No amount of radical dieting can give you what many fitness experts help their patients to achieve: body definition. It is normal for the human body to lose muscle mass with the passage of time. But while this may seem inevitable, it is preventable. Muscle loss in older people is called sarcopenia. Studies have shown that inflammation is one of the main causes (apart from declining hormone levels). Inflammation is caused by free radical damage in the body. One major cause is being in a diet that is not health-friendly. If you want to increase muscle mass, consider the following:
Take daily antioxidants —A vitamin-mineral supplement plus an extra dose of vitamin C helps neutralize inflammation
It’s fairly easy to understand: the more sugar you eat, the less fat your body burns.
The only way for the body to get rid of sugar is to burn it. And the sugar you do not burn is stored by your liver as glycogen. If you keep eating more sugar, your glycogen reaches its maximum levels. This excess sugar gets stored as fat. But if you regularly consume sugar, your body will burn up the sugar first, and by the time it gets to the fat, it’s too late. That’s because you already gained weight!
Is there a way to enjoy sweets without gaining weight? There is. While many, if not most dieticians, consider sugar toxic, it’s still a habit many people cannot break. Here’s the trick:
Eat sweets after a full meal, never as a snack, main course, or appetizer.
Drink a cup of ampalaya tea (bitter melon) 10 minutes after eating dessert.
Take one capsule of organic powdered turmeric after a meal
You may grate fresh turmeric (luyang dilaw/yellow ginger) and mix it in boiling water to get its golden juices, but some people experience gas with this homemade tea.
For centuries, India has long revered turmeric for its anti-inflammation properties, blood and sugar regulation, blood cleansing and thinning and anticancer/tumor benefits, to lower cholesterol, to alleviate sore throat, and anti-parasitic properties. As daily maintenance, take one capsule 10 minutes before a meal.
Stress is fattening
Are you a weekend warrior? Many busy people do not have time to exercise daily. That is a fact. And so, to make up for the lack of time during the weekday, they cram strenuous exercise on weekends. Beware.
When we are under stress, our adrenal glands produce hormones—adrenaline (epinephrine), norepinephrine (noradernaline), and cortisol. Let’s focus on cortisol, which is responsible for carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism.
As one ages, cortisol increases. With too much cortisol, the body enters a pro-inflammatory state. In your teens and early adulthood, cortisol levels rise with the onset of stress (caused by anger, fear, anxiety, and emotional/physical trauma).
But cortisol levels go down when the stress goes away. In older people, this may not be the case. This hormone stimulates fat metabolism all right, but it also stimulates insulin release to control rising blood sugar levels. This situation results in an increase in appetite.
Chronic stress equals high cortisol levels equals increased hunger. And if you succumb to your hunger pangs, then weight gain is inevitable.
How do you control stress? By not allowing it to control you. Here are simple things to you can do:
Make time for relaxation. Every day, set aside 10-15 minutes in the morning and in the evening for meditation. Beginners can start by listening to soothing music. Other forms of relaxation include watching/reading happy movies/materials, being with light-hearted people, massages, singing, dancing, etc.—whatever brings you enjoyment.
Load up on B-complex, the anti-stress family of vitamins.
Sip calming teas like chamomile, mint, and lavender.
Stay away from stressful situations and people who are sources of irritation.
Today’s affirmation: “Great things are coming my way!”