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Fasting is the practice of abstaining or reducing consumption of food, drink, or both, for a specific period of time. Everyone fasts for at least some part of the day, generally the eight or so hours that one spends sleeping every night. Physiologically, fasting can refer to a person's metabolic status after not eating overnight, or even the metabolic state after the complete digestion of a meal. Once you've gone eight to 12 hours without eating, the body enters a state of "fasting."

The practice of fasting can lead to a number of metabolic changes within the body. These changes typically begin approximately three to five hours after eating, when the body enters a "post-absorptive" state – rather than the state on ongoing digestion, where eating frequent meals means the body is always involved in some sort of digestive activity.

Whether you practice more long-term fasting for health reasons or for spiritual reasons, most people will have to fast at some point for medical reasons. Patients undergoing surgery or other medical procedures that require a general anaesthetic will usually fast prior to the treatment, but fasting is also practiced before a number of other medical tests, including cholesterol testing, blood glucose measuring, or a lipid panel. This enables doctors to achieve accurate results and establish a solid baseline to inform future testing, if necessary.

Here are 15 amazing benefits of intermittent fasting.

Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Intermittent Fasting

When you add healthy activities to your lifestyle such as regular exercise and balanced diet, you can maintain a healthy weight and boost your confidence. Your life will become better, and you will have the energy to accomplish your life goals.

To live a healthy lifestyle, you should develop healthy habits in 2017. Here are seven habits that will change your life and help you become a more confident and a happy individual.

1- Eat healthy food

Eat foods which are rich in nutrients and doesn't have 'fake' calories. Pay attention to what you eat and when you eat.

Add fruits and vegetables to your daily food intake. Consume whole grains, seafood, lean meats, poultry, nuts, beans, and seeds. Make sure that you are only eating low-fat dairy products to remain healthy. You can also use dairy substitutes such as soy milk.

In addition to eating more of these healthy foods, you should also consider restricting certain foods in your diet. These include sugary drinks and juices, white bread, rice, and other food types made from refined grains. These foods provide many calories, but they offer a very limited supply of nutrients.

2- Never skip breakfast

Read more: 7 daily habits to gain self-confidence and better health in 2017

You enter a room, stare in confusion, and ask yourself, "What did I come here for again?" Forgetfulness can spring from a variety of different factors, including stress, lack of rest and sleep, genetics, an inactive lifestyle (both physically and/or mentally), and environmental factors.

Diet, however, is no exception. There is a strong link between a healthy, nutritious, whole food-based diet and a decreased risk of memory loss and cognitive decline. Learn about 6 types of foods worth introducing into your regular diet to improve memory preservation.

Think it's too late? True, when it comes to protecting brain health through diet, the earlier the better. However, these evidence-based tips can even help those who are already experiencing memory or other cognitive problems. In fact, the results of a recent clinical trial demonstrate that proper nutrition, together with exercise, social activity, and cognitive training, improved brain performance in older adults aged 60 to 77. 1 In other words, it's never too late!

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High blood sugar occurs when your body can't effectively transport sugar from blood into cells.

When left unchecked, this can lead to diabetes.

One study from 2012 reported that 12–14% of US adults had type 2 diabetes, while 37–38% were classified as pre-diabetic (1).

This means that 50% of all US adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Here are 15 easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally:

1. Exercise regularly

Regular exercise can help you lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity.

Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells are better able to use the available sugar in your bloodstream.

Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction.

If you have problems with blood sugar control, you should routinely check your levels. This will help you learn how you respond to different activities and keep your blood sugar levels from getting either too high or too low (2).

Good forms of exercise include weight lifting, brisk walking, running, biking, dancing, hiking, swimming and more.

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Bottom Line: Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and helps your muscles pick up sugars from the blood. This can lead to reduced blood sugar levels.

2. Control your carb intake

Bread

Read more: 15 Easy Ways to Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally

The 30-Second Review

The best weight loss program for you is the one you'll stick with for the long haul. We cut through the diet fads, consulted with top nutritional experts to find out what really matters, and taste-tested the best plans to determine which program offers the most sustainable, achievable pathway to healthy food habits.

Best Overall

Weight Watchers

A fun, accessible points system incentivizes healthy food choices, and plans starting at $20/month can accommodate almost any budget.

Best for People Who Hate to Cook

Nutrisystem

If you want to lose weight on autopilot, $295 of hit-or-miss meals delivered to your door will (almost) get you through the month.

Best for Self-Starters

Mayo Clinic Diet

Disciplined dieters who can handle an intense two-week kickstart can get great results from this plan's $11 book and website support.

Best Free Option

SparkPeople

SparkPeople's free website offers a lot of weight loss tools, but its one-size-fits-all plan may not work for everyone.

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Nutritionists agree that if you're looking to permanently reduce pounds, your weight loss program has to be sustainable, offer realistic goals, and (gasp!) be enjoyable enough to incorporate into your lifestyle for good. That's right: Weight loss programs are most successful when they help you break unhealthy patterns to become your new way of life — not just help you lose weight.

Read more: The Best Weight Loss Program

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