melatonin tablets may help people whose sleep patterns are disrupted by shift work or travel across time zones.
  • Herbal sleeping pills have fewer side effects than the other pills.

The cons

  • Prescription pills have several side effects that can last from a few hours to a few days, depending on the dose and type of drug. Side effects include drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, clumsiness, mood swings and poor memory.
  • Your body develops a tolerance for prescription pills after between three and 14 days of continued use and you will need to increase the dose. Some people also become dependant on them and have withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety and shaking, when they stop taking them.
  • Antihistamines are not as strong as prescription drugs, but can still cause drowsiness the next day. “Side effects include difficulty urinating, urinary retention, dry mouth and blurred vision. People quickly develop a tolerance to them,” says Dr Lynn Weekes, National Prescribing Service CEO.
  • The benefits of melatonin pills are still unproven, says the University of California Berkeley. Although they help people fall asleep faster, them may not help them stay asleep and may cause drowsiness the next day.
  • A Choice magazine study found that most herbal sleeping pills had no effect on insomnia. There have also been rare reports of liver damage from valerian use and it can cause headaches and stomach upsets.

When not to take them

  • You should not take prescription sleeping pills if you are on antidepressants, pregnant or a new mother. You should not drink alcohol or drive while taking them.
  • Antihistamines may interact with other medications, including antidepressants, and shouldn’t be taken by people with asthma, epilepsy or glaucoma.
  • Tell your doctor if you are taking herbal sleeping tablets as they may affect other conditions or interact with medications.

Environmental and civilization health diseases: What’s behind it?

With what diseases a person is confronted in the course of his life, which is always also depends on the environment in which he grows up and lives. Many diseases that have spread to the developed Western world, the members of the indigenous people do not know. Precisely this range of conditions commonly referred to as diseases of civilization.

The causes of these diseases

Man interacts in many ways with its environment. He speaks and listens, can sense heat and cold and takes various substances through the mouth, nose, eyes, ears and on the skin. Then there are the substances that enter the food through the digestive tract into the body. And that’s where danger lurks. You already start at an ever- existing oversupply of food, which the emergence of overweight and as a result of diseases of the supporting and locomotor system and the cardiovascular system favors to not even to speak of diseases such as diabetes. The lack of movement of the highly developed societies here affects adversely.

The range of environmental and lifestyle diseases

In addition to the actual threat posed by environmental toxins and the increasing number of diagnosed allergies to mental illness become noticed. Many anxiety disorders are triggered by the cautionary publications in the media to the environmental toxins. In addition, the ever-increasing pressure to perform and the sensory overload in the modern -oriented digital media company.

All these factors tend to mutually add up and to potentiate. Genetically modified food and animals fed with antibiotics in the food chain are more triggers for diseases of civilization. Here that negative aspects of the legislation and controls can not be completely avoided, the food scares of recent times have made very impressively clear.

The organism reacts individually

Whether a person develops an environmental and lifestyle diseases, which depends both on its genetic make-up and the other hand on his personal behavior. Some of the most damaging influences such as alcohol, tobacco and contact with a particularly intense solar radiation can be avoided. There were other factors such as the noise in a big city one, only an escape to the countryside.

Is a Healthy Lifestyle Worth It?

The National Action Plan “IN FORM – German initiative for healthy eating and exercise more ” is also used in business and administration approval. An investment in workplace health promotion is worthwhile for the employees and the operation, the numbers speak for themselves.

On the INFORM Symposium on Workplace Health Promotion in Bonn informed experts on ways of activities in the fields of exercise, nutrition, stress management, and digital work protection. The symposium was the prelude for further events to Theam workplace health promotion.

The healthier and more powerful are the employees, the better they can meet the diverse challenges of everyday work. Investing in the health of employees should also convince the finance department of the company. It is clear from results that were presented at the symposium, stating that a company for every euro that it invested in occupational prevention, receives an equivalent of 1.60 euros.

For more information about the costs and benefits of WHP find decision makers in business and administration and other interested parties on the new information portal.

The symposium also the importance of a balanced diet and getting enough exercise was stressed in workplace health promotion. Therefore, the initiative IN THE FORM together with the German Nutrition Society ( DGE) has developed quality standards for company canteens and compiled a checklist to check the foods available in their canteen with the companies.

There are also suggestions for more movement in the workplace and many other tips for a healthy lifestyle, even for families, children, youth and seniors.

Health problems: Pollen alergies

In the vernacular, an allergy to grass is also known as hay fever. But this is not an allergic reaction to the grass itself, but against certain protein components of pollen. As Windbestäuber produce grasses during its heyday tons of pollen. Because unlike the animal pollination, wind pollination is not targeted. To compensate for this disadvantage, appropriate quantities to be produced, which are then transported for miles by the wind.

Hay fever, everyone suffers differently

Basically, a grass pollen allergy is similar to other forms of seasonal pollen allergy. Again, can therefore vary the severity of the symptoms. While some people will only feel a slight scratchy throat, others are struggling with a runny nose or total zugeschwollenen eyes. In addition to watery eyes, runny nose and cough more symptoms such as itching, redness, or swelling of the skin may occur. And also the general well -being can be pulled by a grass pollen allergy affected. It also is not unusual comes to the so-called cross reactions in which the body reacts to substances that have similar protein components matching those on the grass. These include foods such as raw potatoes, soybeans, peanuts, tomatoes, kiwis or peas. Referring also to cereals such as rye, barley or wheat cross reactions are possible.

Tips for grass pollen allergic

People who suffer from pollen allergy should first try to avoid contact with the allergens. In grass pollen but this is very difficult due to their wide distribution. The best time for outdoor activities is, therefore, after a prolonged period of rain, because rain washes the pollen out of the air. In addition, sufferers should long shower before going to bed and not forget the hair. The bedding should be washed during the pollen season more often. However, can only be minimized and not completely prevented by these measures the pollen count. Therefore, an allergy to grass pollen usually requires a special treatment, which depends on the severity of symptoms.

In addition to alleviating the symptoms, for example through special nose drops and / or eye drops and antihistamines may be necessary and useful for acute onset of symptoms. With very severe impairments, there is also the possibility of desensitization, but a certain amount of lead time required. The decision and recommendation in this regard, however, is up to the doctor alone treated.

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