Vegan vs. Vegetarian Diet: What You Need to Know

Plant-based diets are becoming far more popular in this modern day and age when people are more conscious about what they’re putting in their bodies. Thanks to the high nutritional content of plant foods, it’s possible to get all the nutrients you need from just eating whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies. But how far should you take it? Here, we’re going to break down the vegan vs. vegetarian diet in order to help you understand which is the better choice for you.

The Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarians do not eat meat (fish, poultry, or red meat) or any product that is made from animal flesh. However, some do eat animal products, such as eggs or dairy products. The vegetarian-based pescatarian diet includes fish as well, but it’s otherwise plant-based. Vegetarian diets are excellent for those who want to cut back on their animal protein intake and consume more fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and grains. It’s not as restrictive as a vegan diet, as it allows for animal products. However, it’s still a very healthy option for those who are trying to improve their eating habits.

The Vegan Diet

Vegan diets are characterized by the total lack of animal meats or animal products in your diet. If it came from an animal—including eggs or dairy products—it’s off the menu. The vegan diet is high in legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Replacement proteins are typically consumed, such as those derived from soy products (like tofu and tempeh) or grains. Raw vegans stick with all raw and minimally processed foods, while whole-food vegans are all about only consuming whole-grain foods. Veganism is far more than just an eating plan—it’s often a lifestyle, with people committing to only vegan fashion, beauty products, and even household products.

Vegan vs. Vegetarian Diet: The Nutritional Balance

The one downside to both vegan and vegetarian diets is that cutting animal meats and animal products out of a diet can lead to a deficiency in certain important nutrients. For example, red meat is the best source of Vitamin B12, a vitamin that plays a vital role in your metabolism, and one that’s hard to find in non-animal proteins. Iron is another nutrient that is typically obtained from animal products, but which vegans have to supplement with iron supplements. While it’s not impossible for vegans and vegetarians to get a balanced intake of minerals, vitamins, carbs, fats, amino acids, fiber, and antioxidants, it will require some supplementation in order to replace the nutrients typically available in animal products.

Fitness on a Plant-Based Diet

Getting fit on a plant-based diet will require the consumption of vegan protein powders. There’s just not enough protein in the average vegan or vegetarian diet for the body to produce enough muscle tissue from the available amino acids. There are more than enough carbs and fats to provide the energy required for exercise, but only by taking a plant-based protein powder or eating a lot of plant-based proteins—emphasis on A LOT—will you have the amino acids required for muscle growth.

Vegan vs. Vegetarian Diet: Which is Healthier?

The truth is that both diets have their pros and cons. For those looking to cut animal products out of their diet complete, veganism provides a fully plant-based diet. However, it’s often a difficult diet to maintain, whereas vegetarianism is a bit easier thanks to the flexibility of adding animal products. Both can offer health benefits, but it’s a good idea to consider how sustainable it is over the long term before committing to either.

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8 Foods to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Don’t let stress get the better of you! With everything going on in the world today, it’s normal to feel anxious and stressed, to worry more than you used to. But if you let that stress and anxiety persist, your health will end up suffering. Instead, try these simple foods to reduce stress and anxiety the natural, delicious way:

Turkey Breast

Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that is needed by your brain to produce the feel-good chemical serotonin. Serotonin is known to regulate your hunger hormones, but also your feelings of wellbeing and happiness. You’ll find yourself feeling more agreeable, less stressed, and generally more content thanks to the high tryptophan content of turkey breast.

Yogurt

It may sound odd, but it’s absolutely true that yogurt can help to reduce stress! Probiotic-rich yogurts can help to balance your gut bacteria, which in turn can have a direct effect on both your body’s responses to stress and your brain’s neurochemical balance. It can help to soothe any gastrointestinal distress resulting from your stress and help your body feel better overall.

Blueberries

Blueberries contain a lot of important antioxidants that can help your body to respond better to stress and anxiety. Not only will they help to reduce stress-related inflammation, but they can actually help your body produce more of the white blood cells that counteract stress-triggered immune problems. Plus, the little sugar boost will do wonders to boost your mood and make you feel happier!

Dark, Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale, chard, and other dark leafy greens contain folate, a nutrient that your brain needs in order to produce dopamine. Dopamine is one of the neurochemicals that help you feel happy, and eating more folate will help to increase production of this pleasure-inducing brain chemical. Not only can it help to decrease your risk of depression as a result of your anxiety and stress, but it will actually make you feel more upbeat and raise your mood.

Pistachios

The nuts themselves are loaded with vital nutrients, but it’s actually the act of cracking open the shells and scooping out the nuts that will benefit you most. The simple repetition of the act works to calm your mind and gives you something anxiety-free to focus on, and it becomes a relaxing activity that will take your mind off your stress.

Oats

Oats are an amazing source of carbohydrates, specifically the complex carbs that helps your brain to produce more serotonin. They won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar levels (which can trigger your body to produce insulin, which lowers blood sugar below normal levels and can cause a mood and energy crash), but they will help to raise your serotonin levels so you naturally feel better after eating a bowl of oatmeal.

Salmon

Salmon contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties that will help to counteract the low-grade inflammation caused by stress and anxiety.  Omega-3s can also reduce anxiety’s effects on the brain, helping you to feel more relaxed and at ease after eating a plate of salmon.

Dark Chocolate

As if you needed an excuse! Dark chocolate can help to regulate the levels of stress hormones, including cortisol, thanks to its high antioxidant content. Any chocolate over 70% cacao will be rich in flavonoids and polyphenols, which can help to relax your blood vessels, lower your blood pressure, and improve circulation. There are also natural substances in dark chocolate that will trigger a euphoric feeling similar to the feelings you get in romance. It’s definitely a tasty way to raise your mood today!

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The 4 Common Factors All Healthy Diets Have

What makes “healthy diets” actually good for your health? Is it the results you get when you follow it? Sadly, crash diets and unhealthy diets often yield more short-term weight loss than healthy diets, so that’s a no-go? Is it a diet you can easily get into and stop? How about diets that limit your intake of unhealthy food? The truth is that there are many healthy diets, and the best all have a few factors in common.

Factor #1: Quality over Quantity

This is one of the crucial factors in a healthy diet! Instead of worrying about how much you eat, a good diet will place greater emphasis on what you’re putting in your body. Many of the best diets don’t even bother counting calories; instead, they help you to make smarter food choices, emphasizing the filling, high-fiber foods and keeping your portions moderate. A diet composed entirely of high-quality foods—meaning foods rich in dietary fiber, balanced macros, and plenty of micronutrients—will typically be more than enough to help you get your weight and existing health problems under control. The higher the quality of the food you eat, the better!

Factor #2: Vegetables

Any diet that doesn’t include a lot of vegetables is one you should be highly skeptical of. Vegetables are one of the most important foods you can eat, as they contain a lot of dietary fiber, very little sugar and calories, and a hefty dose of important antioxidants and micronutrients. They’re the healthiest food on your plate and are the least likely to have a negative impact on your weight. Every healthy diet will encourage you to eat a lot of veggies—in fact, they’ll often craft the diet around the various veggies you’re including. They’re also incredibly filling, so you’ll find that eating more veggies makes you less likely to eat a lot of the other unnecessary and lower-calorie foods.

Factor #3: Eliminating Unhealthy Foods

A lot of people have a misconception that their favorite foods are going to be deemed “unhealthy”, so their diet immediately becomes an elimination diet that leaves them craving the foods they can no longer have. There is some truth to this—many of the most popular foods and drinks are high in sugar and low in nutrients—but for the most part, healthy diets are just going to cut out anything that’s highly processed, rich in carbs but low in fiber, made with excessive amounts of sodium, or have high traces of chemicals and additives. Basically, the focus of all healthy diets is on eating food that is as natural as possible, eliminating anything processed, pre-packaged, or refined. If you can accept that this is the best thing you can do for your health, you’ll find plenty of ways to enjoy your favorite foods while still making the healthy choice.

Factor #4: Focus on Balance

A healthy diet is one that provides all the various nutrients you need, both macro and micro. Your body can operate on more fat to compensate for lower carb intake, but the healthiest diets are those that find a good balance between the two. Vegetarian and vegan diets focus a lot on the plants, but often end up consuming less protein without animal fats. Diets that don’t include whole grains often end up with less intake of vital minerals, while low-fruit diets miss out on important antioxidants. The best healthy diets focus on balance, on making sure you get all the nutrients your body needs from the many foods available to you.

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The Many Amazing Health Benefits of Peaches

Peaches are a truly delightful summer fruit! Not only do they have one of the most unique flavor profiles on the planet, but they are juicy and absolutely delicious when eating cold or picked right off the tree. You’ll find that they’re also one of the best fruits you can eat, thanks to their high nutritional value. Here are some of the best health benefits of peaches you need to know about:

Rich in Fiber

A single peach will give you a little over 2 grams of fiber, which is just under 10% of the fiber you need in your daily diet. Not only is it rich in the soluble fiber that absorbs toxins and cholesterol from your intestines, but it also contains insoluble fiber that works like a scouring pad to cleanse your intestinal tract. You’ll find peaches are an amazing addition to your diet thanks to their high fiber content.

Low in Calories

That’s right: peaches are lower in calories than many other fruits. While they taste incredibly sweet, they contain just 59 calories in a single medium-sized peach. That’s around half the calories you get from a banana or apple, and you’ll find that peaches can be equally satiating. Peaches also contain a small amount of protein, along with a healthy dose of complex carbohydrates that will give you a nice energy boost after eating. Definitely one of the best snacks to have as a pick-me-up on the days you’re tired, or to start your morning off right.

Loaded with Vitamin C

Each peach you eat will give you around 10 to 15% of your daily dose of Vitamin C. Not only will this help to boost your immune system, but you’ll find that peaches will also play a role in keeping your skin healthy and supplied with collagen. The Vitamin C in peaches can do wonders to prevent free radical damage, making it an excellent addition to your diet.

Great for Your Eyes

Peaches also contain a lot of Vitamin A, the antioxidant that your body needs to protect the cells of your eyes from degenerating. One medium peach contains 24 micrograms of Vitamin A, but 243 micrograms of beta carotene. This carotenoid is used by your body to produce Vitamin A, and you’ll find that it’s a tasty way to get more of this critical eye health-promoting vitamin in your diet.

Heart-Smart

Peaches contain a small amount of potassium, the mineral that is needed to regulate your fluid levels and which plays a role in your blood pressure. The potassium in peaches will help to balance out sodium levels and prevent fluid retention, thereby lowering your risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. You’ll find that they’re an absolutely delightful and delicious way to get more of the critical micronutrients your body needs.

Important Note: Don’t Overdo It

Peaches are rich in the nutrients listed above, but you’ll find that they’re also higher in sugar than many other fruits. That sugar is natural fruit sugar that is paired with fiber to make it slower-acting than processed sugar, but it’s still an addition to whatever other sugars you’re consuming in your day. It’s a good idea to limit the amount of extra carbs and sugar in your diet in order to lose weight, as that will help your body to burn more fat rather than relying heavily on blood sugar. That means that you should limit yourself to eating fewer servings of fruit—usually no more than two per day. Enjoy a peach every day or two, but make sure to consume other fruits as well to get the best possible range of antioxidants and micronutrients.

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How Much Exercise is Good For Your Health?

Figuring out your weekly workout schedule can be tricky! It’s tough to find the right balance between doing cardio, resistance training, HIIT, and all the other types of exercise you want to fit in. If you only have a limited amount of time to spend at the gym or working out, you’ll need to prioritize your workouts based on what’s most important. If you’re wondering how much exercise is good for your health, here’s what you need to know about the various types of exercise:

Resistance Training

For the average person, three to five hours of resistance training per week is enough. That will give you enough time to fit in a workout that hits every one of your muscles, including the larger muscle groups (like your chest, back, and legs), the important smaller muscles (including biceps, triceps, calves, and shoulders), and your core (lower back, abs, and obliques). Three hours a week is on the low end, but you definitely won’t need more than five hours to help you stay in shape and improve your muscular strength.

Walking

With walking, there’s really no such thing as too much! You can literally walk for 20+ hours a week if you want, and your body will definitely be better for it. Walking is a low-impact, low-exertion exercise, one you can do anytime and anywhere. However, you’ll find that it’s surprisingly good at burning calories, especially if you do it over the course of a couple of hours. Even if you’re not walking as your main source of exercise, it’s a good idea to walk more throughout the day. It will always improve your health and fitness overall!

Running/Jogging

Running and jogging are both excellent sources of low-intensity, steady-state exercise that will burn more fat. However, it’s important to note that ONLY running (without doing regular resistance training) will actually become less effective over time. You’re better off fitting a 15-30 minute run into the end of your resistance training sessions as a means of activating body fat after you’ve burned through your stores of blood sugar. For the average person, running for 1-2 hours per week is more than enough to help them improve their endurance and get fit, especially when it’s paired with a resistance training regimen.

Swimming

Swimming is, hands down, the best full-body form of cardio on the planet. It engages every muscle in your body, and it not only builds strength, but also helps to improve endurance. You’ll find that swimming is incredibly tiring, and most people can only do a 20 to 40-minute swimming workout. If you have the time, try to fit in 2 to 4 sessions per week. You’ll find that it’s an amazing way to get fitter and healthier!

HIIT

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is an amazing way to fit a long workout into just a few minutes. You’ll find that a proper HIIT session will be done in 15 to 25 minutes, and you’ll hit both your muscular and cardiovascular endurance very effectively. Do a HIIT workout 2 to 5 times a week, and you’ll definitely get in better shape!

Cycling

Cycling is another workout that, like walking, can be done for hours on end without being too exhausting. It’s easier on your joints and muscles than high-impact exercise, and you’ll find that it works wonders for both your lower body strength and muscular endurance. If you can fit in 2 to 10 hours of cycling a week, you’ll find that your fitness level increases drastically. As a bonus, you’ll get to see many places in your town or city you’ve never seen before!

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How to Get to Sleep Easier at Night

Are you the kind of person who struggles to sleep because their mind is always active? Anxiety, stress, and depression can lead to insomnia and sleep difficulties, and it can incredibly difficult to shut those negative feelings down in order to get to sleep. Thankfully, we’ve got some times on how to get to sleep easier at night that will help you the next time you’re struggling:

Get Up

This may sound counterintuitive, but it might be just the thing you need! When you force yourself to lie in bed and go to sleep, you can actually make it harder to sleep. Then your mind will begin to associate your bedroom with insomnia and sleep problems, making it even harder to sleep in the future. If you’ve been lying in bed for half an hour and you can’t sleep, get up and leave your room. Go to another room and do something relaxing until you’re ready to fall asleep. Stay awake until you’re really tired, then get to bed and let sleep find you.

Write it Down

More often than not, our minds end up racing because we’re thinking of all the things we have to do the following day, or things we’re worried we’re going to forget. The longer you lie there, the more stressful it will become because your to-do list will just keep getting longer. But you can solve this problem by getting up and writing it down. Write down whatever you’re worried about forgetting or whatever is on your mind. When you put it down on paper, you won’t fear you’ll forget it, so you can go peacefully to sleep with one fewer thing to worry about.

Listen to Something

Music can be an amazing tool to help you go to sleep, especially relaxing music composed with sleep in mind. However, if you find that music wakes you up, try listening to an audiobook or a podcast. Make it something interesting enough to keep your mind engaged and focused, but not too interesting that it will keep you awake.

Read a Book

Books are an amazing tool to help you fall asleep. Not only do they provide you with something to occupy your mind, but they’ll actually help to tire out your eyes and lull you into a sleepy mindset. Just make sure the book isn’t too interesting or exciting, as that will keep you turning pages rather than getting to sleep. Make sure the book is something that’s going to keep you engaged but not so interesting you’d rather stay awake than get to sleep. And always go for a physical book, as the light of digital screens will keep you awake.

Meditate

Meditation is an amazing way to clear your mind of stressful thoughts, and it can help you put aside worries or stressors at night. If you’re too energized or stressed to meditate on your own, try listening to a guided audio meditation. Some will involve imagery, others will focus on your breathing, and still others will use simple mantras to clear your mind. You’ll find that using meditation at night can be an amazing way to clear stress and worry from your mind and get your body in a very relaxed state!

Breathe

Sounds silly, right? After all, everyone breathes! Well, this goes beyond the simple act of inhaling and exhaling. Instead, you need to pay attention specifically to your breathing patterns, and control your inhalations and exhalations to regulate your breathing. You’ll find that taking long, deep, and slow breaths works almost like hypnosis, calming your mind and helping you slip into a sleepy state more easily.

Posted in Mind Matters | 26 Comments

Get Rid of Diet Mood Swings Once and For All!

Diet mood swings are one of the nastiest side effects of any strict diet. They’re often the byproduct of cutting carbs, or they can simply be the result of just not eating enough. Your mood tends to suffer when you’re not getting enough calories to keep your energy levels up, or when you’re shifting from a regular high carb intake to a more diet-friendly limit on carbs. But the good news is that diet mood swings don’t have to happen, and they don’t have to ruin your life! Here are some tips to help you get rid of them once and for all:

Get More Fat

Cutting carbs is one of the best ways to shift your body to actively burning stored fat. Unfortunately, carbs are the body’s primary energy source, and when you don’t get them, you can become irritable and angry during the time period as your body is changing to burning more fat for energy. During this time, it’s a good idea to increase your intake of fats, particularly healthy plant-based fats. A lack of Omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to depression, hostility, and anger, but getting more of these fats can help to balance out your mood and keep you feeling happier. It’s most important that you drastically increase fat intake during the crucial first few weeks of your low-carb or low-calorie diet.

Don’t Cut Calories Drastically

While you do need to reduce caloric intake in order to have a better balance of “energy in vs. energy out”, cutting too drastically can lead to nasty mood swings. Try to avoid any diet that drops below 1500 calories per day (for men, or 1300 for women), as these low-calorie diets lead to hunger that can trigger brain chemistry changes. Instead, decrease your caloric intake fractionally, and increase the amount of energy you burn on a daily basis by doing more exercise and activity. Or, if you really want to cut back on your calorie intake, do it slowly, cutting just 50 calories per day over the course of a couple of weeks. Easing your body into it will make it much less likely to trigger nasty diet mood swings.

Avoid Deprivation

When you feel like you are unable to have something you want or are unable to enjoy what everyone else is, those feelings of deprivation and missing out will make you feel more irritable and angry. In fact, “restraining yourself” or “forgoing something you want” can actually lead to a drop in your blood pressure, which can trigger hypoglycemic feelings of irritation and anger. Your chances of ultimately bingeing on those foods later down the line also increase. Instead of depriving yourself, find healthy alternatives that are equally enjoyable, or simply allow yourself only very small, controlled portions. It’ll be much easier to stay happy when you’re not constantly feeling like you’re missing out on something you enjoy.

Eat Complex Carbs

Cutting carbs can lead to nasty mood swings, especially in the first few weeks while your body is getting used to burning fat for fuel. Instead of cutting carbs totally, make a shift from simple and low-quality carbs to eating only complex, fiber-rich, high quality carbs. Brown rice, whole grains, beans, corn, and other high-quality sources of carbs will give you enough energy to avoid the low-carb mood swings, but they’ll be healthy enough that they won’t interfere with your weight loss efforts. Slowly start phasing them out, but give your body time to adjust to consuming fewer and fewer carbs with each passing day.

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What You Need to Know About Quarantine Fatigue

After so many months on lockdown, you might be feeling more than just the regular amount of tired. Like so many others in the world, it’s possible you’re starting to go stir-crazy, not to mention physically and emotionally depleted. If so, you’re suffering from what’s being called “quarantine fatigue”. Read on to find out what Quarantine Fatigue is and how you can                 get past it even while you’re still in isolation!

What Quarantine Fatigue Is

Isolation, a lack of social connection, an absence of routine or structure to your life, and the loss of a sense of freedom can all contribute to feelings of emotional and physical depletion. Even if you can work from home and you have some sort of home workout setup, things are still so different and restricted that you can start to feel the emotional stress of the situation. For some people, the actual act of working from a home filled with kids or noise can contribute to the stress. Social isolation definitely makes the problem worse. Together, all the factors combine to create a state of perpetual tiredness and depletion that is being called “quarantine fatigue”. The never-ending feeling of the anxiety-inducing situation definitely triggers the fatigue!

How Quarantine Fatigue Manifests

How can you tell if you’re feeling quarantine fatigue? More than likely, you’ll experience actual physical fatigue and a noticeable loss of energy. For some people, it’s a mild thing, but some experience it surprisingly intensely. Anxiety and disturbed sleep are two common symptoms, as is irritability. You may start to develop a sense of apathy, a lack of motivation, and a lethargy that spills into every area of your life. Some people become emotionally unstable, and they experience depression, feelings of hopelessness, and, worse of all, feelings of intense loneliness as a result of their disconnection from the people in their lives.

Why Quarantine Fatigue Develops

Aside from the anxiety-inducing nature of the situation (a pandemic sweeping the globe that’s inflicting a high death toll), isolation is one of the primary contributes to quarantine fatigue. Humans are social creatures, and a need for relationships is literally hard-wired into our DNA. When we lose those connections while in lockdown, our mental and emotional health suffers. Not only can social isolation and loneliness lead to higher rates of depression, but it can impair your health and raise early mortality rates. The increase in alcohol intake is another consequence of isolation like we’re experiencing during lockdown, which can lead to more health problems and higher anxiety.

How to Deal With Quarantine Fatigue

Let’s be honest: you’re not going to feel back to 100% until the world opens up and you can get back to the new semblance of “normal”. Only once you can restore those social connections will you start to feel more like your old self. But, in the meantime, there are a few things you can do that will lift your spirits and help you get through the remaining lockdown time in a better state of mind. Your daily routine is one of these things. Focus on eating healthy, taking good care of your body, following a work and sleep schedule, drinking enough water, and trying to live a healthier life. Reach out to friends and family via the internet and spend as much time socializing that way as you can. Read books and listen to music that lifts your spirit and makes you feel happier. Actively redirect your thoughts and behavior in a positive direction, and it will be easier to stay positive despite the lockdown.

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What You Need to Know About Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a simple eating plan that involves fasting for 16 to 18 hours a day, followed by a 6 to 8-hour window where you eat all of your daily calories. It has become one of the most popular eating plans, and for good reason! Once you see what it can do for you, you may just find that it’s your next choice of healthy diets.

The Methods of Intermittent Fasting

There are a few options for intermittent fasting. First is the 16:8 method, the most commonly used intermittent fasting method. With this plan, you fast for 16 hours a day (only drinking water), then eat all of your calories within the 8-hour eating window. With the Eat-Stop-Eat method, you fast for a full 24 hours at least once a week, but no more than twice a week. On the Alternate Day Fasting method, you fast every other day, but instead of full calorie restrictions, you simply limit yourself to 500 calories on a fast day. And, finally, the 5:2 method, where you fast two non-consecutive days in a week, limiting yourself to 500 calories on those days, but eat normally the rest of the week.

How Intermittent Fasting Helps Your Body

The idea behind intermittent fasting is that limiting your food intake on certain days or within certain time periods will force your body to tap into stored calories. Not only that, but it’s intended to improve lipolysis (fat burning) to make your body more effective at turning both dietary and stored fats into calories. However, intermittent fasting can also stimulate the production of growth hormones, which will improve insulin sensitivity and decrease body fat levels. Fasting can also lead to a decrease in insulin, which makes it easier for your body to burn stored fats.

Intermittent Fasting and Exercise

One of the most complicated parts of intermittent fasting is timing your meals around your exercise. This can be tricky if you need a lot of energy first thing in the morning, but you only work out in the late afternoon or evening. Ideally, the largest meal of your day should be consumed after you work out, and it’s a good idea to have something light (200-300 calories) before your workout. However, it is possible to work out in a fasted state, and though you’ll experience decreased endurance, there will be much better fat activation because it’s the only source of energy available to your body. For those looking to build muscle, though, it’s better to avoid working out in a fasted state, as that will lead to muscular breakdown rather than growth.

What You Eat Matters

When you eat is important, but the “what” matters just as much. If your diet is nothing but junk food, your body won’t be able to compensate for it, no matter when you eat it. Your goal should be to eat food that is as healthy, balanced, and rich in nutrients as possible throughout your entire eating window. Balancing your macros (protein, carbs, and fats) and micronutrient (fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants) is crucial for a healthy body, and it becomes even more important if you’re depriving your body of calories at certain times of the day or week.

Watch for Danger Signs

If you start feeling dizzy, extra fatigued, or weak, it may be time to give intermittent fasting a break. It’s okay to occasionally break the fast if your body is showing danger signs, and you can have a few calories to give your body energy to keep going until your next meal.

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How to Be Safe at Newly Reopened Gyms

With so many newly reopened gyms now available as the country is coming out of lockdown, you might be feeling very eager to get out of your house and get in a proper workout. But before you do, it’s important that you’re aware of the proper precautions you can and should take to stay healthy and safe while at the gym. Here’s what you should be examining when going back to your gym:

Occupancy Limitations

All gyms, like every other establishment, need to set limitations on the number of people that can occupy their various rooms. In order to make sure you are safe, the limitations should not only be posted, but they should also be strictly enforced. That way, you can make sure that it’s easy to keep a healthy distance from others while still being able to get in a proper workout.

Physical Distancing Measures

One of the first and easier steps that newly reopened gyms can take is to limit the number of machines available so as to create physical distances between users. For example, for all the cardio machines lined up in a row, shutting off every other machine is a good way to ensure that proper measures are being taken to make space between the people working out. The benches, free weights, squat racks, and other machines should also be spaced far enough apart that they can be used without getting too close to the other people working out at the same time.

Masks

Masks are one of the best precautionary measures that can be taken to stop the spread of disease. Not only do they protect the wearer from inhaling airborne particles, but they also protect those who come in contact with the wearer. While they’re not mandatory (in every part of the country), it’s a good idea to see whether or not the gym’s personnel are wearing masks. People who wear masks show that they are concerned about those around them, and are willing to put up with a bit of discomfort for the sake of protecting others as well as themselves.

Ventilation

Proper ventilation is an absolute must when it comes to dealing with infections and disease. Proper air flow will help to draw airborne pathogens up and out of the building, circulating clean air and reducing the risk of catching a disease. Fans aren’t enough for proper air circulation, but gyms should have a good ventilation system or, at the very least, enough open windows and doors to allow air to flow through the gym.

Cleanliness

There are two aspects to this particular factor: first, how clean the gym is kept by the staff, and second, how easy it is for you, the user, to clean what you use. One of the most practical methods is making spray bottles and cleaning rags available (and mandatory) for all users. All they have to do is carry the rag and bottle around with them to spray down and clean whatever equipment they touch. However, the staff should also have heightened their cleanliness measures, and should be on more on top of making sure that everything is clean, disinfected, and as free of germs as possible.

Signage

This may not seem important, but it really is! Sometimes, when you’re deep in a workout, you might forget about the importance of social distancing or cleaning up after yourself, which can increase the spread of germs or the risk of coming in contact with others. With signs posted all over the gym, it can help you to remember what you need to do to stay healthy.

 

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