Browsing: Weight Loss

Weight Loss Versus Weight Gain

In the last few weeks my sudden heart attack sent me into the cardiology ward of the local hospital. Although thinking my body was generally healthy and because I did not take in sugar or salt I was somewhat amazed at the food served in the ward. Much of what I had excluded from my diet was presented to me on the tray for lunch and dinner over the course of the first day.

Not only was sugar and salt included in the meals but it was there in abundance. Observing other patients in the ward the most obvious condition was overweight. The question we all face is how to get rid of it?

While my legs, arms and upper body are reliably fat free my mid spare tire and obvious deep fat around essential organs has seemed impossible to shift. After 2 years at the gym and a careful diet of less meat and more fish has not seen any change.

So what am I doing wrong? What steps do I need to take to achieve weight loss when it is all about weight gained? The latter has piled on over the years of changed life-style and and more sedentary behavior. The next question is how does this affect my heart?

An angiogram performed prior to discharge showed no blood clot or blockage was responsible for the attack. So what was it?

A recent CT angiogram showed a narrow blood vessel was the likely cause and the prognosis for another attack is rather grim. The doctor informed me that I will probably need a stint to open the vessel and prevent that from happening.

There remains the question of how to get rid of the fat that is causing my waistline to be so extended. I do not drink alcohol or smoke. Nor do I snack on 'goodies' from the takeaway counters or supermarkets. My only indulgence is raw almonds to which I seem more addicted than ever.

If one is doing all the right things and still at risk of a heart attack or diabetes there must be a more direct and easier way of achieving weight loss. Unfortunately, I have not found a solution to this ongoing problem.

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10 Useful Running Tips for Effective Weight Loss

Running is a great exercise for the mind and body. It is a great way to improve fitness and give your mood a boost. I personally enjoy my time out running because I can always feel my mind being unclogged and liberated from everything going on around me. It improves the health of the heart, it reduces the risk of many illnesses including stroke, heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.

Running is especially good for weight management or weight loss. Let's assume you burn 300 calories from a 30 minutes running session, if you run at least 5 times in a week, that's an easy 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week (which comes highly recommended by the American Heart Association). That sounds like a lot of benefits from just running a few miles early in the morning.

As simple as running can be, as beneficial it is to the body and mind, especially for weight loss, there is a correct way of doing it (that means there are also wrong ways of doing it, wow). The purpose of this article however is to help you understand some important thing you need to know and do for you to do it right.

1. GET THE RIGHT PAIR OF SHOES

If you intend to take up running as a serious exercise for your weight loss, the first thing you should do is to get the right pair of shoes for running. You should not just do it in your regular loafers or walking shoes. running requires special shoes, these shoes were made to ensure your safety while running. They help to cushion your body against the shock of the pounding motion when your feet hit the ground. Running with the right pair of shoes will make you comfortable and can make you go further than you would in less comfortable shoes.

2. GET A NEW PAIR OF SHOES EVERY 300-400 MILES

Once you have gotten the right pair of shoes for your run, you need to check them for wear and tear regularly. It is recommended (by The American Council on Exercise) that you replace your running shoes when you reach the 300-400 miles' milestone. This stone can be reached in as early as 3 months and as late as 5 months depending on the number of miles you run weekly (20 miles or more). If you're on the heavier side, you should replace them every 300 miles to ensure your safety and comfort when you're running. Remember, they may still look good but that does not mean they have not worn down on the inside.

3. WARM UP BEFORE YOU RUN

Warming up before you run is good for your body, it helps to reduce the chances of you getting injured during your run. You can start out with a slow jog and then some stretching exercise that work your leg muscles, buttocks and your back (since you'll use them during your run). Getting a good warm up before the run will help you to stay energized and make your muscles more pliable due to the boost in your body temperature and blood circulation.

4. GET INTO THE RIGHT RUNNING POSTURE

There is a correct way to run and getting it right will boost the benefits your body will get from engaging in it. It is important that you look ahead while you run, leaving your body forward a little, this will improve your body balance and ensure that your weight is on the midsection of your foot rather than the front or heels. If you hear heavy thuds when you run, it means your weight is on the wrong part of your foot. Your arms should be relaxed, bent at a 90-degree angle, this will give your body a push forward when you run. Ensure that you maintain regular rhythmic and deep breaths when you run, this will ensure that you do not run out of breath and get tired easily. These tips should be kept in mind to get the correct running posture.

5. COOL DOWN AND STRETCH AFTER THE RUN

Reaching your goal distance can be exciting and fulfilling but ensure that you do not skip the next phase of your exercise which is just as important as the run. Make sure that you do some cool-down stretches after your run. It is important that you stretch out your thighs, hamstring, calf, buttock, lower back and hip muscles properly, hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds.

6. DO OTHER EXERCISES ON DAYS YOU DO NOT RUN

Remember to train your body with exercises that boost your endurance, stamina and strength. These other exercise routines will improve your running capacity and build up your overall fitness. Incorporate sessions of muscle strengthening workouts into your exercise schedule on days you do not run.

7. EAT HEALTHY FOODS

It is important to also eat healthy food before and after you run. What you eat is equally as important as your running exercise. The aim is that you eat healthy food that can meet your strength and energy requirements without weighing you down every day. Before you run, eat foods that are easy to digest, it is also recommended that you include a little protein in such foods, this will keep you feeling full and help to repair your muscles after you run.

8. STAY HYDRATED

You lose a lot of water in form of sweat when you run, so you need to drink enough water to compensate for the water loss and stay hydrated. The adequate amount of water to drink varies from person to person, but the universal standard is 2.7 to 3.7 liters daily. However, the amount of water you should drink daily depends primarily on your activity levels, lifestyle, body type, weight and other factors. Take a sip of water regularly through the day and drink up when you're thirsty. You can also take some juice and smoothies to diversify.

9. DO NOT OVERTRAIN AND GET YOURSELF INJURED

It is very IMPORTANT that you do not push yourself to run too much too soon. According to some studies, approximately 65 percent of runners have an injury related to running every year, so, you need to be extra careful that you do not put too much load on your body than it can handle. Start small and build up your strength and stamina so you can run a little further every few days. You can do this by setting easy distances for yourself and extend them regularly as your stamina increases. Once you reach your body limit, ensure that you stop so that you do not end up injured or do worse damage to your body.

10. JOIN A RUNNERS 'GROUP

Personally, I am lazy when it comes to running alone, I always need some motivation to really run my targeted distances. So I found a runners' group in my area and I was able to cover more distance and in less time too. I recommend that you do the same. Find a runners' group in your neighborhood, such group will act as a support group for you and will help you to stay motivated when you run, you will also find it to be a good social experience.

With these helpful tips, you should find it easier to get more positive results from your weight loss activities. Remember, Rome was not built in a day, so take it slow with your running routine, eat healthy, stay hydrated and equip yourself with more useful information about how to lose weight by following our blog and checking back here regularly.

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Mindful Eating Tips For Weight Loss

Tricking the mind to lose weight is very much important, as it helps you control over your eating habits. Thus, mindful eating is a must that does miracles and helps you get the results of your efforts. Yes, change in your eating habits may do wonders and help you lose healthy weight in a very short span. If you want to know about some tips, take a look at the following ways to do so.

  • Eat When You Are Hungry: There is a difference between hunger or craving and you need to understand it, to eat the necessary percentage for your body, not more than that. Make sure you have your meal when you are actually hungry and not when you are simply craving, as it may slow your metabolism and zero your efforts of weight loss.
  • Leave The Technology Aside: Nowadays, we all are obsessed with technology like television, phones or laptops, which trick our mind and we end up having more than what our body requires. All these gadgets will distract the mind and never let it get the signal that you are full, and at last you devour more calories than usual, which increases your weight. Therefore, keep them away and focus on your food to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Watch Out Your Portions: To trick your mind, it is compulsory to pay attention to the portion you are having. So, it is recommended to use small plates, as it tricks your mind that you have had enough of your meal and now you are full. It sounds silly, but proved to be very effective and result-oriented. So, make sure, the very next you keep this in mind that you need to eat, how much you need, not how much you think you should.
  • Do not Be Stuffed: Instead of having three large meals, it's good to break it into six portions; it'll trick your mind and boost up your metabolism as well, which further help you drop some extra pounds. Also, it prevails you from overstuffing that could have the reason of your day by day weight gain.

These are some of the common ways you can trick your mind to eat mindfully. These tips may help you achieve your weight loss goals in no time. Always remember skipping a meal is not necessary to lose weight, but eating mindfully is, so, you should adopt such habits to lose weight in a healthy way.

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Alcohol Consumption After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Post bariatric surgery, have you too observed that alcohol affects you differently? While you were comfortable with having 2-3 pegs of your favorite Scotch before you went under the knife, now, even one peg make you feel the same as 2-3?
You can take a moment to find some solace in the fact that you are not the only one to feel so!

A survey found that nearly 90 per cent of patients who underwent either gastric bypass or gastric sleeve now find themselves more sensitive to alcohol. They, just like you, are able to feel the effects of alcohol after taking a few sips. Many also claimed that they lose muscle coordination after one or two drinks, and are not able to regain balance even after two-three hours.

If you think there is something wrong with bariatric surgery, let us assure you that it is only a myth. It is important to understand that the body undergoes many changes post bariatric surgery and in the end it all comes down to how the body absorbs alcohol and metabolizes it in a bariatric patient.

When you drink alcohol, or any alcoholic beverage with a normal gut anatomy, it first enters the stomach and gets metabolized through the process called gastric alcohol metabolism where the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase works its magic. However, gender, age, medications, etc., can affect the blood alcohol levels and its effects here. Alcohol absorption is also dependent on the rate at which alcohol empties into the intestines. Another factor that affects the whole process is food. Having food in the stomach slows down the gastric emptying, and eventually reduces the rate of alcohol absorption by the intestines. Conversely, an empty stomach gains absorption and also increases the risk for inoxication.

Almost 95 percent of the stomach is bypassed in patients who undergo gastric bypass, and this includes the pylorus. In such a condition, the alcohol directly passes from the stomach into the intestines, where it is rapidly absorbed by the intestines due to their larger surface area. Add to this the postoperative rule of not eating while drinking, and you can imagine the rate at which alcohol is absorbed in bariatric patients.

Moreover, liver too plays a role in metabolizing the alcohol entering the body. But, conditions relatively common among individuals with morbid obesity, such as steatosis and fatty liver disease, make the alcohol metabolism a bit more difficult. Furthermore, bariatric patients follow a low carbohydrate diet which means that they have a low amount of glycogen. When alcohol enters the body, it further depletes the body of glycogen and also reduces glucose homeostasis. This puts the bariatric patient at a higher risk of hypoglycaemia.

Although all this may sound scary to you, however, you just consult a bariatric surgeon before you plan on drinking alcohol again. A thorough understanding and a few precautions can help you enjoy your drink without affecting your health.

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The Hidden Truth Regarding Cardio

In traditional civilizations such as ours, countries like the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia and other European nations, what is the initial thing that someone is thinking about or tells you as soon as the notification of losing weight gets mentioned? You must hit the treadmill machine, stationary bike or even the pavement to burn away those calories!

At first glance, this would make sense, correct? In fact, you are pulling off a great deal of work and you're breathing heavy and perspiring. Certainly jogging a few miles day after day has to be removing those undesirable pounds like mad, right? Would you be amazed to learn that this is in fact incorrect? No, I am not goofy. Allow me to lay it out for you. Yes, cardio exercise does burn the fat, that is factual. Yes, a little cardio is great for you. Light cardio produces a healthy heart while boosting your stamina.

On the flip-side, heavy cardio training essentially starts to have opposite effects. Before jumping into why, allow me to offer you a simple but logical illustration. Visualize the prehistoric individuals. These women and men are rushing around the Paleolithic planet running down deer, antelope, bison and even an occasional woolly mammoth. The majority of their dieting came from protein from animals and what non poisonous vegetation that they could scrounge up.

Well, if cardio exercise was so beneficial to weight loss, these individuals would likely starve to death while chasing down food sources. All that cardio would burn up their energy supplies sooner than they could even replenish them. However, they did not starve and perish, why?

For starters, a large amount of heavy cardio is very tough on your feet and knees. Secondly, it is also tough on the heart. Excessive cardio exercise essentially starts to add tissue scarring to your heart and boosts your rate of cardiac arrest. We did not know this for some time until numerous clinical tests were done on the matter.

Regarding removing excess weight, extreme cardio really delivers the opposite effect and this is how come. Human bodies are genetically built to stay alive. Our body's job would be to stock up energy as fuel for both its instantaneous use and then via fat when meals are limited. These days obviously, food is not actually hard to find which means this built in safety element is required. Neverheless, once you deny your system from the essential vitamins that it needs either by starving yourself with some wild diet or by over exercising your body through tons of cardio, it will start switching into survival mode.

Additionally and regretably with heavy cardio training the body also becomes anabolic. In other words it starts to burn the most efficient energy source first and that is your muscle and not fat. Have a good look at several of these chronic long-distance runners who compete. A good majority of them are very thin looking and have to pack on the carbohydrates simply to retain their muscular mass.

You need your body burning fat not muscle obviously. It is not exactly all about the calories like so many diet and so-called fitness gurus want to make you think. Calories are simply a way of calculating food energy. Yes, if you would like to slim down, you have to take in fewer calories than you eat. However there's a lot more to it than this. The most significant secret to losing weight is not running 5 miles each day, depriving yourself of food or even avoiding a few of your preferred carbohydrates. Matter of fact, if you are planning on losing weight correctly, it's really vital that you do eat a few of your favorite things!

I understand this sounds crazy but it is strictly factual and I can prove this to you! If you know how to utilize your body's natural solutions to your benefit then it's totally possible to shed 5, 10 or even 30 plus pounds without just one month without starving yourself, extreme cardio training, abs workouts and eating anything unpleasant! This is true and I could show you the science that verifies this!

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Is Dieting An Absolute Huge Waste Of Time?

Is dieting a waste of time?

The ultimate proverbial question most of us who have gone through a diet would have asked at least once.

The answer … yes … and no.

Conflicting? Confusing? Yes but distinguishable.

When is a diet not a waste of time?

Let us count the ways.

1. When It Enforces Good Eating Habits

I would bet my last dollar than a large percentage of us out there do not really think twice about what we put into out mouth or on our plate.

We would have some idea of ​​what's healthy or not but the amount of oil that's dripping off form the sides or from the mountainous serving of whip cream.

When I first really took into consideration what I was eating, it astounded me. How could I have been so ignorant over the years.

I began keeping a food log of whatever I ate and how much of it I ate. I then used a calorie app like myfitness pal to keep track of my daily intake.

What most of us would think twice consuming foods like bagel, white bread, Starbucks Frapps. However, such food stuff are just laden with unnecessary calories.

Even the occasional bite of chocolate through the day bumped up my total calorie intake by 10-20%.

What you need to do is first determine how many calories you need to consume on a daily basis to lose weight then start a food log.

You'll be amazed.

2. When It Stops You From Being A Couch Potato

There's a wise saying which goes “There's no smoke without fire”.

And I say “There's no successful diet without exercising”.

It's a known fact that you lose weight by eating less than required.

It's also a known fact that you are leaving 'money on the table' by not exercising during your diet.

Exercising is not only good for your health by keeping dangerous ailments in check but it also raises your metabolic rate a notch which helps you burn more calories at rest.

More calories burnt without having to starve yourself means less time on a diet.

When is dieting a waste of time?

1. You Are A Quitter

The lack of self discipline will kill off even the most effective of diets.

I do not care how motivated you are but there will be days that will just seem a lot tougher than yesterday.

Even worst, you lose control and pigged out on six slices of pizza in the fridge.

What will you do then? Quit?

Self discipline is like a muscle. When you fail, you pick yourself up and start again.

When you do not feel like working out, you still put on your gym clothes, gran your gym bag and head out the door.

Take control of that inner voice and the world is your oyster.

2. When There's No End Goal

Dieting just for the sake for dieting is a recipe for disaster.

Before you embark on a diet, you will need to ask yourself “Why?”

Do you want to drop 10 pounds? Get washboard abs? Have a waistline of 30 inches?

Once you have a goal in mind you can work backwards on how to achieve it.

This will give you a better idea of ​​your calorie intake, food planning, etc.

Have a final vision in your mind and work towards it.

Conclusion

As you can see, there's no clear-cut reason as to whether going on a diet is a waste of time.

On some levels, it can build character but it can also enforce bad habits.

Ultimately, it just boils down to one person.

The person you see when you look into the mirror.

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Weight Loss – Instant Fixes For Looking Slimmer

Want to look slimmer instantly? There are a few smart things you can do. While nothing is going to replace a healthy diet and exercise program for helping you get a leaner look you will love, there are steps you can take to help you soon appear to be five to ten pounds lighter. Here is what you should know …

1. Stand Up Taller. The best way to immediately look thinner is to stand up taller. By using good posture, you will help lift the rib cage which in turn will help to elevate your entire body, shrinking those love handles.

Take a good look at how you are currently standing right now. Are you standing tall and proud? Or are you hunched over? Now take a deep breath in and then release it.

What happened? Chances are you immediately looked thinner.

2. Drink More Water. It is also essential you are drinking enough water during the day. This can help prevent bloating, which would otherwise make your stomach appear distracted and puffy.

Drinking more water is particularly critical for women who may be suffering from period-related bloat. Aim for eight to ten glasses of water each day.

3. Work Up A Sweat. Sometimes the best remedy for looking thinner is to get out and exercise. Working up a sweat will allow you to flush out excess water, again in turn, making you seem a few pounds lighter.

It is not abnormal at all for some women to be carrying two to three pounds of water weight, so anything you can do to shed those pounds will be of benefit.

While cardio training is the best exercise to do for this purpose, weightlifting can also work. Just do keep in mind intense training does tend to cause mild inflammation in the body, which can make you look a little swollen and not as lean.

4. Pay Closer Attention To The Foods You Eat. Finally, start paying more attention to the foods you eat during the day. Certain foods may not sit as well with your body and could lead to bloating and abdominal distention. If you notice you get this way after eating a particular food, try cutting it out and see if this remedies the situation.

There you have a few steps you can take if you want to look slimmer instantly and feel more confident while you are working hard on your diet plan.

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Type 2 Diabetes and Weight Loss – Setting Weight Loss Goals

There is a relatively difference between how fast you think you should lose weight, and how quickly you actually should. It is common to be unrealistic when planning out weight loss objectives. Twenty pounds in two months, or forty pounds in six, some will say. These are significant numbers that are easier said than done.

There is no harm in setting big goals. After all, it is better to aim high and fall a little short than it is to aim low and succeed. Still, you bought to be careful with how you set your weight loss goals. There is a price to being overzealous.

When setting your weight loss goals, you must be reasonable above all else. The most successful plans are those that are sustainable, first and foremost. How much weight you have to lose and your end goal – that comes second.

How much weight do you have to lose, anyway? Is the amount you have in mind an educated guess or a wild estimate? You probably should ask your doctor for advice, even if you think your goal is a good one. You do not want to under or overestimate how much you should lose by a large margin.

After establishing your aim, you need to plan your approach. Here is where you may be faced with the thought of a timeline. If you have xx pounds to lose, how quickly should you go about it? How fast could you lose this weight? The short answer is …

  • as a rule of thumb; most adults can safely lose one pound a week without any problems whatever.
  • those with more weight to lose could start with up to two pounds a week, but that is it at most.

Which means losing 20 pounds in two months is not a reasonable goal. There are risks associated with losing weight too quickly, but that is another topic entirely.

If one pound a week does not sound like much to you, you are not considering the big picture. One pound a week equals a rate of 24 pounds in 6 months, assuming linear progress for the sake of discussion. Losing one pound a week over six months would provide for an …

  • overwhelming change in physique,
  • a reduction in blood sugar, and
  • a significant improvement in your overall health.

What is more, losing one pound a week for an extended period is not too hard. Regarding caloric intake, you need to eat at a deficit of 500 calories each day. Count your calories in the beginning if it helps you stay on track. But again, speak to your doctor for additional instruction.

Focus on the process of losing somewhere between one and two pounds a week. Take it week by week, and do not set a timeline. Have the mindset it takes as long as it takes, and you will be successful.

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6 Surprising Ways To Lose Weight

Of course, there are a lot of tried and tested way of getting healthier; your goal should be to go for fewer calories without giving a boost to your metabolism or developing muscle. However, this article has some tricks that can help you get healthyier so you can be as slim as you want. Read on.

Raise your activity level

If you have an office job and you have to sit at your desk most of the day, your activity level may be too low. If you increase your activity level, you will be able to develop your body and lead a happier life.

So, it's a good idea to step away from the desk every 2 hours and have a quick walk. This is the easiest way of building up your activity level.

Limit your consumption of soda and alcohol

What do you do to maintain your energy level in the afternoon? Most people go for a soda for this purpose. As a matter of fact, this choice does increase your calories but these calories are kind of “empty” as they add no nutrition to your system. These calories become part of fat in your body. So, it's a good idea to avoid soda and alcohol if you want to lose a few pounds.

Do a quick workout in your break time

What do you do in your break time? If you are like most people, maybe you spend that time checking your Twitter and Facebook accounts. What you need to do is do a workout at your desk. This will help you stay fresh and keep your head engaged.

Target difficult areas

Some areas of your body are not easy to change back. For instance, if you are struggling to lose that belly fat, you will find it even harder to repair your body. Luckily, science offers a lot easier ways of repairing your body and coolsculpting is of those procedures.

Do not go for “low-calories”

You can find a lot of junk foods in the market that are marked as low-calorie foods. Keep in mind that they may not be an ideal choice if you want to lose weight. Instead, what you need to do is replace your snacks with peanut butter and crackers.

It's a good idea to replace one snack per day. Changing your whole diet at once is not a good idea as you may get frustrated and overwhelmed.

Build muscle

If you do not try to build muscle, you will not be able to maintain your metabolism. Therefore, trainers recommend that you increase your calorie intake while losing weight. As a matter of fact, you need energy in order to build muscle and get healthier.

So, even if you have one session with your personal trainer, it will be very helpful. What you need to do is know what you need to do in order to change your body. Actually, whatever you do, you may want to consider the impact. You may want to consider the pros and cons of each strategy before proceeding.

Hopefully, these methods will help you lose weight and get a slimmer body.

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8 Easy Tips to Lose Weight

Shedding the extra ponds is easy if you know how to go about it. Given below are some easy tips that may help you watch the fat burn away. Read on.

1. Set a goal

What is your goal? Do you want to get rid of the extra fat? Do you want to save for a house or dress? No matter what your goal may be, you need to write down the steps that will get you there. Your first step is to know what you really want.

2. Clear the clutter

The purpose of a kitchen counter is to prepare food. They can not be used as a storage medium. So, there should be no visual distractions. Your kitchen should not be full of gadgets that cause distractions. As a matter of fact, it's not easy to make healthy food choice in a kitchen that has a lot of unnecessary stuff lying around.

3. Eat at home more often

Most of Canadian families spend around 30% eating out, says Statistics Canada. If you want to lose your weight, make sure you know how many times you eat out in a week and then try to eat out less often.

4. Increase metabolism by getting more sleep

Your sleep is linked to your hormone levels. Actually, if you do not get enough sleep, you will have a lot more hormone cortisol secretion. Therefore, you will suffer from a higher level of stress, which will make you fat.

5. Eat more breakfast and less at dinner

It's a good idea to eat a heavy breakfast but a lighter dinner. According to a study that involved men and women concluded that those who followed this advice lost more weight.

6. Rethink what's delicious

When you look at the food you like, you want to eat it, according to Dr. Alain Dagher. Unfortunately, your brain tends to assign a higher value to the foods that are rich in calories. If you want to counter this, what you need to do is think positively about the foods that are low in calories.

7. Do not skip meals or snacks

Skipping breakfast is a terrible mistake as it makes you eat too much during the day. As a matter of fact, the right breakfast choices will help you control your desires and sustain your energy level during the day. So, you may not want to be a night-time muncher.

8. Get support

You need to make a commitment even if you want to lose just 10 pounds. So, you may want to get support from your friends or family members, especially those who have already achieved their weight loss goals. So, what you need to do is share your goals with them so that they can support you. You may also want to let them know your challenges. This way they can give you the motivation and encouragement that you need to move on.

So, you may want to follow these tips if you are really keen to lose weight fast.

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Belly Fat: Its Health Risks

Around our midsections, there are two different kinds of fat: subcutaneous and visceral.

Subcutaneous – It means under the skin. It is the fat we can see and pinch. But, surprisingly, we need to worry less about subcutaneous fat than we do the visceral stuff. It is often described as a “passive” fat because it functions primarily as a storage repository.

Visceral – It means relating to the soft organs in the abdomen. It is the fat stored deep in our abdomens around the intestines, kidneys, pancreas and liver. This is the stuff that tends to make our tummies protrude in classic “beer belly” fashion. In contrast, visceral fat is considered very “active” because it functions much like a gland itself. It is programmed to break down and release fatty acids and other hormonal substances that are then directly metabolized by the liver. The fatty acids so produced go directly to the liver and produce an unfavorable metabolic environment.

Although located in our abdomens, it can wreak all sorts of damage that goes far beyond our bellies. No other fat in the body does that.

Sex differences –

There are sex-dependent differences in regional fat distribution.

• Women genetically have more capacity to store fat than men do.

• Men are more susceptible to upper body fat accumulation, most likely in the belly, due to sex hormone differences. Abdominal obesity in men is correlated with comparatively low testosterone levels.

• In women, estrogen is believed to cause fat to be stored in the buttocks, thighs, and hips. After menopause in women, the estrogen produced by ovaries declines. And fat migrates from their buttocks, hips' and thighs to their belly.

• Women with higher-than-average levels of testosterone, as well as women with certain medical conditions that cause them to have lower levels of estrogen, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, are also more likely to develop a potbelly than women with typical estrogen levels

• When comparing the body fat of men and women, it is seen that men have close to twice the visceral fat as that of pre-menopaal women.

Measurements of belly fat –

For women, a waist measurement of 35 inches or more is cause for concern. For men, a waist measurement of 40 inches or more could spell trouble.

For men, a WHR (waist to hip ratio) of greater than 0.95 and, for women, greater than 0.80 are indicative of central obesity.

Health risks of belly fat –

Belly fat is considered to be a risk for the following conditions:

Cardio-vascular disease – Pot belly is the best indicator for cardio-vascular risk. Researchers have found that those who are overweight but have a bulging midriff are 2.75 times more at risk of dying from cardio-vascular disease than normal weight and a proportionate waistline.

Stroke – Belly fat hastens the process of atherosclerosis, which means hardening of arteries, making heart attacks and strokes more likely.

Type-2 diabetes – People with large bellies tend to lose sensitivity to insulin, resulting in insulin resistance, which often develops into type-2 diabetes.

High blood pressure – Researchers have found that abdominal obesity leads to increased risk for hypertension.

Dementia – Middle-aged people with high abdominal fat are 3.6 times as likely to suffer from memory loss and dementia later on in life, researchers have discovered at Rush University Medical Center.

Erectile dysfunction – Belly fat is actually reducing the male's testosterone levels, which can lead to erectile dysfunction. It also produces an enzyme called aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogen in a one-way pathway.

Breast cancer – The researchers note in a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that abdominal fat is associated with pre-diabetes. Insulin receptors are expressed in most breast cancers and have been shown to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells. This suggests that an insulin-related pathway of abdominal adiposity is involved in the etiology of premenopausal breast cancer.

The crux –

The health experts uniquivocally proclaim that pot belly has some very serious health risks. And still most of us ignore their advice. I do not understand why it is ignored so much. In fact, belly fat functions like a gland, releasing fatty acids and hormonal substances that are detrimental to our health. Regular exercise, consumption of healthy diet and adequate management of stress will go a long way in reducing belly fat

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Weight Loss Myths You Should Be Aware Of

If you are looking to lose weight, you must have come across a lot of information on weight loss. While some of the information might be true, there is some that is not, and you should be cautious of it. To help you out, here are some of the weight loss myths you should know about:

You need to get rid of all carbs from your diet

At the start of your weight loss journey, you must have come across information that the main reason you have gained weight is that you have consumed a lot of carbohydrates. When most people hear this, they resort to abolishing carbohydrates from their diets. Which is wrong. You do not have to get rid of all carbohydrates from your diet. Some good carbs even help you in your weight loss journey.

You should note that when you stop taking carbs, your body goes into hibernation mode and starts stacking the fat reserves in preparation for the hunger season. As a consequence, you end up gaining more weight. To lose weight, you need to avoid the wrong carbs and take the right ones. Avoid taking processed carbohydrates and consume whole carbs instead. These are the ones you find in whole foods such as flour, cassava, vegetables, and many others.

All you need is willpower, and you will lose weight

When many people see obese people, they think that they are lazy or make poor food choices. To most people, all you need to do to lose weight is to decide to eat right, and you are ready to go. It's good you note that weight loss is far more poor food choices. Genetic and environmental factors also control it.

For example, most of the obese people have a problem with the hormone leptin. This is a hormone that lets the brain know that you are satisfied. To most obese people, the hormone does not signal the brain that you have had enough that you continue eating. When you decide to lose weight, due to the inefficiency of the hormone, the brain thinks that you are starving. This causes it to trigger the body to start storing fat.

After this, it does not mean that you will not lose weight with willpower. You will do it, but it will take you longer.

You should not snack

There is information all over the internet that if you want to lose weight, you need to take all of your calories in one sitting. There is nothing that is further from the truth than this. There is nothing wrong with snacking. In fact, dieticians recommend that you take five small meals throughout the day in addition to the main meals. According to the doctors, you increase the rate of metabolism by doing so so increasing your chances of losing weight.

When snacking, be cautious of the snacks that you take. As rule of thumb, avoid fattening snacks such as chips and cookies. Instead, take healthy snacks such as beans and vegetables.

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Healthy Living – Four Tips For Maintaining A Healthy Body Weight

Looking to maintain a healthy body weight? Whatever you have been dieting in the last little while and have finally reached your goal weight or you simply are looking to ensure you do not gain weight going forward, there are a few tips that can assist in ensuring you stay on track.

Let us look at four different strategies you can use to keep your weight in check. Four strategies not requiring intricate calorie counting …

1. Add More Protein. If you hate counting calories but want to do your best to prevent weight gain, consider adding more protein to your diet plan. Protein is the nutrient tending to be the most satisfying, so is what you are least likely to overeat.

As a result, you will feel more satisfied after every meal. So your chances of eating more than you should go down. Aim to take in at least 15 grams of protein with each snack and 20 to 30 grams with each meal to achieve this effect.

2. Sip Water Through The Day. Dehydration can cause food cravings in many people, leading you to eat when you just needed to have a drink. To avoid this, sip water through the day. Carry a jug of water with you where you go and make a concentrated effort to drink it between meals.

It can help to get a gallon jug of water and fill it up once in the morning and then make sure by dinner time you have drunk it all. A gallon jug of water will provide a little extra over what you need but will be beneficial if you are also leading an active lifestyle.

3. Set Fitness Focused Goals. Do not fall into the trap of thinking once you have reached your body weight goal that is it. Set a new goal. Focus on something fitness related. Train for a 10km race or focus on adding 20 pounds to your squat or bench press exercise.

By having a new goal to work towards, you will help sustain better overall focus on your fitness plan, and this can lead to healthier eating efforts as well.

4. Allow For Indulgence. Finally, do not be too strict on yourself. Make sure you are allowing for overeating every so often. Remember your diet should make room for fun foods as well. Otherwise, it is not a diet you will want to be on for the long-term.

If you keep these tips in mind, you should have no problem sustaining a healthy body weight well into the months ahead.

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10 Tips To Choose a Quality Weight Loss Program

Each year, consumers spend a good deal of money on different weight loss programs, but more and more people are getting fat. Since there are a lot of weight loss programs out there, choosing a good one is a hard nut to crack. Given below are a few factors that can help you make the best choice.

Behavior changes

For long-term success, you have to be creative. With a good program, you can change your negative thoughts into positive ones, which will help you achieve your health goals.

Safety

If you have a weight loss program, you may want to get in touch with a good health care provider prior to getting started. The professional will check your health, order required tests and then let you know the precautions that you should take.

Credibility

The providers of a good program will have credentials like registered dietitians, certified professionals, and licensed counselors to help you know that the diet program is reliable.

Flexibility

If you follow a program that follows a strict exercise or diet, it may result in a failure. Instead, what you need to do is search for a program that takes into account your physical and food preferences.

Realistic outputs

Losing 20 pounds in 7 days is an interesting goal, but it is not a realistic one. A realistic goal is to lose weight at a rate of around 2 pounds in 7 days. You may not want to choose a program that will not let you know the average weight that you lost and other important statistics.

Self-monitoring

According to research studies, people who monitor their exercise, food and weight loss tend to lose more weight. If you follow a good program, it will encourage you to monitor your progress and shed more pounds.

Nutrition

You may not want to use a program that removes a whole food category from your diet list. Apart from this, you may want to avoid diets that force you to go for foods in combinations or the diet that has foods in limitless quantities. Remember: these diets will not work and may end up causing harm to your body as you will not get enough nutrients.

Regular exercise

Regular exercise is important for you to lose weight and keep it off. Apart from this, exercise also helps you improve your mood, improve brainpower and avoid emotional eating. As a matter of fact, a good weight loss program spurs on you to look for ways to make exercise part of your life.

False claims

It's not a good idea to go for programs that force you to purchase special foods, pills, supplements and gadgets. Remember: no magic pills exist that will help you get rid of the extra fat overnight.

Longevity

When choosing a diet program, we suggest that you find out if the diet program can help you keep the extra weight off for the rest of your life. And if the program can not help you do that, we suggest that you look for some other program that will meet your needs.

So, we suggest that you follow these tips when choosing from weight loss diet programs.

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Tips to Choose a Fast Weight Loss Diet Plan

Are you looking for a good weight loss diet plan? If so, you may want to keep in mind that losing weight is not a piece of cake. Commercial weight loss diets do work. We suggest that you filter your options to opt for a diet that may meet your needs. Given below are some tips in the form of questions to help you choose a fast diet plan for weight loss. Read on to know more.

What is your goal?

First of all, you should be realistic. For instance, you may not want to set a goal to shed 50 lbs in 30 days. This goal is unrealistic and may be bad for your health. Actually, the goals you set should be achievable. A realistic goal may be to shed around 2 lbs in 7 days.

Do you need support?

With some diet plans, you get custom support. On the other hand, with other plans, you get a book as well as some videos. While not everyone is in need of one-on-one support, you may want to find out if you need a helping hand. This is the case if you have no idea how to go about losing weight fast. In this case, we suggest that you consult a good professional so you can choose the best diet.

Is it flexible?

Some diets do not allow you eat all of the foods. These diet plans do not consider your activity level or lifestyle before imposing the restrictions. For instance, if your activity level is moderate and you reduce your nutritional intake all of a sudden, you may lose the energy you need to perform your routine activities. So, make sure the diet is flexible enough so you can continue your lifestyle.

Is it healthy?

The answer may sound pretty simple to you. The diet plan you choose should not involve a lot of tablets, liquids, and supplements since this stuff is not good for your body for long-term use. The diet plan should include both proper nutrition and exercise so you can enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

So, these are a few things that you should consider when deciding on a weight loss plan. If you go through the tips given above, you can filter out lots of not-so-good weight loss plans without any problem.

The thing is that the weight loss plan has to meet your lifestyle requirements, and it should not require a lot of difficult changes on your part. As a matter of fact, the best diet plan is one that gives you the freedom to meet your nutritional needs while following the restrictions.

So, you may not want to follow just any diet to achieve your desired weight. Instead, you may want to take into account your lifestyle, nutritional needs and other factors before making your choice.

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