Snack Away Stress

One of the most common culprits that cost us our waistline is stress eating. Whether cramming doughnuts and coffee to get through the workday or easing into a large pizza and tall beer after the day is over, food is our best friend and worst enemy when it comes to stress eating. However, there are alternatives that help us snack away the stress without stacking extra pounds. These guilt-free snacks are perfect for anyone looking to sneak a little flavor into their diet, and still enjoy the sweeter things in life Here are some of the best snaJosh Bezonicks you can use to battle stress.

Oranges: It’s a little-known fact that Vitamin C helps to reduce the levels of Cortisol, the hormone responsible for fat retention. Sweet and full of juice, an orange makes an excellent substitute for candy or other sweet treats.

Blueberries: Being low on the glycemic index and chock-full of Vitamin C isn’t the only benefit to these little snacks. Each berry is teeming with antioxidants, perfect for relieving stress and calming down with a little something sweet.

Turkey: High in protein and packed with natural flavor, turkey makes a great snack, especially around midnight. When reaching for something to slake your late-night hunger, the L-tryptophan in each bite of turkey will surely help you get a restful sleep.

Salmon: Rich in nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, fish is an excellent dish to fight stress. A study conducted at the Ohio State University showed that omega-3 fatty acids have the ability to reduce stress by 20%.

Almonds: Nothing says, “stress relief,” better than a good crunch. Almonds are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, including but not limited to magnesium, zing, and Vitamins B and E. Almonds can also help you sleep according to a recent study. Zinc and magnesium were shown to shorten the time it took subject to fall asleep, leading to fuller, longer rests.

Snack Better

It’s amazing what eating the right foods will allow you to do on a diet. After organizing a healthy diet and workout routine, you absolutely can enjoy the sweeter things in life without fear of recourse or rebounding. The world won’t come crashing down because of one candy bar or cookie, but it takes determination to keep that one snack from becoming a binge. Below are some tips to keep you snacking better.

Moderation: As with most things in life, too much of something can turn and bite you. That goes double for allowing yourself to snack during a diet. The temptation to reach for one more chip or cookie when you’ve passed your allowance is easy, and products are designed to keep you reaching for just one more. A creative way to combat this trend is to reach for a single, larger snack. Instead of a sleeve of Oreos, try a gourmet cookie. Usually larger than a softball and in a variety of flavors, you can enjoy an oatmeal raisin cookie that fills you up without sending you into a sugar spiral.

Understanding: A reason that some people diet incorrectly is that they don’t uJosh Bezoninderstand the foods they are putting into their body. Though small and oftentimes difficult to read, food labels will become a big part of your life when embarking on a diet. Read each label, and put down the foods with overly complicated chemicals and corn syrups. Those products are designed to keep you hungry, and make for particularly hard snacks to set aside mid-diet.

Meal Maintenance: Though snacking is great, what allows these little trysts away from your diet is having a well planned and healthy meal schedule. Three square meals a day, each packed with the necessary vitamins and nutrients are a must when dieting, and to forgo such a necessary step will only spell trouble on your road to progress.

100-Calorie Lies

When entering the supermarket on a diet, it’s important to arm yourself with as many facts as possible. Advertisers aren’t looking to help you, they want your money, and nothing sells quite like “diet food.” With all their promises of measured calories and healthy ingredients, which slogan do you trust? Starting a diet is hard enough, but choosing to eat healthy also means spending a little more time in each aisle to be sure the food you’re putting into your body isn’t poison.

We’ve all seen the 1-calorie snack packs at the local grocery store. Whether mini-muffins, pretzels, or chips, they are everywhere, and promise a small escape from our diets with healthy, portion controlled snacks. Do not buy what they are selling! These little sacks of sweetness do little more than remind you of the food you should be avoiding, while leaving your stomach empty for more. I’ve seen, more often than not, that those little packs are consumed en mass rather than their recommended serving size.

Josh BezoniWhy is that, though? Why are we motivated to over-indulge on our delightful little packages of managed calories? These snack-packs, oftentimes filled with foods that provide zero nutritional value, don’t have the ability to fill us up as normal food can. Just enough to tickle our tastebuds with the promise of sugar and leave us wanting more, this is like a smoker attempting to quit and sneak in the occasional menthol.

Additionally, dieting does not mean that you can’t enjoy yourself. Smart snacking on veggies or snack with natural ingredients can fill you up for longer and keep you from rebounding on your diet. For peace of mind and a flat stomach, be aware of the foods you decide to dine on. We’ve established that a corporation won’t do it for you, so own your diet and your inevitable success. It’s a hard road, but one that gets easier with each step.


11 Beverages You Should Stop Drinking, Now


Labels can be tricky, often intentionally. If people really understood what ingredients and how much were going into their food, they would probably think twice before consuming. That’s why it’s so important to educate yourself about how to read a food label, what your daily intake should be, and how these ingredients effect your body, metabolism, and mood.

Here are 11 beverages I’ve already vetted for you. If you’re ready to be healthy and achieve/maintain a healthy weight, it’s time to stop drinking these beverages right now.

  1. Vitamin Water. On the label it says it has 13 grams (g) of sugar, BUT there are 2.5 servings per container. That means this little 20 oz. bottle of “water” comes with 32g of sugar.
  2. Welch’s 100% Grape Juice. The label says there is no added sugar but 8 oz. contains a whopping 39g of sugar. Even worse, it’s fructose, which is a kind of sugar that is more easily converted into belly fat.
  3. Coca Cola. The second ingredient in Coca Cola is high fructose corn syrup. Just 8 oz. has 27g of sugar. Of course this isn’t just Coke. All soft drinks contain about the same. It’s time to put down the plastic cup and pick up some fresh water.
  4. Amp Energy Elevate. The labels says it contains 29g of sugar per 8 oz. That means when you pick up a 16 oz. can you’re actually getting nearly 60g of sugar.
  5. Sobe Cranberry Grapefruit. This Sobe drink has 26g of sugar per 8 oz.. With 2.5 servings per bottle, you’re getting over 60g of sugar in one drink. That’s 15 teaspoons! Would you sit and scoop 15 spoonfuls of sugar into your coffee in the morning and then drink it? I hope not!
  6. Rockstar Energy Drink. Each can of Rockstar Energy Drink contains 62g of sugar. Enough said.
  7. Gatorade. Some might be surprised but this one, but Gatorade contains high fructose corn syrup as its second ingredient. That’s hardly what any athlete needs to replenish.
  8. Tropicana’s Cranberry Juice. This “juice” contains high fructose corn syrup and 32g of sugar per 8 fluid ounces.
  9. Starbucks Doubleshot Energy plus Coffee. At two servings per container, this “coffee” drink contains 28g of sugar.
  10. Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix. This mixer is loaded with high fructose corn syrup. Plus, the average margarita is 400 calories.

It might seem tough at first to cut out your favorite energy drink or juice beverage at first, but once you break the addiction to the sugar and caffeine, you’ll actually find that you have more energy, better overall health, and you’ll spend less time feeling the “crash” after all that sugar and caffein wears off.

Exercise: How to Get Twice the Results In Half The Time

treadmill-runnersYou all understand that exercise is good for you. It keeps your cardiovascular systems healthy, keeps you strong, and helps keep your weight in check (alongside a proper diet.) But, that doesn’t mean you have to like it.

It’s easy to come up with excuses when you truly dislike exercising and would rather spend your time doing just about anything else. I don’t have any secrets for never having to exercise again, but I do have some insights into what can make the process more bearable, and best of all: take less time.

There is a proven way to at least double your results from exercise while reducing the time it takes to complete your workout. Do I have your attention now? Great!

All you have to do is this: change your pace and intensity throughout your workout.

It’s really as simple as that. Researchers have found that when you change the pace or intensity of one exercise to the next you can dramatically boost your metabolism, not only during your workout, but also for hours afterwards. This means you can get more out of each workout in less time.

Next time you’re in the gym, don’t remain at one pace throughout your entire session. Hop on the treadmill, exercise bike, or stair climber, and start by moving at a moderate pace for a minute, then work up to a jog for a minute, then sprint for a minute, and repeat.

(Note: If you can’t sprint because of physical limitations such as injury or illness, that’s fine. You can still change your intensity level from low to medium to high in a way that challenges you without putting your body or health at risk.)

As you continue your workout, keep changing your pace between slow, medium, and fast until your time is up. Researchers have found that you can burn more calories in 20 to 30 minutes of varied-intensity aerobics then an hour of medium paced, consistent movement. Variety is not only the spice of life, it’s the key to your workout goals.

Another benefit of this method of exercise is that most people find the constant variation more engaging. Fighting boredom in your workout is important. If you can design your workout so that you can actually enjoy it, that’s always going to go a long way in keeping you motivated.

If you’re a beginner: start out slow. As you work your way up, the high-intensity part of your workout will get faster and you’ll be able to push yourself more and more. Pay attention to your body, and if you ever feel faint or nauseous, take a break immediately. In time, not only will you be healthier, stronger, and weigh less, but exercise will also give you “feel-good” hormones that will boost your mood and lower your overall levels of stress and depression.

Next time you workout, remember: each exercise session a victory in your quest to improve your body and your life. Give yourself the credit you deserve for showing up and putting in the work, expecially when you’re tired, grumpy, or unmotivated because even your worst workout is better than not showing up at all.

Save the Avocado!

The secret is out, and it’s that avocados are a miracle food. Used in dozens of healthy recipes for its burst of flavor and host of healthy factors, the avocado is equal parts delicious and nutritious. But how can we keep one from spoiling? It’s rare that someone finishes an entire avocado in one sitting, and following these tips will allow you to revisit your favorite food without it having spoiled or gone brown after the first cut.

A Cut Above: Instead of using a traditional pressed-steel blade to cut, try using a ceramic or plastic knife. Metal accelerates the oxidation process, leading your favorite food to brown quicker than you’d think.

The Citric Approach: Citric acid is well-known as both a powerful antioxidant and the worst thing to get in a paper cut. When you’ve cut into your avacado and are preparing to return it to the fridge, rubbing some lemon juice along the exposed flesh will significantly reduce the speed that it browns.

Seal It Up: Oxidation is what brings the brown to your fresh avocado, so a sure-fire way to fight this is by removing all the air from the bag where you’re keeping it. Whether you have a vacuum sealer or just a determined set of hands, the more air you can keep away from your now exposed avocado the better.

Josh BezoniGuard your Guac: One of the lovely byproducts of a good avocado is guacamole. Delicious and good on almost anything, this delectable green paste can go bad just as quickly as your freshly sliced avocado. When sealing it to ensure its freshness, add a half-inch of water on top of the guacamole after you’ve been sure to remove any air pockets. This bag and water seal helps to keep that guac fresh for up to an entire day by ensuring that no air reaches your food.

Why the Food Pyramid is Outdated

Do you remember the food pyramid from you grade school days? You may be shocked to find out that it has remain nearly unchanged for decades despite the loads of nutritional discoveries unlocked by researchers over the years.

You may recall that grains (bread, pasta, rice) are situated at the base of this pyramid. For two decades, the United States Department of Agriculture itself recommended that upwards of half of your diet should be derived from from carbohydrates.

This is, by no means, good advice.  The American educational system as well as government sponsored organizations are not receptive to new information apparently. It takes years or even decades for them to amend their recommendations to reflect the information that is revealed and commonly accepted by the scientific community. This is quite travesty if you ask me.

USDAHowever, the USDA did introduce their “my plate” system that is, relative to the archaic food pyramid, quite great. In the My Plate system, United States of Department of Agriculture is recommending that vegetables and fruits account for about half of your diet and that grains make up a more reasonable 30%.

The USDA also is now recommending that protein make up of 20% up of your diet, a marked increase from their previous recommendations.

That said, there are a number of things that the USDA could have done better with regards to their “My Plate” system.

Firstly, the My Plate system does not feature healthy fats such as organic dairy products, nuts, and oils. These healthy fats serve as a vital component of a health diet and should be consumed much more than the old food pyramid recommends.

Secondly, grains should account for about a sixth or 15% of your diet. Research has shown that you should be try to eat grains for breakfast and after a workout.

Additionally, try to increase your protein take to about 35% from the recommended 20%. There are a number of benefits from consuming more protein such as decreasing body fat, increasing muscle, increasing the thermic effect of feeding, and more.

The Metabolic Race

We all have that one friend. You’ve seen him eat entire pizzas, you’ve watched him wolf an entire birthday cake, but he somehow remains thin. Our metabolic rate governs our waistline like a dictator ruling over their country. While some metabolisms may be more proactive, burning food like logs in a furnace, others are slower, taking their precious time with what’s given. But not all is out of your hands.

Sadly, crash dieting has become normal for the general public. The ups and downs of a shifting diet can wreak absolute havoc on your metabolism. Imagine your body as a finely tuned car, and multiple diets as different types of fuel, doing little more than damaging the inner workings of your system with its ever-changing qualJosh Bezoniities. Crash dieting can slow your metabolic rate to a crawl, and snapping back to old habits will not only bring the weight back but pile it on with a vengeance.

Dr. Rudolph Leibel, the leading researcher at Rockefeller University and world-renowned obesity expert, found that there is a quantifiable difference between those who crash diet and those who took the time to establish healthy eating habits. Not only were the metabolic rates of the “crashers” 25% lower than their counterparts, the damage done to their metabolism set their body to the rhythm of someone nearly half their size.

The human body is a complex system of chemicals and hormones, each working together to ensure we keep moving forward. Crash dieting can not only damage your metabolic rate, but it can alter your vital hormone makeup. By drastically reducing a daily diet, the human body will begin to lessen its production of fat-burning hormones. The thyroid, responsible for combating weight gain, can drop as much as 38% after two weeks of sustained low-calorie consumption. A week spent indulging in your old habits after your metabolism has dropped to these lows will spell doom for the progress you fought to earn.

No one is perfect. We do our best with what we’re given and make improvements when we are willing and able to do so. Though many remain the victims of their metabolism, there is an answer to the problem plaguing millions, and it’s simple. Eat well, eat regularly, and don’t subject yourself to constant crash-dieting. Not only is it better for your mind, it’s good for the body.

Two Sneaky Tricks to Fight Cellulite

fruits-veggiesBefore we dive into the steps of actually getting rid of cellulite, it is important to understand exactly what it is. It can typically be found in bum, thighs, arms, stomach. You might have noticed that these are the exact locations where stubborn fat tends to linger. Cellulite appears as if it s lump skin that is akin to the dimples of a golf ball. But on the inside, cellulite is simply a pocket of fat that is sitting directly under your skin. If these fat pockets are pushing against the connective tissue, it can create that golf-ball appearance. There are number of factors including, but not limited to, your background, your genes, age, lifestyle and more that have an impact on the degree of cellulite. It should be noted, however, that cellulite is much more common in women than men due to the presence of estrogen and females’ naturally thinner skin.

Tip #1: As a mother’s intuition suggests, vegetables and fruits are great, especially when you are trying to get rid of that pesky cellulite. However, moms probably cannot explain why. Vegetables and fruits are helpful as they are full of antioxidants that combat free radicals. Furthermore, they work to limit damage in the future as they create another layer of protection. Brightly-colored fruits and vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, berries, squash, broccoli, berries) tend to have the highest antioxidant content.

Tip #2: Treat your body right. While it may sounds simple, limiting your intake of toxins, which are quite common in today’s society,can do wonders for smoothing out your cellulite. Free radicals which are caused by stress, pesticides, charred foods, cigarette smoke, alcohol, and more can wreak havoc in our bodies. Try to reduce your intake of all these and start treating your body like the temple it is.

3 Tips To Reverse Aging

When you are in your twenties, you hardly care about the prospect of aging. But as you close in on your forties and beyond, you want to look younger and feel younger. Here are three tips that will help you appear and feel a decade younger.

Flax Seeds Eat Essential Fat: For decades, the media and the masses preached how all fat was unhealthy. However, this is categorically incorrect as a plethora of academic studies has demonstrated recently. Certain fats carry an array of benefits such as maintaining the integrity of your skin. These are the essential fatty acids, and, unfortunately, our bodies are not wired to generate them by themselves. We must turn to certain foods if we want to increase our consumption of essential fatty acids. The majority of Americans typically do not consume enough of Omega-3s, a specific fatty acid. A dearth of this can lead to the drying, cracking, and wrinkling of your skin! If you want to avoid this, which I am sure you do, there are a number of foods that contain plenty of this essential fatty acid. These include wild salmon, mackerel, tuna, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, flax seeds, and more.

Eat More Frequently: The custom in many Western cultures is to have two or three big meals per day. Unfortunately, this is by no means the most efficient or healthy schedule for eating. In reality, the best eating schedule to adhere to is to consume a small, yet sufficient, meal that contains essential fats, healthy carbs, and protein every three hours. This makes it much easier for our bodies to absorb the nutrients from our meals. Furthermore, the frequency of meals, as described above, can boost your body’s metabolism.

Reduce Toxins: Toxins can wreak havoc not only on your appearance but your general health. Avoid toxins such as air pollution, alcohol, cigarette smoke, and those found in our water supply and food. It is advisable to avoid processed foods that contain chemicals, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors.

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