5 Small Meals a Day for Weight Loss?

The diet world has been buzzing for years about breaking up your meals into 5 or 6 small meals a day to speed up your metabolism…which would inadvertently help with weight loss….but does it really work? The idea makes sense, as rationing your food usually helps you survive longer if you have a limited amount of food. However, leading research is actually suggesting this common weight loss tip has no effect!

Even current research like the recent Australia study which followed 179 obese Australian men and women is showing that eating the same amount of food in smaller portions has no effect on your metabolism. You are still ingesting the same amount of calories, and you are still absorbing them the same way. Here are some metabolism studies that I have found on pubmed:

Thermogenesis in humans after varying meal time frequency

Snacking patterns influence energy but not BMI

What does this have to do with portion size?

Portion size is still very important for weight loss. This study is simply saying that eating X amount of calories in small portions throughout the day or in 3 regular meals will have no in your weight loss journey. If you are trying to lose weight, remember portion size still needs to play a HUGE part in your nutritional habits.  Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Eat your food slower to help recognize when you are full sooner
  • Take time to sit down and focus on your meals to avoid mindless eating
  • Take snacks in small bowls or plates to avoid eating more than you meant to
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially before meals
  • Switch to whole wheat whenever possible, and stay full longer
  • Try to make half of every meal rich in fruits and vegetables.

Then How Many Meals Should I Eat a Day?

This is up to you and your lifestyle. If you are hungry often and tend to over eat, five small meals a day might still be the better option. It could help by preventing you from overeating due to feeling “starved.” However, if you have a busy lifestyle like many of us do these days, your typical 2 to 3 meals a day is perfectly fine for normal diets and those focused on weight loss.  Studies are still pointing to breakfast being an important tool for a healthy nutrition plan,  for energy and weight loss , so be sure not to skip breakfast!

~HealthyGirl

Do you know of any studies that support or refute this claim? Comment Below!

Home Teeth Whitening Remedies

Everyone wants whiter, cleaner looking teeth. But how much would that cost you at the dentist’s office? The average price for whitening treatment runs around $500. In this economy, who can afford that? Here are some simple home remedies to a whiter, prettier smile. These methods are cheap, easy, and can be done form the comfort of your own home.

A Note About Whitening Strips:
Whitening strips themselves can be pretty pricey, but have you taken the time to look at the ingredients? Next time you go to the store, check out the ingredients on the back of the box. You will find they are using a lot of the same ingredients listed below, such as baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Yet you are paying upwards of 50 dollars a box for the same stuff you already have at home!

Tried &True Home Teeth Whitening Remedies

Baking Soda: This ingredient has been around for ages and people still swear by it. It is known for being one of the best home teeth whitening remedies, among other things. Most dentists consent that it’s safe to use and works rather quickly. You can mix this with your tooth paste, or use it by itself. Try this once or twice a week with your normal brushing habits, and you will start to see results within the first week.

Hydrogen Peroxide: Another popular home remedy is peroxide. This product is cheap and most people have it on hand. If you are going to use hydrogen peroxide, try swishing it in your mouth for 30 seconds a few times a week. Some older remedies recommend you mix hydrogen peroxide with baking soda until it forms a paste, but over using these chemicals could bring some wear and tear on your gums and enamel. Just be sure not to swallow the Hydrogen peroxide!

Vinegar: Another popular remedy for teeth whitening is to mix vinegar with baking soda. It works like hydrogen peroxide, however, the taste can be quite overpowering. Apple cider vinegar will work just as well, and will taste much better! Be sure not to swallow, and if you use this method, only use it once or twice a week to give your enamel a break.

Strawberries: Strawberries have been known to contain some natural whitening agents of their own. Malic acid, which is found in strawberries, helps remove surface discoloration from your teeth. Strawberries can be crushed into a pulp and mixed with baking soda to form a kind of paste. This is another agent that could be harmful to your teeth if used too much, due to the acids found in strawberries wearing down your enamel. If you plan to use this method, just be sure to re-brush with normal toothpaste and rinse out your mouth afterwards.

 Whitening to be Weary of:

 Lemon Juice: This remedy is relatively risky, given this can not only erode your tooth enamel, but cause your teeth to lose calcium and actually break down the bone structure of your teeth over time. Dentist commonly deal with tooth destruction that has been caused by people sucking on lemons and limes. Some people from older generations may swear by it, and it does indeed help teeth whitening, however, the risks outweigh the benefits in this case. I would not recommend this option.

Bleach: I’ve heard of people actually taking straight bleach, or even diluted bleach and using it as a rinsing agent to whiten teeth. Why not? Dentists use it in their techniques right? PLEASE, don’t try using bleach to whiten your teeth. This is a toxic chemical that can be deadly if swallowed, and it will do 10 times more damage to your teeth than it will help! My advice: Save it for the laundry.

Remember that your tooth enamel is one of those things that cannot be replaced. The less enamel you have, the weaker and more cavity prone your teeth will become. Brushing too hard, using acids, or any form of vitamin C will eat away your enamel surface. If you are using any whitening technique, I would recommend using an enamel protecting agent as well. You can use an enamel guard type of tooth paste, or I use GCMI paste that you put on your teeth twice a week before bed. Please remember that all home remedies should be used in moderation and monitored closely!

By the way, how old is your toothbrush? Check out my other article:Toothbrush FAQ

Happy Smiling,

~HealthyGirl

Tips to Better Brush Your Teeth

How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush?

Dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every three months. Normal wear and tear breaks down your bristles on your toothbrush. This renders it less effective at removing plaque and surface stains. It also makes it harder to reach those tricky areas, and less effective in general.  When you start to notice bent or frayed bristles, its time to change your brush.

Should I Change My Toothbrush After A Cold?

YES! It is important to change your toothbrush after a cold, flu, throat or mouth infection. This is because harmful bacteria can hide in your bristles, and you can re-infect yourself. These bacteria can build up, as well as fungus, making your toothbrush an easy access tool to get you sick again, possibly with something worse than you had in the first place!

What Is The Best Way to Take Care of My Toothbrush?

After you brush your teeth, it is a good idea to rinse it with hot water before storing. Make sure it is in an upright position where it can dry easily. A wet toothbrush is a dangerous invite for microbes, so be sure it can dry easily.

Can I Sterilize My Toothbrush?

Absolutely. You can sterilize your toothbrush easily in boiling water  or by putting it in the dishwasher if you have a good heated dry cycle. You can also soak it in a solution of 4:1 water and bleach for 15 minutes. (Be sure to rinse it well!) There are even sterilizing cases you can buy that use UV light to sterilize your brush. Just be aware that some of these processes can start to break down your toothbrush, especially if it is a cheap one.

What Can I do With My Old Toothbrush?

The most common use for an old toothbrush is to clean nooks and crannies in your house like baseboards, doorways, locks, handles, and other small items in your house. They are also great for cleaning behind faucets, windows, and on tools. Just be sure to label your toothbrush so you don’t accidently use it to brush your teeth!

Happy Brushing!

~HealthyGirl