Lose Your Gut With These Morning Exercises!

Mornings are perhaps the best time to exercise; training at this time means that your metabolism ignites, fat starts burning and pretty much everything needed to set you up for a successful day is kick started in an effective fashion.

It has been proven that the earlier your metabolism starts, the more fat your body is capable of burning throughout the day due to it getting a head start. Here’s a list of some of the most effective morning exercises to get your day started in the proper fashion.

Interval training

Interval training is fantastic for a number of reasons, one of the primary ones being its ability to burn fat over a sustained period of roughly 24 hours due to the oxygen deficiency it creates. Basically, your body ends up being in “debt” to the lungs, and needs to pay it back over a prolonged period. Interval training simply involves performing a certain exercise for a period of anywhere between 30-60 seconds at a moderate period, followed immediately by a 30-60 second high intensity period. This means that your heart rate is constantly elevating, then declining over a period of 15-20 minutes (that’s honestly as long as you need for interval cardio due to its high intensity nature.) As such, it takes up to 24 hours for it to regulate it self, all the while burning calories and melting fat. This one’s great for fitness too.

Steady state cardio

You can effectively ignite your metabolism and burn body fat by performing steady state cardiovascular activity too (also known as aerobic exercise.) In many ways, this training format is going to gel better with the majority of people due to the fact that it doesn’t demand a great deal of energy from the body at a time when, frankly, there isn’t going to be much available to begin with. Unlike interval training, steady state cardio is going to need to be performed for a period of roughly 45-60 minutes. This could be viewed as an inconvenience, or a gift; the great thing about it being a longer duration but low intensity is that it allows you to mentally conquer the day ahead before you even get to work. This training method is a great problem solver due to the mental space it provides, a great fat burner, and very accessible by most people unlike some of the higher intensity training types.


Or body weight exercises, in lay-mans terms. Calisthenics are a fantastic way to dive straight into exercise first thing in the morning without having to get to a gym or squeeze into running gear; they’re always available, easily accessible and can be used as part of a split body part routine in the same way you would train with free weights in a gym. Choose chest and Triceps exercises one day, back and bicep exercises another and leg exercises for the third day and you’ve got yourself a full body routine to hit every area. At the most you’d maybe need a home pull up bar and some suspension training straps, but these purchases are inexpensive and the cost is far outweighed by the benefits.

These training methods can be done at home, in the gym or pretty much anywhere else you choose. They’re effective, they help melt body fat, release toxins from the body and make your respiratory system tougher, healthier and stronger. It doesn’t matter which type you choose to do, just as long as you do something two to three times per week.

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

When it comes to high protein diets, it is relatively easy to get your daily requirements in due to the plentiful protein supplements available in the forms of whey, soy, beef and vegan blend protein powders. There are so many options. The question is though, is it possible to consume too much protein? The answer is yes but it is also due to a number of other factors too so let’s find out why.

It all depends on if you exercise or not
It takes the body roughly 3 hours to digest 30g of protein and longer to digest any larger servings. As long as you consume 1-1.5g/lbs of body-weight per day, you should maintain your muscle or grow more if this is your goal. A person who rarely exercises needs about half that amount because too much protein can impair kidney function and any unused protein can be stored as fat.

Potential weight gain
If you are consuming a high-protein diet you need to ensure that your food plan is balanced and the protein you are consuming is from lean, healthy sources or you run the risk of gaining weight from the extra fats you are eating. Also you need to ensure the amount of protein you are consuming is relative to the exercise you are doing or any excess will be stored by the body as fat.

You might miss out on other nutrients
Having a high protein diet can often mean that you may be missing other vital nutrients from your diet. With such a stringent focus on getting enough protein you may end up being in a nutritional deficit. It’s not just about the protein it’s also about the healthy fats, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables too so don’t forget them.

Bloating and stomachache
If you are new to consuming excess amounts of protein or a balanced high protein diet, then you can potentially suffer from bloating and stomachache. Your body can sometimes find large amounts of protein a little difficult to digest so make sure you are eating slowly and drinking plenty of water as both of these things will help with digestion. Moreover, are you getting enough fiber? If not, then you can add more to your meals.

Make sure you are consuming the right amount for your lifestyle
It’s very easy to consume too much or not enough protein if you haven’t got a professionally tailored diet plan based around your needs. As with any diet plan and regime it is important to consume the correct amount of protein to help you reach your goals but how much protein do you need? This depends on your lifestyle and energy expenditure and it’s a good idea to use this calculator to input your individual details and find out.

Some of the above reasons may come as a surprise but the main thing to remember is ensure you are consuming enough protein in regards to your lifestyle.

Best Smoothies For Your Skin

Smoothies cater for almost every nutritional need we have; they deliver vital minerals and vitamins to the body and safeguard us against disease and illness, as well as promoting healthy respiratory function and serving as an almost “glue” like influence for our internal workings. That is to say, they can; it’s all down to the ingredients.
Combine this with their high level of digestibility, and they really are an almost miracle like source of health for us to consume on the go. These miraculous properties don’t just stop on the inside of the body either; with the right ingredients, you can also take care of your skin and make it glow in a brilliant and healthy manner. Time to stop spending hundreds on overpriced skin care products, these smoothies will take care of everything.

Green everywhere!
The list of ingredients in this one will seriously clear up and detoxify your skin, as well as leaving you full of energy and generally feeling, well…uplifted! Give it a shot.
You’ll need:
• 1 medium cucumber
• 3-4 celery sticks
• ½ cup of pineapple juice
• Juice of 1 lime
• 2 large kale leaves
• 1 pear
Mix it all together and reap the rewards!
Banana, green tea and walnut smoothie
Another fantastic treat for the skin, this one is also fantastic for the immune system due to the omega 3 fat and antioxidants it contains. Whip this one up if you’re feeling slightly “off” and want a delicious tasting natural health booster that’ll also leave you with radiant skin!
• 1 medium sized banana
• 1 handful of walnuts
• 1 cup of green tea
• 1 handful of kale
Blend up, serve up and enjoy!
Citrus goodness
When you not only need healthier skin, but tingling taste buds too! This citrus delight will leave you wholly satisfied in your pursuit of a great tasting and highly beneficial cup of nutritional perfection.
• 2 cups of green cabbage
• 1 cup of water
• 2 peeled oranges
• 2 cups of diced pineapple
• ¼ cup of peeled and diced golden beet
• Juice of ½ a lemon
• 2 table spoons of flaxseed oil
Throw it all in a blender, and throw it down the hatch!
Kiwi-mint delight
A refreshing and delightful health kick in a glass that will leave you looking and feeling brilliant. Here’s what you’ll need:
• ½ cup of almond milk
• One medium banana
• 1 cup of spinach
• 1 cup of mint leaves
• Juice of ½ a lime
• 1 small kiwi
• ½ a cup of Greek yoghurt
Get this awesome blend mixed up and consumed!
So there we have it, a modest yet potent list of some of the best smoothies available for your skin. Your immune system will benefit massively, your skin will look superb and you’ll feel totally replenished.
Whilst it’s still a good idea to continue using your favourite off the shelf products (if they’re working for you) adding these smoothies into your repertoire will make a world of difference, and at least enhance your existing efforts. If you don’t typically use any health and beauty products, simply try drinking these smoothies instead as they may just be all you need!

Toxic cosmetics

Do we have to suffer for vanity’s sake? Since time immemorial humans have used a host of products to beautify the skin. Many of these historical ingredients were toxic and some even lethal. Cosmetics have an ugly side that shows how humans in their vanity are capable of suffering — a lot.

The beautiful Cleopatra eyes that we see in the movies are often achieved with galena (lead sulfide), a neurotoxic chemical. In the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, kohl, a paste made with ground galena, has been used for centuries as mascara. Galena is just one example of the long history of the use of lead in cosmetics.

Lethal lead
Continued exposure of the skin of the eyes (more absorbent due to its thinness and transparency) to ground galena has produced (and continues to produce) saturnism (lead poisoning).

The effects, now well documented, range from anaemia to cancer and neurological diseases, and in extreme cases, death. If the patient recovers, the consequences can be as severe as mental retardation or blindness.

Skin-whitening mercury
Mercury-based facial powders, popular since time immemorial, can causes cracked skin and even madness or infertility. They were used by the ancient Egyptians and by the Romans, who complemented the powder with a touch of a red lead compound that brought a “healthy” pink glow to the cheeks.

Some experts even suggest that the widespread use of mercury — a very toxic heavy metal — may have contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire from the physical and mental decline of their ruling classes.

And a touch of arsenic …
In Elizabethan England and ensuing centuries, ladies wore arsenic-based face powder to whiten the face. However, since makeup was typical of prostitutes, a discreet and elegant solution was a homemade vinegar-based application containing chalk and arsenic. Yes, arsenic, the legendary poison used by royalty to settle inheritances.

In the early twentieth century, despite knowing the dangers of arsenic, products as radical as arsenic pills were sold by some doctors. The resulting anaemic pallor was assured — while other vital organs deteriorated due to lack of oxygen.

Horror in industrial quantities
Sold also in the early twentieth century were rubber masks coated with “curative agents” to treat freckles, liver spots or other “imperfections” of the skin. ¿Cucumber extract? Nonsense: nothing like a bit of acid to perfect the skin!

Users (both men and women) participated in this vicious circle of using horrorific cosmetics based on lead, mercury, arsenic and other hazardous elements. After a while using these products, which literally ate into the flesh, all kinds of rashes and scarring resulted. And the only solution was to use more of the same or worse, thereby only aggravating matters.

In most cases the use of toxic cosmetics was not accidental. The consumer boom and extraordinary development of advertising in the Roaring Twenties in the USA — birthplace of the modern cosmetics industry — led to the development of more or less toxic products and ingredients that were not controlled by any authority.

In her book American Chamber of Horrors, published in 1936, Ruth DeForest Lamb, head of education for the US Food and Drug Administration, called for regulation of the industry in view of frequent harmful outcomes resulting from the toxicity of certain ingredients.

This author described, in crude detail, some of the scandals of the era, such as the 1933 case of Lash Lure mascara, containing coal tar, which burned a woman’s eyes, or the depilatory cream Koremlu, containing thallium acetate (also used as rat poison) that caused baldness, pain and paralysis.

Who is in control?
Today, many regulations and controls, especially in the Western world, ensure that every cosmetic ingredient is exhaustively analysed for acceptable toxicity levels. But we should never lower our guard. If an inexpensive ingredient has a powerful positive effect on the skin, it will logically attract the attention of the cosmetics industry. What matters is for consumers to have guarantee of no adverse effects for our health.

And that very much depends on where we live. While the European Union has banned the use of more than 1,000 ingredients in cosmetics, the US Food and Drug Administration has banned just a few dozen, while regulations vary greatly in other parts of the world.

In 2004, the American Environmental Working Group (EWG) created a highly recommendable resource, called Skin Deep, a database of toxicological information on some 64,000 products, all investigated by EWG’s own scientists.

Cosmetic labels, true claims?
To what extent are cosmetics safe?
Personal hygiene: an amazing story
How is the efficacy of a cosmetic measured?

Diabetes and skincare

Diabetes affects some 380 million people worldwide, a number that is steadily increasing. In the near future one in 10 adults will be affected by diabetes. This disease has multiple adverse effects for our health, many of them related to the skin. How can we reduce the risks and protect our skin?

People with longstanding diabetes (high blood sugar) are more prone to skin problems. One in three people with diabetes is affected by skin disorders, which are often the first warning of the presence of the disease. High blood glucose levels cause biochemical changes in the skin that alter its structure and functions. These changes induce dryness, loss of elasticity and premature skin ageing.

People with diabetes more easily develop the following skin conditions:

Infections caused by bacteria and fungi (especially Candida albicans), resulting in inflammation, itchiness, redness, blisters and flaky skin. The most problematic areas are under the breasts, around the nails, between the fingers and toes, at the corners of the mouth and in the armpits and groin.
Changes in skin colour, such as the appearance of light brown patches (acanthosis nigricans) and thickening at the back of the neck, in the armpits and groin and below the chest. Vitiligo is also common, resulting in areas of discoloured skin on the chest and belly.
Diabetic dermopathy (shin spots), which typically emerge as small, light-brown, circular, scaly patches around the shins (not to be confused with age spots).
Blisters, sores, warts, flakiness, cracking, itchiness, ingrown nails and increased sensitivity to sunlight. Most skin conditions affect the feet because diabetes affects blood circulation.
Prevention and care
Fortunately, most of these problems can be easily prevented or resolved before they develop into a serious health problem. Here are some tips.

Wash using a mild soap and dry the body thoroughly, especially where skin makes contact (e.g., folds).
Use moisturizers (but not between the fingers/toes). Keeping the skin hydrated is one of the simplest ways to prevent problems.
Avoid very hot baths and showers that may dry the skin excessively.
Inspect red spots, blisters and sores that could end up becoming infected.
Keep an eye out for lumps or any changes in the feet and visit a specialist for a checkup at least twice a year.
Treat cuts immediately after first washing them with soap and water.
Keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control so as to improve circulation and maintain healthy skin.
Drink plenty of fluids (water and sugar-free drinks) to keep the skin hydrated.
Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids to nourish the skin. These include fish like salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel, as well as tofu, nuts and flax seeds.
People with diabetes need to be aware that their disease requires extra attention to the skin. If you observe any changes, make an appointment with a reputable dermatologist.

The skin is affected by excess weight
The water myth: how much should we drink?
Tips for a healthy skin
Five foods for a healthy skin

BB, CC, DD, EE creams…

These pairs of letters are not codenames for operating systems, usually identified with letters of the alphabet. They rather describe multifunction or all-in-one creams that, for years, have promised countless benefits for the skin. But what are the differences between the BB, CC, DD and EE versions? Do they actually work or are they merely effective marketing strategies?

BB creams have been on the Western market for some five years, although the name has existed for far longer. In fact, the German dermatologist and allergist Christine Schrammek claims to have developed the first Blemish Balm (BB) cream in 1967 to treat the skin after peeling treatments. The original formula contained zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, licorice root and panthenol — an anti-inflammatory, protective, soothing and moisturizing cocktail that gave the product considerable appeal.

But the brightest idea was to add a colour and so create a moisturizing make-up. In the 1980s these tinted balms were being used to protect facial skin postoperatively.

Slaves to time
In a society marked by hurry, this idea was destined, sooner or later, to catch on. Five minutes out of the shower to put on a BB cream and you can hit the streets with your head held high. The nightmare of applying moisturizers, serums, primers, foundations and makeup was over.

BB creams were sold in the Asian market, early on in this decade, as a cosmetic revolution that did away with the lengthy traditional routines of Japanese and Korean women before the mirror.

The US industry took up the idea, renaming the invention Beauty Balm and adding in a few extra marketing draws, such as sunscreen and anti-ageing ingredients.

The idea worked: in the USA, sales of BB creams multiplied by 20 over 2011 to 2012… Still, for some cosmetic specialists, BB creams were no longer just tinted moisturizers.

A touch of colour with CC…
The target buyer of the BB cream is young. To target the next segment, aged over 30, the industry soon invented the CC cream, with the CC standing for colour correction or complexion correction, depending on the brand.

Added to the formula for perfect skin was colour control and luminosity, promising a unified skin tone and improved coverage of pores. The CC creams are more similar to the classic make-up in that they cover up imperfections. They also usually have a sun protection factor (SPF) higher than the​​ BB creams as well as active antioxidants. But they do not do much more than their BB predecessors.

Then came DD …
Maybe this was why, in 2013, some brands advanced to a DD formulation, where DD means daily defence or dynamic do-all, again according to the brand.

In theory, DD creams — intended for maturer skins — combine the skincare properties of BB creams and the corrective powers of the CC creams. The key selling proposition, in this case, is their capacity to combat inclement environmental conditions (most especially pollution).

However, they are not very different from their predecessors in terms of ingredients (antioxidants and sunscreen), although they may have a higher SPF (up to 50). Nevertheless, as they are meant to be used as make-up once a day, protection from harsh UV rays lasts only a few hours.

Some brands, to differentiate their products from the competition, add the ability to activate melanin and so boost tanning as an extra benefit. It remains to be seen whether these creams really work, however.

And now, EE …
Joining this particular cosmetic alphabet in 2014 were the EE creams, letters referring variously to extra exfoliating, enlighter effect or even energy enhancer — another way of saying that they contain a potent antioxidant called tocopherol.

EE creams are also all-in-one creams in that they combine different skincare steps in a single container and so prove attractive to timepressed consumers. In theory, they accelerate exfoliation, moisturize the skin and even tone. But they do not do any more than other creams separately.

Still, as in the case of their sister BB, CC and DD products, strategic marketing has delivered them to the shelf so that consumers can decide to try them, at least once — even as they intuit that they are just another product designed to capitalize on alphabetic cosmetics. Lack of time and selfies rule!