How to Stay on a Diet

Ever decided that you needed to lose a few pounds? We will bet that it was a tough time in your life as weight loss involves a lot of planning and will power. If you were not able to succeed, do not worry, there is always a next time and the following tips can help to ensure that the next time will allow you to emerge victorious!

Do It With a Partner

One of the best ways to succeed at something is to do it with a partner. That way each person can watch out for the other and also provide them the necessary motivation. You can also work on your diet plans and exercise together.

Drink Plenty of Water

We all know how good water is for us, but it is also quite filling and this will help to keep your appetite and snacking under control.

Moderation

One sure way to fail a diet is to completely cut out the foods that you love. Instead of quitting cold turkey, instead consciously reduce the amount that you are eating. Dieting should not equal deprivation: cut it down, but not out completely.

Eat Smaller Meals Throughout the Day

Instead of having three oversized meals, try eating a series of smaller meals at different points throughout the day. This will help you meet your nutritional needs, while also reducing the likelihood of you snacking and going over your daily calorie rate.

Combine Health and Convenience

Some people start eating poorly because they find healthy foods to be too much work. You can get around this common problem by choosing foods that meet your needs and your calorie count, but do not require a great deal of preparation. Keep a few healthy snack foods within easy reach, too, as this will help prevent you from sneaking out to McDonald’s.

 

Why Do People Avoid Medical Care?

There is little in life more important than your health. How we take care of ourselves can be a major factor in how long we live, the quality of our life, and how well we can function on the job.

When we don’t feel well, and are unable to correct the problem ourselves, most of us head for the doctor. However, no matter how badly they may be doing, some people simply refuse to seek medical attention. This seems grossly illogical: in many cases, not getting treatment can lead to the condition worsening and possibly even becoming fatal.

Here are some reasons why some people do not seek medical attention when they should:

Denial

Some people have been raised to just tough things out when not feeling well. Consequently, they are less likely to seek help when they are out of sorts.

Cost

If you don’t have insurance, medical care can be quite costly. Even the actual doctor’s appointment can be beyond some people’s capacity to pay, let alone prescriptions, and any follow-up.

Gender

Compared to women, men overwhelmingly avoid the doctor until a situation arises where they feel genuinely compelled to make an appointment. There are various theories about why, the main being that after entering adulthood, women have regular gynecological visits, while men do not have an equivalent.

Time

Some people claim that they just don’t have time to see a doctor. That may be true, but they really need to make time when their health is the issue.

Fear

A select few fear doctors and medical treatment in general. Others may be afraid of what the doctor will say about their current condition (e.g. it might be cancer).  The latter does not make any logical sense; if a condition is potentially quite serious, it needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

How to Make the Most of Your Doctor’s Appointment

Few people look forward to a doctor’s appointment, but whether you are there for an annual check-up or because of nagging problem, it is important to make the most of your time there. Many doctors can only afford 10-15 minutes with a patient, so it is a good idea to know what you wish to communicate and do so as clearly as possible.

Here are some tips on how you can most effectively prepare for your next doctor’s appointment:

List Your Symptoms

Whenever you begin to feel unwell, start to make a detailed list of your symptoms. Also make note of anything else that seems relevant: loss of appetite, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, night sweats, insomnia, when you first started to feel pain and its degree of intensity, etc. Try to include dates and times where appropriate. Having this information can help your doctor not only determine the problem, but also at what stage it is at. That can be crucial for deciding on the right course of action.

Complete Any Pre-Appointment Tests

Doctors will sometimes ask patients to have certain tests done before they come in, as this often aids in the diagnosis. Make sure you have those tests done far enough in advance that the doctor has received the results in time for your appointment.

Do Some Advance Research

It can be helpful to do some online research about your symptoms. This will give you an idea of what the problem might be. However, in the end, your doctor is the professional and he or she will be the one to determine the treatment plan. When researching online, remember also that the people posting are rarely ones who received immediate relief of their symptoms. Your problem is likely not anywhere near as dire as negative online postings might lead you to believe.

How Do You Deal With Stress?

Life in today’s world can be extremely stressful. Between our responsibilities on the job and at home, coupled with worries about money and the state of the world, one can spend a great deal of the day in a state of unease.  Constant stress can take a toll both physically and mentally, and we all need to find some time in our day to relax.

However, not all forms of relaxation are healthy. Alcohol and drug use may provide near-instant stress reduction, but they can also be quite bad for you in the long run. Ideally, you need to find a form of release that provides you with that needed sense of calm and balance, but does not also harm you in any way.

Fortunately, there are many ways to achieve this. Here are just a few:

Avoid Caffeine and Nicotine

These may provide a form of relief, however, like alcohol and drugs, they are ultimately more harmful than helpful.

Exercise

Physical activity is the body’s natural stress reliever. Even just walking for a few minutes a day can help. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity a day as this will also help you maintain a proper weight.

Journaling

Putting things down on paper can be very therapeutic. It allows us to relieve frustration in the moment, but also down the road. Chances are, when you look at what you wrote a few days after the fact, the situation will have either resolved itself or not proven to be such a big deal. That knowledge can help reduce the amount of stress you experience in future when faced with a similar dilemma.

Learn to Say “No”

Some people have helpful personalities. It provides them with a sense of joy and accomplishment to know that they are helping people solve their problems. Unfortunately, these same individuals can start to take on too much and that negatively impacts their ability to keep their own life in balance. If that is happening to you, don’t feel guilty about prioritizing yourself; say no, I’m sorry, I just can’t take that on right now.

Just How Important is Breakfast?

I recently posted about the upcoming changes to Canada’s Food Guide and that piece got me thinking about my own eating habits. In general, I’m pretty good about keeping everything balanced, though I probably succumb to the lure of junk food a bit too often.

However, one area in definite need of improvement is breakfast. I’m one of those people who is perpetually running late in the morning and given my duties, I absolutely need to be in on time at work. I have tried getting up earlier, but as I get older, my body is cooperating less and less. So, on those days when I am running late, breakfast usually doesn’t make the cut.

Of course, the old saying we know from childhood is “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” I have always doubted that (supper is the most important for me because it is the most elaborate and tasty), but will confess that I do feel rather lethargic during the mornings where I skip that first meal. I’m also more likely to fortify myself with caffeine until I get some of that lunchtime protein.

Leaving aside the vitamins that quality breakfast foods provide (sorry, Sugar Smacks don’t qualify), there is apparently a definite cognitive benefit. Breakfast helps to get your glucose levels up where they should be and your brain functions improve as a result. That means better memory and concentration, as well as a more stable and consistent mood. Basically, breakfast helps your brain to wake up, and does a healthier job than that big mug of coffee.

People who eat a proper breakfast are also less likely to be overweight. That seems counter intuitive (you’re eating less, right?), but as your energy needs are being met, you are less likely to snack and eat junk food laced with sugar for a quick fix.

Misuse of Antibiotics Inadvertently Threatening Everyone’s Health

Antibiotics have saved countless lives over the years and the world has benefited tremendously from their creation. However, like all drugs, these can be misused and the results can be catastrophic for everyone.  They can indeed be too much of a good thing.

While our current crop of antibiotics has been effective at largely neutering some diseases, new strains are appearing. The drugs we have on hand are not working and scientists are having trouble creating new ones that will have the desired effect. While it seems impossible to consider in this advanced age, we could be facing a new era comparable to the times when major outbreaks like the black plague killed millions of people.

There are several theories as to why doctors are relying too heavily on antibiotics in their treatment regimen. One of the most prominent is the thinking that, if they do not prescribe something that will make a patient well quickly, they will be deemed ineffectual. The unfortunate fact is that many people are given physician approval to take drugs for conditions that don’t require them.

Possible solutions include changing the way in which young doctors are educated. Instead of relying on prescriptions so heavily, the new crop of physicians need superior diagnostic skills in order to recognize when drugs are truly the answer to a patient’s problems.

While the burden of responsibility is on the medical side, it is important for people to do their part. Think about how you are feeling. There is nothing wrong with seeing a doctor, but if this is something you have had before, can you remember how you got through it previously? People just need to take a few sick days filled with rest in order to overcome certain ailments. If that is the case, try to go this route instead of automatically reaching for antibiotics. We will all benefit from your restraint in the end.