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Astrology and Weight Loss

Take a break from the serious side of dieting and see how the planets affect your weight. Of course, astrology cannot offer a scientific answer to obesity, but you may be surprised at how closely you fit the description for your star sign. Who knows, maybe the stars do have an influence over your eating habits and your general approach to dieting. Check out the advice for your star sign below, and see how closely you fit the profile.

AQUARIUS (20 Jan – 18 Feb)

Advice: Look for maximum support and avoid over-strict diets.

Overweight Aquarians are typically drawn to the mysterious. So initially they may be tempted by fad diets, supplements and food combining. Usually however, they end up choosing a more healthy diet, and because they tend to be optimistic and independent, they don’t quit easily. Even so, they need flexibility in their diet, as they do not like being pinned down. Also, the unpredictable nature of many Aquarians means they can flip from being a perfect dieter one day to a binge eater the next! Lastly, being private people, they tend not to join support groups – which can be a disadvantage. For best results, they should choose a flexible eating plan combined with an online support group where they can share their ups and downs without losing their privacy.

PISCES (19 Feb – 20 Mar)

Advice: If you’re overweight, don’t ignore the problem. Find a good incentive.

It’s not uncommon for Pisces dieters to say one thing, but then do the opposite! So their eating habits don’t always match their good intentions! That said, they are good organizers and once they start a diet they plan it well. Since they enjoy their food, they should choose a diet plan with plenty of variety. And for best effect, they should use their wonderful imagination to visualize how they will look when they reach their goal. Alas, Pisces don’t find it easy to start dieting. Often they depend on someone else to suggest it to them. Support is crucial for them as they are easily distracted. One critical comment can destroy their motivation, while even a minor amount of stress can drive them to binging. Despite this, young Pisces tend to lose weight quite easily once they develop a rhythm. However, older Pisces tend to gain weight easily. To minimize this, they should take action as soon as they start gaining in order to prevent obesity in later years.

ARIES (21 March – 19 April)

Advice: Be patient when dieting. Find a buddy or others to keep you on track.

Aries are often very interested in their health and appearance, so they hate being overweight. But although they tend to start a diet with enormous enthusiasm, unless they achieve rapid success they are tempted to give up and move on to something new – maybe another diet. Their dislike of restrictions as well as their impulsive nature can make it difficult for them to stick to a diet for very long. Yet if they apply their many positive qualities, and get support, they can be very successful. Not least because Aries love a challenge and have a great desire to succeed. To summarize, providing they accept their dieting weaknesses and take steps to overcome them – for example, by getting plenty of support – Aries dieters can achieve great success.

TAURUS (20 April-20 May)

Advice: Don’t go too long without food. Make exercise fun.

Taurus are too realistic to be attracted to fad diets or other weight loss gimmicks. And their methodical nature means that dieting comes easier to them. Furthermore, their normal patience ensures that they stay on track even if their weight loss is slow. However, typical Taurus tend to lose weight quite slowly, often because they have a slow metabolism and don’t really enjoy exercise. Also, a minority of Taurus can become very “set” in their ways, and may not find it easy to change their lifestyle. Where it occurs, Taurus obesity tends to be the result of a sweet tooth, a love of rich food and occasionally a self-indulgent streak. So eating regularly throughout the day will prove especially beneficial for them. Due to their dislike of exercise, they should join a fitness group for optimum support.

GEMINI (21 May – 20 June)

Advice: Set yourself realistic goals. Join a weight loss support group.

Despite the fact that Geminis tend to have a fast metabolism and burn calories quite quickly, this does not always guarantee success. This is due to their fickle nature, their impatience and occasionally their unrealistic expectations. Ideally, they should choose a Taurus diet buddy to help keep them on track. Even so, Geminis have many positive qualities that help them to lose weight. Their optimism and love of change can inspire them to embrace the necessary lifestyle changes. For best results, they should seek support to help them stay cool if and when weight loss slows down, and try to curb their natural tendency to weigh themselves every day!

CANCER (21 June -22 July)

Advice: It’s vital you have a powerful incentive to lose weight.

Overweight Cancerians can spend years worrying about their size and shape without taking remedial action. One reason for this is that they LOVE to feed themselves and others! So the idea of following a rigid calorie-controlled diet is not attractive to them, especially for more moody Cancerians with a tendency to eat for comfort. That said, patience is the greatest Cancerian asset. So once they commit to a diet and exercise program, Cancerian are very tenacious and tend to persevere until they reach their goals. But they must have a good incentive to lose weight, and they must choose a diet plan which suits their lifestyle and offers a wide variety of foods.

LEO (23 July – 22 August)

Advice: Don’t be distracted by fad diets.

When it comes to losing weight, Leos greatest strengths can be their greatest weaknesses. For example, if things go well, their enthusiasm and desire to succeed can make weight loss quite easy for them. But if they encounter difficulties and fail to meet their high standards, they often become despondent and quit. This is aggravated by the Leo desire for excitement, which increases their weakness for fad diets or other plans that promise “instant weight loss.” To combat this, it is particularly important for Leos to choose a healthy diet program that offers reliable weight loss, plus enough support to help them bounce back if they experience “bad days” or “bad weeks”.

VIRGO (23 August – 22 Sept)

Advice: Be realistic! Don’t expect to lose weight too fast.

Similar to Leos, Virgo dieters can struggle to lose weight despite their positive qualities. On the one hand they are gifted with great practicality, attention to detail and high standards, which leads them to choose sensible diets and which may give them great strength of purpose. On the other, they expect too much of themselves, which can be their downfall. If they don’t lose weight fast enough, either they feel too miserable and quit, or else they cut corners, eat too little and end up binging. To overcome this, Virgos should join a diet forum or support group which might help them to channel their energy and cope with occasional disappointments.

LIBRA (23 Sept – 22 Oct)

Advice: Boost your self-discipline by joining diet and exercise groups.

Libras tend to have a slower metabolism and may gain weight relatively easily. This is aggravated by their laid-back attitude, dislike of exercise and the Libra sweet tooth! On the other hand, Libras are very aware of their appearance and appreciate that in order to maintain their looks they need to eat healthily and take regular exercise. Once motivated they adapt well to new routines. For best results, Libras should avoid being tempted by any plan that promises “effortless” or “ultra-fast” weight loss, and choose a more realistic program. In addition, they should join an exercise group or gym to help them get a regular workout.

SCORPIO (23 Oct – 21 Nov)

Advice: Ease up. Don’t worry so much. You’re a natural winner.

Weight reduction tends to be easier for Scorpios than any other star sign. This is because Scorpios are positive, well-organized, determined and willing to follow a new diet regimen. If they have a weakness, it is their need to completely immerse themselves in their weight loss program. So if sudden obstacles appear, which prevent them from giving their utmost, some Scorpios can quickly become restless and dissatisfied. Also, in an attempt to lose weight as fast as possible, they can overdo things. They may reduce calories too far, or take too much exercise. If they avoid these traps, Scorpios typically achieve great success.

SAGITTARIUS (22 Nov – 21 Dec)

Advice: Focus on your diet and get plenty of exercise support.

When it comes to losing weight, Sagittarius have one major handicap: they try to take on too much. They are quite capable of starting a new diet and a new job at the same time. As a result, despite great enthusiasm and a genuine desire to finish what they start, they can’t give their diet the attention it requires. Result? The wheels come off. This situation is aggravated by Sagittarius impatience and an undomesticated nature. For best results, Sagittarius should limit their commitments, choose a diet which offers simple recipes and enough online support to help them overcome their periodic restlessness. A fun exercise program, such as an aerobic dance class, is especially beneficial for Sagittarius.

CAPRICORN (22 Dec – 19 Jan)

Advice: Go with the flow and learn to accept help.

Capricorns have a number of wonderful qualities. Extremely single-minded, well-organized and able to sacrifice everything to achieve their goals, Capricorns rarely have problems losing weight, provided they are motivated. However, they do not take advice easily, nor do they look for help, so if they experience problems – like a weight loss plateau, a sudden loss of motivation, or a weekend binge – they can find it difficult to recover. So for best results, Capricorns should be more prepared to take advice and seek support. As far as specific plans are concerned, a practical diet with strict rules is ideal.

Astrology and Weight Loss

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7,242 comments - What do you think?  Posted by branchd77 - June 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Categories: Basic Health, Intro   Tags: , , ,

Summer Weight Loss Plan

Being overweight in the summer heat is no fun. And exposing a fat stomach or fat thighs isn’t exactly pleasant when everyone else around you is wearing gnat-sized beachwear and drizzling oil onto wasp-like abdomens. In fact, for people carrying excess weight, summer can be an unpleasant trial involving countless opportunities for embarrassment and discomfort. So let’s take a look at how you can reduce some of your fat and make next summer a happier experience. But first, a warning.

Summer Weight Loss Trap
One guaranteed way to fail is to look for a “short cut” weight loss method or diet. You know what I mean: the type of program that promises “a fast effortless way to reduce weight”. In my experience, none of these diets or pills actually work, and the medical evidence is quite clear: the maximum rate of sustainable fat loss is between 1 and 2 pounds per week, perhaps a little more if you are obese. Besides, if a brilliant scientist did manage to concoct a formula for rapid effortless weight reduction, overnight he would be more famous than Einstein. He certainly wouldn’t be peddling his program in 30-second TV infomercials or mail-order advertisements. So for the sake of your sanity as well as your financial health, don’t waste time on weight loss methods that make extravagant claims. If you don’t believe this, think of any of your overweight friends who favor the short-term “lose 20 pounds in two weeks” type of approach, and ask yourself why they are still overweight.

Three Month Summer Diet Plan
You can’t lose much weight in a week or two. You need about three months to make a significant impact on your body shape. Remember, the human body is interested in survival, not cosmetic appearances, and since rapid weight loss is a prima facie symptom of disease not good health, the only guaranteed way to improve your body shape is to adopt a gradual approach of healthy eating and increased exercise. In three months, you can lose about 26 pounds – more than enough for most overweight people to experience noticeable health improvements as well as a much leaner body. And by reducing your weight gradually in this manner, you have far less chance of weight regain, so if necessary you can continue losing more with less danger of incurring a weight loss plateau or other obstacle.

You Need A Motive
No one likes to change their habits. So if you want to change your eating and exercise habits, you need a strong motive – something to keep you dieting and exercising when boredom sets in. Whatever motive you choose, it must be something more powerful than the urge to eat tasty high calorie foods in front of the TV!

A Good Motive For Summer Weight Loss
Anything that commits you in advance to achieving your weight loss goal, makes a great motive. So be bold. Book an expensive beach holiday, or buy some gorgeous clothes to fit the body you want to have at the end of your diet program. Both these actions require you to succeed, and therefore provide constant motivation along the way.

Men And Celebrities Have Better Motivation
In my experience, both with private clients as well as dieters who belong to my weight loss forum, men and celebrities exhibit the strongest motivation. Men, I suspect, because typically they have a narrower range of daily tasks and responsibilities than women. Celebrities, because typically they have a powerful commercial motivation to maintain their physical appearance. I offer weight loss help to a number of celebrity figures, some of whom are regulars on my forum, and I am always impressed with their ability to make short-term sacrifices to further their longer term goals. I guess that’s why they achieve so much.

Be Positive About Short Term Sacrifices
Whether you’re trying to lose weight for the summer, save money or pass exams, an important piece of the motivational jigsaw is your ability to be positive about making short term sacrifices. The choice is fairly simple: you can focus on the “deprivation” involved in giving up certain foods, or you can focus on the benefits you will get by not eating these foods. Sadly, many dieters focus on feeling deprived. After a while they see their diet as a burden, a bore, an evil necessity. This is why so many of them quit. They can’t “see” the benefits that weight loss will bring them. If you want to improve your body shape for the summer, you must avoid this trap and appreciate the longer term benefits you will receive by making short-term adjustments to your lifestyle.

The Good News About Improving Your Diet
Many of our tastes, food cravings, and general attitudes to food are strongly influenced by what we eat and drink. I know countless mothers with families who have reported astonishing changes in their personal and family eating habits after less than three weeks of improved eating. Point is, the average modern diet is loaded with sugar, fat and sodium, all of which condition us to want more of these items. But if you can break out of this dependence on junk-ingredients for even 2-3 weeks, you’ll notice a huge difference in your tastes. Which brings me to healthy eating.

Think Healthy Eating Not Weight Loss
In my experience, one of the most effective weight loss strategies is to focus on healthy eating. I’m not saying you shouldn’t stand on your weighing scales, just don’t measure progress exclusively by what the scales say. Be aware that it’s just as important to enjoy your food and feel good about your change of eating habits. And any diet you hate is guaranteed to fail, no matter how much weight you lose, because as soon as you achieve your goal, you will revert to your old eating habits and regain every pound lost.

The Top 10 Healthy Eating Habits
In a nutshell, a healthy diet involves (1) More home-cooked food, less eating out. (2) More fresh fruit as snacks. (3) More fresh vegetables as snacks and with meals. (4) More beans as sides or in stews. (5) More dense chewy bread, less refined white breads and bread snacks. (6) More fish, skinless chicken/turkey, less red meat. (7) Smaller servings of red meat, larger servings of vegetables. (8) Eating low fat dairy foods. (9) Adding less fat in the form of butter, mayo, sour cream, to the food on your plate. This is a huge source of excessive calories. (10) Stocking up with healthy snack foods to keep hunger at bay. If you fill up with healthy nutritious calories, you won’t want the junk foods that hunger makes you eat. As far as weight management goes, hunger remains Public Enemy Number One.

Exercise Provides Wonderful Indirect Benefits
Exercise does burn extra calories and therefore does help to widen your calorie deficit. But it’s direct effect on weight loss is typically quite small. In fact, it’s not uncommon to gain weight when you start exercising. The real weight reduction benefits of exercise are indirect ones. It raises our metabolic rate, helping us to burn calories at a slightly faster rate, and improves our mood, which typically reduces our need for comfort-eating. However, don’t overdo your exercise workouts. I’ve lost count of the number of dieters who started exercising too vigorously and burnt out within 3 weeks. Ideally, start with 45 minutes/day of any physical activity you can easily manage, and very gradually increase the duration and intensity. Listen to your body at all times, and be sure to loosen up beforehand and wind down afterwards.

See Yourself As You Want To Be
If your goal is a waistline you can proudly display in the sun, then don’t wait until it happens to “see” it. Visualize it from the moment you start dieting. Visualize yourself walking along a beach, or lying next to the pool with a perfectly flat stomach. Whatever your ambition for your weight or body, get used to visualizing it in the greatest possible detail. Because “seeing it” is the first step to making it come true. As they say, one picture is worth a thousand words.

Very Overweight? Just Visualize The Benefits!
If you have a lot of weight to lose (100 pounds+), you may not think that losing 26 pounds in three months is particularly worthwhile. If so, ask yourself this question. What’s the alternative? No matter what method you choose, you won’t lose weight any faster, so it’s only a question of when you start and how long it’s going to take. I can answer the last question right now. Losing 100 pounds takes about a year – typically a little longer to allow for disasters along the way. Fifteen months would be a more realistic time span to reduce weight by this amount. This is nothing. Just visualize yourself walking down the street 100 pounds lighter, and tell me that eating healthily for 15 months is too high a price to pay for such a wonderful prospect.

Your First Priority – Get Support
If you really want to lose weight for the summer, your first priority is to find support. Join a diet-group at work, or a fitness class, or go to weight loss meetings. Or join an online forum. Losing weight on your own is perfectly possible, providing things go well and your scales keep saying nice things. But when difficulties arise, as they surely will, having the support of real people can make all the difference between success and failure. If you experience difficulty finding support, try my own weight loss forum. It’s great fun and very inspirational.

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7,431 comments - What do you think?  Posted by branchd77 - at 4:58 pm

Categories: Basics, Dieting   Tags: , , , , ,

Diet as a Lifelong Effort and Not a Quick Fix

A common expression is that we’re “going on a diet.” The phrase suggests that, like a vacation trip, there is a beginning and an end. We dream of the day we will reach our weight goal and how wonderful it will be when we don’t have to lead a life of painful deprivation.

In the back of our minds, there is a comforting little tape playing, promising us that when our weight loss campaign is over, we’ll be able to stop counting calories, carbohydrates, or fats. We long for the day when we no longer have to clench our teeth as we refuse a favorite dish that always causes us to salivate in our sleep. We reach for the carrot and celery sticks without anticipation or enthusiasm while torturing ourselves with visions of the special treats we’ll enjoy when the diet is over.

Uh, hello?

Allowing ourselves to think of a diet as a delineated, restricted period within our total life span is a sure avenue back to tent city (that refers to what we wear, not where we live). To have any hope of attaining permanent weight control, we must approach it as a lifelong effort, watching our intake day after day, week after week, year after year.

You feel your heart sinking in your chest. You think “If I have to live like this all the time, it’s just not worth it!” That little voice promises you that you are different. You can relax because now you know how to lose weight, you can do it anytime you want. Gain five pounds and you’ll go back on your diet and be back to goal in no time at all.

But you won’t! Think back over your chequered weight history. We all believe that once our weight is down, it will be so easy to go on a short diet if we gain back a few pounds. It doesn’t work that way, though, does it? We start gaining a pound here and a pound there, but then there are some special events coming up and a diet would be so inconvenient. We don’t go back “on” our diet until we’ve gained enough weight to develop the self-disgust that warrants a new period of serious deprivation. We have become a full-fledged member of the yo-yo club, that vast majority of dieters who cannot keep the weight off for more than a few weeks.

The reasons we go “on” and “off” diets are numerous: they are boring, depressing, and very uncomfortable. They set us apart from friends, family, and coworkers who continue to snack, to feast, and to celebrate. We resent how diets make us feel and how they impact our daily lives.

Let’s look at the whole picture from a different perspective for a minute.

Instead of “a diet” envision a way of eating that involves living on a diet for the rest of your life. While the prospect may appall you, don’t say you can’t do it just yet.

First, consider another wide-spread concept many of us accept. To lose substantial weight in a relatively short time, we need to select the diet that seems to fit us and then stay with it, religiously, until we’ve reached our goal.

Let’s now take these two concepts, squish them together, and then turn them upside down.

We are not “going on a diet.” We are starting our diet-for-life. We then pick a diet, any diet at all, and make the commitment to stick with that diet for one week, and one week only. At the end of the week, we are going to pick an entirely different diet to which again we only commit for a one week period. This continues for virtually the rest of our lives with selected diets changing on a weekly basis.

What does this accomplish? A whole bunch of things:

1.

By selecting a different diet each week, it removes those common misgivings that maybe we should have gone in a different direction. We worry that we’re not getting the right nutrients or that we’re going to get sick or develop a rare disease. We read the diet ratings and panic at the warnings posted for all the popular programs. With our new approach, you don’t have to fret about if you made a good or bad choice because you’ll be making a new choice in a week.

2.

If there are particularly painful “No-Nos” in this week’s diet, resolve to try something next week that allows a currently forbidden fruit. For example, a primarily protein regimen has been found successful for many participants who often lose five or ten pounds in a week. However, they miss the vegetables and salad they enjoy. The next week could then be a vegetables and salad only routine, also successful for rapid weight loss but a bit lean on the protein you body needs for self-repair.

You may then find yourself craving some good bread so you switch to the Subway diet for a week until your craving is satisfied. Move on to something completely different – the cabbage soup diet or liquid shakes. Since there are literally thousands of diets, a few are bound to include the food you crave.

You are never more than a week away from having what you feel you absolutely must have in order to keep going. You can include spartan fad diets that move fat quickly and you can include calorie counting or Weight Watcher diets that allow almost anything so long as you adjust your intake to stay within the totals specified.

3.

The frequent changes in your eating patterns keep your body off-balance. Give the body enough time and advance notice and it will adapt to anything, turning protein into carbohydrates and storing even low calorie carbohydrates as little pockets of fat. By totally changing what you eat on a regular basis, the body gives up trying to figure out how to thwart you and spends its time efficiently processing what you give it. You are effectively using your smart little mind to outmaneuver your smart not-so-little body.

4.

The constant changes force you to buy food in smaller packages. It’s pointless and wasteful to buy those family packs of anything. That will help you with overall portion reduction, a must for any serious dieter. Your shopping goal is only to purchase items that you can consume within a week. If you see something that you particularly want but is not on your allowed list, make a mental note to find a diet for next week that can accommodate it.

5.

The need for a new diet each week requires that you read and research a lot of diets. The reading acts as reinforcement for your goals and will assure your continuing education on nutrition and fitness. When you see something that intrigues you or just makes a lot of sense, try it out. Perhaps one week will involve barely restricted eating but require a lot of exercise. Go for it – it’s only a week.

6.

You are in the happy position of having wide choices available but also the needed structure of an organized plan to follow. The regimented eating is within each week’s diet; the power of choice is operative when you decide what the next week’s program will be.

7.

Can you stay on a diet permanently? Yes, you can, because you’re not restricting yourself from anything for life, just for a week at a time. Should you stay on a diet for the rest of your life? Yes, you probably should as long as you are getting a balance of foods from an intelligent mixing of alternative diet plans. If you like one diet more than another, or if one particular program works exceptionally well for you, by all means cycle that diet into your routine on a regular basis. Just make sure you don’t use the same plan more than once a month or your body is going to be ready for it and Zap! you find it no longer works so well.

8.

Can you over-diet? We have all seen (although they seem to be harder to find these days) overly thin, cadaverous dieters with sunken cheeks and loose skin. That can be avoided by making your selected diets very diverse so you are never without needed nutrients for very long. For example, many retirement homes and assisted living co-ops produce thin seniors with pallid skin and protruding abdomens. Replace their mushy, high starch meals with any of the myriad high protein and vegetable-fruit diets and their color will improve, their energy increase, and their tummies fade.

9.

Can you ever be too thin? Visit an eating disorder facility and you will see the results of anorexia nervosa, not a pretty sight and highly dangerous from a medical standpoint. If you have a history of overweight, you may tell yourself that being too thin will never be in the cards for you. However, there are not infrequent cases of the perennial heavy who becomes anorexic through dieting too much with resulting anxiety about gaining back even an ounce of the flesh so painfully discarded. If you have a distorted body image, and reliable friends are concerned about your being too thin, get professional help.

10.

It all comes down to using your brain intelligently. When you are at your heaviest, with the most to lose, the logical choice is a rather spartan program that will get the fat moving quickly. As you lose, more moderate programs can be interspersed so that your skin and cheeks have a chance to adjust and fill in as your weight stores become redistributed. If a particular part of your body is resistant to reduction, exercise may become a more important part of your plan than simply a dietary approach. Once you are hovering at your ideal weight, simple calorie counting or support group involvement may be all you need.

The secret is to be rational about it all and use that wonderful mind of yours to set the program for your not-so-intelligent body with its insatiable appetite and poundage conservation cravings. Don’t try to cheat unless you want to cheat yourself and then be honest and admit that, for whatever reason there is, you want to avoid further weight loss. When you want and need to lose fifty pounds, an ice cream and chocolate diet is not rational. When you are at ideal weight or below, a stringent fad diet makes no sense.

Will all this mixing of diets result in consistent weight loss? There is never consistency in weight loss because there are just too many factors involved: water retention, digestive inefficiencies, the amount of energy expended, and individual body quirks. Over time, you will lose steadily but there will always be some ups and downs along the way.

Once the concept of “going on a diet” has been discarded, a lifelong eating plan can be embraced, guaranteed to leave you in control of your weight for the rest of your long slender life.

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7,415 comments - What do you think?  Posted by branchd77 - at 4:57 pm

Categories: Basics, Dieting   Tags: , , , ,

Psychology of Diet Preparation

We decide to lose weight because of any number of reasons: we don’t like the way we look, our clothes don’t fit, our health is in danger, our significant other is wandering, our job is at risk, or our kids are embarrassed. We tend to think of weight loss as something that involves only our body; surely no one ever decided to lose weight because of a fat brain or a bloated mind.

Yet “we decide” is a mental function. When and why we make such a decision depends on our mind, not our body. We may make the decision when we are five pounds heavier than we would like, or after passing the two hundred pound mark and entering true medical obesity. The actual size of the body does not trigger the decision to lose weight, such a choice in made in the brain.

Since the start (and the continuation) of a diet program is a mental process, it would seem to be worthwhile to explore what factors might trigger such a decision.

1. Self-Image.

Each of us has a dual image: the face we turn to the world and our internal idea of how we appear. Although we dress and groom ourselves in an effort to be seen as attractive by others, we are far less influenced by others than by our satisfaction, or dissatisfaction, with ourselves.

Explore this concept by observing yourself and others over the course of the next week. You will notice that you often receive compliments on clothes you wear that, to you, don’t feel “quite right.” Wear a favorite outfit that fits perfectly, that you think looks outstanding, and that makes you feel especially dashing – and no one notices! The same phenomenon occurs with a hairstyle. One morning, rushed for time, you can’t get your hair to do anything so you angrily pull it back with clips and hope that no one important sees you looking so awful. Voila! Three people comment that they like what you’ve done with your hair.

There is the same disconnect when it comes to our weight. If we look good in our mind’s eye, we don’t feel fat, even if friends and coworkers are whispering about our steady weight gain. However, if we see ourselves as overweight, no amount of reassurance from those around us is going to make us feel less fat. Carried to the extreme, this mental picture of our body size can lead to the eating disorder anorexia nervosa in which painfully thin individuals continue to dangerously restrict their caloric intake because they consistently see themselves as too heavy.

We decide to go on a diet, therefore, in response to our internal self-image. Some of the benefits we envision that go along with being slim and fit do take others into account: I will be more attractive to the opposite sex; I’ll be noticed at work when it’s time for a promotion; my family and friends will be jealous and will have to re-evaluate me as a stronger person than they had thought. But the real payoff for getting in shape is what it does for us personally. It is the desire to feel great about ourselves that carries us through the pain and monotony of diet and exercise. It is the future vision of ourselves in our mind that spurs us toward our goal. Losing that vision, or concluding that we won’t feel that much better about ourselves, are the reasons we give up and fall back into the relative comfort of settling for just “okay.”

2. Body versus Mind dominance.

We all wage a lifelong internal battle between our body and our mind. Each is dominant at different stages of development. As infants, we are little more than a collection of sensations. We explore the exciting new world around us through touching everything within reach, tasting everything we can put into our mouths, watching the movements of everything around us, and listening to all the sounds we hear until we eventually learn to imitate them.

As we move into our early school years, we start to concentrate on our minds. We voraciously devour immense amounts of information. We learn to read and our world expands its boundaries by a thousand percent. We learn to use the Internet and a limitless universe is at our fingertips.

Then we move into puberty and, overnight, our appearance becomes the dominating factor in our everyday lives. We navigate the pitfalls and pleasures of adolescence where popularity and being cool are so much more vital than mere learning or mental development. We spend an inordinate amount of time on our bodies. We try new clothes, new hairstyles, and new makeup. We have body parts pierced and undergo the pain of a tattoo because it will make us stand out. We primp, and groom, and force ourselves into the styles our peers have judged as “in.”

As we mature, we seek to balance our mental and physical selves. While our bodies reign supreme in the attract-a-mate environment, we need to exercise our minds to advance our careers and to develop deep relationships that move far beyond mere physical attraction.

It is when we settle down, and start to build the good life we want, that our efforts and energies turn towards things outside ourselves: children, significant others, friends, family, and work pursuits. We have so much happening around us and so much to do that we lose touch with both our bodies and our minds. We slip into our own comfort zone where so many of our needs are fulfilled by food. It eases our anxiety, relieves our frequent frustrations, and makes periodic bouts of the blues bearable. It oils our social interactions. It becomes a vital cog in how we demonstrate affection for those we love. We continue to see ourselves as we have always been and ignore the love handles and pockets of fat that attach themselves to parts of our body we resolutely ignore. Our bodies, and our internal image of our bodies, become more and more discordant.

3. Our sense of self-efficacy.

Self-efficacy is a term used in psychology to describe an individual’s belief that any action they take will have an effect on the outcome. It is not self-confidence, nor a belief that one is competent to do something, although it may involve both. It reflects our inner expectation that what we do will effect the results we want.

If I lack this belief, then I fear that whatever I do will not bring about my desired goal.  Bordering on helplessness, it leads to self-defeating thoughts:

“No matter how carefully I diet, I don’t lose weight . . .” “I could work out every day but I’ll never get rid of these thunder thighs . . .” “I try to eat healthier foods but my hips just keep on spreading . . .” “No matter what techniques I try, nothing is going to keep the wrinkles away . . .”

If I have a strong sense of self-efficacy, my belief system and thought patterns will sound like:

“All I have to do is get motivated and I can whip my body into shape in a few weeks . . .” “I just need to pick a date to start my diet and I’ll be on my way . . .” “I may have neglected myself for a while but some hard work will bring me back . . .”

Whether or not we start a diet, decide to get in shape, or start taking better care of ourselves is, ultimately, a personal decision which may, or may not, be made as we have planned. The difference lies in the expectation of success and it is always easier to set out on a journey we anticipate will be successful than it is to drag ourselves toward a goal where failure is the most likely outcome.

How can we combine these concepts to work for us in our desire to become slim, fit, and attractive?

We begin by examining our self-image and how we appear to others. Merely asking others “Do you think I’m getting too heavy?” doesn’t work unless you have a brutally honest friend or you ask someone who dislikes you. Most of us are culturally trained to spare others’ feelings so responses to such a question are more likely to be polite than true.

Concentrating on specifics can produce better feedback. Tell everyone that you’re completing a survey for a class you’re taking. Hand out a brief one page questionnaire requiring that each friend or coworker list three adjectives to describe different aspects of your physical appearance. Complete one of the sheets yourself.  Make sure that the answers are anonymous by requesting that no names be used and having someone else collect the completed sheets.

Once you have the responses back, compare them to your own answers and see where the descriptions diverge. You may find yourself becoming a little defensive: “My hips aren’t that big . . . my clothes do too make me look slim.” This isn’t an exercise to make you feel bad about yourself nor for you to gloat over the unexpected complimentary remarks you received. It is an organized effort to help you identify where your self-image and your image-in-the-world move apart. Those areas of divergence are a place to start in the effort to make the two images overlap.

Once the areas where work is needed have been identified, it is time to call on the immeasurable strength of our wonderful mind to start imposing the structure and organization we are going to need to effect the desired changes. Our mind can only get us where we want to go if it is supported by a belief in our ability to bring about a successful conclusion. Now is the time to dismiss any expectations of failure. There may have been many unsuccessful dieting and fitness attempts in the past. Leave them in the past. We are not somehow doomed to continue unproductive behaviors forever. We possess that jewel of evolution, the human mind, which is capable of just about anything. If we set our mind to any task, it will accomplish it, if our doubts and misgivings don’t get in its way.

We build up our positive expectations by exploring our memories to pile up a long list of prior successes. There may be major benchmarks such as bringing about a promotion we wanted, orchestrating a fantastic event, or working ourselves into an intensely satisfying relationship. However, the small personal triumphs count the most but are usually quickly forgotten or discounted as unimportant.

Studying hard and obtaining a good grade in a difficult class clearly demonstrates your ability to bring about the results you want. Go for quantity: the day you smiled at someone across a smoky room and ended up with a brief but lovely affair; the report you brought in on time which no one expected; the night you mastered a spin on ice skates. Keep going: making the drill team, shooting a stolen basket, making your own prom dress, dying your hair a wonderful color in your own bathroom, catching a fly ball, figuring out new software on your computer, burning your first CD. The list can be endless and will be, as you keep remembering snippets of the past that you had long buried under more important things.

Keep this list close by and read it regularly. It is your personal self-efficacy pep squad.

You now know the areas you are going to work on and are developing a belief in the effectiveness of your own efforts. Now you need to identify the internal rewards that successful weight loss will bring. Feeling good about yourself, enjoying stepping on a scale, and easily zipping up your clothes are easy starters. Unselfconsciously walking to the pool in a brief suit is a reinforcement to dream about. Making a sales presentation with the confidence that you are looking your absolute best is an image to relish as you fall asleep. Seeing someone you love watch you admiringly, or seeing your competitive coworker jealous, underscores your resolve and keeps you going through the discomfort of dieting and the demands of boring exercise routines.

You know where you’re going, you know what it’s going to take, and you know you’re going to be successful. Your mind is fully prepared, simply awaiting your day of decision. You’ll make that decision whenever you choose because you are now in control.

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Dieting for Smokers and Ex-Smokers

As a dietitian, the three most common questions which smokers ask me about diet and smoking, are: (1) Can a diet compensate for health damage caused by smoking? (2) What should I eat if I smoke? (3) If I quit, what type of diet is best to prevent weight gain?

(1) CAN A DIET COMPENSATE FOR SMOKING?

No diet or eating-plan, no matter how nutritious, can neutralize the health damage caused by the 850+ chemicals in tobacco smoke – many of which are carcinogenic. On average, if you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, you double your risk of a heart-attack and are five times more likely to suffer a stroke than a non-smoker. At 40 cigarettes a day, you are five times more likely to suffer from sudden cardiac death. Smoking is also the leading cause of lung cancer.

Thus before we even start to examine an appropriate type of diet for smokers, my overriding advice is: quit smoking today!

(2) WHAT SHOULD I EAT IF I SMOKE?

For anyone who smokes, daily diet nutrition is critical. The damage done to the body’s cardiovascular and respiratory functions requires a constant need for extra nutrients. Even if you smoke 5 cigarettes a day, you have increased nutritional needs due to your increased risk of hypertension, atherosclerosis, emphysema and numerous cancers. As stated, a healthy diet will not prevent these health conditions, but it may delay their development.

INCREASED NEED FOR ANTIOXIDANTS

Tobacco smoke leads to increased levels of free radicals – cancer-causing agents – in the body and a corresponding need for protective antioxidants that can neutralize them. The main antioxidant vitamins are vitamin C and vitamin E (which works best in combination with the mineral selenium). Phytochemicals such as bioflavonoids and carotenoids (eg. beta-carotene) are also rich in antioxidants.

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ANTIOXIDANT INTAKE

Use the following suggestions are a guide to minimum dietary requirements.

- Eat 3-5 daily servings of deep green, dark red, orange of yellow vegetables.

- Eat 3-5 daily servings of red, yellow, orange or green fruits.

- Switch from coffee to tea, ideally green tea.

- Each day, take 2 tsp of wheatgerm oil (rich in vitamin E) and 6 Brazil nuts (selenium).

[Note: a serving is approx 1 medium fruit, or 1/2 cup chopped]

SPECIAL NEED FOR INCREASED VITAMIN C

One cigarette is estimated to rob the body of 25mg of vitamin C. Thus all smokers have a greatly increased need for this antioxidant-rich vitamin simply to maintain minimum levels. In practice, this need can only be met by taking supplements. As a general guide, I suggest you take 1 gram of vitamin C supplements per day. Choose a “timed-release” brand that includes a minimum of 100mg bioflavonoids.

BEST DIETARY SOURCES OF VITAMIN C

Fruits, such as: blackcurrants, papaya, guava, cantaloupe, elderberries, kiwi fruit, mango, oranges, strawberries.

Fruit Juices, such as: cranberry, grapefruit, lemon, orange.

Vegetables, such as: red peppers, green peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, tomatoes.

PROTECTIVE CAROTENOIDS

Carotenoids are pigments found in plants. All carotenoids are antioxidants, the most common example being beta-carotene. It is found in green plants (eg. spinach), as well as orange and yellow plants, such as carrots, sweet potato and melons. Clinical trials indicate that when consumed in foods – not supplements – betacarotene reduces certain precancerous symptoms.

[Warning: for reasons which are still unclear, beta-carotene supplements actually increase the risk of disease (eg. lung cancer). Thus your intake of beta-carotene should come exclusively from food.]

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR INTAKE OF CAROTENOIDS

Use the following suggestions are a guide to minimum dietary requirements.

Eat 4 daily servings of deep green, yellow or red vegetables, including: carrots, sweetcorn, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato.

Eat 4oz tomatoes daily, either in sauce or chopped.

Eat 3 daily servings of colored fruit, including: melon, oranges, strawberries, mango, cherries.

PROTECTIVE BRASSICAS

According to research evidence, cigarette smokers who eat more brassicas have less incidence of cancers (eg. breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, prostate and stomach). As all these cancers are initiated by free radicals, it follows that brassicas may help to prevent other problems initiated by free radical damage and accelerated by smoking, such as: cataracts, emphysema, asthma and age spots.

Brassicas include: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage (all types), cauliflower, cress, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, radish, swede, turnip, watercress.

GARLIC AND ONIONS

Garlic is a good source of unique antioxidants and contains anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Its anti-tumor properties are well documented. Onions, a member of the same vegetable family, have similar properties to garlic.

MORE DIETARY TIPS FOR SMOKERS

Reduce the total fat in your diet. At the same time, minimize your intake of saturated fat and trans-fatty acids. Eat regular servings of omega-3-rich oily fish (eg. salmon, mackerel, sardines).

Eat healthy carbohydrates. Avoid refined white flour carbs, choose only whole grains such as, oats, brown rice, wholewheat pasta. In addition, choose foods rich in soluble fiber (eg. apples, oat bran).

Eat healthy low-fat protein such as fish, lean chicken/turkey, or egg-whites. Include small amounts of lean red meat in your diet, along with regular servings of soy foods (eg. soybeans) and other vegetable protein.

Reduce sodium in your daily diet. Check food labels and choose low-sodium or sodium-free foods. Also avoid adding salt when cooking or eating.As a dietitian, the three most common questions which smokers ask me about diet and smoking, are: (1) Can a diet compensate for health damage caused by smoking? (2) What should I eat if I smoke? (3) If I quit, what type of diet is best to prevent weight gain?

(1) CAN A DIET COMPENSATE FOR SMOKING?

No diet or eating-plan, no matter how nutritious, can neutralize the health damage caused by the 850+ chemicals in tobacco smoke – many of which are carcinogenic. On average, if you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, you double your risk of a heart-attack and are five times more likely to suffer a stroke than a non-smoker. At 40 cigarettes a day, you are five times more likely to suffer from sudden cardiac death. Smoking is also the leading cause of lung cancer.

Thus before we even start to examine an appropriate type of diet for smokers, my overriding advice is: quit smoking today!

(2) WHAT SHOULD I EAT IF I SMOKE?

For anyone who smokes, daily diet nutrition is critical. The damage doneto the body’s cardiovascular and respiratory functions requires a constant need for extra nutrients. Even if you smoke 5 cigarettes a day, you have increased nutritional needs due to your increased risk of hypertension, atherosclerosis, emphysema and numerous cancers. As stated, a healthy diet will not prevent these health conditions, but it may delay their development.

INCREASED NEED FOR ANTIOXIDANTS

Tobacco smoke leads to increased levels of free radicals – cancer-causing agents – in the body and a corresponding need for protective antioxidants that can neutralize them. The main antioxidant vitamins are vitamin C and vitamin E (which works best in combination with the mineral selenium). Phytochemicals such as bioflavonoids and carotenoids (eg. beta-carotene) are also rich in antioxidants.

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR ANTIOXIDANT INTAKE

Use the following suggestions are a guide to minimum dietary requirements.

- Eat 3-5 daily servings of deep green, dark red, orange of yellow vegetables.

- Eat 3-5 daily servings of red, yellow, orange or green fruits.

- Switch from coffee to tea, ideally green tea.

- Each day, take 2 tsp of wheatgerm oil (rich in vitamin E) and 6 Brazil nuts (selenium).

[Note: a serving is approx 1 medium fruit, or 1/2 cup chopped]

SPECIAL NEED FOR INCREASED VITAMIN C

One cigarette is estimated to rob the body of 25mg of vitamin C. Thus all smokers have a greatly increased need for this antioxidant-rich vitamin simply to maintain minimum levels. In practice, this need can only be met by taking supplements. As a general guide, I suggest you take 1 gram of vitamin C supplements per day. Choose a “timed-release” brand that includes a minimum of 100mg bioflavonoids.

BEST DIETARY SOURCES OF VITAMIN C

Fruits, such as: blackcurrants, papaya, guava, cantaloupe, elderberries, kiwi fruit, mango, oranges, strawberries.

Fruit Juices, such as: cranberry, grapefruit, lemon, orange.

Vegetables, such as: red peppers, green peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, tomatoes.

PROTECTIVE CAROTENOIDS

Carotenoids are pigments found in plants. All carotenoids are antioxidants, the most common example being beta-carotene. It is found in green plants (eg. spinach), as well as orange and yellow plants, such as carrots, sweet potato and melons. Clinical trials indicate that when consumed in foods – not supplements – betacarotene reduces certain precancerous symptoms.

[Warning: for reasons which are still unclear, beta-carotene supplements actually increase the risk of disease (eg. lung cancer). Thus your intake of beta-carotene should come exclusively from food.]

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR INTAKE OF CAROTENOIDS

Use the following suggestions are a guide to minimum dietary requirements.

Eat 4 daily servings of deep green, yellow or red vegetables, including: carrots, sweetcorn, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato.

Eat 4oz tomatoes daily, either in sauce or chopped.

Eat 3 daily servings of colored fruit, including: melon, oranges, strawberries, mango, cherries.

PROTECTIVE BRASSICAS

According to research evidence, cigarette smokers who eat more brassicas have less incidence of cancers (eg. breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, prostate and stomach). As all these cancers are initiated by free radicals, it follows that brassicas may help to prevent other problems initiated by free radical damage and accelerated by smoking, such as: cataracts, emphysema, asthma and age spots.

Brassicas include: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage (all types), cauliflower, cress, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, radish, swede, turnip, watercress.

GARLIC AND ONIONS

Garlic is a good source of unique antioxidants and contains anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Its anti-tumor properties are well documented. Onions, a member of the same vegetable family, have similar properties to garlic.

MORE DIETARY TIPS FOR SMOKERS

Reduce the total fat in your diet. At the same time, minimize your intake of saturated fat and trans-fatty acids. Eat regular servings of omega-3-rich oily fish (eg. salmon, mackerel, sardines).

Eat healthy carbohydrates. Avoid refined white flour carbs, choose only whole grains such as, oats, brown rice, wholewheat pasta. In addition, choose foods rich in soluble fiber (eg. apples, oat bran).

Eat healthy low-fat protein such as fish, lean chicken/turkey, or egg-whites. Include small amounts of lean red meat in your diet, along with regular servings of soy foods (eg. soybeans) and other vegetable protein.

Reduce sodium in your daily diet. Check food labels and choose low-sodium or sodium-free foods. Also avoid adding salt when cooking or eating.

TAKE REGULAR CARDIO-AEROBIC EXERCISE

No cigarette smokers diet-plan is complete without regular physical exercise. Working within your fitness capacity, gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts to about 30-45 minutes a day, on most days. For best effects on lung capacity and cardiovascular function, choose aerobic exercise such as: brisk walking, jogging, jumping rope, swimming and most sports.

(3) CAN YOU PREVENT WEIGHT GAIN AFTER YOU QUIT?

Yes, if you take proper physical exercise and eat a healthy calorie-controlled diet, you are unlikely to gain weight. However, in my experience, some weight gain seems to be inevitable.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE WEIGHT GAIN?

Most smokers gain weight immediately after they quit. Current evidence suggests that the average weight gain for both men and women who quit smoking is about 6-8 pounds. The more you smoke, the higher the risk of weight gain when you quit. This weight gain is due to the decrease in metabolic rate and an increase in appetite experienced when you quit smoking. This weight increase is perfectly normal, and need only be a short term event.

SO WHAT SHOULD I EAT?

There is no single diet which will prevent weight gain once you quit smoking. Your best option is to focus on healthy eating combined with regular vigorous exercise (within your fitness capacity) and let Nature do the rest. As a general guide, follow these suggestions.

First, cut down on caffeine. Nicotine withdrawal makes us jittery and nervous. So it’s important to avoid coffee and caffeine-rich soft drinks which may increase this nervous tension.

Second, increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables. Studies show that an increased intake of fruit and vegetables can help to minimize weight gain after you quit smoking. Eat them for snacks, add them to meals, eat them as starters and/or desserts. Eat them on car journeys instead of sweets or candy.

Third, eat little and often. Avoid the temptation to linger over your meals. Get into the habit of eating smaller meals at more regular intervals. Aim to eat something, no matter how small, every 2-3 hours. This helps to maintain a regular rate of calorie-burning.

Fourth, take steps to learn more about nutrition and choose nutrient-dense foods whenever possible. (See above for information about antioxidants, and healthy fats, carbs and protein.)

WHAT ELSE CAN I DO TO PREVENT WEIGHT GAIN?

Make physical exercise a top priority in your daily schedule. Ideally join a gym or fitness center and get into shape. Research evidence demonstrates a clear link between exercise and weight control after you quit smoking. Choose both cardio-aerobic and strength-training exercises, as both play an important role in raising metabolic rate.

Also, make sure you get enough sleep. Research evidence shows that lack of sleep may lead to weight gain, as well as an increased craving for cigarettes and food.

TAKE REGULAR CARDIO-AEROBIC EXERCISE

No cigarette smokers diet-plan is complete without regular physical exercise. Working within your fitness capacity, gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts to about 30-45 minutes a day, on most days. For best effects on lung capacity and cardiovascular function, choose aerobic exercise such as: brisk walking, jogging, jumping rope, swimming and most sports.

(3) CAN YOU PREVENT WEIGHT GAIN AFTER YOU QUIT?

Yes, if you take proper physical exercise and eat a healthy calorie-controlled diet, you are unlikely to gain weight. However, in my experience, some weight gain seems to be inevitable.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE WEIGHT GAIN?

Most smokers gain weight immediately after they quit. Current evidence suggests that the average weight gain for both men and women who quit smoking is about 6-8 pounds. The more you smoke, the higher the risk of weight gain when you quit. This weight gain is due to the decrease in metabolic rate and an increase in appetite experienced when you quit smoking. This weight increase is perfectly normal, and need only be a short term event.

SO WHAT SHOULD I EAT?

There is no single diet which will prevent weight gain once you quit smoking. Your best option is to focus on healthy eating combined with regular vigorous exercise (within your fitness capacity) and let Nature do the rest. As a general guide, follow these suggestions.

First, cut down on caffeine. Nicotine withdrawal makes us jittery and nervous. So it’s important to avoid coffee and caffeine-rich soft drinks which may increase this nervous tension.

Second, increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables. Studies show that an increased intake of fruit and vegetables can help to minimize weight gain after you quit smoking. Eat them for snacks, add them to meals, eat them as starters and/or desserts. Eat them on car journeys instead of sweets or candy.

Third, eat little and often. Avoid the temptation to linger over your meals. Get into the habit of eating smaller meals at more regular intervals. Aim to eat something, no matter how small, every 2-3 hours. This helps to maintain a regular rate of calorie-burning.

Fourth, take steps to learn more about nutrition and choose nutrient-dense foods whenever possible. (See above for information about antioxidants, and healthy fats, carbs and protein.)

WHAT ELSE CAN I DO TO PREVENT WEIGHT GAIN?

Make physical exercise a top priority in your daily schedule. Ideally join a gym or fitness center and get into shape. Research evidence demonstrates a clear link between exercise and weight control after you quit smoking. Choose both cardio-aerobic and strength-training exercises, as both play an important role in raising metabolic rate.

Also, make sure you get enough sleep. Research evidence shows that lack of sleep may lead to weight gain, as well as an increased craving for cigarettes and food.

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7,384 comments - What do you think?  Posted by branchd77 - at 4:54 pm

Categories: Basics, Dieting   Tags: , , ,

Don’t Lose Your Hair

Men and hair loss seems always to have been a losing combination. Although male pattern hair loss is very common—two out of three men will experience it—and is hardly ever associated with serious health risks, it’s hard to imagine a common condition that is met with more anxiety. But much of the stigma surrounding male hair loss is due to half-truths and exaggerations. So if you start noticing there’s not as much hair up there, don’t pull out the rest of it in worry—take our quiz below and learn what’s going on with your body and how you can slow the follicle fallout.

If you’re losing hair, it’s male pattern baldness.

False. It’s true that for 95 percent of men who lose their hair, male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, is the culprit. With this condition, an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that causes hair follicles to shut down hair production. Male pattern baldness can begin appearing in men in their 20s and usually progresses slowly from the front or apex of the scalp, or both.

But male pattern baldness is not the only cause of male hair loss—and it’s important to talk to your physician or dermatologist to determine the cause, because it can point to certain health problems. For example, if your hair is falling out quickly and in small patches, it may be a sign of alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the hair. Stress can also lead to rapid hair loss. In these cases, the hair usually regrows after several months. Other causes include a severe ailment or major surgery; protein, vitamin B, or iron deficiencies; medication complications; or thyroid disease.

It’s your mother’s fault.

False. Male pattern baldness is a largely genetic characteristic that can be inherited from either your mother or your father. It’s even possible to acquire the hair-loss gene from both parents. In fact, the same gene also causes hair loss in women, although because of hormonal differences, women tend to lose their hair in small amounts all over their scalp.

There’s hope.

True. Here’s the good news: In many cases, male pattern baldness can be treated. In the early stages, many conventional physicians prescribe either minoxidil lotion, applied topically, or finasteride, taken orally. These medications have been shown to slow hair loss in many patients and, in some cases, cause hair to grow back. According to Robert Brodell, MD, professor of internal medicine in the dermatology section at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, complications associated with both drugs are minimal, but there are downsides. Not only are the medications expensive, but they only work for as long as you take them. “I tell my patients that they are going to be on one of those medicines for 5 years or 10 years or 15 years, until they are married and have kids and don’t care anymore,” says Brodell. “And then when they stop their medicine, we fully expect them to start losing their hair again.” Great strides are being made in the field of hair transplants, but like any invasive therapy, these procedures are expensive and time-consuming and should not be undertaken lightly.

If surgery or drug therapies aren’t for you, a number of naturopathic remedies might offer similar results—without the high cost. Keith F. Zeitlin, ND, a naturopathic physician with a private practice in Connecticut, recommends the herbs saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) and stinging nettle root (Urtica dioica), and the supplement beta-sitosterol, which all appear to work similarly to conventional medicines by shutting down the enzyme 5-alpha reductase’s creation of dihydrotestosterone, the hormone that ceases hair production. “If we can inhibit that enzyme, we can actually inhibit hair loss,” says Zeitlin. (For more information, see “Herbs and Supplements for Hair Loss,” below.)

Another option is mesotherapy, a treatment in which very short needles are used to inject homeopathic remedies; vitamins such as biotin; or conventional medicines such as minoxidil just underneath the surface of the scalp. “The skin is used as a natural time-release system,” says practitioner Harry Adelson, ND, a Utah-based pain-medicine specialist. “Whatever it is you are injecting remains in the area for up to a week and continually penetrates down into the deeper tissue.”

You can live a hair-healthy lifestyle.

True. Although there’s no apparent validity to the old wives’ tales that sexual activity or excessive hat wearing can cause hair loss, other lifestyle choices may indeed hurt your hair. In fact, it might make more sense to keep that hat on; a study conducted at the University Hospital of Zurich in Switzerland proposed that ultraviolet rays from the sun might injure hair follicles (Dermatology, 2003, vol. 207, no. 4). How you clean and care for your hair may also be a factor in hair loss. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, too many chemical treatments such as dying, straightening, and bleaching, as well as excessive washing, towel drying, and brushing, may weaken or damage your hair, causing it to break or fall out.

Those worried about hair loss should also reevaluate their diets. Zeitlin warns that very large doses of vitamin A can lead to vitamin A toxicity and eventual hair loss. He recommends his patients replace vitamin A-rich foods and saturated fats, which may also encourage hair loss, with green vegetables, whole grains, essential fatty acids, and other foods rich in hair-healthy vitamins and minerals such as zinc. What you drink may also play a role: According to a 2003 study, alcohol consumption may aggravate hair loss (British Journal of Dermatology, 2003, vol. 149, no. 6).

Hair loss is a bad thing.

False. Let’s not forget the cheapest, easiest, and safest treatment for male pattern hair loss: doing nothing at all. After all, hair loss is not usually a health concern and, despite what our culture may sometimes suggest, there’s nothing wrong with showing a little skin—on your head, that is. After all, look at Patrick Stewart, Bruce Willis, and Sean Connery. “I certainly wouldn’t recommend that anybody have their male pattern baldness treated who isn’t bothered by it,” says Brodell. “I’m losing my hair, and I’m not using any of these treatments.”

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7,453 comments - What do you think?  Posted by branchd77 - June 7, 2011 at 11:50 pm

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Possible Treatments for Hair Loss

Many people experiencing premature hair loss simply resign themselves to a process that is as inevitable as growing old. This is a positive and healthy reaction to what is a natural process for many. But for others the onset of premature balding or excessive hair loss represents a traumatic development that causes untold worry and suffering. This too is a legitimate reaction regardless of whether the hair loss is caused by hereditary factors or some other more complex cause.

Should these sufferers just grin and bear it? No, they should not because there are a number of potentially effective treatments they could utilize, depending on the nature of their hair loss. In this article I will outline some of the most popular hair loss treatments currently available in order to reinforce the fact that hair loss can be treated. The next article in the series will look closely at the treatment regimes best suited to specific ailments such as alopecia areata and telogen effluvium.

At present only two medications have been approved as hair loss treatments by the FDA. These are minoxidil, better known as Rogaine, and finasteride, better known as Propecia. Several other drugs have proven to be effective in combating hair loss, dutasteride for example, but have not yet been approved for this particular use.

Finasteride was originally developed to treat enlarged prostate conditions but a low dose version was subsequently approved for the treatment of hair loss in men. It tackles the causes of male pattern baldness by preventing the conversion of 5-alpha-reductase into DHT. Given that DHT is the main male hormone linked to hair loss, reducing its production by two thirds has a major impact on controlling this type of baldness.

Research has shown that 83% of men studied were able to maintain their hair count and 64% experienced regrowth by the end of a two year period. It should be noted that finasteride is approved for use by men only as the drug can have serious effects on unborn male fetuses. Women should therefore only consider using this drug under the strict supervision of a physician.

Dutasteride (Avodart) is a new medication for use in treating prostate conditions and, although not yet approved for the treatment of hair loss, it does offer exciting possibilities. It works in a similar way to finasteride but reputedly reduces overall DHT production by over 93%. As is the case with finasteride, women should consult their physician before using dutasteride.

Minoxidil (Rogaine) is the other hair loss treatment approved by the FDA and it is the only anti-baldness drug approved for women. Applied topically, its main benefit is its ability to stimulate regrowth thus reversing the effects of pattern baldness. Many users combine the application of minoxidil with other hair loss treatments like Propecia to achieve maximal results, but others experience satisfactory outcomes using minoxidil on its own.

Several studies have shown that certain non-drug products promote hair regrowth but none have yet been approved by the FDA. This is partly due to the prohibitive costs involved in conducting trials to prove that the products are effective for the purpose of marketing them as hair loss treatments. Many individuals and dermatologists nonetheless recommend use of certain non-drug treatments as an alternative or complement to drug therapy.

In many instances the treatments are based on natural ingredients that stimulate similar responses to those of the prescribed drugs but without the side effects. The information provided here presents a sample of products that have been subjected to testing or at least have had their effectiveness supported by independent feedback.

One such product is Arcon Tisane which has become Europe’s top selling natural supplement for hair loss. It comes as a capsule and sub-lingual spray containing saw palmetto and fenugreek stimulating a response similar to that of finasteride by inhibiting the production of DHT. Arcon Tisane has been clinically tested and has received widespread media coverage of its success in combating hair loss.

Calosol is a relatively new product aimed at helping alopecia areata sufferers. It consists of a shampoo and an accelerator applied daily in order to stimulate hair roots, reduce hair loss and promote healthy hair. Early indications suggest that Calosol can contribute significantly to easing this distressing and difficult to treat condition.

Fabao 101 is a treatment that comes in varying formats, each designed to tackle a particular form of hair loss. The common factor to each product is their derivation from natural plant sources. It was developed by a dermatologist and has received many international awards.

Folligen copper peptide products are designed to help create an environment that improves scalp health, reduces hair loss and stimulates hair regrowth. It can be used by both men and women. Studies at over 30 leading universities and medical research institutes have established the effectiveness of the technology utilized in Folligen products.

Tricomin is another treatment that targets the delivery of copper to the base of the hair follicle and it too has been clinically proven as an effective treatment for stopping hair loss and stimulating regrowth. It can be used safely with other hair loss treatments and can be especially useful in complementing the effects of finasteride and minoxidil.

Revivogen is an all-natural hair loss treatment that reduces DHT production, blocks the androgen receptors and stimulates hair growth. It is used topically and has no known side effects.

Shen Min is another natural hair loss treatment designed to restore and regrow all types and stages of hair loss. It is safe for both men and women. Shen Min contains a blend of Chinese herbs and comes in various forms to suit most people.

ThymuSkin was developed by German scientists to fight hair loss in patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Due to the high success rates the product was developed for use by the general public to combat all types of hair loss. Clinical studies conducted in Europe show that ThymuSkin hair loss treatments could help to stop baldness and regrow hair for 67% of men and 95% of women.

Hopefully this article has demonstrated that many treatment options are available to hair loss sufferers. The next article in this series will develop the theme further by examining the treatment regimes that have proven effective in tackling specific forms of hair loss such as androgenetic alopecia, alopecia areata and telogen effluvium.

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7,422 comments - What do you think?  Posted by branchd77 - at 11:49 pm

Categories: Body, Physical Health   Tags:

Learn Which Foods Give You Energy

Learn Which Foods Give You Energy

 

Do you want to know how to feel good? Do you want to be vibrant for a long time? Take care of your body and it will take care of you.

Digestion takes probably more energy than anything else. The average meal takes 3 hours and 30 minutes to digest if combined properly. Incorrectly combined food can sometimes take up to 14 hours to digest. This is a very powerful way to conserve energy.

Take note: Recall the last time you had a huge meal…a huge meal when you felt so full you could hardly move. That doesn’t make you feel like going out and running a marathon, does it? How often do you feel like going out and running a marathon after eating a huge steak?

How would you like to learn something interesting? Starches and proteins require different mediums to digest in the stomach. One requires acid in the stomach to digest and the other alkaline. Now anyone with even a basic knowledge of chemistry knows that acids and alkalines cancel each other out.

If you want to have more energy you need to learn to properly combine your foods.

You’ve probably heard people say you need to eat more vegetables. I heard that too for a long time. It didn’t motivate me to go out and eat it. It wasn’t until I understood that food is literally the building blocks of all the substances of your body that I understood the importance of it. What you eat literally becomes your brain, your liver, your kidneys, your skin and your eyes. This is powerful. What you put in to yourself becomes part of your body.

If 70-80% of your body is water, what does it make sense to eat? Foods which have a 70-80% water content. Vegetables are the most important food you will feed yourself in your lifetime. Vegetables will cause your energy to increase, your skin to look brighter, your eyes to sparkle, your energy to rise and your libido to increase. Vegetables are high in almost every substance known to be essential to the building of the body and life.

For the next 7 days eat a salad with every meal.

See, would you take a green shiny apple, spray it with fly spray, then eat it? You know how ridiculous that sounds. Would you eat it? Of course not. Yet that’s what’s happening to our food every day. Our fruits and vegetables are now being treated with pesticides and industrial strength sprays that are poisonous to the delicate insides of our body. Some foods are now being treated with radiation. It’s now proven conclusively that radiation contributes to cancer.

If you tried describing sex to an alien, they probably wouldn’t understand it until they experienced it. They wouldn’t understand it until they did it. You won’t understand the power of making at least 50% of your diet vegetables until you take this and do it. Vegetables are around for a reason, and for the same reason there are no hamburger trees!

Organic food contains up to 3 times the amount of nutrients of conventional fruit and vegetables. How would you like to eat spinach and have the nutrients of 3 times the amount? I certainly would. As food grows, it’s draws nutrients from the ground. The better the quality of soil, the more nutrients can be drawn into the food. Research reports many of our foods are missing vitamins, minerals, enzymes etc because of depleted soils. Buy organic food wherever possible.

The brain knows when you are full, because the stomach sends a signal to a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is 12 minutes “behind” the stomach. There is literally a 12 minute delay between being full, and your body knowing you are full. When you stop eating before you are full, you give your body a chance to recover energy.

Sugar is widely considered to be one of the most dangerous substances for the body. Avoid it at all costs. There are a few other ingredients to keep away from if you are serious about your health and energy. Salt dehydrates the body. It’s not widely known that black pepper is 17 more times irritating to the liver than alcohol.

That brings us to the next point, caffeine. I understand people love their coffee. I was once a coffee drinker, before I became interested in health. Caffeine gives us energy because it opens up the capillaries in the brain. The same effect can be had by deep breathing. The challenge comes when the effect of caffeine wears off. The capillaries in the brain restrict causing us to feel lethargic. Caffeine works because the body has to “speed up” to cope with the dose of poison it’s been given.

Unfortunately, while alcohol has perceived benefits, it is pure fermentation and decay, rotting sugar. It is absolutely toxic. There are other things you also need to be aware of. White rice is treated with bleach. It starts out brown and is bleached to become white. What about white flour? It’s also bleached. What about sugar or pasta? They too have been bleached to give a false sense of purity. Would you go to your laundry cupboard and drink bleach? That’s preposterous, yet most of us eat food treated with bleach. Bleach has the effect of ripping the stomach lining – an effect that is similar to the drug ecstasy. A report out of Germany states “they’re putting fine pieces of cracked glass now in ecstasy, those pieces have the effect of putting finite tears in the stomach lining enabling the substance to enter the bloodstream more quickly”.

Do you like food? Amazingly, most people I interview say “Yes”. What’s the purpose of eating food? While it tastes good and feels good, physiologically eating is the building blocks of the body. Skin, eyes, internal organs, joints, white and red blood cells, they are all built out of the food and liquid that goes into our body. So logically, what’s one of the most powerful ways to change the appearance your eyes, skin and strength of the organs?

Change the building blocks that you choose to take in. Literally improve the food you eat. There’s an old saying that goes “There was no hamburger in the garden of Eden”. Religion aside, when your body starts getting the food it wants and needs, it will start to desire healthy foods. Try it; you’ll literally make new food choices.

Due to the common diet, most people’s bodies are full of bacteria; these bacteria are what are responsible for cravings for terrible food. It’s not the built in mechanism of the body to crave these substances, it’s the bacteria! No one smokes a cigarette for the first time and says “Oh boy, this tastes great!” Over time, the body learns to adapt to the poisons put in.

As you give your body more and more wholesome food and treat yourself with respect, you will naturally crave better and better food. There are plenty of delicious recipes around, recipes that will leave you with energy for hours rather than tired and bloated. It’s just that very few people know about them.

Eating natural food will also return your body to a more wholesome weight. Have you ever had the case of eating a big meal and immediately afterwards having to go and raid the cupboard? Why is that? The brain has a built in survival mechanism that when it senses the body is lacking nutrients, it tells us to get hungry. That is the sense of hunger is the body telling us it needs nutrients. If you suffer from the problem of being frequently hungry, it’s because the hunger mechanism is literally turned on all the time, the body is in a constant state of asking for nutrients. Due to our poor diets and low nutrients in most of our foods now, many people find themselves living in a case of constant hunger.

Ideally, you should invest in a “juicer”. A juicer takes all the nutrients in food and releases it for the body to absorb readily and quickly. A glass of vegetable juice is more filling than an entire pizza because of the concentrated amount of nutrients.

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7,523 comments - What do you think?  Posted by branchd77 - June 2, 2011 at 3:35 am

Categories: Basics, Dieting   Tags: , ,

Meditation for the Healthy Mind and Body

Meditation for the Healthy Mind and Body

 

Wondering how people who live to be 100 with a great quality of life do it? In his book, “Aging Well,” Harvard researcher, George Vaillant, M.D., found out just what centurions do. They cultivate a sense of peace, well-being and maintain a positive attitude. How? Here’s one of their biggest secrets: meditation. What’s ironic about meditation is, it has just become known in the West as a healing technique, but it has been practiced for ages in the East. So in my quest to give you easy sensible ways to purify your energy, I’ll begin by defining meditation, then I’ll show you how easy it is to apply to your daily routine.

Meditation Defined
Meditational exercises primarily use the experience of the body and thought as a means to reconnect with the environment and its healing power. Meditation, when practiced frequently, has been proven to promote inner peace and wellness. Meditation is also a mental practice in which the mind is directed to one area, often the breath. It draws its energy from the human connection to nature and creates a sense of unity or one-ness with it.

This unity has been shown to increase communication with the spirit of the body. It has also been known to allow positive thoughts in and to stimulate positive physiological and psychological effects. Meditation techniques are easy to learn and can easily be incorporated into any lifestyle. If practiced regularly, meditation will bring balance to your body and mind.

General benefits of meditation and breathing exercises include:

• Deep inner peace
• Improved self-esteem
• Increased creativity
• Physical health/healing
• Reduced medical care
• Slowing/reversal of aging
• Reversing of heart disease
• Stimulation of the body’s immune system
• Reduced stress

I have found there is really no one right ways to meditate. Here are a couple of my favorite meditational exercises that will get you started. Remember, there is no wrong path here. Try these, or simply sit in silence for 20 minutes, daily. You’ll be glad you did.

Meditative Grounding Exercise

• Sit with your legs crossed in a comfortable (Indian-style) position with your hands relaxed on you lap. Close your eyes and imagine a beam of light dropping from the base of your spine through the earth and connecting you to its center.

• Allow this beam of light to expand in width until it is wider than your own body and envelopes it. This is your personal space.

This exercise places you totally in your body and reminds you that you are anchored to the earth. Remember, the more grounded you are, the more aware you are. Sense the presence of your higher self: listen to its voice.

Energy Cleaning Exercise

Now that you are grounded, it’s important that you cleanse this personal space. Often we collect other people’s energies and are not aware of it. We do this both through interaction with others and basic activities of daily living.

• To remove all foreign energies from your space, imagine holding a brush and sweeping away the debris.

• Allow the debris to fall to the ground and become washed away. Let the light from the previous exercise envelop your body and spread its healing energy to the edge of your space, forming a protective force field around you.

Cleaning out the area surrounding your body will keep you grounded, define your personal boundaries and declare your space. Then choose who and what you wish to enter you space, keeping disease and illness out.

Breathing Exercise

• Follow your breath as you slowly inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Count with each exhale until you reach 10 then begin again at one.

• If you find yourself past 10, acknowledge this and begin again at one from wherever you are.

• Imagine your body’s cells being replaced with fresh, pure oxygen and positive healing energy from this power source. Picture yourself exhaling old cells, stress, illness and worries.

• Let your thoughts pass through your mind like drifting clouds. Let them in and gently let them pass through. If the mind should harbor a negative thought, refocus on the breath.

• Thank any persistent negative thoughts for coming into your mind then gently let them go.

• Listen only for the positive, pronounced voice; the voice of your body.

Retrieve Your Energy Exercise

Since foreign energy often resides in your space, let’s also assume that you leave energy in other places. After completing the preceding exercises it is necessary to re-energize and call energy back.

• Imagine you have an energy magnet used to attract your energy back to you. Visualize energy flowing back to you, filling your body with light, health and empowerment.

• Allow a few minutes for the process.

Journal Questions:

1. Record in your journal any problem or trouble you may be having – emotional, physical or otherwise. Let problems go and give them over to your meditation.

2. Do you notice solutions coming to you throughout the day? Do you notice with regular meditation that your body and mind are becoming calmer and clearer?

Ideas To Consider:

1. Make time for your spirit daily. Exhibit behaviors and self talk that show your reverence for yourself.

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7,435 comments - What do you think?  Posted by branchd77 - June 1, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Categories: Meditation, Mental Health   Tags: , , , ,

Do Women Get Bulky From Lifting Weights or Just Lose Weight?

Do Women Get Bulky From Lifting Weights or Just Lose Weight?

 

Strength training or weight lifting is the lifting of weights and/or resistance in a prescribed manner as an exercise or in athletic competition. Notice I said weights and/or resistance. It doesn’t have to necessarily be a weight plate or a dumbbell. There are numerous TV reports, magazine articles, radio shows that explain all of the benefits of lifting weights, yet so many women seem to not be “hitting the weights” for one reason or another. One very good reason is that they don’t know how much lifting weights will actually change their body (more so than even running or any of the other cardiovascular activities). Another reason is that a lot of women are confused about what to do exactly (what exercises, how many repetitions, how many sets, etc.).

This article will help shed some light on why it is so important that every woman be involved and adhering to a strength training program.

You actually might be involved in a strength-training program right now. Even if you are, I want you to really pay attention to what we’re going to cover for the rest of the article.  I’m sure it is going to have you thinking differently about why you should be lifting weights from now on.

We’re going to talk about why developing a strength training program will ultimately help you lose weight, add some muscle tone, look better and feel better about yourself. We will go over some “myths” about strength training and the real facts behind them. So, whether you’re new to strength training or you’ve been doing it for years, pay close attention.

Let’s first clear up some of the misconceptions about strength training and the truth behind these myths. This first myth is the “biggie” and it has prevented many women from strength training. It sounds a little something like this; “I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to get bulky.”

Let’s explore that myth a little. When you think of weight lifters, you probably think of body builder’s, right? You think of the men and women on ESPN parading around in little swimsuits with big bulky muscles popping out all over the place.

There are three reasons for this:
1.)These people are an extremely minute percentage of the population.
2.)That is their livelihood and they spend 4 to 5 hours a day in the gym.
3.)Most of them are using performance-enhancing drugs (steroids, etc.) to look like that.

So if you can get that image of the “bodybuilder” out of your head and think in terms of the average everyday person, you will see why the myth about getting bulky is just that, a myth!

What we’re going to talk about next is simple. When you lift weights your body builds muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn (even at rest).   The more calories you burn the less you weigh. Let me give you an example of this that might make it a little easier to understand.

Let’s say two women are sitting on the couch watching some T.V. Woman #1 strength-trains 3 times a week, but woman #2 does not. After an hour of watching T.V goes by, who will have burned more calories? The common answer to that would be that they both burned the same (almost nothing), since they were just sitting and not moving.

But the actual answer would be that woman #1 burned more calories, and I’ll tell you why for one simple reason. THE MORE MUSCLE YOU HAVE THE MORE CALORIES YOU BURN!! Now you might say to yourself, “But if I lift weights, my muscles will get bigger, I will appear big and bulky, and wind up weighing more.” This is also a myth.

That myth being one of the most popular in the world of exercise, which is, “muscle weighs more than fat.”

That’s like the old joke, “What weighs more–10 lbs. of steel or 10 lbs. of feathers?” Hopefully by now you know that the answer to that question is that they both really weigh the same.  10 lbs. is 10 lbs. no matter what it is made of. Let’s examine this point in a little more detail.

Muscle is much more compact than fat. It actually takes up less space than fat does because of its density. That makes sense, right? Fat, on the other hand, is very soft and jelly-like and occupies more space than muscle does.

Let me give you another example to clarify this a little more.

If you were to take 10 lbs. of fat and 10 lbs. of muscle and roll each of them into a ball, the 10 lbs. of fat might be the size of a bowling ball. In comparison, the 10 lbs. of muscle would be about the size of a baseball. Now let’s use this as a real life example using woman #1 and woman #2 in an example again. Let’s say for arguments sake, both women are 5′ 5″ tall and both weigh 140 lbs. Woman #2 does not lift weights or do any kind of strength training. Her dress size is a size 12. Woman #1on the other hand, lifts weights and follows a strength-training program each week.  Her dress size is a size 8. If these women were standing side by side people would definitely think that woman #1 weighed less than woman #2. But in reality they both weigh exactly the same.

How can that be?

Think of what I said before, muscle takes up less space than fat. Of those 140 pounds that each woman weighs, what’s the percentage of fat and muscle on each woman? I would venture to guess that woman #1 has a very low body fat percentage and woman #2 has a much higher body fat percentage. How did woman #1 get such a low percentage of body fat?  Two words—STRENGTH TRAINING (in addition to cardio exercise and eating healthy, but this article is just touting the immense benefits of strength training).

That brings up another good point I’d like to make. The weighing scale is the worst indicator of losing FAT. It will tell you that you’ve lost weight, it’s great at that. But what if you lose 10 pounds of fat and replace it with 10 pounds of muscle?  Will you have lost weight? According to the scale, NO! Will you have lost FAT? Absolutely, and I guarantee that your clothes will be a lot looser on you and you will look a lot better. If you can do one thing with your scale I would recommend throwing it in the garbage, or at least getting rid of it.

Well all right, you say, “I’ll lift weights, but I’m only lifting light weights and doing lots of repetitions.”

This is another mistake a lot of you are making. This is not the ‘wrong’ way to lift, but it is certainly not the only way to go about strength training if your goal is weight loss. There is and should be a place in your fitness program for higher repetitions, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you do with weights.

Women do not have enough of the male hormone, testosterone, to get big muscles. You probably couldn’t even get big and bulky if you tried to. So, is it all right for you to lift heavy weights with fewer repetitions? ABSOLUTELY!!

Let’s take a moment now to recap some of the main ideas to take away from this article:

•Lifting weights will not make you bulky (it will make you leaner and more toned).
•Muscle is more compact and denser than fat and actually takes up less space than fat.
•The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn (even at rest!).
•Every good strength training program should include light weights with more repetitions and heavier weights with fewer repetitions.

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8,186 comments - What do you think?  Posted by branchd77 - at 11:55 am

Categories: Excercise, Weight Lifting   Tags: , , ,

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