Four Things You Didn’t Know About Wellness

Health and wellness have been studied forever, it seems. By now you know the basics: eat mostly vegetables and lean proteins, exercise vigorously at least five times a week, maintain a healthy weight, drink little alcohol and don’t smoke. Beyond those basics there are a few things that may surprise you. Knowing them can be instrumental in maximizing your health improvement efforts.

What Makes You Feel Full

You know that portion control is essential to weight control. Dieters often measure portions and log food intake carefully as they are first learning, but many find it tedious to continue doing so for long. Dieticians advise that people listen to their body’s cues: eat when hungry, stop eating when satisfied. Sounds simple, but if you were good at knowing when and how much to eat you wouldn’t need to seek dietary advice in the first place. What are the keys to feeling full—calories, fats, proteins? It turns out that the volume and weight of food are the factors that produce feelings of satiety. Fiber (which bulks food up) and water (which adds weight) are the keys to natural portion control. That explains why a salad brimming with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers is the poster child for weight management.

What Your Doctor Can Do For You

Everyone knows their doctor can provide diagnoses and referrals, but many think they must go to the pharmacy for medications and health supplements. Not true. Health care providers, from dieticians to dermatologists, can supply private label supplements designed specifically for their patients. You may be able to purchase products right in the office, or for even greater convenience the best labs can dropship supplements straight to your home.

Why Sugar Is So Harmful

If you remember your high school biology lessons you know that sugar provides energy, and energy is necessary for all life processes. So does sugar deserve its bad reputation? Absolutely! While it is true that every cell in your body requires energy, it is also true that energy can come from many sources. The energy from fat, fiber and protein is released slowly whereas the energy from sugar is released swiftly. Rapid spikes in blood sugar can lead to metabolic syndrome and eventually to Type 2 diabetes. Sugar’s quick release and high concentration provide more energy than the body can use immediately, compelling the body to store the excess as fat. Lastly, sugar occurs naturally in many foods but those foods also contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. The additional nutrients are what makes eating an apple with an average 19 grams of sugar better than eating a teaspoon of granulated sugar containing just four or five grams.

What Actually Increases Your Energy Level

Despite their name, energy drinks are typically a horrible way to boost your energy level; drink water instead. Energy drinks have been implicated in a rising number of emergency room visits and some countries are drafting legislation that will prevent the sale of such drinks to anyone under the age of 16. Of course, the best way to ensure feeling peppy throughout the day is to get enough sleep at night, but many people experience a midday slump. What can you do? Studies in Japan suggest taking a nap; more specifically a coffee nap: drink a moderately caffeinated beverage such as coffee or tea then take a 10- to 20-minute nap. You should wake up feeling refreshed, alert and prepared for even the most complex cognitive tasks. Paradoxically, the more tired you feel, the more your body needs movement. During periods of sluggishness taking a simple 15-minute walk can give you the burst of energy you need. Walking outside will provide an added boost, as sunlight has shown to have positive effects on melatonin, serotonin and endorphins.

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