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HEALTH

7-Day Plant-Based High-Protein Dinner Meal Plan For Summer

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When it’s too hot to turn on the oven but you want a delicious, satisfying plant-based dinner, here’s a week of dinner ideas to inspire you. These seven recipes are full of protein, nutrient-packed veggies, and some will be ready in 15 minutes or less (yeah, avocado pasta!). Feel free to swap out ingredients that are more in season or ones you like better, and have fun in the kitchen.



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NEWS

Founder of Microsoft Healthcare comes up with plan to reduce hidden insurance costs

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With millions of dollars for health plans tied up in hidden fees and negotiations, Microsoft Healthcare founder Dave Chase sought to tamp down on growing healthcare costs.

He started Health Rosetta with the goal of improving transparency among insurance brokers and help employers keep healthcare costs in check. The company claims it can reduce employers’ healthcare costs by 20% to 50%.

So far, Health Rosetta has already delivered on that promise for some of its clients. The company said it helped Pacific Steel & Recycling reduce its spending from $8 million to about $3.5 million. It also helped Ohio-based Great Lakes Auto cut its healthcare costs by $1.8 million.

A big part of that is carving out unnecessary fees and conflicts of interest and improving primary care benefits.

“It’s a secret hiding in plain sight if you dig in,” Chase said.

But many companies, with overburdened human resources departments, often don’t.

To start, Chase said, companies can take a closer look at the summary plan document that governs their health plan.

“It’s just riddled with unnecessary fees and conflicts of interest. There are things in that boring stuff that can save you a huge amount of money without affecting the members whatsoever,” he said.

 

Hidden commissions

Another source of hidden cost can stem from undisclosed contracts between brokers and insurance companies. Many self-insured companies turn to brokers to help them design or manage their health plans. But those brokers often receive undisclosed commissions.

According to a report by ProPublica, insurers often pay brokers a commission of 3 to 6 percent of the total premium for employers they enroll. Retention bonuses also serve to keep brokers from shopping around.

“If you maintain 90% of your business with a carrier, you can get a huge bonus,” Chase said. “You have massive conflicts of interest, much of which is undisclosed.”

The solution that Chase proposes is a certification program for health insurance brokers. To participate in the program, they must agree to disclose all of their fees, direct and indirect.  Instead of being paid through insurers, Health Rosetta’s brokers charge their clients a fee, which the company says better aligns them with employers’ interests.

So far, Health Rosetta has trained 170 benefits advisors through the program. Just as LEED certificates became a benchmark for building efficiency, Chase hopes that certifications to improve transparency among insurance brokers will become more commonplace.

 

Better benefits

The other big piece of Health Rosetta’s plan is restructuring primary care to give patients more time and better communication with their doctor rather than fall back on traditional fee-for-service medicine. That involves screening providers for certain quality metrics, such as how many patients required hospitalization, or quality results for common conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.

Members can be incentivized to go to these facilities by waiving out-of-pocket costs.

“The best way to slash health care costs is to improve benefits,” Chase said. “When you see proper primary care, you have fewer surgeries and ER visits, because people take time to talk to people.”

Chase knows it will take time to make substantive differences in the way people pay for healthcare.

“We know this is a 10-20 year journey, easily,” he said.

Photo credit: Getty images, utah778

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FOOD

How to Plan a Virtual Hen Do: Digital Hen Party Ideas

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My fiancé and I were meant to be having a dream Italian wedding in just a matter of weeks — until the global coronavirus pandemic happened and changed those plans. Now, the weeks that should have been spent getting excited for the big day have instead been filled with stressful emails and phone calls rearranging dates and requesting refunds — all while working from home and attempting to manage a toddler. Quite frankly, I’m exhausted.

In this situation it’s easy to throw yourself a pity party, and I must admit that I was having one and dwelling on the negative, until one morning I decided that enough was enough. My friends all want to celebrate with me, so why not lift people’s spirits with a virtual hen party? That way, everyone can enjoy a fun, boozy night in the comfort of their own living rooms, without having to worry about getting home or the expense of a weekend city break.

In this period of time where so much is unknown, organising a hen party provides a great distraction; and not only has the planning helped boost my mood but it’s also helped to raise my friends’ and family’s spirits. After all, who doesn’t love a hen do?

I had always planned to do a London-based event, but now it was time to get a little more creative and give some of the most popular hen do activities an isolation twist. After a few hours of home-based hen research, I realised we could pretty much re-create the whole day with the help of a few digital hacks.

As fitness is one of my passions, my original plan was to drag my bridal party (some of them kicking and screaming) to my favourite Psycle barre class, followed by a boozy cocktail masterclass, a carb-infused meal, and a few hours of power ballad karaoke. For that Instagram-able snap at the postparty hotel sleepover, I had already stocked up on holographic sheet masks from my favourite London beauty emporium, John Bell & Croyden, and purchased silk pyjamas from Yolke’s sample sale.

After firing off some WhatsApp messages to my hen planner, we created the ultimate lockdown party. If you’re in two minds about planning your own virtual hen do, take my advice and go for it — not only will the laughs be needed more than ever but the memories you create will never be forgotten. Here are my hen dos and hen don’ts for organising the perfect virtual party.

1. Pick a Colour Theme For All Virtual Guests

I didn’t want to go down the mildly cringey route of getting personalised hen party tops made, so instead I chose a colour theme for all guests to wear. That way, they could pick out something from their wardrobe, and everyone could interpret the theme in their own way, whether that’s with something as simple as a statement red lip, or a full monochromatic look for maximum impact.

2. Create a Unique Hashtag For the Day

If you and your hens are active on Instagram, then creating a unique hashtag is a fun way to get a behind-the-scenes look into how everyone prepares for your online party. It’s also a great way to preserve all those memories in one place that might otherwise get missed on a video call.

3. Try a Virtual Barre Class Via Zoom or IGTV

Fitness has always been my passion, and my love for exercise has only grown in isolation. I know some of my hen party aren’t as passionate about fitness as I am, but I knew that the moment they felt the energy from the heads of barre at Psycle, Maria and Rod, they wouldn’t look back. Barre classes are great for all fitness levels as they’re low-impact and don’t involve a huge number of props; or if they do, then you can create your own makeshift props using household items. We all tuned in wearing our best Lycra and pulsed and planked to the beat.

4. Send a Special Gift to the Bride-To-Be

Though it’s difficult to find the perfect gift with shops closed and online deliveries delayed, my hen party were kind and organised enough to send me a care package filled with a few of my favourite things — with a bridal twist. First, a pair of Varley leggings that both feed my fitness habit and fit with the white bridal theme, a bottle of my favourite champagne from Fortnum & Mason (if you know, you know), and the Spring Flowers DIY Tin from Biscuiteers, which contains prebaked flower biscuits and everything you need to ice them, in tribute to my love of flowers and gardening.

There are still plenty of delivery services out there to pull together a great hamper for your hen; just make sure you plan as far in advance as possible to avoid hefty postage fees.

5. Mix Up Some Bespoke Cocktails

I challenged my hens to create an innovative cocktail with whatever ingredients they had in the house in 10 minutes — then drink them and describe them to me so I could give out a prize for the most creative concoction. There were frozen Whispering Angel cocktails, whiskey sours, and even a boozy Coke float. If you need some inspiration then head to Instagram, where Soho House revealed the recipe to their famous Picante cocktail and Aperol recently demonstrated how to make the perfect spritz.

6. Cook a Wedding Day Destination-Inspired Dish

As my wedding was due to take place in Italy, I thought it was only fitting to choose an Italian-themed dish for my guests and I to make during the cookalong portion of my virtual hen do. I choose something simple that all my guests could rustle up at home with limited ingredients. Now that the supermarkets are suffering shortages of the basics, my go-to dish of creamy pesto pasta made the cut. All you need is basil, olive oil, garlic, avocado, salt, and pepper. This recipe also works for vegetarians and vegans, too, plus you can use any type of pasta you have in your store cupboard. Choose something that has links to you, or your hen do destination, and make sure its easy enough for your guests to re-create and have fun with.

7. Hold the Great Hen-Do Bake Off

I wasn’t a keen baker before lockdown, but like most of the country, I have now developed some serious skills, and I’m making new baked creations on the daily. My initial idea was to task all my guests to bake a wedding cake in an hour — a fun way to find out what they could come up with in such a short time — but given the current flour shortage, that wasn’t going to be doable.

I decided to get my guests to join in with a baking class that I’ve been enjoying every week during lockdown. Livia’s live Friday baking classes on Instagram are easy to follow and don’t require mountains of ingredients or a tonne of flour. We made the double chocolate chip cookies (made with porridge oats, coconut sugar, coconut oil, maple syrup, cacao powder, and chocolate chips — or leftover Easter egg, which a lot of my hen party used). These were truly delicious, and it’s fun to see everyone’s creations via WhatsApp when they were fresh from the oven.

8. Pamper Yourselves With an At-Home Facial

My initial plan was to post out my favourite Oh K! Holographic Sheet Masks (£10 each) to my guests, but many of the masks didn’t arrive in time, so I had to come up with a plan B for a DIY face mask from products you have in your kitchen. Sarah Carr, a facialist for Liz Earle, says that her tried-and-tested DIY mask made from natural bio yogurt and olive oil is “the best natural mask for boosting skin’s radiance and reduces redness and inflammation.”

9. Get Your Partner Involved With a Quiz

With answers from your fiancé, who doesn’t love a good quiz? We opted for a “Mr and Mrs Quiz” where everyone had to guess the answers to multiple choice questions like, “What did Eamonn say Kirsty’s most annoying habit was?” Get your fiancé to prerecord their answers and play them to everyone at the end — the perfect way to get your partner-to-be involved, too.

10. Enjoy a Karaoke Singalong Via House Party

A good singalong after a cocktail or two is such a mood booster, and as I found out, this is one activity that’s supereasy to organise. Simply get each guest to select a song, and pull together your karaoke playlist ahead on Spotify. And for the serious Karaoke pros out there, the Lucky Voice group who have venues across London have introduced the ultimate home karaoke kit.

11. Follow a Nail Art Tutorial For At-Home Manicures

Not only is the lockdown manicure trending big time on Instagram right now, but adding at-home manicures into your virtual hen do is also another way to incorporate your colour theme into the experience. Get inspired with some simple seasonal nail art designs to follow, and once you’re all finished, you can reveal your mani masterpieces on Zoom.

12. Wind Down With a Face Gym Session

Master the art of a DIY face massage by organising a digital group session with a FaceGym trainer. You’ll not only spend time with your bridal party but the session will also guide you through techniques to firm up your facial muscles (hello, cheekbones!), and promote lymphatic drainage.



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HEALTH

What Can We Do Now in Lockdown With New UK Coronavirus Plan

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On Sunday 10 May, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed all four nations of the UK regarding the next phase in the fight against COVID-19. Thanking the British public for their “effort and sacrifice in stopping the spread of this disease”, Johnson revealed the government’s strategy for tackling the next phase of the pandemic, as well as a roadmap for lifting England’s lockdown, supported by a 50 page guidance document released earlier today.

Stressing that the recovery strategy is conditional based on the continuing decline of virus transmission, Johnson introduced the Covid Alert System, which is made up of five levels that influence what social distancing measures are in place. Level 1 indicates that the disease is no longer present in the UK, while Level 5 is the most critical.

When the UK entered lockdown, we were at Level 4 of the Covid Alert System and remained there as transmission of the virus continued to increase and the nation fought to contain it by staying at home. As we enter the second phase, the aim is to begin lifting measures step-by-step as we make the move down to Level 3, which will occur when the reproductive “R” rate of the disease (meaning the number of people on average that people pass it on to) is well below one. As of Sunday, Johnson revealed: “we have the R below one, between 0.5 and 0.9 – but potentially only just below one.”

The R and the number of coronavirus cases are what is used to determine the Covid Alert Level. As Johnson explained, we now all have a role to play in keeping the R down. “We must make sure that any measures we take do not force the reproduction rate of the disease – the R – back up over one, so that we have the kind of exponential growth we were facing a few weeks ago,” the Prime Minister said. If the data indicates an increase, however small, the dates provided in the roadmap will be obsolete, the Covid Alert System level will likely also increase and stricter lockdown measures will be reintroduced at short notice.

What Date Will Lockdown Measures Be Lifted in the UK?

From Wednesday 13 May in England, step one of the roadmap permits the following:

  • Workers who cannot work from home may travel to work if their workplace is open
  • Paid childcare may resume (for example nannies and childminders)
  • People can meet with one person from a different household
  • People can spend unlimited time outdoors and exercising
  • People can drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance
  • Clinically vulnerable people should continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their households but no longer need to be shielded

From no earlier than Monday 1 June in England, step two of the roadmap intends to reintroduce the following in phases:

  • Return to school for early years
  • Opening of non-essential retail
  • Cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast
  • Opening of more local public transport in urban areas
  • People to expand their household group to include one other household

From no earlier than Wednesday 1 July in England, step three of the roadmap intends to reintroduce the following in phases:

  • Opening of at least some of the remaining businesses and premises that have been required to close, for example personal care, hospitality, public places, and leisure facilities

What Does This Mean For the Rest of the UK?

It is important to note that the rules may differ or be adjusted on different dates across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as the level of infection and transmission varies from place to place. For example, from Wednesday 13 May in Scotland, people are now permitted to go outside more than once a day to exercise, but must do so alone or with members of their household only.

Across the UK, the priority to protect the public and save lives remains, and should there be an uplift in transmissions, tighter measures will be reintroduced. Unless specified in the guidance, social distancing must continue to be practiced whenever you leave the home. Those who have symptoms or live with someone who has symptoms should not leave the home and must self-isolate.

When Can I See My Friends and Family?

As of Wednesday 13 May, the government is permitting people in England to meet up with strictly one person from outside their household when outdoors or exercising. As per social distancing guidelines, you will need to remain two metres away from each other at all times and practice good hand hygiene.

Am I Allowed Return to Work?

If you are able to continue working from home, you must do so, however, as of Wednesday 13 May, those in England who cannot work from home are allowed to travel to work. Examples of sectors now permitted to operate with staff back on site include food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in laboratories. Staff should try to avoid public transport at all costs and all businesses should operate under the new “COVID-19 Secure” guidelines, ensuring the risk of infection at work is low.

Can I Use Public Transport?

Unless you are a critical worker or work in a sector outlined above and cannot get to work any other way, you should avoiding public transport at all costs. Instead, you should cycle, walk or drive. Those who do use public transport must adhere to strict social distancing and are encouraged to wear a face mask.



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HEALTH

The Ultimate 7-Day Gym Diet Plan: HealthifyMe Blog

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When it comes to nutrition, things can become overly complicated. However, one thing that is abundantly clear is that nutrition has a huge impact on the progress that is made in the gym. This article will highlight a number of considerations that must be made and applied in order to bring about substantial changes. In addition, it will also serve as a resource and highlight the nutrient rich foods that one should incorporate in their daily diet routine.

Foods To Add To Your Diet

There are three macronutrients that all play a crucial role in maintaining bodily functions and promoting changes in strength and composition – they are carbs, proteins, and fats. It is essential that we consume all three macros in ample quantities to optimize progress.

Carbohydrates

carbohydrates

Firstly, carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the body and therefore play the most substantial role in fueling exercise. There are two different types of carbohydrates – complex and simple. The names give an indication of the time taken to digest; complex carbs take a longer time period to digest than simple carbs.
Complex carbohydrates provide the body with prolonged slow-release of energy and have a great nutritional benefit. While simple carbohydrates provide the body with a short-term, fast releasing energy, they contain little nutritional value.
For this reason, you should look to primarily consume complex carbohydrates. Some foods to consider adding to your diet include whole-grains, oats, beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

Protein

Protein

The majority of gym-goers will be well aware that consuming protein is important. The reason why protein is so important is that, it plays a key role in recovery and repair. During exercise, the body is exposed to strains and stresses which cause damage to occur to the muscles at a microscopic level. In order for the damage to be repaired, protein is needed. Without it, recovery periods will be extended and chronic fatigue may become a factor.
Protein is found most highly in animal produce such as lean meats, eggs & dairy. It can also be found in smaller quantities in foods such as seeds, nuts, legumes, beans, and soy.

Fats

healthy fats

Fats are often incorrectly seen as the primary reason for fat gain. However, fats are not responsible for this and actually play a key role in the absorption and transport of nutrients. In addition, they can have a positive impact on heart health and hormone production.
While fats can have a positive impact on health, there are several types of fat – some of which are of greater benefit than others. While saturated fats are not as harmful as once believed, focus primarily on unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fat foods include avocados, seeds, nuts, peanut butter, fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel), oils (olive, peanut, sesame), and soy products (tofu, soy milk).

Pre-Workout Foods

The focus with all pre-workout meals or snacks should be carbohydrates to provide the body with plenty of energy to last the full session. If energy levels are sub-optimal, then performance will suffer which will have a consequent impact on our rate of adaptation.
To prime the body for performance, focus on primarily consuming complex carbohydrates such as whole-grains, oats, beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Be aware not to consume them just before the workout as they take time to digest. The recommendation is to consume complex carbs one to two hours prior to exercise to allow for full digestion.
From that point, focus on simple carbohydrates as they take less time to digest and provide the body with bursts of energy. It may even be recommended to consume some simple carbs during a workout to maintain energy levels and performance.
White bread, jam, granola, cereal, rice cakes, sports drinks, and fruit are all viable options for a pre-workout, energy-boosting snack.
While the focus should predominantly be on carbohydrates, it is also important to consume some protein prior to stepping into the gym. To support muscle recovery and growth, protein levels should be maintained at a high level throughout each day.

Post-Workout Foods

The purpose of post-workout nutrition is two-fold – to promote muscle recovery and replenish energy. Therefore, the focus should once again be on consuming good quality protein and carb foods.
As reflected on, the stress of training cause micro tears to occur to the muscles that must be repaired. Consuming protein will cause a process known as muscle protein synthesis (MPS) to occur which will begin the repairing process and prevent muscle breakdown.
There is a widely held belief that protein timing is extremely important for maximizing growth, however, a number of studies have indicated that total daily protein intake is of greater importance than the timing.
High-protein foods such as lean beef, chicken, pork, turkey, eggs, dairy, seeds, quinoa, and nuts should be prioritized. Protein supplements, like protein shakes and bars, can serve as a convenient tool for effectively boosting protein intake.
Carbohydrates should also form part of post-workout nutrition as the energy that has been expended during exercise must be replaced.
If possible, it is recommended to consume protein and carbs together as this will have the most pronounced impact on recovery by enhancing protein and glycogen (energy) synthesis. Often a ratio of 3:1 carb to protein is prescribed for optimizing recovery.

Ideal 7-day gym diet

While calories and macronutrients are important, the ideal gym diet will be one that positively influences health. This is a diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals where all three macronutrients are consumed and nutrient-sparse foods are restricted.
Below you can find a 7-day gym diet guide:

Day 1

Breakfast Oats Banana Pancakes with
Protein Shake
Lunch Multigrain roti with palak chicken Avocado bell pepper salad
Pre-Workout Snack Bananas
Dinner
(Post-Workout)
Brown rice, peas paneer curry, sprouts vegetable salad

Day 2

Breakfast Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt & Seasonal fruits
Mango Juice
Lunch Multigrain roti, fish curry, vegetable salad
Pre-Workout Snack Toast with Jam
Dinner
(Post-Workout)
Broken wheat khichidi, carrot raita, egg white, and vegetable salad

Day 3

Breakfast Poached Eggs
Whole Grain Toast
Protein Shake
Lunch Quinoa upma, chicken and broccoli salad
Pre-Workout Snack Mixed Nuts & Dried Fruits
Dinner
(Post-Workout)
Lean Beef and vegetable curry, brown rice, cucumber raita
Baby Potatoes
Chocolate Milk

Day 4

Breakfast Oatmeal with Honey
Apple Juice
Lunch Grilled Chicken
Salad
Whole Grain Bread
Pre-Workout Snack Toast with Peanut Butter
Dinner
(Post-Workout)
Methi Chicken
Brown Rice
Broccoli
Protein Shake

Day 5

Breakfast Scrambled Egg
Whole Grain Toast
Smoothie
Lunch Grilled chicken vegetable roti rolls
Green Salad
Pre-Workout Snack Mixed Nuts & Dried Fruits
Dinner
(Post-Workout)
Chicken Stir Fry
Spring Onion, Peppers & Broccoli
Chocolate Milk


Day 6

Breakfast Oatmeal
Whole Grain Toast
Orange Juice
Lunch Whole Grain Chicken Wrap
Black Beans, Peppers & Greek Yogurt
Pre-Workout Snack Apple with peanut butter
Dinner
(Post-Workout)
Keema bhurji and multigrain rotiLean Beef Mince
Sweet Potato
Protein Shake

Day 7

Breakfast Oatmeal with Nuts
Smoothie
Lunch Whole wheat pasta with chicken and
Green Salad
Pre-Workout Snack Granola or Cereal
Dinner
(Post-Workout)
Fish curry, boiled green peas salad
Brown Rice
Garden Peas
Milk

While the above guide will prove to be useful, be aware that when it comes to nutrition, everyone is different. Not only will physical attributes determine your nutritional requirements, the goals that you have set will also influence your diet.
For example, two goals that are extremely common are fat loss and muscle growth. To lose fat, calories must be restricted which will cause stored body fat to be broken down. For muscle growth, calorie intake must be increased to build significant muscle size as additional calories are required to accelerate the recovery process.
Macro-nutrient demands for both fat loss and muscle growth are similar. Firstly, protein intake should remain high for both. For muscle growth, protein is evidently required for building mass. The role of protein in fat loss is to prevent muscle tissue breakdown as far as possible.
As highlighted, carbohydrates are extremely important in energy and replenishment. As a result, those looking to lose weight and build muscle should get the majority of their calories from carb sources.  
While consuming healthy fats is important, reducing the total amount of fat consumed helps to most effectively restrict calories. This is because, at nine calories per gram, fats contain the greatest number of calories per gram – protein and carbohydrates both contain four calories per gram.

Foods to Avoid

In the same way that proper nutrition has the potential to optimize performance and adaptation, improper nutrition can detrimentally affect progress and health. The following three foods should be avoided or limited as far as possible.
Trans fats are a type of dietary fat that has consistently been shown to impact health. While trans fats do naturally occur in small quantities, artificial trans fats are notoriously hazardous. Artificial trans fats can be found in baked goods, fast food, and many snack foods.
As mentioned, many simple carbohydrate foods do not have great nutritional value and contain a high amount of sugar. While they may be useful for a short term energy boost, consuming a large number of simple carbs can be detrimental.
Eating a great quantity of simple carbohydrates will spike blood sugar levels initially. However, very quickly, blood sugar levels will nosedive and can leave you feeling lethargic which is less than optimal for exercise and performance.
Although technically not a food, alcohol is a substance that should also be limited as far as possible. There is much research to indicate that alcohol negatively impacts recovery and may even interfere with the muscle-building process.

Nutrition Do’s and Don’ts

This final section will highlight a number of do’s and don’ts to help keep you on the right track with your nutrition.

Do’s:

– Consume all 3 macronutrients
– Ensure that you are eating a wide range of fruit and vegetables for comprehensive consumption of vitamins and minerals
– Primarily choose complex carbs over simple carbs
– Ensure that you are consuming protein regularly throughout the day
– Consume unsaturated fats over saturated and trans fats
– Moderate your consumption of produce that will negatively impact health and gym progress
– Maintain hydration levels

Don’t:

– Cut a macro-nutrient from your diet as all are required for specific functions
– Skip meals, especially in the lead up to or after a workout
– Eat a “heavy” complex carb meal too close to beginning a workout
– Rely too heavily on simple carbs to fuel performance
– Make poor nutritional choices for the sake of gaining calories

Summary

It is now clear that there are many different aspects of nutrition that must be considered when it comes to optimizing gym progress and to generally improve health. Following the guidelines and recommendations outlined in this article will allow you to make substantial changes to your performance and health.



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FITNESS

Causes, Symptoms, Do’s and Dont’s, and Diet Plan

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Fatty liver disease is more common than ever. Most people associate fatty liver with drinking too much alcohol, but this common disease can also occur in people who don’t drink any alcohol at all. It is most common in people over the age of 60, however; it can occur in children and young adults. This form of fatty liver disease is called “Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease” or “NAFLD”.
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (also known as “hepaticsteatosis”) is a build-up of fat in the liver. There are several reasons why someone might develop a fatty liver including over-consumption of sugar, insulin resistance, obesity and genetics. 
Over time, a fatty liver can lead to Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (also called “NASH”). NASH is a more advanced form of fatty liver disease and may lead to ailments like cirrosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer. 
Unfortunately, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease can also lead to chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease. 

Table of Contents

Top Causes of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

There are a whole range of reasons why someone might develop Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Some causes like food intake and nutrition can be controlled; others, like pre-diabetes have a genetic link that may not be as easily controlled and may require medication. 

  • Malnourishment – Malnutrition can cause mitochondrial changes which can lead to NAFLD.
  • Obesity – Similar to malnutrition, overfeeding can cause inflammation which can affect liver function. It was found that the majority of obese adults have some form of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. 
  • Pre-diabetes – Those who have a sensitivity to sugar or are insulin resistant will tend to have more fat and will store more fat in their liver than those who do not have pre-diabetes. 
  • Over-consumption of carbs and sugar – Too much sugar, refined carbs like white flour and soda has been linked to NAFL especially if these types of foods are consumed by insulin resistant individuals. 
  • Poor Gut Health – An imbalance of bacteria in the gut lining could contribute to the development of NAFLD in certain people. 
  • Genetics – Certain cultural groups are more prone to developing fatty liver especially men of Hispanic or African-American descent. 

Symptoms of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

Most people don’t know that they have a fatty liver until the symptoms get more intense. Here are some common, early symptoms of Non-Alcoholic Liver Disease to watch out for: 

  • General fatigue
  • A feeling of fullness in the right side or center of the abdomen
  • A swollen belly
  • Visible, enlarged blood vessels under the skin
  • Reddish palms
  • A yellow tinge to the skin and eyes
  • Elevated liver enzymes

The most common early symptoms of NAFLD is a feeling of tiredness and a slight pain in the right side of the abdomen. If you are experiencing 2 or more of the symptoms listed above, be sure to book an appointment with your doctor 

Symptoms of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatits (NASH)

  • Vomiting 
  • An extreme yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • Moderate/severe pain in the abdomen
  • Loss of hunger

9 Foods To Eat If You Have Fatty Liver

One of the best things you can do if you are experiencing symptoms of fatty liver is to follow a fatty liver diet. To follow this diet, all you have to do is reduce refined carbs and sugar and then replace those foods with more complex carbs like oats, brown rice, quionoa, etc. Most doctors will recommend the Mediterranean diet which is low in refined carbs and high in protein including lean meats like fish and low-fat dairy as well as fresh produce like vegetables and fruit. These types of foods will support your liver and help to prevent NAFLD.

1. Coffee

Coffee

Coffee drinkers with fatty liver disease have been shown to exhibit less damage to their livers over time than those who do not drink coffee. Drinking 1 cup of black coffee per day is a great way to support the health of your liver.

2. Avocado

Avocado is an unsaturated fat and is a great alternative to saturated fat products like butter which should be avoided if you have a fatty liver. It has also been found that avocado contains compounds that can help to heal liver damage associated with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver. 

3. Whey Protein

Whey protein

Drinking a whey protein shake everyday can be a great way to keep your fatty liver under control. In fact, it was found that daily consumption of whey protein reduced the fat in the livers of women with NAFLD by 20%. Remember, excess protein can also cause bloating and is not utilized properly. Consuming a scoop of whey protein as post workout is an ideal way for best assimilation. 

4. Green Tea

The antioxidants in green tea can do wonders for your liver. Special antioxidants such as catechins were found to reduce liver fat as well as inflammation in those with NAFLD. 

5. Olive Oil

Olive oil

It’s important to avoid saturated fat, like the kind you would find in red meat or butter if you suspect you have a fatty liver. Fats like olive oil are unsaturated and are a much better alternative. Aim to consume no more than a 1/4 cup of olive oil per day. 

6. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a great, filling, low-fat breakfast option that contains both fibre and complex carbohydrates, promoting weight-loss in people with NAFLD. Keeping your weight in check is crucial for those who have a fatty liver. Pair your oatmeal with a tablespoon of nut butter like peanut or almond or sliced fruit for a balanced, energizing breakfast. 

7. Tofu

Tofu

The soy protein found in tofu has been found to reduce fat build-up in the liver. Another great benefit to eating tofu is that it is both low in sugar and fat. A must when following a NAFL-friendly diet.

8. Green Vegetables 

Green veggies like broccoli and spinach have been shown to reduce the buildup of fat in the liver. Aim to take in copious amounts of broccoli, spinach, methi, mustard and lettuce each day. Filling your diet with lots of greens is also a great way to keep your weight down which will in turn reduce the extremity of your NAFLD.

9. Milk Thistle

Drinking a cup of milk thistle tea daily has been shown to reduce inflammation and liver damage in patients with NAFLD. 

10. Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli can help increase the liver’s ability to detoxify and help in cleansing.

7 Foods to Avoid on a Fatty Liver Diet

You might assume that “fat” is the biggest culprit in NAFLD but it’s actually sugar and carbs. Though it’s important to avoid saturated fat for overall health and weight loss, reducing carb intake will warrant the biggest improvement in your condition. 

1. Alcohol

One of the most important things to avoid when you have NAFLD is alcohol. Not only can alcohol cause fatty liver disease, but it can make an existing condition much worse. 

2. Sugar 

Any and all sugar should be reduced, this even includes naturally derived sugars like fruit juice and honey. 

3. Refined carbs

say no to refined carbs

White carbs like white bread and pasta should be avoided and replaced with whole grain alternatives like quinoa, whole wheat bread and black bean pasta. 

4. Salt

Try to keep your sodium intake to under 1500 milligrams per day. Too much salt can cause you to hold onto water weight. 

5. Fried foods

No to fried food

Fried foods like french fries, chips, chicken wings and donuts are high in both fat and sugar. These types of foods will cause your blood sugar to rise, which is a contributing factor to NAFLD. 

6. Saturated fat

Any sort of saturated fat including red meat and butter should be avoided and instead replaced with healthy fats like olive, avocado and cold-pressed nut oils. 

7. Poultry

Poultry is not recommended unless it’s a piece of white meat, due to the high fat content in chicken wings and legs. If you choose to eat white chicken meat, make sure the skin and fat has been removed.

Fatty Liver Diet Plan 

Here is what a day of NAFLD-friendly eating might look like:

Breakfast

-1 cup of black coffee

A bowl of oatmeal or other whole-grain hot cereal with walnuts and fruits/berries added.

or

-1 cup of green tea

-1 protein shake made with whey or soy protein, oats, berries and low fat milk.

Lunch

1 or 2 servings of whole grains like chapati/brown rice with 1 cup curd/pulses/50 grams chicken and 2 servings of raw or cooked greens/vegetables. 

Snack

-a small handful of almonds

or

-Curd mint dip and sliced raw veggies

or

-1 sliced green apple with a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter

Dinner

A cup of whole grains like brown rice or jowar/bajra roti with 1 cup of beans/lentils and 2 cups of cooked or raw vegetables. 

Dessert

-1 cup of fresh mixed berries

There are several things you can do to both reduce your risk and control fatty liver disease. 

Exercise

Engaging in daily exercise is a great way to keep your fatty liver under control. Taking part in a combination of cardio and strength training a few times per week has been shown to reduce fat buildup in adults with NAFLD by 10%. High Intensity Interval Training or “HIIT” is the preferred exercise because it combines both cardio and strength training into one, quick routine. A recent study has shown that patients with insulin resistance who partook in HIIT workouts for 12 weeks were found to have reduced their liver fat by 39%. 

It’s also been found that the frequency you exercise is more important than how intense your workouts are. Whether you choose a lighter, cardio based workout or an intense, strengthening one, exercising consistently and often is what appears to be most important. Aim to work out for 30 minutes most days of the week. 4-5 days is a great place to start. 

Get your diabetes under control

We already know that insulin resistance is a precursor to fatty liver disease. If you are unable to control your diabetes through diet and lifestyle alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor about controlling your diabetes with medication. This could be crucial in preventing the occurrence of NAFLD down the road. 

Summary

Fatty Liver Disease can stem from a myriad of issues including poor diet, obesity, pre-diabetes, genetics and poor gut health. Following a Mediterranean-style diet that is high in green vegetables, low-sugar fruits, lean meats and whole grains is key in preventing and healing fatty liver. It is also important to avoid sugar, white carbs, alcohol, salt and saturated fat if you have a fatty liver. Overall, it is very essential that you follow a healthy diet and keep your weight and blood sugar in check so as to keep NAFLD at bay and lead a healthy life.



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A 1-Week, Post-Holiday Workout Plan to Get Back in Shape

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If you took a break from fitness over the holidays, good for you. Working out is great, but so is relaxing, eating cookies, and spending time with friends and family. You’ll come back to your workouts feeling refreshed and ready to crush the new year!

When it is time to hit the gym again, we have some advice: don’t go for your hardest workouts right away. “It’s better to ease in and ramp up” over time, said Lauren Saint-Louis, a Tier 3+ personal trainer at Equinox Bryant Park in New York City. Don’t pressure yourself to lift your max weight, run your fastest mile, or even work out every single day during that first week back. You’ll be more motivated and stay more consistent if you go for less intense, less frequent workouts and gradually work your way back up, Lauren said. “By committing to a little less at first, you’ll accomplish a lot more over time,” she told POPSUGAR.

It also helps to have a plan in place. That’s where we come in! We organised the following get-back-into-fitness workout plan in a strength-strength-cardio-rest format, which Lauren recommended. “This setup allows for just enough recovery, yet not too much where you miss the window of opportunity to challenge yourself and build momentum and progress,” she explained.

We recommended one workout for each day of the week, and sometimes two you can choose between, depending on whether you have access to gym equipment or dumbbells. Whatever workouts you go with, staying positive and patient with yourself is key. When you’re easing back into your workout schedule, Lauren said, “The only expectation to set for yourself is to show up each and every time.”



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Whistleblower alleges Medicare fraud at iconic Seattle-based health plan

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Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected nonprofit health insurance plans, is accused of bilking Medicare out of millions of dollars in a federal whistleblower case.

Teresa Ross, a former medical billing manager at the insurer, alleges that it sought to reverse financial losses in 2010 by claiming some patients were sicker than they were, or by billing for medical conditions that patients didn’t actually have. As a result, the insurer retroactively collected an estimated $8 million from Medicare for 2010 services, according to the suit.

Ross filed suit in federal court in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2012, but it remained under a court seal until July and is in the initial stages. The suit also names as defendants two medical coding consultants, consulting firm DxID of East Rochester, N.Y., and Independent Health Association, an affiliated health plan in Buffalo, N.Y. All denied wrongdoing in separate court motions filed late Wednesday to dismiss the suit.

The Justice Department has thus far declined to take over the case, but said in a June 21 court filing that “an active investigation is ongoing.”

The whistleblower suit is one of at least 18 such cases documented by KHN that accuse Medicare Advantage managed-care plans of ripping off the government by exaggerating how sick its patients were. The whistleblower cases have emerged as a primary tool for clawing back overpayments. While many of the cases are pending in courts, five have recovered a total of nearly $360 million.

“The fraudulent practices described in this complaint are a product of the belief, common among MA organizations, that the law can be violated without meaningful consequence,” Ross alleges.

Medicare Advantage plans are a privately run alternative to traditional Medicare that often offer extra benefits such as dental and vision coverage, but limit choice of medical providers. They have exploded in popularity in recent years, enrolling more than 22 million people, just over 1 in 3 of those eligible for Medicare.

Word of another whistleblower alleging Medicare Advantage billing fraud comes as the White House is pushing to expand enrollment in the plans. On Oct. 3, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that permits the plans to offer a range of new benefits to attract patients. One, for instance, is partly covering the cost of Apple Watches as an inducement.

Group Health opened for business more than seven decades ago and was among the first managed-care plans to contract with Medicare. Formed by a coalition of unions, farmers and local activists, the HMO grew from just a few hundred families to more than 600,000 patients before its members agreed to join California-based Kaiser Permanente. That happened in early 2017, and the plan is now called Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington. (Kaiser Health News is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.)

In an emailed statement, a Kaiser Permanente spokesperson said: “We believe that Group Health complied with the law by submitting its data in good faith, relying on the recommendations of the vendor as well as communications with the federal government, which has not intervened in the case at this time.”

Ross nods to the plan’s history, saying it has “traditionally catered to the public interest, often highlighting its efforts to support low-income patients and provide affordable, quality care.”

The insurer’s Medicare Advantage plans “have also traditionally been well regarded, receiving accolades from industry groups and Medicare itself,” according to the suit.

But Ross, who worked at Group Health for more than 14 years in jobs involving billing and coding, said that from 2008 through 2010 GHC “went from an operating income of almost $57 million to an operating loss of $60 million. Ross said the losses were “due largely to poor business decisions by company management.”

The lawsuit alleges that the insurer manipulated a Medicare billing formula known as a risk score. The formula is supposed to pay health plans higher rates for sicker patients, but Medicare estimates that overpayments triggered by inflated risk scores have cost taxpayers $30 billion over the past three years alone.

According to Ross, a GHC executive attended a meeting of the Alliance of Community Health Plans in 2011 where he heard from a colleague at Independent Health about an “exciting opportunity” to increase risk scores and revenue. The colleague said Independent Health “had made a lot of money” using its consulting company, which specializes in combing patient charts to find overlooked diseases that health plans can bill for retroactively.

In November 2011, Group Health hired the East Rochester firm DxID to review medical charts for 2010. The review resulted in $12 million in new claims, according to the suit. Under the deal, DxID took a percentage of the claims revenue it generated, which came to about $1.5 million that year, the suit says.

Ross said she and a doctor who later reviewed the charts found “systematic” problems with the firm’s coding practices. In one case, the plan billed for “major depression” in a patient described by his doctor as having an “amazingly sunny disposition.” Overall, about three-quarters of its claims for higher charges in 2010 were not justified, according to the suit. Ross estimated that the consultants submitted some $35 million in new claims to Medicare on behalf of GHC for 2010 and 2011.

In its motion to dismiss Ross’ case, GHC called the matter a “difference of opinion between her allegedly ‘conservative’ method for evaluating the underlying documentation for certain medical conditions and her perception of an ‘aggressive’ approach taken by Defendants.”

Independent Health and the DxID consultants took a similar position in their court motion, arguing that Ross “seeks to manufacture a fraud case out of an honest disagreement about the meaning and applicability of unclear, complex, and often conflicting industry-wide coding criteria.”

In a statement, Independent Health spokesman Frank Sava added: “We believe the coding policies being challenged here were lawful and proper and all parties were paid appropriately.

Whistleblowers sue on behalf of the federal government and can share in any money recovered. Typically, the cases remain under a court seal for years while the Justice Department investigates.

Photo: Feodora Chiosea, Getty Images

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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Tips, Diet Plan & Foods to Eat

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Women, new to motherhood, are often taken aback by how insurmountable a task post pregnancy weight loss seems to be. Postpartum weight gain is a common phenomenon experienced by most mothers. If you are struggling to shed off your extra pounds after childbirth, don’t worry – you are not the only one.

Weight gain after pregnancy can be scientifically explained and should not be a cause of concern. This article will discuss what makes you gain weight after pregnancy, how to lose weight after pregnancy naturally, the average time taken to lose the baby weight, post pregnancy weight loss diet you can follow and food you should and should not eat to accelerate your post-pregnancy weight loss.

New mothers despair for their pre-pregnancy body and feel ashamed about all the weight they gain during and after pregnancy. Post-pregnancy weight gain is extremely natural and nothing to be ashamed of. The weight will go away as naturally as you had put it on. All you need to do is practice a few healthy lifestyle habits and understand the rhythm in which your body works. Any kind of weight loss needs you to cultivate a positive mindset and trust your efforts.

If you are motivated to lose your pregnancy weight, you need to follow your post pregnancy weight loss diet, eat the types of food recommended and leave out the ones inadvisable for mothers looking to lose weight. You will also need to maintain healthy activity levels. Going to a gym is not necessary, taking your child out for a walk in the stroller around your neighbourhood a couple of times will burn you a good deal of calories. Inculcating healthy routines such as getting adequate sleep, eating your meals on time and drinking the recommended amount of water for your body type will also go a long way in aiding your post-pregnancy weight loss.

So, without further ado, let’s jump right into why you gain all this extra weight after your pregnancy and how you can work to get rid of the same.

Table of Contents

Post pregnancy weight gain

Post pregnancy weight gain results from multiple factors. Our appetite increases when we are pregnant, due to the pregnancy hormone HCG entering our bloodstream, from the placenta. The HCG hormone regulates our digestion, metabolism, energy and nutrition distribution during pregnancy. We begin eating for two, but may not show excess weight gain in our bodily appearance as the fat and energy derived from the food we eat is first directed to our baby, and then to us. In fact, women are recommended to weigh a couple pounds extra during their pregnancy, as compared to their pre-pregnancy weight. The weight that we gain stays on with us, even post-childbirth. It is a mistaken assumption that this weight will fall off naturally or through breastfeeding.

On top of that, new mothers have to deal with stress, depression and in some cases, thyroid. Stress experienced by new mothers who now have their child to take care of releases cortisol into their bodies. Cortisol increases appetite and encourages fat storage in the lower abdominal area. Many mothers experience postpartum depression after pregnancy which inclines them to “eat their feelings”, causing further weight gain.

Sometimes, women experience symptoms of thyroid after undergoing childbirth. An under active thyroid can also worsen post pregnancy weight loss plans.

Tips to lose post pregnancy weight

Discussed below are a handful of tips on how to lose weight after pregnancy naturally

Drink plenty of water

Keeping yourself hydrated is good for your body in several ways. For one, it helps boost your metabolism. It also helps control your appetite by making you feel full. You don’t need to follow the stipulated water intake advisable for your BMI from the get-go, simply keep a watch over the transparency of your urine. If your urine isn’t clear, you will need to up your water intake, and if it comes out clear, you can rest assured that you are drinking an adequate amount of water.Drink plenty of water

Exercise

You can follow a post pregnancy weight loss diet plan for post pregnancy weight loss. However, in most cases, following a post pregnancy weight loss diet won’t be enough to deliver the weight loss results you want. If you want to enjoy rapid weight loss after pregnancy, you have to include an exercise routine as part of your post pregnancy weight loss plan. Think of incorporating a weight training or aerobic workout to burn those calories and strengthen your muscles and bones. New mothers should try and keep time aside to exercise in their daily routines- not just for post pregnancy weight loss, it has numerous other benefits to offer. It can help them relieve the stress they are experiencing with a new baby in the house, perk up their mood and improve their sleep quality.

Don’t compromise on sleep

Now, this might seem like a tricky prospect with a toddler hankering for your attention 24/7, but lack of sleep can really affect your post pregnancy weight loss plans. When you are sleep-deprived, you tend to make unhealthy lifestyle choices like binge eating and drinking, which do nothing to help you lose weight. If you are exhausted throughout the day because you didn’t get ample sleep during the night, your body will release the cortisol hormone, which will aggravate your hunger pangs.

Have realistic expectations

Yes, celebrity post pregnancy weight loss stories may have you believe that you can go back to your pre-pregnancy body in a couple of months, but these stories are often not 100% true.
Even if they are – don’t forget they have an entire team working for them, charting out their post pregnancy weight loss journey. Research has found that the average time to lose baby weight can exceed a year. It could take a year or two for you to return to your pre-pregnancy body, if at all.

Keep healthy snacks close at hand

Breastfeeding mothers are subject to sudden hunger and spikes in their appetite. If not handled well, these hunger spikes could lead to weight gain. Instead, if you stock up on fruits, sprouts, vegetables, nuts and yoghurt to feed on, when hungry – you could help bring down the average time to lose the baby weight, in your case.

Join a post-pregnancy weight loss support group

Group-based weight loss can help keep you motivated on your post pregnancy weight loss journey.

Post-pregnancy diet plan

Your post pregnancy weight loss diet should never be a crash diet. You should be looking to lose your pregnancy weight gradually and effectively with a reliable post pregnancy weight loss diet plan. Women need between 1500-2200 calories daily to maintain regular bodily function. If you are breastfeeding, you should consume a minimum of 1800 calories, for the proper nourishment of both you and your body.

Aim to lose approximately 1.5 pounds on a weekly basis; you don’t want extremely rapid weight loss after pregnancy. If you lose weight too rapidly after your pregnancy, your body can release toxins into your blood contaminating your breast milk, which could prove severely harmful for the nursing child. If you’ve been consuming calories above the bare minimum, try to cut down 500 calories daily from your diet. You could do this by either eating smaller portions or increasing your activity levels.

Most post pregnancy weight loss diet plans advice new mothers to eat 5-6 small meals in a day interspersed with healthy snacks. They also ask women to try to avoid skipping meals, as this does more harm than good, and they end up eating in excess at other meals. Never miss breakfast, especially when you’re following a post pregnancy weight loss diet plan. It will keep you from feeling an energy lag later in the day and help you get your daily tasks done in a more focused manner.

Foods to eat

After you’ve made up your mind to get started on your post pregnancy weight loss diet plan, make sure that you are eating the right food products in alignment with your goal. The following food products will help you:

Fiber

Food rich in fiber improves your digestive health. Consuming soluble fiber keeps your hunger hormones in check and helps you eat less as a result.

Protein

Lean meat, eggs, fish, dairy and other sources of healthy protein can boost your metabolism and bring down your calorie intake by decreasing your appetite.Eat protein rich foods

Complex carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates provide you with energy all around the day, as they take longer to break down.

Unsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats

Don’t stop consuming fat completely in a bid to lose weight post-pregnancy. Instead, eat food rich in unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which keep your body healthy and improve cardiac function.

Foods to avoid

There are certain food items you must avoid if you want to succeed in your post pregnancy weight loss. These are:

Food with added sugar and/or refined carbohydrates

Food rich in sugar and refined carbs have low nutrient value and yet, are high in calories. Consuming food with high calorific value and low nutrient value can increase your weight, up your risk of developing heart health issues, cancer and diabetes. Try to steer clear of fizzy and sugary drinks and other such processed food variants such as packaged biscuits, cakes and the like. Opt for whole foods instead. If you must consume something sweet, go for desserts from an organic bakery as opposed to processed and packaged cookies.

Processed food products

As already discussed, processed food is unhealthy for you. Fast food and pre-packed food are examples of processed food, high in sugar, unhealthy fat, calories and salt. All of these are detrimental to your weight loss efforts. Try to consume nutrient-dense, fresh whole foods like fruits and vegetables instead.

Alcohol

Alcohol is calorie-dense, but it provides no nutrition. Alcohol consumption also leads to belly fat. Not only does it counteract your postpartum weight loss attempts, but it can also be unhealthy for your baby. Minimal amounts of alcohol can be passed over to your child via your breast milk. Alcohol consumption can also temporarily reduce your breast milk volume. Not to mention, the dependency you might develop which would interfere with your regular sleep quality.Say no to alcohol for post pregnancy weight loss

Summary

Hopefully, our article helped you in understanding how to lose weight after pregnancy naturally. To conclude, we will try to comprehend the average time to lose the baby weight by a new mother. It is generally recommended that mothers don’t weigh themselves at least until two weeks after pregnancy. Even then, measuring waist size is probably a better idea as their weight won’t be reflective of their body fat only.

Mothers on a post-pregnancy weight loss diet plan may begin to show results of their weight loss efforts from the first month after conceiving itself. Women are medically advised to gain 25-30 pounds during their pregnancy to be able to amply nourish their baby. Some mothers can lose up to 20 pounds in the first month itself, meaning, they may already be back to their pre-baby body.

Six weeks from your date of conception, you will notice that your belly now looks flatter and smaller. If you have been successful in sticking to your postpartum weight loss endeavours, you will most likely have returned to your original weight before pregnancy, a couple of months post it. Generally, nine months is the average time to lose baby weight, unless you had gained extra weight during your pregnancy. However, this is no blanket rule. Every woman loses their post-pregnancy weight on their own time, depending on the diet they are eating and the amount of exercise they are getting daily.

Don’t give in to fad diets hoping for rapid weight loss after pregnancy; it will harm you and your baby. Eat a healthy diet rich in proteins, complex carbs and fiber, drink enough water and get some much-needed rest and the occasional exercise, besides running after your child and you should be good. You will have lost all the excess weight giving you grief in no time at all.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How long does it usually take to lose weight after having a baby?

A: It depends on the weight gain. Woman can aim to lose 2 kg per month post pregnancy.

Q. Is it harder to lose weight after second baby?

A: No, not at all. If you maintain your lifestyle balance which includes your diet, physical activity, sleep and water intake, you can easily lose weight and stay healthy.

Q. How do you lose belly fat while breastfeeding?

A: Breast feeding itself is an extensive activity which burns many calories, especially if you feed in sitting position. Along with this, if you eat a well balanced diet rich in protein and fiber, eat small and frequent meals, take minimum 10-12 glasses of water, maintain some regular physical activity like walking, etc. then you can easily lose belly fat.

Q. Why have I gained weight after pregnancy?

A: There are several reasons why women gain weight post pregnancy
1. Erratic and irregular eating pattern, and long gaps between each meal.
2. It’s important to eat calorie rich food to meet lactation needs, but it is required to get calories from protein, fiber, complex  carbohydrates and good fat sources. Most people tend to focus on eating simple carbs and fats like panjeeris, oily fried foods, sweets, desserts,  cereals , refined products etc. 
3. Less intake of water
4. Poor sleeping pattern
5. Lack of activity



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Insurers Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan to merge

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Two major Boston-area nonprofit insurers Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan plan to merge to create a regional powerhouse that would serve nearly 2.4 million members in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

The combined organization will offer employer-sponsored plans, Medicare and Medicaid plans, individual marketplace plans and dual-eligible plans and position the companies to better compete with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the state’s largest insurer.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The two health plans tout their ability to better serve members by improving affordability by increasing scale efficiencies, broadening the organization’s geographic reach and population health capabilities and boosting

Tufts Health Plan CEO Tom Croswell will serve as the CEO of the still-unnamed combination. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care CEO Michael Carson will serve as president where he will be charged with overseeing the organization’s subsidiaries.

“Our communities and consumers today face four major hurdles in health care:  affordability, access, quality of health and a fragmented health care experience across various stakeholders and health systems,” Croswell said in a statement.

“Through our shared vision, we believe we can tackle these issues and bring more value to the communities we serve.”

Joyce Murphy, who currently chairs the board of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, will be the chair of the new company.

“Through the combination of two strong organizations with a commitment to non-profit health care in New England, we will be able to provide even greater value to consumers, as well as improve access to care throughout the region,” Murphy said in a statement.

The agreement has been unanimously approved by the board of both organizations, but will still need to garner authorization by local and federal regulators.

The company initially explored a merger back in 2011, but called it off because of what they cited was a lack of compatibility.

Photo: mediaphotos, Getty Images

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