How much sleep do you need? Many working Americans sleep too little, but did you know you can sleep too much? According to studies on sleep and mortality, insufficient AND excessive sleep can shorten your life.
*Healing and repairing cells, tissues, and blood vessels help build bone and muscle mass.
Lack of Sleep: Immediate and Long-term Health Effects
Diminished cognitive function
Increased levels of cortisol (stress hormone) which cause the following:
Drinking the recommended amount of water every day may sometimes seem like a daunting task, but here’s why you need water to lose weight — and why you don’t have to drink all that water.
Why You Need Water to Lose Weight
Water suppresses your appetite naturally.
Your body often confuses thirst with hunger. You may think you’re hungry, but you’re actually just thirsty.
When you lack water, you store more fat. Water is the key to fat metabolism. Water lessens the burden on your kidneys. Your kidneys can’t function properly without enough water. Thus, the liver has to compensate and can’t do its job which is to break down fats and produce energy.
NOTE: An overweight person needs more water than a thin one. The more fat you have to lose, the more water you have to drink per day.
Recommended Daily Water Intake
Aim for drinking half your weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, drink 80 oz. of water (10 cups). Then adjust for hot weather, exercise, and medical conditions.
Fluid Content in Fruits and Vegetables
Percent Water in Vegetables
Cucumber, iceberg lettuce: 96%
Celery, zucchini, romaine lettuce: 95%
Tomatoes, bell peppers: 94%
Water-rich food is full of water and fiber which makes food BIG and HEAVY. So it takes up more space (it’s filling!) without adding a lot of calories.
– Turn casseroles into soups.
– Eat rice (cooked with water) instead of dry, dense bread, bagels or crackers.
– Eat oatmeal (cooked with water) instead of cold dry cereal.
– Eat beans (cooked with water) instead of dense, fatty meat.
High volume foods help stop the diet-deprivation cycle. You can eat more food and feel less deprived.
When to Control Fluid Intake
Important note: People in the later stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) have a limited ability to remove excess fluid since they have lost kidney function. Those living with CKD have to follow a fluid-restricted diet.
Fit Tip: Focus more on WHAT you eat vs. how much. Just eat more fruit at breakfast and add more veggies to lunch and dinner entrees.
Also, be sure to check the color of your pee. Your urine should be a pale straw color or transparent yellow (think light lemonade). If you’re dehydrated, your urine color will be darker yellow (think the color of honey or apple juice). Then it’s time to drink more water — about 1 to 1 1/2 cups to start — and eat some fruits and veggies!
Are you able to walk for miles on a treadmill, but can barely ascend a few flights of stairs? I explain to Marty Gonzalez, KRON 4 Morning News Weekend anchor, why stair climbing is so different from walking — and how it not only benefits your life but your sex life as well.😉
Stair Climbing vs. Walking
Stair climbing improves cardiorespiratory fitness. It is officially classed as a “vigorous” form of exercise. Stair climbing is a more POWERFUL form of walking because it:
Stair Climbing and Sex
Researchers in Canada monitored healthy male volunteers averaging age 64 while they walked, lifted weights, or climbed stairs. Stair climbing was the most demanding. Stair climbing was:
Twice as taxing as brisk walking on level ground.
50% harder than walking up a steep incline or lifting weights.
Faster at attaining peak exertion than walking (thus, explains the “huffing and puffing” going upstairs).
How to Stair Climb Your Way to a Longer Life and Stop Middle-Age Weight Gain
You eat all the right foods — big leafy salads, bean soups, salmon, oatmeal and other whole grains — but you still can’t lose weight and worse yet, you may have even tacked on some extra pounds. Here’s why HOW you eat is just as critical as WHAT you eat to shed those stubborn pounds.
‘Reach and Eat’ Behavior
Reach and eat behavior is mindless eating. It’s automatic. You eat without asking yourself, “Am I hungry?” or “Am I full?”.
‘Reach and Eat’ triggers:
Walking past a vendor on the street
Driving by a burger drive-through
Passing a bowl of candies or food samples
Walking into the office snack room
Stopping at a gas station convenience store
Use ‘The Hunger Scale’ to Lose Weight (a.k.a. How to Stop Dieting)
Losing weight requires two key fundamental habits:
Recognizing your own levels of hunger and fullness (satiety)
Acting on your body’s hunger and satiety signs
The Plus Side to Using The Hunger Scale
You decide what and how much to eat and cultivate a healthy relationship with food. Instead of focusing on external cues (i.e., being told what you should eat), you get to focus on your own internal cues (i.e., your level of hunger/fullness, cravings).
As a baby or toddler, you likely ate naturally when you were hungry, and stopped when you were comfortably full. Use “The Hunger Scale” as an easy tool to help re-learn how to eat. Master it, and you can lose weight without “dieting”.
The Hunger Scale
Tune out those external cues, such as what to eat and when to eat. Instead, listen to your own feelings by practicing ‘The Hunger Scale’ habit.
2 Uncomfortably Hungry — Lots of stomach growling. You are over-hungry and pre-occupied with hunger. You’re irritable, have low energy and a headache. Feel like ordering everything on the menu.
Eat now, then stop…
3 Very Hungry— Stomach is beginning to growl. You have hunger pangs. The urge to eat is strong.
4 A Little Hungry — Beginning to feel hungry. It’s time to think about what to eat, but you can wait to eat.
5 Neutral (Neither Full Nor Hungry)— “My mind is on things other than food.”
6 Satisfied and Light— “I could eat more but…”. You are pleasantly full.
Stop eating before this point…
7 Full— Feel slightly uncomfortable. You won’t be hungry for 3 to 4 hours.
8 Very Full — Feel stuffed. Need to unbutton your pants. You don’t want anything else. “I ate more than I needed to.”
9 Very Uncomfortably Full —Feel heavy. Thanksgiving full. Your stomach aches.
10 Painfully Full—Feel so full you may be sick (binge fullness).
Stay in the range of No. 3 (Very Hungry) to No. 6 (Satisfied and Light). When you do, you’ll lose weight AND feel more energetic.
Fit Tip: Become an “intuitive” eater by becoming reacquainted with your hunger and satiety signals. Eating mindfully also means eating slowly. Changing an eating behavior is not easy, so give yourself lots of time to practice The Hunger Scale habit.
How many times have you resolved to lose weight at the start of each new year, but the year went by and you hadn’t lost an ounce — or perhaps you gained weight? I explain why and provide some tips to make this year’s weight loss effort a successful one.