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Fatigue causes: How your ‘healthy’ lifestyle can be making you tired



Editor’s Note: Lisa Drayer is a nutritionist, author, and CNN health and nutrition scientist.


Let me guess: you eat a clean diet, enjoy a lot of fruit and vegetables, avoid meat and are much more plant-based. They also banned bread, cookies, and cakes from the house. There’s only one problem: you can’t stay awake and alert during the day.

On the surface, this lifestyle may seem healthy, but it can involve some behaviors that actually stole your energy.

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What looks like the healthiest way to improve your overall health can actually stop you from achieving your goals.

“Eating healthy can sometimes become unhealthy and drain you of energy if you’re too restricted,” said Yasi Ansari, a registered nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Here are a few ways that what is known as a “healthy” diet can keep you sluggish – and what you can do to get your energy going again.

“Trying to lose weight and cut your calories too much may result in not having the right amount of energy or fuel to get through the day,” said Elizabeth DeRobertis, a registered nutritionist and director of the Nutrition Center of Scarsdale Medical Group, White Plains Hospital.

Eating provides the energy you need to stay focused and productive throughout the day. And while people sometimes think that if they want to lose weight, they should eat as little as possible, it won’t work in the long run, said DeRobertis, creator of the GPS Weight Loss Program, an online self-paced weight loss program. If someone becomes too restrictive in their intake, their metabolism may slow down and you may feel energetic. “You’re too hungry … and as a result you eat too much,” said DeRobertis.

“When you are feeling low on energy, check the energy you are taking in,” said Melissa Majumdar, on Atlanta-based Registered Nutritionist and Certified Obesity and Weight Management Specialist. “Start by adding an additional 1 to 2 ounces of lean protein, half a cup of whole grains, or 1 tablespoon of healthy fat and reanalyzing.”

Going without food for too long can also make you feel tired. “Some people find drowsiness or sluggishness as a sign of eating more than traditional hunger signals,” said Majumdar, who is also a metabolism and obesity coordinator at Emory University Hospital Midtown. “If you run out of energy two or three hours after a meal, add a balanced snack of fiber and protein, like fresh fruit with a handful of nuts or a small bag of edamame.”

“Recognizing when your body starts to get hungry can help you understand how best to stick to your diet and timing to ensure that your energy is stable throughout the day and that you are helping your body with its To meet demand, ”said Ansari.

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Low carb can also make you feel lousy. Not only can eating too few carbohydrates make you feel tired and irritable from low blood sugar; it can also lead to dehydration, which can cause fatigue. “For every gram of carbohydrate stored in the body, around 2 to 3 grams of water are stored,” explains DeRobertis. But if someone cuts their carbohydrate intake too drastically, water is released and dehydration can result.

“When someone experiences a loss of energy in the afternoon, I always think of a plant that has withered and needs water,” said DeRobertis. “If we water the plant, it will perk up again. And I imagine that this happens to our cells if we are not well enough hydrated during the day. ”

Cutting carbohydrates, especially cookies and sugary treats, is perfectly fine, but be careful not to skimp on high-fiber carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Banning animal proteins as part of a vegetarian diet is not necessarily unhealthy, but it is important to ensure that you have a balanced intake of all nutrients.

“If someone opts for a vegetarian or vegan diet but doesn’t make sure they get enough vitamin B12 and iron (from dietary supplements and plant sources), anemia and the resulting feeling of fatigue can develop,” explained DeRobertis.

Iron-rich foods include beef, iron-fortified cereals, spinach, and beans. When consuming plant-based sources of iron, it is advisable to add some vitamin C to improve absorption. “An example could be a spinach salad with a small glass of orange juice or a lentil soup with chopped tomatoes,” says Ansari.

Vegans should also be aware of a possible vitamin B12 deficiency. “B12 deficiency can take years to develop, so supplementing early if you’re not eating animal-based foods like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products,” said Majumdar. Nutritional yeast can also add some vitamin B12, but would need to be eaten daily to provide enough, Majumdar added.

Too many carbohydrates in one session can also contribute to sluggishness.

Even healthy carbohydrates turn into sugar in the body, and our pancreases produce insulin in response to keep our blood sugar stable.

“If someone eats too many carbohydrates in one session – even if they are healthy carbohydrates like brown rice, beans, sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta, or quinoa – too many can raise blood sugar in some, and high blood sugar makes us feel tired and lethargic, ”DeRobertis said. (While this is common among people with diabetes, it can happen to anyone who eats too many carbohydrates in one session, she said.)

Be careful with how you feel after different meal combinations, and if you find yourself feeling tired after a high-carb meal, you should spread your carbs out throughout the day, DeRobertis advised.

Excessive exercise can also make you feel tired. “How much is too much depends on the person, other demands in their life, stress levels, general health and fitness levels, and types of exercise,” said Majumdar.

Too little energy during exercise can also contribute to fatigue. “During exercise, the body typically burns a combination of fat and carbohydrates. When you don’t get enough carbohydrates, it becomes more difficult to keep your workout energized, and as this pattern progresses, the body’s stored carbohydrates called glycogen are not replenished, ”Majumdar said. This can leave you feeling drained, frustrated, and demoralized with your workouts, according to Majumdar.

“Take stock of how you are feeling before and after your workout and consider adding carbohydrates or calories to your intake or reducing your exercise to keep energy levels balanced,” said Majumdar.

If exercise eats into bedtime, it can affect energy levels as well. Getting enough sleep not only gives you energy, but also helps the body actively repair muscles and tissues that are used during exercise, according to Majumdar.

Whole Grains Health

The Pros and Cons of Vegetarian Diets



Many people follow a vegetarian diet to improve their health. The health benefits of a vegetarian diet are well documented. But this diet also has disadvantages. When thinking about following a vegetarian diet, consider these pros and cons to make sure it is right for you.

Pros: A vegetarian diet can lower your risk of disease.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds are at the heart of a healthy, balanced vegetarian diet. These foods provide an abundance of health-protecting vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that can lower the risk of common chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and obesity.

Cons: Just because it’s vegetarian doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

On the other hand, if your vegetarian diet includes a lot of highly processed foods instead of whole plant foods, the risk of some chronic diseases may even increase. There are plenty of junk foods that can fit into a vegetarian diet but are not good for you – think soda, chips, and cookies, among others. Packaged vegetarian meals and snacks can contain high amounts of added sugar, sodium, and fat and offer little to no nutritional value. Remember, as with any diet, there are ways to make a vegetarian diet healthy and turn it into a diet disaster.

Pros: You have options when it comes to going vegetarian.

You can determine the type of vegetarian eating plan that will work best for you. Some people cut meat, fish, and poultry from their diet, but eat eggs and dairy products. Others only allow eggs or only dairy products. Some occasionally contain seafood. A vegan diet eliminates all foods that come from animals, even things like honey.

Downside: You may be nutritionally deficient.

Some essential nutrients such as vitamins B12 and D, calcium and iron are not found in many plant foods. Vegetarian diets can provide these nutrients as long as food intake is properly planned, but supplementation is sometimes required. The main sources of these nutrients for vegetarians include:

  • Vitamin B12: Found in animal products such as eggs and milk (as well as meat, fish and poultry). Also found in some fortified grains, nutritional yeast, meat substitutes, and soy milk.
  • Vitamin D: In addition to eggs and fish, it is also found in fortified vegetable milk and mushrooms. Vitamin D is also obtained from exposure to the sun.
  • Calcium: In addition to dairy products, calcium is found in fortified plant-based milk, grains, juice, tofu, kale, kale, broccoli, beans, and almonds.
  • Iron: You can get iron from eggs, but also fortified grains, soy, spinach, Swiss chard, and beans. Combine iron-rich foods with vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, peppers, or tomatoes to increase your intake.

Starting a vegetarian diet can be difficult when shopping for groceries, dining out, and dining in social settings. Over time this will get easier, but will require some work. Read the product labels and familiarize yourself with common animal ingredients like casein, whey, and gelatin. In restaurants, remember that meatless meals can be made with dairy or other animal products such as beef or chicken broth. So ask questions to make a choice that is right for you. If you’re eating at home, it’s best to bring a vegetarian dish that anyone can enjoy.

If you are committed to a vegetarian lifestyle, a registered dietitian can provide helpful tips to better meet your nutritional needs.


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Whole Grains Health

Falling for weight loss myths



I’m here to warn you about 5 fat loss myths that most people fall for. This may sound like soapbox talk and we apologize, but trust us when we say this is a message that needs to be spread.

Your fat loss depends on it.

Don’t waste time on these:

Myth: Diet pills help with fat loss

It’s so tempting! The commercials make compelling claims about the power of diet pills, but don’t fall for them. The “magic pill” has yet to be discovered (it was discovered – exercise. It just doesn’t come in pill form). Diet pills are more likely to damage your health and burn your wallet than you lose weight.

Don’t take a pill – instead, burn calories with exercise.

Myth: You should starve to lose fat

Trying to lose weight by starving is not only ineffective but also dangerous. It may seem like a severe calorie restriction would result in the fastest weight loss, but your body is complex and doing so disrupts your metabolism and slows down your results.

Don’t starve yourself – instead, eat healthy, small meals throughout the day.

Myth: Lots of crunches will straighten your abs

We all want our midsection to look toned while walking on the beach, but excessive crunches aren’t the solution for tight abs. To achieve a slim look, you need to focus on burning off the layer of fat that covers your abs.

Don’t be obsessed with crunches – focus on burning fat instead.

Myth: Eat Packaged Diet Foods For Quick Results

It is amazing to see what foods are packaged as “diet” or “weight loss” aids. In most cases, these products contain refined sugars and other artificial ingredients that your body doesn’t need.

Don’t eat packaged diet foods – stick to nutritious whole foods instead.

Myth: You have to avoid carbohydrates to lose fat

Carbohydrates get a bad rap, which is unfortunate because you can (and should) eat carbohydrates while you are losing weight. The key is to stick with whole grains, oatmeal, and brown rice while avoiding processed and refined flours and sugars.

Don’t go without all carbohydrates – stick with healthy carbohydrates instead.

Fred Sassani

Now that you know what not to do to look your best this summer, it’s time to go over your beach-ready game plan.

Here’s what you need to know in 3 easy steps:

First: cut out the trash

The best way to do this is to start cleaning your kitchen. Avoid sugary, processed, and high-fat foods. Once the rubbish is cleared away, don’t buy anything more. Remember, your beach-ready abs depend on what you eat – don’t eat trash.

Second: focus on whole foods

Replace the junk food in your life with a lot of the following: cooked and raw vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, moderate amounts of seeds and nuts, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Clean eating is that easy.

Third, start an exercise program with a fitness professional

This is the most obvious step. When you’re ready to get into tip-top shape, find a fitness professional who can help you along the way by creating a simple, step-by-step program. Invest in your health and watch the rest of your life change too.

Fred Sassani is the founder of Bodies By Design, a nationally certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist. For comments or questions, you can reach Fred at or visit

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Whole Grains Health

How to Tell if Your Baby is Ready to Stop Drinking Formula – Cleveland Clinic



Make the formula. Feed your sweetie. Wash, rinse, repeat. For parents of babies who drink infant formula, you did this dance several times a day (and night) for what felt like an eternity. But could the end finally be in sight? When do babies stop drinking milk?

The Cleveland Clinic is a not-for-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our website helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. politics

“A healthy baby should drink breast milk or formula up to the age of 1 year. Formulas are fortified with the vitamins and iron they need, ”says pediatrician Radhai Prabhakaran, MD. “In general, babies aged 9 months to 1 year should have at least 24 ounces per day. But once your baby is on a full diet of nutritious solid foods, switch to cow’s milk, which contains protein and vitamin D. “

Indicates your baby is ready to wean the formula

Whether babies are ready to board the milk express depends on their taste for table food. “Some babies get used to a mostly solid diet early (between 9 and 12 months) because they like it and they are okay with it. If you have a nutritionally balanced diet, it is okay to wean your baby from infant formula before the age of one. “

A healthy solid food diet for a baby should include:

  • Fruit.
  • Grains.
  • Protein from meat, eggs, or boiled beans.
  • Vegetables.

“Gradually reduce the amount of formula you drink as you eat more. Keep offering it to drink because sometimes babies are not full after eating solid foods, ”notes Dr. Prabhakaran. “But wait until they are 1 year old to introduce cow’s milk, even if they wean earlier.”

Signs your baby is NOT ready to wean the formula

Your baby should continue feeding if:

  • You’re not gaining weight.
  • Were born prematurely.
  • Have not established a balanced solid diet.
  • You need to proceed with the formula based on your doctor’s recommendation. (For example, if your baby has food allergies or has trouble digesting food or absorbing nutrients.)

Health conditions that affect how long babies drink formula

Certain underlying health conditions can affect how long it takes your baby to drink formula. Babies may need to stay on the formula longer if they:

“And if your doctor has already told you that your baby may need to be on a special diet, talk to him or her before weaning your baby off the formula,” adds Dr. Prabhakaran added. “They can help you come up with a nutrition plan that will make the transition safer.”

How to wean your baby off formula

If your baby likes the taste of cow’s milk:

  1. Start giving them a 2 to 4 ounce serving of milk for every two or three servings of formula.
  2. For up to 10 days over the next week, increase the servings of milk as you decrease the servings of the formula.
  3. Stop giving milk as soon as you have drunk the milk without any problems.

If your baby prefers the taste of formula:

  1. Build the formula as usual. Do not add cow’s milk to the milk powder.
  2. Mix together 2 ounces of prepared formula and 2 ounces of cow’s milk so you have a 4-ounce drink for your baby.
  3. Feed your baby the mixture.
  4. Over the next week to 10 days, add more milk and less milk to the mixture until it is all cow’s milk.

Bottle or cup?

Get ready to say goodbye to the bottle. Dr. Prabhakaran says that drinking from a bottle is a no-go from the age of 1. “Bottle feeding can affect tooth growth and cause tooth decay.”

Instead, switch your little one to a swallow, straw, or regular cup at around 9 months of age. “When you’re feeling adventurous, wean her off the formula and the bottle at the same time.”

Does my baby still need milk when he wakes up at night?

Dr. Prabhakaran notes that most babies of this age do not need to eat when they wake up at night. “When babies have doubled their birth weight (which happens after about 4 to 6 months) and are eating solid foods regularly, they generally don’t need extra calories and can sleep through the night. So encourage her to go back to sleep. “

Babies of this age also have the most milk teeth, so drinking milk or formula at night can lead to dental problems. Night feeding can also make them too full to eat what they need during the day.

But as always there are exceptions. “If your baby is not gaining weight, your doctor can give you other advice. Breast-fed babies can also take a little longer because the breast milk is digested more quickly. “

When to apply the brakes when stopping the formula

Dr. Prabhakaran says the transition to cow’s milk should be even slower once babies start drinking milk and experience:

  • Dramatic change in her bowel movements.
  • Abundance.

If these symptoms persist or worsen, speak to your baby’s pediatrician about a possible milk allergy. If necessary, your doctor can recommend safe milk alternatives for young children.

Signs that your baby may not tolerate cow’s milk include:

  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Rash.
  • Vomit.

What is the best milk for a 1 year old?

Experts consider whole cow milk to be the best milk for 1-year-olds after weaning. “The general rule is whole milk until they’re 2 years old, unless there are special circumstances,” says Dr. Prabhakaran.

Your doctor may recommend 2% milk instead if your baby:

  • Is difficult for her size.
  • Drink more than the recommended amount of milk (16 to 24 ounces per day or 2 to 3 cups).
  • Is blocked.

Milk alternatives for toddlers

Unsweetened soy milk is one of the best cow milk alternatives for toddlers because it has a similar protein content. But soy milk has fewer calories – which babies need to thrive – than whole milk. The calorie content of unsweetened rice milk is slightly higher, but it contains less protein and more added sugar.

The best way to make a decision, says Dr. Prabhakaran, is to look at your child’s overall diet. “There are so many milk alternatives and the diets of babies are very different. It’s impossible to have a blanket rule of what’s okay. Some children eat a lot of yogurt and cheese. Some babies are vegan. Talk to your baby’s doctor about the best alternative to help your child with certain deficiencies and general nutrition. “

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