Fat Loss 

To kick off a season of more intentional eating, I’ve rounded up an enormous c…

To kick off a season of more intentional eating, I’ve rounded up an enormous collection of paleo recipes. Paleo eating is much more simple than you might think! Source by RachelCooksBlog

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Amanda's Secret to Losing Over 100 Pounds Wasn't a Diet

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/130-Pound-Weight-Loss-Story-37209787

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Our next Before & After story comes from Amanda Fraijo-Tobin, who blogs about life after losing 130 pounds on her blog Friday Love Song, which is part of our POPSUGAR Select Fitness network. Below, she shares how she lost the weight and how she keeps it off.

Amanda: Before

Growing up, I wasn’t severely overweight — sure, I had a pudgy stage, but a lot of people did! My weight wasn’t something I thought much about being a kid (as it shouldn’t be). My parents had good intentions, like most, but we certainly did not grow up eating very healthy. Snacks, soda, meals prepared without nutritional aspects considered. Soda became a very bad habit for me, especially as I got into my teens and didn’t have anyone stopping me from drinking so many.

Fast-forward to high school — like most high school girls, I thought I was fat. Even though, in retrospect, I clearly wasn’t. I didn’t let it consume my life, though I was a little on the chubby side (so I thought) and I was OK with that. Looking back, I think senior year is when the trouble began for me. Stress, changes in my life, poor eating, and not exercising (hello, gym-class-not-required-after-ninth-grade!) led me to pack on some weight. Again, I already felt like a “fat girl,” so I kept going with the mind-set of “This is me — this is who I am.” I was married young, had my first child at 20, and of course, packed on more weight. Divorced, remarried, and two more babies later — more weight.

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My weight wasn’t something I paid attention to. I never weighed myself. The only time anyone took my weight was maybe once or twice a year when I had a doctor’s visit — and even then, I didn’t think much about it. This is me — this is who I am . . .

Amanda: Before

My husband is a type 2 diabetic. He had already been on tons of medications for several years to control his blood sugar and other problems associated with the disease. He got to the point of having to add insulin injections to his enormous list of meds. His doctor kept urging him to consider weight-loss surgery, telling him that, if he lost some weight, there was a possibility he may be able to stop taking some of his medications. This seemed like a great solution to my husband — I, on the other hand, disagreed. I told him repeatedly, this wasn’t the solution. If you don’t break bad habits that got you to a certain point, you could not possibly make a real change.

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Insert light bulb moment. Pot calling kettle black. Even though it wasn’t something I monitored, I was surely at the heaviest point of my life. I was waking up to get my son to school and collapsing on the couch for a nap once he was off. I was having random pains in my foot. I felt gross. I knew I needed to start making changes. I needed to make changes for myself, but also for my husband, for my kids. I needed to be a better example. This wasn’t about vanity. This was about life, making a better life for myself and my family.

I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. I had packed on the weight over the course of 10 years. I knew it was going to take some time to take it back off. I knew there would be times I would feel like quitting. But from the start, I adopted a “Today I will do what I can” kind of attitude. This went for exercise as well as eating habits. I knew all my bad eating habits were not going to disappear overnight. Slowly but surely, I made mental lists of things I was doing that were awful for my body and thought of ways to change them. Drink more water, read labels of items I was eating, etc. I had been having such severe pains in my heel that some days I could not even walk on it. Some days, I may not get through an entire workout like I wanted to — that’s OK. Today I will do what I can.

Amanda: After

I chose not to be vocal about my weight-loss journey from the start. I didn’t mention it to friends. My husband and my father were about the only people who knew what I was trying to accomplish. There were many days of whining on my part to my husband about aches and pains from making my body do things it wasn’t used to doing. I admit I have no idea for sure what my starting weight was. I have a general idea based on the last time I had been weighed at the doctors — but my journey began about six months, and what I’m guessing, may even be more pounds later. I did not start out with a goal weight in mind. I didn’t want one. I wanted to be healthier. Period. Healthy is not pounds on a scale. This is not a short fix; this is a change I will continue to make for the rest of my life.

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How Did I Do It?

This is common sense, things we have heard a million times again and again. Change the way you eat. Exercise. Repeat. It’s amazing to me when people want to know my “secret.” I have no secret. And I find it even funnier when people feel let down by my answer. There is no magic pill. I have not dieted. I have not counted calories. I knew from the start that was not the way I wanted to live my life. This is a lifestyle change. Know that it’s going to be challenging, but have faith that you can make the changes you want to.

Amanda: After

About two years later now and around 125 to 135 pounds down, here I am. Still chugging along. Still making it part of my life to make better decisions for my own as well as my family’s health. Honestly, I still feel a little silly writing this. I have had people tell me that they think I am an inspiration, which blows my mind. But I am here to tell you: if I can do this, you can do this. All it takes is a true commitment. Am I a superfit person? No, of course not. But every day, I strive to be a little better. I am a real person who did this. I am a mom to three children with a full-time job, a husband, two dogs, and a million other things going on. It takes work. It takes time. But you can do this. Start today, one small change at a time. This is me — this is who I am. Today I will do what I can. Will you?

Do you have an inspiring Before & After story to share? Message us on Facebook, and give us a few details about your journey. We might even profile you on the site, like Amanda!

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The 1 Change I Made to Cure 10 Years of Feeling Bloated

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Why-Am-I-Always-Bloated-41636952

Thank You for visiting www.judgeweightloss.com. This is the spot for all of your fitness, workout, healthy lifestyle, supplement, and just general get healthy information. Enjoy

Entering college was supposed to be all bliss and excitement, but I had such terrible digestive issues, I wouldn’t dare stray far from my dorm bathroom. It was so embarrassing, feeling so bloated and being so gassy, the only person I could confide in was, of course, my mother. In her thick Long Island, NY, accent she said, “Aww, yaw just nervous. You’ll feel bettah soon.”

But months later, nothing had changed. I felt happier at college than I’d ever felt in my entire life and I was far from nervous. I still felt like sh*t, though. As a vegetarian who lived on cheese, I was lactose intolerant in a major way, so giving up dairy helped. I even gave up gluten but pretty much felt the same — tired and bloated. Every time I ate, I had digestive pains. Plus, I thought being a gluten-free vegetarian would help me drop my college weight gain, but I was actually gaining more weight.

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Why? Gluten-free baked goods, breads, pastas, and vegan ice cream and cookies were part of my daily diet, so no wonder the scale numbers were going up. And even after giving up gluten for 10 years, my stomach was still a bloated mess. It wasn’t until I ditched the processed junk and started eating more salads, roasted veggies, soups, beans, whole grains, and fruits that I noticed the enormous difference I had been hoping for. I felt energized and lighter, and, most importantly, I had no more belly bloat. I mean NONE. I even started introducing a little gluten back into my diet and still felt amazing.

The cure? Fiber. I wasn’t eating close to enough on my junk-food gluten-free, vegetarian diet. I started focusing on getting at least 25 to 30 grams a day, which worked out to at least eight grams at each meal and three to four grams for each of my two snacks. To ensure I get my fill, I add ground flaxseed and berries to my smoothies and baked goods, chia seeds to my overnight oats, use avocado when I make pesto pasta, and add beans, quinoa, and sunflower seeds to my salads.

I was not only free from the chains of feeling bloated, but eating more fiber filled me up and I wasn’t nearly as hungry as I had been, which helped me eat fewer daily calories, and in, turn lose weight. Talk about a major win-win, people!

American diets tend to focus on getting more protein and eating fewer carbs, so if you find that you’re feeling bloated, gassy, and you can’t remember the last time you pooped, check your fiber intake! As a general rule of thumb, make sure to get fiber every time you eat, whether it’s through veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds, or whole grains. If you need some meal and snack inspiration, check out these recipes:

High-Fiber Breakfast Ideas
Fiber-Filled Smoothies
Top 10 High-Fiber Foods
High-Fiber Snacks
High-Fiber Fruits

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I Did CrossFit 5 Days a Week For 1 Month and This Is What Happened

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/CrossFit-Benefits-42182556

Thank You for visiting www.judgeweightloss.com. This is the spot for all of your fitness, workout, healthy lifestyle, supplement, and just general get healthy information. Enjoy

I don’t really want to share half-naked selfies of myself with the world, but I feel compelled to. Because after years and years of working out four to six days a week, running and training for half-marathons, sweating it out in yoga classes, and eating healthy, I have finally caught a glimpse of the kind of transformation I have been wanting ever since I can remember. And it’s only been one month.

Before

This might sound like a PSA, but so what? I really do owe it all to CrossFit. I had been wanting to try it for years but through two pregnancies, working, and taking care of my two young kiddos, I just felt like I couldn’t carve out the time. It was kind of a lame excuse, actually, and I realized it was high time to make the time and do something for me. So on Mother’s Day 2016, I bought myself a $250 On-Ramp course for CrossFit. No it’s not culty, yes the workouts are frickin’ hard, and yes, the community support really is amazing and was the key to my success.

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After completing that course, I decided to go all in and committed to going for one month, five days a week. Here’s what happened.

Weight down: I have been the same weight for years, trying to lose those last pesky pounds that hide my muscles and make me look softer than I’d like. I was amazed when I stepped on the scale and realized I was at the weight that I lied about on my driver’s license. Down five pounds! I mean, that’s huge when you don’t have a ton of weight to lose. CrossFit smacked my weight-loss plateau in the face!
Less to pinch: OK, so the scale isn’t everything. I also lost at least one inch around my waist. It’s not an enormous change, but I can totally tell in the photos because it’s the first area of my body my eyes move to whenever I look in the mirror. I have had a belly my entire life it seems, and I can finally see it slimming down and that little muffin top diminishing. I even noticed a little definition in my obliques!
Arm definition: While brushing my teeth a couple weeks in, I happily noticed my biceps bulging but didn’t think anything of it until the month was up and people commented on my arms. “What have you been doing?” they asked. Someone else said when they hugged me, my arms felt stronger. Even the Comcast guy who came to fix my cable commented on my “guns.” I also noticed more definition in my upper back.

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After

Toned thighs: I’ve always had lean legs, thanks to running and inherited genes from my mom, but they look even more toned and defined. I slipped on a pair of leggings and loved that I could seen my quad muscles popping out a little. Thank you lunges and deadlifts!
Perkier butt: I also inherited a flat butt from my mom, but a month full of squats, wall balls, and kettlebell swings have turned my flat rear into a more shapely, rounder, lifted bum. My husband has noticed, too. Bonus!

More energy: I used to run for an hour in the morning from 6 to 7 a.m., and by late morning/early afternoon, I felt completely drained. My body felt exhausted, my brain felt foggy, and all I wanted was a nap. I craved sugar and chocolate because I thought it’d give me a pick-me-up. Of course, that backfired with an inevitable sugar crash, plus the extra calories didn’t help me lose weight. I didn’t feel tired once during this month-long CrossFit experiment. Even after getting up at 4:50 to make my 5:45 a.m. classes, I still had more physical and mental energy.

Less hunger: Now this surprised me. I thought all that intense cardio and heavy lifting would leave me insatiably famished. But I felt way less hungry than I did after those hour-long runs. I never ate before those early a.m. classes for fear or puking, and by the time I got home, showered, and started working, I wasn’t hungry until 9 or 10. I was also inspired to eat better because I was putting in all this time and energy, and I didn’t want to undo all that by devouring half a box of Wheat Thins dipped in peanut butter.

Varicose veins diminished: I thought the bulging blue varicose vein behind my left knee was the oh-so-special badge of honor I shared with moms everywhere. But after four weeks of CrossFit, I swear, it’s hardly noticeable. The increased blood flow from all that heart-pumping cardio works magic! I feel way more confident in short shorts and skirts now.

Stronger overall: Carry three bags of groceries on each arm from the car to the house? No problem! Lifting heavier weights for just one month made me stronger and more capable of handling life’s challenges. When both kids’ heads accidentally collided when reaching for the same flower, CrossFit mommy power came to the rescue and I could bend down and lift 80 pounds worth of kid without my knees giving out with energy left to kiss both boo-boos! Running feels easier, previously difficult yoga poses like One-Legged Crow are doable, and come Winter, I’m excited to see how CrossFit-strong legs tackle the ski slopes.

Confidence: It wears on you when you spend years thinking about your weight while working hard to change your body and not seeing the results you’re after. Making a change that actually worked was life changing. I feel more confident and am just overall happier. I also realized that I like pushing myself and since CrossFit encourages you to to get stronger every day, I’m embracing this feeling of pride, and it’s inspiring me to keep pushing myself. I see now why people become hooked on WODs. It only took one month, but I’m addicted now, too. I can’t wait to see how my body changes in the months to come.

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6 ways to manage PMS

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PMS is no fun. Here, we share six ways to help and manage your PMS.

1. Food

Stabilising blood sugar will favour consistent energy levels and moods according to dietitian Melanie McGrice (melaniemcgrice.com.au). “Grains that have a low glycaemic index, which means that they provide longer-lasting energy, can also help to increase the hormone serotonin in the brain, so try some chickpeas, brown rice or quinoa,” says McGrice.

2. Diet

According to accredited practising dietitian Lisa Yates, some studies show that PMS may be exacerbated by too much caffeine, sugar and alcohol. To minimise symptoms, she suggests that you reduce your alcohol, caffeine and salt intake, and follow a low-GI diet.

3. Supplements

Professor Kulkarni says supplements such as evening primrose oil can be effective for relieving PMS symptoms and favours these as a primary intervention before resorting to the contraceptive pill. “The two supplements I suggest are vitamin B6 and evening primrose oil, which has healthy essential fatty acids. Both supplements have been shown in studies to help alleviate some symptoms in women with PMS and many women benefit from them,” Prof Kulkarni says. A study published in 2010 found that the combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 was particularly helpful for decreasing PMS symptoms. “Nuts are rich in both magnesium and B6, so I’d recommend taking 30 g unsalted nuts daily in the week prior to your period,” says McGrice.

Correcting iron deficiency may also ease syptoms as women who consume insufficient iron are at higher risk of suffering PMS according to University of Massachusetts research. Women with higher non-heme iron, which comes from plant sources, are 30 to 40 per cent less likely to experience PMS. This is possibly because low iron affects levels of serotonin, the hormone that elevates mood. Good sources of non-heme iron include silverbeet and spinach, broccoli, bok choy, soybeans and lentils.

4. The Pill

Contraceptive pills can help ameliorate symptoms of severe PMS and PMDD, but not all pills are equally effective. “Women should not take older-style progesterone pills as these can actually contribute to emotions like anger and depression,” warns Prof Kulkarni. “Some of the newer varieties of pill such as Zoely, Diane and Juliet can be very beneficial.”

To establish a more stable hormonal pattern, women may take the pill with the active hormones for three cycles then go on to a sugar pill for one week only, so that within a three-month cycle they only have one week of bleeding.

5. Hormone therapy

The next line of defence is hormone therapy according to Prof Kulkarni. Oestrogen patches or oestradiol patches and progesterone can cause a kind of hormone detour. “For some women who are very sensitive to hormones, another alternative is to deliver the progesterone via the Mirena IUD, which is placed in the uterus. This allows the hormones to go directly into the surrounding organs rather than passing through the bloodstream first, where it may cause more side effects,” Prof Kulkarni says.

6. Antidepressants

For women who feel their lives are hijacked by hormones every month, antidepressants can provide enormous relief. “The antidepressants stabilise the level of hormones like serotonin, so some women with PMS or PMDD no longer experience those huge mood swings from hormonal fluctuations,” says Davison. 

A new approach to this treatment is to take the antidepressant intermittently. “It may be taken for one week or 10 days of each month when symptoms occur,” says Prof Kulkarni. “To ensure the dose and type of antidepressant suits your system, speak to your GP about having a blood test or swab to get background on your metabolic system and guide the choice of antidepressant.” 

If antidepressants are not effective, women who suffer severe symptoms of PMS may then choose to undergo a ‘chemical menopause’, where strong hormones are used to stop ovulation and give women a break from the terrible hormonal and mood swings. “This approach sometimes needs to be permanent but can also have a kind of resetting effect on the brain,” Prof Kulkarni explains. “If women choose to come off the hormones, their impact is usually reversible and even when no longer on the therapy, the hormonal-related moods swings may be greatly reduced.” 

 

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Health Apps Really Do Help People Exercise More, Eat Better, Study Finds

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If you're in the habit of checking your phone regularly, take note: It could actually improve your health, if you start using the right apps.

A new review of research on technology, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, found that people who take advantage of support and programs on smartphones or the internet are more likely to eat better, exercise more, and engage in other behaviors linked to health and longevity.

"Here we have the convenience of all these apps so you can exercise or you can eat healthier or quit smoking," says Martha Daviglus, MD, PhD, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, who was not involved in the study. And even if the change isn't pronounced, "it's better to lose a few pounds than to lose none or to even increase your weight," Dr. Daviglus adds.

The authors of the new review paper evaluated more than 200 studies that had looked at the effect of different technologies on diet, exercise, weight, and tobacco and alcohol consumption. All of these factors play an enormous role in our risk for many diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, conditions which are almost as widespread today as cell phones. 

RELATED: Heart Attack Signs Every Woman Should Know

In the new review study, the most common types of technology were apps, text, or voice messages and automated voice response systems. The review included research done over the past 23 years (so many of these technologies are now outdated). Overall, technology—new or old—had a positive effect on behaviors that influence health.

The quality of the studies varied, however, as did the magnitude of the effects. For instance, tech interventions could add as little as 1.5 minutes to your weekly exercise routine, or as much as 153 minutes. Only two of seven studies looking at quitting smoking found benefits. 

Programs that proved most effective were those that incorporated goal setting and self-monitoring (such as recording how much you ate or weighed), and those that involved multiple forms of communication (like personal counseling and texts) and which carried individualized messages. The program which increased weekly physical activity by 153 minutes a week, for instance, sent customized motivational messages. 

The technology was also more effective when paired with good old patient-doctor or patient-healthcare provider communication. 

RELATED: These 3 Apps Help You Meditate on the Go

Most of the studies were very short-term, making it hard to know if they would be effective over the long time periods usually needed to make serious lifestyle changes. "They couldn't demonstrate if this really could work more than one year or only because it's the novelty, that people decide to try it and they get bored," says Dr. Daviglus, who is also a professor of medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

The participants in the 224 studies also tended to be high on the motivation scale, one of many different factors likely to play into the success of any app or text or voice messaging system. "You can tell a 45-year-old who is otherwise healthy and is a smoker that smoking is bad for you and he will continue smoking," says Jeffrey Goldberger, MD chief of the cardiovascular division at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. "That 45-year-old comes into the hospital with a heart attack and all of a sudden their motivation to stop smoking changes."

RELATED: How Much Exercise Do You Really Need to Protect Against Disease?

These days, though, there's likely to be an app to motivate you whoever you are. "With the new technology today, you cannot believe the things that we can do," says Dr. Daviglus. 

Look for programs that urge you to set goals, are tailored to who you are, and which make you accountable for your behavior by recording what you eat or how many steps you take. It's worth asking your doctor for recommendations, too. She may be able to suggest apps that work best for your health needs.

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