DESIGNING A HEALTHY DIET FOR THE NEW YEAR

Every year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. The majority of these resolutions focus on diet in attempts to lose weight and be healthier. A new year is the perfect time to jumpstart a healthy diet to make the changes you want to see for yourself throughout the year. However, research shows 80 percent of resolutions fail by February. Many people strive for unrealistic goals, which ultimately set them up for failure.

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EXERCISE HAS BENEFICIAL EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN

While exercise has long been known for its positive effects on physical health and its ability to heighten energy and help manage chronic health problems such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, exercise is now being lauded for its beneficial effects on the brain.   These benefits touch almost every aspect of life. Exercise helps sharpen short-term memory and improve long-term memory. This happens because exercise can reduce insulin resistance and inflammation and stimulate….

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GETTING STARTED AND STICKING WITH IT

As we kick off 2018, you may be thinking about resolutions pertaining to your health and fitness. It’s easy to determine some ways to improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being. However, it’s not always as simple to stay motivated and make the new commitments part of your lifestyle. Now is the perfect time to set goals, whether it be for the number of days you intend to work out each week, how many steps you want to take each day or healthy meals you want to prepare for your family.

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unhealthy and unnatural organisms such as yeast and protozoa become overly prominent in the intestines and alter the body’s fundamental nutritional patterns. This imbalance hinders the growth of approximately 400 naturally occurring organisms in the stomach, which can cause bloating, indigestion, diarrhea, nausea, iron deficiency, stomach infections, fatigue and skin conditions.


In addition to seeing a doctor, address stomach bloating in the following ways:


Stay Hydrated.

When you don’t drink enough fluids, your body will automatically retain water to prevent dehydration. Maximize your fluid intake by drinking at least six 8-ounce glasses of water daily to remain hydrated and prevent water retention.


Eat High-Protein Meals.

High-protein meals can also reduce water retention and alleviate the symptoms of bloating because they promote the elimination of fluids through urine. This is especially true for women, who are more susceptible to bloating from water retention.


Reduce Carbs.

Indigestible carbohydrates known as FODMAPS drastically increase stomach bloating. FODMAPS are a collection of short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in foods naturally or as food additives. Examples are fructose (when in excess of glucose), fructans, galactooligosaccharides (GOS) and lactose from dairy products and polyols (sorbitol and mannitol). Fructans are found in foods such as agave, artichokes, asparagus, leeks, garlic, onions and wheat. Bloating is a common symptom of irritable bowel syndrome, which affects an estimated 14 percent of people in the world, and FODMAPS exacerbate IBS symptoms. Reducing or modifying FODMAP carb intake can decrease bloating in anyone with or without IBS.

“Stubborn” belly fat can be the toughest to lose when you’re working off excess pounds. But sometimes it’s just chronic bloating, not abdominal fat.


It’s important to distinguish between fat and bloating because the latter can indicate of a variety of health problems. Addressing a “big belly” with the wrong approach could exacerbate the issue and/or symptoms. Some individuals may have chronic stomach bloating.


There are four factors to consider in order to determine whether a large belly is due to fat or bloating.


1. Is There Localized or Widespread Swelling?

Look at your stomach – is the swelling localized or does your body have bulges elsewhere? If it’s just your belly, it’s likely you’re just bloated. If there are bulges around the thighs, hips and buttocks, it’s more likely excess fat in the abdominal area rather than bloating.


2. Does It Feel Firm or Spongy?

Press the pronounced areas of swelling in the stomach area. In general, stomach fat feels spongy and malleable when pressure is applied, but bloating in the belly feels tight and firm. Try to pinch the stomach area; if you can grasp more than an inch it’s most likely excess fat.    

FAT TUMMY OR BLOATING?

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

3. Is It Constant or Intermittent?

The duration of the swelling tells a lot. Fat cells build up over time and are likely to remain constant. Conversely, bloating only occurs intermittently and as such the shape of your stomach may fluctuate throughout the course of the day.


4. Is the Swelling Painful?

Fat will not be accompanied by pain, but bloating can be. Excess gas is just one potential cause for bloating, and this can range from uncomfortable to painful.


If your assessment concluded you are dealing with belly fat (you may want to follow up with your primary care physician), there are three things you can do: Avoid refined sugar and simple carbs; eat more protein and fiber; and combine a better diet with exercise.


If you have concluded you have chronic stomach bloating, it’s important to determine its cause. It may indicate a serious health concern called dysbiosis, an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in the stomach. With dysbiosis,