Fad Diets – Skinny Celebrities Can Afford the Health Costs. Can You?

November 3rd, 2017

fad-diets-featured-imageOne of the issues we face dieting is learning how to manage hunger. Whether its that mid afternoon slump, or mid morning cravings, being hungry for too long is a fast way to derail all our good intentions to turn over a new lettuce leaf.

Different strategies have in the past been proposed to deal with hunger. Some people find drinking a glass of water every time they are hungry helps. The model Gisele Bundchen is a real advocate of this approach. And judging by her stunning figure, she’s a good poster girl for increasing your fluid intake. Water has many benefits for the body, and people often simply don’t drink enough. There’s even a book on the subject that presents the view that many diseases in old age are related to a kind of entrenched state of dehydration (“Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” by F.Batmanghelid,MD).

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Whilst diets composed mainly of soups are fairly common (think the Cabbage Soup diet and Liz Hurley’s favorite, the Watercress Soup Diet), this is not the healthiest way to approach soup. Nor is it likely to lead to long tern success. Diets that focus on just one vegetable or type of food are not only very boring to go on, they do not provide the range of nutrients that the body needs to function well. Could hunger actually be the body’s way of saying, ‘I need some nutrients’. Sustainable weight loss is not achieved by setting up an unrealistic eating plan that is painful to follow for more than a week and leaves you fantasizing about food all the time. Unless of course you don’t mind going to bed hungry for two years like Liz did after her son was born.

Starvation and nutrient restriction lead to loss of muscle mass and bone density. Not to mention fatigue and other possible health problems if followed long term.

The irony is that soups, including cabbage soup and watercress soup, are really good for you. They are easy to digest, and can be prepared ahead and frozen. That way you have a low kilojoule snack that is often high in fiber ready at the helm as a quick pick-me-up when hunger strikes between meals.

miso-soupAnd some soups have surprising health benefits. For example, the Japanese Miso soup has been linked with preventing liver cancer, breast cancer and skin cancer, with theories also proposed about a benefit to skin due to linoleic acid. Whether this is found to be true, it is a delicious base for your favorite vegetables, and very easy to prepare from scratch. It takes only about ten minutes to prepare, and when garnished with grated ginger is a fantastic energizing soup when you are tired.

Neither soup nor water alone will lead to weight loss, and neither should these strategies be used to extremes and become a substitute for following a healthy, balanced diet. But they provide a way to minimize excursions into old habits we are trying to change as we address the lifestyle choices that led to gaining excess weight in the first place. And by providing the nutrients your body actually needs, you’ll be creating a change in the quality of life experienced day to day.

Body Wrapping And Obesity

September 18th, 2017

obesity2Many spas and salons offer a process called “body wrapping.”

This procedure claims to remove inches from the waist, thighs, hips or other parts of the body.

The process includes the use of special wraps or clothing and can sometimes be used with special lotions or creams that are applied to the skin.

Customers are usually told that they can lose “inches” as opposed to pounds and that fat will melt away bringing about a loss of inches in about an hour. One of the claims is that wrapping will work because cellulite is “water logged fatty tissue.”

What overweight person wouldn’t love to find a product that will render them slim and trim while they sleep?

Unfortunately, many people think that body wrapping is a relatively “new” procedure and jump on the bandwagon quickly.

The truth is that the body wrapping craze has been around for some time.

Over two decades ago, government “watchdogs” reported:

Obesity1-1“Who can blame the fretfully flabby for being lured by the promise of losing inches without doing anything more strenuous than popping a pill or wrapping up the offending flesh? Who can resist ads for body wraps that promise ‘to burn away fat even while you sleep,’ to ‘lose 4-6 inches the first day?”

What do these wraps consist of?

Some are plastic or rubber garments worn around the waist, some cover the waist, hips and thighs, and others cover nearly the entire body.

Some are to be worn while carrying out routine activities, others while exercising, and some while sleeping. One is inflated with air from a vacuum cleaner. Another uses an electric hair dryer to blow in warm air. Some are used after a cream, gel or lotion is applied or after the wrap is soaked in a solution.

The garments and wraps, with or without lotions and creams, say that they reduce body dimensions by removing fluids. Most medical experts agree that such treatment will cause a loss of inches and perhaps pounds due to profuse perspiration. But the reductions are temporary. The fluid is soon replaced by drinking or eating.

Remember, rapid and excessive fluid loss is potentially dangerous because it can bring on severe dehydration and can upset the balance of important electrolytes in the body. Reputable spas are aware of any potential hazards such as this, so do your homework and select a spa with a good reputation.
Some people have tried using “plastic wrap” as body wrap material. In fact, that was a very popular practice several decades ago.

Body wrapping has evolved since those days, becoming much more sophisticated. Prices for a body wrap range anywhere from $40 an hour up to as much as several thousand dollars at some of the upscale spas.

baa9bb2e-6bef-4cb1-9a73-b5e24217cb0dSome advertising claims that body wrapping will eliminate, or at the least reduce, cellulite but we’ll leave that up to you to determine. What we can tell you is that visiting a spa or salon for body wrapping may be a wonderfully rejuvenating experience, leaving you rested, relaxed and refreshed.

And who wouldn’t like to have a few hours being pampered and fussed over in a relaxing environment regardless if it helps the cellulite problem.

Some spas advertise herbal and other natural wraps. In fact, the methods and products applied are widely varied. Let’s explore some of the components that make up a good “wrap” experience.

Herbal wraps. Some of the higher end spas go so far as to grow their own “herbs” for use in their body wraps, but that isn’t necessary for a good body wrap experience. Herbs can be fresh, or dried and usually organically grown is best.

Each herb has a specific effect. Some increase circulation, another may soothe the skin and so on.

The herbs are steeped in very hot water (almost boiling) then special muslin sheets are soaked in the solution. It is these herb-infused sheets along with other insulating layers that wrap around the body.

How the treatments work is interesting. The goal is to create a condition not unlike your body when you have a fever. We all know that when we have a fever, our body eliminates toxins by sweating.

It’s the same principle with body wraps. The results vary. Some people report a very intense detoxification while for others it might be mild.

Methods of application and content vary as well. Seaweed, mud and salt are popular body wraps. Most often, the subject is wrapped from neck to toe with the arms set close to the sides of the body. This can be uncomfortable for someone who suffers from claustrophobia.

The easiest correction for this is to keep the arms free from the wrap. Most people who are claustrophobic find the works and that all they need to be able to feel free to remove themselves if they choose.

Whatever type of body wrap you select make certain that you feel comfortable with the spa and that a technician is always close at hand.

Care should be taken when selecting a salon or spa. Some things to consider:

spas advertise herbalHow long have they been offering body wraps?
Do they have a licensed clinician whose sole purpose is massage and/or body wraps?
Where do their herbs and other contents come from?
Do they offer any special pricing for new clients?
Will they allow a tour of their facilities prior to purchase?
Have they had any unresolved complaints reported by the Better Business Bureau?
Do they have any package pricing for multiple visits?

Watch your local publications for coupon offers. This can be a good way to try out a service at a bargain.

Ask your friends if they have had a body wrapping experience and whether they enjoyed it and what kind of results did they experience. You may even want to check for “two for one” specials and try it out with a friend!

Whether the experience reduces your cellulite or not, if you follow the guidelines you are in for a pleasant experience. Who knows, you might just like it enough to include it in your long term personal care budget!

Weight Loss: The All Natural way without Gimmicks

September 11th, 2017

Natural-weight-loss-home-remedies...natural-weight-loss-supplements.natural-weight-loss-tips-weight-loss-foodsremediesloss-pillsfast-weight-lossnatural-weight-loss-herbsIf you type up Weight Loss in a keyword tracker tool or in a search engine like Google, you will be alarmed to see how many searches in a day are being done on this subject alone. Take www.submitexpress.com for example, put ‘weight loss’ in their word tracking device; you will see that on a daily basis, more than 5000 searches are being done on how to lose weight.

However, this shouldn’t be alarming, I mean the average person does have the desire to be liked, sought after and popular. This might explain why we are so captivated with celebrities and perhaps why we at times blindly follow whatever fad or trend they might propagate in the quest to lose weight and be slimmer, sometimes at the cost of our own health.

An observation of Nature will show that no animal free of captivity is upholstered with excess weight and are oft times very fit, agile and sharp. This is because unlike man, all animals adhere to the simple laws of nature to maintain health which include eating the right foods for your type and getting adequate exercise. Well these are the basic laws, others might include getting sufficient rest, getting sunshine, interacting with others.

There are so many myths and fads that promise to aid you in losing weight that when they are intelligently dissected will make you wonder what ever made you think to give them a shot, which is part of the reasons why I am writing this to inform you that as the slogan of my site on drugless healing says: “if one way is true, it is the way of nature”.
Moreover, Nature bows at no alter, seeks neither praise nor applause, she only asks for a hearing, my friends.

For weight loss, your best bet will be to embrace the three limbs of Naturopathy:

-Proper Exercise

-Proper Diet

-Positive Thinking.

Now I will explain each one in brief detail:

PROPER EXERCISE:

Top-10-Jogging-Tips-You-Should-Definitely-KnowNow, there was a time, like almost everyone, that I assumed big and inflated muscles meant fitness and health. Wrong. Maybe it might depict strength-to a degree and that, for only a while, but you ask anybody about one of the greatest martial artists of all time, Bruce Lee, here was a guy who was said to do a thousand (1000) push-ups and other feats of strength and any picture of him shows he was not a blown up mass of muscle waiting to atrophy and deflate as is the case with most fitness experts and body-builders using artificial supplements, I mean look at the agedness depicted across their faces most of the time.

This leads one to conclude that for exercise, basic Aerobic-with oxygen-exercises (such as walking, jogging, and dancing) and Anaerobic-without oxygen-exercises (such as push ups, pull-ups, dips, using the ab-wheel and weight lifting for body builders) can be sufficient without the use of synthetic products. For those who want an exercise for the mind as well as the body, Yoga definitely is unmatched.

From my experience, if you were to do the Sun Salutations (hailed in Yoga, Martial Arts and African Wrestling as the ‘best exercise for humans’) which have been passed down from centuries with a proper and sensible diet, which I will be explaining soon, you are well on your way to weight loss and strength.

Some Indians perform about a 100 plus rounds of this marvelous exercise on a daily basis and have immense fitness, strength, agility and virility. Add some other poses like the inversions (Shoulder-Stand), Forward Bends (Head to Knee Pose), Backward bends, Balancing Poses (arguably the best exercises to tone the arms, abdomen and restore a sense of balance and self confidence in humans who practice them) and you are bound to see the immense results. Speaking of emulating celebrities, well did you know Sting, Madonna, Russell Simmons, Beyonce and Prince all practice some form of Yoga and need I mention how fit and good they look?

I could go on and on about Abdominal exercises and Breathing Exercises of the Yoga genre (which in the case of the latter is also EXTREMELY effective for weight loss) but that will be another subject in itself, the bottom line is: in my opinion, exercises that use the body’s weight for resistance such as Yoga, Calisthenics and Pilates are arguably the best for the human body.

Have you ever seen a chimpanzee lifting rocks repeatedly? Yet that distant cousin of humans can rip a door off a car and is easily 8 times stronger than an average modern day human. Still, if we share about 98% DNA with this primate (as well as other apes), its evidence to make one wonder how much healthier and fit we would be by adhering and living as close as possible to Nature’s laws of diet and exercise.

PROPER DIET

weight-loss-diet-tips-for-vegans_img-“You are what you eat” (Anonymous)

-“Let your foods be your medicine and your medicine your food” (Hippocrates, the father of medicine)

-“Every herb bearing seed and every tree bearing fruit with seed in it shall be yours for food” (Gen 1:29)

From these radical quotes above, it should be plain to see that most modern day meals and mixtures are totally against Nature’s intent for us as humans for fitness, agility and strength. It will be safe to say that if you want to lose weight, re-read these three quotes and the proper diet will stare you right in the face: Fruits and Vegetables.

Admittedly, and you can take this from a guy who was a raw vegan for several months, (Now, I mostly fast and eat mono meals of fruit and raw or cooked vegetables every other day) that might be kind of hard to accomplish or adhere to. Well, if you approach it the wrong way, being radical in nature and as with all things that don’t have a strong foundation, you may be bound to fail.

The good news is there are several books on the subject of this kind of a diet and though adequately addressed in the core e-book of my site, you can type up Vegan Diets, Raw Vegan Diets, Vegetarianism in any search engine to be educated-to a degree- on the subject. I have experimented with each of the three kinds of diets and have been on the Standard American diet and am now of the firm belief that the first two and maybe the third if done sensibly and wisely are the best for humans, period!

I touched on the subjects of internal cleanliness and non-animal product diets in my article available in my blog and some article directories under the title “Is a Low-Carb, High Protein diet the best for weight loss?” but I will briefly state again that based on the quotes above, and the facts that this diet has been proven countless times to be the best (Ask Bill Pearlman-four times Mr. Universe winner!), without the need for much of an argument, a diet free of animal products is simply the best for humans.

For an idea of a daily menu, you can look for my article “How to Cure Acne in 10 days” in some of the major article directories online, last time Google did its spider crawl, it came up in most of them but I also put in my blog for my readers just in case.

I’ll leave you with this factor to consider though on the subject of proper diet, based on the anthropological approach of several authors of Naturopathy, and from simple observations, we as primates, just like our distant cousins, the great apes, are frugivores, eaters of mainly fruits and green leaves and it cannot be a co-incidence that these substances make up the mucus-less or alkaline forming foods that even science has proven to be the best for human life and of course, weight loss.

POSITIVE THINKING:

Some quotes from perhaps the most rugged book ever put together, that being the Bible, bring to mind just how important it is to think positively-and wisely so-in any endeavor one is undertaking. “As a man thinks in his heart; so is he…” and “Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life”. That stated, what you constantly think over and over is eventually what comes to pass.

The mind has such powers that are beyond human comprehension at times, but according to the author of the “Power of Positive Thinking”, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, “You are what you are now based on your thoughts five years ago and will be in five years what you constantly think of yourself now.”

Although one’s thoughts are very important, without taking the steps to act on them (of course when they are constructive and positive) they do end up being a waste, but your reading this article does depict a desire to want to improve yourself be it through weight loss or any other factor.

Like with any journey in life, of course, you will have times when you may want to give up, lose faith or focus and consequently get off the path to success, which may explain why most people fail at diets and fads in the quest of losing weight, well, my friend, you will have to literally tune your thinking to be positive so as to overcome the doubts and fears as you go about accomplishing your goals. It honestly will be easier applying the two other limbs of drugless healing above for weight loss as they do go hand-in-hand.

In conclusion, forget the fads and hypes. For a healing program to be successful at anything, especially weight loss, it must cover the three limbs of health: diet, exercise and positive thinking. It is my hope that this article will show you how to choose the best methods of attaining not only weight loss, but fitness and health on the inside and out.

Is A Low-Carb, High Protein Diet really Effective for Weight Loss?

August 28th, 2017

atkins-dukan-keto-which-high-protein-diet-is-the-bestYou may have heard that to increase muscle and to lose weight you need to increase your protein intake. When I first heard that I thought…wait a minute the same thing that is going to make you bigger is supposed to make you ‘smaller’…I asked the trainer this question and he looked at me dumbfounded but it left me to thinking…”besides sounding absurd, will this method actually be safe?”

Although we all know we require a certain quantity of protein every day to be healthy and because of propaganda to this effect, a lot of people view the daily consumption of high-protein foods such as meat and dairy as highly beneficial. However, judging from the failure of most if not all the people I have personally known attempting to lose weight on a high-protein, low carb diet, it may be time to revise our ideas about protein.

From what I have seen (upwards of six cases I have been able to observe among friends, family and co-workers) it will be safe to answer the question heading this article with a simple No!

Not only is a diet high in protein NOT the best at all for weight loss, according to many naturopaths, such a diet may even be detrimental to ones overall health.

Because of its complexity, excessive protein along with fatty foods are the most difficult foods to digest and tend to leave one tired all the time. Moreover the common putrefaction of protein while being digested creates many acids in the body and has been known to lay the foundation for cancer.

beautiful young woman with big jeansThis is not to say that proteins and fats must be avoided, quite the contrary, what should be the goal in consuming these foods should be taking in exactly what the body needs and no more. The Max Planck institute has proven that, considering that the body recycles most of its protein for its own needs, 25g of protein a day is more than enough.

According to T.C. Fry, a well known Naturopath and pioneer in drugless healing, there are several cultures such as the Caribbeans, who subsist on a Manioc-based (root-vegetable) diet and get about 12 g of protein a day. Quite similarly, an aboriginal tribe living in the Mountains of Hagen was discovered to live on about 80-90% of their diet being Sweet Potatoes, the rest mostly leafy veggies, bananas and the like.

While I lived in Nigeria for 17 plus years, most people hardly ever even consumed milk or cheese (they were too expensive) and families strictly rationed the consumption of animal flesh to about the size of medium size lemon per person every other day. All these groups of people, with their root vegetable diets are obviously in great health, accomplishing great physical work.

Moreover, Mother’s milk, which for a time is a baby’s perfect food, has about 1-2 % protein content. (Only fruits and veggies resemble it in their composition) Any reasonable person will be able to deduce that a growing baby needs more protein than a full-grown adult, yet human babies, just like with our distant cousins: the Apes in the wild, do just fine on breast milk and on the subject of apes who share about 98% of our DNA, do you know the Gorilla, the strongest primate, has been known to bench press upwards of about 4000 pounds! What does this creature live on? According to Dr. George Schaller and Dian Fossey, two great primatologists, this powerful relative lives on mostly fruits and leaves.

Now, considering all the factors above, when it comes to the right diet for weight loss, I would recommend a Mucus-less or Mucus-poor (raw and cooked fruits and veggies) over any other mere fad in the quest of attaining fitness and health. Of course, if the consumption of animal flesh must be continued, I would also advise that it be done at a minimal quantity and only one kind of animal flesh every so often.

In my opinion, consumption of fresh home-made salads, mono-meals of fruits, snacks on dried fruits such as dates, a few nuts and maybe even a short juice fast, as a choice for a diet (along with some form of exercise) will be the best path to attaining safe and healthy weight loss.

Fasting: The “Fastest” Way to Lose Weight

August 22nd, 2017

EhretA.The author of the acclaimed “Mucusless Diet Healing System”, Prof Arnold Ehret once said “If one way is true…it is the way of Nature!” It will be an understatement to say he was and is so correct.

In this day and age when everyone desires to be slim or slimmer as the case may be, only very few people know that one sure-fire, all natural, method can lead to a slimmer and more importantly healthier person.

This method is as old as the mountains and is known as Fasting.

It is by far a greater cure of our ills-both physical and mental-than all of the drugs of the medical fraternity combined and when combined with an exclusive mucus-binding (alkaline forming) diet of mainly fruits, leafy and root vegetables (raw and cooked) and even basic exercises that involve the use of one’s own body weight for resistance such as Yoga, Calisthenics and Pilates, a well conducted fast can reap untold benefits for those seeking to lose weight.

There are several types of fasts that can be beneficial for weight loss.

druits(1)1.The complete water fast: This, admittedly, should be conducted with extreme caution or in a specialized sanitarium if undertaken more than 3 days.

2.The Juice Fast: This is much easier for the general populace and can be undergone as long as you feel like it.

3. The Fruit Fast: This, well, is really not a fast per se…but when one lives exclusively on SEASONAL ORGANIC fruits for days on end…meaning mono meals (2 at the most ) of only one kind of fruit say Apples in Fall, Melons in summer for a week plus, you will be bound to see the benefits.

4. The Dry Fast: This is another camouflaged fast where one consumes ONLY dry fruits such as dates; figs etc for 3 days or thereabout and then breaks the fast with a laxative. Though highly praised in some quarters, it’s not so common.

The second and third choices are by far my personal recommendations for those seeking to lose weight. A friend of mine tried the second choice after months of badgering and was able to eventually see the awesome cuts in his abdominal cavities. You should have heard him exclaim on the phone to me: “Foras…I got a six-pack man…and I didn’t even do no sit-ups…!” Moreover, his supposed hereditary red-eyes cleared up after several eye-doctors had told him it was just a genetic trait…yeah, right!

Being radical in nature, it must be undertaken with care and although I have covered it in chapter 17 of my e-book “fitness: inside and out”, do feel free to do some research before undertaking a fast or a restricted fruit diet.

Here are a few tips:

01-8-ways-to-hate-junk-food-junk1. Prepare yourself for a fast by gradually tapering off of acid-forming aka “junk foods and commence to consuming raw and cooked fruits and veggies to begin a milder cleansing process as these items are the best intestinal brooms for the colon.

2. Every now and again, 3 hours after supper and say an hour or so before retiring to sleep, drink an herbal tea laxative such as “Smooth Move Herbal Tea” during this preparatory stage.

3. Drink 1-2 quarts of unflavored lemonade in the mornings to balance the chemical reactions within the body and to restore it to an alkaline state.

4. Be mentally prepared for the task ahead of fasting.

5. Take things a little easier while fasting or on a mono-diet of fruit.

6. Avoid using microwaves at all costs. I touched on this subject in the free section on controlling acne in my site.

Though not a conclusive list of the dos and don’ts of fasting be well informed that when undertaken properly, you’d not only lose the undesired weight, but you’d be well on your way to a cleaner and better you in no time.

For weight loss, Fasting, my friends is the ‘fastest’ way to improved health!

You’ve lost the Weight, but how clean are you on the inside where it Counts?

August 17th, 2017

shapely-slim-1In today’s age and world, being slim, shapely, possessing ripped abdominal muscles and toned arms seems to be the aim of a vast majority of the people you see spending tons of hours working out at gyms.

These same people spend loads of money on the new weight-loss pill or supplement guaranteed to ‘make you eat less and increase your metabolism…’ and in spite of whatever side effects the product may contain, the average Joe, still thinks this quick fix will be worth the risk.

In truth, some of these people have luck with these efforts, and yes they possess the ever so ripped and toned muscles we as a society admire so much. However, the fact that needs to be accepted and pondered upon thoroughly is: ‘Whatever is not built on a proper foundation will eventually crumble!’

Most fitness experts and bodybuilders atrophy and wear down prematurely as sooner or later, these muscles ‘blown up’ with unnatural substances have a tendency to pretty much deflate. Moreover, ‘ripped’ muscles and supposed ‘feats’ of strength DO NOT depict proper and optimal health.

There is a saying that is known to every culture which goes:” you are what you eat…” What you eat plays arguably the most important role on your overall health and fitness, thus PROPER DIET should be the most important factor of any and every health seeker.

What then should one eat? In a nut-shell: yes as boring as it may sound- Fruits and Vegetables.

These substances possess the abilities to not only provide the necessary fuel needed for day to day activities, but play important and vital roles in

maxresdefault (9)1. Providing the alkaline reserves in the body for balancing chemical metabolism within.

2. Cleansing the digestive and excretory tract as they act as the much needed intestinal broom to sweep these ‘pipes’ (as you may call them) clean to function properly in their duties of nourishing and cleansing the body.

3. Keeping the body fit, trim and in shape WITHOUT the unwanted side effects of toxic and artificial substances such as pills and supplements.
Sure, it is a great feeling to be able to see the awesome cuts in your ‘abs’ and arms when you look in the mirror, but feeling good on the inside as well and knowing that you are thoroughly cleansed internally should be of just as much importance as ‘getting ripped’.

As I stated in one of my previous articles, a quick and sure-fire method of attaining internal cleanliness and the added bonus of healthy weight-loss will be to undergo a fast.

There are several methods of this tried and true method of healing and although it is covered to a degree in the free resources section of my website, you can always do some research on this radical; yet extremely effective method of internal purification and weight loss.

In conclusion, the cleaner you are on the inside and the freer you are of toxicity the quicker you can and will attain your goal of being in shape.

Weight: The Thanksgiving Hangover

August 7th, 2017

bg_turkeyThe feasting is over. The turkey has disappeared: roasted and hot, microwaved leftovers, then cold sandwiches and eventually croquettes or thrown into soup.

You climb on the scale with trepidation and breathe a long sigh of relief when the dreaded poundage fails to appear. Before you relax and think you got away with it, remember that your sneaky little body is playing its usual tricks. Two or three days of Spartan eating will make you feel virtuous again -until you step on the scale and find you’ve gained 5 pounds. “Fraud” you shriek. “I’ve been so good!”

Remember the holiday feast? It has finally caught up with you as you knew, deep down, that it would.

What to do?

weight3We all need brief periods of self-indulgence – it’s part of the human condition. Expect a setback on your weight loss goals and let that knowledge mitigate your disappointment. Then continue on your diet with the assurance that a special occasion blip doesn’t define your future. Enjoy the memories of a family gathering while carefully planning your next week’s intake.

Appreciate what you have accomplished so far and avoid loading yourself down with guilt and self-reproach.

Get back on your program as quickly as possible because (sorry to bring this up now) Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat.

The Holidays: An Emotional Feast

July 31st, 2017

will be thinEvery year, I swear that I will be thin enough to wear my smallest dress to the office party. And every year, I don’t quite make it. Oh, I can usually get into it by the beginning of February after a diet-obsessed, guilt-ridden January, but it doesn’t mean as much then.

Why are November and December so toxic to our weight control efforts? Certainly there is abundant food available during the month long celebration from Thanksgiving to New Year. It is the season for non-stop parties and gifts of food from colleagues, friends, family, and customers.

But more than just the food, there is a special atmosphere that descends on the Western World at the end of November. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzai – whatever the celebration involved – evoke the onset of primitive emotions. We wax nostalgic over the holidays we recall from childhood. We turn towards family and traditions that have been absent from our thoughts for the rest of the year. We indulge ourselves in the joy of giving and receiving.

Triple-Chocolate-Oreo-Cookies-3Cookies, and chocolates, and gift baskets bursting with preservatives, which we would politely refuse during any other time of the year, are now gratefully accepted in the spirit of the season. Food we would normally avoid – creamed soups, fruit glazes, gravy, fruit breads, honeyed hams – appear as comfort foods, warming and welcoming. Our sophisticated and world-weary veneer fades in the face of traditions that make us feel whole and contented again.

The goodwill we feel demands a context and a continuity that was established many years ago. Each December, we trot out the same old carols, enjoying the familiarity of tunes we learned to love sitting next to a glittering tree and a roaring fire. For a month, we emotionally step back in time to reconnect who we are with who we were. Despite its current crass commercialism, we need the holidays to remind us of our roots, our values, and our beginnings.

So this year, I am going to throw myself into the fray, eat whatever I want, and let the chips fall where they may. I can always wear something else to the office party and there will be innumerable occasions in the New Year when I can attain caloric virtue through deprivation and denial.

This year, I’m going to have guilt-free, unalloyed, and omnivorous fun.

Bon Appetit!

Weight: Give Us Something To Shoot For

June 29th, 2017

DoveCampaignWe have all seen the new Dove commercials that feature “real” women rather than the impossibly “ideal” models that are usually selected. While the Dove girls are universally attractive and fit, they also reflect different sizes and shapes, designed to represent the average American woman. Is that what we want?

Glorifying our diversity seems like a positive development which should lead to increased self-content and improved self-esteem. Comparing ourselves to the imperfect bodies displayed is supposed to lessen our self-criticism and sense of inadequacy.

Does it?

oprah-winfrey-quote-we-cant-become-what-we-need-to-be-by-remainingWe are a race of strivers, constantly seeking to better ourselves. Self-improvement is the biggest marketing niche of the Twenty-first Century, from books and classes to online information products, magazines, and television. The gurus of our day, from Oprah, to Martha Stewart, to Dr. Phil, to Donald Trump, all entice us towards improving ourselves, our looks, our relationships, our finances, our surroundings — our whole life. We are dissatisfied with ourselves as we are because we have caught a glimpse of what we can become.

To keep us motivated in that direction, we need a vision of perfection to work towards, even if we know we’ll never quite get there.

When it comes to weight control, what will keep us riveted on our goal? To look as gorgeous as the cover models on Cosmopolitan or the chunky figures in the Dove Ads?

We don’t want to be patronized by the marketing mavens. We don’t want a subtle reminder that we need to set our sights lower or aspire to something less than excellence. We want a dream that soars, that inspires us to unbelievable heights. We want a vision to move towards, no matter how unlikely it is that we will reach that destination. So keep your condescending “Go ahead and settle for this” approach away, please.

Robert Browning suggested: “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

Weight Loss Exercise

June 10th, 2017

 

broadlands_buffet1A lot of us live our lives like penned animals. Built to move, too often we put ourselves in a cage. We have bodies designed for racing across the savannas, but we live a lifestyle designed for migrating from the bed to the breakfast table; to the car seat; to the office chair; to the restaurant booth; to the living room couch and back to the bed.

It was not always this way. Not long ago in the United States, a man who worked on a farm did the equivalent of 15 miles of jogging every day; and his wife did the equivalent of 7 miles of jogging.

Today, our daily obligations of work and home keep us tied to our chairs, and if we want exercise, we have to seek it out.

In fact, health experts insist that obesity problem is probably caused at least as much by lack of physical activity as by eating too much. Hence, it is important that people need to move around.

However, that does not mean that a lap or two around the old high school track will offset a daily dose of donuts. Exercise alone is not very efficient, experts say. They contend that if you just exercise and do not change your diet, you may be able to prevent weight gain or even lose a few pounds for a while.

Nevertheless, it is not something that you are likely to sustain unless exercise is part of an overall program. The more regularly you exercise, the easier it is to maintain your weight. Here is what to do every day to make sure that you get the exercise you need.

1. Get quality Zzzs.

sleeping-feature-image-british-woman-Sleep_womanMake sure that you get adequate sleep. Good sleep habits are conducive to exercise, experts point out. If you feel worn out during the day, you are less likely to get much physical activity during the day.

In addition, there is evidence that people who are tired tend to eat more, using food as a substance for the rest they need.

2. Walk the walk.

It is probably the easiest exercise program of all. In fact, it may be all you ever have to do, according to some professional advices of some health experts.

Gradually build up to at least 30 minutes of brisk walking five times a week. Brisk walks themselves have health and psychological benefits that are well worth the while.

3. Walk the treadmill.

e0f824fb35ce8e8c_walkrunWhen the weather is bad, you might not feel like going outdoors. But if you have a treadmill in the television room, you can catch up on your favorite shows while you are doing your daily good turn for your weight-maintenance plan.

Most of us watch television anyway, and indoor exercise equipment enables anyone to turn a sedentary activity into a healthy walk.

4. Seize the time.

Excuses aside, lack of time is certainly a limiting factor in most lifestyles. That is why health experts suggest a basic guideline for incorporating exercise into your schedule.

Get as much exercise as you can that feels good without letting it interfere with your work or family life. If you need to, remind yourself that you are preventing many health problems when you prevent weight gain; and keeping your health is a gift to your family as well as yourself.