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Top 5 Diets for People with High Blood Pressure

Top 5 Diets for People with High Blood Pressure

Eating healthy can be a good way to bring down high blood pressure numbers. There are many eating plans that you can follow, but some of them are targeted toward people who have high blood pressure.

While others aren’t targeted toward people with high blood pressure, these diets are structured in a way that makes them better at lowering blood pressure levels. One of these diets is the DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

This diet works by factoring in the gender and age of the person following the diet. It also targets what a dieter should eat by how much exercise they do or don’t do.

Using criteria to match the caloric intake with the user, the DASH diet will propose a specific eating plan. This eating plan contains nutritious and healthy meals chosen from the food pyramid.

The diet is easy to follow because it does a lot of the prep work for you. It plans out the first few days for you to get you started and it includes helpful recipes and teaches users how many servings of each type of food he or she should eat.

The TLC diet stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Change. This is a diet that focuses on changing what you currently eat to make healthier meals. It concentrates on limiting the kinds of fats that can contribute to heart disease.

Success with this diet is found by eating according to your gender and current weight. It guides users toward healthier food choices by limiting processed foods. It’s a good diet because it lowers your cholesterol, which is often raised in people with high blood pressure. Plus, it helps you lose weight – which also works to lower your blood pressure if you’re overweight.

Another healthy diet for people with high blood pressure that helps lower the levels is the Mediterranean Diet. On this eating plan, you’ll eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and grains.

You can eat fish and poultry, but will have to cut back on the amount of red meat that you eat. This diet is healthy for people with high blood pressure because it replaces the use of salt with spices and flavorful herbs.

Weight Watchers is a diet that focuses on the overall body. It emphasizes keeping your weight at a healthy level. Losing extra weight can often bring the numbers of your blood pressure readings under control.

Healthy eating by consuming fruits, vegetables, grains, plenty of fiber rich foods and lean meats is how the Weight Watchers diet helps. It offers low sodium meal planning and teaches the importance of exercise and cutting out bad habits that are linked to high blood pressure.

Finally, following a vegetarian diet can lower your blood pressure. Eating a plant based diet can lower cholesterol levels as well. Since there’s very little saturated fat in a vegetarian diet, it’s also good for your heart health.

The focus of this diet is on healthy eating with plenty of high fiber. If you don’t think that you can give up meat, you can choose the flexitarian way and choose a vegetarian eating lifestyle with occasional servings of meat.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

Anyone can develop high blood pressure – even someone in his or her early twenties isn’t immune to this condition. That’s because high blood pressure can be caused by a number of different things.

Some things are within a person’s control and some aren’t when it comes to having high blood pressure. Genetics is one of the reasons high blood pressure can develop – and the one thing you can’t do anything about.

The genes that were passed down to you will determine what health issues you’ll have to deal with. Your family history is what will decide if you’ll have high blood pressure or not.

If your parents had it, then you’ll more than likely have it as well. Some diseases that can run in families can contribute to causing high blood pressure and these are said to be secondary hypertension.

That means that you have high blood pressure as a direct result of some other health problem. For example, someone who has kidney disease can, in turn, have high blood pressure as a result of that kidney disease.

Other diseases can also cause high blood pressure. If you have adrenal problems, that can cause elevated readings and so can thyroid diseases. Sometimes, a cyst that grows on a gland like the adrenals or the thyroid can lead to high blood pressure.

Removing the growth will sometimes stabilize the blood pressure within normal range, but not always. Many causes of high blood pressure are related to how a person lives his or her life.

People who are overweight, even if they’re not technically obese, can have blood pressure levels that are in the hypertension range. People who develop high blood pressure as a result of being overweight often find that their levels return to the normal range if they lose the weight.

This is because the heart no longer has to work as hard to pump the blood. Sometimes people who are not overweight will be diagnosed with high blood pressure because of their lifestyle choices.

Eating a poor diet that’s high in saturated fat and sodium is linked to high blood pressure. Drinking too much and smoking are both habits that have also been linked to causing high blood pressure.

Having too much stress in your life can give you high blood pressure. This is because when you’re under stress, your body feels the onslaught of a constant state of “fight or flight” hormone that your adrenals produce.

This will constrict the blood vessels. Chronic stress can cause your adrenals to consistently release the hormones that keep your blood pressure raised.  Your age can also play a role in what your blood pressure readings are.

As you get older, your blood vessels undergo changes. Your body has baroreceptors that can tell what the blood pressure is. When it’s not normal, these baroreceptors send messages that help to regulate the pressure. As you get older, these baroreceptors aren’t as quick to pick up the changes in pressure.

Here’s a great video that explains it all

The Best Juicing Plan for Weight Loss

The Best Juicing Plan for Weight Loss

If you’ve decided to start juicing to lose weight then all the options can be overwhelming. Should you do a juice fast? Should you just incorporate juicing into your regular diet? Which juicer should you buy? What should you juice? And on the questions go!

Before getting started, just remember that there’s no magic cure for weight loss. Juicing isn’t a quick fix, and it works differently for different people. It can help you lose weight, but it’ll take some time to find the best way for you, and it’ll also take some effort. That said, here are some tips to help you get started.

Should You Do A Juice Fast?

Many people see a juice fast as a quick fix for losing weight, but this is dangerous. Sure, when you’re fasting you’ll take in fewer calories since you won’t be eating your regular meals. This will lead to weight loss, but it’s not something you can sustain, and shouldn’t be the be all and end all of your weight loss efforts.

Instead, you should see a juice fast as a chance to get out of any bad habits you might have, and then cleanse your system. It’s tough, but if you can get out of the other side of a juice fast then you can surely make effort to improve your diet afterwards. Once the fast is over, you can also combine regular meals with regular juicing.

Top Vegetables to Juice for Weight Loss

As to what you should put in your juice, it’s basically more of the healthy foods you should be eating normally. By juicing them, you can create combinations that make certain foods tastier (by mixing them with fruits, for example), and you can also take in WAY more than you’d be able to by eating them.

When you’re just getting started you may want to juice a lot of fruit. It tastes way better than those crazy vegetable concoctions, so it’s a good way to ease yourself in. That said, fruits do contain sugar and you’ll want to watch how much you take in. Try to mix in more and more vegetables as time goes on.

You may want to pay particular attention to cruciferous vegetables. This family of vegetables is known to come with a number of health benefits, such as helping to boost your metabolism and reduce the risk of cancer. The only downside is that they are known as a trigger for IBS sufferers.

Some examples of cruciferous vegetables include:
•    Box Choy,
•    Broccoli,
•    Brussels sprouts,
•    Cauliflower,
•    Cabbage.

Note that many cruciferous vegetables are also known as “leafy greens”. If you’re planning on using the leafy kind then you’ll have to be careful to find a juicer that can handle them well – many centrifugal juicers struggle to process these effectively.

So remember, juicing isn’t a miracle weight loss cure but it’s a tool that can greatly improve your diet and give you the energy you need for your workouts!

The Benefits of Challenging Yourself to Master 100 Situps

The Benefits of Challenging Yourself to Master 100 Situps

Performing situps as a physical fitness exercise has so many benefits. Aside from requiring no expensive or special gym equipment, you improve your overall core strength. And though many searching for sexy six-pack abs focus on situps for that reason alone, the well-rounded exercise actually involves more of your muscles and a larger range of motion than crunches.

Muscles in your chest and legs, connecting stabilizer muscles and hip flexors are all employed, giving you a full body workout. And when you challenge yourself to reach the level where you can consistently perform 100 situps at a time your benefits are even greater.

Mentally, your brain has the advantage of endorphins which are released every time your body detects stress. Performing multiple situps at once sends these endorphins to your brain, and the response from your brain raises your heart rate and metabolism. This “fight or flight” response from your mind also means that your mental alertness and awareness are peaked.

With that increased heart rate comes higher metabolism and a better ability to burn fat and maintain a healthy body weight. There is also the high level of self-esteem which comes from performing 100 situps without stopping. This impressive physical achievement is rare among human beings to say the least. Additionally, a side benefit that you may not have considered is the desire to push yourself in other ways physically.

You have worked up from 10 consecutive situps to 20, and 50, and finally 100. The boost of energy and self-pride you feel will quickly have you pushing yourself to perform 100 pushups without stopping. Then you will want to run 1.5 miles in under 10 minutes, and bench press 1.5 times your body weight. When you see such an impressive achievement as a reality in your life, suddenly, running a marathon or participating in a triathlon seems well within your grasp.

A body at rest tends to stay at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion. While this is one of Newton’s scientific laws of motion, it applies as well to human beings. Your mind tends to adapt your entire behavior according to your most consistent activities. This means that when you master 100 consecutive situps, you subconsciously program your mind to spend less time sitting and more time standing, less time lounging and more time exercising.

The overall health benefits include a longer and healthier life span, cardiovascular and core strengthening, and healthy weight and fat loss. You also feel great emotionally and mentally when others comment on your new, slim, trim and powerful body, which creates even a greater desire to continue to challenge yourself physically.

How Much Does Exercise Really Help You Lose Weight?

How Much Does Exercise Really Help You Lose Weight?

The average person understands that they need to eat a healthy, nutrition-filled diet and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy body weight. But just how much does exercising actually help you lose weight? Every day on television and the Internet there are dietary supplement and diet claims of significant weight loss without exercising. So why can’t you just change your diet to lose weight, instead of having to sweat and exert yourself with physical exercise?

Part of the answer has to do with what goes on inside your brain, and inside your body, when you exercise. Dieting is great, and totally changing your daily and weekly nutritional intake is even better. But without exercise, you can always regain unhealthy weight and fat if you slip off of your diet, and change back to your unhealthy approach to eating.

Concerning exercise, any time you ramp up your physical exertion to 80% of your maximum level, a wonderful thing happens. You begin to elevate your heart rate to what researchers say is the most efficient level for cardiovascular health. Your metabolism is also spiked, which helps you burn fat, in turn reducing the amount of unhealthy weight on your body.

And several hours after even a short 20 minute exercise regimen, your body is still burning fat, pumping oxygen to your muscles, and benefiting you in several ways. There is no mistake that you should immediately and critically take a look at the food you ingest on a regular basis, and make whatever healthy changes you need in that area.

However, the external and internal physical benefits you receive from regular exercise include so many that simple nutritional changes can never deliver. Just as importantly, you also benefit from a life-changing boost in self-esteem and self-worth that comes from the perception you and others have of your new, slimmer, trimmer body.

So, how much does exercise really help you lose weight, and how much must you do to benefit? The American College of Sports Medicine recently declared that just 200 to 300 minutes (3.3 to 5.0 hours) of weekly exercise will help you lose extra weight, improve your heart health, boost mental performance and help you live longer.

That means just 30 minutes a day of brisk walking, jogging, practicing yoga or Pilates, or engaging in some other moderate to aggressively strenuous activity can help you not only lose unwanted weight, but can help you keep it off long-term.

How to Get Rid of Man Boobs

How to Get Rid of Man Boobs

Do you want to get rid of your man boobs? If so, you are not alone. Male breast reduction surgeries jumped 6% in 2011 alone according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. But before we get into how to get rid of them, let’s first talk about what causes them. There are three reasons why you might have unsightly man boobs:

1) Hormonal imbalance

If you have an elevated level of estrogen and lower than normal testosterone, male breast enlargement (known as clinical gynecomastia) can occur. As hormone levels change, it may correct itself on its own, but if you have had man boobs for a long time, then you may want to consult your doctor to find out if there is medication you can take to get your testosterone up and estrogen down.

2) Excess fat

If your hormone levels are within acceptable levels, then your body may be storing excess fat on your chest. The non-surgical way to get rid of it is through cardio and strength training. Cardio alone won’t do it as you need the strength training part to fire up your metabolism to burn more calories while exercising and to build muscle so your body burns more calories even when not exercising. Focus on exercises that target the large muscle masses, such chest, back, shoulders, glutes and legs.

3) Excess mammary gland tissue

Sometimes the cause is excess tissue in the breast area. Then the most effective measure is usually surgery called reduction mammoplasty. The surgery can take one of two directions.
Once inside, the surgeon may find that the culprit is fatty deposits that are resistant to loss in which case s/he may use liposuction to remove the excess fat and reduce the size of the breasts.

Or s/he may find excess tissue is the cause and reduce the amount of tissue in that area, thus reducing the breast profile.

Because reduction mammoplasty is not a life-threatening medical issue, most insurance companies will not cover the cost of this surgery which runs about $5,000 and up. However, this could be a small price to pay to improve your bodily self-image and self-esteem.

Depending on the cause of your man boobs (or moobs as they are called), you now have some options on how to get rid of them. It could be as easy as hormone re-balancing or dropping your body fat percentage through exercise and a healthy diet. As a last resort, surgery may be the cure. Whatever the reason, you do not have to live with man boobs – you do have options.

Side Effects of Losing Weight Too Rapidly

Side Effects of Losing Weight Too Rapidly

If you are overweight, losing weight can be the best thing you can do for yourself both from a physical and emotional health standpoint. Weighing less can significantly lower your risk for certain illnesses and cancer, let alone help improve your self-esteem.

But, by losing weight too fast, you run the risk of pounding headaches, malnutrition and dehydration, all of which can cause a whole host of other health ill-side effects, including nausea, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, lethargy and mood swings. Under extreme conditions, you can even suffer hair loss!

To prevent the above maladies, keep your weight loss to two pounds or less per week. Most healthcare professionals agree that up that amount is a safe weight loss that is sustainable over a longer period of time.

Sagging Skin and Stretch Marks

Two of the physical effects of losing weight too fast are sagging skin and stretch marks. In part sagging skin happens because as we age, our skin loses its elasticity and collagen. Excessive sun exposure accelerates this skin-aging process. So when you lose weight later in life, your skin does not rebound and tighten back up as fast as it did when you were younger.

Also the number of times you asked your skin to expand and contract over the years also play a part. If you yo-yo dieted in the past (gained and lost significant weight several times over), you may have more sagging skin than someone who has maintained a constant weight and is just now starting a weight loss program. There isn’t much that can be done for sagging skin except removal through cosmetic surgery in extreme cases.

Stretch marks happen if you gained weight faster than your skin could expand. As you pile on the pounds, your skin keeps expanding and expanding, but at some point, it can’t expand anymore. When you reach that point, your skin tears at the dermis level (underneath the surface of the skin). Stretch marks are the visual scars of these tears.

You most likely do not see them before you start losing weight, but they will appear as the weight comes off. While there no good way of getting rid of them, some of the laser treatments can mask their appearance.

When it comes to weight loss, slow and steady will win the race every time. Weight loss is not a sprint – it is a marathon; you did not gain your weight overnight, nor should you expect to lose it that fast. However, through healthy eating, exercise and a sensible weight loss program, you can get to your weight loss goal.

The Difference Between Losing Weight and Losing Fat

The Difference Between Losing Weight and Losing Fat

When most people say they want to lose weight, they really mean they want to reduce their body fat. If they really wanted to lose weight per se, their goal would be to reduce the weight of their bones, muscles, organs along with body fat … most likely not their real goal. Most of us want to preserve all but the body fat part.

So in reality, you want to reduce the amount of body fat you are carrying, but how much is healthy? If you are male, then you want your body fat to be around 10%; 15% for females.

Why the Scale is Your Worst Enemy

If you are trying to lose body fat, weighing yourself every day is frustrating at best. Because the scale measures your total weight, it can fluctuate up or down every time you get on the scale.

When you first started to eat fewer calories, you probably showed a significant drop in numbers on the scale. But because carbs bind to water, lowering your carb intake reduced the amount of water in your body, so the real loss was not body fat, but water loss – the water had fewer carbs to attach to. If you start eating more carbs again, your weight will go up proportionately due to water hanging onto the additional carbs.

As a matter-of-fact, you can lose body fat, gain muscle and your number on the scale can remain the same, even though you now look better. Why? Because a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat therefore your profile is much slimmer even though you weigh the same.

Measuring Body Fat

The only real way to measure body fat loss accurately at home is by measuring your girth in the same places each time with a pair of body fat calipers – the neck, chest, arms, waist and thighs. Your waist measurement should go down, but the rest of your measurements should go up.

Train for Success

The best overall workout strategy is a mix of cardio and strength training. Cardio burns more calories and thus speeds up fat loss, but it alone is not enough; without strength training, you’ll end up losing muscle. Through strength training, you’ll tone the muscle you have and build more. And because more muscle means you’ll burn more calories throughout the day, developing muscle mass is the key to long-term weight management.

Most likely your real goal of “losing weight” is to lose body fat and build muscle. Use the advice in this article to reach your goal.

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