Archive for April, 2016

Low-Carb High Protein Diets

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

 

image001This type of diet became very popular as of recently due to the promotion of the ever-popular Atkins Diet Craze. This diet is very popular because there is no calorie counting involved, and many foods that many people love to eat are allowed on the diet. Further, the Atkins diet is a high-protein diet, which means that weight lost during this diet will not result in lost muscle mass, since protein is the main nutrient needed for maintaining healthy muscle tone. This diet basically eliminates carbohydrates, which are simple sugars or foods that break down into simple sugars. These serve as empty calories in your diet, providing no nutrients yet many calories.

daily intake_HP_HGI_day1While we wonŐt cover the Atkins diet here, we can give you basics of the high-protein, low-carb diet. First let us identify carbohydrates. Sugar, including powdered sugar, granulated white sugar, brown sugar, or any type of sugar you can think of, is the main carbohydrate that you would need to eliminate. All types of pastas count as carbohydrates, meaning all noodle and spaghetti products must be eliminated. Starches of any type, such as white rice, potatoes and potato chips, need to be eliminated. Cereals are mostly carbohydrates and should be avoided entirely during the diet phase. Because of the low-carb craze, there are many low-carb options of sodas, milk, ice cream, bread, beer, and wine available in the average supermarket. If you do consume these, be sure to do so only occasionally and in moderation, even if it is a low-carb type. Otherwise, the aforementioned foods should be eliminated entirely when not of the low-carb type. Beware of foods that contain hidden sugars, like bacon, barbeque sauce, ketchup, salad dressing, cough syrup, and fruit juice. As strange as it may seem, fruits and fruit juices should be eliminated while in the weight loss phase of this diet, as they are nearly pure carbohydrates. Anything made with flour needs to be eliminated during the weight loss phase, since as mentioned earlier they are high in carbohydrates.

Protein-DietNow what can you eat? Well, the good news is that you can eat all meats, fish, poultry and seafood, except prepared meats like bacon and honey baked ham, which are high in sugar. Skip the bread and have meat and salad, or meat in your salad. Eggs are very low-carb friendly, but be sure to skip the mayonnaise or salad dressing unless it is low-carb type mayonnaise or dressing. Any type of vegetable is fine, but be sure to realize that when making that salad that tomatoes are actually a fruit, and you want to limit your consumption of them at least during the weight loss phase. Choose brown rice as your starch replacement, as it is low in carbohydrates comparatively to potatoes, bread or white rice. Cheese is good in limited amounts, as this is a high-protein, low-carb food. Butter and cream can be used, but should be consumed in limited amounts. One complex carbohydrate that is good is fiber, as it does not break down into simple sugar, and helps the body with elimination. Further, fiber fills you up quickly without adding significant calories, so hunger pangs are fought off successfully.

Finally, make sure you are drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day minimum in addition to any other liquid you may consume. Dehydration often masquerades as hunger and causes overeating. Of course, again exercise is a necessary and vital part of your diet plan, which we will cover in the next section on exercise.

Once you lose the weight that you set out to lose, the weight loss phase of your diet is over. Of course keep in mind that you are making lifestyle changes, not going on fad or binge diets. This means that you will not go back to your old eating habits. Instead you will introduce certain foods back into your diet in moderation. For example, you may add a couple of strips of bacon once a week to your meal plan. You can enjoy small portions of deserts of any kind, simply in moderation. It is best to avoid soft drinks all together, or opt for the low-carb type permanently. If you do introduce any other carbohydrate-laden foods, be sure to do so only at one meal, and in small portions. Reducing carbohydrates will become a lifestyle to you when following this plan, one is very likely to boost your overall energy level and help you keep the weight off.

Frequently Asked Questions About Weight Loss And Diets

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

 

If you’re on a diet, or considering going on one, you’re in luck. We’ve put together ten of the most frequently asked questions about diets and weight loss and compiled them here. Enjoy!

1. How much should I weigh?
am-5-feet-tall-much-should-weigh_6bee591d67fbcae9Your doctor can answer that question most accurately. More important than how much you weigh is your body/mass index, which measures your height against your weight.

2. What’s the best diet for losing weight?
Any diet that provides all the nutrition that you need for health, and in addition, provides fewer calories than your body burns regularly.

3. How can I keep off the weight that I lose?
If you lose weight gradually and re-educate both yourself and your body about food, you’ll have a good start. The secret to keeping weight off is to balance your energy needs with your food intake. Eat enough calories to supply your body’s energy needs, but not so many that your body stores the excess as fat.

4. What’s the story with obesity and diabetes?
Obesity increases the risks of a number of chronic health conditions, and diabetes is one of them. People who are more than ten percent overweight increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes substantially.

5. How do I decrease my intake of sugar?
130lbs_sugarObviously, you can decrease your intake of sugar by cutting out sweets and refined snacks, but you should also watch out for ‘hidden’ sugars. Check ingredients. High fructose corn syrup and sucrose are both simple sugars that add lots of calories and little nutrition.

6. How often should I weigh myself?
Most diet experts recommend that you weigh yourself no more than once a week. Some go so far as to tell you to throw out the scale entirely! A more accurate measure of your loss is your clothing size. If your clothing is feeling looser, you’re doing great.

7. Do I really have to exercise?
pzh4mxdw-1449546257You don’t HAVE to, but it will be a lot harder to lose weight if you don’t. A half hour of moderate exercise daily is the minimum activity level for healthy weight loss. You can get it walking, running, cleaning your house – anything active burns calories.

8. What’s a calorie?
A calorie is a measure of energy. Foods are rated with calories based on the amount of energy they provide to the body when consumed.

9. Can I lose weight without changing my diet?
Weight loss results when you burn more calories than you consume. If you only need to lose a small amount of weight and your diet is generally healthy, you can lose weight by increasing your activity level to burn more calories. If your diet is poor, or if you’re more than a few pounds overweight, you really need to learn a new, more healthy way or eating, or you’ll put the weight back on when you go back to ‘normal’ eating.

10. Should I eat fish on my diet?
Unless it’s expressly forbidden by your diet, absolutely. Fish is high protein, low saturated fat, and high in omega 3 fatty acids. Some doctors recommend eating as much as 10 servings of fish per week.

Does Hoodia, the African weight loss secret actually work?

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

 

Hoodia-Gordonii-Appetite-SuppressorAstounding as some dieters say the new Hoodia weight loss supplement is, other dieters say it’s a fake and doesn’t work at all. If you’re not familiar with Hoodia Gordonii, it’s the new fad in dieting products. It comes from a cactus type plant in South Africa and has been eaten there for thousands of years by the aboriginal natives. The San Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert eat the Hoodia succulent plant by picking off a piece before a hunting trip or period of time they know they won’t have much food to eat. By ingesting the piece of Hoodia they know that they will not be hungry for the entire day. This of course is very helpful when you are living in the desert and the availability of food is very scarce.

So what about if your living in middle America and are looking for something to help you curb your cravings and keep of the pounds, will Hoodia do the trick? It depends on who you ask, some dieters say it is the magic pill and will help you lose the weight with no side effects. Other people will say, “I tried it and it did absolutely nothing for me”. How can this be the case you might ask, one person swears to it and one swears at it. It’s actually no mystery at all if you know what is happening in the industry. Hoodia has gained huge popularity due to increased media exposure; so far since last November Hoodia has been on CBS 60 minutes, the BBC, CBS News, Oprah Winfrey’s “O” Magazine, ABC News and most recently it was featured on the NBC Today Show with Katie Couric. Because of this news coverage the demand for Hoodia has greatly increased and along with this, the amount of companies providing fake or impure Hoodia has also greatly increased.

hoodiap57_300x250If I can stress only one thing in this Hoodia article, it would be to know what is in the Hoodia you are buying. When it comes to buying Hoodia, you have to be an informed buyer; you can’t just buy the first Hoodia Pills you see. And unlike other supplements you buy at your nutritional store, in the case of Hoodia, you can’t trust brick and mortar stores anymore than you can an online company. There is no regulation when it comes to Hoodia pills; there is no testing process or certification that a Hoodia brand has to go through. Because of this anybody can start a new Hoodia brand, put whatever they want in a pill and call it Hoodia and sell it. Many companies are doing just this, making lots of profit and leaving you the dieter with a bogus product, the dieter then tells others, “hey, this Hoodia stuff is no good”.

Natural Health Report has published a study done by Truth Publishing and Alkemist Pharmaceuticals located at: naturalhealthreport.com/A-Hoodia-Gordonii-exposed.html, the study findings state that eleven out of seventeen brand-name Hoodia supplements tested failed a laboratory analysis of authenticity. Unfortunately in the study they don’t say which brands failed but they do say which brands passed.

The following brands passed the independent testing:

Desert Burn

Hoodoba Pure

Dr. Wheeler’s Afrigetics

King Hoodia

Hoodia Max

Ethno Africa

Eleven out of seventeen brand names failed to be authentic, to me that is an amazing statistic and says a lot about the industry. Looking at those statistics we can now see why some dieters are saying Hoodia is wonderful and helps you lose weight and others are calling it a scam. The truth is there is both authentic pure Hoodia and bogus fake Hoodia available and what you get will determine how you feel about it.

This information should not necessarily stop you from buying Hoodia, as there are many reports of Hoodia decreasing you appetite by up to 1,000 calories a day and many people trying to lose weight swear by its results. Like we have stated before you just need to be very cautious and be able to identify pure Hoodia from ineffective and impure Hoodia. So how can you identify which Hoodia brand is best?

Here are some things the consumer should look for:

Certification – the company should provide a visual documentation on their website that the Hoodia they are selling is authentic Hoodia Gordonii from South Africa.

Independent Testing – some of the top companies selling Hoodia are now submitting their product for independent testing to assure the customer their Hoodia is authentic and set them apart from the competition. If the brand has been tested you will again most likely be able to see visual documentation on their website.

You should be know if the product is a pure hoodia powder or in extract form. There is a lot of information on the internet as to which is better and you should be informed on which kind you want to buy.

Know what all the ingredients in the pill are – many companies will increase the total milligrams of a Hoodia pill by adding other ingredients to it, so in a 750 mg. pill you might only get 50 mg. of Hoodia. Also know if those other ingredients are something you want to be taking.

Brand Reputation – the longer Hoodia is around the more people are talking about which brand is working for them. Do some internet searches on the brand you are thinking of trying and see if you find that lots of people are having problems with that brand. You have to take general public comments with a grain of salt though because many company owners have people spreading bad publicity about their competition.

Common Sense – overall use your common sense about your purchase. Does the company not disclose much information? Do they have easy way to contact them? Do they have any type of guarantee? Also, especially when it comes to Hoodia on eBay, does the label of the product look like it was printed on a home inkjet printer? Also be wary of deep discounted Hoodia, there may be a reason it’s so cheap.

In closing, when it comes to Hoodia the consumer will need to stay cautious for awhile, the situation may get worse before it gets better. Demand for Hoodia is growing, supply is decreasing and the wholesale cost is increasing. What does this formula equal? It equals bad news for the dieter who wants to get some authentic Hoodia; there will be a lot of fake Hoodia out there. Give Hoodia a try, just do your homework first, be an informed, educated buyer and you may find that you truly have found a product to help you shed those extra pounds with no side effects. 

How To Avoid Those Holiday Pounds!

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

 

Screen-Shot-2015-07-14-at-2.33.40-PM-600x600If you believe the old stories about much weight people put on during the holidays, you’re right—partially. In a recent study conducted by The National Institute of Health, the researchers discovered that, in reality, most people tend to only put on just slightly under one pound. But a person who is already overweight will average a whopping five pounds extra after the last horns have been blown.

But it’s not all good news for even those who put on the minimum because the study also shows that we all tend to keep the pounds put on. In other words, over ten years, those not-so-much pounds, could lead someone to being overweight.

So, what can we do in order to keep those extra pounds off? After all, our homes are usually filled with holiday pies, cakes and other goodies, and they can be pretty tempting—even for the most faithful of dieters!

Here’s a few tips to get you through the holidays.

Just A Nibble!

mexilasagnaHave you ever noticed that when you start eating a rich dessert it tastes so good, but by the last bite, you’ve had enough? One way to keep the pounds down is just to enjoy a few bites that delicious cheesecake or chocolate fudge brownie. No one says that you have to completely deprive yourself of holiday treats—just limit how much you eat!

Enjoy the Company, Not The Brownies!

PBJBrownies3Many people think of holiday parties in terms of the foods that they’ll get to eat (or have to avoid) instead of the real reason for the celebration—the company and conversation. If you keep yourself busy chatting with friends, you’ll be less likely to invade the snack table.

Go Full

You’ve likely heard the grocery store trick; don’t go shopping when you’re hungry because you’ll only end up buying more. Well, the same can work for holiday parties! Eat a lot of raw vegetables, and other healthy foods that will stick with you during the party and you’ll be less tempted to binge on the bad stuff.

Drink Water

Slim young woman drinking water after training

If you were to add up the calories that you’ve probably consumed in sodas, fruit punches and alcoholic beverages at parties, you would likely be amazed. You can gulp down hundreds of calories without even realizing it if you’re not careful! Instead of one of these high-calorie drinks, make it a habit to drink water—which in itself will help flush out extra water weight.

Create An Eating Schedule

It wouldn’t be fun—or realistic—to try and get through an entire party without at least sampling some of the treats. But instead of heading instantly to the food table and loading your plate—and then suffering the rest of the party because you want more—try spacing out your snacks for the entire time of the party. Plan on taking a nibble of something about every thirty minutes. Not only will it help you eat less, it will be a fun game that you can play with yourself!

Most importantly, remember that the holidays are meant for enjoyment. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and if you make a mistake, talk an extra long walk to work off those extra calories instead of beating yourself up over it!

Five Common Diet Tips That Really Work – And Why

Friday, April 1st, 2016

 

main shutterstock_67484833Losing weight is a national preoccupation. I challenge anyone to turn on the television or radio, surf online or open a magazine without finding an advertisement for a weight loss product or an endorsement for a new diet or eating plan. Everyone wants to be healthy and look their best, and for possibly the first time in the last half century, those two things happen to coincide. The current ideal of beauty is far closer to what’s attainable by a ‘real’ person than it has been in decades. Thanks to the recent popularity of actresses and singers who aren’t rail thin, coat hangers are out and healthy muscles and curves are in.

If you’ve been working toward that comfortable ideal body weight, chances are that you’ve read the same diet and weight loss tips time and time again. In some cases, it’s because someone said it and it got repeated endlessly. In others, though, it’s because the tip really works. Here are five of the most common diet tips that really work – and why.

drink-8-glasses-of-water-dailyTip #1:Drink a full eight ounce glass of water 20 minutes before each
meal. It’s only partly because you trick your body into thinking that it’s full. The real trick is in giving your body all the water that it needs. The usual recommendation is at least an 8 oz glasses of water a day. That’s WATER – not soft drinks, not coffee. Just pure water. Your body needs water to maintain all its systems and to flush wastes away. When you don’t take in enough water, it starts trying to conserve it by retaining water in muscle and fat tissues. Water your body as faithfully as you would a plant, and you’ll find that it starts ridding itself of excess water regularly as well. Is it just water weight? Well, yes. But that water weight is weight you don’t have to carry around with you as long as you’re taking in enough water for your body’s needs.

easy-ways-to-eat-your-fruits-1600x700Tip #2:Eat your fruits and veggies raw. Aside from the fact that raw fruits and vegetables pack more nutrition per calorie, in many cases you’re actually getting LESS calories when you eat your produce raw. Especially if you generally opt for canned fruits or vegetables, there are added preservatives and flavorings that can increase calories substantially. But there’s another reason as well: your body works harder to digest raw fruits and vegetables, and that means that it uses more calories in getting all the nutrients out of it. Your body NEEDS the extra roughage present in fruit and vegetables that haven’t been cooked and processed to keep it working right.

Balanced-DietTip #3:Eat a balanced diet. It’s obviously more healthy, but will it help you lose weight? The answer is yes, and here’s why. When your body lacks ANY nutrient in its daily intake, it tries to make up the difference by substituting other nutrients. The result can be false messages that you’re hungry, when what your body really craves is enough of ONE particular nutrient. Eating a balanced diet provides all the nutrients your body needs in the proper proportions so that it isn’t telling you it’s starving.

Exercise-007Tip #4:Half an hour of moderate exercise five times a week. Your body uses the food it eats to produce energy for your daily activities. The more energy you use, the more of your food your body will use to fuel it. When you eat fewer calories than your body needs, it will turn to stored reserves to keep it going. Adding one half hour of moderate exercise to your daily routine five times a week increases your body’s consumption of energy. But there’s more. Your body is using up calories even when you’re not exercising just to maintain circulation and health in its tissues. It uses up more calories maintaining muscles than fat. As you exercise, your body is converting fat to muscle — resulting in a higher metabolic rate as it increases its activity to keep your muscles in tone.

Tip #5:Snack between meals. Our bodies were never designed for the 3-times-a-day eating schedule we’ve adopted. They work round the clock, and need energy all the time. Rather than eating all your calories in three sittings, spread them out over 5 or 6. The trick is to eat smaller meals – not add more food. You’ll keep your digestive system busy, and your body at full energy all day long.