candidiasis
There are several reasons as to why a person cannot lose weight using the traditional methods of calorie reduction and increased activity. One of the main causes is Candidiasis, an overgrowth of yeast in the digestive tract.

Yeast is a normal part of our digestive tract which produces B vitamins that support the liver. However, since 90% of immunity is in the gut, it is important to keep the delicate balance of good and bad bacteria in check.

Carolyn J. Dean a Wellness Consultant and Sports Nutritionist writes in her article, "Why Can’t I Lose Weight? -The Hidden Factor" :

"If you have symptoms of Candida, it is very difficult to lose weight and many will actually gain weight on diets. Why is this? Candida takes hold and gets out of control when our immune system becomes compromised. What compromises our immune system? So many things! Antibiotics (even a single dose), birth control pills, cortisone and prednisone types of medications and a stressful lifestyle."

When a candida sufferer diets, the body will go into survivor mode and won’t budge an ounce. Unfortunately, medical science does not recognize this as a condition unless the yeast infection becomes systemic. But there is hope for the candida sufferer.

Rethinking the Rules of Dieting

For the Candida sufferer, it is not as simple as cutting out a few extra calories. Because the yeast thrives on complex sugar, even a calorie restrictive diet will not take off the pounds. It will usually take herbal supplements to kill off the candida while following a yeast free diet.

Following the yeast free method is very strict, consisting mostly of protein and green vegetables. Many recipes can be found on the internet that can flavor the monotony of the diet, which may be very difficult to follow.

There are many natural herbs that will kill yeast. Some herbal supplements will prevent the yeast from growing and some destroy it completely. Most can be found in any health food store and even the local grocery. Such as Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, garlic and Olive Leaf.

Because the fungus is able to grow resistant, it is important to rotate supplements every few days. If rotation of herbs is not followed, the yeast will begin to propagate and it will stall the weight loss.

Probiotics Fight Yeast
Since beneficial bacteria and yeast vie for the same place in our digestive tract, it is important to take a probiotic every day. Good bacteria help fight off and push out yeast, creating a better balance to our inner ecology, aiding in the battle of the bulge. Probiotics such as Align, may be found in just about any grocery or health food store.

Yeast and sugar can be hidden ingredients in any food. It is important to read labels on packages and use yeast free vitamins. The smallest amount of sugar will derail the diet, causing a stall. But following these steps could lead to a happy, healthier lifestyle.

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lose fat while you sleep

America’s waistline is expanding. According to the National Institutes of Health, 2/3 of us—and nearly 20% of our children—are overweight or frankly obese. Obesity has become big business in the United States, and everyone—from the pharmaceutical companies to the fitness guru at the local gym—wants a piece of the adiposity pie. Health risks and economic impacts associated with the “obesity epidemic” are now frequent topics for news broadcasts, magazine articles, and even workplace discussions.

Obese people know they’re overweight. The majority of them have tried to shed those extra pounds, but they rarely seem to succeed, at least for the long haul. They’ve heard the same litany over and over: fast foods, overindulgence, sedentary living, and a lack of self-control are the underpinnings of their condition. They’re aching for something more helpful than the oft repeated eat-less-and-exercise-more advice; most of them have dabbled with unorthodox methods to lose weight. And a lot of them have heard commercials (and hoped they were true) for products that “burn calories while you sleep.” Alas, such advertisements are only designed to sell products with unproven benefits.

Oddly enough, though, there may be a nugget of truth to the sleep-obesity connection.
Recent studies have revealed that two hormones, leptin and grehlin, operate in a classic feedback loop to help control the human appetite. Leptin, which is produced by fat cells and released into the circulation, suppresses the appetite by influencing certain centers in the brain (specifically, the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus). Grehlin is secreted by specialized cells in the stomach, pancreas, and elsewhere; when it stimulates hypothalamic receptors, we become hungry. Normally, as one hormone rises, the other falls; this maintains a homeostatic balance between gluttony and starvation.

Interestingly, new research shows that insufficient sleep causes grehlin levels to increase, and likely suppresses leptin production. These hormonal shifts lead to an increase in appetite and a tendency to store fat. Furthermore, lack of sleep has been shown to inhibit the effects of insulin (a pancreatic hormone) on cellular membranes, thus decreasing cells’ abilities to metabolize fuels. In short, getting too little sleep can establish a hormonal pattern that contributes to weight gain.

Now, consider the following data from the National Sleep Foundation and a 2006 National Health Interview Survey: between 1985 and 2006, the percentage of adult Americans getting less than six hours of sleep each day increased significantly in all age groups (the NSF recommends seven to nine hours of sleep for adults). Surveys in adolescents show a similar pattern of sleep deprivation, particularly during those months when school is in session. Many Americans feel that insufficient sleep is part of their routine.

So, while it appears that certain overweight individuals—and anyone hoping to avoid obesity—can possibly benefit from lifestyle changes that ensure adequate sleep, intriguing questions surface in regards to the global issue of obesity in the United States:
  • Have the demands of our culture—in conjunction with the ease with which we can all reach for our next meal—created a trap that is snaring more and more victims?
  • Could we better address the problem of obesity in our society by imposing fundamental changes on all citizens’ lifestyles?
  • Would shorter workdays, nap breaks, telecommuting, or later school schedules have measurable effects on America’s obesity problem?
The answers are conjectural. But, rather than complain about the unfairness of being squeezed beside an obese individual the next time we’re on a plane or bus, it might be better to just sleep on it.

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spices

Can eating spicy foods help with weight loss as some studies suggest? Could the same spices that set the mouth on fire in Mexican dishes also ignite the metabolism and lead to greater fat loss? This would be welcome news for those who love spicy food and have a few extra pounds to lose.

Eating Spices for Fat Loss

A group of Canadian researchers looked back through past research studies and found that certain spices have the potential to increase the rate of thermogenesis or fat metabolism. These include such common spices as black pepper, ginger, and red chili pepper, as well as capsaicin, a chemical found in red chili peppers that gives them their red hot, fiery taste. They also believe that eating these spices in combination with one another might produce an even greater effect on fat metabolism and weight loss than eating a single one.

Capsaicin: A Spice With Thermogenic Potential

Capsaicin is natural chemical that’s long intrigued researchers because of its thermogenic properties. In a study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers discovered how capsaicin may enhance thermogenesis. They found that capsaicin uncouples the action of a protein involved in muscle contraction, causing the energy to be released as heat, resulting in a slight increase in body temperature and metabolic rate.
Another study showed that eating capsaicin with a meal boosted the rate of thermogenesis by as much as twenty-three percent. Although this sounds promising, research suggests that it would take large quantities of this chemical to have a significant impact on fat loss, greater than most people could achieve through eating spices. The hope is that this finding could be used to create similar compounds that work to increase thermogenesis at lower doses.

Eating Spices for Weight Loss: Does It Have Potential?

Despite this, there may be some benefit to eating spices when it comes to weight loss, although the results are unlikely to be effective in the absence of a good diet and exercise plan. The benefits of eating spices may be two-fold. Spicy foods tend to satiate the appetite more quickly than bland foods, particularly foods that are both hot and spicy. Combine that with the subtle boost in thermogenesis induced by the spices and a slight weight loss benefit might be achieved. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to replace the need for healthy eating choices. The bottom line? A healthy diet and regular exercise are still the best way to achieve lasting weight loss.

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complex carbohydrates

Depending on a person’s specific glycemic index (the rate at which blood glucose is raised), complex carbohydrates can have different effects. Consumption of specific sugars has been associated with rapid obesity.

When attempting to lose weight, one group of foods that a person can monitor in particular is that of complex carbohydrates (bread, pasta, potatoes, sweets, etc.). However, many who follow a predominantly vegetarian diet that includes a high proportion of complex carbohydrates generally have an easier time trying to stay thin.

The World Health Organization recommends that 55% of total dietary calories should come from carbohydrates.

Complex Carbohydrates are Important for the Metabolism of Fat and Other Material
A sufficient quantity of complex carbohydrates is important for a person’s diet, since they are a major source of energy. Whether someone becomes overweight or not depends on, among other things, the speed with which he digests, absorbs and raises blood glucose, which is the end product of the digestion process of complex carbohydrates.

This factor is called the glycemic index (GIs). The more quickly someone can raise his or her blood glucose, the higher the glycemic index of a specific food.

Blood glucose values should remain within limits. When the blood glucose increases, the pancreas secretes insulin to facilitate its transport to cells. If insulin secretion increases sharply, due to the consumption of foods with a high glycemic index, the cells become glucose abundant.
This causes a surge of energy. However, if they exceed cellular needs, the excess complex carbohydrates simply end up becoming fat reserves in the long run. Subsequently, there can also be a significant lowering of blood glucose, that is, an uncomfortable feeling of hunger and fatigue. This creates a desire for quick sugar, creating an unhealthy dietary circle.

Complex carbohydrates, by contrast, do not cause these ups and downs. Due to its slow digestion, glucose is absorbed in a more gradual manner, and insulin secretion is also more reserved.

In individuals predisposed to obesity, these fluctuations may contribute, over the years, to creating a disorder of insulin resistance, which in its extreme form is adult diabetes, a type of diabetes that is not due to a lack of insulin secretion from the pancreas, but rather, from a loss of insulin receptors on the cell walls.

This has been linked to obesity in ways complex carbohydrates haven’t.

How to Get Complex Carbohydrates from Food

Complex carbohydrates can be obtained from honey, sugar, fruit juice. Consumption of flours rich in complex carbohydrates, as well as their derivatives, such as sweets, bread, etc.

Complex carbohydrates can also be obtained from fresh fruit, which also happens to contain a large amount of fiber. Ingestion of grains, legumes and vegetables also help to provide complex carbohydrates.

The more refined a food is, the higher its glycemic index. Refined cereal and white rice, for example, have a glycemic index that is higher than that of brown rice. If the grains are removed from the seeds and peel, your digestion is faster.

Moreover, flour increases the surface exposure of molecules to the digestive enzymes, increasing the speed with which they are digested, and this impacts the glycemic index also.

In the case of foods made with flour (bread, pasta, and breakfast cereals) the type of grinding involved with the production of the grain also affects the glycemic index. The more fine the grinding, the higher the glycemic index will be.

Breads abundant in complex carbohydrates made with coarsely ground flour, especially those containing whole grains or seeds (flax, sesame, sunflower), have a very low glycemic index.

This rule applies to pasta as well; the more soft and fine grained it is, the more elevated the glycemic index will be, so it may be better to cook the pasta similar to what Italians like to call "al dente."

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teen obesity

Kathlyn Gay takes a serious look at these issues in her book, Am I fat? The Obesity Issue for Teens. She explores the common factor in obese teens, how dieting effects teens, if Bariatric surgery is a valid option for teens needing to lose weight and how we can prevent teen obesity.

Factors of Teen Obesity

  • Genes that store more fat
  • The body’s natural instinct to protect itself against starvation
  • Eating more calories than you burn throughout the day
  • Emotional makeup
  • Economic status
  • Lack of sleep affecting hormones
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Changes in products to make them taste better (often with more sugar)
  • Living in a fast food world
  • Unhealthy school lunches and vending machine choices

Teens on a Diet

Teens are more likely to follow a fad diet because of the bombarding advertisements on the subject on TV, the radio, the Internet and in magazines they read. Without the experience of knowing how to determine if a diet is an opportunistic fad diet or a real way to lose weight, teens may fall for the deceptive advertisements. The appeal is usually to lose weight quickly without much effort.

Teens need to educate themselves on how to spot a fad diet and what constitutes a healthy lifestyle to promote weight loss. Experimenting with different diets from no carb and calorie restrictive diets to detox plans and miracle weight loss drugs often leave teens weighing more than when they started and feeling worse about themselves over their diet failures.

Bariatric Surgery and Teens

Should teens consider weight loss surgery? Morbidly obese teens with a BMI of 40 or more may be considered for Bariatric surgery as a last resort. Weight loss surgery carries a lot of health risks for teens and most surgeons will not perform the operation on a teen unless they are fully grown and have developed life-threatening health problems. Bariatric surgery is a big step and it is a personal decision that needs to be made between the teen and their parents, along with a knowledgeable surgeon.

How to Prevent Teen Obesity

TV commercials, Web sites and even Sesame Street characters are spreading the word about making small lifestyle changes to prevent teen obesity.
Some schools have taken an active role in educating teens about healthy food choices and providing healthier meal options at school.

But the most important factor in teen weight loss is their family. Parents who support their teen, act as a role model and get active with their teen are more successful at preventing teen obesity than those who don’t.

Am I fat? takes an honest look at the obesity issues teens face. The book offers practical advice for teens and their parents on preventing obesity, losing weight, and developing healthy habits for life.

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body composition testing

The following methods of defining body fat percentage offer an accurate and scientific reading, as well as being a bit more convenient, accessible, and affordable than other methods.

Bioelectrical Impedance

Electrical signals are measured as they pass through fat, lean mass, and water when using the BIA test, according to the new-fitness.com article "Body Fat Analyzing - Comparing Methods for Measuring Body Fat." Lean body mass, because of its high water content, is very conductive. The current between two electrodes is measured and then the resistance reading, in ohms, is applied to formulas to acquire the body composition measurement. This type of test is now available as a scale from several companies for convenient, affordable, and accurate testing at home. These scales use handgrip electrodes and feet electrodes to complete the measurements required for an accurate body composition profile.

Calipers

Skin fold testing is based on the body fat stored directly beneath the skin (subcutaneous fat). The amount of subcutaneous fat is measured by pinching folds of skin and fat at several locations. The skin fold test is performed with a hand-held vice-like instrument called a skin fold caliper. The caliper jaws pinch a fold of skin and fat, measuring the fat fold thickness in millimeters. The sum of the measurements is used in a calculation to derive a body fat percentage.
Specifically designed for self-testing is the skin fold caliper called the Accu-Measure. This caliper is found to be just as accurate as the sum of three skin folds taken by an experienced tester, according to Tom Venuto in Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle (2004). This caliper is convenient and affordable and accurate for home testing.

Underwater Weighing

Although this method is not nearly as convenient and affordable as the two mentioned above, it is considered the "gold standard" of body composition testing, according to Venuto and has been around for a long time. With this test, a person is weighed outside of a water tank, then immersed in water and weighed again. Fat floats and muscle sinks. Someone with more bone and muscle density weighs more in the water, indicating a higher body density and a lower percentage of fat than a person with less bone and muscle density. Factors to consider to assure test accuracy include people with denser bones (athletes, young people) may appear to have lower body fat percentages when measured this way, according to Venuto. Another factor, according to Venuto, is residual volume which is the amount of air left in the lungs after a complete exhale. Before being submerged, a person must exhale as much air as possible. If every bit of air isn't exhaled (which isn't possible), a person can appear to have a higher body fat percentage than he really does. Although this method is one of the most accurate, people find it cumbersome, uncomfortable, and may fear the total submersion required.

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