Monthly Archives: August 2016

Tips that will keep the pounds off for good

Losing weight is hard. Losing weight and then keeping it off is even harder. Case in point: 74% of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, and weight loss is a $20 billion industry. All that said, if you’re trying to slim down, there’s no reason to lose hope. Plenty of studies show that lasting weight loss is not a myth. Work some of the 57 research-backed food, exercise, and lifestyle tips that follow into your routine, and watch the pounds start to come off.

Yeah, yeah—you’ve heard a million times that you must start your day with a balanced breakfast. This advice bears repeating, however. An Imperial College London study found that when people skipped breakfast, the reward centers in their brains lit up when they were shown pictures of high-calorie foods. That means if you skip breakfast, you’ll be more tempted by bad-for-you snacks later in the day. What’s more, a 2013 study found that women who enjoyed a large morning meal had a larger drop in ghrelin, the hunger hormone, than those who ate a small breakfast.

Wrap up your morning meal with dessert—yes, really. In a Tel Aviv University Medical Center study, one group had a 304-calorie breakfast with 10 grams of carbs, while the other group ate a 600-calorie breakfast with 60 grams of carbs, which included a small sweet, such as chocolate, a doughnut, a cookie, or cake. Halfway through the 8-month study, both groups had lost an average of 33 pounds per person. At the end, however, the low-carb group regained 22 pounds, while the dessert group dropped an additional 15. Researchers say the dessert-eaters reported dealing with fewer cravings, and had a better chance of sticking to their calorie requirements for the rest of the day.

Want to avoid an unplanned pregnancy

Every year, 3 million women in the U.S. have unintended pregnancies either because they skipped contraception or used it improperly.

If you dread having to make the difficult, life-altering decisions that come with an unplanned pregnancy, it’s not too late—there are “morning after” and now even “week after” emergency contraceptives.

Here are seven things to consider after having unprotected sex, including your options in terms of emergency contraception.

One thing you shouldn’t do after unprotected sex is to try douching.

“Douching will not increase the risk of pregnancy, but it may increase the risk of pelvic infections,” says Lisa Perriera, MD, MPH, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, in Cleveland. “Douching in general is a bad idea.”

Why? It alters the normal balance of yeast and bacteria in the reproductive tract, which could lead to an infection.

Plan B was the first hormonal product approved in the U.S. specifically for emergency contraception. It can prevent ovulation and fertilization if taken within three days (the sooner the better) of having unprotected sex.

Anyone can buy Plan B and its generic counterpart over the counter, meaning you don’t need a prescription (although you may have to ask the pharmacist). Plan B costs between $10 and $70, according to Planned Parenthood.

Christopher Estes, MD, an assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, recommends keeping it on hand in case of emergency.

Side effects can include nausea, tiredness, headache, and breast tenderness.

The Facts About Binge Eating Disorder

Come February, we’re deep into winter, and the short days combined with frigid temperatures may have us reaching for our favourite comfort foods. Hot, creamy soups, rich casseroles, hot chocolate—it feels like the colder it is outside, the more we want to stay indoors and eat…and eat, and eat.

For most of us, occasionally overindulging at mealtime is okay—we simply move on, perhaps pledging to eat better tomorrow. But for some people, it’s not that simple. For those who suffer from binge eating disorder (BED), overeating brings on feelings of deep shame and self-loathing. People with the disorder feel like they lose control when they eat; they may also eat too quickly, eat beyond feeling full to the point where they’re uncomfortable, and hide their binges from others. In other words, meals and snacks become minefields of physical and emotional stressors.

So how do you know if you’re an occasional overeater, or if there could be something more serious at play, such as binge eating disorder? To find out, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I regularly consume a lot more food than most people would in a similar time period?
  • Do I feel out of control during an episode of bingeing?
  • Do I feel very upset after binge eating?
  • Have I binged at least once a week for the past three months?

If you answered “Yes” to these questions, it might be time to have a conversation with your family doctor about your relationship with food. You are not alone: BED is the most common eating disorder in Canada, more common than anorexia and bulimia combined, and it affects both men and women. It’s not a “choice” or a “phase;” it’s a serious medical condition which is associated with mood disorders, anxiety and depression.

The good news is that BED is treatable. Options to manage the disorder include cognitive behavioural therapies and nutritional counselling. In addition, the first Health Canada-approved medication to treat BED was announced last October. Not everyone needs medication, of course, but it can be part of a healthy, holistic approach to managing the disorder.

Avoid the allergy triggers

Sniffling and sneezing can happen after you eat raw or fresh fruits. Called oral allergy syndrome, this condition occurs when your immune system sees a similarity between the proteins of pollen and those of the food, and triggers a reaction. If you are allergic to tree pollen, for example, foods like apples, cherries, pears, apricots, kiwis, oranges, plums, almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts may bother you. Cooking or peeling the food may help.

As a busy entrepreneur growing two businesses, I travel for work on a weekly basis. After hours on planes, speaking on stage, or doing media interviews, it’s tough for me to wind down at the end of the day. However, I know how important it is that I get enough sleep when I’m staying in a hotel far away from home.

According to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a third of adults don’t get enough sleep (at least seven hours each night), and this is linked to a host of diseases and other problems. Here are five tips I use to help power down and sleep better.

If you want to settle into a restful sleep, avoid staring at screens before bed (up to an hour). This may not be realistic in all situations, so if you absolutely have to work on a device, try a program like f.lux, which can colour-shift your screen to minimize the amount of blue light emitted-the same approach used by Apple’s Night Shift and Amazon’s Blue Shade technology. Reducing the amount of blue light can help you get to sleep more easily by making the colours warmer and less like the light of the sun…which, you know, is a pretty big cue that you should be awake!