Intermittent Fasting: A Revolutionary Weight Loss Trend

Every year we hear about a new program, app, theory, or plan to lose weight. The market is flooded with all sort of diets that promise the best and long lasting results.

The reality is that the best diet is the one that you can stick to. Every person is different, and every organism receives, processes, and acts on a diet in a very unique way. As always, the first thing you should do before starting a new diet plan or regime is to consult your doctor. Don’t forget that your own situation would determine the steps to follow when trying to make changes in your habits.

Having said that, let’s explain what is the Intermittent Fasting. We are talking about one of the most popular trends in the world of health and fitness, and it’s basically an eating pattern that involves cycles of eating and fasting between specific periods of time. So, in this case, is not about what you eat, but when you eat.

Now, why fasting? Well, many studies and experts say that it could improve your metabolic health, protect against some diseases, and help you with your weight loss goals. Also, during fasting, your body uses all the available fat to keep everything working, and that’s when “the magic” happens because you are burning fat during that period of time technically without doing anything.

Depending on the intervals, there are different fasting methods, being the 16/8 one of the most popular, if not the most common. 16/8 means that you fast for a period of 16 hours, while your window for eating is 8 hours long.

There are several websites, apps, and social media groups where the followers of the IF plan share their experience, results, and struggles. Among those who practice the 16/8 figure, the most common schedule looks like this:

First meal of the day at 12:00 p.m.

  • The eating window closes at 8:00 p.m.
  • Fasting period starts at 8:00 p.m. and finishes at noon next day.

There different options during this eating model. One of them includes also only one meal a day and it’s known as OMAD. Those who practice the OMAD can do it for a short period of time, or for a longer period, depending on their own goals and program. Many people claim that this is a great tool to lose a good amount of pounds in a short period of time, but not everyone could do it due to different health conditions, or working and living habits,

At the end of the day, and as we said before, the best diet is the one that you can fit into your own lifestyle. While this method may work for many people, remember that it’s always good to consult your doctor about new changes in your diet, or eating habits.

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Those dark spots that we all hate!

When they appear, especially on the face, they really cause discomfort and even alarm. No wonder! Nobody wants to have a hateful dark spot on the middle of the face but hey, there is no need to panic.

First, we have to understand the origin of those dark spots. The most common cause is sun damage, and of course, our best way to prevent them, in this case, is by limiting the sun exposure and using sunscreen with UVA protection.

Now, if you are not a sun fan, and your direct exposure to the star king is very limited, then there are other factors that might be contributing to the appearance of those brown spots, that may be identified as melasma.

So, while there are about 6 million Americans suffering from Melasma, it’s important to understand that every case has to be evaluated by a specialist. However, here are some of the most common causes of it:

  1. Birth control pills
  2. Hormone changes due to pregnancy or other factors
  3. Cosmetics

According to experts in the area, prevention is the key in most of the cases of melasma or dark spots, but only a specialist could determine the origin and cause of your problem, and also the treatment you should follow.

Although there are some over the counter creams and lotions that could be effective to treat the brown spots that are torturing you every time you are in front of the mirror, it will be always a safe and smart option to consult your doctor.

For now, take this into consideration: since most of the cases of dark spots are related to sun exposure, why not to start using sunblock everyday? It won’t hurt you, and instead might be helping you to prevent the appearance of new spots. So, maybe the sunscreen, a nice hat, and a big pair of sunglasses could become your best friends during this summer!

 

 

 

It’s Men’s Health Month

Yes, there is a month dedicated to the health of men, but the question is whether men dedicate time to their health, or not. The answer is that very few pay due attention to not only their health but to prevent diseases. Because of social tabu, and even by shame, many men stop consulting the doctor for ailments, discomforts or conditions that may be affecting them.

That is why there is a month dedicated to the health of gentlemen and that month is June! Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country and its purpose is to create awareness and to encourage men and boys to seek early detection and treatment of different health issues. The message includes also to exhort them to learn more about preventable problems.

Around the country are offered screenings, health fairs, workshops, outreach initiatives, and health education seminars to invite more and more men to take good care of their health and wellness.

If you know a man that could use some of this information, please share it with him. It’s important for all of us to use this time to talk openly about preventable health issues, and of course, it’s imperative to include your kids in the conversation.

According to experts, the information and early education about health, prevention, diseases, and common questions, is very important as part of a family routine, and since we are already dedicating this whole month to men’s health, then let’s use it also to educate the little ones.

So, guys! if you haven’t seen a doctor in a while if there is something that is bothering you with your health but you haven’t found the time or the opportunity to discuss it with a physician, here is the time!

June is all men’s health month, and the best to honor it is by talking, informing, educating, and addressing any questions or issues you may have about your own health!

Dealing with Pneumonia

 

So you have been diagnosed with pneumonia, and the only thing you know about it is that it could be fatal, or at least that’s what you have heard. Well, truth is that yes, pneumonia could be fatal, but there are different types of pneumonia and its intensity could vary depending on other factors.

The first step is to understand what is Pneumonia. It’s a lung infection usually caused by viruses or bacteria. Once you breathe the virus or the bacteria, it goes directly to your lungs affecting its normal functioning and making hard for you to breath.

People with chronic or long-term diseases like asthma, diabetes, cancer or heart disease are more likely to get pneumonia, and they will need not only an early diagnosis but also a timely treatment. Due to their condition, it’s possible that the doctor decides to do that treatment at the hospital, and not at home.

Some of the symptoms related to pneumonia are fever, shortness of breath, cough, mucus, and fatigue. However, there are other symptoms that could be present like nausea, diarrhea, chest pain, and shaking. In some cases, patients could develop the disease without major symptoms; the key to a prompt and complete recovery lies in the fact that once the symptoms begin, you seek medical advice. If you already have a diagnosis, it’s very important to follow your physician instructions and recommendations.

Don’t rush the recovery! Get plenty of rest, and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. If a cough is preventing you to sleep or rest, talk to your doctor. If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, you will need to finish the whole dosage recommended. Your recovery time will depend on the type of pneumonia, but have in mind that we are talking about a period that could go from 2 to 4 weeks before you regain your strength.

There is never a good time to get sick, much less to have something like pneumonia, but if you have already been diagnosed, it’s best for you to take things slowly. Use the opportunity to read a good book, or simply to rest and to recharge your batteries.

Back Pain, as common as uncomfortable

While 80% of all Americans will experience low back pain at least once in their lives, back pain in general it’s also considered one of the main reasons for work absences and doctor visits.

But, why is it so common? Well, we are made of muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments, and discs. If we have problems with any of these components, the back pain may appear.  It is important to know that sometimes it’s just impossible to determine the cause of that pain, but what matters in this cases is to find treatment and professional advice.

According to experts, back pain could affect adults between 35 and 55 years old, and as we said before, it could be reflective of any issues with our structures. However, there are different conditions that might be connected with that discomfort. Osteoarthritis of the spine, osteoporosis, herniated or ruptured discs, and pinched nerves are some of those conditions that should be diagnosed and treated by specialists.

Other possible causes of the terrible back pain that not only affects millions of Americans, but also constitutes the leading cause of disability in people younger than 45, are strains, muscle spasms, sciatica, poor posture, and stress…yes, stress can lead to muscle tension in your back, and although it seems incredible, anxiety and depression can make worse the pain, so if you already have that horrible pain, take it easy, rest, and breathe.

Then, what’s the first thing we should do when we first experience that back pain? Think about possible causes to determine if it could be an injury, a posture issue, or something else. Having an idea could help you to make a decision about the next step.

If besides that discomfort you also present other symptoms like numbness, swelling, pain down the legs, fever, weight loss or urinary incontinence, it’s time to visit your doctor.  Also, have in mind that if you have or had cancer, if you have immune systems problems, or are less than 20 and more than 55 years, you too should go to your doctor as soon as the first back pain symptoms appear.

If the pain is persistent for more than 4 weeks, or it doesn’t improve after a couple of days of rest, ice and common pain relievers, it’s better to get a doctor’s opinion. Don’t underestimate the pain and its relative normality. Nobody has to get used to living in pain.

They take you everywhere! Your feet also deserve to be cared for

They are not very popular, and if it were not because they can wear wonderful shoes, very few people would really notice them. The feet are perhaps one of the least appreciated parts of our body, and ironically, they are in charge of one of the most important tasks of all, that of taking us everywhere.

So, besides the regular and usual hygiene routine, what should we do to ensure that our feet are always ready for us?

To start with, we have to be conscious about the big job they do. Our feet take hundreds of tons of force of impact every single day, while we walk. It means that they are in constant risk of injuries. Actually, the feet are most likely to get injured than any other part of the body, so it’s up to you how you protect them.

Let’s talk about the shoes. While men try to wear whatever is comfortable, women are a little more special about their shoe selection. Is not about comfort, but about style, and style could be painful! Think about those beautiful red shoes, with 6 inches high heels and reduced triangular tip.

“That platform helps”, you say, but, does it? After a work day, with meetings, a business lunch and maybe a happy hour, your feet end up more than exhausted. You know it, you actually feel it…they are sore!

Avoid flip-flops because they don’t provide arch support, and tight shoes should be definitely out of your rack.

Experts say that every person should alternate the shoes every day, not only to give them some air, but also to avoid the risk of infections, or foot odor.

Talking about some air, if you have a “smelly” problem, don’t hide it, it’s better to fight it! Washing your feet regularly with water and soap should do it. If it’s not enough, try mixing some water with vinegar and soak them in there. Remember that you have to clean the area between the toes, and always let them dry perfectly, before wearing socks or shoes.

As any other part of your skin, your feet will need moisturizer. Choose a gentle body lotion or cream and use it daily. Last but not least, be cautious about salon pedicures. If you are a diabetic patient, talk to your doctor before having a pedicure, and if you want to try a new salon, make sure that they clean properly not only the instruments but the tubs. Fungus and bacteria are very common in those places and they could be your feet worse enemies.

What we learned from Irma

There is a saying that from every tragedy we learn, that from the dark moments, always a light is born. Did we learn the lessons from Irma?

The destructive and monstrous hurricane announced its presence, took its time, and came to us, and even though we knew it was coming, many people decided to ignore the warnings of the authorities.

Yes, we have seen dozens of hurricanes, we have heard the warnings and at the end of the day, things are not as bad as they were pictured, right? But how is it possible to know how strong it will beat us? Reality is that we don’t know. Mother nature is always unpredictable.

We know now that the communications and electrical infrastructures around us are vulnerable, and some would say even weak. If you think that has nothing to do with you, it actually has!

When we know that after a storm we could lose basic services like water and electricity, we have to be ready and prepared to face that situation. Some thought that as usually happens, the regular canned food and extra couple of bottles of water would be enough. But they were not.

The long lines in front of almost empty supermarkets are proof of it. The fear of thousands of families for not being able to get their medicines or basic foods for their kids are proof of it.

Irma showed us that enough is not what we think. Irma showed us that optimism should not be confused with neglect. Irma showed us that what at first sight seems to be “just rain”, is not. That rain paralyzed thousands of families, thousands of businesses, thousands of people who had to stay at home, without working and not being able to earn a dime for days. They probably didn’t lose their roofs or their walls, but they lose the services that make those roofs and walls habitable.

Irma showed us that a couple of hours are enough to change the lives of whole cities for months. Irma showed us that we have to be humble before mother nature.

Memory is fragile, but it’s important that we keep these lessons alive and in mind.