Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Facts about Weight Loss

Facts About Weight Loss (FDA)

by the Food and Drug Administration

Looking for a quick and easy way to lose weight? You're not alone. An estimated 50 million Americans will go on diets this year. And while some will succeed in taking the weight off, very few--perhaps 5 percent--will manage to keep all of it off in the long run.

One reason for the low success rate is that many people look for quick and easy solutions to their weight problems. They find it hard to believe in this age of scientific innovations and medical miracles that an effortless weight-loss method doesn't exist.

So they succumb to quick-fix claims like "Eat All You Want and Still Lose Weight!" or "Melt Fat Away While You Sleep!" And they invest their hopes (and their money) in all manner of pills, potions, gadgets, and programs that hold the promise of a slimmer, happier future.

The weight-loss business is a booming industry. Americans spend an estimated $30 billion a year on all types of diet programs and products, including diet foods and drinks. Trying to sort out all of the competing claims--often misleading, unproven, or just plain false--can be confusing and costly.

Being obese can have serious health consequences. These include an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, gallstones, and some forms of cancer. Losing weight can help reduce these risks. Here are some general points to keep in mind:

Any claims that you can lose weight effortlessly are false. The only proven way to lose weight is either to reduce the number of calories you eat or to increase the number of calories you burn off through exercise. Most experts recommend a combination of both.

Very low-calorie diets are not without risk and should be pursued only under medical supervision. Unsupervised very low-calorie diets can deprive you of important nutrients and are potentially dangerous.

Fad diets rarely have any permanent effect. Sudden and radical changes in your eating patterns are difficult to sustain over time. In addition, so-called "crash" diets often send dieters into a cycle of quick weight loss, followed by a "rebound" weight gain once normal eating resumes, and even more difficulty reducing when the next diet is attempted.

To lose weight safely and keep it off requires long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits. Many experts recommend a goal of losing about a pound a week. A modest reduction of 500 calories per day will achieve this goal, since a total reduction of 3,500 calories is required to lose a pound of fat. An important way to lower your calorie intake is to learn and practice healthy eating habits.

In Search of the "Magic Bullet"

Some dieters peg their hopes on pills and capsules that promise to "burn," "block," "flush," or otherwise eliminate fat from the system. But science has yet to come up with a low-risk "magic bullet" for weight loss. Some pills may help control the appetite, but they can have serious side effects. (Amphetamines, for instance, are highly addictive and can have an adverse impact on the heart and central nervous system.) Other pills are utterly worthless.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a number of state Attorney General have successfully brought cases against marketers of pills claiming to absorb or burn fat. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned 111 ingredients once found in over-the-counter diet products. None of these substances, which include alcohol, caffeine, dextrose, and guar gum, have proved effective in weight-loss or appetite suppression. Beware of the following products that are touted as weight-loss wonders:

Diet patches, which are worn on the skin, have not been proven to be safe or effective. The FDA has seized millions of these products from manufacturers and promoters.

"Fat blockers" purport to physically absorb fat and mechanically interfere with the fat a person eats.

"Starch blockers" promise to block or impede starch digestion. Not only is the claim unproven, but users have complained of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pains.

"Magnet" diet pills allegedly "flush fat out of the body." The FTC has brought legal action against several marketers of these pills.

Glucomannan is advertised as the "Weight Loss Secret That's Been in the Orient for Over 500 Years." There is little evidence supporting this plant root's effectiveness as a weight-loss product.

Some bulk producers or fillers, such as fiber-based products, may absorb liquid and swell in the stomach, thereby reducing hunger. Some fillers, such as guar gum, can even prove harmful, causing obstructions in the intestines, stomach, or esophagus. The FDA has taken legal action against several promoters containing guar gum.

Spirulina, a species of blue-green algae, has not been proven effective for losing weight.

Phony Devices and Gadgets

Phony weight-loss devices range from those that are simply ineffective to those that are truly dangerous to your health. At minimum, they are a waste of your hard-earned money. Some of the fraudulent gadgets that have been marketed to hopeful dieters over the years include:

Electrical muscle stimulators have legitimate use in physical therapy treatment. But the FDA has taken a number of them off the market because they were promoted for weight loss and body toning. When used incorrectly, muscle stimulators can be dangerous, causing electrical shocks and burns.

"Appetite suppressing eyeglasses" are common eyeglasses with colored lenses that claim to project an image to the retina which dampens the desire to eat. There is no evidence these work.

"Magic weight-loss earrings" and devices custom-fitted to the purchaser's ear that purport to stimulate acupuncture points controlling hunger have not been proven effective.

Diet Programs

Approximately 8 million Americans a year enroll in some kind of structured weight-loss program involving liquid diets, special diet regimens, or medical or other supervision. In 1991, about 8,500 commercial diet centers were in operation across the country, many of them owned by a half-dozen or so well-known national companies.

Before you join such a program, you should know that according to published studies relatively few participants succeed in keeping off weight long-term. Recently, the FTC brought action against several companies challenging weight-loss and weight-maintenance claims. Unfortunately, some other companies continue to make overblown claims.
The FTC stopped one company from claiming its diet program caused rapid weight loss through the use of tablets that would "burn fat" and a protein drink mix that would adjust metabolism. The FTC also took action against three major programs using doctor-supervised, very low-calorie liquid diets, and they agreed to stop making claims unless they could back them up with hard data. Before you sign up with a diet program, you might ask these questions:

What are the health risks?

What data can you show me that proves your program actually works?

Do customers keep off the weight after they leave the diet program?

What are the costs for membership, weekly fees, food, supplements, maintenance, and counseling? What's the payment schedule? Are any costs covered under health insurance? Do you give refunds if I drop out?

Do you have a maintenance program? Is it part of the package or does it cost extra?

What kind of professional supervision is provided? What are the credentials of these professionals?

What are the program's requirements? Are there special menus or foods, counseling visits, or exercise plans?

Clues to Fraud

It is important for consumers to be wary of claims that sound too good to be true. When it comes to weight-loss schemes, consumers should be particularly skeptical of claims containing words and phrases like:







new discovery






DHHS Publication No (FDA) 92-1189

Sensible Weight Maintenance Tips

Losing weight may not be effortless, but it doesn't have to be complicated. To achieve long-term results, it's best to avoid quick-fix schemes and complex regimens. Focus instead on making modest changes to your life's daily routine. A balanced, healthy diet and sensible, regular exercise are the keys to maintaining your ideal weight. Although nutrition science is constantly evolving, here are some generally-accepted guidelines for losing weight:

Consult with your doctor, a dietician, or other qualified health professional to determine your ideal healthy body weight.

Eat smaller portions and choose from a variety of foods.

Load up on foods naturally high in fiber: Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.

Limit portions of foods high in fat: dairy products like cheese, butter, and whole milk; red meat; cakes and pastries.

Exercise at least three times a week.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Strength Training Benefits for Women

Strength Training Benefits for Women

by: Joe Kozma

Most women desire to have a higher metabolism is order to further their weight control efforts. Strength training increases muscle mass and increasing muscle mass most definitely will increase an individual's basal metabolic rate. What this means for females is that they will have a harder time gaining fat as the percentage of lean muscle tissue in their body increases.

Obesity can be greatly reduced by sustained participation in a vigorous weight training combined with a sensible eating plan. Osteoporosis is common among women who do not exercise as they age, strength training is a proactive step women can take to prevent bone density loss. Scientific studies prove that weight bearing exercise increases bone density. Strength training done with moderate resistance also fights aging by strengthening ligaments and tendons. Weight training has also been shown to improve balance by increasing the power or core muscles; which in and of itself will prevent injuries due to falling or stumbling.

Strength training has been shown to decrease blood pressure and increase circulation. Circuit training with weights has been shown to improve cardiovascular fitness. Improved cardiovascular fitness works to prevent cardiovascular disease. Women who strength train can also expect to perform better in sports, activities and life in general. Strength training women have more energy, strength, and stamina for all kinds of activity. Energy, strength, and stamina are factors which can also improve relationships with spouses, friends, and even children.

Who does not want to improve their appearance, confidence and self esteem? These are all improved in women who participate in strength training programs. Depression is a huge issue among the women of America. It is this writer's contention that much of the mild depression treated with medication could be eased or eliminated by a sustained participation in a vigorous strength training program. Increased self esteem due to improved appearance and health is a natural antidepressant.

Anti-aging medicine is one of the fastest growing industries in our country today, strength training is almost always prescribed as part of the Anti-aging doctor's overall program. Strength training helps women naturally age more gracefully because it naturally fights the decrease in muscle mass, strength and flexibility that comes with aging.

The benefits to women that strength training can provide are myriad, this writer doubts there are few if any women who would not desire to have the benefits provided by weight training. Ladies, it is time to put down the laziness and procrastination that has stopped you from self improvement. Start today and improve your life.

5 Tips You Can Implement Today To Help You Lose Fat Quickly

5 Tips You Can Implement Today To Help You Lose Fat Quickly

by: Emile Jarreau

One of the main reasons folks fail to lose weight when on a diet is lack of motivation. It is so easy for us to just fall back into our old routines rather than follow a consistent steady plan of action to achieve real fat loss success. If we can make our ROUTINE something that is healthy and promotes weight loss, then we can stop worrying about being motivated and simply do our “normal routine” and lose all the weight we want.

Below are 5 simple tips that you can begin implementing as part of your daily routine to help you lose all the fat you want.

1. Always East Breakfast - Many time, those on a diet choose to skip breakfast thinking that the lack of calories will lead to weight loss. The fact is, when you DON’T eat, your body goes into survival mode and it tries to store the calories you eventually eat as fat. So, your plan actually ends up backfiring and you gain weight, not loseit.

2. Steam your veggies - When you sauté your vegetables in butter, you allow them to soak up all the bad fat making your once healthy veggies little piece of fat stuffed junk. Instead, just steam them and top with a dash of salt and pepper. All the flavor of the vegetables will be there without the fat.

3. Stop Late night snacking - If you are going to sleep, you DON’T need extra calories. Fight off those late night cravings by having a glass of warm tea before bed instead of those cookies or pie. Doing so can help you get rid of thousands of worthless calories from your diet each and every month and help you lose fat quickly.

4. Eat healthy when you are hungry, then stop - Your body is designed to tell you when it is full. Most of the time, it is our cravings and overindulgence that allows us to keep eating long after our bodies tell us we are full. Listen to what your body is telling you and just eat to the point that you are satiated. This amount will be the perfect amount for your body to have the energy it needs without excess calories that will be stored as fat. It is ok to eat multiple times during the day as long as the food is healthy. This helps to keep your metabolism working.

5. Move as much as you can - Yes, this means EXERCISE! If you can walk versus ride, do it! Jog wherever you go. The more steps you can include in your daily routing, the more calories you will burn. Add to this a regular program of vigorous exercise such as jumping rope, running, or weight training and you can burn thousands of extra calories per week. In addition, and muscle you build will act to burn calories even when you are not working out.

The above represent just a few fat loss suggestions, but if followed consistently, they can be your answer to quick and significant fat loss.

How Food Becomes Body Fat

How Food Becomes Body Fat
by Maia Appleby

Everyone knows that overeating leads to excess weight. This concept comes in many flavors these days, though. Some people think that carbohydrates are the culprit. Others think it's sugar. Some people think that eating lots of protein couldn't possibly make them gain weight. Hmmm...

The only way to determine the answer to this enigma is to go inside the human body and take a look at how fat gets there in the first place. Let's follow a bite of pepperoni pizza and see what happens to its sugar, fat and protein. Open wide!

The food enters your mouth:

Saliva contains enzymes that break any starch in the food down to sugar.

This, along with any fat and water in the food, travel to the stomach, which churns them up.

Pepsin (an enzyme that digests protein) and hydrochloric acid further break down the food, turning it into a substance called chyme.

The mixture enters the duodenum, (the place where the gall bladder secretes its bile).

This bile dissolves the fat in water, thinning it out and making it easier to absorb.

Enzymes from the pancreas enter the duodenum and further break down the sugar, fat and protein.

Now everything is dissolved and is in fluid form, so it is absorbed through the lining of the small bowel. Fat, sugar and protein wave good-bye to each other and go their separate ways.

What happens to the sugar:

It also goes directly into the blood stream, and several different organs take the sugar they need as it passes by.

Some is stored in the liver as glycogen.

Whatever is left is converted to fat and stored in fat cells with the excess fat above.

What happens to the fat:

First, it goes into the blood stream and travels to the liver

The liver burns some of the fat, converts some to other substances (one is cholesterol) and sends the rest to fat cells, where they wait until they are needed.

What happens to the protein:

It is broken down into building blocks known as peptides.

Then, it is further broken down and it becomes amino acids.

The amino acids are absorbed through the small intestine's lining and enter the blood stream.

From here, some of the amino acids build the body's protein stores.

Excess amino acids are excreted, and any protein that it built in excess is stored as body fat.

This is such a simple concept, but many people still believe that consuming lots and lots of protein will put muscle on their bones. Don't be fooled by this notion! Even excess protein turns to fat.

Here is a picturesque illustration of the real cause of weight gain. Eating too much food! Dietary fat is obviously the substance most often stored as fat in the ends, but no matter what you eat, your body takes whatever it can't use and sends it to fat cells. If you don't burn it off, it hangs around in your fat cells. It's that simple. If you want to lose weight, don't eat too much of anything -- and do exercise regularly

Sunday, October 18, 2009

10 Ways to Lose Weight

10 Ways to Lose Weight By: Beth Campbell

Here are some ways to lose weight that should help you achieve your weight loss goals. Some are very simple but you might not have thought of them. Others are a little more challenging, but worth the effort.

1. Make the decision to lose weight.

At first this may seem like a silly statement, but to be successful at anything, you have to make the decision that it is something important to you. If you really want to lose weight, then you need to make up your mind that you are going to do so and be determined in your pursuit of success.

2. Avoid the all or nothing mentality.

Let me give you an example. Have you even been on a diet and then you gave in to the craving for a cookie? Then after you ate the cookie, you decided that since you had already ruined your diet, that you would just eat whole bag of cookies. That is what is meant by all or nothing mentality. Realize that, as in most other endeavors, you are not going to be perfect at sticking to your diet, but do not let one slip send you into an eating binge. If you fall off the diet wagon, get right back on and put the rest of those cookies back in the cabinet.

3. Research diet plans and choose one that fits your goals and lifestyle.

Do not choose a diet just because it is the latest fad or because your friends are doing it or a popular celebrity is endorsing it. Make sure that the plan is one that you believe you can stick to based on your weight loss goal, your food tastes and your lifestyle.

4. Find time to exercise even if it is only a few minutes a day.

Even if you do not have time to go to a gym and do a planned program, try to find ways that you can integrate exercise into your everyday routine such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking further away so that you have to walk further to your car.

5. Keep a food diary.

This does not have to be a time consuming affair where you write down your feeling while you were eating, etc. Just taking a few minute to write down what you eat and then reading over that list at the end of the day can be a real eye opener. You may not realize just how many calories you are eating per day until you see it in writing.

6. Find a partner for support.

Finding a diet or work out partner will help keep you motivated. Most people do much better at achieving goals if they have the support of someone else.

7. Take a before weight loss photo.

You may not want to do this because if you are overweight, you are probably avoiding cameras, but at a later point when you have lost some weight, it will help you to see what you have achieved.

8. Set short term goals.

If you focus on losing 50 pounds, you can easily get discouraged, so focus on achieving smaller goals such as 5 pounds. If you keep reaching your small goals, before you know it, you will have reached your long term goals.

9. Reward yourself for success (but not with food).

Give yourself a reward for reaching a short term goal. For example, you can go to a movie you want to see, buy a new outfit, or get a massage. Just do not use food as a reward.

10. Do not let other people discourage you.

If you tell other people that you are trying to lose weight, some of them will probably be less than supportive or want to tell you about their failed efforts and make you feel like you will fail also. Realize that there are other people that just do not like to see anyone achieve success or that are just negative people in general and do not let those people get you down.

These are ways to lose weight that are effective but not dependent on any particular diet plan, so no matter what you are doing to try to achieve your weight loss goals, these ways to lose weight should help you to achieve them.

About the Author:

Beth Campbell holds a Masters degree in Counseling and writes about a variety of subjects. Having lost 122 pounds, her favorite subjects are weight loss and fitness. Learn her amazing secret to losing weight and see her before and after photos. Beth also gives free diet tips at her Ways to Lose Weight Squidoo Lens.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Perfect Fitness Plan for Women

A lot of women all over the globe are trying to shed unwanted pounds. While some are taking such drastic steps as taking diet pills that might bring more harm to their health, there are others that are going for surgical procedures that pose a great deal of side effects, risks, and complications. However, the fastest and best way to really lose weight effectively and maintain is to adhere to a good fitness strategy.

If you are a woman and you want to lose weight, here are three of the most important components that should be included in your plan for health and fitness:

Eating Healthy

The food that you take in every day plays a vital role in your weight loss. This is because your rate of metabolism will also depend on what you are eating, and in turn, your metabolism will also affect the way you will lose weight.

For a quick weight loss and better health, you must get rid of processed foods in your diet, especially those that contain unnatural ingredients. You should replace these with wholesome foods that are as organic as possible. This means that you have to throw away all the prepackaged and boxed foods in your fridge and instead consume more fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lean meats and whole grains.

Drinking Lots of Water

You should know that water aids in the proper functioning of the systems of the body. It will also aid in heightening the rate of metabolism. This means that increased water intake could encourage a greater loss of weight and could work well with your other strategies on weight loss as well. On the average, you would need at least eight glasses of water daily. However, if you are exercising regularly, this would have to be increased by two to four glasses everyday.

There is a way for you to ensure that you are taking in the proper amount of water every day. You can do this by always keeping a bottle of water near you where ever you go.

Exercising and Keeping Your Body Moving

Even if the metabolism rate of women tends to decrease beginning in their thirties, they can do something to alleviate this situation. They could keep their body moving always so that metabolism could be sped up, calories could be burned continually, and lean muscles mass can be formed. The ideal fitness plan that a woman should have must involve augmenting the muscle tone and heightening her heart rate by at least 65 percent even when at rest.

Because women posses a different structure when it comes to their bodies compared to men, they will fare better with low-impact workouts. There are a number of exercises that could provide these to women, and these include walking, swimming, and biking. It is also best for women to do some exercises for at 30 minutes every day and at least three times per week so that they can speed up their metabolism rates as well as work on the other factors that could help them lose weight. These exercise sessions could gradually be built up to become one-hour sessions done every day.

A Woman's Way to Healthier Fitness Stretching

Stretching is one of the easiest exercises a woman can do to make her body strong and fit. Stretching benefits the body by making the muscles supple and thus resistant to the wear and tear of strain and tension. It is why many people begin start their exercise routines with simple stretching to warm the muscles in preparation for more strenuous exercises.

However, the problem with stretching is that most people commonly take it for granted. Despite it being an easy workout, stretching is not given much importance, especially by women. As a result, instead of benefiting from stretching, the result is more damage to one’s body including possible injuries.

How Can I Make Stretching Beneficial?

Stretching practices the muscle’s ability to expand and retract. When the muscle is stretched too far, injuries are likely to follow. A muscle tear can be very painful.

The following tips should be followed during stretching to make it safest and most beneficial.

1)Wear comfortable and loose clothing. Make sure that the garments worn will not hamper the body’s movement in any way.

2)Do stretching first thing in the morning. It is best to do when the sun is still not up or when the sun is barely on the horizon. A blow of fresh air and the warmth of the sun are beneficial factors during stretching.

3)Do stretching regularly. Routine will allow the body to get used to the exercise, thus enabling it to adjust well to changes exercising may bring.

4)Your muscles are not elastic rubber bands. Make sure to warm up first to avoid causing strain. As such, one should do simpler activities like a few minutes walking to warm up the leg muscles. On the other hand, when one is engaging in a very strenuous exercise routine, stretching is the best preparation. However, make sure to finish off your exercise with stretching to conclude the exercise routine.

5)Do not overdo it. This is most applicable for those who will embark on stretching for the first time or after a long layoff. One should listen to their body. When the body begins to ache or when it shows signs of fatigue, one must learn to stop to avoid further damage.

6)Moreover, a woman should do stretching in slightly increasing levels of intensity and difficulty. This is to give the body time to adjust to stretching patterns as well as to prevent injury by suddenly embarking in a heavy routine.

7)Do not do stretching after meals. This will not give you the most benefit because digestion will prevent you from fully executing your stretching routine. It is best to do it before breakfast. Avoid eating a great deal much after stretching.