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Back when I was growing up, my parents used to caution us against drinking cold water. They said it wasn’t good for the health. But it tasted so good and it was available. Why shouldn’t we drink it? What was wrong with cold water?

I’m sure you too may have had the same debate as to whether cold water was really bad for the body. Everybody seems to have a different opinion about the issue.

And in today’s article, you will find out if cold water is good or bad, plus get some other interesting ideas about the nature (hotness or coldness) of the water you should drink.

hot and cold water

First of all, you have to understand that water is life. We need it to quench thirst, balance our body systems, and carry out many body functions. An average adult human body is made up of 50 – 65% water. Most of these water is found in the body cells, and they serve as the building block of body cells. Water is also good for the body, as it is used to flush waste and toxins from the body, help the brain to function better, lubricate the joints, metabolize foods, and many other functions.

So it is very clear that water is crucial to the proper functioning of the body. And if you are looking to maintain a good weight and have a good, clear skin, you should be drinking a lot of water. Now, I’ll list out the benefits of drinking cold and warm water, and we will compare them and be able to make some informed decision. Now, let’s consider the health benefits of drinking cold water

Burns calories and assists in weight loss

According to studies, drinking half a liter of water can help you burn about 17 calories. This is nothing to write home about when you consider the fact that you can burn up to 70 calories by taking a 15-minute walk. But those 17 calories can add up if you are consistent. Taking a cold shower can also increase your metabolism by up to 550%.

Re-hydrates the body properly after exercise

When you exercise, your temperature rises beyond normal, and you sweat to cool down. The sweating process makes the body lose a lot of water and essential electrolytes. Cold water is a good source for replenishing those electrolytes as it cools you down faster and keeps you at an optimal temperature for a longer period.

Good for feverish conditions

When you have a fever, your body works extra hard to get rid of the disease causing agents. Cold water will cool you down to an appreciable body temperature and help the body to recover. For better effect, when you have a fever, squeeze some fresh lemon and add a pinch of salt to help replenish lost electrolytes.

Good when the weather is hot

Just as it helps during fever, cold water is also good when the temperature is high. At those times when the sun is scorching like it wants to burn your skin, what does your body do? It craves very cold ice water. There couldn’t be a better time to indulge.

Now, for the health benefits of drinking warm water

Good for digestion

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda therapy, a glass of warm water, early in the morning will activate the digestive system, and help to avoid indigestion. It also stimulates blood flow to the intestines and helps to prevent constipation.

Detoxifies the body

Warm water is effective in helping the body to get rid of toxins. A glass of  warm lemon water will also help prevent pimples and skin problems.

Relieves nasal congestion

If you are suffering from nose and throat congestion, taking warm water will help to bring out the phlegm from the respiratory tract.

Relieves pain

For a headache, inflammation, menstrual pain, and joint pain, warm water is a good therapy for increasing flood flow to the body tissues.

From the above, you can now see that drinking cold or warm water is good for the body, but you have to drink either of them at the right time.

Best times to drink cold or warm water

A simple rule for cold water is not to drink it when you are eating. If you drink cold water with your meal, your body has to spend a lot of energy to raise its temperature. This can slow down the digestion process and can cause indigestion.

And you must avoid cold water especially when you eat oily and fatty foods, as the cold water will solidify the food and cause some other problems.

When fats and oil are not digested properly, they form bad cholesterols and clog the arteries and capillaries. This can lead to a narrowing of the walls of these vessels and put undue pressure on the heart to overwork to pump blood through the vessels.

So, it is advisable to take warm or room temperature water (or tea) to help the oil and fat in your food dissolve and digest quickly. This will prevent clogged arteries and save you from hypertension and other heart-related problems.

For cold water, the best times would be during exercise, when the sun is very hot and your body craves something cold, and when the temperature is unbearable. At these and similar times, a cold drink of water helps your body cool down quickly to normal body temperature, and replace lost fluids and electrolytes. You can also drink cold water at any other time, provided you are taking it with some oily dishes.

Bonus tip:

Besides drinking, warm or cold water can be applied on the body to aid in some functions.

If you desire smooth and good looking skin, always bath with cold water. Cold water gives the skin a healthy glow as it encourages blood to flow to the surface of the skin. It is also good for women to wash their hair with cold water, as it strengthens the hair.

If you want to get rid of pimples, blackheads, and blemishes, warm water is best as it has the power to pull oil from the skin.

You may also want to pay attention to your body and give it what it wants. If your teeth and respiratory system are sensitive to extremely cold water, it is good to dilute the water to an acceptable level to your body so that you enjoy it without adverse effect on your health.

In general, water is good, so drink plenty of it, enough to always eliminate the colour in your urine. And use plenty on your body too. But use the right kind of water for better results.

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lemon

If you are interested in improving your overall health – looks, body systems, and psyche, this article will reveal one simple thing that you can do every morning so that you save money in maintaining your health and looks. There are so many unhealthy (from soft to high energy) drinks being peddled every day and presented as the solution to giving you fluid nutrients, but watch it, they steal your money, health, and your time. The very things they are supposed to provide.

And so today we are going to say no to all of those unhealthy drinks and beverages and try out this amazing natural wonder drink. It is cheap and comes packed with so many nutrients and benefits.

That wonder drink is lemon water

Lemons are a very good source of Vitamin C, a soluble vitamin that plays an active role in maintaining the connective tissues in the body. Vitamin C is a very good antioxidant – meaning that it slows down the rate of the effect of pollutants on the body systems. Plus, a good dose of Vitamin C can help the body to prevent or eliminate more than 120 different types of illnesses.

Unfortunately, the body does not produce Vitamin C, and we have to source them from foods like lemon. And to ensure you keep getting a good and healthy dose of Vitamin C, you need to incorporate this lemon water therapy to your routine. Because you get to get the combined benefits of vitamin C and water (an excellent drink for weight loss), and just wait until I list them out.

lemon juice

1. Helps in digestion and detoxification

When you combine lemon with water, a new compound is formed which helps the liver to produce more bile to keep food moving through the gastrointestinal tract. It also helps to relieve indigestion and calm the stomach.

Another good benefit as far as digestion is concerned, is that lemon water encourages the body to process and absorb nutrients from food slowly. This helps to maintain insulin levels and make for proper nutrient assimilation. Another benefit is that the liver is stimulated to flush out toxins from the body and skin.

2. Revives and heals the skin

For some reasons, the antioxidants in vitamin C function better when they combine with water. If you have heard about free radicals, they damage the body cells, cause diseases, and speed up aging. Lemon water corrects these damages.

It also helps the body to produce collagen, the essential nutrient that makes the skin soft and supple, and free from wrinkles and lines in the face.

3. Boosts energy and enhances mood

If you are used to waking up and feeling heavy, tired, and jaded, lemon water can help cleanse your body so that you can start your day with a clear and active mind. Instead of settling for coffee or any of those drinks to help you regain strength and focus, lemon water will hydrate and oxygenate your body with clean energy.

When we consume foods and drinks, they provide some electrically charged molecules that provide energy. There are both positive and negative types of energy that are gotten from foods. Lemon is one of those foods with the best energizing properties.

lemon water2

 

For more benefits, lemon water:

4. Contains high mineral contents that alkalize the body and balances it to reduce the rate of acidity. When the body gets too acidic, we get sick.

5. Contains Limonoid glucosides, an essential compound that naturally fights cancer cells in the body.

6. Contains good antibacterial properties that are effective against throat infections. If you have sore throat, simply make a warm lemon drink and sip it every couple of hours.

7. Is a good weight loss companion. As you embark on your weight loss routine – exercising, dieting, and anything else – incorporate lemon water, and you will feel better and achieve better results.

8. Studies reveal that taking lemon water first thing in the morning can reduce bad breath and body odour over time.

9. Is good for the muscle and joints, especially for when you overwork yourself.

10. Boosts the immune system. As you already know, it contains lots of Vitamin C, which is good against most diseased conditions, and some other essential compounds that protect the body.

Plus several other benefits.

So, how do you get the most from lemon and water?

Simple.

Go to the market, buy some lemons, wash them very well and put them in your refrigerator or store them properly.

Every morning, take one ball, cut it into 2 halves, grab a glass of water and squeeze the juice into the glass.

Drink your lemon water gently and slowly at least 10 – 30 minutes before your breakfast.

If you have the time, you can slice it and drop into a glass and leave it for some time to get the juice into the water. You can also use warm or hot water.

Bonus tip:

Depending on where you live, lemon may be a bit expensive for you. What I do, is go to the part of town where they deliver and sell fruits straight from the farms. Most of the sellers that sell around would normally go there to buy.

If you visit any of these markets in your town, you will buy lemon cheaply. Start drinking lemon water every morning, and you will start getting a glowing freshness that can see you through the day.

 

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water for weight lossIt can be hard and frustrating when you really want to lose weight and look fit and trim, but your efforts don’t seem to yield positive results. Not because you are not putting in your best, but because the demands, exercising, dieting and all just seem to be too much work.

In this article, I am going to share a few foods and drinks that you can concentrate on if you want to lose weight naturally. They are easy to source and incorporate in your diet regimen. All you have to do is eat and drink more of them.

Water

Although many people don’t embrace it, water is one of essential recipes to losing weight naturally. And if you ask where you should start, the best answers is: Start drinking more water. When you drink water, it increases the amount of calories that you burn.

This state (of increased calorie burning) is known as resting energy expenditure, and it increases by 24 to 30% within 10 minutes of drinking water and lasts for at least 60 minutes. And if you want to achieve better results, drink a glass of water before every meal.

And if you find it hard to drink water, like someone once told me, you should start by drinking fruit infused water. This is where you get a glass of water and chop up some fruits into the water for flavouring. It does not add any calories to water and you can enjoy your water with some taste.

Common recipes are slices of lemon inside your glass of water. Scrub and wash the skin of the lemon very well, slice it with the skin and drop into your glass. You can also combine cucumber and lemon. Pineapple and mango are also good. Another recipe is pineapple and ginger. Wash and peel the pineapple and ginger, slice them and drop into your glass. You can also try any combination of fruits. Super effective weight loss therapy.

Green tea

green tea

Any kind of tea is good, as they contain antioxidants that work to protect the body from pollution. But of all the teas, the green tea is the most renowned for helping in weight loss. Because it is processed very differently and made to retain most of its essential nutrients as compared to black and oolong tea.

Green tea is rich in healthy caffeine and catechins, the two primary compounds that combine to boost the metabolic rate and increase energy expenditure (by 4%) and fat oxidation (by 17%), according to some studies.

Eggs

eggs

A study was conducted recently at the Rochester Center for Obesity in America, where some women were asked to include 2 eggs in their breakfast. Another group of women was asked to eat the same amount of calories and almost identical levels of protein (without eggs). The results revealed that the group that ate eggs for breakfast felt less hungry and ate a smaller lunch.

And 36 hours later, the women that ate eggs for breakfast consumed 417 calories less that the other non-egg eating group. Eggs contain many essential nutrients including protein, zinc, iron and vitamins A, D, E and B12, but contain just 85 calories each. Thus, they are very good for weight loss. Eat at least 2 at breakfast and avoid frying them so you don’t increase the calorie content.

Nuts

peanuts

Although nuts are packed full of fat, they contain healthy nutrients that help in weight loss. Yes, they contain fat, but these fat are high in fiber and phytochemical, and are also good for the heart. When you eat nuts, you get full quickly and stay full for a few hours or more, thus helping you consume fewer calories.

And according to studies, eating peanuts for 19 weeks can increase your resting energy expenditure by 11%. Munch on them in-between meals or add them to your meals, nuts are very good for weight loss and optimal health.

Watermelon

watermelon

Watermelon is rich in arginine, an amino acid which helps burn fat. It contains 92% water, which is what the body really needs, vitamins A and C (good oxidants), and B6 which is essential for energy production and stabilizing blood sugar.

It is a very good food for weight loss as it has a low calorie content. Meaning that you can eat as much as you want, and still stay within a healthy calorie limit.

Coconut oil

coconut oil

The weight loss benefits of coconut oil was outlined by a research study that was conducted at the University of Geneva. They fed some young men between one to two tablespoons of coconut oil and observed them experience an increase in energy expenditure by 5% and losing (or not consuming) a total of 120 calories per day.

Coconut oil helps keep the blood sugar level steady, so that your body avoids the spikes and dips that can make you prone to eating junk foods. For best effect, consume between 1 – 2 tablespoon of coconut oil twenty minutes before meal time. It will significantly reduce your appetite so you don’t have to eat much and consume excess calories.

Bonus Tip:

Rest energy expenditure, REE, refers to the calories you burn when you are resting. If you can concentrate on increasing your expenditure daily, by eating and drinking these and similar foods and drinks, you are sure to lose weight naturally without having to exercise frequently.

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weight_loss_scale

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be able to eat almost anything they like, and never have to worry about belly fat or fat around their hips and thighs? Are they exceptionally blessed, or do they secretly do something to keep the fat away? If they are secretly doing something, wouldn’t you want to know about it so you can also get that toned body you truly desire?

Actually, some people are born with a genetic makeup that helps them burn fat quickly. They have a high metabolism (the chemical processes that convert food into energy.) Thus, they can eat whatever they like and never grow fat. For the rest of us (a good MAJORITY of us,) access to information (and more importantly, application) like this can make the difference between burning fat effortlessly and struggling to keep fit.

Armed with this information, you can choose to lower your metabolism, or make a conscious decision to force your metabolism to function at optimum capacity. And today you are going to learn one of the most factors that can lead to a sustained increase in metabolism.

Hormonal imbalance

A prolonged state of hormonal imbalance is one of the reasons why you have accumulated body fat that is difficult to control. Hormones, by the way, are chemical substances produced (by cells or glands in the body) and sent out to stimulate or help control how the cells and organs of the other body parts work. Hormones can have a wide range of effects on the body. Like causing mood swings, regulating the metabolism, controlling the reproductive cycle, inducing hunger and cravings, and stimulating or inhibiting growth, as in the case of childbirth or menopause.

Today we are concerned with the hormones that play an important role in the determination of the metabolism. And the good news is that, unlike some other hormones, you can directly control the hormones that make you fat.

Insulin

The job of insulin in the body is to signal the fat cells in the body to clean up the excess glucose (or blood sugar) in the blood, convert it into fat, and store it for future energy needs. So, anytime you eat, insulin is produced by the pancreas in response to your rising blood sugar. The amount of insulin generated is dependent on what you eat and how much you eat.

If your diet is high in simple carbohydrates (like table sugar, cakes and white flour products, fruit juices, soft drinks, rice, potato, and bread,) this means that you are dumping large amounts of glucose into your bloodstream. All the excess sugar is thus collected and stored away, making the person get fatter. As the years go by, the body gets used to high insulin signals and the accumulation of blood sugar.

And the problem is that the more you put sugar in your bloodstream, the harder the pancreas needs to work to pump out enough insulin to mop up the excess glucose. What happens when you constantly load your system with carbohydrates (simple carbohydrates especially) is that the fat cells begin to ignore the insulin, and the body would need even more insulin to keep removing the sugar from the blood. This leads to a state of insulin resistance by the cells, and can lead to diabetes and some chronic illnesses.

insulin-and-glucagon

Glucagon

While all of this is going on, the body’s glucagon level drops. Glucagon is the hormone that does the exact opposite of what insulin does. It encourages fat the cells to give up their fat and produce energy (instead of storing them.) And this is what you want to achieve as you seek to lose weight. Just remember that if your insulin level is high, glucagon is underproduced.

So, to maintain a balance, promote health, and make for natural fat-burning, you have to avoid eating lots of carbohydrates (mostly simple carbohydrates.) This will make you retain maximum sensitivity to insulin production, and help maintain the right glucagon levels that help you burn fat.

The bottom line is that, when you consume too many simple sugars, you literally switch off your body’s fat-burning mechanism. Continue in this trend, and you could develop insulin resistance and weaken your ability to burn fat. And to get things back to normal, you have to cut down on the simple carbohydrates and allow your body to rebalance itself. When this happens, you increase your metabolism and burn fat naturally.

Cortisol

Cortisol is another of the hormone that you want to keep under control if you wish to keep your metabolism high. Cortisol is also called the stress hormone because it is released into the bloodstream when you are feeling stressed. It’s job, just like insulin is to instruct the fat cells to store fat. Interestingly, the instructions have more effect on the fat cells found in the abdomen.

This means that raised cortisol levels may be one of the major contributing factors to increased belly fat. But more worrisome is its effect on overall health. Cortisol promotes the accumulation of fat in the liver and this is one of the reasons responsible for insulin resistance.

cortisol-level

Another downside to cortisol production is that it inhibits the production of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a naturally occurring chemical in the brain, that is partly responsible for regulating brain functions like appetite, the mood, sleep, and memory. When you are stressed, your serotonin levels drop, while cortisol level increases, making you crave sugary foods to relax you and make you content. Unfortunately, these foods only increase blood sugar and insulin.

The best way to escape this cycle is to manage the stress in your life. Stress comes in many forms (emotional stress, family stress, social stress, change stress, chemical stress, environmental stress, etc.) and you want to avoid as much of them as possible. Stress management is one important factor when trying to control body fat. If you can’t get a hold on stress, the hormones get skewed, resulting to excess fat accumulation.

Another way to combat cortisol accumulation is to boost your testosterone (an important hormone that does so many good things, including turning fat into muscle, and helping us to positively handle stress) by exercising regularly. When you do strenuous exercise, you reduce the production of cortisol and encourage muscle tissue production. This helps to block the storage of fat and encourage fat burning. In fact, excessive cortisol levels can promote the breakdown of muscle tissue. So it’s one against the other, and you want to engage in activities that keep your cortisol level as low as possible.

In summary, hormones play a major role in weight regulation. Insulin needs to kept at a steady level by reducing consumption of simple carbohydrates. This increases glucagon levels and results in fat-burning. At the same token, reduce stress in your life, and exercise regularly to reduce cortisol and increase muscle formation. These simple changes balance the hormones and increase metabolism. Our weight management program, clean 9 offers one of best ways to balance the hormones and set the foundation for effective weight loss and healthy living.

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morning breakfast woman

Before I dive into this article, I want to reiterate the importance of food and eating when you are looking to burn fat, the healthy and smart way. When you eat less or starve yourself in a bid to lose weight, your body adapts by becoming amazingly good at making the most of whatever food it receives. It holds on tightly to stored fat and begins breaking down muscles to get needed energy.

This loss of muscle mass slows down your metabolism and makes it difficult to lose weight (because, the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn naturally even when you are not active.) Also, when you restrict food intake, you become irritable, uncomfortable and stressed-up. This kind of stress can cause a rise in cortisol and increase the rate at which you store visceral fat.

I’m sure you are familiar with our regular eating pattern. You are expected to eat 3 times a day. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Now, I’m asking that you eat more times because, when you eat more times, it gives your body the opportunity to absorb nutrients more efficiently.

If you are used to eating at regular intervals, you must have noticed that you always get hungry at about the same time of the day, irrespective of whether the previous meal was light or heavy. What happens is that the body is sensitive to routines, and also, it can only handle as much food at one sitting and eliminate or store the excess nutrients.

And according to nutritional experts, when you eat the same amount of calories and spread them (in smaller, manageable portions for the body) throughout the day, it raises the body’s ability to digest, absorb, and dispose of the ingested nutrients. This process of making the body get used to smaller, manageable portions can result in having as much as 10% more calories being burned.

These facts are backed by practical case studies where people who eat 6 times daily show considerably lower levels of low-density-lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol that blocks the arteries) as opposed to people that eat 3 times.

Additionally, people that eat more than 3 times (in small portions) have more stable carbohydrate and fat oxidization levels and thus, less prone to getting fat. Even Hollywood actress Jennifer Aniston (at 47 and looking much younger) attributes her slim body figure to eating small portions regularly during the day, rather than larger meals at traditional times. She says she survives on five meals a day.

jennifer aniston

Another benefit of this eating pattern is that it prevents long stretches of starvation. What most people do (due to being busy or just wanting to “lose weight”) is that they take breakfast and eat nothing until dinner. At dinner, they unconsciously eat more to make up for the time that they went without food. This is a bad eating habit that only makes the metabolism to under-function (and slow down the fat burning process.)

The key to eating 6 times a day

When we recommend eating 6 times in a day, you want to make sure you continue to give your body “small, manageable portions of nutrients.” The key is to eat 6 small meals, instead of 3 large ones. What I used to do when I started applying this formula was to use smaller plates when I want to eat. The plate gets full quicker and I would discipline myself not to go for another portion. If you do this over time, you will get used to the 6-meals-a-day strategy and discipline yourself to consume only food that your body needs to the moment.

Whether you return to the 3-meals-a-day (if you do, I recommend you take healthy snacks in-between meals to maintain your metabolism) routine, the most important thing is that you get used to consuming only “small, manageable portions of nutrients,” which is what your body really needs. At first, you may have a hard time adjusting to this routine. You may keep feeling hungry in-between meals because you may be used to consuming enormous meals. But, you don’t have to worry. Try drinking plenty of water, and with time your stomach muscle will build up and adjust accordingly.

In summary, make sure you begin your day with a well-balanced breakfast that energizes you and kick-starts your metabolism for the day (after going for about 12 hours through the night without food. Remember that food is good for your body.) Keep this metabolism active by introducing food to your body throughout the day (like Jennifer Aniston does) in small, manageable portions. And ensure your meals are balanced, with a good measure of water that keeps you hydrated and at optimal capacity to naturally burn fat. If you think her 47-year-old, well-toned body is impossible to achieve, see what Nigerian women are achieving with very little effort.

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