at home weight loss

From conventional calorie counting diets to ultra low-fat or ultra low-carb approaches, dieters can choose from a veritable smorgasbord of at home weight loss plans. For legal reasons, dieters are warned to speak with their physicians before trying a new diet. Most assume this is a mere formality and ignore the warning. But doing so can be a grave mistake -- far graver than many realize.

1. A Hormonal or Metabolic Problem May Be to Blame for Weight Gain

The body maintains its fat tissue deposits vis-à-vis a complicated and only rudimentarily understood system of homeostatic balance. Hormones, enzymes, genetics, and other factors all can regulate (or dysregulate) the fat tissue. Rapid or unexplained weight gain can be a telltale symptom of a disease or metabolic problem, like hypothyroidism. Certain medications can also cause metabolic syndrome -- a cluster of health problems that includes obesity, diabetes and insulin resistance. Normal physical changes in the body (such as menarche or menopause) as well as exposure to pollutants or other toxins can cause changes to hormone levels and thus lead to weight gain (or loss).

Individuals engaging in at home weight loss -- without consulting their doctors -- may miss the signs of these hormonal/metabolic problems. Consequences can be dire.

2. Changes in Diet Can Precipitate a Cascade of Changes to the Body

When someone cuts calories, fat, carbohydrates or other elements from the diet, metabolism will change in innumerable ways. Running an at home weight loss plan is a lot like running an uncontrolled experiment. A given diet may work (or appear to work) for a period of time. But initial successes can mask longer term failures. And just because someone loses “weight” doesn’t mean that the person is losing “fat.” People on very low calorie starvation diets can break down their muscle and even organ tissue for fuel in the absence of calories from food. If some metabolic or hormonal factor (such as excessive insulin secretion) prevents the body from accessing stored calories in the fat tissue for fuel, dieting can be dangerous.

3. Even Successful Weight Loss Plans Can Have Jarring Side Effects at First

The Atkins Nutritional Approach, historically one of the most successful weight loss plans, requires that most dieters enter a phase called Induction, during which carbohydrate intake is limited to just 20 grams per day. Compare this with the typical USDA recommended intake of 300 grams of carbs per day. Drastically reducing carbohydrates without proper medical supervision can be dangerous for some people, particularly the elderly and very sick. Just like doctors don’t advise heroin addicts to go cold turkey, so too might physicians warn against sudden and severe carbohydrate restriction for serious sugar addicts.

4. A Physician Can Provide Essential Support

Many at home weight loss endeavors fail because dieters operate in a vacuum. A competent, experienced, and credentialed physician (and preferably an endocrinologist) can answer dieters’ questions and guide them through stalls.

Listening to a Qualified Physician

Weight loss can yield awesome benefits, including reduced risk for diseases and an improved sense of well-being and self esteem. However, dieters who jump into at home weight loss plans without adequate physician supervision run risks:
  • Misdiagnosing the fundamental cause of weight gain
  • Ignoring underlying hormonal problems
  • Traumatizing their bodies by making too-rapid diet and exercise changes
  • Dieting without adequate support and guidance

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Many things contribute to weight gain during the first year of college (the so-called "Freshman 15"), including poor eating habits, lack of sleep, too much stress and not enough exercise.

College is the first time many young adults are on their own. Eating on the run, difficulty with time management and lack of resources often lead college students to eat a lot of fast food and rely on pizza delivery services for their dining needs. The biggest difference between being at home and away at school is experiencing a complete lifestyle change.

Some common indicators of college life:
  • Home-cooked meals become a distant memory.
  • Dining halls serve up unhealthy fare (and unappetizing green hot dogs!)
  • The local pizza place is listed in your favorite fives.
  • You consider a value meal at a drive-through part of a well-balanced diet.
  • You experience a high level of stress from heavy course loads and trying to make ends meet.
  • A college social life often includes late-night eating and drinking, which adds a lot of extra calories.
  • Finding time to exercise is nearly impossible when you are balancing school, work, extra-curricular activities and a social life.
Despite these lifestyle changes, you can beat the odds and avoid gaining the Freshman 15. College life can certainly present challenges, but it is entirely possible to maintain or lose weight the first year away at college.

Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle on Campus:

  • Practice time management skills and schedule your workouts.
  • Schedule your classes so that you have to walk across campus several times a day to consistently get more walking in.
  • Stay on top of class projects to avoid all-nighters. Make sure you get enough sleep each night.
  • Discover your most productive time of day when your energy is high and use it to your advantage to get more done in a shorter amount of time.
  • Pack healthy snack in your backpack that include protein. This will make it easier to resist the junk food cravings.
  • Sign up for intramural (non-competitive) sports for fun and exercise.
  • Eat naturally whenever possible.
  • Don't rely on pop or energy drinks to stay alert.
  • Carefully watch your portion sizes. When served a full plate of spaghetti, you should be able to eyeball what a single serving looks like and eat only that portion of the meal.
  • Don't skip breakfast. A high-fiber, low-fat breakfast that includes protein is a powerful way to start your day.
Hopefully your parents have instilled good eating habits and solid nutritional goals in students before they move away to college, but it is never too late to make healthier choices and prevent weight gain.

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weight loss tips

Dieting can be an expensive endeavor. Take a look at the multi-billion dollar diet industry and you’ll see just how much money people spend on their goal to lose weight. Dieting is costly; whether you join Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig, purchase the promising piece of exercise equipment you saw on an infomercial or invest in a pricey gym membership. Even making the switch to healthier foods increases your grocery bill. It can be discouraging for dieters on a budget.

In these tough economic times, it is necessary to find an affordable weight loss plan. While the health of our nation has been a concern and we face an obesity epidemic, most people are also tightening their belts on their spending as they also face a recession.

Affordable Weight Loss Tips

  • Stop relying on drive-thrus and restaurants for lunch. Pack a healthy lunch to save calories and cash.
  • Practice portion control. The less you eat, the less you’ll spend.
  • Use home gym equipment or outdoor activities for daily exercise. Forgo the expensive gym membership to stay within your budget.
  • Save money on gas and miles by walking or riding your bike to places within a reasonable distance from home.
  • Drink tap water rather than buying bottled water every week. A water filter may be needed, but is still less expensive in the long run.
  • Plan your weekly menus in advance and factor in what leftovers you can use for additional meals.
  • Avoid buying fruits that aren’t in season. The prices are much higher during off-peak times.
  • Check the produce isle of the grocery store for “reduced” items that are near their expiration, but are still usable.
  • Cut back on pre-processed foods.
  • Stock up on healthy pantry items when they go on sale. Stock up on canned tomatoes, vegetables and low-sodium broth.

There are many diets on the market that require you to buy certain foods or products. The fact is, however, you can shed pounds on a budget simply by eating fewer calories and burning more calories. You don’t need expensive shakes and pre-packaged meals or the latest piece of exercise equipment to lose weight.

Affordable weight loss is possible with the right planning and a little common sense. Follow a weight loss plan that allows you to budget your pocketbook as well as your calories. Your weight loss success depends on your commitment to a healthier lifestyle. Avoid falling for costly weight loss products to keep your weight loss affordable and practical.

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alli and xenical

Following the recent withdrawal of sibutramine (Reductil) in Europe, orlistat is the only approved diet pill for obesity treatment available. In addition, many patients in the USA may not be suitable for using Meridia, following recent FDA resctrictions imposed on the weight loss drug.
Orlistat diet pill is available in prescription form as Xenical, and over-the-counter (OTC) as Alli. The purpose of this article is to inform patients of this alternative weight loss drug option.

What is Diet Pill Orlistat (Xenical,Alli)?
Orlistat is a lipase inhibitor, which means it acts to block the enzymes that break down fat in the gastrointestinal tract. As such, the diet pill induces weight loss by blocking fat absorption by the body. However, orlistat does not block all fat in the diet from being absorbed, and about 75% of the fat taken in still gets digested by the body.

As such, clinical studies have shown greater than 100% more weight loss when patients are treated with Xenical in combination with diet, compared to just diet alone. The efficacy of Alli for inducing weight loss, however, is around half of this.

Orlistat Side Effects

Unlike sibutramine and phentermine, there is minimal absorption of orlistat into the bloodstream and the weight loss drug is therefore not associated with the systemic side effects that plight these appetite suppressants. However, because of orlistat’s mode of action, the weight loss drug is associated side effects that include flatulence, diarrhoea, oily spotting and loose oily stools.

How is Orlistat (Xenical,Alli) Used for Weight Loss or Obesity Treatment?

Orlistat is available in prescription form as Xenical, and over-the-counter as Alli. Xenical has been available as a weight loss drug in both the USA and Europe for over a decade now; however, the switch to the OTC version of Alli occurred only in the last few years.

Both weight loss drug options are approved as obesity treatments in patients with a body mass index (BMI) greater or equal to 30kg/m², or for weight loss in overweight patients (BMI > 28kg/m² in Europe or BMI > 27kg/m2 in USA) with associated risk factors, such as type 2 diabetes or dyslipidaemia, when used in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet.

Although OTC Alli is half the dose of Xenical, each weight loss drug is to still be taken as one capsule three times daily.

What are the Main Differences Between Xenical and OTC diet pill Alli?

There are several differences to be noted between Xenical and Alli, which are as follows:

  • Xenical is the prescription version of orlistat, while Alli is available as an OTC diet pill.
  • While Xenical is manufactured by Roche, GSK owns the rights to and markets the OTC version.
  • Alli contains 60mg of orlistat, while Xenical contains 120mg orlistat,
  • Although OTC Alli has been shown to be clinically effective for weight loss when used in conjunction with diet in both overweight and obese patients,Xenical has superior efficacy for weight loss than Alli
  • Due to the lower dose for OTC Alli, this weight loss drug has milder side effects than Xenical.
  • Xenical has the advantage of having been shown to reduce the onset of diabetes in obese patients

The Problem Patients Face When Taking Orlistat, Obesity Treatment and Weight Loss Drug

For weight loss to occur with either weight loss drug, patients much take either Xenical or Alli in combination with a reduced calorie diet. It is suggested that the patient’s diet should contain no more than 30% of calories from fat. Patients must remember to stick to this diet, as the more fat that is ingested, the more likely orlistat side effects will occur.

If patients become worried or disenchanted because of the unpleasant effects of orlistat treatment, they should remember that these side effects will generally occur at the beginning of treatment and should become less frequent and go away with time.

Both Alli and Xenical are contraindicated in some patients, therefore if considering the switch to either weight loss drug, overweight and obese patients should consult their pharmacist or doctor to find out whether they are suitable candidates for such options.

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green tea and lemon

Dieting can be a daunting task, particularly if there are many pounds to be lost. But all the efforts don’t have to be in the form of calorie deprivation and endless hours of sweating at the gym. Food can actually help a person meet his or her weight goals. The only hard part is determining which foods and/or food combinations are ideal. Scientists at Purdue University found that when certain chemicals in green tea combined with lemon juice, which is high in ascorbic acid, the results were promising for those who wanted to drink green tea to burn fat.

Green Tea Health Benefits

Various studies performed by the Japanese and Dutch show that the benefits of green tea are tremendous. In the studies, green tea has been found to reduce coronary heart disease and less clogging of the heart’s blood vessels among participants, male and female. Cardiologist Nieca Goldberg, MD, tells WebMD that green tea’s antioxidants improve the flexibility of blood vessels. In addition to supporting heart health, green tea health benefits include weight loss. Research suggests that the caffeine in green tea boosts metabolism and also can act as a diuretic, causing an increase in urine excretion.

Green Tea and Vitamin C

Can green tea really make you lose weight and can a person burn belly fat with green tea are the questions many ask when they consider sipping on a steaming cup of green tea. While on its own green tea, has wonderful health benefits, including targeting weight issues that may result in diabetes and high cholesterol, researches at Purdue University have found that green tea’s beneficial antioxidants are amplified when combined with ascorbic acid, also known as Vitamin C.

To paint a picture, green tea is full of polyphenol antioxidants known as cachetins, most specifically ECGC (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). When green tea is combined with vitamin C, researchers found that the body absorbs the cachetins three times faster into the blood stream. These cachetins are found to burn belly more fat than without vitamin C, particularly when green tea in taken in conjunction with daily exercise.

How to Use Green Tea to Burn Fat
There is speculation whether green tea is as effective taken in a supplement form, and Marji McCullough, ScD, RD, of the American Cancer Society tells WebMD that focusing on the dietary source rather then a supplement may be better because there could be several compounds in green tea that have to be consumed together. Although there is no definitive answer on this, drinking tea with lemon juice is an easy way to maximize ECGC and maximize fat burn. Have four cups a day with lemon juice, hot or iced, and let the beneficial antioxidants work as a tool for optimal health and weight loss.

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According to the National Center of Health Sciences, 34 percent of Americans are now within the levels to be considered "obese," while 32.7 percent are now considered "overweight." Six percent of Americans are considered "extremely obese." While it cannot be argued that factors such as lack of exercise and poor diet are high contributors, the average American diet is full of hidden calories that one may not be aware of unless actually reading the nutritional information. Beverages are an excellent example of "hidden calorie offenders." Are your pants getting tight? Consider the following information when thinking about how you're quenching your thirst each day.


Ahh...soda. Who doesn't love an ice cold soda on a hot day? However, the average can of soda contains 150 calories. Drinking three a day? That's 450 calories a day, or 3,150 calories per week - almost a pound gained of calories only from soda.


Overall, juice isn't among some of the worst offenders of calorie-laden beverages. Aside from natural suger, there is a great deal of nutritional content found in fresh-squeezed juice. An eight ounce glass of OJ contains around 120 calories, as does apple. Cranberry runs around 130 calories per eight ounces, while grapefuit has 100 calories per cup. However, as with any food, enjoyment of juice comes with being mindful. A small OJ may only have 120 calories, but at a restaurant, a large OJ may contain 16 or more ounces of juice - adding an extra 240 or more calories to your breakfast.

Favored Coffee Drinks

With the advent of Starbucks and other popular coffee shops, so comes a demand for fancy coffee drinks, as opposed to a regular old cup of joe at the neighborhood diner. However, many of them are filled with calories. For example, a grande white chocolate mocha with whole milk has a staggering 439 calories. A grande caramel macchiato has 272 calories. If you can't give the fancy drinks in favor of regular old coffee (which has an estimated two calories in it to begin with), try getting your favorite drinks with non-fat or soy milk, sugar-free syrup, and leave off the whipped cream.


Many of us enjoy a cocktail with dinner, or a beer with burgers and pizza. However, drinking is not the way to go it you want to lose weight. First, alcohol can cause bloating, which will make you larger, and it's full of sugar. That being said, there are some drinks high in calories. A Long Island Iced Tea has an average of 276 calories. A low alcohol beer has 139 calories per bottle. A four fluid ounce serving of table wine has 99 calories. In moderation, not too bad. However, add two or three servings, and you are adding a significant amount of calories in addition to the calories you are ingesting with your food.

As always, anything in moderation isn't bad. However, when trying to lose weight, be mindful of what you're drinking, and remember any diet suggests at least 80 fluid ounces of water per day.

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