Punny titles aside, the November 2010 issue of Men’s Health Magazine (the issue with True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten on the cover) teaches us that it is much healthier to drink orange juice that has pulp in it than juice that does not. In responding to a reader-asked question on the topic, Men’s Health tells us that those tiny bits of fruit flesh do more than just add texture – they’re packed with disease-fighting phytonutrients. Specifically, juice with pulp contains 30 percent more anti-inflammatory flavonoids and cancer-fighting limonoids than OJ that’s been strained, according to Jairam Vanamala, PhD, an assistant professor of food science and nutrition at Colorado State University. He says that its most healthy to eat fruit in its natural state, so 100 percent orange juice with pulp is the next best thing to a whole orange.
Who says all that end-of-the-year gluttony requires months of penance? You may think you’re doomed to nibble kale until the Fourth of July, but you’re wrong. “All you need is four days to get back on track,” says New York dietitian Keri Glassman, author of The O2 Diet. “That’s enough time to reset your body.” Follow these simple tips and you’ll get rid of the bloat and maybe even find yourself thinking about fruit and vegetables instead of cheeseburger sliders.
Eat Early, Eat Often
You should have a good breakfast—no-brainer, right?—but the key is to be eating within one hour of waking. If you wait until you’re at your desk, you’re more likely to overindulge. When should you stop eating? That’s where things get interesting. Despite what your girlfriend says, it’s okay to keep feeding right up until you go to bed. “The goal is to be eating consistently,” Glassman says. “If you’re on a schedule where you have dinner at 9, that’s not so bad. By munching throughout the day, your body’s always burning calories at its best. It’s like throwing twigs onto a fire.”
[Read More: The Best Breakfast in America]
Take a Sabbatical from Sugar and Salt
Although one Oreo cookie is fine in theory, it’s hard to stop there. Sweets and alcohol often make you crave more sugar, putting your noble efforts at self-control in peril. Sodium prompts your body to retain water. It’s not enough to put down the salt shaker; beware the lunchtime deli run, too. Pickles, sliced meats, and split-pea soup are all known to pump you full of H2O.
[Read More: Ice Cream Sandwiches are Back]
Don’t Overdo the Juice Fast
Liquid diets can help you feel lighter in the short term, but maintain them for any longer than three days and you’re setting yourself up for nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, and failure. Juicers often start bingeing right after swallowing their last sip, warns dietitian Keri Gans of the American Dietetic Association. “If you’re going to try it,” she says, “don’t think you can just drink juice and then go to McDonald’s.”
[Read More: A Details Classic: Manorexics]
Give Up the Shredded Wheat
According to New York nutritionist Oz Garcia, the wheat-based starches you find in breakfast cereals are trouble. “Many men, as they move toward a better diet, think whole wheat is good for them,” he says. “But it triggers appetite and water retention. It also contributes to gaining weight around the gut and developing man boobs.” Try oats or grains like quinoa or millet instead—or get your carbs from vegetables like yams, squashes, and pumpkins.
[Read More: A User's Guide to Man Boobs]
Bring On the Artichoke
A plate of fiber-rich lentils or chickpeas will fill you up, but so will the often overlooked—and decidely delicious—artichoke. Glassman suggests having one every afternoon. “It’s low-calorie,” she says, “and it takes a while to eat.”
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Don’t Be Too Spartan
When Bradley Cooper had to shed a few pounds for his upcoming role in The A-Team, he ate mostly boiled chicken, broccoli, and brown rice. Channing Tatum has streamlined his physique with the same regimen. Glassman says it’s a good plan, though a bit too ascetic. Boiling the chicken adds no fat or calories. But grilling it with a little nonstick spray and some herbs and spices adds about two calories and lots more flavor.
[Read More: Bradley Cooper Has Hollywood by the Balls]
Bite Your Tongue
As a topic of conversation, your diet restrictions are about as interesting as a grocery list. Unless your name is Oprah, no one cares that you’d kill for some lardo on wheat bread. So be a champ and keep your virtue to yourself.
[Read More: O-Face or Oprah Face?]
Turn Up the Heat
No less an expert on overindulgence than John Belushi would head to the sauna after a wild night. The Animal House star was crazy, yes, but he was no fool. One 20-minute session can improve your mood and your appearance. The heat raises your outer body temperature, boosting your circulation and making you feel euphoric, and the sweat flushes debris from your pores. “It mimics the effects of running the Central Park loop,” Oz Garcia says. Try saying that about wheatgrass.
[Read More: Find the Right Massage]
StickK.com lets you bet against your weak, impulsive self. If you lose the wager, you fork the cash over to a friend, an enemy, or even a cause you despise—like, say, Sarah Palin 2012.
Fatbet.net—founded by two buddies trying to drop 10 pounds each—helps you set up weight-loss competitions with friends and chart the results. Those who meet their goals split the winnings.
[Read More: The Slacker Workout]
Put Down the Protein Shake
Put down the whey powder. Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, a New York weight-loss specialist, recommends breakfast shakes made from rice protein, which is less rough on the stomach. Mix two scoops of protein powder, two tablespoons of flaxseed fiber, eight ounces of water, and ice in a blender. Consume with the morning paper.
[Read More: Meal-Replacement Shakes]
The Sports Drink Myth
“Coconut water is what Gatorade wishes it was,” Oz Garcia says. It has the potassium and the sugar you need to feel restored after a workout but none of the artificial ingredients or the food coloring.
[Read More: Alex Rodriguez: Confessions of a Damned Yankee]
The Hangover Remedy
Forget hair of the dog. Come the morning after, try rehydrating with this: Fill one half of a glass with apple juice, the other half with water, and add a pinch of sea salt. “As a cure, it works,” Morrison says.
[Read More: The Best way to Drink Tequilla—Hangover Not Included]
In the January 2010 issue of Men’s Health magazine, the one with Vampire Diaries’ Sean Faris on the cover, there is an article discussing which plant would best keep a man company in the comfort of his own cubicle. The answers are interesting – isn’t learning fun? Hopefully you take these words to heard and bring a leafy friend into your workspace – if for nothing else but to impress your coworkers with your knowledge of everything flora.
- Areca Palm – Thanks to its huge fronds (which can reach 6 ft in height and feature 60 leaflets), this palm is especially effective in filtering airborne particles.
- Peppermint – Sniffing mint can increase your alertness and enhance your memory, according to a study in the International Journal of Neuroscience. Bonus: it can also help suppress your appetite.
- English Ivy – Tests at the University of Georgia show that English Ivy is particularly efficient at absorbing volatile organic compounds, airborne pollutants spewed by office machinery, that cause headaches and nausea.
- Lemon Balm – Researchers at Ohio State University found that the scent of lemon improved peoples’ moods and raised levels of norepinephrine, a brain chemical linked to mood and behavior.
- Golden Pothos – This hardy vine reduces indoor ozone, Penn State researchers found. Exposure to low ozone levels can cause chest pain and throat irritation.
- Gardenia – It’s like a long-acting anti-depressant. A gardenia can live for 25 years, and every time you smell its flowers, your emotional outlook improves…according to research from Rutgers.
The December/January issue of Men’s Fitness magazine, with Ben Roethlisberger on the cover, has a 7-step plan to give that foul holiday mood a serious beat-down. “Happy holidays? Bah, humbug. For some guys, December is actually the darkest month, says Andrew Weil, M.D. ‘There’s a contradiction between expectations of joy and reality.’ he says. (The sucky economy doesn’t help.) Conquer the problem with these simple all natural mood boosters:
1. Get your ass to the gym. It’s still the best way to prevent the holiday funk. A 2008 study backs this up: subjects who were most fit were also the least likely to experience depression. Now that’s “lifting” your spirits.
2. Strike a pose. Who knew “downward dog” would do more than simply make you think of sexy time? Yoga is also an effective treatment for depression because it helps hike up levels of the same chemicals in the brain that are targeted by many antidepressants.
3. “Wort” off the blues. Although St. John’s has not yet been proven effective against major depression, the over-the-counter herb can help minor depression. It’s sold as a capsule, tea, or liquid extract.
4. Let her (or him) tickle you. Maybe laughter is the best medicine. According to a recent study, watching a funny flick may increase your body’s production of beta-endorphins, the family of chemicals that alleviate depression.
5. Step into the light. Soak in as much bright light during the day as possible. Or invest in a light-therapy box, which mimics natural outdoor light, causing a biochemical change that lifts your mood.
6. Go Fish. Depressed patients have lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are primarily found in fish. Weil says that just 2 to 3 grams of fish oil a day can leave you happier.
7. Ho, Ho, Hold on to your wallet. Even if you’re one of the lucky ones still working, this isn’t the time to splurge. Watch your spending for the rest of the month or you may feel anxious about that monstrous credit card bill coming in January.
This little gem came from the UK edition of Men’s Health magazine. Most major magazines have a UK edition. They are a bit more expensive, but it allows you to get 24 issues a year versus 12, and you get to have fun converting punds and euros into US Dollars! Who could ask for more? In the November 2009 issue of Men’s Health’s UK magazine, in the Health Bulletin, there is a snippet about the Aloe Vera plant. “You can drink it, brush your teeth with it, even cure burns with it. Is aloe the most versatile medicinal plant of all?” Here are the magazine’s featured uses of this power plant:
Teeth – “According to a study published in General Dentistry, aloe vera tooth gel is as effective as regular toothpaste in preventing cavities. It also helps soothe sore and irritated gums. Try Aloe Dent for a change from fluoride.”
Diabetes – “A study in the Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin reported that phytosterols, substances which are contained within aloe vera, have been found to help control blood glucose levels in people suffering from type-2 diabetes.”
Skin Disorders – “A study undertaken by Kaen University researchers in Thailand found that aloe vera gel was an effective anti-inflammatory when applied to the skin to treat psoriasis, a disorder that is characterized by itchy, red, scaly skin.”
Minor Burns – “Researchers from Iran’s Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences compared the healing of second-degree burns using either aloe vera or silver sulfadiazine (a topical burn cream), and found that aloe was more effective and faster working.”
In the November 2009 issue of Men’s Health magazine, the one with Jason Bateman on the cover, they address an interesting issue in their monthly “Health Bulletin.” The article, which is aptly named and features suggestive imagery, is titled “Stay Firm With Floss.” Here is what they have to say:
“Bad Breath? Bleeding gums? Start flossing – it may save your teeth and your sex life, say Israeli researchers. In their study, they found that gum disease was seven times more common in men with erectile dysfunction than it was in those who always rose to the occasion. Study author Yehuda Zadik, D.M.D., says that bacteria in gum tissue can travel throughout your body, causing inflammation that may damage the blood vessels that pump up your penis.”
So my suggestion is to floss daily – you hear every man joke about what they would do if they lost what they loved most, so consider flossing sexual life insurance, and invest today.
All 40 Year Old Virgin jokes aside, research shows that you need to keep your brain active and stimulated in order for it to function at its optimal performance. In the October 2009 issue of Consumer Reports magazine there is an article on how various things can keep your brain active, which can lead to a longer lifespan and reduce your risk of dementia. While it may be fun to be a crazy old person (I mean, what have you got to lose?), I would prefer to live a long life. Personal preference? I don’t think so. Follow these rules throughout life and you may be living longer:
- Develop a new skill or refresh an old one. Learn a new language, plan an instrument or get a hobby studying art – and get out of the house to do it. Intellectual stimulation can be very fun and it is a good way to keep your brain healthy.
- Eat less meat, more fish. Several magazines have published reports on how healthy fish is for your brain (yay, Omega 3′s!), and this adds yet another. A couple years ago the world’s two oldest women, both 114, each were asked what they think was the biggest contributing factor in their longevity. One said “eating a lot of herring.” The other said “minding my own business.” There you go.
- Stay Productive. This combines the first one with getting out of the house in a sense. Make to-do lists, even if they are not “musts,” and start checking them off the list. Stay productive!
- Stay physically active. This will help your mind by increasing oxygen and blood flow to your brain. It will also keep you in better shape, which could help you live longer as well.
- Feed your head. Studies suggest that social engagement and lifelong learning may continue to improve cognition well into your life, and loneliness could trigger dementia. To preserve a healthy brain: go for a walk with a friend or a pet 5 days a week, travel with family or friends, join a gym, sign up for a reading club, or start a new hobby. Just some ideas.
If you are like us, you love candy…and constantly fight with your waistline. In the October 2009 issue of Men’s Health magazin (the one woth Obama on the cover) has and article on how to get your candy fix but not gain weight. You can indulge, and like everything…moderation is key. The article states that candy sales spiked in the recession, because it is a cheap pleasure, but that you can enjoy candy without the guilt that typically comes with it. The tip? Keep it to 400 calories or under. Here are 3 ways to stretch your halloween pleasure:
The small but sinful: rich chocolate with richer fillings.
- Milk Chocolate M&M’s – one fun-size bag is 90 calories.
- Milky Way – 1 fun-size milky way is 75 calories.
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – 2 cups = 210 calories.
- TOTAL = 375 calories
The balanced approach: A medium sized mix of rich & fruity candies
- Snickers – one fun-sized bar is 80 calories
- Skittles – one fun size bag is 60 calories
- Butterfinger – one fun-sized bag is 100 calories
- Jawbreaker – 2 jawbreakers are 70 calories
- Starbursts – 4 Starbursts equal 80 calories
- TOTAL = 390 calories
The big pig-out – lots of low-cal items
- Nerds – one small box is 50 calories
- Jolly rancher – 3 hard candy pieces are 50 calories
- Bubble gum – 2 pieces equals 30 calories
- Smarties – 1 roll is 25 calories
- 3 musketeers – 1 fun-sized bar is 63 calories
- Tootsie pop – One sucker is 60 calories
- Brach’s Candy Corn – 10 pieces is 75 calories
- Hershey’s Sticks smooth & Creamy – 1 stick is 60 calories
- TOTAL – 413 Calories
A nutritionists advice on staying alert all day without any caffeine, pills or 73-hour energy. This post is brought to you by the September 2009 issue of Men’s Journal Magazine.
7 AM: Start with Breakfast – if you eat sugary cereals your sugar could spike, only to crash later and cause you to become lethargic. Oatmeal typically provides the right carb/protein ratio to get you going without the crash. The more natural, the better.
9 Am: Snack Intelligently – when you start to get hungry reach for natural peanut butter and whole wheat crackers. These metabolize slower and maintain blood sugar levels.
11 Am: Take a Speed Walk – Japanese researchers found that a 3-minute speed walk every half hour increases oxygen to the brain and keeps you more alert.
12 PM: Hydrate often – Thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Keep a reusable water bottle handy…a good rule of thumb is an ounce of water for every 2 pounds of body weight per day.
2 PM: Eat a Smart Lunch – Heavy food makes you tired. Instead, go for grilled chicken & avacado on whole wheat to carry you through the day.
Men’s Health magazine is always a good read when it comes to nutrition…and just living a healthy lifestyle in general. In the September 2009 issue, one of the facts that they share with their health-conscious readers is that eating eggs for breakfast can benefit your body all day. We have always heard that breakfast was the most important meal of the day, and not it has more back-up. The article states that researchers at the University of Connecticut found that men who ate eggs for breakfast took in fewer calories over a period of 24 hours than those that had cereal or bagels. The reason is that protein is much more satiating than carbohydrates are. So if you are eating cereal for breakfast…yolk’s on you. Sorry…I will never do that again.