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5 Effective Power Yoga Routines To Lose Weight Fast

It’s holiday season, and with New Year around the corner, you would want to look your best, don’t you?

Power Yoga Routines To Lose Weight Fast

 

More than 30% of the World’s population in 2016 is either overweight or obese (1), and it’s time to hop into a healthier and more beautiful 2017, by losing that unwanted fat!

Being overweight has many physical and psychological side-effects. I have pulled my hair in agony looking at every extra inch that I gain over time. Not only did I feel that I looked unattractive, but I also developed damaging self-worth issues. Thus, I began my dissection of the weight gain dilemma.

Here are my findings and let me share how Power Yoga liberated me!

Common Factors Causing Weight Gain And The Science Behind Them

  1. Stress
  2. Low Mood
  3. Depression
  4. Tiredness
  5. Lack Of Sleep
  6. Medication
  7. Digestive Disorders
  8. Excessive Eating
  9. Bad Diet

 

 

What Causes Weight Gain?

Here are nine common medically proven reasons behind weight gain in otherwise healthy people:

What-Causes-Weight-Gain

1. Stress – Stress and tension lead to the production of ‘the stress hormone,’ Cortisol in the body.

Cortisol is responsible for higher levels of insulin. An increase in insulin drops your blood sugar levels and makes you crave for sugary and fatty foods. Beware!

2. Low Mood – Mood Swings and PMS are closely linked in women. Lifestyle and unhealthy habits also cause mood to see-saw between positive and negative. Fluctuating moods mess up the hormonal balance in the body. Even minute changes in hormone proportions have significant effects on your physical and mental health.

Hormones such as Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone affect you enormously. Their delicate balance is affected by sudden fluctuations in your mood.

3. Depression – Several studies have linked weight gain to depression. This study published and indexed in the Archives of General Psychiatry (2) is clear proof of that.

The question arises, do you gain weight because of depression? Or you get depressed because you are overweight? The answer is similar to the eternal question—‘Did the egg come first or the chicken?’

It is a vicious cycle. Both are inter-dependent on each other. Depression causes many symptoms that worsen weight gain. A few are appetite abnormalities, depleted energy levels, and binge eating of comfort food.

4. Tiredness – Lack of enough rest and burning yourself out makes you feel tired all the time. Fatigue makes you more likely to crave for high-energy and high-calorie food.

Surely, eating such calorie-rich food keeps your energy levels up all day. On the flip side, it also makes you avoid physical activity. That means you will burn fewer calories! Be careful, and rest enough!

5. Lack of Sleep – Sleep deprivation leads to reduced levels of the hormone Leptin. Leptin is the chemical in your body that makes your stomach feel full. Therefore, it is also nicknamed as the “satiety hormone.”

A lower level of Leptin hikes the levels of another hormone, Ghrelin in the body. Ghrelin is the hunger-stimulating chemical. Insufficient sleep, eventually makes you eat more!

6. Medication – Weight gain is a frequent side-effect of many drugs, even over-the-counter (OTC) medication.

Even unseemingly harmless medication such as antihistamines (e.g. Benadryl) taken for allergies, and medication for Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Depression, Asthma, Migraine also boost fat retention. Certain Birth Control pills can increase your weight too.

7. Digestive Disorders – Problems in your digestive system cause incredibly rapid weight gain. Ordinarily, Acid Reflux Disease (Acidity), Constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), intestinal bacterial overgrowth and stomach Ulcers are issues that are commonplace culprits.

Gastrointestinal and digestion related issues play an important role in your dietary habits. They also affect how your body absorbs and digests food. If this process isn’t smooth or healthy, it causes an accelerated increase in your weight.

8. Excessive Eating – Balancing weight is as simple as maintaining a favorable equation between the number of calories you take in, and the number of calories you burn doing a physical or mental activity.

9. Bad Diet – Eating an unbalanced diet makes your body lack particular nutrients while having an excess of others. This natural need makes you hungry for more food!

 

A poorly planned diet will not just affect your overall health, but also make you eat more than necessary.

How Can Yoga Solve Your Weight Gain Woes?

Maintaining your weight is paramount in sustaining good physical and mental health.

Studies have been conducted to determine the exact reasons for increased body mass. Despite vigorous gym workouts and strict diets, there are still those stubborn few kilograms that won’t go away!

Surprisingly, scientists found that physical exercise isn’t the lasting solution to losing weight!

How is that possible, you ask?

Well, let’s find out!

5-Effective-Power-Yoga-Routines-To-Lose-Weight-Fast-(With-Videos)-And-The-Science-Behind-Them2

Yes, that’s right. It starts from the inside.

That’s where your gym doesn’t truly help, but Yoga pulls up its sleeves and steps in!

Research and experiments conducted by The National Institute of Health (NIH), USA, clearly states, “Yoga appears to be an appropriate and potentially successful intervention for weight maintenance, prevention of obesity, and risk reduction for diseases in which obesity plays a significant causal role.” (3)

Yoga addresses major problems that cause weight gain. It does so by helping soothe your mind and bringing about a balance between your physical and mental wellbeing.

How-Can-Yoga-Solve-Your-Weight-Gain-Woes

1. Reduces Stress – Regular practice of Yoga routines reduce stress and alleviates bodily health disorders (4). Scientists have successfully monitored levels of hormones in patients who practice Yoga and in those who do not.

Patients who followed Yoga routines and techniques showed significantly reduced levels of the stress-related hormones in the body.

2. Regulates Mood Swings – Research has shown that Yoga is a potent method to condition the mind into a happier state of being.

By channeling out the negative and making you aware of positive energies in your surroundings, Yoga can help you feel calm, peaceful and much more upbeat about Life.

Clarity of thought is the biggest plus of a tranquil mind. In turn, it affects your general mood and propels you towards a state of emotional stability.

3. Creates Mindfulness – The main reason why Yoga works is that it creates a sense of mindfulness in you. Improved Mind-Body Awareness leads to better control over your urges.

You are less compelled to feel hungry, less motivated to indulge in binge eating and greatly inspired to engage in physically and mentally challenging activities.

You start to pay attention to your calorie balance, and this solves the biggest hurdle in your weight loss journey.

4. Strong Self-Regulation – Self-Regulation is your ability to manage stress, regulate your emotions, and adapt your behavior to various situations.

On numerous occasions, psychological and neuroscientific research shows that yoga and meditation help you manage your mood.

It also generates strong willpower and self-control even in challenging situations.

5. Cultivates Physical Fitness – Yoga exercises and techniques strengthen your body and banish most physical ailments. Promoting a robust body, it also cleanses and detoxifies the entire system.

In the long run, it thereby prevents disorders from getting triggered easily even in patients prone to genetically inherited diseases.

Yoga brings about a balance between your body and mind, and empowers the two to work together! Know how to do power yoga at home for weight loss.

 

1) Weight Loss Yoga Routine – The Yoga Solution By Tara Stiles

Level – Intermediate

Workout Time – 10 Minutes

Power Yoga For Weight Loss - Weight Loss Yoga Routine

In this video, Tara Stiles who is a Model, Fitness celebrity and founder of Strala Yoga in the USA, shows you a routine focusing more on the deep burning of all that fat quickly!

This particular routine is a little advanced and meant for intermediate Yoga practitioners.

Tara is as charismatic as always! Her instructions are clear, precise and demonstrated with great finesse.

 

2) Yoga For Weight Loss – 40 Minute Fat Burning Yoga Workout By Adriene

Level – Beginner

Workout Time – 40 Minutes

 Power Yoga For Weight Loss

Our very adorable Adriene shows you a 40-minute fat burning power yoga routine in her funny, peppy and simple to understand routine for rapid weight loss.

She is as fun as the Yoga she shows!

 

3) Beginners Power Yoga For Weight Loss—Total Body Workout – 45 Minute Yoga Class By Courtney Bell

Level – Beginner

Workout Time – 45 Minutes

 Beginners Power Yoga For Weight Loss

Courtney Bell, a Celebrity Fitness Trainer from the USA, tells you how to do some powerful fat burning Power Yoga exercises for weight loss.

Courtney is a friendly and patient instructor. She strikes a chord even with those completely new to Yoga.

4) Weight Loss Yoga For Beginners By Tara Stiles

Level – Beginner

Workout Time – 10 Minutes

Weight Loss Yoga for Beginners

In this video, Tara Stiles shows a routine focusing more on a sequence for beginners to quickly shed those extra pounds.

Once again, her instructions are as articulate as possible. You just can’t go wrong!

5) Intense Cardio Workout | Part 1 & 2 by Tara Stiles

Level – Intermediate

Workout Time – 10 – 15 Minutes Each

Yoga Intense Cardio Workout for Weight Loss

Intense-Cardio-Workout-2

In these videos, Tara Stiles (Founder of Strala Yoga) shows two related power yoga routines for rapid weight loss.

When practiced together, the sequences result in phenomenal and long lasting weight loss.

 

 

Broccoli Compound Could Help Treat Type 2 Diabetes

By Tracy Staedter

Some people don’t like to eat their vegetables, but for obese people with type 2 diabetes, broccoli could hold the key to slowing, and potentially reversing, the disease, according to a new study.

Scientists used both computational and experimental research to zero in on a network of 50 genes that cause symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes. They also located a compound called sulforaphane — which is found naturally in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbages — that could turn down the expression of those genes, according to the findings, published today (June 14) in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

In the study, the scientists gave sulforaphane to obese patients, in the form of a concentrated broccoli sprout extract. They found that it improved the patients’ systems’ ability to control their glucose levels and reduced their glucose production — two symptoms of diabetes that can lead to other health problems, including coronary artery disease, nerve damage and blindness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It’s very exciting and opens up new possibilities for the treatment of type 2 diabetes,” Anders Rosengren, an assistant professor at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, told Live Science. [Science You Can Eat: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Food]

Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes, affects more than 300 million people globally. For those with the disease who are obese, the excess fat in the liver makes the body less sensitive to the hormone insulin, which can make it difficult for the organ to help regulate blood sugar levels. Normally, insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, stimulates the liver to pull glucose out of the bloodstream and store it for later use.

People with type 2 diabetes are usually advised to change their diet to help control their blood sugar levels. “Lifestyle changes are at the core of type 2 diabetes treatment but often need to be complemented with drugs,” Rosengren said.

Currently the main treatment option is the drug metformin. But not every person who needs it can take it. About 15 percent of type 2 diabetes patients have reduced kidney function and taking metformin can increase their risk for lactic acidosis, an unhealthy build-up of lactic acid, which can cause abdominal discomfort, shallow breathing, muscle pain or cramping, and tiredness.

About 30 percent of patients who take metformin develop nausea, bloating and abdominal pain.

Finding an alternative to metformin was one of the team’s objectives. But there was also general frustration in the clinical community that research labs were having a difficult time developing new anti-diabetic compounds, Rosengren said.

One challenge is that researcherslooking to develop new drugs have traditionally studied single genes or individual proteins. But diabetes is much more complicated than that. It involves a large network of genes, so the scientists had to find a new, systematic approach that took a holistic view of the disease. [11 Ways Processed Food Is Different from Real Food]

Study leader Annika Axelsson, a doctoral student at Gothenburg, and her colleagues began by analyzing liver tissue from diabetic mice who were raised on a “Western diet” containing 42 percent fat and 0.15 percent cholesterol. After several tests, the scientists identified 1,720 genes associated with hyperglycemia, a condition in which an excessive amount of glucose circulates in the blood.

After further analysis, the researchers narrowed the 1,720 genes to a network of 50 linked genes that together result in high bloodglucose levels. This network became the so-called disease signature for type 2 diabetes.

Next, the researchers used a database of existing drug compounds and employed a mathematical modeling program to rank those compounds for their potential ability to reverse the disease signature — in other words, to turn down those overexpressed genes.

Sulforaphane had the highest ranking. The team ran several experiments to see if it could actually lower glucose levels in living systems. First, they tested the compound in cells growing in lab dishes, and found that it inhibited glucose production. Next, they tested it in rodents, and found that it improved glucose tolerance in animals on a high-fat or high-fructose diet.

Finally, the researchers tested sulforaphane in people. Over the course of 12 weeks, 97 patients with type 2 diabetes took a daily dose of concentrated broccoli sprout extract in powdered form. The dose was about 100 times the amount found naturally in broccoli. For those who were not obese, the sulforaphane did not have any affect.

But for those who were obese, the results were significant, the researchers reported. Typically, for people with type 2 diabetes, glucose levels in the blood stay high, even when they are fasting. But sulforaphane reduced fasting blood glucose in these patients by 10 percent compared to the participants in the study who took a placebo, according to the study. That amount is enough to lower a person’s risk of developing health complications. And the compound did not cause gastrointestinal problems that metformin can cause, nor other side effects. [7 Bizarre Drug Side Effects]

For the next phase of this study, Rosengren said the team would like to investigate the effects of sulforaphane on people with prediabetes to see whether it could improve their glucose control before type 2 diabetes develops.

Originally published on Live Science

If You Love Someone Who Has ADHD, Don't Do These 20 Things

June SilnyADHD/life coach, author of the viral article “20 Things to Remember if You Love a Person with ADD.”

 

You wonder if everybody’s life is as chaotic as yours. Something’s not right.

Your child doesn’t act like the other children in the class. Homework assignments guarantee a night of fights, slammed doors, and tears shed. The teachers call you in for conferences weekly. Your husband gets fired again claiming all his bosses are jerks. You work overtime so your car isn’t repossessed. Your sister cancels every time you plan to meet for dinner. Your teenager is hanging out in the local piercing parlor. And your daughter can’t find her car keys whenever she’s walking out the door. Your relationships are constant conflicts.

You’ve considered splitting up, but you can’t afford to live on your own. You’ve thought of quitting your job, packing your bags, and running away. You’re tired all the time. You’re trapped, choking, and you cannot breathe.

Loving someone who has ADHD can make your life crazy if you don’t get a grip on it. The doctors prescribe medication. The therapists tell you what to do, but your home is as wild as a college frat house.

A person with ADHD can be hard to live with. The thought patterns and behaviors of a person with ADHD never go away. They are manageable, but that too, is a full-time challenge.

Without proper care, ADHD can lead to substance abuse, overeating, unemployment, toxic relationships, divorce, constant conflict, academic failure, insomnia, stress, anxiety and panic attacks. A person with ADHD has an active thought process of options, possibilities, and scenarios the average person cannot even imagine.

Eventually, reality bites. The rent is due, the electric bill is unpaid, and your checking account is overdrawn again. You’re exhausted from staying awake worrying all night. You want to run away, but your problems are like misspelled tattoos that stay with you wherever you go. There is hope. It doesn’t have to be that way. As a person with ADHD has to work through his challenges, you as his lover, parent, sibling or friend also have to learn coping skills to improve the situation. Don’t do these 20 things if you want to have a happier life together.

1. Don’t live in denial – Admit the truth.

Call the problem by its name: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder. Your life will become easier when you identify it, own it, talk about it, and stop running from it. Admitting that it exists is the first step to freedom. There is no reason to feel ashamed. Many of history’s greatest contributions have come from people with ADHD. Scientists, authors, artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs have become successful because they have a creative vision that average people do not possess.

2. Don’t criticize – Judge favorably.

Realize that your loved one with ADHD is trying his hardest, even though it’s not good enough for your standards. Lighten up, go easy, and give them time. They will accomplish what they have to do, but not on the schedule you have in mind. Allow them time and space to accomplish their tasks. Influence them with love, not with criticism.

3. Don’t accept excuses – Encourage and inspire them to achieve their goals.

ADHD isn’t an excuse for an irresponsible lifestyle. It just means that what comes easy to you, may be difficult for them. It doesn’t mean that they can’t do something, it means that it’s harder for them. Simple tasks that you take for granted; such as opening mail, trashing junk mail, and placing your bills in a “to be paid” folder, feel like a climb up Mt. Everest to a person with ADHD. It doesn’t make sense to someone who doesn’t have it. Try to be encouraging, in spite of your doubts and disappointments. Point out the times when they suceeded.

4. Don’t be a coach – Be a cheerleader.

Stand on the sidelines; grab your pom-poms and start cheering. Words of encouragement have more power than insults and put-downs. Coaches are in-your-face critics. Their job is to point out the negative. Cheerleaders stand on the side, rooting for success, believing in their teams ability to achieve. Let your loved one with ADHD know that you are on the same team.

5. Don’t make unrealistic demands – Stay with the possible.

When a person with ADHD gets stressed out, an obsessive thought pattern of “what-ifs” begins. Screaming and shouting, “Just do it already. Stop making such a fuss,” will not break through compulsive thinking. Accept the fact that they may not be able to do what you want, when you want it, or how you want them to do it. If it’s something important, be specific.

6. Don’t give instructional lectures – Be respectful.

Lectures are not helpful if a person feels like they are being spoken to like a child whose baseball broke the neighbor’s window. If you have something to say, be sure to choose the right words at the right time. The timing of your conversations determines if you will be heard or ignored. Schedule a time to talk. Rehearse your speech so that it comes out as love, not control.

7. Don’t be impulsive – Practice patience.

Someone with ADHD is impulsive. If you are the rational thinker in the relationship, your ADHD loved one is depending on you  to be wise and patient. Two impulsive people reacting emotionally and regurgitating information at each other, does not make for a happy ending.

8. Don’t be a martyr – Call for backup.

Have a support team to help you through the struggles. You don’t have to manage everything alone. Call a friend, a therapist, or a loving relative. Find someone who just listens. If you don’t want advice or suggestions, a comforting shoulder to cry on can strengthen you and change your outlook

9. Don’t forget your goal – Prepare for a positive outcome.

Sometimes words come out that you later regret saying. They can’t be taken back. Hurtful words leave deep wounds. Keep your goals in mind. What would you like to accomplish? Ask yourself, if I say this will it lead to a negative or a positive outcome? It’s up to you. You determine the outcome. Go slow. Think before you speak.

10. Don’t feel guilty – Know that you are doing your best.

Feeling that your loved one is hard to love, or that you don’t like their behavior is a sad feeling to experience. If you’re a parent and are upset about your child’s behavior, guilt runs through your veins. It’s not your fault. You’re doing the best you can. You’re in a tough situation and you aren’t always sure which is the best way to handle it. Be gentle with yourself.

11. Don’t try to control them – Control yourself.

Intimidating or threatening does not inspire change. Trying to control people is never effective. When you don’t know how to motivate your loved one, think about how you can change your approach. You can’t control other people; you can only control your words, thoughts, and reactions towards them.

12. Don’t lean in – Step back.

Intense emotions are negative emotions. Leaning in and pushing a person to perform isn’t the most effective way to reach the result you desire. When stress is high and you feel like screaming, back off. Stepping back gives you time to breathe, relax, and readjust your thoughts.

13. Don’t label them – Be compassionate.

Judgment is easy; compassion is hard work. Don’t box them in as a “forgetful, lazy, disorganized mess,” or “someone who will never succeed.” Labels create pre-determined expectations that last for years. People become what you see them as.

14. Don’t say “never” – Nothing stays the same.

When times are tough, it’s hard to remember that tough times don’t last forever. Things will get better. Believe it. “Never” is a word of hopelessness. Start saying, “not yet.” The only thing constant is change.

15. Don’t say “Just do it” – Understand that they can’t.

An ordinary thinker cannot understand how a person with ADD/ADHD can’t accomplish the simplest tasks such as paying bills, organizing papers, and putting their clothes away. These tasks may be easy for you, but remember, the person with ADHD also has a hard time understanding why they can’t pay a bill or manage their mail.

16. Don’t be afraid to help out – Offer a helping hand.

It’s important to teach your loved ones how to be responsibly and independently. But also remember, that there are times when it’s okay to offer assistance. Even Einstein had a helper. His wife cooked for him, cleaned up after him and did his laundry because his high-powered mind was too busy discovering the quantum workings of the universe to take time to put his dirty socks in the laundry bin.

17. Don’t have unrealistic expectations – List what you love about them.

Accept your loved ones as they are. Just like with any other relationship, you have to look for the good, and stay focused on it. Never lose sight of the awesome qualities of your ADD/ADHD loved one. If it’s your partner, remember that their fun-loving, impulsive personality is probably why you fell in love with them. Go back to the beginning. Love them again, as if you first met them. If it’s your child, remember the feeling of holding your newborn baby in your arms for the first time.

18. Don’t neglect other family members – Spend time alone with them.

ADD/ADHD can take over your home environment, subliminally controlling everything and everyone in it. Spend time with other family members. They need you, too. Go to the movies or go get some ice cream with them. Remind them that they still exist for you. Hug them and hold onto them.

19. Don’t get mad – Pause for peace

Make peace in your home and your life your priority. The other lessons will soon fall into place if your home is a loving environment. Anger is easy. Staying quiet takes strength. Put your relationships before your feelings. You don’t have to veerbalize every comment that comes to mind. Place your ego on the side until your anger subsides.

Don’t ever accept abusive behavior of any type. There are certain relationships that are unhealthy, toxic, and need to end. Seek professional help.

20. Don’t forget to love yourself – Do something that makes you happy

ADHD relationships can suck the joy out of life. You realize that you haven’t laughed in a month. You forgot how to smile, and you can’t remember the last time you had fun. Make time for yourself. Do something that makes you happy. Have fun again, and do it often.

Let this little story inspire you:

After she received an ADHD diagnosis for her 7-year old son, a woman went to to the psychiatrist. Frustrated and distraught that she couldn’t handle her own child, she cried, “What more can I do? I’m doing everything I can. I don’t know how to handle my own child.” He looked at her and quietly answered, “Love him more.”

That wasn’t the answer she had hoped for. Through her tears, she pleaded for answers, “Love him more? I’m giving this child everything I can. I’m empty inside. I’ve got nothing left. How can I love him more?” “Try harder. Dig deeper. You can do it,” he answered.

When you love someone who has ADHD, they are a part of you. They live in your head and in your heart. You were chosen for this task. Love them more.

I Have ADHD. Here’s What A Week In My Life Is Like.

What ADHD feels like

Caroline Maguire was first diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when she was 12 years old. Now 41, Maguire is a professional clinical counselor and founder of New England Coaching Services, a Concord, Massachusetts-based practice that focuses on helping children and families manage ADHD. She’s also author of the forthcoming book Why Will No One Play With Me? A Parent’s Guide to Becoming Your Child’s Social Skills Coach.

You know, I feel like I’m an expert in ADHD and I have all these systems in place to help me manage the challenges. But then there was a week recently when I didn’t have my medication and I just felt like, well, I’ve accomplished nothing.

 Classic textbook ADHD is seeking stimulation because the brain doesn’t generate enough dopamine, and the brain needs dopamine to stay focused and engaged. And so you do things to get dopamine, whether those are high-risk behaviors or exercising a ton or flying from thing to thing to stay stimulated.

So I’m an adrenaline junky, which is common for people with ADHD. I struggle with over-commitment, and I tend to create almost my own nightmare with too many deadlines. I also wait until the last minute to get something done, because the fear that I won’t finish creates adrenaline and that allows me to focus.

ADHD medication helps. But you also develop these systems or methods that allow you to get things done. I developed a lot of them when I was younger.  I call them my whacky ways to learn. I get on a treadmill and I listen to 80s music like the Rocky theme, and I run to flood the brain with dopamine. That gets me pumped up, and then I can go write the article I need to write or whatever. It’s like I have to manufacture focus. There was a study at UPenn recently that showed ADHD people wait to be in the perfect mood to do something. And when you’re in that perfect mood, you can get a lot done. I try to manufacture that mood.

 

When I have a bad week, the biggest thing for me is having a hard time managing the bombardment of life. I have a hard time being even and calm about things. That week I didn’t have my medication, I couldn’t sleep well. I was getting up at quarter of five every day, just because I was anxious about getting things done. My attention was always split. I was always aware of other things in the background. I could feel emails or texts coming in, and I was trying to do something else. And I can’t shift from texts to going back to writing. I have to focus on one thing or I get overwhelmed and I just shut down. I just stop being productive, and my emotion regulation goes south. (If you struggle with anxiety, there are plenty of natural ways to relieve your nerves.)

That’s a huge part of ADHD people don’t talk about—the emotion regulation piece where emotions take over because you’re worried about getting things done. Just overloaded. It could also manifest as overeating. (This crazy-easy hack can help you avoid overeating.) I’d been on a great clip with exercise and eating, and wasn’t able to stay on course that week and remember that my intention was to be healthier. Just the week before I’d been able to pause and say to myself I want to be healthier, so don’t order takeout. But then I couldn’t do that.

I can’t be in someone else’s brain, so I can’t say what it’s like if you don’t have ADHD. But if you’ve ever had a head cold and you’re hazy, or out of it, that’s how some people describe ADHD. I’ll find myself vacuuming, writing something, and making soup at the same time. Just being pulled in so many directions. And then the soup will be burned, the vacuuming won’t get done, the article I was writing won’t get done. So the ability to remember my intention of what I wanted to do was lost. The unfinished projects element of ADHD is a big thing. I’ve learned to be a little maniacal about making lists and making sure I’m finishing things, because it makes me so anxious when things are left undone.

 

Anxiety is another aspect of ADHD. The underlying anxiety makes everything not enjoyable. It takes you out of the moment because you’re worrying about something you need to do or finish. It makes it really hard to sit through a meeting or stay focused, not because you’re bored, but your brain is saying I need to get this and this and this done. There’s this cognitive hyperactivity, and your brain is just sort of circling the same topic.

This all may sound like something everyone experiences. But it’s really the degree of the impairment that separates ADHD. We all procrastinate. But some people with ADHD haven’t paid taxes in years. When there’s not enough interest or enthusiasm, people with ADHD can’t manufacture enough intention to get going. But it works the other way, too. If you have high levels of interest, then the brain gets flooded with dopamine and you can get a lot done.

Whenever I’m either over-tired or not clear on how to proceed, that’s when I really struggle. I will worry and feel like I have to go and get certain things done, and so I’ll just keep working, not eating or taking breaks, until I get it done. Sort of the other end of the spectrum from those with ADHD who procrastinate. I get things done, but it’s hard for me to have balance. If I know I have something to get done, I’m very all or nothing.

 

So I’m a little different than the stereotypes in that way. But one stereotype that would definitely apply to me would be the hyperactivity and impulsivity, and difficulty engaging in leisure activities quietly. The idea of sitting on a beach for a vacation is torture to me. I have to be up doing things and having an agenda. To sit on a beach, I literally become jittery and annoyed and snarky and difficult.

The other thing is I have to keep everything in its place. If I don’t, I will lose stuff. I get sort of annoying or obsessive with my family about putting keys back in the right place, because my history is of losing things. So I say, “please don’t move that,” or “leave that alone,” because I know I could lose it. I’ll just have no memory of what I did with something—almost like blacking out. So that’s just another system I have now so I can keep track of everything. (These simple lifestyle tips can boost your memory.)

 

The important thing to understand is that ADHD is a more complex disorder than people give it credit for. There’s a phrase associated with autism that you’ve not seen autism until you’ve seen my autism. (Did you know that bad gut bacteria is linked to autism?) We need a phrase like that for ADHD, because you can’t say with a broad brush, here is what ADHD is. It can be many different things, and there are different levels of impairment. (For more information about ADHD and other attention disorders, visit the Attention Deficit Disorder Association, CHADD.org, and Understood.org.)

 

When I was a child I was very hyperactive and very disorganized and sloppy. But eventually, I learned that I could get things done by doing it differently than other people. That’s a lesson I have to relearn all the time. ADHD medications helps, but the skill is not in the pill, we say. It’s really about learning the methods and systems that work for you and that allow you to be productive and to get things done in your own way. I’ve had more than 20 years to get my strategies in place, but I still have those times when I struggle.

Eating After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

How Will Bariatric Procedures Affect Your Eating Habits?

With readily available junk food and superbly busy lifestyles – not to mention the superstore grocery centres that sell your favorite foods in bulk – it is increasingly more difficult to lose weight AND keep it off.

To make the situation of weight gain worse, many of us do not begin to realise we are steadily putting on a lot more weight until quite late in the ‘cycle’ of gaining.  It seems that suddenly nothing in our wardrobe fits us anymore, including our largest size slacks.

We look at the scale and panic.

overweight-bmi-obesity-gastric-band-gastric-sleeve-1

 

Wanting to let go of the excess weight as quickly as we can goes through our minds.

IF not our own minds, then the minds of our General Practitioners or Endocrinologist, who may remind us of the detrimental health repercussions of being overweight.


Why is being over weight such a common issue in Australia society?

The answer is many reasons, but all intertwined.  Firstly, we live busier than ever lives, including working far too many hours or running the kids around from event to event. Then there’s the sugar-laden soft drinks and junk-food/fast-food availability on every corner. With fast food chains and snack manufacturers using secret ingredients and lots of sugar into tricking our minds into wanting MORE MORE MORE, it’s no wonder there’s a national epidemic of obesity at our door.

With the newest ‘weight loss’ medication still years away from being workable with no side effects, it can be a tough go to lose the excess weight once it’s solidly distributed around, and on, your body frame.

As we all know, it’s not nearly as easy to lose weight as it is to gain weight. Plus, our busy lifestyles and eating habits aren’t exactly helping.

Once we get to a certain super-sized, unhealthy Body Mass Index (BMI), we can also find that our joints don’t safely allow our bodies to exercise without pain or risk to our ligaments and joints.

 

Weight Loss Tips

Why some people need Gastric Bands or Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Some people with certain genes and eating habits really struggle to be able to lose weight after they become severely overweight or even morbidly obese.  (Anyone with a BMI of over 29.9/30 is considered obese and over 35 is considered Morbidly Obese.)

So despite exercising and eating as healthily as they can – no amount of dieting seems to help these individuals lose the excess weight.

They’ve also likely gotten to the stage that their intake capacity (stomach size) is able to consume far more calories than they could ever hope to burn off through activity or normal metabolism functions – no matter how much or how long they exercised.

Obesity

Obesity is Dangerous but Gastric Surgery including Gastric Sleeve Operations can be life saving

We all know that living with obesity is dangerous to health and longevity, but we also recognise that dieting adversely impacts our health and often leads to further weight gain when we go back to eating normally, due to extreme diets impacts on our organs and our metabolism.

Even if temporarily successful, extreme diets are also unlikely to keep the weight off of your body over a longer period of time.  In such a scenario where your weight, BMI and your waist measurements are at a dangerous HIGH – your GP or Endocrinologist or Surgeon may recommend weight loss surgery.

The more common weight loss surgeries (known as Bariatric Surgery) include the Gastric Sleeve, the Gastric Band, a Gastric Bypass procedure or a Lap Band procedure.


What is a Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

vector illustration of vertical sleeve gastrectomy vsg

  • A gastric sleeve surgery involves reducing the size of your stomach
  • This helps you lose weight by limiting how much food you can comfortably and safely consume.
  • After your stomach is reduced, your appetite is also reduced, which can help you better control your eating or food cravings (but not totally – you’ll still need to do a lot of work and maintain a very different lifestyle to keep your results and get healthy – it just might give you a bit more help than if you tried to do so without the surgery).
  • With a reduced stomach size, you’ll feel fuller, faster too -which often helps reduce your food intake and reduces your everyday calorie consumption.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery is gaining as an effective option for helping obese or severely overweight people to lose weight and overcome obesity.

 

Unlike the lap band, no adjustments are needed with a Gastric Sleeve Procedure.

Gastric Details

Plus, it appears that you’ll be able to lose more weight with a Gastric Sleeve procedure compared to a Lap Band or a Gastric Bypass.


Pre-operative Gastric Sleeve Diet

If you choose to have this surgery, your Specialist Bariatric Surgeon (Obesity Surgery Specialist) will give you details. He or she will also advise you of the potential complications and risks of having this surgery, as well as special dietary measures you’ll need to take to maintain results and overall health.

You are likely be advised by your Bariatric Surgeon to undertake special eating habits to shrink the size of your liver before surgery. That’s because an enlarged liver can increase the complications in your surgery.  Eating differently BEFORE your Gastric Sleeve Surgery not only helps to leave you healthier, it also helps you prepare for an altered diet that you will need to adhere to AFTER your gastric surgery procedure.

gastric surgery gastric band

In your pre-surgery and post-surgery Gastric Band eating plan, you’ll likely be told to consume a bit more protein and less carbohydrates than your normal eating regime.

  • You are likely to be asked to eliminate added sugars (avoid drinking soft drinks)
  • This change alone can help you lose a bit of weight and re-adjust your appetite.
  • You must also drink lots of liquids and keep hydrated (plain water or water with real lemon juice is typically a great option)
  • Your may be advised to undergo a strictly liquid diet at least two days prior to your surgery day.
  • Your Bariatric Surgeon and Care Team will give you specific instructions for the months, weeks and days before your surgery.
  • Planning and adapting to your gastric sleeve can take more time and energy than you may initially realise
  • So if you’re considering this option, be sure to book a consultation with your chosen Bariatric Surgeon as soon as you know you’re wanting the surgery to best prepare yourself for a Gastric Sleeve.

Eating Choices after Gastric Sleeve Surgery

In the time following your gastric sleeve surgery, you’ll need to take utmost care of your eating routines and follow YOUR Surgeon’s specific advise (most Surgeons will also link you up with a nutritional counselor).

Week One after Gastric Sleeve – what can you eat?

The information below is of a general nature and is not intended as advice. NOR is it a substitute for the medical information and pre and post-op recommendations provided to you by your GP and your Gastric Surgeon. 

In general, if you’re about to have Gastric Sleeve surgery, here’s what to expect (with modifications as per your Surgeon or particular health needs).

Week 1 After Gastric Sleeve Surgery (Intake Clear Liquids Only)

water after gastric sleeve surgery

  • In the first week after your gastric sleeve surgery, you may be allowed to take in ONLY clear liquids such as water, fresh juices, soups and broths.
  • Avoid any carbonated beverages or other drinks with added sugars.
  • Typically, you’ll be advised to take small sips, and to take these liquids in very slowly.
  • You WON’T be able to eat fruits and vegetables although you might be able to squeeze fresh fruit juice into your water – ask your Surgeon (no pulp though typically)!
  • Decaffeinated tea and coffee are usually okay soon after Surgery
  • Check with your Surgeon as they might NOT be permitted for you or in relation to your specific procedure.
  • Once you’re readily able to tolerate liquids, your Surgeon will advise you when you can advance to the next stage of eating changes (pureed foods).

Week 2 After Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Pureed Foods

healthy-nutrition

  • During the second week, you may typically take in foods in their pureed form.
  • These may include mashed potatoes, low-fat cottage cheese, sugar-free yogurt, soup with blenderized vegetables and hot watery oatmeal.
  • Ask what pureed vegetables you are – or aren’t – allowed to have.
  • You might be tempted to overdo it – but don’t. It’s not worth the risk and can get very uncomfortable very quickly if you eat the wrong foods, or too much of the right ones, after surgery.

Week 3 After Gastric Surgery: Soft Foods and Protein Shakes

  • In week 3, you might be able take protein shakes about once a day.
  • You might be approved to also eat hummus, steamed or boiled vegetables, soft cereals, scrambled eggs, mashed fruits, steamed fish, ground chicken with stock and soups.
  • Avoid starchy foods like rice, pasta and bread.
  • Vegetables that are fibrous – like broccoli, celery and asparagus – should definitely be avoided.

Week 4 After Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Some Solid Meals

  • In week 4, your eating regime may begin to allow you to eat some ‘solid’ meals.
  • You can typically begin eating restricted fruits, sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, cereals, fish and chicken.
  • Avoid eating fried foods, lollies, whole milk and nuts – these are not easy to digest.
  • During week 5, you may even have one or two healthy snacks in-between your normal meal times.
  • A hard-boiled egg, hummus, bananas or soft rice crackers might be okay options for you (ask your Surgeon and Nutritionist for details).

The most important thing that needs to be kept in mind after Gastric Band surgery is that your meals should be nutrient-dense (nutritionally valuable) as well as remain sparse in calories. You know what that means – good foods, not junk foods!

 


How Long Before I see Weight Loss Results after Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

In the months AFTER your surgery, you’ll also have specific eating recommendations from your Surgical team, and you’ll need to monitor your eating regime and portion control.

It is often reported that patients can start seeing great results just a few weeks after their gastric surgery procedures.

On average, patients might lose around 60% of their pre-surgery weight.

weight loss concept blue male

What about your skin after Gastric Sleeve surgery – will it bounce back?

Gastric sleeve surgery and other bariatric surgeries often leaves you with baggy skin, or Redundant Skin.  You can’t exercise skin – it’s over stretched and will only tighten up a bit to a certain point. So the skin, along with any stubborn stores of fat after the major weight is lost, may still end up needing to be surgically removed. Liposuction and tummy tuck surgeries (including Belt Lipectomy Procedures) are also quite common after bariatric surgery procedures.

If you need your redundant skin removed, Dr Maxwell offers many various Body Contouring procedures such as Tummy Tucks, Belt Lipectomy and Upper Arm Reduction/Arm Lift and Thigh Reduction surgeries.

If after you have adopted your new healthy lifestyle and have done nearly everything you can to see results – and you remain unhappy with the body shape outcome after approximately 18 months to up to 4 years, you might also want to consider Body Contouring and Liposuction options with  Specialist Plastic Surgeon Mr Richard Maxwell.

Dr Maxwell

Dr Maxwell is a Specialist Plastic Surgeons who focuses on patients who have lost massive amounts of weight via Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Banding procedures.  He also helps people who have lost a lot of weight through major life style changes alone (yet not everyone succeeds in overcoming obesity permanently without surgical assistance). He also offers Face Lifts, Tummy Tuck/Abdominoplasty procedures, Breast Lifts, Breast Reductions and Arm Reductions/Thigh Reductions as well as Belt Lipectomy (Circumferential Abdominoplasty) procedures to help bring the body back into its normal contours.

If you’ve already lost the weight after gastric surgery or lifestyle changes (or both) and want to reduce redundant skin, phone us today on (03) 8849 1467 to schedule a consultation with Dr Maxwell in Hawthorn or Williamstown.

For more information on Bariatric Surgery and Surgeons in Australia who can perform Gastric Sleeve or related Bariatric procedures, visit www.newbodyspecialists.com.au or send us an enquiry form below.

Gastric sleeve surgery diet and nutrition

 

For more information or to see our BEFORE & AFTER photos of patients who have had body contouring surgery after weight loss, send an enquiry below or give us a call during Clinic Hours on (03) 8849 1467

5 Things My Loved Ones Should Know About Life With Rheumatoid Arthritis

By Reanna Mathis

Image result for watching the sunset with you

There are so many things I do not know how to express or explain to the people who love me. The next five bullet points are some of the most important to me.

1. I never wanted to become sick.

I pray every day that God will see fit to heal me. At this point in my illness I do not even fully understand what is going on in my body most days. I just made a list of symptoms to show my doctor which was about 20 bullet points. I am hoping they will connect them to form a more solid diagnosis. I am hoping they have answers, that there is something to be found that is fixable. I have rheumatoid arthritis and have ignored it for many years. Not facing it has only made my symptoms worse. It can take six months sometimes for my body to recover from a flare, surgery, injury or infection.

2. Please be considerate and know I am trying my best.

I am actively involved in a couple different ministries and charities and I love the opportunity to serve. However, if I am there, know it is taking all my energy to get by. Please do not judge me for not being extra social or participating in every event. Please do not exclude me from group activities. I tend to leave as soon as the event is over and I sometimes get left out of group pictures and after event lunches or activities. It can be a painful reminder that I am disappearing from the lives of my friends.

3. There are weeks when I do not leave the house for days.

Texting and social media are very much a lifeline for me right now. Getting up and out of the house is taking an increasing amount of energy. So, I connect with friends via my phone. Sometimes I just need to text and share that I am having a bad day. Even if I do not receive a response, just being able to share it lightens the burden. The friends I do have in my life are very important to me. So, if one of them needs me, even if I cannot make it out, I am always available by phone or text.

4. I have a “knee-jerk” reaction to apologize.

I am always saying I am sorry. I apologize for apologizing too much. I have been trying to shift my behavior to saying thank you instead. Thank you for understanding, thank you for your help, thank you for including me and so on and so forth. Apologizing for my illness only makes me a victim to it, versus having gratitude for what I can do.

5. I do not want to hear how high your pain tolerance is.

That is a phrase I really do not like to hear. It is dismissive, ignorant and comes with an air of superiority. People with chronic pain probably have a high pain tolerance but the pain never goes away! It would wear down the toughest of the tough if there was no end in sight. I am really glad that your pain tolerance is high; that is a good thing. It is just very insensitive to say that to someone who has shared their struggle in chronic pain with you.

Please do not ever take your health for granted because we rarely get warning when things go bad. Becoming chronically ill can go from bad to worse very quickly. If you love someone with a chronic illness, tell them you appreciate the things they can do. Listen to them cry and resist the need to “fix” them. The more you try to fix them, the more broken they feel.

Green Tea May Help Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Written by Ashley Boynes

For decades, green tea has been widely accepted as a “super food.” Now, researchers are finding that patients with RA may benefit from drinking green tea on a regular basis.

green tea and RA

An apple a day may keep the doctor away — but a cup of green tea won’t hurt, either.

A new study appearing in the medical journal, Arthritis and Rheumatology, shows that a compound found in green tea may hold promise in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease management.

Herbal teas have been in use to treat various ailments for literally thousands of years, with estimates of its medicinal use since before the beginning of recorded history.

green tea and RA

Green tea has been touted by health coaches, nutritionists, doctors, and dietitians for decades. The drink is particularly known for anti-oxidant properties.

Now, green tea is being heralded as way to reduce inflammation in the body as well. In fact, the recent study concludes the drink has potentially as a regularly prescribed treatment for patients with RA, although so far it has only been tested on mice.

Honing in on One Compound

The study, conducted by a team of researchers at Washington State University (WSU), focused on one particular compound found in herbal green tea.

Called epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG, the compound appeared to reduce ankle swelling in a mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis.

This finding could be a potential source of hope for the nearly 1.7 million Americans who have RA. They currently are treated by NSAIDs, disease-modifying drugs, immunosuppressants, chemotherapy, biologics, biosimilars, corticosteroids, opioids, and narcotics. These treatments can be beneficial but may also carry certain risks.

While physical therapy and alternative practices such as chiropractic, massage, reiki, and acupuncture are also suggested to patients, rheumatology is just starting to recognize the important role that diet and nutrition play in the management of inflammatory autoimmune and rheumatic diseases.

The Arthritis Foundation stated in an article that a cup of tea can be good for overall health and that polyphenols help tea boost the immune system and fight inflammation.

“Our findings provide a rationale for targeting TAK1 for the treatment of RA with EGCG,” said Salah-uddin Ahmed, Ph.D., of the WSU College of Pharmacy and the study’s lead author.

He noted that other RA treatments may be effective but can also damage the immune system in the long run. Green tea, and in particularly this green tea compound, may be a promising alternative to expensive and potentially harmful RA treatments.

 

Quick, Effective Relief

Their study showed that, after 10 days of receiving ECGG, the mice with mouse models of RA, had a noticeable and significant reduction in their initial ankle swelling and inflammation.

The team of researchers figured out that EGCG reduced the activity of TAK1, a protein that plays a primary role in the response of cytokines that trigger inflammation and the resulting tissue damage in RA.

Perhaps just as notably, the green tea compound EGCG appeared to reduce inflammation in RA without interfering with other cellular functions in the mice.

Another study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2012, showed other positive results for the consumption of green tea in moderation. This one was in regard to various functional disabilities that come along with aging.

Researchers from Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan found that regular green tea drinkers carried a lower risk of developing functional disability, such as problems with daily tasks, household chores, and regular activities like bathing or dressing oneself.

 

What Do Experts and Patients Think?

Lindsey Smith of Pennsylvania, an alumna of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as well as a health coach, author, and speaker says green tea has a variety of health benefits.

“Green tea contains powerful antioxidants, known as polyphenols, which help boost your body’s immune system, and can fight off infection,” she said. “This is good news for people that suffer from RA or other autoimmune diseases because your body will be better equipped to fight off infections and reduce overall inflammation in the body.”

Patients are mostly on board with the notion of trying green tea.

RA patient Debbie McGuire Djukic of the United Kingdom, said, “I think green tea is magical for just the relaxation benefits, if nothing else, and it has turned me onto trying a lot of other tea also. I have also gone gluten free and feel so much better to really cook healthy meals now.”

When I’ve drank green tea every day for longer than a few weeks, I’ve felt better, but usually that’s when I’m also eating better too.
Hilary Martin, rheumatoid arthritis patient

Hilary Martin of Ohio added that drinking green tea motivates her to eat better.

“When I’ve drank green tea every day for longer than a few weeks, I’ve felt better, but usually that’s when I’m also eating better too, so it’s hard to say,” she said, “but I know that it’s definitely made me feel good drinking tea versus soda or juice.”

But Julie Robbins of Illinois is slightly more skeptical.

“I have not had any help with my RA by any dietary changes, including green tea,” she said. “Of course, the best possible thing we can do is be as healthfully as possible. That is especially important since we have our risk factors increased for cardiac issues, simply by even having a RA diagnosis.”

Whether you believe or not that green tea may in any way contribute to the future of rheumatoid arthritis treatment and management, it’s probably safe to say that adding it into your healthy diet certainly couldn’t hurt.

What you should know about rheumatoid arthritis

To mark Rheumatoid Arthritis Week, we asked the experts to explain this painful condition and how it can be treated.

By Susan Griffin

 Arthritis

Unless you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or have witnessed a close friend or family member with the condition, it’s difficult to comprehend how debilitating the disease can be.

Rheumatoid arthritis is often misunderstood and commonly confused with osteoarthritis. But unlike that condition, which is commonly a wear and tear degenerative disease that generally affects the older population, RA can affect people of any age.

That’s just one of many misconceptions, along with the fact that nothing can be done to ease symptoms.

So to highlight Rheumatoid Awareness Week (which runs from 19-25 June), it’s time to examine the facts and debunk some of the long-held myths along the way.

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, progressive and disabling autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the joint tissue causing inflammation, stiffness, pain and extreme fatigue.

Although the hands, feet and wrists are most commonly affected, it can affect any joint and if left untreated, the joint can lose its shape and alignment and lead to permanent disability.

It’s thought that around 690,000 people in the UK – that’s 1% of the population – have RA with around three quarters of people first diagnosed when of working age and women being three times as likely as men to have the disease.

What causes rheumatoid arthritis?

It’s nothing to do with lifestyle choices but like anything, if you smoke or are overweight, you’ve got a slightly increased risk.

Some also say there’s also a strong genetic factor, and other environmental factors that might play a bit of a role but probably it’s some sort of infection acquired and it’s your response to it.

What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?

Symptoms of RA include the three Ss: symmetry, stiffness and swelling. These can be painful, debilitating and progress rapidly, and have a devastating impact on the lives of patients and their families.

Those who suffer from it can find what was once the simplest of tasks, like getting out of a car or a chair, extremely difficult and painful.

Early assessment and diagnosis, combined with the right treatment, can effectively control RA, leading to a more normal life for patients than has ever been possible.

 

How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed?

RA is diagnosed using a series of tests including a physical examination, joint imaging and blood tests.

The progressive nature of RA means that without treatment, patients can suffer from irreversible joint damage and disability.

For this reason, primary care professionals must refer people with suspected persistent synovitis (active inflammation in a joint) to a rheumatology service within three working days of presentation.

Patients should then be seen by this service within three weeks of referral and offered a treatment within six weeks.

If you have the symptoms, get to your GP and you should get urgent, early referral to a specialist who has the appropriate facilities to do the drug tests and scans and can confirm the diagnosis.

Is there a cure?

There is no known cure for RA. The goal of clinicians and nurses is to ensure that people with RA are ‘pain free’. Uncontrolled RA is painful and learning to cope with chronic (long-lasting) pain may be the biggest challenge a patient with RA will face.

[Read more: Hairdresser beats the pain of arthritis by eating vegetables]

Can lifestyle changes help?

There are many things that people with RA can do to help reduce the pain they experience, such as meditation and relaxation, distraction (as focusing on pain makes it worse, not better), heat, cold, and massage can provide some quick relief for mild symptoms, and exercise, especially swimming, is particularly beneficial, along with a Mediterranean diet.

Tired all the time? Searching for a genetic link to chronic fatigue syndrome

Yawning can be highly contagious. And we are all familiar with that post-lunch energy letdown that comes after eating a big meal. That one is influenced both by our circadian rhythm and the consumption of lots of carbohydrates (some tips to fight it here). But these are the struggles with fatigue and exhaustion that everyone deals with. And they are far different from the energy-sapping experiences experienced by people with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Is your fatigue the ‘chronic’ kind?

Because there is no formal, agreed-upon name for the spectrum of issues this condition presents, the name myalgic encephalomyelitis (or ME) is more commonly used in Europe and Canada, while the name chronic fatigue syndrome (or CFS) is used more often in the United States and Australia. In order to develop a harmonized language to help with focusing resources to treat it, the acronym ME/CFS is increasingly being used worldwide. The National Institutes of Health Office of Disease Prevention describes ME/CFS as “a complex, multifaceted disorder characterized by extreme fatigue and a host of other symptoms that can worsen after physical or mental activity, but do not improve with rest.” There are about 1 million people in the US afflicted with the condition, according to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Women appear to be slightly more likely to have it. However, there are problems with assessing true diagnoses because of variability from patient to patient.

It has been difficult to pin down the underlying mechanisms that cause ME/CFS. Clinically speaking, some believe it’s a central nervous system disorder, while others believe it’s metabolic, many have considered it to be infectious or post-infectious, or perhaps an immune dysregulation disorder. Some have also been proposing that ME/CFS is psychological or physiopsychological. There are no laboratory tests available to definitively identify and diagnose ME/CFS. So diagnosis is a process of exclusion (ruling-out various other diseases, and therefore being left with ME/CFS as a possibility).

There are no drug therapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the condition, though there have been some promising early-stage trials of drugs under development.

Root causes

Some new theories suggest that indeed, there are metabolic shifts and physiological causes for ME/CFS. These include theories that the sufferers’ metabolism of sugars and amino acids is compromised, leading to a host of physical effects. A lot of this seems to be focused squarely on how pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) functions normally versus in someone with ME/CFS. PDH is crucial for moving carbohydrates (energy) into cell mitochondria, and in some people with diagnosed ME/CFS there appear to be dysfunctional levels of PDH.

It seems that blood levels of certain enzymes that deactivate PDH were higher in some people diagnosed with ME/CFS, along with deficits in certain amino acids that can be used for fuel as a proxy for carbohydrates. There are gender differences, though, in the prevalence of ME/CFS, as well as in sugar and amino acid metabolism between males and females, which confound some of the blood tests looking to link amino acid discrepancies definitively with ME/CFS. The interesting coincidence is that those with ME/CFS complain of severe fatigue, and also muscle soreness, which could be caused by compromised sugar metabolism as well as lactate levels increasing due to using amino acids for cellular energy. Whether this is a causal relationship or a happy coincidence with the new theory is unknown.

In a couple of very small studies (mostly by the same research group), patients suffering with ME/CFS were given a monoclonal antibody drug typically used for lymphoma (cancer) and rheumatoid arthritis. The drug seemed to eliminate symptoms of ME/CFS in a majority of the groups. The drug works by destroying antibody-producing B-cells, which may be at the locus of the enzymatic interference with PDH and other carbohydrate-metabolism pathways. It could be that there’s cross-reactivity with the antibodies and some component of PDH, which causes the interaction. This could offer hope for new treatment options by way of a drug that modulates the immune system.

One thing’s for sure, ME/CFS won’t be resolved without a complex and multivariate approach to tease apart its causes and develop effective and targeted solutions. Even if some of these preliminary studies lead to dead ends or dark alleys, those still provide information to us – a ‘null’ result is still a result and tells us a lot. It also ensures we don’t retread ineffective approaches and over time can narrow our focus on what really matters for developing effective treatments.

Ben Locwin, PhD, MBA, MS, is a contributor to the Genetic Literacy Project and is an author of a wide variety of scientific articles in books and magazines. He is an expert contact for the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), a committee member of the American Statistical Association (ASA), and has been featured by the CDC, the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and other media outlets. Follow him at @BenLocwin

LOW CARB TACO NIGHT WITH CHEESE TACO SHELLS

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #YesYouCAN #CollectiveBias

Have a Low Carb Taco night with these cheese taco shells made from baked cheddar cheese formed into the shape of a taco!

Have a low carb taco night with these cheese taco shells made from baked cheddar cheese formed into the shape of a taco! Stuff your low carb taco with ground chorizo and ground beef cooked in Rotel and topped with diced avocado and sour cream.

Mexican food is my favorite…well I mean, I love pretty much all food, but if I absolutely had to pick a type of food I couldn’t live without Mexican/Tex-Mex food would be it. My favorite recipes almost always involve a can of RO*TEL, whether it is a spicy chicken taco braid or my King Ranch Chicken casserole.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Thank you!

Have a low carb taco night with these cheese taco shells made from baked cheddar cheese formed into the shape of a taco! Stuff your low carb taco with ground chorizo and ground beef cooked in Rotel and topped with diced avocado and sour cream.

Since I started eating low carb a couple of years ago I have had to find some creative ways to keep cooking with the flavors I love without using tortillas, chips, or taco shells. Taco salad or these Tex-Mex zucchini boats were my go to in the beginning, but  I really missed picking up a taco and biting into it. Then I discovered taco shells made from cheddar cheese and life got even better.

Have a low carb taco night with these cheese taco shells made from baked cheddar cheese formed into the shape of a taco! Stuff your low carb taco with ground chorizo and ground beef cooked in Rotel and topped with diced avocado and sour cream.

Yep, you read that right, I’m going to share my simple hack for turning shredded cheddar cheese into cheesy taco shells. All you need to do it line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or a silicone mat if you have one, and then drop little piles of shredded cheddar cheese on to the sheet. For taco shells I suggest using about 3oz of cheese per shell.

Have a low carb taco night with these cheese taco shells made from baked cheddar cheese formed into the shape of a taco! Stuff your low carb taco with ground chorizo and ground beef cooked in Rotel and topped with diced avocado and sour cream.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake at 350F for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the edges begin to brown.

Have a low carb taco night with these cheese taco shells made from baked cheddar cheese formed into the shape of a taco! Stuff your low carb taco with ground chorizo and ground beef cooked in Rotel and topped with diced avocado and sour cream.

Then comes the fun part. To shape the tacos you are going to set up a little station. Use two glasses and sit a thick handled spoon (or whatever utensil you have) across the glasses. You’ll want the handle to be thick enough that it will leave a space of about 3/4″ in the curve of your taco. It doesn’t have to be precise! Let the cheese cool for a minute then lift it off of the baking sheet and drape it over the spoon handle. Let it cool completely, this only takes about 5 minutes, and you have a low carb taco shell!

Have a low carb taco night with these cheese taco shells made from baked cheddar cheese formed into the shape of a taco! Stuff your low carb taco with ground chorizo and ground beef cooked in Rotel and topped with diced avocado and sour cream.

Now you just need something to fill that shell with. Of course you’re going to want some meat. Ground beef is great but to make an even better taco I like to use a mixture of ground beef, and ground chorizo. You’ll also want some veggies. I change mine up all the time based on what my Walmart has in their fresh vegetables section but my favorites, if I can them are avocado, lettuce, and lime. A little jalapeno never hurts either!

Have a low carb taco night with these cheese taco shells made from baked cheddar cheese formed into the shape of a taco! Stuff your low carb taco with ground chorizo and ground beef cooked in Rotel and topped with diced avocado and sour cream.

I cook the ground beef and chorizo in a skillet until the meat is cooked through, then  I pour the grease off and add a can of drained RO*TEL. RO*TEL makes this recipe so simple because I don’t have to worry about adding a ton of other spices. I just cook the meat and RO*TEL mixture, adding a little salt to taste, until all the flavors have melded together. When the meat is ready I fill cheddar cheese taco shells with it, then top them with diced avocados, jalapeno, sour cream, and shredded lettuce. I give them a little squeeze of lime to brighten everything up and I’m done. Of course you can add anything else you like on your tacos. Then grab it and take a bite. You may never go back to regular tacos again!

Have a low carb taco night with these cheese taco shells made from baked cheddar cheese formed into the shape of a taco! Stuff your low carb taco with ground chorizo and ground beef cooked in Rotel and topped with diced avocado and sour cream.

Low Carb TacoHave a low carb taco night with these cheese taco shells made from baked cheddar cheese formed into the shape of a taco! Stuff your low carb taco with ground chorizo and ground beef cooked in Rotel and topped with diced avocado and sour cream.
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hrs
Have a low carb taco night with these cheese taco shells made from baked cheddar cheese formed into the shape of a taco!
Cuisine: Main Dish
Servings: 8
Calories: 281 kcal
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Ingredients
    • 1/2 lb Ground beef
    • 1/2 lb Ground chorizo
    • 1/2 packet Taco seasoning
    • 10 oz RO*TEL
    • 1/4 tsp Salt
    • 2 c Cheddar cheese , shredded
    • Toppings for taco: Sour cream , avocado, cheese, lettuce, etc.

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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat place 2-3oz piles of cheese 2 inches apart. Press the cheese down lightly so it makes one layer.
  3. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 5-7 minutes or until the edges of the cheese are brown.
  4. Let the cheese cool for 2-3 minutes then lift it up and place it over the handle of a spoon or other utensil that is balanced on two cups.
  5. Let cheese cool completely then remove.
  6. While you continue to bake your cheese taco shells place the ground beef and ground chorizo in a skillet over medium high heat cooking until it is completely cooked through.
  7. Drain the grease from the meat and then add the can of RO*TEL and half of a packet of taco seasoning.
  8. Simmer for 5 minutes then salt to taste.
  9. Add meat to taco shells and top with your favorite taco toppings.

    These low carb taco cups are an easy low carb recipe that can be a low carb appetizer for Christmas or New Year’s or just a quick healthy lunch for those on a low carb diet. The cheesy shells are perfect for all of that taco goodness inside. These will disappear quick!These zucchini boats are a quick and easy dinner recipe. Zucchini stuffed with ground beef and covered with cheddar cheese and homemade 10 minute salsa. Great summer recipe!