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.




3. “The effects of either high-intensity resistance or endurance training on resting metabolic rate”:

Monday, October 23, 2006

Fiber Benefits: Health and Weight Loss

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Over the years the food industry has been steadily reducing the fiber content in food as a result of food processing. At the same time diet trends have been moving away from foods containing fiber and towards high protein, low carbohydrate type foods.

What people don’t realize is fiber is essential both to good health and weight loss maintenance. The reduction or absence of fiber in the diet may result in many health conditions and chronic diseases. A recent British study suggested that white bread increases the risk of developing cancer.

The other thing people aren’t aware of is fiber can actually help you lose weight. Yes, that’s right. Carbohydrates included in this category are those that are low in starch content. For example, fresh fruits, vegetables and grains. Those high in starch are potatoes, rice, white bread, etc. – and should be avoided or reduced.

High fiber carbohydrates are also lower in glycemic index or slow carbs (not low carbs). They digest slower and therefore don’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Scientists believe foods that keep blood glucose (sugar) levels relatively stable result in improved insulin response and may enhance fat metabolism.

This is why the Glycemic index (GI) - type diets became popular. Although, authors of these types of diets attribute successful weight loss to low GI carbohydrates, they are only half right. Many Scientists suggest that it’s the high fiber content in these low GI foods that‘s associated with improved health and weight loss rather than their glycemic index values.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Child Obesity Epidemic

We hear, almost on a daily basis, about the obesity problem that exists in America today and that Americans are much fatter now compared to previous generations. What about the prevalence of obesity in children?

In the past, obesity was a condition normally associated with adults, especially those in their later years - not so much with children. Well today that gap has decreased significantly and continues to do so at a rapid pace. To show you what I mean here are some statistics (from the National Center for Health Statistics, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey):

From 1971 to 2000 the increase in obesity in boys (ages 6-11) rose from 4.3% to 16% respectively and similarly 3.6% to 14.5% for girls. In the same time frame, obesity prevalence in boys (ages 12-19) went from 6.1% to 15.5% and 6.2% to 15.5% in girls of the same age group.

If that’s not disturbing enough here is some news on diabetes occurrence in children and adolescents in America. According to Dr. Angela Liese, from the University of South Carolina, one out of every 513 children and adolescents has diabetes. Type 1 diabetes was found in all racial/ethnic groups except in American Indian youth.

Type 2 diabetes, however, was found in all ethnic/racial groups in youth between the ages of 10 and 19. Of all those cases, non-Hispanic whites represented 6%, blacks - 33%, Asian/Pacific Islanders – 40% and the highest prevalence was among American Indian youth at 76%.

Scientists believe that obesity is a strong factor in the development of type 2 diabetes and parents should educate and inform their children on weight control through proper nutrition, exercise and about the dangers of overeating (especially fast food). The only way to do that effectively is to lead by example.

If your children are not involved in sports get them involved in various activities. Take them on a stroll with the dog – take the whole family to the park and play Frisbee, football, soccer or whatever you feel comfortable with. Do this on a regular basis on most days of the week. This will benefit you equally as much as your children.

Prepare home cooked meals that contain low starch, fiber rich carbohydrates, and lean proteins. Teach your children to avoid or reduce junk food that is loaded with fat and sugar (fast food, candy bars, chips, etc.).

One of the reasons for this rise in child obesity is that the number of meals derived from fast food or processed food sources has steadily increased over the years. More and more Americans have been flocking to fast food outlets because the industry has been able to increase food portions, keep prices relatively low, while generating adequate profit margins.

And they promote these concepts (perceived benefits) with huge advertising campaigns most of which are targeted to children and play on their emotions. When this type of indoctrination is bred into people from very young ages, a simple glimpse of an advertising poster or the sound of a radio jingle can automatically trigger feelings of hunger – or rather, thoughts of hunger and desire for a particular food product.

One way to fight against this is to educate children. Teach them about the dangers and consequences of eating frequent and/or large amounts of certain fast or processed foods –that are loaded with fat, sugar and salt and have little nutritional value.

Remember that being overweight or obese is a major risk factor in developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and others. Stay conscious of it and pass on this knowledge to your children. Knowledge is power. I would appreciate your input on this topic, whether you agree with it or not.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Jogging with Pain?

Recently a subscriber wrote in and complained of the pain he experiences while jogging. He jogs most days of the week for approximately 3-5 miles. He is in his forties and weighs over 200 pounds.

Pain and discomfort are common among athletes and people who workout almost on a daily basis. Injuries to the muskulosketal system may result from regular training over long periods. These wear and tear type injuries may include:

Bursitis: Inflammation of the small fluid sacks that provide lubrication and cushioning for the knees.

Tendinitis: Inflammation or small tears of the tendons.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: Pain directly in front of the knee from wear and tear, being overweight and knee cap altercations.

Although sometimes there may be no permanent cure, therapies may include rest, bracing, physiotherapy or in some cases surgery. Treatment may also depend on several factors such as type, location and degree of the injury. Age, level of activity and state of health are also factors.

As a jogger well in my thirties one thing I found works for me is the use of an elliptical trainer. I usually jog 4 times a week and also include 3 days of weight training. Recently, I split my workouts between jogging and elliptical training (2 times a week for each). I have noticed a big improvement. The joint pain has decreased dramatically and I still get a great workout from the elliptical machine.

Ellipticals can be found in almost any gym and work by using a circular leg movement with no pounding and much less pressure on the joints.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Low Carb vs. Low Fat

There’s been a long standing debate on which diet is superior: The high protein, low carb vs. the high carb, low fat diet. Let’s look at effects on health first.

Doctors still favor the low fat over the low carb version. Mainly because the high protein type diet usually contains high fat content. And saturated fat has been strongly associated with chronic diseases. Although, scientists say more research has to be done on the long term health effects of the high protein diet.

Evidence tying the high carb type diet with insulin resistance and weight gain has also largely been controversial. More studies need to be done in this area as well. Although other research suggests that a high carbohydrate diet that also contains high fiber content is beneficial to health.

Weight Loss Efficiency:

Both diets have had success in achieving weight loss. Keep in mind, however, that diets are successful in weight reduction because they are based on calorie restriction. The bottom line is, it still boils down to input vs. output.

The Diets:

Low carb: South Beach, Zone, and Atkins.
High carb: Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Mediterranean.

For a more detailed look at these diets check out our diet reviews.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

How to Choose Your Diet

With all the different diet plans available out there, how do you know which is the right one for you? Well, to help sift through all the confusion we have provided a summary and review of the most popular diets.

After looking at the reviews, if you still feel you don’t know which diet plan to choose, what do you do? Well, you can begin by signing up (free) with a few plans that look promising and try their free profiles. This will help give you a better feel of each diet program.

See which one fits your goals. You can begin by writing down what you want to accomplish:

Do you want to lose weight fast or are you looking for long term weight loss maintenance? How much do you want to spend? What’s more convenient for you - a plan that offers pre-packaged foods or one that includes foods from the supermarket?

Look at the tools and weight loss support that they offer. Some diet plans offer real live dietitians to answer questions online. Others have forums, chat rooms, newsletters, journals and calculators, recipes, buddy systems or a certain combination of the above.

The other thing to look for is the success rate or track record of the plan. Is it a reputable company? The bottom line is, you have to feel comfortable with the diet plan and it must fill your needs. Good luck!

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Finding the Right Diet – Zone, South Beach, Atkins?

Of the most popular diet philosophies today, which one is best?
Is it the high carb, low fat diet, the low carb, high protein diet or simply the low calorie diet? The heated debate continues.

Although these diets and their many variations have been successful with weight loss, there are several questions that need to be addressed:

Is the diet effective in the short or long term? Is it family friendly? That is, can the rest of the family participate or do you have to purchase a separate set of diet food products for yourself? What is the cost involved? These are just some things to think about before making your decision.

The other thing you need to ask yourself is which diet plan would you be most comfortable with? The Zone, South Beach and Atkins diets are based on higher contents of animal protein, while Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig are higher in carbohydrate contents.

To see how we rated these and other popular diets, you can check out our diet reviews page. Let us know what you think. Give us your own diet review, if you wish and we’ll post it.

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