We think of building healthy behaviors or increasing productivity as a matter of willpower. We seek knowledge and goal setting skills to make the desired change. With determination and discipline, we may succeed, at least for days or even months—but more than often, we fall off course. The common assumption is that our day-to-day decisions are conscious choices. But our ability to make informed decisions that control our behavior is fundamentally limited. Psychology and neuroscience suggest that most of our actions are borne out of habit—they are reflexive, instinctive, and occur outside the awareness of our conscious mind. And if we pit one against the other, our thinking minds are no match for our automatic habits.
Named by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the concept of “flow” has existed for thousands of years in different forms. When you are in the flow, you are fully immersed and energized by what you are doing. In sports, performing at that point where natural skills and peak performance align is called “being in the zone.” And in ancient Chinese philosophy, when your body is in harmony between opposing Yin and Yang forces, you have an optimal flow of the vital energy called “Qi.”
The weight that you gain this holiday season is likely to remain until the summer months, or beyond, according to a recent letter published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Across three different countries, researchers found that while up to half of holiday weight gain is lost shortly after the holidays, half remains for months later.
Fall is here. That means it’s pumpkin season! Time for pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin everything. This season’s most popular food also happens to be packed with nutrients. Yes, the versatile pumpkin has so many health benefits that it can be considered a superfood.
Here are 5 main health benefits of adding pumpkin to your recipes this holiday season.
- Good for weight loss
The time-honored tradition of family meals has been a family cornerstone for generations. Eating meals at home may also be one of the most effective yet decreasingly utilized ways to help your kids get better grades in school and be less likely to drink alcohol or smoke.
Time and money. Both are common reasons people eat out. But contrary to common perception, convenient fast food meals can be more expensive than home cooked meals. And small improvements such as picking more nutritious options among breads, cereals, and packaged foods at the grocery store do not on average cost more.
As a women approaching menopause, you may endure many changes in your body, such as drenching night sweats, mood irritability, and difficulty sleeping.Perhaps the most challenging, however, is the hormonally driven change in your body shape and lean body composition.
With the start of menstrual irregularity, your ovaries progressively make less estrogen and progesterone. In contrast, the amount of androgens, including testosterone, they make is less affected.
The drop in estrogen and the higher relative proportion of testosterone gradually morph your body from being curvy at the hips to being fuller at the waist—until you eventually lose your waistline.
Although short term stress can be advantageous, chronic stress can have the opposite effect. Our bodies are hard wired with a flight-or-flight response to give us a survival advantage. In pre-historic days, that helped us fight or escape from predators. Unlike the acute stress of facing a predator, modern stress is chronic, such as from conflicts at work or at home– and can overload our stress response. In this video, done with the amazing TED-Ed team, you can see how chronic stress can affect your heart, your waistline, and your longevity–and what you can do about it!
Exercise is deservedly considered the best medicine. It can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, lessen your risk of colon and breast cancer, and lower your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. It can also improve your mood, cognitive function, and your fitness in everyday life. But what dose of this medicine do you need to improve your health and live longer?
Conventional wisdom is that more is better. However, scientists do not yet know if there is there is an upper limit to the benefits of exercise, or whether there is a point where it can conversely increase your risk of mortality.
According to a recent report in The Washington Post , the average American woman now weighs as much as the average 1960’s man. The average man isn’t doing any better—having gained nearly 30 pounds since the 1960’s to an average of 195.5 pounds today.
The obesity epidemic has many pointing fingers at the Western lifestyle. A concoction of calorie packed, high fat, high sugar processed foods combined with increasingly sedentary habits, the Western lifestyle seems a sure recipe for obesity.
Whether you are a vegetable lover or a vegetable hater, there is another—and perhaps the most powerful—reason to eat your veggies: chemicals naturally found in plant-based foods, called phytochemicals, can change your DNA.
This so called epigenetic effect of plant foods, in addition to their established antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefit, helps explain why your mother was right when she said eating your fruits and vegetables, rather than processed foods that modify or lack these natural phytochemicals, is good for you.