Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fast Weight Loss Diets - What You Need to Know

By Johnny M Jones

Experts say that fast weight loss diets are not recommended due to the fact that they are not the solution to permanent weight loss or weight control. Although studies have shown that fast weight loss have little short term benefits for motivation in losing weight. Some physicians say that it is fine to lose weight rapidly if one's health is not affected.

Rapid weight loss can be effective if it's only in the beginning of your losing weight program because it can lead you to have a balanced diet and working out regularly. Rapid weight loss can also motivate you to follow a strict diet so as to maintain your weight. Although rapid weight loss plan are fine, it still does not change the fact that it will affect your health if you do it without any planning.

One of the main factors to obesity is due to emotional eating. The key reason to triggering emotional eating includes anxiety, depression, anger that cause people to eat more than what the regular diet is.

If you can manage emotional eating, you can then manage and control your weight easily.

Below are some tips on how you can manage emotional eating:

� Monitor your emotions on a daily basis. It will help you a lot in finding out the reason why you indulge in emotional eating and it can help you stop the emotional eating and curb the urge to over eat when you get emotional.

� Try to find some hobbies that will keep your mind off food and eating. When you are busy, you can actually avoid overeating.

� Have a meal plan that you can adhere to everyday. Develop a healthy eating plan or diet that will help you lose weight fast and safe.

� Have a regular workout plan that helps you burn calories.

� Drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday so you are well hydrated.

� Stay away from oily or high calorie food; go for low fat or fruits and vegetables.

Johnny M Jones gives tips and advices on his blog at Lose Weight Blog [].

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Weight Loss Fast: 10 Strategies to Stop Emotional Eating

By June K Price

We all reach for a high-fat or sugary treat sometimes to help make us feel better when we are sad or stressed. With emotional eaters, up to 90% of their eating may be related to emotional triggers or social influences, a form of avoidance so they don't have to think through and deal with difficult emotions. Weight gain leads to more unhappy feelings so it becomes a vicious circle.

Often emotional eaters do not realise what is going on because it is very socially acceptable to celebrate with food. We do a lot of eating in family gatherings, barbecues, lunches with friends, birthdays and holiday gatherings. We see cake and ice cream as rewards and eat these types of foods because we 'deserve' it, and we all have fond memories of special treats when we were children.

Stress can result in the release of hormones in the body that make us more emotional and cause a rise in insulin, which signals your body to take in more sugar. We then start to crave a chocolate bar. Sweets can cause a rise in certain chemicals in the brain that create a sense of calm, and this feeling can be enough for you to become addicted to the good feelings so a habit forms. We learn that having a treat results in good feelings and so we are rewarded for eating the cake or chocolate.

Awareness that you are eating because you are stressed or sad or angry is the first step. You need to retrain your behaviour and relationship with food. If you learn to eat mostly because you are hungry or you want to meet your nutritional needs you will lose weight quickly and easily.

Here are 10 strategies that may help:

1. Pinpoint your emotional triggers. Keep a food journal with details of what you have eaten, where you were, what you were thinking when you had the craving and how you felt when you ate the food. Note the patterns in your eating and emotional triggers such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, stress or anger. You can then find different strategies to cope with these feelings.

2. Don't buy comfort foods. If you don't have junk food in your house it is easier to avoid it. If someone brings it for a party make sure someone else takes it home. Stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables.

3. Control your cravings. If you are craving a specific food you are probably not eating because of hunger. Instead of asking yourself, "What am I hungry for?", it is better to ask, "What do I need?" You may need a relaxing bath or time out for yourself.

4. Find other rewards. Instead of rewarding yourself with food, plan something nice to do for yourself each day. You might enjoy the food in the moment but afterwards you are likely to feel regret. It is better to make time throughout the day to do things you enjoy because you deserve it. It might be just to sit and read a book, take a bath, get a pedicure, watch TV or go to the movies. Relax and enjoy.

5. Think before you eat.When you eat out of habit you are acting on autopilot. You need to become more conscious of what you are doing. Do some self-talk to change thought patterns, for example, "It would be better for me to go for a walk to calm down" or "I feel sad but that's OK. Usually the feeling passes".

6. Plan ahead. Plan to meet friends after a stressful day so you don't run home and binge. Put thought into how you will feel after different situations and plan strategies to relieve negative emotions.

7. Learn stress management. Incorporate relaxation exercises, meditation and daily walks into your life to lower your stress levels.

8. Get social support. If you have stressful issues to deal with in your life make sure you have support with friends or a group where you can talk about your feelings.

9. Choose healthy foods. When you need a boost try a snack that includes low GI foods and protein, for example, whole wheat crackers and low fat cheese or some almonds or a protein shake. This will give you sustained energy without the sugar spike.

10. Don't restrict yourself too much. If you start to feel deprived you may lose control and binge. Never allow yourself to get too hungry by eating regular meals and snacks (eat every 3 - 4 hours).

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Binge Eating

All of this time we have talked about what to eat and what not to eat. Though, that is only part of the solution to a good diet. There is something that we also need to talk about. What we haven’t talked about is eating habits. When you should and shouldn’t eat. That is as important as what you eat. Why is it important? It is important because you don’t want to binge eat. You don’t want to eat a whole bunch of food at one time. This isn’t good for you. Does this sound like you? You skip breakfast because you are running late for work. You have a bunch of work that has been piling up, so you skip lunch. Instead you have a cup of coffee and some snack crackers. You go home and you eat enough for three meals. You are so hungry you could eat a live pig. You eat so much that you don’t think you will be able to walk for a week. You go watch some television and you fall asleep while watching it.

Is this the same as eating three good meals each day? Eating one meal that is the same amount of food as three? No it isn’t. It isn’t because of the way that the body digests the food. All day long you have starved your body of what it needs, it can’t handle everything at once. All you are doing is over loading your body. The real risk of bingeing is this. You will end up eating things that you shouldn’t be eating. You will end up eating a ton of fast food or other food that is high and fat and easy to obtain. Why is this?

This is because you are so hungry, you have to eat something now. This tends to be whatever you can get your hands on. Generally, it will be something that isn’t good for you. This is why it is important that you eat all three of your meals. You can snack in between those meals too. You want to make sure though that your snacks are healthy ones. Did you know that most doctors say that snacking is good for you? It gives you some energy when you are feeling like you are running on empty.

The key thing to remember is to eat healthy snacks. Eat things that make your feel good, not things that are loaded with fat. Things that are loaded with fat will only make you feel drained and make you want to snack more. If you are having problems eating three meals a day, you really need to work on your diet. This is because you don’t want to binge eat. Binge eating will only hurt you in the long run. Don’t believe me? Look at it like this. You know what will happen if you don’t eat all day long. You will get hungry and you will get the shakes. If you start to get the shakes you will go for whatever that you can to make it stop.

Here is what I do to help me eat three meals a day.

I start off by making my lunch before I go to bed. I do this because I won’t do it when I wake up in the morning. I try my best just to get my clothes on and get out the door in good time so I am not late for work. I also pack some snacks for me to eat at work. I might put some veggie sticks and some fruit in little plastic bags. I love to eat these as snacks while I am at work.

When it comes to breakfast, I try to think in advance what I want to eat. I will have all of the things that I need on hand incase I decide that I want something different. Will I want an omlet? I always have some cut veggies in the ice box incase I do. That way all I have to do is throw them in the pan and cook away. It takes the same amount of time to cook that as it would to cook anything else. I do the same with dinner. I will try to prepare whatever I can the day before. This way if I am too tired, all I have to do is put the stuff together. I might also make dinner while I am making my lunch.

What do you mean make my dinner before I go to bed? Well, don’t have a cow. What I will do is prepare all of the things that I need in advance. I do this when I am using the crock pot. I just put the stuff in the crock pot in the morning before I go to work. I set it and then I head off to work. When I get home, I have a hot meal waiting for me. I can time it so that almost right after I walk in the door I have something hot to eat. Try it, you will be amazed.
Eating three meals a day isn’t that hard. If you put your mind into it, you can do it fairly easily. All you have to do is be prepared. If you feel that you can’t do it, buy one of those event planners. Make a schedule for everything that you want to do.

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Bad Food

by Michael Messner

In this day and age of heart disease, we all need to be careful. Did you know that 50% of men will die from heart disease? It is sad, but true. It is important that you watch what you eat. Not only if you are a body builder, but even if you aren’t one. All of us should be concerned about our diet and our health. Take some notes and make sure that you pay attention. I’m sure there will be a few items on this list that you never dreamed were bad for you.. Solid oils. You know what these are. Stuff like Crisco and other shortening.

I think that some people use them in place of lard and actually think it is better for them. If you are making a pie crust or something, skip the shortening and use the lard. Actually, the lard is better for you. People tend to use this kind of fat because it has a long shelf life. This stuff will stay good for ever. Personally, I hate the stuff. I can’t see why anyone would like it. I think it tastes awful and it feels awful in my mouth.
Deep fried foods. You should avoid these like the plague. It is said that when something is deep fried, its DNA changes. I don’t know how true this is. I do know that deep fried foods have been linked to cancer.

Refined flour and store bought flour. This has been bleached and everything under the sun done to it. When this happens, all the good stuff from it is taken away. The reason why you are eating is, is been stolen from you. Stick with good whole wheat. That is what is best for you.

White rice. I would piss off most of the world if I said that you should never ever eat this stuff. Though, I have to say that brown rice is better for you. Brown rice has all the stuff white does and more. You can mix brown with white if you still aren’t used to eating the brown rice.

Sugar. This is a no brainer really. You should try to consume as little as you possibly have to. Also, fructose is a building block for cholesterol. Keep that in mind when you have your next can of soda.

Canned soups. These are almost always loaded with salt. If you want to buy these, make sure you get ones that are low in salt. If you have a craving for soup, see if your local deli makes soup. It will be lower in salt. That will make your heart happy.

Alfredo sauces. Don’t buy items with already made Alfredo sauce. Usually they are loaded with butter and salt. You don’t want any of that.

Processed meats. These tend to be high in fat and high in salt. They are a heart attack in a can.

Hydrogenated palm oils. Avoid anything that is made with these. These will give you a heart attack faster than eating a bucket of lard.

Lunchables and other items like them. They are loaded with salt and fat. I can’t believe any parent would give this junk to their kids.

What comes in, must come out. That is true with the food we eat. This might sound like a disgusting topic, but it is something that we should talk about. You can tell if your diet is high in fat by the stool you produce. If it sinks straight to the bottom, you are eating too much fat. You would think that fat would float, but it doesn’t when it is coming out.
Your stool should float in the toilet bowl. If it does, it is a hint that you have a good diet. If it doesn’t, then you need to change what you are eating.

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The causes of obesity

Obesity is caused by unhealthy eating combined with sustained lack of activity. If food gives you more calories than you burn, your body turns on the storage program and puts on fat. This is the basic idea behind obesity.

Disorderly eating habits are the top reason why people becaome obese. With neither the time, nor the inclination to control one’s meals, it’s no wonder people get fat all over the world. Couple that with a sedentary lifestyle where most trips are taken by car and you got a health situation out of control.

Genetics: Obesity can also be inherited from family members who suffered from it. If your family has a history of obesity, then you would do well to watch your weight.

Junk food: We are all busy, but this does not mean that we have to eat everything fast food restaurants put before you. Burgers may look good, but they are fat too highly powered got your health. Thing is, a single burger is worth a whole meal, but your body does not judge the situation this way. Your stomach will never be filled by a regular burger, so it will keep asking for more, despite the fact that your body does not need more burgers.

Do you feel like giving up?
Many people try diets and manage to lose a few pounds. But returning to the old lifestyle and eating habits almost always means that weight lost turns into weight regained. Moreover, as diet follows diet, the body gets used to these “lean times” and makes it harder for you to lose weight.

To all this you may add that following a diet for a longer period of time is hard, because you will always crave the forbidden foods. The fact that certain delicious foods are forbidden makes them that much more attractive. A successful diet means adjusting your lifestyle to your needs, especially by making time for more exercising.

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Things to avoid when trying to lose weight

Dieting is not always easy. In fact, it can prove a tough challenge for many people. So here’s a little guide to avoiding things that could make you lose control and start eating. Avoid them like plague if you wish to succeed.

1. Don’t rush into the toughest diet you can find.
This is a common mistake. Many people decide in a moment of desperation to follow a super-strict diet and fail. Don’t rush into a diet that may be too strict for you. If you don’t have any dieting experience and are not 100 percent sure you can stick with the diet, then choose something else.

2. Don’t lose touch with reality.
You can’t realistically expect things to happen over night. When choosing your goal, start small, but be prepared to go far. If you hear someone saying that he lost a large number of pounds in a short time, don’t make it your goal to match his performance. Diet results are different from one person to another.

3. Don’t go to the gym too often
Another common mistake is to use the enthusiasm of the first days to hit the gym every day. This won’t help you at all. Your body needs time to heal and expand the muscle mass after each training session and going to the gym every day interferes with this natural process. Besides, a week of non-stop training could never offset ten or twenty years of couch potato lifestyle.

4. Don’t get hard on calories.
We all know that cutting down on calories is one of the building blocks of all diets, but you have to be careful about it. Cut down on too many calories and your body will start storing anything it possibly can. This is not a good way to lose weight.

5. Don’t skip meals.
Some people think that skipping one or two meals could help them lose weight faster. They don’t understand that dieting is all about eating the right food and not starving yourself.

6. Don’t check the bathroom scales everyday.
Everybody is eager to see the confirmation of his or her efforts in the shape of lost pounds, but you should not let this drive you to checking your weight everyday. The daily fluctuations of your weight will soon have you depressed and ready to quit dieting. And this is something you want to avoid.

7. Don’t let emotions drive you.
Aside from the eagerness that drives people to check their weight every day, there are other emotions that influence dieting. If you know you’re used to reaching out for ice-cream or snacks when you are bored, frustrated or angry, then you should deal with these issues and not allow them to come between you and your purpose.

8. Don’t refuse to seek help.
Not everyone was born with iron will and nerves of steel. If you need advice or help, don’t hesitate to ask it from your friends or from professionals. Don’t try to solve all problems by yourself.

9. Don’t deny yourself your favourite foods.
Treats are a great way of raising your willpower and determination. Diets are just food control methods, not prisons. So what if you eat something forbidden once in a while, especially if that food is a favourite of yours? If such treats are not frequent, then they will make no difference in the long run.

10. Don’t rely on your willpower alone
Use your head as well. If you wish to know how much you eat, then write everything down and analyze the list for things that should not be there. Sometimes hunger creeps up on you and make you eat something you shouldn’t. Be honest with yourself and keep a clear head.

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The GI Plan diet

One of the most interesting ideas to take the dieting industry by storm is the Glycemic Index. The index was compiled in the early 1980s at the University of Toronto and is a ranking system for carbohydrates based on their immediate effect on blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates that break down rapidly during digestion and are easily converted to glucose have the highest glycemic indexes. Those who break down slowly and gradually release glucose into the blood stream have a low index. The low glycemic index means that the body absorbs less sugars and starches from foods which fall into this category.

The GI Plan diet is based on the idea that it is better to eat plenty of foods with a low glycemic index because the steady and gradual release of glucose into the blood will provide energy for a longer time while keeping the feeling of hunger at bay. Foods with a high GI will make you feel full for a short while, but the feeling passes fast and you find yourself reaching for something to eat long before the next meal of the day comes around. The second part of the GI Plan diet is to combine the original glycemic index with a ranking based on the calorie content of each food.

Like other diets, this one is split into several phases. The initial two-week phase is built around eating 17 points worth of food per day for women and 22 for men. The points are based on both the amount of bad carbs and calories found in food. One of the good things about this diet is the liberty granted to users. As long as you stick to the number of points, you can eat anything you want. The second phase of the diet is the longer one, because this is where the shedding happens. The number of points is raised to 20 for women and 25 for men.

The last phase of the diet begins once you’ve reached your goal and its aim is to maintain the weight achieved. This diet encourages the consumption of wholemeal pasta, wholegrain cereals, vegetables and fruits over white bread and doughnuts. Users can expect to lose up to 2 pounds a week on the average, although the first two weeks are known to cause a much more significant loss of weight. Again, this is not unique to the GI Plan, but the normal response of the body before the starvation mode kicks in.

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