Archive for February, 2013

Why Quick Fix Diets Not Effective for Permanent Weight Loss

It is not surprising that many people desperate to lose weight do not seem to get lasting results using quick fix diets. You will find many sites on the internet claiming significant weight loss in just a few days. That type of weight loss is always temporary. It is often water which will be put straight back on as soon as your body rehydrates, which it must do if you are not going to suffer severe health problems and dehydration.

Other quick fix diets are often crash diets with exaggerated claims of success, they tend to be fashionable for a period of time and usually make a lot of money for marketers. In most cases these are good nutrition plans which will help you lose weight, but which you could probably have gotten for free from your doctor. In the worst cases they will prove so difficult to follow that you will soon give up.101 steps image

  • Quick weight lose diets provide temporary solutions and do not help you to make permanent changes to your eating habits. Lasting changes that are sustainable are the only way to remain at your target weight once you reach it. The quick fix diets encourage binge eating cycles of fast weight loss followed by equally fast weight gain and this is detrimental to your health and self-esteem.
  •  These fad diets do not give the benefits that you would get from a balanced diet.  They promise quick and easy weight loss are usually based on eating more of one food type and none of another and often suggest you take supplements but many supplements are not absorbed by the body unless they are taken along with the foods that the diet has banned and this may result in nutritional deficiencies.
  •  Fad diets are often restrictive and uninteresting.  After the initial excitement, you will not enjoy your meals. Cravings for some foods may occur and breaking the diet is likely to occur.
  •  Often the diet will recommend high fat foods and low carbs which if taken long term, could result in heart disease. The promoters may tell you that the diet is only intended to be followed for a short time. But you probably will not reach your goal weight in that time most likely reverting to your old eating habits.
  •  Many fad diets do not give you the variety of foods that your body needs and may not help you to incorporate enough servings of fruits and vegetables in your weight loss program.

Be aware that whatever the publicity materials may say, these diets will not help you in the long term. The best way to sustain weight loss is to eat a varied and healthy diet, avoid overeating, exercise regularly. Quick fix diets are not effective for permanent weight loss.

Getting More Practical – Activities Around the House to burn Calories

Many people find it difficult to set aside time for exercise.  There are however great fat burning exercises that you can do in the course of your daily routine around the house or at work that will enable you to burn fat; it need not be one continuous 30 minutes or 1 hour session, but a few minutes here and there will add up to a a sizeable number of calories burned.  Here are just a few examples, be creative to come up with many more suited to your situation.

Burn calories working in and around the house:

1.  When mixing, instead of using the electric mixer, why not do a vigorous hand exercise and bit that mixture with the spoon.  This is a good workout for the upper and forearm and shoulders.

2.  Hand-washing small items and then wringing them yourself gives your hands a good workout.

3.  Give the windows a vigorous clean. Wipe down the doors – the movements are great for stretching the underarms and back and sides.

4.  Give the rugs a good shake and the whole body shakes!

5.  Giving your kitchen a vigorous sweep and mop will clean off dirt and burn off calories.People working

6.  Run up the stairs at every excuse and see how many trips you make up and down the stairs.

7. Take time to handwash your car and see how many calories you burn with the various positions you take in the process…

8.  Take a shower instead of a bath, the standing position and the various washing acts are great exercise movements.

9. Tidying up cupboards, re-arranging furniture are all great workout activities

10.  Give your fridge and shelving a good scrub and the stove and all that shelving – by the time you are done you will feel you have done a bit of a workout.

Take housework as opportunity for a workout.  If you can invest in a pedometer, its great to give you an indication of the distance walked and calories burned.  Keep an activity schedule  and write down all the activities, you will be surprised at how much workout you have done without going to the gym or setting aside workout time.

Reference

Shields A,  (2008) Sport England, 365 Ways to Get Fit, London, Collins and Brown

15 Great Ways to Lose Weight

Want to lose weight fast? It’s easy to say goodbye to 10 pounds of unwanted fat with these easy diet tips. Just pay attention to what you eat and be sure to have good tasting, fresh and healthy food including snacks, fill up on vegetables and keep your taste buds happy with fruit.

No need to make sacrifices! Just follow these simple guidelines to lose your first 10 pounds, last 10 pounds or give your weight loss program a boost when it seems to have stuttered to a halt. This is a balanced and flexible plan that you can use for as long as you want.

1. Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. Plan your shopping too – make a list of what you need and stick to it. If you just grab something when you are feeling hungry, you will probably choose high calorie food.

2. Keep a note of everything that you eat and drink. You do not need to estimate calories. Just write down what it was that you had and the approximate quantity. You will find that being more aware of what you are eating helps you to plan healthy meals and snacks.

3. Halve your intake of all pure or added fats. This means using half as much butter or spread on your bread, toast, muffins and potatoes; half the usual amount of mayonnaise or sauce on your salad; and half the oil in the fry pan every time.

4. Include a lower fat source of protein at most meals: chicken, fish, beans, cottage cheese, or low fat yogurt. Have eggs, nuts and red meat occasionally but not every day.

5. Plan at least one lunch and dinner every week without meat or cheese. Build those meals around whole grains, vegetables and beans to increase fiber and reduce fat.

6. Reduce the fat content in your milk products. If you are currently drinking whole milk, reduce to 2% fat. From 2% reduce to 1%. Choose lower fat cheese and yogurt. When you buy yogurt, also check that it does not contain sugar.

7. Have at least two servings of fruit every day. This can be for dessert or snacks. Choose fruit that is in season.

8. Drink water instead of sodas, juices, milky drinks or alcohol. Avoid diet soda – the sweet taste only encourages you to crave sugar. Hot water with a slice of lemon can be very refreshing in the morning.

9. Include at least two servings of vegetables at lunch and dinner. If you are getting hungry, have more.

10. Eat slowly. The body is slow to register when you are full and it is easy to eat too much if you are racing through your meals.

11. Grated carrot makes a great snack. You will find that a grated carrot is much more filling than a whole carrot, strange but true.

12. Use whole grains wherever possible. The fibre will give you a fuller feeling and also help your digestion.

13. Choose food that you can chew. Again this will increase your fibre intake, and the act of chewing will make you feel more satisfied too. This means eating fruit instead of drinking juice. If you have soup, make sure it is chunky.

14. Limit treats containing sugar to three times per week. This includes chocolate, ice cream, desserts, cake, pastries, cookies, etc.

15. Always switch off the TV when you eat. That includes snacks as well as meals. Studies have proved that we eat larger portions in front of the TV, probably because we are much less aware of what we are eating. When you eat, only eat if you want to lose weight fast.

Top 10 Super Foods, Power Packed

What is the secret to a long and healthy life?  It is in the food that we eat.  As you well know, all foods are not created equal.  Choosing and eating the right foods may help increase your life expectancy as well as the quality of your life.

Here are ten of the top power packed foods designed to give you energy, vitality and all around good health!

1. Beans – If they give you gas, take precautions before you eat them.  Soaking them first can help.  Beans of all kinds (kidney, navy, lentils, chickpeas, Northern) are high in protein.  This is plant protein so it contains very little fat, carbs and calories.  If fiber is a problem in your diet, eating a healthy portion of beans each day can keep your digestive system healthy.

2. Oatmeal – Oatmeal is coming into popularity as a food that lowers blood cholesterol.  You can make it yourself with rolled oats or eat the instant kind if you are in a hurry.  Oatmeal is a filling grain that also provides much needed fiber to keep hunger at bay and your blood sugar constant.

3. Fruits – Fruits are filled with antioxidants such as Vitamin C and A.  Antioxidants fight free radical damage in the body and reduce the risk of cancer.  Berries such as blueberries and grapes have the highest amount of antioxidants.  But choose an array of fruits in a wide variety of colors for maximum health.  The antioxidants in fruit boost the immune system to fight the effects of aging in the body.

4. Allium foods – This class of foods includes garlic, onions, leeks and shallots.  Garlic is known for lowering cholesterol.  Allium vegetables healp guard the body against the risk of cancer and many other ailments.  They also help lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots.  Eating these power packed vegetables in their natural state especially garlic increases their health benefits.

5. Salmon – Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduces the risk of heart disease and other conditions like atherosclerosis.  Wild salmon is a fatty fish but it contains good fats that has been proven to improve health in children and adults.  Salmon is rich in protein which is of great use after an exercise session to build muscle tissue.

6. Flax seed – Like salmon it contains omega-3 fatty acids.  These seeds also contain omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids.  You get a lot of power to fight high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes with this seed.  Ground flax seed can be added to fruit smoothies, sprinkled in yogurt, eaten with cereal or added to pancake mix to name a few.

7. Peppers – Peppers are colorful.  They contain antioxidants like beta-carotene and Vitamin C.  Peppers range from mild and sweet to so hot you’ll be calling the fire department.  All peppers contain a substance called capsaicin.  Capsaicin has the properties of an anti-inflammatory, a pain reliever, lowers cancer risk and heart disease.  They are good in salads, salsa and all sorts of dishes.

8. Nuts and seeds – Nuts are high in fat but those fats are the good kind.  Peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts and pistachios are all providers of good fats and protein.  Crush them into a fine powder and use as a coating instead of higher carb bread crumbs.  Nuts help to lower cholesterol.  Eat them right out of the shell with no additives.

9. Açai – This berry has been in the news lately.  It is rich in antioxidants and increases energy.  You can get more done and look better while doing it.  You can get Acai juice and supplements in your health food store.

10. Yogurt – The fat free variety is good for you.  Yogurt contains calcium, Vitamin B, and protein.  If you don’t drink milk, yogurt is an alternative to get your calcium in to build strong bones and teeth.  Live yogurt also contains friendly bacteria to help promote a healthy digestive system.

Building a better healthier body begins with what you eat.  Try these super foods to get started on the right foot.