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2017 Testing Your Sanity? Here Are 5 Ways to Cope

Understatement of 2017: There’s a lot happening in the world right now.

Have you already fallen off your New Year’s resolution plans? Found yourself going through something stressful in your relationship? Tough time at work? Or are you just generally stressed out because, well, there are things to be stressed about right now?

Regardless of what’s got you feeling like 2017 is one big test (I’ve been using #2017IsTestingUs lately), the reality is there’s always going to be something to push us a bit out of our comfort zone, and we all need to take care of ourselves if we want to make it through.

Last weekend, I met up with a friend for a lovely brunch and play at a local theater. I was in an Uber and running late when one of my best friends called and kept pushing me to talk about something that I just didn’t have the energy to go into. I blew up in a pretty irrational moment — not quite as intense as Kristen Wiig’s freakout at the bridal shower in “Bridesmaids,” but still bad. Like the kind where you hang up and ask yourself “What did I just do, and why did I do that?!” The kind where you have to call back, swallow your pride and say “I’m sorry, I love you, thank you for being my friend.” When I hung up the second time, I realized I was pretty wound up and not really acting like myself, but I had let myself get there. I had a lot on my mind and needed to chill the bleep out.

For context, I’m usually a calm person and pretty good about carving out some “Kirby time” throughout the week, whether it’s squeezing in a few yoga poses beside my bed in the morning or makinge breakfast and eating it intentionally. But I had a lot on my mind and I was clearly pretty stressed and wound up.

After the play — which, considering my mood, was appropriately called “I Wanna F—ing Tear You Apart” (I think it was a sign) — I decided I needed an evening workout to just sweat it out. So that night, I did all the things that bring me to my personal “happy place”: I did the elliptical and immersed myself in my high-intensity playlist. I ordered my fave Thai dish (pad woon sen), with some extra veggies on the side and I foam rolled and rolled and rolled, while listening to some more calm tunes and then took a looooong bath with epsom salts and lavender essential oil. And finally, I drank a lil mint tea with lemon and ginger before bed. (I should literally relax from within, too, right?) Honestly, with each activity, I felt myself calming down. It was exactly what I needed.

So maybe you didn’t bite your friend’s head off like I did, but maybe you’ve neglected your New Year’s resolution and are pretty bummed about it. If so, you aren’t alone. Only 8% of people actually succeed at a New Year’s ressie. On top of that, over 50% of Americans resolve to either lose weight/eat healthier/make self improvements or work out more often — so that means while you might feel alone when you fail, there are actually droves of people like you who want to step up their health and fitness game each year and are failing, which can be very frustrating. Or maybe you are just overwhelmed right now. No matter what’s stressing you out, here are some quick tips if you find yourself needing a lil “me time”:

GET OUTSIDE

Personally, I’m a huge fan of intense hikes, but even a simple walk in the great outdoors can do the trick to fight stress and improve your mental well-being. A study found that something as simple as walking outside can help improve the mood of someone who has recently experienced a traumatic event, like a serious illness, death of a loved one or divorce. So if you need a pick-me-up, lace up your sneakers and get outside.

MASSAGE

While going to get a massage is a nice treat (and I love a good massage), sometimes it’s just not practical. My self-massage routine involves a foam roller that I keep in front of the TV, so I use it all the time while catching up “Homeland” or “Being Mary Jane.” If you haven’t foam rolled before, check this out!

YOGA

Yoga always melts me into a nice mellow being. Last month, I tried something new and took a yoga class with Liz Arch, who taught us her practice of Primal Yoga.It’s described as “dynamic yoga and martial arts fusion style that merges Vinyasa yoga with the artistry of Kung Fu and the grace of Tai Chi into an athletic, heat-building flow, while focusing on alignment, balance, strength, power, and flexibility.”

And it’s every bit as unique as it sounds! In the class, Liz guided us through familiar yoga poses with a twist: at one point midpractice, she had us ball up one fist and use it to beat against our bodies. It sounds bizarre, but it felt great.

BE NICE

This is probably the easiest one on the list. Growing up, my mom always reminded me “it doesn’t cost anything to be nice to people.” So why don’t we do it more often?! You already know this, but it’s good to be reminded. When you do something nice for someone, whether it’s a compliment or volunteering your time, it can instantly make you feel better, so give it a try. If you like a random stranger’s leopard print booties, compliment them. Smile more. Let that car merge ahead of you. Their happiness and appreciation can help to pick you both up that day, even if just for a moment. Plus, kindness is actually good for your heart too!

DO YOU

Do what you love doing, whether that’s reading a good book, meditation, yoga, catching up with a friend that you haven’t connected with in awhile or some time journaling. Only you know what takes you to your personal happy space.

So carve out some you time.

If you are feeling great, more power to you! That’s awesome and I’m happy for you (insert praise hands emoji)! If not, I hope these tips help!

I’m curious. What do you do to stay sane in times of high stress? Feel free to post in the comments below.

The post 2017 Testing Your Sanity? Here Are 5 Ways to Cope appeared first on Under Armour.

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4 Ways To Stop Overeating

Ways To Stop Overeating

Hello All!!!

Are you guilty of overeating? When you munch on food mindlessly, you are more likely to wreck havoc on your internal hunger cues. Many people don’t even seem to realize that they are consuming more than what their body needs.

Research, on the other hand, says that when you pay complete attention to your plate, you can actually lose weight and lower your chances of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

So all set to get rid of the habit of eating like zombie? Hop on to discover ways to stop overeating.

1) Turn off the television

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One simple way of doing away with zombie eating is to turn your television off while having a meal and separating your dining area from your entertainment room. Control your urge to settle on your couch for a dinner with your TV. The dining area ambience should be such that it reminds you that you are going to have your meal. This way you will register each bite.

2) Don’t let conversations while eating distract you

It usually happens that you are happily chatting with friends and having your lunch. You get into an interesting conversation and forget the amount of appetizers you just gulped down. What you should do is put in a speed breaker in your meal. Visualize your meal in half and when you hit that point, just pause for a bit and ask yourself if you are enjoying your food or are almost full. This way you can keep a tab on your consumption.

3) Take meal breaks at your workplace

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Do you know that having your meal at your desk is disastrous for your waistline? Just don’t give excuses that you don’t have the time to spare for a lunch hour while you are at work. Remember multitasking is a myth!

If you cannot head to the canteen for lunch, search for a place away from your work desk. Even if that is not possible, turn yourself away from your computer screen and files. Just give complete focus to what you are eating.

4) Keep a check on what you drink while driving

No, I am not talking about alcohol. Because if you do so, you will be caught by the traffic police! Most people have the habit of enjoying their favourite coffee or smoothie while driving. This mindless drinking can happen when you are bored, have a long way to go or are stuck in traffic (this happens almost every day). What people don’t understand is that what you are drinking is loaded with sugar!

If you can’t give up the habit of drinking something while driving just change the choice of your beverages. It is that simple. So, the next time you sit to drive, carry low calorie beverages with you like green tea, unsweetened green juice or unsweetened black coffee.

Overeating can be silenced once and for all if you are determined to do so. The above tips can be of help if you really want to get rid of zombie eating.

Hope you liked this post on how to stop overeating!

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Easy Ways To Increase Hemoglobin Levels

Ways To Increase Hemoglobin Levels

Hello All!!!

Hemoglobin is a protein rich in iron that is present in red blood cells which is responsible for carrying oxygen to various parts of the body. As the role of hemoglobin is extremely important for maintaining a healthy body, it is essential to have normal levels of it in your blood.

The normal hemoglobin levels are:

  • 14 to 18 g/dl for adult males, and
  • 12 to 16 g/dl for adult females.

A decrease in hemoglobin levels causes fatigue, dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath, pale skin, poor appetite, brittle nails, headaches and rapid heart beat.

Here are ways to increase hemoglobin levels naturally:

Eat iron rich foods

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Iron deficiency is the most common cause of low hemoglobin. Iron is a very important element in the production of hemoglobin. So, you need to consume iron rich foods.

Iron rich foods are:

  • Liver
  • Red meat
  • Tofu
  • Shrimp
  • Spinach
  • Almonds
  • Dates
  • Lentils
  • Oysters
  • Asparagus

You can also take an iron supplement but do consult your doctor for the right dosage.

Increase the intake of vitamin C

Iron cannot be absorbed fully without vitamin C. So, you need to eat vitamin C rich foods along with iron.

Eat the following foods rich in vitamin C:

  • Papaya
  • Oranges
  • Lemon
  • Strawberries
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Grapefruit
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach

You can consume vitamin C supplements too after consulting the doctor.

Consume folic acid

folic acid weight loss

Folic acid is a B-complex vitamin that is required to make red blood cells. A deficiency in folic acid automatically results in low hemoglobin levels.

Good sources of folic acid include:

  • Leafy greens
  • Rice
  • Sprouts
  • Wheat germ
  • Dried beans
  • Peanuts
  • Broccoli
  • Bananas

A folic acid supplement can also be taken after consulting the doctor.

Foods helpful in raising hemoglobin levels

Beetroot

Beetroot is a common veggie that is recommended to people who have low hemoglobin. It is high in iron, folic acid, potassium and fibre. It helps in invcreasing the red blood cell count in the body. So, include beetroot in your diet.

Apples

Apples are said to be rich in iron and other compounds that are health friendly and are needed for a healthy hemoglobin count. Eat at least one apple a day, preferably the green variety.

Pomegranate

Pomegranate is rich in iron, calcium, protein, carbs and fibre. Its nutritional value helps in increasing hemoglobin levels and ensures healthy flow of blood.

Avoid foods that block iron absorption

If your hemoglobin levels are low, you must avoid eating foods that block the body’s ability to absorb iron. Here is a list of foods that block iron:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Colas
  • Antacids
  • Calcium rich foods like dairy and calcium supplements

Exercise regularly

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You must include some kind of an exercise routine in your day to day life. While exercising, the body produces more hemoglobin in order to meet the increase in demand for oxygen throughout the body.

You must try to do moderate to high intensity aerobic exercises along with some strength training so that there is an increase in muscle mass and reduction in fatigue.

Hope you liked this post on ways to increase hemoglobin levels!

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6 Ways to Prevent Over-Snacking on Game Days

For most Americans, this time of year means it’s time for overindulgent caffeinated beverages or it’s football season. Both can spell trouble for anyone trying to lose weight, but hours spent on the couch watching the game week after week is a bigger waistline threat than the occasional coffee-treat while out shopping. (Don’t knock that treat, though. It contains about 510 calories and more sugar than two handfuls of candy corn—a true fact you can look up with MyFitnessPal!)

The problem with football season from a nutritional standpoint is that watching a game is the perfect set-up for mindless overeating. For one, games are long. The average football game lasts around 174 minutes. And though they may be long, not much really happens—some research shows the average NFL game only has about 11 minutes of actual game play. Which means you can reach for the chips, or head to the kitchen for another snack, without missing a thing for 163 minutes.

And, since your team only plays 16 games in the regular season — to say nothing of the playoffs or the Big Game — every weekend becomes “special,” and we tend to eat “special” foods on “special” occasions, which are almost always higher in calories than our normal everyday fare. (I’ve never heard anyone brag about an awesome tailgate salad.) On top of that, game watching usually turns into a social event where we catch up with friends over drinks and over-serve ourselves food and alcohol for 3.5 hours.

The good news: you can use a lot of tried-and-true tips for slowing down that heroic intake of nachos and beer without sacrificing your enjoyment of the game or the people you’re watching it with. Here are 6 ways to do just that.

1. PRIORITIZE PROTEIN

Protein is really filling, and at the end of the day feeling full might be the best strategy to keep you from eating more. Have a hamburger with two patties at kick-off and you’ll be less likely to reach for those high-calorie nachos and wings later.

2. SLAM WATER

Don’t be bashful with the H2O! Drinking it like it’s going out of style will not only prevent a hangover, it will also slash the number of beers you drink and help you feel full—further preventing your hands from hitting the chip bowl again.

3. BRING YOUR OWN FOOD

If you’re heading to a viewing party at a friend’s place, bring a bunch of healthy snacks to share. You’ll look like a nice guest and there will be something better for you to stuff in your face. Worried about getting slack for showing up with carrots? No one will care, really. If someone does comment, just tell them their team sucks and see where the conversation goes.

4. SIT FAR AWAY FROM THE SNACKS

Most of the grazing that takes place during a game is mindless eating—you’re doing it because it’s convenient. Make it less convenient by sitting on the other side of the room, or with your back to the snack table so you can’t see the food. If it’s harder for the chips harder to get into your hand, they’re less likely to end up in your mouth.

5. DRINK LIGHT (OR DARK!) BEER

Light beer has fewer calories than regular varieties, and most people tend to drink the same number of light beers as they do regular ones during a game. Net result? Fewer calories. Another option is to go for a full-bodied brew, like Guinness. The stout stuff weights in at 174 calories, which is the same as most regular beers, but because it’s so dark it seems more filling and most drinkers take more time to finish one. Net result? Fewer beers.

6. EAT A MEAL INSTEAD OF GRAZING

Having a dedicated meal before or during the game means you’ll be far less likely to graze and mindlessly eat more food than you need. Fill up with a turkey sandwich on whole wheat and a side salad and you’ll surely make it through halftime without snacking.

Got any tips for tackling the munchies in a healthy way on game day? Share them in the comments below!

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