Category Archives: Diet

The 8 worst foods to eat at night

Via @preventionmag

Original article by Victoria Wolk

Having a big meal before retiring for the night or late night snacking can be hazardous for your health; and not only because your Mother told you to refrain from such practices. The old wives’ tale that the food would ‘’lie in your stomach and give you nightmares’’ may not be accurate, but it can cause something that will definite be a source of discomfort. It is something called ‘’silent reflux’’.

Victoria Wolk explains: ‘’No doubt you’re familiar with acid reflux, which occurs when digestive juices back up into the chest and/or throat and cause a burning sensation. But there’s also something called “silent reflux,” which is different from common heartburn. It has the same causes but without the usual symptoms. Instead of indigestion, sufferers get sore throats, chronic coughs, and have difficulty swallowing.” [1]

Wolk continues to discuss the findings of Jamie Koufman, a New York City laryngologist. She discovered that nearly 50% of Americans suffer from silent reflux and they do not even realize it. Koufman continues to say that: “The single greatest risk factor is, by far, the time that people eat dinner” [1]  and suggests that we should be “having supper no later than 3 hours before bed”. [1]

In addition to restricting your final meal of the day to no less than 3 hours before bedtime, Wolk adds that one should avoid snacking before going to sleep and, if you cannot resist the temptation, there are 8 types of food that one should definitely not have:

  1. Alcohol
  2. Soda
  3. Fatty foods
  4. Chocolate
  5. Cheese
  6. Nuts
  7. Citrus
  8. Coffee

[The reasons why Wolk suggests avoidance of these foods before bedtime is detailed in the original article. Read it here.]

This, of course, doesn’t mean that one should go to sleep hungry. From time to time we will all be struck by sudden cravings at midnight. The secret is to choose wisely. Dr. Koufman suggests that you select food low in acid like bananas or a bowl of low-sugar cereal with low-fat milk. She says that she is, herself, partial to soothing chamomile tea.



5 Surprising Causes Of Your Cravings

Via @MindBodyGreen @nu_health


5 Surprising Causes Of Your Cravings

Do you ever feel like you’re a slave to your cravings? Sometimes it’s coffee you can’t live without, other times nothing can get between you and a chocolate croissant, and still other times it seems like all you can think about is bread and pasta. You do your best to stay strong, clench your teeth and distract yourself, but more often than you’d like, you find yourself succumbing.

The most frustrating part of dealing with food cravings is often feeling totally out of control. It’s like your body is working against you, sabotaging your best intentions with it’s own devious agenda.

Thankfully, there’s a method to the madness of your cravings. There are some root causes that, once addressed, can liberate you from that feeling of powerlessness.

Some are obvious — hunger, low blood sugar, too few hours of sleep, certain hormonal fluctuations.

But there are some other surprising causes of cravings that you might not know about, which, if ignored, are going to wreak havoc on whatever’s left of that willpower.

1. Your sensible lunch salad.

You may think you’re making the healthiest choice possible with that nice green salad for lunch, but the truth is, a salad is only going to fill you up for about 3-4 hours. Come 4 pm, your energy levels totally crash and you start craving cookies, coffee and other simple sugars.

When you experience that 4 pm crash, the odds that you’ll make healthy food choices are pretty slim. Your body is in a state of panic and will lead you to whatever energy source is closest, diet be damned.

Instead, try having a bigger lunch with some whole grains, protein and tons of veggies instead of your typical fare, and see how much more energy you have throughout the day!

2. Your boss’s mood.

A stressful work environment or tyrannical management style can leave you running for the nearest chocolate bar. Stressors like getting chewed out by your boss, dealing with impending deadlines, having too much on your plate, or a generally intense office culture raises your cortisol levels, which in turn cause you to feel hungry, crave sugar and gain weight, especially in your midsection.

So the next time things get a little heated at the office, take a five minute break and go for a walk around the block to take some deep breaths and clear your head before reaching for those comfort foods. Getting a little distance from the source of your stress can give you much-needed perspective and a clearer picture of what’s really going on.

3. You’re not getting enough action.

When we’re lacking crucial fulfillment, intimacy and fun in our lives, we tend to compensate with food. If you’re getting enough sweetness in your life through your relationships, self-care and fun experiences, you become a lot less dependent on food as a source of excitement, comfort and joy.

Even if you’re not in a relationship, having regular orgasms (even just solo!) will go a long way toward keeping you away from sugar, carbs and other comfort foods. So schedule some lovin’ into your week and notice how much less power food has over you!

4. Your fear of fats.

In our low-fat-everything culture, we can be a little too diligent in avoiding fatty foods. Newsflash: there are healthy fats out there that your body needs for energy, weight loss and focus.

When we deprive ourselves of healthy fats, our bodies start to send signals that we absolutely must get our hands on those unhealthy fats like those found in foods like ice cream, cheese or french fries. Instead of succumbing to those cravings, make healthy fats like avocados, nuts and seeds, olive and coconut oils, and even the occasional 2% fat greek yogurt or kefir a part of your daily eating and watch those fatty food cravings disappear!

5. Your water intake.

Dehydration is a major cause of food cravings that is seldom addressed. Our bodies are made up of roughly 70% water, which needs to be replenished and rehydrated throughout the day. If you’re not drinking those eight glasses of water, your body gets majorly dehydrated which manifests itself as a feeling of hunger, not thirst.

So before reaching for a snack, drink a tall glass of water, wait a couple of minutes and then check in with yourself to see if you’re still hungry. More often than not, the craving will be gone!

Mastering the root causes of your cravings is so important in understanding your body’s needs and healing your relationship with eating. Give these five tips a shot and see how much more empowered you feel in the face of food.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

About the Author

Natasha Uspensky is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor and transformational coach with practices in New York City and worldwide. She works with women to heal their health and start living the lives they crave, in a body they love. For more articles, check out Visit for information on programs, to schedule a consultation, or to get on the list for Greens. Grains. Gorgeous. —Natasha’s life-changing online program launching this winter!

5 Weight Loss Tips That Don’t Cost A Dime

@MindBodyGreen #JJVirgin #Diet #Nutrition #Health

Via 5 Weight Loss Tips That Don’t Cost A Dime.


5 Weight Loss Tips That Don't Cost A Dime

“Between those appetite-curbing supplements and healthy foods, I feel like I’m spending half my paycheck to lose weight,” my friend said, showing me a recent grocery receipt.

As a single mom raising two teenage boys and running two businesses, I can relate to tough financial decisions. At the same time, I don’t think becoming lean and healthy should cost a fortune, and designing a healthy, nutrient-dense, delicious diet can work within any budget.

Yet I must confess one big secret among nutrition and fitness experts: some of the most effective ways to become healthier and maintain fast, lasting weight loss are free.

Sure, they require effort and time, but with these five strategies you can become lean and healthy without paying a dime.

1. Do burst training.

Designer gyms and one-on-one trainers can add up quickly, but burst training, also called high-intensity interval training (HIIT), provides a fast, convenient way to get incredible exercise without equipment and without draining your savings account. HIIT consists of repeated exercise at a high intensity for 30 seconds to several minutes, separated by 1-5 minutes of recovery.

A hotel stairwell or park hill both make perfect free places to burst train.

2. Sleep.

Even one night of poor sleep can knock numerous fat-regulating hormones out of whack. You also become a cranky caffeinated mess more vulnerable to overpriced sugary pastries at your favorite coffee place. Aim for 7–9 hours of high quality, uninterrupted sleep every night to feel refreshed, focused, and optimally burning fat. To prepare for sleep, turn off electronics about an hour before bed, practice deep breathing or meditation, and allow your mind and body to unwind.

3. De-stress.

Unwinding needn’t cost a penny. Deep breathing or meditation can help you de-stress, and some community centers provide free yoga classes. Go for a long walk in nice weather, take a shower or listen to your favorite relaxing music.

4. Drink a lot of water.

Who needs expensive appetite suppressants when studies show water can help curb your appetite? Drinking tons of water while help keep you feeling sated throughout the day, leading to less snacking and smaller meals.

5. Practice mindfulness.

Many less-than-ideal eating decisions occur when we’re stressed, tired, semi-inebriated, or otherwise not completely in the moment. One study concluded mindfulness-based practices contribute to significantly greater reductions in BMI.Challenging though it may be to in our check-your-iPhone-every-two-minutes society, slowing down could be the key to fast, permanent fat loss, and it doesn’t cost a penny.

So there you go! These are my five tips to cost-free weight loss! I wish you luck on your journey!


Photo Credit:


Maria Menounos’ Healthy Tips for the EveryGirl

@Yoga_Journal @mariamenounos #book #diet #nutrition #health #fitness

Via Maria Menounos’ Healthy Tips for the EveryGirl on Yoga Journal

Maria Menounos

You would never guess it from the paparazzi pics of her svelte figure, but there was a time when Extra TV co-host Maria Menounos was 40 pounds heavier and a far cry from the fitness symbol she is today.

After binging on junk food as a teenager, the Chasing Maria Menounos star ballooned from a size 2 to a 14 before deciding to get serious about diet and exercise, eventually dropping the extra pounds she’d packed on in high school in her early twenties.

The secret to her success? A clean diet consisting of whole foods and veggies plus plenty of exercise, which she divulges in her new book, The EveryGirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness: How I Lost 40 lbs and Kept It Off-And How You Can Too!  We recently caught up with the 35-year-old to talk about her favorite spot to unroll her yoga mat and the reason you’ll never see her doing Downward-Facing Dog at Hollywood’s yoga studio du jour.

Yoga Journal:
 What inspired you to write this book?

Maria Menounos: More than anything I wanted to help every girl out there looking to get in shape but [who] has struggled to do so. I remember how happy I was when I finally succeeded. I recall telling myself how much I wanted to help others achieve the same bliss. My book is the means to do so. My target audience is women who lack time, money, and willpower to get in shape, which is most of us.

  Did yoga play a key role in your success?

MM: In all honesty, I was not practicing yoga when I lost the weight. However, in later years it has definitely helped to keep me toned and trim.

 How long have you been practicing?

MM: I’ve been practicing for almost five years. I don’t attend classes because I don’t have time to commute, but I often do yoga bedside or in my front yard, even if it’s for 10 minutes. I do what I can with the time I have. I find it helps my day go smoother if I do it first thing in the morning.

You just signed a multi-year contract with E! Is it tough to juggle a healthy lifestyle with your hectic work schedule?

MM: I’m always going to be busy, but what’s great about yoga is that you don’t need to commute to a class and it doesn’t require expensive equipment or trainers. A simple mat is all you need and not a great deal of time. Fifteen to 20 minutes of bedside yoga is something I can manage and find the time to do. Again, it’s not as often as I’d like, but it’s something I can achieve. I have even done it all dressed up for work, whatever it takes!

Do you have a favorite healthy snack that helps you recharge?

MM: Greek yogurt, bananas, and almond butter.

What are the greatest benefits you’ve reaped from yoga?

MM: The calming effect has been the greatest upside. By doing it when I wake up, it sets me up for the day to be positive and in a great mood. I love to do yoga in the morning. I do a few poses, breathe in fresh air and end it with saying something positive out loud like, “Today is going to be a great day.” Ending the day, it helps me to decompress and sleep more peacefully. Physically, I love the stretch and the flexibility it has given me.

YJ: What healthy strategies do you recommend for the EveryGirl?

MM: Keep a yoga mat by your bed or in your office.

Any favorite poses?

MM: Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) is my favorite because I love how it opens me up and eases my back.

YJ: Any obstacles you’ve overcome off the mat thanks to having a regular practice?

MM: I have a stressful career and it has helped ease those stresses so much. Whether running a household or running an office, yoga is a great practice for women.

  — Dana Meltzer Zepeda

How I Lost 40 Pounds & Kept It Off

@MindBodyGreen #OshaKey #WeightControl #Health #Diet

Via MindBodyGreen

How I Lost 40 Pounds & Kept It Off

It’s been more than four years since I decided to take responsibility for my health and change my lifestyle. Not only have I lost over 40 pounds of fat, but I have also managed to keep it off, which seems to be the hardest thing when it comes to weigh loss.

Although there are so many important things I’ve done that helped me get where I am today, I’ll share a few that you can use as an inspiration and implement yourself:

1. I stopped blaming my genes and circumstances and took responsibility.

I grew up in a family where all the women were more or less overweight. I was told that being fat was “in our genes” and it was assumed that sooner or later I would also become heavy.

Beliefs shape your reality, but they are neither true nor false. They can only be beneficial or detrimental. And the good news is that you can consciously choose them. So, decide now which belief serves you better: that you are controlled by your genes and your metabolism, and you are destined to be overweight? Or that you are in total control, and can have the body of your dreams?

2. I made my health a priority.

About five years ago, a friend suggested doing one simple exercise which helped me change my life. That exercise was about defining my core values. I realized that my most important value was health, yet this wasn’t reflected in the way I lived my life. This was my “aha!” moment, when all the changes started happening.

If you want to do the same exercise, I give the exact instructions in my ebook Mastery in Weight Loss, which I offer for free to my subscribers. .

3. I took action.

Changing your beliefs and attitude is vital, but it’s not enough. To get the results, you need to take action.

I eliminated the things that were making me sick, i.e. smoking, caffeine, meat, dairy, processed foods, and replaced them with nutrient-dense foods in my diet. I also started exercising.

This shift didn’t happen overnight. It took me years to change some of my habits. So if you have lots of weight to lose, don’t expect to get there tomorrow. Just be patient and have faith. It’s definitely worth it!

4. I gave myself permission to listen to my intuition and be guided.

That was the best thing I ever did. Our inner guidance system is here for a reason. And I believe that reason is to help us stay on track with our life’s mission and path.

I was guided to meet people who taught me spiritual lessons that I needed to learn. I didn’t let fear get in the way. I decided to change my career and move countries. When you allow yourself to be guided, you also get more in tune with your body, which, I strongly believe, also helps get rid of unnecessary weight.

5. I made the decision to be happy.

I designed my life in a way that is meaningful and filled with joy. When I got happy and fulfilled, I stopped being obsessed with food or fitness. Eating well and moving my body are just things that are necessary to keep me healthy and vibrant, but are not the main focus of life anymore. A lot of times we feel hunger in our hearts and minds, and mistake it for being hungry for food.

Everyone is on a different journey, and I’m not saying that my journey to health is the best or the only one. It is a way, not the way. If some of the advice resonates with you, take it and use it in your life.

I’d love to hear from you! Which of these five tips resonates most with you and is one you hope to implement in your own life? Let me know in a comment below! Good luck!

Read original article here: How I Lost 40 Pounds & Kept It Off.