Stevia is a natural sweetener obtained from the plant Stevia rebaudiana, which is commonly found in South America. Over the recent past, Stevia has been known to be a sweetener that not only adds the sweet taste but also one that promotes better health compared to natural cane and other sweeteners. However, a number of negative stevia side effects exist and any user ought to be wary.
To start with, one of stevia side effects is dizziness. Someone may suffer from dizziness after consuming stevia, but history has shown that this dizziness does not last for a long time. Secondly, some stevia users have reported cases of numbness, whose effects do not last long either. Studies have indicated that stevia can substantially lower the user’s blood sugar implying that diabetic people should use it with caution. Additionally, stevia may cause anaphylaxis especially to those people with allergies to daisies, ragweed and marigold flowers. Anaphylactic reaction has several symptoms such as wheezing, difficulty in swallowing, pale skin and general weakness. Such a reaction from stevia could be fatal and immediate treatment is recommended in case the symptoms are observed.
Other stevia side effects may include nausea, bloating, infertility, slight muscular pains and cancer. Moreover, some studies indicate that stevia has the potential to lower blood pressure and individuals with low blood pressure are advised to avoid using this sweetener as a substitute for normal sugar. The American Heart Association (AHA) has expressed similar factors as mentioned above, stating that stevia could probably be used to help people lose weight and reduce blood sugar.
A diet is simply a temporary solution to a permanent problem. Get the idea of dieting out of your head once and for all. Even if you do lose weight on some new fangled diet you’re more than likely to gain it back once you go off the diet.
What you need is to introduce a handful of new habits into your daily routine. Simple habits that you can live with, that will be become part of your lifestyle, a lifestyle that will allow you to become the healthy you that you have always wanted to be.
Stop Drinking Your Calories
Most of us are drinking way too many calories. A suggested eight ounce serving of soda has eighty calories. When’s the last time you poured yourself an eight ounce beverage. And just how many of those do you think the average person is drinking a day?
Eat A Breakfast Every Day That Includes Carbohydrates, Protein, And Fats
Don’t skip breakfast even if you’re not hungry. By making breakfast part of your daily routine you’ll help to keep your blood sugar levels from having wild swings throughout the day. When you blood sugar level gets low we tend to gorge on empty calories.
No More Snacking After Dinner
This is a tough one for many people, me included. Sometimes I find myself desperate for sweets late at night while sitting on the couch. Don’t pick up the fun size Snickers bars or the bag of Doritos.
Instead, have a glass of ice water or hot tea. Go brush your teeth to help discourage late night snacking. The craving will pass, I promise. Resisting cravings gets easier the more you do it and eventually they will nearly disappear all together.
By all means, have a small dessert after dinner. But when dessert is over the kitchen is closed for the night!
Practice Portion Control
Most of us are eating portions that are way bigger than we should. I’m not asking you to eat a steak that is the size of a deck of cards. That’s ridiculous! Just eat portions that are smaller than your current ones. Even portions that are just a little bit smaller will make a huge difference in the long run.
But please don’t try to starve yourself skinny. You’re just setting yourself up for failure that way.
Go For An After Dinner Walk
Don’t want to walk after dinner? That’s fine. Anytime is a good time for a walk. Just get out there and be active in some way or another. A sedentary lifestyle not only makes you pack on pounds but makes you feel awful as well. By getting just a little bit of exercise every day you’ll start to lose weight and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how quickly you’ll start to feel great.
This article was written by Scott Jenkins. Scott has made several lifestyle changes over the last five years that have helped him to steadily lose fat while gaining muscle. In his spare time he runs a quartz countertops website that teaches about their benefits and he helps guide his readers through quartz countertops prices.
Have you ever been tempted to cave-in and buy that candy bar at the grocery store checkout? Was it the same candy bar that you had easily passed by dozens of times before? If so, had it been a while since you last ate? Do not blame yourself and think that you are weak with no willpower. Your brain may be sabotaging you.
A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California and Yale University has shown that when the glucose (sugar) levels in the blood drop, people are less able to control their desire for high-calorie foods.
Apparently the prefrontal cortex (front part of the brain) loves glucose. When blood glucose levels drop, the prefrontal cortex loses its ability to control an urgent need to eat. This urgent need is sent to it from the striatum. The striatum is inside the forebrain and acts as the interface between the evolved frontal lobes and the ancient areas of the brainstem.
When high-calorie foods are around and in sight, the body craves them even more. It is very difficult to fight the basic instincts of the brain. The study did suggest that the best way to fight this urge is to keep the blood’s glucose level even by eating healthy foods.
Beat Sugar Cravings
Maintaining consistent blood sugar levels is similar to following a diabetic diet. Diabetics closely monitor their intake of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. They also eat at regular intervals. This helps to keep the blood sugar from getting too high or too low.
Eat regular meals and snacks. Three meals a day with snacks in-between will prevent blood sugar dips. Do not skip a meal because this will set your brain into action and it will have control over what you eat. Keep healthy snacks handy, like a granola bar in your desk drawer or car, to keep from getting to that starvation point.
Eat complex carbohydrates. These include whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and legumes like beans, peas, and lentils. They are absorbed slower than simple carbohydrates like white sugar, fruit juice, candy, white flour, and any processed, refined sugars. Simple carbohydrates raise the blood sugar quickly and then it drops quickly.
Eat foods with high fiber. It is digested slowly and regulates the blood sugar. Choose foods like whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
Eat healthy fats and protein. These also are absorbed slowly. Good fats include oils like olive, peanut, and canola. Healthy protein can include fish as well as lean cuts of red meat, chicken, and pork.
The main key is to not let yourself get to the point where you are so hungry that your brain takes over and that candy bar at the grocery checkout is in line with the other items. Following these recommendations will not only beat sugar cravings, but will lead to an overall healthier lifestyle.
Find other useful information and tools, such as a weight loss calculator at LowFatDietPlan.org.
When you hear the word “snack” what do you think of? For some, it means weight gain, unhealthy or just a something to avoid. However, it should mean weight loss, healthy and something that everyone should fit into their diets. With the rise of sugary and salty foods, it can be hard to choose healthy snacks. But they can be avoided—and there are healthy ways to snack.
First of all, to avoid “over-snacking,” never go too long without eating. This will ultimately cause you to overindulge in something you weren’t planning on eating that day—and chances are it’s not something healthy. Your blood sugar drops when your body is starving so it begins to crave everything and anything. Have a small snack in between meals (a good “snack time” is two hours after meals) to avoid this problem.
In order to get yourself to snack healthy, keep junk food out of eye sight. Replace it with healthy food, such as fruit. Put apples and bananas in a bowl on your counter or keep a carton of nuts on a shelf at work. Making these small changes can significantly change your snacking habits.
The worst thing about snacks is that they often come in bags and boxes. It becomes a problem because we eat while we are distracted; therefore we end up eating more than we had planned. If you buy snacks that are packaged this way, take a serving size out, put it in a bowl or a plate and put the package away. This will keep your serving sizes in check as well as your overall health.
Try to stay away from the “diet snacks” that are advertised so often these days. Although they are low fat/low calorie, there is no way that they will keep you full for an adequate period of time. You will find yourself reaching for more, possibly within minutes! Instead, eat snacks that have the right combo of carbohydrates, protein and fat. They will keep you satisfied and give you a boost of energy that you need to carry on your day. Some examples of these kinds of snacks are:
A handful of dried fruit and nuts (i.e. raisins and almonds)
A fruit smoothie made with low-fat yogurt or milk
One tbsp peanut butter on whole-wheat crackers
Baby carrots dipped in hummus
It’s hard to believe, but the feeling of thirst is often mistaken for hunger. This is a huge weight gain culprit that can easily be reversed. Always remember to keep yourself hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. Drink more when you sweat. The more water you drink, the less you will want to snack.
Keep yourself away from snacks that contain trans fat. Today, there are plenty of processed snacks out there. The truth is that if it’s processed, it probably has trans fat. Even just a little bit of trans fat can be harmful to your body, and it is recommended to not consume any at all. The best way to avoid these snacks is by looking at food labels—if it has trans fat, don’t buy it! Also, look in ingredient lists. Manufacturers aren’t required to write “trans fat” on a food label if the food contains less than 5 grams of it. Look for the words “hydrogenated oil” in the ingredient list to determine if there is even just a little trans fat in the food.
If you have a snack craving, but know you’re not hungry, go for a short (or long, if you feel like it!), brisk walk. Studies show that doing so can curb cravings. Also, don’t let your mind win. Our minds tend to tell us that snacking will make us feel better or help us get something done, when in fact, this isn’t the case. Listen to your body, instead of your mind no matter how good a snack sounds at a given time.
Keep in mind that healthy snacks should be staples in everyone’s diet—even if you’re trying to lose weight. They help to keep our blood sugar in check and our stomachs from growling until meal time. They help us meet vitamin and mineral goals and to keep us awake at work or school. Never underestimate healthy snacks.
Brianna Elliott is a third year dietetics student and has grown a passion for nutrition through her years of studying. In her spare time, you can find her running and spending time outdoors. Brianna also spends her time slinging ink for ProbioticSmart.com – a leading internet supplier of Omega-Zyme – an enzyme supplement intended to be taken with snacks.