The Pros & Cons of the Paleo Diet

The Paleo Recipe Book 

Unless you've spent the last 10 years or so living in a cave, you've probably heard of the Paleo diet. Then again, if you were living in a cave, you probably were eating the Paleo diet without realizing it. After all, it isn't affectionately known as the "Caveman Diet" for nothing. The Paleo diet isn't a diet inasmuch as it's a lifestyle change that requires completely rethinking the way most people eat. 

What Foods Can You Eat?

The Paleo Diet seeks to get people off the processed foods, chemicals and garbage the human body doesn't recognize and isn't able to efficiently process in favor of the natural foods our body was designed to consume. The basic premise behind the Paleo Diet is, "If a caveman didn't it eat it, then neither should you." 

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Are Raspberry Ketones Everything They're Cracked Up to Be?

raspberries

 

What Are Raspberry Ketones?

You've probably heard of Raspberry Ketones. They've been featured on the Doctor Oz show and are said to be an effective weight loss supplement, especially when combined with a balanced diet and a regular exercise routine. Ketones are one of the hottest dietary supplements on the market right now and are flying off shelves everywhere. 

While most people have heard of ketones, there's a lot of confusion as to exactly what they are. Raspberry ketones are one of many aromatic compounds found in raspberries that combine to give them their aromatic essence. They've been in use for many years by manufacturers looking to add the aroma of raspberries to foods, candies, soaps and candles, but have only recently become popular as a dietary supplement. 

Do Raspberry Ketones Work?

Preliminary research has shown promising results. In a often-quoted study published in Life Sciences in May of 2005, scientists revealed raspberry ketones prevented the gain of belly fat in lab animals fed a high-fat diet. They also helped prevent fat build-up in the liver. Another study published in 2010 in the scientific journal Planta Medica revealed similar results and led scientists to suggest raspberry ketone "holds great promise as an herbal medicine" due to its ability to alter lipid metabolism. 

While the initial studies of the effect of raspberry ketones on lab animals have shown promising results, there hasn't been much research done on humans. A study published in 2013 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found a dietary supplement containing raspberry ketones and a number of other compounds accelerated weight loss when taken as part of a diet and exercise weight loss program.

Another study done in 2006 found topical application of 0.01% raspberry ketone promoted hair growth in 50% of human test subjects with alopecia and increased cheek skin elasticity. This seems to indicate raspberry ketone may be able to combat the signs of aging when applied topically. There are a handful of creams containing raspberry ketone available commercially. 

Read more: Are Raspberry Ketones Everything They're Cracked Up to Be?

5 Fun Ways to Make Fitness Fun

make fitness fun

 

While there is the occasional person who loves every minute spent in the gym working up a sweat and grinding out one more rep, there are countless others who cringe at the idea of running on a treadmill or lifting weights. People tend to associate getting fit with torturing themselves with rep after rep of mind-numbing exercises until their body is ready to collapse in a wobbly puddle of pooled sweat. 

If you're one of the 40% of Americans leading a sedentary lifestyle and it's due to a profound dislike of anything remotely close to exercise, this article's for you. There are a number of fun ways you can get in shape, most of which don't require pushing yourself to the breaking point. Let's take a closer look at 5 fun ways to get in shape:

1. Take a Hike.

No matter where you live, there's likely somewhere with trails you can hike on. If you're really out of shape, pick a short trail with a flat incline to start and work your way up to longer trails with steeper inclines. There's something about being out and about in nature that helps you forget you're actually exercising. Don't forget to bring plenty of water and a healthy snack or two...and a map. You don't want your nature hike to turn into a mountain rescue adventure. 

2. Just Dance. 

Dancing is a fun and exerting way to get your exercise in. Music helps take the edge off of exercise and you can dance at your own pace. Find a dance partner of equal skill and take a dance class together. Even if you don't feel comfortable cutting a rug at the local dance club, you can always draw the curtains shut and dance in the confines of your own living room. 

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Can't Do a Pull-Up? Here Are 5 Ways to Improve Your Chances

man doing pull-up

 

The pull-up is one of the most difficult moves in the world of fitness. It separates the men from the boys and the women from the little girls. If you can't do a pull-up and are struggling just to hang from the bar, don't worry; you aren't alone. The majority of Americans over the age of 18 aren't able to do a single pull-up and the older you get, the less likely it becomes you'll be able to do one. The exact percentages aren't known, but I've seen it estimated that only 10% to 15% of men can do a pull-up, while a paltry 1% to 3% of women are able to do one.

Pull-ups are difficult in that they require you to pull the entire weight of your body up until your chin is above the pull-up bar. They work all of the muscles in your upper body that are responsible for pulling, including the biceps, back and the forearms. If you can knock out just one pull up, consider yourself in pretty good shape. If you're able to do 10 or more in a single set, consider yourself an elite pull-up athlete.

If you're one of the many people who have stepped up to the pull-up bar with high hopes only to have them dashed while your chin stayed well below the bar, the tip that follow may be able to help. We've looked high and low and have gathered 5 tips to help you improve your chances at finally making your way to being able to do the pinnacle of exercise moves.

#1: Gravity Sucks.

Unless you're richer than Tony Stark and can afford your own space shuttle or anti-gravity machine, gravity is reality you're going to have to deal with. Gravity pulls down on your body while you're attempting to pull your chin up and over the top of the bar. In the vast majority of cases, gravity wins, leaving you huffing and panting, unable to pull yourself to the top.

Read more: Can't Do a Pull-Up? Here Are 5 Ways to Improve Your Chances