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4 Ways Diet Affects Your Mind and Body

4 Ways Diet Affects Your Mind

Article Written by Paige Johnson from Learnfit.org; Edited by Kelly Gibson.

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4 Ways Diet Affects our Mind and tips to control our food choices. #mentalhealth #mindset

You’re probably already aware that the food you eat affects your weight. Healthy, low-calorie foods may help you lose excess pounds or maintain a fit figure, while processed foods high in sodium and sugar might make you pack on the pounds. It’s wise to enjoy unhealthy food and beverages in moderation, but not just because they impact your weight. Here are four surprising areas of your life that can benefit or suffer from your dietary choices.

 

Emotions

Mental illness is common in the United States. Approximately 44 million adults have a mental health condition, and many children also battle at least one form of mental illness. Some mental health conditions are triggered by genetic or environmental factors, but did you know that food also affects your mood? Even if you don’t have an existing mental health condition, your dietary habits may make you cranky, depressed, or anxious. So what’s safe, and what should you avoid? It’s generally best for people to consume fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as whole, sprouted grains, legumes, natural oils, and nutrient-dense seeds. Grains and high-glycemic fruits should be balanced with protein-packed foods (think nuts, nut butters, beans, hemp seeds) to avoid a blood sugar crash from excess carbohydrate consumption.

Here are some foods to limit or avoid completely if you want to protect your emotional health:

  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Artificial colors and flavors
  • High-sodium foods

It takes discipline to avoid eating these common and addicting ingredients.  Having discipline means choosing your emotional health over your cravings. Some people may also need to avoid common foods associated with internal inflammation, such as gluten. Your doctor or a licensed nutritionist can review your current diet and let you know if it’s a good idea to change anything. Remember to choose health first!

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Discipline is choosing what you want MOST over what you want NOW. It takes discipline to avoid eating these common and addicting ingredients/foods. #discipline #healthylife

Sleep Schedule

Do you struggle to fall asleep at night? Or perhaps you have no trouble falling asleep, but you find it difficult to wake up, even after a full night of rest? These are common complaints from people who do not consume nutritious foods on a regular basis. That’s because there is a potential link between sleep issues and poor dietary habits. Even if you eat well, you may notice you feel more tired than usual after you consume certain foods. L-tryptophan is an amino acid that raises serotonin levels in your brain. When this occurs, you feel sleepy or relaxed, which can disrupt your sleep cycle. Here are some foods that contain this amino acid (thus you should avoid):

  • Turkey
  • Cheese
  • Red meat
  • Chicken

Animal based foods like turkey, cheese, red meat, and chicken also lack glucose which is the primary energy source for the brain - I recommend avoiding these foods. You may also experience fatigue if you eat too much of a specific food, even if it’s a healthy plant-based food like tofu, nuts and seeds. This is because your body has to work hard to digest the food and distribute the nutrients throughout your body. Limit these.

 

Mental Clarity

Do you ever find it difficult to focus on work, school, or household chores? Your diet might be the culprit. One recent study found that poor dietary habits may impact cognitive health. Some researchers believe that eating fried food can increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

On a positive note, it may be possible to prevent or even reverse the effects of a bad diet. Here are some brain-friendly foods to incorporate into your diet:

  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Dark Chocolate (look for vegan options)
  • Acai berries
  • Coconut oil

Pay attention to how your body feels after you consume different foods. You may notice other foods help or hurt your memory.

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Find out the #1 Food that Causes Brain Fog by clicking the image above for my related post.

 

Social Life

The foods you eat or avoid can have a major impact on your social life. Depending on your lifestyle, this can be a positive or negative experience. A poor social life can result in poor emotional health and a negative mindset. For example, if you avoid foods with refined sugar and wheat, you may find it difficult to dine out with friends. If you live a vegan lifestyle, you may notice friends no longer extend invitations to barbecues or birthday parties.

Luckily, there’s an easy solution for this issue. If you don’t want to change your diet, just make sure you arrive prepared for social functions. Let friends know that you don’t mind bringing a gluten-free dessert or vegan appetizer to their party. You can also host potluck parties at your home so that everyone can eat something they enjoy. Your dietary choices can tilt the scale in either direction, but they also impact other areas of your life. Think carefully about the foods you consume so that you can protect your mind. Diet affects your emotional health, mental clarity, sleep schedule, and social life.

I hope you enjoyed learning about the 4 ways diet affects your mindset, so please subscribe and share!

 

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Ultimate Ab Workouts for Women

Ultimate Ab Workouts for Women

If you want the absolute toughest and most effective abdominal exercises around, you need to check this out! These are the absolute best ab workouts for women who want to lose weight.  Kelly Athletics was offered an interview, and I (Kelly Gibson) was then featured in The Active Times for my expertise in Weight Loss Training for women.  During the interview, I was asked the following questions pertaining to my knowledge about core training exercises for women who want to lose weight and targeted ab exercises for fast results.

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#AbWorkouts for Women who want to #LoseWeight! Learn #topsecret tips for #FatLoss!

Here are the Questions I answer in the The Active Times ab workouts for women article:

1.       Is it more difficult for women to eventually get a 6-pack? How so?

2.       What is the biggest difference between men and women when it comes to ab muscles? (Is it that women have more fat?)

3.       Realistically speaking, how fast can an average women – someone with a 9-5 job who works out 3-4 times a week – can expect to see a 6-pack?

4.       I read about a Pilates trick of pulling the belly button in ensuring that you're working the deepest ab muscle. Is that really a thing?

5.       Do you recommend exercises that hit the entire core or just the ab muscles?

6.       How often should women work out the midsection in order to get fit and avoid injuries?

7.       What’s your favorite, or most effective exercise, in your opinion for the abs?

8.       Can you describe a few abs exercises you often have clients do? And why those?

9.       What are the best, and/or hardest exercises specifically targeting the upper abs, obliques, and lower abs?

10.   What other exercises or diet changes should women combine an ab workout for quicker results?

11.   Do you recommend crunches and situps? Why?

 

If you want to hear my professional opinion on these topics and get answers to any of the questions, definitely check out the article below and be sure to check out the awesome slideshow!

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If you want to get 6-pack abs, we share exactly what you need to do to get shredded fast with Ultimate Ab Workouts! Click the image above for the full article.

 

Written by Kelly Gibson, Online Personal Trainer | NASM Certified, 5 years of experience | Sign up Here

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Do You Hate Cardio? You’ll Want to Read This…

"I Hate Cardio - What Can I do?"

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Do you hate cardio and dread running on the treadmill? You might want to read this blog to find out how to exercise for weight loss with minimal to no cardio at all! #ihatecardio

If you hate cardio it's really NO PROBLEM because there are ways around it. I'm about to tell you exactly what to do! Read on...

 

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Do you hate cardio? You're in luck! Click to View Larger Image.

It’s time to get in shape again!  You might be wondering what in the world you can do to squeeze into last year’s wardrobe.  And now you want to figure out how you can fit into a smaller size,but you're thinking "I Hate Cardio!".  The easy answer would be to eat healthy and work out!  But you hate cardio!! And it’s more complicated than that.

You don’t have to run 5 miles a day to get fit.  In fact, you don’t have to run at all!  You can maximize your results by doing resistance training and as little as 10 minutes of low intensity cardio per day.  This could mean brisk walking or light pedaling on the stationary bike.  Why 10 minutes?   Well 5-minutes of cardio to warm-up for your workout and 5 more minutes to cool-down.  Phew!  For those who hate cardio, this is a relief, huh!

The fact is, cardiorespiratory exercise burns a lot of calories during your workout, but it does not boost your metabolism post-workout.  Upon completing a cardio workout, your heart rate can drop back to its resting state within minutes to make up for your oxygen deficit.  If you are lacking lean muscle mass, forget about relying on your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) for shedding fat.

With resistance training, not only do you build lean muscle mass to increase your RMR but there is a higher EPOC or “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” which will increase your metabolism for the next 36-48 hours while your muscle tissues are recovering.  During EPOC, your body is metabolizing additional nutrients, replenishing glycogen stores, and reloading depleted oxygen stores.  The higher your workout intensity, the longer your EPOC lasts.

Key Takeaways:

Get away with doing only 10 minutes low intensity cardio.

Do strength training as your primary workout.

Increase your Resting Metabolic Rate.

Conclusion: 

So, get out your resistance bands, your dumbbells or medicine balls and start a strength training program.  If you are unsure where to begin, hire a Personal Trainer to take out the guess work.  Your summer beach body will appreciate the hard work!

If you think "I hate cardio", but are looking for a Personal Trainer that can make cardio more fun (or totally exclude cardio altogether), contact me.

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