Monday, April 30, 2012

Planning Meals For Your Slimming Programme

One of the most daunting things about starting a slimming programme is planning what you're going to eat. It doesn't have to be as hard as it seems though. Most meals are simple to make, especially if they are using healthy, fresh ingredients. Forget boiling your vegetables to death and eat them raw, or lightly steam them if you want them to be hot. Don't peel fruit that doesn't need peeling, it saves time, and allows you to get the full benefit of the fibre content. There are lots of ways to plan your meals that will help you to achieve your slimming goals. 1) Eat fish Fish is good for you, particularly oily fish like salmon and mackerel. The other bonus is that fish is quick to cook. You can buy it ready-prepared from the supermarket or the fishmongers and most fish will grill in just a few minutes. It's also easy to bake in foil, and you can even add some vegetables such as leeks, peppers or tomatoes into the foil so that it all cooks at the same time. Even poaching fish in a little seasoned water doesn't take long. Plan to eat fish at least twice a week and you have an easy, healthy meal that requires little preparation and little cooking time. 2) Get used to salads Provided you have the ingredients, you can make a wide range of salads in a short amount of time. Green salads made with romaine lettuce, cucumber, celery and avocado are healthy and can be prepared in 10 minutes. Carrots, dried fruit and lemon juice with sesame or sunflower seeds makes a quick and easy salad to serve with chicken or fish. 3) Steam, don't boil Boiling vegetables like broccoli and cabbage reduces the effectiveness of their nutrients and makes them less appetising. Steam broccoli and other vegetables for just a couple of minutes for vibrant, crunchy vegetables and sauté cabbage in some lemon juice. Although you have to change your eating habits when you are slimming, you don't have to plan your meals a week in advance to make sure you're eating properly. As long as you're buying the right foods, cooking them well and not over-eating, you should find your weight loss plan is easy and fun.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Year - New Diet - New You?

Are you about to make yet another new year’s resolution, as you see out the old year, along with it’s broken promises and failed, good intentions? Fresh with new-found conviction, after the gross excesses of the Christmas period and our usual failure to control ourselves, we arrive at the new year’s resolution, an annual triumph of hope over reality! Hope, that this time you will have the single mindedness to succeed, where last time you failed. I’m not suggesting for a moment that you do not want to succeed, I’m sure that your desire to lose weight is genuine, but here’s the reality, it’s a hope, a dream and what’s the point in having dreams if you’re not going to make them happen? You may dream of winning the lottery and yes, you could win! But it’s down to chance and you have a better chance of flying to the moon, than of winning the lottery. Making a real change to your life? Well that’s a dream you can, make happen! And you can start right here, right now. The problem with new year resolutions, lies in the forward planning. Moving towards a significant target date in your life, to contemplate doing something that you know is going to be a struggle. Of course you’re not looking forward to it! What do you expect? As you begin to experience a steady build-up of expectations, leading up to the big day when you’re finally going to start putting right everything that’s wrong with your life! No pressure there then! I’m sure you’ll feel ready to start on that day! In the meantime of course, you now have the perfect excuse to behave badly, because it doesn’t really matter if you let yourself go over Christmas does it? You can do everything to excess. It won’t matter if you put on a few extra pounds! After all, you deserve to have one last binge before the deprivations of the coming year ahead! If you believe that, then you’re delusionary. You’re just fooling yourself because it makes you feel better at the moment. It’s the high, before the deep low that will inevitably follow and damage your self-esteem, sabotaging your chance of success even before you start. Wake up and smell the coffee!! Do you really want to lose weight? Then do something about it, NOW! Clear the cupboards of all the things that you know are bad for you, NOW! Don’t eat them! If you think waste is bad, box them up and give them to charity. Do it NOW – as you read this article. Don’t put it off until tomorrow, because tomorrow never comes! How we think and feel about ourselves is often the difference between happiness and success, or frustration and failure, therefore success and real lasting changes, only comes from changing the way we think. We are all products of our own thinking. So, every thought we think has an impact on us. We respond to our negative thoughts and to our positive thoughts. If you have a history of failing to live up to your own expectations, your memories are loaded with negative programming. No matter how much conscious effort you put into changing your habits, your subconscious mind is flooding your body with negative messages that have been ingrained for years. You can however, change the way you think about losing weight using the help of hypnotherapy DVD’s. Many people trying to lose weight struggle to maintain willpower. They feel that they need help and are often too embarrassed to admit to anyone that they have a problem. Now, many sufferers of low motivation and low self-esteem, are benefiting from hypnotherapy treatment, which can literally change peoples lives for the better. Your life will improve if you begin to believe in yourself and your abilities, you will feel respected, giving you that extra boost to increase motivation, and your enthusiasm will increase noticeably. Some people say it feels like magic because it is so easy to make powerful changes. Hypnotherapy simply allows you to access the resources you already have in your subconscious mind. Desire to make changes is good. Taking action to start something is even better. Let’s assume that you’ve decided right now, to start making the changes that you want. If you have tried before and failed, you need a support structure put into place as quickly as possible, to help you to maintain your resolve and to keep your thought processes focussed on your goals. A hypnotherapy DVD programme for home use can help. You certainly don’t want to be obsessing about food all the time. You can lose weight and I’m sure that your eating programme of choice will be right for you. You will have success this time if you make sure that you put an effective support system into place as soon as possible. So, don’t wait to make any new year resolutions at midnight on the 31st of December, decide to start making the changes that you want to make in your life, now! Do something different this time.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

New Year - New Diet - New You?

Are you about to make yet another new year’s resolution, as you see out the old year, along with it’s broken promises and failed, good intentions? Fresh with new-found conviction, after the gross excesses of the Christmas period and our usual failure to control ourselves, we arrive at the new year’s resolution, an annual triumph of hope over reality! Hope, that this time you will have the single mindedness to succeed, where last time you failed. I’m not suggesting for a moment that you do not want to succeed, I’m sure that your desire to lose weight is genuine, but here’s the reality, it’s a hope, a dream and what’s the point in having dreams if you’re not going to make them happen? You may dream of winning the lottery and yes, you could win! But it’s down to chance and you have a better chance of flying to the moon, than of winning the lottery. Making a real change to your life? Well that’s a dream you can, make happen! And you can start right here, right now. The problem with new year resolutions, lies in the forward planning. Moving towards a significant target date in your life, to contemplate doing something that you know is going to be a struggle. Of course you’re not looking forward to it! What do you expect? As you begin to experience a steady build-up of expectations, leading up to the big day when you’re finally going to start putting right everything that’s wrong with your life! No pressure there then! I’m sure you’ll feel ready to start on that day! In the meantime of course, you now have the perfect excuse to behave badly, because it doesn’t really matter if you let yourself go over Christmas does it? You can do everything to excess. It won’t matter if you put on a few extra pounds! After all, you deserve to have one last binge before the deprivations of the coming year ahead! If you believe that, then you’re delusionary. You’re just fooling yourself because it makes you feel better at the moment. It’s the high, before the deep low that will inevitably follow and damage your self-esteem, sabotaging your chance of success even before you start. Wake up and smell the coffee!! Do you really want to lose weight? Then do something about it, NOW! Clear the cupboards of all the things that you know are bad for you, NOW! Don’t eat them! If you think waste is bad, box them up and give them to charity. Do it NOW – as you read this article. Don’t put it off until tomorrow, because tomorrow never comes! How we think and feel about ourselves is often the difference between happiness and success, or frustration and failure, therefore success and real lasting changes, only comes from changing the way we think. We are all products of our own thinking. So, every thought we think has an impact on us. We respond to our negative thoughts and to our positive thoughts. If you have a history of failing to live up to your own expectations, your memories are loaded with negative programming. No matter how much conscious effort you put into changing your habits, your subconscious mind is flooding your body with negative messages that have been ingrained for years. You can however, change the way you think about losing weight using the help of hypnotherapy DVD’s. Many people trying to lose weight struggle to maintain willpower. They feel that they need help and are often too embarrassed to admit to anyone that they have a problem. Now, many sufferers of low motivation and low self-esteem, are benefiting from hypnotherapy treatment, which can literally change peoples lives for the better. Your life will improve if you begin to believe in yourself and your abilities, you will feel respected, giving you that extra boost to increase motivation, and your enthusiasm will increase noticeably. Some people say it feels like magic because it is so easy to make powerful changes. Hypnotherapy simply allows you to access the resources you already have in your subconscious mind. Desire to make changes is good. Taking action to start something is even better. Let’s assume that you’ve decided right now, to start making the changes that you want. If you have tried before and failed, you need a support structure put into place as quickly as possible, to help you to maintain your resolve and to keep your thought processes focussed on your goals. A hypnotherapy DVD programme for home use can help. You certainly don’t want to be obsessing about food all the time. You can lose weight and I’m sure that your eating programme of choice will be right for you. You will have success this time if you make sure that you put an effective support system into place as soon as possible. So, don’t wait to make any new year resolutions at midnight on the 31st of December, decide to start making the changes that you want to make in your life, now! Do something different this time.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Ideas For Weight Loss

After writing about the fact that many people complain about being "fat", yet do nothing about it, I thought it might be a good idea to write one about a way you can lose weight. Well, maybe not any particular way, but a variety of ways... For starters, if you want to lose weight, you can take the obvious road - Jenny Craig. Why not? It has worked great for many, many people, including the inflated, and now slightly deflated, Kirste Alley. But some people are too embaressed to walk into a Jenny Craig. Maybe because people can see you do it, but thats beside the point. What else can you do? Take pills! Sure.... It too has worked for a great number of people. Weight loss pills are very common, and easy to get your hands on. Try the Adipex Diet Pill if you like. But most people look for excuses not to do that either, as it can be embaressing if someone is to see you take them. Well then, that brings us to the perfect solution - WATCH WHAT YOU EAT! There is no need to pay all kinds of money for "Weight Watchers" or "Jenny Craig", or take embaressing weight loss pills, just simply take note of what you are eating, and try to take on some healthier habits. If you notice that you are eating alot of junk food, try and cut back. Try to change your snack foods to fruits and vegetables, or maybe even just eat less. Watch the amount of food you are taking in, and that in itself can give you results. For any other weight loss ideas, you can try the book store, a nutritionist, or consult your doctor.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

How To Gain Weight And Build More Muscle Mass

A typical strength training program for weight gain all almost always includes compound free weight lifts like squats, bench press, shoulder press, pull-ups (wide grip), and dips. The amount of weight used for each, the amount of reps, and the frequency of training, will obviously be customized to suit your body type, current strength, and strength training goals. It’s also important to note is that training too often is both dangerous and counter-productive. More training does not equal more muscle. The body does not become stronger during exercise; it actually becomes stronger during the repair period between exercising. This is rather non-intuitive, but it’s a basic scientific fact. As such, it’s critically important for people to avoid over-training, and to build in appropriate rest periods between reps, sets, and workouts. Intrinsic Motivation and Keeping Up Progress This may be the most neglected component of an effective weight-gain system, yet it’s easily as important as the other two noted above. The problem of motivation is typically not one of starting. Many people have the will and desire to start a weight gain program; at least, they do for the first few times. Where motivation makes – or breaks – a weight gain program is when it comes to monitoring progress and maintaining muscle gain. This doesn’t imply that people are weak or uninterested in progress; actually, it’s rather more complex than that. Though 1,000 people may focus, on the same day and at the same time, on gaining weight effectively and with measurable muscular results, it’s not an exaggeration to say that each of these people will experience something different. Some of those differences will be profound and visible; other differences will be subtle and difficult to put into words. The dilemma here is that people may start doubting the validity of their program when their progress (or lack of progress) does not mirror the results achieved by someone else. Or worse, some people may truly start doubting their own ability to “ever gain weight” when they see someone else making apparent progress towards their weight gain goals. The remedy to this dilemma is contained in the term “follow-through”. The key to successful weight gain lies fundamentally in one’s ability to follow-through with a program, and to stick with it, while at the same time making appropriate adjustments to exploit gains, and avoid disappointment. Ultimately, if the nutrition and strength training components are in place, achieving weight gain goals are merely a matter of time and effort; and that is where motivation plays it’s most important role. Typical proven strategies to ensure motivation remains high and continuous include: adjusting workouts to add some variety and avoid boredom; using visuals (such as a before and after picture, or a video) to monitor progress; writing down (realistic!) goals; measuring physical improvements on a bi-weekly basis; measuring mental/psychological improvements on a bi-weekly basis; staying focused, and of course, taking breaks when necessary. Putting it All Into Place and Taking Action As noted earlier, there is a disconcerting amount of poor quality (or no quality) information available that purports to help naturally thin people gain weight. The majority of this harmful information revolves around “eating more”; which, if it works, simply leads to the creation of permanent fat cells. Unfortunately, for naturally thin people stuck in this cycle of misinformation and misunderstanding, their choices are to either remain thinner than they’d like, or put on fat pounds and risk a high body fat ratio or even obesity. Thankfully, however, nothing needs to be created in order to help naturally thin people succeed in their weight gain goals; scientific advancements or miracle cures are not required. Simply, what is required is action based on what is already available, and what has been noted above: proper nutrition, effective strength training and self-motivation. Ensuring that these three elements are present is the unifying theme that is common to almost every successful weight gain story that has ever been written, applauded, and admired.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How To Drop Weight and Become Healthier Using These 7 Simple Everyday Life Tips?

These days more and more people are getting intellectual instead of physical jobs. Sitting in the office chairs all-day long has become a norm for many of us. Stress, busyness and rush make us forget about regular food and stuff our stomachs with cheeseburgers and sodas, which don’t do anything good for our bodies. As a result of such crazy life rhythm, we rarely find time for exercises, gyms or balanced nutrition. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the reasons why there are now more that 60% of U.S citizens that have overweight. However, it is possible to change your lifestyle and lose your weight if you are willing to. These 7 day-to-day life tips provided below will help you to drop your extra pounds, become more energetic and healthier. 1. Drink More Water Our bodies need a lot of water. Water removes waste from our organisms and carries various nutrients into all our organs and cells. Your body also loses water by using it for various ways. For this reason you have to replace it and drink water more often than you are used to. Start your day with a glass of water in the morning. Drink a glass of water before any meal. Take a bottle of water with you when you go to work. Your body needs approximately 3-5 liters of water during one day. So don’t hesitate to drink plenty of water wherever and whenever you can. 2. Eat Fruits and Drink Fruit Juices Eating fruits and juices helps you eliminate toxins from your body. Eating a variety of fruits also helps you get enough fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. That’s why you should eat fresh fruits and drink natural fruit juices as often as possible. Fruit juices from stores are often sweetened. If you want to drink juices, make fresh juices yourself. If you think it takes too much of the time, then look for juices with labels that say “100% fruit juice”. These are much healthier for your body as long as they contain much more vitamins. 3. Eat Lots of Vegetables and Vegetable Salads When it comes to losing extra pounds, vegetables are a great choice. They are natural and contain different vitamins, minerals and tons of other useful chemicals known to provide benefits for your body. Vegetables are low in fat and calories, they help control blood glucose levels, reduce blood cholesterol and reduce the risk of colon and other cancers. All these features also help control your weight effectively. If you feel that eating vegetables alone isn’t great choice for you, then make some salads. Mixing vegetables together gives you even more different vitamins and health benefits. There are tons of tasty, healthy salad recipes on the internet. You can also use you imagination to make some great salads. 4. Eat Only When You Are Hungry How many times you’ve been to a party where you saw lots of different and tasty looking meals, which you were offered to try. Don’t eat, because you are offered to. Eat only when you want to. Many people also like snacking. In between meals or when have nothing to do. Quit snacking. Most snacks contain a lot of fat and calories. Replace your usual snacks with vegetables or fruits. These are healthy to your body and you’ll never get fatter, only thinner. 5. Carry Healthy Food with You Many of us work busy office jobs and don’t have time to eat regularly. In this case, bring your own made food with you. Instead of bringing sandwiches with meat, take vegetable salads, carrots, chicken salads. Any low fat food will do. This way, you won’t have to wait for a break to fill your stomach. You’ll be able to have fixed times when eating food. It’s also important to try to eat about 5 times a day, rather than 3 or 2. Eat in smaller quantities, but more often. This helps you to increase your metabolism. 6. Work Out When You Can Working out in a gym is not only a great way to grow some muscles, but also to drop a few pounds. Exercising helps you burn your calories instead of storing them in your body as fat. Our bodies were made to be active, so exercising slowly and easily can actually help you get more energy and make you feel much better. At the end of the week, try to lose all the stress and burn your calories in a gym or having some kind of physical activity at home. If you have time, then try to do easy exercises everyday. 7. Don’t Lie Down or Sit When You Can Move Many of us like to watch TV lying on a couch or sitting in a comfortable chair. Of course, when you come home after hard working day, you’re tired, and all you can think of, is a couch and a remote in your hand. But such laziness won’t help you lose weight. Contrarily, it will make you grow some more pounds. So don’t lie or sit, when you can walk and move. Instead of staring at TV, like a goofy, go ahead and work out in your garden for example, clean your garage, fix your car, go to walk in park or beach. Breathe fresh air and move more often. Not only does it help to reduce stress after work, but also ups your mood and makes you more energetic. In Conclusion Remember that all these tips will help you to lose weight, but only if you are determined and are ready to devote some of your time. Don’t expect to slim down 4 sizes after eating 5 carrots and drinking orange juice. Your body, just like many things in this world, needs time. So be patient. And if you will honestly use at least some of these tips, you are going to change your lifestyle, which in the end will lead you to a thinner and healthier body.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How Not To Gain Holiday Weight So You Have No Need To Lose Weight

Holiday season is just round the corner. There will be parties, celebrations, food and champagne. Ahhhh....that irresistible succulent Christmas turkey and sumptious pudding. That mouth watering new year buffet and the countdown champagne are so tempting. Your spirit is willing but your flesh is week. You binge. So what is price you pay for your hoilday binge? Well, stepped onto the bathroom scale and horror of horrors, you have gained a few pounds!! Aaaaaaaaarrrrgghhh!! You pulled your hair and gnash your teeth wondering how you can lose the holiday weight you have gained. You even contemplate to engage a personal trainer to put you on a weight loss program. Whoa, fret no longer. With a little thought and planning, you can avoid holiday weight gain. Here are some tips on how not to put on holiday weight so that you don't have to lose weight post holiday season. 1) Just Remember that the holiday season is just a few days. So that the days you squeal , "I will gain weight around the holidays," or "I know I will gain 5 pounds during holiday season" or "I’ll start a weight loss program after holiday season is over." are over. Why? Well, since you know that there is only a couple of days you will eat more, then you just eat more on those days and no more. Don't let it the binge into a week or more by taking home all the leftovers or storing more sweets snf pastries than you need for that particular holiday. It is usually what people find in the fridge and on the kitchen shelf after the holiday that they continue to binge. Empty fridge and the shelves. This will help you not to put on too much weight so you need not lose weight post holiday season. 2) Turn Off Your TV Set Hey! Instead of watching all those holiday special programs on your goggle box, get moving! Instead of watching a soccer game on TV, get a ball and go to the nearest park for a kick around. Instead of lying on your couch snacking to a packet of chips, go lie by the poolside, then do a few laps. Better still, get your family and friends to join you. Go for a jog instead. If it is winter where you live, be innovative, think of some indoor activities or exercises you can do.While others gain weight, you may even lose weight. Afterall its a holiday. Have fun! 3) Avoid Acohol To Avoid Weight Gain One gram of alcohol packs a whalloping 7 calories. In contrast, carbs and protein have only 4 calories per gram. Calories from alcohol are just, well, calories with zero nutritional value. They will rapidly convert into fat fast when you do not burn them off quickly. Avoid high-calorie mixed drinks like cocktails that are full of sugar or beer which are high in carbohydrates which translate into even more calories. You will definitely need to be on a weight loss program if you indulge in too much alcohol. 4) Drink Plenty Of Water Juices, soft drinks and coffee don't count! Just good ole plain water. Water flushes out toxins in the body, helps the body recover from dehydration caused by alcohol consumption. You will also feel full so that you will not over eat resulting in gaining weight. 5) Skip Dessert To Lose Weight Do you need those sweet and calorie laden thingies? If you must have them, choose those that are not that sweet or even better, just have some fibrous fruits and nuts. Do this to keep your weight in check. If you can keep to these tips this coming holiday season, then you will not gain weigh and thus may not need to lose weight post holiday or embark on a weight loss program. Simple and cool isn't it?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Healthy Diet Tips

These healthy diet tips will keep you on the right path. Although healthy people are generally at a natural weight, this is not about dieting and losing weigh, its about lifestyle. The mainstream seesaw of dieting is a moneymaker that doesn't address real health issues and concerns. One of the best things you can do for your body is eat at least twelve servings of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables every single day. These foods are packed with the things that our bodies need; natural, non-synthetic source of Vitamins A,B, C, and E, disease fighting antioxidants, minerals like potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and copper. These days too many Americans get their vitamins from synthetic sources that are isolated and chemically induced. The best way to get this nutrition is from the good earth, directly from the source, from fruits and vegetables. If eating that many vegetables seems overwhelming, just think about the colors. Get your blue and purples like blueberries and plums to reduce the risk of cancer and protect your urinary tract. Eat green vegetables like broccoli and celery to protect your bones, teeth and eyes. Consume your whites like mushrooms and onions for healthy heart function. Eat foods like oranges and carrots to boost your immune system from the yellow and orange fruits and vegetables. Finally, get your reds from foods like apples and beets for memory function and heart health. All of these fruits and vegetables have healing qualities and you'll feel the difference. If you can't eat this much or don't have the time, drink juices made from a vegetable juicer, a great way to get the nutrients you need. In addition to eating fruits and vegetables, cut down on saturated fats from processed foods and switch to unsaturated fats from nuts like almonds and vegetables including avocado. In general however, cut down on fat in your life and your heart and body will thank you for it. Speaking of processed food, begin to rid yourself of any processed foods. And of course, drink water so that you are flushing the toxins out your system and staying hydrated. Use these healthy diet tips as a general guide to healthy eating, not fad dieting.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Health and fitness software, what should be in it? Part 1

Let’s keep the answer simple; everything that is related to your health. The most important indicators for your state of health can be measured though your vital signs, like blood pressure, cholesterol level, heart beat, body mass index etcetera. The major input that influence these health indicators are what and how much you eat and drink, smoke, medication use, life style, daily activity and air quality. Beside our genetic disposition, we are what we eat, drink and breathe. A good health and fitness software program should be able to capture the above mentioned input and correlate the results with the output, or health indicators. This way you create a cause and effect system that the user can analyze and consequently take corrective measures and improve his or her overall health. The bigger picture teaches us that an effective health and fitness software program contains modules that can monitor our food intake, record our body measurements and vital signs. Furthermore it should track our daily activities and convert them into calories burned. Also it should keep track of our medicine and supplement intake and monitor our overall health level. For the sport and bodybuilders we need additional modules that can keep track of our workout activities, sport results and fitness tests Let’s start with food intake. Most of the time we eat together with our family therefore a health and fitness software program should never be restricted to one user. People tend to repeat the recipes they cook and meals they prepare on a regular interval. For most people this interval is between 20 and 30 days. Furthermore people tend to buy more or less the same ingredients for their meals. For this reason a fitness or diet program boosting databases with thousands of food items will be more of a hindrance than a benefit. The reason that I say this is because it will be very time consuming to pick an ingredient for a recipe or meal plan from a list of thousands of ingredients. Look for a program that has the basic ingredients to build your recipes and allows you to add food items that are specific to your taste. A food’s nutrition facts change depending on how it is conserved, processed or cooked. For example a cup of canned spinach that is cooked will have totally different nutrition facts than a cup of fresh spinach. Look for a program that can make a distinction between these food properties. The cost of buying special diet foods can be a lot more (up to 2.5 times) than what the average American spends on food. It is a plus if a health and fitness software program can keep track of the food cost by recipe, meal and day. It is really a bonus if the program can compare grocery prices between shops and help you budget. A recipe module is imperative to a good health and fitness system. This is the place where you can experiment and adjust your recipes to your diet’s nutritional fact limits. The recipe should calculate its nutritional facts per portion depending on the weight ratio of each ingredient that has been added to the recipe. Naturally you should be able to print the recipe and see the total recipe cost and the cost per portion. Having the ability of adding recipe pictures is a plus. You should also have the ability to create multiple meal plans in the system. Maybe you would like a separate plan for the kids or baby. Or for a partner that has a cholesterol problem, high blood pressure or diabetes. Or you simply want to change diets. These meal plans should repeat over a certain amount of days. The timing of the meals should be more then just breakfast, lunch and dinner. Many diets ask for many small recipe portions during the day. The food items that you select on the meal plan should come from the ingredients as well as from the recipes. For instance you can add a raw apple to your meal plan, which is an ingredient to make an apple sauce recipe. The apple sauce recipe or the raw apple can each be added to the meal plan As you would expect, the software program should be able to calculate the meal plan cost and nutrition facts by day and for the whole meal plan. How are you going to keep track of what you actually ate on a particular day and how do you know how to stick exactly to your plan? You do this by printing a meal plan worksheet for a particular day and you note the actual differences from the plan. We don’t have much time in today’s busy society; therefore you should be able to register the actual daily food consumption in less then 30 seconds. A system that forces you every day for every meal to select your food items from a list of thousands records is not going to make it in 30 seconds. Only select a system that automatically populates your meal plan for that day and you only update the actual differences from the plan. Just adding your daily food intake to a database is not going to benefit you. It will create a “data cemetery”, data that is never examined. The food data needs to be analyzed and correlated to other types of data like your body measurements or calories burned. Click on the calorie analysis hyperlink to view an example. The chart makes it very quickly clear that the calorie intake line is under the calories spent line and consequently you will lose weight. Next article I will talk about activity calorie counting and the factors involved…

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Exercise - An Effective Way To Lose Weight

Are you trying to lose weight? Have you tried exercising? In case you do not know, exercising regularly is the most effective way to lose weight. Dieting is another way to do it and people choose it very often because it helps them to achieve weight loss very quickly. The problem with dieting is that, in most cases, when dieters return to their old eating habits they gain back all the weight they had lost, which is something very frustrating. That is the reason why you should try exercising regularly and changing your eating habits gradually instead of following diets that will not help you to maintain your weight in the long run. If you are the kind of person who likes doing nothing but sitting and watching television when you come back home from work, it is going to be hard to start with an exercise program. Anyhow, you can start bit by bit, for example you can start doing just fifteen minutes of exercise a day and you will feel and look a lot better. Then, once you begin noticing the changes it will be easier for you to get on exercising more often. Always bear in mind that you should consult your doctor before starting any exercise program to lose weight. It depends on your cardiovascular health the type of exercise program that you can do. Doctors also tell you how much exercise your body can stand. With the guide of your doctor you will be sure that any kind of exercise program you follow will do you good. Have you ever embarked on any kind of exercise program? If not, the best you can do is to join a gym or hire a personal trainer. The majority of health clubs have a great variety of free classes for their members. You can chose from the traditional stair-stepping classes and aerobics to the newer and more specialized classes like kickboxing, Pilates, and yoga. In some cases, gyms offer Spinning classes, which consist of an instructor and various stationary bicycles. But if what you are looking for is to exercise on your own, you should ask for help to a personal trainer to make a program especially for what you need. You can choose from a private personal trainer or an employee of a health club. If you do not like going to the gym, you can join the sport you like the most. This way you are not only going to lose weight but you are also going to have fun. There are many recreation centers and YMCA’s from where you can choose the sport you like. There are many options: you can choose to play with a group of friends or join a team already formed with people you do not know. It is the best opportunity to meet new people, make new friends and have fun. After some time you will notice that exercising has become a habit, and at that very moment you can begin to increase the amount and intensity of the activity you are doing. For example, if you have started by walking, you should try, after some weeks, running a little bit. It does not matter how much you increase, you should do it bit by bit. When you are exercising with the intention of losing weight, it is very important to bear in mind that the most important thing is getting healthier and not just reducing pounds. You have to know that it could be very probable for you to gain some weight when you start exercising just because you are augmenting your muscle mass and muscle are heavier than fat. Yet, when you acquire more muscles, you also use more calories every day. Therefore, even if you do not change your diet, you will still be losing weight. However, it is vital to have a very healthy feeding in order to have enough energy to go through your workout sessions.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Diet Pills Health Risks

People who suffer from weight problems would like to believe that there is a simple, easy solution to their situation. A quick fix of some kind that will help them lose weight rapidly and without any effort. And there is a multi-billion dollar industry that revolves around getting people to believe promises of results that are qualified with fine print stating that the statements they are making haven't been evaluated by the FDA (US Food & Drug Administration). One of the largest areas of the industry is diet pills. Not only can they cause harmful side effects, but they can become both physically and emotionally addictive.

One of the most dangerous aspects of diet pills is that they are not required by law to be tested by the FDA before they are released to the public. However, the FDA will act to remove a product from the market once it has been shown to be dangerous. This happened in 2003 when the FDA banned products containing ephedrine (ephedra) after they were suspected of being at least partly responsible for the death of a prominent athlete. Secondly, these pills can be purchased over the counter as well as by prescription. It’s up to the buyer to make sure he understands and uses the pills as they were intended. However, some people who are trying to "fix" themselves and their weight problems can be inclined to overdose on diet pills in order to try to speed up the weight loss process even more.

The pills work in different ways. Many are appetite suppressants with active ingredients like phenylpropanolamine or caffeine. Many of them are supposed to increase the rate of your metabolism and at the same time they should help in controlling the appetite. Others claim to block the body’s ability to absorb fat. Others even claim to give the same results of a bariatric gastric banding surgery without the operation. These pills expand in the stomach to create a feeling of satiety. Last, but not least, some diet pills are based on the process of eliminating waste or fluid from the body. Many include some form of diuretic or laxative.

Diet pills can be addictive and can also have harmful side effects even when they are taken according to the doctor's directions. If you have any health problems, consult your physician before taking any kind of diet pill. Be sure that you follow the directions and be sure that you're aware of possible side effects. Stop taking the pills immediately if you experience any of them. Some known side effects of diet pills include:

  • anxiety or nervousness,
  • irritability, insomnia and a feeling of restlessness or hyperactivity,
  • high blood pressure,
  • tightness in the chest,
  • heart palpitations,
  • heart attack,
  • stroke or congestive heart failure,
  • digestive tract problems like vomiting, diarrhea, constipation or other stomach pain,
  • fever,
  • dry mouth,
  • headaches,
  • dizziness,
  • blurred vision,
  • profuse sweating,
  • hair loss,
  • menstrual cycle and sex drive disturbances and
  • urinary tract problems.

In the case of overdose, users can experience tremors or convulsions, confusion or hallucinations, breathing problems, renal failure or heart attack.

As you can see, diet pills need to be taken with caution due to all of the physical risks. But there are emotional risks too. Often those trying to lose weight may start to feel emotionally dependent on the pills. They may attribute their initial success to diet pills only, forgetting any diet modifications, exercise or other lifestyle changes that may have been the true reason for the weight loss. People will often 'pill hop', trying one new pill after the other, looking for the magic cure that will let them continue to eat whatever they want but still lose weight. However, only a balanced, sensible diet combined with exercise has been proven to keep weight off over any amount of time. And no pill will cause the lifestyle and emotional changes needed to stop overeating and start losing weight.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Acne - A Clean Face - Step 1 in a 12 Step Program

For those that need more than a special cream like Scotty's Face Cream, then you need to work harder to get rid of acne. Since acne is a condition that occurs from within your body and exhibits on the outside of your body, you need to, § Attack acne from inside your body § Attack acne from outside your body If your acne is not to severe, all you might need is a good cream and need only to follow a few steps in my 12 step program to get you past the periods where acne is active. If your acne is more severe, than you may have to follow my 12-step program, since acne is an expression of your whole body system and is a reflection of what is going on inside your mind, cell structure and internal organs. Acne is an excessive toxic condition within your body, which the internal elimination organs are unable to eliminate. So your toxins are moved into your blood and excreted through your skin. It is an automatic survival mechanism your body initiates in an effort to protect the insides of your body - cells, liquid, blood, organs, and tissues. There are 12 areas that you need to look at, § Keep your face clean § Using Scotty's acne face cream or your favorite face cream § Relive your constipation and the tree day liquid fast § Making changes to your diet § Get plenty of sun, air, and water § Vitamins you need to be taking § Minerals you should be taking § Special supplements to take § Herbal mixture to use or drink § Special detoxifying drinks or supplements to take § Brushing your skin § Change your attitude Step 1: Keeping your face clean If you use face cosmetics, you need to stop. Some cosmetics irritate the skin and can cause acne by plugging up your pores on your face. The cosmetics chemicals that can cause you the most skin and pore irritation and inflammation are: mineral oil lanolin parabens propylene glycol Look at the label of the cosmetics you use. You will find that many cosmetics, soaps, and sunscreens contain these chemicals. Find a water base make up, not an oil base. Find one that does not irritate your face and use it sparingly When you wash your face don't use any commercial soaps since they are filled with chemicals that will irritate and worsen your acne condition. And don't excessive wash your face as this will dry your skin of the natural protective oil. Also, don't keep touching your face since you spread or add bacteria to it. To wash your face use only, § Castile hand or liquid soap § Pure glycerin hand soap You can pat your face with a clean hot face towel to bring circulation to your face and to help open and move the toxic material, in the pimple, to the surface. Do not scrub hard to burst a pimple but just scrub lightly to burst a pimple when it is ready to open. Use the hot towel application only 2-3 times per week. When a pimple is open do not continue to rub or scrub it. In fact do not pick or scratch an open pimple since this could create other sores or leave scars that are difficult to remove. Just washing your face with clean soap will keep your face free of toxic matter. Keep in mind, Whatever you put on your skin will move into your skin and into your bloodstream. Most commercial creams, lotions, and soaps are filled with all kinds of chemicals that are toxic to your body. By using them you are making your liver work harder. During the day or at night avoid resting your cheeks or chin on your hand(s) or arm(s). This can irritate your face and cause acne to breakout. When you sleep, try to sleep on your back and not with your face or side of the face into your pillow. There you have it. Step 1, shows you how to keep your face clean to avoid getting acne or to help relieve acne.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Diet and Exercising for Weight Loss

Obesity is now being called an epidemic in the health community. In fact, it will soon be the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, even ahead of cigarette smoking. Obesity leads to type two diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke and even an increased risk of cancer. With all of these health risks, as well as the general improvement in the quality of life that can occur, losing weight is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. No matter what we would like to believe, there simply isn't a magic solution to losing weight. The body will shed excess fat when it needs more calories to function through the demands you place on it in a given day than the amount of calories that you feed it. It's that simple. So, in order to lose weight, you need to decrease the number of calories that you eat as well as increase the amount that you burn. There is a wide range of options to choose from when looking for a weight loss program. All of them often spend a lot of time explaining what to eat, in what amounts and even at what times or in what combinations. But few of them emphasize the importance of exercise – not just for losing weight, but for your general health and wellbeing. Exercise is vital when trying to lose weight for several reasons:
  • First, as you start to eat less, your metabolism will slow down somewhat. Exercising helps to elevate your metabolism back to an efficient level.
  • Second, as mentioned, exercise burns more calories so that you can lose weight faster and stay motivated in your efforts.
  • Third, exercise actually releases endorphins, chemicals that keep your mood elevated.
Exercise doesn't have to mean spending hours at the gym or straining through exhausting workouts. In fact, in order for you to stick with it on the long run, exercising should be something that you enjoy. Start by increasing your activity level in an overall way. Take the stairs when you can. Park further from the mall door when you go shopping. Go for a walk in the park or through a neighborhood you love and bring a dog or a friend along for company. Take dance or martial arts lessons. Once you become more active in general, you'll find it easier and more natural to move into regular exercise. Which you'll need to do eventually in order to get regular, noticeable health benefits. You need to raise your heart rate to a fat burning level and keep it there for at least 20 minutes, 3 times or more a week. However, if you don’t want to go to a gym, there are other options. Videos and DVDs are now available in all kinds of exercise types. That way you can change your routine whenever you want so that you don't get bored with what you're doing. Try a range of aerobics, kickboxing, yoga, or pretty much any activity you want right in the comfort of your own home. If you have physical limitations that would keep you off from exercising, you can still find a way to increase your activity level. Water aerobics is a wonderful option for those who have joint problems or limited mobility because it relieves the pressure on your body that your weight provides. But you still get the resistance to challenge your muscles from the water. There are even classes and videos available that let you exercise in a seated position. Whatever kind of exercise you choose, it's important to stay motivated and keep it fun. Try gathering a group together to make it a social event. Or get a pedometer, a device that tracks how far you walk, and see how many miles you can walk a week. Make a competition amongst your friends or family members and treat the winner with something special (not food related!). Make the experience of exercising something that you look forward to, and it will soon become a regular part of your healthier lifestyle.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Calorie counting done the right way = weight loss? Absolutely!

You and I know that losing fat and staying in great shape is a difficult task because it is so hard to stay motivated and it is so tempting to cheat, especially when you can hide the cheating. We dieters have all been in a starving situation when dieting and our mind reasons very quickly why that extra piece of pie is not going to hurt us. We take it, forget about it and then wonder next day why we didn’t lose weight. For most of us dieting is a constant battle between emotion and reason and when hungry, reason is out of the window and emotion just wins. We do not see the immediate effects of our behavior and therefore our brain is fooled into thinking that everything is all right. On the other hand, let’s say you would get very sick when eating more than you need, overeating would stop very quickly. Getting sick after a little bit of overeating does normally not happen therefore we need to find a different way to show the consequences of our behavior. We need to show this in a factual manner, an immediate visual display of the results of our cheating. It is not punishment right away, but over time our brain will be conditioned such that taking an extra piece of pie will give negative weight loss results. Then we will start to understand why we don’t lose weight and can pinpoint the causes. What should this visual display look like? First I like charts, they are very easy to understand and can show trends and correlations between variables. In this chart I would like to see over a period of time, the average calories that I take in per day compared with the average calories that I burn per day. If the chart shows that the intake calories are lower than the burned calories, I will lose weight and vice versa I will gain weight. Correlate that with a chart that shows your weight or BMI (Body Mass Index) over time and I have the tool that helps me regulate my food consumption versus my daily activities. If I add my hunger levels before and after the meals, I can fine tune my meal plans and daily activities. In this way I can sustain my dieting for a long time and preferably it will become my way of life. I have minimized the hunger pain and increase the pleasure of losing weight and feeling more attractive. There is abundance of free online food calorie calculators. These calorie counters just display nutrition facts and are not going to help you lose weight. Nor is a simple calorie calculator that tries to calculate your calories burned solely based on your weight and average activity level. These are simple little gimmicks that are a waste of your time. Only when you seriously can track and correlate your calorie intake and calories burned over time, depending on your age, weight, gender, height and individual activity intensity levels can you precisely measure your calorie balance. Seeing visually that your weight loss program works is a big motivator to stay on track. Also you can see immediately when you are off track and you can adjust your situation accordingly. Acquiring great health is a complex task. Interrelating factors like diet, nutritional facts, meal plans, calorie balance, body reading measurements, supplement and medicine intake, exercise routines, daily activity intensity and costs will make it very difficult for you to see the forest for the trees. Well designed software that keeps track of all of the above factors and can correlate them will make it very easy to manage your health, fitness, weight loss, muscle mass gain or any goal you have set...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bariatric surgery & early death

Weight loss surgeries have witnessed huge popularity in recent times. The number of stomach-shrinking operations, a type of bariatric surgery meant for severely obese people has skyrocketed in recent years. Few celebrities of Hollywood have also opted for this form of surgery to curtail obesity. But there are various risks associated with these surgeries especially for elderly people and those suffering from heart disease. At times, it can result in early death. Patients aged 65 or older face a nearly threefold increase in the risk of early mortality according to latest findings. It has been found that men are nearly twice as likely to die following such procedures as opposed to women. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, more than 5% of men and nearly 3% of women aged 35 to 44 years were dead within a year of having the surgery and a slightly higher rate were found in patients aged between 45 to 54. Bariatric surgery is a complicated procedure therefore a surgeon requires prior experience to perform it properly. Patients whose surgeons had performed fewer than 20 procedures were nearly five times as likely to die within 30 days after the operation as compared to others. Despite the greater risk associated with it, bariatric surgery can be a safe and effective tool for morbidly obese people, who face serious health problems if they don't lose weight. Things you need to know about bariatric surgery 1.Bariatric surgery is not an easy option for obesity sufferers as it carries the usual pain and risks of any major gastrointestinal surgical operation. 2.Bariatric surgery requires changes in eating habits therefore after having bariatric surgery; patients remain at a lifelong risk of nutritional deficiencies. 3.Bariatric Surgery is best suited for morbidly obese people. 4.High amount of motivation is required to make the surgery a success. 5.This procedure is costly as compared to other weight loss techniques. Therefore, be well informed about the surgery you want to opt for as it can make weight loss an easy and safe affair for you. to know more about weight loss and diet pills, visit:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Am I Lazy?

Is the reason that there has been an increase in obesity due to the fact that adults in today’s society are lazy? Are we all just a bunch of lethargic couch potatoes that don’t do anything but sit around and eat all the time? I say no. Instead we are a product of our revolutionary, technological society. I am not saying we can blame technology, rather I am saying that as with our youth, the adults are also a reflection of the society that surrounds them. It isn’t an excuse, but it is a thought I pondered based on my typical day. I get up in the morning, not to the sound of an aggravating buzz, beep, or the blaring of the radio. These alarms would get my blood racing right from the start, but I would hit snooze to stop the insanity. Then it would happen again, and again, the snooze bar. After a few times of this I am would now be late for work, rush to the shower if I even had time, rush to the car, and speed off to work. Not in today’s world. Instead, I wake to the soothing sound of the ocean on my Homedics radio and slowly wake peacefully. No blood pumping, no increased heart rate. I just have a nice and slow, easy awakening. Next I head to the shower where I put turn on my shower CD player and listen to something that I enjoy while I take my time letting the water almost run cold. During my toweling off and getting dressed period of the morning, I can hear my coffee being made on the coffee maker that is set to make me a cup every morning with me not having to do a thing. While I sit and drink my coffee pondering the day ahead of me, I notice that it is almost gone, so I gently push a button on my key ring that starts my car and gets it nice and warm for me before I even get to it. I can then take my leisurely stroll to my car, get in, and have a nice peaceful drive to work (barring any unforeseen road rage). Nothing like before when I had to run to my car because I was late most of the time due to the annoyance of my alarm or run because it was cold and then get in and shake and shiver for 10 minutes until it warmed up. Once at work I find myself taking out my PDA and seeing what is on my agenda for the day. Nope, no more flipping through pages of my pocket calendar or scheduler. My work day is simple and uneventful, but instead of having to run back and forth through the office to get messages to everyone, I can now simply send an interoffice email with the push of a button. When it is time to leave, I again start my car from my office and drive home. Arriving at home, I put in a microwave dinner that doesn’t have to be chopped up, cut up, stirred, blended, kneaded, poked, or even prodded. Push a few buttons and five minutes later I am sitting in front of the TV watching the shows I recorded on my cable’s digital recorder and eating my five minute, nuked meal. Would I have done this in the past? The answer is no, because I would have had to physically make something to eat, and there wouldn’t be anything on TV worth watching, so I would eat and go do something like yard work, clean the house, play with the kids, whatever, just something else to occupy the time. Oops, while I was eating, I got some crumbs on the floor and then dropped some more on the way back to the kitchen. Oh well, I will just push the button on my robot vacuum cleaner and let it clean the whole floor as it is preprogrammed to do. Finally, my day is coming to an end and instead of doing something really constructive before I go to bed, I can’t resist the opportunity to surf the Internet for a little while, maybe chat to some friends or relatives, and check my email. Besides, I have to plug in my PDA to the computer anyway. Now my lazy or technologically dysfunctional day is complete. This whole story brings me back to my question that started the whole thing. Am I lazy or am I just a product of my environment. It is this author’s opinion that I am both. Years ago, even the simple things like making the dinner would be exercise, but now it is too easy because it is done for you in a box. Everything today is easy and most adults are on the heavy side, because things are easier and don’t take as much energy. That doesn’t mean we in society are lazy, it means we don’t have to exert ourselves as much to accomplish the every day routines that are needed to complete the day. However, I could stop by the gym on my way home, or go for a walk after dinner, so I am also lazy too. The Internet just pulls me in night after night and I can’t seem to make myself do anything else after dinner. Shame on you technology for holding that gun to my head! Brad G. Morris

Saturday, April 14, 2012

All Diets Work--No Diets Work

Have you lost weight in the past only to regain it a short time later? Have you followed every diet including Atkins, South Beach, the Drinking Man's diet, the Peanut Butter diet, or even the Chocolate Diet? All of these diets work, and none of them work, meaning you can and probably do lose weight on any of them, but you won't keep it off. Why not? Because the day will come when the diet is over and you're right back to your regular routine; the same routine that got you fat in the first place. In the past diets carried a warning not to stay on them longer than the prescribed period; usually two weeks, some a mere three days. Today's popular diets are attempting to style themselves as lifestyle choices, but this isn't working either. People want to be able to eat a sandwich now and then. They want the burger and the bun! Strive for balance choosing foods you prefer, and you'll have a better chance at lasting weight loss success. Small Changes: Big Answer to Weight Loss Blues Start today, and work one day at a time making one or two small changes such as switching to the calorie-free soft drinks then weaning yourself down to two or less a day (if you drink more than that now of course). Changes don't have to be drastic. In fact trying to make drastic changes in your lifestyle never works because while you may be happy in the beginning, you slowly grow miserable toward the end. In fact, that's the problem right there: you anticipate an end. Weight Loss Comes Down to Choices Talk to people who've lost weight and kept it off. They'll say, "This is a lifestyle." It's about choices you make every day. Are you choosing to take an extra helping, even though you're comfortably full? Change that one behavior and you're on your way. Do you choose to take the bag of chips to the couch? Change that, in fact just stop eating on the couch entirely and you're one step closer. Eliminate the habit of grabbing a few bites on your way past the candy dish, that alone can shave several pounds. I once lost eight pounds simply by eliminating the candy dish I kept at my desk (not to mention the money I saved not buying a couple pounds of candy a week). Choose one small habit or behavior at a time, not your entire existence, and you'll have a much better chance to reach your weight loss goals.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Why is Hoodia such a sought after weight loss supplement?

Hoodia Gordonii is an unambitious little South African desert cactus type plant that has a big future ahead of it. A gift from the native San people who live in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa, this tiny plant the natives' call "Xhoba" has already began impacting the world of weight loss with its extraordinary hunger stopping traits. What the Aboriginal San Bushmen have known for a long time and the rest of us are merely beginning to realize is that Hoodia has appetite suppressant qualities distinguished by plant scientists and named P57. This P57 active element has been examined, tested and identified to have the power to reduce calorie intake by up to 1,000 calories a day.

So will any South African cactus do when it comes to helping you to stay away from snacks? Indeed not, don't go to the local florist and buy yourself a desert cactus to eat. Of the succulent and asclepiad genus there are 2,000 species of ascleoiadaceae, divided into 300 genera, half from the succulent category. Hoodia Pseudolithos and Trichocaulon are members of the Trichocaulon sub-section from the Kalahari Desert region of S. Africa that touches Angola, Botswana and Namibia. Hoodia Gordonii is the name of the cactus you will want to get but don't plan on taking a outing to the South Africa and getting some Hoodia cacti for yourself; the Hoodia desert cactus are under strict control by the S. African government. It is considered an endangered plant and only Hoodia cactus farmers with certification may produce and sell the Hoodia.

Can Hoodia affect the world's obesity problem and help the planet be a slimmer place? Business organizations including, Council for Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Phytopharm, Pfizer and most recently Slim Fast all believe so. All of these companies have banked on Hoodia's success and together have invested millions of dollars, wanting to corner the marketplace on weight loss. Looking at Hoodia's journey from Xhoba, plant of The San Bushmen to being today's miracle plant for weight loss we need to first look at where Hoodia's been over the past thirty plus years. The greatest amount of time, CSIR analyzed Hoodia to isolate the molecule p57, once they eventually obtained it; they then sold the rights of p57 to Phytopharm. In 1998 The Phytopharm Company leased marketing rights to Pfizer, who invested thirty-two million only to subsequently drop out of the scene because p57 was too expensive to synthesize as a pill. Pfizer's situation has now been taken over by The Unilever Corporation, the parent company of Slim Fast. Slim Fast at present plans on delivering a Hoodia weight loss supplement to nutritional stores in a couple years.

Almost a year ago, on November of 2004, the Hoodia plant contracted big media coverage when CBS's Sixty Minutes did a show on Hoodia's appetite suppressant qualities. With the 60 minute TV exposure, Hoodia was now wanted plant by dieters all-round the globe. People having a hard time staying on their diets desired Hoodia now, not in a couple of years, the secret was out and Hoodia was becoming an indispensable plant. I'm sure after that 60 minutes program was aired, numbers of dieters looked into moving to the Kalahari Desert and making themselves a tiny Hoodia garden of their very own. Luckily, as it is today there isn't a reason to go to that extent, where there is a consumer need; there are many businesses happy to fill that request. There were a few businesses that were informed of Hoodia before the news coverage broke and were in the right place at the right time. It didn't take long though for numerous other organizations to create associations with South African Hoodia Gordonii growers and get Hoodia supplements into stores.

Nowadays there are numerous brands marketing both Hoodia powder form and extracts; how long will the Hoodia plant supply last is the question on dieter's minds right now. The Hoodia Gordonii succulent is a very hard plant to grow; the plants need very much care and management with irrigating, temperature and sunshine. Where it stands today there are only a couple of Hoodia harvesting centers in the South Africa and the Hoodia plant takes two to three years before it's ready to be exported. Taking this into account, the multi-million dollar question is, for how many months can the Hoodia succulent plant export continue? Because of this situation buyers should be aware if the Hoodia they are getting has been independently tested and certified to be pure Hoodia Gordonii from South Africa. A few of the companies that have been certified authentic are Desert Burn, Hoodoba Hoodia and the Hoodia Max Brand. There are companies out there taking advantage of the great demand and interest in Hoodia and supplying a low quality product. For more information about Hoodia go to

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What Is The Zone Diet?

The Zone Diet is one of the five most discussed diets currently being endorsed. Developed by Barry Sears, a former researcher at MIT, it is based on maintaining insulin levels by striking a balance between carbohydrates and proteins at each meal. Sears suggests that the major cause of obesity is an imbalance of insulin in the body. He maintains that the diet currently recommended by most medical institutions is high in carbohydrates and low in fats - a combination which he contends contributes to the production of too much insulin, and results in obesity. The Zone Diet is based on the concept of achieving a physiological state in which insulin and eicosanoids, two hormones, are maintained in zones that are carefully balanced. By controlling the balance of insulin and eicosanoids, you increase the loss of fat, and decrease the likelihood of heart disease and diabetes, decrease inflammation and increase blood flow, and increase your physical and mental stamina. The Zone Diet The diet program of The Zone is designed to balance your intake of protein and carbohydrate at 1 part protein to 4 parts carbohydrate. It advises a moderate intake of carbohydrates, proteins and fat in order to control insulin. It prescribes a maximum amount of low-fat protein at one meal at 3-4 ounces, which is nearly exactly the recommendation of the USDA and the FDA. The majority of carbohydrates on the Zone diet come from vegetables and fruits, with limited amounts of bread, rice, potatoes and grains. Most fat intake should be from monounsaturated fats like olive oil, safflower oil and other 'heart healthy' oils. While this sounds a good deal like the Atkins diet (restricting carbohydrates), the differences are very clear. Atkins recommends a diet high in protein without regard to fat, with the intent of provoking ketosis, a potentially unhealthy condition. High carbohydrate diets recommend increasing carbohydrate levels and inducing the production of insulin which, maintains Sears, increases weight gain. Instead, the Zone Diet recommends achieving an optimal balance of nutrients with moderate amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and fat all playing a part. The other component of the Zone diet worthy of note is the supplementation of diet with fish oil. Fish oil, particularly pharmaceutical grade fish oil, provides omega 3 fatty acids which are an important component in healthy cells. Study after study in the past five years has confirmed the importance of fish and omega 3 fatty acids in the diet. A sample meal on The Zone's eating plan might include: 1 3 oz portion of broiled salmon Spinach salad with apples and walnuts dressed with walnut oil and lemon juice 1/2 cup of brown rice 1 glass fruit or vegetable juice The eating plan recommended by The Zone diet combines small portions of low fat proteins, fats and fiber-rich vegetables and fruits. It also suggests eating some protein with each meal or snack, and at least 3 meals and 2 snacks daily. Who should use the Zone Diet? As always, if you're under the care of a physician for any chronic medical condition, you should consult them before embarking on any diet plan that substantially changes your eating habits. There are significant differences between the Zone Diet and that recommended for diabetics and heart patients, for instance. Overall, the recommended portions of foods and the balance between them is consistent with a healthy diet, and is maintainable for a lifetime.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What Is The Mediterranean Diet?

In 1993, the Harvard Medical School released the results of research that studied the diets of those countries bordering on the Mediterranean. Their findings suggested that fat and carbohydrates were NOT the main culprit in obesity and heart disease, but rather that the RIGHT fats and carbohydrates should be the base for a healthy diet. The study pointed to low rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease throughout the region as proof of their contention. Exactly what is the Mediterranean diet and can it help you lose weight? There actually is no 'Mediterranean' diet - it's a compilation of the way that people in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea eat. Despite the differences in actual specifics, all of those studied based their diets on the same proportions of food groups and calories, and all included olive oil as their main source of fat. In fact, their diets contained far more than the recommendations made by the USDA - 40% rather than the 30% recommended for most healthy Americans. Still, the evidence was irrefutable. Therefore, it must have been the KIND of carbohydrates and fats that make the difference. The Mediterranean diet consists of the following guidelines: 60% Of Total Carbohydrates From Grains, Fruits And Vegetables Those include whole rice, fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grain breads and cereals, polenta, pasta (made with whole grain, not refined white flour) Sparing Use of Red Meat, Fish And Poultry The typical adult Mediterranean consumes about 15 ounces of red meat and poultry per week. Another 5-15 ounces of fish per week account for the bulk of their meat protein intake. Compare that to the typical American diet which might include a 1 pound steak for dinner one night, a 1/2 pound chicken breast the next, and on and on. Olive Oil Olive oil is not a miracle oil. It is, however, mono-unsaturated - a good fat. Mono-unsaturated fats help lower cholesterol rather than raising it, and are healthy ways to add fats to your diet (and yes, even though we think of fat as a dirty word, your body does need some, or it can't use many of the vitamins you feed it!) The other important component of the Mediterranean lifestyle was activity. The typical Mediterranean day includes walking rather than driving, physical activity in the fields or the home and recreation. Physical activity is vital in helping the body to lose weight, and to maintain your new weight once you reach it. The secret to losing weight with the Mediterranean diet is to base your meals on healthy carbohydrates - leafy green vegetables, brightly colored vegetables, whole grains and meals. Use meat sparingly - no more than 3-6 ounces per day. Derive dietary fat from vegetable sources - or from fish oil. Exercise regularly to rev up your metabolism. The Mediterranean diet isn't a weight loss regimen. It's a new way of eating that will help you reach your goal weight and stay there when you get there.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What Is The Atkins Diet?

The Atkins weight loss diet is based on one simple principle: Your body burns both carbohydrates and fat for calories. If you reduce the amounts of carbohydrates available, it will burn more fat and you will lose weight. According to Atkins, calories are unimportant. The key to losing weight is to restrict the carbohydrates that you eat and force the body to turn to its stored fat as an energy source. As proof of this, proponents of the Atkins Diet point to the following facts derived from research: * When the body doesn't have enough carbohydrate, it will use ketenes derived from fat as energy. * You can eat more food and lose more weight on a low carbohydrate diet than you can on a low fat diet. * You crave less food when you eat fewer carbohydrates. * By eating fewer carbohydrates, people tend to eat fewer calories without counting them. * The greater the difference between fat and carbohydrate, the greater the weight loss. In short, if you restrict your intake of carbohydrates, you will most likely also restrict your intake of calories. By lowering your carbohydrate intake, you will encourage your body to turn to fat for energy. The Atkins diet has provoked storms of controversy since it was first published. The recommendation to eat a high-protein, low-carbohydrate flew in the face of all the dietary recommendations by established medical institutions. The diet was denounced as unsafe, particularly if used as a life-long weight maintenance plan. Over the past five to ten years, there have been numerous studies that come down on both sides of the equation, and Atkins last version of the diet included the admission that calories do matter, and the advice to 'eat only enough to satisfy hunger'. A typical menu for a meal on the Atkins Diet might include: Portobello and Ricotta Crostini Chicken Milanese over Spring Salad Lemon Vinaigrette dressing Warm Lentils and Celery Raspberry Cheesecake in a Cup The eating plan recommended by the Atkins diet contains very low portions of carbohydrates, deriving the majority of carbohydrates from vegetables high in fiber and low in carbs, and unrestricted portions of proteins, including high fat proteins like beef, pork and cheese. Follow up research on people who have used the Atkins Diet to lose weight show a fast initial weight loss that eventually levels off. The Atkins Diet has four phases to account for it: 1. The Induction Phase, which restricts carbohydrates severely. 2. The OWL (Ongoing Weight Loss) Phase, in which you add in limited carbs and tailor the eating plan to your tastes 3. Pre-maintenance, with ten pounds or less to the target goal, deliberately slows weight loss to begin adjusting the body to after-weight-loss diet. 4. Lifetime Maintenance, a long-term eating plan that emphasizes low carbohydrates and healthy, long-term eating Who should use the Atkins Diet? While the Atkins Diet seems on the surface to be directly counter to what is recommended by most medical institutions, many of the principles are actually the same. Unless you are under the care of a physician for a chronic medical condition like diabetes, high blood pressure or coronary problems, you can use the Atkins Diet. Do pay attention to the portions recommended in the menus and plans at, despite the reassurances that you can 'eat all you want and still lose weight.'

Monday, April 9, 2012

Weight Loss Tips From Real Women

Everyone has their favorite weight loss tips. Here's a handful of diet suggestions from real women who claim they really work. I drink a full 12 ounce glass of water before I sit down to eat. It fills me up and I don't eat as much at meals. - Monica, 22 My secret weapon is sugarless gum. Whenever I have the urge for a snack or something sweet, I pop it into my mouth and start chewing. Works like a charm every time. -Maddi, 43 Knitting works wonders. I used to snack like a pig while I watched T.V. at night. Since I started knitting, I've lost almost ten pounds, and I know it's because my hands are too busy to pop stuff in my mouth. -Liz, 25 It tastes horrible, but it really works. My grandmother told me to take one teaspoon of cider vinegar before every meal to eat up the fats. - Diane, 21 Peer support! There's nothing like feeling guilty for letting your friends down to make you get out and go exercise. I make dates to play tennis or go for a walk - no backing out when someone else is counting on me. -Cara, 22 All right, this is going to sound really silly but - when I have to lose weight, I only eat foods that I can eat with chopsticks. I'm not very good with them so -- I don't eat a lot. -Lisa, 32 When I'm sitting in traffic or at my desk, I do tummy tightening exercises. Just pull in your tummy, hold for a count of 20, and release. Do that about twenty times and you can really feel it. - Sheila, 52 Water. I drink lots and lots of water when I'm on a diet. It helps flush out the system and keeps me feeling fresh. It also helps with the bad breath I get when I'm on a high protein diet. - Dena, 34 I'm always rushing out the door and forgetting breakfast, and then I end up snacking at my desk halfway through the morning. Now I keep a box of Carnation Instant Breakfast in the break room, and fix myself one as soon as I get to work. No more craving goodies at 11 am. -Deb, 45 When I'm dieting, I keep fresh fruits and veggies all cut up and ready to go in little snack containers. If I went to all the work of making them, I'll eat them instead of grabbing a bag of chips on the go. -Amy, 16 I strip down naked and look at myself in the mirror at least once a week. It's easy to see the progress I made, and how much I still need to go. Vinnie, 34 I buy myself something really slinky and hang it where I can see it every day. The trick is that it can only be about one size too small - if it's any smaller than that, I just give up. But if the goal is just “that” close, it's a real motivator. -Shanae, 24 Got a favorite diet tip? Make your own list, or ask your friends to fill in a few. The more strategies you have to help you stay on your diet, the more likely you are to be successful.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Weight Loss Helps Prevent Diabetes

A few months ago (March 2005), the American Diabetes Association announced the findings of the comprehensive Diabetes Prevention Program. The DPP was conducted at over 25 medical centers nationwide and involved thousands of participants who volunteered to have their habits monitored and to follow dietary and exercise recommendations. All participants had been diagnosed with 'pre-diabetes', a condition where the blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet in diabetic ranges. Untreated, more than half of those people diagnosed with pre-diabetes will develop full-blown type 2 diabetes within a decade. For the study, the participants were divided into two groups. One half were given dietary recommendations. The other half got the same dietary recommendations, plus the recommendation to exercise at least 30 minutes daily, five times a week. The results? Those who included daily exercise in their routines and followed the diet recommendations cut their risk of developing diabetes by 58%. The reason? Those who made the recommended changes in their lifestyle lost 'a moderate amount' of weight. Even more important, researchers found something that they didn't expect. Those in the treatment group had a substantial chance of reducing their blood sugar level to normal, something that had been assumed was impossible. Apparently, losing weight not only prevents a worsening of diabetes, it reverses the damage that obesity causes to the cells that produce insulin. How much weight loss does it take to have an effect on the progression of diabetes? The key is in the definition of 'a moderate weight loss' - 5-7% of your body weight. In other words, depending on your boy weight, a loss of as little as 7-10 pounds can make a difference! The recommendations suggested by the American Diabetes Society for a healthy diet to prevent diabetes is an ideal diet for steady, gradual weight loss - the kind of weight loss that stays lost. The diet includes the following suggested daily diet allowances: * Grain - 6-11 servings per day (Bread, Cereal, Rice, Pasta) * Vegetables - 3-5 servings per day * Fruits - 2-4 servings per day * Milk - 2-3 servings per day * Meat - 4-6 ounces per day (Meat, eggs, fish, dried beans, nuts and peanut butter) * Fats, Sweets, Alcohol - Occasional treats (Recommendations for portions are based on gender and activity level. For instance, a sedentary 40 year old woman needs fewer portions than an active 25-year-old woman.) Look familiar? It's also the dietary recommendation for the Heart Healthy diet from the American Heart Association, and the recommendations from the USDA's new MyPyramid. The results just keep coming in, but the message is clear: losing weight, maintaining a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet can help prevent most major health problems. Why wait till you're diagnosed? Start today - and it may never happen.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Weight Loss And Appetite Suppressants - Hoodia

For decades, the Holy Grail of the diet industry has been an all natural appetite suppressant with no side effects other than the intended weight loss. Like the Holy Grail, it has been elusive. The diet pharmaceutical companies thought they found it in starch-blockers, in ephedra, in fat binders. the list goes on. While many of these worked, they often came with a heavy list of side effects, many of them dangerous. After an initial flurry of excitement and sales, most were knocked off track by reports of dangers associated with their use, and some were even banned from U.S. sale. The latest arrival on the Holy Weight Loss Grail circuit is an unprepossessing African succulent known as hoodia gordoni. Cleared for sale in the U.S. in early 2004, it has been steadily making a name for itself as a powerful appetite suppressant that can help you lose weight. Its popularity was significantly boosted by reports on 60 Minutes, ABC News and BBC News. As part of the BBC report, BBC Two's correspondent Tom Mangold, actually traveled to Africa to sample the hoodia in situ. He and his cameraman, who also tested the plant, both reported feeling pleasantly full for nearly 48 hours after eating a piece of hoodia gordoni. The hoodia plant has been used by the San tribesmen of the Kalahari desert for centuries to suppress the pangs of hunger on long hunts and trips. Modern research has isolated an 'active ingredient' known as P57. Though the research is still scanty, it appears to work by fooling the hypothalamus into thinking that there is more sugar in the blood than there actually is. Does it actually work? It's really still too early to tell, but in one clinical trial conducted by Phytopharm, the company that holds the patent on the process to extract P57 from hoodia, human subjects taking hoodia reduced their caloric intake by as much as 1000 calories a day. The figures are impressive. But is it safe? There again, the research is far to scant to make a reasonable decision on it. There are no known side effects - but it also hasn't been used outside one small tribe in Africa until the past two years. It's possible that there are side effects to long-term use that aren't yet evident. Until then, use caution in purchasing products made with hoodia. Many of the commercially available products contain virtually no hoodia gordoni at all. Consult your doctor before undertaking any weight loss program that involves appetite suppressants. This is particularly important for those who've been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes, as the action of the hoodia plant can trick the body into thinking that the blood sugar is fine even as they approach hypoglycemic shock.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Tools For Your Weight Loss Arsenal

Elliptical machines, treadmills, stationary bikes, dumbbell sets, exercise videos, jump ropes, and home exercise multi-purpose machines. Tools are something we use to help us get a job done more easily. A good weight loss tool is one that encourages a healthy lifestyle and permanent weight loss. •Home exercise equipment is a fantastic way to speed up your weight loss results and feel great! •Home exercise equipment and be used in conjunction with your healthy weight loss plan. •Losing weight is simply a matter of burning more calories than you consume - home exercise equipment is a great way to increase the amount of calories you burn while improving your overall health and fitness. •A quality piece of home exercise will give you years of satisfaction and enjoyment. •Busy lifestyles increase the need for home fitness equipment by allowing you to exercise on your schedule. Here are some ideas to help you narrow down your choices and find the right piece of equipment for your particular needs. •What type of equipment do you have room for? •Are you interested more in cardiovascular exercise or resistance exercise? •Choose a quality exercise machine from a reputable dealer and remember that purchasing online is a great way to save money. •Online home exercise equipment dealers will assist you in finding the right piece of equipment for your specific needs. •You will not be satisfied with a low quality piece of exercise equipment! Your body is too important to risk injury with a poorly designed piece of equipment. Choose your exercise equipment wisely and you will enjoy improved health and ideal weight for years to come! Remember - It is much easier to make exercise a part of your daily ritual when you have exercise equipment in your home. You can always fit exercise into your schedule when you have the right equipment!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tips To Help You Lose Excess Fat

Believe it or not, losing a little or a lot of fat involves pretty much the same concept - consistent dieting coupled with cardiovascular exercise and weight training. This is how the professionals do it, and it works. If you are overweight, you may be hesitant to start a weight training program, but the benefits far outweigh any reservations you may have. Weight training enhances your fat loss by increasing your muscle mass and more muscle means more calories burned (faster metabolism). It also it gives your skin a more tone, tight appearance, lowers your blood pressure, strengthens your bones, improves your agility, increases your flexibility, strengthens your immune system and gives you more energy and a brighter outlook on life. If you have a high level of body fat, or you have never been able to successfully lose fat, you should consider trying a complete, well-rounded program that not only focuses on dieting, but also includes adequate cardiovascular activity and weight training. If you are already very muscular, and you just want lose a little body fat, then a fat loss program that includes regular cardiovascular activity and weight training is perfect for you. The best way to get ripped and maintain as much muscle as you can is to diet slowly. The truth is, when you are on a low calorie diet, your body prefers to use muscle tissue for fuel rather than excess body fat. So, the slower you lose weight, the more likely you are losing fat and not muscle. Ideally, you should aim to lose no more than 1lb - 1.5 lbs per week that's it. If you are obese, then you should try to lose no more than 1% of your bodyweight per week. Any more than that and you are sacrificing muscle. Women do tend to lose fat at a slower rate than men, but don't let this discourage you. Women simply store fat more efficiently than men because it is needed during and after pregnancy. As your body fat levels drop, you will notice that the fat loss comes off in reverse of how it was put on. So, the most recent fat gains will come off first, while the old fat that has been there for a while will take the longest to lose. The most difficult fat to lose usually centers around the waist, belly and lower back areas for men, and the upper thigh and buttocks, area for women. The fat in these areas are the most difficult to totally get rid of. This type of fat is difficult to lose because the low blood flow in these areas hinders the fat mobilization. So, if the fat can't be moved into the bloodstream to be used as fuel, those love handles will never go away. That's why thermogenic supplements help to improve fat loss - they increase circulation into these hard to reach areas and mobilize the stubborn fat. Remember that you cannot spot reduce! What I mean by this is that you can't pick and choose the areas that you would like to lose the fat and do exercises that work those areas expecting the fat to just magically disappear in those areas. Your body does not work that way. The only way to decrease the amount of fat in certain key areas is by lowering your total body fat levels. As you lose fat, it will come off all over your body, not just in specific areas. If you follow a complete diet and weight training program for at least 12 weeks, you will begin to see dramatic changes occurring with your body, and I'm not just talking about the obvious physical changes, I'm also talking about the psychological and physiological changes. You can expect lower body fat (of course), increased muscle mass, increased metabolism, increased sense of well-being, more energy, lower bad cholesterol level, increased good cholesterol level, decreased risk of heart disease, deeper more restful sleep and most important, increased self-confidence. To be successful, your fat loss program should include the following: * A calorie restrictive diet, which requires you to eat no less than 12x and no more than 15x your LEAN bodyweight in calories. * Regular cardiovascular activity for at least 30-45 minutes 3-4 times per week. Some recommend a moderate pace while other recommend a vigorous pace -- it doesn't really matter as long as you are exercising. * Weight training. * Supplementing your diet with vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Vitamin C, L-glutamine, and a good multi vitamin are the bare essentials. * Adequate dietary fat, including high amounts of Essential Fatty Acids (Omega-6 and Omega-3). * Regularly monitor your progress. If you don't track your progress you won't know if your diet program is working! Looking in the mirror or just relying on the scale is NOT adequate. Here's a great composition tracking software that I highly recommend It will let you know exactly if what you are doing is working. * Finally, make sure that the program you decide on is compatible with your lifestyle and schedule. You can have the greatest program in the world, but if you cannot implement it then it is worthless. There are thousands of fat loss diets and workouts that will work, but the hard part is finding one that works for you and the specifics of your diet and schedule restraints.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Ten Best Diet Foods In Existence

What you eat and what you eat will have a big effect on how quickly you take off pounds, and more importantly, how long you keep those pounds off. There are certain foods that you really should be eating on a regular basis, for lots of good, healthy reasons. They come from all food categories, but every one of them has one thing in common: they pack a lot of nutritional punch into their calories. Here's a list of five diet foods that will help you stay healthy and lose weight. 1. Whole grain breads If you've been paying attention, you know that evil carbs are the current diet buster. If you just stay away from all carbs, some of the diets proclaim, you'll lose weight no matter what else you eat. That's not only wrong, it's downright dangerous for both your health and your diet. There's a reason that the Bible refers to bread as 'the staff of life'. Instead of cutting out carbs, you should be aiming to reduce them to a healthy portion of your diet - which most doctors agree is about 50-60% of your caloric intake. That means that if you're on a 1500 calorie a day diet, you should be striving to get about 900 calories a day from grains, fruits and vegetables. Whole grain breads pack a lot of nutritional value. Replace your two slices of white toast with 1/2 a cup of oatmeal or whole grain cereal, and for about the same number of calories, you'll be getting three times the vitamins, amino acids and roughage that your body needs to function. You'll feel full far longer, too - because you've given your body something to work on that will take a while to digest. 2. Fish Eat at least three servings of fish per week, say many major medical associations. Fish is low in fat, as high in protein as red meat, and provides something that most other proteins don't - omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 is one of the main building blocks in your cells. If your body doesn't get enough Omega 3, it will try to build cells from other fatty acids. The problem is that those cells are not as flexible, and not quite the right shape. Among the cells that aren't quite right are the ones in your brain that help control impulses and tell your body what it needs. By providing enough Omega 3 for your body to use, you'll be healing the damage done through years of poor diet. And since fish, as a general rule, has fewer calories than most meats, you'll be saving calories, too. Just remember that you're REPLACING portions of meat with fish, not adding them to what you already eat. 3. Spinach At 13 calories and 2 grams of carbohydrate in 2 cups of chopped raw spinach, this is one of the lowest cost sources of nutrition you can give your body. Every serving gives you folic acid, manganese,beta-carotene, protein, lutein (a potent anti-oxidant), magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin K. You can eat it raw in salads, steamed as a side dish, or sautéed in a tiny bit of oil for a different taste, and still get all the nutritional benefits. 4. Olive Oil Your body does need a little fat to process vitamins and use them properly. Olive oil is a mono-unsaturated fat that is the primary source of fat in the so-called Mediterranean diet. It contains antioxidants, flavonoids, beta-carotene and vitamin E, among other things. One tablespoon has a whopping 125 calories, but drizzled on a 13 calorie spinach salad with a little lemon juice and some garlic, you still have a meal with less than 150 calories - and a whole lot of healthy fuel for your body. 5. Pink Grapefruit With only 40 calories in half a grapefruit, you're getting 45 mg of vitamin C, lycopene, pectin, beta-carotene and potassium. It's versatile and tasty. Eat it as is for breakfast, or toss it into a salad with spinach for an extra punch to perk up the nutritional quality of your diet. Most importantly, don't base your diet around any single ONE ingredient. The best way to lose weight is to eat a healthy variety of foods to make sure that you get all the essential nutrients that you need each day.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Psychology Of Weight Loss

You see the razor-thin models gracing the covers of magazines…you watch actors and actresses on the big screen who seem to never gain a pound. And you wonder: How do I differ from them? You may be surprised to learn that a number of famous people at one time had difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. But they were able to conquer their problem, thanks to a new-and-improved, healthy view of eating. You may not realize it, but there is a certain psychology at work in successful weight loss. It is no surprise, then, that the magazine Psychology Today has explored the issue in-depth. In October of 2004, the magazine posted an article on its website detailing the experiences of Diane Berry, a nurse practitioner who studied women who had shed at least 15 pounds and had maintained their weight loss for an average of seven years. The women shared some important things in common. For instance, they all achieved their weight loss through either Weight Watchers or TOPS, which meant that they had a firm support network as they tried to maintain their weight. The group meetings were highly important, because they learned to recognize that they were certainly not alone in their struggles with weight. The women were also quite unusual because up to 90 percent of individuals who have lost weight end up putting it back on within five years. Another common trait of these women is that they appeared to undergo a profound mood shift as they made the transition from fat to thin. From all indications, they appeared to be depressed when they were heavy but, as they attempted to lose weight, their mood brightened. For these women, healthy eating became a habit—a habit they refused to break. They themselves recognized the tremendous role that psychology plays in weight loss. They refused to give in to negative feelings of frustration and denial and chose a positive path instead. The women also made it a point to weigh themselves regularly so that they could chart their progress. And they recognized that maintaining weight loss would be a lifetime struggle. They knew that they could not attempt a weight loss program then put it back on the shelf. They had to learn new eating patterns that they could continue week in and week out. In some cases, they likened their struggle to that of an alcoholic. In other words, they recognized the gravity of their problem and took steps to correct the situation. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of these women’s experiences was the fact that their weight loss actually came in spurts. At times, they regained their weight, but they did not let that deter them from their final goal. They simply viewed their setbacks as challenges that they needed to overcome. This may be the key psychological trait that separates successful dieters from unsuccessful ones—perseverance. In essence, these women were able to change their personalities in a positive way in order to achieve their long-term weight loss goals. Another interesting aspect of this study was that it showed that the women who had undergone weight loss transformation were genuinely happy. This shows the tremendous psychological impact that weight loss can have on an individual. Once an individual is free from the burden of extra weight, he or she is better able to meet the challenges of life head-on. The dieter benefits from positive reinforcement, as relatives, friends, and co-workers congratulate him or her for the weight loss. In this way, losing weight can be quite a life-affirming experience and can lead to a more optimistic outlook on life. It must be noted here that the psychology of weight loss is a complicated matter. There is no single ingredient that can turn a fat person into a thin one. However, recognizing that there is a psychological component to successful weight loss may, in fact, be half the battle. Once an individual recognizes that he or she is engaged in a psychological fight, he or she is better able to do battle. By retraining oneself to seek healthy approaches to diet, one can, in effect, mold oneself into a new individual—one that no longer lives to eat, but simply eats to live.