Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Top 5 worst female health habits

You may be doing something that compromises your health on a daily basis without even knowing it

From workouts to healthy diets, many of us make an effort to look after ourselves. However, we could be compromising our health on a daily basis without even knowing it. From carrying heavy handbags to wearing crippling heels, here are the top five female habits you should try to break.
1. Wearing heels
More and more of us are opting to wear heels on a daily basis, and this could be bad news for our health. High heels affect our posture, put pressure on joints, and can lead to a range of conditions including arthritis, hammer toes, back pain and tendon injuries — and that's before you take into account any heel-related accidents! To minimise damage, limit your heels to 1.5 inches for daily wear, and wear insoles to help reduce the pressure on joints.
2. Carrying a heavy handbag
With the rising number of gadgets and accessories the majority of women haul around, many of us are carrying around several pounds of weight on our shoulders every day. As a result, lots of us are also putting our long term health at risk. While you may not feel the effects right now, lugging around a heavy handbag can lead to serious back problems and neck pain as well as poor posture. Don't wait until the damage is done — do your health a favour and try clearing out all non-essential items and switching to a smaller bag.
3. Matching men drink for drink
From networking drinks to first dates and social events, there are many instances when women may feel compelled to keep up with the drinking habits of the opposite sex. However, women not only tend to weigh less than men but they have less body water to dilute the alcohol, which means they tend to get more drunk more quickly. To minimise the risks of alcohol on your health, try to keep within the recommended guidelines for alcohol consumption and alternate alcohol with soft drinks.
4. Obsessing over appearance
While both genders suffer from body insecurity, many women tend to overly obsess over their idea of the "perfect" body. Research findings published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that 16 per cent of the normal or underweight women studied believed themselves to be overweight, while a study commissioned by Dove found that 90 per of women wanted to change at least one aspect of their appearance. Body insecurity not only affects our mental health, but it can also lead to physical damage caused by extreme diets, yo-yo dieting, eating disorders and cosmetic surgery.
5. Emotional eating
While comfort eating affects both genders, research has suggested that men are more likely to reinforce positive emotions with food, while women comfort eat when they're sad. Women are also more likely to satisfy their cravings with sweet, high calorie foods. Rather than letting your waistline suffer next time you're feeling blue, try distracting yourself from cravings by doing something you enjoy, or boost your endorphins and health with an uplifting workout.


11. Terrible Breakfast Bagel: Dunkin' Donuts Sesame Bagel with reduced fat strawberry cream cheese

510 calories, 16 g fat (6.5 g saturated), 860 mg sodium

Remember, bagels are shaped like zeros for a reason. You'd be better off with two glazed doughnuts. Or, simply move outside the menu's concentration of doughnuts and pastries and Dunkin' Donuts proves itself to be one of the better on-the-go breakfast joints in the country. Pair a couple of the Wake-Up Wraps with a zero-calorie cup of coffee to switch your metabolism from sleep mode to high gear.


Egg & Cheese Wake-Up Wraps (2)

360 calories, 22 g fat (8 g saturated), 940 mg sodium

10. Terrible Breakfast Panini: Panera Bread Grilled Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Sandwich

510 calories, 25 g fat (10 g saturated), 1,170 mg sodium

There are two differences between these two sandwiches. First, the Grilled Bacon, Egg & Cheese is built on ciabatta, which provides 50 more calories and half as much fiber. And second, it replaces the ham with bacon, which means an extra 100 calories of mostly fat.


Breakfast Power Sandwich

340 calories, 15 g fat (7 g saturated), 820 mg sodium

9. Terrible "Healthy" Breakfast: Jamba Juice Chunky Stawberry Topper Parfait (16 oz)

570 calories, 17 g fat (3 g saturated), 59 g sugars

Similar approaches to breakfast with very different results. Replacing an oatmeal base with sugars and granola is never a good swap.


Fresh Banana Oatmeal (oatmeal, bananas, brown sugar crumble)

280 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated), 23 g sugars

8. Terrible Breakfast Croissant: Jack in the Box Sausage Croissant

565 calories, 39 g fat (16 g saturated, 1 g trans), 776 mg sodium

Two simple but immutable rules are at play here: 1. Bacon always beats sausage, and 2. buns always beat croissants. The Breakfast Jacks are a bright spot on the menu, made even brighter by the fact that they're available all day. Take advantage.


Bacon Breakfast Jack

310 calories, 14 g fat (5 g saturated), 790 mg sodium

7. Terrible Breakfast Burrito: McDonald's McSkillet Burrito with Sausage

610 calories, 36 g fat (14 g saturated), 1,390 mg sodium

For all intents and purposes, this breakfast burrito isn't actually a terrible morning choiceas long as you take it with water, and very strictly watch what you eat for the rest of the day. But why choose the 610-calorie version when you can eat an equally tasty breakfast burrito for half the calories, and 20 fewer grams of fat? This leaves you room for other nutritious foodsfruits, vegetables, whole grainsto eat without worrying throughout the day.


Sausage Burrito

300 calories, 16 g fat (7 g saturated), 830 mg sodium

6. Terrible Breakfast Combo Plate: Bob Evans Pot Roast Hash

759 calories, 53 g fat (18 g saturated), 1,463 mg sodium

There's a lot of good in this disheggs and roast are both packed with protein, which, as we've hammered home in this slideshow, is a nutrient you should consume every breakfast. But here's what else the Pot Roast Hash comes with: Home Fries. As in fried potatoes. As in fried lumps of carbohydrates. A better option: Stick with the good, cut out the bad.


Border Scramble Omelette with Egg Lites

416 calories, 24 g fat (12 g saturated), 1,162 mg sodium

5. Terrible Biscuit: Hardee's Monster Biscuit

640 calories, 44 g fat (16 g saturated), 2,130 mg sodium

The pieces of this biscuit individually aren't what make it so dangerous. It's the fact that they're all added together in one big jumbo slop heap that causes trouble. Here we're looking at bacon, sausage patty, several slices of ham, "folded egg," and two slices of American cheese. A more reasonable biscuit is what you'll find below: Simply bacon, egg, and cheese. No need to get fancy with extra toppings.


Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit

400 calories, 25 g fat (8 g saturated), 1,190 mg sodium

4. Terrible Omelet: IHOP Spinach and Mushroom Omelette (no pancakes on the side)

910 calories, 70 g fat (26 g saturated, 0.5 g trans), 1,570 mg sodium

You can make this same omelet at home for roughly 300 calories. What sets IHOP's apart? The absurd amount of cheap fats being tossed around the kitchen. This thing has more saturated fat than a half stick of butter, and if you opt for the pancakes on the side, you can tack another 450 calories onto your nutritional debt.


Two x Two x Two (with bacon)

560 calories, 31 g fat (11 g saturated), 1,280 mg sodium

3. Terrible French Toast: IHOP Stuffed French Toast with Strawberry Topping

1,030 calories, 39 g fat (17 g saturated, 1 g trans), 755 mg sodium, 61 g sugars

IHOP's menu is full of gut-busting sweets—Stuffed French Toast, Belgian Waffles, Strawberry banana Danish Fruit Crepes... you name it. The problem with each and every one of these super-sweetened, carbo-loaded meals isn't just that they're all packing at least half a day's worth of calories; it's that they're setting you up for a massive sugar crash about halfway between breakfast and lunch. If you're set on the sweet stuff, stick with the Simple & Fit menu at IHOP. The Seasonal Fresh Fruit Crepes are great because they offer a thin layer of pancake, and a lot of fresh fruit. (So at least you're getting something out of it, nutritionally).


SIMPLE & FIT Seasonal Fresh Fruit Crepes

580 calories, 24 g fat (5 g saturated), 430 mg sodium, 42 g sugars

2. Terrible Pancakes: IHOP Harvest Grain 'N Nut Pancakes (4) with Cinnamon Apple Compote and Whipped Topping

1,060 calories, 51.5 g fat (13 g saturated), 1,945 mg sodium, 50 g sugars

Whatever you do at IHOP, don't add a fruity compote to your waffle or pancake platter. That'll guarantee that you double your plate's sugar count and add at least 150 calories to the final tally (which, if you order more than 3 pancakes, is already going to be mighty high). The reason that fruity compote is so bad for you is because it's not fresh fruit we're dealing withit's more like a sugary goo that has fruit chunks drowning in it.


Original Buttermilk Pancakes, Short Stack (3)

490 calories, 18 g fat (8 g saturated, 1 g trans), 1,610 mg sodium, 13 g sugars

1. Terrible Slamwich: Denny's Grand Slamwich with Hash Browns

1,520 calories, 101 g fat (44 g saturated, 1 g trans), 3,550 mg sodium

Bacon, sausage, ham, eggs, cheese, and mayo conspire to create the worst breakfast sandwich in America. Start your day with this and you'll need to wait 48 hours before consuming another gram of saturated fat. And that's before you get to the hash browns that come on the side.


Fit Slam

390 calories, 12 g fat (4 g saturated), 850 mg sodium

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Beat Stress

Emotional Eating Isn't Always Bad | Women's Health Magazine
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Forget everything you've heard about stress-eating being a bad thing. If you put the right foods in your pie hole (i.e., not pie), noshing when your nerves are jangling can actually calm you down. And that's great news, because the last thing you need is more stress, which over time can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity -- and the odds that you'll go ballistic on Mom when she asks, for the third time, what your unemployed fiancĂ© does for a living. The following listed below are the best foods to soothe stress and can counteract the damage that chronic pressure does to your bod. Stock up on the lot of them so that when the tension rises you can beat stress instead of freaking out.

Almonds, Pistachios & Walnuts

When all hell breaks loose, reach for a handful of almonds. They're bursting with vitamin E, an antioxidant that bolsters the immune system. Almonds also contain B vitamins, which may help your body hold up during seriously unpleasant events (like getting a year's membership to Match.com as a present). About a quarter cup every day is all you need. Another easy way to get a fix is to switch from traditional PB to almond butter on high-tension days. (We like All Natural Barney Butter Almond Butter, $7, barneybutter.com.)
Sick of almonds? Shell pistachios or crack walnuts. Both will help keep your heart from racing when things heat up. "We experience immediate cardiovascular responses to stress because of the 'fight or flight' response," says Sheila G. West, M.D., associate professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State. When stress strikes, the hormone adrenaline raises blood pressure to boost energy -- so you're prepared to run like hell if you need to. But because we seldom need to fight or flee (dodging your annoying aunt doesn't count), it's better to blunt the strain on your heart. A 2007 Penn State study led by Dr. West found that eating one and a half ounces (about a handful) of pistachios a day lowers blood pressure so your heart doesn't have to work overtime. Walnuts have also been found to lower blood pressure, both at rest and under stress, West says. Add about an ounce to salads, cereal, or oatmeal.


The next time stress has you hankering for a high-fat, creamy treat, skip the ice cream and try some homemade guacamole -- the thick, rich texture can satisfy your craving and reduce those frantic feelings. Plus, the green wonders' double whammy of monounsaturated fat and potassium can lower blood pressure. (For a healthy recipe favorites in under 20 minutes, check out the WH Recipes homepage.) One of the best ways to reduce high blood pressure, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, is to get enough potassium -- and just half an avocado offers 487 milligrams, more than you'll get from a medium-size banana. To whip up your own avocado salad dressing, puree a medium avocado with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a dash of cayenne.

Skim Milk

Science backs up the old warm-milk remedy for insomnia and restlessness. Turns out calcium can reduce muscle spasms and soothe tension, says Mary Dallman, Ph.D., professor of physiology at the University of California, San Francisco. A glass of moo juice (preferably skim or 1 percent) may also reduce stressful PMS symptoms such as mood swings, anxiety, and irritability. According to a 2005 study from the Archives of Internal Medicine, women who drank four or more servings of low-fat or skim milk per day had a 46 percent lower risk of pre-period misery than women who had no more than one serving per week.