Archives for July 2014

6 Healthy Habits To Lose Weight

health-and-fitnessAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the cost of obesity related medical conditions in the US in 2008 was $147 billion. Some of these medical conditions include stroke, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. The good news is overweight people can prevent the development of such diseases if they lose excess weight. Here are six healthy habits to get you started:

Set Realistic Goals

Most people fail to achieve their weight loss goals because they set unrealistic targets. To avoid such an outcome, you should set realistic and achievable goals. For example, you could start with a goal to lose about five to 10% of your current weight. In addition, give yourself enough time to lose weight. For instance, you should not set a goal of losing five percent of your body weight within two weeks. Instead, give yourself a more realistic time limit of about three months or so depending on your work or study schedule.

Reduce Your Meal Portions

To lose weight, you should downsize your meal portions. Remember, the more you eat, the higher the likelihood of gaining weight. An effective way of achieving this goal is using small plates (such as salad plates) to serve your meals. The problem with using large plates is your food portions will look very small, which means you are likely to pile even more food. Extend the same principle to beverages. Serve and drink beverages from small cups (preferably 6 to 8 ounce cups).

Join A Support Network

When you embark on a weight loss program or diet, you should be prepared to go the whole hog. This means months and possibly years of watching what you eat or exercising regularly. To ensure you do not give up after a few days or weeks, surround yourself with a support network of friends, obese/overweight people who would like to shed excess weight, or work colleagues who can motivate you to stick to your weight loss routine. For instance, you could join a group of Weight Watchers.

Avoid Simple Carbohydrates

Avoid foods that contain simple carbohydrates because they tend to cause blood sugar spikes as well as cause weight gain. Instead, eat whole grain foods. According to a study (involving 74,000 women) carried out by researchers from Harvard University, participants who ate whole grains at least two times a day were 49% less likely to gain weight compared to those who chose to eat foods that contain simple carbohydrates.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is one of the most effective ways of losing excess weight. Figures published by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) show that you need to walk or run one mile to burn about 100 calories. Take note you do not need to exercise rigorously to lose weight. Taking a 30-minute walk every day, jogging, swimming, or dancing can help you shed body fat over time.  Remember to warm up by doing gentle stretches before exercising. This is necessary to avoid developing injuries.

Furthermore, take plenty of fluids like water to ensure you remain well hydrated as you exercise. Exercise also lowers levels of low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) and raises levels of high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol). Finally, exercise triggers the release of chemicals and hormones that make one feel relaxed and happy, according to ACSM.

Evaluate Your Eating Habits

It is advisable to evaluate your eating habits carefully. Some of the things you should carefully monitor include the types of foods you eat, number of times you eat in a day, as well as snacks that you eat in between meals. You may be surprised to find that you eat calorie-rich foods every hour or so.

burgerIf this is the case, you must change your eating habits immediately. For example, you should stop buying and stocking so called “splurge/comfort foods” such as ice cream, chocolate, buttered bagels, and cakes. This is because eating these high-calorie foods will cause you to gain weight.

You should also avoid eating three or four large meals every day. Instead, eat five or six small meals evenly spaced throughout the day. According to a study published by besthealthmag.ca, people who divide their morning meals into several portions and then eat them at hourly intervals consume 30% fewer calories during lunchtime. In addition, such staggered meal portions cause the body to release less insulin, which means you do not have to worry about blood sugar spikes.

In conclusion, if you would like to lose some weight, you do not necessarily have to starve yourself or spend hours in the gym. Weight control is all adopting healthy habits including exercising regularly, surrounding yourself with a support network, evaluating and changing your eating habits, reducing your meal portions, setting realistic goals, and shunning foods that contain simple carbohydrates. Finally, if you have a medical condition such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, consult your physician before you start dieting or exercising.

Know The Truth About 3 Most Common Weight Loss Myths

It is really worthwhile to work towards the purposes of weight loss and gaining a fit and healthy body. However, you need to go at it the right way. Weight loss and fitness is such a huge concern with so many people out there that a great quantity of information on the subject is always available at hand. However, all such information may not necessarily be of help. Misconceptions about weight loss practices and diets galore, and if you are not wary enough, such faulty ideas can easily derail your efforts pretty soon.

So, in the present article we will discuss some of the most common weight loss myths and try to discover how much truth do they hold for you. Let’s us get started.

Where Calories are Concerned, All Are Equal

Wrong. Many people tend to think that all calories are of same value, so it matters little what kind of food you are eating to store up those calories. Which is to say, eating a sundae containing 200 calories is no less healthy than eating a plate of salad containing the same number of calories.

This is a false myth since different foods need different levels of chewing and digestive efforts. For example, chewing vegetables, fruits, pieces of meat require more effort than eating a cake, which is to say that the effort results in more calorie burn and therefore, aids your weight loss efforts.

Carbs Result in Weight Gain

This is another of those widely circulated myths about right food habits. There are many popular diets which prescribe the least amount of carbohydrate foods. Most popular among such diets is the Atkins diet which had become quite a craze not too long ago and which entirely did away with carbs and was essentially a high-protein diet.

However, studies have shown that if eaten in right quantities, whole meal and whole grain carbohydrates such as wholemeal bread and brown rice won’t result in weight gain. This myth gained currency mainly because Atkins diet proved effective for the users and helped them lose weight. And yet, a recent study shows that Atkins diet helped people shed off extra weight not because the diet was a low-carb one, but simply because people following the diet ate less quantities of food overall.

Atkins diet has also proved ineffective as a long-term diet plan and in helping people develop a healthy food habit. Many who experienced quick weight loss by following this diet plan found that after a period, they gained back the weight again.

Losing Weight is Harder for Women Than Men

This is another common myth and, sorry ladies, this one indeed has more than a little truth to it. Biologically, men pack more lean muscle mass than women, and since lean muscle contribute to the speeding up of metabolism, men normally have 5-10% higher metabolism rate than women.

In addition, women are known to lose close to half a pound of lean muscle mass every year during periods of perimenopause. It is also a fact that women tend to store body fat more than men. Add up all these points and it will indeed come off as true that women will need to sweat more than men to shed those extra pounds.

One understands that this is one myth the women readers would have loved to read as false, but as you will understand, all myths are not necessarily bosh!

How To Choose Best Diet Supplements

dietsupplementsDietary weight loss supplements are made of vital nutrients including minerals, proteins and vitamins. Some of the supplements also comprise green food products including amino acids, herbs and metabolites. These are herbal substances without any kind of artificial powders or drugs added to them. By supplying your system with these vital nutrients, diet supplements can help you enjoy a healthy life.

Things To Consider Before Buying

The question however is how to choose the best supplement for your requirements. As you would be consuming the product on an everyday basis, it is important to be certain about its suitability for your needs and of course, its safety levels. With so many different kinds of diet pills in the market, it is easy to get confused. Here are some tips to help you pick the right supplement.

Research Well – Do your homework before you begin your search for the best supplement. The internet is a good place to start. You may also want to ask your family and friends for any recommendations. Especially if someone is shaving a good success with a product they are using. Diet supplements are advertised heavily, so watch out for advertisements in magazines, newspapers and TV as well. You need to be confident that the supplement you are considering is not contaminated or adulterated with hazardous substances. Therefore, be very sure of the ingredients in the product. Read through the product reviews online to know what other customers are saying about the efficacy of the same.

Consult Your Doctor – You must not take any supplement without first consulting your doctor. He or she is aware of your medical history and is the best person to advise you about the right supplement for your physical condition. Certain supplements must be avoided if you have some pre-existing conditions. It is therefore best to seek the advice of your physician before you start taking any pill.

Opt For Natural Products – The best diet pills are natural. It is easier for the body to assimilate herbal substances. Stay away from chemical laden supplements as they can do a lot of harm to the body and cause some irreparable damage. Inspect the label of the item carefully and read the nutrients and the amounts given. The label should also contain some basic information about the company such as its address and contact information, manufacturing dates, recommended dosage and expiry date. If you have any questions about the quality of the herbal supplement, do not hesitate to contact the company and inquire about the same. Also, be on the lookout for products that carry a money back guarantee. If they do not work for you, you can always return them and claim a refund.

Supplements are necessary and valuable additions to every day food, but they should not be consumed without proper knowledge of their properties and effects. The purpose of diet pills is to enhance health but if you pick the wrong products, they may not give you the desired results. It is therefore crucial to keep these tips in mind while searching for the right diet supplement.

5 Useful Strategies To Lose Weight

The foundation of successful weight loss is a healthy diet combined with regular physical activity. However, making permanent changes to your diet and lifestyle can be a challenge, particularly if do not adopt the right mind-set. Consider following these five simple strategies for successful weight loss.

1. Make A Lifelong Commitment

Permanent weight loss takes considerable time and effort, and to achieve your goal, you will need to channel a large proportion of your mental and physical energy into changing your lifestyle habits. When you are planning to make changes to your diet and exercise regime, devise a strategy to address other issues in your life first, such as money worries or relationship problems. If you are able to put these stresses behind you, you will be able to focus all your efforts on following a healthier lifestyle.

2. Set Realistic Weight Loss Goals

Over the long term, it is advisable to aim to lose weight at a rate of one to two pounds (0.5 to 1 kilogram) each week. This means that you will need to burn at least 500 calories more than you take in each day. When you are setting goals, set process goals, such as “swim three times weekly” rather than outcome goals, such as “lose 40 pounds”, as process goals will help you to change your habits, which is the key to success weight loss. Setting smaller, attainable goals will also give you the confidence you need to continue.

3. Strive For Variety

Adopting a new, lower calorie diet can take some getting used to, but cutting back on your calorie intake need not mean restricting your food choices. One way you can reduce your overall calorie intake is by aiming to include a vast array of exotic fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. In particular, you should aim to get your weight loss started by tucking into a nutritious breakfast every morning; choosing low-fat dairy products; eating whole grains instead of refined grains; and keeping your meat consumption to a minimum.

4. Devise A Plan For Dealing With Setbacks

Changing your diet and lifestyle calls can be a challenge, and it is only natural to slip up from time to time. To prevent setbacks from hampering your efforts, you will need to consider ways to overcome the challenges you are likely to face on your weight loss journey. For example, if you are due to work long hours, you may struggle to find the time to keep to your usual schedule of regular exercise, but by planning to exercise before work or during your lunch break, you will be able to take care of your workout and take care after yourself.

5. Reward Yourself

Losing weight is hard work, especially if your loved ones do not aspire to achieve similar goals. To keep yourself motivated, set mini goals and reward yourself whenever you reach them. For example, you could treat yourself for swimming three times a week. When it comes to choosing a reward, avoid food-based rewards that will throw you off course. A luxury, non-food reward could take the form of a spa day with friends, a new pair of jeans, a trip to the movies or a new book or magazine. By choosing a meaningful reward, you will reinforce your weight loss resolution.

Weight loss is not just about dieting and exercising, it is about addressing your body and mind. When you arm yourself with the following strategies, you will be able to motivate yourself to stick to your weight loss goals and maintain your healthy habits once you have reached your ideal weight.

How To Lose Weight The Smart Way

Losing weight is can be a hectic task if you have no idea where to begin. It is more of a process as opposed to a one off event. It all starts by making the right choices. If your attempts at weight loss have been futile, there is no need to lose hope. A few simple tips should put you right back on track.

Lifestyle Changes And Nutrition

healthy lifestyleIt is a common saying that if you change your life, then your body will follow. It is important to make lasting changes to several aspects of your life so that you are able to achieve your weight loss goals. The main idea is to address any underlying issues or patters as well as lifestyle behaviors that predispose you to gaining weight. A balanced lifestyle turns of stress hormones that are responsible for ramped up appetites that contribute to weight gain.

Good nutrition is essential to building a healthy metabolism and regulating cravings for food. This helps to deal with one of the main problems at the root of weight challenges. Relying on a reduced calorie diet and restrictive eating plans are not always effective if one does not understand the value of nutrition. Learn how your body works so that you can start eating healthy.

Fitness And Goal Setting

Working out is essential in helping your body to develop lean muscle mass and build your metabolism for long term weight management. Being active also gives you energy, less stress, builds self-esteem and balances blood sugar levels. The secret lies in identifying activities you enjoy, finding some level of challenge and improving your overall fitness over time.

Rome wasn’t built in a day so you have to establish realistic goals. Think about your planned achievements and why you want to achieve them. If you are able to set a positive–minded fitness oriented goal, you must be willing to change your behavior. You also have to be specific, realistic and set goals you can accomplish.

Psychological frustration or dissatisfaction about one’s body is not effective in supporting behavioral change. A better approach is to let your motivation come from a sense of how your life would be better if powered by great health, vitality and self-esteem. It is important to note that body and mind are linked.

Finding A Support System And Getting Help When Necessary

Surround yourself with positive like-minded people who can offer some form of support towards your objective to lose weight. Whether it is a support group, a gym partner, friends or family members, a great support system can be very helpful in the long run. A supportive environment helps you to focus your energy towards proactive steps and dials down destructive thinking.

Always monitor your progress and have a diary to take note of any changes. Do not get too focused on the scale but pay more attention to how you look and feel. If you are not making any progress, it is advisable to seek expert help. There may be other factors, obstacles or underlying health conditions that need a professional approach.