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Monthly Archives: August 2016

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How to fast-track fat loss

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Want to know the key to fat loss? Master trainer Daniel Tramontana shares his tips for guaranteed fat loss.

 

To fast-track coveted progress such as greater fat loss, Tramontana says you need to get back to basics.

Cardio is not ‘hardio’

With a combination of higher intensity interval training (HIIT), low-intensity steady state (LISS) training, body weight training sessions and a nutritious diet, Tramontana ensures his clients are given the best formula for their body.

“My cardiovascular programming is based around a 75/25 split of LISS and HIIT. So based on the available amount of time for a client to add in cardio on top of resistance training would determine the amount of each they conducted,” he says.

Here’s what your cardio program could look like:

2 hours per week for cardio training = 30 minutes of HIIT over two to three days + 90 minutes of LISS over one to two sessions.

Be wary, if HIIT was all you did, you may encounter the downside of too much stress on your body, which can ironically turn HIIT into a fat retention tactic.

So what about weight training?

“For fat loss, I structure everything around two to three full bodyweight training sessions – two sessions based on linear periodisation macro cycle of 16-to-24 week programming, altered every four to six weeks,” he explains.

Translation? A program that begins by incorporating high-volume and low intensity weight training, and progressively moves into phases when the volume decreases and intensity increases.  Tramontana is a strong advocate for women to hit up the weights rack, “I find a lot of women are lifting nowhere near their capacity. Don’t be shy to lift heavy weights and test your ability regularly.”

The importance of rest

All this talk of intensity may have you thinking full pelt should be the only gear you work in, but without adequate recovery, you may be undermining your fat loss chances at the dumbbells. Both injury and overt fatigue can see you performing at less than 100 per cent over multiple sessions.

“Recovery begins with the post-workout meal. I advise at least 25 to 50 per cent of overall carbohydrates be included in this meal – either using complex carbohydrate sources or a combination of simple and complex carbs,” says Tramontana. “I also recommend at least one body therapy session per week.”

Think physiotherapy, massage, sauna, steam, floating, dry needling, sleep in, meditation, yoga, grounding – or something as simple as reading a book.

How to fuel your body with the right food

For Tramontana, eating for fat loss should focus on controlling hunger, which translates to better portion control and craving management.

“I ask that protein be included in every meal upon waking, generally an even or slightly escalating amount each meal depending again on habits and hunger patterns,” he says.

“For fat loss, I personally urge the exclusion of high-energy carbs even post workout – with the exception of competitors in the later stage of preparation.”

Supplementation may also give you an edge in the health and results stakes. Depending on your goals and needs, Tramontana advises the use of creatine, glutamine, vitamin C, branch chain amino acids, fish oils, whey protein, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc and a good-quality greens supplement to aid recovery, general wellbeing and lean muscle growth.

Read the full article in the August 2016 edition by journalist Katelyn Swallow. 

NEXT > Discover ways to boost your metabolism.

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Unhappy at Work in Your 20s? You May Be Unhealthy in Your 40s

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MONDAY, Aug. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Millennials, take heed: Job dissatisfaction in your 20s or 30s can undermine your health by mid-life, new research suggests.

But really rewarding work may pay health dividends.

“Those who are, on average, very satisfied versus satisfied tend to have better health in their 40s,” said study lead author Jonathan Dirlam. He is a doctoral candidate in the department of sociology at Ohio State University.

By their 40s, disenchanted workers had worse mental health. They were more likely to suffer from routine sleep trouble and anxiety compared with satisfied or increasingly satisfied participants, the study found.

Seth Kaplan, an associate professor in industrial/organizational psychology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., said, “We know that there are some major job-related factors that contribute to poor psychological health.”

According to Kaplan, who wasn’t involved in the study, “Having an abusive supervisor, not having control over one’s work, and having to worry about losing one’s job—and the corresponding financial repercussions—are among the big ones.”

Kaplan added, “If at all possible, try to avoid jobs with those characteristics.”

For the study, Dirlam’s team analyzed survey responses from more than 6,400 men and women participating in a long-running study that began in 1979. Between the ages of 25 and 39, these adults were asked annually whether they liked or disliked their jobs.

Answers were correlated with mental and physical health outcomes when participants entered their 40s.

Roughly 45 percent consistently expressed “low” job satisfaction. On average, Dirlam said, this reflected relative dissatisfaction, rather than outright dislike for their work.

By contrast, 15 percent of respondents consistently noted they were “happy” with their jobs.

In addition, nearly one-quarter indicated that their satisfaction with work got worse over time, while 17 percent said they became more satisfied, the findings showed.

Once the participants reached their 40s, mental health status was gauged in terms of depression, sleep trouble and anxiety.

Overall physical health was also ranked, along with incidence of high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, heart disease, chronic lung disease, back and leg trouble, stomach and liver complications, and anemia.

The researchers found that physical health appeared to suffer among those who consistently expressed low satisfaction with work or whose satisfaction fell over time.

These people reported more difficulty with certain issues, such as back pain and cold frequency. However, the researchers saw no impact on their overall ability to function physically, or in their risk for serious illnesses such as diabetes or cancer.

Nor was consistently low job satisfaction or falling satisfaction linked with a greater likelihood for developing depression.

However, these dissatisfied workers were more likely to be in poorer mental health overall, the findings showed.

The research team theorized that mental health difficulties could actually trigger more physical health complications as participants’ age.

But no negative impact on physical or mental well-being was seen among those who reported greater satisfaction with work over time, the study authors said.

Still, the investigators did not examine health status after age 49. They also acknowledged that the relationship is complex and said it’s not possible to establish cause and effect.

For example, “[early] health problems may lead to lower levels of job satisfaction rather than the reverse,” the authors said.

Dirlan noted that “those in manual labor jobs may have lower job satisfaction and increased physical health problems as a result of their jobs in later life. We are unable to rule out this possibility.”

For those desiring more satisfaction from their work, Kaplan highlighted the concept of “job crafting.” This embraces the notion “that we can, to some extent, objectively and subjectively change our jobs to make them more meaningful.”

Dirlam and his colleagues were scheduled to present their findings Monday in Seattle at a meeting of the American Sociological Association. Data and conclusions presented at meetings are usually considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

More information

The American Psychological Association has more about job satisfaction.

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Fast Action Can Prevent Sepsis Death, CDC Says

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TUESDAY, Aug. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Many cases of life-threatening sepsis could be recognized and treated long before it causes severe illness or death, U.S. health officials report.

Sepsis, or septicemia, occurs when the body has an extreme response to an infection. Without prompt treatment, organ failure can quickly follow.

Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about 70 percent of patients with sepsis had used health care services recently or had chronic diseases that required regular medical care.

That means there are many opportunities for health care providers to intercept sepsis along its potentially deadly course, according to the CDC report.

“When sepsis occurs, it should be treated as a medical emergency,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in an agency news release. “Doctors and nurses can prevent sepsis and also the devastating effects of sepsis, and patients and families can watch for sepsis and ask, ‘Could this be sepsis?'”

Infections of the lung, urinary tract, skin and gut most often lead to sepsis. In most cases, the germ that caused the sepsis-triggering infection can’t be identified. But when they are identified, the most common culprits are Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli (E. coli), and some types of Streptococcus, the report said.

Patients with infections who are most likely to develop sepsis are aged 65 and older, less than 1 year old, people with weakened immune systems and those with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes.

But even healthy children and adults can develop sepsis from an infection, the CDC said in its Aug. 23 Vital Signs report.

Signs and symptoms of sepsis include: shivering, fever, or feeling very cold; extreme pain or discomfort; clammy or sweaty skin; confusion or disorientation; shortness of breath and a high heart rate.

Health care providers play a critical role in preventing sepsis. This includes following infection control measures such as hand washing and by ensuring patients get recommended vaccines, the CDC said.

It’s also essential to educate patients and their families about the need to prevent infections, manage chronic health conditions and seek immediate medical care if an infection doesn’t improve.

The CDC had additional advice for health care providers: Know the signs and symptoms of sepsis. If sepsis is suspected, order tests to determine if an infection is present, where it is and what caused it. Start antibiotics and other recommended medical care immediately.

Also, monitor patients closely and reassess antibiotic treatment within 24 to 48 hours or sooner to determine whether the type of antibiotics, dose and duration are correct, or need to be changed.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of General Medical Sciences has more on sepsis.

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Crunchy Confetti Tuna Salad

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Crunchy Confetti Tuna Salad Recipe
Crunchy Confetti Tuna Salad
The herb-infused dressing in this healthy tuna salad recipe calls for equal parts Greek yogurt and low-fat mayo to keep it light. Lots of fresh veggies, including bell pepper, carrot, radishes and celery, also give boosts of flavor, color and nutrients. Serve on lettuce leaves, over a green salad or as an open-face sandwich on whole-grain toast.

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Smartphones Are Making Us Think Less, Google More

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When was the last time you memorized a friend’s new phone number? How about the last time you pulled out your phone to Google a random trivia fact? Chances are you’re doing far more of the latter these days—but that kind of convenience may have a downside. A new study suggests that our brains’ reliance on smartphones may be taking a toll on our thought processes for problem solving, memory recall, and learning.

Researchers call the tendency to use the Internet (and specifically, those always-at-our-fingertips smartphones) as a memory aid “cognitive offloading.” And this habit, they say, is actually changing the way the brain works: While we may think of memory as something that happens inside our heads, it is increasingly happening with the help of outside devices. Whether this is a good or bad thing, they say, is a more difficult question to answer.

The authors of the new report, published in the journal Memory, wanted to see how likely it was that people would reach for a computer or smartphone when quizzed on different topics. So they divided volunteers into two groups—one that was told to use Google and one that was not—and asked them challenging trivia questions about sports, pop culture, and history. Next, they asked much easier questions, giving both groups the option of using the Internet if they wanted.

Even though the second set of questions required less knowledge, the people who had previously used Google were significantly more likely to go back to the search engine for help than those who had previously used only their memories. The Googlers also spent less time consulting their own memories before reaching for the Internet—and nearly a third of them did not even attempt to answer a single simple question from memory.

The results suggest that our habit for cognitive offloading increases after each use, says lead author Benjamin Storm, assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “Whereas before we might have tried to recall something on our own, now we don't bother,” he says. “As more information becomes available via smartphones and other devices, we become progressively more reliant on it in our daily lives."

That’s not necessarily all bad, he points out: The Internet is obviously more comprehensive, and in many cases, faster and more dependable, than human memory. It’s helpful to have that wealth of knowledge always available—and to not have to keep every trivial fact or figure in our heads for easy recall. The Internet can also be beneficial, Storm points out, for older adults whose own cognitive capacities have begun to decline.

But the broader implications of this research are ultimately much more nuanced, he adds.

“Certainly there are advantages to becoming reliant on the Internet, especially given the breadth and depth of the information to which it gives us access, but there are also likely to be disadvantages,” he says. “To what extent, for example, does our capacity for wisdom and creative insight depend on the accumulation of internal knowledge?  These are the sorts of questions that will need to be answered.”

Storm wants more research into the ways humans might manage their relationship with the Internet to take advantages of the benefits while minimizing those potential costs. For now, he says, Internet use in “healthy moderation” seems like the best course of action for those who want to keep their recall and problem-solving skills sharp.

And maybe the next time someone asks you a question you’re not sure about, really think on it for a minute or two before whipping your phone out. “There might be something to be said about practicing one’s cognitive and memory abilities outside the context of the Internet,” Storm says.

 

This article originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

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Japanese Chicken-Scallion Rice Bowl

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Japanese Chicken-Scallion Rice Bowl Recipe
Japanese Chicken-Scallion Rice Bowl
Here's the quintessence of Japanese home cooking: an aromatic, protein-rich broth served over rice. Admittedly, Japanese cooking leans heavily on sugar – for a less traditional taste, you could reduce or even omit the sugar.

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