Protein Boosts Workout Calorie Burn

Get more out of your workout by eating low-fat protein before you exercise. (Miodrag Gajic/Getty Images)

Get more out of your workout by eating low-fat protein before you exercise. (Miodrag Gajic/Getty Images)

If you’re looking for a way to get more out of your workout, try eating a serving of a low-fat protein before you exercise. In a new but small study, researchers from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville add more perspective to the debate about whether it’s best to work out on an empty stomach or eat first if you want to lose weight.

They measured the energy expenditure (calorie burn) rate of a group of normal-weight females after fasting, eating a high-protein meal or eating a low-protein meal.

They reported that “when combined with exercise, high-protein meal energy expenditure was significantly greater when compared to fasting.” There was a small but insignificant difference between study participants’ calorie-burn rate after eating a low-protein meal.

But if you hope to increase your rate of weight loss by adding a protein snack, be sure to make healthy choices. Eating a diet high in red meat, eggs and cheese and other high-fat animal proteins can up your risk of diabetes and cancer. Try having a serving (about the size of your palm) of egg whites, quinoa, lean poultry, nuts, avocado or tofu before you hit the gym.

Beat the Health Risks of Double Discrimination

A new study, the latest in a series of studies linking discrimination to health, reports that experiencing double discrimination — belonging to two groups that are often the target of prejudice — increases your chances of developing a mental or physical health problem.

While the research is considered news, many black women are familiar with the hurt and stress that come with encountering the racism, sexism, colorism and elitism practiced by people who do not respect women of African descent.

Study author Eric Anthony Grollman, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of sociology and anthropology at the University of Richmond in Virginia, used data gathered on more than 2,000 adults, ages 25 to 74, from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States to measure the mental and physical health impact of living life as a double minority.

Grollman found that women or men who were members of more than one socially disadvantaged group were more likely to report feeling stress from daily or repeated encounters with discrimination. They were also more likely to be in poor health than adults considered privileged or belonging to only one socially disadvantaged group.  Grollman defined “disadvantaged” as being a sexual or racial minority, being obese or gay.

While Grollman’s work is one of just a few studies showing a direct link between racism and poor health, Florida State University sociologist Verna Keith, Ph.D., found that racism could take a serious toll on the psychological well-being of black women.

Researchers have figured out why dark chocolate, in moderation, is good for you. (Creative Commons)


The Dark Chocolate Secret

Researchers have finally figured out how dark chocolate protects health. When you munch just 3.5–4 ounces a day (overindulging is unhealthy), the chocolate works with the bacteria in your gut to reduce a type of inflammation that harms the heart — cutting your risk of heart disease by as much as 37 percent.

Protecting Yourself

We can’t change society overnight, but we can find ways to safeguard ourselves from the effects of dealing with people who do not fully recognize our worth. Put this expert advice into practice:

Treat it as stress: Skin-color-based discrimination is particularly toxic, but it is still basically a form of stress. Make a list of stress-management techniques that work for you, such as prayer, meditation, exercise or spending time with family, friends and people who support and nurture you.

Speak up: If you are sure you are in a safe space, address the offender calmly and directly. Let her know you will not tolerate her ignorant, toxic behavior.

Embrace your legacy: Work on developing a solid sense of self, an appreciation for our culture and our history. Having a positive attitude about who you are is the best protection against bigotry.