food journal

At the beginning of each new year many individuals put weight loss at the top of their New Years resolution list. A few are able to follow through with this resolution but many more will try and fail. Weight loss requires both changes in lifestyle and in eating habits. Many individuals think they are changing their eating habits far more than they actually are. Keeping a daily food journal or diary can help individuals who are really serious about losing weight.

Food Journals Make Every Calorie Count

Individuals who keep food diaries are able to see just how many calories they are truly consuming a day. A cookie here, a mocha latte there and the calories begin to pile up. An individual who is aiming to maintain a caloric intake of 1300 may do calculations at the end of the day and realize he has exceeded this. He can then look at what he ate and see what can be eliminated to meet his goals.

Food Journals Help Assess Nutrition

Individuals who keep food diaries are able to see how they are faring in relation to how many vital nutrients they are consuming. Men and women trying to lose weight may find that in their diet efforts they are not making proper choices and are lacking in calcium, protein, vitamin C or many other nutrients the body needs for health and energy.

Food Journals Lead to Twice as Much Weight Loss

An article in USA Today on July 8, 2008 told of the results of numerous research studies in which participants who kept daily food diaries at least six days a week doubled weight loss in comparison to individuals who did not keep a food journal.

The magazine recommended that individuals allow someone else to look at their food journals to help keep them accountable and to motivate them to make better choices. It also recommended that individuals trying to lose weight look at the portion sizes they are consuming when they eat at restaurants and only eat part of what they are served.

Losing weight is not easy and takes a great deal of commitment. Food diaries help people remember each day that they have a goal they are trying to accomplish and if they eat a doughnut at work they are going to have to look at it as an entry in their journal later with regret.

Anyone planning to go on a diet or weight loss program should get a physical with their doctor prior to beginning and let their physicians know their plans.

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acai capsules
As the media coverage increases, more attention is given to the weight loss and overall health benefits of the Acai Berry. This isn't without reason. The berry on this fruit is beneficial in many ways. However, like with all items that experience a flood of hype, it is important to take some time and do research.

Benefits of Acai

This fruit from the Brazilian Amazon has many health benefits. Scientists at the University of Florida have labeled it as one of the most versatile fruits available. This is because it has high concentrations of amino acids, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and fibers. This not only makes it very good for weight loss, but also for overall health. So far, acai berry has shown positive results for the prevention of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson’s.

The Acai Berry is rich in fiber, key antioxidants, and minerals, that when combined, results in a one-hundred percent natural super supplement. The extracts from this super fruit can assist in reducing a number of problems in the blood stream to both keep the immune system strong, and internal and external cells healthy. In addition, it naturally suppresses the appetite.

Acai Berry and Weight Loss

Most famously, this fruit is known for being able to successfuly help in weight loss. The acai berry suppresses the appetite, cleanses the digestive system, and makes sure that additional calories aren't transformed into fatty tissues. It detoxes the body of toxins and unprocessed foods. Suppressing the appetite naturally (instead of through artificial chemicals, which can be worrisome) helps to safely reduce the need to eat and snack because the body feels more full for longer.

Pure Acai Berry

Unless the supplement is organic and has been instantly freeze dried, a lot of the positive effects will be lost. Many acai products, from manufacturers looking to score from the hype surrounding the benefits of acai berry, are not preserved and packaged in a way that will be most beneficial. Those products are either not one hundred percent pure because of the additions of sugars, caffeine, and/or fruit juice or they are not quickly freeze dried to preserve all the natural benefits.

Scientifically the benefits of acai berry are known. There are plenty of products to choose from. However, choosing the right pure acai berry product that will give the best benefits is important for gaining the maximum effect. For more information, read this pure acai berry review.

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body fat percentage

People who decide to lose weight too often focus on a number on the scale rather than what they really want to lose - fat. The biggest disadvantage of using weight loss as the ultimate measure of success is that the amount of weight lost has no bearing on what was lost, fat or muscle, yet losing fat, as opposed to muscle, has a large effect on a positive outcome. Too much muscle loss results in a smaller, yet still flabby, version of the dieter while increased fat loss results in more desirable muscle tone.

Measuring Body Fat, the First Step to Fat Loss Success

There are many methods of estimating body fat percentage, but some are more easily accessible than others. Several methods, such as underwater testing and the DEXA test are very accurate, but impractical for repeated measurements. Better options for those hoping to improve their body composition are skin-fold calipers and bio-electric impedance devices.

Measuring Body Fat Percentage Using Skin-fold Calipers

Skin-fold calipers are small devices used to measure the thickness of skin pinches at precise locations on the body. There are several protocols, including a 3-site test, as well as a 7-site test, that are accurate, but require someone else to perform the test due to the pinch locations. The thickness of the pinches are totaled and a body fat percentage is determined based on gender and age.


For those interested in a convenient method of performing a skin-fold body fat test on themselves, Accumeasure makes an inexpensive, skin-fold caliper that gives reasonable results from an accessible, single-pinch location.

Measuring Body Fat Percentage Using Bio-Electric Impedance Devices

Several manufacturers make scales or hand-held devices that measure body fat percentage by a process called bio-electric impedance. These test the body’s resistance to a small electric current which is then translated into a body fat percentage. Some of these devices are expensive and they are very sensitive to hydration levels. Large increases, or decreases, in hydration can throw off the calculations by several percentage points.

Losing Fat is Not the Same as Losing Weight

A prerequisite of losing weight is a calorie deficit. A person must consume fewer calories than are being burned, and once the deficit totals approximately 3500 calories, a pound is lost. The composition of that pound of weight is typically a combination of fat, water, and muscle. To minimize the amount of muscle lost, and maximize fat loss during dieting, dieters must strength train with a general conditioning program utilizing as much muscle mass as possible. Strength training forces the use of muscles and makes the body burn fat preferentially, while maintaining muscle mass, and increasing the resulting muscle tone after dieting.

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body mass index calculation

Use the BMI calculation to determine weight status. By calculating BMI one can get an indication of whether they are underweight, of normal weight, overweight or fall in the obesity range.

What is BMI - Body Mass Index?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is an indicator of relative body fat that can be used to predict a person’s risk for weight associated diseases. It is determined using a simple calculation that takes into consideration the ratio of weight to height, and defines what weight category a person falls into.

The Body Mass Index Calculation

BMI is defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in metres (kg/m2).
As such, the body mass index calculation uses the following equation:
  • BMI = Weight / (Height)2

Examples of Calculating BMI

If a person weighs 60kg and is 1.75 metres tall, the person’s body mass calculation is as follows follows:
  • BMI = 70 / (1.75)2 = 22.9
If a person weighs 85kg and is 1.75 metres tall, the person’s body mass calculation is as follows follows:
  • BMI = 85 / (1.75)2 = 27.8
If a person weighs 100kg and is 1.75 metres tall, the person’s body mass calculation is as follows follows:
  • BMI = 100 / (1.75)2 = 32.7

How Does Calculating BMI Correlate to Normal Weight, Underweight, Overweight or Obese?

According to the WHO, a person is:
  • of normal weight if their BMI lies between 18.5 and 25 kg/m2.
  • underweight if their BMI falls below 18.5 kg/m2
  • overweight if their BMI lies between 25kg/m2 and 30kg/m2
  • obese if their BMI falls above 30kg/m2

Restrictions of the Body Mass Index Calculation

While the WHO endorses the use of BMI to define one’s weight status, there are some restrictions to using this tool. The following must be considered when using the body mass index calculation:
  • BMI values are age-independent, and therefore may underestimate body fat in older persons.
  • BMI values do not take into consideration muscle mass, and therefore may overestimate body fat in athletes and other people such as men who tend to be more muscular than women.
  • BMI ranges do not take into consideration body frame size, and therefore may not correspond to the different populations. This may also result in overestimates of body fat in many men.
  • BMI values may overestimate the mount of body fat in pregnant women.

Implications of Calculating BMI

By calculating BMI one can get an indication of whether they are underweight, overweight, obese or of normal weight. If a person falls outside the "normal" BMI range, they may want to consider seeking help from a health professional to get their body back on track, since both underweight and overweight and obesity can lead to many different health complications.

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diet tips for weight loss

The weight battle is a difficult challenge. Some have trouble losing the pounds while others have trouble keeping it off after they've lost the weight. Successful weight loss and maintenance still depends on diet and exercise. But there are certain tips and tricks that dieters can use to help them stay on track and stay thin.

Take Advantage of the Surge in Self-Esteem

Dieters who have reached their weight goals feel empowered. It may not last forever, but that initial feeling should be harnessed. Dieters who have reached that goal should do something they would have never done at their previous weight. An example would be signing up for a 5K race or entering a beauty contest. This helps celebrate the accomplishment and keeps the motivation flowing.

Getting Thin Doesn't Solve All Problems

Many people think that when they've conquered their weight issues that everything else will fall into place. Conquering weight solves the health issue but it won't fix marital problems or an unhappy career. Dieters who expect everything in their life to be perfect once the pounds are lost can sometimes be disappointed when they are still struggling with other parts of their lives after they've reached their target weight. This can lead to unhappiness and weight gain. Dieters need to realize that getting thin solves just the health issue and that there still may be other underlying problems that need to be addressed - just not with food.

Don't Expect Everyone to be a Supporter

Many may applaud their friends and family member's efforts at weight loss, but some may feel threatened or even try to sabotage a dieter. The reasons can be varied. Maybe a relationship was based around the bond of eating unhealthy meals together. Maybe one person hasn't chosen to begin their weight loss journey and the other has. The point is there will always be some people that won't applaud a dieter's success. The dieter must find ways to rebuild these relationships without having them revolve around food.

Can't Eat Like Before

Any dieter who has succeeded in losing the weight, will not to eat less food than they did before for the rest of their lives. They can't go back to eating pizza every night and expect to keep the weight off. The less a person weighs, the less caloric intake they need. So if a dieter continues to shrink, they'll continue to have to decrease their calories in order to maintain. Talking to a nutritionist is the best way to figure out what the right target calories are.

Focus on the Vegetables

Vegetables are very high in fiber and water so they help dieters stave off hunger while only contributing small calories to a person's daily intake. Research has shown that people who ate healthy salads before a meal ended up eating fewer calories during that meal. So dieters should make it a rule of a thumb to fill half their plate with vegetables if they want to keep the pounds off.

Recover Quickly From Lapses

No one expects a dieter never to taste a slice of pizza or cake again. But if the lapses happen too often, the scale will start to show it. Recovering quickly from these lapses is important in order to avoid regaining the lost weight. Many people have a range they like to stay in. Once they pass the range, it's time to hit the gym a bit harder or reign in the eating plan. Weighing in on a weekly basis shows dieters whether they are maintaining their healthy lifestyle or if they're losing a bit of control. If it's the latter, it's time to make some changes.

Vary Workout Programs to Avoid Plateaus

Dieters need to keep their bodies guessing in order to continue to see improvements and stave off boredom. The human body adapts to exercise and gets more efficient at performing that exercise. Therefore, dieters need to keep changing it up in order for the body to keep working at maximal levels.

Dieters May Still See Themselves Fat

This distorted view happens to many people who have lost a large amount of weight or have been a certain weight for a very long time. In their mind, they still see themselves as fat when looking in the mirror. To overcome this, dieters need to surround themselves with positive people who encourage them and reinforce how far they've come and how great they look. They should also take certain steps, like buying a new wardrobe or getting a makeover, to update their self-image.

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blood type diet

Based on the popular book Eating Right for Your Type by Dr Peter J D’Amato, the blood type diet entered the weight loss diet scene about 10 years ago. The diet touts genetic backing, but does it really work?

The Blood Type Diet

Everyone has one of four basic blood types, O, A, B and AB. Dr D’Amato believes that “blood type is the key that unlocks the door to the mysteries of health, disease, longevity, physical vitality and emotional strength” Dr D’Amato has developed a diet to go with each blood type. In his book Eat Right for Your Type Dr D’Amato makes the following diet suggestions.
  • Type O: This diet recommends increasing the intake of lean, chemical-free meats, poultry and fish. It also recommends decreasing dairy products and grains. For weight loss it is suggested to restrict the consumption of grains, breads, legumes and beans and focus on intense physical activity.
  • Type A: This diet promotes a vegetarian diet that centers on foods that are fresh and organic. For weight loss eliminate meats, and toxic foods from the diet.
  • Type B: This diet should be balanced and wholesome. It should include a wide variety of foods. For weight loss corn, buckwheat, lentils, peanuts and sesame seeds should be avoided. Moderate physical exercise is recommended.
  • Type AB: This diet is a combination of the A and B diets. Most foods that are avoided on the type A and type B diets should be restricted. For weight loss it is suggested to eat only small amounts of meat that can be supplemented with vegetables and tofu. A combination of the exercises for types A and B is advised.

Who is Dr Peter J. D’Amato?

He is a naturopathic physician. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine defines naturopathic medicine as a whole medical system that aims to support the body’s ability to heal itself through the use of dietary and lifestyle changes together with complementary and alternative medicine therapies such as herbs, massage and joint manipulation.

Dr D’Adamo has been practicing for over 20 years. He has written multiple books on the Blood Type Diet. He has also done research on human blood groups, nutrition, and the field of natural products. Dr. D’Adamo founded the Institute for Human Individuality in 2003.

What Does the Research say About the Blood Type Diet?

While many literature papers, all written by Dr. D’Amato, are available there are currently no clinical studies to provide data to determine if the diet is credible. Poleszynski stated in an article in the Norwegian that based on literature by Dr D’Adamo, the doctor is mistaken on certain points and vague on others. While his general theory seems to be based on scientific studies, more testing and clinical research needs to be done.
Although many testimonials of the success of the diet are available, there is no clinical proof that the Blood type diet is a viable diet program. While the basis of each of the diets is not harmful, a person following the diet should take care to make sure to follow a balanced diet that includes foods from all food groups. A person should also be aware that Dr D’Amato promotes expensive nutrition supplements that may be unnecessary.

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