Dr. Laura: Is your thyroid to blame?

One in eight women will develop thyroid disease in her lifetime and 15 Million women have a dysfunction, but don’t even know it. Men can have issues too, although at a less rate than women.

Environmental toxins are largely to blame for the rising rates of thyroid disease. Years ago, it was mostly iodine deficiency and this is why iodine was added to salt. Now we point the finger more often at the rising rates of hormone mimickers in our environment like BPA’s and their alternatives in plastics, cadmium, circadian light disrupters, pesticides, herbicides and more.

Untreated thyroid dysfunction can lead to feelings of:

  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Brain fog, difficulty focusing thoughts
  • Unexpected weight gain, and with it increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease
  • High LDL cholesterol – the thyroid plays an important role in fat metabolism
  • Depression – as many as 15% of women on antidepressants have an undetected thyroid problem as the root cause of their depression –but their problem hasn’t been fully investigated. When I check thyroid I check more than the TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone).  I look sub functioning gland by checkin TSH, T3, T4, thyroid antibodies and look for how well cortisol is clearing on the DUTCH hormone test.
  • Anxiety – often because cortisol is not clearing
  • Increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias and congestive heart failure due to the regulatory control of this hormone has on heart rate and rhythm.

Troubles in the digestive track and liver can lead to poor activation of the T4 to T3 hormones. When I work with patients I am always looking for clues in the skin, stress, and sleep and how well the micro biome functions. A good clue to micro biome function is the Comprehensive Stool Analysis by Doctors Data.

If you suspect you may have a thyroid issue, get it tested!  I’ll look at results from a functional medicine perspective, which mean optimal performance, not disease levels of lab markers.

From the heart and research of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

Dr. Phil Shares: Does Yoga Work for Shedding the Pounds?

Does Yoga Work for Weight Loss?

While there are some styles of yoga that can help one burn more than 500 calories per hour — such as Vinyasa (see below) — overall, yoga doesn’t top the list of calorie-torching weight loss workouts one can do to see relatively quick results. But research shows that practicing yoga may work for weight loss when combined with a healthy diet. And the more often you practice yoga, the greater the results you’re likely to see on the scale.

In a massive study of more than 15,000 adults, those who had been practicing yoga for at least four years clocked in at a lower weight than those who went without a regular session. But you don’t have to have do yoga for years to see results. A small study from South Korean researchers found obese women who practiced yoga for 16 weeks saw significant improvements in body weight, body fat percentage, BMI, waist circumference, and visceral fat compared to those who didn’t exercise. In addition, one study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that a short-term yoga program could reduce weight in overweight and obese men.

So how can yoga help you lose weight? Read on.

What Type of Yoga is Best for Weight Loss?

yoga for weight loss

“If you’re looking to burn the most calories, you want to find a class that incorporates a lot of strength positions and sun salutations, particularly chaturanga dandasanas [essentially, yoga push-ups],” says yoga instructor Seth Kaufmann, C.S.C.S., co-owner of Iron Lion Fitness Studio in Florida. “In order to burn calories efficiently, you need to be moving and using the most amount of mass and muscles.”

You’ve probably heard about people sweating like crazy in heated yoga classes like Bikram, which has to translate to a ton of weight lost — right? Kaufmann says, “In theory a hot yoga class would burn more calories than a non-heated room because anytime the external temperature is extreme (hot or cold), your body has to work harder to maintain your core temperature homeostasis, thus burning calories.”

However, a small study from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse found that yoga students in a non-heated yoga class showed the same increase in core temperature and heart rate than in a hot yoga class. Researchers found that the students’ perceived effort was higher than what their vital signs revealed, leading scientists to wonder whether students didn’t end up pushing themselves as hard during some poses to compensate for the added heat and humidity in the room.

Another study from the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies found 30 minutes of just sun salutations is invigorating enough to qualify as cardiorespiratory training, and helps a 130-pound person burn an average of 230 calories. These studies point to the idea that your final caloric burn is tied more closely to how hard you’re working than how hot the room is.

Calculating Your Caloric Burn

As mentioned previously, the style of yoga you perform can play a significant role in the amount of calories you burn. But other factors such as your weight, gender, body composition, and effort level are also important. What follows are averages based on the Health Status calories burned calculator.

A 165-pound woman will burn the resulting number of calories during an hour of yoga:

  • Hatha Yoga: 207 calories
  • Ashtanga/Power Yoga: 386 calories
  • Bikram Yoga: 524 calories
  • Vinyasa: 653 calories

A 190-pound man will burn the resulting number of calories during an hour of yoga:

  • Hatha Yoga: 239 calories
  • Ashtanga/Power Yoga: 445 calories
  • Bikram Yoga: 604 calories
  • Vinyasa: 752 calories

How Slow Yoga Helps Burn Fat

OK, so should you do the most intense yoga possible if you want to lose weight? Not so fast. Even super mellow methods have their weight-loss perks. A small study at the University of California, San Diego, found that overweight women who practiced restorative yoga, which focuses less on increased heart rate and more on relaxation and stress reduction, lost around three pounds and about five inches of subcutaneous fat after six months.

This may surprise you, but it makes sense to the experts. “If you’re super stressed, your body may actually respond better to yoga than [high intensity] cardio,” says Pete McCall, C.S.C.S., personal trainer and adjunct faculty of exercise science at San Diego Mesa College.

Physical stress (as triggered by high intensity exercise) and psychological stress (caused by work, family, etc.) both activate the sympathetic nervous system, which controls the “fight or flight” response. When you go into “fight or flight” mode, your body increases its production of the hormone cortisol. In the short term, that’s a good thing; cortisol is a performance enhancer, increasing the concentration of glucose (your body’s primary fuel source) in the blood. But if levels never return to normal (e.g., because of chronic stress), cortisol can also promote weight gain. That’s why doing high intensity workouts might hamper weight loss efforts if you’re already (and chronically) “super stressed”—you’re layering stress on top of stress, and cortisol on top of cortisol.

To counteract that, you need to activate your parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) nervous system. “By going to a gentle yoga class during a stressful time, you’ll be surprised that you’ll come out of it calmer — and actually lose weight,” says

Kaufmann agrees, “There are many physiological benefits to yoga, including stabilizing our nervous systems, improving respiratory efficiency, stomach function, hormone production, and, of course, increased strength and energy levels. These benefits in turn lower stress, improve sleep, and help the body recover and run more efficiently.”

Plus, more than half of people who do yoga report that it helps them sleep better, according to a survey from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Scoring less than five hours a night is directly related to more abdominal fat and an increase in body mass index, according to a study performed over five years on adults younger than 40 and published in the journal SLEEP. It’s hard to deny the importance of sleep — not just for your quality of life but also for weight loss.

How the Psychological Benefits of Yoga Can Aid Weight Loss

yoga for weight loss

“The greatest benefit of yoga for weight loss is learning how to love and care for yourself more, which helps you make better lifestyle decisions when it comes to caring for your body,” says Kaufmann.

And the research agrees: A study in Qualitative Health Research found that practicing yoga helped people develop physical self-empowerment, and better awareness of the self and the present moment. The women who participated in the 12-week yoga treatment program for binge eating (in the study mentioned above) reported an overall reduction in the quantity of food consumed, decreased eating speed, and an improvement in food choices.

“The core essence of yoga is to teach us to live fully present in the moment, accepting what is, and letting go of anything that doesn’t serve us,” says Kaufmann. “When we can live our lives with more mindfulness we will make better decisions when it comes to what we do for our health.”

To most Westerners, yoga is more often associated with trendy fitness studios. But the practice originally began as a philosophy in India roughly 5,000 years ago, and incorporates so much more than merely the postures and poses it’s famous for today.

The true practice of yoga encompasses eight limbs: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption). It’s the combination of all eight of those limbs (not just the one that stretches the limbs) that can lead to weight loss for men and women.

“There are many studies that suggest that stress and the hyper-palatable food supply filled with refined carbohydrates create an internal biochemistry that activates the amygdala of the brain and make us less thoughtful choice-makers,” explains Annie B. Kay, RDN, E-RYT 500 registered yoga instructor, and lead nutritionist at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. “Yoga helps reduce stress as well as provides movement, which helps change that internal biochemistry to one that supports a more balanced brain activation (the cerebral cortex or executive function), which makes us better choice makers.

“From my experience, the primary way yoga helps with weight management is through stress management, and with its philosophy of compassion and cultivation of contentment,” continues Kay. “With yoga, there is an entire philosophical guide for living in balance with yourself and with others that can be helpful from an emotional standpoint. It provides a framework through which to look at life issues.”

Yoga is a path toward a deep self-discovery, and the practice not only helps unearth the difference between physical and emotional hunger for those who practice, but it also stretches the mind and body in new ways to open students up for more active lifestyles. Because yoga operates on so many levels (physical, mental, emotional), it has a way of making following an overall healthful lifestyle more easily attainable.

If you’d like to give yoga a try, check out the 5-Day Yoga Body Challenge to burn calories while you stretch, or try 3 Week Yoga Retreat to learn the fundamentals of yoga.

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @Forward Health

Thank you to Beachbody.

Dr. Phil Shares: How to Bring Mindfulness to Work

How to Bring Mindfulness to Work

You may ask yourself, “How do I bring mindfulness to work?” Mindfulness is something you practice as a being, as a person. And then it brings itself to every situation you’re in, every role that you play: at work, being a parent, being a wife, being a friend. So it’s more about how to bring mindfulness to your life.

What Is Mindfulness?

Let’s clarify what mindfulness is. For me, one of the ways I talk about it is how to be less reactive, more loving, and more present in how I act in a given situation, or how I decide not to act in a given situation as opposed to a knee-jerk reaction based on what we are conditioned to do.

The beauty of mindfulness is that the situations that come up that are challenging or could create a knee-jerk reaction are the actual situations that can bring mindfulness into your life.

How Can I Become More Mindful in My Life?

When you get triggered, you can use the situation as an opportunity to identify the types of situations that trigger you. And, rather than reacting, you can take a deep breath and allow the breath to center you.

With some practice, you become more aware and realize that when you’re reactive, you actually create more problems. So, these high-stress situations, where you feel you are not being mindful at all, serve as the best learning opportunities because you can “catch” yourself and make the shift from reactivity to mindfulness in the moment. With continuous practice, you can become a more mindful person.

It’s kind of funny, isn’t it? The very thing that you feel is disrupting your peace is the very thing that can create more peace in your life.

Any situation brings to you an opportunity to being mindful. It really forces you—if you are intent—to stop these constant, crazy reactions that just exhaust you. These reactions cause you to have bad days, then terrible weeks… as if the week is having you. But, you are the week, you create it. The week is not coming to you and saying, “This week is going to be horrible, so just enjoy the ride.”

This process has become fun for me over time—it’s a sort of game with myself. When there are situations that are quite challenging for me, I know they are also my gateway—my way in—into mindfulness. 

How Can I Bring Mindfulness into My Work Life?

Rather than thinking about how you can bring mindfulness to work, try and see it more as how mindfulness is being brought to you from work. Each time something challenging happens that brings on anger, frustration, resentment, jealously, envy, disappointment—all these emotions that come and go—you are presented with an opportunity to cultivate mindfulness within yourself by how you respond to these emotions.

Let’s say someone at work doesn’t take responsibility for something that wasn’t done or your opinion about something is not in harmony with theirs. The moment you get triggered is the moment you can take a beat and take a deep breath rather than react.

You can slow down and become a little more aware. That’s mindfulness.

You can think to yourself, “Here’s a situation that usually creates uncomfortable emotions in me and I usually feel attacked and then I react. But, instead I’m going to see this situation as an opportunity to step into mindfulness.” So, rather than speaking with frustration or running away, see your trigger as an indicator of how your mind works, then take a breath and bring mindfulness to the situation.

Shared by

Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

Dr. Laura: Probiotics to Treat Depression

Research strengthens the GUT-Brain axis connection; McMaster University find benefits of probiotics in cases of depression.

Probiotics may relieve symptoms of depression, suggests a new study.
Credit: © WrightStudio / Fotolia

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170523124119.htm

Specific Strains Identified

A number of patients come to me with a history of depression. Some may or may not be medicated at the time. Probiotics are a safe addition to current regimes and there are specific strains which have been researched for helping depression. One of my clinical favourite multi-strain probiotics happens to carry these four strains, in addition to seven others. This together with other forms of supplementation like B-12 injections, fish oil in the proper format and doses can make a big difference in over all mood and productivity.

Are you a candidate?

After a full intake and physical screening, a review of your latest blood work and any imaging, Dr. Laura M. Brown ND can help you build a plan for a happier healthier you.

Book now

Dr. Laura: Gluten and the Brain

 You don’t have to be celiac to be affected by gluten. In fact there are 6 fold more people negatively affected by gluten than those diagnosed with celiac disease.

How Does Gluten Affect the Brain?

Gluten consumption has been linked to inflammation and damage not only in the gastrointestinal tract, but also in the brain.
Gluten has been linked to ADHD, schizophrenia, autism, anxiety, depression, ataxia (gait or walking disturbances), brain fog, bi-polar disorder, multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optics, myelitis and neurodegenerative diseases.
The tests regularly done to diagnose Celiac are blood tests for tissue transglutaminase and anti-gliadin antibodies. Sometimes these tests are not enough to tell if you are sensitive to gluten. This is because they are markers that will show positive only when the brush border of the intestinal track is completely damaged, as it is in full on Celiac disease. But what if you are on the spectrum of Celiac – your brush border is not completely damaged?

GUT, Brain, Anything Else?

In order to find out if you have gluten or wheat related tissue injury, ask Dr. Laura about a CyrexArray3 test. It will help you understand if gluten affects your brain, your skin, your organs or your gut.
 
Below is a link to an article my friend Chris presents. It’s really well done. Also is another article I found on multiple sclerosis and gluten: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305696407_Serological_prevalence_of_celiac_disease_in_Brazilian_population_of_multiple_sclerosis_neuromyelitis_optica_and_myelitis.
You may click on the link or copy and paste in your browser:

Is Gluten Killing Your Brain?

Dr. Phil Shares:5 Foods to Avoid if You Want to Shed The Pounds

 

"Home made loaf of white bread, sliced.Similar:"

Losing weight can seem like an uphill slog at times. It doesn’t help that food companies use targeted marketing and packaging to make unhealthy foods enticing to us from the minute we start eating solids.

As an adult trying to lead a healthy (-ish) lifestyle, you may be able to resist the flashy cereal boxes and giant bags of chips. And probably know your way around basic nutrition facts.

But what other foods, besides the obvious culprits, should take a back seat? Read on to learn what you should keep out of your pantry and refrigerator if you want to lose weight.

A Calorie Is a Calorie (or Is It?)

First things first: Cutting back on calories can result in weight loss, says Katy MacQueen, a senior bariatric dietitian who specializes in weight management. But that doesn’t mean all calories are the same.

“100 calories of potato chips and 100 calories of almonds have very different effects once they hit your digestive system,” Alissa Rumsey, RD, says. The almonds have protein, fat, and fiber — all of which help keep you fuller longer than a handful of potato chips.

It’s best to choose nutrient-dense foods — meaning they have plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other healthy nutrients for their calories. A smart, healthy way to cut calories — and shed some pounds — is to cool it on foods that have little nutritional value associated with them, such as added sugars, fried foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, and alcohol, MacQueen says. And it all starts with your grocery cart.

5 Foods to Avoid if You Want to Lose Weight

Shop Smart to Lose Weight

For most people, the food in your refrigerator and pantry dictates what you’ll be eating for most of your meals. While a little treat (hi, Nutella!) here and there isn’t going to completely sabotage your weight-loss efforts, having a shelf full of unhealthy foods can.

“Seeing junk food is a cue to your brain to eat it,” MacQueen says. Her suggestion? Keep less healthy foods out of the house (or hidden) and putting healthy foods at the front of the pantry or fridge so they’re the first foods you see.

Rumsey says this is especially important if certain foods are “triggers” for you, meaning you tend to lose control and overeat them. Moral of the story: When it comes to junk food, practice the adage “out of sight, out of mind.”

5 Foods to Avoid if You Want to Lose Weight

Tips to keep healthy food top of mind:

  • Keep a stocked fruit bowl on your counter.
  • Wash and prep some fruits and veggies so they are ready to eat.
  • Prep snack boxes that you can grab and go.
  • Keep refrigerated produce front and center.
  • If you live with someone who doesn’t eat that healthy — or has a year’s supply of Girl Scout cookies on hand — ask if it’s okay to store your healthy food at eye level and the junk food out of immediate sight.

5 Foods to Avoid if You Want to Lose Weight

Foods to Keep Out of Your Kitchen

1. Refined Grains

This category includes: White bread, white rice, many baked goods

For many people, white pasta, rice, cookies, cereal, and bagels make the world go ’round. But refined grains have been processed in a way that removes fiber and important nutrients, and taking the fiber out means you’ll feel less full, making it easier to overeat.

Since there’s no fiber, refined grains are digested much more quickly than unrefined ones. This can result in a spike in your blood sugar, which can then cause the body to over-secrete the hormone insulin. “A surge of insulin can then result in low blood sugar, which makes you hungry again,” she says. “Insulin is a storage hormone, so when a lot is released, we end up storing most of those calories as fat [if not used for energy],” Rumsey adds.

Whole grains, on the other hand, aren’t stripped of fiber and key nutrients. They’re digested much more slowly, which leads to more stable blood sugar levels and less “I WANT MORE PASTA!”

The good news: Plenty of refined grain favorites have healthier unrefined versions. Try swaps like brown rice for white rice, and nutty, whole-grain wheat bread for white bread.

2. Foods and Drinks With Added Sugar

This category includes: Pasta sauce, fruit juice, yogurt, condiments

Sugar can sneak into your daily diet in some of the most unlikely foods. Manufacturers often add sugar (in the form of cane juice, fruit juice concentrate, high-fructose corn syrup, and more) to foods and drinks like yogurt, fruit juice, sports drinks, pasta sauce, granola, and condiments.

Research suggest that a diet high in excess sugar can contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Don’t overlook drinks, either: Sugary drinks — whether soda or happy hour margaritas — also play a role in obesity and obesity-related health issues.

Even the natural sugars in fruit may lead to weight gain if you go overboard — depending on how you consume it. Fruit juice no longer contains the filling fiber and pulp of the whole fruit.

But if you’re eating whole, fresh fruit, then you’re also consuming water and fiber, which helps slow your body’s absorption of the sugar. “The benefit to having natural sugars versus added sugars is that with natural sugars, you get other beneficial nutrients at the same time,” MacQueen says. Take fruit, for instance: One large apple contains 23 grams of natural sugar, but you’re also eating fiber, as well as vitamins A and C.

Milk is another good example: One cup of 2% milk has 13 grams of natural sugar. But each cup also has almost 10 grams of protein, and important vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, D, and calcium and potassium.

3. Processed Foods

This category includes: Processed meats, packaged snacks, canned foods packed in syrup

“Some foods undergo a low level of processing that doesn’t affect their nutrition, like freezing fruits and vegetables. Other foods are more highly processed and have sugar, salt and/or fat added,” Rumsey says.

Ultra processed foods” can include sweeteners, emulsifiers, preservatives, colors, and flavors, many of which are artificial. The unnecessary salt, sugar, fat, and artificial additives in this type of processed foods can promote weight gain. Even worse? “Highly processed foods appeal to our taste buds and make it hard to eat just one serving,” adds Rumsey.

5 Foods to Avoid if You Want to Lose Weight

4. Greasy and Fried Foods

This category includes: Burgers, fried chicken, pizza — namely fried foods made outside of your own kitchen where the oils are lower quality and potentially less healthy

Research suggests that eating fatty fried foods on a regular basis could raise your risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. But while we do suggest ditching greasy fried food, don’t forget that healthy fat is an essential part of a balanced diet. Just aim to get most of your fat from unsaturated sources, such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna, Rumsey says.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, it’s a good idea to avoid many low-fat or nonfat foods. Manufacturers often add more sugar or refined grains to reduced-fat foods to make them tastier.

5. Alcohol

This category includes: Beer, wine, liquor

“People often overlook the role that caloric beverages — especially alcohol — have on weight, as many dieters solely focus on food choices,” MacQueen says. While moderate alcohol intake doesn’t appear to be linked to obesity, “heavy drinking and binge drinking” are associated with increased body weight.

We’re not saying you can’t ever have a glass of wine or a celebratory mojito, but a drink — or more — each night can make it harder to lose weight, both because of the extra calories and because getting boozy can lower your inhibitions.

After a few drinks, you may lose the drive to stay on the healthy eating track and eat more (and maybe less healthfully) than you intended.

But Don’t Eliminate Entire Food Groups

Now that we just spent the bulk of this article telling you why you should keep bagels, cookies, packaged snacks, and booze out of your home, it’s time to play devil’s advocate. Sometimes it’s not a good idea to eliminate an entire food group.

Here’s why: Completely restricting certain foods or entire food groups can increase temptation or lead you to miss out on important minerals and vitamins.

“Each type of food, or food group, provides certain nutrients that the body needs to carry out specific functions,” MacQueen says. “If you eliminate an entire type of food, you jeopardize your health in various ways depending on the nutrient you avoid.”

In addition, an overly restrictive diet — let’s say super low carb, for instance — can leave you feeling deprived. “Making something off limits increases the chance you want to eat it, which can lead to restriction followed by a binge,” Rumsey adds.

Focusing on healthy habits that are sustainable and realistic, on the other hand, will likely be more successful over the long haul.

The Bottom Line

You don’t necessarily need a long, detailed list of specific foods to ban from your kitchen. By prioritizing healthy, whole foods when you’re stocking your fridge and pantry, the foods that you should avoid will naturally disappear from your shelves.

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

Thanks For Sharing Beachbody.com

Dr. Phil Shares: 5 Non-Scale Victories That Prove You’re Making Progress

 

5-Non-Scale-Victories-That-Prove-You're-Making-Progress-header

You’ve been trying to lose weight for weeks. You’re dieting. Working out. Making mindful choices about everything you do, from the amount of sugar you stir in your coffee to skipping that extra glass of wine at dinner. But then you step on the scale and your heart sinks: The number is the same as last week. Or maybe you’ve lost a couple of pounds, but you feel like you’ve worked so much harder than that. What gives?

When you’re on your weight-loss journey, it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers game. But there are plenty of non-scale victories indicating that your hard work is, well, working. So instead of focusing on that flashing number on the scale, look for signs that you’re moving in the right direction, even if the scale’s not budging.

“Chances are, positive changes are happening that you’re not noticing if you’re obsessively checking the scale,” says Devin Alexander, a weight loss coach, cookbook author, and chef for NBC’s The Biggest Loser. “There are other ways to see results.”

So how do you tell if you’re achieving those non-scale victories? When it comes to improving your health, the following five signs reveal that you might be doing better than you think.

Non-Scale Victory #1: You Feel Stronger

That endless set of stairs in the subway station that you dread climbing? Well, after a couple of weeks following the workout and eating plans, you’re walking up them with a lot less huffing and puffing. “If you feel less winded after exercise or have more energy as you go about your day, that means your heart is getting stronger,” says Alexander.

It’s also a sign that it may be time to up your fitness game even further. “Your body is amazing and has the ability to maximize performance and minimize energy expenditure,” says Dr. Ralph Esposito, a men’s health expert and functional medicine practitioner at Armonk Integrative Medicine in Armonk, New York.

The more you perform an exercise, workout, or fitness program, the more efficient your muscles and nervous system become at doing it. That’s why you might notice your progress start to stall if you always do the same workouts — and why you need to regularly switch things up to continue to adapt.

Non-Scale Victory #2: Your Clothes Fit Differently

That bodycon dress isn’t as, uh, revealing as it once was. Or maybe there’s a little more room in the waist of your jeans, or you notice they’re getting a bit saggy in the seat. If your clothes are looser or fit differently than they did a few weeks ago, that’s a non-scale victory.

If you want more concrete evidence that your efforts to lose weight are working, break out the measuring tape. Each week, measure your natural waistline (just above your navel). If you see that number shrinking, then you’re losing fat mass. “Sometimes instead of losing weight, we lose inches,” says Esposito. And those lost inches might not be reflected on the scale as dramatically as they are on the tape. The reason: You are gaining muscle as you lose fat, and muscle weighs more than fat by volume. So even if your dimensions are shrinking, your bodyweight might not follow suit as quickly.

Non-Scale Victory #3: You See More Muscle Definition

You might not have six-pack abs or bulging biceps, but look for clues that your muscles are more defined than before. A simple way to do this? Go into selfie mode. “Take pictures of yourself from week to week. Keep them in your phone so you can quickly compare each picture,” says Alexander, who suggests striking various poses, like flexed biceps, shots of your stomach, or profile views of your midsection and backside. “You should be able to see some subtle changes in the photos that you wouldn’t necessarily notice while you’re staring in the mirror.”

Non-Scale Victory #4: People Are Noticing

A couple of colleagues have mentioned that you look slimmer. And then you bump into a buddy who asks if you’ve been working out. Chances are, they’re not just being nice: They’re being honest. “Other people can often see subtle physical changes in you before you see them,” says Alexander. “If someone compliments you, embrace it. It’s a sign that you’re doing the right thing.”

Non-Scale Victory #5: You’re Happier

nonscale victories

We tend to focus solely on outside appearances, but there’s a lot to be said about the shape of your inner self, too. Take a step back and analyze how you feel as you go through your day. Is your mood lighter? Are you more confident? Are you getting better sleep? These factors are flashing indicators that positive changes are happening.

“When you get in the habit of making better, healthier choices, it becomes easier to replace all of that negativity you tend to pile on yourself with happier thoughts,” says Alexander. “Plus, the release of endorphins from exercise are a proven way to combat depression and stress.”

Your Health: More Than Just A Number

Sure, the weight you’ve lost is an obvious way to track success, but it’s not the only — or even the healthiest — way to measure progress. “What people usually forget is that you’re really only supposed to lose one to two pounds a week, which may seem insignificant. But that can add up to 52-plus pounds a year,” says Alexander. “Dropping 15 pounds a week is just not realistic in a normal setting.”

Instead, appreciate other milestones you reach along your journey, and celebrate the efforts you’re making to improve your overall health.

“Use the scale as a general guide, but don’t let that weight define you,” says Alexander. “There’s so much more to what makes us healthy than that number.”

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

By Sarah Wassner-Flynn @ Beachbody

Are you ready for an Emotional rEvolution?

Resolving to have more clarity of thought, speech and emotional composure?

Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND, a Certified HeartMath Practitioner,

provides a 5 week stress reduction program that will revolutionize the way you experience life.

“Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a simple phenomenon that has been known for many years. I find it so fascinating that every emotion has a signature heart rate variability. The very fact that we can learn to shift this with focus and practice is so very powerful.  Through a series of step-by-step layered techniques, any one can learn how to engage and increase their HRV.  I loved this so much I became a HeartMath Certified Practitioner so that I can now teach others the techniques.” – Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND

Imagine being able to turn a bad day around or recover more quickly from an aggravating piece of news or a heated discussion. 

Breakthrough research has found that we can intentionally change our emotional state to find inner balance, and a feeling of ease which increases our resilience and allows us to bounce back more quickly from daily stressors.

The emotional state of inner balance is marked by a smooth heart rhythm pattern, called a coherent waveform.

5 weeks and you will learn:

  • how to retain calmness even in the most difficult times
  •  the power to self-direct and manage response and behaviour
  • how move away from negative and destructive attitudes and behaviours
  • how to move towards more positive and regenerative emotions
  • what heart rate variability is and how it relates to modern diseases
  • how to build and maintain loving relationships
  • HeartMath techniques for achieving optimal performance at home, work & sport
Here is what some folks in the top schools and business have to say: 
 

The [HeartMath] program has been tremendously helpful to me. … creating what I believe will be lifelong changes in how I respond to stressful situations. I am already experiencing better sleep, fewer frustrations at work, and a greater reservoir of patience and appreciation for the present moment. – Freya A. Sommer, Stanford University

 

… it is great learning how to deal with my stress and reduce it to be more productive. I use it every night and I am sleeping great. ..I am very impressed with this program and I would recommend it to anyone. –Margaret Lawrence, Team Lead, Travelocity Business

 

“It’s becoming clear that emotions are the primary drivers of activity in the body’s major systems, including the autonomic nervous and hormonal systems.”
~ HeartMath Institute Director of Research Dr. Rollin McCraty

No extra equipment required. Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND will use the in-clinic emWave pro to monitor your physiological changes and provide live bio-feedback to monitor your progress.

Curious?

Watch a YouTube on The Heart’s Intuitive Intelligence: A path to personal, social and global coherence

I want to get started! 

(Book initial appointment if new to Dr. Laura or a follow up if you are an existing patient)

 

Dr. Phil Shares: 9 Tips For Fitness Success in 2017

Follow These 9 Tips to See Success on Your Fitness Journey

It’s January! Time to dust off those sneakers and dive in to that fitness routine so you can ditch those holiday pounds and get down to your goal weight.

Whether you’re following a routine for the first time (or for the first time in a long time) or just refocusing your efforts in the New Year, here are some of my favorite tips on what to keep in mind as you get started. These tips will help you stick with it when you’re feeling grumpy or tired or frustrated or hungry.

Do: Before you start, log your weight, your measurements, and take your photos.
Don’t: Freak out over what you see.
No one likes his or her Day 1 photos or measurements. But, by capturing all of the basic information (how much you weigh, how big your waist is, what you look like shirtless or in a bikini), you’ll establish a starting place. Then, when you take down all this information again (we usually recommend taking them every 30 days, unless you’re doing the 21 Day Fix), you’ll see how much you’ve changed. “I can’t tell you how many times one of our Success Stories has told me that their ‘before’ picture on the fridge saved them at some point along the way,” says Steve Edwards, Beachbody’s VP of Fitness & Nutrition.

Do: Weigh yourself once a week
Don’t: Weigh yourself every day
Full disclosure – I break this rule. I weigh myself every morning just after I wake up. I don’t recommend it, but helps me stay on track. Your weight can fluctuate every day based on how much sodium you consumed the day before, how much you sweated during your workout, whether you went to the bathroom, what time of the month it is, etc. If you’re the type who could get discouraged from seeing your weight go up a pound or two (or more) in 24 hours, then I recommend weighing in approximately the same time each week. It’ll give you a better overall sense of the trend your weight is heading in. Just keep in mind you might gain a few pounds during the first few weeks of beginning a program. We explain why – and when you should see the numbers drop – here.

Do: Eat for the body you want – not the one you have
Don’t: Cut out all of your favorite foods
If you really want to be miserable and set yourself up for failure, cut out everything you like to eat. If your diet is really bad, a lot of stuff you like might have to go. Soda, fried food, super sugary coffee drinks…Think of this new journey as a boot camp. You’re training for the body you’ve always wanted. So feed that body with the food it needs. Lean proteins, complex carbs, and lots of nutrient-packed vegetables. We have tons of healthy recipes on this blog that will fit your new lifestyle. We even have healthier version of some of your favorite foods, including pizza, fries, and burgers. Think about your diet as an 80/20 split. 80% of the time, eat “clean.” The other 20% of the time, don’t stress about it. If you really want that beer or that cookie, have it. One cookie or one beer, isn’t going to be your downfall. Here’s an easy-to-follow article on how to change your diet over 8 weeks, cheat meals included.

Do: Plan your meals and organize your kitchen
Don’t: Wait until the day of to figure it out.
By planning your meals, like one of our social media ambassadors, Amanda Meixner (@meowmeix) does every week, you make it easier to eat healthier because you don’t have to think about it every day. You just grab your breakfast and/or your lunch and go. We’re going to start posting her meal plan photos each Monday to keep you inspired.

Do: Push through the soreness
Don’t: Push yourself to the point of injury
Whenever I start a new fitness program, I assume I’m going to be sore for the first two weeks. Even if the soreness doesn’t last that long, it helps my mind get in the right zone. “Soreness is a right of passage, but it’s still difficult to deal with,” says Edwards. “Don’t go 100% on day one, and ramp things up each day based on how you feel. If you do get sore, back off but don’t stop. Doing a workout at 50% is a lot better than nothing. It will also help your soreness fade quicker.” Here are some great tips on how to avoid soreness.

Do: Expect to be a little hungry and maybe a little grumpy in the beginning.
Don’t: Fall back into old bad habits.
No matter what change you’re making – whether it’s a new fitness routine or a cross-country move – there are bound to be growing pains. Change is uncomfortable. Prepare to feel a little out of sorts – you might be hungry, you might feel sore, you might be a little grumpy in response – and it’s more likely you’ll have an easier transition into your new lifestyle. “Soreness and hunger go hand in hand”, says Edwards. “When you’re sore you’re broken down and that incites hunger to repair your body. They’ll subside together. To speed things up, consider targeted nutrition or supplementation. The right food and the right time will minimize your desire to over eat.”

Do: Follow your workout calendar
Don’t: Don’t wait until Monday to start again if you miss a workout.
If you missed a workout because of sickness or travel or you just didn’t feel like doing it, don’t worry. Just get back to it. Not sure where to pick back up? This article will tell you.

Do: Get back on program if you fall off.
Don’t: Don’t beat yourself up, feel like you’ve failed, or wait until the next day/week/month to start over.
No one is perfect. Not me, not you, and not our trainers. Everyone has an unhealthy meal sometimes or misses a workout. Don’t let that define your day, your week, or your month. Justget right back on track. You’re on a journey and along the way, there are going to be a few misses. If you pick yourself right back up and keep going, you’ll get there.

Do: Share what you’re doing and find people who will keep you accountable
Don’t: Listen to the haters.
If you share what you’re doing with those around you, there’s a greater likelihood you’ll succeed because you’re creating a social support system that you’re accountable to. There might be people who pooh-pooh your journey, but ignore them. They have their reasons for doing so (usually the reasons stem from jealousy or fear), so just stay positive and reach out to your support system when you need help. We’re here for you, so don’t hesitate to reach out!

Here’s where to get even more support during your journey.
• If you have questions for our fitness and nutrition experts, post them here in the expert forums, and they’ll answer them.
• If you need more peer support, Beachbody’s social channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the Team Beachbody message boards are great places to start.
• If you have a general question you’d like to see answered in our blog, email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.
•If you need a little extra motivation that day, tag me in your photo on Instagram (I’m @r_swanner).

Good luck and I can’t wait to see your after photos!

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

Thanks for sharing Beachbody.com

Ditch Depression: 8 factors that chew at your mood

Root Cause Medicine

This isn’t to discount the neurotransmitter deficiencies that may exist in some people. As I learned in my extended pharmaceutical training, research shows that only 50% of the people may be helped with anti-depression meds about 50% of the time. So what about the rest of people the rest of the time? And in any case, doesn’t it make sense to try to support your body’s own natural mechanisms of healing and feeling better?

Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND will help you understand the scientific evidence behind the natural remedies used in defying depression in her free session at Goodness Me! on Wednesday November 16th. Register Here.

8 factors that chew at your mood

  1. sleep
  2. food sensitivity
  3. exercise
  4. nutritional deficiencies
  5. inflammation
  6. light exposure
  7. toxin build up
  8. hormonal imbalance
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