Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Diet to Lose Weight or to Live a Longer, Healthier Life?

Dieting has other significant benefits besides improved appearance. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably dieted or at least thought about it on many occasions. We all know the theory behind dieting: Consuming fewer calories decreases body weight, by creating a negative energy balance.

People that want to lose weight usually ask themselves, “What is the best diet and how long do I have to follow it?” The answers, I guess, depend on your weight loss goals. As you probably know, dieting for a short period of time is not a wise or effective way to lose those extra pounds.

What happens with dieting in this fashion is that you fall into a vicious cycle of weight loss followed by weight gain followed by weight loss and so on (yo-yo dieting). The resulting fluctuations in body weight have been shown to be very harmful to health in countless of scientific studies - and actually even more harmful than just being overweight and not dieting at all.

The healthiest solution would be to permanently reduce your daily calories and choose a healthy, well balanced diet. Many fad diets today are not very healthy according to scientific evidence. And most, if not all are based on calorie restriction regardless of their philosophies. We’ll get back to this later.

First, let’s talk about other health benefits associated with reductions in caloric intake. If you are overweight and adopt an improved lifestyle by first eating less food, you are going to lose weight – that’s fact. The less obese you are the lower the risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer among others. This has been well documented as well.

A few recent studies have suggested calorie restriction, even at moderate levels may improve your health, slow down the aging process and reduce risks of developing health conditions common with old age.

In one study, published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology, scientists found that the hearts of people who ate less food and followed a well balanced diet had very similar characteristics to those of younger people.

Research from scientists at the University of Florida showed that calorie restriction may reduce the death of brain cells related with age. They added that eating fewer calories may reduce the risk of developing degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s – and helps to keep the brain young so it can function normally for a longer period of time.

In another study, evidence suggested that eating less, even later in life, may prolong life. Other research indicated that reduced food intake may improve symptoms related to diabetes mellitus and cancer.

Okay, we know that eating less improves health but how do we go about it? What diet do we choose? Well, firstly, the high protein, low carb - type diets have been associated with too many health risks, especially in the long term (or at least research results have been very controversial). Keep in mind, although these types of diets may work, they do so only because of calorie restriction, not because of macronutrient priority.

Healthy diets that are supported by research are those which (I prefer to use the term lifestyle rather than diet, by the way) are reduced in calories, are below 30% of total calories from fat and less than 10% calories from saturated and trans fats and include “slow carbs” (rather than low carbs) which include high fiber such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrates low in starch.

High fiber, low starch carbohydrates load you up but are not loaded with calories. The other thing is that these carbohydrates digest slower and keep your blood glucose levels more stable, helping to reduce hunger pangs, and to improve your body’s fat metabolism.

Personally, I think there are a few diets out there that are pretty effective such as Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig (which now have online versions), but can get pretty expensive with the pre-packaged meals that accompany them. The Zone diet falls in this category but is also very difficult to follow in the long term.

The one online diet plan I feel gives you the best bang for your buck is Dr. Kushner’s Personality-Type Diet at It’s not very difficult to follow because it is designed to fit your lifestyle, which means you don’t have to make drastic diet changes. They ask you to fill out a free diet personality questionnaire or profile of about 60 questions (most online diets, by the way, offer free profiles) and then they design a personalized plan that’s easy to follow.

They have pretty good online tools and support (forums) to help you along the way. The plan was designed by a doctor and its philosophy is line with a lot of scientific research. It consists of healthy balanced nutrition and offers guidance on physical activity as well. It’s based on real foods (from your supermarket), not pre-packaged food products.

So, eat a little less and enjoy a long and healthy life.

By John Tiniakos

For free tips, help and advice on diet nutrition and weight loss you can subscribe to John’s newsletter at Scroll down the page to find the sign up form.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Obesity – Are You Born With It?

Because of the growing number of obesity cases in North America today, many people are asking themselves, “Is my obesity caused by heredity or by affluent lifestyle?” Many scientists believe that every person has a certain body weight set point which the body strives to attain.

This may explain why people reach weight loss plateaus when trying to lose weight. This doesn’t mean however that the set point can’t be adjusted. A change in lifestyle may accomplish this. And that may not necessarily include a reduction in food intake (although in many cases it would). Sometimes a change in food choices and increased exercise participation may be the answer; or a combination of all three.

Certain scientific theories claim a person is born with a set number of fat cells and as calorie consumption exceeds calorie expenditure their fat cells increase in size and the number of cells stay the same. Other studies have suggested that the number and size of cells increase with a positive energy (calorie) balance (although these studies are more controversial).

There’s even a recent study, published in World Science that suggested there is growing evidence that obesity can be contagious. Whatever the case, the fact remains that a person can achieve a certain level of weight loss maintenance with the proper program.

Obesity may be defined as an excess of body fat that has accumulated over time by a positive energy balance (when energy consumption exceeds energy expenditure). All we need to know, in order to reverse this process and help overcome obesity, is we need to create a negative energy balance.

One reason why many people fail to achieve long term weight loss is because they fall prey to the many claims and promises that come from the diet industry. Unfortunately fad diets don’t work for long term weight loss. And many people today don’t want to hear that because they are constantly brainwashed by huge advertising blitzes from the diet industry – telling them the opposite.

And the sad irony is the fact that people fail to achieve meaningful weight loss through fad dieting, while still believing that’s the best way to do so. One reason why they believe so is because most diets promise a quick, easy fix solution or magical formula that usually requires little effort. They appeal to the senses and that’s part of human nature.

Many of these diets tend to confuse people that are already making an effort towards improved lifestyles. The only way to stop the confusion is simply to stop following advice from fad diets. The most important thing to keep in mind is that to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume. That’s all it is.

With that in mind you must then work on the quality of your diet. You must always strive to improve your food choices. Forget about the low-carb diet, the Glycemic Index diet, and the like. New diets pop up as do new trends, mostly created by the media (and often broadcast inaccurate and misleading information).

Years ago it was the high carb low fat diet. Later the high protein high fat, low carb (Atkins) diet became popular. Then as news came out that saturated and trans fats were linked to chronic diseases such as heart disease, the South Beach and Zone diets came out. The bottom line is that all these diets have the same premise – they are based on calorie restriction – and that’s really what makes them work.

So, try not to get confused with all the new diets constantly coming out on the market. Trends come and go but the the formula behind weight loss and weight gain is always the same. It’s simply based on Input and Output.

The other thing that many people are doing is placing too much emphasis on exercise and often completely ignoring diet. Believing exercise is the answer to weight loss people flock to health clubs or exercise at home while they continue to overeat – and sometimes eat more which they justify by exercising.

That is also wrong. Don’t misunderstand the point here, exercise is very important, not only for weight loss but for general health. The point is not to make the mistake of keying in on one factor while totally disregarding the others.

If you are obese you will need to reduce your daily calorie consumption as well as increase exercise participation. If you are working on one factor alone or both factors insufficiently, you are probably not happy with the results you’re getting. In order to get effective weight loss you must reduce daily food intake and exercise on most days of the week, on a regular basis. There really is no easy way out, yet.

By John Tiniakos

John Tiniakos runs a Weight Loss Help Site, where you can find valuable information and tips on weight loss. John’s latest e-book can be found at

Monday, August 21, 2006

How Many Calories Do I Need? - Eat Less!

Eat Less to Lose Weight

As you may know, to maintain weight loss you need a good combination of Input and Output. Many people today are placing too much emphasis on either diet or exercise. The key to lasting weight loss is to treat both with equal importance.

Certain people for example exercise vigorously every day yet they can’t seem to lose those last 10-20 pounds. These people are probably not concentrating enough on food intake and rely only on physical activity to lose weight.

You have to understand that once you pass the age of 30 your body’s metabolism begins to slow down. In other words, at 35 years of age you would burn fewer calories by the exact same training routine than you would at 20. And that margin increases as you get older.

People that don’t account for this rely only on exercise for weight loss and mistakenly think they can eat as much as they want. Then they become frustrated that they can’t overcome their weight loss plateaus.

We hear constantly that there is a big problem with obesity in this country; and we put the blame on lack of exercise and often ignore the other factor – diet!

How much food should you be eating? Well, just as a general rule, your daily calories should equal roughly 10 times your weight in pounds – unless you are overly obese.

Overeating is as much to blame as is inactivity for the obesity epidemic in the Western world today. What we need is a weight loss plan with a proper balance between food intake and physical activity.

Eating fewer calories has other health benefits as well. A recent study, published in World Science, showed that eating less can actually decrease the aging process.

The other factor that should be taken into consideration for weight loss is the quality of diet. The types of foods we should be eating, as well as the amount of food intake play equally important roles in weight reduction. Foods that we should reduce or avoid are refined carbohydrates (processed carbohydrates that have been stripped of fiber), foods that are high in saturated and trans fats and high in salt contents.

Our meals should include ample amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables. We should choose whole instead of refined grains and reduce starchy carbohydrates. At least 2 meals per week should contain fish. Avoid or reduce fried chicken, beef, and pork and substitute French fries with salad and/or vegetables.

Hopefully these tips can help you overcome your weight loss plateaus and to lose weight more effectively.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Obesity in Children. How Do We Deal With It?

Child Obesity

Obesity in Children. How Do We Deal With It?

This article is in response to David Deli’s question. David asked, “Why are more and more children becoming overweight…what can we do to help our children?

It’s a known fact that obesity in North America has reached alarming levels. Some parents are very concerned and even disturbed but don’t have the answers to why it’s happening or how to deal with this problem.

Well one thing responsible is the decline in physical activity in children over the past several years. Kids today are spending more time on computers, surfing the internet, text messaging their friends, and playing internet related video games. As a result they are spending less time on outdoor activities such as playing, participating in sporting activities, etc.

This rise in inactivity contributes to weight gain. It really comes down to input and output, even with children. The less calories a child burns the more get stored as fat. It’s that simple.

The other thing that contributes to weight gain is diet. Children today are not getting as much fiber from their diets compared to kids in previous generations. There are two factors that come in to play here. One is the increase in meals made from pre-packaged - heat and serve type of food products available in supermarkets. Most of these are processed foods that have been stripped of significant amounts of fiber.

The other factor is the increase in the number of family meals from fast food restaurants over the years. As you know, a lot of these foods are high in saturated and trans fats and refined (fiber removed) carbohydrates. These foods are loaded with calories and don’t provide a balance in nutrients.

Fiber is a very crucial part of a diet for several reasons. First of all fiber fills you up and contains almost zero calories. The other thing is that it slows down the process in which the body converts carbohydrate to blood glucose, and therefore stabilizes the body’s blood sugar levels. This decreases food cravings and makes you feel less tired at the same time.

The other thing is it may help to increase insulin sensitivity, which is good news for diabetics and which also may result in a reduction in body weight (fat).

Besides the lack of fiber many food products contain substances that also contribute to weight gain. One of these additives for example is artificial sweetener. Certain sweeteners fool the senses by replacing the sweetness in sugar but don’t fool the body because cravings for sweets increase. Child obesity is discussed further in an article from World Science entitled: "Toxic environment" making kids fat, study claims”.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Holiday Eating – How to Deal With It

During the festive setting of holiday time, it is very difficult to resist, let alone, avoid food. Holiday food is not only available and pushed on us at holiday gatherings, fast food outlets also bombard us with holiday specials, it seems. Every time you turn around you are faced with a decision, to eat or not to eat.

Here’s an article that offers some tips on holiday eatiung:

Keeping The Bulge Off On Holidays

Food is a basic need- we know that. In the recent times, foodis one of the immortals in the market and it does not cease tohave customers. With the loads of fast food restaurants intown, people are now into unhealthy dieting with all the calories that make them gain more weight and get unhealthy.

As a response, the rose of fitness and dieting came, breaking new ground and setting options to the portion of the population who are on their way for healthier lives. As beauty magazines scan its pages to show the best bodies around the planet, thebigger number of people is influenced to trim down on fats and add on working out. Every form of diet has its promise- some make, some break. For those broken diets, a lot were left frustrated, for those who succeeded a life of confidence is theirs. Consistency is a word that best sticks with dieting.Doing an inconsistent diet would just entail more negative effects instead of the positive ones.

How could you be consistent on holidays? Holidays when food are all over and people are all enjoying on eating a lot?!? It takes a whole lot of defiance and a great dose of discipline. How could you stand against a table of temptation or two? There are things you must inject in you that would remind you that you have to keep the diet despite the tests.

On holidays, like before going to a party, eat a nutritious-well-balanced meal. This would keep you up away from junk food around. A balanced meal should include healthful food. Keeping a fit body does not mean skipping any meal- it is just a matter of balance.

Have in your mind the fact that you are on the process of eating wisely and not on a total dieting. This will just give you negative thoughts of depriving your very self.

During the party, do something that would divert your attention from thinking about the food, the liquor- that would fold your tummy into layers. Discipline is a great tool in achieving both short-term and long-term targets. It is true with dieting.

Always go for the lesser evil. This means that you have to choose among the following: a rich main course, a creamy dessert or an alcoholic drink. You have to choose one and losetwo. Indulging in all three is a no. no…

Instead of alcohol, you could always sip on a glass of vegetable juice or fruit juice. You may not enjoy that much without the feeling of being tipsy- but the happiness of keeping yourself despite the temptation on your diet will stay longer.

About The Author: Julia Martinez is a freelance writer for the Diet Times. She writes a regular column which is published every Thursday. Her latest 'favorite pick' is

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Exercise | Fitness Machines

If you want to join a gym or if you’re thinking of purchasing exercise machines to train at home – the thing is, which machine do you choose? It really depends on 2 things: preference and physical ability.

If you have back or knee problems you may want to go with the elliptical trainer because it’s easier on the joints. If you want to get the most out of a workout you may want to use several machines to get that extra pump.

This article may help you understand the functions and benefits of the basic exercise machines available in most health clubs.

Fitness Machine Review

Fitness machines are specially design and constructedapparatuses for use in circulatory, respiratory, and muscularenhancement. These fitness machines range in function andstyle, depending on make and the desire of the user. Somefitness machines serve as “many-exercises-in-one,” whereasothers are designed for a specific type of exercise.
When it comes down to it, fitness machines are left to theparticular needs of the individual. A rowing machine isinappropriate for a runner! Fitness machines are veryspecialized.

Individual Fitness Machines:

Treadmill: This is a virtual stepping machine. By steppingforward on a horizontally moving belt, leg muscles,circulation, and respiration all come into play. This fitnessmachine can be adjusted for speed, so if a leisurely walk or abrisk race is a preference, than the treadmill will facilitate.Some fitness machines will even measure weight loss, caloriesburned, miles run, and time progressed. This is ideal for thelap-runner and tennis player!

** Think: Walking on a small carpet being slowly pulled outfrom behind.
Stair Climber: A stair climber is a stationary apparatus withinserts for feet that move up and down from the down thrustexerted on them by the feet. Muscles and circulation get theprimary workout here. Like the treadmill, this fitness machineincludes indicators for calories burnt, miles “run,” and timeperformed. The feet should always be parallel with the floor.This fitness machine is ideal for firemen and the police!
** Think: Running in a pool with water up to the chest.

Rowing Machines: Just as was on the Titanic! This fitnessmachine simulates the rowing of a boat. By sitting between twofastened oars, one eases forward and thrusts back, easesforward and thrusts back... The upper body, especially thearms, along with circulation and respiration, gets attentionhere. This fitness machine is the appropriate exercise for onewho is considering taking up kayaking!

** Think: Pulling oneself through a doorway with heavy windrelentlessly slamming into you from the other side.

Home Gym: Home gyms are not all the same, so the individual’sneeds and preference are essential here. Another mainconsideration for this set of fitness machines is the spaceallotment necessary at the user’s home. Measuring the spacebeforehand is an advisable step when thinking about purchasingan entire home gym. This set of fitness machines is the rightmove for the person wanting the total workout, as long as theright combination of fitness machines is considered.

** Think: Trying to stand on a sea of marbles while holding onto a handrail. That’s what a workout with a treadmill, a rowingmachine, and stair climber feels like at first. It’ll get youmoving!

Fitness Machines are fun as well as healthy. As with anything,knowing what is needed is a must for anyone buying as well asusing fitness machines, whether at the gym or at home.

If one can take the pain, it’s worth the gain!

About The Author: Find more Fitness resources at, and other great topicshere

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Why Do We Overeat?

Why Do We Overeat? - How Can We Stop?

These are 2 very difficult questions that baffle most of us. The number of overweight people has surpassed the number of normal weight people in North America. One the main reasons for overeating is that many of us use it as an escape from stressful situations.

The other reason is mass media advertising. The food industry literally rams their message into our brains using every method possible. Through advertising, they attach thoughts and images that can play on our feelings. Feel free to comment below on thought you may have on overeating.

Here’s an article for you:

Why Do I Overeat?

The primary cause of being overweight is simple. We overeat.Why do we overeat? What can we do to stop?

Did you know that 8 out of every 10 adults over the age of 25are overweight? America has been labeled as a “fat nation”. Wemay ask ourselves why. With a variety of bad food choicesavailable on every corner promising fast service, sometimes weare in such a hurry that we pay little attention to what we’reputting in our bodies. The majority of us don’t just simplyeat. We overeat. In the midst of it all, we search for the bestweight loss product.

The truth of the matter is that even the best weight lossproduct will be able to help us lose weight if we don’t stopovereating. Why do we do it? It’s a question that’s beenstudied for years. Can you even start searching for the bestweight loss product if you’re clueless about why you’reovereating?

Many people say, “I just can’t stop eating.” This isn’t true.But it is true that eating can become a type of addiction. Thefirst reason why we eat is because it’s great. It looks good.It tastes great. It’s something that gives us a satisfiedfeeling after we consume it. That feeling of being “full” isone that we crave.

As you search for the best weight loss product, often you arelooking for something that won’t leave you hungry, empty, andunsatisfied. Many of the products that offer so called “hungercontrol” just don’t live up to their claims. When experimentingwith new weight loss products, it’s frustrating to be constantlyhungry. We are prone to overeating and deriving thatsatisfaction we gain from eating a big meal. Is there a bestweight loss product that can actually help you lose weight andstop overeating by getting rid of hunger? Most people willanswer “No” because they’ve tried plan after plan that promisesthis type of thing.

Hoodia Gordonii is a different type of weight loss plan. Thereare no false promises, no strict rules to follow, and no healthrisks. Hoodia Gordonii is actually a cactus-like plant thatgrows in the African deserts. Bushmen have been consuming itfor centuries to ward off hunger during long journeys. Littledid they know that Hoodia would be a valuable tool for the bestweight loss product on the market.

In the late 1990’s, the CSIR (The Council for Scientific andIndustrial Research) was doing a study on the natural food thebushmen ate. Mainly, they were testing the foods to see if theywere toxic. When they ordered animal testing on Hoodia Gordonii,they found some surprising results. The animals that ate itbegan losing weight. This was just the beginning of thedevelopment of the best weight loss product for consumers.

With the Hoodia Gordonii weight loss plan, you don’t have to doanything. You can eat as you like, but the indisputable truth isthat you will lose your desire to overeat because you won’t behungry anymore. Hoodia works in conjunction with your brain’shypothalamus, making you feel as if you’ve already eaten. Youwill enjoy that feeling of satisfaction, and you will not wantto overeat anymore. Countless people have benefited from thebest weight loss product on the market. You can be next. Don’tmiss out.

About The Author: Martin Stanwyck is an author of numerouspieces on the topic of weight loss and nutrition. To view hisextensive portfolio of work, visit his site . You’ll learn more about how HoodiaGordonii can change the way you look, your health, and yourself esteem.

Please use the HTML version of this article at:

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

How Many Calories Do I Need? How Much Exercise?

How Many Calories Do I Need? How Much Exercise? - To Drop Those Extra Pounds?

These are just some of the questions people ask themselves when they want to lose weight. It really boils down to 2 main factors: Eat less and exercise more. “That’s easy for you to say”, you’re thinking.

Well here are some tips that may help you to get rid of those extra pounds:

Top 10 Weight Loss Facts

These Top 10 weight Loss Facts are positively clear about what works and what does not:

1. Like a savings account If you take in more energy than your body needs, through the foods you eat and drink, your body stores the extra calories as fat, adds some interest and you put on weight. If you use up more energy than you take in, you burn off the extra amounts and you lose weight.

2. It is very clear then that reducing your food intake is surely the best way to lose weight.

3. Exercise is considered to be very good for you, however, it takes a lot of exercise to lose even a small amount of weight. As you tone your body, body-fat reduces and muscle volume increases. Now although this may be better for your health, it can seem bad for your weight. Muscle weighs more than fat so your weight may go up! The greatest problem with this is: your appetite often increases after exercise, so you eat more and wipe out the benefits of the exercise.

4. You should not think of yourself as being greedy; what you need to accept is that you may have to change your eating habits. All too often there is no time to eat sensibly and as a result eat too little at one meal and too much at another. Try not to miss the most important meal of the day - breakfast - and then you should eat at regular intervals throughout the day with less in the evening so your body can have time to process your food before you go to bed.

5. Diets with contradictory features appear regularly so don't assume that the latest one is the one that will work for you. What may work for one will not work for another; if you are serious about weight loss, just follow this simple outline.

6. Cut out as many fatty, high calorie foods as you are able and remove visible fat from fresh meat.

7. When cooking, it's better to grill (broil), steam or poach rather than frying; if you must fry, then use a thin spray of oil or stir-fry very quickly.

8. Some fats are essential in your diet, and some are difficult to avoid, such as spreads or salad dressings, so only use the smallest possible amount of the "light", "low-fat" or "fat-free" brands but check the labels to see whether they remain low-calorie; other things are often added to make them taste better!

9. Whenever you sit down to a meal, try to reduce the size of your normal portion by at least one-third; so instead of having three of anything except fresh vegetables or fruit, go down to two.

10. Because protein is digested more slowly than carbohydrate, it tends to make you feel fuller for longer, so when cutting your portions back you may find that you feel more satisfied if you cut out some carbohydrate rather than protein.

Peter Fisher is an expert Author and Publisher of Your Weight Loss Help. For more information and weight loss resources any time you need help visit his site at or The Beginners Guide to Losing weight.

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