Think about the last time you went grocery shopping. Where are you go-to aisles? What do you throw in your cart? What's the one food item you can't pass up? So many options!
Next time you go to restock your kitchen, stick to shopping the outside aisles. Why? Because you'll find produce, dairy, and meat in these aisles. Produce, dairy, and meat are the most natural, unprocessed foods, which are the best for your body and health. All the foods you'll find in the middle aisles are processed foods that are filled with GMOs, pesticides, and phosphates.
Even though these foods are cheaper, the extra money you pay for unprocessed foods is worth it. It's also important to know what natural foods are in season and where they're coming from. Strawberries from California during the summer? Good call. Strawberries from outside the U.S. in winter? Not a good call.
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Every time we turn around there’s a new food that’s trending on social media, whether it’s a new superfood, a cleanse or a supplement, they’re everywhere! But for how much hype some of these fads get from friends or even celebrities, how do we know whether they’re healthy or not?
Here are a few of the most common fad foods and diets you may have seen around, and some of the facts you may not be as familiar with.
You’ve seen them everywhere- people looking to press the restart button on their nutrition or simply detox their diet, juice cleanses last between a few days to a few weeks in which you consume only fruit or vegetable juices while abstaining from food. There’s been a variety of positives reported including quick weight loss and an increase in energy- but some of the “facts” of this diet may have been skewed- so what is fact, and what is fiction?
You’ll Lose Weight
Fact. When you eat a low-calorie diet of any kind you will drop water weight and possibly notice weight loss right away, however, this isn’t a diet that is effective for long-term weight loss. As soon as you go back to eating a regular diet, more than likely that weight will come back.
Your Metabolism Will Increase
Fiction. Once you stop eating enough food to meet your energy requirements, your metabolism slows down. Although cutting calories does lead to weight loss, if your calorie count is extremely low for an extended period of time you will notice the opposite effect- your body begins storing its fat stores because it doesn’t know when it will be receiving nourishment next.
Your Energy Will Increase
Fiction. Since your calorie intake is low, you may notice a feeling of weakness and low energy. Fruit cleanses are also high in sugar and eliminate protein, which causes your body to produce insulin faster causing your blood sugar to drop- causing dizziness or headaches, or even feelings of depression. You may notice small bursts of energy, but they’re fleeting.
Maple Syrup Diet
This one became famous after Beyonce claimed to have incredible success with it. The maple syrup diet, or more commonly known as the Master Cleanse, has been advertised to help you lose around ten pounds in a week. It consists of drinking a homemade concoction of maple syrup, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper for ten days straight.
Your Metabolism Will Increase
Fact. The chemical in cayenne peppers speeds up your heart rate and boosts your metabolism in addition to helping you burn more calories.
You’ll Detox Your Body
Fiction. This diet doesn’t detox successfully detox the body in a healthy way. Detoxification works when nutrients combined with toxins are processed by the liver then excreted. However, this detox diet doesn’t provide the necessary nutrients for the liver to work properly, and within 48 hours detoxification stops.
Lack of Nutritional Value
Fact. This diet, ultimately, is dangerous. On this diet you consume roughly 600 calories a day meaning you will be bored, irritated, have trouble concentrating and get headaches. You receive a minimal amount of nutrition from the lemon juice, but there is no fiber or protein to keep you going. While the cayenne pepper has the ability to speed up your metabolism, eventually your body will go into starvation mode and slow your metabolism to conserve the few calories you have.
The Grapefruit Diet
This diet has been around for quite some time. It has several variations, but the typical diet lasts 21 days and involves eating grapefruit at every meal in addition to a few other food restrictions such as starches and sugar. It recommends drinking 10 glasses of water a day to reduce hunger and keep you hydrated. But what are the facts?
Grapefruit Burns Fat
Fiction. Grapefruit is high in water content, so it may help you feel fuller faster which can reduce your calorie intake. But grapefruit doesn’t have magical fat-burning powers.
Grapefruit is Part of a Healthy Weight Loss Plan
Fact. Long-term, adding grapefruit to your diet offers plenty of nutrition and can be a good substitute for unhealthy food. Adding it to your diet is definitely a plus.
You’ll Lose Weight and Keep It Off
Fiction. Like every other “lose weight quick” diet, maintaining the weight you lost after you start eating normally is not likely.
What have we learned? Any diet that suggests you’ll lose weight fast isn’t recommended. It’s likely that you’ll end up restricting yourself to a point that, once you go back to your regular diet, you’ll gain the weight right back. Your best bet is not to choose a diet, but to commit to living a healthier, more active lifestyle. Changing your life will change your look!
You hear it all the time- getting to the gym is the hardest part of your workout, and once you’re there you’re good to go.
For some, however, this is far from the truth. Cue the infamous gym anxiety that can plague any one of us at any given time. That sense of feeling intimated or uncomfortable around people who may run faster, or lift heavier weights, or possibly not fully understanding how the machines or equipment work can be debilitating and keep us from exercising altogether. Gym anxiety can affect anyone, regardless of where you are on your fitness journey.
Don’t be discouraged, there is a cure! If you’re experiencing any sort of anxiety or uncertainty at the gym, here are a few tips to help:
Write Down Your Workout First
Planning ahead will take away the sense of not knowing what to do, as well as keep you accountable for what you want to accomplish. Keep in mind, whatever you decide to accomplish in your workout is going to be vastly different from your fellow gym goers- don’t compare yourself to anyone else!
Focusing on your own workout will keep you from getting distracted and keep you concentrated on your progress. Plug in those headphones and listen to some motivating music or your favorite podcast to keep you on track!
Work Out at Off Hours
The best way to avoid being distracted at the gym and to keep your anxiety down is to get your workouts in when the gym isn’t as busy. This will give you the chance to get used to your routine, have a chance to change things up without feeling overwhelmed, and you’ll have access to more equipment.
Bring a Buddy
Having a workout buddy makes going to the gym easier and way more fun! You have someone to keep you accountable, to assist you with equipment, and keep those anxiety levels down. Having a support system as you go through your fitness journey is a great way to remind you you’re not in this alone and keep you laughing along the way.
If you’re ridden with gym anxiety, don’t give up just yet. With a few of the tips above, the gym will become more familiar and comfortable for you to spend your time in and get your sweat on!