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Meal Plan: The Simple Method
  1. Eat real, whole foods you love.
  2. Cut back a little at a time. Dieting shouldn't be zero to a hundred. It's okay to start slowly but surely.
  3. Look for bumps and plan ahead. Office parties? Celebrations? Think ahead and deal with how you will tackle this obstacle.
  4. Sharing your progress with other people will help build your confidence in taking accountability and even motivate you.
  5. Cheat day? Remove the guilt! Learn how to get back on track and eat reasonable portions instead of pigging out.

@evel77

The Simple Way to Stick to a Meal Plan - zen habits

zenhabits.net

  1. Sneaky calories - there are a lot of hidden calories that we don't see or often take notice to such as oil servings or juices that we don't include in our calorie count.
  2. Extreme diets - fads and trendy diets ebb and flow, but your goal is to have a healthy and nutrient rich body, stick to what is best for you in the long run.
  3. Starving yourself - a little hunger is okay, but to starve yourself is a completely different scenario. it’s best to reduce portions a little at a time.
  • 10 hours before bed: No more caffeine
  • 3 hours before bed: No more food or alcohol
  • 2 hours before bed: No more work
  • 1 hour before bed: No more screen time
  • 0: The number of times you hit the snooze button in the morning.

Get Better Sleep and Start Mornings Strong With the "10-3-2-1-0" Formula

lifehacker.com

Juice Cleansing

Marketers promote juice cleanses as a way to get rid of toxic overload, regaining balance after a period of unhealthful eating, or jump-starting wholesome habits. 

But juice cleanses and liquid detox diets are not a healthful or safe approach to weight loss. There's no scientific research that it provides benefits in the short or long term, and it's not an overall healthy approach to eating.

4 Myths About Juice Cleansing | Live Science

livescience.com

The body detoxifies itself naturally, primarily through the action of the liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

These organs help remove toxins or harmful substances that should not be stored in the body, so we don't need to do a juice cleanse or follow a liquid detox diet to be healthy.

A juice cleanse offers people a false sense of security that they are doing something beneficial, when in fact they're not.

You may lose a few pounds on the scale during the first days, but once you come off a cleanse, and eat food, you could gain all this weight right back.

Cleansing is ineffective as a long-term solution to weight loss. A person may shed pounds in the beginning of a cleanse, but this is due to a loss of water, she said.

But the loss of water weight comes at the expense of a loss of muscle, which is a steep price to pay.

Many celebrities have popularized the idea of cleansing. Some stars have tried the approach as a quick way to lose weight, while others have done it to feel healthy after overindulging. 

And once people hear the hype and that the "famous and beautiful people" are doing it, everybody else wants to jump on the trends. 

Understanding Metabolism

Metabolism is the chemical reactions that are needed in our bodies to maintain life as an organism.

It helps convert food into energy, breaking down food into building blocks for various elements, and to eliminate nitrogenous wastes from the body.

Whether slow or fast, here's how your metabolism influences how many calories you burn each day

theconversation.com

A person with slow metabolism will not burn the same quantity of energy as one with a fast metabolism.

What still remains a moving target is how the speed of metabolism varies from one person to another, and what will turn it up or down.

The energy value of any food is measured in calories, and the basal metabolic rate is the minimum amount of calorie count that is required when the body is at rest (Resting Energy Expenditure). Combining it with the energy one consumes while moving around or digesting food gives us the total energy expenditure.

Our body energy needs are dependent on our age, height, weight, genetics and gender, apart from our daily activity.

  • Certain medical conditions and general health also contribute as factors in our metabolic rate.
  • The thyroid gland produces a chemical called ‘thyroxine’ which regulates a person’s basal metabolic rate.
  • Depression, diabetes, fasting, having fever, low blood oxygen too play a huge factor in our caloric requirements and calorie expenditure
  • For an average adult female, the estimated daily intake is 1600 to 2400 calories.
  • For the average adult male, it is 2000 to 3000 calories per day.
  • Children have a higher speed of metabolism, especially in stages of infancy.
  • Two people of the same body type and weight can have a 30 percent variation in their caloric needs due to how much body movement happens during the day.
Obesity: The Facts
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 80 %of adults and about one-third of children now meet the clinical definition of overweight or obese. More Americans live with “extreme obesity“ than with breast cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and HIV put together.
  • Studies have found that about one-third of people classified as obese are metabolically healthy. They show no signs of elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance or high cholesterol.

Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong

highline.huffingtonpost.com

Diets and Health

For half a century, doctors and researchers have known two things that could have improved, or saved, millions of lives:

  • Diets do not work. Not just paleo or Atkins or Weight Watchers or Goop, but all diets.
  • Being fat does not necessarily mean being unhealthy.
About Diets
  • A 2016 study that followed participants for an average of 19 years found that unfit skinny people were twice as likely to get diabetes as fat people, who were relatively fit.
  • Americans spend more on dieting every year than on video games or movies.
Treating Obese patients
Doctors have shorter appointments with fat patients and have been reported to show less emotional rapport during the interaction.
Making people guilty about being fat
Bioethicist Daniel Callahan said people should be made to feel ashamed of being obese. “People don’t realize that they are obese or if they do realize it, it’s not enough to stir them to do anything about it". He kicked his cigarette habit due to shame, so is applying the same psychology to obesity.
Nutritional Information to youngsters
According to a 2015 survey, students receive an average of 19 hours of nutrition education over four years of school time—five hours fewer than they got in 2006.
Ultra-Processed Foods
60% of the calories Americans consume come from '"ultra-processed foods”, according to the British Medical Journal (2016).
Reluctance to see a Doctor
Three separate studies have found that fat women are more likely to die from breast and cervical cancers than non-fat women, a result partially attributed to their reluctance to see doctors and get screenings/tests and timely diagnosis.
The Daily Stigma of being fat

More than 40 percent of Americans classified as obese say they experience stigma on a daily basis.

 Since 1980, the obesity rate has doubled in 73 countries and increased in 113 others. No country has reduced its obesity rate in all these years.

The number one cause of death
Diet is the leading cause of death in the US, responsible for more than five times the fatalities of gun violence and car accidents combined.
Sugar and Additives are killing us

All of our biological systems for regulating energy, hunger and satiety get thrown off by eating foods that are high in sugar (like Fructose, for instance), low in fiber and injected with additives, and which make up 60 percent of the calories we eat.

The Brain’s Unique Signal-filtering Process

Even with massive amounts of information drowning our senses, we can focus on what is important and take action.

The brain’s ability to focus on a particular signal while filtering out the rest is now being studied by neuroscientists in detail, and the decades-old studies of the brain cortex being responsible for the same are now proving to be incomplete.

To Pay Attention, the Brain Uses Filters, Not a Spotlight | Quanta Magazine

quantamagazine.org

  • While the prefrontal cortex region of the brain had long been studied by neuroscientists, a separate region of the brain, called thalamus came in the picture in 1984, by a new theory that suggested that the region acts as a gatekeeper of the senses, apart from being a relay centre.
  • The region has a thin layer of inhibitory neurons wrapped around it, called the thalamic reticular nucleus(TRN), which acted as ‘gates’ and hid or removed some of the data that is not required at a given time, to establish a level of focus for the individual.
  • The study found that the brain was lowering the unwanted signals to help us focus on the stimuli of interest.

The brain’s ability to focus on one thing while obscuring, curbing or reducing the signal strength of other (presumably unwanted) stimuli can be dangerous if those turn out to be unexpectedly important.

The brain, evolved as it is, has a unique way to handle this issue, by reducing the signal strength of the focused object about four times per second, suppressing what’s important to focus on the other signals, some of which may also be important. The brain is already wired to blink.

Neuroscientists are now also looking at the basal ganglia region of the brain, commonly associated with motor control, apart from reward-based learning and decision making.

The new frontiers of this study include the brain’s attention, action cues and even the elusive subject of consciousness.

The brain, it seems, is interlinked and interconnected in many ways yet to be understood.

False memories

A false memory refers to a distorted recall of an event.

They can be completely unreal. In some cases, false memories may comprise aspects of the fact that have been distorted by interfering information or other memory distortions.

How Your Brain Can Create False Memories

verywellmind.com

Common elements of false memory include:

  • Mental experiences that people think are authentic and exact representations of past events.
  • Meaningless specifics (thinking you hung your keys near the door when you got home) to much more meaningful and serious ones (thinking you can provide details related to a crime, because you think you saw someone at the scene.)
  • False memory is not the same thing as the common memory errors. A false memory is not just a simple error, because it relates to a level of confidence in the legitimacy of the memory.
  • A false memory can be influenced by aspects like misinformation and misattribution of the original source of the information.
  • Existing knowledge and other memories can also interfere with the creation and development of a new memory, causing the recollection of an event to be mistaken or entirely false.
  • It is also possible to induce false memories through suggestion.
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy

According to a new study, broken hearts are on the rise. In March and April of 2020, 7.8% of patients presenting with symptoms of a heart attack had the condition - known as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

Takotsubo is known to affect people after the death of a child or spouse. People also experience stress-induced cardiomyopathy after surgery, public speaking, a death threat, and claustrophobia in an MRI machine. The research suggests the stress of the global crisis is pushing people's hearts over the edge.

Broken Heart Syndrome Is Real

elemental.medium.com

  • Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is characterized by a sudden physical or psychological stressor that could release a surge of hormones that stuns specific heart muscles, preventing them from properly pumping blood. The left ventricle balloons out, and people experience chest pain, difficulty breathing, and even heart failure.
  • Doctors may mistake this condition for a heart attack or inflammation of the lungs. When people show these symptoms, doctors must eliminate other conditions first. Real confirmation of Takotsubo will likely come from an angiogram.
  • 90% of people survive an episode of stress-induced cardiomyopathy, but consequences may remain. While most patients' hearts may return to their normal shape in a few days, others can take three or more months to heal. Some people may require defibrillators.

While Takotsubo patients' hearts appear to function normally again, the heart may have some segments that are not contracting well. That may explain why some people report chest pain, breathing difficulty, and other challenges long after their heart appear to have returned to normal.

Medications like beta-blockers and blood thinners can be necessary for recovery, but it is also important to see a psychologist. Meditation and regular exercise may also help.

Consequences Of Too Little Sleep

It is common knowledge that we need to sleep to be our best. And constant sleep loss has serious effects, including death.

Sleep is a neurological activity, and still, sleep-deprived creatures suffer serious malfunction in other parts of the body, outside the nervous system. Chronic sleep deprivation can result in heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

Why Sleep Deprivation Kills

quantamagazine.org

Sleep, according to deep research on flies, has a function of reversing the ancient biochemical process of oxidation. Without sleep, there is no restoration possible.

Sleep studies prove it is worse than starvation, as early studies (19th century) conducted on puppies showed that they died in about five days if deprived of sleep and kept in motion.

... or ROS is a molecule that builds up in the intestines of animals that are denied sleep.

  • Studies conducted on fruit flies and mice showed rising levels of ROS when kept in sleep deprivation.

  • Antioxidants, when given to sleep-deprived flies, made them healthy and active again, proving that the artificial restoration is possible.

Researchers have found that sleep deprivation is not just about the mind, or the nervous system, but affects our gut, blood composition and other parts of the body which seem unrelated to sleep.

It is commonly believed that the consume of artificial sweeteners helps reduce the intake of calories., resulting in less chances to develop a heart disease. However, there are ups and downs also when it comes to this topic, which you should definitely be aware of when deciding to start consuming them.

Artificial sweeteners: sugar-free, but at what cost? - Harvard Health Blog

health.harvard.edu

While artificial sweeteners can help you reduce weight and even the risk of developing a heart disease, you should consider consuming only the ones officially approved, such as saccharin or stevia. Furthermore, it is not recommended to consume extra sweets just because you are reducing the intake of sugar by consuming artificial sweeteners. One next point to be taken into account refers to the danger to consume of these products while lying to yourself that they are not the real staff, therefore you cannot possible gain weight. Well, that is not so accurate and you risk ending up with many extra pounds. Finally, the biggest threaten posed by these products is the addiction: you might realize, a bit too late, that you are too much into artificial sweeteners

The moderate consumption of artificial sweeteners can lead to weight loss as well as to less chances of getting a cancer. However, there are a few risks that one should take into account when consuming these products, such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. The safest option would be to consume foods that contain sugar in their natural form, as whole fruit and as few as possible artificial sweeteners and sugar itself.

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