Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Phytochemicals | Their Amazing Health Benefits

Phytochemicals And The Health Value Of Colors

Mother Nature has generously supplied the plant world with thousands of bioactive chemicals, in turn giving protection to assure health and regeneration of the species. In each edible plant are dozens, if not hundreds, of phytochemicals with health benefits that transfer to us through our diet.

A simple way to grasp what phytochemicals do is to understand why plants have colors in the first place. Colorful chemicals can be described as pigments in two main classes: phenolics and carotenoids.

Phenolic Pigments

Plant colors of blue, purple, black and red belong to the pigment class called phenolics (or polyphenols), which includes several thousand individual chemicals across the plant world.

Although phenolics may be grouped in as many as 11 subclasses, each with hundreds of chemicals, those known best in public media are the flavonoids found in colorful edible plants like berries. A principal flavonoid subgroup that is common in dark berries is the anthocyanins (anthos = flower, cyanin = blue, Greek). Anthocyanins give the brightest colors to plants, including the blue of blueberries, black of blackberries, red of cherries or rose petals, and purple of prunes and eggplant.

Pigments provide two general functions to plants. Via their scent, flavor, and color, pigments serve to attract pollinators and assure continuation of the species. Secondly, they act as a defensive shell of acidic protectors guarding against bacteria, viruses, fungi and other pests. This category includes antioxidant roles necessary to neutralize the effects of constant exposure to the sun, ultraviolet radiation and production of free radicals during photosynthesis.

Following digestion from eating pigmented foods like berries, phenolics distribute throughout the body's water compartments. This includes the inside of cells where oxidative reactions are occurring second by second throughout life. Phenolics (and carotenoids below) are the antioxidants that neutralize oxidation reactions from free radicals that can damage cell structures and contribute to disease and aging.

Simply stated, humans can increase their defenses against disease by eating colorful plants. Preliminary evidence for this benefit comes from a host of research studies on animals and in limited human clinical trials. Theses studies show positive results by phenolics against:

•Cancer •Cardiovascular disease •Thrombosis (blood clots) •Inflammation •Diabetes

Phenolics appearing in public media over recent years include:

•Proanthocyanidins (anti-cancer effect from grape seeds) •Resveratrol (protective effect against cardiovascular disease from red grapes and dark wines) •Anthocyanins (protection against brain damage following stroke from blueberries) •Chlorogenic acid (reduction of high blood pressure from strawberries) •Ferulic acid (cancer prevention from black raspberries)


In plants that are red, orange, yellow or green are a smaller family of pigments called the carotenoids. These are the pigments associated with the vivid colors of corn, carrots, pumpkins, tomatoes and spinach. Even though green plants have a predominance of chlorophyll – a green pigment – carotenoids are ever present (though masked by chlorophyll). An example of this effect occurs in spinach. Even though it is a dark green vegetable, spinach contains high levels of a yellow carotenoid called lutein.

Other carotenoids now seen in consumer products like vitamins and supplements include:

•Beta-carotene •Lycopene •Zeaxanthin (“zee-a-zan-thin”)

Carotenoids have two characteristics of particular health value to us. First, they tend to dissolve best in lipids and so are concentrated in fatty parts of human cells (like membranes, nuclear envelopes and the sheaths of nerves close to critical functions of these cell components). Second, carotenoids typically have numerous double-bonds between carbon atoms, a highly effective source of electrons needed in antioxidation processes.

Simply for the above reason, carotenoids are thought to be more powerful dietary antioxidants than phenolics. With carotenoids in cell lipids and phenolics in cell water, phytochemicals from a diet of colorful plants act in concert to protect our organs from potential damage by radical oxygen and nitrogen species.

In ongoing basic research on animals, carotenoids have been linked to broad health benefits including:

•Eye diseases •Cardiovascular diseases •Cancer •Psoriasis •Inflammation •Viral infections

Summary of health benefits: Enrich your dietary content of phenolics and carotenoids by eating a variety of the most brightly colored vegetables and fruits!


* Heber D, What Color is Your Diet?, 2001, HarperCollins, New York. * Joseph JA, Nadeau DA, Underwood A. The Color Code, 2002, Hyperion, New York. * Lee J, Koo N, Min DB. Reactive oxygen species, aging, and antioxidative nutraceuticals. Comprehen Rev Food Sci and Food Safety 3:21-33, 2004.

Copyright 2006 Berry Health Inc.

About The Author: A scientist, author and expert on cardiovascular and brain physiology, Dr. Paul Gross has done extensive research on the brain, bones and antioxidants. Gross is also founder of Berry Health Inc, a developer of nutritional, berry-based supplements. For more information, visit http://www.berrywiseonline.com

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

More Holiday Eating Tips

Holiday Eating Strategy Sheet

“I'm glad it is over,” say many people after Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's.

If you are the food preparer, you are most likely shopping, mincing, dicing, and saut̩ing, days Рpossibly weeks before the event. The good china, crystal, flatware, and serving pieces are brought out of storage. They are washed, polished, and used once more before they are stored away for the next special event.

If you are the attendee, you may be feeling guilty that the food preparer did all the work, so you may be thinking of eating a second portion of everything to show appreciation to the preparer.

An enormous amount of food is put on the table(s). People come. They eat. They leave over an enormous amount of food. This brings us to Holiday Leftovers.

Holiday leftovers are not to be confused with the tuna fish left on a platter after your family has had their share at lunch yesterday. I'm talking about vast quantities of many dishes. Leftovers are not left over if they are eaten.

For many, part of the ritual of Thanksgiving is the 11 p.m. raid on the refrigerator to join everyone else who is standing and eating in pajamas and bathrobes. Is a turkey leg one item? Two? Three? Might be more. You'd recognize the satiation component if you were eating slower and sipping water between bites. Plates and utensils are your friends. They keep you mindful.

You want to fit into your dress/pants at the end of the meal, at the end of the day, at the end of the weekend, as well as at the beginning when everyone arrives (or if you are the arrivee) and tells you how wonderful you look. Someone said, “A goal without a plan is just a daydream.” And I know Yogi Berra said: “If you don't know where you're going, you could end up someplace else.”

There are a few things you can do during a holiday meal day that can be practiced year round. If you set a goal to make this your new way, it becomes comfortable year round, then when a holiday meal comes along, you won't be looking to make it an overeating exception. You'll keep feeding the smaller person no matter who you are with, what country you are in, and what the holiday it is.

You are either striving to become a smaller person in which case you feed that smaller person you want to be. Or, you are a smaller person, in which case, you feed the smaller person you are.

Here's the plan:

Almost every month has a holiday where food is the centerpiece. The holiday eating strategies are helpful if you read the information before, during, and after the festivities. This will help you plan ahead, execute, evaluate, and adjust, for next time. That's the thing with holidays – there's always a next time. Fill in the following sentence. Go for it. I want to weigh pounds, 365 days a year, not just when it's convenient. I can do it!

1. Don't skip meals. Starving all day as an excuse to overeat at a party doesn't work. Plan ahead, instead.

2. In a relaxed, quiet atmosphere, envision what food and drink you'll be encountering and plan, in advance, in writing, what you want to do. Just scribble a few decisions in a 3 X 5 (or smaller) card: Is it going to be a one-item, two-item, three-item meal? How many items are appropriate? What are they to be? Chicken? Fish? Veal? Will you choose a potato? Do you want dessert more than bread? A salad more than a vegetable? To weigh pounds or to continue weighing what you weigh. And 2b) What behavioral techniques do you plan to use to help lessen food-related anxiety? Will you carry around a goblet of water during the stand up portion of the festivities? Will you help the hostess set the table? Will you play with the children? Food is just a part of the day. What are you going to be doing when social anxiety and old family issues rear their heads in the guise of best sweet potato pie. If you always do what you've always done, you'll get what you always got.

3. Wear a belt with a buckle, whenever eating and whenever necessary. Buckle on snug. Wear a thin belt under your clothes if the outfit is of the cover-up variety. When an elastic-waisted pants/skirt give, it gives oh so quietly. You're not even aware that you're growing back into that bigger person's pants/skirt. A waistband tells you at dinner that you haven't even digested what you had at lunch. When you reach for a second helping of something, your waistband will tell you: “don't do that.” And you'll pick up the water instead.

4. While in attendance, keep moving. Help the hostess, play with children, and talk to everyone in the room before looking at the food. Don't linger near the buffet table. A wonderful three-part question to ask before eating anytime, anywhere, is: a). Am I hungry? b). Am I hungry enough to put food on a plate and eat with utensils (knife, fork, spoon, chopsticks)? c). Am I hungry enough to make my meal – whether one or two or three or more items – last a relaxing, pleasant, 20-minutes, or more?

5. Fill a glass with water. Carry it around and drink it. Throughout the party and whenever necessary, relax, deep breathe, and stretch to reduce socially anxious moments. If the dinner is to be very late, you might consider having a cup of soup or cereal at home in a quiet atmosphere before leaving for the festivities. Then when the flying Rumaki appetizers make an entrance and you're waiting for the entree, you'll be able to honestly say, no thanks, I'm not hungry.

6. If it is a buffet meal, walk the distance without a plate as you identify the protein and the vegetables and whether dessert is more tempting than the bread or the drink. Then go back to the beginning of the table and make yourself a plate as you might be served in a restaurant. Plan the number of items in advance. Decide, before arriving, whether you'll choose a bread or beverage or dessert or alcohol, rather than deciding you'll have all four. (Is the bread really unique, the coffee unusual, the extra drink adding to your enjoyment?)

7. Find a place to eat where you can enjoy your meal in a relaxed manner while using utensils. If this is not possible, or the choices are really not to your liking, do the best that you can do under the circumstances. It is okay to tell your hosts you don't want a second helping of everything. They only want you to have a good time. You won't be having a good time if you eat too much and your clothes become tight. Overeating is not a reward. Fill up on the ambiance. Food is just part of the day's events. Food is not entertainment.

8. Eat slowly and thoughtfully. Make each meal last a relaxing twenty minutes, or more. Put utensils down between bites, take frequent sips of water, and intersperse plenty of good conversation between bites. Finish chewing and swallowing each bite before inserting more food.

9. Alcohol causes lack of resolve, which may cause you to eat or drink too much of things you didn't plan for. Less and less alcohol is needed as your total body weight diminishes. If alcohol is your choice instead of bread, beverage, or dessert, toast the holiday but try to drink two or more sips of water for each sip of alcohol. Always make sure the alcohol is part of the meal where you will be coating the inner lining of your stomach. Before drinking an alcoholic beverage, bear in mind, nobody said you have to finish your drink either.

10. There will always be another meal, another holiday, another party. Keep in mind how much more fun they will be with a slimmer waistline, a more in control you.

11. Do the best you can. There are a lot of choices to make. The first time, your plan may not turn out exactly as you pictured it to be. By reading your strategies and planning in advance, in writing, what you want to accomplish, chances are you'll eat a little less, move a little more, put your fork down sooner, and feel a little better than had you not had a plan. But, no matter what happens, Get Back on The Program at the very next meal.

12. Most of all have a nice time. Feeling stuffed, bloated, or uncomfortable in your clothes does not enhance the enjoyment of the event. More is not better; it is only more.

13. Rewrite this Holiday Eating Strategy Review onto a compact piece of paper. Carry your Holiday Eating Strategy Review sheet with you to read before, and during the party. Repeat your weight loss goals to yourself several times during the day of the food encounter. I want to weigh pounds. Any meal is not the Last Supper. It's just another meal. When sufficiently armed, the battle is won.

14. If all else fails, flee the city with a friend.

About the author:
This article is an excerpt from the book Conquer Your Food Addiction published by Simon and Schuster. Caryl Ehrlich, the author, also teaches The Caryl Ehrlich Program, a one-on-one behavioral approach to weight loss in New York City . Visit her at http://www.ConquerFood.com to know more about weight loss and keep it off without diet, deprivation, props, or pills.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Obesity | Causes Most People Don’t Know About

Causes of Obesity

With all the emphasis on the importance of weight loss and dieting in the world today, obesity incidence is still rising. The diet industry generates billions of dollars annually and yet the majority of the money spent by consumers is wasted. Why is that?

Why do people have so much trouble losing weight and even more difficulty in maintaining weight loss? Well, when we narrow it down, the problem lies either with the diet or the dieter. Let’s look at the bottom line cause of weight gain or weight loss.

If we look at the energy equation we find that when Input (food intake) exceeds Output (energy expenditure) the result is an excess of calories which are stored in the body as fat causing weight gain.

When Output exceeds Input we have a situation where a negative balance occurs in the equation (the body burns more calories than it consumes) which results in weight loss.

It’s as simple as that. Obesity is caused by excessive calorie intake over a long period of time (when Input exceeds Output).

This, however, is only ONE cause of obesity – NOT the only cause.

There are also other important factors related to obesity. Some of which people may not know.

Etiology (causes) of Obesity:

- Metabolism
- Genetics
- Activity Level
- Behavioral Factors
- Endocrine Factors
- Race, age and sex
- Ethnic background and cultural factors
- Socioeconomic position
- Dietary practices
- Smoking cessation
- Menopause and pregnancy
- Psychological factors
- Family background of gestational diabetes
- Lactational background in mothers

Secondary Obesity Causes

- Hypothyroidism
- Cushing syndrome
- Insulinoma
- Hypothalamic obesity
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Genetic syndromes (Chen syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, etc.)
- Growth hormone deficiency
- Medication factors (phenothiazines, sodium valproate, carbamazepine, tricyclic antidepressants, lithium, glucocorticoids, megestrol acetate, thiazolidine diones, sulphonylurias, insulin, andrenergic anagonists, serotonin antagonist, specifically cyproheptadine.
- Eating disorders such as binge eating disorder, night eating disorder and bulimia nervosa.
- Hypogonadism
- Pseudohypoparathyroidism
- Obesity associated to tube feeding

Other Conditions to Note

- Adiposa dolorosa (Dercum disease)
- Partial lipodystrophies related to localized lipohypertrophy

It is wise, therefore, to try and determine or to pin point the cause(s) of obesity before beginning a treatment plan. As they say knowledge is power. And only with the proper knowledge can a person treat this problem efficiently.

If you are obese or know someone who is obese and has tried calorie restriction without success then it may be wise to get medical diagnosis to get to the root of the problem. See your doctor first.

Video: Doctor Discusses Sleep and Obesity

Stay informed - stay healthy.

By John Tiniakos

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Friday, December 15, 2006

How Fiber Can Keep You Lean During the Holidays

High Fiber Menus throughout the Holidays with the Glycemic Index

And what do you want for Christmas this year, asks Fiberlady? GI? GI Joe? Sorry, but I cannot consciously support the military-industrial complex by purchasing idols of warmongers for children to reenact their misplaced power. Okay, go ahead. Tell Santa.

The only GI that I can conscientiously promote is the Glycemic Index otherwise known as the GI. Originally used to manage diabetes, the theory behind the Glycemic Index is simply to reduce insulin-related problems by identifying and monitoring foods that have the greatest effect on your blood sugar.

If you want to learn (it's as easy as buttering a carrot bran muffin), here's how it works. The Glycemic Index system ranks foods from 0 (good) to 100 (not so good) according to the effect on blood sugar levels after eating. Low-GI foods (less than 55) produce a gradual rise in blood sugar that's easy on the body, keeping blood sugar levels fairly tame. Foods between 55 and 70 are intermediate-GI foods. Foods with high-GI numbers (more than 70) make blood sugar as well as insulin levels quickly surge.

A GI value tells you only how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. It doesn't tell you how much of that carbohydrate is in a serving of a particular food. Adding protein and/or fat or increasing acidity may alter the GI of any given carbohydrate-laden food.

Here's a simple comparison. White bread (GI=70), not a high fiber food by any means, is digested almost immediately to glucose, causing blood sugar to spike rapidly. Brown rice (GI=59), however, is digested more slowly, causing a lower and more subtle change in blood sugar. Once more. By eating a cup of All Bran cereal (GI=51), your blood sugar level will sustain you longer than a cup of corn flakes (GI=83). The numbers say it all. Corn Flakes bring up your blood sugar faster than All Bran. When blood sugar rises and falls rapidly, the body is stimulated to eat again. What? Never during the holidays.

During the holiday season you need to be particularly aware of a high fiber diet of which many are low to intermediate-GI foods. Otherwise you will be seeking a serious weigh loss plan in the New Year from overeating refined and processed foods, i.e. cakes, pies, cookies.

To stave off the indulgences, eat low-GI foods such as beans, vegetables, fruits and certain whole-grains. These choices also affect the amount of fat absorbed in the body, and less calories to burn off. You stay full and away from that beckoning buffet! Fiberlady reminds you that they don't call it the holiday spread for nothing.

High fiber foods are crucial when balancing a low glycemic diet. Your blood sugar will maintain a slow, even rate so you can ease your way through holiday gatherings without too many ups and downs. You really can't fumble this balancing act because high fiber foods provide the perfect safety net on the Glycemic Index. It might be enough reason to bring GI Joe home for the holidays.

About the author:
Stephanie Shank (a.k.a. Fiberlady) has studied good nutrition since her days of mothering began 15 years ago which prompted her commitment to a high fiber lifestyle and the development of her informative website www.High-Fiber-Health.com.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Here are Ten Tips for Quick Weight Loss

10 Tips for Losing 7lbs

1.Cut out the carbs at night, you in all probability won't be burning them off unless you head over to the gym after dinner. Make sure you have some carbs at lunch.

2. Abstain from alcohol. After a drink or two your will power is lessened and that chocolate doesn't seem like a bad idea. Not to mention all the excess calories in the alcohol. It's hard I know but unless you do you won't be getting into that slinky outfit that you bought to wear for the party.

3. Try and keep on the move, even if you are sitting at a desk all day, get up and walk over to the water cooler more frequently, or just amble around the office as much as possible. You can even do some buttock tightening exercises whilst sitting down.

4. Cut down on fat. Be cautious with the olive oil it has as many calories as butter (even though its better for you). Try using an oil spray instead.

5. Go to bed early. If you catch yourself snacking in front of the television every evening then get yourself a good book and go to bed.

6. Hide the cookies..... .better still don't purchase them anyway. If they are on view you will no doubt not be able to resist. Take care with the nuts and dried fruit too as these calories can mount up.

7. A quick 1 day detox, boil up some vegetables in a light stock, simmer for at least an hour. Remove the liquid and sip all day. You can also consume the cooked vegetables when hungry, this is a good detox.

8. 7 day detox, this really will help to drop some pounds, just sip lemon water first thing in the morning then fruit and vegetables (salads) all day for the first2 days. After that you can introduce beans and lentils and grilled fish, try and leave out the dairy and you should see a definite improvement. Not only will you shed some pounds but your skin will be looking much healthier and you will feel a lot fitter.

9. NO Butts! Exercise, its a must to help move the excess. If you hate the gym then just walk round the neighborhood. If you don't like the neighborhood then walk up and down your stairs several times. If you don't have stairs then try and invest in a piece of home gym equipment. You can discover bargains on Ebay, especially if you look for misspelled words.

10. Stand up straight and Suck it in! Good posture is a big help to giving the illusion of having lost weight, stand up straight with your shoulders back and your chin parallel with the floor. Push your hips forward and bottom under, this sucks the abdomen in.

About The Author: Struggling with Weight Gain? Tried every diet out there? Here's where I finally found the program that inspires and works for life http://www.janetdun/ more.com Janet Dunmore Northampton UK . Reformed serial dieter.


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Monday, December 11, 2006

The 2 Types of Fiber | and Their Amazing Health Benefits

If you have been confused by the 2 basic types of fiber and what their functions (and benefits) are, this article will help make it very clear.

Many people think that fiber’s only role is to help overcome constipation. You will find out later in this article how certain chemical by-products formed by the digestion of fiber, have been shown to greatly reduce risks of developing cancer, heart disease and obesity.

There are 2 types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Their food sources and health benefits will be discussed here in quite detail…

Fermentable Fiber for Functional Foods

The title’s abuse of alliteration is meant to draw attention toan often ignored and misunderstood nutrient category withgrowing scientific evidence for significant health benefits. Fiber!

Most consumers associate fiber with bowel regularity, an important function of normal body physiology. We all know it’shealthy to be regular but there are more subtle and importantroles fiber plays in our health and protection against disease.

Defining Insoluble and Soluble Fibers

Sources of dietary fiber are usually divided into categories of“insoluble” and “soluble” fibers. Both types are present in allplant foods, with varying degrees of each according to aplant’s characteristics. Insoluble refers to the inability todissolve in water and soluble indicates a fiber source thatwould readily dissolve in water.

As you will soon see, those definitions are too limiting,especially because soluble fiber undergoes active metabolicprocessing via fermentation that yields end products withbroad, significant health effects.

To conceptualize insoluble and soluble fibers, consider thesegments of a plum (or prune). The plum skin is an example ofan insoluble fiber source, whereas soluble fiber sources areinside the pulp. Other sources of insoluble fiber include:whole wheat, wheat or corn bran, flax seed lignans, andvegetables like carrots, celery, green beans and potato skins.
One of the most versatile sources of dietary fiber is the husk(hull) of seeds from psyllium grain (Plantago ovata), a fibersource with clinically demonstrated properties of loweringblood cholesterol when it is regularly included in a humandiet. Psyllium seed husk is 34% insoluble fiber and 66% solublefiber, providing an optimal division of both fiber types thatmake it a valuable food additive.

Fermentable Fiber

The American Association of Cereal Chemists defined solublefiber this way: “…[T]he edible parts of plants or similar carbohydratesresistant to digestion and absorption in the human smallintestine with complete or partial fermentation in the largeintestine”.

There are several key words in this statement that inspireanalysis and comment for considering fermentable fiber. Let’sbreak it down.

•“…edible parts of plants…” oThis phrase indicates that all parts of a plant we eat – skin,pulp, seeds, stems, leaves, roots – contain fiber. Bothinsoluble and soluble sources are in those plant components.

•“…carbohydrates…” oComplex carbohydrates, such as long-chained sugars also calledstarch or polysaccharides, are excellent sources of solublefiber.

•“…resistant to digestion and absorption in the human smallintestine…” o Foods providing nutrients are digested by enzymes and acidsin the stomach and small intestine where the nutrients arereleased and then absorbed through the intestinal wall fortransport via the blood throughout the body. A food resistantto this process is undigested, as both insoluble and solublefibers are. They pass to the large intestine only affected bytheir absorption of (insoluble fiber) or dissolution in water(soluble fiber).

•“…complete or partial fermentation in the large intestine…” o The large intestine is comprised mainly of a segment calledthe colon within which additional nutrient absorption occursthrough the process of fermentation. Fermentation occurs by theaction of colonic bacteria on the food mass, producing gases andshort-chain fatty acids. It is these short-chain fattyacid—butyric, acetic, propionic, and valeric acids—that havesuch significant health properties.

Short-chain Fatty Acids

Short-chain fatty acids are absorbed through the intestinalwall into portal blood (from the intestine to the liver) thattransports them into the general circulation. Particularlybutyric acid has extensive physiological actions that promotehealth effects among which are:

o Stabilizing blood glucose levels by acting on pancreaticinsulin release and liver control of glycogen breakdown

o Suppressing cholesterol synthesis by the liver, therebyreducing blood levels of low-density lipids (LDL cholesterol)and triglycerides responsible for atherosclerosis

o Lowering colonic pH (i.e., raise the acidity levels in thecolon) which protects the colon lining from cancer polypformation and increases absorption of minerals such as calcium,magnesium and iron

o Stimulating production of T helper cells, antibodies,leukocytes, splenocyte cytokines and lymph mechanisms havingcrucial roles in immune protection

o Increasing proliferation of colonic bacteria beneficial forintestinal health—bifidobacteria and lactobacilli (providing aprobiotic value)

o Improving barrier properties of the colonic mucosal layer,inhibiting inflammatory and adhesion irritants

To summarize these effects, fermentable fibers yield theimportant short-chain fatty acids that affect blood glucose andlipid levels. They also improve the colonic environment andregulate immune responses.

Regulatory Guidance on Fiber Products

Americans and Canadians consume less than 50% of the dietaryfiber levels required for good health. Recognizing the growingscientific evidence for physiological benefits of increasedfiber intake, regulatory agencies such as the US FDA have givenapprovals to food products making health claims for fiber. Inclinical trials to date, these fiber sources were shown tosignificantly reduce blood cholesterol levels and so areimportant to cardiovascular health.

The Soluble (fermentable) fiber sources gaining FDA approvalare:

o Psyllium seed husk (7 grams per day)

o Beta-glucan from oat bran, whole oats, oatrim or rolled oats(3 grams per day)

o Beta-glucan from whole grain or dry-milled barley (3 gramsper day)

Other examples of fermentable fiber sources used in functionalfoods and supplements include:

o Inulin

o Fructans

o Xanthan gum

o Cellulose

o Guar gum

o Oligofructose

o Oligo- or polysaccharides

Consistent intake of fermentable fiber through foods likeberries and other fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, seedsand nuts is now known to reduce the risk of some of the world’smost prevalent diseases.

These diseases include:

o Obesity

o Diabetes

o High blood cholesterol

o Cardiovascular disease

o Numerous gastrointestinal disorders (constipation,inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’sdisease, diverticulitis and colon cancer)

Reading Fiber, Harvard School of Public Health,http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/fiber.html Fiber Health Claims That Meet Significant Scientific Agreement,US Food and Drug Administration,http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/lab-ssa.html Fiber 101: Soluble fiber vs. insoluble fiber,http://healthcastle.com/ http://www.healthcastle.com/fiber-solubleinsoluble.shtml Higgins JA. Resistant starch: metabolic effects and potentialhealth benefits. Journal of AOAC International 87:761-767,2004. Tungland BC, Meyer D. Nondigestible oligo- and polysaccharides(dietary fiber): their physiology and role in human health andfood. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety1:73-92, 2002.
Copyright 2006 Berry Health Inc.

About The Author: A scientist, author and expert oncardiovascular and brain physiology, Dr. Paul Gross has doneextensive research on the brain, bones and antioxidants. Grossis also founder of Berry Health Inc, a developer ofnutritional, berry-based supplements. For more information,visit http://www.berrywiseonline.com

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Hello Everyone,

The holiday season traditionally is a time for fun, celebration and indulgence. Holiday parties are also notorious for spoiling weight loss regimens. The average American gains five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

This is because you don’t want to think about fitness and diet during these festive times. You can, however, party to your heart’s content without gaining an ounce. And you don’t have to worry about eliminating or avoiding the festivities. Here are ten tips to help you stay on top through these trying times.

1. Make a plan. Sit down and look at your holiday schedule. Because it’s different from the rest of the year, you have to be flexible. Stay active. Try to keep exercise in your daily schedule. Don’t scrap your exercise plans just because you don’t have time for a full workout. Make it smaller or split it up.

2. Concentrate on weight maintenance instead of weight loss. Maintaining your weight is more realistic than trying to lose weight during these difficult times. Don’t set yourself up for failure and disappointment by setting unrealistic goals.

3. Don’t make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight by dieting. Thinking about dieting after the holidays sets the stage for food binging during these times. The reasoning behind this is since you are going to avoid certain foods completely in the future - you may as well eat as much of them as possible now. Besides, dieting by calorie restriction only works in the short term.

4. Many people make the mistake of skipping breakfast and lunch so they could pig out later in the evening. This type of strategy is what makes you put on the pounds. You end up stuffing yourself with holiday foods high in fat, sugar and starch. What you should do is the opposite. Don’t miss any meals. Eat healthy all day long and drink plenty of water. This way when you get to the party you won’t feel hungry and you will eat less rich foods.

5. Choose high protein foods at the expense of foods high in sugar. Foods high in protein keep you full longer than foods containing simple refined carbohydrates.

6. Eat plenty of high fiber foods before you hit the dessert table. Raw vegetables are rich in fiber, low in calories and will bulk you up, leaving less room for sweets which are converted directly into fat.

7. With all the food available at parties it’s easy to overeat. To avoid this fill your plate with the foods you like and eat only what’s in your plate. Chew your food slowly and thoroughly.

8. Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation. One drink contains 200-300 calories. Set a limit of no more than three drinks. Drink plenty of water instead, throughout the night.

9. Learn to say no. There is always someone pressuring you to try some of their homemade cake – even though you may not desire it. Just say no. You have to have a limit. If you use excuses like “not now, I’m just too full” people will keep trying to push their food on you. Instead, you should say things like “No thanks, I don’t eat desserts”, and don’t make any apologies.

10. Keep everything in perspective. One day of over indulgence is not going to make or break your food consumption plan. And you won’t gain weight because of it. It takes several continuous days of overeating to produce weight gain. So, if you overdo it at a holiday dinner one day, forget about it. Simply return to your normal eating habits the next day without feelings of guilt, anger or despair.

So have a great holiday time and enjoy.


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Monday, December 04, 2006

Are You Dieting and Exercising and Still Can’t Lose Weight?

Hello everyone.

If you are dieting and/or exercising and find you have stopped losing weight, you have come to a weight loss plateau.

If you are dieting without exercise you will probably see weight loss at the early stages of dieting. Significant calorie restriction, however, may work against you. Although the theory is: if you eat less you will lose more weight, it doesn’t exactly turn out that way. It is a little more complicated.

While eating less causes initial weight reduction, it triggers the body’s metabolism to slow down at the same time. Your body has a certain set point that when reached, it will stop losing weight and begin storing and maintaining weight (fat).

Your body is made that way so it can survive as long as possible during periods of little or no food intake. This is when the metabolism slows down significantly and the body goes into conservation mode. Not good for weight loss right? What do you do?

First watch this video and then read the article below that explains how to break a weight loss plateau that is encountered even while exercising regularly.

Video: Crash Diets Slow Metabolism.

Top 5 Exercise Plateau Breakers

Plateau. That dreaded word that you do not want to hear, let alone experience. Especially if you have been diligently exercising in an attempt to get fit or lose weight. We have all experienced a plateau at some time all of a sudden you stop losing weight or you just cant seem to run any faster. When you hit a plateau, dont panic. It doesnt necessarily mean you need to work harder or spend more days at the gym.

Here are five ideas that may help you break through in record time.

Take an Active Rest

If you have hit a plateau, it may be time for an active rest. Take a week off from structured exercise, and instead take leisurely walks, play ball with the kids, or take a yoga class. Active rest rejuvenates the mind and the body and allows for overworked muscles to rest and rebuild. You will return to exercise stronger and ready for new challenges.

Time to Eat

As you increase your fitness level, your bodys metabolism may increase and so will your calorie needs. If you hit a plateau, evaluate how much you are eating. You may need to eat more than you have in the past for your body to continue to increase its fitness level. If you find you are often hungry, this is a clear sign you need to eat more to sustain your exercise program.

Mix it Up

If you do not vary your workout routine your body will eventually run on cruise control, and you will experience a plateau. Try new cardiovascular activities, or use free weights if you always use machines for strength training. Changes in your routine will surprise the body and force it to adapt, bringing you to new levels of fitness.

Different Day, Different Intensity

Varying your activities, or cross-training is important to avoid or break through a plateau. While cross-training the type of activity is often recommended, it is also important to cross-train the intensity of your workouts. Specify different days of the week as low, moderate or high-intensity days. Try interval training work at a low intensity for a couple of minutes and increase to a high intensity for a couple of minutes, and repeat. If you use a heart rate monitor, be sure your average heart rate for your exercise sessions vary from day to day.

Sleep It Off

Be sure you are getting enough sleep. Getting the right amount of sleep for your body will allow time for your muscles to recover from exercise. This will ensure that you can come to your next exercise session with enough energy and at full strength to take on a challenging workout.
If you are still frustrated, find inspiration in the story of Chris Witty, winner of the Gold Medal in 1000 meter speed skating in the 1998 Winter Olympics. A month before she was to compete in the Olympics, she was diagnosed with mononucleosis. Of course she had to cut back on training, and at the time that she should have been preparing to peak for competition. Not only did she win the Gold Medal, which nobody expected, she broke the world record! Imagine what a little rest might do for your workouts!

If you find you still cant break through that plateau, then make the decision to ride it out. Sometimes a plateau is necessary to allow the body to catch up with a new body weight or fitness level. Rest assured your body knows what is best and will break through the plateau at the right time!

About the author:
Gillian Hood-Gabrielson, MS, ACSM is the president of Flexible Fitness, a nationwide coaching practice offering health and fitness solutions for your busy lifestyle including Fitness Coaching by Phone, Intuitive Eating, and monthly motivational seminars. She can be reached at 866-618-8814 or by email at gillian@flexiblefitnessforyou.com. To receive our free report, I Hate Exercise Too! and our newsletter, please visit www.flexiblefitnessforyou.com.


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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Lose Weight Without Leaving Home or Office

Recent studies suggest that fidgeters actually burn more calories than non-fidgeters. People that are always fidgeting even while sitting down – like moving their arms, hands, or constantly changing sitting positions actually burn more calories.

If you are sitting for long periods for example you should try to change positions or simply get up of your seat and move your arms, rotate your shoulders, walk or jog on the spot – whatever is appropriate for your environment.

This is why it’s important to break up your periods of inactivity with physical movements. This article will give you a few ideas on how to add exercise to what normally would be a sedentary environment - whether you are at your home or office.

How To Lose Weight Without Leaving Your Home Or Office

If finding time to work out is tough for you to balance, thenit may be time to adjust some of your common activities.Despite what many people think, you do not have to dedicate hours of your time or copious amounts of space towards your exercise routine. In fact, for many busy people, exercising has become as simple as squeezing in ten-minute sets of sit-ups or 30-minute sessions at a local gym.

No matter where you work or live, here are some tips to help you fit in some extra weight-loss strategies into your daily routine:

1. Squat often. Many people spend a solid 2-3 minutes twice aday brushing their teeth. As they brush, they stand still in front of the mirror. If you added a few lunges or squats to that routine, then you would spend a solid 4-6 minutes a day working out those important thigh muscles. The thigh muscles are one of the largest muscle groups in your body. Not only are they the quickest to be transformed once you start to work them out, but they also help you lose weight quicker when they are loaded with muscles instead of fat. Therefore, work out this large muscle group to get toned up and slimmed down quickly.

2. Lift the jug while pouring the milk. If you have milk or juice with your breakfast, spend a few minutes doing curls with the bottles as your coffee brews. The early-morning burst of energy and muscle activity will help you raise your body’s metabolism for the rest of the day. You’ll also find that by making small work-out sessions the first thing you do in themorning, you are more likely to continue to do them throughout the day.

3. Take a double step. While walking up the stairs, take a double step instead of just one. By extending your leg slightly higher, you are increasing the angle from about 45 degrees to 90degrees. The increased angle means that your muscles will haveto work harder to get your body up the stair than if you were taking smaller steps.

4. Tip toe even when you’re not trying to be quiet. By tiptoeing around your home or office, you will find that your calves benefit the most from the extra effort. Stay as high onyour toes as possible for a long amount of time. Or, raise and lower your body using only your calf muscles. The more you work those calf muscles, the tighter they will be in the long run.
5. Roll your neck. Most people store a large amount of their stress in their necks. When you keep stress in your body, itaffects the amount of fat that you retain in your belly negatively. Therefore, by rolling the stress out of your neck,you inadvertently release the fat storage from your stomach.The effects of this exercise are both immediate, as you will begin to feel relaxed, as well as long term, as your entire body starts to slim down.

No matter how busy you are, it is important that you take timeout to treat your body well. Stress, caused by a busy lifestyle and fast-paced work environment can not only increase the fat on your body, but it can deplete you of the energy you need to exercise properly. Therefore, it is important that you remind yourself to take care of your body, even if you cannot sampleNew Jersey’s wonderful parks and gyms everyday. A little movement goes a long way to a healthier lifestyle.

About The Author: Author: Joey Dweck is the Founder & CEO ofhttp://weightlossbuddy.com/ a community committed to 24/7support, expert advice, and helping people find a buddy(s) whowill support their effort to lose weight, and live a healthierlifestyle. And it's all Free. Sign up for the Free, awardwinning, 12-Part E-Course “Losing for Good”http://www.weightlossbuddy.com/


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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hoodia and Weight Loss

Following is an article on Hoodia Gordonii. But before you read it here are some quick facts about Hoodia.

First of all Hoodia is a non-stimulating herb which makes it suitable to a wider range of people. In other words, it doesn’t contain stimulants like various other herbs that may cause sleeplessness, nervousness, elevated blood pressure and heart rate.

Hoodia comes from the Kalahari desert and has been used by African bushmen for thousands of years to quench their thirst and curb hunger pangs while they went on long hunting expeditions.

A compound in hoodia called P57 actually sends a signal to the brain, tricking the body, so to speak, into believing that it’s no longer hungry, which results in loss of appetite.

The minimum dosage that has a usable effect is 800mg to 1,200mg of hoodia. Make sure you are not misled by some companies that claim other products have been added to hoodia which make it more effective. Those claims are false and are motivated by pure profit. So make certain that you are getting pure hoodia not some other derivative.

By John Tiniakos

and Weight Loss Articles at http://www.nulife-weightloss.com/article-archives.htm

Why Hoodia Gordonii Is The Most Effective

Despite Hoodia Gordonii was introduced to USA market only acouple of years ago as a weight loss herb, now it is successfully gaining more and more popularity because of itsgreat weight loss results.

Why is that? What makes Hoodia Gordonii so successful?

Hoodia appetite suppressant contains completely natural extract from the African Hoodia Gordonii Cactus, which actually is a succulent plant originating from the Kalahari Desert.

A 100% pure genuine Hoodia Gordonii cactus extract can make you forget to eat and can help you lose a few pounds immediately orin a couple of weeks. If you take it an hour before your meal, it keeps you full and you feel no hunger while eating, so youeat less and lose weight.

That’s the secret for success of Hoodia, but what the real secret of Hoodia?

How exactly the Hoodia Gordonii works?

The mechanism of work of this amazing appetite suppressant is quite remarkable.

When you have not eaten for a while, your blood glucose levels drop, so the brain sends out a signal that you are hungry.After you eat, the blood glucose levels are stabilized, so the brain sends out a signal that you are no longer hungry.

What makes Hoodia Gordonii unique is its ability to make your brain send signal that you have eaten, even though you havenot. Amazing, isn’t it? That the real secret of Hoodia – itworks within the satiety center in your brain and controls your appetite and food cravings.

How to find a 100% pure genuine Hoodia Gordonii?

I know that almost every company claims to carry the best, the most pure and genuine Hoodia Gordonii extract form the original African Hoodia Cactus. Honestly, I find this really hard to believe. But luckily there is a way to find out if a certain Hoodia product is really natural or just a fake herbal product.

To be sure you are purchasing only 100% natural and absolutely safe Hoodia Gordonii appetite suppressant, the company must have two certificates to guarantee that:

First is the C&A (Certificate of Analysis) - the substance hasbeen analyzed and is confirmed to be pure Hoodia Gordonii.Second is the C.I.T.E.S certificate that should be valid the day you purchase the product (check the second line of the document).

Both certificates proof the product is 100% authentic and it contains pure Hoodia Gordonii extract from the African Cactus.

I am pretty sure you barely know that these certificates exist.You as a customer wouldn’t pay much attention to them, though. I perfectly understand you, because they could be easily fabricated.

Anyway, the facts are that 80% of the Hoodia products on themarket are fakes and won’t help you. The good news is that there are still 20% out there that really work and can help youlose weight immediately or gradually in a couple of weeks.

About The Author:
By Galia Ivanova

I can assure you that the Hoodia Gordonii weoffer is from the good 20% and is absolutely pure extract fromthe African cactus. Find out which Hoodia Gordonii we recommend http://www.weight-loss-advisor.com/weightlossproducts/hoodia-gordonii-plus.htm

For more information visit:

Hypochondriac's Guide to Hoodia Gordonii H 57

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Trans Fats in Your Diet – How Much Should You Eat?

Trans fats…what are they and how are they harmful to health?

Trans fats are created when hydrogen is added to liquid oils in order to make them solid at room temperature. This process is also called hydrogenation and is used in many food products to increase their shelf life and to give them extra flavor and texture.

Trans fats are found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, cookies, crackers, donuts, other snack foods and foods that are made with or fried by oil that is partially hydrogenated.

Hydrogenation came about a couple of decades ago as an alternative to animal (saturated) fat (used in food processing) which was found to be harmful to health at that time.

Since then, however, trans fat was found to be just as harmful as saturated fat, if not more so. Among its associations to various health risks, fatty acids have been shown to increase bad cholesterol (LDL) and decrease good cholesterol (HDL) which increases the risk of developing heart disease.

As a result of the fact that many scientific studies (in the past and ongoing) have linked trans fat to serious health risks, trans fat has become the new “dirty word” in diet.

In fact, the Food guide pyramid from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, now urges people to restrict the intake of trans fat. Furthermore, the American Heart Association recommends limiting the intake of trans fat to no more than 1% of total caloric intake.

So for a daily intake of 1500 calories, for example, trans fats should represent about 1.5 grams.

As a response to the recent negative news on trans fat, several companies in the food industry are rumored to be taking steps to reduce their use of trans fats in their products. Among the fast food giants, KFC was the first to report that it will be removing trans fat from its recipes altogether.

Keep in mind that limiting trans fats in itself, however, does not provide the solution for reducing health risks and body weight. It is only a small part of the bigger picture, which involves, reducing total daily calories and increasing daily energy expenditure by participating in regular physical activity.







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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Diet Myths - and Great Video on Nutrition and Strength Training

First Check out This Excellent Video that Includes Crucial Information on Eating, Nutrition and Strength Training As Well.

Fat Loss Nutrition - When Myths become Big Fat Lies

As obesity in the US becomes an epidemic, more and more people are going on a diet. Is there a connection? The fact that diet foods such as low-fat and low-carb products are a $7.6 billion-a-year business might have something to do with it. Is the food industry keeping you fat with processed foods, so it can sell you more diet products? And is avoidance of both processed and diet foods the only solution for weight loss?

Getting the basics of fat loss nutrition right, along with the right kind of exercise, will lead to weight loss. The problem with many diets is that they are not balanced. They cannot be maintained long-term. And when you stop dieting, the weight piles back on. Focus on fat loss nutrition, rather than actual weight loss. An approximate guide is that for every 3 grams of protein at a meal you need to have 4 grams of carbohydrate and 1.5 grams of fat. More important still is the type of fat, carbohydrate and protein you eat.

Fat Loss Nutrition: Good Fats, Bad Fats

Low-fat is the myth that has fuelled the diet industry, with complete disregard to the quality of fat you consume. The 'ugly fats' are the 'trans' fats or hydrogenated fats in fried and processed foods which are the toxic fats that are dumped in the body's fat tissues. These fats are difficult to shift, so fat loss nutrition has to increase the balance of good fats. Although omega-6 fat is a 'good fat', our diet contains too much of it in relation to the other 'good fat' omega-3. This imbalance contributes to insulin resistance (see Carbohydrates below for more information). So, not only do you need to reduce your omega-6 fat intake (vegetable oils, grain-fed beef and many processed foods), you need to increase your omega-3 fats (in fish, fish-oil capsules, or flaxseed oil). This will bring your essential fat intake (and yes, they are essential to health) to a more balanced one-to-one ratio.

If I told you of a saturated fat that was good for your heart and increased weight loss, would you believe me? Saturated fats, like coconut oil, are no longer the enemy. Coconut oil has the ability to increase your metabolism and burn fat for energy, as well as helping to regulate blood sugar - an essential in weight loss

As coconut oil is such a stable fat it is the best fat to use for cooking. Save your extra-virgin olive oil for salad dressings.


The key to fat loss nutrition is blood sugar balance. You need to reverse the insulin resistance that contributed by processed foods to burn off the fat. The excess of carbohydrates from our starchy and sugary diet is a far greater contributor to weight gain than the fat on its own. The combination of wrong fats and wrong carbohydrates is the route to an unhealthy lifestyle.

We consume far too much bread, cereal, pasta, corn, rice and potatoes, mostly as processed food. Good for the food industry, but not for fat loss nutrition and for you. These processed carbs stimulate the over-production of insulin, which leads to insulin-resistant cells. The sugar in your blood has no place else to go except to your fat cells, resulting in bulging stomachs and rolls of fat.

Fat loss Nutrition Tip: Fiber plays a powerful role in weight control. Brown rice and vegetables are high in fiber. When you do eat grains, make sure they are whole grains.


You can slow down the release of sugar into the blood stream, the ‘sugar rush’, by eating protein with your carbohydrates. This is not a recommendation to eat red meat at every meal, which has been linked to colon cancer. You just need to eat a little of other sources of protein such as beans, lean white meat and fish.

The fat loss nutrition approach means that even snacking on a handful of pumpkin seeds with an apple can help to slow down the sugar release.

Fat Loss Nutrition Balance and Quality

Yes, it is. Weight loss has less to do with willpower than the balance of fat loss nutrition and the quality of foods. The right exercise helps too. Just avoid all the low-fat, low-carb, high-protein, high-fat diet fads and processed foods where you can. You will not have to worry about quantity of food or feeling hungry when the fat loss nutrition is under control and you keep your blood sugar balanced.

Article Source: http://www.nulife-weightloss.com/articles

Natalie Beech discovers the truth about fat loss nutrition and healthy weight loss. Get the latest information from a nutritionist's point of view at the Fatloss-Fitness Website
Click here for other unique fat loss nutrition articles.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

More Diet Tips on Surviving Thanksgiving

Holiday Weight Loss - Thanksgiving and Christmas Don't Have To Ruin Your New Year

For many people, trying to diet during the holidays is like trying to find the perfect Christmas gift for Aunt Edna: almost impossible. No diet pill or weight loss program can overcome the irresistible draw of fudge, eggnog and candy canes. So what's a weight watcher to do? Is there any hope for holiday weight loss, or are we destined to add some more pounds before the inevitable New Years resolution?

Conventional wisdom is that most people gain from five to ten pounds of fat during the holidays. Happily, that much at least appears to be false. However, Americans do tend to gain some weight during this time of year: "Previous studies suggested that Americans gain an average of 0.4 to 1.8 pounds each year during their adult lives" (source: nichd.nih.gov). What's alarming is that although we're putting on fewer pounds during the holidays than we had previously thought we're not taking that extra weight back off.

"Researchers now say they have some good news for us -- and some bad news. The good news? Most of us gain less weight over the winter holidays than we think, only one pound on average. The bad news? We never take it off" (source: archives.cnn.com).

Dr. Yanovski has conducted extensive research on weight gain. "Although an average holiday weight gain of less than a pound may seem unimportant, that weight was not lost over the remainder of the year, Dr. Yanovski said. When 165 of the study volunteers were weighed a year after the study began, they had not lost the extra weight gained during the holidays, and ended the year a pound and a half heavier (1.4 lb) than they were the year before" (source: nichd.nih.gov).

Permanent holiday weight gain isn't a pleasant thought for most of us, especially since the number one New Year resolution is fast weight loss. As reported by mygoals.com, 80 percent of Americans made a New Year resolution in 2005. A whopping 26 percent of those resolutions were to improve overall health and fitness, making this the top category for self-improvement. This year was no anomaly, either, according to Amy O'Connor, deputy editor of Prevention magazine: "Fifty-nine million people every year resolve to lose weight."

So what can we do to maintain some degree of weight control this season? Is there anything we can do to stick to our weight loss plan, or perhaps even achieve some quick weight loss, in the midst of all that Christmas cheer?

Thankfully, the answer is yes. But it will require a two-pronged approach. First, we need to maintain a healthy diet plan despite all the holiday temptation. Second, it is absolutely critical that we keep exercising throughout the Yuletide season. So without further ado, let's take a look at some diet information that may help us maintain our ideal weight this year.

-> Healthy Holiday Food Tips:

1) At holiday parties, provide or bring veggie trays instead of traditional meat and cheese platters, which are much higher in fat. Reduced fat salad dressing makes a great veggie dip, and when used in place of the full-fat version will save you at least 70 calories per serving.

2) When it comes to holiday desserts, replace the typical pies with fruit or yogurt parfait.

3) Cut back on alcoholic drinks and drink water, fruit juice or diet soda instead. An 8-ounce eggnog with rum contains 450 calories, about 25 percent of what the average woman should have in an entire day! The average alcoholic drink contains 150-200 calories per glass. Not only does alcohol pack a lot of empty calories, but over-consumption lowers inhibitions and self-control.....not a good combination when you're near the buffet table!

4) Be sure to eat a healthy, high-protein snack before going to that holiday party or dinner. The protein will help you feel full longer and stabilize blood sugars. You'll be less likely to binge, and overall calorie consumption will fall.

5) It seems that at every holiday party there is a group that congregates near the buffet table to talk. Don't be part of that group!

6) Out of sight is out of mind. If you have a stockpile of Christmas candy at home (only for guests, of course!), hide it in a cupboard. You'll be much less likely to graze on it throughout the day. Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter instead.

7) Avoid temptation. If the breakroom at work is full of holiday treats throughout November and December, consider taking breaks at your desk. Even better, use that time to take a walk down the street or simply around the office building.

8) On the day of the party or big family feast, don't starve yourself prior to the banquet. That will only leave you so famished that you overindulge. Instead, eat small high-protein meals or snacks every three to four hours before the big dinner.
9) If you're serving stuffing with the turkey this year, cook the stuffing separately. This will prevent the fat from the turkey from soaking into the dressing, which will dramatically lower the calories.

10) All turkey is not equal. Choose light meat instead of dark meat and you'll save a lot of calories. A 3 1/2 ounce serving of sliced meat from a whole roasted turkey has either 161 calories (white meat without skin) or 192 calories (dark meat without skin).

11) Speaking of turkey, don't forget to trim off the skin before serving it up! You'll save 33 to 40 calories and 4 or 5 grams of fat per serving (source: urbanext.uiuc.edu).

12) Make the gravy in advance so you have time to put it in the refrigerator. As it cools, the fat will rise to the top and solidify, allowing you to skim it off with a spoon and put it where it belongs: in the trash!

13) Don't rush the meal. It takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to signal the brain that you're full, so any meal should last at least that long! Take your time, eat slowly, and enjoy your family and friends.

14) Wear 'skinny' clothes to that holiday party as a reminder to watch what you eat. Snug, tight clothes don't leave much room for bingeing!

15) When confronted with a buffet table, make your first trip count. Pile up your plate with fresh vegetables, lean meats and other low calorie options. Eat as much healthy food as you can! This will dramatically lower the amount of desserts you'll later take and will result in a healthier meal overall.

16) When filling up plates for the kids, only give them what they can eat. It's too tempting to just 'finish off' those leftovers for them. Moms, you know what we're talking about here!

17) Follow the 'Dessert Split' plan: Go ahead and take something from the dessert table, but split it with a friend. If you must taste two desserts, split them with two friends. If you feel the need to sample three desserts, split them with three friends. You get the idea. That way you'll get to taste all the new foods and recipes without completely breaking the calorie budget.

18) When cooking, use evaporated milk straight from the can instead of heavy cream.

19) When baking, three tablespoons will substitute nicely for 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate.

20) When baking, substitute two egg whites in the place of one whole egg.

21) When baking, substitute unsweetened applesauce for an equal amount of oil.

22) For desserts, don't forget to use non-fat frozen yogurt where you would normally use ice cream.

23) Don't attempt to deprive yourself of your absolute favorite food. This only sets you up for a disappointing binge. Instead, allow yourself one small serving of your preferred treat and really savor it.

Just watching your diet alone won't lead to easy weight loss. For true fat loss, it is critical that you incorporate regular exercise into the holiday routine.

Again referring to Dr. Yanovski's holiday weight loss study, we can confirm the important of exercise. "The finding that study volunteers reporting more physical activity had less holiday weight gain suggests that increasing physical activity may be an effective method for preventing weight gain during this high-risk time" (source: nichd.nih.gov).

Traditional holiday activities don't even come close to solving this weight issue. The popular 'after dinner nap' burns only about 34 calories for every thirty minutes asleep. Watching television, that great American holiday pastime, burns just 37 calories every thirty minutes. Even sitting down and eating burns more calories than that (56 calories burned every thirty minutes). Clearly, our favorite holiday activities don't make the best weight loss program (source: caloriesperhour.com).

Only regular and consistent exercise, combined with a low fat diet, will get us the holiday weight loss results we're seeking. Don't have the time or urging to exercise? Take a look at this list of the top ten ways to get some holiday exercise without being a humbug:

-> Holiday Exercise Tips:

1) It's beautiful outside during the holidays! Take a walk outside, down the street or around the block. Take a walking tour of Christmas lights in the neighborhood. A 165 lb. woman walking for 30 minutes will burn approximately 187 calories (source: caloriesperhour.com).

2) Going shopping this Christmas season? Who isn't? Park as far away from the entrance as possible so you'll be forced to walk further. Remember, every little bit adds up!

3) Investigate a new shopping mall. You're going shopping anyway, so why not get some extra exercise in the process? Find a mall you've never been to before and make it a point to walk up and down every single staircase. While you're at it, walk past every single store too.

4) Failing to plan is planning to fail. Right now, before the holiday get crazy, make a plan to get into the gym. Thinking you'll 'get around to it' just doesn't happen when there are gifts to buy, foods to prepare, and family to visit. Make a plan, write it down, and stick to it.

5) Don't fall into the 'all or nothing' trap. If you've missed a few visits to the gym already this week, don't give up until New Years! Instead, get in there and exercise now - even if it's just once. Some exercise is always better than none at all.

6) When you're really short on motivation or time, try to get at least ten minutes of exercise. Chances are, once you get started you'll finish up with the recommended thirty minutes. Even if you do quit after ten minutes, that's still a lot better than zero!

7) Get in a good solid exercise session right before a big meal. It will increase your will power and your metabolism.

8) Don't pay the neighbor kid to shovel off the walk for you - do it yourself! You'll save a few bucks and burn about 225 calories for every thirty minutes of shoveling (source: caloriesperhour.com).

9) Clean the house! Hey, you need to get ready for the annual family visit anyway. Vigorous house cleaning burns about 150 calories every thirty minutes (source: caloriesperhour.com).

10) Find a workout buddy. Pick a good friend or family member that also wants to lose weight fast, and together make a commitment to exercise regularly. You might even want to buy each other a gift certificate for a local gym as a Christmas gift!

There's no doubt that healthy weight loss during the holidays is difficult, but it is certainly not impossible. Follow a sensible weight loss diet, remember to exercise regularly, and this year you'll be smiling like Santa instead of grimacing like the Grinch!

Article Source: http://www.nulife-weightloss.com/articles

* Tracie Johanson is the founder of Pick Up The Pace, a 30-minute exercise studio for women, focusing on fitness, health and nutrition for maximum weight loss. Please visit
www.letspickupthepace.com/ for more information.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

How To Survive Thanksgiving Dinner While On A Diet

It's the dreaded time of the year, the food filled holidays. It's not that you don't like food. It's just the opposite. You love food. But you are working hard to lose those extra pounds you have been carrying around and you don't want the holidays to undo all that hard work.

Many weight loss experts will tell you to not bother trying to lose weight during the holidays and to just try to maintain your current weight until after the holiday season. They probably think that because the average person gains three to seven pounds during the holidays that maintaining your current weight means you are doing great. I do agree to a point. Being able to not gain weight during the holidays is a pretty good feat considering all the delicious foods many of us have available to us in staggering amounts.

But I think a person can continue to lose weight during the holidays without feeling cranky the whole time or feeling completely deprived. I lost weight during the holiday season and I have a friend who was so determined to lose the extra pounds she was carrying around that she started her diet on Thanksgiving Day (yes, on the one day of the year that people traditionally pig out the most) and went on to successfully lose 40 pounds and keep it off. And nobody was even aware she was starting her diet that day.

So how did I survive Thanksgiving dinner while on my diet and how did my friends successfully start her diet on Thanksgiving Day?

It's all about choices.

First of all I'll tell you what I didn't do. I didn't have any alcoholic beverages because I wanted to chew my calories that day and not drink them, and because alcohol tends to weaken my resolve. And I'm not the only person whose resolve weakens after having a few drinks. Who do you usually see dancing on top of the pool table or bar when you go out; a sober person or a person who has had a few drinks?

This is what I did do:
Had small portions of the foods I really like so that I wouldn't feel deprived (turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and half a dinner roll).
Had large portions of raw vegetables from the veggie tray and lots of the steamed cauliflower and green beans that were served that day.
Drank lots of ice water.
I love pumpkin pie and whipped cream but I ate a small piece of it later on in the evening when everyone else was pigging out on leftover turkey, potatoes, stuffing, etc. The pie along with more of the raw veggies completely satisfied me and the scale was still my friend the next morning.

This is what my friend did:
Took reasonable portions of everything she really liked but didn't go back for seconds and thirds like she did other years.
My friend enjoys cocktails and she had a few, but to keep the calories down she had Jack Daniels and Diet Coke which meant each drink she had was less than 75 calories.
That afternoon when everyone was watching football, she went for a long walk.
She politely declined taking home leftovers.

You can survive Thanksgiving dinner while dieting. And it doesn't have to be a painful experience. Make smart choices, have small portions of what you really like, skip the things you don't really love, and fill up on the low calorie veggies and salad. And, if the Thanksgiving dinner you attend doesn't traditionally offer any low calorie foods like raw or steamed veggies, don't be shy about starting a new tradition and bringing them yourself.

Article Source: Free Articles

Dorrie Ruplinger has written several articles about weight loss. For a free report on how to lose 10 pounds before Christmas visit LoseWeightForChristmas.com .

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Ingredient in Red Wine Boosts Endurance

In an earlier post I talked about an ingredient in red wine called resveratrol which was linked to fat loss in a clinical study. Resveratrol is most abundant in Pinot Noir grapes (in their skin) which are used in the production of Pinot Noir wine.

What I didn’t mention was that in order to receive real benefits in fat reduction you would have to drink enormous amounts of red wine (over 100 glasses a day). For obvious reasons this doesn’t seem too practical.

What scientists sometimes do, however, is try to isolate a drug that contains sufficient amounts of the substance while minimizing the health risks.

In other words they may experiment with various doses of the drug in clinical conditions and test to make sure the drug doesn’t have any dangerous side effects. If it passes all the tests, they would then take the necessary steps to put it out on the market.

Resveratrol also Increases Endurance

Research has also shown that resvedratrol re-programs the muscles and may essentially double their endurance.

In this study, mice that were given relatively high doses of resvedratrol in their diets were able to run twice as far on treadmills than mice that weren’t given the supplement.

Evidence suggested that resvedratrol increased mitochondria in the cells. Mitochondria are like little energy packs in the body’s muscle cells. They are also involved in the process of burning fat for use of energy as required by the cells. This may also explain why the mice on the supplement were also thinner.

Experts speculate since the results of resvedratrol were so significant, athletes may quite possibly use it as a performance enhancer one day in the future.

Keep in mind that these studies are still in the animal experimental stages and there is no clear evidence yet on what dosage would be beneficial to humans.

Diana Schwarzbein, M.D. - Weight Loss Advice – Video



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Friday, November 17, 2006

Which Diet Philosophy Is Best for Weight Loss?

On the last post I mentioned that a low fat diet may not necessarily be more efficient than a calorie reduced diet. Which then, is the perfect diet strategy?

Essentially, the key to successful dieting is the idea of moderation and variety with respect to your eating habits.

If you’re going to take the low carb approach make sure to choose low fat proteins and carbs that contain high fiber contents. Keep in mind that researchers have warned that high protein diets, especially those with high saturated fat content, may be harmful to health.

Diet variety is also very important in attaining balanced nutrition. Make sure your diet consists of foods from all food groups. In other words, don’t concentrate on just a couple of food groups - it is not only boring, but may also be ineffective for weight loss, studies say.

A big factor responsible for obesity and chronic disease in America today is the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in our diet. This ratio is too high!

In other words, the proportion of foods that contain omega-6 fatty acids is dangerously higher than those containing omega-3s.

In order to improve this ratio we must increase intakes of omega-3 foods at the expense of those containing omega 6s. The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is from 3:1 to 5:1.

Let’s identify the foods that belong to each category.

Omega-6 Food Sources

- Most vegetable oils except for flax seed oil.
- Cereals and whole grain breads.
- Eggs and poultry.

Omega-3 Food Sources

- Cold water – oily fish such as mackerel and salmon.
- Flax seed oil
- Botanical sources such as Flax seed, purslane, lingonberry and sea buckthorn.

Also, it’s important to note that eggs from chickens fed with greens and insects have higher omega-3 and lower omega-6 contents than those fed corn and soybean diets. Similarly, meat from grass-fed animals contains more omega-3s than grain-fed animals.

The high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is probably the biggest and most under-stated dietary factor responsible for chronic disease such as heart disease as well as various cancers, in the Western world today.

We all must make efforts to lower it by increasing omega-3 containing foods in our diet (at the expense of omega-6s). This will strengthen the immune system while improving weight management at the same time.

Check Out This Funny Foreign Commercial



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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Why Can’t I Keep the Weight Off?

The biggest problem in weight loss is not losing weight. If you have ever dieted, chances are you have lost a certain amount of weight. Some people lose more than others which of course depends on different variables.

The problem is keeping the pounds from coming back. Long term weight loss maintenance is the most difficult thing to achieve and what most people struggle with.

Why is that? One explanation may be that people are creatures of habit and find it very difficult to adjust to changes.

Dozens of studies have shown that the results of dieting for long term weight loss have not been successful with obese people.

If we look at the calorie component of the different food macronutrients we will find that fat contains the most calories by far. It would seem logical then, that the reduction of dietary fat would take care of a large chunk of calories.

So a low fat diet is probably the best solution for weight loss, right? Wrong. A recent study has shown that a low fat diet hasn’t shown to be any more effective than a low calorie diet.

Check out this video to see how Janet Jackson lost 60 pounds in just a few months.

Janet Jackson Weight Loss Video


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Do You Check Your Weight Loss Scale?

Weighing Obsessively -

If you’re like me, you probably hop on the scale as often as possible to check on your weight loss progress.

If you’re dieting you’ll notice the scale reading will drop initially, as you lose weight during the early stages of your diet. Then there comes a point where the scale seems to be stuck on a specific weight level. Later you may even notice an upward trend in the readings, especially if you are working out.

What does this all mean?

At the beginning of a calorie restricted diet you usually lose a significant amount of water. This is deceiving to many because they think they are only losing fat. There are, however, small reductions in fat and lean muscle mass as well.

When you get to a point where you stop losing weight, this means you have reached a weight loss plateau.

If you are strength training or exercising by using big muscle groups you may notice the scale reading move back up. This is not necessarily bad. In fact it is generally a good thing and is caused by muscle build up. Muscle weighs, more than fat. Your body is going through a transformation. Your muscle to fat ratio increases and so does your weight.

Is it beneficial to have a weight scale? How often should you weigh yourself? Does it help or hinder your weight loss efforts? Studies say that keeping a weight scale for monitoring your weight may actually have a positive effect on weight loss.

While many weight loss programs recommend weighing yourself once a week, a recent study showed that subjects who monitored their weight daily, lost more weight and kept it off longer than those who did not. For more on how often you should keep track of your weight watch this accompanying video.



Saturday, November 04, 2006

Tired? Not enough Energy? You Need Exercise Study Says

Fatigue is brought on by several different factors including insomnia, poor nutrition and inactivity.

Most people that have low energy levels probably exercise very little or not at all. Besides the fact that regular exercise increases metabolism and energy expenditure resulting in weight loss, it may also improve vitality and energy levels.

I can tell you personally, whenever I stop exercising for a period of time, I feel more tired and find it more difficult getting up in the morning. In addition, I don’t feel as psychologically or emotionally charged.

When I train in the morning, for example, I feel more energetic, more positive, and better prepared to take on the tasks that lie ahead. My day just flies by without noticing it.

If you’re tired all the time or don’t get enough sleep, try exercising for even half a hour a day and you’ll notice a difference. You might think, “What’s the point of exercising, when I don’t have the energy to do so in the first place?”

It does sound contradicting but believe me it will benefit you. Many people use that argument as an excuse for inaction and continue through life complaining they’re always tired and can’t sleep.

Here are some proven benefits of regular exercise:

- Can significantly reduce risks of heart disease in obese adolescents.

- Just 20 minutes of daily exercise may significantly increase energy level.

- Improves psychological state of patients suffering from clinical depression or depression caused by mental illness.

- Cancer survivors reported exercise helps to reduce cancer related fatigue.

- Studies have shown inactive people lose weight quicker by exercise than active people.

Hopefully this is enough to convince you to finally get of the couch and start getting more active (myself included).






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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Can You be Fat and Healthy? Study Says Yes.

Several studies involving people from the Mediterranean region and France have shown that people in these areas had significantly less occurrences of heart disease and some cancers, even though their diets were high in fat.

The French studies suggested good health was associated with diet variety and diversity. In other words, the French ate more foods from all food groups as compared to Americans. This resulted in a lower omega 6 (n6): omega 3 (n3) ratio.

Scientists believe that a low n6 to n3 ratio is a crucial factor in fighting against chronic disease. In other words, the more omega 3 fatty acids you consume the higher probability you have of being healthier, for longer periods.

The Mediterranean group also consumed foods rich in omega 3s such as walnut, figs, wild greens and ate 10 times more fish than their American counterparts.

The other thing was that these cultures accompanied their meals with red wine. Well a recent study confirms again that an ingredient (resveratrol) in red wine has the ability to offset certain risk factors associated with obesity. This may be good news for overweight people.

All these diet components combined with exercise participation may be a good prescription for good health and longevity for us living here in North America.

Eat well, live healthy.

Please give me some input on this topic. Let me know what your thoughts and experiences are. I look forward to seeing them.


http://www.sciencedaily.com, “Healthy diets need fat, according to new study”, retrieved 22 June 2005 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980424031929.htm

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Break Your Weight Loss Plateau - Quick Tips

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Break Your Weight Loss Plateau - Quick Tips

Shock your body by changing your regular exercise and eating routines. Just as bodybuilders shock their muscles into growth by constantly changing their workouts you can overcome your weight plateau by shocking your body, causing it to increase its fat burning levels.

By that I am not implying that in order to lose weight you must mimic a bodybuilder’s training style. What I mean is, small medium and/or large changes in your diet method and training routine can actually help you get over that last hump - to lose those last few stubborn pounds.


Although many people have made improvements in their diet they mistakenly think their present diet habits are perfect. They have worked so far so why change them? The point is, however, they don't work very well once you’ve reached a weight loss plateau.

One thing you can do is cut down on starchy carbs and increase those of the non starch variety. Replace potatoes with yams, white rice with wild rice and bread with whole grain bread but at moderate amounts. High fiber (low starch) carbs are very filling and still provide much needed blood glucose that is used for energy during training.

The other thing is that they also keep blood glucose levels stable reducing hunger pangs and increasing the rate of fat metabolism.

Switch up your protein meals (e.g. from beef to lean veal – from chicken to fish). Go an entire week by substituting beef and chicken meals with fish. Have weeks entirely without beef, others without chicken. Try a week eating only vegetarian meals, substituting animal with vegetable protein.

Change your fats around (butter, non-hydrogenated oils, cold-pressed oils, etc.)


Mix high intensity-type exercise into your aerobic training routine.

Either at the end of your workout or in between, try sprinting all out, for 10-15 seconds followed by 10-15 seconds of rest and repeat 5-10 times.

Believe me, do this on a regular basis and literally watch those pounds melt away.

Vary your workout times. If you’re used to training after school or work, switch it to first thing in the morning before breakfast - and vice versa.

Hopefully these tips will help you overcome your diet and weight loss plateaus and trim down to the level you’ve been targeting.


1. http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0KFY/is_7_20/

2. http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/89/9/4197

3. “The effects of either high-intensity resistance or endurance training on resting metabolic rate”: http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/55/4/802