Category Archives: Health Tips

How Sleep can Prevent Chronic Illnesses

Sleep can prevent chronic illnesses. We’ve all suffered through days of headache, fatigue, and irritability after a bad night’s sleep for whatever reason. Sure, you can make up for it with a power nap or by sleeping it off the following night. But when insufficient sleep becomes the norm, most people need anywhere from 7 – 9 hours of quality sleep each night, then problems start developing.

Sleep Prevents Chronic Illness

Sleep Prevents Chronic Illness

Physical, emotional, and mental long-term, chronic illnesses start to take hold because of your unhealthy sleeping patterns. One of the most surprising diseases linked to insufficient sleep is obesity. Research has shown that those who habitually sleep 6 hours or less have, on average, a higher BMI (body mass index) than those who get sufficient sleep. It’s also connected with lack of exercise – because you’re too tired to move – and overeating.

The science behind this is that during sleep, our bodies secrete several hormones associated with appetite control, metabolism, and glucose conversion. When our bodies don’t get enough sleep, an imbalance of these hormones – and others – occurs.

Sleep helps regulate appetite

Two hormones crucial for suppressing and stimulating appetite, leptin, and ghrelin respectively, are released either not enough or too much which may be the reason behind those cravings for sweet, sugary snacks to satisfy the need for a quick energy boost.

But the reality is, these types of snacks only give you a boost for several minutes, then quickly crash your blood sugar levels and you’re left even more deflated and fatigued than before. Sleep can prevent chronic illnesses.

Sleep helps regulate Insulin

Another example of a hormone directly affected by insufficient sleep is insulin, which is the hormone responsible for the way glucose is transformed into energy, and weight gain. When insulin levels are not controlled as they should be, our bodies process glucose more slowly, resulting in a higher risk of type-2 diabetes.

Sleep helps regulate stress

Cortisol (the stress hormone) is also another hormone that is released in excess when you suffer from poor sleep.  Lack of sleep results in mood swings and anxiety. High levels of stress also result in elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as an increased risk of inflammation.

Sleep helps regulate the immune system

This directly affects your immune system, leaving you susceptible to all kinds of illnesses, from the typical cold or flu to microbial infections to chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and strokes. Sleep can prevent chronic illnesses.

Sleep helps your mental health

Moreover, mental disorders are brought on by poor sleep. Depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, such as memory loss and dementia, are all symptoms of insufficient sleep. Studies have shown that those who get less than 6 hours of sleep reported less sociability and confidence, and increased levels of anger, hopelessness, and despair. It’s also been reported to have a negative effect on judgment and alertness.

While most of these symptoms will be eliminated once sleep patterns return to normal, the problem is in the fact that most people suffering from poor sleep fail to report it to their doctors which makes it go unnoticed and untreated for longer.

The good news is you can turn things around for the better even if you’ve suffered from poor sleep for years. Make a point of creating a peaceful, sleep-inducing environment at least half an hour before going to bed and make it a nightly habit.

Soon enough, you’ll start going to bed when you’re tired, and you’ll be able to wake up fresh and relaxed without the need of an incessant alarm clock going off for an hour before you’re finally able to get up. While it may take you several weeks, it’ll be worth it once you start feeling the positive effects a good night’s sleep can have on your health.  The main benefit is sleep can prevent chronic illnesses. Finding out what the right amount of sleep is for you is critical.

Diet And Exercise Doomed To Failure

I got a call yesterday from someone looking to lose weight. Like most people, he is conditioned to believe you have to diet and exercise to lose weight. You have to give up some foods that you really love to eat. Your diet will be made up of healthy un-flavorful foods. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

diet and exercise

We talked for a while about my experience with losing 48 pounds and keeping it off for 3 years now. He told me about his new motivation to lose weight. Health issues are a part of the motivation. Our health deteriorates to the point of having serious health issues. This is the point where most of us want to change. Whatever the prompts the decision is a good one. If it gets you started that is all that counts. Your motivation to diet and exercise can change later.

His question after our conversation on losing weight was, “what do I need to do first”? First you must understand this a mental battle. To win this battle you need to separate diet and exercise”. Diet and exercise are one of the recipes to failure. We have been brainwashed into thinking that you have to do both to lose weight. To succeed you need to stop thinking that you have to do both diet and exercise. It is good if you can both diet and exercise and not give up. You need to  school yourself that doing just one is better for you then doing none.

Next you need to choose between diet and exercise. The question you need to ask yourself is “which one can I stay committed to diet or exercise”? Can you honestly pick one? Or will peer pressure play the biggest part in your decision? If you can get honest with yourself your chance will increase. Whichever one you choose make the commitment to stick to it no matter what. The other one you can dabble with.

If you can not honestly make a choice between diet and exercise. Then education will be the way to pick between diet and exercise. The question will be which is better for you diet or exercise?

Diet wins over exercise. Changing your diet not reducing calories is the most important thing you can do for yourself. And by changing your diet, I do not mean eliminating anything from your diet. It is more important to drink bottled water and add fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet.

Timing helps play a part. Drink water 20 minutes before you eat. Juice is full of sugar without the fiber that comes with eating a piece of fruit. So stick with water. Eat a salad containing fruits, nuts, and vegetables before your meal. I started to put raisins in my vegetable salads. This will fill you up before you eat the main meal. Reducing the amount of calories you take in. Over time your taste for different foods will change. The elimination of unhealthy foods from your diet will not even seem like a choice. It will just happen naturally.

I lost 48 pounds without 1 minute of exercise. I struggle with exercise. I keep trying. I know one day I will succeed. I know that if I thought you had to do both diet and exercise I would never stayed committed to losing weight. The mental battle of diet and exercise would have doomed me to failure.


Hydrate Yourself To Lose Weight

This is more important then what you eat. Remember you build a brick house one brick at a time. Snapping your fingers and puff it is done. That does not work. Even if you are looking for a quick fix do this. You need to mix up your mortar first even before you lay a brick. After the mortar is mixed then you can pick up the first brick and lay it in place. Next you pick up the next brick and lay it in place.

If you lay 2 or 3 bricks and stand back. It is like watching grass grow. Nothing is happening. You need to keep laying your bricks with your eye on the goal of the completed home. Stopping to look what you did every couple of bricks will lead to frustration and eventually you will quit because nothing seems to being accomplished.

This is the same with losing weight. Pick your goal weight and size you want to be when you accomplish your goal. Lay out your plan. The first thing you can do is count how many drinks you drink in a day. Do this for everyday of the week. Count the number of drinks, what the drinks are and how many ounces are in each drink. Once you do this, start to substitute water for these drinks.

I know you do not like water. Well then stay fat. Your choice. You really need to make a choice, what is more important in you life. Either you want to gratify yourself today or you want to look good and feel healthy for the rest of your life. Asking yourself the hard questions is the only way to reach your dream of losing weight.

One thing that helped me make the changes with taste was something I heard a long time ago. I was talking to someone and in the conversation it came up about our diets. I said “that I eat for taste”. The other person said ” well then you only need one bite”. That always stuck with me. When I eat something I take one bite and completely chew it before I take the next bite.

After a week of documenting how many drinks you have during your day. Start to substitute water for each one of those drinks. Even if you only substitute one a day for the first week, you are closer then you were a week ago.

Most hunger pains are a sign of dehydration. Drinking a glass of water 20 minutes before you eat a meal is a good time to start introducing water into your diet. This way you will kill two birds with one stone. You will hydrate yourself and you will eat less at the meal.

You can do this You can do this. You can do this.

Something Has To Change

Through Lefty’s auto-biographical story of losing 30 pounds in the first 10 weeks, you will get the belief that you can also lose your excess weight. Lefty tells his own story of how he got to the point where “Something Has To Change”.

The story covers the last 2 years. The first year was making the changes to reach his goal of what he weighted and the waist he had when he left school 41 years ago. It starts with the desperation of looking at moving up yet another waist size. This is after years of having to constantly adjust his pants. It has been 18 months since adjusting pants was a part of everyday life.

Without dieting the first 30 pounds fell off in the first 10 weeks. There was no feeling hungry or of doing without. It was actually adding some foods to the regular diet. Adding these new foods to the diet made the change was so natural and almost effortless.

In no way is this to say it took no discipline. There is no magic wand. When I found out what to start eating to make the body ask for more of the right foods the cravings for the junk food subsided.

Lefty tells about the conversations that went on with himself that he had lost up till this point. Then explains in simple detail how he won the battle to keep the weight off. The struggle continues with exercise. He lost all this weight without exercising. Exercise is not necessary for weightloss. It is necessary to live a long, healthy, and vigorous life style. 

This is the discription that was written for my new book, “Something Has To Change”. 

Health Benefits of Garlic

Do you find yourself straying away from garlic because of its strong flavor and smell? Perhaps you don’t eat it because of bad breath afterwards, but did you know garlic is one of the best foods for you? Garlic has been used for hundreds of years to treat anything from the common cold to major illnesses and everything in between. Now let us look a little more into garlic to see what all this hype is about!

First here are some pointers for working with garlic. Because of the strong smell associated with garlic many people avoid it, if you cannot overcome this issue try garlic supplements. Please note that before taking garlic supplements make sure that they will not interfere with any other medications that you are taking. Also to get the most out of garlic chop it for the best results and never microwave it because this will kill the most helpful ingredients. When cooking with garlic try to avoid adding the garlic too soon, wait until the last few minutes to add it. Lastly, do not over use garlic because in some people garlic can cause irritation in the digestive system.

If you suffer from cardiac issues you might be surprised how much garlic can help you. Garlic is great for helping to reduce blood pressure. Likewise, this can also reduce your chances for blood clots, strokes and heart disease.

Garlic was used centuries ago mostly for its anti-bacterial properties. Unlike antibiotics, your body does not build up a tolerance for garlic like your body does with medications. Garlic is similar to penicillin, garlic can be used to help your body fight off Salmonella, E. coli, Cryptococcal meningitis and Staphylococcus.

Most people suffer from some type of complexion issue to some degree. A lot of these people turn to creams and products rather than looking into natural solutions. Because of the anti-bacterial properties in garlic and its ability to cleanse the blood, garlic is a great way to help acne. Garlic is not the complete answer, use garlic in conjunction with other treatments to really see some results.

Garlic has also been successful in helping to reduce the risk of cancer. When applied topically, garlic can help with skin cancer by stopping the spreading of cancerous cells. Other cancers that garlic has been known to help with are prostate, colon, stomach and breast cancer.

As you can see garlic can be great when it is added to your balanced diet. Don’t be scared off by the smell, try a new garlic recipe today to respark your interest in one of the most healthiest foods!

Mikayla Lentz