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TEN NATURAL WAYS TO REDUCE ANXIETY
Written by , Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D.
Published on 13 March 2014
Natural Ways to Relieve Anxiety
Tea has been used for hundreds if not thousands of years in order to
induce relaxation and relieve anxiety. Unlike many other forms of
tea, Chamomile is naturally non-caffeinated. In addition to this,
Chamomile also has chemical properties similar to a mild muscle
relaxant. Stress is both a physical as well as a psychological
phenomena, and easing pressure on the muscles also improves the
psychological perception of stress. Chamomile can also help alleviate
skin inflammation associated with anxiety.
Benefits of Chamomile
also provides other benefits, and can actually reduce skin
inflammation, regulate the severity of a fever, and it acts as a
cough suppressant. In one scientific study, participants drank
chamomile tea daily for fourteen days. By the end of the study, they
were discovered to have higher levels of a compound known as
Hippurate, which is associated with a stronger immune system.
Tea (or L-Theanine) and Stress
tea does contain mild amounts of caffeine, but not nearly as much as
other forms of tea. It is also possible to find decaffeinated Green
Tea. Like Chamomile, Green Tea also provides anti-anxiety benefits
when consumed. This is primarily because of an amino acid known as
L-Theanine which appears in high quantities in Green Tea. Medical
studies have shown that L-Theanine positively impacts the
cardiovascular system by balancing blood pressure and controlling
few small studies have shown that participants with high anxiety did
experience statistically significant calming benefits when taking 200
mg of L-Theanine, which is the amount of L-Theanine you would intake
with 5 strong cups of Green Tea per day. If 5 or more cups of Green
Tea sounds like too much for you, you could opt for a supplement
Benefits of Green Tea
if you need to supplement your green tea drinking with L-Theanine to
experience optimal anti-anxiety effects, there are numerous other
reasons why green tea is good for you. The best thing about green tea
is that it has more antioxidants than any other type of tea. The
antioxidant compounds in green tea are known as polyphenols, and
these compounds have been scientifically proven to provide
anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory benefits. Again, any product
which provides Anti-Inflammatory benefits will likely have at least a
small impact on anxiety levels.
for Anxiety Relief
may be surprised, but the hops which are used as an ingredient in
beer actually have some anti-anxiety benefits. Don't head to the bar
to turn up a beer yet though, because, unfortunately, the
Anti-Anxiety benefits of hops do not survive the brewing process. The
part of the hops that has the ability to relieve stress is the
essential oil of the hops.
can actually be used as a sedative, and there are companies that sell
pillows filled with hops. There are specialty teas that contain hops,
but because of their intensely bitter flavor, it is usually brewed
with mint, chamomile, or other flavors which are effective at
covering up the bitterness.
Benefits of Hops
sedative benefits of hops and its relative, Valerian, have been shown
to be effective in the treatment of insomnia if taken regularly over
the course of a month. Hops are also good for digestion because they
stimulate the release of digestive juices. If you experience
digestive troubles as a result of stress, Hops seems to provide
is even evidence that Hops have the ability to help evacuate toxins
from the body. For women, high doses of regular hops supplements can
be an effective treatment for mild to moderate symptoms associated
with menopause, because hops produce plant Estrogens. Finally, there
are studies that show that Hops provide neurological benefits.
Because of these plant Estrogens, Hops supplements may be better for
women than men, because long term use may suppress natural
like Green Tea provide sedative effects without impacting energy
level or encouraging sleepiness. Other herbal anxiety supplements are
better to take at night because they both alleviate anxiety and
encourage restful sleep. Valerian is a member of this class of
Anti-Anxiety supplements. Valerian, like hops, has shown benefits for
the treatment of insomnia, and some nations, including Germany, even
approve Valerian as a means to treat sleeping issues such as insomnia
and jet lag.
Benefits of Valerian
is another Anti-Anxiety treatment that also acts as a muscle-relaxer.
Valerian appears to have stronger muscle-relaxing effects, and is
effective at alleviating issues related to muscle spasms, including
muscle tension, muscle pain, and cramping.
good thing about Valerian as a sleep aid is that, unlike other
treatments such as Melatonin, Valerian does not produce a groggy and
hung over feeling in the morning for most users. Finally, Valerian is
even recommended for high blood pressure exacerbated by stress
because it both reduces stress and relaxes the veins and arteries,
reducing blood pressure.
Balm for Stress
name may lead you to believe as such, but Lemon Balm is actually not
related to lemons, although Lemon Balm does produce a distinct citrus
scent. Lemon Balm has been used in the West for several centuries,
since the Middle Ages at the latest, as a means to alleviate both
anxiety and stress. It can also help you sleep by proxy. Lemon Balm
is a mild sedative, but it also has the ability to enhance attention.
particular study showed that participants that took 600 mg lemon balm
extracts were both more alert and less anxious than they were if they
were provided a placebo. It's important to slowly increase the dose
over time, however, because taking too much at once can actually
Benefits of Lemon Balm
Balm has strong antioxidant benefits, and in one study, radiology
staff were provided lemon balm supplements, and were found to
experience less damage as a result of X-Ray exposure, which increases
the level of free radical activity in the human body. Lemon Balm also
appears to produce psychological benefits, in the areas of cognition
have even been studies in Alzheimer's patients that have shown that
Lemon Balm supplementation can improve the symptoms of Alzheimer's in
patients suffering from the moderate and mild forms of the disease.
The reason for these benefits is that it inhibits the activity of
both butyrylcholinesterase and acetylcholine in the brain.
every treatment for anxiety comes in the form of a pill, capsule, or
consumable. Exercise is a fantastic way to modulate and alleviate
stress. Exercise stimulates the metabolism and encourages the brain
to produce endorphins which have the ability to counteract stress and
anxiety. Another good thing is that although some anti-anxiety
treatments and supplements take days or weeks to work, exercise
provides some benefits immediately and with continued exercise, it
provides enhanced benefits!
addition to the physiological benefits of exercise, it also produces
benefits because it contributes to a fitter and healthier you, which
has the ability to relieve anxiety associated with health and
Health Benefits of Exercise
you likely already know, exercise provides significant benefits to
nearly every aspect of health. Exercise stimulates your
cardiovascular system, which strengthens the heart and helps to
control blood pressure. Also, exercise increases your metabolism,
which causes you to burn fat more quickly and gives you more energy
and vitality to attack the realities of your everyday life.
also provides other psychological benefits in addition to simply
relieving stress. Exercise has been proven to reduce the impact of
depression, making it easier to stay happy. There is even strong
evidence that physical activity improves cognitive and mental health
as well, stimulating memory and improving attention span.
Twenty-One Minute Cure for Anxiety
is an extension of the previous suggestion, which relates to the
immediate benefits of exercise and physical activity in general. If
you are experiencing feelings of stress, one of the best things you
can do is turn to exercise. When you feel stressful, take twenty to
thirty minutes to exercise, in whatever way you would most prefer.
You can run, swim, lift weights, or anything that will get your heart
your heart rate and getting your body moving will have a direct
effect upon both your anxiety and stress levels. Twenty-one minutes
is the average length of time that it takes to stimulate the
neurological benefits of exercise, and as soon as you are done, you
should feel a greater level of psychological balance return to your
mind. Anxiety and stress are both psychological and physical
responses. Physical activity is a powerful outlet for that stress,
which will alleviate the psychological effects.
The name of this
flower is somewhat misleading in regard to the effect that it can
have on the body and mind. Although the flower was named for its
vibrant and colorful appearance, its effect on the body is actually
sedative. Like Valerian, Passionflower is another supplement that has
been approved as a medical treatment by Germany, which has provided
approval for the use of Passionflower as a treatment for restless
There is even
scientific evidence that Passionflower is so potent that it can
provide the equivalent benefits of prescription medications. Because
of it's anti-anxiety sedative qualities, it is very useful as an
insomnia treatment. Like other sedative supplements, it should not be
taken alongside prescription sleep aids and other sedatives. Also,
because of its potency, it is recommended not to utilize
Passionflower for longer than thirty days without discussing it with
Benefits of Passionflower
When combined with
St. John's Wort, there is evidence that Passionflower has the ability
to modulate depression and help patients experience an improved
outlook on life. Passionflower can also be useful for women suffering
from issues related to Menopause, including headache, insomnia, and
anger. Passionflower can even be an effective treatment for women
that are not interested in Hormone Replacement Therapy or not
Like many other
anti-anxiety treatments, Passionflower also appears to have
cardiovascular benefits. There is evidence that Passionflower
supplementation has the ability to significantly reduce blood
pressure. It appears to primarily impact systolic blood pressure,
which refers to the pressure within the arteries when the heart is
pumping. Finally, Passionflower has an impact on the accumulation of
damaged cardiovascular fats known as oxidized lipids.
It's no surprise
that there are a number of flowers that have anti-anxiety effects,
and perhaps these effects have even affected our perception of them,
indelibly connecting flowers with happiness and relaxation. Lavender
is considered to be an emotional anti-inflammatory, and just the
scent has the ability to relieve stress, with a number of studies to
back it up. In one study, students actually deeply inhaled lavender
oil before taking an exam.
This reduced the
level of anxiety in the participants, but some students experienced a
bit of mental fuzziness as a result of the inhaled concentration. In
Germany, Lavender has even been studied as an anti-anxiety drug,
tested as a treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. They found
that these specific lavender pills were as effective as Ativan at
alleviating this form of anxiety.
Benefits of Lavender
Lavender is widely
used in aromatherapy for a number of different purposes. There is
evidence that Lavender has the ability to treat fatigue, nervous
disorders, and headaches. Lavender oil is used as an herbal remedy
for a number of skin conditions, including acne, eczema, wounds, and
fungal infections. The benefits resulting from eczema may be the
result of the benefits of massaging with oil rather than the type of
oil itself, however.
There is also
scientific evidence that Lavender Oil has the ability to reduce pain,
and in one study, patients that inhaled a mixture of oxygen and
lavender had an increased pain tolerance as opposed to those that
inhaled oxygen alone.
Breathing for Stress Reduction
is another effective means to regulate anxiety. One technique that
has been shown to be highly effective is known as the 4-7-8 Breath,
and is a breathing strategy related to yoga. In order to perform this
breathing technique, first breath out completely through your mouth.
Immediately after breathing out, inhale through your nose for four
seconds. After inhaling, hold your breath for the following seven
seconds. Finally, exhale through your nose slowly over the course of
seven more seconds.
Engaging in regular
controlled breathing can enhance the benefits that you experience
through a single session, and can even optimize your function at the
genetic level. There have been multiple studies that have shown that
performing breathing exercises regularly actually has the ability to
alter the way that your genes express themselves, in ways that
actually re-tune your stress response.
Benefits of Controlled Breathing
not only helps control anxiety, but it helps control heart rate and
blood pressure as well. If you practice controlled breathing
techniques such as the one described above, the end result will be a
boon to your cardiovascular system. There is evidence that breathing
exercises reduce the risk of brain aneurysm and stroke also.
Controlled breathing and meditation also have the ability to improve
connections in the brain, and it is shown that regular meditation and
focused breathing can improve sensory processing and attention.
FACTS ABOUT OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS ALA DHA AND EPA
Written by , Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D.
Published on 07 December 2018
Facts about Omega-Three Fatty Acids
When you are using HRT (hormone replacement therapy) you should make sure to include good sources of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, include ALA (alpha-Linolenic acid), DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), and EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid).
ALA is an important dietary part of HGH, and Testosterone programs, including for programs which involve sermorelin and hcg diet.
You should be sure your diet includes DHA when you are doing any of our hormone injections programs (especially HGH, and Sermorelin)
EPA, like ALA and DHA, pays an important role in your diet, when exercising and using growth hormone and testosterone.
Omega-Three Fatty Acids are one of the many important nutrients needed to live a long and healthy life. Unfortunately, there are many people that do not get enough of these nutrients in their everyday diet. Omega-Three Fatty Acids provide a number of benefits and play a role in many vital processes of the human body. There is strong evidence that two Omega-Threes in particular, known as DHA and EPA, have the ability to help the cardiovascular system regulate both blood pressure and control triglyceride levels.
There is a lot of research being performed with regard to the potential benefits of Omega-Threes going on today, and there is strong evidence that these nutrients may be able to vastly improve health in a number of areas, from depression to rheumatoid arthritis.
Omega-Threes may sound complicated, but we will break down the essential things to know about these nutrients in this article. There are three Omega-Three Fatty Acids, ALA, DHA, and EPA, and they all perform interrelated functions within the human body.
The Basics of Omega-Three Fatty Acids
Omega Three Fatty Acids are also referred to as Essential Fatty Acids, and that is because they are essential for the proper function of the human body. Human Beings, unlike some other animals, do not have the ability to make their own Omega-3s, so we have to get what we require from our diets. It's also necessary to consume appropriate amounts of all three essential fatty acids, DHA, EPA, and ALA, because our bodies are not very good at converting them into one another and it has the potential to create physiological deficiency.
Essential Fatty Acids have a wide variety of benefits, and they are believed to be a major factor in alleviating inflammation all over the body, including the joints and the blood vessels. One issue with taking Omega-Three Supplements, however, is that they do have the capacity to thin the blood if taken in too large of a dose, and this issue is most concerning for patients that are already taking blood thinners and anticoagulants.
There are a number of different forms of Essential Fatty Acids, but there are three that are most important. Two of the most vital are DHA and EPA, and they can be found in significant amounts in fish. A third Essential Fatty Acid is ALA, which can be found in some plants, such as Flax, and the body has the ability to convert some ALA into EPA and DHA. Whereas Flax and Flax Seed can provide ALA, Algae Oil Supplements can provide DHA.
Although ALA does provide health benefits, most nutrition experts and biologists agree that EPA and DHA acquired from fish products have a stronger positive impact on the processes of the human body. EPA and DHA can be found on their own in a variety of animal products, but the only natural way to get both EPA and DHA in your diet is through algae and fatty fish. Some forms of algae only provide DHA. ALA is primarily found in plants, and the body can convert ALA into DHA and EPA when combined with energy through biological processes within the human body.
The Benefits of Omega-Three Fatty Acids
Controls Triglyceride Levels in the Blood Stream
There have been a number of scientific studies which have shown that the consumption of Essential Amino Acids via fish oil capsules has the ability to bring elevated Triglyceride levels back to normal. Elevated Triglycerides are widely documented to be associated with increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. There is evidence that consuming DHA on its own has the ability to bring Triglyceride Levels down. Evidence is inconclusive thus far with regard to how this impacts cardiovascular risks.
Reduces Risk and Severity of Depression
There is some powerful evidence that countries and cultures that have diets that are high in Essential Fatty Acids are less likely to experience symptoms of depression. Studies have also shown that combining Fish Oil with antidepressant medication appears to have the ability to amplify the benefits of the medication. Finally, fish oil can soften the depressive symptoms associated with Bipolar Disorder.
Reduces the Severity and Frequency of Asthma Symptoms
A diet that provides high levels of Essential Fatty Acids has the ability to alleviate inflammation, which is a core component of the asthmatic response. It appears that fish oil supplements have the ability to help asthma patients cope with their disease, but at this point, it is unclear exactly to what extent that Omega-Three Supplementation can mitigate the effects of asthma. There is insufficient evidence to show the capability of Essential Fatty Acids to restore lung function or lessen the need for Asthma medication.
Alleviates the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis is another condition which Essential Fatty Acid Supplementation appears to significantly alleviate. There is sound evidence that proves that DHA/EPA Supplements have the ability to both lessen joint pain, alleviate stiffness, and increase range of movement. Omega-Three Capsules also appear to enhance the success of drugs taken to treat inflammation.
Improves Attention and Cognition for Patients with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
There is some evidence that fish oil supplements can lessen the symptoms of ADHD in pediatric patients, enhancing their cognitive capacity. More studies need to be performed in order to properly gauge the effectiveness of this form of treatment, however, so fish oil capsules should not be substituted for other ADHD treatments which have been proven to be effective, although there is no harm in supplementing prescribed treatment with Essential Fatty Acid Supplementation.
Prenatal Health Benefits of Omega-Threes
Omega-Three Fatty Acids play a major role in both the neurological and visual development of infants. At this point, the body of evidence is incomplete with regard to whether fish oil supplements taken during breastfeeding or pregnancy impact the health of the baby. In spite of the lack of conclusive evidence regarding Omega-Threes for such purposes, there seems to be no downside to taking supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease Benefits
There is a large amount of study going on right now regarding the impact of Omega-Three Fatty Acids upon Dementia and Alzheimer's disease. It must be stressed at this point that the research needs to go through further vetting, but it appears that Omega-Threes have the ability to reduce the risk of Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease. There is also evidence that Essential Fatty Acid Supplements may also have the ability to slow down the rate of cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer's-associated Dementia, and it also seems to lessen the impact of memory issues related to age in general.
DHA in particular seems to provide the optimal benefits with regard to Dementia, Alzheimer's, and Memory. More studies need to be completed in order to prove the preliminary data, but fish oil capsules appear to be a beneficial factor with regard to age-related memory loss as well as Alzheimer's and Dementia.
What is the Difference between Omega-Threes and Omega-Sixes?
In recent years, the importance of Omega-Threes has become more widely known, but there are still a lot of people that don't fully grasp the difference between the two primary forms of fatty acids. Omega-Sixes are very common in the American Diet, because they come from a variety of processed foods, as well as many meats and oils.
It is pretty much a given that Americans get enough Omega-Six Fatty Acids in their diet, so its important to ensure that Omega-Threes are purposefully included in the diet, because of their relative scarcity in the American Diet. Most Americans don't get enough Essential Fatty Acids, and this can easily be achieved through minor changes in diet or the addition of Fish Oil or other forms of supplementation.
Even though there is universal agreement that it is important to consume Omega-Threes, there is some debate regarding whether the ratio of Omega-Threes to Omega-Sixes is important. There are some that argue that a balance tipped too far toward Omega-Sixes increases the risk and severity of a number of chronic conditions, whereas other medical professionals are not convinced that the ratio itself is what's important, or simply getting enough of one and not too much of the other.
They also argue that Omega-Sixes do provide some health benefits, and we need to make sure that we aren't suggesting that people reduce their intake of Omega-Sixes too far. For now, just make sure you get enough Essential Fatty Acids in your diet and don't go overboard with Omega-Six Fatty Acids.
Omega 3 fatty acids foods - Omega 3 fatty acids benefit especially benefit the brain.
Sources of Essential Omega-Three Fatty Acids
In general, it is most beneficial to acquire Essential Fatty Acids from dietary sources rather than supplements. Coldwater fish have the highest levels of Omega-Threes, and some of the best sources of these nutrients include:
- Lake Trout
- Wild Salmon (Farm-raised salmon has a lower concentration, but is still an option) - Salmon is a great source for omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important because they provide anti-inflammatory properties, feed the brain and help maintain the cardiovascular system
Most nutrition professionals suggest eating a meal including these fish two or three times every week.
Dietary Sources of ALA
Fish are the best sources to get the Essential Fatty Acids that the body needs for normal function, but there are a number of plants that contain ALA, which the body can convert into DHA and EPA. It can be beneficial to add these to your diet since it is only recommended to eat fish a few times a week, however.
Good sources of ALA include:
- Soybean Oil
- Olive Oil
- Canola Oil
- Flax Seed
It is important to note that most common sources of ALA are also high in calories, so they should be consumed responsibly, although they also provide quite a punch in regard to nutrient transfer.
Supplementary Sources of Omega-Three Fatty Acids
If you do make the decision to turn to supplementary sources of Essential Amino Acids, make sure you discuss this with your physician in order to ensure that you find a supplement that effectively fits your needs. Nutrition experts generally suggest one gram of EPA and DHA from fish oil capsules for patients suffering from heart disease.
For patients that are suffering from certain medical conditions, your physician may recommend taking as much as four grams of Fish Oil each day. Only take more than one gram of Essential Fatty Acids supplements a day with the guidance of a medical professional.
Omega Three Supplements do come with some risk of side-effect, most commonly very minor. The most commonly experienced side-effects are gas and indigestion. This is primarily simply because you are taking an oil supplement, and this may not sit perfectly on every stomach, especially when taken on an empty stomach. If you experience these symptoms, try to find a supplement that has an enteric coating, which is designed to mitigate the risk of digestive side-effects.
These supplements also have the potential to increase bleeding risk in some patients. Individuals that are suffering from conditions that are associated with bleeding risk or are taking anticoagulants or blood thinners are at the highest level of risk. Some examples of drugs that amplify this risk are Brilinta, Effient, Plavix, Coumadin, and some non-steroid anti-inflammatories.
If you suffer from any medical condition increases the risk and severity of bleeding or if you are taking any of the listed drugs or drugs like them, always talk to a doctor before starting any form of Omega-Three Supplementation.
Tips for Getting the Essential Fatty Acids that Your Body Needs
Choose Your Fish Responsibly
It is true that Fatty Fish have the highest levels of Omega-Three Fatty Acids, but there are some species that are more likely to contain toxins including PCBs and Mercury. Some fish that are more likely to contain these contaminants and should be eaten sparingly are shark, tilefish, wild swordfish, and mackerel. There is also a chance that any farm-raised fish will contain elevated levels of any number of contaminants, dependent upon the conditions that the fish was raised.
Young children and women that are pregnant should avoid all of these forms of fish. The average person should not eat more than seven ounces of these types of fish each week. Smaller fish like wild salmon and wild trout have much lower levels of these contaminants and can be eaten more often and more safely.
Add Algae Oil or Fish Oil to Your Diet
Fish oil capsules has both DHA and EPA, and Algae Oil has DHA. For most people, Fish oil would be superior, but vegetarians and people that don't eat fish would still be served rather effectively with algae oil capsules.
Because supplements provide high levels of Omega-Threes all at once, talk to a medical professional before utilizing these supplements. Your physician may have particular warnings or recommendations regarding your use of these supplements dependent upon both your health and your current medications.
You should be taking omega-3 fatty acids with your hormone replacement therapy (HRT) program (hgh, testosterone, sermorelin or hcg diet), call us to discuss how this supplement can help supercharge your HRT program.
The Facts on Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acid
Different fatty acid types
ALA - alpha-Linolenic acid, WikiPedia
DHA - Docosahexaenoic acid, Wikipedia
EPA - Eicosapentaenoic acid, Wikipedia
TWELVE WAYS TO CONTROL CRAVINGS
Written by , Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D.
Published on 23 February 2014
to Lose Weight and Get Healthier without Quitting on the Foods You
As you know if you read the
articles on our site, we believe that a consistent and conscientious
diet low in sugars and empty carbs is the most effective way to lose
weight quickly. Of course, there are multiple strategies for weight
loss that can be effective, dependent upon the way you live your
life, the things you enjoy, and your resolve.
of Pleasure can Make Dieting Difficult
Many people struggle with a diet
that revolves purely around caloric restriction and always eating
healthy one hundred percent of the time. Other people simply enjoy
the foods they like in moderation. A lot of people think that dieting
means giving up the delicious, albeit unhealthy, foods that we so
often enjoy. This means no beer, no french fries, no cream sauces, no
candy, nothing fun ever.
The problem with a diet which is
void of these sorts of guilty pleasures is that for many people, the
lure of these foods becomes impossible to ignore, and an unhealthy
obsession develops which revolves around intense cravings. Many
dieters simply aren't capable of ignoring these cravings, and give in
and give up on their diet in shame.
Responsibly Can Make Dieting Easier
Many weight loss experts agree
that it is possible to have a sensible diet while also making room to
give in to these cravings in a responsible and manageable way. One
professional, Dr. David Grotto, even suggests that avoiding guilty
pleasure foods is a bad idea which can hurt more than it can help.
Dr. Grotto believes in a dietary
plan known as structured cheating. This type of diet revolves around
eating a healthy dietmost of the time. The most important
aspect of maintaining healthy eating habits is keeping control of
your diet and understanding your habits and how to limit their
negative impact on your health. The key is to recognize that many of
the foods that you love are unhealthy and treating them with the
Control is Most Important Aspect of Dieting
You must control your diet, you
can't let food control you, even if it means indulging yourself
responsibly from time to time. Another doctor, Carolyn O'Neil, feels
the same way. She believes that indulging responsibly is the key to a
healthy diet and a healthy way of living.
She explains that anyone can
engage in a difficult diet for a little while, but the problem with
highly restrictive diets is that temptation eventually becomes too
great and all people but those with strong constitution will likely
fail and give in, splurging heavily on the foods that they've been
avoiding and quickly reversing the gains they worked so hard to
achieve. The logical way to prevent this form of overindulgence is to
recognize that in order to diet effectively, it may be necessary to
cheat from time to time in a way that does not wreck your diet
The key to all of this is control
and self-realization. You understand that your brain is going to
drive you to certain foods, and you recognize that you can enjoy
these foods safely without ruining your diet. For example, if you
love cookies, always pay attention to the number of calories in a
serving and limit yourself in a sensible way. The more you understand
about yourself and the foods that you enjoy, the greater control you
will have over your diet and the more success that you will likely
Ways to Manage Your Diet through Cheating
Your Food Weaknesses
Understand what foods tempt you
and accept your desire. Especially in the early months of your new
lifestyle, your cravings for the unhealthy foods that you enjoy will
only increase the longer that you deny yourself the pleasure. By
recognizing the foods that trigger you to potentially overeat, you
can take steps to mitigate the risk that these foods pose to your
Filling Foods to Reduce Cravings
Eat foods that are filling.
Another way to increase the success of your diet and reduce your
desire for foods that will hinder you in the long run is to eat
foods that will fill up your stomach while not contributing too
heavily to your daily calories.
The nutrients that achieve this
goal most effectively with the lowest contribution to your calorie
count are fiber and protein. Some examples of foods that can fill
you up quickly are seafood, lean meats, salads, soups made from
broth, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and eggs. Even low-fat milk
and dairy products can be good choices.
If you fill yourself up with
these foods, you will limit your feelings of hunger and desire for
foods which are more unhealthy for you. Another way to control your
diet and your cravings is to pack healthy snacks with you so that
you can quell your hunger with a low-calorie treat before it revs up
into a full-blown craving.
Settle for Junk When Indulging Yourself
Instead of going for diet
forms of the food you love that can be just as unhealthy as the
regular foods, choose foods which fulfill your cravings with big
flavor rather than big calories. For example, if salty foods are
your favorite snacks, consider taking some kosher salt or sea salt
and sprinkling it over a delicious and ripe tomato.
This way, you satisfy your
desire for salt without turning to carbs or sugars, and you add a
nutritious, low-calorie snack to your day. It will taste fantastic,
and you'll quench your desire even more effectively than you would
with a handful of peanuts or a pack of crackers.
Your Meal with All Five Senses
Stimulate all your senses when
you eat. This applies to healthy meals as well as dietary
indulgences. You will eat healthier if you ensure that all of your
senses are fulfilled in a meal, even sight. When you make a meal,
garnish it colorfully and arrange it in a way which pleases your
Also eat the meal slowly so that
you can savor the taste, smell, and sound of every bite. Take time
to dwell on your meal, don't just gulp it down. Your brain desires
satiation just as much as your stomach, and when you eat slowly and
purposefully, you really let your brain in on the fun. Many people
overeat because they simply don't take the time to enjoy their
Out Meals from the Very Beginning
plan your meals. For example, if you are the type of person that
absolutely loves desserts, don't eat a full and dense meal, then
decide you can't leave the restaurant without dessert. Come to the
restaurant knowing that you will be getting dessert, and ask for a
dessert menu even before you order your entree.
Knowing that you are going to
get dessert allows you to plan your caloric consumption around the
entire meal, rather than giving in and tacking on more calories at
the last minute. Planning your entire meal conscientiously will
allow you to eat a smarter and healthier dinner to compensate for
the splurge of the last course.
What You Love, not Just What's Close
If it doesn't fit your diet, eat
only what you truly love. If you are going to cheat, don't just
stick your hand in a bag of greasy potato chips, choose something
that sates your craving in the best way possible.
Don't eat something unhealthy
haphazardly just because you're hit with a craving, choose something
that will truly make you appreciate your snack. For example, instead
of buying a box of donuts to tempt you all week, go out for a small
piece of that pecan pie that you love and take the time to savor and
Your Own Treats
If you want it so bad, bake it
yourself! If you want to splurge, take the time to make want you
want on your own time. This way, you can make it in the healthiest
way possible as well as appreciate the work that put into making the
food that you love so much.
If you like to eat blueberry
muffins for breakfast each morning with your coffee, take the time
during the weekend to cook up a week's worth of breakfast. Don't
just throw in muffin mix, make it yourself with whole oats, fresh
blueberries, and whole wheat. This way, you get a higher density of
nutrients, and you'll fill yourself up more effectively.
If you love pizza, don't call
the local pizza place and sit on the couch for an hour, learn how to
make it yourself. Pizza in particular is a food that is exactly as
healthy or unhealthy as you make it. If you make it yourself, you
can be sensible with toppings like cheese and tomato sauce and
splurge on the foods that can make it a truly healthy meal, such as
cherry tomatoes, spinach, grilled chicken, and artichokes.
You can even make foods that
sound indulgent to their core, such as cheesecake, and take steps to
make them much more sensible. For example, you can add less sugar to
your personal batch, or you can substitute eggs and heavy cream for
egg substitute and light cream cheese. You can even forgo the thick
crust entirely for a modest base of cookie crumbs or broken up
graham cracker. You can also add low-calorie ingredients to your
dessert which add a real zing, including lemon zest.
Eat Where You Work, Where You Rest, or Where You Cook
Eat in specifically designated
zones. How often do you find yourself zone out at your office or on
your living room couch, eating far more than you intended to
mindlessly, just because it was there? You eat hundreds of calories
and then thirty minutes later, you can barely even remember stuffing
your face with cookies.
One big problem with the way
that Americans eat is that most Americans don't really give food the
respect that it deserves. We are also so obsessed with maintaining
productivity that we have a tendency to eat as an afterthought. By
only eating in particular, designated zones, you force your brain to
think about the foods that you eat, whether you choose to savor them
or simply entertain the importance of a healthy diet.
In keeping with this theory,
don't eat in the kitchen! Eating in the room you keep all your food
is just asking for trouble, because there is nothing stopping you
from preparing seconds or moving straight on to the freezer to fix
some fatty ice cream as a dessert.
Portion control is central to
indulgence. You have to understand that you can eat the things that
you truly enjoy, even if they aren't exactly healthy for you, you
just have to eat them in small, sensible portions. If you eat smart,
there is absolutely no food that should be considered off-limits to
you so long as you remain cognizant of the importance of calorie
control. Even dense foods like ice cream can be perfectly okay as
long as you limit yourself to a small bowl and don't eat it too
You can also choose small
portions which provide maximum flavor for the smallest bite. If you
love chocolate, don't buy a milk chocolate candy bar every day, buy
some exquisite dark chocolate and keep it in the freezer. When you
have a craving, open the freezer and grab a couple of bites to
consume slowly and deliberately to enjoy the escape responsibly.
to Compromise with Your Cravings
Make compromises when necessary.
If there are certain things that you absolutely love or can't live
without, meet your cravings halfway in order to create a balance
where your indulgence isn't exactly healthy, but it isn't
Take sweet tea, for example.
This staple Southern drink is packed with calories the way that it
is popularly brewed and consumed. Rather than dump sugar into every
glass of tea you drink, start cutting unsweet tea with sweet tea in
order to satiate your craving while also limiting your calories.
Also think about carrying an
artificial sweetener with you, such as Stevia. Be very careful with
these sweeteners, however, because most popular substitutes actually
stimulate hunger, which can make dieting more difficult. Stevia is
one of the few unique brands of artificial sweetener which sate your
desire for hunger without unwanted side-effects.
In terms of food, think about
ways that you can minimize the unhealthy portion of your meal while
emphasizing the healthy part of your dinner. If you love pizza, make
yourself a thin-crust pizza instead of ordering out a hand-tossed
pizza. This way, you can add healthy toppings to your pizza while
not consuming too many unhealthy calories from thick bread crust.
Compromise puts you in control of your vices in a powerful way that
will go a long way toward helping you lose weight successfully.
Change Your Whole Diet at Once
Make changes incrementally.
Don't try to drastically change your diet over the course of a
single day or week. Alter your diet a step or two at a time, getting
your body acclimated to the changes you are making. So much of
eating doesn't have to do with hunger, but habit. Your brain will
start to rebel if you change too quickly, demanding that you go back
to your old, reliable schedule, which just happened to involve
Also, implement small changes to
your daily habits to both encourage a more sensible diet and
encourage increased metabolism. If you choose to indulge in a piece
of chocolate cake occasionally, go for a walk around the
neighborhood afterward. If you like to eat a burger for lunch twice
a week, think about just buying the burger and cutting down the
fries, or keep the french fries and only indulge once a week. There
are a lot of little commitments that you can make which will
eventually add up to consistent weight loss gains.
with Your Diet Even if You Slip
give up just because you slipped up. It is nearly impossible to diet
perfectly. Accept your infallibility and recognize that you will
screw up from time to time and splurge irresponsibly. Simply take it
on the chin and stay true to your long term goals of sensibility and
So many people diet for a little
while, overindulge for one meal or one day, and think everything is
ruined. Either that or they lose all composure and go back to
overeating and eating unhealthy foods. Rather than give up, simply
recognize the mistake that you made and try to get some meaning out
What made you back-step? What
made you overeat? Understanding why you do the things you do is
incredibly important to a healthy and successful diet. By taking
these conscientious steps, we are confident that you will find the
inner composure to lose the weight and keep it off!
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