How Much Protein Should I Eat?

One question I get asked alot is – how much protein should I be consuming every day? Or how much protein should I eat to lose weight or gain lean muscle mass? The answers actually vary depending on how active you are.

Before we answer those questions, it is important that we first answer the question: Why is protein important? Protein is a crucial part of a healthy diet. Your body needs protein to create new cells. This includes creating muscle cells, organs, repairing or creating new skin, etc. Without protein, we could not survive.

Now that we got the fundamentals out of the way, let’s answer the question: How much protein should I be eating? The amount you need depends completely on how often and intensely you are exercising or damaging muscle cells (i.e. cells that will need to be repaired). As I mentioned earlier, protein intake depends on how active you are, so use these details as a guide:

  • Strength Training: 0.5 – 1 grams per pound of body weight
  • Endurance Training: 0.5 – 0.6 grams per pound of body weight
  • Ultra Endurance Training: 0.5 – 0.9 grams per pound of body weight
  • Recreational Training: 0.5 grams per pound of body weight
  • Sedentary Adults: 0.4 grams per pound of body weight

Everyone is different and some experts vary on the exact formula when it comes to protein intake – but you can use this as a general guide.

Good luck and happy eating!

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5 Diet Tips for Fast Weight Loss

Always have Breakfast:
The key to fast weight loss is not to starve yourself especially early in the morning. It most important to have breakfast so that your metabolic rate keeps working at a regular place all day all. When you go to work or school with an empty stomach, your metabolic rate slows down thus making your calories burn slowly. Therefore, it is best to have a glass of juice or skimmed milk with a piece of whole wheat bread or a boiled egg as breakfast in the morning.

Reduce your Meal Portion:
Suggesting you to cut off all your food at once may not be a long lasting tip for fast weight loss; instead, it is usually recommended that you start by reducing the amount of food you put on your plate. For example, if you have two pieces of chicken every day, reduce it to one. Along with this, eat as slow as possible, chew your food for at least 30 seconds to one minute before swallowing it. This is because it takes at least 15 to 20 minutes for your stomach to realize that there is food inside it.

Drink a lot of Water:
Amongst the best diet tips is to have as much water as you can. Since it is zero calories, you do not need to worry about putting on weight. In addition, with a lot of water in your stomach, you will eventually start feeling less hungry. Once your hunger is under control, there will be no urge to overeat and gain weight. Make sure that you have a glass of water right before every meal and at the same time also ensure that you do not drink water right after finishing your meal. Instead, wait for half an hour before having water or any other fluid.

Brush your Teeth Early every night:
Most people have the habit of staying up very late at night and eating snacks while watching late night movies or working. If you are this type of person, then the best thing for you to do is to brush your teeth early at night and then stop yourself from eating anything by thinking that you have already brushed your teeth. The idea is to develop self-control so that you can let go of the unhealthy eating habits and lose weight as quickly as possible.

Replace Junk Food with Fresh Fruits:
Probably one of the most effective diet tips is to replace your junk food (burgers, fries, pizzas etc) intake with more natural products like fruits and vegetables. If you do not like to eat fruits, squeeze them into juice and have that instead. However, make sure that you have freshly squeezed juice instead of the regular boxed ones available in the market, which have added preservatives that reduce its nutritional value. Always remember that trying to lose weight fast does not mean that you ruin your health. Instead, balance your diet plan and routine in such a way that you lose weight without damaging your health.

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Strength Training Tips For Beginners

Strength Training is a difficult task and you have to be patient with it.  Most beginners come to the gym and think that they can get the body of their dreams in a matter of days and they will look like models.  But that is not true. You have to give it time and make the right decisions. It will not take two or three years to build a perfectly shaped body, but you would have to work hard for it.

So how can I do it right? Here are a few strength training tips for my beginner friends that they will find helpful.

Tip Number 1
You have to eat the right food to get the right body. You should take the right amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Even though, exercise will be buffing your muscles and make you look like a movie star but you need to have the right fuel in your system to do that exercise. If you do not have the right amount of food in your body, you would not have the energy to perform those advance exercises, so eat healthy, full meals three times a day  that have the proper fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Make sure that your plate is covered with forty percent of proteins, fifty percent of carbohydrates and ten percent of fats.

Tip Number 2
One word and that is “Training”. You have to train hard if you want a good-looking body. Remember that you would be lifting weights and you have to do that properly. One wrong move and you can go through a broken wrist. Your trainer will give you a set of weights that you would do in his supervision. You would have to perform each lift with dedication for a certain time on regular basis.

Tip Number 3
With adequate training efforts, the role of your trainer is very important as well. If you think that you can handle it yourself then you should be cautioned. A trainer provides full guidance and  he or she is going to be your guide on each step. You would need a trainer because without it you cannot succeed, he or she will keep you motivated and make a balance between workout and going too hard. If you join a gym then it will be much better because this way you would not have to buy the equipment and pay the trainer. You would just have to pay the gym fee and start working out with the rest of the beginners.

Tip Number 4
When you are training, do not repeat the same exercise for more than 3 days in a week. Fix three days for your strength training and the rest of the three days for aerobics and flexibility. Besides strength training tips, you must not ignore your nutritional plan as it acts as a catalyst in strength training workouts.

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Smoothies Recipes for Weight Loss

If you are looking at weight loss recipes then no doubt you are also interested in smoothies’ recipes because many diet watchers love to drink smoothies. Not only are they low in calories but they combine some of the healthiest ingredients that you need in your daily diet. Smoothies for weight loss can be made from just about anything but you specifically need ingredients in the right proportion that make a drink that is not only healthful but tastes good as well. In fact, many people replace their regular meals with smoothies as well because they can boost your metabolism and they provide very important vitamins and minerals that only natural fruits can give you. In doing so, smoothies also help diet watchers overcome an important challenge, how to reduce your calorie intake and take care of your appetite at the same time.

One of the most popular and effective smoothies for weight loss was introduced by Dr. Oz on the Oprah show and is known as the Magical Breakfast Smoothie because it has only 136 calories. This smoothie combines some of the most nutritious ingredients to make a drink that can help keep you full until your lunchtime. For this smoothie, all you have to do is blend in blueberries, bananas, soy protein, flaxseed oil and apple juice with water and ice in your preferred proportions. Instead of apple juice, you can put honey as well depending on what you have available.

Weight loss recipes that are the best normally have mid-day snacks as well to keep your tummy satisfied. One of the great ways to do it is with Joy Bauer’s 5 Calorie Smoothie that is also a Good Morning America’s recommendation. This particular recipe is part of Joy Bauer’s 90/10 Weight Loss plan and all you have to do in this recipe is to add about two cups of either peach or orange with water. Blend in five fresh or frozen strawberries to this mixture and you will get the refreshing drink that has only five calories!

Smoothies for Weight Loss that have exotic fruits tend to be quite an attraction for many diet watchers and this is true for the Honeydew-Kiwi Fruit Smoothie. This particular drink is rich in potassium and vitamin C and is low on calories and sugar. With cubed honeydew, sliced up Kiwi fruit, one apple, lemon juice, ice cubes and small amount of sugar, you will get a delicious smoothie with a different taste.

A number of weight loss recipes for those people on the go contain the recipe for Thermos-ready smoothie which you can pour directly into your thermos before heading out. Containing bananas, apple juices, frozen berries and silken tofu, this particular smoothie is rich in protein and fiber. It has a total of 288 calories, which is a decent enough amount for a mid-day or afternoon snack. Some of the other smoothies for weight loss include the traditional strawberry banana smoothie, watermelon smoothie, peanut butter banana smoothie and especially for coffee and chocolate lovers, the Mocha Madness Parfait.

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What Are The Mental Benefits Of Exercise?

Exercise has a major impact on our mental and physical health. It improves the quality of life and makes it worth living. Have you ever noticed that when you are angry or anxious about something, all you want is to run?  If you have done that then you would know that exercise is the best way to keep your mind clean and away from depression, anxiety and even feelings like anger. Exercise will help you feel better in tough times.

Here are some mental benefits of exercising regularly.

Sharp Brain
This is one of the best mental benefits of exercise. Your brain will be sharper and stronger. If you exercise daily, then you will have high concentration and an active mind.  Your memory will be sharper and you can be more active at work. You would be able to understand things better; you would be able to think clearly.  Your responses will be faster and you will be able to handle your daily chores efficiently and energetically.

Self-Esteem and Confidence
Your habit of regular exercise will boost up your confidence and make you feel good about yourself. Your personality will be impressive and you will be much more prominent than you were ever before. This will make you the center of attention and you will be able to prove your worth.

Decrease Your Stress and Anxiety
Decreasing your stress and anxiety is a great mental benefit of exercise. Exercise is the best way to reduce stress and anxiety. When people have problems like stress, depression and anxiety they want to take a pill for it and just wait for the drugs to kick in, but that is not the sensible approach. A better way to take care of your stress and anxiety is by doing exercise like jogging or cycling – this way you can release all of your frustration and you will feel much better.

Alert State of Mind
You will notice that after exercising, you will feel more alert and refreshed. This is one of the killer mental benefits of exercise. You will be more alert and active and your sense will be sharper. You will be able to look at things like you never did before.

Better Mood
You will be in a good mood all the time. You would not have to be cranky and sulky when you have a great way to get all of your pent up energy out of your system. You will be much happier and your mood will be much lighter.

Socially Friendly
You will have much better social approach than you ever had. You would get a chance to meet more people and make new friends. Like jogging in the morning and joining a gym might help, you meet new people and you could make new bonds with them.  It would be a surprise if you would meet your life partner too.

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Health Benefits of the Fruit Diet

“An apple a day, keeps the doctor away” – this is probably the best way to summarize the benefits of fruit diets for most people. Fruits whether taken in the solid form or as juices, do not only provide you with vitamins and minerals but also help protect your body against diseases by improving your immunity. Different fruit diets have different effects on your body but in general, the beneficial effects of these diet plans are higher than the harmful effects. Nonetheless, it is recommended that you do not follow one particular diet plan for a very long time. Instead, you can alternate between different fruit diets so that your body gets all the essential nutrients needed to stay healthy.

Citrus Fruit Diet:
Citrus fruits including oranges, lemons, limes, grape fruit etc. are a rich source of vitamin C, zinc, magnesium and a number of other minerals. The fruit diet benefits associated with citrus fruits includes a healthier skin, improved blood pressure and a quick weight loss. The diet is followed for forty-eight hours only and requires you to have nothing except for citrus fruits. You can have plain water or citrus fruit juices to drink and only oranges or grape fruit to eat. This flushes down the harmful toxins from your body, improves your metabolic rate and thus helps you burn calories fast.

The best thing about this diet plan is that there is no limit to the amount of juice or fruit you can have, eat as much as you want to since there are no saturated fats in citrus fruits that can accumulate in your body. If you are suffering from diabetes, then try taking in more of grape fruit than oranges since grape fruits makes your pancreatic functions more efficient.

However, the diet plan should not be extended to more than 48 hours; the fruits diet benefits can be maximized only if a balance is kept between the diet plans. The idea is to make you lose weight without reducing the efficiency of your body.

Apple & Berries Diet:
Apples are rich in iron and are usually recommended to people suffering from anemia or lack of hemoglobin in the blood. Apart from this, it is also seen that apples are rich in content that helps your brains memory function, so with an apple diet, the chances of you suffering from Alzheimer or Parkinson disease are very low. Similarly, berries whether they are blue, black or Acai are rich in a number of minerals and vitamins that stimulate your brain functions and help improve your memory and thought process. The diet involving apples and berries is especially good if you want to lose weight permanently.

Unlike the citrus fruit diet, the apple diet involves eating apples regularly but with a combination of other fruits and vegetables, so that your body keeps on fulfilling its protein requirement as well. The fruit diet benefits in case of apples can be increased if you include a combination of apple and orange juice in your everyday routine. Even if you are not following a particular diet pattern, make fruits an essential part of your diet in order to stay fit and well in shape.

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What are the Nutritional Benefits of Juicing?

Many people do not like eating fruits and vegetables on a regular bases. For people like this, the benefits of juicing are countless. They are not only able to get all the nutrition needed for a healthy body but they can also enjoy these benefits without having to eat the vegetables or fruits. According to most doctors, juicing is a better option for a number of reasons; firstly, the stomach does not have to work on the digestion of all those fibers and therefore it can be given a little rest. Secondly, nutrition is absorbed directly by the body, so juicing can be seen as a means of instant energy in most of the cases. Juicing is said to provide protection against diseases by improving your body’s immunity, boosting the blood flow in your veins and developing a better heart rate.

In addition to this, juicing provides protection against cancer and liver related diseases by flushing out all the harmful toxins from your body. The nutritional benefits of juicing can be determined from the fact that if you have a glass of juice every day, you will not need any type of multi vitamin tablets or pills to keep you going.  However, it has never been scientifically proven that the benefits of juicing are greater than that of having whole fruits or vegetables. In some cases, it is important to have the fiber present in the pulp of the fruits and vegetables since it help prevent constipation. Therefore, the best thing would be to have a combination of juices and whole fruits and vegetables.

Another very important thing is that the juice you have should be fresh i.e. you should only squeeze as much juice as you want to have. This is because juices are a flaming home for bacteria growth, so if you squeeze a glass of juice and leave it out in the open for some time, chances are that its nutritional benefits will reduce to more than one half. It is usually advised that you mix fruits and vegetable juices together; for example, juice a couple of carrots and apples and have them together. This can balance the nutritional effects of the juice and can make it healthier for you. Also, try to keep some of the pulp inside, so that your intake of fiber is not reduced. Especially in the case of oranges or other citrus fruits, pulp also adds taste to the juice along with increasing the benefits derived from it.

While buying commercial juices, go for those that are pasteurized since they have minimal added preservative and have higher nutritional value. The regular boxed juices on the other hand have lesser quantities of vitamins and minerals and so you cannot get the exact benefits of juicing from them. Therefore, add a glass or two of juice in your daily routine so that you can improve your health through natural means instead of relying on artificial means like pills and tablets. Also, experiment with your juices, so that you do not get bored with your diet, mix, match new flavors, and see their results.

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Natural Herbs for Weight Loss

Natural herbs are probably the safest and most effective for quick weight loss since they usually do not have any side effects attached to them. However, if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, it is advised that you do not go for natural herbs for weight loss. Rather, just try to lose weight by making a few changes in your regular diet. Natural herbs for weight loss are best for people who do not have any kind of health issues like diabetes, cholesterol or heart diseases. Here are some of the most effective natural herbs that can help you get rid of the extra fats on your body:

Green tea:
Probably the most used natural product, green tea works by improving your metabolic rate and making the digestion process easier for you. Green tea can be made from a number of different combinations depending on your taste and choice. Usually cinnamon, lemon grass and a number of other natural herbs are used to make the tea. Some people also add lemon and a small quantity of honey to give the tea some flavor. It is usually recommended to have a cup of green tea after every meal especially after dinner, however the best thing about this kind of tea is that you can have as much as you want since it does not have any saturated fats that make you fat. Having green tea on regular bases can help you lose weight in 15 days to almost a month.

A very strong herbal product, aloe is found in almost all the quick weight loss products available in the market. It is considered an internal cleanser since it improves the digestion process and reduces constipation related problems. However, it is also recommended that people who have stomach related problems (ulcers, diarrhea, abdominal pains etc) should not try aloe as a natural herb for weight loss since it is too strong and may damage the internal lining of the stomach in case of already existing ulcers.

Fish Oil:
Not only is Fish Oil a great means of reducing weight, fish oils are also very high in minerals and other nutrients necessary to keep the body healthy and working. Fish oil is available both in liquid form and as capsules that work on the principle of changing the way your body manages and burns fats. It forces the body to burn fats as they come rather than storing it and so you start losing weight even without following a proper diet plan. However, you must know that fish oils may also increase your hunger; it is up to you how to distract yourself when you feel hungry after having fish oils.

The extracts from Reishi mushrooms are amongst the best natural herbs for weight loss; used mostly in Chinese herbal weight loss treatment, Reishi mushrooms work by reducing the fatigue from your body and thus allowing you to work out for a number of hours. However, make sure that you initially start with a small dosage.

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Weight Loss Diets for Women

Weight Loss Diets are very popular nowadays because they tend to combine different elements from our lifestyle from the food we eat to how we eat it, which allow our bodies to function in a healthier manner. The reason why some diets for women may be special than other diets normally prescribed for both men and women is because women have a different body structure. Some women also tend to experience a harder time shedding calories because their bodies are not used to diets other than their current ones. Still other women may have some special health issues such as diabetes, asthma or heart problems that stand in their way of following normal weight loss diets.

Remember that out of all the diets prescribed for women that you may like, you can only follow one diet and it should be the one that matches your lifestyle and your goals the most. Many women make the mistake of following a diet that a celebrity might be following simply because they want to get that same figure. These weight loss diets are not recommended for a number of reasons. First, your body structure is different from that of the celebrity and normally such people have personal trainers that combine such harsh diets with tough exercise and workout routines to help them get those flat stomachs and lean and slimmer legs.

Diets for women that are really popular and that are based upon some solid logic include Weight Watchers and Craig. The former is based on support system, something that means a lot to most women. Women diet watchers attend regular meetings in which they can share their goals and aspirations as well as diet and exercise tips. They also get motivation and support from each other which is why the turn out and success rate of these types of weight loss diets tends to be higher. A diet program that is a favorite among working mothers is Jenny Craig because these are prepackaged meals delivered right to your doorstep. In addition to this, women are paired with a Jenny consultant with whom they can share their progress and the problems that they are facing.

Flat belly diet is another effective diet, which is designed around ‘Sassy water’ that has mint leaves, cucumber and ginger along with special exercise plans. The Nutrisystem is another diet for women in which portion controlled meals are delivered at home accompanied with activity sessions and a counselor that can help you get into better shape. For smaller or petite women, the Petite Advantage Diet is a good option because it is harder for smaller women to lose weight. On the other hand, Weight Loss Diets like Abs Diet for Women is targeted towards women who want to have flat abs in a few weeks. Diets for women like these include exercise regimes that target the legs and the buttocks as well as yoga and Pilates to get the best results in a short amount of time.

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What Type of Health Insurance Covers Migraines?

Headaches and migraines can be quite a pain in your life because with the nausea, visual distortions and upheavals in your social life, you tend to suffer much more than you deserve. There are many types of health insurance but most of us have never even wondered if there is health insurance for people who suffer from frequent headaches or migraines.

Migraine health insurance does exist which is great news for all of us considering the amount of effort and money that goes into treating the condition and effects of migraines. Normally looking for a health insurance policy that covers migraines is not an easy job itself because it requires understanding what therapies are good for headaches. It also requires you to haggle over the costs normally provided by migraine health insurance and all associated expenses. Some of the most common tips and recommendations regarding the types of health insurance that cover migraine have been presented here so that you can literally avoid the additional headache involved with trying out different policies before you find the most convenient one.

First and most importantly, make sure you know the fine print of any migraine health insurance policy that you lay your hands on. In fact, all medicine industry representatives and physicians agree with this recommendation because they know that many people who buy such policies without going over the minute details. The main reason for this is most insurance plans have many fine print details using difficult language that is hard for common people to interpret. However, because it is almost necessary to do it anyway, migraine health insurance companies should be asked direct questions about the policy instead. In short, know everything and anything to avoid any sort of frustration or complications later on.

Secondly, finding and then keeping a doctor that is also a migraine specialist is a great thing that you can do for yourself. This is because you cannot deal with your chronic headache condition and look for types of health insurance that covers migraine on your own. Once you have a good healer for yourself, knowhow the medicine industry works, then together, you can work out a case that will cover the treatment required as well as the medicine that works well for you. When there are two people in your team, then both of you can verify the documents that need to be sent to the insurance company. With the help of your doctor, you should also keep a journal that highlights the details of your migraine issues, the medications you take and the intensity and lengths of your migraine attacks.

In addition to all of this, do some individual research on your own regarding the Types of Insurance plans that cover chronic headaches and migraines. It is possible that the treatment prescribed by your physician, such as acupuncture, may not be offered by your preferred benefit plan at all. This is another way your doctor

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