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Medical News Today: Is there a way to lose weight on birth control?

Reading the labels of hormonal contraceptives reveals that both weight loss and weight gain are potential side effects.

Some women may discontinue their birth control medications because of concerns about weight gain, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

In this article, we evaluate the data that is available about birth control and weight gain, as well as provide tips for losing or preventing weight gain.

Do all birth control pills cause weight gain?

Birth control pill out of pack.
Researchers do not yet know if birth control pills cause weight gain.

Scientific studies draw mixed conclusions in the debate over whether birth control pills, otherwise known as oral contraceptives, cause weight gain.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the potential ways that women could gain weight include:

  • fluid retention
  • muscle gain, as muscle weighs more than fat
  • increase in body fat

These, however, are theoretical scenarios when someone is using hormonal contraceptives for birth control, and they remain unproven.

Despite the lack of scientific evidence, some women taking combined contraceptives believe that they increase their appetite and cause them to feel hungrier. Again, this is not easy to establish, as those who do not take contraceptive pills can gain weight as they age.

Why is it hard to prove birth control causes weight gain?

Scientists have difficulty creating large-scale studies to prove or disprove the theory that birth control pills cause weight gain.

To do this, researchers would have to take two groups of women and give some birth control pills with hormones, while giving placebos, or birth control pills without hormones, to others.

However, this would be difficult because people could not be sure they were in control of preventing pregnancies. Launching a very conclusive study is, therefore, difficult.

What do scientific reviews suggest?

The Cochrane Library, which conducts reviews of scientific research and evaluates available references, has published some information on birth control pills and weight gain.

The first systematic review evaluated the effects of progestin-only contraceptives on weight gain, concluding that the evidence of more than half the studies was “low-quality.”

In the studies, participants gained fewer than 4.4 pounds, on average, after 6 or 12 months of starting progestin-only birth control pills.

The second Cochrane Library review looked at the effects of combined hormone birth control pills on weight gain. These pills contain progestin and estrogen. The researchers found there was insufficient evidence to conclude that these birth control pills caused weight gain.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, it is “unlikely” that birth control pills cause significant weight gain. The organization did, however, acknowledge that individual women might respond differently to medications taken.

Ways to prevent weight gain

Woman doing yoga.
Regularly exercising may help to prevent weight gain.

Many of the methods of avoiding possible birth control-related weight gain are also those that prevent weight gain overall.

Examples of these methods include:

  • Exercise: This consists of a person doing 30 minutes of physical activity each day, such as walking, running, aerobics, swimming, dancing, or other activities.
  • Hydration: Drinking plenty of water each day helps to reduce bloating and thirst-related hunger. People may know if they are drinking enough water because they do not feel thirsty and their urine is light or pale yellow in appearance.
  • Calorie restriction: Reducing calorie intake by 500 calories per day and eating between 1,200 and 1,500 calories per day for women, is one way to lose weight, according to the journal American Family Physician.
  • Nutrition: Eating a healthful diet of nutritionally rich foods, such as vegetables, whole grains, and fruit encourages good weight balance. This includes avoiding foods that are not nutritious, such as those with added sugars, salt, and saturated fats.

If a woman is concerned that her birth control pills are causing her to gain weight, she should talk to her doctor.

A doctor may recommend another contraceptive type or a lower hormone dose to see if this could help a person lose weight.

Alternative methods of birth control

Other birth control methods besides the pill are available. Most, however, utilize the same hormones that are present in birth control pills.

Examples of these methods include the birth control implant, an intrauterine device (IUD), or a birth control vaginal ring. There are hormonal and nonhormonal IUDs, the trade names of which include Mirena, Sklya, Kyleena, Liletta.

The Paraguard IUD is the only long-acting, reversible nonhormonal contraceptive.

Other nonhormonal birth control methods include a condom, diaphragm, birth control sponge, or cervical cap.

None of these methods are, however, 100 percent guaranteed to prevent pregnancy, just as taking birth control pills is not.

For a full listing of birth control types and their average pregnancy rates with typical uses, people can check out the information provided by the United States government at WomensHealth.gov.

Other side effects of birth control pills

Woman suffering from headache.
Headaches are a potential symptom of taking birth control pills.

Whenever someone starts taking birth control pills, it is important they consider the risks and benefits.

Hormonal birth control forms, for example, can increase the risks that a woman may experience blood clots and high blood pressure, according to WomensHealth.gov, although these complications are rare.

Women who smoke and are 35 years of age or older are at higher risk, however.

Other known side effects include:

  • breast tenderness
  • headaches
  • mood changes
  • nausea
  • vaginal discharge

These side effects often subside as people become accustomed to taking the birth control pills. If side effects become too difficult to manage, however, they should see their doctor.

Takeaway

No conclusive scientific evidence has proven that taking birth control pills cause weight gain. Doctors also point to the fact that many people tend to gain weight as they age, which may be a reason why they perceive their birth control pills are to blame.

If, however, a woman has made no changes to her diet and exercise program, has recently begun taking birth control pills, and sees their weight increasing, she should talk to her doctor about possible reasons or potential adjustments.

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Health News

Medical News Today: What are the benefits of maca root?

Maca is a Peruvian plant grown in the Andes mountains. It is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning that it is related to broccoli, cabbage, and kale.

Maca is a common ingredient in Peruvian cooking that gives dishes an earthy flavor. Maca root plant can be ground up into a powder and added to meals or smoothies.

Aside from its culinary uses, maca may also have several health benefits. This article will discuss 10 possible health benefits of maca root.

Ten benefits

There is a range of potential benefits of maca root, including:

1. Increasing libido

maca root
Studies suggest that maca root may help increase libido.

The most well-known benefit of maca root is its potential to increase libido. There is some scientific evidence to support this claim.

For example, an older study from 2002 found that men who took 1.5 or 3 grams (g) of maca per day experienced increased libido compared to those who received a placebo.

A 2010 review of studies on maca and sexual functioning found some evidence to suggest maca could improve libido, but the authors cautioned that more research is required.

A 2015 study found that maca root may help reduce sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women who were taking an antidepressant.

2. Reducing erectile dysfunction

Maca root could also have benefits for people with erectile dysfunction (ED). A small study in 2009 looked at the effect of consuming 2.4g of maca root per day for 12 weeks on participants' perception of their general and sexual well-being.

The study participants were males with mild ED. Those taking maca root experienced a more significant increase in sexual well-being than those taking a placebo.

3. Boosting energy and endurance

Some athletes and bodybuilders use maca root as a supplement to increase energy and performance. Some evidence exists to support this.

A pilot study in 2009 found that using maca extract for 14 days improved performance for male cyclists in a 40-kilometer time trial. However, the results were not significantly different from the improvement seen in those taking a placebo.

However, the same study found that maca extract improved libido in the participants who used it. However, the sample size of this study was very small, so more research is needed to confirm the results.

4. Increasing fertility

Another widespread use of maca root is to increase fertility, particularly in men.

A 2016 review found some evidence that maca root may increase semen quality in both fertile and infertile men. However, more research is needed.

5. Improving mood

Maca contains flavonoids, which are thought to improve mood and reduce anxiety. A study in 14 postmenopausal women found that maca may reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.

Also, a 2015 study found that maca could reduce symptoms of depression in Chinese postmenopausal women.

6. Reducing blood pressure

It is possible that maca root can also help to improve blood pressure. The same 2015 study also found that 3.3g of maca per day for 12 weeks lowered blood pressure in Chinese postmenopausal women.

7. Reducing sun damage

An older study in an animal model found that maca might help protect the skin from UV rays. Another animal study in 2011 found that extracts from maca leaves might help prevent the formation of sunburn cells.

8. Fighting free radicals

Maca root also promotes natural antioxidants in the body, such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase.

Antioxidants help to fight off free radicals, which can damage cells in the body. Some people believe antioxidants can help prevent some health conditions, including heart disease and cancer.

9. Reducing menopause symptoms

Some proponents of maca root believe it may help balance levels of the hormone estrogen. During perimenopause, the stage before a woman reaches menopause, estrogen levels fluctuate and cause a variety of symptoms.

One study found that postmenopausal women who took two daily tablets containing maca experienced reduced symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats.

10. Improving learning and memory

Maca root powder
Maca may help improve learning and memory perfromance.

There is some evidence to suggest that maca can improve learning and memory. For example, a 2011 study found that maca could improve memory in mice.

A 2014 review of the literature suggested that maca may have benefits for learning and memory performance. Researchers suggested that it could be helpful in treating conditions that affect these processes, such as Alzheimer's disease.

However, only research on animal models is currently available, so it is unclear whether maca will have the same benefits in humans.

Risks

Maca is not currently associated with any health risks in most people and is unlikely to cause any side effects in moderate doses.

However, due to its effect on hormones, people with thyroid problems should avoid taking maca. It is also better to avoid taking maca when undergoing treatments that modify hormonal levels, such as treatments for breast cancer.

Takeaway

Maca has a range of potential health benefits, particularly for sexual health. However, the evidence behind these health benefits is weak, as many studies used small sample sizes or animal models.

Researchers need to carry out more large-scale studies in humans to determine if maca is effective. Although there are few health risks associated with taking maca, most people can try maca without experiencing any adverse side effects.

If a person is interested in trying maca root, they can find supplements in some natural food stores or online.

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Inspiration

How to motivate yourself to lose weight

How to motivate yourself to lose weight.

It can take many years until a person decidesto stop being obese.

After multiple battles with meals, diets,and habits acquired, there comes a time when the person abandon.

Resignation can be the starting point to analyzethe relationship with food and why, despite diets, the person does not become thin.

The key is to be prepared psychologicallyto lose those extra kilos.

The change is also mental.

1.

Know yourself.

Many people who want to lose weight deceivethemselves telling themselves that they are happy.

It may be so, but not in most cases.

You have to discover why the desired goalis not achieved.

3.

Make lists.

It is very important to have a clear ideaof what you want to achieve.

It is advisable to make a list of everythingthat you can not do because of obesity.

For example going to the pool, dancing, wearingthe clothes we like, change jobs, etc.

4.

Keep a food diary.

Write in a notebook everything that is eaten,for what reason, if there is hunger or not, and the hours when it is done.

After fifteen days you can give us very importantclues, sometimes surprising.

5.

Small achievements.

If you are able to stop eating bread, or snackingbetween meals.

It is about preparing the way before startingthe weight loss diet, and rewarding yourself for those little triumphs, buying a whim,going to the movies, etc.

Excluding food, of course!  6.

Write your fears.

There are certain types of personalities thatuse food to console themselves, to rebel, to demonstrate something.

analyzing ourown fears we can find the reasons for our obesity and overcome it.

(Source: https://www.

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Com/como-motivarse-para-perder-peso/) Please let us know your opinions in the commentssection below.

Don't forget to CLICK on the card on the topright of this video or the link in the description below and DOWNLOAD my FREE eBooks.

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Weight Loss

Leg Day Workout Done At-Home (BODYWEIGHT ONLY!)

If it’s time for your next leg day workout and you’re ready to workout from home, this is perfect for you!

But after you do this workout, you need to make sure the rest of your workouts and your diet are taken care of. Use this free body type quiz to find out exactly how to get in shape faster and easier!

Leg workouts are far from hard to find. But the best leg workout can be a little more difficult to figure out.

This one is a bunch of bodyweight exercises that maintain optimal tension on your muscles. Also, this is extremely effective for getting the right amount of volume that your legs need to get stronger and firmer!

START HERE!

Take our FREE 1 Minute Quiz to find out EXACTLY what Diet & Training is Best for You.

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The Best Leg Day Workout

This leg day workout will consist of 5 different exercises. Each exercise will be performed for 3 sets of 15 reps with a one minute rest in between each set.

The Exercises

Squat Rocks

For this first exercise, you will start down in the bottom position of a squat. From there, you will remain as low as you can, while going forward and up on your toes. This should work your calves nicely. Then lower your heels back down to the ground. After your heels are back down, remain down in the squat position and shift your weight back on your heels and lift your toes off the ground. Then return your toes back to the ground and rock back and forth like this 15 times both ways. Then you will rest for one minute and repeat for 3 sets.

3 Point Lunges

Here, you will be doing a series of lunges in 3 different directions. So starting by standing up straight, you will first lunge forward.. Then bring your foot back in, without touching it back on the ground, you will immediately go into a side lunge with that same leg. Then bring it back in and without touching it to the ground, immediately go into a back lunge. Then witch legs and do this with the opposite leg. After you have worked your way all the way around, that will be one rep. Repeat for 15 reps total and rest for a minute. Then do it twice more and move into the next exercise.

Frog Pumps

This is a great exercise for the glutes and are very similar to glute bridges. You will start by laying on your back, then bring your feet in closer so your knees are similar to sit-up position. After that, you’ll bring your heels together so they are touching each other. Then drive your heels into the ground with your knees wider than your feet and bridge up as high as you can. Return your back back to about an inch off the ground and repeat for 15 reps.

4 Way Squat Hops

For this exercise, you are going to be doing squat hops in four directions. So standing up straight, you will go down into a squat, then hop up off the ground to your left side. Then immediately go into a squat and hop up and jump back to where you just came from. Then squat down and hop to the right. Squat down hop back to the middle again. Then rather than going back to the left, you will squat down and hop forward. Then squat down again and hop back to the middle. Then as the last direction, you’ll squat down and hop backwards. Then squat down and hop back to the middle again. This will equal one rep. Repeat this left, right, forward and backward method for 15 total reps then rest for a minute. Repeat two more times and move into the final exercise.

Alternating Single Leg RDL Hops

For the last exercise, you will start out by doing a single leg RDL. So starting off by balancing on one leg, you will bend forward, keeping a soft bend in your leg that on the ground, then bring your opposite leg going out behind you. Then tap your fingers to the ground and explode through your glutes and hamstrings to drive your back leg up and hop off the ground. Then after landing back on the ground, switch legs and do the exact same to the other side. Repeat for 15 reps with each leg. After you’ve done 15 reps, rest for a minute and repeat 2 more times.

Once all exercises are completed for 3 sets of 15 reps, you are done with the workout!

If you like this leg day workout, make sure you share it on your Facebook and feel free to leave any comments down below!

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