Monday, December 29, 2008

Weight loss and calories - Part 2

Okay you now know what calories are and how they work to help your body function. The next part to making your weight loss journey successful is being able to work out your daily allowances (and we mean everything - fat, protein and sugar).

Now most people will tell you to check the food label, and we recommend you do the same, but life doesn't always make it that simple. Take going out to a restaurant – how can you truthfully know what you are eating and how many calories are in it? The real answer is, is that you can't, but you can gain a grasp of what individual food groups contain so that you can have a fair idea.

But first to help you gain a clearer perspective, below is the daily allowance for a woman (on 2,000 calories):

Total fat – 65g
Saturated fatty acids – 20g
Cholesterol – 300mg
Sodium – 2400mg
Potassium – 4700mg
Total Carbohydrates – 300g
Fibre – 25g
Protein 50g

As you can see, what you need every day goes beyond the basics of fat, protein and fibre, but also branches into fatty acids, sodium and potassium too.

Now as we said before, most labels will now give you the basics of its ingredient base and nutrients, but in a restaurant you simply cannot know. So what do you do? The best technique we can recommend is gaining an insight into the ingredients themselves and what they contain.

Essentially you can pre-learn the calorie content of certain foods, so that you can still go out and monitor your diet. You don't have to remember the ins and outs of all foods, but if you can learn the basics of your favourite foods, then you can still keep the excitement of going out AND losing weight.

Below are some examples to help you in your food choices:

5oz lean steak – 181 calories and 6g of fat
Medium grilled chicken breast (130g) – 192 calories and 2.9 g of fat
Lean pork chops (120g) – 221 calorie and 7.7g of fat
Medium baked potato (180g) – 245 calories and 0.4g fat
(Get more food tomorrow)
Mash potato with butter (28g) – 29 calories and 1.2g of fat
Chips (100g) – 253 calories and 9.9g of fat
Carrots (60g) – 13 calories and 0.2g of fat
Broccoli (30g) – 7 calories and 0.2 g of fat
Peas (60g) – 32 calories and 0.4g of fat

Weight loss and calories - Part 1

We all know that for a woman they have only got a daily allowance of 2,000 calories, compared to men who are allowed 2,500 calories. But ask someone what calories are, and the majority wouldn't be able to give you a complete answer.

All they know is that too many calories can contribute to weight gain.

So what are calories? Calories are essentially units of energy. Energy which is used to raise your body temperature. Take this example. One calorie equals the same amount of energy that is needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius.

We know, what has this got to do with food, but calories are our way of measuring the energy content of the foods we eat.

Another metrical tool you need to know when you are losing weight, which you won’t traditionally find on a food label, is joules. These measure food energy too, but work on a higher setting. In this case, 1 calorie equals 4,184 joules (with such high figures it is easy to see why companies opt for calories).

Even when you measure it in kilojoules, one kilojoule is still 1,000 joules.

With us so far? Well here is the next secret. When it comes to losing weight, the number of calories you can have will depend on your existing weight.

Take for example this scenario. You have got 2 people who want to lose weight at a rate of 2lbs a week, but one of them is 2 stone heavier than the other.

In this case, the person who is heavier will be able to consume more calories whist losing weight at the same rate as their friend.

You see, because they are carrying extra weight, they need more energy to move it and keep their weight loss steady. Cut your calories down too low and you will not have the energy to keep your body functioning.

Saying this, once the lbs begin to drop off the heavier person of this scenario would have to adapt and lower their calorie allowance to cope with their new weight.

So as you can see, calories play an important part on your path to weight loss. Take this following piece of information for example. To lose just 1lb, you need to burn 3,500 calories – more than your daily allowance.

Now although this looks as though you need to starve yourself in order to lose weight, you don't. We recommend that by cutting your calorie consumption by 250-500 calories a day, you can effectively lose weight at a rate that will enable you to then keep it off.

PLEASE NOTE: you shouldn't cut your calories to below 1,200 a day as this can lead to increased health risks.

The next question is: how can you tell how many calories there are in food? A topic we shall discuss in Weight loss and calories - Part 2

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How to lose weight fast with diet and exercise?!

Weight loss is involves both mental and physical process. Most people don’t know that it is almost impossible to loss weight with either diet or exercises alone. You need to reduce your calorie intake by planning out your diet to include only foods that will allow you control how much calorie you take in daily.

Whether they are aiming to lose 20 or 100 pounds, experience has shows that you have to be able to combine healthy dieting and exercise to achieve it.

Exercise, of course, is the best way to get those calories out and the burn fat. Determine your daily calorie intake. Losing weight is simply a matter of expending more calories than you take in, through exercise and your daily activities. That however means that the amount of calorie you consume should be a maintenance dosage while the fats accumulated in the past needs to be burnt. To win the battle, it helps to know how many calories you are consuming in a day.

Write down all the things you eat on a typical day. Carry a small notebook with you and write down every snack, every drink, and the contents of every meal. There are also great websites that you can use to keep track of calories, get recipes, and help achieve your goal. Don't forget to include the pats of butter or the spoonful of sugar in your coffee. It's best to do this for at least a couple weekdays and a weekend; it's even better if you can go a full week. There are also calorie tracking websites that can help you to do this, for example the US government website, My Pyramid Tracker.

Do an itemized calorie count. When possible, write down the number of calories in each thing you eat as you eat it. Keep in mind that the recommended serving size is often considerably smaller than the serving you actually eat. Look up the calorie count on the internet for foods that don't have calories listed on the container or for fast food meals. You don't have to be 100% accurate, but you do want a good estimate of the number of calories you're taking in. There is an idea that multiplying your own weight by ten will produce a rough estimate of the number of calories you need to eat per day to maintain your weight.

This is NOT true, you may wind up grossly under (or perhaps over) estimating the number of calories you should be eating. Use a scientific or health website to determine the number of calories you should eat a day or consult your doctor. Everyone has different metabolisms and there is no blanket rule that covers everyone's recommended calorie intake. Reducing 500 calories per day from the calories you eat to maintain your weight can help you lose a pound of fat per week.

Eat Foods That Will Fuel Your Weight Loss

It's all so confusing! Low carb, low fat, high protein... It's hard to know what to eat! Well, here's the story. Weight loss is all about "calories in" and "calories out." Jillian will tell you how many calories you succeed.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

How to stay healthy?

It takes more than a regular medical check up to live a healthy life, unlike what many people are made to believe. Studies have shown that some of the major causes of mortality in the United States, such as heart diseases, cancers, stroke, bronchitis, emphysema, penetrating and blunt injuries, and HIV/AIDS, are in most cases preventable if a healthy lifestyle is inculcated. Healthy diet, exercise, and avoiding some poor habits like excessive drinking of alcohol and smoking are few ways that you can stay healthy.

The more interesting thing about all this is that, like the old saying ‘prevention is always better than cure’. You will notice that it is cheaper not to smoke than to smoke. It is cheaper not to drink than to drink, yet people still choose the more difficult option that also comes with a myriad of health problems.

Leading a Healthy Life by Exercising

No one can claim to be living a healthy lifestyle if exercise is not part of his/her daily routine. Exercises help you physically; because it strengthen your muscles and bones, confers flexibility and enhances nutrient uptake from the blood to the cells to keep the cells healthy, socially; because in most cases when you are involved in a work out, you get to make new friends at the gym and enjoy the interaction. Soon you will be looking up to that atmosphere-at social gathering, regular exercises can help your self esteem. It helps you mentally by improving you mental alertness and agility. Exercises kind of make life complete and keeps depression away.

Healthy Dieting

Your meals count a lot and are a major factor in determining what your health status will be in a few years to come. Everyone should avoid fats even if you are not trying to loss weight because of the risk of hypertension, cancers, and diabetes.

Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables-they should occupy a greater portion of the space in your refrigerator. Eating the right foods and the right amounts of foods with low calorie levels will help you achieve longevity and healthier life. Getting the nutrients you need, such as calcium and iron, and keeping your weight under control can help.

Ensure that your meals contain all the essential nutrients you need and where it is difficult to achieve this, the use of dietary supplement is encouraged. Try to balance the calories you get from food with the calories you use through physical activity. Make sure the calories you use up daily is not less that what you take in. Eat a variety of foods, especially: Vegetables; choose dark-green leafy and deep-yellow vegetable, Fruits; citrus fruits or juices, melons, and berries; Dry beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peanuts; Whole grains, such as wheat, rice, oats, corn, and barley.

Above all, remember to practice safe sex, drink water only when the source is trusted. Your efforts will amount to nothing if you contact a disease from sex or water. Keep the environment clean and practice good personal hygiene.

How to suppress your appetite?

Appetite Suppression can be quite a difficult task for may people. First of all, you need to ask yourself whether it is healthy to suppress your appetite. You may be used to hearing of treatment for loss of appetite, not suppression. Appetite needs to be suppressed when it begins to pose a health risk to you. A lot of people feel frustrated with weight loss programs. It can go on and on and yet no real results are palpable which further worsens the frustration.

The major problem of suppressing appetite is malnourishment. Following a suppressed appetite, you do not eat a much as you normally do and in some cases you may even begin to eat less that your body actually requires for maintenance. In a situation like this, the body is deficient in most essential nutrients and become susceptible to infections.

So how then can you suppress appetite safely?

Eat smaller meals and Plenty Water- The essence of this is to keep the stomach filled. Instead of eating three larger meals, replace them with several smaller meals. This is then topped with large amounts of water. For example drink up to 1.5 liters of water with every meal. Drinking large quantities of water and other plain fluids will do you no harm. Do this before during and after meals.

When you drink ½ a liter of water before a meal, you have already suppressed your appetite because the stomach expands and that feeling of fullness will make you eat less. Do this about 10-20 minutes before food.

Take another ½ liter during the meal. This one allows you to stop eating soon enough.

Another ½ a liter after meal ensures that you stay feeled for long without thinking about food. This is the most cost effective method of suppressing your appetite. If you do feel hungry just before the time to eat reach for a glass of water instead.

Eat a lot of Salad- Another way to suppressed appetite is by eating salad just before a meal. You may also eat salad if you feel hungry before it is time for your next meal. It has the ability to feel your stomach and prevents hunger due to the high fiber contents of salad.

Avoid high calorie diet when hungry- When you are really hungry you may want to stay off high calorie diet at that time because of the likelihood of eating more than you should.

Fruits should be regular feature in your diet- Reach out for apples, pineapples, carrots, guavas, oranges and grapes. Nothings keep you as satisfied as fruits. If you are a diabetic please consult your doctor on the type of fruits you should eat.

Never Skip Breakfast- Skipping breakfast makes us very hungry in the afternoon leading to excessive eating. So if you cultivate a habit of always eating in the morning, you will less likely eat too much later on in the day.

There are also fat binders available in the market that may be used to suppressed appetite.

How to lose belly fat

Belly fat is usually the first sign of obesity. When a person begins to develop protruded abdomen, obesity has already set in-medical experts call it truncal obesity. There are several names for this; others say it is cellulite accumulation. What ever you call it, belly fat is the most obvious sign that tells us when a person becomes obsessed. Most people don’t like the site of truncal obesity or belly fat. There is an ugly thing to it and creates flaps at the sides of your abdomen especially when sitting down.

Do you want to get rid of the fat in your abdomen? Then you have to read on. There is a lot of advice out there in books and web pages on how to successfully burn the fat in your belly yet I keep coming across people who have done all that to no avail. The reason for this may be that, you got the wrong kind of counsel, or you applied the advice wrongly. If you fall in this category of people, there is something to smile about. That of course, will be true if you adhere to what you will learn here. Remember that your ability to loss belly fat will depend mostly on you and not really what anyone must have told you-if the best strategy is wrongly applied, you can be sure it won’t

What then do you need to do to loss belly fat?

The strategy involves proper healthy diet plan and exercise. Now that sounds familiar right? Make no mistake that you can loss your belly fat by the application of one. Both are mutually inclusive and can not be effective in isolation. I am sure you must have heard this before. But people fail to understand that belly fat requires specific type of type of exercise that is targeted at that area. For example, running will help you stay fit but will do little to burn the fat in your abdomen.

Interval Training

This is a High Intensity Interval Training. The idea involves some kind of cardiovascular exercises that are done in a period of lower intensity followed by a period of higher intensity. This is called exercising in ‘fits and starts’.

This kind of exercise helps to burn more fat that the typical kind of cardiovascular exercises. Also, with respect to belly fat in particular, research has shown that High Intensity Interval Training can produce more fat loss in the abdomen than in any other parts of the body. A recent study shows that, people involved in High Intensity Interval Training have been found to loss about 3-4 times more fat especially belly fat than those practicing the regular steady-state cardiovascular exercises, despite exercising for longer periods.

Secondly, in order to target the belly specifically, it is very important to include sit-ups as an important aspect of your exercise program.

Belly-Fat-Losing Diet

The simplest way to put it is to say, reduce your calorie intake to a maintenance level. That is, take in only the amount of calories that just enough to help maintain your body without storing any more energy. This is the most-effective way of shedding pounds of fat from the body. In place of carbohydrate food, eat fruits, fish and vegetables.

Why is nutrition important when exercising?

Adequate nutrition is necessary if the benefits of exercising are to be achieved and should go hand in hand. During an exercise, the rate of metabolism (catabolism in this case) increases and that burns up a lot of calories. This means that there is depletion of our energy levels and thus must be replaced by proper nutrition.

While exercising, there is increase in the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats. They all need to be replaced and in cases where the essence is to build the muscles, will require that, adequate amino acid sources are ingested to allow the new rate of muscle building triggered off by the exercise.

The body demands increase tremendously and will take adequate amount of energy from carbohydrates to power the level of metabolism going on. Proteinous foods will supply the amino acids needed for muscle building. All these including micronutrients like B vitamins and chromium, antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, and minerals such as calcium and magnesium will be needed at extra quantities. The level of metabolism releases even more free radicals and as such, increase mop up action will be needed by anti-oxidants.

You will need to drink more water than you usually do. During exercising, you loss fluid extremely from sweat and insensible loses due to increase respiration, and so you are easily dehydrated. This can lead to heat stroke, hypovolemic shock, renal stone formation etc. So you will need a lot of water to cool off the exothermic reaction that is taking place in your body.

There is virtually an increase in every single chemical reaction in the body. Just as everything else is working overtime, so are the heart muscles. You will need to supply the heart with adequate vitamins like B and C, oxygen and other nutrients to ensure that the electrical activities in the heart continue to meet up the new demands. More sodium and potassium ions influx and efflux occurs and nutritional intake should be such that can meet up with these activities. Depletion of these ions could cause heart block.

Before or after exercises, adequate carbohydrate which is the main energy source for physical activities should be taken. If you want to do so before an exercise, you need to allow time for adequate digestion to occur and commence when the food is no longer much in the stomach to avoid Angina as blood flow is more to the abdominal organs thereby depriving the heart. Ideally, we should eat after a good rest following exercise paying attention to the needs of the body.

For athletes, wrestlers, boxers and other sports people, that strong grip and balance in the legs can not be developed if exercises are not properly complemented by good nutrition. For a strong grip, the muscles of the hands need to grow bigger and stronger, the leg muscles must grow bigger too for balance, and the bones are not going to be strong enough without adequate calcium supply from a diet rich in fruits, fish and milk.

Why are you fat?

Your quest to loss some weight if you are interested, will not see the light until you identify why you are fat in the first instance and then work to avoid all the identified reasons. Though in the beginning, a lot of fat people do not want to accept that they are fat and usually pick a quarrel if anyone makes an observation, there comes a time when they can no longer hide from it.

The thing is, when you finally agree that you are fat, do you just say ‘okay, I know am fat and there is nothing I can do about it’. Then put up with it? Or do you take up the challenge and start doing something about it?

So why are you fat?

Usually I get replies like; “I eat at wrong times of the day, at the wrong quantities. I have 3 kids; I run a business that takes away all the time I could have exercised. Between the business and my three kids’ daily activities at school that I volunteer at, as well as every other extra curricular activity, I really don't find the time to make sure I eat right.

I must be sure my children eat well though. While they're eating, I'm cleaning, or getting ready, or cleaning up spilt milk, etc. I miss meals, when it is time for me to eat; I eat it really big because I am really very hungry by then. I know what I am doing is wrong but what do I do?”

Others tell me stories like; “I don't drink enough fluids, when I do, its usually coffee, but I gag on water, I've tried checking this myself, and I am almost succeeding, I'm down to a coke every other day, and that is about 4 bottles a week, instead of everyday, though I still have my coffee. But now I'm up to two bottles of water a day....however, either way, still not enough fluids at all right?”

Yes enough fluid is alright but not when the fluid is coffee and coke. A bottle of coke is said to contain about 8 cubes of sugar and coffee doesn’t just contain caffeine that affects your nerves when you grow older but increases your cholesterol level. I have told people, it doesn’t matter whether it is decaff.

Another excuse people give themselves. “I was too busy working and wasn’t eating enough then I became anemic. I wouldn't be if I was eating properly. If I really wanted to eat well I could probably have worked out a schedule to make sure I eat the right things at the right times. Now the doctor wants me to eat more but I am now fat trying to do what the doctor said. I have tried to cut out the soda, and focus more on water, and I do some light walking as I was not supposed to get involved in very strenuous physical activities as at then. How do I loss weight without becoming anemic again?”

Whatever is your excuse or ‘reason’ you need to start knowing that excuses will only worsen your health status. So knock if off! You will not get better with excuses. Take the responsibility for your own health. Stop blaming the doctor, your kids or your job. It is all about you being a little bit more vigilant and determined to save your own life.

With all these excuses, you will begin to eat emotionally, stuffing a lot of chocolate, binging at any opportunity. Seeking solace in food is the worst thing you can do for your mode. Exercises will put you in a better frame of mind.
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