Diet Soda: Is it a Healthier Option?

You’ve probably seen this scenario more times than you can count. A person eating a big meal but right next to them is a diet soda. They equate diet soda as being a healthier option compared to a regular soda.

While it is true that diet soda usually contains no sugar, thus making it lower in calories, at the same time it is loaded with artificial sweeteners that are just as bad if not worse for you. Just think aspartame, saccharine and sucralose and you will know just what is floating in that can of diet soda.

Here are some of the side effects diet soda drinkers are at a high risk for:
1) Causes Depression
Research has shown a correlation between depression and diet soda consumption. People who consume diet soda on a regular basis were found to be 30% more likely to experience depressive symptoms.

2) Increases Risk of Type II Diabetes
A study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that individuals who drank one diet soda a day had a 36% increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome (a group of conditions that include high blood pressure, increased cholesterol and glucose levels, and a larger waist size) and diabetes.

3) Obesity and Weight Gain
Diet soda has less calories and sugar so you would think it would help keep weight gain away, right? Wrong! Studies have found a link between weight gain and drinking diet soda. Researchers have also concluded that the artificial sweeteners in diets soda may contribute to the development of Type II diabetes.

Despite containing fewer calories, diet soda is not a healthier alternative. To stay as fit and healthy as possible, avoid drinking soda completely. There is no place for it in a healthy lifestyle.

Adding Probiotics to Your Lifestyle

virusHave you thought about adding probiotics to your diet? You create a good and healthy lifestyle for yourself when you add probiotics to your life. Luckily, probiotics come in many different and delicious foods. Some of those foods include pickles, sauerkraut, Kombucha tea, and yogurt. These foods keep your digestive and immune systems healthy.

Here are some things that probiotics can do for you:

1. Help your urinary tract health - To help your urinary tract system working properly, the intake of probiotics is important. Probiotics will help prevent any bacteria from invading and damaging your urinary tract system.

Getting a urinary tract infection can be painful and uncomfortable, and means having to go to the doctor. They’ll prescribe antibiotics but there’s always a chance that it will return. By adding probiotics to your diet, you can stop it from recurring. Not only do the probiotics ward off any infections, they also help the system to maintain the good bacteria.

2. Women get many rewards from taking probiotics - Sometimes a woman’s normal bacterial flora may get off balance. This can lead to an increase in urinary tract infections described above as well as vaginal issues. When not taking a wholesome amount of probiotics, women can experience yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. Pregnant women are at an even greater risk at getting vaginal infections, which puts them at risk of having a premature labor.

3. Prenatal health - Probiotics should be used by expecting mothers because they are very helpful to unborn babies. The use of probiotics while pregnant provides the baby with vital health benefits. Some of those health benefits include less of a chance at getting eczema and inflammation of the skin, and a decrease in the chances of them having allergies.

4. Boost of your immune system - Consuming foods rich in probiotics can help your body to maintain a healthy intestinal foundation. Enthused immune responses have been shown with the incorporation of probiotics in your everyday lifestyle and diet.

5. Fight obesity - When wanting to lose weight, you should add probiotics to your diet. This is because by adding probiotics, you can help boost your usual bodily functions that can help to stimulate weight loss naturally.

6. Digestive health - This is one of the greatest advantages of taking probiotics. Antibiotics can destroy the good bacteria. But when probiotics are taken daily, the amount of good bacteria in your body increases. Having healthy bacteria in your body is needed to help maintain a healthy digestive system. Lack of good bacteria in your body can result in diarrhea, constipation, and cramps. With the use of probiotics, chronic issues like irritable bowel syndrome can be taken care of.

Adding probiotics into your lifestyle makes your body healthier and helps it function more efficiently. Consumption of probiotics has been shown to help relieve symptoms for many sicknesses. They have also helped to make people feel better and make their systems work better.

3 Tips To Help You Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions

New-Year-Resolution-Goals-Target Although many of us start the New Year full of hope and excitement for making things happen, many of us quickly give up on our goals and wait until the next year to even think about them again. But we set New Year's resolutions for a reason, and that's because we hope they can improve our lives in some way. So if you want to set goals you can keep this year, here are three tips to help you make it happen.

1) Set Realistic Goals That You Really Can Keep

The first place to start is with your goals. Are they realistic? Are they attainable? Are they honestly, honestly something that you can see yourself achieving in the coming year?

By all means, push yourself with New Year's resolutions as a method to work toward your goals, but do it within the limits of what's possible! Planning to work out for 2 hours every single day probably isn't realistic for most people, nor is it realistic to think that you'll cut out all sugar completely if you like your sweet treats.

It's also important to ensure you don't try too many things at once. By all means, plan to improve your guitar playing skills, to get healthier, and to learn a new language, but try focusing on just one goal to begin with. Once you've made the first goal a habit, or reached the milestone you were aiming for, you can move onto the second.

2) Understand The Way You Feel

Although not all our New Year's resolutions are about giving something up, understanding the way you feel about things like overeating, or other habits you may have, is crucial to seeing your goal through to the end. If you're trying to give up drinking, or a certain type of food, understand that cravings come and go like waves, and do the best you can to learn about what triggers your cravings so that you can avoid them.

The same goes with things like exercise. Think about how you feel when you can't be bothered to exercise, and put it off until tomorrow ...  you probably feel like you let yourself down. But when you do exercise, not only are you happy that you're meeting your goal, but you may even get a rush off those endorphins!

3) Reward Yourself, Don't Punish Yourself

We tend to work better when we're working towards certain rewards, rather than avoiding punishments. So decide on some ways to reward yourself for completing goals. Instead of berating yourself and feeling guilty for not doing something, think of how you'll feel and what you'll do when you do something you want to do.

Pick milestones relating to your goals, such as 1 month without a drink, or 5 days of exercising every day, and give yourself something nice as a reward (a new CD, a nice meal etc.) Rewards are far better motivators than fear!

How Does Positive Thinking Reduce Stress?

dream-big-and-make-it-happenDoes this sound like you? You have heard that positive thinking can have such an amazingly powerful effect on your life. But maybe you are not buying into all that "good thoughts" power. You need proof.

So, exactly how does positive thinking reduce stress? What really happens inside your body when you adopt a positive as opposed to negative way of thinking? Let's take a look.

The Mayo Clinic reports that using positive thinking as a stress management tool can lead to the following benefits: Continue reading "How Does Positive Thinking Reduce Stress?"

5 Smart Weight Loss Decisions

lose-weightWeight loss is hard right? Well, in a way- yes. But really it shouldn’t be, at least with a little planning, and a lot of smart weight loss decisions.

As humans, we tend to know what constitutes a smart decision, and a decision that leaves a lot to be desired. When it comes to weight loss, we seem to get stuck on making “less than ideal weight loss decisions.”

So where does that leave us? Well, you could keep doing what you always do, and get the results you have always gotten ... or, you can institute some smart weight loss decisions- choices that will improve your life for the long haul.

Let’s dive right in!

Choose To Move More Everyday

Burning calories is the name of the game when it comes to sustainable weight loss, regardless of if you need to lose 1 or 100 pounds. Not a fan of the gym? Not an excuse. There are simple decisions you can make that can have a profound effect on your weight loss efforts. For example, how about walking a few extra flights of stairs on your way to the office?

Maybe you work on the 10th floor, so why not stop off at the 7th and walk the rest? You need to make deliberate weight loss decisions if weight loss is your goal. It does not come about by mere chance.

Likewise, take a stop a few blocks away from home and walk your way home. The afternoon is likely to be cooler than the morning, so the sun should not be a valid excuse.

Worried about winter? Do some activity at home. An extremely effective exercise that does not require expensive equipment is the step up. Simply remove the cushion out of your sofa and perform as many repetitions as you are comfortable with. Small changes equate to big differences.

Go No Soda

Yes, you read correctly- no soda. No regular, and definitely- NO DIET. Soda in every form is bad, regardless of what the money hungry manufacturers’ claim. Sure, diet may be free of calories, but that does not mean it is free of adverse effects.

In fact, many of the low sugar alternatives found in diet soda can hasten your development of metabolic syndrome, which is worse than diabetes alone. Water needs to become the main beverage in your weight loss arsenal, but that does not mean it has to be bland. You are free to use coffee, tea, fruit infused water and more- just be sure you keep an eye on the sugar content.

Load Your Plate With Veggies

Love broccoli? Great! Then make it the cornerstone of your plate. Who cares how it looks? You definitely won’t in a few weeks when you see your body change dramatically. The rule is to load up on your favorite veggies, as they are typically low calorie, then follow with your protein of choice (meat, frequently), and finally maybe a little sweet potato or rice. The carbs are optional of course, as restricting them altogether is the fastest way to achieve weight loss.

Go To Sleep Sooner

You know the hundreds of benefits of sleep by now, but here’s one you don’t think of often; reducing caloric intake. The later you stay awake, the more likely you are to snack. Unnecessary snacking, more so late at night, can spoil a hard day of work and leave you moody as an extra bonus (ha! Really).

Make Meal Prep A Ritual

Fastest way to sabotage a diet plan? Hunger. Yes, when you’re hungry you don’t give too hoots about healthy, as long as it fills you. To compensate, make a decent amount of meals and freeze them in your favorite Tupperware. That way, when you need food, it’s just a microwave session away, and your weight loss plan will remain intact.

Use the tips in this blog post to help guide you to making smart weight loss decision - decisions that will positively impact on your goal of losing weight.

Are You at Risk for Developing Diabetes?

Diabetes means that the body has an inability to produce or use insulin. Insulin is an essential hormone that lets you use glucose (blood sugar) as energy. Without it, glucose will build up in your blood and cause untold amounts of damage to your organs - especially your kidneys, hearts, nerves, and eyes.

There are three types of this disease: Type I, Type II, and Gestational.

Type 1

Continue reading "Are You at Risk for Developing Diabetes?"