14 Health Benefits of Fish Oil

Fish oil is just what it sounds like – oil that comes from the tissues of fish! But what’s the big fuss about this weird sounding substance, anyway? The big fuss is that fish oil is a great component of a healthy diet. Fish oils contain many different compounds, but most notably contain the much heralded omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds reduce inflammation throughout the body, giving you many health benefits. It is a nature made supersubstance that can improve your health in many different ways – and you don’t even need a lot of it every day!

But isn’t oil fatty? And isn’t omega-3 fatty acids…well, fat? Yes, but this just goes to prove that not all fats are created equal – some are actually healthy for you!

One thing to note: not all concentrated fish oils are created equal. Though it’s a natural product, it still goes through some manufacturing stages in order for it to be fit for human consumption. Thus, you want to go for the best fish oil you can buy – high potency material that will not have any nasty side effects. Don’t go for the cheap stuff! For instance, the oil of some fish is also riddled with toxins, so you’ll want to have FDA rated fish oil. You may want to do your research and find reviews before committing to one product.

In addition, you can get these fish oil supplements in many different forms. From capsules and pills, tables and softgels, and even in liquid form, fish oil can be obtained in whatever variety that fits best into your lifestyle and tastes. And don’t worry – they are all pretty much the same, so the benefits of fish oil pills will be the same as those for capsules and other forms.

Anyway, what are these benefits of fish oil? Read on for fourteen of the many ways incorporating fish oil can improve the quality (and quantity!) of your life.

  1. As stated above, fish oil is anti-inflammatory, so it will reduce inflammation wherever it appears in the body. This will then help those who have joint issues, for example, as much of the pain and discomfort associated with this is due to the increased inflammation in the body. This can help reduce pain and discomfort throughout the body.
  2. Another popular benefit is fish oil’s weight loss properties. If you are looking to burn fat, you may be wondering how eating fat will help. While all the reasons are still unknown, scientists do know that the fish oil prevents the formation some of the new fat cells in the body. In addition, if you are working out heavily, such as by lifting weights, the fish oil will help reduce the severity of post-workout soreness.
  3. Fish oil can actually slow the growth of tumors, most notably breast cancer tumors. In addition, fish oil can reduce the chances of developing colon and prostate cancer as well.
  4. Fish oil can also make your skin look great by keeping it hydrated and lowering the formation of acne and wrinkles.
  5. Fish oil will have amazing effects on your cardiovascular health. For instance, it lowers your cholesterol and triglyceride counts. This can help prevent cardiovascular issues such as blockages and and heart disease. You’ll thus have a lower chance for a deadly or debilitating heart attack or stroke.
  6. Certain digestive diseases may be treated by fish oil. Those suffering from Crohn’s disease and colitis may see some relief from this product.
  7. Some have even suggested the benefits of fish oil for those suffering from HIV and AIDS!
  8. If you have ulcers, fish oil may help reduce inflammation and increase your immunity. In fact, your immune system in general will get a boost from these products.
  9. Other people in your family will also benefit from the substance. Fish oil is safe for kids, and it’s also very healthy and safe for your dogs too! So don’t hold back with the fish oil for all. Obviously, this assumes you are using pure, high quality fish oil – don’t skimp, here!
  10. Fish oil also has mental health benefits – it can improve your mood and even help treat depression. It works by aiding the transmission of serotonin through the body; when this hormone is low, depression may result. Even those with serious mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder, may see some benefits from this substance. And the side effects of fish oil will of course be much more mild than the effects of nasty pharmaceutical drugs! Some studies have also suggested that fish oil can prevent the incidence of schizophrenia.
  11. Fish oil may help improve vision as well.
  12. Indeed, the substance may even help those with Alzheimer’s, and it can help prevent the occurrence of this terrible malady. Thus, fish oil is great for improving and protecting brain function. For instance, pregnant mothers who take fish oil regularly may help the developing intelligence and brain of their unborn children.
  13. For those who are more grown up, the benefits of fish oil for their brain function are not to be outdone – for instance, your focus may increase when taking this substance. Kids who are having trouble with ADD or ADHD may thus benefit from this substance as well.
  14. Don’t forget that there are many other oils, such as flaxseed oil, that may provide similar and other benefits, so make sure to eat your supplements, take your vitamins, and eat a balanced diet.

These are just a sampling of the many benefits of this product. In short, fish oil truly is as close to a “miracle” as you can get in the health field. Make sure to take the right dosage and enjoy!

I Need to Lose 100 Pounds! 16 Ways to Reshape Your Body

If you are very overweight or obese, your body is crying out for help. It’s systems are overtaxed by the extra weight, and every part of your body is suffering, from the circulatory system to your brain and everything in between. Thus, losing that weight, even if you lost only a decent sized chunk of it, would do wonders for your health. You’d reduce your health risks and feel much better about yourself, inside and out. However, losing this much weight is a great challenge, one that you can meet as long as you have the three Ps – a plan, practices, and persistance. To help get you started on your quest, here are sixteen ways to reshape your body and, as a result, reshape your life:

  1. First, you need to be clear on how many pounds you have to lose. You should then write down your goal in a book; let’s say, for the sake of this article, that you’re looking to drop 100 pounds. Then, write down on paper, “I need to lose 100 pounds.” Do this every day when you wake up in the morning; this will get you focused on your goal throughout the day.
  2. Next, you need to set your time frame. How long do you have to lose the weight? For instance, if you have a wedding in a year to attend, you can set a reasonable goal to that point. In general, longer is better; if you want to know how to lose 100 pounds in 6 months, you’ll have to go to more extremes than if you have a year. Losing 100 pounds in a week, futher, is impossible. In general, it’s better to set longer term goals, goals that you can maintain over your lifetime.
  3. Next, figure out the first P – the plan. You’ll need to be as specific as possible with your diet and exercise regime. If you settle on vague goals, you will almost definitely not succeed.
  4. For your diet, for example, figure out how many calories you’re going to shoot for in a day. Figure out how many meals you’re going to eat (the more, the better, say around 5 to 6) and then schedule in when you will eat them. For instance, you can eat a sound breakfast when you wake up, a midmorning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner, and then an evening snack. This would be the perfect balance to get you through your day.
  5. Next, figure out the foods you’ll be eating. Though you are eating 6 meals, they’re more like 6 snacks. You’re going to have to get used to smaller portions, ones that leave you satisfied, not “full.” You should never get too hungry or too full; both are signs that something has gone wrong.
  6. The next step in how to lose 100 pounds is to plan out your exercise regime. Make sure you schedule out the EXACT times and days that you work out, and the particular workouts that you do. These workouts don’t have to be long and intense at first – break yourself in, especially if you’ve been sedentary for a while. As you get going, you can then increase the intensity and the duration. In general, however, more intense, shorter workouts are more effective than long, rambling ones any day.
  7. Cardio should be the base of your workouts – treadmills, bikes, skating, sports, etc. You should also include plenty of weight training to keep your muscles strong, and add flexibility to help prevent injury. You may also like Yoga, Pilates, or any other class. Whatever you enjoy and whatever keeps you motivated is what you should do.
  8. After planning, your next P is “practices.” What this means, simply, is building habits, routines, and ‘rituals’ into your daily life to keep you going. We all have limited willpower, so you’ll need to make things automatic, like habits, if you ever want to make them stick. Make sure to do the same things day in, day out, in order to get this habit entrenched in your brain.
  9. The third P is persistence. You’ll have bad days, days where you want to quit, and days where the cravings and laziness are overwhelming. Even if you slip one day or even one week, don’t give up! Keep moving forward, one day at at time.
  10. Keep records of your progress so that you can see how well you’re doing through the program. The more you monitor your progress, the more you’ll be motivated to keep going. Plus, you’ll also know if your weight loss program is working. Don’t get too obssessed with stats, of course.
  11. Don’t make your life about deprivation – have your favorite treats every once in a while, making sure to keep the serving sizes modest, of course.
  12. A cheat day every once in a while isn’t bad either – it can restart your metabolism which may be slowing down if you aren’t eating enough.
  13. To that end, don’t starve yourself! This will only set you back and make you miserable. Make sure you eat plenty of food, but enough so that you’re satisifed but below your caloric requirements for the day.
  14. Don’t neglect eating healthy. Make sure to eat a balanced diet with the nutrients your body needs to flourish.
  15. Get plenty of rest – you’ll lose weight while you’re sleeping, and you’ll rest up from your exercise program.
  16. Don’t lose weight too fast. During the first two weeks you will lose a ton of water weight, so don’t be alarmed to see huge weight losses. However, in later weeks you don’t want to lose weight too fast. What ‘too fast’ means will depend on each person and on your starting weight. For this reason, it’s good to have a doctor monitor your progress, especially when you have to lose a huge amount of weight like this.

Any more ways? Leave them in the comments!

17 Ways to Stop Snoring

The sleepless nights are probably getting to you by now – what you wouldn’t give to have your partner stop snoring so that you can actually get some shut eye! Snoring is one of the biggest complaints that married couples and living partners have, as not getting the sleep you need can totally disrupt your life. It is also quite common – 40% of men and 25% of women snore. The problem usually appears or gets worse as people get older. It is indeed annoying, of course, but snoring can also have significant consequences for your health, daily life, and even your relationship.

Luckily, since this is such a common problem, there are plenty of potential solutions that can help reduce snoring and give you and your partner the relief you need. Here are some tips and ways to stop snoring, solutions that will help you if you implement them right now:

  1. First, rule out any medical problems, like sleep apnea, that might be causing the snoring. Most snoring is medically harmless, but in some instances it could be a sign of a more serious issues. Have the snorer see his or her doctor to determine overall health – they may need to get medications or other treatment to help clear up this more serious underlying problem.
  2. Get some help. There are plenty of info products out there that can help you stop snoring. For instance, this e-book will teach you how to stop snoring naturally.
  3. There are many causes for snoring, and with many causes comes different remedies. For instance, your body may be simply constructed in such a way as to maximize snoring – there’s little you can do about this except understand and compensate for it. Most of the time, however, snoring is caused by floppy tissue in the respiratory cavities that vibrates. You (or your partner) should keep track of your snoring habits to help narrow down the how to stop snoring remedies and methods that will work best for your situation. For instance, is your mouth closed or open? Do you snore only when you are on your back, or when you are in any position? Information like this can help you and your doctor figure out the best cures for you.
  4. Perhaps the best way to stop snoring – or at least reduce its effects for the non-snoring partner – is to have the snorer sleep in another room. Obviously, this is not an ideal solution for either the snorer or the relationship, but it can be a good fall-back idea until you can fix the problem.
  5. One of the best ways to stop snoring (for real, this time) is to treat it naturally. Sometimes, simply being overweight or unhealthy can make snoring worse or be the ultimate cause of it. Thus, if the snorer is overweight, he or she should try to lose weight through proper diet and exercise. This will help reduce weight and take pressure off the airway, circulatory system, and respiratory system; this helps the snorer by clearing his or her airways. It will also help them sleep more deeply and potentially treat underlying conditions like sleep apnea. These natural ways to stop snoring are preferred over many of the artificial products and methods out there because these ways treat the underlying issues that cause snoring. Using a special mouth guard, ring, or pillow may help reduce snoring, but it could also cause more serious health problems to go untreated.
  6. Sometimes sleep position matters – if you sleep on your back, you are more likely to snore. Thus, try sleeping on your side to reduce the chances of snoring.
  7. You can also try propping up your head to take pressure off your respiratory system.
  8. One easy home remedy is to use a humidifier to help keep the air moist – sometimes dry air can exacerbate snoring.
  9. Certain medications and drugs may increase your chances of snoring. For example, tranquilizers and alcohol will relax the muscles around your jaw, neck, and throat, potentially leading to snoring. You should not have to depend on these medications and drugs to make you fall asleep, so you may need to go to a sleep clinic and/or see your doctor to address these sleeping issues.
  10. Allergies may also be a problem – if your nose and airways are clogged, it could put pressure on your breathing, leading to snoring as air rushes through these restricted pathways. Get these allergies treated to help alleviate the snoring.
  11. There are certain devices out there that can help reduce your snoring by positioning your mouth in a particular way to help keep some tension throughout your jaw and neck. One of these devices is a mouthpiece or mouth guard that you wear while sleeping.
  12. If you smoke, stop. There are of course many reasons to stop this that are more serious than snoring, but smoking can contribute to breathing problems like snoring.
  13. Improve your sleeping habits. Go to bed and get up at the same time, and create a nighttime routine to help calm you down and get you ready for bed. Your goal is restful sleep, and you shouldn’t have to rely on sleep aids to do it. Don’t drink caffeine and alcohol or consume large meals before bed. Stay away from dairy products around this time too.
  14. You can also do certain throat exercises to help stop snoring. If you’d like a good primer for learning these exercises, check out this product. These exercises help you to strengthen your throat, mouth, and neck muscles, thus removing tension and lowering snoring. These exercises include saying all the vowels (a e i o u) for three minutes throughout the day, moving your tongue around, pursing your lips, and contracting the back of your throat. Do these exercises throughout the day for a total time of 30 minutes.
  15. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct physical defects that may cause the snoring. These surgeries include Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty (TAP), tonsillectomy, and adenoidectomy. There may also be other medical interventions that can help – again, that’s why it’s so important to see your doctor for more information.
  16. You could also try to support the jaw by using an anti-snoring chin strap.
  17. Dryness, as discussed above, can make snoring worse, so you can also try using a spray to lubricate the throat to help lower the vibrations throughout your nasal cavities.

Got any more ways? Leave them in the comments!

17 Health Benefits of Drinking Water

The human body is made up of mostly water – aynwhere from 55% to 78% by weight – so the health benefits of drinking water should be obvious. Your brain consists of 90% water, your blood 83%, and your muscles 75%, so what do you think will happen if you are dehydrated? Your body will work less optimally than it can, putting you at a disadvantage in every sphere of your life – living, breathing, working, and playing.

Despite this knowledge, however, many of us do not drink enough water throughout the day. We drink plenty of coffee and sodas that contain caffeine, a compound that can help dehydrate us, but we drink very little fruit juice and almost no water. This is especially important if we are at all active throughout the day – the more your body does, the more calories it burns, and the more water you need to fuel working muscles.

If the importance of water is not clear to you from the above description, here are seventeen benefits of drinking water daily. Hopefully these facts will encourage you to add more water to your routine. Overall, you’ll want to shoot for 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. You can drink them both in and between meals. Add more water to your diet if you are very active, especially if you are doing intense cardio, sports, and strength training. Here are only a fraction of the many benefits you’ll experience by adding a lot of water to your daily diet:

  1. On the most basic level, water helps transport oxygen and nutrients throughtout your body; it also helps the organs absorb these nutrients. Having plenty of water will help give you the energy you’ll need to work, play, and get through the day.
  2. Water helps aid digestion and metabolism. If you are having any digestive issues, or problem with a slow or faulty metabolism, drinking enough pure water can help smooth out some of the difficulties. It is thus a key component of any nutrition plan.
  3. Water is also important for helping your body detoxify – in other words, rid itself of toxins and pollutants. This is one reason why it’s important to drink purified water that you know will be safe to drink and not continue to add toxins to your system.
  4. If you have joint problems, water may help, as it lubricates those areas. Water can also help your body repair and recover after an injury or illness.
  5. If you are trying to lose weight, you’ll need to drink. In fact, drinking water to lose weight is a viable strategy! Drinking water will help you control your hunger and appetite, and it will also help flush away fat. Drinking water will also help you lose water weight, as your body will not hold on to its water stores so tightly as it does when you are eating lots of salt with little water.
  6. If you are having headaches, drinking water may relieve the problem.
  7. Water helps reduce the risks and effects of diseases like cancer, heart disease, obesity, kidney and liver problems, and more. It also gives a boost to your immune system to help protect you against germs and viruses.
  8. Water increases your energy and focus levels so that you can get more done and enjoy your life with less stress.
  9. If you are dehydrated, your physical performance in sports and exercise will suffer. To play and work at your highest potential, you’ll need to drink all the water you can.
  10. Drinking water can also help protect your teeth against plaque and cavities. Tap water contains fluoride, a compound that is added to the water to help preserve your teeth.
  11. If you have cramps, water can reduce them. In fact, many cramps are caused by dehydration in the first place!
  12. Having plenty of water will make your skin look smooth, youthful, and healthy.
  13. Some waters are fortified with other vitamins and minerals, so drinking these can be a good way to bolster your body’s functions.
  14. The symptoms of dehydration can be annoying to severe. You’ll obviously feel both hungry and thirsty when you’re without water. Your urine will turn a dark color, your skin and throat will dry out, and you could get headaches, constipation, and fatigue. The problems inside could be worse – kidney issues, irregular blood pressure, and more. If you go without water for a few days, you can get very ill, and even die. This just further underscores the drinking water benefits discussed above!
  15. Note: the source of the water, and how you drink it, ultimately don’t matter that much. It really doesn’t matter whether your drink hot, warm, or cold matter – except for how pleasurable it may be – or whether you get it from a spring, nature, company or in bottled, tap, or dispenser form.
  16. One good habit to build is starting your day by imbibing lots of water. Drinking twenty ounces of water right when you wake up the morning will help freshen you up and supply your cells with much needed H2O – they’ve been thirsty for hours while you’ve been asleep!
  17. If you are having trouble drinking plain water, there are many things you can do to help make it go down easier. First, experiment with different kinds of water until you find the best drinking water for you. Try distilled water if you want to go with the purest kind you can get – though drinking distilled water benefits may be a little lower due to the absensce of important minerals like fluoride. You can drink the water with lemon or other flavors added. If worse comes to worse, you can drink sweetened beverages (without caffeine), but don’t forget that you’ll also be taking in empty calories, so don’t make this a habit. You’ll still enjoy the benefits of drinking water regardless of the form you take it in.

12 Natural Ways to Whiten Teeth

Over time, teeth begin to lose thair natural white color. Bad habits, bad food and drink, and simple age can all conspire to mar your otherwise pearly whites. Recently, teeth whitening has gained in popularity as people have artificially reversed this process.

If you want to whiten your teeth, you probably know the standard options: go to the dentist and get the work done professionally, or use nasty home products that are no fun to work with, especially if you have sensitive teeth. If you are tired of these two options, or if you don’t have the budget for them, never fear – here are twelve natural ways to whiten teeth that won’t harm your smile nor lighten your wallet.

Note that you can apply these ways to a single tooth or to all your teeth, depending on your particular needs.

  1. You need to know what kind of stains your dealing with. Stains on the surface of the tooth – extrinsic stains – are caused by foods, drinks, and other factors. Since these are usually confined to the surface, they can usually be removed with the constant application of a natural way to whiten teeth. However, intrinsic stains – those that stem from medical issues – may not repond to this treatment. They will need professional help from a dentist, who may use techniques like laser teeth whitening.
  2. Probably the best way to whiten teeth naturally is to simply brush and floss regularly. Use toothpaste that claims to ‘whiten’ the teeth and brush at least once in the morning and once in the evening. Floss during these times as well. By doing this, you’ll set a nice foundation for oral health, one that will help bring out the natural white color of your teeth. Easy!
  3. Take some baking soda and brush it into your teeth. Rinse it off. The baking soda will help remove stains from coffee, tea, red wine, and aging that make your teeth every color in the rainbow except for white. This is like what you get at the dentist’s office, but if you know how to apply it yourself, you can get this treatment any time.
  4. Mix a little hydrogen peroxide with equal parts water and rinse with it. Do this at least once a day. This powerful chemical will help whiten your teeth while also killing bacteria that are the cause of many dental health issues. You can also try mixing in a little Listerine to improve the taste and kill more bacteria.
  5. How about the best of both worlds – mix both peroxide and baking soda to form a toothpaste. Only use this once in a while, though – it’s so powerful that it can remove both stains and tooth enamel fast. Keep it as the ‘big gun’ in your teeth whitenting arsenal.
  6. Try mixing lemon juice and baking soda. Also use this one only rarely, as the acidity of the lemon juice can hurt your teeth if applied too often.
  7. Combine a strawberry and baking soda to form a very fruity toothpaste. Apply it to your teeth, let it sit for a few minutes, and then brush your teeth, removing all traces of the berry.
  8. Some foods can also help you keep your teeth whitened. For instance, eating an apple after a meal is a great way to cleanse your teeth if you don’t have the chance to immediately brush.
  9. There is also plenty of tooth whitening gum products out there that claim to help whiten teeth. Whether or not these actually work isn’t clear, but it can’t hurt to chew a piece or two after you eat a meal if you can’t brush.
  10. Make lifestyle changes. If there are any things you do regularly – like drink coffee or smoke – that contribute to the stains, try to avoid them as much as possible. In addition, eat a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables to give your body and teeth the nutrients they need to be as healthy as can be.
  11. Before trying any of these methods, do your research to find the risks and benefits of each. For some, leaving them on too long or applying them incorrectly can cause serious and long term damage to your teeth. Always check with a dentist or other professional before attempting these ways.
  12. Of course, you could always try those home products like strips and gels that purport to whiten your teeth. Before using any of these products, check with your dentist and find reviews online to make sure the product is both safe and effective.

What Are the Health Benefits of Cranberry Juice?

We all know that we need to eat plenty of servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, but who has the time and ability to consistently do this? One way to increase your intake of fruits is to drink juice, and one of the best juices to drink to improve your health is cranberry juice.

The Cranberry is a “Superfruit”

Cranberries are well known to be one of the ‘superfruits’ that provide amazing health benefits to those who consume them regularly. In fact, nearly any ‘berry’ will offer benefits to those who consume them beyond the caloric and nutritive aspects.

What makes cranberry juice so healthy is the mixture of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other healthy chemicals that it contains. The vitamins and minerals ensure the proper functioning of the body. Antioxidants provide numerous health benefits throughout the body. They combat ‘free radicals’ that are the main cause of inflammation and cancers. Antioxidants thus have a strong anti-inflammatory, anti-bacteria, and anti-cancer effect.

Aside from these compounds, cranberry juice also contains “phytochemicals,” compounds that help the body in a myriad of ways. For example, some of the phytochemicals in this drink attack breast cancer cells and reduce the progress of aging throughout the body.

The basic chemistry of cranberry juice also contributes to its health power. Cranberry juice is very acidic – this creates an inhospitable environment for nasty bugs and germs to grow, helping to keep your body clear of infection and illnes. In addition, cranberry juice contains plenty of water, keeping your body hydrated and operating at its peak.

So What’s the Payoff?

All of this adds up to numerous health benefits of cranberry juice for the regular drinker. The antioxidants, fiber, and phytochemicals can help protect your heart against heart disease and can guard your body against cancer. For men and for women, this drink can help clear infections in the urinary tract, bladder, and kidney, as well as in other places throughout the body.

The vitamins and minerals in the beverage also help. The vitamin C in the beverage helps keep your immune system strong, and the acidic and antioxidant components help break down and prevent the formation of kidney stones. Some manufacturers add calcium to the beverage, a mineral that is crucial for keeping your bones and teeth strong.

Older individuals, and those who are under a lot of stress, can also get relief from peptic and stomach ulcers by drinking this juice.

Cranberry juice can also give you benefits for your teeth! Drinking this beverage regularly can help reduce the formation of plaque and gum disease in your mouth. The acidity of the beverage, along with its other components, also helps kill and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth.

Some Warnings

One of the reasons people don’t drink cranberry and other juices regularly is the taste. Pure juice can be tart and bitter, so many will mix it with other juices to moderate the flavor a bit. In fact, some brands of cranberry juice are already cut with other juices – as long as the juice contains 30% cranberries compared to 70% other fruits, you’ll still enjoy all the health benefits of the drink.

Others get these juices with added sugars – this is not a good idea. Note that, like all juices, a sweetened and an unsweetened version of this beverage exists. The unsweeted version is 100% pure cranberry juice, while the sweetened version of the beverage contains added sugars. While this may make the beverage taste better, it actually hurts its nutrional profile in two ways. First, you take in empty and unnecessary calories by drinking that added sugar, increasing your weight and expanding your fat stores, leading to further health problems down the line. Second, you get less of the 100% juice that you need, as it has been ‘diluted’ to an extent, and thus don’t get the concentrated benefits of cranberry juice. Of course, if the choice is between sweetened cranberry juice and soda, go with the juice, as it still contains some of the healthy compounds and antioxidants that will keep your body strong.

Getting Cranberry Juice

Drink one to three 8 oz. glasses of this beverage a day to enjoy the maximum benefits. You can purchase regular brands of cranberry juice, like Ocean Spray, or you can buy organic varieties. Indeed, many people try to go on a cranberry juice diet to help them lose weight. While this may be effective, those trying this diet should be careful, as the beverage does contain sugar. As with any beverage, drink it in moderation – drinking two gallons a day will just make you sick and fat!

I Need to Lose 30 Pounds! 15 Ways to Burn Fat Quickly

“I want to lose 30 pounds!,” you say. Find. So you probably want to know how to lose 30 pounds in 20 months, or 30 pounds in 3 months, right? Have you crunched the numbers? Since it’s all about calories in, calories out, you can figure out how many calories you need to lose during this period, and thus how much food you can eat and how much exercise you should do. As long as you follow the program, you’ll find success, or at least get close to your goal. If you want to know how to lose 30 pounds, here are fifteen ways to do it fast. Use as many of these ways as possible to jump start your progress.

  1. Let’s assume, first, that you want to do this in 2 months, or 60 days. If you want to lose it in longer or shorter, adjust the time, but it will be pretty difficult to lose that much weight in anything shorter than 2 months. In fact, three months is perhaps the most likely, but we’ll use two months for sake of argument.
  2. If you want to lose 30 pounds in 60 days, that means losing one pound every other day. If there are 3500 calories in one pound, that means you’ll have to burn 1750 calories a day to meet this goal. Wow! You have a lot of ahead of you.
  3. If you need to lose 1750 calories, count on burning 1250 calories from your diet and 500 calories from exercise. Let’s look at the diet first. Let’s assume that your body needs 2750 calories a day. This will assume that you are active. If you are not active, and use less than this per day, you will probably not be able to lose weight this quickly. Thus, add a month or two onto your timeline to make the numbers work out better. According to this schedule, you will want to consume about 1500 calories a day.
  4. Note: Don’t starve yourself! You will only undermine your progress, because your body will go into starvation mode and slow down your metabolism, undercutting all of your efforts.
  5. To eat 1500 calories throughout the day without starving, spread your meals out throughout the day. Don’t let yourself get overly hungry, as you will probably succumb to the pressures and end up eating above your quota. Instead, eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day. You could do something like this: 300 calorie breakfast, 150 calorie snack, 400 calorie lunch, 150 calorie snack, 400 calorie dinner, 100 calorie snack. This is 6 balanced meals throughout the day – if you pick the right food choices, you’ll be able to hit these quotas without feeling hungry or famished.
  6. What are the right food choices? Eat plenty of protein at each meal – this is low calorie and will help control your hunger. Focus on fruits and vegetables, as these will keep you full without going over budget. Don’t avoid fats, but since they are high calorie, only eat them sparingly. Stick to natural, fresh food, and avoid anything processed, as that kind of food will probably go over your calorie budget.
  7. Drink plenty of water. This will help flush out the toxins and control your appetite.
  8. Next, mix in exercise. If you need to lose 30 pounds in a short period of time, you won’t do so by not eating right and exercising. According to this schedule, you’ll have to exercise to burn nearly 500 calories a day. This will require you to do two things: a solid cardio session to burn 300-350 calories; a strength training workout to raise your metabolism and burn an extra 100 calories; and heightened activity throughout the day to burn the rest.
  9. For the first, focus on interval and high intensity training. Long, rambling workouts will take forever and not help you meet your caloric goals. Focus on intervals and sprints to get the fat burning.
  10. Mix in strength training as well, also adding in intervals and supersets to up the calorie burn. Make sure to hit every muscle group in your body to get the maximum benefit from the workout.
  11. Since you can’t do strength training everyday – you’ll overtain and lose the benefits or even get injured – substitute Yoga, Pilates, and stretching in for strength training on your ‘rest’ days.
  12. This will not be easy – if you are not 100% committed to this, you will not succeed, as you’ll have to direct all of your waking hours to meeting this goal.
  13. Keep a plan of everything you are doing to ensure that you are hitting all your exercise and caloric goals. A journal or a spreadsheet would work well.
  14. Change the above plan as necessary to lose weight within the time period you are looking at.
  15. Don’t just sit around and expect things to change, even if you make minor changes to your lifestyle. If you just say to yourself, “I need to lose 30 pounds,” and do nothing to get you to that new state, how do you expect success? Thus, follow the above methods. They will be hard to implement, but always keep your mind on the prize and on your timeframe. Perseverance is the name of the game, here.

16 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Acne Fast

Acne sucks, there’s no doubt about it. It can damage our face, but more importantly it damages our self-esteem, self-confidence and self-image. There are plenty of ways to allegedly get rid of acne with medicine, antibiotics, and topical cream, but these may not work for some people, and others may experience nasty side effects that force them to discontinue treatment. Unfortunately, many people are not told how to get rid of acne naturally – they are just given a prescription and told to follow the directions. Wouldn’t it be better to have a natural, non-medication option available?

If you are one of these people who has problems with scientific medicine, or if you’d rather tackle this problem without resorting to medication, you’re in luck – there are some natural ways to get rid of acne that will not come with side effects and will overall be healthier for you and your skin. These methods also will often attack the underlying causes of acne production rather than simply attacking the outward symptoms. You’ll probably have to try a bunch of them to get rid of the pimples and blackheads that you hate, but you’ll eventually find something that works for your body chemistry and that ultimately treats the real causes within your individual system. Some of them will be long-term lifestyle changes that will not necessarily work fast, while others will be quick fixes to help you attack the acne problem now. To that end, make sure you combine both strategies to get the full effect. Here are sixteen ways to get rid of acne as well as some natural ways to get rid of acne scars as a bonus:

  1. Sometimes acne can be caused or made worse by a poor diet. One way to correct this is to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. This will ensure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs, and it may also help your body fight off acne. Certain vitamins and minerals help promote healthy skin, so you want to have plenty on your side. Plus, as an added bonus you’ll get all the health benefits of eating great, too, potentially helping you lose weight and feel better overall.
  2. Make sure you are using the right cleansers. One well regarded product is Burts Bees Natural Acne Solutions. Check it out on Amazon right now for a great method to cleanse your acne.
  3. Get an education. There is plenty of resources out there that can give you the info you need to blow your acne away. Knowledge is power!
  4. Keep your body hydrated. If your body dries out, it may be more likely to form acnes as dying skin clogs pores. Shoot for 8 to 10 cups of water a day to ensure that your body is adequately hydrated.
  5. Don’t put your hands on your face. When you touch your face, you transmit dirt and bacteria, which can only add to the problem. If you have to touch your face for some reason, be sure to wash your hands first.
  6. Natural skin care products may also be helpful, but be careful about using them without thought. Even so-called ‘natural’ products can contain chemicals that interact negatively with your skin chemistry. By all means, experiment with different products to see if any of them can help, but don’t buy into the hype of some of these products. Two products that you could try are Tea tree oil and neem soap. Both of these will treat acne and help heal damage from previous breakouts.
  7. Try some natural supplements to help invigorate your body with natural compounds that will improve your health. Some kinds of supplements that you could try include Manuka honey and maca.
  8. Wash your face. Do this at least twice a day, but not more than three or four. Use warm water, a mild cleanser or natural product, and a soft washcloth. Don’t wash or rub too vigorously, as you don’t want to totally strip the face of its natural oils. If you totally remove all the natural oils, the skin will overproduce them in order to compensate, and this can lead to even worse breakouts. Thus, do this just to remove dirt, oils, and bacteria that accumulate naturally throughout the day.
  9. Get plenty of exercise. Exercise is a panacea, or a cure-all, as you’ll see countless health benefits from doing it regularly. One of these benefits could be a natural way to get rid of acne. Sweating during exercise, for example, will help purge your pores of oil, bacteria, and grime, thus lowering your chances for a breakout. Note, however, that certain exercises may make acne worse or appear in different places. For example, heavy weight lifting in men, associated with increases in hormones like testosterone, may cause breakouts on the upper body. This is no excuse not to exercise, but rather just something to look out for.
  10. Lower your stress. Stress has been noted as a major cause of acne – it’s no coincidence that many teenagers and young adults break out during these times due to the stress increase in their lives. There are many ways to limit your stress, including relaxation and meditation techniques, getting enough sleep, and exercise.
  11. Be careful with tight fitting clothing or accessories. The constant contact between these items and your skin could promote acne breakouts. This is especially important when you are working out – wear loose fitting clothing when possible.
  12. Make sure you shower daily, especially after workouts. You want to get rid of the oils and dirt that your body accumulates through the day. Make sure to use natural skin care products as well, because regular soaps and cleansers may clog your pores more and lead to worse breakouts.
  13. Limit your consumption of sugars, fats, and oils, as these may all be connected to acne in many people. Caffeine also has been linked to acne, so limit your consumption of that compound as much as you can.
  14. Go outside and get fresh air and sun! If you stay inside all the time, you probably aren’t getting the natural light that your body craves. Always wear sunscreen, of course!
  15. Go swimming, either in a pool or salty ocean. Both of these will help cleanse your skin and your pores. Be careful, though, if your skin is sensitive to chemicals like chlorine.
  16. If you are looking for how to get rid of acne scars naturally, here are some ideas. There are many products you can apply to your face to help remove scars and tighten your skin, including lemon juice, honey, rosehip seed oil, and aloe vera. Microdermabrasion can also help, though this is not exactly natural, it is still natural enough to keep your skin looking great. I also recommend this e-book for more information on how to “erase” your acne scars.

11 Ways to Get Abs: The Best Exercise to Lose Belly Fat

Among all the places where fat hangs, the belly is by far one of the most hated, if not THE most hated. Unfortunately, it is also the most stubborn fat deposit in the body. For many people, it is the final store of excess fat that needs to be worked off after all other fat has been lost. This is why many people think that the last few pounds are the hardest – it because they are. These last few pounds are the body’s last storage defenses against starvation – so you better believe that it will hang on to them as hard as possible.

Luckily, there are some activities you can do to help reduce the amount of belly fat you’re carrying. What are the best exercises to lose belly fat? This is a hard question to answer, for reasons that will be explained below. In short, you need to do a number of things in concert in order to lose belly fat most efficiently and effectively. Here are eleven ways to get abs. The more you follow, the better your results:

  1. If you come into this topic asking, “What is the best exercise to lose belly fat?”, you are starting off on the wrong foot. There is no one exercise that will magically melt the fat away – in other words, you can’t spot burn fat. You need to have a full body, comprehensive plan in place that will lower your overall weight and body fat percentage. Once your body fat percentage gets low enough, belly fat will begin to melt away and reveal the abs that you have underneath.
  2. We all have ab muscles – they are just covered by layers of fat. There are two general ways to reveal your abs – lose fat from the midsection and make your abs more developed – that is, make them larger and more toned. Combining these two methods will give you the best effect.
  3. First, a brief note about dieting and exercise. You’ll have to lose weight to get your abs to the point where they can begin to show. This site and other sites can give you plenty of advice about weight loss, so we won’t repeat the topic here. Just know that you need to lose overall poundage in order to get to the point you want. You can’t wear a belt, take a pill, or do the ‘best exercise to lose belly fat’ and hope that your gut will disappear. Instead, you need to take a full body approach. Lower your calorie intake and upgrade your calorie burning through exercise. Think long-term, and don’t give up.
  4. Now on to the best exercises to lose belly fat. First, you want cardio exercises that will maximize fat burn. These generally are the more intense exercises – the more intensely you work out, the more fat you’ll burn throughout your body (including the midsection). Thus, interval training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), sprints, and intense sports games will help you with this. Long marathon sessions of low to moderate intensity cardio contribute, but they are not the most efficient for your time. Mix in both to get the best balance of fitness and fat burn.
  5. There are a lot of stomach exercises to lose belly fat. Perhaps the best one of the lot is the standard crunch. Lay down on the ground and bend your knees. Cross your hands in front of you or let your hands support your neck. Use your abs, core, and back to lift your upper torso off the ground. Do 3 sets of 8 to start out, and slowly increase the number of reps and sets as you go.
  6. You can also make this a resistance exercise by adding weight. There are machines in a gym that will let you do this, or you can simply carry a heavy weight as you do crunches. Only do this when you get used  to normal bodyweight crunches, as this is advanced. In general, you’ll want to constantly upgrade the difficulty of the exercises you’re completing in order to keep your body changing and adapting.
  7. Crunches can be rough on your neck, so there are plenty of other exercises you can do that will help. In fact, be careful with any exercises done on the ground, as they may hurt your posture or your back if you do them too much or do them incorrectly.
  8. You can perform ‘twisting’ exercises as well to target your obliques – the muscles on the sides of your torso.
  9. One of the best things you can buy to help you lose stomach fat is a medicine ball. You can perform many of the same exercises on this ball as you would on the ground. It’s great because it can stress your muscles in different ways while giving your back and body the support it needs to properly perform the exercises.
  10. In general, the abs are muscles like any other. They need time to rest and recuperate and rebuild, just like if you were pumping iron with your arms, chest, back, legs, etc. Thus, don’t overwork them. Make sure you give your abs adequate rest – at least 1 to 2 days – in between workout days. Don’t do too many sets at first until you get stronger, and continually monitor what your body is telling you. If something doesn’t feel right, stop immediately! And always check with a doctor before starting any program.
  11. A final note: you don’t need any fancy equipment to do these exercises and get the abs you want. Those chairs and rockers are more a waste of money than anything else, and those silly belts you see on TV will do absolutely nothing for you.

More Resources

The Truth About Abs

12 Ways to Get Skinny Legs

Have you ever thought to yourself, “how do I get skinny legs?” You might have even searched for that very search string to get to this page. Legs that seem a bit too, well, ‘bulky’ can be a hassle when you are wearing jeans are shorts, and it’s always fun to show off your legs when you’re wearing a skirt. If you want to know how to get skinny legs, wonder no more – here are twelve ways to get skinny legs fast, perhaps faster than you ever imagined possible. It will take some work and effort, but you can begin to see results in no time as long as you are consistent with your plan.

  1. First, it should be admitted that you can’t spot burn fat from particular areas. So if you do leg exercises, you won’t burn away flab or flub from your legs and your legs alone. Instead, you need to lose weight in general in order to bring your body fat percentage low enough that your legs will begin to get leaner. You’ll want your body fat to be around 18% before you see the results you want. So, put together a plan to lose weight if you need to. We won’t discuss that here, as there is a ton of lose weight advice on this site (check the category ‘Health & Fitness’ in the sidebar for more info). Instead, we’ll focus on how to get skinny legs specifically.
  2. Even though you can’t spot burn fat, you can do exercises that will help tone your legs. You won’t add muscle bulk, so don’t worry about that – instead, you’ll let your muscles look sleeker and leaner, and they’ll acquire a better shape, perhaps giving them the illusion of skinniness even if you lose no fat from the region. Some possible exercises include…
  3. Walking, running, swimming, walking or running stairs, sprints up hills, skating – nearly any cardio exercise can help you strengthen and tone your leg muscles! Especially try to do these exercises up inclines, as you’ll put more stress on your legs and thus get better results for your workout.
  4. Sports and calisthenics can also help you lose weight and tone muscles.
  5. Add strength training exercises to your workout. This will further help strengthen your legs. Make sure to target all the muscles – the glues, calves, quads, and hamstrings. This will make sure you strengthen the entire leg, and you’ll enjoy great physique benefits in the meantime.
  6. No matter what exercises you do, make sure you continually upgrade the challenge you provide. Keep track of how long you walk, or how many steps you climb, or the distance you travel, or the speed of your sprints. The more you challenge your leg muscles, the quicker you’ll get skinny legs.
  7. Make sure to properly warm up and stretch your legs. Injuring your legs from overexertion is no way to improve your physique.
  8. Pilates, Yoga, and other core training can help tone your legs too.
  9. The second piece of the puzzle to get skinny legs is diet and nutrition. If you need to lose weight overall, you’re probably already doing what you need to do to lose weight, but here are some general tips that may help:
  10. Make sure you eat plenty of protein. Protein is the building block for muscles, so if you want to get toned legs and thighs, eat enough protein to supply them. In addition, protein can help you manage your appetite, aiding you in your weight management goals.
  11. Make sure to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated, your skin clear, and your muscles firm. Dehydration can negatively affect you in many ways, so always drink even before you are thirsty.
  12. Finally, keep at it. The secret to how to get skinny legs and thighs is to set your goal, work towards it, meet intermediate progress benchmarks, and then see the goal through to the end. Don’t give up if it doesn’t work right away – with enough patience and consistency, it will!

If you have any more ideas, leave them in the comments!