No bossy list of health to-dos here! Just insider info from Dr Oz, that’ll make you want to treat yourself right:
What Happens When…You Try a Fad Diet
The Master Cleanse and other restrictive weight-loss plans seem to have become more popular than ever. But let me fill you in on something: After a few days of massively scaling back food intake, your metabolism starts to plummet. That’s because your brain senses that there isn’t enough food coming in. It tells your body to cling desperately to the fat stores it already has, and starts burning lean muscle tissue for fuel—two things that ultimately increase your percentage of body fat. After several days on a very low-calorie diet, levels of omega-3 fats in your brain can fall as well. Around 30 percent of the brain is made up of these fats, and without enough of them, you may be more prone to depression.
How to help your body: The healthiest, most effective way to lose weight is to eat small, balanced meals and snacks every few hours so your brain never goes into that starvation panic mode, and to never, ever drop below 1,200 calories a day.
What Happens When…You Skimp on Sleep
After even one night of four hours’ sleep instead of eight, you’ll feel crankier and generally “down.” You’ll have more difficulty processing complex information, and you’ll want to eat more—specifically simple carbs like sweets. Why? Your body wants a quick energy fix any way it can get it. When you don’t get enough rest, your body also produces less growth hormone, a substance that helps tissues regenerate and repair themselves, keeping you younger longer.
How to help your body: The exact amount of rest your body needs is very personal, but, on average, I recommend women get no fewer than seven hours. Men are a bit needier (as you probably already knew). They have to get closer to eight.
What Happens When…You Eat a Fatty Meal
Once a bacon cheeseburger gets into your system, the saturated and trans fats cause blood vessels to constrict. They stay that way for about four hours—boosting blood pressure and reducing blood flow and oxygen supply. And here’s the kicker: As soon as those tough four hours are up, it’s time for your next meal; choose another fatty one, and the cycle happens again. Someone who eats this way most days is almost always walking around with tightened arteries—a prescription for heart disease.
How to help your body: To feel your best and live longer, make high-fat splurges like this the exception, not the rule.
What Happens When…You Have a Glass of Wine
Piles of studies have linked light drinking—whether it’s wine, beer or the hard stuff—to a healthier heart. One study illuminated the possible reason: After one drink (4 ounces of wine or 1.5 of liquor, not a glass the size of a soup bowl), your blood vessels relax. That’s a good thing, but having a second drink stresses your circulatory system. And it’s worth noting that men have more of an alcohol-digesting enzyme in their stomach than women do. More of the alcohol you drink gets into your bloodstream than it does for men, making you drunker quicker. Once boozed-up blood hits your brain, your reaction time and your ability to process information slow. And your liver gets pulled away from its work of clearing out toxins to focus on neutralizing the alcohol. Research suggests that alcohol may be two to three times riskier for a woman’s liver than a man’s, even when they drink the same amount.
How to help your body: You’re far better off having a glass of wine a day than having none all week and then seven on Saturday night.