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Struggling to get abs? Maybe you need to change your diet

Published: Monday, November 06, 2017 @ 5:37 AM

Crunches aren't enough to achieve that perfect six pack
Crunches aren't enough to achieve that perfect six pack

So, you've been doing "8-Minute Abs" daily for months, but you're still struggling to see the six-pack you've always dreamed of.

If you're frustrated that your crunches and other exercises haven't managed to remove that persistent layer of flab, you definitely need to reconsider what you're eating. As California-based nutritionist and dietitian Kimberly Slater, MS, RD explained to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, neglecting your diet when trying to achieve results is the same as skipping leg day in your work-out routine.

"Here's the deal, have you ever seen someone walking down the street that obviously skipped leg day a few too many times? They have super buff arms, a thick neck, but scrawny legs. Neglecting any area results in lagging performance. If you are truly dedicated to developing a fit body, you wouldn't skip leg day, would you?" Slater said.

"Then why is it that in general we treat our diet differently? When you neglect your nutrition you neglect your workout.”

You can do all the crunches you want, but if you eat too many calories, the fat won't go anywhere.

"The best remedy is to eat healthier," she said.

How should your diet change?

Slater said nutritionally rich foods are ideal, as they also help you recover quickly following a workout.

"Eat an adequate amount of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds," she said.

You should replace your normal meal with "nutritionally dense foods that are lower in calories."

"A sample dinner might be having brown rice, black beans, a cabbage salad with salsa and avocado. That meal will give you fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy plant protein. Skip the fatty meat, cheese, and dessert," Slater said, suggesting that meats and other fatty foods should be limited to "treats a few times a week instead of daily staples."

Fiber is key

A high fiber diet is key(Pxhere)

When you work-out, you often hear that you should worry about how much protein you're consuming. But Slater says focusing on fiber is actually more important.

"Fiber is only found in plant foods like beans, lentils, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa. All of these foods – except fruit – contain protein," she said.

"If you focus on eating more fiber, you will not only get enough fiber, vitamins and minerals (which help keep you energized through your workout) and antioxidants (which help fight inflammation post workout), but you'll also get enough protein without getting too many calories or too much fat."

Chiseled abs don't come from drinking additional protein shakes.

"The secret to abs is eating more fiber," Slater explained.

Are there other ways of working out?

In addition to diet, Slater explained that crunches alone are not usually enough.

"You want to change up your routine, try different exercises, target different muscles and start incorporating some high intensity interval training for fat burn," she said.

But again, she stressed that a combination of diet and different exercises are vital.

"When you eat too much, or don't regularly change up your routine, you won't see the results you desire," Slater said.

So, keep doing your ab work-outs, but if you want to finally see those chiseled ab lines poking through the flab, it's time to take a hard look at your diet.

4 drinks that could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 3:01 PM

The following four drinks are some that can sabotage your diet when you're trying to cut calories Juices Coffee with add-ins Alcohol Smoothies

When you're trying to lose weight, you may not give much thought to what you drink, but those calories definitely add up! These "liquid calories" can sabotage your weight-loss efforts, and you may not feel as full as if you'd eaten the same number of calories. Many drinks also provide little to no nutrients and are often loaded with sugar, which can further hamper your weight loss.

»RELATED: Drink up: Black tea helps you lose weight with gut bacteria, study says

These drinks – and their calories – may add up to more than you realize, even on a single day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered a sample list of the drinks you may choose during a day in order to total the calories. They started with a morning coffee shop run with a 16-ounce café latte made with whole milk at 265 calories. A non-diet soda with lunch had 227 calories, and an afternoon sweetened lemon iced tea from the vending machine was 180 calories. A glass of non-diet ginger ale with dinner added 124 calories for a daily total of a whopping 796 calories!

The following four drinks are some that can sabotage your diet when you're trying to cut calories:

Orange juice prices could rise as much as $2.30 per gallon, because Hurricane Irma destroyed much of Florida's crop.

Juices

You may think that swapping out sugary sodas for fruit juices is good for your diet, but it may not be as good as you think. Fruit juices are concentrated sources of natural sugar, so they have more calories and don't fill you up as much as fresh, frozen or canned fruits do, according to the Mayo Clinic.

For example, a 20-ounce glass of 100 percent apple juice has 300 calories, and the same portion of 100 percent orange juice has 280, the CDC says.

»RELATED: It's official: Coffee is good for you, according to new research

Coffee

A plain black cup of coffee isn't a calorie problem, according to the Mayo Clinic. It contains fewer than five calories and no fat, but most people need at least a few extras with their coffee, and these also add extra calories.

Although at-home add-ins like creamer and sugar raise the calorie count, a specialty coffee can make it soar. A grande (16-ounce) size of white chocolate mocha espresso at Starbucks has 360 calories. If you choose a venti (20 ounces), you'll be drinking 460 calories.

The sidecar is a classic sour cocktail containing three ingredients: cognac, lemon juice and orange liqueur. CONTRIBUTED BY MARCEL(For the AJC)

Alcohol 

A few drinks after work with your friends or a couple of beers or glasses of wine with a meal can raise your calorie count.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously took a look at some of the calories contained in popular alcoholic beverages and found that five ounces of red wine has about 106 calories, and five ounces of white wine has 100 calories. A regular Budweiser beer comes in at 143 calories, and Bud Light isn't far behind at 110 calories. Cocktails like a four-ounce margarita up the calorie count even higher at 168 calories, and a 4.5-ounce Piña colada packs 245 calories. These counts could vary somewhat depending on the alcohol and sugar content of your specific drink.

The Angel Food smoothie from Smoothie King contains 340 calories for a 20-ounce serving and 690 for 40 ounces.(For the AJC)

Smoothies

Smoothies have a "health halo" that leads many people to believe they're harmless, Marisa Moore, a local dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told the AJC.

Serving size is important, she pointed out. For example, a 20-ounce Angel Food smoothie from Smoothie King containing 340 calories. If you order the 40-ounce mixture of strawberries, bananas, nonfat milk, vanilla and other natural flavors and turbinado sugar, you'll be getting a whopping 690 calories. You can save some calories by omitting the sugar, saving 90 calories on a 20-ounce Angel Food smoothie, but it's still fairly high in calories.

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Which foods can help you fight the flu?

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 2:53 PM

Doctors say some of the increase could be explained by fewer children getting flu vaccinations

Some are advising that in addition to the usual rules about getting your flu shot, washing your hands more often and getting enough sleep, you should also think about shifting your diet towards foods that may boost your immunity. As Fox reports, some nutritional experts suggest stocking up on foods that may help keep you healthy during the peak of flu season. Now, we all know that chicken noodle soup is a go-to elixir and not just for emotional reasons. It’s also a powerhouse of anti-inflammatory properties.

>> 7 ways to meet the costs of cold and flu season

“When we’re sick, we don’t want to eat and don’t want to drink, but you need to continue to eat and give your body the nutrients and energy you need for the immune system to function properly,” Michael P. Angarone, D.O., assistant professor of infectious diseases and medical education at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine told Fox.

But here are some foods you may not have thought about in terms of helping shield you during what is being called a deadly flu season. Try increasing the probiotics in your menu, because that boosts the health and wellness of your gut, which may aid your immune system. It’s pretty easy to do, too. Why not have some Greek yogurt at breakfast and dress up your hot dog with sauerkraut?

“Probiotics are healthy microorganisms that can help support bacterial balance in the gut,” dietitian Jaime Mass, R.D.N., L.D. told Fox.

>> Armed with belt, woman fighting flu fends off home invaders

Another good immune booster is ginger tea, a zesty and soothing choice for cold weather. In a review published in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine, as Today noted, researchers found that ginger’s potent anti-inflammatory properties were key in the root’s power to combat a cold or flu.

Another easy pick is blueberries, which are bursting with antioxidants that may help treat and prevent coughs and colds, advised Today. According to research conducted by the University of Auckland, consuming flavonoids — the kind of antioxidants found in blueberries — made adults 33 percent less likely to catch a cold than those who did not eat flavonoid-rich foods. You can also tuck into some oranges with their famed Vitamin C, the traditional antioxidant.

>> School cancels classes after more than 160 students call out with flu

You might also want to stock up on salmon, chicken, lamb, spinach, sesame seeds, lentils, and chickpeas, all of which have loads of zinc. While the jury is still out on how effective zinc is in terms of reducing cold symptoms, some studies have showed promise. As Today touted, the Journal of Family Practice published a study examining the effects of zinc on the common cold in children ages 1 to 10 years old.

Researchers found that zinc, in comparison to a placebo, significantly reduced the severity and duration of symptoms when taken within 24 hours of the onset of cold symptoms. They also found that children who took 15 mg of zinc daily for seven months were a lot less likely to catch a cold during flu season.

Oklahoma family seeking medical marijuana for child hopes for legalization

Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 5:43 AM

Via FOX23.com
FOX23.com
Via FOX23.com(FOX23.com)

As Oklahoma voters prepare to make a decision on legalizing medical marijuana, one family is using cannabis oil to help a young girl with a rare medical condition.

>> Watch the news report here

>> On FOX23.com: Oklahoma Gov. Fallin sets election date for medical marijuana measure

KOKI has been following the story of Jaqie Angel Warrior for years now. Her mother, Brittany Warrior, said she needs cannabis oil to help with the seizures she has every day.

>> On FOX23.com: New poll finds 62 percent of Oklahomans support medical marijuana measure

Jaqie Angel Warrior suffers from a rare and potentially deadly form of epilepsy. Traditional pharmaceuticals haven't worked well for her, the family says.

She started having seizures at 5 months old. At 20 months old, the family put her on cannabis oil at the advisement of her neurologist. Since then, she has been weaned off all pharmaceuticals.

Jaqie's mother, Brittany Warrior, said they were losing all hope before they tried cannabis oil.

>> Read more trending news 

"Prior to starting cannabis, Jaqie had anywhere from 150 to 300 seizures a day. She was catatonic and life was fading out of her before my eyes," she said.

The family has traveled back and forth, and even temporarily moved to states with legalized medical marijuana.

Now that State Question 788 is on the ballot in Oklahoma, Brittany Warrior hopes that voters will support the measure to help her child.

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Are you hooked on sugar? 5 clues you might be addicted to sugar

Published: Friday, January 12, 2018 @ 11:28 AM

These 9 Healthy Sounding Foods have more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughnut Bottle of Naked juice green machine smoothie: 28 grams or about three Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnuts ¼ cup of Sun Maid raisins: 29 grams or three Krispy Kreme doughnuts Chobani blueberry greek yogurt: 15 grams or 1 ½ Krispy Kreme doughnuts Nature Valley oats and honey crunchy granola bar: 12 grams or about one Krispy Kreme doughnut Vitaminwater: up to 32 grams of sugar or about three Krispy Kreme doughnuts One cup of Mo

What was known to previous generations as a "sweet tooth" is known to ours as a widespread health threat.

Too much dietary sugar causes or contributes to ailments and diseases from insomnia tonight to kidney failure down the road. 

»RELATED: This is what 12 Diet Cokes a day can do to your body, according to Atlanta nutritionists

One study from University of California San Francisco found that drinking sugary drinks like soda can age a body as quickly as cigarettes.

"Our high-sugar diets are a big part of why more than one-third of American adults are clinically obese," Self magazine reported. "Obesity can lead to insulin resistance, which ramps up blood sugar levels, which leads to diabetes."

And if that wasn't enough bad news about the sweet stuff, experts say that the brain responds to sugar the same way it would to addictive drugs. Eating sugar creates a wave of dopamine and serotonin, the brain's "feel-good" chemicals, just as certain drugs do, including cocaine, according to Self. Just like an emerging drug habit, a body craves more sugar after the initial high.

"You then become addicted to that feeling, so every time you eat it you want to eat more," Gina Sam, director of the Gastrointestinal Motility Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital, explained to Self.

Mark Hyman, M.D. cited a study from David Ludwig, author of Ending the Food Fight, and his Harvard colleagues and concluded that "foods that spike blood sugar are biologically addictive" and they "trigger a special region in the brain called the nucleus accumbens that is known to be 'ground zero' for conventional addiction, such as gambling or drug abuse."

Think you might be hooked on sugar? Hyman has your answer.

He indicated five clues that a person has become biologically addicted to foods that spike blood sugar: 

  • You consume certain foods even if you are not hungry because of cravings.
  • You worry about cutting down on certain foods.
  • You feel sluggish or fatigued from overeating.
  • You have health or social problems (of the sort that affect school or work) because of food issues −but continue to eat the same way in spite of the negative consequences.
  • You need increased amounts of the sugary foods you crave to experience any pleasure from consuming them, or to reduce negative emotions.

»RELATED: Sugar can fuel cancerous cells, study says 

Other signs that you're eating too much sugar

Even if you're not eating sugar at rates that could be described as an addiction, don't be too quick to breathe a sigh of relief. You can be eating way too much of the sweet stuff without being entirely hooked. Sugar detox expert Brooke Alpert, M.S., R.D. and other medical experts described these red flags that you're consuming too much sugar:

Studies show that your brain responds to sugar the same way it does to cocaine.(Contributed by hivewallpaper.com/For the AJC)

You eat more sugar and then crave more sugar. "It becomes a vicious and addictive cycle," Alpert noted in Self. Part of the cycle is that your taste buds have adapted and you need more sugar to get the same taste, the other component is that the sugar high is followed by a crash. "By eating a high sugar diet, you cause a hormonal response in your body that's like a wave, it brings you up and then you crash down and it triggers your body to want more sugar," Alpert said.

You feel sluggish during the day. "Energy is most stable when blood sugar is stable, so when you're consuming too much sugar, the highs and lows of your blood sugar lead to highs and lows of energy," she added. Too much sugar doesn't leave room in your diet for protein and fiber, which are both important for sustained energy.

Your skin breaks out a lot. "Some people are sensitive to getting a spike in insulin from sugar intake, which can set off a hormonal cascade that can lead to a breakout like acne or rosacea," Rebecca Kazin, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Department of Dermatology, told SELF. Binging on sugar may show up on your face within a few days.

You look old before your time. Eating too much sugar can cause long-term damage to skin proteins−collagen and elastin − leading to premature wrinkles and aging, nutritional therapist Natalie Lamb told Harper's Bazaar. Less desirable gut bacteria also feed on sugar, which might lead to inflammation of the sort seen in skin conditions like eczema.

You're losing sleep. People who eat sugary foods late at night might experience a rush of energy precisely when the body needs to be preparing for rest, resulting in insomnia. "If you're someone who has trouble sleeping, then it might help to reduce the sugar in your diet and be kinder to your gut," Lamb noted.

»RELATED: Trying to beat those sugar cravings? Go to sleep, says a new study

Your brain gets foggy, especially after a meal. When you eat a lot of sugar, blood sugar levels rise and fall too quickly. "Poor blood sugar control is a major risk for cognitive issues and impairment," Alpert said.

How low should you go?

If you're determined to reduce your sugar consumption, a reasonable amount might seem like a deprivation. (Why does sugar have to taste so good?)

The World Health Organization recently recommended a sharp drop in sugar intake for just about everyone on the planet. Just 5 percent of calories should ideally come from added sugars, the WHO advised. That translated to about 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day, about the amount in one 8-ounce bottle of sweetened lemon iced tea. The average American takes in almost four times the WHO recommendation, or 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day.

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