Fat Loss Weight Loss 

The Smoothie Diet – Smoothies For Weight Loss And Incredible Health

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Fat Loss Weight Loss 

The Weight Loss Motivation Bible: How To Program Your Mind For Sustainable Fat Loss

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7 Ways to Stop Being So Clumsy

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You knock over a glass of wine. You tumble trying to put on leggings. You trip up the stairs. Sound familiar? You probably have a clumsy streak. (Jennifer Lawrence, we’re looking at you.) But the good news is you don’t have to resign yourself to a life full of of bruises and stains.

Clumsiness is related to a few different factors, including your reaction time, processing speed, and level of concentration, explains Charles “Buz” Swanik, PhD, director of biomechanics and movement science at the University of Delaware College of Health Sciences. When life gets in the way of those functions—think too little sleep and too much stress, for starters—it can throw you off balance, literally. 

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to make yourself less prone to mishaps: “We have enough evidence within psychology, neuroscience, and biomechanics research to know that people can definitely make changes and prevent accidents before they happen,” Swanik says. Below, he suggests seven ways control your inner klutz.

Know when to take a breather

A little bit of stress can be a good thing, Swanik says. “It does help you concentrate, and focus, and increase your situational awareness.” But excessive amounts of stress can slow down your processing, and even affect your peripheral vision. “You don’t know where to look, or what to attend to that may be unsafe,” he says. “You may over-focus on whatever is stressing you out and avoid seeing potential danger.”

The catch-22? Your favorite way to clear your mind may actually set you up for an accident, Swanik says. If you de-stress by going for a run, for example, consider doing a few minutes of meditation or deep breathing first—so by the time you hit the pavement you're more alert, and don't risk getting hurt.

"It's funny, because the tradition is to get athletes all psyched up before a big game, but that's actually probably the last thing we should be doing," Swanik says. "We should be trying to keep them calm and anxiety-free. They probably would think much better and be smarter on their feet."

RELATED: 19 Natural Remedies for Anxiety

Train your brain

Swanik's research has suggested that people with not-so-great memories, and slower reaction times and processing speeds tend to have more coordination problems than folks with more efficient cognitive functioning. Fortunately, there are apps for that: Swanik recommends doing a Google or app search for "brain games." You'll find many options designed to improve memory and reaction time, he says. "[These apps] can help people foster some change."

Build up your core

Several studies on collegiate athletes have found that having less core control may increase the risk of lower extremity strains and sprains, says Swanik. And research on older adults suggests core strength can help prevent injuries: “When you put senior citizens on a core strengthening program, they usually have fewer falls," he says. "Your core is the center of everything." Try adding plank variations and moves like superman and bird-dog to your regular exercise routine.

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Think ahead

“YouTube is full of videos of people who have really not weighed the consequences and the risks of a situation before attempting to do something,” Swanik says. “Thinking ahead about what’s about to happen next, as basic as it sounds, is probably the best advice we can give people.”

That’s because accidents happen fast. Like, really fast. “We probably only have a quarter or a tenth of a second where a person makes a mental mistake and has some kind of injury,” he explains.

If you're feeling especially clumsy, make an effort to be extra-aware of your actions: Standing up from your seat? Check to see if there's anything you might knock over on your way up. About to climb stairs in high heels? Slow your pace and watch your footing. “Even if it’s just crossing the street, you should be actively thinking, Is this a good time to send a text message?” Swanik says.

Monotask

Do one thing at a time, simple as that. "Once you start to multitask, you get into a more dynamic and complex environment," he explains, "and it’s increasingly difficult to be deliberate [over] any one thing that you’re doing."

RELATED: 7 Exercises to Fix Muscle Imbalances

Be patient when you're trying something new

You know those stories about amazing athletes who join a game of beach volleyball, or start fooling around on a skateboard, and end up blowing out an ankle or knee? Clumsiness is often the result of diving into a brand new activity too quickly, Swanik says. "From a motor control standpoint, if you plan to try something that requires a new set of skills, you really need to be extremely patient," he says. "Think of it as a novel environment, an unfamiliar situation where you need to really slow down and assess how your skills parallel whatever it is you're doing.”

Swanik has seen this in research on collegiate athletes who are starting a cross-training regimen. "Some athletes will be unable to negotiate the new task physically and mentally, and they have coordination problems, and boom, injury."

The takeaway: If you're a a die-hard runner about to hop on a spin bike for the first time, ease your way into the new workout, and recognize that the movements may not be what your body is used to.

Get more sleep

Though never easy, clocking more shut-eye is a no-brainer: “We know that even losing a few hours of sleep is almost like drinking alcohol," Swanik says. "The effects are so profound and fast and deleterious that I would really caution people to make sure they’re getting enough sleep to avoid any sort of accident, whether it’s just being groggy while sipping coffee and spilling it, or something much worse.”

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

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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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Newsweek Writer Says Tweet Caused Epileptic Seizure

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There's no question certain tweets can throw you for a loop. But can a tweet actually cause a seizure?

Newsweek senior writer Kurt Eichenwald—who has publicly revealed that he has epilepsy—says a troll sent him a malicious tweet meant to do exactly that, and it worked.

After Eichenwald appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight last Thursday, he wrote a series of tweets referencing his acrimonious interview with the Fox News anchor. Apparently the seizure occurred later that night: Newsweek reports that another user sent Eichenwald an image of a strobe light with the message, "You deserve a seizure for your postings." 

On Friday, Eichenwald announced that he would be taking a break from the social media platform: "I will be spending that time with my lawyers &  law enforcement going after 1 of u…" 

"This not going to happen again," he wrote in another tweet. "My wife is terrified. I am … disgusted."

According to Newsweek, Eichenwald's lawyer has filed a criminal assault complaint with the Dallas Police Department, and plans to file a similar complaint in the jurisdiction of the user once that person is identified.

RELATED: 6 Things That Can Trigger a Seizure Even If You Don't Have Epilepsy

So how could a tweet trigger an epileptic seizure? We asked Derek Chong, MD, director of the epilepsy program and vice chair of neurology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, to explain: "There are some people who are very susceptible to strobes and flashing lights. If you open the message and it automatically plays and you’re really susceptible to it, you could potentially have a seizure." (Dr. Chong is not familiar with the specifics of Eichenwald's experience.)

This would fall into the category of photosensitive epilepsy, one of several reflex epilepsies—epiliepsies where an outside stimulus brings on seizures, Dr. Chong explains. The stimulus can be something in the environment, like a certain smell or noise, or can involve more complex behaviors such as reading, bathing, eating, doing math, or even thinking about certain topics. (Sometimes, a specific type of music can trigger seizures—one woman on Long Island had seizures whenever she heard Sean Hall on the radio, says Dr. Chong.) Reflex epilepsies account for about 5% of all cases of epilepsy; photosensitive epilepsy comprises 3% of total cases. Flashing lights are "a well-known trigger," says Dr. Chong. 

RELATED: 9 Foods That May Help Save Your Memory

Other factors besides an outside stimulus can trigger a seizure. If Eichenwald had already had a stressful day, for instance, and the level of excitability in his brain was already pushed very high, then "this could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Dr. Chong explains. 

Fortunately, Eichenwald seems to be okay. Earlier today, he reiterated his outrage on Twitter, and tried to put the seriousness of the attack in context: "Folks, if a blind man says things you don't like politically, it is not okay to direct him toward the edge of a cliff. Find some humanity."

The writer's metaphor is no exaggeration. Each year, some 50,000 people in the United States die as a result of seizures. In general, people with seizures have up to triple the risk of dying than someone without.

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5 Health-Focused New Year’s Resolutions You Should NOT Be Making

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It’s crunch time. New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and, inevitably, you’ve been thinking more about your outfit than your resolutions. Many people make goals focused on a healthier body — whether that means eating better or working out more, or both! While you brainstorm on how you want to better yourself in this upcoming year, consider these five things off of the list.

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This Is the Year I'm Actually Going to Run a Marathon

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This is the year I’m actually going to run a marathon. There. I said it! In fact, it’s one of my New Year’s resolutions. It was last year’s, too . . . but I chickened out. Now, before all you millions and billions of strangers (hey, guys!), I’m claiming it: I WILL run a marathon in 2017.

And now that I’ve said it, I can admit that I’m completely terrified. Though I ran my first five half marathons in less than two years, this is a big, lofty, scary goal for me. Instead of leaving one huge, daunting goal looming in the distance of 2017, I decided to give myself more actionable objectives to better structure my year for success (hello, I’m an A-type, nice to meet you).

And I know it might seem like I’m a fitness editor, and that this is no big deal since I work out literally every day, but please keep in mind that in 2014, I couldn’t run a mile in under 15 minutes without stopping to take several breaks. I’ve proven myself wrong before, broken down walls internally, and surprised myself in ways I never could’ve dreamed of — and if I can do it, anyone can do it!

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Are you thinking of taking on this big challenge in 2017? Let’s do it together! Here are some benchmarks I’m giving myself to set myself up for my first big 26.2 . . . and all the miles leading up to it.

Buy the damn bib. Step one of making sure I don’t back out of something: spend a lot of money. How else do you think I get up at 6 a.m. for SoulCycle? I can’t lose $32! Once you commit financially, you’ll be less likely to back out. I have my sights set on the Big Apple, so I’ll most likely be signing up for a Team in Training to get myself a spot in the race.
Get a second opinion . . . on shoes. Earlier this year I went on a run with Nike running coach Blue Benadum (he’s run almost 60 marathons!). And although I’ve done some shoe fittings that indicated I need more of a stability shoe, he analyzed my mid- to forefoot strike and told me I was wearing too much cushion in the heel. Apparently it’s time for a reevaluation! Ultramarathoner and coach Robin Arzon also emphasized to me the importance of choosing the right shoe, so I’ll be going through several fittings. Checking this off my list will help me feel more prepared and secure in my decision.
Schedule out other races this year. One way to make this race less scary is to schedule a handful of longer races and half marathons before the date of my full marathon. I’m already registered for a 10.6 miler at the Big Sur International Marathon (yay for checking things off my list of goals!), and I’m hoping to do a Disney half marathon at some point, too. Although these will still be HUGE victories and major goals for me (it’s still a lot of miles!), compared to the big race, they’ll be my mini victories along the way — or as Robin Arzon calls them, “micro successes.
Commit to cross-training. This race isn’t just about running — I want to make sure my body is strong enough and my endurance is *all the way up* so that I don’t feel destroyed at the end of this thing. I especially need to focus on my leg strength, as I have some run-induced patella inflammation that could potentially sideline me. Physical therapy, leg day, and foam rolling will be of the utmost importance this year.
Don’t wait for a certain date to start training. I talked with 11-time Ironman finisher and coach Marni Sumbal about this new adventure I’m embarking on, and this was her advice: don’t wait, start now. “Think of every day between now and your future half marathon as available time to get stronger and improve your endurance.” It made so much sense — waiting to start training is like procrastinating on a project you’re afraid of. I’ve already started running a little bit more than usual to get 2017 off on the right foot.
Choose the right training program. Although I plan on starting my training nearly a year in advance of my marathon, you can bet I’ll be following a strict beginner marathon training program about five months out. Commitment to this program is a goal within a goal.
Make mental health a priority. I may or may not have an emotional breakdown during training — knowing that ahead of time and preparing for “the worst” in a sense will remind me to cut myself some slack when things don’t go according to plan. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a run, or you don’t make a certain time, or you don’t feel your best on one of your training days; this is a marathon, not a sprint! Literally! Your commitment to this huge physical and mental goal is a gift to yourself; you’re celebrating your health and your body, so don’t get hung up on missteps or bumps in the road, and cherish every step on your journey to 26.2.

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Here’s What LSD Does To the Brain

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What exactly happens to the brain on psychedelic drugs? A small new study, published in the journal Current Biology, peeked inside the brains of 15 people during an acid trip and found brain-scan backup for a popular drug cliche: that the tripper feels at one with the universe.

Fifteen healthy people, who were experienced users of lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, came twice to a lab in London. (LSD is illegal in the UK, but it’s possible to use it in research with special permissions.) Once, they were injected with a small amount of LSD (75 micrograms); the other time they received a saline placebo. After an hour, to let the effects settle in, they got into an fMRI brain scanner, which captured images of what went on in their brains.

The researchers asked the people to rate their mood changes—getting answers like “I’m tripping like crazy” or “nothing is happening”—their visual distortions and their intensity of ego dissolution: a loss of self-identity and sense of connection to the environment outside of oneself that reportedly happens to people when they take LSD, which is illegal in the United States. “You don’t recognize yourself as a separate being from the universe,” says study co-author Enzo Tagliazucchi, a neuroscientist at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam. “It feels, in a way, like transferring the consciousness from within your body to the outside world; the focus is in the objects that surround you rather than inside.” Tagliazucchi and the team wondered if they could find some changes in the brain related to this feeling of ego dissolution.

When they looked at the regions of the brain involved in introspection, or thinking about oneself, and sensory areas that perceive the outside world, they found that these networks were communicating more intensely than usual. “When we measured the brains of subjects who were really blown away by LSD, who had a really strong feeling of ego dissolution, they were also the ones who had the strongest increase in communication between the network of regions in charge of introspection and the network of regions in charge of perceiving the external world,” Tagliazucchi says.

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What You Need to Know Before Quitting the Pill

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Between reports of health complications and more women thinking about IUDs, you might be considering a break from birth control pills. If you’re concerned about what this change will do to your body, here’s some information and advice from a board-certified physician who practices in southern California.

Dear Doctor,

I have been taking birth control pills for 10 years and things have shifted in my personal life and I no longer need to worry about getting pregnant. I want to go off this pill but am worried what will happen to my body and my cycle. Can you tell me what I should expect when I stop taking the pill? Will I gain weight? Will I break out? Will my period be just awful? Also, how long will it take for my hormone levels to return to normal?

— No More Pill For Me

Let me take off my lady doctor cap for a moment and share with all of you that I went through this very same issue last year. After years on the pill, I stopped taking it and will give both some professional and personal advice on this matter with you.

To begin, the birth control pill works by preventing ovulation. Once you stop taking the pill, the hormones are out of your body quickly, usually within a couple of days (this is why women who miss a couple days of pills on birth control have a chance of ovulating and getting pregnant!). Another important point to make is that it does not matter how long you were on the pill, from 10 weeks to 10 months to more than 15 years, your body will still be rid of the hormones within a couple of days!

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Once the hormones are out of your system, your body will begin to start producing hormones to initiate menstrual cycles. Some women will begin to ovulate in a couple of weeks, whereas it may take several months for other women to begin to ovulate. Generally speaking, your body should be back to “normal menstruation mode” within two to three months after stopping the pill. It is important to emphasize that if you had problems with ovulation prior to starting the pill, you may continue to have irregular ovulation/periods after stopping the pill. Most women with normal ovulation/periods prior to starting the pill will continue to have normal ovulation/periods after stopping the pill. But some women who had regular periods prior to starting the pill may have irregular ovulation after stopping the pill. The key point here is that everyone’s experience with ovulation/periods after stopping the pill is different!

There is a condition called post-pill amenorrhea (or lack of menstruation) that can occur after stopping the birth control pill. According to the Mayo Clinic, the reason for lack of menstruation in these women is that the body is just taking longer to produce the hormones necessary for ovulation and menstruation. If you still haven’t had a period after three months, they recommend taking a pregnancy test. It would be prudent to also schedule an appointment with either your primary care physician or gynecologist for evaluation. Some women never get a period after they stop taking the pill because they ovulate and conceive right away after the discontinuation. If you do not want to become pregnant, use another form of contraception such as condoms or a diaphragm.

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Many women take certain birth control pills to regulate their acne. Once you stop using birth control, you may notice an increase in acne on your face or on other parts of your body. When your body’s hormone levels regulate again, the acne can subside in some cases. As far as weight fluctuation is concerned, it has been shown that birth control pills that are higher in estrogen may cause weight gain and water retention. Therefore, your body may adjust after stopping the pill and some weight loss may occur due to a decrease in water retention. Again, each woman’s experience may be different. Case in point, I did gain some weight after I stopped the pill, but it may have been because of other factors due to the stress of trying to conceive, which is why I stopped taking the pill. Many birth control pills are designed especially to help treat exaggerated premenstrual syndromes or, in certain women, premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Thus, some women will notice increased breast tenderness and other premenstrual symptoms such as nausea, headaches, and fluctuating emotions.

I’ll finish by telling you more about my experience with stopping birth control. I had regular menstrual cycles before I started the pill, but this was not the case after I stopped the pill. It took approximately two months to get my first period off the pill, and they were very irregular after that (ranging from five weeks to 12 weeks between periods). After seeking consultation with my gynecologist after one year of irregular cycles, I was diagnosed with oligo-ovulation, which basically means I ovulate very infrequently. They could not find any medical cause for this problem after an extensive workup. At first, I felt like something was wrong with me or that I had done something in my lifetime to cause this. But I now realize I am not alone and that there are many women out there going through the same problems I am going through! Hopefully, if any of my readers are going through the same problem as me, they can feel better knowing that there are many women out there (including myself) that are going through it as well!

DrSugar posts are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. Click here for more details.

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