The Only Way To Boost Your Metabolism

A black scale against a black background(BlackDoctor.org) — If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ve probably wished you could speed up your metabolism and burn calories more easily. Weight-loss programs often promise to provide “metabolism-boosting” secrets, but the savvy dieter should know that many of these are just gimmicks. There’s only one way you can boost your metabolism legitimately.

Many theories about metabolism are falsely rooted in the idea that there are particular foods or beverages that will magically increase your ability to burn calories. While most nutritionists agree that eating meals based on whole grains and lean proteins is a healthy diet practice, this approach won’t actually help you burn calories faster. Neither will “fat-burning” foods like grapefruit or cabbage.

Here’s the truth about other popular metabolism-boosting theories, including the one that actually works.

5 Metabolism Boosters: Separating Fact From Fiction

1. Don’t eat close to bedtime. You may have been told not to eat too close to bedtime because of the theory that your metabolism slows down at night and you’ll lose less weight than you would if you ate the same food earlier in the day. Not true, says Donna L. Weihofen, MS, RD, health nutritionist at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisc. “Calories count whether you eat them in the morning or at night. The problem with nighttime eaters is that they are usually eating far more calories than they think, and the calories are denser.”

2. Drinking water speeds metabolism. Drinking plenty of water is healthful for a number of reasons, but it doesn’t make your body burn calories faster. It can help you feel full, which may keep some cravings at bay. “But that effect doesn’t last very long,” Weihofen cautions. “One of the things that does help is soup before a meal. A broth-type soup does help cut down on the amount of calories you will eat.” Of course, broth won’t speed metabolism, either, but it will help you stick to your diet plan.

3. Eat at the same time or at certain times every day to burn calories. Some diets recommend eating every couple of hours, while others advise sticking to a consistent schedule or number of meals for weight-loss success. Following a set schedule may help you stick to a diet plan, but doesn’t help you burn more calories. “There’s no magic to that,” explains Weihofen. “It’s whatever fits your lifestyle and your diet.”

4. Eating breakfast boosts metabolism. Eating breakfast on a regular basis is important for shedding pounds, but not solely because it improves your metabolism, says Emily Banes, RD, clinical dietitian at Houston Northwest Medical Center. “People who eat only one meal a day will shut down their metabolism. So breakfast is partly a metabolism-booster and it is partly to make sure you stay on track for the rest of the day,” notes Banes. People who eat breakfast are less likely to binge later in the day, which of course promotes weight loss.

5. Build muscle. The reality is that there is only one way to enhance metabolism: Build more lean muscle mass. “The best way to increase metabolism is by incorporating physical activity, both cardio and weight training, to increase lean muscle mass, which is what burns the calories!” advises Dr. Anding.

Even at rest, muscle tissue burns more calories than fat, Anding says. So weight-loss programs that encourage strength training and other forms of exercise to improve your metabolism are your best bet.

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Is ADHD Ruining Your Relationship?

couple appearing to have an argument(BlackDoctor.org) — Many people mistakenly believe that ADHD is a problem confined to childhood – one that children “grow out of.” Yet about half of those who had ADHD in childhood (nearly 5% of Americans) continue to have it into adulthood.

The inattentiveness and difficulty finishing tasks that made it tough for children to sit still in school can evolve into self-esteem issues, trouble holding down a job, and substance abuse problems. These symptoms of adult ADHD can also put a real strain on relationships.

Many adults with ADHD also have never been diagnosed. Until you know you have ADHD, you can’t get the right treatment for it and your relationships could suffer.

How Does ADHD Affect Relationships?

The hallmark symptoms of ADHD — forgetfulness, inattentiveness, difficulty completing tasks, and impulsivity — can all wreak havoc on relationships. All of these issues can be complicated even more if children are involved.

Here are some of the problems you might face if you or your partner has ADHD:

  • Difficulty listening and paying attention. An individual with ADHD may “zone out” or talk out of turn, making it difficult to communicate. It can also cause the partner to feel as though what he or she has to say doesn’t matter.
  • Trouble completing tasks. ADHD can lead to poor organizational skills and forgetfulness. A man with ADHD may miss his wife’s birthday or their wedding anniversary, or may forget to stop at the store on the way home from work as his wife had asked. This forgetfulness may make his wife feel hurt and think that her husband doesn’t care, when he’s actually forgotten because he has trouble staying on top of things. That same inability to finish tasks may translate into a lack of commitment when it comes to marriage or other relationships.
  • Inability to handle responsibilities. Someone with ADHD might forget to pay the bills, neglect to clear a dangerous pile of branches from the backyard, or leave a toxic cleaner on the sink while the children are playing nearby.
  • Impulsive behavior. People with ADHD constantly need stimulation, and may fail to think through the consequences of their actions. This can lead to reckless, irresponsible behaviors (like driving too fast with the kids in the car).
  • Emotional overreaction. Someone with ADHD may lose his or her temper easily, leading to major misunderstandings and sometimes, big blowout fights. Arguments can quickly spiral out of control because the person with ADHD is unable to talk through issues calmly.

ADHD can destroy your marriage if you don’t get the right help. People with ADHD have higher divorce rates than those without the condition, according to one survey.

How Can Someone with ADHD Get Help for Relationship Issues?

The first step is to treat the ADHD symptoms that are interfering with your relationship. If you haven’t already been diagnosed, see a mental health professional (a psychologist or psychiatrist). Many of the same treatments that work in children — such as stimulant medications, talk therapy, and behavioral therapy — can also help adults with ADHD improve their focus.

Marriage or couples therapy can help you and your partner better understand one another, and may help heal any rifts that have opened in your relationship as a result of ADHD.

Some other strategies to ease ADHD-related relationship issues:

  • Make to-do lists of everything from daily responsibilities to items you need from the store. Also keep a calendar of important dates and deadlines.
  •  Ask the partner with ADHD to repeat back any requests, to make sure he or she understands what is being asked.
  • Simplify your life by cleaning up clutter around the house and only attempting to accomplish a small number of tasks each week.
  • Get into a routine — for example, go through your checkbook once a week to see how much money you’ve spent, or plan the entire week’s meals every Sunday night.