Archive for August, 2015

Cinnamon – A weight loss wonder

Friday, August 21st, 2015

CinnamonCinnamon figures among the most ancient spices in world. This small evergreen tree is cultivated in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Egypt, Brazil, Indonesia and India. It is prepared in two ways. It is prepared either by drying the cinnamon bark and rolling it into sticks (quills), or by crushing it into powder. Cinnamon’s peculiar taste and smell stems from cinnamaldehyde, a substance contained in the bark’s oil.

Cinnamon has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any spice, and many foods, too. You’ll get as many antioxidants in one teaspoon of cinnamon as a full cup of pomegranate juice or a half-cup of blueberries, two foods known for their antioxidant content.

Millions of people are searching for ways to help lose weight, and drinking cinnamon tea or eating cinnamon in other forms for weight loss can definitely help many shed pounds.

How does cinnamon cause weight loss

shutterstockCinnamon is a spice commonly used during festive winter times as it “warms” the body. This thermogenic response possibly speeds the body’s metabolism resulting in weight loss. Cinnamon actually creates heat within the body due to a chemical reaction. The body’s metabolism speeds up to counteract the excess heat and balance body temperature. Excess calories are burned throughout the process.

does-cinnamon-reduce-blood-sugar-levelsAccording to another theory, cinnamon decreases blood sugar levels, which increases the level of insulin. The higher amount of insulin is believed to shrink fat cells. Some experts believe cinnamon tea weight loss is especially effective for people with diabetes as they need more insulin. The fat cells in the abdomen are particularly sensitive to high insulin levels, and are very effective at storing energy – far more so that fat cells you’d find in other areas such as the lower body (i.e. hips, rear end, thighs). Because abdominal fat cells are so close to our digestive organs, and there is an extensive network of blood vessels circulating in the abdominal area, it’s even easier for fat cells to store excess glucose there. 

Recommended quantity

gI_138935_lower_blood_sugarTypical recommended dosages of ground cinnamon bark are 1 to 4 g daily. The German Commission E monograph suggests ½ to 3/4 teaspoon (2–4 grams) of the powder per day. A tea can be prepared from the powdered herb by boiling 1/2 teaspoon (2–3 grams) of the powder for ten to fifteen minutes, cooling, and then drinking. Cinnamon oil is generally used at a dose of 0.05 to 0.2 g daily.

Cinnamon teaCinnamon tea is also touted as a weight loss remedy when made with other ingredients. You may get better results with this recipe for Cinnamon and Honey Tea. Create a regular cinnamon tea and add 1 tablespoon of pure honey after the tea sits for half an hour so the boiling water does not destroy honey’s beneficial properties. It is recommended to drink all cinnamon teas both before bed and first thing in the morning.

Why bad diets are bad?

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Introduction

good-food-or-bad-foodAccording to popular diet advice, bad diets are generally those diets that are unhealthy and do not address the problems that caused you to gain weight in the first place. If you don’t learn something about the foods you eat, you will gain the weight back when you reestablish old eating habits.

Following are some of the major side effects associated with bad diets.

1-   fast food collection on on white background Unbalanced and unhealthy: Some so called fat burning diets frequently require the elimination of perfectly healthy foods. As a result, what you eat is not a healthy, balanced combination of food and lacks several vital minerals and portions of food such as complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber or essential fatty acids.

 

Can cause starvation2-    Can cause starvation: If a fat burning diet plan asks you to a skip a meal in a day, it probably will not work for you. In reality, it could cause quite the opposite effect i.e. weight gain by slowing your metabolism.  That’s why; having frequent smaller meals instead of 2 or 3 larger meals in a day is always preferred.

 

photo-exhausted3-    Can devoid you of exercise: Most bad diets claim that with their regular use, you would continue to lose weight even if you don’t exercise. This is completely untrue. In fact, to achieve long-term weight loss goals, a perfect combination of diet and exercise is must.

 

Results are temporary4-    Results are temporary: Bad diets may be effective for weight loss in the short term because you will lose some extra fluid as well as some fat. However, the weight loss is usually temporary because you’re going to return to your old eating habits when you go off the diet. In a few weeks, your weight will be right back where it was before the diet.

 

5-    Inconsistent effectsInconsistent effectsAnother problem with bad diets is that these diets only work when you stay on them so that means you have to be on a diet the rest of your life to be successful.

 

6-    Expensive in long run: Naturally, when one has to strictly follow a certain diet regiment and for long time period, it will definitely cause a burden on the user’s pocket

 

Undesirable health hazards7-    Undesirable health hazards: Some of diets contain ephedrine, a dangerous, addictive drug that is not only illegal in high-level athletes, but also potentially deadly because it can increase incidence of strokes, seizures, and heart attacks. They are even more dangerous when combined with caffeine or other herbs. These dangerous chemicals can also be found in teas and drinks.

 

Risk of excessive fluid loss, dehydration8-    Risk of excessive fluid loss / dehydration:  Most bad diets cause paid and excessive fluid loss. This naturally results in fast weight loss and many dieters mistakenly think of this as a major benefit of such diets. Typically, this levels off after 8-12 weeks. When normal intake of carbs resumes, the weight is usually regained. Also, excessive fluid loss in the early stage of such diets (e.g. low carb diet regime) can cause low blood pressure resulting in dizziness and fainting.

 

feeling_of_constipation9-    Constipation: A diet restricted in carbohydrates will not permit sufficient fiber from fruits, grains or vegetables. Result? Constipation is a frequent side-effect of low carb dieting. On the other hand, fiber itself is important in causing sustained and long term weight loss which is usually deficient in these diets.

 

Frustration210-Frustration: The meal plan for these so called low carb or fat burning diets is very strict and demands that participants make no changes. With the exception of a choice between coffee and tea, no options are offered. Because the diet is so demanding, dieters are likely to give up before they have finished and might potentially be frustrated from attempting to diet in the future as a result.

Apples, berries, fresh fruits, Few apples a day – Keep the fat away

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

fresh_apples_blackberries_blueberries_fruitsApples are low in calories and fat, low in sodium, and contain vitamins and minerals as well as fiber. These can all help you to lose weight in different ways. The fiber helps you feel full longer because it expands in your stomach so it takes less food to satisfy your hunger. Apples are a low-sodium food that can be a good addition to a healthy diet. Keeping your sodium low will help prevent excess water weight, or retention. And, the vitamins benefit you by increasing health and vitality. Of course, being active helps burn extra calories to speed up weight loss. 


Role of pectinRole of pectin – How do these fruits help in weight loss?

Apples, berries and other fresh fruits contain a natural substance called pectin in their walls / skins.

Pectin is defined as a carbohydrate that lacks calories. It is also a reliable source of fiber, which is a prime ingredient of a healthy diet.

Pectin limits the amount of fat your cells can absorb, putting a natural limitation on the amount of fat your cells can absorb. Pectin, once in your system, also has a water binding property i.e. it absorbs watery substances, and these watery substances in turn bombard the cells and make them release fat deposits. Eventually, pectin causes the stomach to empty more slowly. As a result, after you consume pectin, you feel satisfied for a lengthy period of time. This means that you will ultimately eat less, leading to weight loss. Research has shown that a small dose of pectin will do the trick—as little as a single teaspoon can enable you to feel satisfied.

red-apples-300x300Research & scientific studies

Research from the Rio de Janeiro state university reported that over-weight women who just ate 300 grams of apples or fresh pears (equivalent to 3 fruits daily) lost more weight on a low-calorie diet than women who didn’t add fruits to their diets. Also, these fruit eaters consumed fewer calories overall, boosting their weight loss efforts.

(Nutrition. 2003 Mar;19(3):253-6.)


apples2Recommended quantity

While apples can be very good for fast weight loss, one should not get too carried away. Eat them in moderation. Maybe, eat 3-4 apples a day as snacks and/or before meals. 

Exciting ideas for fast but healthy weight loss in 2015 Ease, enjoyment & efficiency

Monday, August 17th, 2015

lose_weightThe challenge to “lose weight” is too general and broad a goal. There’s no definite goal-setting (how much weight?), no methods (how to do it?), and no deadline (by the summer? by 2015?) in this objective. For the same reason, many people do make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, but eventually fail. However, with the following few simple tips and a true New Year approach you can succeed

 

Educate

successful_weight_lossAccording to several smart weight loss experts, dieticians and even doctors, “losing weight is 90% mental”. Some even say “The phenomenon of successful weight loss begins in the brain”. If this is true, then the resolution has to start in the mind before it can succeed with the body and knowledge is the key here. It is also important to evaluate your reasons for losing weight before you actually start. Ask yourself; do you want to be healthy? Do you want to look good? Do you want to be able to walk, run, ski, bike, hike and/or skate? Do you want to get off your BP, diabetes? Do you want to sleep better? And, above all, do you want to feel good about yourself?

Once you set your reasons and goals to lose weight, make a plan. What changes do you have to make to achieve your goal? Keep a journal or calendar to track foods eaten, exercises done, thoughts and feelings, and weekly weights. Tracking gradual progress is another visual reminder of the path. It’s harder to quit once all that work is in black and white. Create a timeline. How long will you give yourself? Success will take time and patience is necessary. To keep on point, mark dates on the calendar for the smaller goals. Check off days that you exercise and use other visual reminders that are helpful. To stay motivated, be accountable.

Eat right

Eat-rightAccording to proven weight loss advice, habits are hard to change. Eating habits are particularly hard because you have to make choices everyday and several times a day, at that. ? Read and learn about what to eat, when to eat, how to eat and how much to eat. Think about the healthy habits that need to be used – low-fat? High-fiber, high protein? All of these are essential for fast and successful weight loss. Drink plenty of water. Eat a lot of green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits. Don’t skip meals, especially the breakfast. Eat less but frequently.

 

 Exercise

Two-girls-exercising-cayucos-beachThen set out a weight loss exercise plan that’s manageable and appropriate, so success is possible. Concentrate on exercise you enjoy and will stick to. Walking is the best exercise for a bazillion reasons and the two most important are no impact on your joints, and skeleton, plus the stimulation of getting out, looking at stuff and interacting with the world around you. Rain, snow, cold? Buy a big coat and nice boots, or go to a mall with walking shoes. Do it.

At the same time, if you are one of those people who don’t like the thought of exerting themselves, then don’t worry, yoga, hypnosis and meditation, all make excellent alternatives for weight loss. Sign up for a yoga class or learn and practice hypnosis or meditation. Stick to it and steadily take off pounds, tone your muscles, tune up your mind and gain fabulous flexibility that makes you look great.

Entertain

new_style_of_danceEven those who hate exercising can find an activity they’ll enjoy. Get friends together for a game of basketball or a relaxing hike. Enroll in a new style of dance class that sounds interesting. Load up an iPod with fun, energizing music and go for a run. Have a buddy. Ask a trusted friend to check on progress. Knowing someone is monitoring your successes and failures is an incredible motivator. Plus, they’ll be a cheerleader and maybe a participant!

Forget losing weight fast from an unfit body. Lose weight by gaining health, starting in 2010, and be well forever.

The Sugar Addicts Diet

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

sugar-addictionSugar seems to be addictive to a certain degree. The human body learns fast that sugar means energy and that a lot of energy running through the system translates into a good overall mood. Unfortunately, the good mood lasts just as long as the amount of sugar in your blood stays above a certain level.

 next_sugarOnce the amount of sugar drops below that particular level, the mood changes and the body starts craving the next sugar fix that will make everything look good once more. In this respect, sugar seems to operate just like any other psychoactive substance or like adrenaline. You can learn to get high on all these substances.

the_addiction_to_sugarThe Sugar Addicts’ Diet focuses on breaking the addiction to sugar in order to prevent the mood swings that prompt the addict to reach out for one more sugary treat. These mood swings are hard to resist and the promise of the next fix is so tempting that many people have no idea they’re hooked on something that is not healthy. Truth be known, most addicts don’t want to face reality and understand the truth about their addiction and many people hooked on sugar or adrenalin have absolutely no idea that they’re using a substance to prop up their moods.

glycemic_indexThis diet is largely based on the Glycemic Index approach because its purpose is to weed out the sugary foods and replace them with foods belonging to a lower Glycemic Index that release their sugar content slowly into the bloodstream and do not trigger the rush. The basic idea is to identify hidden sugar in the foods you eat. Many people don’t know that it’s not just sweets or soft drinks that contain sugar, but also a lot of sauces, dips, yogurts and ready-to-eat foods have enough sugar in them to cause the mood swings.

sugar_addictionIt’s pretty easy to figure that this diet is more of a lifestyle choice than a proper diet. Of course you will lose weight by avoiding the foods rich in sugar, but we cannot be sure if this is the best way to go for a committed user. If you want to lose a certain number of pounds in a certain number of weeks, then you’re probably better off choosing another eating plan because nobody knows how fast you can lose weight under this one. Still, as a long-term maintenance solution, this eating plan is a good idea, especially for those who are used to eating a lot of sweets and are afraid that all those lost pounds will come back.

The Suddenly Slim Diet

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

Woman measuring perfect shape of beautiful thigh.Most people think of diet pills and starvation diets as dependable ways of fast weight loss. However, these methods are not advisable; they cause many harmful side effects. You need to lose weight safely, effectively and with no side effects.  The Suddenly Slim diet plan offers a fast weight loss. It is a natural cure for weight loss.

It uses herbal products as meal replacement shakes, supplements and diet pills which suppress appetite, increase energy level and metabolism rate and also detoxify the body. This results in burning of excess calories and loss of weight.

increased_fat_burningOne of the techniques used in this plan is called calorie shifting. You eat in a constantly changing routine so that the body cannot adjust to a routine; this way the body metabolism is increased and results in increased fat burning and eventually reduction in weight. For ten days the dieter takes diet pills and drinks meal replacement shakes. The shakes reduce hunger but provide the body necessary important nutrients.  To promote health and weight loss, the diet pills and supplements contain soy protein, caffeine, green tea, etc.

high-blood-pressureThere are certain conditions under which this plan is not advisable. This plan will not suit diabetics and those with high blood pressure; a fairly large amount of fructose in the meal replacement shakes may be unhealthy for diabetics and the caffeine may have bad effect on high blood pressure patients. It is advisable for the dieter to seek medical practitioner’s advice before embarking on this diet plan.

light_cardio_exercisesOf course, while on Suddenly Slim Diet, keep off the junk food and untimely snacks also. And exercises are essential even when on the suddenly slim diet. Especially light cardio exercises for about 30 minutes a day for at least three times a week can help you keep up the metabolism and help your weight loss routines.

waterwaterAnd drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water; apart from helping the body functions water helps you keep away from food cravings by suppressing appetite.

regained_the_weightMany dieters who have used this diet plan have experienced that they lost weight in the plan period but when the plan ended they regained the weight. To achieve a lasting weight loss it does require commitment to healthy eating habits and regular exercising which takes you to natural weight loss.

It is difficult to achieve a lasting effect of weight loss in a short period of ten days. That is why many consider the suddenly slim diet plan as a fad.  

The South Beach Diet

Friday, August 14th, 2015

South_Beach_Diet2The South Beach Diet is one of the odd fishes swimming in the treacherous waters of the international weight loss industry. Many people love it and are perfectly willing to swear by the good name of M.D. Arthur Agatston, while others find it hard to stick to the obligatory induction phase. The South Beach Diet belongs to the low-carbohydrates group of diets and has been derided as a fad diet, although its fans claim that it is not a fad diet and that it is, in any case, much more responsible and healthy than Atkins. Then again, not many diets manage to be less healthy than Atkins.

DietersDieters who choose the South Beach Diet can expect to see their food intake restricted to lean meat, seafood, eggs, low fat dairy products, nuts, vegetables (most of them, anyway), artificial sweeteners and a couple of carbohydrates of the low glycemic variety. During the first phase of this diet, the shock phase, most fruit and vegetables are still on the banned list, just like the rest of carbohydrates. Unfortunately, some people find it hard to cope with the low energy level, the fatigue and sometimes nausea that accompany this phase. However, it should be noted that not all dieters experience these symptoms. It’s all in our genetic make-up.

pasta-bread-potatoes-rice-cerealThe bets part of this diet is the focus on removing simple carbohydrates (sweets, pasta, bread) from the diet and replacing them with the healthier complex carbohydrates from wholegrains and vegetables. The worst part is the marketing jargon that makes it sound like a fad diet and the tough first phase of the diet, which sacrifices the long-term healthy eating approach for an instant gratification technique based on the catch-all slogan “lose weight fast”. Any such approach will have the dieter lose a lot of water and not that much fat.

South_Beach_foodsOn the other hand, the second phase of the diet is a bunch of quite sensible eating advice and the recipes provided by the author are very good. There are also pre-packaged South Beach foods for those who lack the time or the inclination to cook for themselves. All things considered, the South Beach Diet is not a bad idea if one could clear away the hype and marketing lingo and focus on the healthy eating part and the good food choices. This information is something that should stay with you through the years if you’re looking to keep that weight from returning. 

The No Carbs after 5PM Diet

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

No_Carbs_after_5PM_DietCarbohydrates seem to be one of the banes of our existence. Sure they take away the nasty feeling of hunger that makes us reach out for foods that we should not eat, but they’re still on the list of most wanted culprits in many cases of big bellies and fat thighs. Small wonder that many diets focus directly on cutting off the access to carbohydrates. These are called low-carbs diets and are among the most successful diets around when the principle is applied correctly. So let’s discuss another low-carbs diet and how good is it for your health.

No_CarbsThe “No Carbs after 5 PM” diet, also known as the Carbs Curfew diet among the aficionados, is based on the idea that you don’t have to try all that hard to lose weight. Simply cutting off all carbohydrates after 5 PM is supposed to be enough for weight loss purposes. Not eating any carbohydrates after 5 PM serves to lower the overall intake of calories for the day, while eating more protein than usual helps make you feel full in a healthy way. this is a simple eating plan that can be understood by anybody in no time. No complex formulae here.

Carb_Curfew_Meal_every_dayThe eating plan is spread across 28 days and lets the user exercise his or her choices regarding the breakfast, lunch and Carb Curfew Meal every day. Snacks are restricted to fruits and vegetables and there’s one mandatory pint (that’s about half a liter) of skimmed or semi-skimmed milk to be had every day. The eating plan comes with an exercise plan designed to help the weight loss process with long walks and exercising of the abdominal muscles. There are a lot of food recipes to choose from, which makes it all the easier to stick to the program.

Get-Started-on-a-Low-Carb-Diet-Step-9This diet has nice potential. People who have trouble sticking to harsher low-carbs diets will appreciate the fact that the breakfast and lunch can be as rich in carbs as the users like. Not to mention that they don’t have to spend time counting every last unit of carbs or proteins, they don’t have to bother with blood sugar levels, glycemic index values or circadian rhythms. As long as you can remember that carbs are not allowed after 5 PM, you’re bound to succeed. On the negative side, however, it doesn’t take a lot of dieting experience to see that this diet may be slower than others. Also there is no minimum weight lost promise, so be careful when setting your target weight. 

The Many Benefits of Weight Lifting

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

weight lifting pregoMost people, especially women, discard weight lifting as a good form of exercise because they think that weight lifting will actually make their bodies look like a man.  If you are one of those people, then you might be surprised to know that this is not true.  The hormones of man and woman are not the same.  The hormone testosterone plays a major role in muscular development. Because women have very little of this hormone, they tend not to “bulk-up” with weight training.   

Weight LiftingResearches also demonstrate that resistance exercise, also called strength training, like weight training and weight lifting, has profound effects on the musculoskeletal system, contributes to the maintenance of functional abilities, and prevents osteoporosis, sarcopenia (loss of body mass), lower-back pain, and other disabilities. 

weight-lifting-for-women-115Weight lifting also contributes to muscle conditioning.  Muscle conditioning is important for the overall stability and strength of the body. It is beneficial until the end of life if well maintained.  Muscle conditioning is good for the bones because bones grow stronger and denser with stresses put on the muscles around them.

Moreover, weight lifting makes the muscles, connective tissues and tendons stronger.

weight-lifting-for-womenThe way you sit and stand are influenced by the health of a network of neck, shoulder, back, hip and abdominal muscles.  Stronger muscles can help you stand and sit straighter and more comfortably.  You may notice improved balance and stability.

weight-lifting-routines-for-womenAs you begin to notice the positive physical changes in your body and develop a regular exercise routine, your ability to handle stress effectively will improve. Weight training allows you to sleep better, i.e., fall asleep quicker and sleep deeper.  Clinical studies have shown regular exercise to be one of the three best tools for effective stress management.

Weight lifting, like most forms of exercise also raises metabolism thus causing the body to burn more calories.  This helps in the maintenance of our desirable weight. Boosted metabolism (which means burning more calories when at rest) with reduced body fat.  Your overall weight may not change, but you will gain muscle and lose fat. Over time you should notice decreases in waist measurements and body fat measurement. 

weight-liftingRemember the adage “something is better than nothing.”  Start improving your health.  A little start like lifting those grocery bags and rocking your baby to sleep may mean a decrease on your risk of muscle loss on later years.

Consult with your doctor if you want to make weight lifting a daily part of your fitness regimen. 

The Mayo Clinic Diet

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

new_mayo_clinic_diet_food_pyramidWelcome to the Mayo Clinic Diet that doesn’t come from the Mayo Clinic. This diet is a strange idea that has been floating around for a long time, despite the fact that it is not endorsed by the Mayo Clinic. Once again dieters are face to face with the misleading idea that somehow grapefruit burns fat, which leaves the dieter free to indulge in high fat food like ham and eggs for breakfast and meat, vegetables and salad dressing for lunch and dinner. This is not a diet, but a dream come true! Or, at least, it would be a dream if it actually worked.

vegetableRight from the start this diet sounds too good to be true. Any kind of meat and any amount of it at every lunch and dinner? With any amount of vegetables? And salad dressing on top? So where does the weight loss part come in? This must be every fast food lover’s dream. Unfortunately, half of grapefruit and half a glass of grapefruit juice cannot burn away fat in any circumstances, much less when the dieter is busy feasting on meat and vegetables. While it’s true that this diet bans complex carbohydrates in order to help weight loss it is worth remembering that these complex carbs are the main energy source for the body.

shutterstock_45057124Even if the idea that grapefruit burns fat just like that was proved correct, this diet is still too unbalanced to be a sound long-term eating plan. Fried foods and fat foods are associated with increased risks of heart diseases and cancer, which is not a good trade off for lower body weight. Eating large portions of food on a regular basis is also not a very good idea and it certainly does not square with a strict diet.

food-sandwichBasically, this seems to be one of those diets that count on using the names of famous institutions or famous people in order to push silly ideas. What’s worse is that some people are desperate enough to actually believe in this type of eating plan, especially since they are attracted to the idea of a diet rich in meat. This diet is unbalanced from the nutritional point of view and encourages overeating. Avoid it and choose a better eating plan instead; one that doesn’t sound as good, but which will help you lose weight.