Most methods that can help improve your health are pretty straight to the point such as get more sleep to get more energy, drink adequate amounts of water to avoid dehydration, exercise more and eat less to reduce weight. However, there are some that are counter intuitive. Here are 12 tips that really work but may leave you wondering.
1. Don’t brush your teeth after you eat to maintain healthy teeth.
You shouldn’t brush your teeth as soon as you finish eating particularly if you just ate foods that were acidic. According to Howard R. Gamble, the former president of Academy of General Dentistry, acidic foods like sports drinks, citrus fruits, soda, and tomatoes can make the enamel of the teeth soft like wet sandstone. When you brush your teeth afterwards you are speeding up the effects of the acid which can damage the layer underneath. You should at least wait for 30 minutes to an hour before you brush.
2. Eat more if you want to eat less.
According to Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine’s dietitian, Amy Goodson, RD, eating a snack that contains 100 calories of pretzels or cookies may sound good at first but you’ll end up hungrier as opposed to eating something adequate. Consuming small amounts of carbs only spikes your insulin levels but you’ll still want to eat more carbohydrates. She recommends eating string cheese with apple or peanut butter. She said that these are high in calories for every serving but the fat and protein content will make you feel fuller quickly and keep it that way for a long time which means you’ll end up eating fewer calories.
3. Consume water when you feel bloated.
According to the gastroenterologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, James Lee, M.D, consuming water when you feel bloated may sound counterproductive but it’s not. For example, if your diet is high on fiber, the body will require more water to be able to work properly. He further stated that water tends to mix with the water soluble fiber and transform it into a substance like gel which can affect the gut’s motility and can help reduce bloating symptoms. Consuming more water can also help relieve bloating that due to dehydration. If you’re dehydrated, your body will cling to whatever water your body still has which can make you appear puffy.
4. Drink something hot to cool down.
Which can help you cool off faster on a hot summer morning? Hot or iced coffee? Two studies that were conducted recently showed the former – not to mention other cultures that drink hot tea during hot weather such as in India. The body tends to increase your production of sweat when you drink a hot beverage. When the sweat evaporates, you’ll feel cooler.
5. Enhance brainpower by handwriting notes.
Although typing can help you write down a lot of material, you’re more likely to remember your notes when you write them manually. This is according to research conducted in the Indiana University. Allen Towfigh, M.D, New York Neurology & Sleep Medicine’s medical director, said that learning means that you are required to process it and when you write your notes manually, you are actually processing more information. You are beginning the learning process the moment you start listening to the lecture. What’s more, since you’ll be looking at what you’re writing, you are automatically reviewing what you’ve written thus reinforcing the data you’ve just processed.
6. Avoid antibacterial soap to stop illnesses.
You might think that you’re avoiding getting sick or even passing any sickness to others when you use antibacterial soap but there is no evidence that shows that such as soaps are more useful than the regular soaps. Also, regular use of antibacterial soap exposes you to certain ingredients like triclosan which can cause hormonal effects and even resistance to certain bacteria based on a statement by the FDA in 2013. Additional research on triclosan is required, for now, FDA is moving towards requiring various manufacturers to provide evidence that their products are safe to be used for long periods of time. Also,, the state of Minnesota has already banned products containing triclosan which will be in effect in 2017.
7. Drink coffee to have a good nap.
A Japanese study revealed that those who took 1 to 2 cups of coffee or 200 mg of caffeine before taking a 20 minute nap were actually more alert and even performed better on various computer tests compared to those who just took a nap. This works because the 20 minute nap actually ends just in time for caffeine to kick in. It also helps get rid of the molecule adenosine making you more alert. Towifigh said that Adenosine is derived from activity and wakefulness which means that the higher the amounts of adenosine, the more tired you become. Napping can help get rid of these molecules and with the effects of caffeine which is known for its ability to inhibit adenosine, it can actually amplify the effects of your nap.
8. Increase weight to be able to wear something small.
Increasing muscle weight can help you squeeze in small sizes compared to those who weigh the same but are living a sedentary life. For example, a 150 pound woman who often lifts weight can actually wear the same size as that of a woman who weighs 140 pounds but don’t work out. According to Mark Nutting, SACO Sport & Fitness’ fitness director in Saco, Maine, although both muscle and fat weighs the same, muscle usually takes up less space. He further stated that you can actually bulk up while still remaining small especially if you lose the extra fat. The bulk that many women are afraid of only happens if they don’t shed their excess fat and actually develop muscles on top of them. You should reduce your calorie intake while adding weight during your exercises to lose those inches.
9. Avoid energy drinks especially when you feel tired.
Goodson recommends avoiding energy drinks since, although they have five times the amount of caffeine than in coffee, the boost you can get won’t really last that long plus you can also experience side effects such as rapid heartbeat, nervousness, and irritability. Energy drinks are also found to contain high amounts of taurine, which is a stimulant of the central nervous system, and more than 50 grams of sugar for each can. This can cause your blood sugar to spike temporarily then crash causing you to feel foggy-headed and sluggish even.
10. Avoid diet soda if you want to lose weight.
You should do away with soda including the diet ones. A study by the University of Texas showed that those who drank diet soda have a higher chance of increasing their waist circumference compared to those who don’t drink over the course of a decade. Goodson further stated that many assume that low-sugar, light, or even low-fat is equivalent to fewer calories but this is not always correct. Naturally, when there is something removed by the manufacturers but the result is still the same, it may mean they’ve added more sugar to it.
11. Workout when you’re tired.
Exercising even after having a very exhausting day may not be an idea you’re going to warm up to soon but it actually helps you feel energized. Based on a study that was published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise showed that a 30 minute exercise of moderate intensity can actually improve your depression and mood. Nutting also stated that people use oxygen all the time and when you work out, it can actually help to become more efficient and you don’t even get tired quickly. Your mental faculties will also work better.
12. Spend less time with one another to improve your relationship.
If you keep jumping from one event to another without even catching your breath in between will only sour your relationship. According to the author of Better than Perfect: 7 Strategies to Crush Your Inner Critic and Create a Life You Love, Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D, you can know yourself better if you spend some time alone to be able to process your thoughts. When you spend some time alone, you’ll be more in tune with yourself to be able to receive and give better. Also, it helps reduce anxiety and stress that can put a strain on a relationship. She recommends going for a walk, watch people, clean your closet, and even meditate.