From the time the novel coronavirus appeared, governments and organizations put various measures in place to contain it. The most effective include sanitizing, social distancing, wearing PPEs, and quarantines. Although isolation plays a role in slowing the spread, it also makes things worse for people with or at risk of mental disorders.
Health experts already expect a surge in cases of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and even suicide due to prolonged isolation. Just as with COVID-19, the health system isn’t adequately prepared to handle this surge. What’s more, not everyone eligible for treatment will seek or receive it. This situation has serious long-term implications.
According to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 56% of US adults experience worry, stress, and other adverse mental effects. The national hotline for people suffering emotional distress has seen a nearly 900% increase in calls during the coronavirus pandemic, compared to the same period last year.
Of the trillions of dollars set aside for coronavirus relief through the CARES Act, the amount committed to mental healthcare is insufficient. Even before the pandemic began, 1 in 5 American adults suffered some form of mental disorder. The figure is likely to rise exponentially due to prolonged isolation.
Signs and Symptoms of Mental Illness During Isolation
Isolation causes loneliness, which can lead to more serious mental, emotional, and even physical health issues. Some of its symptoms and adverse effects include:
Stress: The pandemic had many unexpected outcomes. They include job losses, minimal access to health facilities, gym closures, communication breakdown, and complicated housing situations. Isolation makes the situation worse because your mind focuses on these adversities.
Depression: Although COVID-19 has affected everyone, some have suffered more. Maybe you caught the virus, or know someone who did. In some instances, it could have caused the death of a friend or family member. Such developments, coupled with loneliness, are enough to cause depression.
Cognitive decline: Research shows that lonely people are more likely to suffer disorders such as dementia. Social interactions are an important stage of cognitive development for all humans.
Alcohol and drug abuse: Isolation causes boredom, which increases the likelihood of overindulging. Alcoholism and drug abuse can worsen mental disorders, such as depression.
Erratic sleep patterns: Sleep deprivation can be both a result of and contributor to mental disorders. You’re more likely to have erratic sleep patterns if you also have anxiety, ADHD, depression among other conditions. The uncertainty caused by isolation makes it harder to sleep soundly.
Personality disorders: Schizoid personality disorder and borderline personality disorder are just two of the conditions that are linked to loneliness.
In extreme circumstances, isolation causes suicidal thoughts. When coupled with circumstances such as winter and the death of a loved one, it could result in serious mental problems. Loneliness can also lead to physical health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Although all of us deal with isolation and loneliness from time to time, some people are more prone to its negative effects. The elderly have been most affected by both the coronavirus and the resulting containment measures. Some already suffer from dementia and similar conditions, which are only made worse by isolation.
Children who suddenly can’t go to school or play with their friends are also likely to be affected. If they don’t understand the cause of this sudden isolation, conditions such as ADHD and anxiety can grow worse. Others are young adults, immigrants, and divorcees.
If you had some physical health problems, isolation might also affect you mentally. Restricted access to physical therapy facilities, medication, nurses, and other support structures may trigger depression and anxiety.
How to Survive Isolation?
Although it doesn’t completely solve the problem of isolation, technology can make the situation more bearable. Phone calls, texts, and video conferencing tools help you stay in touch with distant colleagues, friends, and relatives. You can also keep in touch through social media platforms.
Technology provides ways of passing time that distract you from destructive habits such as alcoholism and drug abuse. They include movie streaming, online games, and participating in live webinars. Try to organize fun activities for the entire family, such as game nights, treasure hunts, backyard obstacle courses, and water activities.
You can also do home workouts to help keep you in shape, both physically and mentally. Remember to check on your neighbors and other members of the community, especially the elderly and vulnerable. You can help them with errands such as buying groceries, picking medication, getting them reading materials, and delivering other essentials to their doorsteps. Your short visit or phone call might do wonders for their mental wellbeing.
If you consistently experience anxiety, stress, irritability, mood swings, and related symptoms during isolation, it’s time to seek professional help. Mango Clinic’s competent and experienced physicians are skilled at making accurate diagnoses and creating effective treatment plans. Apart from mental disorders, we also treat a variety of health problems affecting both men and women.
No one is like your mom. That is why every mom is like an angel roaming the earth. All moms play a crucial role in their children’s lives.
For instance, your mother strives to balance her life beautifully while paying attention to your needs. Just like other mothers elsewhere, your mom is also smart, pretty, and versatile in her own way. Together with other big-hearted mothers, she is an inspiration to not only you but also to any stressed-out mom out there. She can empower or help other mothers to grow stronger and live happily.
Often, we ignore the early signs of ADHD as childhood hyperactivity. Children are supposed to play, sweat it out, and have fun. However, children who suffer Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) find it challenging to focus, sit still, and accomplish small tasks. They will exhibit a restless behavior— always on the go, talking incessantly, and get bored quickly.
ADHD doesn’t stop in childhood. Unfortunately, it can proceed past adolescence and plague your adult life. ADHD can affect your adult life adversely, because how can you make progress in your professional life when you can’t settle?
How Does ADHD Reduce the Quality of Your Life?
ADHD, like most mental health disorders, doesn’t get the attention as diseases with more physically pronounced symptoms. It might, therefore, aggravate because it takes longer to diagnose. Besides, most people who have ADHD do not even know it’s a severe thing until the symptoms come crushing.
ADHD can cause anxiety— you’ll intensely be worrying about everything. And this robs you of a goodnight’s sleep, which later summons lethargy. Now you can think of an exhausted brain being hyperactive. Such a level of turmoil can substantially reduce the quality of your life— every facet of it.
Sleep is essential for the body’s natural renewal and to slow brain activity, but ADHD takes it away. You are also more susceptible to sleep-related issues like snoring and restless leg syndrome.
Due to the strain this disorder puts your brain through, you might struggle to keep up the pace at work. You’ll find it hard sitting for long in those boardroom meetings. Even taking instructions from your superiors becomes hectic because your attention can’t stretch long enough to get the little details. This can lower your performance at work and make it hard for you to keep jobs.
This disorder can decimate your life in many ways; that’s why you should know the right medication. The only sure way to know you’re getting medicated is when you use FDA-approved ADHD drugs. But here’s why you should use an approved drug for treating this disorder.
Why it’s essential to use FDA approved ADHD drugs only
Drug companies make drugs, but the drugs must pass through the FDA to get approval before they can be administered. The drug companies have their own procedures that test if the drugs are safe for the people it’s made for, and if they’re effective for the conditions they treat.
The FDA, however, can only approve a drug for single use. It is doctors who will use their discretion backed up by medical research to prescribe medication off-label where the drugs can help alleviate the symptoms. That’s why some medications used for ADHD can be used for anxiety. Off-label prescriptions are effective, but the drug must be approved by the FDA, even if for a different condition.
FDA Approved Drugs assures safety and effectiveness
Drugs that do not pass through FDA don’t assure users of their safety. A drug company can’t make the drugs, test them in-house, and stamp an approval stamp on them. Using non-FDA approved ADHD drugs can cause severe damage, including liver damage, heart problems, and affect your cognitive abilities. It is only by using FDA-approved drugs that you know your safety was prioritized.
Also, non-FDA approved drugs can cause serious problems when prescribed off label. For off-label prescription, since the medicine wasn’t approved for the condition, there is no written dosage for the disease. The doctors have to depend on their training to know the right dosage to administer. Non-FDA approved drugs got away without passing any tests, depending on a doctor’s training to administer a dose of such drug for a mental health disorder is a health risk to anyone.
Some ADHD patients have other health conditions
Before drugs get approved, the FDA tests them to know if they are safe and effective for patients with other health conditions. That’s why you find drugs that are not good for lactating mothers and others that shouldn’t be used during pregnancy. Unapproved drugs lack this information, as the manufacturers bypass some tests.
For instance, psychostimulants like methylphenidate and amphetamines are effective at treating ADHD but are not recommended during pregnancy. These drugs expose the fetus to harm. Expectant ADHD patients can, therefore, go for another option— we know this because the FDA tested the drug, unapproved drugs don’t have this information, and so puts your health at risk.
In conclusion, ADHD is a serious condition that can maim your personal life and drain your professional life. Though it is common in children below six years, it can plague your adult life too. Using FDA approved drugs for this condition assures effectiveness and safety.
However, your safety begins with entrusting your health to medical professionals. Book an appointment with us to find help with ADHD-related issues.
The plant paradox diet is based on the idea of avoiding food that contains lectins. Lectin is a type of protein found mostly in plants. When taken in small amounts, lectins have been shown to provide numerous health benefits and weight loss treatments; however, they reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients when taken in larger quantities.
Lectins are naturally occurring carbohydrate-binding proteins. They serve a protective function for plants and are found mostly in grains, legumes, and nightshade veggies such as eggplants and tomatoes.
According to Dr. Gundry, lectins cause increased gut permeability, which drives autoimmune diseases. He argues that these proteins are toxins, which plants rely on to survive, and humans should avoid them as it can cause severe complications such as intestinal damage and inflammation. A body trigger causes this inflammation as it tries to fight the “foreign” lectins, which passed through the intestinal barrier. Inflammation then triggers the production of fat-storing hormones, which the body uses as fuel to fight off these proteins.
As this autoimmune reaction continues, more fat is produced and stored in the body, leading to weight gain. This protein also depletes the body’s gut microbes, which helps in maintaining a healthy weight. Lectins found in most grains are gluten and wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), which plays a role in weight gain.
Research shows that cooking destroys most of the lectins in foods. This weakens the proteins’ ability to bind to human cells. The Plant Paradox Diet suggests that all foods with lectins are harmful to the human body, while several studies indicate that many are safe, nutritious, and healthy.
Getting Started with the Plant Paradox Diet
If you’re going to implement this dieting plan, there are two specialized programs you can choose to follow. One is the high fat, low carb ketogenic meal plan (for cancer patients), and a 3-day detox-dieting plan – for people trying out the Plant Paradox Diet for the first time.
The detox program follows a strict lectin-free diet for 3 days, coupled with a daily routine of light exercises and at least 1.9 liters of water, decaf coffee, or tea. The ketogenic diet for cancer patients is a long term-commitment dietary schedule that comes with several health benefits. This is, however, not a replacement to all the other cancer treatment options.
While the plant paradox diet is restrictive, there’s no structured program and options for someone who would need a customizable plan to suit their unique dieting goals. That said, there’s a list of food to eat and food to avoid, making sure your everyday meal doesn’t reduce the body’s nutrient absorption.
Foods to Avoid
According to the Plant Paradox Diet, certain foods contain higher levels of lectins and several other compounds that Dr. Gundry considers a threat to human health. We’ve grouped them for you, so it’s easy to identify and avoid if you’re on this dietary plan.
Proteins: All beans and legumes, soy products, and farm-raised seafood, including fish.
Fruits: All types of fruits except berries.
Vegetables: Tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, and other nightshades. Pumpkins, cucumbers, zucchini, and other squashes.
The other foods to avoid are chia seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds. Dairies in this category are; all A1 milk products, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and American cheese. You would also want to stay away from vegetable fats, corn, peanut, and sunflower oils.
On the list of safe foods on the Plant Paradox Diet, are;
Starches: All grain-free products, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and plantains.
Proteins: Free-range eggs, finished meats, pasture-raised poultry, and wild-caught fish.
Fruits: Coconut, avocadoes, and berries.
Vegetables: Spinach, carrots, mushrooms, kale, broccoli, okra, beets, and cabbage.
Lectins-free dairy products include organic sour cream, natural cheese, goat’s milk, and cheese. Nuts such as macadamia, walnuts, and hazelnuts fall in this category. Avocado oils, coconut, and grass-fed butter are also lectins-free. As much as you want to stick with this dietary plan, Dr. Gundry hints that you can select a few of the banned veggies such as tomatoes and bell peppers – provided you peel and remove the seeds.
Whether the Plant Paradox Diet works or not depends on your specific dietary needs. If you’re relying solely on this diet to lose weight, you may not see significant changes in the long run. This is because they don’t include any calorie restriction strategies, which is a prerequisite to losing weight.
It’s also worth noting that this diet plan eliminates more processed foods, which may lower calorie intake. This is an added advantage for someone looking to cut the extra calories. For an evidence-based, healthy weight-loss program, book an appointment with Mango Clinic, and we’ll be glad to work you through a customized and sustainable weight loss journey.
Weight loss and health have become top priorities for almost everyone. However, there are so many myths and new researches flying around this subject, making it difficult to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
In this comprehensive article, we focus on seven perturbing and popular frequently asked questions about health and weight loss, plus detailed answers from registered weight loss doctors to give you the most trustworthy and research-based solutions.
So, let’s dive in already.
Table of Contents
Question 1: How can I lose weight fast?
There are multiple easy ways to shed off extra pounds fast and in a healthy manner. Everyone is unique in every way, so it’s important to consult a weight loss doctor to assess your individual body and shape and recommend the right approach to weight loss. Typically, weight loss doctors direct weight loss goals through personalized plans.
It is not a one-size-fits-all plan. Although there are some general weight-loss guidelines that doctors often prescribe, they can only design your exact plan after personally visiting their office. Some general tips for weight loss that you can safely follow at home include:
Reduce Your Carbohydrates Consumption
Reducing the proportion of carbohydrates and starches in your diet is the primary step if you’re looking to lose weight faster. Your body is naturally designed to generate energy by breaking down carbohydrates, so cutting down on carbs will ultimately shift the energy generation process to fats and proteins.
According to Dr. Calder, the average American diet is extremely high in starches. By reducing your carbs intake, the carbohydrates stores start depleting, forcing the body to go into a process known as ‘ketosis,’ which is basically your key to faster weight loss!
Through the ketosis process, your body starters begin to churn down stored fat to compensate for energy generation, which was initially done through carbohydrates. As the fats of the body are shredded, you’ll observe a faster weight loss.
Consume More Proteins and Lean Fats
To lose weight fast and healthily, the general rule of thumb is to have two to three meals a day loaded with very lean and healthy fats and proteins. If you feel starved at night, it’s okay to add a fourth meal, but in small proportions.
Research has suggested that consuming more proteins in your diet boosts your caloric expenditure by raising your body’s metabolic rate. Foods rich in proteins are also believed to reduce cravings and hunger thoughts by up to 60%.
Go for Weight Lifting Workouts Twice a Week
Did you know that weight lifting can actually help you shed off weight faster than any other exercise? Incorporating weight lifting workouts along with dietary modifications, can go a long way in kick-starting your weight loss.
When you lift weights, your body burns lots of calories and keeps your metabolic rate high for the rest of the day. Slow metabolism is often the most common side effect of rapid weight loss. That’s why many people complain about their weight getting stable after shedding off a few pounds.
Weight lifting also helps to build your body muscles, helping you burn more calories even at rest. The greater the muscle power, the higher the basal metabolism, and the more calories you burn.
Slot in a Cheat Day Once a Week
Any adaptation, be it excellent or substandard, can result in slower weight loss results. Although your constant refrain from carbs can perfectly trigger rapid weight loss, this routine might ultimately frustrate your body cravings for sugar in the long-run. As a consequence, you may end up munching loads of treats ruthlessly.
To break the monotony, you should occasionally treat yourself to some unhealthy mall snacks of choice, such as a cupcake or donut – whatever you prefer. Just make sure you don’t consume any extra carbs for the rest of the week.
Strictly Monitor Your Calorie Intake
Keeping a strict check on your calorie intake is an excellent way to stay on track with your weight loss regimen. You can use any reliable inner calorie counter to monitor your calorie consumption each day. This will help you know your overall progress and enable you to identify items on your diet that are working or not working to enhance weight loss.
Question 2: What is the best diet for weight loss of 2020?
Weight loss doctors have labeled the ‘Mediterranean diet’ as the best diet for weight loss of 2020 in America for the third time in a row, that’s according to the U.S world record and annual rankings.
Around 2018, both Mediterranean and DASH diets were competing neck to neck since both options shared some standard honors in diet structures, such as consuming more fruits and vegetables. Another weight loss diet that has had some fame in the past is the KETO diet. However, it gradually lost its edge due to stringent diet restrictions and health concerns. So, the Mediterranean diet was declared the best overall diet for weight loss in 2020, leaving all other competitive diets lagging behind.
The Mediterranean diet offers many benefits and very few cons as compared to all other weight-loss diets. Even in terms of scientific research backups, the Mediterranean diet is still a clear winner. According to weight loss doctors, here are some of the benefits that prove the Mediterranean diet to be the best diet for weight loss in 2020.
“I always tell my patients that even though it’s referred to as the Mediterranean diet, the right name should really be the ‘Mediterranean way of life,’” says Dr. Gabelman, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the famous Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is also a strict follower of the diet himself.
He further says:
“Most weight-loss diets are usually short-lived plans or very specific regimens that you follow in the short-term. You can’t stay on them for long. However, the Mediterranean diet isn’t a 10-day no-carb diet or a 30-day fast, so you don’t need to carry a salad in a brown bag whenever you go out to a restaurant. On the contrary, it’s a healthy way of living that you can comfortably stick to for the rest of your life.”
Like most healthy diets, the Mediterranean diet does not exclude any good food groups or vital nutrition. Instead, it encourages numerous nutrient-rich foods, making it less restrictive to people of all age groups, and it’s easy to follow. You can choose from a wide range of flavors that you can enjoy while observing the Mediterranean diet.
According to the 2015-2020 dietary guidelines, USDA included calcium and vitamin D intake, as these are the only lacking nutrients in a nutritious nutritional pattern and the Mediterranean diet.
Improves Cardiac Health:
Many scientists have carried out a robust amount of research around the Mediterranean diet and heart health. Numerous studies and controlled trials suggest strong evidence of improved heart health associated with this diet. Scientists now believe that consistently following the Mediterranean dietary patterns can reduce the risk of heart attack, coronary heart disease, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Improves Mental Health:
The Mediterranean diet has also been linked with improved mental health. According to research findings, people following the Mediterranean diet were less likely to suffer depression and lowered their risks of having health disorders by 33%.
The Mediterranean diet basically focuses on eating more and more nutrient-rich foods, which are healthy replacements for processed and frozen foods. So, pairing the Mediterranean diet with a healthy and active lifestyle can greatly promote faster weight loss.
The Mediterranean diet also allows you to consume very lean meats and healthy proteins, mostly based on plant origin. As a result, you can effectively suppress appetite and cravings throughout the day. People following the Mediterranean diet typically shift to organic food choices and avoid fast food.
Despite the numerous positive effects of the Mediterranean diet on weight loss and overall health, the diet still has a few downsides, according to weight loss doctors. A significant downside of this popular diet is that it permits moderate consumption of alcohol and red wine. Health experts maintain that alcohol consumption, even in moderation, causes a myriad of problems to the body and heightens many underlying health conditions. Generally, alcohol needs to be eliminated to effectively reduce weight, but the Mediterranean countries always favor its consumption with every meal.
The foods permitted in this diet are relatively safe for consumption by people with various health issues. However, alcohol consumption makes this diet unsuitable for pregnant women or people dealing with nephritic and hepatic issues.
Another notable downside of the Mediterranean diet is that it strictly restricts the consumption of any processed foods, so a lot of busy and working individuals may find it difficult to follow.
Question 3: How do I control my cravings and avoid binging on high-calorie foods?
Cravings are your worst enemy if you’re on a diet or weight loss program.
“You want to institute a healthy eating pattern without slipping into dieting, which could trigger the next round of binging,” affirms Randy Flanery, Ph.D. Randy is the program director for Webster Wellness Professionals, a clinic in St. Louis that focuses on eating disorders.
He further said,
“When you stop binging, you might be able to shed off 20 to 30 pounds, but you’ll probably gain it all back (or even add another 10 pounds) if you fail to address the underlying issues first.”
Here are some easy ways that weight loss doctors and dietitians recommend if you want to suppress your cravings and avoid binging on high-calorie foods.
The signals of thirst and hunger are often confused because both signaling centers are wired close together. You might feel hungry again and again, but in actual sense, you could be receiving thirst signals.
If you begin to crave something specific such as pizza, chocolate, or any of your favorite snacks, try drinking a glass of water and hold on for a couple of minutes. If you notice the cravings going away gradually, it could be a sign that what you were feeling wasn’t hunger but rather thirst. Drinking plenty of water also helps suppress appetite.
Consume More Protein:
If you are obsessive about a binge on high-calorie foods, consider consuming more proteins. Typically, proteins suppress appetite while still making you feel full for long. By consuming more proteins than other food types, you can significantly improve your body’s basal metabolism.
A study was conducted to determine whether protein-rich meals make people feel full for longer durations. A number of teenage girls were made to eat high-protein breakfast, and the results indicated that by doing so, their cravings began to go away successfully.
Several other studies also concluded that taking more proteins in a meal successfully suppressed late-night snacks’ cravings over time.
Divert your Brain from Cravings:
Every feeling, including the urge to eat something, is triggered by the brain. When you feel a strong craving for something, try to distance your brain from such feelings. Think of some other activities that can quickly take your attention away from cravings. For instance, you can take a brisk walk outside, have a shower, sort out your room, or even play a video game.
The more you train your brain to divert from cravings and binge eating, the fewer the hunger signals generated from the brain. A change in your thoughts and external environment can help the hunger pangs to settle down drastically.
Another effective way to divert your mind from cravings is by chewing gum. A number of studies have suggested that chewing gum can help suppress appetite and cheat the mind to stop generating hunger signals.
Carefully Plan Your Meals:
Planning your meals is always better than last-minute stuffing with anything you lay your hands on. As much as you can, try planning your meals for at least a week ahead. By careful planning, you’ll be able to know exactly what meal you’re going to take, the origin of the food, and the amount of calories it has. You don’t want to create last-minute chaos by failing to get supplies of groceries in your kitchen when you need them.
Planning also helps you maintain a proper and strict diet; you have the freedom to review your planned meals and know what is excess and what needs to be added.
Avoid Fasting Through the Day:
Depriving yourself of food throughout the day can make you feel excessively hungry. As a result, you can miss out on your diet meals or end up binging junk food or whatever meal is readily available.
It’s a good idea to stick to your diet meals and never miss any meal as planned in your weight loss diet. If you’re going to leave home, consider carrying some healthy snackable foods such as broccoli, almonds, seeds, or nuts to suppress hunger until your next mealtime.
Medical observations have revealed that women under stress tend to feel hungrier and crave food more. This pattern indicates that stress can increase hunger cravings and promote lousy eating behaviors.
Stress also releases more cortisol, the hormone that triggers your fight and flight mode by breaking down fats and sugars. However, excessive levels of cortisol often raise a medical concern known as ‘Cushing syndrome.’ Cushing syndrome is among the major causes of obesity and fat deposition. No diet or exercise can help you shed off extra weight until the condition resolves.
Employ simple strategies such as yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, or brisk walking to get over stress and improve the success of your weight loss plan.
Sleeping significantly impacts your hunger mechanism. Hormone fluctuations that occur throughout the day will determine your appetite. So, when your sleep is disturbed, you’ll suffer a hormone imbalance, which results in increased appetite and intense cravings.
Many studies have revealed that sleep deprivation is a potential cause of binge eating. Strive to have a good sleep to help you get over recurring cravings.
Avoid Emotional Binge Eating:
Always develop awareness about your eating habits. Many people often get hungry with extreme emotions such as sorrow, excitement, or other life events. In fact, some people cannot resist eating on birthday parties or other social events.
The reason is that your brain develops permanent neural pathways each time you repeat eating specific foods on certain occasions. That is why all movie halls can’t stop selling pizzas or popcorn, and no birthday party is complete without cutting carb-loaded cakes.
Being an emotional eater can make it challenging to distinguish between physical hunger and occasions associated with emotional binge eating.
“I know a lady who gained a lot of weight from eating sweets every time she felt upset. It can happen to anyone. The stress hormone “cortisol” instructs your body to produce glucose, which is then stored away by insulin, ultimately generating fat. Eating a lot of carbs floods your bloodstream with extra glucose and insulin, and that’s why I often recommend a low-carb diet — as opposed to sweets. She could eat unlimited proteins, like fish, poultry, and eggs, whenever she felt stressed and hungry,” says William Yancy, M.D., the program director of the Duke University Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, NC.
“Non-starchy vegetables and other low-carb foods such as avocado and cheese can make you very full. I also advised her to note down alternative things she could do besides binge eating whenever she feels stressed, hoping that the list would help divert her attention in such situations. She’s been following my advice, and I know it will make a significant difference in her weight loss regimen.”
These are just general rules for people struggling with binge eating, as advised by weight loss doctors. However, if you have serious underlying conditions such as anorexia, bulimia, or other medical issues, you should deal directly with a registered weight loss doctor and discuss over an appointment.
Question 4: What are the potential health risks of losing weight too quickly?
The internet is flooded with several posts and blogs, suggesting ways to lose weight rapidly. Many people often fall for ideas that promise the fastest weight loss results. However, health experts have always promoted the concept of slow and consistent weight loss.
“The fact is, even if you’re strictly dieting, you may lose inches in your waist before shedding off pounds because you’ll be putting on muscles that weigh more than fat. It’s not a bad thing, though, because muscles also help you burn more fat eventually. I advised my friend to focus on losing just half a pound at a time. If you can manage to work out five days a week, that’s great, but if you can’t, you should exercise as often as you can. Walk around for a few minutes after eating anything. After a short while, she was down inches and pounds,” says Judith Korner, M.D., Ph.D., and professor of medicine and director of the Weight Control Center at Columbia University Medical Center in NY.
Rapid weight loss has potential risks to your body as well as your mental health, especially if you opt for over-the-counter weight loss pills without consulting a qualified weight loss doctor.
“My friends always ask if weight-loss pills really work. The simple answer is “yes.” There are multiple medications that have been approved by the FDA that can help suppress your appetite or keep you feeling full for long. And they work, as long as you stick to a healthy diet and stay physically active. However, you should never take any weight loss pill unless it’s prescribed and monitored by your doctor. Some of these medications can elevate your heart rate or blood pressure, so your doctor should measure and monitor these during regular follow-ups. And, of course, only a qualified doctor can know how various pills might worsen any medical condition you already have. So please, don’t take such medications by yourself,” says Amy Rothberg, M.D., Ph.D.
Losing weight very rapidly often involves starvation techniques that involve a lot of exertion on your body’s metabolic needs. Rapid weight loss is also not a sustainable approach to weight loss; people usually put on double weight than what they lost once they stop starving themselves. Research has also indicated that two-third of dieters following rapid weight loss diets tend to gain more weight than they lost.
So, rapid weight loss can backfire and cause a myriad of problems for your body. Below are the most prevalent health risks associated with rapid weight loss:
Diets that promise rapid weight loss usually lack numerous essential nutrients that are necessary for the body. By strictly following such diets, you are at significant risk of missing out on multiple essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins for a healthy body.
Many dairy-free diets on offer have resulted in worse consequences of lack of vital calcium and Vitamin D. Younger people missing out on these nutrients have acquired osteoporosis for this reason. Other diets also have flawed medical research and structure to support weight loss without triggering conditions such as metabolic syndrome.
When you skip important meals and nutrients throughout the day with the aim to shed off weight rapidly, you can suffer a myriad of health issues. Nutritional deficiencies contribute to the following defects:
Lack of Energy
If your extreme diet focuses on extended fasting, such as ‘anorexic diet’ or similar rapid weight loss diets, you will not get adequate calories to produce the necessary energy you require to carry out your day to day activities. Not eating anything at all will highly drain your energy levels, lower your blood glucose, and ultimately slow down your brain.
Brittle Nails and Osteoporosis
Proper nutrition and diet play a vital role in the health and strength of your bones. A steady source of Vitamin D and calcium is compulsory if you want to enjoy healthy bones. Some weight-loss diets such as “non-dairy” diets will significantly deplete your bones’ and muscles’ calcium stores, causing your bones and nails to get brittle and weak. Your stiff compact bones will slowly be replaced by soft, spongy, and porous bones that are fragile and easily fractured.
Weak Immune System
Poor nutrition also affects the immune system. Weight loss doctors maintain that low diet and lack of proper nutrition inhibit the production and function of your body’s immune cells and antibodies. The most apparent relationship between proper diet and immunity lies within proteins.
Proteins form the building blocks of immune cells that fight against external agents and defend your body through natural mechanisms. With a low-protein diet, the immune system shuts down, exposing your body to a wide range of chronic diseases.
Rapid weight loss diets focus on extreme calorie restrictions; people typically jump from consuming 3,000 calories to just 1,000 or less calories. When your body drastically goes down into energy shortage and senses starvation, it will start storing food. Your metabolic rate ultimately goes down to conserve maximum energy to support your normal body functions.
Scientific studies support that the more people begin to lose weight, the quicker their metabolism goes down. In such a scenario, your body starts storing fats instead of breaking them down to produce energy, causing you to suddenly start gaining weight.
When you lose weight quickly through unhealthy methods, you can easily be duped that you’re losing fat, but instead, it’s your muscles that are suffering. Extreme calorie restriction will break down your muscles to compensate for your body’s energy demands. Muscles are the most active resources for regulating the body’s metabolic rate. In fact, one pound of muscles burns more calories than several pounds of fatty tissues (fats). So, lower muscle mass will result in lesser calories burnt and a slower metabolism.
For people following the ‘ketogenic diet,’ chronic dehydration is often a big concern. The ketogenic diet has strict carbohydrate restrictions, and that’s why people following this diet often lose a lot of water weight over the first two weeks, tricking them to believe that they’re actually losing weight rapidly.
Dehydration is the eventual consequence of rapid weight loss on diets such as the ‘ketogenic diet.’ Moreover, there is a cluster of health problems associated with dehydration alone, often coming as a package: Headache, muscle cramps, low energy, and constipation are some common issues that crop up with excessive dehydration.
Dehydration is, however, not a concern for diets offering fluid intake, although purely liquid intake diets are equally unhealthy. Some rapid weight loss diets may even restrict water consumption.
Rapid weight loss also has a negative impact on mental health. Many folks want to lose weight quickly by disregarding future conditions. Behind every weight loss goal, there are lots of ‘if’ and ‘then.’ Some people might think that if they shed off a few pounds quickly and get into shape, they can be happier and be loved by others.
So, if they fail to achieve the desired results even after losing weight drastically, they might easily fall into depression. Others simply fail to adjust to their new body shape and skin, which can worsen their underlying mental health conditions.
Question 5: What is more important: The number of calories or the type of calories you consume in a day?
When it comes to losing weight, the general consensus among weight-loss experts is that the number of calories consumed is more important than what the calories are made of.
A Balancing Act
Calories are the basic unit of energy present in all foods and beverages. Our bodies need calories to maintain vital functions. In other words, energy from calories fuels physical activity. Proteins, carbs, and fats all contain calories that are either converted into physical energy or stored as fat. Keeping track of the number of calories you consume is imperative to weight loss.
If you consume more calories than your body needs, the excess energy is stored as fat, and you gain weight. The key to losing weight is to create a caloric deficit in the body. A caloric deficit occurs when you eat fewer calories than your body expends. Low-calorie diets where you consume 1,000 to 1,500 calories per day are designed to create a caloric deficit in the body and help shed a few pounds.
Weight loss is a balancing act between the number of calories you consume daily versus what your body needs to maintain the current weight. You need to create a deficit, but it’s not always that simple. Sticking to a low-calorie diet takes a lot of discipline, and a lot of people find themselves unable to maintain that type of lifestyle.
How a Low-calorie Diet Works
According to Chrissy Carroll, RD, MPH, “a low-calorie diet is typically between 1,000 to 1,500 calories, which helps to promote weight loss. It should be followed with guidance from a professional to ensure all nutritional needs are met. Experts emphasize it is not appropriate for everyone, especially athletes and breastfeeding women.” Whether you consume carbohydrates, protein, or fats, it doesn’t matter as far as weight loss is concerned.
What matters is the portion sizes. The size of your portions affects the number of calories you consume. The bigger the portions, the higher the number of calories you are getting. However, there are a few considerations to make before adopting a low-calorie diet. Those with conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol should not restrict their calorie intake. Talk to your doctor for guidance before embracing a low-calorie diet.
Benefits of a Low-calorie Diet
The balance of calories you consume to the calories you burn determines whether you lose, gain, or maintain your body weight. A low-calorie diet helps you reduce the number of calories you eat relative to the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. The resultant caloric deficit helps your body burn excess body fat. A low-calorie diet is not complicated to maintain. You can follow this type of diet as long as you can measure your food portions.
As you cut your portions to reduce calorie intake, make sure that your diet contains nutrient-dense foods that contain all the essential elements your body needs to maintain vital functions. Here are some nutrient-dense foods to include in your low-calorie diet:
Besides weight loss, there are other health benefits of a low-calorie diet. According to a recent study published by the Cell Metabolism journal, reducing the number of calories you consume by 15% over a couple of years can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as Diabetes, Cancer, and Alzheimer’s, and even slow aging.
Another key advantage of a low-calorie diet is that no foods are restricted. There is no need to avoid your favorite snack when counting calories. The diet only monitors the total daily caloric intake and not specific types of foods. The absence of dietary restrictions makes a low-calorie diet easier to maintain as it allows you to have your favorite foods.
For weight loss, the number of calories you consume in a day is more important than the type of calories you eat. If you burn more calories than you eat, you will lose weight regardless of the source of the calories. The bottom line is that if you watch your calorie intake, you can shed the extra pounds permanently as long as your diet is balanced and healthy.
Question 6: How important is an exercise for weight loss?
Is exercise really necessary for weight loss? You lose weight when you consume fewer calories than you expend. Reducing calorie intake is necessary to shed excess weight. Exercise increases the number of calories you burn and helps you lose weight faster and keep it off.
When it comes to weight loss, diet, and exercise go hand in hand. Yes, you can lose weight by cutting back on your calorie intake alone, but exercise is an essential component. According to Dr. Calder, M.D, aka FitDoc, those looking to shed extra pounds should increase physical activity as they modify their diet. You don’t need a gym membership to exercise. Simple physical activities such as taking a walk, doing household chores, etc. will do the trick.
Start small and work your way up to the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity a week. A lot of people tend to avoid exercise in their weight loss journey because it increases appetite and lethargy, which seems counterproductive. You may feel hungry the first few days you exercise after a long stretch without any physical activity, but that goes away after a while and is replaced by feelings of well-being.
The success of the exercise in your weight loss efforts is contingent on the diet. If your diet is on point, you will be able to burn excess fat faster through exercise. Here are other benefits of exercise:
Keeps Lost Weight Off
One of the biggest challenges of losing weight with diet alone is keeping the lost weight off. The vast majority of people who diet can’t keep the fat off for long. Exercise increases your metabolism, helping your body burn calories more readily. Exercise also builds muscle and increases your body’s calorie expenditure.
Suppresses Hunger Hormones
Ghrelin, or the hunger hormone, has an important influence on energy metabolism. This is the only known hormone to increase appetite. Studies have shown that short bouts of intense exercise can suppress this powerful appetite stimulant, reducing the sensation of hunger. However, prolonged sessions of exercise have no effect on the hunger hormone as levels of ghrelin go back to normal after one hour.
Exercise Burns Fat
When you lose weight through diet alone, your body loses fat, muscles, and bone density. The body burns through proteins and muscle mass as opposed to its own fat deposits. Research shows that people on a diet lose about 25 percent of the muscle mass. Adding an exercise regimen to your weight loss plan helps you target the body’s fat deposits directly.
When you work out and eat more proteins and healthy fats, the body will start breaking down its own fat stores instead of using proteins to generate fuel. This means that you can shed extra weight and build a stronger, healthy body. Also, your body’s efficiency to burn and expend calories increases when you build muscle.
Cardio Exercise Burns Stubborn Body Fat and Cellulite
Whether you want to lose weight, burn fat, or improve your general health, cardio exercise can help. Also known as aerobic exercise, cardio exercise can help you target stubborn body fat in your belly, hips, chin, etc. While it does not have a significant impact on your muscles, cardio exercise such as brisk walking, swimming, running, and cycling helps burn calories and reduce body fat. Having low body fat also reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
Strength Training for Long-term Weight Loss
Also referred to as resistance training or weight training, strength training is any form of exercise designed to improve muscular strength and endurance. Strength training causes muscles to contract against an external resistance such as weights. Resistance training builds muscle and is one of the most effective ways to lose weight in the long-term. Building muscle mass improves your metabolism and allows your body to keep burning calories at rest.
Bodyweight revolves around caloric consumption and expenditure. Cutting back on your calorie consumption is what matters most when you want to get rid of excess body fat, but exercise can help you burn some extra pounds and keep them off in the long-term. However, you have to maintain a strict diet to see the benefits of exercising. You can’t out-train a bad diet, and any weight loss expert out there will tell you that for free.
Question 7: Can an intermittent fasting diet help cut calories faster?
If you are feeling a little overweight and would like to shed some of that extra fat, there are plenty of ways to go about it. Intermittent fasting for weight loss has become extremely popular these days. But, does it work, or is it just another fad? More on that later, but first, let’s take a quick look at what exactly intermittent fasting means.
Intermittent fasting diets have become very popular lately. At its core, intermittent fasting is just a dieting pattern where you eat for a set period and then fast for a set duration. There are various intermittent fasting methods, but they all revolve around skipping some meals on purpose. There’s no concrete way to practice intermittent fasting, just play around with different windows and see what works for you.
Now, on to whether intermittent fasting can help you cut calories faster and lose weight, the answer is yes. According to weight loss experts, intermittent fasting can help you reduce the number of calories you consume in a day and lose extra weight.
Dr. Mike Roussell says that intermittent fasting is a safe and effective way to lose weight, but it has no clear advantage over a low-carbohydrate diet. The lack of carbohydrates when fasting plays a huge role in the weight loss benefits of intermittent fasting diets. According to the doctor, the metabolic benefits associated with intermittent fasting can also be realized with a very low-carb diet.
Intermittent fasting allows insulin levels in the body to decrease for extended periods, which, in turn, allows the body to break down its fat deposits. Additional benefits of intermittent fasting include improved glucose control, improved brain function, better sleep, increased endurance, and reduced cholesterol.
How Intermittent Fasting Works
Intermittent fasting follows a meal timing schedule that cycles between windows of voluntary fasting and non-fasting. The 16:8 method is one of the most popular intermittent fasting methods. In a 16:8 intermittent fasting plan, you accumulate up to 16 hours of fasting every day with an 8-hour window for eating. Studies show that people on an intermittent fasting diet can lose up to 0.5 pounds per week.
Besides reducing calories and weight loss, intermittent fasting has also been seen to improve metabolism and lower the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease. Eat fewer calories during your non-fasting window so that you don’t have to increase the fasting periods. The foods you choose to eat also affect the effectiveness of your intermittent fasting diet. Stick to simple foods for the best results.
Consistency is Key!
Intermittent fasting can help you burn calories faster, but you have to put in some work. Just like any other weight loss diet out there, you need to stay committed to the diet for a long time to reap the health benefits. Take some time to adapt to the diet and be consistent. The length of time you need to be on a diet to see the full benefits varies from one person to the next.
When it comes to shedding off excess body fat, weight loss doctors maintain that diet and exercise should go hand in hand. Every individual is different, and you need to be patient and persistent in your weight loss journey to see some concrete results.
More importantly, don’t start a weight loss diet or drugs without the guidance of a qualified weight loss doctor.
It is common for some people to come forward and make their New Year Resolution in the hope of sticking to it throughout the year and beyond. Their resolutions come in different forms known better to them. But have you ever thought of something different such as a mental health resolution? If not, this is the best time to think about it and make a sound decision.
Fatty liver disease is fast becoming a common illness associated with obesity. Recent estimates indicate that the disease affects about a quarter of the world population, and has been responsible for a wide variety of health issues.
For instance, a fatty liver is potentially linked to type 2 diabetes and a range of illnesses that result from insulin resistance. If you fail to address the problem promptly, it may develop into a critical ailment of the liver and attract a range of other health issues. The first step if you wish to deal with fatty liver disease successfully is losing weight. Read on to find out why, and learn other strategies that you can supplement with your weight loss treatment plan.
What does It mean to Have a Fatty Liver?
The condition occurs due to excessive fat build-up inside the cells in your liver. A considerable amount of fat within the cells is considered normal, but it shouldn’t go beyond 5 percent. Binge drinking has been linked to the problem, but its role is significantly minor.
The vast category of nonalcoholic liver disease, or NAFLD, encompasses several fatty liver disorders. The condition is the most common illness of the liver among adults and kids from Western countries. It first portrays itself as the reversible NAFL (nonalcoholic fatty liver) condition. Without a diagnosis, it may progress to the deadlier nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, otherwise known as NASH.
The illness involves a more significant accumulation and a resultant inflammation that ends up damaging the cells. Since the liver cells continually get injured and perish, the condition could result in scar tissues or even fibrosis.
Unluckily, it’s not easy to ascertain if a fatty liver will advance to NASH, hence a higher risk of liver cancer and cirrhosis. Nonalcoholic liver disease may lead to a host of illnesses like heart disorders, diabetes, and kidney ailment. Fortunately, there’s hope since you can improve the condition through weight-loss treatment and a healthy diet plan.
Weight Loss Treatment Is Ideal for Fatty Liver:
Results from different studies indicate that weight loss treatment plans can significantly reverse an oily liver problem. Weight loss alone has shown excellent results in eliminating excess liver fat in adults suffering from NAFLD. This is regardless of whether you shed weight through menu changes, exercise, surgery, or several strategies.
A study by landmark found that if you lose just 10 percent of your body weight, you will significantly cut your liver fat, reverse inflammation, and improve scarring. This difference can also enhance your metabolism, including insulin sensitivity, enzyme activity, and hepatic steatosis.
Other findings published on JAMA International medicine confirm that weight loss treatments could significantly reverse NASH. These include medications, behavioral programs, and weight-loss surgery.
Additional Strategies to Treat the Fatty Liver Condition:
The most obvious way to eliminate the accumulated fat in your liver is to cut your weight and reduce your carbs consumption. However, combining this with several other strategies could help remove the excess fat even faster.
Here are the most effective:
Exercise – Studies have shown the significant impact of resistance training and endurance exercise in cutting liver fat. Exercising several times every week consumes the excess fats within the body cells, and the liver is no exception. Whether or not you lose weight, exercising between 20 to 60 minutes for 4-7 days every week could lower your liver fat volume by 10 percent. This makes it a viable alternative to combine with the rest of the strategies.
Reduce your carb intake – While dietary fat may seem to be the culprit for liver fat, it only contributes 16%. Most of this harmful fat originates from blood fatty acids, with about 26% forming through de novo lipogenesis (DNL). This process involves the conversion of excess carbs to fat. Considering their immense contribution, cutting back on carbs (especially the refined varieties) could significantly cut your liver fat.
Consume foods that facilitate the process – Apart from reducing the carbs you consume; you can achieve the same objectives by adopting a healthy diet. Not only is it a healthier option, but you also stand to achieve a significant reduction of liver fats. Some of the best foods for this include monosaturated fats, whey protein, green tea, and soluble fiber.
Fatty liver condition is linked to several health issues. Luckily, the disorder is reversible, and you can restore your liver fat to healthy levels before it advances to the graver conditions.
Adopting a healthy menu, carrying out regular exercise, and supplements can significantly eliminate the surplus fats. But Weight loss treatment stands out as the most effective way to treat a fatty liver. The therapy also helps lower the risk of the disease progressing to deadlier liver disorders.
Whatever weight-loss treatment option you choose, limit your usage of ‘fat burners’ and dietary supplements. These alternatives could help you reduce weight, but are linked to acute liver failure. Consult with your physician to get the right weight-loss treatment that works for your condition. Schedule an appointment with Mango Clinic if you need apt guidance on the right treatment plan.
We all deserve to live stress-free and satisfying lives. However, most times, this isn’t usually the case as life throws us lemons here and there. Whenever a stressful situation arises, an emotional support animal can help you get through the rough times. Studies show that emotional support animals have helped many people find a natural and loving solution through anxiety, PTSD, and other psychological conditions. Sometimes, however, you may find yourself in the middle of a conflict involving your emotional support animal. This article details the three common conflicts over emotional support animals and how you can navigate through the situation.
1. Conflict of Interest between a Landlord and Tenant
Under federal law, emotional support animals have the right to housing. In a situation where you need to move to a new apartment, you need to inform the landlord about your emotional support animal. Even though the law is on your side, most times, this explanation doesn’t go well.
Although federal laws require that landlords waive any pet policy if submitted with a valid ESA letter, your landlord can lawfully deny your request for an ESA. Your landlord is within their rights to reject your ESA request if your animal poses a direct safety or health threat to them or any other tenants in the building.
Most times, however, many landlords will try to bully you into paying monthly pet fees or increase the rent because of your ESA. The landlord may also try to acquire your medical history records to validate their rental increase demands. You must understand that this request is a violation of your rights and the Fair Housing Standards Act.
On the flip side, your landlord may simply be unaware of any ESA laws. It is, therefore, up to you to try and educate them on the relevant laws that apply to your emotional support animal and the housing act. You can also ask them to get in touch with the U.S Commission on Civil Rights.
If you are the landlord in this situation, you need to ensure that you have a formal conversation with the U.S Commission on Civil Rights. A simple telephone call with the organization will be inadmissible in court if you get sued by any tenant regarding ESAs.
As the tenant, you can provide the landlord with an ESA letter from your doctor. An ESA letter proves that you truly need the animal with you at all times. The letter also mandates that your landlord acknowledge the presence of the animal on the premise and not have to charge you extra for it.
2. Conflict of interest between two tenants
Sometimes conflict may arise from other tenants complaining about your ESA’s presence in the building. The tenants may cite a health or safety risk with the most common factors being noise or animal allergies. As mentioned above, your ESA is guaranteed housing rights under the housing act.
This, therefore, means that a tenant isn’t legally allowed to force you out of your residence if your animal doesn’t pose any risk. If the conflict however escalates and heads to court, you may need to provide an ESA letter ascertaining that you need the animal to cope with your psychological problem.
You can also coordinate with your landlord to provide details of your arrival to the building. If you moved into the building before the complainant, then the law may be on your side. The documents may prove that you got approval from your landlord to move in with your ESA before the other tenant.
While the plaintiff may not necessarily have to move out, they may be asked to use different stairways to avoid coming into contact with your animal. The landlord may also be asked to install air purifiers in the building to help those with allergies cope with the animal’s presence.
3. The Question Of Whether ESAs Are Allowed On Flights And Other Public Places
The Air Carrier Access Act allows people with ESAs to bring them in flights without any additional charges. Some airlines may try to disregard this law and ask you to place your ESA under the cargo hold or completely prevent you from flying with the animal.
If you find yourself in such a situation, you should produce your ESA letter from a reputable mental health expert detailing why you need the animal with you. Without proper documentation, any airline can legally refuse your ESA entry into the cabin.
As to whether ESAs are allowed in public spaces such as hotels and restaurants, it all depends on the institution’s policies. While some of these areas may allow ESA’s in their premises, most of them have a no-pet-allowed policy.
Due to the temporary situation that is hotels and AirBnBs, most of these institutions won’t allow you to bring your ESA with you. You can, however, get in touch with these establishments ahead and let them know that your animal is well behaved. You should also produce the relevant documents if you’d like to increase your chances of bringing the animal with you.
If you’d like more information about ESA letters and guidelines, you can book an appointment with Mango Clinic and we will put you through with one of our doctors. We will assess your mental health situation and explain to you why you need an ESA.
Browsing through the Internet, you’ll see so many weight-loss diets. But, are they safe, or even practical? Here’s the complete guide to 2020s most trending weight-loss diets. Before we get started, it’s essential to take note that this isn’t merely a how-to-do manual. Instead, we’re going to explore the pros and cons of different diets. Furthermore, I will explore various topics relating to the most sought-after diets of 2020.
As you’ll see throughout this guide, we shall use evidence-based data to broaden your perspective about weight-loss diets and healthy living in general. If you’re searching for a weight-loss diet, or you intend to embark on one that you’ve found on the Internet, this guide is perfect for you. Also, if you enjoy reading, I’ve included reviews from top dietitians and nutritionists for further reference.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: A Look at the Concept of “Weight-Loss Diet”
You probably think that a weight-loss diet only entails the type of food you eat, and the amounts you consume, right?
Well, you’ve been wrong all along!
Recent advancements in the weight-loss sphere prove that weight-loss isn’t all about shedding off extra pounds. In the past few years, countless diets have been created. Similarly, there are dozens of theories behind every diet that you’ll come across. Generally, all foods offer permanent and fast weight loss. Nonetheless, only a few can stand the test of time.
It’s always advisable to eat a healthy diet since your food choices go a long way in determining your health and quality of life in general. In the past, low-fat diets were considered to be responsive. With time, scientists discovered that low-fat diets are not as effective as previously touted.
One thing that you should keep in mind is that every diet that reduces your calorie intake will show considerable positive results. The most effective weight-loss diets work in the following ways:
Cut out all lousy food calories, and in their place, consume healthy calories
Rejection of old myths, and inducing evidence-based research
To adhere to a weight-loss diet, you should first prepare your outline.
Here’s how you should start:
Calculate Your BMI
There isn’t a foolproof way of calculating your BMI. However, this should be the first step to take when you embark on a weight-loss diet. Once you determine your BMI, you’ll know whether your weight is healthy or not in correspondence to your height. Numerous online BMI tools can save you time and lessen the mathematical chaos of calculating your BMI.
Your BMI should be compared with the following standard ranges:
Below 18.5 = underweight
5 to 24.9 = healthy weight
25 to 29.9 = overweight
Above 30 = obese
The correct assessment of obesity is a perfect tool for deciding the best weight-loss diet for you. Before you make this decision, it’s essential to review the basic concepts of weight-loss diets.
So, let’s dive in.
Eliminating calories from your diet isn’t a linear process:
Once you start following a specific weight-loss diet, you’ll shed weight dramatically during the first weeks of embarking on the program. However, at some point, the weight drop will stagnate. Consuming the same number of calories, or the same diet won’t help you shed any more weight.
When you shed an optimum amount of calories from your diet, you won’t lose any extra weight. When you shed a lot of weight, you lose muscle and water alongside the fats, thus slowing down metabolism. Most diets entail variations in calorie cut-down over time. This is a sustainable way of shedding weight.
Good calorie food options include lean meat, eggs, fish, vegetables, low-carb fruits, and high-fat dairy products. Your daily calorie intake shouldn’t exceed your calorie intake. Therefore, contrary to what you might think, the entire weight-loss debate isn’t rocket science.
In every weight-loss diet that you embark on, your calorie intake should be less than the number of calories that you burn. Generally, there are different ways or burning calories.
Many people consider exercise to be a crucial component of calorie expenditure. However, research shows that exercise only accounts for 20% of your calorie expenditure. Your max calorie expenditure is determined by your resting metabolic rate. This is the rate at which the body burns and converts calories into energy. Nevertheless, this process isn’t under voluntary control. Therefore, functional weight loss only focuses on strategies that increase your resting metabolic rate.
Successful and foolproof diets are devoid of shortcuts. Besides the fact that weight-loss is a long-term commitment to diet rules and goals, losing weight rapidly has adverse side effects, and could put you in trouble.
So, how is rapid weight-loss detrimental?
Most of the diet marketers that you’ll come across offer the so-called rapid weight loss diets. However, some of these diets lead to starvation or the intake if an absurdly low number of calories. Besides, some of the weight-loss supplements that you’ll come across are not approved by the FDA.
Rapid weight loss can be dangerous, and here are some of its possible risks:
Loss of excessive body water mass in up to 25% of cases, thus leading to gallstones
Dehydration, which leads to electrolyte imbalance
As you can see, rapid weight loss isn’t always a good idea.
Often, those who seek rapid weight-loss have short-term goals in mind. However, if you want to lose weight sustainably, and with long-term goals in mind, it would be best to search for proven options rather than short-term solutions.
Indeed, you can’t fake weight-loss. Therefore, we should examine some of the most touted weight-loss diets in 2020 to determine whether they are beneficial.
Just like the name suggests, this diet is primarily based on eating patterns associated with countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. This diet is renowned for being healthy since it focuses on your health and wellness in general, rather than just weight loss.
Numerous studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet has numerous benefits, including weight loss and the prevention of heart ailments, premature death probability, and diabetes mellitus. It’s hard to provide a solid definition of this diet, but it comprises lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and beans.
In this chapter, we’re going to describe the Mediterranean diet in detail.
So, what does the Mediterranean diet consist of?
The fundamental components of the Mediterranean diet are vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, virgin oil, fish, spices, and bread. When you embark on this diet, you should also consume adequate amounts of yogurt, eggs, poultry, and cheese. Try to avoid consuming red meat, and strictly avoid sweetened beverages, sugar, processed chicken and meat, refined and polished grains, processed low-fat foods, and trans-fats.
Here’s a breakdown of some suitable food options that you may want to consider:
Vegetables; Spinach, carrots, Brussels, tomatoes, sprouts, and broccoli
Nuts and seeds; Walnuts, almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts
Fruits; Strawberries, apples, bananas, figs, dates, melons, and oranges
Legumes; Peas, beans, peanuts, chickpeas, and lentils
Whole grains; barley, corn, whole wheat, and brown rice
Herbs and spices; Basil, rosemary, cinnamon, pepper, and mint
Fats; Avocadoes, extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil
Which Drinks Are Permitted?
After getting started on the Mediterranean diet, water should be your go-to drink throughout the day. Besides, coffee and tea are acceptable. Nonetheless, you should avoid additives, sweeteners, and sugars.
What Makes the Mediterranean Diet Popular?
Initially, this diet wasn’t meant for weight loss because most people who live in the Mediterranean region adhered to it without any weight loss objectives in mind. Although there isn’t an official way to support it, the Mediterranean diet has gained immense popularity over other weight-loss diets, which are somewhat more restrictive.
The Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan Sample
Breakfast: Greek yogurt, honey, and berries
Lunch: Tuna with lots of green vegetables
Dinner: A piece of chicken breast with tomatoes
Snacks: Almonds with a bowl of salad
Breakfast: A piece of fruit, boiled egg, and whole-grain toast
Dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and dried tomatoes
Dinner: Salmon with quinoa
Snacks: Hummus with dipping vegetables
Breakfast: Fruit and walnuts
Lunch: Tabouli salad and long grain pita
Dinner: large salad, gnocchi, and roasted chicken
Snacks: Caprese skewers
Breakfast: Fruits and slices of brie
Lunch: Veggie soup with whole grain rolls
Dinner: White fish cooked in garlic and olive oil, sweet potato, and zucchini
Snacks: Slices of cheese, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and olives
Breakfast: Omelette, fresh herbs and olives, and tomatoes
Lunch: Salad with veggies, a piece of chicken, and olives
Dinner: Grilled chicken, roasted Brussels sprouts
Snacks: Peach, almonds, and yogurt
Breakfast: A scrambled egg with vegetables, and a slice of whole-grain bread
Lunch: Quinoa bowl, feta, veggies, and sliced chicken
Dinner: Roasted fennel with broccoli, arugula salad, and grilled seafood
Snacks: Greek yogurt, grilled vegetables, and hummus
Breakfast: Vegetable frittata
Lunch: Lemon, raw veggies, whole grain crackers, and smoked salmon
Dinner: Mussels and red sauce pasta
Snacks: Cucumber dipping alongside mashed avocadoes, lemons, and salt
The Short-Term and Long-Term Benefits of Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet stands out due to the numerous benefits that it offers. In the long-run, this diet offers dozens of health benefits, including better brain development, better coordination and cognition, and low risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s among older individuals. Moreover, the diet lowers the risk of common chronic illnesses such as diabetes, depression, cardiovascular diseases, and certain forms of cancer.
A research report published in the Frontiers of Psychology journal un April 2018 pointed out that veggies and raw fruits boost your mental health and prevent arthritis.
Concerning the short-term benefits of the Mediterranean diet, you’re most likely to experience considerable weight loss within the first few months of embarking on the diet, provided that you follow it strictly.
Foods to Avoid in the Mediterranean Diet
To experience both the short-term and long-term benefits of the Mediterranean diet, you should avoid these food items:
Soya bean oil and canola oil
Refined grains, including flour, pizza dough, white pasta, rice, and wheat
Pastries, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, sodas, and candies
Processed meats, red meat, and hot dogs
Preserved and frozen foods
Read on to find out more…
Possible Pros and Cons of the Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet doesn’t skip significant food groups. Therefore, it encourages nutrient intake. Besides, the menu has a low risk of protein and mineral deficiency.
Weight Loss Management
The diet can help you manage weight since it encourages the consumption of lean meats and nuts alongside dietary fiber and fruits. This helps you to stay fuller for a longer time than most foods. Similarly, the Mediterranean diet eliminates refined sugar and processed foods from your menu, which is crucial to any weight-loss regimen.
Better Mental Health
The nexus between the Mediterranean diet and better mental health is attested to by Kelly Toups, the Director of Nutrition at Oldways.
“A 2018 study in Molecular Psychiatry found that those most closely following a Mediterranean diet were 33% less likely to develop incident depression than those not following a Mediterranean diet,” she says.
Low Levels of Saturated Fat
The Mediterranean diet restricts the intake of translate-fatty acids. This reduces the risk of fat deposition in your vessels and body tissues. By reducing the consumption of saturated fat, your body’s cholesterol levels will balance out, thus preventing multiple systemic illnesses.
Arguably, this is the most significant benefit of the Mediterranean diet. There’s a wide selection of foods, depending on your nutrition needs. Therefore, you can always set a menu that suits you despite your lifestyle, health condition, and age.
Preparing foods in this diet can be time-consuming, especially when compared to heating ready-to-cook or frozen food items. Besides, shopping for some diet-specific foods can be challenging.
No Authentic Guidelines
The Mediterranean diet is deprived of evidence-based research compared to other famous diets. It doesn’t provide a clear count of the number of calories that you’ll lose. Besides, it doesn’t give a clear list of foods to eat and avoid. Even so, the USDA provides a healthy Mediterranean-style eating guide, which you can use as a reference.
Supports Alcohol Consumption
The Mediterranean diet allows you to consume alcohol, especially red wine. However, this can be dangerous for women, especially those who have a family history of breast cancer. The consumption of red wine increases the risk of getting breast cancer.
So, should you embark on the Mediterranean diet?
This diet is a perfect way of losing weight while benefiting from its nutritional balance. Indeed, the pros outweigh the cons, which is why the Mediterranean diet is trending in 2020.
Chapter Three: The Old School Volumetric Diet
This diet focuses on keeping you full at all times by only eating healthy foods. By staying fuller for longer, you’re likely to eat less. The layout of the Mediterranean diet is to split the energy density of individual food items into significant meals. Generally, the food falls into four categories:
Group 1 (very low-density): These foods include non-starchy fruits and veggies, broth-based soups, and fat-free milk.
Group 2 (low-density): This group consists of starchy fruits, cereals, grains, vegetables, legumes, and dishes like spaghetti.
Group 3 (medium-density): Includes French fries, meat, ice cream, cheese, cake, and bread.
Group 4 (high-density): This group of food items includes chips, chocolates, crackers, cookies, candies, oil, and butter.
When you embark on this diet, you’re allowed to split your all-day meals into snacks, dinner, lunch, and breakfast. Ultimately, the outcomes will depend on how you adhere to the diet.
According to dietitians, the most effective way of getting started on the Volumetric diet is by increasing your water intake. Water increases the bulk and volume of the food that you consume without increasing your calorie intake.
Here’s a list of food items that are water-rich:
Fruits and veggies (up to 95%)
With time, you can substitute these foods with those you prefer, such as hummus and juicy carrots. You simply need to look for food items that contain loads of water.
The Scientific Logic Behind the Volumetric Diet
A study report published in the Journal of Eating Behavior highlighted that food items with a low energy density can induce weight loss. The volumetric diet doesn’t explicitly state what you should eat and what you should avoid. Instead, it encourages you to follow a healthy diet plan, which helps you to shed an optimal amount of health and stay healthy.
The volumetric diet’s critical factor is the consumption of water-rich foods since they have low energy intensity. Besides, focus on foods that are nutrient and fiber-rich, since they will leave you feeling fuller after meals. A typical volumetric diet consists:
Fresh or frozen veggies
Lean white meat
Water as a substitute for other drinks
One incredible benefit of the volumetric diet is that it’s consumer-friendly, especially to individuals who aren’t big fans of veggies. Read on to find out what nutritionists say about volumetric diet-aided weight loss:
A 2014 study by Drexel University researchers comprised 132 participants. They shed weight by adhering to a low-energy volumetric diet, even after terminating the diet.
A report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007 showed that obese women who followed a low-density volumetric diet lost 2 pounds extra compared to those who followed a low-fat volumetric diet.
What Are the Benefits of the Volumetric Diet?
Convenience: Provided that you adhere to the guidelines, you can consume different foods. The broad food choice allows you to eat the food items that you prefer.
No strict rules: When following the volumetric diet, you don’t have to deprive yourself of foods such as pastries and chocolates. The diet allows you to incorporate them into your feeding program in a healthy and balanced way.
Bid goodbye to hunger pangs: The volumetric menu is specially designed to enhance satiety by deviating the brain from hunger signals. Therefore, it reduces hunger pangs.
Cooking isn’t spared: Adhering to the diet can be difficult, more so to individuals who can’t cook meals from home. If you like eating out, this diet may not be for you.
Offers short-lived satiety: The volumetric diet vouches for the consumption of low-calorie foods. Although this leaves you feeling fuller, satiety is often short-term. It’s best to incorporate proteins in your meals to keep hunger pangs away for a longer time.
Lack of proper rules: Just as it’s the case with the Mediterranean diet, this diet doesn’t have rigid rules and restrictions regarding the consumption of certain foods.
Although the volumetric diet alone works wonders as far as shedding weight is concerned, it would be best to combine it with an exercise regime to maintain the gains.
Short-Term and Long-Term Benefits of the Volumetric Menu
Plainly speaking, the volumetric menu isn’t a quick fix. It might make you cut your calorie consumption, but still, feel deprived. Even so, the long-term benefits of the volumetric diet are more promising. For instance, it offers numerous health benefits to older individuals.
Considering the short-term outcomes of the volumetric diet, it isn’t meant for those who are looking for a quick fix. Its long-term results are more prominent, and longer-lasting too. Therefore, the diet is designed for those who want to lose weight sustainably over a long period.
Whenever this diet gets mentioned, vagueness often comes into play. However, as the name suggests, the diet is all about vegetarianism. Many people are turning to vegetable-based diets. Typically, plant-derived diets are rich in proteins and entail avoiding beef rather than eliminating it altogether.
The flexitarian diet allows you to consume plant-based foods as well as animal-based proteins primarily. Nonetheless, the latter should only be consumed in moderate quantities. The flexitarian diet is a friendlier version of the typically strict vegan diet. If you’re looking to embark on a plant-based diet, yet you still want to be consuming meat in moderate quantities, the flexitarian diet should be your go-to option.
So, why is this diet so hyped?
Well, the flexitarian diet is the brainchild of one Dawn Jackson Blatner. He wanted to show the benefits of plant-based meals among people who also enjoy eating meat products. The primary difference between individuals who embark on the flexitarian diet and vegans is that vegans try to cut out meat and animal-based products completely. If you follow a flexitarian diet, you’re neither a vegan nor a vegetarian since it allows you to consume small amounts of animal-based proteins.
Principles of the Flexitarian Diet
Try to include plant-based proteins rather than animal-based proteins in your diet
The flexitarian diet is renowned for its numerous health benefits as well as its nutritional considerations. This diet encourages the consumption of plant-based food items and the avoidance of processed foods. You’re probably wondering about the type of food that you should incorporate in a flexitarian menu.
Here’ a list of foods that complement the flexitarian diet:
Starch-free veggies, green beans, cauliflower, carrots, and bell peppers
According to research, the probability of shedding weight is higher if you eat plant-based foods. On average, non-vegetarians weigh 15% more than vegetarians. Research shows that the rate of obesity amongst vegetarians is between 0% to 6%. Altogether, the rate of obesity among vegetarians is 20% less compared to non-vegetarians. Furthermore, obesity rates are lower among semi-vegetarians than non-vegetarians.
Benefits of the Flexitarian Diet
One outstanding characteristic of the flexitarian diet is that it’s easy to follow. To fully benefit from the menu, it’s best to stay persistent when making your food choices. When you embark on the flexitarian diet, you’ll consume lots of healthy fats and fibers. These go a long way in preventing cardiovascular diseases. The flexitarian diet also promotes heart health and physical activity. Fibers and healthy fats offered by the diet help to control blood pressure.
When it comes to weight-loss, the flexitarian diet offers you a healthy way of slimming down within a short time. The idea is to avoid taking high-calorie foods, and well as processed foods. Over the years, research has indicated that individuals who mainly consume plant-based meals are slimmer than those who rely on animal-based and processed meals.
The Flexitarian Diet and Cancer Prevention
Legumes, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, fruits, and other foods recommended by the flexitarian diet are rich in antioxidants that keep cancer at bay. Studies have shown that incidents of colorectal cancer are remarkably low among individuals who mainly rely on plant-based diets. Therefore, the widespread adoption of the flexitarian diet can be an essential cancer-prevention factor.
Possible Drawbacks of the Flexitarian Diet
The flexitarian diet encourages you to replace processed foods and animal-based foods with nutrient-rich organic foods. Even as you get started on the diet, you should keep in mind that a poorly executed flexitarian diet can lead to adverse side effects. A poorly planned vegetarian diet leads to deficiencies in:
Omega-3 fatty acids
Women and children face a higher risk of experiencing these deficiencies. Your genetic makeup and gut bacteria are the primary determinants of how your body extracts nutrients from plant-based foods.
Although the flexitarian diet can help you to shed weight, you should keep in mind that the outcomes will depend on your food choices, body genetics, and adherence to the diet.
This diet is based on eating fresh, unfrozen, and non-processed foods while avoiding food items such as table salt, pasta, coffee, refined oil chips, and refined sugar. The idea behind this diet is that seasonings, sugars, salts, and oils increase your calorie intake. Besides, heating fruits and vegetables reduce their nutritional value. Proponents of the diet argue that it not only helps in weight loss but also improves your health.
So, who created this diet?
Maximillian Bircher-Benner is credited for inventing the diet during the late 1880s. He discovered that eating raw apples cured his jaundice. After a series of experiments, he concluded that eating raw foods has lots of health benefits.
Raw doesn’t necessarily mean uncooked. Instead, it more or less implies eating non-microwaved, and unprocessed foods that aren’t grown under herbicides or pesticides. Although more than a century has passed since Maximillian Bircher-Benner made his discovery, the raw diet has only gained popularity and widespread acceptance over the past few years.
The raw menu mainly entails eating plant-based items, although some individuals also eat raw fish and eggs. The diet also allows alternate methods of eating raw foods, including blending, juicing, and mashing.
The food items that you can eat as per the raw food diet include:
Raw veggies and fruits
Fresh fruit and vegetable juices
Raw nut butter
Unpasteurized dairy products
Foods to Avoid
At this point, you’re probably wondering whether there are any potential risks.
Well, consuming uncooked food, for instance, may not be safe. Foods such as raw meat, fish, and chicken may contain harmful bacteria, thus the need to cook them first. Other high-risk natural foods that you should be wary of include raw eggs, shellfish, kidney eggs, and milk. Generally, the body struggles to digest uncooked foods compared to cooked foods. Cooking may decrease the amount of water in the food, but it increased the content of nutrients such as antioxidants.
Right-risk raw foods include:
According to the CDC, you should only consume pasteurized eggs because the dangerous Salmonella bacteria are often present in some types of eggs.
Eating uncooked/raw shellfish can lead to severe Vibrio 3vulnificus infection, which is manifest by nausea and vomiting.
It’s not advisable to eat raw kidney beans since they contain a toxic chemical compound known as phytohaemagglutinin(PHA). This compound causes nausea, vomiting, and severe diarrhea. Just 3 or 4 raw beans can cause these symptoms to appear.
Raw milk contains listeria bacteria, which can cause severe health issues and pregnancy communications.
So, should you embark on the raw food diet?
Proponents of the raw food diet argue that those who eat have a better metabolism, clearer skin, and healthy weight since it restricts cholesterol intake. However, the diet can also lead to severe health issues. Generally, uncooked food isn’t as safe as cooked food. Therefore, the raw diet isn’t recommended to some age groups.
A study conducted in 2005 established that individuals who primarily rely on plant-based foods have a lower bone-mineral density according to their age. Even so, Dietitians point out that to fully benefit from the raw food diet, you should balance the essential nutrients derived from raw foods with essential nutrients from cooked foods.
If you love reading, I’ve included expert reviews about the diets above by some top nutritionists in America. Here are some of the reviews:
The Mediterranean Diet has a 4.2-star rating due to its emphasis on veggies, fruits, and healthy meals. It is ranked as the #1 weight-loss diet.
The Flexitarian Diet has a 4.1-star rating. It is regarded to be a health and smart choice, and this sees it rank at #2 in the best weight-loss diets list.
The Volumetric Diet has been given a 3.8-star rating. It scores highly for its emphasis on health, and the improvement of diabetes and heart health. The diet is ranked at #5 in the best weight-loss diets list.
The Raw Food Diet has a score of 2.3 out of 5. Concerns have been raised about its nutritional completeness and the lack of safety measures.
One nutritionist has pointed out that to benefit from the raw food diet, you need considerable effort and commitment as well as knowledge and sacrifice.
Therefore, it’s not surprising to see the raw food diet rank at #31 in the best weight-loss diets list.
So, those are the most popular weight-loss diets in 2020. Once you decide to shed weight, choose what works for you. Before doing so, it’s best to consult different nutritionists and dietitians. Always go for the option that helps you attain your weight-loss goals safely and effectively. Keep it here for our next informative blog post!
Today, let’s dig into nine little known facts about depression that will blow your mind away. The facts are well researched with lots of evidence to back them up. Following these facts, there has been a lot of emphasis on depression and resulted in a new way of looking at this mental health disorder. You will find these facts interesting to know.
Fact 1# Brains of people with depression look different
Fact 2# Depression is triggered by multiple factors
Fact 3# Over 65% of depression is confused with anxiety over time
Fact 4 # One of the main causes of suicide is untreated depression
Fact 5# Children also suffer from depression
Fact 6 # Depression can be cured using magnets
Fact 7 # Over 80% of people with depression aren’t taking their meds
Fact 8 # Depression isn’t someone’s choice
Fact 9 # Women are more prone to depression than men due to postpartum depression
Let’s begin, shall we?
Fact 1# Brains of people with depression look different
By now, you know that depression is a complex disease. It has different factors going round in the background. Among the things that go on behind the scenes include trauma, changes in chemical composition, medical conditions, and genetics. All these factors lead to changes in the brain structure, which makes it look different from a person who isn’t suffering from depression.
The following are the significant changes that are evident in the brain of a person suffering from depression:
Differences in Brain Structure
Following comprehensive scans on the brains of people with depression, major changes in the structure were witnessed. One of the major concerns is changes in white matter, which was prevalent.
What’s the role of the white matter in the brain?
White matter is the communication channel of brain cells. The white matter contains signals that pass information between cells in the brain. Through this signaling, information moves around the brain. When the white matter is interfered with, one develops problems touching on emotions, cognition, and the thought process.
When one has depression, their brain may not function properly. Some of the areas that are under threat when one has depression include:
Brain shrinkage may occur, and its severity depends on how long one has suffered from depression.
Is depression classified as an inflammatory disorder?
When one has persistent depression, they may develop inflammation. However, it’s yet to be established whether it’s depression that causes inflammation or vice versa.
Let’s look at these top things:
The three areas of the brain that undergo significant changes include:
Hippocampus– Damage on this part of the brain leads to impaired memory
Prefrontal Cortex – Affects attention
Amygdala – Alters one’s behavior and attention
During the last stages of depression, the changes to the brain’s functionality may penetrate the victim’s genes.
Hormonal imbalance is also common in people suffering from depression. In these people, the stress hormone, cortisol, is produced more than that in normal people. A person with elevated levels of cortisol is likely to suffer from ‘Cushing syndrome.’ As you can see, the process is cyclical. High levels of cortisol are a major cause of significant depression disorder.
Any type of damage caused by a disorder isn’t superficial. It begins at the molecular level and piles up through many biochemical changes that cause havoc on the entire body. Following these changes, you will start experiencing the effects on every part of your body.
Here’s the thing, the brain is in charge of all the body’s functions. When one has depression, things begin to go wrong. Every molecular activity in the body starting from the brain is affected. These changes shift the body from its normal operation to fight and flight mode. The shift results in a chemical imbalance that may be influenced by genes, trauma, or the environment.
Changes as seen on a Brain Scan
The future of medicine is hopeful that an MRI will help detect all types of brain issues. While you might assume that changes are limited to functionality and structure, such an assumption is wrong. Before we look at the difference between the two, let’s explore some interesting knowledge about a brain scan. Things that a brain scan can detect.If there’s a diagnostic wonder in the world of medicine, it’s a brain scan. Whether it’s a tumor, changes in brain structure, lesion, unusual formations, or anything else, a brain scan will pick it up.
Brain scans fall into two main categories: a Computed Tomography (CT) scan and a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The two offer highly diagnostic insight on various brain-related diseases.
Between an MRI and CT scan, which is better? The two are equally good and have been endorsed by doctors in the detection of brain anomalies. The two can detect four different types of brain disorders. As you may know, depression has time and may relapse. When a depressive period occurs, you may not be aware of the triggers. There are specific triggers that cause depression.
Fact 2# Depression is triggered by multiple factors
We all feel low from time to time. Various factors, such as losing a job, arguing, or the presence of grey clouds in the sky, can make one sad. In some cases, depression may set in from nowhere without any triggers. However, clinical depression is different from ordinary depression. It’s a medical disorder that has specific triggers. Such depression usually manifests in a myriad of symptoms. Let’s dig into some of the triggers.
Being overworked at the workplace
Reports by the American Institute of Stress, the primary causes of depression disorder are caused by stressors at the workplace. However, most people who can’t handle extreme pressure at the workplace are at substantial risk of developing many mental health disorders, including depression. Work pressure may be out of our control. The two available options are looking for an alternative job or developing a coping mechanism for the work overload.
There’s a new radical approach to comprehending depression that links the disorder to inflammation in the body. Is depression caused by inflammation in the body? Most people don’t know this, but inflammation in the body is a big problem. Complex systematic inflammation affects various critical symptoms in the body, such as the respiratory system or the musculoskeletal system. The impact of these disruptions causes a big mess in the body. It’s not a coincidence that there’s a connection between the brain and inflammation.
What are the common causes of inflammation?
Inflammatory proteins such as cytokines contain an active inflammatory cascade. When such proteins reach the brain, they lead to reactive oxygen species, among other byproducts, which may cause stress on the body and lead to depression.
Jumping on to,
There’s a high correlation between financial woes and depression. The two are like milk and butter. Why is this? When one has financial problems, they can’t make money, and they lag on bills, pile up tickets, and other liabilities that drag their mood down. Furthermore, the lack of money entangles one in a vicious cycle. 50% of people with depression are usually on leave or don’t have a job. I hope you can see the chain here? When you compare yourself to your peers who are ahead of you financially, you may end up getting depression. People suffering from depression due to lack of money may isolate themselves, which makes the situation worse.
There’s a co-existence between depression and sexual dysfunction. How so? When one experiences problems in their sexual life, they may not open up to anyone, including their physician. As a result, depression keeps growing inside them. What’s worse is that your antidepressants can cause sexual dysfunction. Between 16 and 20% of American women are taking antidepressants. The above high figure shows that women are prone to depression due to the sexual dysfunctions that they may be experiencing. Moving on to,
We live in a world where being big is perceived as unhealthy. People with weight issues often fall into depression due to the stigma associated with the extra pounds. Most of you here would also struggle with depression if you added weight excessively. The worst thing that drives people into more depression is when they can’t seem to shed the extra weight.
How Does Obesity Trigger Depression?
Obesity is a tough conversation among most people. Those suffering from it are in denial and don’t want to admit that there’s a problem. Most of these people keep quiet about any struggles they may be going through due to their excess weight, and this leads to chronic depression. When feeling like your weight is pulling you down, seek therapy. It works!
Excessive Consumption of Alcohol
Most people may not know that their mental health is greatly influenced by what they eat or drink. Social drinking has been on the rise among Americans, and more people are slipping into alcohol addiction by the day. Various types of depression are occurring due to alcohol and substance abuse. The main problem is that people are using alcohol to help them forget about their problems. Drinking alcohol is seen as an escape from one’s problems. Such a mentality can cause depression.
Here’s an essential question:
What’s the effect of alcohol on one’s mental health?
Once you start drinking, there’s this euphoric feeling, and one gets into a mellow mood. But once you sleep and the effects of the alcohol wear out, you are brought back to reality. The wake-up call triggers episodes of depression and anxiety. Once sober, you may even contemplate suicide.
So, why do you feel worse once you stop drinking?
Alcohol and most other substances manipulate your body’s physiology and can be highly addictive. Once you stop drinking, you will go through withdrawal symptoms as the body tries to wean itself the effects of the alcohol. Alcoholic beverages contain high amounts of carbohydrates. Withdrawal from taking these drinks deprives the body of these carbohydrates and may cause mayhem. As you stop taking alcohol, the body craves these carbohydrates, and the result is depression and becoming irritable.
Fact 3# Over 65% of depression is confused with anxiety over time
It’s common to confuse depression with anxiety or vice versa. The two mental health disorders have similar symptoms. Since they revolve around once thought pattern, 65% of the people confuse depression with anxiety. So how can you tell the two conditions apart? Don’t worry; you are in the right place to get the information you need about these mental health disorders. The two common disorders that are often interlinked are ‘Major depressive disorder (MDD)’ and ‘Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).’ Surprisingly, most people are suffering from both. Are you wondering whether you have both anxiety and depression? Here are some symptoms that may help you figure that out:
When you have anxiety and depression, the symptoms may be intense. The truth is that if you have anxiety, the chances of getting depression is high. It’s common to be diagnosed with both depression and anxiety. The treatment options available for the two are almost similar, especially if you are experiencing them at the same time. For both, you may be prescribed antidepressants. The two also involve cognitive behavioral therapy, making some lifestyle changes, and correcting sleeping patterns. While both disorders have different features, most of their attributes often overlap. It’s highly common for people to suffer from the two at the same time.
Let’s proceed to the next fact:
Fact 4 # One of the main causes of suicide is untreated depression
The thing is, knowing what’s going on in one’s mind is extremely difficult. Unless someone takes you through their thought process, you will remain in the dark. When it starts having problems and falls into depression, they may start isolating themselves from friends and family. They also withdraw from social interactions that they used to find enjoyable. If you notice such trends in a person, chances are they are slowly slipping into depression. The worrying thing is that such behavior may lead to suicidal thoughts. A person suffering from depression often believes that taking their own life will put them out of their misery. Usually, suicidal thoughts are passive. The victims begin to fantasize and ask themselves,’ ‘what if I was dead?’ or ‘what if I die?’ ‘Could suicide be the permanent solution to my problems?’ Some red flags to look out for a suicidal person is when they start giving away personal belongings or when they start acquiring a firearm. These are indications that the person could be contemplating suicide.
Never ignore any red flag that points to suicidal thoughts. Over time, there’s a trend in the correlation of suicide to depression between genders. For men, about 7% are prone to suicide as a result of depression compared to 1% of women in a similar situation.
How can you detect if someone can be suicidal?
Predicting whether someone is likely to commit suicide isn’t easy. However, some warning signs point to the possibility of suicide. They include:
Drastic changes in one’s behavior and personal hygiene
Disposing of personal possessions
Apart from these, there are other warning signs such as:
Verbal cues – A suicidal person may repeatedly utter specific phrases such as ‘I want to die’ or ‘You will miss me.’ Most suicidal people will try to reach out to the people around them using such phrases, which is usually a cry for help.
High-risk people – Depression often manifests in different ways in people and alter their thinking patterns. For people at a high risk of killing themselves, they are often preoccupied with death and often wonder how it can’t be reversed. Such people tend to be fierce and impulsive. When these people know of someone close to them who committed suicide due to depression, they may be motivated to do the same to also get out of their despair.
Suicidal people fall into two categories: those that are determined to die or those that are desperate for help. Simple.
Is your child always unhappy? Are they pulling away from their friends? Naturally, children hate darkness. Is your child always isolating themselves and staying in a dark room for hours? Well, you will be amazed to learn that children are not immune to depression. As sad as that sounds, it’s a fact.
Why do kids fall into depression?
Let’s explore this together. According to statistics, about 2 to 3% of children under the age of twelve suffer from clinical depression. While this number may be low, it’s still sad to think about it. Kids are always full of life and have lots of energy. However, mistreating or abusing them steals this innocent joy from them. While not every child that’s abused may suffer depression, it’s still a significant trigger of depression in kids. The correlation between child abuse and depression is high.
The rate of depression among teenage girls has skyrocketed over the past decade. Over the same period, the rate of suicides has doubled among this age group. Parenting the current generation is no easy fete. Children are under a lot of pressure nowadays. At this age, children don’t know how to express sadness or open up about any emotional issues they may be having.
Another contributing factor is the generational gap in how things should be in society. Most children don’t see anything wrong with playing violent video games or using their smartphones to access social media and participate in the hype there. However, most parents believe that this is a big NO.
There’s no denying that children in the current generation spend a huge amount of time on the internet using their smartphones and laptops. It can be tough to supervise what they are watching and what’s in their mind. However, it’s your responsibility to monitor them and check their phones once in a while. You can also look into their social media accounts or browser history to try and understand what’s going on in their mind. Don’t overlook depression in children. Ensure there’s an open communication channel between you and your kids.
Fact 6 # Depression can be cured using magnets
How cool is that? This little piece of information right here is revolutionizing the treatment of depression. Sometimes depression can be resistant, and the solution lies in Transcranial magnetic therapy. I am sure you think that this method involves the physician placing a magnet on your head that sucks out the depression. No. Transcranial magnetic therapy (TMS) involves the use of powerful electromagnets similar to those used in an MRI. Your brain is an electric organ, and there’s a high correlation between electromagnets and electricity.
How do magnets help your brain?
The newest research on neurocognitive abilities involved the use of magnets. The solution can be used to improve one’s sleeping patterns and eating habits. Magnets can manipulate your brain. Using them may help one’s cognitive ability and improve memory. In 2008, the FDA approved the use of magnets to improve brain functions. Over the years, the success of the treatment has increased tremendously. Some therapists believe that TMS has similar effects to taking antidepressants. Combined with other psychotherapy techniques, the results are amazing.
According to the World Health Organization, over 350 million people are suffering from depression around the world. This figure makes it the leading cause of disability. 30% of the world’s population is said to be resistant to various forms of depression treatments. The term resistant to treatments refers to the situation where a patient is still exhibiting symptoms of depressions even after two or three cycles of taking antidepressants.
The science behind how TMS operates is still sketchy, but there are different procedures of carrying it out. TMS is painless and works by sending electric impulses to the brain, which in turn stimulates the cells, which helps control one’s mood and behavior. However, the method is relatively new and comes with certain risks. Let’s check them out.
Transcranial brain stimulation is a non-evasive procedure – there’s no surgery involved. Repeating the process hasn’t caused any adverse effects. However, there are some side effects, such as:
Twitching of facial muscles
Unlike other treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy that cause seizures, TMS doesn’t require sedation or the use of anesthesia before the procedure starts. Speaking of the procedure, you will need multiple sessions of therapy to achieve the desired results. Eventually, the symptoms will reduce and completely disappear over time.
Want more facts? Keep reading.
Fact 7 # Over 80% of people with depression aren’t taking their meds
When you think about it, that’s an extremely high number of people not taking their depression medicine considering how severe the disease can be. Due to such statistics, it’s no wonder depression is the leading mental disability disorder and has led to the growing number of suicides. How come this number is so high? Why don’t people seek help or get their depression treated? Let’s look at some reasons:
High cost of treatment
Depression can be treated using medication and non-medical ways. However, the expenses of people with comorbidities is thrice that of those without. In America, the treatment options for mental health patients include out of pocket costs, insurance, and government-funded programs. However, there’s no guidance on how to seek to treat these conditions. Most people want to get treated for depression, but they have no idea where to start. Another problem is that individuals are in denial and don’t want to open up about what they are going through. They don’t want to accept that they could be having a mental disorder. Unlike other major diseases, there are still no clear guidelines on how one should go about when they suspect they may be having depression. There’s also limited platforms for people to express themselves.
Disbelief that the treatment will work
Another reason why most people with depression don’t take their meds it because they don’t believe that the medicine will work. The non-medical treatment options call for patience, time, and lots of positive attitudes. There are many treatment options for various types of depressive disorders. Some are experimental treatments that may fail at times. Most patients often get disappointed when a particular treatment doesn’t seem to take the symptoms away. In most cases, re-evaluation is required, and patients don’t want to do it again. Most of the individuals don’t look at the bigger picture or the long term positive outcome of the treatment.
Mistrust and loss of confidentiality
Fear of opening up is one of the main reasons why people don’t seek treatment for depression. Most of the people feel insecure and may not have the confidence to express their emotional turmoil to anyone. The negative thoughts build up. An emotional connection or bond needs to exist for people to open up to each other. In most cases, this bond is missing. Older people, especially those between 60 and 70 years of age, fiercely guard their independence and don’t want to ask for help. They fear that they may lose their integrity and look desperate, which makes the situation worse. Most people prefer to commit suicide due to fear of judgment and loss of self-esteem.
Lack of health insurance cover
When one doesn’t have health insurance, they may fail or delay in getting the necessary treatment. About 4.4 million Americans don’t access to health insurance, and a further 38 million have minimal access. The implication is that this population won’t get the primary care and prevention needed for most medical conditions. Lack of access treatment may lead to irreversible damage.
Fact 8 # Depression isn’t someone’s choice
You don’t choose to be depressed. Period. There’s a difference between emotions and emotional disorders. Emotions such as happiness, sadness, joy, or sorrow are in one’s control. You can overcome such emotions easily. However, the same isn’t the case for depression. One doesn’t choose to be depressed. You can’t tell to snap out of it or be happy. Most people think that depression is a mood swing or random behavior. It’s important to understand that depression is a disease and not a habit. About 8% of Americans develop depression when they are around 12 years and don’t seek medical help. Only 50% of the population gets treatment for these conditions despite living in a first-world country. There are many myths associated with how one gets depression.
Hop on to this
What are some of the common misconceptions of getting depression?
There’s this belief that depression is the outcome of negative events in people’s lives. Therefore, it’s believed that the easiest solution out of it is making the person happy. Another belief is that depression affects only people in a certain age group. However, depression doesn’t discriminate against age, ethnicity, or area. Anyone can get depression. Depression doesn’t necessarily need to have a cause. It’s not automatic that tragic events in your life will drive your depression. Many people turn to worse things to deal with their pain. When depression goes untreated, it may lead to alcohol abuse or suicide attempts. Once depression is diagnosed, treatment needs to be administered quickly. Sometimes, the patient may need something more than medical and non-medical intervention.
Underlying medical conditions- When one has certain underlying medical conditions such as chronic pain, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, among others, they are more prone to depression.
Drug abuse- There’s a lot of evidence showing that substance abuse of stimulants and non-stimulants always leads to long term depressive disorder. Drugs, especially those that alter the central nervous system, contain active ingredients that result in dependency on the drug. As time goes by, you need the dosage. Failure to do so leads to the development of withdrawal symptoms and, eventually, chronic depression.
Genetics- Sometimes, depression is genetic. You may be prone to depression if your mother or father’s side has a history of the disease.
Does Genetic Composition Lead to Depression?
Over the last decade, research has shown that depression runs in families. The significant genetic composition may lead to a probability of developing depression in the long run. Ever wondered who is likely to get depression between men and women? Have you ever heard of the term ‘ baby blues’? Learn more about this in our last fact.
Fact 9 # Women are more prone to depression than men due to postpartum depression
Depression is prevalent in both men and women. However, women are seen as more prone to depression because they talk about it most of the time. Men, on the other hand, bottle up their feelings and are in denial of the symptoms. They end up drinking excessively or abusing drugs to cope with what they are going through. The main difference here lies in the hormonal composition between men and women.
That’s why women suffer from postpartum depression while men can’t experience such a thing. Women experience a lot of hormonal changes between their puberty and menopause, which makes them twice susceptible to depression compared to men.
How long does postpartum last?
The most severe period for postpartum depression is usually six weeks after a woman gives birth. The first six weeks are a crucial period between the mother and her newborn. The mother usually experiences lots of emotional and physical changes. After these first weeks, the reproductive parts start to go back to their normal state before the pregnancy slowly. The recovery from a vaginal birth is different from that of caesarian delivery.
Understanding postpartum depression
The sad thing is that society doesn’t understand the strong emotions felt by a mother who just gave birth. The people around her believe she’s only feeling the overwhelming joy of giving birth. However, while most women are joyful about the newborn, they also get into postpartum depression.
Some of the symptoms that a woman experiences after childbirth include; poor sleeping patterns, low appetite, mood swings, and extended fatigue. Some of the symptoms associated with postpartum depression are restlessness, stress, and rejection of the baby.
The following are the risk factors of getting postpartum depression:
Family history of depression
Increased number of children
The easiest way to cope with postpartum depression is by accepting the condition and focusing on the baby. You will have some good and bad days, but it shall come to pass. Allow family and friends to help you when you feel overwhelmed.
So, depression can kick in at an early age. These nine facts are some crucial things that not many people know about depression. Depression is multi-faceted and presents itself due to many factors. The good news is that if detected early, it’s manageable and treatable. Visit Mango Clinic to get rid of depression.