How Not To Destroy Your Diet Over The Weekend

Do you find that weekends are the most difficult time to stay on track with your nutrition? You know, all those events, dinners, parties and BBQs that happen, do they seem to throw you off track? Not to worry! I’ve got some great tips for you to help you stay healthy on the weekends and still lose weight.

Let’s first have a look at what it takes to lose weight. We must be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, there is no question about it. It takes a weekly deficit of 3500 calories to lose 1 lb per week. This is a 500 calorie deficit per day. Now what seems to happen to a lot of people is they are in a deficit during the week but make the decision to have a “cheat meal”, “cheat day” or “cheat weekend”. Calories can add up faster than you can blink an eye especially when meals are eaten out at restaurants. One single meal could be 2000 calories or more (and that’s not including dessert). This could easily take someone out of their weekly deficit and put them back into maintenance calories. When we are consuming maintenance calories we will not lose weight. Now this doesn’t mean we are never allowed to indulge when dieting, it just means we need to be a little more strategic. For example, if you know you have a big dinner out planned then stick with eating primarily lean protein and vegetables throughout the day. This will help keep your calories low so that when you do eat out it doesn’t completely throw your diet off course. Another example would be to customize your dinner out by getting a salad instead of fries or not eating the bun from a burger and saving it for another day or only eating half of the meal.

Okay so let’s get to it, here are simple tips to keep you on track on the weekends.

Tip 1: Treat the weekend as if it was a week day. Stay laser-focused on those goals as hard as you do throughout the week.

Tip 2: Fill up on lots of green veggies to stay full.

Tip 3: Make healthier and less calorie-dense versions of your favourite treats! (*See recipe below)

Tip 4: Be the host of the dinner party or bring your own dish to a potluck that is in alignment with how you want to eat. You will be in control of what’s served and how much you consume.

Tip 5: Find other activities to do that don’t revolve around food and stay active!

Tip 6: Enjoy the moments of today with your family and friends without such an emphasis on food and going out to eat.

So now that you have some tools in your pocket for staying on track this weekend, here is a healthy, low-calorie snack if you’re feeling chocolate-y!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding – makes 4 servings (vegan)

Blend together:
2 avocados, flesh only
4 tbsp raw cacao or cocoa powder
4 tbsp maple syrup
pinch of sea salt or Himalayan salt

 

Exercise Will Further Your Progress Only When Your Diet Is Under Control

What is the first thing many people do when they decide to lose weight? They hit the gym. They sign up for fitness classes. They go to the mall to purchase new workout clothes to raise their spirits as they get ready to start exercising. As crucial as it is to exercise, do not make the mistake of believing it is more important than healthy eating. Your diet deserves just as much attention, if not more.

When it comes to weight loss, your diet comes first. It is impossible to lose weight if you are consuming more calories than you are expending. Many people know this, but it also causes people to believe they need to start expending more calories through exercise. While the intentions are good, it would be prudent to decrease their caloric consumption first. Exercise, while certainly helpful, is secondary.

In truth, it is entirely possible to lose weight without doing a significant amount of physical activity. You could technically succeed with your weight loss goals while remaining sedentary. You would just have to consume less energy than your body expends to fuel its functions. Do not forget the various complex systems in the body rely on energy for its processes as well. How else would it be possible to lose weight on a 2,000-calorie diet? There is no practical method of burning anything close to that amount of calories through exercise alone.

On that note, let us consider how many calories the average person burns through physical activity…

walking for 30 minutes at a moderate pace: 140 calories.
jogging for 30 minutes at a brisk pace: 230 calories.
cycling for 30 minutes (15 km/h): 170 calories.
weight training for 40 minutes: 130 calories.
stretching for 20 minutes: 60 calories.

Of course, these are approximate values. As you can see, strenuous exercise in the form of running does not burn too many calories. Eat a muffin, and you will be consuming more calories than you would burn by walking for an hour.

Many people do not realize it is much more efficient to decrease their caloric intake than it is to try to compensate with more exercise. By eating less, you can create a caloric deficit that does not depend on you burning calories through exercise to make progress.

Exercise can further your progress when your diet is under control. It is unreasonable to expect exercise to do all of the work for you. With that said, exercising is essential for other reasons. So don’t mistakenly believe you should be working out just for weight loss.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.

 

Talk With Your Kids About Drugs and Alcohol

Cîroc? Check.

Marijuana? Check.

VIP Guest? Check.

For today’s hip, hot and wealthy teens, this pretty much sums up a fun night out on the town.

Living in a celebrity-centric community, it’s almost impossible to ensure that your teenager stays clear of drugs and alcohol. As your children get older, these “mood enhancers” naturally become more accessible within their social circles. As a concerned parent you may find yourself conducting routine checks of their car, bedroom, and even sniffing out their clothes for traces of drugs or alcohol; anything that you believe that will save them from spending their youthful days in a rehab and medical center. It helps to be proactive. However, rather than sneaking around their backs, it helps to be more vocal.

Healthy communication undoubtedly is one of the best methods to ensure that your teenager chooses a drug-free path that will lead them to a successful future. Children who are not properly informed are likely to experiment with drugs or alcohol, or seek answers about these substances from the wrong crowd. And, like the popular saying goes, “kids live what they learn,” it’s only right that they learn from you.

The Importance of Parental Influence

You don’t have to be a communication specialist to know that most teenagers prefer to spend time talking past and at their parents rather than to or with them. Chalk it up to hormones, high school stress or fear of their parents. Whatever the reason, one thing that’s certain is that many teenagers aren’t big on communicating with their parents. However, as parents it’s important to be able to talk honestly and openly with your teenager to help then handle stress, cope with peer pressure, doubtfulness and foster self-confidence.

As stated by the National Crime Prevention Council, “young people are less likely to get involved with drugs when caring adults are a part of their life.” Numerous research has also proven that teenagers who communicate with their parents regularly are 50% less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol than those who hardly communicate with their parents.

Teen drug addiction is a growing problem and as a parent there is a lot you can do to help prevent drug and alcohol abuse in teens. Fostering supportive and close family relationships, having open and honest conversations, teaching responsibility, encouraging positive attitudes and letting them know that their actions and choices have consequences, can help to determine whether or not they end spending time at a rehab and medical center.

Start While They’re Young

It’s never too early to start! This is the attitude you should have when it comes to talking to your teenager about drugs and alcohol. Teenagers go through several stages as they approach adulthood and what’s appropriate to tell your 18-year-old and 13-year-old may differ in some ways. Nonetheless, the earlier you start talking to them, the more influence you will have on their life choices. Curiosity is a natural part of being a teenager and keeping them informed may stop them from experimenting with drugs or alcohol.

More than their peers or the internet, strive to be their main sources of reliable (and factual too) information on alcohol and drugs from an early age. Make use of teachable moments, whether you’re watching a movie, the news or reading about drug related issues in the paper, try to start a conversation that will get them talking. You don’t need to have all the answers; you just need to be there to listen to their concerns and encourage good attitudes. In doing so, your teenager will feel more comfortable talking to you about drugs and alcohol rather than relying on friends or media source that glorify substance abuse, paying little attention to the negative effects it can have. Below are a few things to keep in mind when talking to your kids about drugs and alcohol.

It’s important to listen: You may feel the need to always tell your teenagers what to do. And, because of this you may spend less time listening to their concerns. As parents, it’s important for your teenagers to know that you are listening to them and care about what they have to say.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions: Talk with teenager about their interests, peers and feelings – and remember, listening is important. Try as hard as you can to engage them in conversations that requires much more than a yes or no answer.

Establish rules as well as expectations: make your expectations clear to your children when it comes to drugs and alcohol. Let them know that you expect them not to abuse drugs or alcohol and that you trust them not to. Inform them of the severe emotional and medical effects of substance abuse and set consequences for breaking the rules.

Be a role model: “Research shows that children with parents who abuse alcohol or drugs are more likely to try alcohol or drugs and develop alcoholism or drug addiction” according to the National Institute On Drug Abuse For Teens. Though the majority of these children do not develop alcoholism or addiction themselves, many have behavioural problems that may lead to regular substance abuse.

Substance Abuse is Rampant Among Juveniles

Substance abuse is not uncommon among teens since they are the most susceptible to developing an addiction. Similarly, juveniles who are imprisoned are found to be either suffering from a mental illness or addicted to some or the other illicit substance. They not only run the risk of being imprisoned for substance-related crimes but also stand the chance of developing substance abuse problems. This can be corroborated by the fact that the arrest rates for drug-related crimes are the highest among juveniles.

Moreover, juveniles who get into trouble with the law and are booked under the juvenile justice system often suffer from a mental illness, substance use disorder (SUD) or both. Therefore, juveniles are more vulnerable than ever to the effects of substance abuse.

Other external factors such as academic failure, emotional distress, illnesses, domestic violence, and a history of physical or sexual abuse, further exacerbate the problem. Therefore, there is a need for early intervention and treatment to avoid worsening of symptoms.

According to the data released by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) of the U.S. Department of Justice, the rates of arrests of juveniles in the age group 10 to 17 years, per 100,000 persons, were 459.4 for boys and 129.2 for girls in 2015. These statistics highlight the magnitude of the problem and how bad it can be for young minds that are still evolving and developing.

Even after being released from prison those with substance abuse problems continue to face a lot of challenges that prevent their smooth transition into a normal life within the community. The lack of access to health care due to the increased stigmatization of those children who have been incarcerated before significantly impedes their recovery and increases the likelihood of a relapse and re-arrest.

Inaccessibility to health care and other basic amenities jeopardize recovery

After being released from prisons or correctional facilities, juveniles with substance abuse problems have to wait for a long time to access the benefits and services easily accessible to others, besides the denial of basic amenities.

In the past, when a juvenile or an adult fell under the radar of the criminal justice system, it led to the termination of the benefits such as Medicaid or Social Security. However, some progress has been made in the correctional systems in several states, as these benefits are now suspended and not terminated until the release of the incarcerated juvenile.

Unfortunately, long waiting periods, termination and suspension of benefits can have a devastating effect on the lives of the juveniles who need substance abuse treatment to increase the possibility of recovery and prevent reincarceration. These barriers are particularly of concern to the minority groups, who are comparatively more uninsured and underrepresented in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

Aid within the system and role of family support

To effectively address the above-mentioned problems, juveniles require more access to comprehensive assessment, treatment, case management and support services that are optimum for their age and developmental stages.

The first step of the assessment is crucial because not every juvenile indulging in drugs require treatment. But for those who do, there are various points in the juvenile justice continuum where such decisions could be taken such as juvenile drug courts, community-based supervision, juvenile detention and community reentry.

The presence of the family plays a crucial role in the recovery of juveniles who abuse substances, however, this influence can be either productive or counterproductive in nature depending on the background the juvenile and his or her family are coming from.

Take the rational step to stop abuse

There are various family-based treatment models that target family functioning and interpersonal dynamics. Furthermore, there are various adolescent treatment approaches, such as multisystemic therapy, multidimensional family therapy and functional family therapy. These interventions have displayed positive results in reducing substance abuse among juveniles.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), as many as two-thirds of teens in the criminal justice system are said to be living with substance abuse problems. Therefore, early intervention is the need of the hour to prevent the aggravation of this problem.

Drug Abuse and the Gender Gap

Usage rates for prescription drugs continue to rise with nearly 3 in 5 Americans taking prescription drugs including antidepressants and opioids.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that prescription drug usage among people 20 and older had risen to 59 percent from 51 percent just a dozen years earlier and it was rising at a faster rate than ever before. During the same period, the percentage of people taking five or more prescription drugs nearly doubled, to 15 percent from 8 percent.

Effects of Gender on Addiction

It is no surprise then that the non-medical use of prescription drugs including painkillers, tranquilizers, and sedatives continue to be a growing problem in the United States. Statistics show men abuse prescription drugs at a higher rate than women, however, the gap between the genders is narrowing. Females age 12 to 17 are less likely to take abuse prescription drug and abuse and distribution is much higher in males of the same age range, according to a recent government study on Gender Medicine. The same report shows that young adult females show a higher percentage rate of addiction to cocaine and prescription drugs even though males in that age group abuse those drugs more frequently and take them in larger amounts.

Disturbingly, more recent statistics show that overdose deaths among young women are increasing, especially those who become addicted to opioids. The CDC Vital Signs reported that deaths from opioid overdose among women have increased 400 percent since 1999. By comparison, young men of the same age group suffered fatal opioid overdoses by approximately 265 percent in that same time frame. The CDC has estimated that as many as 18 women in the United States die every day from an opioid drug overdose, most of which were obtained by prescription.

To continue the disturbing downtrend of drug abuse according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, women are less likely to receive adequate treatment for substance abuse than men. Studies show that women are less likely than men to be placed in a specialized but are often treated by primary care providers or through mental health programs instead. Women also face more obstacles that are an impediment to their treatment, such as lower incomes, the possibility of pregnancy, and the need for childcare. In addition, women show more of a tendency to hide their substance abuse for a variety of reason including fear of social stigma, loss of child custody, or repercussions from a partner or spouse.

In the past, studies in drug addiction was from a male perspective for both males and females and drug abuse prevention programs and rehab facilities were designed with an emphasis on the needs of males. In comparison, outreach campaigns, preventive education, and drug rehab today is tailored to address the needs of both men and women as the scientific and medical community become more informed about how and why these addiction patterns occur in both men and women.

With gender roles playing a role in addiction, Gender-specific treatment programs provide a respite from the social stressors of everyday life. Patients can focus on their recovery without the distraction of the opposite sex. Studies show that both men and women feel more comfortable communicating about issues like sexuality, social prejudice, and domestic abuse with members of their own gender.

Both men and women suffering from opiod addiction, both can benefit from comprehensive rehabilitation programs that focus on the full range of care required to be free from addiction. These programs take a patient from detox to residential treatment, partial hospitalization, outpatient services, and transitional living. Effective treatment therapies include:

Fitness training
Experimental and holistic modalities
Follow up programs
Family or marriage counseling
Nutritional counceling

Having the support of a highly trained, multidisciplinary staff can help individuals of both genders recover from the disease of addiction and regain hope for the future.

According to a SAMHSA report in 2014, men are more likely than women to use all types of illegal drugs that result in emergency department visits or overdose deaths. These drugs include marijuana (according to federal law) and the misuse of prescription drugs. Men in most age groups have a higher rate of use and dependence on illicit drugs and alcohol than do women. However, women are just as likely as men to become addicted but are more likely to become addicted to prescription drugs and illegal drugs. Women are also more susceptible to craving and relapse which are key phases of the addiction cycle.

Going even further in their research SAMHSA found that women of color may face other unique issues with regard to drug use and treatment needs. For example, African-American and American Indian/Alaska Native women are more likely than women of other racial and ethnic groups to be victims of rape, physical violence, and stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime-issues that are risk factors for substance use and should be addressed during treatment.

In addition to drug abuse be affected by personality traits, research has shown that in most instances women use drugs differently, respond to drugs differently, and often have unique obstacles that prevent them from receiving effective treatment. Some of these obstacles being as simple as not being able to find child care or being prescribed treatment that has not been adequately tested on women.

Researchers continue to study to learn more about the differing factors that attribute to drug addiction in males and females. As they are able to effectively identify these factors, the medical community more able to develop programs to increase an individual’s chance of breaking free from addictive lifestyles.

They are learning that the physical and mental differences of both men and women contribute how they are introduced abuse an individual’s ability to be successful in a treatment program

In a July 2016 article CNN reported that:

“according to a report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, worldwide, drug use has remained steady over the past four years,. However, researchers found that heroin use in the United States is up 145% since 2007.”

One in 20 adults — roughly a quarter of a billion people between ages 15 and 64 — used at least one illegal or improperly used drug in 2014, according to the World Drug Report 2016. Though the numbers have not grown in proportion to the global population, new trends have developed, including increased sales in anonymous online marketplaces.

The U.N. researchers also reported gender differences in drug use. Men are three times more likely than women to use cannabis, cocaine or amphetamines, while women are more likely to take opioids and tranquilizers for non-medical purposes.