Tuesday, July 2, 2013

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Reminder: Shutting Down

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Weight Loss Help and Tips

Weight Loss Help and Tips


Why do women have belly fat?

Posted: 14 Sep 2012 01:26 PM PDT

woman with belly fat

God created women from a man's rib. Does this include the belly fat as well? Women have higher fat percentage than men causing women to attain belly fat faster. As annoying as it may seem, but women do have belly fat for more than one reason. This article will try to explain why women have belly fat and also provide some tips on how to lose belly fat for women.

Reason #1 Reproductive function

People always say that "the essence of being a woman is to give birth to a new life". This is indeed true because the ability of a woman to carry a baby on her tummy for nine months and give birth is what differentiates a woman from a man.

Because of such function, a woman's body needs to increase its fat deposits, most especially on their belly, to prepare for childbearing. These fat deposits are reserved energy to make sure that a woman has constant supply of energy during pregnancy as well as during delivery. In addition to that, belly fat also acts as a cushion (along with amniotic fluid) to help protect the fetus from possible accidents and the other forces of the external environment. 

Reason #2 To protect vital organs

Belly fat, in general, is present to both genders as well as to either lean or obese persons. However, the quantity of belly fat differs – less for slender people and more for obese people. But the fact still remains that belly fat is always present.

Belly fat is there to protect your internal organs (stomach, guts, liver, spleen, pancreas, etc.) from physical harm. There was even a claim that a man survived a bullet attack because he was too fat that the bullet wasn't able to penetrate through the thick belly walls.

True or not, the fact that belly fats alter the momentum of penetrating objects still remains as well as the fact that belly fat protects the organ in one way or another. But you have to remember however that excess belly fat also poses risks to one's health. If a bullet won't kill you, your fat deposits will.

Reason #3 Alcohol drinking

Statistically, men drink around 2 to 6 bottles of beer on an average and women drinks around 1 to 5 bottles of beer.  But women have lesser alcohol control causing them to increase their beer consumption to twelve bottles of beer per session or until she's to drunk to stand.

This means that your caloric intake increases as you order another bottle. Here are some of the common alcoholic drinks and their corresponding average calorie content. Do note however that caloric content may change depending on alcohol content

Alcoholic Drink, volume calories

Whisky: 100ml, 220

Gin:100ml,  220

Brandy: 100ml,  220

Rum: 100ml, 220

Beer: 500ml, 184

Martini: 100ml, 175

Bailey's Cream: 1 glass, 120

Bacardi: 1 glass, 118

Reason #4 High calorie food is a woman's BFF

God said, "Man represents my image, woman – my emotions." No wonder women are way more emotional than men. These emotions are the reason why women are more sensitive than men.

When a woman feels depressed, she will either dial a friend's phone number or dial for a pizza. It has been proven from a recent study that women love to eat when they feel sad. This is because; food provides a feeling of fulfillment causing you to feel relieved from any stress.

Excess sweets, carbohydrates, fats, or any food with such kind of calorie amount tends to be left unburned. Unused calories, as we all know, are converted to fat deposits, especially in the belly, which the body can burn by doing exercises.

Another high calorie food that women love to have when depressed are sweets. Among any other sweets, chocolate has been the number one choice because of its ability to raise the happy hormone serotonin and provide the body with phenylethylamine – a chemical that makes you feel happy and in love, thus making chocolate the ultimate food for a depressed woman.

Reason #5 Chitchats than workout

Women are highly motivated to lose weight and get rid of belly fats. However, when a woman finds her gym buddies, she usually chitchats with them and forgets about workouts.

Because of such characteristic, gyms become a rendezvous point for people who want to do talk with other people, rather than the original purpose of going to the gym to burn fats and tone muscles

Another contributing factor is that, when a group of women gather for a girls' night out, women talk, eat, and drink. This sedentary activity will definitely increase the numbers on the scale.

As mentioned above, women have belly fat for a reason. In some cases it is absolutely uncontrollable and necessary as this is used for special functions. On the other hand, some women have belly fat because they did not properly take care of them. That means, if you want to learn how to lose belly fatand acquire flat and lean abs, you better start eating right and exercising regularly.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Weight Loss Help and Tips

Weight Loss Help and Tips


How to keep fruit and vegetables fresh

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 06:18 AM PST


fresh fruits

We all know that a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables is ideal for good health.  However, it is not always easy to store fruit and vegetables correctly to prolong their life and keep them fresh for the maximum time.  We’ve all had soggy lettuces, bruised peaches and mouldy carrots lurking at the bottom of the refrigerator.  Here is a guide on how to store your fresh produce to prolong its life and avoid food wastage.

Remember that the time that fresh fruit lasts will vary a lot with the climate, in some areas, fruits that are normally stored at room temperature may need to be stored in the fridge due to high temperatures and vice versa.

Buy as fresh as possible

Fruit and vegetables will last longer if they are as fresh as possible when they are bought.  The freshest produce is often found at farmers markets or smaller local green grocers, rather than the big supermarkets.  Supermarket produce may have been stored for weeks before it even makes it to the shelves, so it's often not exactly at its best by the time it gets home with you.  If you buy at markets you are also more likely to buy in season produce, which will taste better and be more nutritious.

Beware of tricks used by supermarkets to make produce look fresher.  Fruit and vegetables are often sprayed with a fine mist of water to appear 'dewy' and fresh, and whilst market vegetables may be imperfect to look at, chances are they are actually fresher.

Storing Fruit

Different fruits require different storage techniques to keep them fresh for the longest time possible.  Fruit should be kept unwashed and gently rinsed in cold water before eating, unless they are very dirty, in which case they should be washed carefully and completely dried before storage.

Fruits that should be kept in the fridge:

In general fruits that are stored in the fridge should be covered in a plastic bag or wrapped in plastic to protect from contamination from other foods and avoid contact with oxygen.

Berries, such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries:  Even in the refrigerator, these will only last a few days.  It is important to remove any spoiled berries to prevent others from being affected.  Strawberries will last longer if the green top is left on during storage.

Berries also freeze well, but should be places spread out on a tray to freeze initially, to prevent the berries freezing together.  Once they are frozen they can be stored together in a freezer bag.

Grapes: These should be stored in a plastic bag unwashed in the refrigerator crisper and can last around five days.

Apples: these can be stored in the refrigerator or in a cool dark place and can last up to four months under the right conditions.

Fruit that needs ripening at room temperature

Many of the fruits we buy are under ripe, and so require ripening before we can eat them.  This is best done at room temperature.

Pears, Mangos, Plums, Peaches and other stone fruits: These should be ripened at room temperature in a paper bag until they give a little when pressed.  After this they can be stored in the refrigerator to slow down further ripening.

Pineapple:  This can be ripened at room temperature or in the refrigerator.  As the sugar in this fruit is concentrated at the bottom, storing the pineapple upside down can improve the sweetness, by allowing the sugar to spread through the fruit.

Fruits that should be stored at room temperature

Some fruits lose their flavour or texture when stored in the fridge.

Melon:  This becomes rubbery and loses flavour if stored in the fridge; although once ripe and cut it will last for longer at cooler temperatures.

Lemons and limes:  These can absorb flavours from the fridge and last a long time at room temperature anyway.

Bananas: These can give a banana flavour to other things in your fridge.  Cold temperatures can also damage the fruit which is more accustomed to a tropical climate, as well as slow or prevent the process of ripening.  To speed up ripening, place bananas in a brown paper bag.

Oranges: These should also be stored at room temperature, and will usually last up to two weeks when ambient temperature isn't too high.

How to store vegetables

As with fruit, vegetables should be stored unwashed in plastic bags and then rinsed before eating.

Vegetables to store in the refrigerator:

Vegetables should be stored in the crisper for best results.

Broccoli:  This will last for around 3 to 5 days

Beetroots, carrots and radishes; Green tops should be removed before storage, then these should last for one to two weeks

Corn:  For best results leave corn in husks and eat as soon as possible as even in the crisper, these will only last one to two days.

Lettuce and other leafy greens: these will last between one and seven days, depending on their initial freshness.  Remove any leaves that start to go limp to preserve the others.

Vegetables that need to be ripened at room temperature

Tomatoes:  These should be ripened out of direct sunlight at room temperature.  Once ripe, they should be eaten immediately for best flavour, or store in the refrigerator, where they should last two to three days.

Vegetables that should be stored at room temperature:

Onions: These should last for two to four weeks.  Store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight

Potatoes: Store away from light, which can cause potatoes to go green.

Using up fresh produce

We have all been in the situation when we have a large quantity of fruit or vegetables on our hands that is reaching the end of its days and if left longer will be inedible.  Rather than waste this food, there are numerous ways to use up produce if there is simply too much to eat before it goes off.

Cakes, muffins and bread:  Add fruits such as bananas, apples, or stone fruits, or grated vegetables such as carrot or zucchini to batter to create a high fibre, nutritious snack.  Baked goods can also be frozen until needed.

Omelettes:  Any vegetable can be thrown into a omelette for a quick, nutritious lunch or dinner.

Ice cream or frozen yogurt:  Ripe fruit is ideal in as an ingredient in a frozen dessert as they give more flavour and add nutritional value.

Pickles:  Pickling vegetables is a great way to use up a surplus of stock and the finished product will last for ages.

Soups:  Cook up a quick vegetables soup to use up an excess of stock, then freeze to eat as a quick healthy meal later.

Purees:  Fruit and vegetables can be cooked, pureed and frozen.  They can they be defrosted and used later in baking, to make a soup or even as a topping from ice cream or yogurt.

Don't be afraid of frozen.

Many people avoid frozen vegetables, thinking them to be less nutritious than their fresh counterparts.  However, in many cases this is not the case.  As frozen vegetables are snap frozen almost as soon as they are picked, they actually retain a lot of their nutrients, in some cases more than fresh vegetables that have been transported, stored and then sitting on the supermarket shelf for weeks.

Frozen vegetables are great to have on hand for a quick nutritious meal and eliminate the worry of using up food that is going to go off.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Weight Loss Help and Tips

Weight Loss Help and Tips


5 Bodyweight exercises that burn fat

Posted: 22 Nov 2012 12:57 AM PST


fat burning exercises

Not everybody wants or can spend an hour in the gym everyday training. A lot of people would be happy to know a handful of exercises which they can do at home and still have the fat burning benefits.

In this article we have gathered 5 exercises which they use your own body's weight but they can still provide a fat burning and muscle building workout. I don't believe in absolute statements such as 'the very best of exercises' or 'the only exercises'.

These exercises are not the only 'best' exercises you can do as there is a plethora of exercises which will deliver good results. You can use these in combination to another workout or pick the ones you like and use them with others you may have in your list. Below are some things to keep in mind regarding exercising.

Before you start exercising

1. When you are exercising your body will use calories (energy) to fuel the exercise, no matter what exercise it is. The type of fuel, whether it is fat, sugar or other will depend on the type of exercise, the intensity, the meal consumed before and when and a number of other reasons.

2. In very simple terms, the exercise must place some considerable challenge in your body and muscles in order to 'build muscle'. However, this doesn't mean that you should jump to intermediate level when you never exercised before in your life so you get maximum results. You are more likely to get loads of injuries and suffer. Build gradually.

3. The more muscles/muscle groups you use when performing an exercise the more fat you are likely to burn.

4. The more muscle mass you have the more calories and fat you will burn even when you're resting.

5. It is always recommended that you consult a medical professional and/or a fitness professional before taking on exercise especially if you have pre-existing health complaints and injuries.

You can also read: 28 weight loss tips with exercise | Best time of the day to exercise

5 Bodyweight exercises that burn fat

The exercises below are placed in an order in which they could be performed as a little circuit workout and alternate the muscle groups they target. However, even if you performed in isolation or at a different order is as good.

Just be aware not to overload one group (i.e. front legs) and neglect another (i.e. back of legs or upper body). It is always best to train muscles in balance and throughout the body to avoid muscle imbalances and injuries in the long term.

! It is important to do a 5-10min warm up prior to starting exercising. A warm up session should aim to warm and mobilise the major muscles and joints.

Rope skipping

You will need a rope to perform the exercise. You can buy 'special' skipping ropes but in my opinion any rope which is suitable for your height is fine. The one I usually use to train is a children's one which I bought from a shop for a couple of dollars. It does have some bright yellow handles but 'hey' it's fit for purpose. However, the length is important, as if it is too short for your height you will be tripping yourself with it.

How? To perform the skipping, try to keep your back straight and avoid leaning forward. Keep the elbows tacked in your body and the turning of the rope should come from the wrists. If you have to rotate your elbows to turn the rope then the rope may be too small. If you are a beginner in skipping, best jump two footed as it is easier to do. You can build different variations as you become more confident, such as alternate legs or cross arms etc.

How much? Perform for 3 min at the start of your workout to get your muscles and cardiopulmonary systems going, and then for another 5 min at the end. Skipping is more of an aerobic exercise and for maximising the fat you burn it is better if you perform resistance exercises 1st and aerobic exercise at the end. The 3 and 5 min may not seem as much but trust me if you never skipped before (being a child was the last time) you will find that is not as easy. If you are more fit then by all means add min on. Go at you own paste and fitness level.

Push ups

Push up or press ups as they may also be called, target the muscles on the chest, shoulders, arms, and back. There are a number of variations in performance and when performed on the floor with straight legs then they also work leg tummy and buttocks as stabilisers.

 

How?  1. Lay prone on the floor with palms flat on the floor placed slightly wider under your shoulders. Keep arms extended but do not lock the elbows.

2. Extended legs and toes tacked in to the floor (raise on to your toes), keep your back straight.

3. Contract your abdominal muscles and buttocks. Keep breathing don't hold your breath.

4. Inhale, bend your elbows and lower your body to the floor.

5. Exhale, extend your arms and push your body back up to starting position. Repeat movement.

Easier variations include push ups against the wall (if you are really unfit) or the keeping the legs bend (on fours). Harder variations include one arm push ups or the legs placed on a bench or Swiss ball. Aim for what suits your own fitness level.

How much? Well it is quite a hard exercise. Aim for 4 to start off, rest for 30sec and perform another 4. If that is too hard then just do 4 and try to build on it or go for one of the easier variations and build on it. If you are fit and can do a couple of sets or more push up by all means judge it and go for it.

The plank

The plank is a good all over body stability exercise.

 

 

 

How? It is the same with the push up starting position. In the plank you just hold yourself in that position for a few seconds. Contract your abdominal muscles and buttocks. Easier variation includes assuming the plank position with placing your elbows bend under your shoulders and resting your forearms on the floor. Harder variations include placing your legs on a bench or Swiss ball and also alternating from side with one arm to centre to alternate side.

How much? Hold your position for 30 sec rest for 30 sec and repeat for another 30 sec. If you are unfit 30 sec will seem like a lifetime. As with all other exercises follow your fitness level and build on that.

Rear leg raises

Rear leg raises target the muscles at the back of the legs (hamstrings), and buttocks (gluteal). It also works the muscles of the back, chest and tummy as stabilisers.

How?  1. Get on an all fours position on the floor. Bend the elbows and under the shoulders and rest the forearms on the floor.

2. Contract your abdominal muscles and buttocks.

3. Raise your right leg keeping your leg straight. Raise the leg no further than hip level. Perform movement slowly and controlled.

4. Lower your leg to the floor and raise again. Repeat movement with the left leg.

For a slightly easier variation bend your knee with your heel pointing on the ceiling. Make sure that movement comes from the hip and not the knee when you raise the leg.     

How much? Repeat 4 times with each leg.

Stick ups

The stick up exercise works the upper back, and shoulder muscles and also those muscles located in the shoulder blades (scapula). A good exercise which can offer some relief from upper back stiffness especially if cause from sitting in a desk for a long time. However, do consult a doctor if you have any previous complaints in that area and don't take it for granted that every treatment fits everybody.

 

How? 1. Standing up, keep the back straight, shoulders back and down.

2. Lift your arms straight above your head.

3. Slide your arms by bending the elbows and tucking the elbows on your side. Keep the forearms looking upwards. When lowering your arm squeeze the shoulder blades together so when your arms have slide down the shoulder blades have gone back into their place.

4. Extend the arms upwards in the same manner and repeat. Perform exercise slowly and controlled.

There are variations in which you perform the exercise against the wall or lying on the floor.

How many? Perform 8 stick up exercises. It is a simple but quite hard exercise. If 8 is too many, then adapt the number as with every other exercise and build on it.

20 healthy weight loss tips

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 03:40 AM PST


healthy weight loss

This article provides you with 20 healthy weight loss tips. When you want to lose weight you need to make sure that you do it the healthy way and in a way that it will not cause any problems to your physical or psychological health.

Everybody, very well knows the basic principles for weight loss: less food, more exercise. It may sound easy but the exhaustive pace of everyday life makes it almost impossible to achieve.

After a full day in the office, nobody is enthusiastic about the idea of a green salad or boiled chicken for dinner. Not to mention that two-hours running on the treadmill is not a good idea either.

The bad news is that you never lost ten pounds in three days-which means that you should be prepared to start a weight loss process that will take time and effort.

The good news is that there are some healthy weight loss tips that can help you lose weight without having to fall into hunger or adapt to “drastic” solutions with disappointing results.

This article presents 20 tips that will help you get the body you always dreamed off in a fast and healthy way, and it will also help you maintain this weight for a long time.

Tip #1. Drink lots of water

We often confuse thirst with hunger, leading to load our body with unnecessary calories when what we really need is a glass of cold water. If you prefer, you can add some lemon slices to the jug of water for extra flavour or to drink tea with fruit flavour but no sugar. It is a simple and healthy trick that will help you a lot in your weight loss efforts.

Tip #2. Think about what you can add to your diet, not what to remove

Set a goal to try and consume the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. This will ensure that your body takes the necessary fiber, while fighting hunger. You must also not forget the many benefits of vegetables for your health and disease prevention.

A good way to eat more vegetables is to mix them with the food. For example you can have vegetables in your rice or soups, in chicken as salads or in pasta. This is better than eating them on the side.

Eating more vegetables is a healthy habit that once you get used to it you will not realise that you are doing it.

Tip #3. Eat only when you are hungry

Many times, our desire for food is not due to real hunger but due to other several psychological factors. Hunger is the message of our organism to tell us that we need fuel, so if the desire for food is not due to hunger the food will not make us feel better. On the contrary we will feel worse because of the extra unnecessary calories we will consume. It is also a not healthy habit because it does not offer anything and will help you destroy your weight loss efforts.

Try to reduce the portions of your meals and increase their frequency. Notice after each meal if you feel bloat or tiredness so as to understand when you feel real hunger and when you eat because of other factors.

Tip #4. Avoid after dinner snacks

The most dangerous time to destroy your weight loss efforts and diet is after the last meal of the day, when you lie down in front of the TV with a pack of chips or a box of crisps and biscuits. This is the time that you eat out of a habit without really being hungry.

If you cannot resist the temptation of a small “sin” after a long day, obtain healthy snacks such as low-calorie cereal bars or ice cream without sugar and fat and allow yourself to have one per day. When you get used to this try to further reduce the calorie load with a cup of tea with no calories.

Tip #5. Enjoy your favourite foods

To completely avoid your favourite foods will not create the desired results since the feeling of deprivation leads to exaggeration. Think the last time you did not eat a chocolate for a month and the quantity consumed when you decided that you are ‘allowed’ to eat chocolate.

Instead of excluding from your weight loss program and diet foods you really enjoy, be sure to buy them in smaller amounts and to eat them less often, once or twice a week. Moreover, the expectation is what makes the satisfaction greatest.

Tip #6. Do not be too strict on your weight loss program

When you need to exit your diet for a while, walk to the cafe serving the best waffles, or organize a night out with friends. For even better results do not buy sweets or other snacks for home- instead replace them with plenty of fruits and limit these night outs to one per week. Thus, you will not have to worry that you will give up to the temptation while you are at home.

Tip #7. Eat several small meals during the day

Weight loss is the result of eating fewer calories than those we burn. When, however, we are constantly hungry this is not easy at all. Research shows that people who eat 4-5 meals a day find it easier to control their appetite and weight.

Apply this method for your own weight loss program. Try to divide the calories you consume during the day in many small portions. Make sure that you consume as much as possible calories before noon, with the evening meal being the last time you eat in a day. This is not only good for your weight loss efforts but it is also a healthy habit because it gives enough time to your body to function the 'burn' process properly.

Tip #8. Spicy food!

Add seasoning’s or hot spices in your food, which will enhance the taste and make you feel that you eat more.

The meals enhanced by tasty spices will stimulate your taste and create a sense of satisfaction, without actually eating more.

When you want something sweet, choose a hot caramel flavour with cinnamon or ginger. It gives you for some time the sweet flavour you need, with fewer calories.

Tip #9. Fill the kitchen with healthy and easy meals

The easy-made meals or snacks that are prepared quickly solve a lot of your problems (cooking time, preparation time etc) and lead you a step closer to weight loss success. These will prevent you from ordering something from a fast food restaurant or to order pizza, because you can within 5-10 minutes prepare your own healthy meal.

Such healthy foods include:

Frozen vegetables
Ready, purified salads
Canned vegetables (tomatoes, beans)
Arab pies of bread or wholemeal toast
Slices of boiled turkey (for toast)
Low-fat cheese
Black rice (quick boil)

Tip #10. Order kids meal!

When eating out, you can order an individual pizza or a small sandwich. In this way you keep the calories low and the quantities consumed controlled.

Another trick is to use smaller plates. This helps the portions look larger and if by looking at them you mind is satisfied, then most likely your stomach will also be satisfied.

Tip #11. Eat season fruits and vegetables

If you do not like certain fruits or vegetables, this is possibly due to the fact that you eat them when they were out of season. This makes them almost tasteless and odourless. In contrast, season fruits and vegetables are more delicious and less likely to disappoint you. They are tasty and healthy and help weight loss!

For example, strawberries, which are naturally sweet, sprinkled with a little cognac, or low-fat yoghurt and accompanied with canned fruits, are one of the best desserts you can enjoy without guilt.

Tip #12. Replace the fried potatoes that accompany your meal with grilled vegetables

Eating fewer fried potatoes, pasta or bread and more vegetables, will help you a lot in your weight loss efforts. Experts say even that you can save 100-200 calories if you reduce the amount of fat and starch foods to your plate and increase that of vegetables.

Tip #13. Find alternative ways to manage stress

Sometimes in our life, we are faced with situations that create us a lot of stress. Instead of looking to food for comfort, prepare some inedible healthy tactics to fight stress that work equally well.

Experts suggest to read a book, listen to music, write a diary, to practice deep breathing, meditation, or you can browse an album with photos of your loved ones.

Tip #14. Exercise a lot and keep fit

It may sound weird, but it is wrong to use the exercise as a means of punishment for yourself because you eat a lot, or in order to win the right to eat more. That is why many people say they hate exercise.

Instead, focus on how beautiful you feel, how much better sleep you have at night, and how much more energy you have when you exercise. Physical exercise is good for you whether you are trying to lose weight or not. See, therefore, exercise positively and try to make it your second nature.

Tip #15. Adopt the standards of the Mediterranean diet

It is a fact that the Mediterranean diet is a standard for any form of diet. The purpose is to include the Mediterranean diet in your weight loss program and diet.

The ingredients are simple. Use virgin olive oil as often as possible, preferably in salads with fresh vegetables, eat legumes one to two times a week and replace meat with fish, so that you do not consume meat more than once per week.

Tip #16. Avoid alcohol

Especially during the summer, excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided, as it is causing increased urination and dehydrates the body, not to mention the calorie load that alcohol has. Prefer lots of water and natural juices that will not give you a lot of extra calories and above all they are healthy.

Tip #17. Prefer fish and seafood

Especially in the summer you should eat light. The main concern is replacing meat with fish. Therefore you should prefer fish instead of meat, which will provide you with the necessary feeling of satisfaction, but with fewer calories and in a healthy way.

Avoid, therefore, fried food and prefer fish and seafood. Some ideas for fish meals are: mackerel, mullet, red snapper, bonito, perch, sardines, crops, rock, sea bream, and grouper.

Tip #18. Treat constipation problems

In their efforts to start a diet, many individuals experience constipation problems, which, apart from the adverse effects on the body, also affect the weight loss process.

Two basic steps you must follow to address this problem is: the daily consumption of more fiber, which have the capacity to contribute to the greater mobility of the gut, and the increased consumption of liquids, helping to correct the metabolic function. So you should increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables like oranges, apples, pears, plums, broccoli and greens.

Tip #19. Do not exclude from your diet any food group

Many of the “active” weight loss diets you will find support the exclusion of certain groups of foods such as carbohydrate-or fat-from your diet. This, according to nutritionists, is a big unhealthy mistake, as the body needs all nutrients-vitamins, minerals, trace elements, fiber, proteins, etc., which recruits from the different levels of the food pyramid.

Thus, carbohydrates such as bread and pasta, and meat and olive oil should not be missing from our diet, as they provide our body necessary nutrients and also have several benefits, ranging from disease prevention and the proper functioning of the metabolism, to high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3), helping to reduce cholesterol levels.

Tip #20. Eat a good breakfast

Some people when they are trying to loose weight they make the mistake of not eating breakfast. Avoiding breakfast is not a good idea at all because your will feel hunger during the day and at the end you will consume more calories during your meals. Not eating breakfast will also help you to eat snacks, in order to fight your hunger and at the end the calories you consume are more. In fact, research shows that people who eat breakfast every morning are more likely to maintain normal weight and they also find it easier to adapt to a healthy weight loss program.

To succeed in your weight loss efforts is up to you. This article gave you 20 healthy weight loss tips that can help you lose weight in a fast, healthy and efficient way.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Weight Loss Help and Tips

Weight Loss Help and Tips


I Want To Lose Weight Where Do I Start

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 01:06 AM PST


weight loss tricks

I finally made the decision: I want to lose weight! If you’ve decided that you need to lose weight – be it for aesthetic or health reasons – it's often difficult to know where to begin. There are so many different techniques, methods and diets to try that it's almost impossible to make an informed decision. Luckily, weight loss usually comes down to a few important rules and these are where you should start. This article will take you through the most basic rules of all – reducing your calorie intake and increasing the amount of exercise you do.

Create a calorie deficit the healthy way

Although it isn’t fashionable to say that weight loss is just about creating a deficit in the number of calories your body uses, in reality that's all that really matters. For that reason if you're beginning to lose weight you need to work out how many calories you consume on an average day. It can be quite shocking to discover how much you're eating which is why it's always useful to make a note of everything you eat over a certain period. Once you have a benchmark you can then work on reducing your average intake.

This is important because many people assume that they have to crash diet in order to lose weight. Fortunately, this simply isn’t true and trying to eat as little as possible can actually damage your health and chances of losing weight in the long run. For example, if you suddenly stop eating then you may lose weight but your body's metabolism will also have decreased. This means when you go back to eating normally you'll put on weight much faster. Another problem is that a crash diet is very difficult to keep up for any length of time.

If you want to lose weight you have to exercise

Exercise is the other piece of the weight loss puzzle. If you’ve never been interested in sports then increasing the amount of exercise you do can seem daunting. You might imagine that the local gym is full of slim, fit people and be embarrassed to visit. The truth is that to lose weight you need to start exercising as much as possible. Some experts estimate that you need to perform cardiovascular exercise for around 250 minutes a week in order to lose weight which is a lot more than many people do in a month.

It's important not to think you have to reach this goal straight away though. Start by setting yourself smaller targets and work up to 250 minutes a week. This will increase your confidence as you can see gains in your fitness. If going to the gym doesn’t excite you then consider going swimming, joining a dance group or taking up a new sport. Jogging is also great for weight loss although you need to be careful not to increase your mileage immediately.

Follow a weight loss program that suits your needs

Hopefully this article has given you a few ideas for getting started with weight loss. It's vital that you come up with a plan – both for diet and exercise – that you can stick to for an extended period. The most common mistake people make when trying to lose weight is not creating a balanced diet which means it's difficult to be consistent. Yo-yo dieting (where someone loses weight, puts it back on and then loses it again) is not only frustrating but could also potentially damage your health and hence should be avoided at all costs.

In summary, if you want to lose weight you should work out your daily calorie intake and then decide how to reduce it by at least 20% – potentially more if required. You should then increase the amount of exercise you do in a way that's fun, enjoyable and sustainable.

5 Ways to lose one pound of fat

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 12:00 AM PST


lose one pound

To lose one pound of fat you need to take a number of factors into account. First you need to understand the role of fat in the body, what it takes to lose fat and why fat is the cause of a number of diseases. There are many ways to do that and in this article we discuss the 5 most effective ways to lose one pound of fat.

What is fat?

Fat is unused energy stored in the body. This is a very simple explanation of fat but is enough to understand that fat is the result of excess energy (calories) consumed through food that is not burned in the body and as a result gets accumulated in the muscles and body organs. When we consume food our body processes it and takes the energy needed to carry out the normal body functions as well as give us energy to cope with our physical activities. When the calories we consume through food are too many and not used by the body as energy they are stored in the fat reserves.

Fat is not necessarily bad, on the contrary it is vital for the normal functioning of the body as it is used for building up cells, producing hormones and keeping the temperature of the body at normal levels. What is not needed is excess fat that is the cause of a number of cardiovascular diseases and the major cause of obesity.

How to lose fat?

In mathematical terms one pound of fat is about 3500 calories. In other words when you consume more calories than your body burns and this number is above 3500 you gain one pound, on the other hand when you consume 3500 calories more than you consume you lose one pound. It is a straightforward calculation and to lose one pound of fat you need to ensure that the number of calories burned are constantly more than you consume.

For example if you can manage to create a 500 calorie deficit per day then in one week you will lose one pound. If your target is to lose 10 pounds in 2 months then you need to burn 580 calories more per day (10 pounds x 3500 calories = 35000 / 60 days). Have in mind that the minimum number of calories your body needs per day is about 1800-2000 so it is not recommended to go beyond this number. Here are 5 of the best ways to lose one pound of fat.

1. Avoid full fat foods

Since the only source of energy is the foods and drinks we consume, by minimizing the calories we eat and drink we increase our chances of losing weight and fat. So, try to avoid full fat foods, processed foods or foods that contain sugars and artificial substances. Instead prefer low-fat foods, sugar free drinks and lots of fruits instead of snacks and sweets. Read carefully the food label of each food you consume and ensure that it is low in fats, calories and sugars. Organic and natural foods are by definition healthier and have less calories and fat than non-organic food items.

2. Prefer fat burning foods

Although there is no such thing as fat burning foods, you can give preference to foods that are fat friendly. For example low fat milk and low fat dairy products, almonds, fish, oats, whole grain, lean meat and green tea are foods that have minimum amount of fats and they are recommended for a healthy diet. Some of these can even help you burn more calories by eating them than the calories they contain and they usually called negative calorie foods.

3. Fiber, fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals; Fiber has the special characteristic of keeping you full for longer periods and is also wasted from the body without adding to the fat reserves. This is the reason that all diets and weight loss programs suggest that you eat 5-6 servings of fruits daily. With fruits you keep your stomach full and away from other full fat foods.

4. Cardio and fat burning exercises

Dieting is the best way to protect your body from consuming fat but the best way to lose the accumulated body fat is through exercise. Exercise is the only way to accelerate the fat burning process and burn more calories. Not all exercises are equal when it comes to fat loss since exercises that accelerate the heart beat rate generate better results. The most common form is cardio exercises (walking, running, aerobics, cycling, swimming, tennis, squash, climbing etc.).

For even better results you can combine strength training exercises with cardio. Remember your goal is to increase your fat burning process so what is needed is less but more intense repetitions of the exercises (with minimum breaks) and not long repetitions with long breaks. Your goal is to push yourself to the limits so that the body will utilize the fat reserves for energy. This action is needed to actually lose more calories and in turn fat from the body. Exercising does not only make you weigh less but also look better.

5. Consistency is the key for fat loss

We mentioned above that in order to lose fat you need to constantly generate a calorie deficit between the amount of calories consumed and the amount of calories burned (remember 1 pounds = 3500 calories). The key for long term success is not to do that only once or a couple of days per week but to constantly keep the calories burned more than the calories consumed.

So you need to create a diet and exercise plan and stick to that plan for some time (at least a couple of months). Make sure that you exercise 4-5 times per week for at least 45 minutes per session. Combine your cardio exercises with weight lifting and strength training exercises and ensure that you follow a healthy balanced diet with moderate consumption of fats and carbohydrates. If you do that consistently for a number of weeks you will notice results both when you weigh in and in your appearance.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Weight Loss Help and Tips

Weight Loss Help and Tips


Pilates for weight loss – Can you lose weight with Pilates?

Posted: 20 Nov 2012 08:12 AM PST


pilates for weight loss

What is Pilates?

The Pilates technique was introduced by Joseph Pilates as a form of exercise in America (1926) and ever since they have grown into popularity and are now accepted in their use. Through the years they have evolved into different techniques (i.e. STOT Pilates, modified Pilates APPI technique, contemporary Pilates and so on) using apparatus such as the reformer, with books written about them, and DVDs for people to take home and practice.

The supporters and developers of different Pilates techniques claim a number of benefits to their name from improving posture and balance to losing weight, and those who use them will vouch that miracles do happen.

Different Pilates methods

Although the different Pilates methods developed can vary in their technique, they are all based in the 'classic' technique created by Joseph Pilates. In its essence the 'Pilates method' is a series of exercises which use the body's own weight and resistance. In theory, it teaches the body how to use its own mechanisms to recruit the 'core' muscles throughout the body.

Pilates exercises can be practiced as mat based and/or machine exercises and cover multiple levels of ability, with difficulty and intensity of exercises increasing as the level of ability progresses.

The Pilates method is based in 6 core principles: 1. Breathing, 2.Centering, 3.Precision, 4.Control, 5.Concentration, and 6.Flow.

Pilates for weight loss: the science

Research in Pilates in general tends to be of poor quality and has been a controversial subject. One of the main reasons is because there are actually so many different techniques/methods and variety of exercises it makes hard to test all of them in a study. Research is limited into specific exercises and/or exercises routines making it difficult for clear cut conclusions to be made.

There is very little research which has looked into Pilates in weight loss and is not of high quality. The little research that has been carried out does suggest that Pilates exercises can help to lower the Body Mass Index (BMI)and achieve weight loss. However, due to the limited amount of good quality studies available there is no strong scientific evidence to support a statement such as 'Pilates will lead to weight loss'.

In theory it is a form of physical activity, and as with any kind of physical activity some energy expenditure and some fitness gains will be achieved.

How to lose weight with Pilates?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to lose weight with pilates and generally what you need to have in mind when choosing Pilates for weight loss.

Pilates is not the appropriate exercise choice if you are looking to increase calorie expenditure radically or you need to achieve large improvements in aerobic and strength components. Pilates exercises, especially those for beginners, are a more 'gentle' form of exercise and will not result in burning huge amounts of calories.

For those who are in general inactive and do not exercise at all Pilates will provide a challenge to the muscles and could result in higher energy expenditure (in very simple terms calorie burning).

Energy expenditure can increase in more advanced levels and/or with the use of apparatus such as the Reformer, and the Cadillac. The apparatus provide resistance, and increase the difficulty of the exercise and in result the effort made to carry out the exercise. Some mat-based techniques tend to use apparatus such as gym balls and thera-bands (resistance elastic bands) which can similarly increase resistance and muscular effort.

5 Steps on how to lose weight with pilates

1. Always start at an appropriate level. At a beginners levels exercises may not appear as they provide any muscular benefits or may seem very easy. It is easy to want to jump to a higher level which could provide you with more challenge, more calorie burning, and faster. However, one of the principles in which Pilates exercises are based on is precision and this is for a reason.

• For exercises to provide the muscular and fitness benefits they are aiming to provide.
• To avoid injuries. If any exercise is not performed properly and to the appropriate difficulty level, it can lead to back injuries, muscle strains, joint and ligament injuries etc.

2. Choose a technique/method/class which most suits you individually. There is not one technique proven to yield better results than another. When choosing a class is good to know what certifications the teacher has. Prefer teachers which have completed full courses from reputable colleges/institutes or have combination of qualifications such as fitness instructors, physiotherapist etc.

Regulations on Pilates certifications are not strict or very clear cut and a number of instructors may have just completed a weekend course which in some cases does not provide them with the appropriate skills.

3. Avoid fanatic schools that tend to preach extreme practices. For example that the only way is contracting the abdominal muscles 24/7. You can practice some elements of Pilates when sitting in your office, in the car, or watching TV, however, it is not natural to have any muscle contracted constantly.

4. Avoid home exercises. Unless you are an experienced fitness instructor is best to avoid DIY exercises at home. Not trying to undermine the home exercise regimes, however, in the case of Pilates exercises precision and control is vital. Not only for the wanted fitness gains to occur but also to avoid injuries. Carrying out exercises, at the beginning at least, supervised by a certified professional will have the benefit of carrying exercises in the correct technique, keeping safe and working on the appropriate level and routine of exercises.

5. Health first. As with every form with exercise if you have any medical conditions consult a medical professional before starting. A medical professional will be the most appropriate person to advise you in terms of weight loss and exercise which will most suit any medical needs.

Benefits of pilates for weight loss

1. Pilates can in some terms provide a full body workout (i.e. a number of muscles work to stabilise the body while mobilising a joint). However, effects are more region specific. Pilates exercises concentrate on the deep and superficial muscles of the abdomen (tummy), back and gluts (hips). They tend to give a flat tummy effect by conditioning the abdominal muscles and improving posture.

They could also help with reducing fat deposition in the abdominal and waist area (what some people can refer to as 'love handles') and the hips. If a muscle becomes more conditioned and works more efficiently it will in return burn fat more efficiently. A six pack may take quite a lot of time and effort to achieve though.

2. Results of Pilates on weight loss may be more prominent in terms of losing 'inces' in and around the areas conditioned (see previous point) rather than in kilos lost.

3. It could be more suitable for people who to start off can't sustain heavy or intense exercise or prefer classes rather than gym sessions. Additionally, it may be more suitable for those who just want a light firming form of exercise to top up their weight loss or just sustain a firm body shape.

4. For more radical results in achieving weight loss is best combined with other forms of exercise and physical activity.

5. As with every exercise, for muscular effects to take place it can take approximately 4 weeks. Moreover, any gains will depend on the intensity, duration and frequency of the exercise i.e. how long, how many times per week, how challenging for the muscles etc. These are the laws of physiology and apply to all kinds of exercise not just Pilates.

If you overload the muscles will not necessarily achieve better results faster. Muscles need an appropriate amount of challenge for fitness gains, and a good fitness professional should be able to provide you with the correct level, program and routine for your individual needs.

Is lap-band surgery a safe way to lose weight?

Posted: 20 Nov 2012 03:34 AM PST


lap-band surgery for weight loss

Some people reside to surgery to lose weight. This is because either they cannot lose weight naturally or because they need faster results. One of the most popular surgeries is the Lap-Band surgery. One must be very careful before choosing such weight loss methods and certainly it should be after the close examination of a certified doctor. There are many parameters to examine before you are allowed to undergo surgery and it should be understood that weight loss surgeries are not applicable for all people. Let’s see below more details about Lap-band surgery as a way to lose weight.

What is Lap-band surgery?

Lap-band is an adjustable gastric banding system that helps you consume less quantities of food and this gradually leads to weight loss. It is applied through a surgery procedure with all the risks associated with surgeries. Lap-bad is an FDA approved system but not for all people. You must be at least 30 pounds above your normal weight and must not suffer from other more serious conditions or diseases.

Who can use Lap-band surgery for weight loss?

1. Men and Women who are at least 18 years old

2. Overweight people having more than 30+ pounds (for a period of more than 5 years) above their normal weight with a BMI of at least 40

3. People who have already tried to lose weight healthy but for various reasons have not succeeded. Healthy weight loss is always the recommended way to lose weight.

4. People who are not alcoholics

5. People who have a good state of health and not suffering from other diseases.

Who cannot use Lap-band surgery for weight loss?

Lap-Band surgery is not recommended if:

1. You have gastrointestinal problems, heart problems or other chronic diseases

2. You are addicted to alcohol or other drugs

3. You are allergic to certain materials used by the lap-band system

4. Women who are pregnant

5. Generally people with a history of disorders or problems that prohibit them from going under any type of surgery.

Your doctor or surgeon can examine your health condition and make recommendations as to whether you can use lap-band or any other weight loss surgery.

How much does lap-band surgery costs?

Lap-band surgery and after treatment follow up may cost you up to $30,000. This depends on many factors but many patients stated that the overall cost is close to this amount.

Should I use Lap-Bad surgery for weight loss?

Now that we have gathered all the facts about lap-band the next question is: Should I consider lap-band for weight loss?

By definition we are against any non-natural ways to lose weightand this also includes lap-band or any other surgery. Only in exceptional cases should someone reside to such risky measures especially when there are many ways to lose weight naturally, safe and healthy. You may read that the method is safe but it is still a surgery and it is still non-natural. Why go under all this trouble and take all the risks and costs when you can safely lose weight?

Remember that there are no short-cuts when it comes to losing weight. You many need more time if you decide to do it healthy but you are sure that you are doing a step towards a healthier life. Even if you do the surgery you still have to change your lifestyle if you want to keep the weight off.

Surgery will not give you a permanent and effort-free solution to your weight loss problems. Many people have also reported side effects after surgery which made their situation worse than before. Our recommendation is not to consider surgery before trying to solve the weight loss problems in a healthy way.