Posted on

Three Ways to Practice Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting is becoming an increasingly popular way to lose weight, and also reap many other health benefits. There are three popular ways to practice Intermittent Fasting. Read on to learn more about them and discover which one will suit you the best

The 16/8 Method

The most popular method of Intermittent Fasting is the 16/8 Method, which involves limiting meals to an eight hour daily window, and fasting for the remaining sixteen hours. Many people will choose this method as the easiest to follow, and will simply skip breakfast and eat from around 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The plan gives you the flexibility to choose any eight hour window you would like to eat in. For example, if you are someone who likes to eat in the morning, you may choose to eat between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm instead.

Eat-Stop-Eat

The Eat-Stop-Eat method involves fasting for a 24-hour period once or twice a week. Many people will choose to do this by stopping their meals after dinner one day, then fasting until dinner the following day. For many people, this method will be more difficult to stick to. If you are new to Intermittent Fasting and would like to try the Eat-Stop-Eat method, it is recommended that you start with fasting only one day per week.

The 5:2 Diet

The 5:2 Diet rose in popularity a couple of years ago, but is still utilised by many people. This method involves choosing two days per week to eat only 500-600 calories, and eating normally the other five days. It should be noted that this method has the potential to be ineffective for some, and have even caused weight gain in occasional cases. This is due to people eating more than they normally would on the five ‘normal’ days to make up for less calories on their two fasted days. If you choose this method, be mindful that this can happen.

Posted on

5 Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Aside from weight loss, which can be a health benefit for some people, Intermittent Fasting can have many other benefits to your body and brain. Many studies have been conducted to discover the benefits of Intermittent Fasting.

1. Brain

Intermittent Fasting has been shown to potentially decrease on a person’s susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease. It has also been shown to increase production of the brain hormone BDNF, which stimulates the growth of new nerve cells.

2. Cancer

Some studies on animals have suggested that Intermittent Fasting may prevent the development of some cancers. It should be noted that a study on humans has not yet been conducted.

3. Insulin Resistance

Intermittent Fasting may reduce insulin resistance. Studies have shown that Intermittent Fasting can lower blood sugar and insulin levels, which can protect you from Type 2 Diabetes.

4. Anti-Aging

There is some evidence that Intermittent Fasting can lead to a longer life. So far, this has only been shown in a study on rats, and has not yet been studied in humans.

5. Heart

Intermittent Fasting could reduce LDL, or ‘bad’ cholesterol, blood triglycerides, inflammatory markers, as well as insulin resistance and blood sugar. These are all risk factors for heart disease.

One reason many people choose to follow the Intermittent Fasting plans for the simplicity. Many people will not be able to maintain healthy eating as it is too difficult to keep up with. Intermittent Fasting provides a simple framework to follow, making it easier to maintain a healthier diet.

Posted on

The 411 on Intermittent Fasting

You may have heard of Intermittent Fasting, a style of eating that has risen in popularity over the past few years. Intermittent Fasting is not a diet per sey, as is does not limit what you can eat, rather it provides guidelines around when you should eat.

When you fast (do not eat), certain things will happen in your body on a molecular and cellular level.

Insulin

Your insulin sensitivity will improve, and your levels will drop dramatically. Lower insulin levels make stored body fat more likely to be burned as energy.

Human Growth Hormone

Your levels of growth hormone will skyrocket, increasing up to five times their usual. This will often result in increased muscle gain, and can assist in fat loss.

Genes

The function of your genes may change. Some studies have shown that fasting can improve longevity and protection against some diseases.

Cellular Repair

When you fast, your cells will begin the repair processes. One of these processes includes autophagy, where cells remove the old, dysfunctional proteins that build up.

Many people have successfully used Intermittent Fasting for weight loss. It has been accepted as a very effective way to shed a few extra kilos, as it not only allows less time to eat (usually resulting in less calories consumed), but will also change the way the body’s metabolism and ability to burn fat.

Intermittent Fasting has many health benefits aside from weight loss, and has even been shown to reduce the risk of cancer in animals. If you are interested in trying Intermittent Fasting for weight loss, or other benefits, there are three main plans you can follow to start your journey with Intermittent Fasting today.

Posted on

What Causes High Testosterone in Females?

Testosterone is a male sex hormone, but is also present in female bodies and is produced by the ovaries. Testosterone has many uses in female bodies, including growth, maintenance of cells, repair of reproductive tissues, bone mass, and regulates some behaviours.

Some female’s will experience higher testosterone levels than normal. This can be due to a few different factors or imbalances, including:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a hormonal disorder which is caused by an excess of androgen hormones in females. Some symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods, a high volume of body hair, and ovaries that do not function normally.

  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH)

CAH affects the adrenal glands and how hormones are produced in the body. Similar to PCOS, a female with CAH may experience an overproduction of androgen.

  • Hirsutism

A female with Hirsutism will experience increased growth of hair, usually on the face, back, and chest. Hirsutism is also caused by an imbalance of androgen hormones. The amount and location of body hair a female will grow depends on their genetics.

An excess of testosterone in females will not always be caused by the above conditions. Other signs a female may have high testosterone include:

  • excess body or facial hair
  • irregular or prolonged menstrual cycles
  • low libido
  • unexplained mood changes
  • enlarged clitoris
  • decreased breast size
  • deepening of the voice
  • increased muscle mass and/or strength
  • balding
  • acne

While some of these symptoms can be unpleasant, there are treatments available for women with high levels of testosterone. If any you have been diagnosed with any of the above conditions, or are experiencing any symptoms listed, seek medical advice.

Posted on

What is Hypogonadism?

Male hypergonadism, also known as testosterone deficiency, refers to when the testes cannot produce enough testosterone and/or sperm. Hypergonadism is often a result of a disease that involves the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.

Hypogonadism can affect multiple aspects of a man’s life, not just sexual function. It can affect men of any age, and has even been found in some boys before puberty. If this does occur, puberty will not continue to progress.

Symptoms will vary from person to person, depending on many variables such as onset age, how far developed the disorder is, and how low testosterone levels are. Some symptoms sufferers may notice are:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decreased muscle strength and mass
  • Sweating and hot flushes
  • Depression or mood disorders
  • Increased body fat and breast enlargement
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Loss of body hair
  • Insomnia or disturbed sleep

There are two main types of hypogonadism: primary and secondary. Primary hypogonadism may be due to a congenital disorder, or acquired following severe trauma to the testes, mumps, tumours, or chemotherapy. Secondary hypogonadism can be caused by the following:

  • Certain medication
  • Stress
  • Malnutrition
  • Certain toxins like alcohol and heavy metals
  • Obesity
  • Some systematic illnesses

Fortunately, hypogonadism can often be treated with hormone replacement therapy. If you believe you or someone you know may be suffering from hypogonadism, check in with healthcare professional to find a solution.

Posted on

Are Testosterone Treatments Safe?

Over the past decade, the number of men who have accessed testosterone treatments have tripled. With this number rising, there has been increasing discussion on whether the treatments are safe. Studies have been conflicted, and have given many different perspectives and answers to the above question.

Most experts have now said that the best course of action is to go to your doctor before even thinking about making any decisions. Your doctor will be able to first determine if you have low testosterone levels, and will then be able to give you educated direction. Men with low testosterone may also benefit from improving their lifestyle by maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.

Endocrinologist Bradley D. Anawalt, MD suggests that when visiting your doctor about testosterone levels and potential treatment, you should be asking the following five questions.

1. What are the symptoms of low testosterone?

2. What else could explain my symptoms?

3. How likely am I to have low testosterone?

4. Do I have any of the common causes it?

5. Should I have my blood testosterone measured?

If you are seeking information on treatments for low testosterone, speak to your healthcare professional about your options.

Posted on

The Importance of Testosterone

Testosterone is the most important androgenic-anabolic steroid in our bodies. Testosterone is not just for men, and is produced in both male and female bodies. Testosterone is converted into two other very important hormones in the male and female sex organs: dihydrotestosterone and estradiol. Together, these two hormones are responsible for pushing a young man through puberty, namely by increasing muscle mass and facial and body hair, beginning production of sperm, and later in life, baldness.

When testosterone levels drop to below normal, one may begin to experience negative symptoms. In both males and females, testosterone is used to regulate many functions of the body. The symptoms of low testosterone in men may include a loss of muscle mass and strength, mood swings, increased body fat, and hypogonadism.

Contrastingly, high levels of testosterone in women can lead to potentially problematic symptoms, including male pattern baldness, menstrual irregularities, and acne. Women with high testosterone may also experience their voice deepening, body changes, breast reduction, and an increase in facial and body hair.

Doctors have reported an increase in the cases of low testosterone in men since 2012, however solutions are available. If you are male or female and experiencing problems that you think may be related to a hormone imbalance, speak to your health care professional today.

Posted on

The Effects of Low Testosterone in Ageing Men

Most men will experience a steady drop in testosterone beginning at age 30. Men will likely start noticing some physical and mental changes a decade or two after their testosterone levels begin to drop.

Physical Changes

Testosterone helps build muscle mass and improve bone mass and density. Therefore, men experiencing a drop in testosterone levels may notice a loss of muscle, and even increased body fat. Many men will notice increased fatigue, decreased sex drive, and sometimes hair loss.

Mental Changes

As with any hormonal changes, decreased testosterone levels can lead to mental and emotional shifts. Some men report experiencing depression other mood disorders. Some may also experience a lack of mental clarity, irritability, and can find it harder to focus.

Unlike a woman going through menopause, testosterone in men will drop gradually over time. This means that the older a man is, the more likely he is to begin experiencing the above symptoms. Occasionally, men under the age of 30 will start experiencing some of the above symptoms of low testosterone, which can be for a multitude of reasons.

If anything above has rung true for you, speak to your health care professional about available treatments.

Posted on

Three Habits to Maintain as you Age

It may be appealing to discard healthy habits when you start to age. You may start finding it is harder to exercise, eat well, and get out and about often. But maintaining the following healthy habits will do you wonders as you age.

1. Sleep enough

Sleeping seven to eight hours a night is highly recommended for all adults, to maintain good physical and mental health. You may find your sleeping patterns start to change as you age, and you’re not alone. Many older people report that it is harder to get to sleep, and stay asleep as they age. Try cutting back on stimulants like coffee and sugar early in the day if you experience trouble sleeping. If you have trouble sleeping, talk to your healthcare professional.

2. Stay on top of preventative care

If you wait until you’re sick to see the doctor, read on! Staying on top of your health is important at all times, but is particularly pertinent when you start to age. Keeping up to date on vaccines, tests, and regular check-ups will mean you are on the front foot should anything go wrong. As you age, you become more susceptible to illness and disease, so it is vital that you form a good relationship with your doctor, and start visiting regularly.

3. Quit your bad habits

It is never too late to kick a bad habit like smoking or drinking to excess. Even if you have had a habit of smoking for decades, research has shown that your body will start to feel the effects of quitting almost immediately. Replacing your bad habits with better ones, such as healthy snacking, socialising, or a new activity, will assist you in quitting for good. If you require help quitting smoking, contact your healthcare professional.

Posted on

Five Nutrients for Healthy Ageing

As we age, our bodies will begin requiring different nutrients. Whether this is from deficiencies, or just different requirements, it is important to know what your body needs as you age.

1. Magnesium

Magnesium is used for many different things in the body. Some of them include maintaining a strong immune system, and healthy bones and heart. Magnesium can be found in fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, brown rice, and avocado. Absorption of magnesium from food slows down with age, so many people may benefit from supplementing.

2. Fibre

Fibre is very important for people of any age, as it helps maintain healthy digestion as well as preventing heart disease and diabetes. Fibre can be found in whole grains, whole fruits and vegetables, dark leafy greens, chickpeas and lentils, and nuts and seeds. Many people will choose to supplement their fibre intake to ensure they are getting enough.

3. Fat

This one may surprise you – but don’t go out for a greasy burger until you read on. Healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are important for maintaining a healthy mind and body. Eating healthy fats helps you to feel full for longer, gives you energy, and improves absorption of nutrients from food. Olive oil, nuts, salmon, and avocados are foods that have a high-healthy fat content.

4. Vitamin B

Vitamin B is essential for keeping up energy levels and improving feelings of fatigue. Vitamin B also helps maintain a healthy metabolism as you age, and can improve vision, skin quality, and nerve function. Vitamin B vitamins can be found in fortified foods, soy products, grains, poultry, and fish.

5. Calcium

Calcium is essential for maintaining healthy and strong bones, something very important to keep on top of as you age. Calcium can also improve function of the heart, muscles, and helps blood to clot. Calcium can be found in dairy products, seeds, canned sardines and salmon, almonds, and leafy greens.