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Can Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight?

Can Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Weight?

Intermittent fasting is a fancy term for a simple concept: eating less often. There are many methods, starting with a simple 12-hour overnight fast all the way up to entire days of fasting. 

In general, the research on intermittent fasting for overall health is promising. Intuitively it even makes sense that giving our digestion a break every once in a while would be a good thing. But what role does fasting play in weight loss? Is it helpful or harmful? Our answer may surprise you.

It depends. 

What it depends on is how you personally feel and think about fasting, and how your body responds to it.

For example, if you are someone who has always disliked eating first thing upon waking—then fasting through breakfast is going to be a no-brainer. It's going to feel like freedom to do what your body natural wants to do. The days will easily turn into weeks and months, and the weight may naturally slip off. 

On the other hand, if you wake up hungry and excited to eat breakfast every day, fasting might feel difficult and unnatural. You might spend your entire morning looking at the clock wondering when enough time has passed to eat. You may feel anxious. You may feel deprived. This might turn on your stress hormones, and actually impede weight loss efforts. Or, when it is finally time to eat, you may feel ravenous and end up overeating. 

Your thoughts about fasting matter. As do your motivations. 

As Marc David, Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, so aptly put it: 

"If you're going to fast, ask yourself: am I being driven by self-hate, by fear of body fat, by self-judgment, by the stress of not weighing what I think I should weigh? Or am I being inspired to fast because I wish to be healthy, to better myself, to deepen my connection to myself?"

The simplest way to decide if fasting is for you is to ask yourself these questions and get extremely clear on your motivations. If they are coming from a loving, positive place—feel free to proceed. 

Give yourself permission to try fasting, and to tweak it if it doesn't work for you. Starting with a 12-14 hour overnight fast is a great first step. As always, if you have any special health concerns or needs, try working with a Registered Dietician first. 

Why Eating Your Water is the Secret to Looking and Feeling Younger

Why Eating Your Water is the Secret to Looking and Feeling Younger

You've heard it time and again—"you are what you eat." But how many times have you thought about the food you eat in relation to how hydrating it is? According to Dr. Murad (famed founder of the eponymous skincare line), the secret to maintaining an inner and outer youthful glow as we age lies in maintaining strong cells that can attract and keep water the way younger cells do (i.e. well-hydrated cells!)

As we age, the body moves toward dryness and coldness. As our cells lose their integrity, we become more vulnerable to the hallmarks of aging—oxidative stress, inflammation, and disease.  

The answer, he proposes, is to eat your water. Colorful fruits and vegetables contain 85 to 98 percent water. He calls this The Water Secret. 

But why is water from a fruit or vegetable better than just drinking plain water?

According to Dr. Murad, "The water in fruit and vegetables is structured, meaning it's surrounded by molecules that help it get into cells easily and quickly...Fruits and vegetables are also rich in healing antioxidants your body needs. They also contain trace minerals and B Vitamins that your body uses to metabolize carbohydrates, fat, and protein." 

How can you put this into practice? 

1. Seek out hydrating foods. Juicy fruits and vegetables, like apples, berries, mango, leafy greens, cauliflower, carrots, peppers, and tomatoes. 

2. Favor antioxidant-rich foods (the deeper and brighter the fruit, the more loaded with antioxidants it is!)

3. Enjoy several servings of healthy fats a day, which keep us hydrated, youthful and supple. 

Four Pink Fruits to Eat in Winter

Four Pink Fruits to Eat in Winter

Dull and dry skin, shorter days, increased indoor time—these are just some of the signs it's winter. Add vibrancy and energy to your morning by incorporating one of these pink-infused fruits that are packed with beauty-giving benefits and ideal for offsetting the winter doldrums. 

 

No. 1:  Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a superstar fruit. They are loaded with fiber, Vitamin C, and skin-saving antioxidants. Consumption of pomegranates has also been shown to help reduce inflammation, one of the drivers in many chronic diseases.

 

No. 2: Raspberries

Raspberries are filled with nutrients despite being low in calories. They're high in fiber, Vitamin C, and are contain significant levels of antioxidants. Because of their fiber content, they're unlikely to raise blood sugar levels. They may aid in weight loss and have anti-aging effects, too! Frozen raspberries, picked in peak season, are a great way to consume raspberries in winter. 

 

No. 3: Grapefruit

Grapefruit is another low calorie yet nutritionally dense pink fruit. It's packed with fiber and Vitamin C and may be beneficial to your immune system. Grapefruit is another weight-loss friendly food and is incredibly hydrating. 

 

No. 4: Dragon Fruit

You can find dragon fruit (or pitaya) frozen or freeze dried. It's high in fiber and  contains a significant amount of magnesium. It also contains gut-friendly prebiotics and is antioxidant-packed. 

 

Is Sugar Aging Your Skin? And What to Do

Is Sugar Aging Your Skin? And What to Do

Two of the biggest factors contributing to premature skin aging (wrinkles, sagging, and loss of radiance) are consuming sugar and UV rays. 

Sugar damages your skin through a natural process called glycation. The sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to produce harmful free radicals called advanced glycation end products (appropriately called AGEs). As AGEs accumulate (the more sugar you eat, the more susceptible you are) they damage the proteins around them, giving way to the "sugar sag" effect. 

The proteins in the skin most prone to glycation are the same ones that give your skin that youthful glow, collagen and elastin. When glycation occurs it shows up on your skin as wrinkles, sagging, and dullness.

The presence of AGEs also makes the skin more vulnerable to the aging effects of the sun. 

So, what can we do about it? First and foremost, do your best to avoid the big culprits on a regular basis: white sugar, high fructose corn syrup and simple carbohydrates. Favor whole grains, complex carbohydrates like starchy vegetables, fruit, and natural sweeteners like monkfruit and stevia instead.

And, as a bonus: consume green tea. Green tea has been proven to significantly interfere with the glycation process while also stimulating collagen production. Just one of the many reasons we love superstar ingredient Matcha. Looking for ways to incorporate more green tea? It's a key ingredient in our Greens Ritual daily super powder. 

Need some help breaking up with sugar? Try our gentle 10-Day Sugar Detox. It's enjoyable, it's easy, and you'll feel amazing.