13 Ways to Prime your Body to Lose Weight

“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”
Hippocrates

There are many options to lose weight. You could starve your self at the dinner table, joining a weight loss programme like your friends do, slaving away on the treadmill, or you could programme your body to subconsciously lose weight. Scientists have discovered that you can rewire your brain and activate certain genes in the body to prime your body to lose weight 24/7, without the unnecessary pain.

  1. Enrich your gut with fibers

Studies have shown that healthy leaner men have a healthier gut and healthier gut is gut that works synergistically with gut bacteria to maintain normal gut microenvironment and homeostasis. An NHS study found that fibers Inulin (not to be confused with insulin) is better for your gut than probiotic drinks! The Inulin is a starchy substance is used for medicine is most commonly obtained by soaking chicory roots in hot water. You can try roast-in season Jerusalem artichoke with garlic and add it to your soups and salads.

2. Distract your brain when you feel hungry

Scientists found that food craving begins in the brain, not belly! So next time when you feel hungry, rewire your brain to think or transport yourself into more pleasurable or imaginative experience to clear your craving and treat your mind to a better mental space. Next time when you craving for ice-cream or chocolate, browse your through your favorite designer’s website or go through the travel websites of your next holiday destination.

3. Choose a cheat day in the week

Scientists now know that willpower can be determined by your genes rather than an acquired personality trait. This means our genetics could affect our response when faced with a mouth-watering menu selection. Studies showed that if you treat yourself on a certain day in a week with a treat of your choice or craving, you are more likely to be able to resist your random temptation when facing mouth-watering indulgence/craving for the rest of the week.

4. Work out at the best body peak time

According to the Journal of chronobiology, our inbuilt body clock our body is strongest at 6pm. Use this time to hit the gym for full body workouts and burn more fats!

5. Upgrading your Juicing

clear glass mason jars

You can up your metabolism by upgrading your juicing with watermelon. Watermelon is low in sugar and rich in citrulline and lycopene. Watermelon is found to be effective in burning belly fats. According to the Journal of Nutrition (2011), high intake of lycopene found to lower the thickness of the internal layer of the blood vessels thus reducing the risk of myocardial infarction.

6. Go nuts!

Nuts are rich in nutrients and vitamins which have been shown to be beneficial for health. Peanuts are also rich in resveratrol,  a compound present in red wine might contribute in part to the “French paradox”, a phenomenon that refers to the relatively low rate of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in France despite high intake of dietary saturated fat. Resveratrol discovered to help burn more fats efficiently.

7. Have an Epsom salt bath

photo of towel and bath bomb near candle

Adding magnesium salt to your hot bath not only speed up recovery post-work ups but also increase your magnesium level via skin absorption. Epsom salt found to raise levels of anti-obesity hormone adiponectin, and reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, according to Journal of Diabetic Medicine (2015).

8. Have a splash of grapefruit scent

citrus fruits close up food fresh

Because of its anti-obesity effects, grapefruit essential oils is called the “dieter’s friend”.  The smell of grapefruit has been shown to activate the nerve pathway to the body fats’ tissue which facilitates lipolysis, then results in a suppression of body weight gain according to International Journal of Molecular Science (2018).

9. Go to bed early and Wake up early

green grass close up photo

A study in Sleep journal found that sleep of fewer than 5  hours a night increases the endocannabinoids in the blood which linked to impulse and reduced willpower. A study by North Western University found that morning light exposure resets your circadian rhythm and boost the production of hormones that linked to fats metabolism.

10. Spice up your life with chilies

chili lot

Chilles contains chemical compound called capsaicin that known to speed up metabolism and helps to lose weight.

11. Try matcha

person holding bowl near brown wooden table

The green tea powder has been shown to boost level of “marathon enzyme’ AMPKL, which help to train harder for longer. Vitamin C makes the nutrients easier to absorb. Try a scoop of matcha with your morning shake.

12. Practice mindfulness for Zen mind

photo of woman riding swing in front of waterfalls

Chronic stress was shown to disrupt the hormones linked to weight control. Mindfulness found to suppress this harmful stress-induced response at the genetic level.

13. Chew your foods thoroughly

Lingering longer over your foods and chewing thoroughly increases “diet-induced thermogenesis”. Chew at least 50 per mouthful (ideally 100 as per Prophet Muhammad), which improve the digestive process and help the gut absorb the nutrients effectively.

 

 

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7 Best Protein Powder

What are protein powder?

Protein powder is a common supplement that provides a concentrated amount of dietary protein from both plant and animal sources. Some popular examples include whey, casein, hemp and bone broth protein powder. Protein powder helps to build muscle mass and maximize fat burning. You can also use protein powder to increase your caloric intake if you’re wanting to gain weight in a healthy way.

There are also several different forms of protein powder;

  • Protein concentrates:  contains 60–80 percent of calories from protein with the remaining calories from fat and carbohydrates.
  • Protein isolates: Protein isolates are further filtered to remove much of the fat and carbohydrates, resulting in a more highly concentrated form of protein powder. In general, protein isolates typically contain between 90–95 percent protein.
  • Protein hydrolysates: produced by breaking down the bond between amino acids in the protein, creating a type of small protein (peptides) that is more easily absorbable by your body.

What are the best Protein powder?

  1. Bone Broth Protein Powder
  2. Collagen Protein Powder
  3. Whey Protein Powder
  4. Hemp Protein Powder
  5. Pea Protein Powder
  6. Casein Protein Powder
  7. Brown Rice Protein Powder

Bone Broth Protein Powder

Bone broth is made by simmering different parts of animals, including bones and connective tissues, into a nutrient-rich broth, which can then be dehydrated and concentrated into a protein powder.

soup on white ceramic soup bowl
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Benefits:

  • Rich in Collagen: Collagen is an important protein to maintain healthy hair, skin, joints and nails.
  • Improve skin elasticity and moisture:  Studies show that supplementing with a collagen-containing supplement like bone broth protein powder could improve skin elasticity and skin moisture in older adults. A Study published in Journal of Skin Pharmacology and Physiology (2014) showed that supplementation with collagen peptides improve skin elasticity and moisture after 4 weeks of taking the supplement.
  • Modulate Immune System: Some research suggests that protein powder made from bone broth can reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of inflammatory condition such as leaky gut syndrome.
  • Promote joint health: Collagen has been shown to reduce joint micro-injuries from strenuous activities and reduce joint pain athletes (Current Medical Research and Opinion, 2008).

Collagen Protein Powder

Beside bone broths, other best sources of collagen protein includes chicken collagen, bovine collagen fish collagen and egg-shell collagen.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is produced from milk. Therefore, it may contain lactose and may not be suitable for lactose intolerance individuals. If you have lactose intolerance, the best option is to take whey protein isolate as majority of the lactose are removed during the manufacturing process. But the price for the whey protein isolate maybe slightly expensive compared to whey protein concentrate or mixed or combination. Nowadays, most brand will tell you on the label whether the protein is suitable or not for lactose intolerant individuals.

agriculture animal blue sky breakfast
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Benefits of Whey Protein

Improve muscle strength; whey protein can help speed up muscle recovery and enhance muscle growth.

High in BCAA; BCAA helps to promote muscle recovery and support muscle synthesis after exercise.

Modulate appetite; Help to reduce appetite or hunger.

Improve fat body composition; Whey protein help to decrease fat mass and waist circumference (Journal of Nutrition, 2011).

 

The 7 Benefits of Coconut Oils

clear glass container with coconut oilCoconut, Cocos nucifera L., is a tree that is mainly grown for its nutritional and medicinal values. Coconut oil, derived from the coconut fruit, has been recognized historically as containing high levels of saturated fat. Unlike most other dietary fats that are high in long-chain fatty acids, coconut oil comprises medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). MCFA are unique in that they are easily absorbed and metabolized by the liver, and can be converted to ketones. Ketone bodies are an important alternative energy source in the brain and may be beneficial to people developing or already with memory impairment, as in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Here are the 7 wonderful benefits of coconut oils

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  1. Improve your lipid profile

Daily consumption of coconut oils has been shown to improve the lipid profile and reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the body. Coconut oils have been shown in the studies to increase the HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) level (good cholesterol) and reduce LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) level (bad cholesterol) in the body. Recent study published in the BMJ journal shown that Coconut oil significantly increased HDL-C compared with butter 1. HDL level is usually used by the doctors as a marker of physical fitness. A healthy and active individual usually have a higher ratio of HDL over LDL. The level of LDL can be increased by regular exercise and physical activity. A sedentary lifestyle is associated with increased LDL level and reduced level of HDL in the blood.

  1. Improve brain power and cognitive functions

Regular consumption of coconut oils has been shown to improve brain function and reduce the risk of developing dementia. Coconut oils have been shown to improve the brain function of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and considered non-drug alternative for treatment of dementia 2. One study on coconut oil enriched Mediterranean diet shown improvement in cognitive functions in patients with AD after 21 days of adopting this diet 3 . In addition to MCFA, coconut also contains phenolic compounds and hormones (cytokinins) that may assist in preventing the aggregation of the amyloid-β peptide, potentially inhibiting a key step in the pathogenesis of AD 4. Coconut oil has also been studied for the treatment of seizure disorder or epilepsy which are caused by abnormal neuronal discharges and activities in the brain.

person holding string lights photo

  1. Increase body ability to burn fat and body metabolic rate

Coconut oils contain Medium-Chain fatty acids or Triglycerides (MCTs) and have been shown to help the body to burn fats efficiently through increased energy expenditure and lipid oxidation (fat burning). Coconut oil contains combinations of MCTs that help to increase the metabolic rate of the body and help to burn fat,  aid the weight loss process and prevent obesity 5. Randomized controlled trials show that MCTs intake in the diet induces modest reductions in body weight and composition without adversely affecting lipid profiles. That means that you can consume coconut oils in moderation without increasing your cholesterol level 6.

grayscale photography of man in short standiung

  1. Best Skin Moisturiser and natural sun-screen

Coconut oils also can be applied to the skin and used as a moisturizer. Coconut oils were shown in clinical studies to improve skin health by providing effective skin hydration and increase skin surface lipid levels 7. Coconut oils are hypoallergenic, chemical-free, and fragrance-free, therefore suitable for all type of skin even the sensitive skins. Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is the finest grade of coconut oil are best used on the skin as the oils are rich in phenolic content, antioxidant activity and contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Applications of VCO on the skin have been shown to speed the healing process by increasing the production of collagen and formation of new blood vessels and this has been shown on the animal’s models 8.  In addition, coconut oils also able to block 20% of the UV from penetrating the skin when exposed to sunlight. Coconut oils are also beneficial for hairs. Coconut oil, being a triglyceride of lauric acid (principal fatty acid), has a high affinity for hair proteins and, because of its low molecular weight and straight linear chain, is able to penetrate inside the hair shaft.

white heart shape on human skin

  1. Natural antimicrobials

Coconut oils are a natural antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal. Coconuts oils contain lauric acids which when digested, are converted to monolaurin. Lauric acid has proven anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. A study by Malaysian scientists has shown that coconut oil exhibit as much as 90% and 80% antibacterial activities against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, respectively 9. Coconut oils also have been shown to have antibacterial activity against C. difficile, which is a common hospital-acquired infection resulting from the overuse and overtreatment with antibiotics. A study showed that lauric acid in the virgin coconut oil inhibits the growth of the C. difficile and can be used to treated C. difficile associated diarrhea 10. The use of coconut oil for oil pulling is an effective adjuvant procedure in decreasing plaque formation and plaque-induced gingivitis 11. In the study, a statistically significant decrease in the plaque and gingival indices were noticed from day 7 and the scores continued to decrease during the period of study.

woman with red lipstickOil pulling is considered a cost-effective intervention to promote dental hygiene. Coconut oils are also a potent antifungal and have been considered the first dietary intervention to reduce C. albicans GI colonization. Candida albicans, the most common human fungal pathogen, can cause infections with a mortality rate of ~40%. C. albicans is part of the normal gut flora, but when a patient’s immune system is compromised, it can leave the gut and cause infections 12.

When the scientists compared the effects of chlorohexidine (a potent ingredient in mouthwash), fluconazole (an anti-fungal drug used for the treatment of fungal overgrowth) and coconut oils, they found that coconut oil has shown significant antifungal activity which is comparable with ketoconazole and chlorhexidine 13. The best thing about coconut oils that you can get them without a prescription and far less toxic compared to those two compounds.

tan coconuts placed atop brown wooden table
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  1. Reduce the risk of heart disease (cardioprotective)

Regular consumption of coconut oils has been shown to protects from developing the cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and stroke. Study on rats that were fed on heated palm oil diets (proinflammatory diets) shown that group of rats fed on heated palm oils diet with virgin coconut oils have lower systolic blood pressure compared to a group of rats fed on palm oils alone without virgin coconut oils supplementation. This study suggested that virgin coconut supplementation possesses a cardioprotective effect by preventing the increase in blood pressure via an antioxidant mechanism 14. The antioxidant properties of virgin coconut oils prevent the oxidative stress, which is indicated by the decreased formation of lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation products like malondialdehyde, hydroperoxides, conjugated dienes and protein carbonyls in serum15 and tissues compared to other oil such corn oils and sunflower oils.

black and white blood pressure kit

  1. Anti-cancer properties

A recent study showed that lauric acids that present in coconut oils able to potential to hamper tumor growth. LA was shown to elicit inhibitory effects only in colon cancer cells by inducing apoptosis (induced cells death) 16. Currently, fatty acids are studied to be incorporated into the treatment of cancer. Lauric acid able to make tumor cells more sensitive to biological chemotherapy regime by inducing the expression of microRNA. A recent study published in Oncology Reports demonstrated that lauric acid may efficiently induce miR-378 expression which significantly improved sensitivity to Cetuximab (chemo biologic agent) in the treatment of colorectal cancer 17.

short coated brown dog beside coconut shell
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References

  1. Khaw, K.-T. et al. Randomised trial of coconut oil, olive oil or butter on blood lipids and other cardiovascular risk factors in healthy men and women. BMJ Open 8, e020167 (2018).
  2. Hu Yang, I. et al. [COCONUT OIL: NON-ALTERNATIVE DRUG TREATMENT AGAINST ALZHEIMER´S DISEASE]. Nutr. Hosp. 32, 2822–7 (2015).
  3. de la Rubia Ortí, J. E. et al. Improvement of Main Cognitive Functions in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease after Treatment with Coconut Oil Enriched Mediterranean Diet: A Pilot Study. J. Alzheimer’s Dis. 65, 577–587 (2018).
  4. Fernando, W. M. A. D. B. et al. The role of dietary coconut for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: potential mechanisms of action. Br. J. Nutr. 114, 1–14 (2015).
  5. St-Onge, M.-P., Ross, R., Parsons, W. D. & Jones, P. J. H. Medium-Chain Triglycerides Increase Energy Expenditure and Decrease Adiposity in Overweight Men. Obes. Res. 11, 395–402 (2003).
  6. Mumme, K. & Stonehouse, W. Effects of Medium-Chain Triglycerides on Weight Loss and Body Composition: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. J. Acad. Nutr. Diet. 115, 249–263 (2015).
  7. Agero, A. L. C. & Verallo-Rowell, V. M. A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis. Dermat. contact, atopic, Occup. drug 15, 109–16 (2004).
  8. Nevin, K. G. & Rajamohan, T. Effect of Topical Application of Virgin Coconut Oil on Skin Components and Antioxidant Status during Dermal Wound Healing in Young Rats. Skin Pharmacol. Physiol. 23, 290–297 (2010).
  9. Khoramnia, A., Ebrahimpour, A., Ghanbari, R., Ajdari, Z. & Lai, O.-M. Improvement of Medium Chain Fatty Acid Content and Antimicrobial Activity of Coconut Oil via Solid-State Fermentation Using a Malaysian Geotrichum candidum. Biomed Res. Int. 2013, 1–9 (2013).
  10. Shilling, M. et al. Antimicrobial Effects of Virgin Coconut Oil and Its Medium-Chain Fatty Acids on Clostridium difficile. J. Med. Food 16, 1079–1085 (2013).
  11. Peedikayil, F., Sreenivasan, P. & Narayanan, A. Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis – A preliminary report. Niger. Med. J. 56, 143 (2015).
  12. Gunsalus, K. T. W., Tornberg-Belanger, S. N., Matthan, N. R., Lichtenstein, A. H. & Kumamoto, C. A. Manipulation of Host Diet To Reduce Gastrointestinal Colonization by the Opportunistic Pathogen Candida albicans. mSphere 1, (2016).
  13. Shino, B. et al. Comparison of Antimicrobial Activity of Chlorhexidine, Coconut Oil, Probiotics, and Ketoconazole on Candida albicans Isolated in Children with Early Childhood Caries: An In Vitro Study. Scientifica (Cairo). 2016, 1–5 (2016).
  14. Kamisah, Y. et al. Cardioprotective effect of virgin coconut oil in heated palm oil diet-induced hypertensive rats. Pharm. Biol. 53, 1243–1249 (2015).
  15. Arunima, S. & Rajamohan, T. Effect of virgin coconut oil enriched diet on the antioxidant status and paraoxonase 1 activity in ameliorating the oxidative stress in rats – a comparative study. Food Funct. 4, 1402 (2013).
  16. Lappano, R. et al. The lauric acid-activated signaling prompts apoptosis in cancer cells. Cell Death Discov. 3, 17063 (2017).
  17. WENG, W.-H., LEUNG, W.-H., PANG, Y.-J. & HSU, H.-H. Lauric acid can improve the sensitization of Cetuximab in KRAS/BRAF mutated colorectal cancer cells by retrievable microRNA-378 expression. Oncol. Rep. 35, 107–116 (2016).