How To Calculate Your Ideal Body Weight (it’s easy!)

Once upon a time, all you needed to know to determine if you were at an ideal weight was your Body Mass Index (BMI). But that was before medical science evolved – now we know there are many different factors to consider, including your gender, height, waist size and lifestyle, to figure out how healthy you really are.

Follow this simple three-step guide to determine, in three different ways, if your weight generally falls within healthy standards.

To start with, weigh yourself right now (yes, get off that couch!) and keep your weight (in pounds) and your height (in inches) handy.

Step One: Let’s Begin With BMI

Healthy Weight | Princeton NutrientsThe BMI is an estimated calculation of your fat content based on your weight in relation to your height. While it’s not very accurate, it does get the “answers” right for most people and tend to give similar results to other expensive and tedious body fat measuring tests.1

Calculating your BMI is fairly easy. When calculating BMI using inches and pounds, you’ll divide your weight (in pounds) with the square of your height (in inches) and multiply this number by 703.

BMI = Weight (pounds) ÷ Height2 (inches) x 703

According to the number you get, you are:

  • Obese with a BMI of over 30
  • Overweight, if your BMI is between 25 and 30
  • Normal, if your BMI is between 18.5 and 25
  • Underweight, if your BMI is under 18.5

The problem with BMI is that it doesn’t take into account the various kinds of fat in the body, the ratio of fat to muscle or the even visceral fat (the type of belly fat that’s considered unhealthy).2 This means a person who doesn’t exercise whose weight consists of more fat might show to be “healthier” on the BMI index than, say, a fit athlete whose body weight is mostly muscle but weighs more.

The BMI also doesn’t count in bone density, so a person with light, frail bones will prove to be “healthier” once again. So the BMI is more of a ballpark figure than anything else, and experts say that BMI underestimates the amount of body fat in overweight/obese people and overestimates it in lean or muscular people.

Step Two: Let’s Try WHR

The WHR stands for Waist to Hip Ratio. The simple way to do this is to measure your waist at its smallest circumference (above your belly button) and divide that by the circumference of your hips, measured at their widest part.

WHR = size of waist ÷ size of hips

Healthy Weight | Princeton NutrientsWhat does this number mean?

When it comes to women, the ideal WHR is lower than 0.8. If it’s between 0.8 and 0.89, it means there’s a moderate risk of heart problems, and number higher than 0.9 indicates a high risk of heart problems.

For men, the ideal WHR is lower than 0.9. Between 0.9 and 0.99 means there’s a moderate risk of heart problems and anything higher than 1 means there’s a high risk of heart problems.

Studies have proven that the WHR is a much better indicator of obesity and related diseases than BMI.3 However, the WHR does not measure the body’s total fat percentage or the muscle to fat ratio.

Step 3: Waist-To-Height Ratio

Healthy Weight | Princeton NutrientsIn a 2012 study, Dr. Margaret Ashwell, the science director of the British Nutrition Foundation, produced research on body weight that generated yet another theory—that a waist-to-height ratio is a good tool for predicting the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other lifestyle-related diseases. It’s also a better calculation than BMI.4

The theory or calculation is pretty simple: To avoid lifestyle and obesity-related medical conditions:

Your waist circumference (inches) should be less than half your height (inches).

For example, if you are 5 feet 5 inches tall (65 inches total), your waist should be 32 inches or less.1

The Takeaway

Ultimately, there is no perfect number when it comes to healthy weight or measurements. Not only do we move around at different intensities and durations each day, but our metabolisms, body physiology and chemistry work in their own ways. Someone who weighs more than you can be healthier, while someone who weighs little can be unhealthy.

Use these three calculations to gain a fair estimate of where you stand, then explore eating healthier and exercising more depending on your results. At the end of the day, you know best!

Learn More:
6 Bad Habits That Are Disrupting Your Sleep
Drink A Gallon of Water a Day to Lose Weight (does it work?!)
Kick Your Metabolism into High Gear With These 7 Tricks


6 Bad Habits That Are Disrupting Your Sleep

If you’re having trouble getting your z’s, your everyday habits could be why. Some of the things you do every day might actually be robbing you of much-needed rest. Getting great sleep has several benefits, including an increase in productivity and decision-making. But a lack of proper sleep can make it very hard to keep your focus, leaving you dragging through your day.

Are bad habits ruining your sleep? Here are six common habits that could be derailing your shut-eye each night.

1. Skipping Your Workout Routine

If you tend to skip your regular morning and afternoon workouts from time to time, you might actually be hurting your sleep quality. According to one study, regular aerobic exercise could help add a significant amount of quality snooze time once you hit the bed.1 If you don’t work out, now is a good time to start. And if you already have an exercise routine, stick to it to maximize good sleep.

2. Eating Too Late

If you tend to eat right before you go to bed, you may be disrupting your sleep patterns, according to one key study.

Bad Habits Ruining Sleep | Princeton NutrientsResearchers wanted to know if there was an association between eating at night and sleep quality. The study involved 52 people between and ages of 20 and 45. None of the participants smoked, none were obese, and none had reported any sort of sleep disorders.

During the study, the participants slept in a laboratory while researchers studied their sleep patterns. Otherwise, they lived their normal lives and continued their regular routines, with the exception of abstaining from alcohol completely, not drinking any caffeine in the evening, and not taking naps during the day.

The researchers asked the participants to keep diaries of the food they ate for three days, providing as much information as they could on what types of foods they consumed, how much they ate, and when they ate it.

According to the results, men who ate foods higher in fat during evening hours had lower sleep efficiency scores

– this is a measure of how much time you actually sleep compared to how much total time you spend in bed. The lower the score, the less time you’re asleep. Women who participated in the study and ate during the evening also had lower efficiency scores. It also took them longer to fall asleep than the male participants.2

The bottom line? Quash those late night urges to eat, or your sleep might suffer.

3. Exposure to Blue Light in Bed

Bad Habits Ruining Sleep | Princeton Nutrients

Blue light is just about everywhere, but it’s particularly prevalent in smartphones, tablets, and other technological devices. While there are plenty of positive aspects to blue light, it can be a problem when you get into bed.

Studies indicate that continued exposure to blue light could negatively affect your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep and wakefulness. If you don’t have enough melatonin, it can be extremely hard to get to sleep.3

4. Drinking Alcohol and/or Caffeine

If you think that having a nightcap before you go to bed will help you get to sleep, you’re only partly right. Alcohol does act as a sedative, but it actually has a negative effect on the quality of your sleep.

Research shows that if you consume alcohol shortly before going to bed, you will have less REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

REM sleep is also known as “deep sleep,” and it’s the time when you have your most vivid dreams.4

When it comes to caffeine, you might think that drinking a cup of coffee or tea in the early evening won’t have any sort of effect on the quality of your sleep. However, caffeine can take as long as six hours to wear off, according to research, increasing the chances you’ll have disrupted sleep patterns.5

5. Sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday

After working hard during the week, it’s only natural that you’d want to stay up a little later and then sleep later on the weekend. Unfortunately, research indicates that this could have a similar effect on your body as having jet lag. The phenomenon is actually called “social jet lag.” When you sleep in, your body resets to a different internal schedule. That makes it more difficult to get good sleep when the work week starts.6

6. Taking Your Work to Bed

Bad Habits Ruining Sleep | Princeton NutrientsSpeaking of work, don’t take it to bed with you. Doing so may make it hard for you to get the high-quality sleep you need to be at your best. If you work in bed frequently, your stress levels can take a hit. And remember that blue light issue?

Put away your laptop and smartphone. Work can wait. Get your z’s.7

Tips to Improve Your Sleep

So, bad habits ruining your sleep? Then change them ASAP.

Also, there are some other things that can help improve your sleep quality once you hit the bed. For example, you can improve your “sleep hygiene” by establishing a consistent schedule. If you tend to go to bed and wake up at different times, your internal clock can go haywire. Choosing a routine, and sticking to it, can go a long way toward helping you get enough rest.

The Bottom Line

If you ever have a problem getting to sleep, don’t try to force it. Get out of bed, do something that’s relaxing, and then try again after a few minutes. If this problem happens on a regular basis, talk to your doctor, so they can recommend an effective course of action.


Learn More About Sleep:
Sleep: Can It Be a Predictor of Heart Disease?
4 Tips For Improving Your Sleep Quality (Every Night)
Can Going Camping Help You Get Better Sleep?


Thumb Joint Pain? What Causes It & Some Simple Home Remedies

Any sort of joint pain is troubling, of course, but thumb joint pain is especially bad. Most of us don’t really appreciate just how important our thumbs are until something goes wrong with one or both of them — especially when we’re constantly using them to operate a smart phone.

Here’s some information on why thumb joint pain occurs, and some safe remedies you can try at home to alleviate discomfort.

Why Thumb Joint Pain Occurs

Just about any job requires extensive use of the hands. Most everyday activities require you to use your thumbs a great deal, for that matter. This puts a great deal of stress on your thumb joint. A seemingly small issue can become a major problem relatively quickly because you’re using your thumbs so often.

You might find it extremely difficult simply to write a note, or to grab a doorknob.

The area of the thumb that tends to undergo the most strain is known as the carpometacarpal, or CMC joint. This is also known as the basal joint. The ligaments and tendons that surround this joint are susceptible to inflammation. And this inflammation can lead to big problems.1

Here are some of the more common issues:


Thumb Joint Pain | Princeton Nutrients

A sprain or fracture can result in severe thumb joint pain.

If you’ve ever suffered a “jammed thumb,” what you actually did was sprain your thumb ligaments.2

Thumb arthritis

Continual use of your thumb can lead to a wearing down of the joint. In some instances, this results in a breakdown of the joint cartilage, leading to thumb arthritis. Ligaments can also loosen, eventually wearing away the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones.3

A previous thumb injury can lead to a condition known as “basal thumb arthritis.” If you tend to feel more pain after grasping or pinching an object, this could be the reason why.4

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)

CTS can be not only incredibly painful, but also debilitating. It can rob you of your ability to perform even the simplest tasks because it simply hurts too much. The main cause of CTS is compression of what is known as the median nerve. This compression occurs where the nerve runs along the wrist. Common symptoms are pain and tingling in the thumb and first finger, as well as numbness.

If you have Thumb Joint Pain or suspect you may have one of the conditions mentioned above, you should consult your doctor or regular health care provider.

However, if you suffer more from discomfort or stiffness than actual pain, you might try some of the following.

Remedies for Thumb Joint Discomfort

If your thumb joint is causing you discomfort, there are a few things you can try in order to find relief.

For example, soaking your hand in Epsom salts could help relieve your thumb joint discomfort.

Thumb Joint Pain | Princeton NutrientsEpsom salts are rich in sulfates and magnesium, and quickly absorb through your skin.

They not only relax muscles – they may also help reduce inflammation.6

Dilute two cups of Epsom salts into a gallon of warm water, and let your hand soak for about 15 minutes.

There are several different herbal remedies you might find effective.

These include:

Cat’s Claw

This herb has antioxidant properties that may help to inhibit the development of inflammation. In one study, people suffering from osteoarthritis who received a capsule containing a cat’s claw extract saw a reduction in their pain in less than one week.7

Thumb Joint Pain | Princeton NutrientsDevil’s Claw

Devil’s claw (scientific name: Harpagophytum procumbens) is a plant whose tubers contain an extract which may help ease arthritic joint discomfort and stiffness.

In one study, researchers found that devil’s claw extract was effective in helping people who suffer discomfort from osteoarthritis.8

Seed Oils

Oils from the seeds of several plants can help reduce joint discomfort. These plants include borage seed, primrose, and black currant. The seeds from these plants contain a type of unsaturated fatty acid known as gamma linoleic acid, or GLA.9 GLA is been shown to be effective in easing discomfort and stiffness.10

Stinging Nettle

The name of this plant is definitely accurate, because it can sting. But this mild discomfort is worth it for many people suffering from joint soreness. The nettles contain histamine and serotonin, which may help to ease joint discomfort.11 Study participants suffering from thumb joint discomfort reported experiencing relief after applying stinging nettle leaf for one week.12

Willow Bark

A study showed that people suffering from joint discomfort using willow bark extract saw a 14 percent reduction in pain after two weeks. Another group participating in the same study receiving a placebo saw a 2 percent increase in discomfort.13

The Takeaway

Thumb joint pain can be incredibly frustrating. It can even rob you of your quality of life in severe cases. Your health care professional can help. If you’re suffering is more discomfort than pain, there are several home remedies, like these above, that you can use in an effort to relieve your discomfort. Before you try any of them, though, talk to your doctor first, to make sure they agree it’s safe for you to do so.


Learn More:
Feeling Weak in the Knees? (simple leg exercises!)
Why You Should Start Lifting Weights (plus, beginner safety tips)
7 Natural Remedies For Reducing Muscle Pain


Emu Oil: An Ancient Australian Skincare Secret

It seems the pursuit of skin-friendly oils knows no end. Jojoba, argan, pomegranate, and rosehip oil have all surged in popularity as skincare remedies over the past few years.

But have you heard of emu oil?

Hailing from the southern hemisphere, this oil is on the more exotic end of the spectrum, and it’s making a name for itself as an effective addition to skincare regimens.

You see, emu oil – which is sourced from emus – is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. All of these nutrients work together to soothe, moisturize, and even help delay the aging of the skin.

Ready to get exotic with your skincare regimen? Then read on to get the scoop on emu oil benefits.

What Nutrients Make Emu Oil So Great?

So, what exactly is in emu oil that makes it so great for the skin? The answer lies in its abundance of healthy fatty acids and antioxidants1:

Oleic Acid

Also found in olive oil, shea butter, and coconut oil, oleic acid is an omega-9 essential fatty acid that easily penetrates the skin.The unique ability of oleic acid to penetrate the skin is invaluable. It acts as a carrier for all the following nutrients and compounds, allowing them to also sink in deeply.2

Linoleic Acid

An omega-6 essential fatty acid, linoleic acid helps maintain the structure of the top layer of the skin – the epidermis.3


Often found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, carotenoids influence skin tone and color.4


As potent antioxidants, polyphenols fight off the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are harmful molecules that are generated by environmental toxins, such as UV rays, air pollution, pesticides, and cigarette smoke. These harmful molecules can damage multiple body systems, including the skin. In fact, it’s thought that free radicals play a significant role in the development of the visible signs of aging.5


Commonly derived from vegetable oils, tocopherols are a form of vitamin E. They contain antioxidant properties which offer multiple benefits for the skin.6

Emu Oil Benefits For The Skin

Emu Oil | Princeton NutrientsSo, what can all the nutrients found in emu oil do for your skin? Turns out, quite a bit! Here are a few of the ways emu oil can work in your skin’s favor:

Moisturizes Dry Skin

Do you go through moisturizer like it’s going out of style? Then you might want to try emu oil. Emu oil can hydrate rough, dry skin, thanks to the presence of vitamin E and linoleic acid.

Vitamin E effectively improves moisture levels and helps strengthen your “skin barrier.”7 What’s your skin barrier? It’s the outermost layer of skin, and one of its functions is to help your skin retain moisture.

And linoleic acid is also great for dry skin. Studies have shown that linoleic acid is especially good at moisturizing advanced, aging skin.8

Helps Slow the Signs of Premature Skin Aging

Emu Oil | Princeton NutrientsFree radicals are a prime suspect when it comes to the visible signs of aging in the skin. Many of the free radicals that cause this aging are generated by harmful UV rays.9 If your skin is damaged by free radicals caused by UV rays, you’re bound to experience wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots.10

The good news is, antioxidants can combat the effects of these free radicals, and help slow the signs of aging on the skin.11 Emu oil contains powerful antioxidants – like polyphenols and vitamin E – that can help prevent the signs of premature aging.12,13

Diminishes the Appearance of Dark Circles

Dark circles under the eyes can make you look perpetually tired. But a study has shown that a topical application of vitamin E for 8 weeks can diminish the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.14 So, if you struggle with dark circles, you might want to try a little vitamin E-rich emu oil under your eyes.

Helps Decrease Acne

Do you break out regularly? Then there’s a good chance that the oil your skin produces inadequate levels of linoleic acid. Scientists have found that low levels of linoleic acid in skin oil are associated with acne breakouts.15

Further studies have shown that a topical application of linoleic acid, as well as vitamin E, can work to help prevent whiteheads and blackheads.16,17

Improves Skin Tone

Carotenoids are responsible for giving skin a rich, robust color. In fact, research shows that skin with high levels of carotenoids is actually perceived to be healthier and more attractive.18

Since emu oil contains carotenoids, it may be useful in preventing a pale, wan appearance.

Soothes Irritation

Itchy, red, and irritated skin can be downright annoying. But emu oil may be of some help. A study done in 2013 showed that emu oil can work to soothe skin prone to redness and irritation.19

An Unusual Oil With Unusually Good Benefits

Emu oil may seem exotic to us, but it’s actually been a reliable skin care remedy for thousands of years in Australia. This nutrient-dense oil can work to improve the quality of your skin by helping to increase hydration, reduce breakouts, improve skin tone, and soothe irritation. It just may be time to make some room in your medicine cabinet for emu oil!


Learn More:
7 Surprising Health Benefits of Drinking Pomegranate Juice
Go Pitch A Tent: The Incredible Health Benefits Of Camping
NEWS: Mindfulness May Change or Improve Your Genes


Go Pitch A Tent: The Incredible Health Benefits Of Camping

Spending time in the great outdoors is a fantastic way to appreciate the beauty that surrounds you every day, and grab some much-needed rest and relaxation. But a growing amount of scientific research shows there are some remarkable health benefits of camping.

Here are a few key reasons why you should think about getting outside with the family for a few days.

You Can Remove Unnatural Light Sources

Your everyday environment is filled with unnatural light. Cell phones, computer screens, light bulbs … they can all have an effect on the body’s circadian rhythm. This is the internal clock that tells us when to wake up and when to get to sleep.

So, researchers have curiously looked at how a camping trip might affect these circadian rhythms.

In one particular study, participants camped for a week during summer, getting four times the natural light during the day than they would normally experience. All sources of unnatural light, such as flashlights and lamps, were banned at night.

You Sleep Better

Researchers found that the participants started to feel sleepy two hours earlier than normal. When the participants returned from their trip, their internal clocks continued to be more in sync with the “biological day,” meaning they began to get drowsy as night began to descend.1

Researchers tracked the participants’ circadian rhythms, sleep patterns, and melatonin levels in order to get an idea of how their internal clocks were working. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates both sleep and wakefulness.

Before the participants left for their camping trips their circadian rhythms weren’t quite in sync with their sleep patterns. And the campers’ melatonin levels weren’t falling quickly enough when they woke each morning – in fact, they weren’t falling until they’d been awake for about two hours.

If your melatonin levels don’t fall when you wake up, you’ll continue to feel drowsy.2

Health Benefits of Camping | Princeton NutrientsBut, after their camping trip, researchers found that their melatonin levels began to rise an average of 1.4 hours earlier than they had previously.

A second camping group was also studied as part of the research project and its results were even more dramatic. In this study, participants also went camping for a week – but in winter. They were able to get 13 times the natural light during the day than they would normally experience during winter!

After they returned, they had their melatonin levels checked each hour for a 24-hour period. Their levels rose an average of 2.6 hours earlier than before they left.

Researchers believe that (without the interference of unnatural light) the participants “biological night” had naturally lengthened to align with the colder season – which has already been seen in animals, but never studied in humans.3

More Health Benefits of Camping

In addition to helping to get our circadian rhythms back to where they need to be, spending time in the great outdoors could actually help lower your blood pressure. When you’re outside in the sun, your skin absorbs a great deal of vitamin D through sunlight. There is some evidence to suggest that a lack of vitamin D could increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, which, in turn, could lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

Camping Safety Tips

If you’re planning on getting some healthy time outdoors, you obviously want to be as safe as possible.

Here are a few tips that’ll help make sure your outdoor experience is something you’ll not only benefit from health-wise, but one you’ll return from unscathed.

1. Think safety when participating in any physical activity

Health Benefits of Camping | Princeton Nutrients

While there are some amazing health benefits of camping, it also comes with significant dangers. If you, or someone in your family, suffers an injury, you probably won’t have a 24-hour emergency room close by.

  • Bring protective gear when biking or hiking, and make sure you have life jackets when swimming.
  • Carry plenty of water.
  • Don’t go swimming or hiking alone
  • Be aware of not only your surroundings, but also your limits.
2. Prepare your food and water carefully

Make sure all of the food you bring is packed safely in a bag or container that is tightly secured and waterproof. Keep all food in an insulated cooler. If you plan on cooking outside and you’re bringing raw meats, keep them far away from the pre-cooked food.

  • Make sure you cook meat to the proper temperature. Ground beef, for example, should be cooked to at least 160 degrees.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling any sort of raw meat – bring a hand sanitizer to be on the safe side.
3. Protect yourself from insect bites

Nothing will ruin a camping trip faster than encountering a tick or some other bug that leads to a nasty – possibly even dangerous – bite.

Bring plenty of insect repellant and wear long sleeves and long pants if possible. The lighter the clothing the easier it is to spot a tick.

4. Use sunscreen

While sunlight is a great source of vitamin D, too much can sun exposure can, of course, cause problems. Harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can penetrate the skin even on cloudy days, so make sure you have plenty of sunscreen on hand, as well as hats and sunglasses.

Here’s To The Great Outdoors

By taking just a few simple precautions, you can have a healthy, exciting camping trip and still be in great shape when you get back home. It may still be winter, but it’s never too early to start planning your ideal camping trip!


Learn More:
Why You Should Start Lifting Weights (plus, beginner safety tips)
Dog Owners Are Healthier! (6 reasons why)
How To Build Muscle The Healthy Way (5 steps)


Listen Up, Guys: Natural Ways to Enhance the Male Libido

Let’s face it – there’s a certain stigma attached to having a low libido drive. For many men, it’s not only embarrassing, but also humiliating.

Low sex drive can strike at any age, and for a lot of different reasons.1

And it happens to a lot of men, so if you’re dealing with it, you’re definitely not alone. Thankfully, there are some safe, natural methods you can try in an effort to increase your libido. Here’s some information on why this problem happens – and what you can do about it.

Why Sex Drive Disappears

Many factors can contribute to a reduced sex drive. Most men typically lose some libido as they get older. But it’s not at all uncommon for men to be sexually active into their 60s, or even their 70s.2 If you’re at an age that isn’t usually associated with a lower libido, let’s look at some of the potential reasons why this is happening:

Low Testosterone

A lack of the male sex hormone testosterone is one of the main culprits when it comes to low libido. Low testosterone (a condition known as hypogonadism) can contribute to erectile dysfunction.3 This is when a man either can’t get an erection, or can’t maintain one. However, just because you have erectile dysfunction, that doesn’t automatically mean your libido is lacking. Many men with this problem have a normal sex drive.4

Chemical Imbalance

It’s possible that an imbalance of two important chemicals, dopamine and prolactin, could lead to a loss of libido. There is a theory that dopamine increases sex drive, and prolactin reduces it.5 Certain medications lead to a rise in prolactin and a decrease in dopamine.6


Men who are overweight are typically more prone to erectile difficulty. According to one study, people who are obese have a 25 times higher risk of developing sexual issues than those who are not.7

Change Your Diet, Enhance Your Sex Life?

There is scientific evidence that certain foods may have a positive effect on sex drive. Here are just a few that you might want to consider making a part of your daily dietary regimen – as long as your doctor says it’s safe to do so.

Foods Containing Collagen

Collagen is the substance that helps to keep the skin firm. If you don’t have enough, it can make it harder to maintain an erection.8 Supplements could help your body produce more collagen. So can foods that are rich in vitamin C.9 Vitamin C, available in supplements, also helps improve blood flow, which is key to a strong erection.10

Low Libido | Princeton NutrientsAvocados, Bananas, and Figs

These foods are said to have aphrodisiac qualities, containing minerals and vitamins that may help increase sex drive by increasing blood flow to the penis.11


Watermelon not only tastes great, it could also rev up your libido. The reason is that it contains nutrients that help relax the blood vessels. This, too can increase blood flow to the penis.12

Dark Chocolate

We’re not talking milk chocolate, like you’ll find in a candy bar, but dark chocolate. Consumption of this form of chocolate has been shown to stimulate the release of phenylethylamine. This chemical is believed to have qualities similar to aphrodisiacs.13

Sweet Potatoes

The humble sweet potato is loaded with potassium. Just 100 grams of raw sweet potatoes contains 337 milligrams.14 This vital mineral is known to help people suffering from high blood pressure – another contributing factor to erectile dysfunction.15

What NOT to Eat

There are a few foods that you should definitely stay away from if you’re experiencing a reduction in your sexual desire. Here are some to scratch off your list, if possible:


Okay, it would be just about impossible for most of us to completely cut sugar from our diet. But you should try to cut down on it wherever you can. The reason is that consuming sugar, according to one study, could reduce the levels of testosterone in the blood by a whopping 25 percent. Testosterone levels can stay low hours after eating something high in sugar.16


Overconsumption of alcohol is never a good thing – and it can definitely ruin your sex drive.17 If you’re going to drink, stick to a glass red wine. It contains antioxidants that can help relax blood vessels and increase blood flow.18

Improve Libido | Princeton Nutrients

Microwave Popcorn

Say it isn’t so! I can’t even have microwave popcorn the next time I watch a movie on my couch? Unfortunately, a study showed that this type of popcorn contains perfluoroalkyl acids. These are thought to substantially reduce sperm count.19

When to Talk to Your Doctor About Low Libido

You don’t have to sit in silence and simply accept the fact that you’ll always have a low libido. There is medical help available, and you should take advantage of it. The trick is knowing when to get that help.

If you’re constantly feeling stressed because your low sex drive is hurting your relationship, you should consider talking to a professional. It might even be damaging your quality of life – you might be worried about it constantly, or feel you’re no longer desirable. You might even be avoiding friends because you’re afraid the topic of sex will come up.20

If any of these apply to you, don’t be afraid to talk to a doctor. It could wind up being one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

One Last Note

There are many reasons for a low sex drive. Thankfully, there are many ways to address it. Try to consume more of the foods that may help increase your libido, and stay away from the ones that may decrease it. Above all, don’t hesitate to talk to a medical expert if you find that your low libido is affecting you – in or out of the bedroom.


Learn More
10 Lifestyle Habits that Will Ruin Your Libido
Eat This, Do This, AVOID THAT to Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
Why You Should Supplement with CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10)


Benefits of Honey Lemon Water (And a Simple Recipe)

Lemon and honey blend beautifully together. This powerful combo not only tastes great – it also delivers a lot of health benefits. So if you’re a fan of lemon or honey, putting them together is pure, delicious magic.

Here are just a few reasons why you should consider getting more lemon and honey in your diet. Plus, I’ve included a simple recipe for honey lemon water so you can stay refreshed all day long.

Lemon Juice Benefits

Honey Lemon Water | Princeton NutrientsLemon juice is rich in vitamin C, which can help strengthen the immune system. This may help your body do a better job of fighting off infections, like the common cold.1 

Research indicates that lemons also help support cardiovascular health. One study involving a group of 101 women showed that regular lemon intake, when combined with a daily walking regimen, could help reduce blood pressure.2

It also suggests that citrus fruits, including lemons, provide other benefits as well. According to one study, these fruits help fight allergies, as well as harmful microbes. They may also help ensure the brain functions as it should.3

Benefits of Honey

A lot of people like to add honey to food or drinks as a natural sweetener. And this is a smart thing to do. The reason is that honey is different from processed sugar in that it doesn’t lead to a sudden “sugar high” and then a crash.4 Honey also helps protect the body from infections caused by harmful bacteria.5 

There is even scientific evidence showing that honey –Honey Lemon Water | Princeton Nutrients

  • Helps wounds heal faster
  • Helps protect the body against fungal infections
  • May help provide protection from diseases of the gastrointestinal tract6

A Dynamic Duo

As you can see, lemon and honey provide powerful health benefits separately. When you combine the two in a drink, like honey lemon water, the benefits only get better. Here are just a few examples:

Body detoxification –

The vitamin C in lemons helps your body produce glutathione, an antioxidant that helps inhibit some of the toxins that can cause major problems.7 Honey lemon water also acts as a diuretic, which helps the body cleanse itself of toxins.8

Aids in digestion –

Lemon juice helps boost the production of gastric acid in the stomach, which may aid digestion, particularly if you have certain diseases.9 Honey, meanwhile, acts as a prebiotic.

Prebiotics act as a food source for probiotics – beneficial bacteria that help promote good digestive health.10 Prebiotics have even been shown to help with weight loss. According to one study, a group of obese children who didn’t take prebiotic supplements gained nearly three times the weight of another group that did take prebiotics.11

Promotes skin health –

Because the ingredients in honey lemon water have antioxidant properties, this means they may help inhibit the development of free radicals. Free radicals are harmful molecules that can damage cells and tissues. Free radicals play a large role in causing wrinkles and age spots.12

Making Honey Lemon Water

It’s extremely fast and easy to make your own honey lemon water. Whether you’re looking for help with your weight loss program, you have a sore throat, or you just want to enjoy the many health benefits, you’ll find it well worth your time.

All you need to do is add a tablespoon of raw honey and a tablespoon-and-a-half of lemon juice to a glass filled with water. Your body will absorb the nutrients faster if the water is at room temperature.13

Honey Lemon Water | Princeton Nutrients

Some people like to add a little“zip” to their honey water by adding ingredients such as cinnamon, or even cayenne pepper. Research indicates that cayenne pepper helps inhibit the secretion of acid in the stomach. This might help to prevent certain digestive problems.14

The Bottom Line

As you can see, honey lemon water can deliver a lot of health benefits you might not have known possible. It may help with digestion, with weight loss, and it might help give your skin a glow, too.

However, before you start drinking honey water with lemon on a daily basis, talk to your doctor. While there are many benefits to this incredible drink, it’s important you and your doctor make sure it’s completely safe for your body.  

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The Secret To Beating Jet Lag (5 simple tips)

Jet lag: Whether you’re a frequent flier or a one-time vacationer, it can hit you hard as you travel through different time zones. Whether you call it circadian rhythm disorder or simply jet lag, the result is real – a crushing fatigue that leaves you utterly exhausted. Day seems like night. Night seems like day. You’re disoriented, and you want nothing more than to sleep when you finally reach your destination.

Is there anything that you can do to help you avoid jet lag, or at least help your body get over it?

Yes. But first, you have to understand how jet lag works.

What is Jet Lag?

In a nutshell, jet lag is a disruption to the body’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock. Your internal clock tells you when to go to bed and when to get up. But when you travel to another time zone, your body may struggle to adjust, because it’s so used to your time zone at home. The more time zones you cross, the higher the chances you’ll have to deal with jet lag.1

Symptoms of jet lag include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Gastrointestinal issues, including diarrhea or constipationu2

Since your sleep patterns have been disturbed, you might also be extremely drowsy. But some people have the opposite symptoms, finding it very hard to get to sleep. You might also experience mood changes and an overall sense that you just don’t feel well.3

Thankfully, jet lag is a temporary condition that clears up on its own. However, it can take some people a few days to recover. Generally, for each time zone you cross, it will take a day to get over the effects. For some odd reason, if you travel west to east, it usually takes longer to recover.

How to Beat Jet Lag – Minimizing Your Symptoms

stop jet lag tips

Hopping from one time zone to the next can certainly be exciting, especially if you’re traveling for pleasure. But you don’t want to feel lousy when you land; snoozing on the plane can help avoid this groggy feeling. Here are some things you can do to help minimize jet lag symptoms:

1. Consider melatonin.

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps regulate our sleep, but it’s also available in supplement form. It may also be an effective way to deal with the effects of jet lag. Melatonin may help offset the effects of your body’s internal clock being disturbed. While side effects don’t usually occur with melatonin, some people experience nausea, dizziness, a loss of appetite, and headaches. Never take melatonin, or any other type of supplement, without first talking to your doctor.

2. Gradually change your sleep patterns before the trip.

You might find it easier for your body to adjust to jet lag by easing into a new sleep routine about a week or so before you leave. For example, if your trip will take you to the east, try going to bed an hour or two earlier than normal. If you’re travelling west, gradually shift your bedtime an hour or two later. Since you probably sleep better in your own bed, the more you try to adjust before you leave, the better prepared you’ll be to sleep in the new time zone.

3. Be careful when choosing your seat.

first class seating
If you can afford seats in business or first class, take them. The seats are usually wider and more comfortable. You might be able to sleep better, because seats may recline further. But if your budget won’t allow for first class, you can still find a seat that will reduce your discomfort. For example, many airlines have a “premium economy” section with slightly wider seats that provide more legroom. This may make stretching out easier. Also, try to stay away from seats near the lavatories or the galley, because they’re high-traffic areas that may make it more difficult for you to get to sleep.

4. Watch your alcohol intake.

While a drink might make it easier for you to get to sleep, it won’t be high-quality sleep. Drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration. And this effect becomes even more pronounced when you’re drinking at a high altitude.6 You might get to sleep, but you’ll more than likely feel extremely groggy when you wake up. Alcohol can also exacerbate problems such as snoring, further interrupting your sleep (and the sleep of your fellow plane passengers).

5. Lighten up on mental stimulation.

You might be tempted to use your tablet, laptop, or cell phone to help kill time during your flight. But you should turn them off about an hour before you plan on getting some sleep on the plane. These devices emit blue light. The blue light from these gadgets can actually make it harder to get the rest you need.7 Try reading a magazine or newspaper instead right before trying to get some shut-eye.

Still Struggling?

If you’re a frequent traveler and you’re struggling to get over jet lag, consider seeing your doctor. Melatonin might be beneficial, but you might need other medications or therapies.

The Takeaway

Jet lag takes a toll on the body, but there are ways you can combat it. Putting a plan in place before you get on that plane can greatly increase your chances of bouncing back faster. Bon voyage!

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26 Beauty & Health Benefits of Drinking Hot Water

Is drinking hot water good for you? Is warm water good for you? Or is hot water bad for you? These are questions that many health-conscious individuals are asking right now. If you want to know how water benefits the body, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s examine these questions and look over some of the well-known benefits of drinking hot or warm water.

The benefits of drinking hot water are seemingly boundless. We all know that drinking water has amazing benefits for our overall health. But what is the function of water in the human body? And just how much water is in the human body? Our bodies are made up of about 75% water, so it’s easy to see why it’s so critical to stay hydrated.

It is recommended that we drink about eight cups of water daily. This is usually equal to about 4-8 glasses of water per day, as many glasses do hold more than one cup of water. Some even say that it is ideal to drink 4 glasses of water in the morning, first thing. The water you consume is absorbed by the body in various phases throughout the digestion system. This absorption starts in the mouth and continues all the way to the colon. The water is eventually transferred to the bloodstream, where it helps to oxygenate cells, cell systems, organs, and other tissues throughout the body.

Functions of Water in the Body

drinking hot water benefits

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the benefits of drinking warm water, let’s discuss some more of the basic facts about the main functions of water in the body:

Cell Function: Why is water so important to cells? Water benefits cell life just as it benefits the organism as a whole. Cells are not able to properly function without water. Cells receive nutrients and oxygen through the water that we ingest. Lack of hydration will lead to poor cell function and weakening of the cell membrane. Water passes quickly through cell membranes because of special proteins that allow permeability for important water.

Body Temperature & Blood Circulation: Staying hydrated actually helps to regulate body temperature and maintain optimal blood circulation. If you are always feeling cold when others aren’t or if your limbs often feel cold, you may be suffering from poor circulation. Alternately, water also enables us to sweat, keeping us cool when our environment is too hot. Water is critical for good cardiovascular health in general, but particularly to circulation and blood flow. You must stay hydrated in order for your heart to pump blood everywhere it needs.

Chemical Reactions & Metabolism: Water greatly aids digestion and metabolism. It helps to break down foods in our stomach as well as to expel unwanted materials in our digestive system. Water is very important for overall bowel health. It is also important to stay hydrated to keep urine function at optimal levels. This enables our body to expel toxins and waste when we go to the bathroom.

Transportation of Nutrients: Water is the main component of blood that keeps it flowing. It helps to deliver important nutrients and oxygen to the cells, tissues, and organs all over our body.

26 Benefits of Drinking Hot Water

Now that we’ve discussed some of the most basic functions of water in the body, let’s get into the fun stuff. Keep in mind that you can still reap these amazing benefits with flavored water. Many people choose to flavor their hot water with lemon, cucumber, mint, and rose, adding even more benefits to this incredibly healthy beverage. Many people worldwide tout the benefits of drinking hot water, in the morning especially. You also do not necessarily need to use hot water. The benefits of drinking warm water in the morning are abundant, just as with hot.

Without further ado, here are 26 amazing beauty and health benefits of drinking hot water. We will address some of the most common questions associated with these benefits and do our best to provide you with answers.

health and beauty benefits

1. Weight Loss

What are the advantages of drinking water early in the morning for weight loss? Many of us are aware that drinking more water and less sugary drinks greatly aids in the weight loss battle. It is also a zero-calorie drink that can help us feel fuller for longer. Many recommend drinking a full glass of water before a meal, enabling us to feel full while consuming less food, which means less calories. It is also believed that one of the many benefits of drinking hot lemon water is a boost in metabolism. Doing this first thing in the morning is a great way to start your day feeling full and getting hydrated.

2. All-Natural Detox

Why is water important to the human body? There are a number of reasons, but one major one is detox. Detoxification is important to many of us for weight loss, skin health, digestion, and many other reasons that benefit our overall health. But is drinking hot water in the morning good for you? It is believed that drinking hot water in the morning has major detox advantages as opposed to drinking cold water in the morning.

3. Boost Energy

Is drinking hot water good or bad for energy? While it may seem like warm water would make you sleepy, it’s far from the truth. Another well-known benefit of drinking warm water in the morning is added energy. While many people believe that caffeine is the be-all end-all to getting energy in a drink, this is simply not the case. Drinking hot water benefits nutrient absorption, helping us to get great, natural energy from the healthy foods we consume.

4. Anti-Aging Benefits

What are the benefits of drinking hot water with lemon for skin? There are many! The benefits of warm water include aiding in the fight against aging in your body’s internal structures as well as your skin, hair, and nails. Many women and men who have aged gracefully note the benefits of hot water in their fight against wrinkles and sagging skin.

anti aging benefits hot water

5. Treat Acne & Pimples

Is hot water good for face blemishes? This is a question that many who are struggling with breakouts, acne, pimples, blackheads, etc. are asking. And the answer is yes! Drinking warm water can help in the fight against many annoying skin issues.

6. Promote Healthier Skin

Is warm water good for skin? The answer is yes. Healthy skin starts with proper hydration. Drinking water improves skin texture and elasticity. The importance of water for skin can’t be hashed enough. Hot water and skin are a match made in heaven. Rose water is one kind of flavored water than many women use for skin care. You can even make a tea from boiling water with rose (or many other ingredients) in it.

7. Hair Health & Vitality

What happens if I drink hot water for hair health? The answer is positive results. Staying hydrated helps to keep your scalp and hair follicles healthy and functioning at optimal levels. This means that your hair can grow stronger and longer. Water in the human body really does affect every aspect of health and beauty, including hair vitality. Bottom line, water is the best natural hair care you can find.

8. Hair Growth

Does drinking hot water promote hair growth? Yes. This is just another great benefit of drinking warm water. The effects of taking hot water for hair have been spoken about amongst women for generations and this little-known secret is finally getting out to women and men all over the world.

hot water hair growth benefits

9. Prevent Dandruff

What is warm water able to do for a dry and itchy scalp? Yet another one of the many advantages of hot water drinking is anti-dandruff effects. Yes, you can help to fight annoying dandruff simply by drinking hot or warm water. But is it better to drink warm or cold water for this purpose? Many claim that warm water is absorbed more easily, so it would only make sense to avoid cold water for this purpose.

10. Treat Skin Diseases

What is the importance of water for skin? Many people believe that drinking water cures skin diseases. While this is not true for every case, staying hydrated is advantageous to the immune system, which can help your body to better fight all kinds of issues like skin infection, dry skin, as well as other common skin conditions. Drinking water improves skin in so many ways. Water is the best natural skin care product out there, and it is incredibly cheap compared to other options.

11. Treat Symptoms of PMS

The water benefits for body health don’t stop with hair and skin. There are plenty of benefits of drinking hot water with lemon for PMS. You see, our organs, be it vital or reproductive, reap a great deal of rewards from staying hydrated. Drinking water is believed to help alleviate some of the pain from premenstrual cramps. Many also believe that lemons or lemon tonic can help with cramps and hormonal imbalance issues.

12. Decongestant for Nose & Throat

What does drinking boiled water do for your nose and throat? It can do quite a lot for nasal congestion and throat issues! While you obviously don’t want to drink boiling water, the benefits of drinking warm water in the early morning are boundless when it comes to congestion. Take some time to breathe in the steam after you have boiled and cooled your water.

13. Treatment for Digestion Issues

Is it good to drink water early in the morning? If you’re looking to treat digestion problems, the definite answer is yes. This is just another of many benefits of drinking hot water in the morning. Drinking hot water after eating can be equally beneficial to help speed up digestion.

14. Treat Constipation

What does drinking warm water do for bowel health? Well, right off the bat, benefits of drinking hot water first thing in the morning can be particularly helpful for individuals suffering with constipation. Many people claim to reap major bowel benefits from drinking hot water. Constipation is just one of these.

15. Help Circulation

Why is it better to drink warm water for circulation? The advantages of hot water for heart health are huge. It benefits circulation, clotting, and just about every aspect of cardiovascular health. Warm water in particular, can help enhance circulation.

16. Pain Relief

Does drinking water help with back pain? Many say yes and will say that they prefer to use boiled water. But is drinking boiled water good for you? Most will say yes. Boiling water kills bacteria, which can aid overall health, allowing your immune system to address the other issues that may be causing you pain, like back issues. Many tout the benefits of boiling water before drinking for pain all over the body, not just in the back and spine. This includes hot water drinking for headaches.

hot water pain relief

17. Sleep Better

Why is hot water good for you at bedtime? The benefits of drinking hot lemon water at night do not end with weight loss. You can actually aid sleep by drinking warm water in the evening or at bedtime. Many people choose to add lemon to this ritual to enhance the weight loss effects of drinking hot water.

18. Treatment for Cough

Why is water important for our health? Drinking warm water in the morning can greatly help with cough, a very common symptom for everyone during flu season. Water and the human body work well together to treat all kinds of symptoms that can come along with illness. Breathing in the steam from warm or hot water can help with cough, as well.

19. Arthritis Treatment

Is drinking water therapy for arthritis? Yes, drinking water or hot water can be good for arthritis. This is another potential benefit of drinking water. Therapy for arthritis almost always involves medication as well as some physical therapy, but if you want to do all you can, learn about the importance of drinking hot water for arthritis therapy.

20. Prevent Waterborne Illness

Does hot water kill germs and why is boiled water good for you? While hot or warm water might not have the power to kill all germs, drinking boiled water helps to bring less bacteria into your body. There are many options for boiling your water these days. Some prefer traditional tea kettles. However, there are a plethora of options for you (like an electric kettle or water boiler) that make heating water super convenient and easy. You can easily heat lukewarm water from a water dispenser, as well. So, is boiled water good for health? The answer is yes. However, it would be unwise to drink water that is still boiling.

21. Treatment for Diabetes

Many people suffering with diabetic conditions ask the question: is it better to drink cold water or warm water? While water in general is good for diabetics, many have claimed that hot water is best. But why drink warm water for diabetes in particular? Many claim this is due to the fact that sugar dissolves more readily in hot water.

22. Help Gastroenteritis

Is hot water good for the body when it comes to gastroenteritis? Many say that the advantages of hot water drinking go much further than just aiding digestion, and it can actually help if you come down with a stomach bug or food poisoning.

23. Treat Heartburn

Is drinking boiled water good for you if you have heartburn? If you’re interested to know how water benefits the body, this is one way you can experiment at home. If you suffer with heartburn, try boiling water, letting it cool, and slowly sipping it to help with the treatment of heartburn. You can even put your Alka-Seltzer in warm water, just make sure it’s not too warm as it may foam excessively.

24. Add Flavor

Can you add flavor to your hot or warm water? Yes, you absolutely can and many people do! This can definitely help you stay motivated to opt for water instead of reaching for sugary drinks. The main function of water in the body is to hydrate cells, and this can still be achieved with flavor added. Try some of these fruits and veggies for delicious flavored water: lemon, lime, cucumber, orange, fennel, cantaloupe tomato, basil, pineapple, watermelon, strawberry, and many others! You may have also noticed some spices thrown in there. Spices are generally healthy and can be a great addition to hot water for drinking. Adding real fruit juice or spices is also a great way to get vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants into your hot water.

25. It’s Delicious

While some don’t consider water necessarily delicious, it is one drink that most people enjoy. And as noted above, you can do a lot to add flavor. If you think about it, tea and coffee are really nothing more that flavored boiled water. The health benefits of hot water plus the ability to make it in many different ways make this the ideal beverage for enhancing overall health.

26. It’s Easy to Prepare

While coffee, tea, and hot cocoa are nice beverages to drink in the morning, drinking warm water can be just as calming and a whole lot healthier. And, don’t forget that you can always flavor your hot water with healthy fruits and vegetables…not to mention, our favorite morning beverages like coffee and sweet tea are technically just flavored hot water. Skip the extra step and enjoy the benefits of drinking warm water!

benefits of drinking hot water


So, we ask the question again: is hot water good for you? The answer is yes. Is drinking hot water bad for you? No. As you can see, the benefits of drinking water daily are boundless. The function of water in the body is one that is absolutely critical to survival. Another question to be presented: is warm water better for you than hot water? While both are considered to be better for you than drinking cold water, this really “boils” down to personal preference…pun intended! So, soak up all of the amazing benefits of drinking hot water and see how it can make a difference in your overall health!

Bottled vs Tap Water: Choosing the Healthiest Water?

Do Calories Matter? (the truth revealed in regards to weight loss)

If you’re involved in a weight loss program, you’re probably counting calories on a regular basis. But do calories matter when you’re trying to lose weight or is more about portion control?

The answer isn’t that all the simple…

Here’s a look at what calories actually are, and how they play a role in either helping people lose weight, or hindering their weight loss goals.

What Are Calories & Do Calories Matter?

A calorie, in a nutshell, is the amount of energy contained in a certain drink or food. When you consume more calories than you burn off through physical activity, the body stores them as fat. When the opposite is true, you have a calorie deficit,1 which will lead to weight loss.

In order to maintain a healthy weight, you need to consume a certain amount of calories each day. Men should strive to get about 2,500 calories, while women need about 2,000 daily, on average.2

Quality Matters

A lot of people trying to meet their weight loss goals obsess over their calorie intake. But the quality of the calories consumed is more important than a number, according to one study.

The key for people who lose weight, according to the researchers who conducted the study, is in the kinds of calories they put in their bodies.

Researchers analyzed the progress of 21 overweight or obese adults who were put on three different diets. The goal was to help them lose a minimum of 12.5 percent of their body weight. They followed each diet for a month.

The first diet was designed to help the participants lower their dietary fat by concentrating on eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

The second diet allowed them to consume more fat and protein, but reduced carbohydrates. The participants substantially lowered their intake of pastas, bread, and other carbs.

Finally, the third diet focused on reducing the participants’ blood sugar levels. They didn’t need to reduce the carbohydrates or fat they ate. Instead, the researchers asked them to focus more on the quality of the carbs they ingested. For example, they replaced starchy vegetables and certain grains with fruits, legumes, and foods that contained healthy fats.

According to the results, the participants who followed the low-blood sugar and low-carbohydrate diets burned more calories than when they followed the low-fat diet.

While the low-carb diet was more effective in burning calories, it also created some concerning health issues. The researchers noted an increase in cortisol, a stress hormone that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and other problems.

The low-blood sugar level diet seemed to be the safest, according to the study. Participants burned fewer calories than when they were on the low-carb diet, but they didn’t show signs of an increase in stress hormones.

The significance of the study, according to the researchers, is that a low-fat diet might not be as effective a weight loss program than once thought. They believe that people trying to lose weight should reduce their consumption of highly processed carbohydrates. These include foods such as white rice and white bread. These types of foods, the researchers say, contribute to a roller coaster effect when it comes to blood sugar. They make levels surge and then crash, which can make it very hard to lose weight.3

Are Calorie Labels Trustworthy?

Conventional wisdom dictates that you should always be able to find out how many calories you’re consuming by looking at the product label. But research suggests that information might not be accurate.

The calorie information on food labeling, some researchers believe, is based on dated, flawed information. This information is based largely on 19th century findings of the amount of energy people receive from the food they eat. New findings indicate this approach might be too simplistic.4

In order to correctly calculate the true amount of calories someone ingests from a certain type of food, researchers say, a lot of different factors need to be taken into account.

For instance, how do different methods of food preparation (baking, microwaving, boiling, etc.) affect a food’s structure? How much energy does it take the body to digest different kinds of food? What kind of effect does the bacteria found in our gastrointestinal tract (also known as the “gut”) have on the calories taken in?

Nutritionists are trying to take these factors into consideration when determining caloric information on food labels. Unfortunately, digestion is such a complex process, they may never be able to completely figure it out.5

One example of a discrepancy involves almonds. U.S. scientists found that while labels for most brands of almonds state they contain 170 calories per serving, the actual number is 129. They reached this conclusion after studying people following the same diet. The subjects ate basically the same things, with the exception of almonds. Some people ate more; others ate less. Researchers measured the amount of unused calories that passed through their system, and the discrepancy was discovered.6


Talking to Your Doctor About a Weight Loss Program

The key to weight loss is achieving a calorie deficit. You want to burn more calories than you consume.7 But you probably can’t do this through diet alone. You’ll have to engage in regular physical activity in order to keep the pounds off for good.

When you burn more calories than you take in, the body has to turn to other sources for energy. This source is usually fat, but it can, in some instances, be muscle.8

It’s extremely important that you talk to your doctor first before you put any sort of action plan in place to lose weight. After all, it won’t do you any good to drop pounds if you’re endangering your health in the process.

Be Prepared

Be prepared for your appointment, to ensure that your weight loss program is as safe as possible. Think about what you’re trying to achieve, and write down any questions you may have. Be ready to discuss the changes you’re prepared to make in order to meet your goals.

do calories matter Talk with your physician a plan. Get a good picture of the challenges you’ll have to deal with while you try to lose weight. Ask lots of questions. Are you a candidate for weight-loss surgery, or would you be better off simply watching what you eat? How should you increase your physical activity or add weight training?

Your doctor or specialist will also have some questions for you. They’ll want to know, for instance, how much you’ve weighed at different times in your life. They’ll likely ask how much physical activity you normally get.

There are some other things you can do to make your appointment as efficient as possible. Two weeks before that appointment, start a diary of your dietary habits. Also, consider using a pedometer. This can help you get an idea of how many steps you’re taking daily, giving you and an idea of your overall physical activity.

Make Healthier Choices

You can also start making some healthier choices on your own. Try to limit the sizes of the portions you eat. Mix in more vegetables and fruits, if you’re not already doing so. Gradually increase your level of physical activity. Move around the house more than usual, or try to take a walk around the neighborhood for 10 or 15 minutes if you can.

The Takeaway

A successful weight loss program entails more than just counting calories. While calorie intake is important, it’s not the be-all, end-all. Yes, calories matter, but the kind of calories you consume is even more important. If you have questions, reach out. Talk to your doctor about a healthy weight loss approach, that can set you on a course for better overall health!

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