Dieting and investing: Simple, but not easy
During a low-calorie diet, your body usually isn’t being given enough protein to maintain its muscle. As muscle is burned for energy, it becomes more and more likely that what calories you do take in through food will be stored as fat. Rebound overeating It’s expected that you will use your willpower to overcome cravings while dieting. Yet in fact, cravings are actually the body’s way of saving itself from what it perceives as starvation and malnutrition. In the face of continued dieting, your body will continually escalate food cravings until they’re too loud to ignore. This can happen as early as a few weeks into dieting.
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Should You Be Dieting? The Pros and Cons
OK, but is dieting good for you? It depends. Too much dieting, of course, can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food or other not-so-great consequences. A new study has found that dieting may lead to starvation in more ways than one; in fact, dieting may cause your brain cells to eat themselves in order to sustain energy, which may actually lead you to feel hungrier. Too much restriction can be hard to maintain whether or not your brain is sending hungry signals. If you are always depriving yourself of your food favorites or constantly restricting cravings, a temporary diet cheat can lead to feeling discouraged, which can lead to quitting that diet.
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It’s not easy because we’re human beings, almost hard wired to make mistakes. “Investment Mistakes Even Smart People Make and How to Avoid Them” covered 77 such mistakes. And we’re especially vulnerable to mistakes caused by emotions that lead us to make bad decisions. Bull markets lead to emotions such as greed and envy taking over from our rational self — which can result in taking more risk than we should. Bear markets lead to emotions such as fear and panic taking over from our rational self — which can result in what I call “portfolio suicide.” Merriman put it this way: “You can think of investing as a struggle between the emotions that drive us — hope, fear and greed being three prominent examples — and the iron laws of mathematics and probability.” He also noted another interesting analogy between dieting and investing.
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