Monday, July 31, 2006

How to Lose Those Extra Pounds – Step 7

7 Easy Steps For Achieving Fast and Lasting Weight Loss (cont'd)

Here's step number 7:

Exercise for Weight Loss Maintenance

Once you reach a desirable body weight, you can switch your exercise routine to weight loss maintenance mode. That means you can reduce the frequency of your workouts to 3-4 times a week. The duration and the intensity should remain the same - 60 minutes at a comfortably vigorous level.

You will notice as you reach higher levels of fitness, exercise intensity must be turned up a notch to keep the workout challenging and also to burn more calories.

What types of activities should you participate in? There are many forms of exercise that are efficient in producing adequate weight loss and fitness.

Some of them include aerobics, step or boxing aerobics, cycling, spinning, step-climbing, training on elliptical machines, cross country skiing (real or machine version), in line skating, ice skating, swimming, jogging, skate boarding, and sports like basketball, hockey, and soccer.

There are many more. The important thing is to choose one that you’ll really enjoy. This way, your chances of sticking with it in the long run will be much higher.

Have fun, get in shape, lose those extra pounds and keep them off!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

How to Lose Those Extra Pounds – Step 6

7 Easy Steps For Achieving Fast and Lasting Weight Loss (cont'd)

Here's step number 6:

Exercise (I know... most of us hate this part)

As you know, exercise participation is an important factor in weight loss and weight loss maintenance. In addition to weight reduction here are 20 important health benefits of physical activity.

Increases thermogenesis (increase in body temperature to burn calories).

Raises basal metabolic rate increasing calorie expenditure even during periods of rest or sleep.

Releases natural stimulants in the body helping to improve overall psychological condition. In other words it may alter your mood to a more positive state. (5)

Relieves stress and reduces the risk of stress related chronic diseases. (ibid)

Improves sex function

Lowers High Blood pressure levels.

May increase levels of good cholesterol (HDL)

Lowers elevated blood cholesterol levels.

Improves blood circulation.

Increases the level of oxygen uptake (VO2 max) and improves endurance. Vo2 max varies directly with the level of physical fitness.

Increases lean body mass (muscle) while reducing body fat - improving body composition and therefore improving physical appearance.

Improves self esteem.

Causes a natural tendency to be more conscious about eating healthier and therefore may improve a person’s diet.

Strengthens the musculoskeletal system protecting the body from unexpected physical shock.

Strengthens the body’s immune system and therefore slows down the aging process.

Strengthens bones and fights against osteoporosis - especially important for post – menopausal women. (6)

Strengthens the body’s immune system and therefore slows down the aging process.

Helps to fight against chronic diseases including many forms of cancers and heart disease. (7) (8)

When combined with stretching it may help to reduce lower back pain.

Improves physical condition in pregnant women making it easier to cope with the trials of childbirth: It increases energy levels; helps to reduce back pain; improves circulation and reduces swelling and development of varicose veins; tones muscles making it easier for the body to return to pre-pregnancy condition. You should check with your doctor, however, before you begin exercising during pregnancy. (9)

How Much exercise is Necessary for Weight Loss?

It depends on your goals and your body condition. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:

- How much weight do you want to lose?

- What’s Your Age

- How much do you weigh?

- What is your physical condition?

- What is your daily caloric intake?

- Will you combine exercise with caloric restriction?

If you’re overweight, by more than 20 pounds, you need to participate in a program that includes diet restriction (reduce total daily calories by 500 cal.) and regular exercise (6-7 days a week). You should exercise for at least 30 continuous minutes – for best results increase the duration (up to 60 minutes).

Your target intensity should be between 65-75% of your maximum heart rate – in other words, a comfortably vigorous level of intensity. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that a good weight loss program should consist of daily caloric expenditure of 300-500 calories from exercise. (10)

How do you calculate your heart rate? An easy formula for figuring out your maximum heart rate works by simply subtracting your age from 220. If you’re 40 years old, for example, your maximum heart rate is 180 beats per minute (220-40).

To train at 70% of your maximum heart rate, simply multiply 180 by 70 and divide by 100, which equals 126 beats per minute. Therefore in order to train at an intensity level of 70% of maximum heart rate your training heart rate should be 126 beats per minute.

How do you calculate your heart rate during exercise? Simply take your pulse by counting the number of beats over a 10 second period. Multiply that figure by 6 and you have the number of beats for a 1 minute period – that’s your training heart rate.

Before you begin exercising, however, get clearance from your doctor, especially if you’re a beginner.

Tomorrow I’ll give you step 7.


5., “Physical Activity and Psychological Benefits – an ISSP Position Stand”, retrieved 22 August 2005 from

6., “Physical Activity: An Important Factor in Preventing Osteoporosis”, retrieved 22 August 2005 from

7., “Physical Activity”, retrieved 25 August 2005 from

8., “Questions and Answers: Physical Activity and Cancer”, retrieved 25 August 2005 from

9., “The Benefits of Pregnancy Exercise”, retrieved 26 August 2005 from

10., “Exercise, the cornerstone to weight loss - Tech Brief”, retrieved 27 August 2005 from

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

How to Lose Those Extra Pounds – Step 5

7 Easy Steps For Achieving Fast and Lasting Weight Loss (cont'd)

Here's step number 5:


It was thought that drinking plenty of water throughout the day was a crucial part of a good weight loss strategy; the theory was that an adequate amount of water – 8 eight-ounce glasses per day – gives you a feeling of fullness which reduces periods of hunger; and the less you feel hungry the less you are going to snack – which translates to fewer calories.

Recent studies have suggested, however, that choosing foods with high water content like fruits and vegetables and blending water into meals like soup has a greater effect on satiety, than simply just drinking water. And that it may result in a reduction of total daily calories.

In other words, including water rich foods like watermelon and other fruits and vegetables, fruit juice, and soups in your diet, is more effective with respect to satiety than relying on just drinking water. As a result, you wouldn’t need to drink 8 glasses of water a day, if you were getting an adequate supply from your diet.

In fact, drinking 8 glasses of water per day is a misconception. This number was originally reported by the National Academy of Sciences of the United States Food and Nutrition Board. They also mentioned, however, in the same report, that the majority of water people need comes from food. (1)

The recommendation for a healthy individual is to drink one cup of water or juice with every meal. (2)

It’s also important to keep in mind that the human body is made up of 60-70% water. All our organs consist of a lot of water. Blood is mainly composed of water. So it makes sense to ensure that you’re always getting an adequate supply. Here are some functions of water:

- regulates your body temperature
- transports nutrients to your organs
- transports vital oxygen to your cells
- removes waste from your body
- protects all your organs and joints


1, 2., “HOW MUCH WATER DO YOU NEED?”, retrieved 30 August 2005 from

Tomorrow I'll give you step 6.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

How to Lose Those Extra Pounds – Step 3

7 Easy Steps For Achieving Fast and Lasting Weight Loss (cont'd)

Here's step number 4:

Don’t Skip Meals

Ever heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well it’s true. The one meal you should never skip is breakfast. It is the meal that sets the tone for your metabolism.

When you miss breakfast your metabolism responds by slowing down. Your body receives signals of famine from the brain and switches to energy conservation mode. This means rather than burning calories the body gets stingier with them.

The other thing that happens, when missing breakfast is, by the time lunch time comes around you feel starved and you almost always end up overeating. And as a result of this added pressure on your digestive system, most of your energy gets used up as your body works hard to digest and absorb all that food.

Needles to say, you won’t feel very productive when you return to work, a feeling which may last for the next few hours.

Another important benefit of not skipping meals is that your blood sugar level is more stable, which keeps insulin in check – reducing unnecessary fat storage and ensuring that you have adequate energy levels required to perform your daily tasks with less physical and psychological stress.

Tomorrow I'll post step 5 to "7 Easy Steps For Achieving Fast and Lasting Weight Loss"

Monday, July 24, 2006

How to Lose Those Extra Pounds – Step 3

7 Easy Steps For Achieving Fast and Lasting Weight Loss (cont'd)

Here's step 3:

Quantity and Frequency of Meals

Does the size and quantity of your meals really matter? You’ve probably heard many times over that it’s best to have smaller more frequent meals throughout the day. In other words snacking is preferable to gorging. Is this fact or fiction?

Well, the fact of the matter is that scientific research with respect to this area of study has been largely contradicting. There really is no overwhelming evidence to support the idea that increased frequency and decreased portion size of meals is associated with weight loss efficiency. This eating method, however, has been shown to benefit athletic performance in trained athletes. (1)

A study with ice skaters suggested that meals taken throughout the day to correspond with periods of physical demand associated with training, help to maximize performance.

Keep in mind that improving athletic performance in athletes is one thing, but increasing the rate of weight loss is something quite different. Although, when taken to extremes, it is probably better to eat 8-10 smaller meals per day than 1 large one for example.

As it turns out, the customary three meals a day method is just fine. There just hasn’t been enough convincing evidence to prove that it has a negative effect on weight loss. Eating 5-6 meals a day is also fine.

Changing to a more frequent eating style, however, may cause you to over eat, if you’re not careful, especially at the beginning. This is because, subconsciously, you’re used to having larger food portions at meal time. So, it’s important to keep track of the food quantity of every meal, until you get accustomed to the new way of eating.

References:, "Contribution of Meals and Snacks to Nutrient Intake of Male and Female Elite Figure Skaters During Peak Competitive Season", retrieved 19 May 2004 from

Tomorrow we'll go over step number 4.

Friday, July 21, 2006

How to Lose Those Extra Pounds – Step 2

7 Easy Steps For Achieving Fast and Lasting Weight Loss - Step 2 (cont'd)

Diet Composition

Your diet must consist of foods from all food groups (e.g. meat, dairy, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts/seeds, legumes). If you’re a vegetarian, you can still get sufficient amounts of protein from legumes, soy bean products and whole grains.

In a French study, evidence suggested that diet variety was one of the reasons French people were less obese and had fewer occurrences of heart disease than Americans. Another important factor was the diversity in their diet. Overall, the French diet contained more foods from all food groups and consisted of more types of food and food products compared to the American diet. (1)

Furthermore, the French seemed to enjoy their food more. Their meals were like special gatherings, celebrations, meant to be enjoyed by all. They typically didn’t eat very fast. They seemed to enjoy their food more; it’s as if time stood still during their meals.

This method of eating accomplishes several things. For one, eating slower and being more relaxed during meals increases chewing time. In addition, by slowing down the pace of a meal and chewing more, you are more likely to get a feeling of fullness while eating less quantities of food. In contrast, North Americans, very often eat on the run.

The other benefit of the French eating style is that it aids the digestive process by reducing workload and improving the efficiency of nutrient distribution throughout the body. An increase in food variety and diversity decreases the percentage of bad foods (saturated/trans fats, unrefined carbohydrates) present in your digestive system.

Moreover, increased fiber content from fresh foods (fruits vegetables and whole grains) also sweeps up and pushes out bad foods quicker, leaving them less time to be absorbed by the intestines and therefore becoming less harmful. As a result risks of developing chronic diseases, such as various forms of cancer and heart related diseases are also reduced. (2)


1., “Healthy diets need fat, according to new study”, retrieved 22 June 2005 from

2., “Cereals, legumes, and chronic disease risk reduction: evidence from epidemiologic studies”, retrieved 15 August 2005 from

Thursday, July 20, 2006

7 Easy Steps For Achieving Fast and Lasting Weight Loss

Okay, I am going to give you 7 crucial steps you need to take to achieve weight loss. I will post one every day for the next seven days. Here’s step number one.

Food Intake – How much do you need?

First of all, you need to understand that in order to begin losing weight you must consume fewer calories than your body burns in a period of a day. The bottom line is, regardless of the confusion brought on by the media and industry, calories still count!

Your body weight is largely a product of total daily caloric intake minus total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). So, to lose weight, your daily food consumption measured in calories must be less than TDEE. In other words a deficit in calories must be created to trigger a reduction in body weight. Although this is a simple concept, it’s not easily accomplished. And statistics prove it: approximately 50% of Americans are obese and two thirds of Americans are borderline obese.

It doesn’t have to be that way, however. People need to be educated with respect to health, nutrition and weight loss maintenance. Knowledge is what we need. Knowledge is power, and with power comes change.

One simple guideline for losing weight is to adjust your daily caloric intake to equal ten times your weight in pounds. For example if you weigh 180 lbs. your total daily food intake should equal 1800 calories. This would create a sufficient deficit in calories for gradual weight loss. This method will not work, however, for people who are extremely obese.

Another efficient method of losing weight at a reasonably comfortable pace (for any person) is to reduce your total daily food intake by 500 calories. One pound equals 3500 calories and at the rate of 500 calories per day, it translates to 1 pound of weight loss per week. This is a sensible, realistic weight loss pace and more likely to succeed in the long term. On the other hand, diet programs based on more extreme calorie restriction are very stressful physically and mentally, which is why they result in quick but temporary weight reduction. Not to mention the high cost of many weight loss plans that include pre packaged food, unnecessary meal replacements, supplements and so on.

A more accurate method to figure out how many calories you actually need (to maintain your weight) is to take your body weight and multiply it by 11. Say you weigh 160 pounds and you are completely sedentary.

160 x 11 = 1760 (calories). So you would need 1760 calories if you sat around all day with very minimal movement to remain at 160 pounds.

Now to go a step further, we have to determine your metabolic factor. There are 3 main categories for metabolism. Slow metabolism is when you have a very difficult time losing weight. Medium metabolism means you don’t have difficulty losing weight - if you really try. And Fast metabolism is when it seems no matter how much you eat you can’t gain weight. Don’t I wish I had that problem. See the table below.

Slow Metabolism (%)

Under 30 Years of Age - 30%

Between 30-40 Years of Age - 25%

Over 40 Years of Age - 20%

Medium Metabolism (%)

Under 30 Years of Age - 40%

Between 30-40 Years of Age - 35%

Over 40 Years of Age - 30%

Fast Metabolism (%)

Under 30 Years of Age - 50%

Between 30-40 Years of Age – 45%

Over 40 Years of Age - 40%

Let’s continue with the above example (1760 cal.) and let’s say you’re 35 years old and have a slow metabolism. The corresponding metabolic rate factor would be 25%. 1760 x 25% = 440 calories – which means you would need an additional 440 calories. Your total daily calories would therefore equal 2200 (1760 + 440). In other words, you would require 2200 calories per day to maintain your present weight.

Now to lose weight at a comfortable pace (as mentioned above), subtract 500 calories from this total. That would equal 1700 calories (2200 – 500). Consequently, in order to lose one pound per week you would require 1700 daily calories from food. The next step would be to keep track of all your calories. To do that you will need to know the calorie content of the foods you eat. A calorie counter or calculator is where you enter the type of food product, the amount (in grams or ounces) and it calculates the calorie content for you. You can find them at many websites online for free. One that I found to work fairly well, which also contains a huge selection of foods including items from fast food restaurant chains, is at

To increase your rate of weight loss even further you can raise your exercise level. One way to accomplish this is by participating in a program of regular physical activity or if you already are, simply increase the exercise intensity level. Steps 6 and 7 in this series will cover physical activity and weight loss.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Hoodia for Weight Loss – Does it Work?

The High Cost Of Losing Weight

Have you ever noticed how expensive it is to eat healthy in anattempt to lose weight? Is there a cost-effective way to dropthose excess pounds?

With gas costs at an all time high, and prices on every type ofmerchandise rising, it’s not surprising to find that many peoplelive paycheck to paycheck. Between house mortgages, bills thatrange from medical to grocery, and normal cost of livingexpenses, sometimes the last thing you can really spend moneyon is a whole new freezer and pantry full of food. It seemsthere is no weight loss solution in sight.

Anyone who has ever shopped for diet food knows exactly whatI’m talking about. Where the normal version of the same food isreasonably priced, the diet version often costs twice as muchfor a smaller package. The same is true when dining out. Whileyou can buy a burger and fries for a few bucks, it costs agreat deal more to find a healthy substitute. Why isn’t there acheap weight loss solution?

Perhaps, you’ve found cheap weight loss solutions that don’treally work. With so many so-called cheap weight loss solutionson your market, a consumer can take their pick from weight losspill, shakes, or exercise programs. What happens if you’veexhausted every solution and found that they’re not working foryou?

When it comes to weight loss shakes and meal bars, you knowit’s not the weight loss solution for you. First off, you can’tstomach the taste of them. Second, you marvel at the fact thatthese products claim to curb your appetite. Hah! You drink theshake only to feel your stomach growling an hour later.

As for diet pills, you know deep in your heart that they arenot the safest weight loss solution. Sure, you may have droppeda few pounds, but you feel anxious, jittery, and even depressed.Some days you have hot flashes, and the pills don’t stop youfrom swinging by McDonalds for an occasional value meal,ruining your progress.

Exercise videos may not be the weight loss solution for youeither. You lead a busy life juggling a full-time job,parenthood, and school activities for your kids. It’s oftenreally late by the time your day draws to a close. The lastthing you want to do is drag on a pair of sweats and exercise.

If you’ve tried every affordable weight loss solution and stillhaven’t found your desired results, maybe it’s time to tryHoodia Gordonii. No, it’s not another weight loss pill. It’s anall natural, cactus-style plant that is revolutionizing theweight loss industry. This isn’t another weight loss solutionscam. In fact, this plant was discovered completely byaccident.

In the late 1990’s, the CSIR (the Council for Scientific andIndustrial Research) in Africa was doing a study on all thedifferent natural foods that the Bushmen ate. Their main reasonin doing this was to make sure all the foods were non-toxic.When they found Hoodia Gordonii, they began animal testing onthe product to see if it was toxic.

Not only was Hoodia Gordonii non-toxic. They also found thatthe animals who consumed the cactus began losing weight. By1997, one year later, the CSIR realized that the ingredient,P57 was responsible for the weight loss properties in HoodiaGordonii.

Now, you finally have access to the weight loss solution thatworks… a product that allows you to eat the foods you normallywant in drastically smaller quantities and not nearly as often.Since Hoodia can slice your appetite by approximately 2,000calories a day, you’ll lose interest in food, drop weight, andfinally get that figure you’ve been dreaming of. Since youdon’t have to restock on totally new food choices, this doesn’thave to put a dent in your budget.About The Author: Martin Stanwyck is a recognized expert onweight loss. He has written several articles on the subject.Visit to learn more about his maintopic Hoodia Gordonii.

Although Hoodia may cause some weight loss it just addresses the symptoms not the disease – so to speak. The only way to achieve permanent weight loss is really doing 3 things. Eat less, reduce refined carbohydrates, saturated and trans fats, and participate in daily physical activity.

The one diet plan I found that addresses these issues fairly well is Dr. Kushner’s personality-type diet at

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Losing Thigh Cellulite Just Got Easier

Losing Thigh Cellulite Just Got Easier
By Robin Derry

If you can stand 10 feet away from your mirror and still see thigh cellulite "dimpling" on your skin, then you need to shatter the same-o same-o complacence and look into the emerging high tech cellulite reduction treatment options now available. Your body contouring solutions may finally be at hand.

Exploiting "Light Energy". Computers, cell phones and ipods are only some of the ways that science harnesses light energy for lifestyle solutions. Body image issues, such as the need to appear at our best, mean that cellulite therapy options need to deliver results measurable in terms of body fat reduction and loss of that embarrassing skin "dimpling".

* Radio Frequency To Fight Cellulite. Cellulite treatment is all about addressing symptoms, and causes. Science remains unresolved on the ultimate cause of thigh cellulite, however the "usual suspects" appear to be hormones, lymphatic system abnormalities, diminished blood supply and waste elimination in the "dimpled" areas. Roughly 9 out of 10 women need cellulite help, for either minor or major skin surface conditions.

Radio frequency technology focuses carefully-calibrated RF energy below your skin (sub dermal), leaving the topside skin free of burning and relatively cool to the touch. Meanwhile, beyond eyesight, your thigh fat cells and thigh cellulite deposits are taking a controlled "beating" from the build-up of RF energy.

Results? The fibrous connective band encircling your thigh fat cells, the stuff that directly causes the "dimpling" appearance, begins to denature or break down. Researchers believe that resulting increases in blood flow plus lymphatic action causes previously showing thigh cellulite cells to reduce to normal fat cell size. Dimpling reduces, and your legs may even lose fat, appear smaller, plus you'll have rejuvenated smooth skin. Plan on 6 or more thigh or butt cellulite treatments in order to get, and then maintain results.

* Laser Cellulite Removal. Laser is proving itself to be the up-and-coming ubiquitous cosmetic skin resurfacing star. Laser light energy creates a cellulite treatment success due apparently to breaking down minute obstructions affecting blood supply and lymphatic action associated with these hypertrophied fat cells known un-popularly as cellulite. Fifteen or more treatments are necessary. The good news with laser cellulite treatment is that no pre-treatment regimen nor anesthetics are required.

The Cellulite And Liposuction Myth. Here's the "real deal" on liposuction, what it can and cannot do for your body shaping plans. The jury is definitely in with a solid verdict, noting the time proven results that liposuction can safely reduce significant volumes of body fat. However, liposuction, LipoSelection ultrasound, Lipodissolve and associated fat-rendering treatments don't get to first base with cellulite, so you can ignore them in terms of meaningful cellulite treatment options. Only where liposuction combines with surgery, such as a thigh lift or tummy tuck, can loose sagging skin along with cellulite fat cells be physically removed.

Mesotherapy Cellulite Removal - No Science Some Results. Is a non surgical cellulite reduction treatment possible? Some people think so. Europe's cosmetic practitioners have for decades dabbled in various "mesotherapy" formulations, combining plant agents, hormones, enzymes, non-inflammatory medications, antibiotics, micro-nutrients and what not into needle-delivered cellulite reduction treatment programs.

* The Missing Science of Mesotherapy. Does mesotherapy work? There's no verifiable "science" to explain causes and effects, however many women sing the virtues of mesotherapy cellulite treatment, even while bearing up to 50 or more needle injections in each treatment area repeatedly for several months. Public health and safety issues, plus the absence of any recognized performance data, create an army of skeptics in the USA, lead foremost by the academy of plastic surgeons. Reasons given? Formulations and drug choices vary between physicians, the number and frequency of injections has not been documented, why it works has not been explained, safety and health risks have not been documented.

Explore the many qualified and currently best cellulite treatment choices, both non surgical and surgical. Learn about treatment techniques, costs, how to select the top doctor and how you can reach some of your body image goals. Please learn more by investigating the resource links below.

Cellulite Mesotherapy:

Laser Cellulite Reduction:

Author Robin Derry is publisher for, a specialty information site that gives solutions to body image and body shaping needs.

If you’re interested in losing weight quickly and naturally you can check out Dr. Kushner's Personality-Type Diet and receive a free diet personality profile.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

What Are Trans Fats and Are They Dangerous to Our Health?

Regulation Of Trans Fats

Should we regulate the amount of trans fats contained in thefood we eat? A Canadian government task force on trans fats isrecommending that all vegetable oils and spreadable margarineshave the trans fat content limited to 2% of the total fatcontent and all other foods be limited to a maximum of 5% oftotal fat content. These new regulations would decrease theaverage trans fat intake by at least 55%.

What are trans fats? Fatty acids in foods are made up ofpolyunsaturated (like safflower oil, sunflower oil and cornoil), monounsaturated (like olive oil, peanuts, and avocados),saturated (like coconut oil, palm oil, butter and cheese) andtrans fats (like margarine and shortening). Saturated and transfats are linked to coronary heart disease. The majority of transfats are produced by the food industry when it uses a processcalled hydrogenation to turn liquid vegetable oils intosemi-solid products. This process hardens and stabilizes theoils, enhances the flavor and extends the shelf life of foodproducts. These trans fats also break down less easily whichmakes them more suitable for frying. The majority of trans fatsare found in foods made with shortening, margarine orpartially-hydrogenated oils and in baked goods like crackers,cookies and donuts and in fried foods like french fries andfried chicken. The trans fat content of some of these foods canbe as high as 45% of the total fat in the food product. Transfats also occur naturally at fairly low levels inruminant-based foods like dairy products and beef and lamb.

Are trans fats worse than saturated fats? There is a lot ofevidence linking both trans fats and saturated fats to coronaryheart disease. Trans fats appear much more dangerous becausemetabolic studies have shown that they increase the bloodlevels of our bad cholesterol (LDL) and decrease the levels ofour good cholesterol (HDL). Saturated fats appear less damagingbecause they elevate the total cholesterol levels - both bad(LDL) and good (HDL). The Harvard School of Public Health foundthat removing trans fats from the industrial food supply couldprevent tens of thousands of heart attacks and cardiac deathseach year in the US. The findings are published in the April13, 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.Government organizations around the world have started to actto resolve the problem. In 2002, the US National Academies ofScience recommended that trans fat consumption be kept as lowas possible. In 2003 the World Health Organization recommendedthat trans fat intake be limited to less than 1% of overallenergy intake. Also in 2003, Denmark set an upper limit onindustrially produced trans fats in foods, limiting them tojust 2% of the total fats in foods. They excluded meat anddairy products. In 2005 Canada required mandatory labeling oftrans fats in packaged foods. The US followed in 2006 with amandatory labeling for any foods containing 0.5 grams or moreof trans fats per serving.

Is mandatory labeling sufficient? Shouldn't we let informedconsumers self-regulate the amount of trans fats they consume?Once the consumer understands how harmful trans fats are andthat as little as 5 grams per day can lead to heart disease,then mandatory labeling will force the food industry to reducethe amounts contained in food products much faster than a bunchof government regulations, However what about restaurants andthe fast food industry? Here is where the Canadian governmenttask force recommendations are probably a good thing. Consumersdo not know how much trans fats there are in french fries, deepfried chicken and baked goods. Therefore we should adopt therecommendation from the June 27th, 2006 final report of theTrans Fat Task Force that states - “For all vegetable oils andsoft, spreadable (tub-type) margarines sold to consumers or foruse as an ingredient in the preparation of foods on site byretailers or food service establishments, the total trans fatcontent be limited by regulation to 2% of total fat content.”This will allow us to eat restaurant and fast food industryfoods with the knowledge that the trans fat content is limitedto 2% or less.

For more great related articles go to

About The Author: Mark Ransome is a contributing editor andwriter for the popular new website – Benefits of Antioxidants.Visitors to will haveaccess to a new free diet and weight loss program – ThePsychiatrist’s Weight Loss Program.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Weight loss Tips for a Swimsuit Body

Swimsuit weather is here and if you’re like many of us, you start panicking about all the weight you need to lose to fit into your favorite swimwear. Some need to lose 5 to 10 pounds of extra fat while others require 20 to 30 pounds, or more. Most of us know that to stay trim all year round would require an improvement in lifestyle - easier said than done. “Yes but what do I do now?” you ask. Do you diet, exercise or both? Keep in mind that although weight loss through various diet methods may improve your appearance, it may not have a positive effect on your health. According to studies, repeated periods of weight loss followed by weight gain can be harmful to health. (1)

This is why it is very important to maintain a stable weight with proper eating and exercise habits year round. “Yes but I want to lose this weight now”, you say. Well, first of all you need to realize how you gained that extra weight. Unless you have a medical condition, you probably put it on by eating too much, not exercising enough or a combination of both. The bottom line is that you have been eating more calories than your body could burn over a period of time. This surplus of calories was stored in your body as fat.

What’s the best way to tackle this problem? You could hit the gym for some cardiovascular training, or work out right at home. Exercises that use large muscle groups such as jogging, cycling or aerobics are best for achieving quick weight loss. These high impact exercises, however, are more efficient for rapid weight loss in younger people, for a couple of reasons (there are always some exceptions). Let me explain. These exercises could help melt away pounds in a short time period for someone who is 25 years of age for example.

Once you surpass the age of forty, for example, you have to rely more on diet to complement exercise, for quicker weight loss. This is because a person’s metabolism slows down with age. A forty five year-old performing the same exercise would actually burn fewer calories than someone 20 years younger. Furthermore, a person over forty (there are exceptions) could not train at a high intensity level for long durations as could a twenty five year-old.

It doesn’t mean, however, that older people shouldn’t use high intensity exercise methods. If your doctor gives you the green light, then by all means go for it.

Older individuals need to rely more on calorie restriction than younger individuals. That’s not to say that younger people need only to rely on exercise for weight loss. Exercise for them ranks higher on the weight loss efficiency scale. They could often get away without reducing their caloric intake during periods of exercise and still lose weight quite easily. The older generation, however, must rely on a combination of adequate exercise participation and proper diet.

Unless you are extremely over weight you should eat ten times your weight in calories to maintain a particular weight. In other words to maintain a body weight of 140 pounds you would have to eat 1400 calories daily.

So, where do you start? Let’s begin with diet. The first thing you have to do is to cut back on your daily food intake. Then you need to replace the bad foods with the good. Use good carbohydrates at the expense of the bad. Good carbohydrates (carbs) are high in fiber and low in calorie contents. These include fruits, vegetables and whole grain products. Bad carbs are processed carbohydrates with most of the essential fiber stripped away and often replaced with fat. These include white bread, products made with white flour, processed fruits and vegetables and products containing sugar such as cakes, candy bars, etc. These foods along with fried foods are high in calorie and fat content and should be avoided or extremely reduced. Although good carbs are wiser food choices they should still be used in moderation, because calories still do count.

Is a high protein, high fat type diet effective for fast weight loss? The Atkins diet, although very controversial has maintained popularity. This and other similar diets, like the Zone and South Beach diets can cause initial weight loss – especially in very obese people. This weight loss is really water loss. The same is also true of every calorie restricted diet - regardless if it’s high in fat, low in fat, high in carbohydrates or whatever. The point is that they are based on low calorie content. Remember that this is all about input and output.

If you eat more calories than your body can burn you will gain weight. If you eat less calories than your body burns you will lose weight. It’s as simple as that. Your body turns all surplus calories into fat. That includes extra calories from fat, protein and carbohydrates. The key is to ensure that your daily caloric intake doesn’t exceed the amount required to maintain a desirable body weight.

At the same time, it is important that your diet includes a balance of all food groups including fat, carbohydrate and protein. Intakes of saturated and trans fats and bad carbohydrates should be avoided or reduced. Although unsaturated and non-hydrogenated fats are healthier choices, they should be used in moderation, because they are still fats and loaded with calories.

It’s important to keep in mind that while striving to attain weight loss, good health should not be compromised. Snack foods that induce further eating such as potato chips, salted nuts and chocolate should be avoided.

One diet method that is very effective is to cut your meals in half and add 2 extra meals (equivalent to half the quantity of your normal meal). Let me explain. Let’s say you normally take 3 meals a day each consisting of 1000 calories. You would cut those meals to half the content – which would now consist of 500 calories – and add 2 more meals also containing 500 calories each.

Let’s compare. Originally your 3 meals, each containing 1000 calories, would total 3000 calories a day. If you change that to 5 meals a day at 500 calories each, that would total 2500 calories. So in this example you would be saving 500 calories a day. This is a very easy and effective method to start implementing right away because you don’t really have to do any calculations. Just visualize what your normal meal would consist of and cut it in half. Then add 2 more similar meals. It’s that simple.

Increasing the daily number of meals also helps to make this transition easier. You would be eating less per meal but you wouldn’t have to wait as long for the next one. Furthermore, studies have shown that more frequent smaller meals increase the body’s metabolism. (2) And we all know how important an increase in metabolism is for weight loss.

An efficient weight loss system must include an adequate amount of physical activity – more so for people over 35. It seems that I’m picking on the older generations here. The reason why I keep bringing up the subject is because I’m talking from personal experience. I’m 37 years old and I know exactly how much more difficult it is to shed weight today as opposed to ten or fifteen years ago. In my twenties, whenever I noticed extra weight creeping in, I would start jogging 5-6 times a week for 30-45 minutes and within a few short weeks (sometimes 2 weeks) the extra weight was gone. It was that easy - and without any adjustment to food intake.

Today I would need a combination of exercise and proper dieting to reach that goal. And it would still take a longer period of time. How much should you be exercising? Well it depends how much weight you want to lose. By the way, besides weight loss, exercise participation results in many other health benefits. It improves flexibility, strengthens the musculoskeletal system, improves blood circulation and heart condition, just to name a few.

To start getting results in weight loss you should be exercising 5-6 days per week for 30-60 minutes at a comfortably vigorous intensity level. Once you lose the desired weight you can then tone it down to maintain the weight loss. For weight loss maintenance you can reduce it to 3-4 days a week, 30-45 minutes at the same level of intensity. Be sure, however, to get clearance from your doctor first.

Eat healthy, exercise, live a healthy lifestyle and have a great summer.

References:, “Yo-Yo dieting weakens immune system”, retrieved 22 April 2005 from <>
University of Massachusetts Medical School, “People who eat smaller meals more often during the day are less likely to be obese”, retrieved 15 April 2005 from <>

Friday, July 07, 2006

Weight Loss: Do You Lose More Weight When Exercising On An Empty Stomach?

Today I would like to talk about when is the best time to exercise for maximum weight loss. While the type of exercise, the intensity and duration is important with respect to weight loss, the time of exercise is equally as important – if not more so.

Timing your workout can be crucial. There are specific times during the day during which your body burns fat most efficiently. It has to do with your eating cycle - or more accurately with your body’s digestive cycle. The body burns more fat when you exercise on a relatively empty stomach – contrary to many claims out there that state otherwise. The longer you wait to exercise after a meal the more fat your body will burn.
Is that truth or myth?

A university researcher studied the effects of exercising on a full versus an empty stomach. A group of women participated in 2 exercise studies. In one they exercised twice before meals and in the other, after meals. Evidence showed that when the subjects exercised on an empty stomach (before meals), blood glucose levels were lower in the periods following meals and during the night, than the when they exercised on a full stomach (after meals).

This suggested that exercising before meals can help to regulate blood glucose levels almost as well as 2 popular glucose-lowering drugs. (1)
To take it one step further, since this type of exercise method lowers blood glucose, lower amounts of glucose may translate to decreases in body fat. Remember excess glucose in the blood (from carbohydrate) may be stored as fat.

This study, it seems, supports the widely popular theory that the best time to exercise for fat loss, is on an empty stomach. A theory which many claim is only a myth.

I decided to put this theory to the test. I am well into my thirties now, and I find it more difficult too keep the pounds off these days (with everything being constant). In other words, I am not eating more calories than I did 10-15 years ago and I’m also not exercising any less. And yet I had put on an extra 12 pounds. By the way, I also have a slow metabolism.

So, I wanted to see if there would be a significant difference when I exercised before breakfast instead of 2-3 hours after dinner which is what I had been doing. My workout was exactly the same, I didn’t change anything. I jogged for 30 minutes and followed that by 15 minutes of high intensity interval training. The results were shocking. I lost 11 pounds in four and a half weeks – that was extra weight around the mid-section that I was carrying around for quite some time.

In truth, however, I am not really a morning person and find that my body has a hard time waking up for a workout first thing in the morning. If you’re not a morning person, you’ll know what I mean. So I am going to experiment by switching my workout period to first just before lunch and then just before dinner (on a fairly empty stomach). I’ll let you know what the results will be. I have a feeling they’ll still be more favorable with respect to weight loss than when workouts are conducted after meals.

Reference:, “Exercise nearly as successful as drugs at lowering blood sugar”, retrieved 6 July 2006 from

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Tips On Finding The Best Weight Loss Plans


Looking for a weight loss plan? Here are a couple of tips to consider before you choose one.

Obesity is a slow killer that is giving sleepless nights to millions of people around the world. If left unchecked, obesity can lead to cardiovascular problems, diabetes, depression, and sleep apnea. The only way out of this mess is to find some wayto shed those extra pounds around your waist. In this context,a good weight loss plan will be a prudent idea. Of course, everyone knows that reaching a healthy weight is possible with a practical eating plan (such as a nutrition diet) together with some form of exercise. But a best weight loss plan notonly helps to reduce weight, but also assists in maintaining the weight over time.

The best weight loss plan gives tips on healthy behavior while taking into consideration your cultural needs. Of course, at the start, all weight loss plans give faster weight loss. Andif you plan to lose weight following some special formula, then it is necessary to have some medical care too.

Before embarking on a weight loss plan, find out the qualifications of the staff involved in the plan. Find out if they have sufficient weight management training to help you lose weight. Gather information on what the plan basically consists of; if there are replacement of meals, exercise withfood control or if they use drugs. This way you will learn ifthe plan carries any health risks. Ask for testimonials of successful previous participants of the weight loss plan.

Some people may prefer individual counseling; and others, group classes. So find out what the weight loss plan follows. Make sure that the weight loss program does not pose any health problems with their drugs and supplements. The good weight lossplan always has a medical professional on call to over see the program.

And of course, lastly, find out the actual cost of the weight loss plan, and if there are any recurring fees involved. Find out if there are any additional fees needed for medical tests, weekly attendance fees of any sort and if there are any supplement purchases. Once you have all these doubts cleared, you can decide on the best weight loss plan for you!

About The Author: We have made the most comprehensive researchto find the best diet plans. Check it out on . Find all about diets on .

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Atkins Diet


I've been getting a lot of emails on the Atkins diet - how it works - is it safe etc. Here's an explanation of the Atkins diet - although I don't recommend it. Here it is.

Atkins Diet - How To Do It The Right Way?

Obesity is the main reason for many diseases like cardiovascular problems, diabetes, depression, and sleep apnea. The only way out of this problem is to follow a strict and healthy diet. But that doesn’t mean avoiding food altogether for that it is not at all a good option since it would deprive our body of essential nutrients. Hence a controlled carbohydrate diet is advised for carbohydrate is mostly responsible for increasing one’s body weight.

The low carbohydrate Atkins Diet was first introduced in 1970’s by Dr. Robert Atkins. But it became popular almost 10 years later after the release of his book - ‘Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution’ which went one to become one of the bestsellers of that decade. In no time, millions of people in the United States and abroad began to follow Atkins diet specifications astheir first diet choice.

What is Atkins Diet?

Atkins Diet is a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. It promotes using meat, eggs, and cheese while discouraging high carbohydrate-content foods such as bread and rice. If excess carbohydrates are taken in, excess enzymes should be generated to digest it. This may lead to disintegration of pancreatic cells in a long run, which may further lead to diabetes. According to Robert Atkins, on having a low carbohydrate diet,our body will enter into a state of ketosis, in which, instead of carbohydrates, fat is digested to release energy. This reduces the need for more insulin produced by the pancreatic cells and the fat deposits are subsided. Thus, the body weight is reduced to a considerable amount.

Advantages of Atkins Diet:

1. Considerable amount of body weight is reduced by the burning of fats which is the secondary source of energy.

2. Inter-meal diets could be avoided since you won’t be hungry between meals.

3. Could maintain constant blood sugar level.

4. Since most of the toxins contained in our body are removed along with the burning of fats, overall heath is improved.

Things to Note:

1. It is recommended to consult a doctor or physician before trying out Atkins diet meal plans.

2. Daily exercise is highly recommended along with Atkins diet foods.

3. People with kidney disorders, pregnancy, and diabetes are advised not to follow Atkins diet meal plans.

Phases of Atkins Diet:

1. Induction - In this phase, which includes first 14 days of the diet, it is said that you will lose up to 15 pounds of yourbody weight. During this time, the amount of carbohydrates consumed per day will be less than 20 grams. The only carbohydrates included in your Atkins diet recipes will be low carbohydrate-content vegetables like tomato.

2. Ongoing Weight Loss – During this second stage, the consumption of carbohydrates is raised up to 5 grams per day.

3. Pre-maintenance – During this stage of Atkins diet meal plans, the rate of fall of body weight will be slower. Also, you can experiment various other foods to see whether they add your body weight or not. If found safe, you could add it to your Atkins diet food products.

4. Maintenance – You enter this phase when you find that you have reduced the body weight to the desired level. Also you could add some more carbohydrates to your diet which do not raise your body weight, like full wheat bread. Tail Piece: The ultimate result of Atkins diet program (otherdiet programs as well) depends solely on how well the person follows the recommendations. Hence make sure that you follow itreligiously.

About The Author: We offer the best Atkins Diet source. Check it out only on the .Find all about diets on .

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Stretch And Tone Those Muscles: Try Pilates!

One of the hottest trends in fitness today is Pilates. Pilates is a combination of different body movements that is designed to strengthen, stretch and balance the body.

This body conditioning routine is designed and founded by Joseph H. Pilates. He designed his exercise program by including precision, breathing, concentration, and control.

One of Pilates’ benefits is the improvement of lung capacity because the exercise incorporates deep and heavy breathing. Themind and the muscles are both coordinated in an effective Pilates workout so the strength and flexibility of the abdomen, back, and stabilizer muscles is achieved. Furthermore, the body’s posture, strength and balance are also improved. With these many benefits, overall health and well-being will surely be improved.

Many gyms, spas, and studios who offer Pilates training and equipment have sprouted everywhere. There is no doubt that italready gained a cult following.

The rich and the famous are also drawn to this mind and body exercise. Jamie Lee Curtis, Marissa Tomei, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts and Rod Stewart are few of the many celebrities who are practicing and reaping the benefits Pilates. So if celebrities are paying big bucks to certified trainers in the country, then this really must be a great exercise.

Yes indeed! It is one great workout. It would not be this popular if it isn’t.

There are two ways on how you can exercise Pilates. One way isto focus on floor exercises. Most people are doing floor exercise because it is less expensive and more convenient. The only equipment you will need is a floor mat and a trainer. If you can’t afford to hire a personal trainer, there are many home videos available in the market that features instructions on how to exercise Pilates. Just make sure that you select videos from reputable instructors. Also be careful when doing the exercises and routines yourself, doing Pilates without atrainer could cause you injury if you don’t perform it cautiously.

The other way to practice Pilates is through the use of equipments that will tone and strengthen the body. Most gyms have these equipments and usually you have to pay a yearly feeto avail the use of their equipments and trainers.

During your workout it would be practical if you wear light and comfortable clothes. Tights and a tank top are a good choice.

Stay focused on the routines and exercises. Your instructor will teach you ways on how to breathe properly and combine it with the body movements. You would not be able to achieve your fitness goals if you do not stay focused and disciplined to practice the right way of making the routines.

Start from the simple routines and work your way up to the more advanced and more rewarding routines. This way your body could adjust slowly and possible injuries will be prevented.

Because Pilates focuses on strength and flexibility and new studies show that two 50-minute Pilates sessions only burn about 250 calories, it would be wise to combine it with other cardiovascular type workouts like running and step aerobics.

Lastly, don’t join the Pilates bandwagon just because you think it is the “in thing” nowadays. Stick with the program, be disciplined and stay focused. Pilates has many benefits and soon enough you’ll notice that your body is improved. It isindeed one great work out, it not only helps in enhancing your daily tasks through flexibility and improved body strength italso make your mind and spirit feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

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