Gaining Muscle Weight vs Fat

Muscle weighs more than fat. For this reason, the scale may not reflect your real progress as much as you expect it to do. People who take up serious fitness training sometimes report that although they lost several inches around the waistline, they only lost a small amount of actual weight.

But building muscle is not just about working out. A large part of it is about eating right and taking proper care of your body. 

You Need Protein
Muscle is mostly protein, so it takes protein to make muscle. Good sources of protein include lean meats, eggs, milk, cheese and legumes. Egg whites are a source of nearly perfect protein for the human body. This is why competitive body builders used to drink raw eggs to bulk up, before there were protein powders and shakes. You should try to get one gram of protein for every pound of body mass. If you weigh 120 pounds, you should shoot for 120 grams of protein per day. 

You Also Need Carbs
Carbohydrates are a primary source of energy to burn. If you aren't getting enough calories from carbohydrates, your body will use protein for fuel. So, you can only turn protein into muscle if you are making sure the body has enough fuel to burn as well. Healthy carbs come from fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 

You Need a Steady Supply of Fuel
If you go for too long between without eating, your body will start burning internal resources to cope. When it does this, it burns muscle first, not fat. Thus, frequent small meals and healthy snacks are necessary to make sure the protein you consume has a chance to be converted to muscle.

It Takes Down Time
Many critical processes happy while you sleep. This is the body's time for maintenance. It takes a lot of work to build muscle. That work is not happening while you are doing other things. It happens when you are resting. Make sure to sleep a good seven to eight hours a night to help your body build muscle. 

You Need Enough Water
The body is mostly made of water. When you fail to stay adequately hydrated, you interfere with many bodily processes. When trying to put on muscle, you need to get enough to drink before, during and after your workout. For every pound you weigh, you should be drinking one half to one ounce every day. If you weigh 120 pounds, you need 60 to 120 ounces of fluids daily.

Resistance Training is Key
In order to put on muscle, you need to engage in resistance training. Weight lifting is one example of resistance training, but it is not the only way to add muscle. Cardio workouts tend to add long, lean muscle and help with losing fat. They don't tend to add muscle mass. Cardio and resistance training are somewhat in conflict because they lead to different kinds of muscle being formed. To some degree, the body has to choose one or the other. 

If you want to be fit, you need to put on muscle. Some ways to foster muscle gain include getting enough protein, healthy carbs, and water, plus eating frequent small meals and getting enough sleep.

5 Strangest Effective Workouts in 2017


Jazzercise became a household name in the 1970s and 1980s, which practically heralded in the exercise era based out of your living room. As time wore on, gyms and fitness gurus have come and gone. There's always a fitness trend to follow or evaluate. In fact, scientists have gotten into the act in order to find the best exercises for your fitness level. Currently, there are dozens of different workouts that can possibly make a difference in your life. Consider the strangest and most effective workouts for 2017. You might be surprised by several of these choices.

Underwater Spinning

Spin classes have been around for many years. They consist of stationary bikes packed into a small room where a fitness trainer guides your journey. The workout that's defining 2017 is underwater spinning. Picture a standard spin class, but add the bikes to the pool. Adding the water component essentially increases the resistance against your legs as you pedal. Your head remains above water as the rest of your body pushes against the pool's dense volume. Your resulting physique is toned with many calories being burned at one time.

Sand Balancing

You don't have to be near a beach to participate in the newest craze. Sand balancing involves a plank, such as a surfboard, perched atop a mound of sand. It can be located in a sandbox for all intents and purposes because it's the unsteady surface that you're looking for during this exercise. Stand on top of the board placed on the sand, and perform squats or other bodyweight movements. Your muscles compensate for the unsteady surface, which makes the exercise an efficient one for calorie burning.

Yoga Boxing

Picture yourself in a yoga pose with your lower body. Add in a few punches with the upper body, and you have yoga boxing. This workout encourages strength and balance at the same time. Raise your heart rate to an optimal level without creating impacts with your lower body. This particular exercise is addicting once you try it out.

Virtual Workouts

It seems like everyone has a device in their hands during a daily outing. The virtual world is big business, and it can be used to improve your health with online workouts. Log into these workouts, hop onto your exercise machine at home and you're instantly transported to a group-exercise program. You receive all of the benefits associated with a group exercise, but without the commute time to a gym. Remain with the same group or graduate to a different one when you feel ready. Flexibility is part of the virtual world.

Wellness Retreats

A strange and effective workout is one that's based on a vacation getaway. In the past, most people pictured vacations as periods where you do as little as possible. During 2017, many people want to change their lives on vacation. They might take a wellness retreat where they experience different exercise programs and meal choices. Several studies show the benefit of changing habits while in a new location because the mind accepts it better than if you were at home. Expose yourself to any workouts, and you might keep up with the exercise habit when you return home.

Today's trends also include personal observation. It's critical to pay attention to your body, such as noticing soreness and other workout repercussions. Take time out of your schedule to relax if you're experiencing too much stiffness and uncomfortable sensations. Working out should leave you with a positive rush and not a painful souvenir.

Why Is Greek Yogurt So Delicious?

What Is Greek Yogurt?

When you are shopping at a supermarket, there are several varieties of yogurt, including Greek yogurt. This type of yogurt is strained with filtering devices to remove the whey. This process leads to a thicker yogurt that still has a distinctive flavor. Some Greek yogurt manufacturers also add powdered milk, butterfat or other ingredients to this food to give it a thicker texture. A processing plant may boil milk to reduce its moisture content in order to make a thick variety of Greek yogurt. 

Greek Yogurt Contains Less Lactose and Sugar 

There are several additional benefits from Greek yogurt, including a reduction in its lactose. Many individuals are sensitive to lactose, leading to digestive problems or intestinal distress, so they are eager to buy a yogurt that contains less of this ingredient. The straining process will also reduce the yogurt’s sugar content, but some food manufacturers add sugar to certain types of Greek yogurt. 

You Can Use Greek Yogurt As a Substitute Ingredient

It is possible to use Greek yogurt as a substitute ingredient in some recipes that require sour cream. Some varieties of Greek yogurt have reduced amounts of fat, making it an excellent substitute when someone is on a diet. With its lower amount of lactose, anyone who is sensitive to this type of sugar is still able to prepare her favorite recipes. The removal of the whey from this type of yogurt leads to a richer consistency that you might enjoy, and food manufacturers typically add fruit or vanilla to the Greek yogurt products. 

Greek Yogurt Has Less Whey Protein 

Some individuals are also sensitive to whey protein, making it impossible to consume regular types of yogurt. Whey protein can cause an assortment of health problems, including: 

• Liver damage
• Kidney dysfunction
• Osteoporosis 
• Risk of diabetes mellitus
• Headaches
• Higher cholesterol levels
• Abnormal heart rhythms 
• Acid reflux

If you can’t consume high levels of whey, then Greek yogurt is a great option to ingest protein, calcium and iron. In addition, Greek yogurt contains probiotics that can improve the health of your digestive tract. Probiotics are helpful bacteria that can increase the health of your immune system to prevent foodborne illnesses, urinary tract infections and inflammatory bowel disease. 

The Health Value of Eggs vs Egg Whites

You do your level best to remain as healthy as you can. You keep track of your calories, exercise on a regular basis and throw away your egg yolks to make a vegetable omelet. Wait, you throw your egg yolks away? Did you know that whole eggs do not necessarily reduce your risk of heart disease? In fact, it may be far worse for your health not to eat your egg yolks. 

Egg yolks and all other sources of saturated fat and cholesterol were first given a bad rap in the early 20th century. Nikolai Anichkov, a Russian pathologist, performed an experiment in which he fed rabbits high levels of pure cholesterol. The arteries of the rabbits became clogged with plaque, leading Anichkov to surmise that cholesterol leads to heart disease. However, it is widely known that the liver makes about 75 percent of the body's cholesterol. This vital nutrient is required by every single one of your 37.2 trillion cells to create their protective membranes. There is a very small flaw in Anichkov's theory: the cholesterol he fed his test subjects was synthetic. Also, rabbits and humans are fundamentally different in their make-up. As vegetarians, rabbits do not consume cholesterol in their natural diet. 

Despite these facts, the research performed by Nikolai Anichkov and Ancel Keys spurred the start of a witch hunt geared toward demonizing foods containing saturated fats. After studying the eating habits of seven different countries, Keys claimed that those who consumed the greatest amounts of animal fat all died from heart disease. Although his data did show a correlation between fat consumption and heart disease, he was unable to prove that the relationship was causal. Also, while mortality rates for heart disease were higher, deaths from nearly every other cause were significantly lower, resulting in longer life expectancies. 

More recent findings regarding egg whites and egg yolks have shed additional light on the subject. A set of 21 studies collected and published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition stated that saturated fat was not associated with an increase in the risk of heart disease. Instead, the true risk comes from the inflammation caused by chronic stress and regular consumption of vegetable oils and processed foods. 

If you have been avoiding egg yolks for fear of endangering your heart, you are missing out on a world of nutrition. Egg yolks are an excellent source of vitamin A, a nutrient that is critical for healthy and vibrant skin. Other nutrients include B vitamins and choline. The saturated fat present in egg yolks is needed for balanced hormone production and vitamin/mineral absorption. 

Egg whites contain the largest percentage of the protein found in an egg. One egg white, on average, contains the following:

  • 4 grams of protein
  • 1.3 micrograms of folate
  • 6.6 micrograms of selenium
  • 2.3 milligrams of calcium
  • 53.8 milligrams of potassium

Egg yolks, on the other hand, contain the following nutrient profile:

  • 2.7 grams of protein
  • 30 micrograms of selenium
  • 21.9 milligrams of calcium
  • 18.5 milligrams of potassium

The yolk itself has more nutrition than the white, but consuming the whole egg will give you a more complete nutrient profile. Eggs are among the most nutritious food on earth. Because eggs provide all the nourishment needed to grow a chick, this statement makes perfect sense.

As long as you maintain the overall number of calories you consume each day, eating whole eggs will not affect your weight. Remember to check with your health care provider or a nutritionist for more information on how to balance fat levels and fitness goals. 

Tips to Protect Yourself from Ticks and Bedbugs

The weather may be getting warmer so you want to spend more time outdoors. Spring and summer are fun-filled days for humans, but they're also a prime time for bugs too. Insects thrive in warm weather because they're coldblooded; they depend on the warmth to loosen up their bodies for reproduction purposes. In particular, ticks and bedbugs tend to be common in most parts of the United States. Learn how you can protect yourself from these bugs as you head outdoors to enjoy the weather.

Keep Clutter to a Minimum

Both ticks and bedbugs look for hidden areas to hide and reproduce. Your home's exterior should be free of any clutter, such as mounds of wood or rusted items. Ticks will replicate in these areas and possibly hop onto you. Bedbugs also look for such opportunities in furniture and linens within the home. Between mattresses is the most common location for bedbugs where they can hide during the day and emerge at night. Removing and disturbing any cluttered areas simply forces the population to be found and eradicated. 

Vacuum Your Furniture

Vacuuming is one of the single most important things to do when ticks and bedbugs are in season. Consider a household-wide cleaning session of every upholstered item. Vacuuming physically removes a large population of bugs. You may not eradicate every bug, but it's still effective.

Spraying insecticides instead of vacuuming an area can actually be counterproductive. You might kill off many bugs, but they'll eventually become immune to the chemicals. Vacuuming removes them without giving them a chance to evolve from a chemical perspective.

Inspect Your Animals

Your home might be filled with furry friends, including both dogs and cats. These animals tend to be transports for ticks and bedbugs. On a regular basis, take a close look at your pets' furry bodies. Pull back the fur in several places so that you can see the skin below. If you notice any ticks, remove them one by one. Bedbugs are more difficult to visually pinpoint. Look for any reddened areas on the pets' skins in order to narrow down a possible infestation traveling on your furry friends.

Wear Pants

A simple yet effective way to protect yourself from any bugs is by wearing pants outdoors. As you walk through any brush or grass, bugs can latch onto your legs. By wearing pants, they don't have access to your skin. Be sure to shake or wipe the pants off before you go indoors, however. Once indoors, the bugs might detach and hide in other areas. Protecting your skin is the easiest way to avoid any bites.

Apply DEET Products

For an added level of protection, wear repellents with at least 20 percent of DEET. This particular chemical is safe for humans, but wards off most bugs. Be aware that it needs to be reapplied in a timely fashion. Bugs that come into contact with it will refrain from biting you entirely. If you miss a skin area, however, the bugs will make use of this opportunity. Be thorough about your application so that the bugs simply look for other targets.

You may be inclined to scratch your bites, but refrain from doing so. As you grow older, your wounds at the bite site may become infected if you scratch the area too much. Gently rub around the bite if you must, and apply an anti-itch cream. In most cases, the bites will fade away in time.

Is Running Good or Bad for the Joints?

You might wonder if running is a good type of exercise for your joints, and the answer to that question depends on your age and overall health. As you get older, your body’s joints will begin to degrade, making running more difficult. If you have been running for most of your lifetime, then running may not bother your joints’ components. However, if you are a baby boomer who has never exercised, then beginning a running exercise program is not a good plan. Running is also not recommended for anyone who is overweight or for someone with an arthritic condition. 

Running Can Damage Your Knees With Wear and Tear Injuries

There is new research that reveals that running is good for an individual’s knees, but this study was performed with test subjects who had been running for many years. If you have lived a couch potato lifestyle but want to begin an exercise program, then running is not the best choice because it will lead to having pain in your hips, knees and ankles. To understand why running is not a good form of exercise for everyone, it is important to learn more about your body’s joints.

What Are the Joints In Your Body?

Your body has over 350 joints, but most of those are not weight bearing joints. The joints that are most susceptible to damage from running include the joints in your feet, ankles, knees and hips. Joints are composed of several materials, including:

• Fibrous tissue
• Cartilage tissue
• Synovial fluid

How Physicians Diagnose Joint Problems

If a bone has a problem, then a nearby joint might be the primary cause of the problem, or the joint might have a secondary problem. Each type of joint is unique and complex, making it difficult for a physician to determine what is wrong with it when you are in pain. In order to diagnose a problem with a joint, a physician will perform a physical examination and request an X-ray along with other diagnostic tests.

You Can Damage Your Joints By Running Incorrectly

Some individuals will run for exercise for many years and have no joint injuries, but other individuals may incur one or more joint injuries that will sideline them from the sport. Running incorrectly by using the wrong form or wearing poor-quality footwear can damage the joints in your lower limbs. It is important to warm up with stretches before running to get your body’s tendons, muscles and ligaments ready for running. In addition, running is a high-impact sport, but if you have stronger ligaments, muscles and tendons, then you are less likely to damage a joint’s cartilage.

How To Protect a Joint That Has a Previous Injury While Running

If you have had a previous joint injury, then you may need to wear a supportive brace. You can find elastic compression braces in a drugstore, or a specialist can make customized devices. A personalized brace is made from durable materials, and it is molded to support a joint precisely to prevent a new injury.

Instant Pot Watermelon Rinds

Summer always inspires the most creative of us to make all kinds of delicious drinks and treats. Whether you are interested in enjoying something cold or sweet, there are all types of recipes that you can enjoy with your friends and family on a hot summer day. Instant pot watermelon rinds are some of the most delicious snack options you can make. They can be perfect by themselves, or you can change up the recipe to add a little something extra to the original composition.

To make this delicious recipe, you just need to pick up a few key ingredients. Make sure that you have a small watermelon for a basic serving. Have four lemons, each sliced thinly with all of the seeds removed. Also gather four teaspoons of salt and sugar, and make sure that you have two teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce. You can always add more hot sauce to taste, depending on what type of rinds you want to make. Keep around additional flavorings and ingredients as well, such as strawberries, if you are interested in changing up some of the flavor. 

Once you are ready to begin, do your best to peel the watermelon. This can seem like a daunting task, but using a Y-shaped peeler can be all that you need to be left with the rinds. Once the watermelon has been properly peeled, make sure to quarter the melon and run the blade where the pink meets the white. Slice as deep and as far as it is possible. Once you have done as much as you can, proceed to use a spoon against the rind, scraping off as much of the fruit as you can. You can reserve the watermelon flesh for later recipes, but you should be left with the rind when you are done.

Once all of that is done, you can slice the rind into different-sized strips according to what you and your company may prefer. Make sure to remove the stem ends and then place the strips into an Instant Pot or inside of a pressure cooker. Set them there with your lemon slices and then sprinkle with sugar, salt and hot sauce. When ready to begin, cook this mixture at a high pressure for about 10 minutes before manually releasing. The combination of ingredients should be ready now! Pour all of the contents into the appropriate lidded container and then let sit to cool. When done, eat the watermelon and keep the lemon around as a condiment or snack for later. You can also shake the brine over ice for all types of dishes in the future. Invite your friends over to make this dish for a special occasion!

.Taking Care of Your Kidneys

What Are Your Kidneys?

You have two kidneys inside your body that are designed for filtering your blood before manufacturing urine. By releasing this urine, you are removing the toxins and excess water from your body. These bean-shaped organs are located on the right and left side of your upper abdominal area. 

Conditions That Affect Your Kidneys

Kidney disease is common, but you can protect these organs in several ways. Some of the conditions that can affect your kidneys include:

• Urinary tract infections
• Kidney stones 
• Chronic disease
• Renal cysts
• Cancerous tumors

If you have a problem with your kidneys, then it can be a temporary condition that is treatable, or it can become a chronic problem that is irreparable. In some cases, your kidneys will malfunction, requiring you to undergo dialysis to remove the toxins from your blood. 

Six Ways To Care For Your Kidneys

There are several ways to care for your kidneys to avoid developing a health problem that requires dialysis, medication or an organ transplant. Here are the ways to care for your kidneys.

1: Reduce Your Sodium Consumption

If you consume a lot of sodium, then your kidneys must work harder to remove the substance from your blood. Sodium also increases your blood pressure leading to water retention, and both of these problems can also damage the functions of your kidneys. 

2: Maintain Your Body’s Cholesterol Levels 

When you have a high cholesterol level, this sticky substance collects on the interior surfaces of your blood vessels, making it more difficult for your kidneys to remove toxins from your blood. 

3: Control Your Blood Glucose Levels

Researchers believe that high blood sugar is the most common cause of chronic kidney disease. If you have diabetes mellitus, then you must control your blood glucose levels by consuming the right foods along with injecting insulin appropriately. 

4: Take Your High Blood Pressure Medication

When your physician prescribes high blood pressure medication, make sure you take it to protect your kidneys. If you have high blood pressure, then it damages your body’s blood vessels. As your blood vessels harden, your body struggles to transport blood through your kidneys. 

5: Don’t Gain Weight

When you are overweight, you will have excess fat, making it more difficult for your kidneys to function properly. If you are obese, then you are more likely to have other health problems that lead to kidney disease, including diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. 

6: Protect Your Heart 

To prevent kidney disease, you must protect your heart because your heart pumps the blood that travels through the blood vessels to reach your kidneys. If your heart is not working correctly, then your body’s blood may not reach the kidneys so that the excess water and toxins are removed. 

Vegan Chocolate Mousse and How to Make It

Veganism is a great way to lose weights, and if you believe books like "The China Study," to potentially extend your lifespan and prevent illness. If you grew up vegan or come from a culture that cooks food that lends itself to vegetarianism (there are great Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian and Indian dishes that fit the bill here), then making the switch to a fully vegan diet may be a simple matter of making a few dietary tweaks or of dropping a few of your recipes off of your list. If you have grown up in a meat and potatoes family, the concept of a vegan diet may seem very restrictive and difficult to maintain. Luckily, it's not as hard as it might appear to be, and the changes you make can be fun.

It can take some work to learn how to cook new food, but it needn't mean that you never get to eat anything fun. Just because you have decided to go vegan doesn't mean that you have to get rid of your most favorite, decadent foods. There are a number of foods that can serve as substitute staples. Tofu makes a great cream substitute, and soy and almond milk can work as milk. Xantham gum can be a binder that works like eggs and jackfruit is a great meat substitute. 

Chocolate Mousse is one recipe that you can easily make with vegan substitutions. This recipe traditionally calls for cream and eggs. Instead, it uses silken tofu and almond milk. Chocolate chips are one item that you won't need to substitute if you go with dark chocolate; in many cases, chocolate chips are already vegan. Read below for one great recipe adapted from 

What You Need
12-ounce package of firm or extra firm silken tofu
3/4 cup of almond, coconut, or soy milk
1 cup of vegan chocolate chips 
1 tsp of vanilla extract

Optional enhancements
chili powder
mint leaves 
peppermint oil
coconut oil and shredded coconut

Step 1: Heat milk and chocolate
You can do this on the stovetop or in the microwave, so long as you are stirring constantly as you warm. Either stir over a low stove or microwave for about 2 minutes at a time, stir, and add a bit more time. The exact amount will vary with the time out of the microwave and the power of your oven. You should have a rich chocolatey milk when you are done. Let this cool before proceeding to step 2. 

Step 2: Blend with remaining ingredients
Take all of the ingredients plus the optional enhancements of your choosing and blend them together. Make sure you taste this when you are done. If you still taste tofu, you can add a splash more of an enhancement or more melted chips, but don't add more milk or it won't properly set. 

Step 3: Chill to set
This is the final step in the recipe. Pour the mousse into a bowl (or a set of smaller, individual ramekins for best results) to set. Let it chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours. When it is done, you can garnish with your favorite items: mint leaves, shaved vegan chocolate, sea salt, candied flowers, and cinnamon are all great choices. 

While it takes some work and some reteaching of your culinary skills to learn to cook delicious vegan food, learning some basic retakes on your favorites will go a long way toward having a successful vegan diet. 

The Amazing Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

By now, the positive health benefits related to intermittent fasting are firmly well-established. For most of the past century, the mainstream medical community showed little interest in the benefits of fasting. Although fasting is a traditional practice in many religions and cultures, some would argue that fasting goes against the grain of the "more is better" ethos of our modern, technology-focused lifestyle. Fortunately, more and more people are learning firsthand about the incomparable benefits of intermittent fasting. 

Although there are several different types of intermittent fasting, they are all based around the idea of alternating short periods of fasting with periods of normal eating. One good method is to eat normally one day and eat nothing but a light breakfast on the following day. Weight loss is one of the most visible and striking effects of intermittent fasting. However, this is far from the only benefit of fasting this way. When you avoid eating for a while, some of your fundamental physical processes start to change for the better. Firstly, your blood insulin level drops, which immediately causes you to burn fat at a faster rate. Your body starts to repair your cells by eliminating cellular wastes. Almost immediately, your body begins emitting more human growth hormone (HGH), which is quite beneficial. Temporarily, the HGH production in your body can expand by 500 percent. 

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, fasting can spur changes in your gene expression. This can benefit your whole-body health and increase your longevity. Although human testing is still in its early stages, researchers have clearly demonstrated that when they limit the amount of calories that research mammals eat, the mammals live for much longer than one could reasonably expect. This effect is quite pronounced when you cut the subject's calorie consumption by 50 percent. Of course, this is too much of a calorie reduction for most ordinary people. Nevertheless, it is reasonable to assume that you can increase your longevity by reducing your calorie intake by at least 20 percent.

Beyond simply lengthening your life, it seems clear that fasting can improve your quality of life. For example, fasting can reduce your chances of suffering from diabetes. Oxidative stress and inflammation are two things that can contribute to your risk of experiencing a wide variety of diseases. 

During your periods of intermittent fasting, your metabolism increases by as much as 14 percent. According to available research, intermittent fasting doesn't merely cause you to lose weight. This type of fasting seems to cause disproportionate fat loss in your waist or abdominal region. Muscle loss is less pronounced than in nonstop calorie restriction plans. Particularly for older people, it can prove quite difficult to lose abdominal fat under ordinary conditions. All in all, the benefits of fasting are wholly remarkable. Collectively, the effects of intermittent fasting deserve serious recognition from ordinary people and the mainstream medical community.