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Skin Changes After Weight Loss

March 21, 2016
Woman pinching fat from her abdomen. Close up shot

Dropping weight is almost never a bad thing, especially if you have been struggling with it for a while. In the midst of your celebration though, you may come across a whole new problem to worry about – changes in your skin. There are a number of skin changes after weight loss, depending on age, health, and other factors. If you’re going through this transition at the moment or simply trying to prepare for the future, the tips below will help you keep your skin looking its best after losing weight.

Types Of Skin Changes After Weight Loss

Weight loss brings about a wide range of health benefits, but some of them take a little while to kick in. During this time, your skin may show signs of wear and tear because it is trying to catch up with the other changes in your body. Some of the most common skin changes after weight loss include:

  • Dry Or Oily Skin
  • Sagging Skin
  • Fine Lines And Wrinkles
  • Cellulite
  • Leftover Scars And Stretchmarks

Depending on the amount of weight you lose, you may go through multiple skin changes as you work toward your ideal weight. Tackle each of these transitions as they come about, and you will be able to keep your skin looking its best.

Keep Your Skin Moisturized

Try to keep your skin as moist as possible, unless you have problems with oiliness. Most people who are overweight will see positive changes in their skin’s moisture levels once they go on a diet, but there are some eating regimens that dry out the skin. At the very least, maintaining the moisture levels in your skin will keep it looking as plump as possible, which will fill in the divots that were once backed by fat. Find a good moisturizing cream to use on a daily basis, and you’ll make your skin look soft and smooth.

Use Microdermabrasion at Home

Microdermabrasion is a process that takes off the dead skin cells at the surface and encourages new cells to grow. As you shed weight, it’s a good idea to shed these dead cells as well because they can make your skin look duller than it actually is. The new cells that grow will be just as vibrant as they would be for a baby, so you can instantly look younger and healthier after microdermabrasion. Once you get used to this, you’ll find yourself trying it all the time.

Practice Good Hygiene

You may have folded skin after weight loss. This is because your skin is losing its elasticity and cannot properly contract itself. Some people are required to go through surgery to remove that excess skin, depending on their age, health, and overall weight loss. In the meantime though, it is important to wash the cracks and crevices well. All of those areas can get gunk caught in them, which can potentially lead to infection or foul odors. You can avoid all of that with proper hygiene.

Use Sunscreen When Outside

Larger people are used to covering up when they go outside, but that all changes when you lose weight. If you suddenly find yourself showing off your new frame, you need to make sure you protect it with a little sunscreen. Even if the only area exposed is your face, you need to apply moisturizer or foundation with SPF in order to avoid sunburn. This will keep your skin looking its best for years to come.

There is no reason to avoid showing off your stunning new body. You just have to make sure your skin highlights it in the right way. Follow the tips above, and you’ll look great no matter what.

 

Blog Health

Get Your Pre-Pregnancy Glow Back!

January 27, 2016
Portrait of beautiful cheerful mother with cute little baby on hands over blue wall background, enjoying parenthood, love and happiness concept

Having a baby is a magical moment in a woman’s life, but it comes with some not-so-pleasant side effects. Your body has to adjust to make room for a whole new person living inside you, only to transform (or attempt to transform) right back to its original form. Whether you’re displeased with your body or you just want to make yourself look a little better, you can use the tips below to regain the glow you had before childbirth. Here are some simple beauty secrets every new mom should try.

Eat Healthy Foods

Your pregnancy cravings have probably gotten your diet a little out of whack. Some women eat nothing but pickles and ice cream before having a baby, and that kind of habit is bound to make you look bad when you get out of the hospital. Focus on eating fruits, vegetables, proteins, and good carbohydrates so you can get your body back on track. You’ll find your skin getting clearer and firmer with every bite you take.

Exercise Regularly

A proper fitness regime can help you get your body back in shape, and it will make you feel more energized throughout the day. With energy comes that healthy glow you’re striving for, so it’s best to stay as active as possible. You may not think you have time to exercise with the new baby, but that’s not the case. You just have to find ways to incorporate workout time with mommy time. Walk around with your baby in the park, or do a round of kiss-the-baby pushups at home. As you search for creative ways to exercise, you’ll be able to get your body in shape.

Exfoliate Your Skin

You need to get rid of any of the toxins and dead skin cells that may be lingering at the surface. That means taking the time to go through an extensive exfoliation process. Microdermabrasion works best in these situations because it gets rid of the outer layer of skin, allowing new skin to grow in its place. By using microdermabrasion, you can create a youthful surface on your face that will reflect the happiness you feel inside.

No matter how few hours of sleep you may get or how chaotic your life as a new mom may be, you can still find ways to make yourself radiate. Show off the glow you once had and the glow you deserve as a new mom. When people ask you what your secret is, just give credit to your new bundle of joy!

Blog Health

Protect Your Pantry From Pests

December 7, 2015
Canned goods on wooden storage shelves in pantry

The food in your pantry can turn into a buffet for critters in your home. The last thing you want is to open a box of cereal with droppings inside. Consistent pest control will eliminate most of the problems, but there are other steps you can take to protect yourself even more. Here are four products to protect your pantry from pests.

Plastic Containers

Try to put your cereal, pasta, sugar, and other loose items in sealed plastic containers. This will contain the odor so that mice and insects cannot detect food in the pantry. Canned items should be fine on their own. The ones in boxes are what you need to worry about.

Rubber Seals

For some cabinets, you can put a rubber seal between the door and the cabinet, similar to what you have on your refrigerator door. This will block out the tiny bugs that can crawl into the pantry. Not all doors have enough room to put something like this down, so make sure you test one door before you install them throughout the kitchen.

Cleaning Products

Keeping your cabinets clean of crumbs is a big part of pest prevention. You may not think about cleaning out your pantry because you have a lot of stuff in there. Once a month, take everything out of one shelf and clean off all the crumbs on it. Wipe it down with a disinfecting wipe to get rid of the germs and mask the smell at the same time. Try not to use any cleaning products that smell like lemon or orange. They may be better for your nose, but they could draw in some unwanted guests.

Note that you can also take this time to throw away items you no longer need in your pantry, either because they are expired or you just don’t want to eat them anymore. Take care of two problems at the same time.

Child Safety Locks

You can put child safety locks on your pantry doors to make them difficult to open. This will not stop something small like a spider, but it may keep mice and other large critters away. You could also think about making your doors magnetic so that they suck shut whenever you close them. You will still be able to get in when you need to, but your pests will have a difficult time.

Use the products above in your kitchen, and you will be able to keep your food safe and sound.

Blog Diet Health

How To Control Your Food Intake

November 19, 2015
Concept illustration of a pie chart on a plate, one segment is served.

If you are used to eating whatever you want, whenever you want, it may be difficult to transition to a healthy diet. Learning to control your food intake will allow you to lose weight faster and crave less food throughout the day. Here are some tips to help you monitor your food intake so you can slim down your body.

Drink Water Before You Eat

You can trick your stomach into thinking you have eaten more by drinking a glass of water before a meal. This will give you less room to fill up with food, and it will give the food something to soak up when it hits your stomach. This absorption will make you feel fuller faster, ultimately causing you to eat less. The extra hydration is just an added bonus!

Listen To Your Body

Your body knows when it is full, and you need to understand the signals it sends you at that time. If you feel like you don’t need to eat anymore, don’t. It’s as simple as that. Just because you have food in front of you doesn’t mean you have to eat it all. By eating less, you may be able to reduce your portion sizes in the future. Respect your stomach’s decision to stop eating, and you won’t feel stuffed every time you eat.

Control Your Portions

If you are used to eating huge meals, try to reduce the amount of food you put on your plate. Don’t tell yourself, “Oh, I’ll only eat half of this.” Put half of it on your plate and store or throw away the rest. Even if you still consume the same foods you currently eat, you need to eat them in smaller portions. That will train your stomach to eat less in the future. Ideally, you should also adjust to eating healthier foods throughout the day, but a simple reduction is a good start.

Eat Slowly

If you scarf down your food every time you get a chance, you may not give your body a chance to tell you that it’s full. Put your fork down after every bite and chew it like it you mean it. Try not to watch TV intensely while you want because then you may just pack away the food subconsciously. Think about every bite you put into your mouth, and eventually you will be able to turn down the ones you don’t need.

Blog Diet Health

The Benefits Of Eating Grilled Food

August 28, 2015
Grilled vegetables on cutting board on dark wooden background

The benefits of grilled food go far beyond the great taste. There is a reason why fast food restaurants have started to offer grilled meat as an alternative to fried meat. It’s better for you. If you have avoided grilled foods for a long time, it may be time to rethink your eating habits. Here are some of the most important benefits of eating grilled food.

Less Fat

When you fry food, even on the stove, you essentially cook it in its own fat. With a grill, that fat is able to fall right through the grates, leaving you with a much healthier piece of meat in the long run. Baked meat and broiled meat also have low fat, but most people prefer the taste of grilled chicken over its bland broiled cousin. If you are trying to cut back on your fat intake, grilling your food could be a good start.

More Moisture

Grills operate at a very high temperature, which locks in the moisture for any meat that you cook. The end result is tender, juicy meat each and every time, as long as you go through proper cooking practices. The grill still cooks the inside of the meat, but it does so without forcing the moisture through the pores. That quickly enhances whatever meal you are grilling for.

Lower Calories

Because grilled meat is naturally juicy, you don’t have to use butter or oil to cook it. You might marinade the meat for flavor or brush with oil to lock in spices. For the most part though, you don’t have to rely on anything but the grill itself. Most people don’t bread meat they put on the grill because the breading just catches fire. That breading is the source of most of the calories in something like fried chicken. Grilling lowers the calories in your meals without sacrificing the flavor.

More Vitamins

Grilling meats and vegetables can help them maintain their essential vitamins. This inevitably makes the food better for you. Meats maintain their riboflavin and thiamine levels, and vegetables lock in natural vitamins and minerals. This will boost your immune system and energy levels so you can get through the day better. It acts as a passive way to detox your system.

Keep In Mind…

The benefits of eating grilled food only exist if you keep condiments to a minimum. Sour cream, ketchup, steak sauce, and butter can quickly turn a healthy meal into something worthy of the McDonald’s menu. If you feel the need to add sauce, try adding spices and marinades instead. That way you get the flavoring without dipping your food straight into calories.

Make the most of your grilling season and the health benefits that come along with it. Once you start making grilled food a regular part of your diet, you will wonder why you ever ate anything else. You might even lose a little weight along the way! Can’t complain about that, right?

Blog Health

How To Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets

August 26, 2015
Organized-Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It may not be the place you spend most of your time in, but it is a place that you use every single day. If you have limited storage or an oddly shaped kitchen, you may have a hard time arranging the cabinets to suit your needs and the space at the same time. Learning how to properly organize your kitchen cabinets will give you a chance to really enjoy your room for all that it is worth. Here are some tips to help you get your kitchen cabinets looking their best.

Make Your Dishes More Accessible 

You need to make some dishes more accessible than others. I’m not very tall, so I put all of my plates and glasses on the bottom shelf of the upper cabinets. This makes them easy to reach at all times. Try to put your dishes in a way that makes them convenient when you need them most. Don’t hide your coffee cups behind your wine glasses if you drink coffee every morning. You may be amazed by how much of a difference thinking like this can make for you.

Note that you may want your dishes to be close to the dish washer, just to make it easier to put them up when they are clean.

Plan Your Pans Around Your Cooking Habits 

If you do not cook very often, your pots and pans may not be much of a priority in your cabinets. If you cook daily though, you will need to plan your kitchen organization around the pots and pans you use regularly. You may have them hanging on a rack or neatly placed in your lower cabinets, storing cookie sheets and other flat pans under the oven. As a whole, your pots and pans need to be located near the oven because that is where you are most likely to use them. Put the pans you use most in front, and find room for everything else in your shelves.

Adjust Your Ingredients Around Your Pans And Dishes

Put your cooking ingredients around the stove so they are easy to access for cooking. You may be able to put snacks in a far away cabinet or in a low drawer that your kids have access to. Spices, oils, grains, and the like will need to be as close to the stove as possible, unless you have a certain area of the kitchen where you typically prepare meals. In that case, make your adjustments accordingly

If you have multiples of certain ingredients, like a spice you use regularly or common kitchen staples (sugar, flour, etc.), place them in order of expiration date. When you buy more of the same ingredient, put the new set in the back, behind what you are currently using. This will help you avoid wasting food because of the expiration dates.

Do a kitchen overhaul in your home, and you will once again enjoy cooking healthy meals for your family.

Blog Diet Health

What 100 Calories Really Looks Like

July 20, 2015
Closeup portrait, beautiful, pretty young woman in sweater picking up, choosing green leafy vegetables in grocery store

Do you count calories as part of your diet? This may not be a fool-proof weight loss method, but it is a good way to monitor the amount of food you eat in a day. Burn more calories than you eat, and chances are you’ll lose weight.

Most of the people I speak to are shocked to find out just how many calories are in the foods they eat once they start keeping track of their intake. If you have never sat down to assess your food, it may be time for a reality check. That’s why today, I wanted to go over what 100 calories really looks like, just to let you see what you can do to control your caloric intake from day to day.

Americans Guess What 100 Calories Looks Like

This video shows an excellent example of just how much food 100 calories can get you, and how misinformed most Americans are about calories as a whole. In the video, people are asked to create 100 calorie portion sizes for different types of foods. In most cases, the people either portioned out way too much food or way too little, and they were surprised by the results. The foods assessed in the video include:

  • Granola (25 Grams) – Participants guessed 54 grams
  • Baked Potato Chips (15 Chips) – Participants guessed 31 chips
  • Mustard (225 Grams) – Participants guessed 19 grams
  • Olive Oil (11 Grams) – Participants guessed 19 grams
  • Strawberries (310 Grams) – The video did not say what the participants guessed, but it appeared to be about 150 grams

High Calorie Foods To Avoid

If you want to get the most out of the calories you consume throughout the day, avoid these high-calorie foods:

  • Fats And Oils
  • Nuts And Seeds
  • Butters Made From Nuts And Seeds (Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Etc.)
  • Chocolate
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ready-Made Salad Dressings (See: How To Make A Basic Vinaigrette)
  • Pre-Made Fruit Juices
  • Ice Cream
  • Processed Meats

Not all of these high calorie foods are “bad for you,” so to speak, but they will add to your waistline if you are not doing enough to burn calories throughout the day. If you aren’t committed to working out just yet, try to stay clear of these foods.

Low Calorie Foods To Embrace

100 calories can go a long way if you have the right foods to eat. Listed below are some healthy and delicious low calorie foods that will make you feel full and energized at the same time:

  • Broccoli (Fun Fact: It takes more calories to digest broccoli than the broccoli itself provides. You can literally burn calories just by eating broccoli!)
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Lean Meats
  • Soup Broth

As you can see, most low calorie foods involve some sort of fruits and vegetables. You can mix in meats, grains, and even sugars from time to time, but try to keep an eye on the calories you’re really eating with every meal. If you pay close attention to your diet, you will have a much easier time losing weight and staying in shape.

Blog Health

The Secret To Staying Hydrated In The Summer Heat

July 13, 2015
staying-hydrated

With the summer heat hanging over your head, it is important to keep your body cooled and hydrated. This may require you to drink more water than you are used to, just so you can have the energy you need to get through the day. Listed below are some helpful tips for staying hydrated in the summer heat so you can keep your body functioning the way it is supposed to.

Why You Need Extra Hydration In The Summer

The hot temperatures in the summer cause your body to perspire (sweat) more. This perspiration causes you to use up more water at a faster rate. If you swim, bike, play tennis, or participate in other activities during these sunny months, your body will once again use up more water than normal. That is why it is important to get extra hydration in the summer, so you don’t get weak and dehydrated.

How To Stay Hydrated In The Heat

Here are some important tips to help you stay hydrated in summer:

  • Put yourself on a water drinking schedule. You may drink a glass an hour, a bottle with each meal, a glass in between each meal…whatever the case may be. The goal here is to get you in the habit of drinking water throughout the day so it becomes part of your routine.
  • Take sips all day long. If you cannot chug a full bottle of water in one setting, try taking small sips of water all day long. Every 10 minutes or so, take a sip of water. This will not seem like much at first, but you will be amazed by the water you get through over time.
  • Add flavor to your water. You can add some fresh fruit or a pre-made drink mix to your water, if you don’t like the taste of basic H2O. You can also play around with different filters and different brands of water to see what you are most willing to drink.
  • Drink more after you work out. If you go on a bike ride or take a trip to the gym, make sure you drink a lot of water after you are finished. You may not want to drink too much while you are working out to avoid feeling like you have a heavy gut, but you should get hydrated before and after.

If you can follow the tips above during the summer, you will be able to keep your body regulated and avoid the serious health risks that come with dehydration.

Blog Health

Lunch Packing Tips For Moms On The Go

June 10, 2015
lunch-packing-tips

Whether you’re a single mother of one or a stay at home mom of five, juggling your own life and your children’s lives takes practice. Once your child is old enough to go to school, you may consider packing a lunch for him each day. This allows you to control your child’s nutrition and potentially save money on not-so-tasty cafeteria lunches. If you’re limited on time, you may find it tough to properly prepare school lunches every day. Check out these lunch packing tips for moms on the go to help you find the perfect balance between speed and nutrition.

Get Plenty Of Plastic Containers

Plastic to-go containers are a mom-on-the-go‘s best friend. These little containers can be used to store different food groups that you can mix and match for your child’s lunches. For instance, you could use one container for sliced fruit and vegetables, another for chips and crackers, another for sandwiches or meat, and yet another for pudding, yogurt, etc. Invest in a large set of plastic containers of varying sizes, and fill them with foods you know your kids will love.

Choose Kid-Friendly Foods That Store Well

Whether you’re making food for your children or buying something pre-made, make sure that the foods you get will store well. You might be able to prepare several lunches in advance when you have spare time, rather than putting something together every single day. For example, I have a great peanut butter rice krispy bar recipe that my kids love for dessert. I make a whole batch of these over the weekend and wrap the bars individually after they’ve cooled. Then I just pop the whole stack of them in the fridge and send my kids with one each for lunch. I’m set for desserts for the whole week!

Prepare The Night Before

Mornings are the most hectic times in my house. One kid wants to wear a Halloween costume to school, another won’t get out of bed, I can’t find the car keys that end up being in my hands the whole time…none of this is conducive to creating a proper school lunch for my children. That’s why I do most of my prep work the night before so all I have to do in the morning is put it in a bag and run.

If you want your child to eat grilled chicken, pasta, a salad, etc., make that the night before and store it in one of your plastic containers. I love making trail mix with my children to take with them for snack time. Prepare all of this the night before, and your mornings will be quick and easy!

 

Blog Exercise Health

How To Keep Your Children Active During Spring Break

March 1, 2015
Happy family lifestyle

Spring break is a time for fun family vacations and crazy adventures, but for some children, it’s a chance to stay at home and sleep on the couch for a week. That is not part of a healthy lifestyle. Even if you cannot take your kids on a trip, there are things you can do to make sure they don’t get too lethargic in their week off. Here are some tips for how to keep your children active during spring break.

Bring Your Child To Work With You

Spring break might be the perfect opportunity to show your child what you do on a day to day basis. You can get your child to participate in work-related activities, like making copies, taking orders, stocking shelves, or whatever else it is that you do. Technically, take your child to work day is on the fourth Thursday in April, but that does not mean that you cannot create your own version of that day during spring break. Of course, you’ll need to ask your boss for permission first to make sure your child is allowed to be on the job site. If so, you can show him or her the ropes and encourage activity at the same time.

Plan Some Outdoor Activities

You don’t have to leave your home to be active during spring break. You can try some new outdoor activities with your child to make the most out of spring break. Perhaps you could set up a tent and have a camping trip in your back yard. Maybe you could have a barbecue for your friend and his or her best friends. Even if all you do is throw a Frisbee back and forth, you will be showing your child how to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle. That will make a big impact later on in life.

Schedule Play Dates And Sleepovers

If your child is more likely to be active with other kids around, make sure he or she gets social interaction over spring break. Depending on your child’s age, this could come in the form of a play date, a slumber party, or something else along those lines. If the children are at your house, suggest games they can play to get them active. If you have a trampoline, a basketball goal, a play set, or anything like that at your home, encourage your children to use it. As long as you keep child fitness in mind over the break, you will keep your son or daughter from slipping into laziness.