You’ve probably heard the buzz about taking on a sugar-free diet. But does the cost of your suffering really offer you enough benefit to make it worth it? What are the difficulties of a diet of this sort, on top of the lack of sugar?
- Often times, when you’re given a list of allowed foods, it makes you want the not allowed foods even more. This promotes a diet mentality and makes people people feel bad when they do indulge in those foods.
- Researchers have actually found that dieting isn’t effective in the long term and can actually lead to more weight gain. When the brain interprets the diet as a restriction, it causes fat storage to build up for future shortages. In addition, if the diet causes stress, the body releases cortisol which can cause the body to store fat.
- These diets also advocate avoiding fruit for a certain period of time and then slowly introducing it.
And the list continues. Assuming you don’t want to go on a sugar-free diet, here are some recommendations. Eat two servings of fruit a day and eat plenty of plants, whole grains, beans and legumes. You can eat a little less sugar but you don’t have to go crazy avoiding it. When you do eat foods with sugar, try to eat mindfully to really enjoy the food you’re eating. Learn more for healthy eating.
If you are an insomniac or suffer from PTSD or similar types of anxiety, you may want to know about weighted blankets. These blankets have been used for decades in therapy for kids with developmental disorders and for anxious animals. But now they are becoming more popular for people as well.
A study in Sweden in 2015 found that a weighted blanket improved sleep quality for insomniacs by providing the feeling of being cocooned. The pressure stimulation has been shown to reduce cortisol and increase serotonin and melatonin in the brain, all of which can help with sleep.
While more research needs to be done, the findings so far are promising. In 2008, a study was done at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with 32 participants and a 30 pound weighted blanket. They found that 63% of the participants reported lower anxiety after using it.
Certainly, it seems like something worth looking into if you suffer from an inability to get to sleep, or to stay asleep through the night.
It is inspiring to see how Serena Williams is working to help moms-to-be around the world. After giving birth to her daughter, Williams experienced a great deal of medical trauma and she wants to prevent other women from having a similar experience. Williams had a c-section after her daughter’s heart rate plummeted. Soon after giving birth, Williams had trouble breathing and a scan revealed that she had blood clots in her lungs. After many complications, doctors saved her life and had to be on bed rest for six weeks.
As Williams recently wrote in an op-ed for CNN, “If it weren’t for their professional care, I wouldn’t be here today. Every mother, everywhere, regardless of race or background deserves to have a healthy pregnancy and birth. And you can help make this a reality.” She urges readers to donate to UNICEF or to write to governments. It’s certainly inspiring to see someone as well known as Williams putting her energy towards helping others.