Showing posts with label diet. Show all posts

size and shape

Unfortunately it's not easy for the majority of us to lose weight, especially when we're on a structured diet. Losing weight may involve more than self-discipline, exercise and watching every morsel that goes into your mouth. There are other things that affect your size and shape – things that are impossible to control.

Three Factors that Contribute to Your Body Shape and Size

1. Age. Most people round out a little as they get older, as a result of a decreased metabolism and less movement. Menopause can cause women to suddenly gain weight, and both men and women find that they can't eat as much as they did a few years back without gaining a few pounds!

2. Set point and metabolism. The set point of your weight is predetermined, which means that your body stubbornly clings to a certain amount of weight. For instance, my husband's set point dictates that he won't gain an ounce no matter what or how much he eats. My set point, on the other hand, is set a little higher than I'd like, causing me to gain pounds when I catch a whiff of French fries and bacon cheeseburgers. Evidently, physiological forces can prevent weight loss. However, I do know it's possible to be thinner than I am now because I once was – but it was a real struggle staying at my lowest weight. Perhaps that's the secret behind set points: it's still possible to lose weight, but just a little more difficult.

3. Genetics. Your body shape, weight, and size is affected by your genes. Studies have shown that adopted children are most similar in body shape and weight to their biological parents. You see examples all around you, every day, of people looking exactly like their parents or grandparents – for better or for worse. I have my mom's curves and tendency towards the bulge; my half-sisters have their mother's lean silhouette and long, slim limbs. It's part of our inheritance (for better or worse).

Food and Fitness Level Counts!
Watching what you eat, exercising, and keeping informed of health tips and low-fat recipes are still extremely important in losing weight and keeping it off. Remember to strike a balance between accepting and loving your body the way it is, and striving for health and wellness.
Feeling no fear naked and confident about who you are is possible – and it doesn't matter what your weight or shape is!

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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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Patients who are obese and suffer from risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, could be candidates for treatment with Adipex, along with diet and exercise, for help with losing weight. Adipex-P is a short-term appetite suppressant that is used as part of an overall weight reduction program. Patients typically need to have a body mass index greater than 27 to qualify as a candidate for Adipex-P.

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Warning Before Taking Adipex-P

Adipex should not be taken with other diet medications such as Phen-Fen or Redux. This combination of drugs can cause a rare fatal lung disorder called pulmonary hypertension. Never take Adipex with any other form of diet medications without your doctors permission.

Do not take Adipex within 14 days of taking an MAO inhibitor. Life-threatening side effects can occur if the MAO inhibitor has not cleared out of your system.

Do not take Adipex if you are allergic to stimulants, if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis (hardening of your arteries), glaucoma, an overactive thyroid, if you are agitated, or if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Alert your physician before you take Adipex if you have problems with your thyroid, have an anxiety disorder, have a seizure disorder or epilepsy, or if you have diabetes. You may not be able to use Adipex if you have these conditions or you may need to undergo tests before taking this medication.

Side Effects of Adipex-P

Common side effects while taking Adipex-P could include: dizziness, diarrhea, dry mouth, changes in sex drive, constipation, exaggerated feelings of depression or elation, headache, hives, impotence, high blood pressure, inability to fall or stay asleep, increased heart rate, restlessness, overstimulation, stomach or intestinal problems, tremors, throbbing heartbeat, or unpleasant taste.

Discuss any side effects you experience with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Adipex-P.

Administration of Adipex-P

This medicine needs to be taken exactly as prescribed. Never take this medication in larger amounts or for longer than recommended by your physician.

Adipex-P is recommended for short term use, generally a few weeks at one time. Taking higher doses of this medicine over long periods of time cans cause you to experience insomnia, severe skin problems, irritability, personality changes, and or feelings of hyperactivity.

Adipex should be taken on an empty stomach before breakfast. It should be taken with a full glass of water. Make sure to take this medication at least 10 to 14 hours before bedtime. Never take Adipex in the evening because it can cause you to suffer from insomnia.

Never chew, break, crush, or open an extended-release capsule. Always swallow the pill whole.

If you start to have increased hunger or if you think the medication is no longer working, do not increase your dosage. Taking too much Adipex can cause life-threatening side effects. Contact your physician. You may need to stop using the medication but if you have used it for a long period of time, your physician may need to wean you off of the drug. Suddenly stopping this medication could cause withdrawal symptoms.

Considerations Regarding Adipex-P

Adipex-P is considered a drug of abuse and can be habit-forming. It should only be used by the person it was prescribed for.
It is not known if this medication will harm an unborn baby. Talk to your physician if your are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant before taking Adipex. Do not breast-feed a baby without checking with a physician.

Adipex-P will lose its effect after being on the medication for several weeks. Once this occurs, you should discontinue the medication on the recommendation of your physician. Never try to boost the effectiveness of the drug by increasing the dosage, this could result in serious side effects and a dependence on the medication.

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There are many fad diets out there that promise one the ability to lose weight fast but they often leave a dieter feeling hungry and frustrated. The key to losing weight is to expend more calories than a body takes in. It is a simple formula and one that is not hard to achieve if you make a few simple changes to your lifestyle.

To lose one pound of fat a person has to burn 3,500 calories. By shaving off a few calories every day weight loss will slowly occur.

Stop Eating at Night and Lose Weight

This is something that celebrities often do to lose weight and it is a great way to curb excessive snacking. If one can decide what time of the night to stop eating and after that time can stick to items such as low fat ice cream or yoghurt or a few candies it will limit the calorie intake for the day.

Once a dieter stops eating in the evening it will become easier to spot when one is eating when bored or for emotional reasons rather than eating to satisfy a hunger.

Lose Weight by Eating Breakfast

The worst mistake people make when they are trying to lose weight is not eating breakfast. When somebody wakes up it is important to realize that they have not eaten for least 12 hours and the body then holds onto fat as it hits starvation mode.

Eating breakfast will help to kick start the metabolism for the day. Try to have wholegrain cereals or fibers, they may not taste great but they help cleanse the system of fats.

Switch to Light Foods and Drop the Soda to Drop Pounds

light foods
Switching to the lighter alternative to the food in question will immediately cut down the amount of calories being consumed. Wise substitutions will mean the difference in the foods will not be noticed by taste. Also it would be wise to cut out soft drinks from one's diet.

When one is consuming high sugar sweetened drinks it is called empty calories. The reason behind this is that sweetened beverages do not fill a person up yet still contain a large amount of calories. Replacing these drinks with water will immediately cut down on the amount of calories consumed everyday.

Weigh up Portions and Weigh Less

Everybody has a hand. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everybody could use that hand to measure the portion size of their meals? Well, they can - a portion size should be about the size of a palm.

Now at restaurants they often serve more than this amount and large portions have become the norm. Just taking a little bit less food than normal at mealtime will reduce daily calorie intakes.

Stay Full and Avoid Temptation

Eating five servings of fruits and vegetables a day will keep a person full and will in turn stop them eating food that is higher in calories. A diet is not necessary, simply making the decision to eat more fruits and following through on it will mean there is no room left for another snack later on.

By avoiding places like restaurants that serve unhealthy meals and keeping the fridge stocked with healthy alternatives, it becomes easier to reach for the healthier option.

Another way to stay full is by choosing wholemeal alternatives or food that do have a lot of fiber in them it will become easier to feel satisfied on a smaller portion.

Yet another alternative is to eat protein at every meal. This will help keep a feeling of fullness so it becomes less likely to overeat.

Exercise Without Trying Too Hard

Exercise isn't so bad when it happens gradually and by adding extra steps to a person's daily routine it will hardly feel like exercise. This can be done by walking the longer way to go and get something or marching in place when watching television. It is a good idea to invest in a pedometer so progress can be tracked.

If that is not something that sounds favorable to a dieter there are many more ways to incorporate activity in their lifestyles. One way to start is by thinking about activities one likes or has to do and add to it, for example instead of using the dishwasher, hand washing the dishes will expend more calories.

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Consumers' email boxes have been flooded with ads for how the acai berry will help users lose weight quickly. While the idea of losing weight effortlessly while taking an acai supplement is appealing, this may be a case where the marketing far exceeds the science. An examination of the actual science and clinical research is necessary to determine if the idea of losing weight with acai is fact or fiction.

A Quick Recap on the "Amazing" Acai Berry

The acai berry grows in the acai palm trees of the Amazon rainforest. The acai berry is very high in antioxidants, healthy omega fats, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Acai gained international recognition as one of the healthiest fruits in the world after Dr. Perricone named the acai berry as the "#1 superfood" on the Oprah Winfrey show. Acai has been featured on the Today Show, CBS Early Show, New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. It is important to point out that while the acai berry itself has been the subject of extensive news coverage, specific brands of acai were never endorsed by Oprah or Dr. Oz.

Sine 2000, when acai was first introduced as juice and supplement in the USA, sales have been growing steadily. After Dr. Perricone named the acai berry the #1 superfood in 2004, sales started to take off. Acai berry juices, freeze dried acai supplements and acai smoothies became the "must have" exotic health tonic for many people.

Acai Berry Health Benefits Start to Take on Mythical Proportions

As use of acai berry supplements increased in 2005 and 2006, the stories of health benefits started to flood internet forums and websites. Users reported increased energy, better immune response, increase in libido, reduction in joint pain, better mood and more. Clearly, the very strong nutritional profile of the acai berry was producing incredibly positive benefits in many users.

Starting in 2007, a new health benefit of the acai berry was starting to make its way around the internet - incredible weight loss! New companies started to pop-up on almost a daily basis with claims that the acai berry was a weight loss miracle and could help consumers burn away pounds with little to no effort.

Acai Berry and Weight Loss - A Match Made in Marketing Heaven

A search of PubMed for clinical studies on the acai berry and weight loss turns up no real results. An examination of the web sites making strong weight loss claims shows no clinical evidence to support their claims. A review of the mechanism of actions in the phytonutrients that make up the acai berry uncover no explanation as to how acai could help with rapid weight loss.

In the end, it does appear that the claims of being able to lose 30 pounds in 30 days while using any acai product are untrue. Incredible claims of weight loss with acai are fictional and not based on the facts. In fact, many of the websites that make incredible weight loss claims have tiny print at the bottom of the page that says that rapid weight loss is not typical and the stories of the weight loss on the site are actually fictional.

When it Comes to Acai Berry and Weight Loss - It is Not All Bad News

The claims of rapid weight loss by just popping a few acai pills is a case of being "too good to be true." On the other hand, the theory behind acai increasing energy and helping people feel good is based on science. Studies show that the real key to long term weight loss is to exercise and reach a point where more calories are burned than consumed. The acai berry, with its ability to increase energy may help consumers exercise more and be more active, which can lead to real weight loss.

Consumers looking for a quick fix to rapid weight loss will not find the solution in the acai berry. On the other hand, consumers looking for a healthy fruit that can help increase activity levels and exercise and in turn achieve some long term, realistic weight loss goals may want to consider the acai berry.

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7 weight loss tips
The following is a list of seven weight loss tips that can help you lose weight fast without diet pills. You can lose weight fast in the beginning by following these easy tips.
  1. Drink water. The number one tip for losing weight fast is to drink more water. Drinking water helps your body to flush out harmful toxins that tend to prevent weight loss. Experts in the diet industry suggests between six and eight glasses of water per day, but the more he water you can drink the better.
  2. Skip the pop. Don't drink diet or regular pop. Avoid drinking soda of all kinds to quickly reduce bloating and take inches off of your waist.
  3. Increase your fiber. Whole wheat and whole grain foods, along with fruits and vegetables, fill you up without overloading your body with excess calories. Gradually increase your fiber intake to lose weight fast.
  4. Eat more vegetables. Aim for five vegetables a day and gradually add more to your daily menus. Natural, unprocessed foods are best in regards to losing weight. Swap your regular snacks with carrot sticks, cuts up celery and cucumbers or canned vegetables.
  5. Limit TV. Watching too much TV encourages you to eat more than you realize. Avoid the excess calories and mindless eating by cutting down on the amount of time you spend in front of the TV. Find other activities to enjoy that occupy your hands as well as your time.
  6. Exercise. Cardio is essential for weight loss. Initially 30 minutes a day is an appropriate amount of exercise. Over time you want to work up to 60 to 90 minutes a day in order to lose weight quickly.
  7. Strength training. Resistance training raises your metabolism, builds muscle and burns fat. Add strength training to your cardio routine for the perfect for the balance of exercise. Resistance training is the most effective and quickest way to achieve a slimmer body. You'll be able to see and feel the results from strength training almost immediately. Within six weeks you should start to see a difference on the scale.
You can experience quick weight loss by following all of these tips simultaneously. Diet alone cannot help you lose weight quickly, nor can exercise alone. Combining diet and exercise, along with streaking more water, increasing your fiber, eating more vegetables and making exercise a part of your daily routine is the only way to lose weight fast without using diet pills.

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bob greene's best life diet

The Best Life Diet (Simon and Schuster, 2006) is a sound weight loss program based on the concept of lifestyle changes. The author, Bob Greene, is also the author of the Total Body Makeover and Get with the Program. Greene is best known for his association with Oprah Winfrey and how he helped her reach her weight loss goals. You know when Oprah endorses a diet; it has to be a sensible program. She even wrote a forward for The Best Life Diet.

Invest in Yourself to Lose Weight

Greene makes it clear that investing in yourself is a key component to making necessary lifestyle changes to lose weight. He asks that you pay close attention to your hunger level, gain control over your emotional eating and increase your daily exercise. The Best Life Diet describes sensible lifestyle changes that bring long term weight loss success.

Three Phases of The Best Life Diet

Greene breaks The Best Life Diet down into three distinct phases. The first phase helps you gain appetite control while changing your eating habits and exercising more. The second phase includes dietary changes and helps you learn your reasons for emotional eating.

The final phase of the diet plan is the transition into a healthy lifestyle. You will follow this program for optimal health and weight for the rest of your life. In this stage you will continually swap your preferred food choices for healthier ones.

The Best Life Diet Recipes

The recipes in The Best Life Diet are anything but boring diet foods. The recipes are interesting and tasty. Some examples are:
  • Chicken salad with pomegranate, oranges and walnuts
  • Whole wheat pasta with broccoli & peanut sauce
  • Roasted fennel with parmesan
  • Rosemary roasted sweet potatoes
  • Mocha cooler
  • Vanilla caramel Truffle Latte

The Best Life Diet Program

"Losing weight can change your life for the better in ways that far exceed being happier with your appearance," according to Greene (10). The Best Life Diet program is built on small steps and small success. Greene also describes three principles that will guide you in your weight loss journey: responsibility, commitment and inner strength.

Use these principles, along with portion control, being more proactive in your life, learning to measure your hunger and doing some self-discovery to lose weight and maintain that weight loss for the rest of your life. The Best Life Diet will not only help you lose weight, but it will improve your overall quality of life. Are you ready to commit to yourself and create a healthier life?

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weight loss plateau

Do the scales seem to be stuck every time you step on them, regardless of all the exercise and healthy eating you do? This is common problem, and it’s to do with falling into some common traps.

Portion Size

The first major trap for the unwary eater is portion distortion. This is simply dishing up too much food, then eating all of it. The body requires only a certain amount of food each day, and it’s easy to eat too much.

Re-educate your eye for a proper-sized portion. Take a smaller plate than you’d normally use and serve up a slightly smaller portion than you would now. Decide whether you feel satisfied once you’ve eaten it. Correct portion sizes are critical in losing weight. Other good tips, especially when dining out, are avoiding bread, staying away from buffets, and drinking water with your meal, which will help you feel full.

Snacking

Absent-minded eating is also a major cause of weight gain. Those mid-morning sweets, spoonfuls of sugar in your coffee and slices of birthday cake in the office all add to the calorie count, and it’s easy to forget you’ve had them.

Staggeringly, keeping a food diary doubles the average weight loss. If you record everything you consume, you can see exactly what you’ve eaten and hold yourself accountable for your calorie intake. Write down the time of day, which meal you’re having, the type and brands of food you’re eating, and the quantity of each. Noting your motivation for eating and the mood you’re in can also help you monitor your eating habits.

Under-eating

Perhaps surprisingly, not eating can also make you fat. Losing muscle mass, which you do on an extreme diet, burns calories so when you go back to a normal eating pattern, your metabolism will be slower and you’ll gain even more weight.

Eating a sensible, balanced diet means you’ll keep the weight off. Skipping meals and cutting out major food groups won’t help. Inadequate nutrition means your body won’t be able to maintain muscle mass, repair itself or protect you from infection. Understand your food and what it’s doing for you so you can make the right choices.

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol is an aggravating factor in weight gain for lots of reasons. It’s high in calories, the ethanol is a poison that your body wants to get rid of as quickly as it can so you store fat more readily, your food choices are distorted by alcohol and it makes you eat more. Not only that, but alcohol is a depressant and slows your metabolism down.

Drinking red wine and any other type of alcohol may have some benefits, so you don’t need to cut it out completely, but keep your drinking to a minimum if you’re serious about losing weight and controlling your weight long term. A small glass of wine or can of beer is fine, particularly with a meal, but try to keep it just to that each time you indulge.

Exercise Routine

If you use the same exercise routine for every workout, you won’t be gaining the full benefit because ou’re just too good at those exercises now. When you’ve been doing the same activity for a while, no matter how vigorous, your body gets really good at using the least amount of energy it can to get you to the end of the workout.

If you usually cycle for exercise, go for a run or swim instead. If you do cardio exercises at the gym, try the weight machines or take up a class. Anything that uses different muscles or the same muscles in a different way will have you sweating again and burning those recalcitrant calories.

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reducing your waistline

This seems to be the biggest request of people who want to lose weight. There are three components to effectively reducing your waistline:

  • Diet
  • Strength Training
  • Cardiovascular Training

A healthy diet consists of a proper balance of protein, carbohydrates and fiber. One must also pay close attention to portion control. The diet should consist of small meals every three to four hours as this will aid in speeding up the metabolism. The carbohydrates should consist of slow moving, whole grain carbohydrates such as: rolled oats, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and whole wheat breads. Protein sources should consist of: chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, lean beef. Fiber sources should consist of green leafy vegetables, carrots, beets, green beans, and of course every diet should contain an array of fruits.

Cardiovascular training should be done in a supervised environment with proper body mechanics and form being taught and implemented. Strength training should be performed three days a week and circuit training with light to moderately heavy weights will aid in weight loss and toning of the muscles.

Cardiovascular training may consist of power walking on a treadmill first thing in the morning. More of the energy burned during moderate treadmill workout in a fasted state, comes from fat, compared to energy from a meal. Choosing to eat before a cardio session is equivalent to saying, you want to preserve your fat stores and reduce the amount of sugar that can replenish your muscle glycogen stores after a night's sleep.

Cardiovascular training can also be done on an elliptical machine, upright bike, recumbent bike, jumping rope, aerobics classes, and cardio classes. There are others to choose from - these are just a few.

Recommended heart rate is 65% MHR (maximum heart rate) reliably predicted to occur at a pulse rate 25 beats per minute above your heart rate during a light warm up.

Slow and steady, low intensity, longer duration (45 – 60 minutes) on an empty stomach burns (melts) body fat more efficiently than high intensity.

Thus, the key ingredients in a trim waist is to eat a well balanced, healthy, controlled-portion diet, to strength train at least three days per week, and to perform cardiovascular training at a slow pace for 45-60 minute duration at least three days per week. The combination of these three components will effectively reduce your waistline and overall body weight/ body fat, and will also be the three key components of living a healthy lifestyle. In order to achieve real results that will last one has to apply each of these components to one's everyday life and consistency is key!

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One of the first questions people ask when they begin a weight loss program or diet plan is usually centers around the reasons they are overweight. How does a person end up being overweight? What is the ideal weight for a particular person? So, how does a person determine just that ideal weight number? Read on and discover a few things about successful weight loss and the ideal weight.

The Body is Designed to Maintain a Certain Weight

Body temperature is a steady 98.6 degrees for most all people. The human body is designed to remain at that temperature level, unless something is wrong. The body also has a similar mechanism for maintaining a steady weight level. Thomas Wadden, PhD and director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at University of Pennsylvania Medical School says that a person's body weight is designed to remain within a range of about 10 to 20% of ideal weight. He calls this the "set point."

When a person eats too much, this internal weight regulating system is overwhelmed, and the body reacts by increasing the "set point." It's much easier to raise this set point of ideal weight than it is to lower it, although it can be done. The body responds to all the overeating by raising this ideal weight set point higher. In other words, people train their bodies to accept a higher set point of ideal weight.

Weight Loss and Ideal Weight

Weight loss is so difficult for some folks because this ideal weight level has been increased over a period of time, sometimes over years, of overeating and eating the wrong type of food. When a person finally decides to start losing the weight, their body is already set at that increased ideal weight level.

Decreasing the ideal weight set point is possible, but apparently it's easier to make it go up than down. This is a lot of the reason why people have such a difficult time with weight loss. It's not an excuse for folks to remain overweight, it's just a reminder that weight loss is more difficult than weight gain. That sems so unfair, but that's the way it works.

Why Weight Loss is So Hard

Dr, Wadden explains that when a person quickly loses these huge amounts of weight on these crash diets or radical weight loss plans, an internal struggle is going on within the body. The body actually releases hormones like ghrelin to make a person feel even more hungry in an attempt to maintain the high ideal weight set point.

It's sort of like how a person's body would react to any substance – food, alcohol, chemicals, drugs. The substance introduced into the body alters the body's chemical makeup and composition. As more of the substance is introduced into the system on a regular basis, the body is literally trained to accept the presence of the substance as "normal." When the substance is restricted or removed entirely, the body reacts to defend what it considers as normal.

The solution is to take the idea of weight loss and changing diet very slowly. The body has been trained over time to accept poor eating habits and lack of exercise as it's normal state. A sudden commitment in the brain is not going to translate easily into the rest of the body. The body will defend it's "normal" condition, which means losing weight is going to be an uphill battle. Lose weight, yes. Start exercising more, of course. But lose weight and change activity levels gradually and give the body a chance to get used to the new normal – a slimmer, healthier body.

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Many weight loss drugs compete for the lucrative market of obesity. Amongst those, Xenical and Alli have become in recent years some of the most popular brands in that particular market. But how should they be used and how do they work?

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How Does Orlistat Work?

Xenical and Alli both contain the same molecule called orlistat and are manufactured by the same company, Roche Pharmaceuticals. Xenical contains twice the dosage of orlistat found in Alli pills, which is why only Alli is available over-the-counter while Xenical needs to be prescribed.

Orlistat works by preventing the intestines from absorbing part of the fat contained in food. About one-third of eaten fat therefore goes through the intestines and is evacuated in the bowel movements. Xenical or Alli do not have any impact on appetite. In other words, it does not decrease the feeling of hunger throughout the day, unlike most other FDA-approved weight loss drugs.

Alli or Xenical should therefore be taken only as a diet supplement. Taking orlistat without any significant dietary change will not bring any weight loss. Instead, it will cause diarrhea, which is one of the most common side effects of orlistat.

Common Side Effects of Xenical and Alli

Because of the way orlistat works, all undigested fat ends up in the stools. Therefore, eating an excessive amount of fatty food causes the evacuation of a large amount of fat. This can cause severe and urgent diarrhea, fatty stools or even fecal incontinence. While taking Xenical or Alli, it is therefore extremely important to stick to a low-fat diet for the duration of the treatment.

Other minor side effects reported for orlistat include fever, sore throat, runny nose, excessive sweating and fatigue. If those symptoms persist, it is advisable to consult a doctor.

Is Weight Loss Achievable With Xenical and Alli?

Yes, it is, but only if orlistat is taken in conjunction with a sensible low-fat diet. Studies have shown that orlistat does indeed have a positive impact on weight loss. However, after discontinuing treatment, a significant proportion of patients have regained some or all of their original weight. Sticking to a sensible diet is therefore extremely important, even after the end of the treatment.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.

good, bad, and ugly fats

There is a lot of seemingly confusing information about the effects of the types of fat and what they have to do with weight loss. Well, there's good fat, or essential fatty acids which must be consumed through food because the body cannot produce these. There's bad saturated fats like the fat in butter, milk, and cream.

There's not-so-bad unsaturated fats that are typically found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. Then there's that king of the bad fats, the bad boy of the fatty fun park, hydrogenated oil, or trans fat, as it more commonly known. Of course, too much of any of these fats is not good for health or for successful weight loss. So how does one know how much of which fats are the best combination?

Fats Necessary For Optimal Nutrition

As bad a rap as fat gets in the media, it's actually a good thing and is necessary for maintaining life and health. Those good essential fatty acids are found in the fat of the food people eat every day. Fat is also necessary in keeping skin healthy, carrying essential vitamins and minerals, and helps young children's developing brains.

Fat is actually a good thing, but it always seems to get the blame for any sort of weight gain. The truth is that anyone can put on weight and get fat from eating just carbohydrates and protein. "Excess calories from any source is what's responsible for weight gain," according to Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, professor of nutrition at Tufts University and director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory.

Fat Has Twice the Calories of Carbs or Protein

Fat is desirable in the foods folks eat because it carries the flavor of the food. Everyone has had one of those no–fat cookies that tastes like compressed sawdust. They taste like that because they have no fat to carry the flavor. Here's a simple fact for those trying to lose weight or have stated a weight loss program: one gram of fat contains more than twice the amount of calories as a gram of carbohydrate or protein.

As far as identifying what fats are good or bad, some types of fat are just bad for folks trying to lose weight. Too much of any good or bad fat leads to heart disease and increases stroke risk. But there are fats that are very bad. Trans fat is one of those very bad fats. Trans fat is very common in most commercially prepared foods but because of recent research, is in the process of being totally eliminated from those type of foods. Trans fat raises bad LDL blood cholesterol levels while lowering good HDL cholesterol levels. be sure to check nutrition labels and avoid trans fat whenever possible.

Most Fat is Bad Fat for Those Trying to Lose Weight

Because any fats are going to hinder weight loss, it's best to limit the amount of fat consumed. A lot of the fatty foods eaten by most folks today contain a lot of cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy substance necessary for life and good health in humans. Excess cholesterol is typically found in egg yolks, shellfish, high fat dairy products, liver or organ meats, high fat meats, and poultry skin.

Eating lots of these fatty foods will not only raise the bad cholesterol levels in the blood but will also prevent optimal weight loss. Losing weight is a simple formula of consuming less food, eating the right amount of whole, unprocessed foods, and increasing the level of exercise. While some good fats are necessary for proper nutrition, there is no place for some types of bad fats in a successful weight loss program.

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calculating body mass index

BMI, or Body Mass Index is a rough assessment of a person's weight compared to height. While this is used widely as an indicator of just how much fat tissue is present in a particular body, it is not always an accurate assessment of a person's complete weight loss picture. There may be a better way.

Problems with BMI Calculations

While the BMI equation is very popular, the results from this equation can be grossly inaccurate and misleading. This may cause some folks to get the wrong idea about just how much weight loss is needed in a particular situation. An accurate baseline is needed in order to lose weight successfully and the BMI may not provide this baseline.

The BMI equation does not consider the particular specifics of a person's body composition. In other words, if person A works out and has more muscle, the BMI equation has no way of distinguishing what is fat and what is muscle. Older folks, or those with a low amount of body muscle may also get an inaccurate reading and thus be considered healthy. BMI measures body mass only.

Estimating Weight Loss Through Body Composition

Muscle is a good thing because it makes a body look better, and it burns more calories than fat tissue. More muscle means more calories burned and that is a great thing for someone trying to lose weight. Because the BMI does not provide an accurate assessment of total body fat, there are other ways to determine the correct amount of weight to be lost.

Weighing on a scale is not the best way because there can be daily fluctuations of weight levels. The mirror may actually be the best way to determine how much weight loss needs to occur and from where. Take a close look in the mirror without being overly critical. Think of it as a broad brush approach to weight loss. Find the biggest problem area first and start there. Don't get all caught up in the details and minor areas. Broad brush strokes.

Correct Measurement of Body Fat Percentage for Optimal Weight Loss

Perhaps the most accurate method to find out the actual percentage of body fat and muscle tissue is to be weighed while in water using hydrostatic testing. The process begins with a person sitting in a seat that is attached to a scale hanging over the water. The subject first weighed on the scale to determine a baseline weight. Next the person then submerged in the water and weighed once again. Fat is lighter than water, muscle heavier. The two weights are combined and a proper body fat percentage is determined.

There are other methods for determining BMI like bioelectrical impedance analysis which runs a tiny bit of electricity through the body to measure the resistance levels of fat and muscle. Skinfold measurements is another low–tech method which uses a special set of calipers to measure subcutaneous fat. None of these methods will provide a reading as accurate as hydrostatic testing. Obtaining an accurate assessment of lean body mass compared to fat body mass is an important first step on the road to successful weight loss.

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diet drug

Vivus said two late-stage studies of some 3,750 patients showed those who took Qnexa were able to trim their weight by up to 14.7 percent in one study and 13.2 percent in another compared to a placebo group that lost just 3 percent. The studies are the final stage of human trial demanded by the FDA.

A side benefit, Vivus said, was that patients on Qnexa were able to reduce their diabetes risk factors and showed improvement in blood pressure as well. The company said it will ask the FDA for approval by the end of this year.

Obesity – An Epidemic Threatening to Worsen

Some 300 million people worldwide, among them more than 60 million Americans, are considered obese. The World Health Organization said obesity worldwide could increase to more than 700 million people by 2015. Rising rates of diabetes,cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke are all linked to obesity.

Pharmaceutical firms are rushing remedies – and hoped-for remedies – to the marketplace, and there are more in the clinical development pipeline.

Analysts say the current market for diet drugs and the anti-obesity market overall is near $1 billion, but believe it could grow to more than $10 billion in the United States alone.

Vivus hopes Qnexa can take a big bite of that market. The drug uses two previously-approved and proven weight loss drugs as its main ingredients, combined in a single daily-dose capsule. Qnexa says its product deals with both appetite and the feeling of being satisfied.

Vivus’s Qnexa Combines Proven Diet Products

The two active ingredients in Qnexa have been around for years, but Vivus says it’s the combination of the pair that had led to successful weight loss in clinical trials. In fact, 67 percent of patients in one study and 70 percent in the other lost at least five percent of their weight in the course of the 56-week trial.

Here’s how each of the drugs work, according to Vivus:
  • Phentermine is released immediately and helps reduce appetite. It’s been around since the 1950s and is the diet industry’s most-prescribed drug. It was a major component of the recalled diet drug fen-phen, which was linked to heart and lung problems and was taken off the market ion 1997.
  • Topiramate is time released and used in very low doses to give patients a feeling of satiety, the feeling of being full. Originally an epilepsy drug, it’s also used to help prevent migraine headaches.

Vivus and Qnexa are in a race with two other drug companies to get the next release of a safe therapeutic weight-loss drugs to the U.S. market. Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. and Arena Pharmaceuticals both hope to have a new drug to market soon. Both are using a combination of already approved drugs and hope to introduce their products to market by late this year or early 2010.

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best weight loss

There are many diets and workouts on the market today and they all claim to have the best weight loss program. However, a dieter could become very confused because many of the programs directly contradict each other. Who knows what the best weight loss program really is? All of the great weight loss programs have some features in common. Here are the steps to best weight loss:

Step One: Decide to Lose Weight and Commit

Without a firm commitment to lose weight and a sincere goal, nothing will happen. However, when a person has reached the stage where enough is enough, then change will begin to occur. It is not easy, but by beginning with baby steps a large achievement may be accomplished. As soon as a person has become resolute, they will begin moving in the direction of the goal. This is the beginning of a great success.

Step Two: Select a Proven Weight Loss Program

It is usually best not to attempt to modify behavior alone. There are proven weight loss programs out there and many of them work. Seek out the program that seems to have the best rack record and follow it. There is no need to go it alone. Joining weight loss groups involves admitting there is a challenge with food but the programs exist for the purpose of helping dieters. The best weight loss programs have a group or individual counseling and instructional component, because there is a social and emotional aspect to being overweight. There is no need to think that “willpower” is needed. Actually, people are highly social and there is a great dynamic to a group or even working with an individual weight loss counselor. Two or more together have more power than one alone.

Step Three: Implement the Chosen Program

Follow the instructions given by the program. If some mistakes happen or there are examples of days where there is too much overeating, then just get back on the program again. There is no need to rate the day mentally as “good” or “bad.” There is no such thing as a “perfect” eating day. Just notice patterns and make the best choices. If too many off- program foods are eaten, and then just get back with it tomorrow. Also, the more active the dieter is, the better the program will work. Consider implementing a walking program, or getting in some other type of fun activity.

If these steps are followed, then desirable results will be achieved. True, lasting weight loss is possible for everyone.

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Weight Loss Diet Mind

Terminating a life long pattern of turning to food for feelings other than hunger is vital for any weight loss diet to work. Filling emotional needs with emotional solutions and using food for physical nourishment only is key to any effective diet program. Seeking comfort, security, love, or solace in appropriate ways allows the dieter to manage their food intake intelligently and effectively.

Steps Toward a Mindful Weight Loss Diet

The first step towards attaining or maintaining an ideal weight is recognizing that weight management is more about thought processes and lifestyle than food. Thousands of dieters start a fast diet regime every day, one that may indeed melt off a few excess pounds immediately, only to have an emotional issue or craving throw them back into making unhealthy choices. Understanding one’s relationship to food is crucial to reprogramming self-defeating patterns.

Secondly, creating a vast array of choices other than food for emotional needs and building a reserve base of alternatives for times when "chocolate calls" or the beckoning smell of a favorite comfort food gives the dieter an upper hand over old counter-productive patterns. A network of supportive friends to call or a planned activity to replace non-hunger related cravings for food builds new neurological patterns that become healthy habits.

A complete physical prior to starting a diet program is a must. Blood work results will let both dieter and doctor know if there are underlying conditions contributing to weight gain and give the otherwise healthy dieter a baseline from which to start. Results such as elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol or a high blood sugar level may give the dieter whose health has been adversely impacted by excess weight a strong motivational edge.

Why Fast Diets Don’t Work

An essential for weight loss success is understanding that the reputed "best diet" or "best weight loss program" is doomed to failure unless it provides enough food to satisfy actual physical hunger and maintain energy and health. Focusing only on food, crash diets, severely restricted calorie diets or highly advertised fad diets are seldom long term solutions and may ultimately sabotage success.

Avoiding physical hunger is imperative to dieting success because hunger signals the reptilian part of the brain that starvation is imminent. Human beings are wired to preserve life at any cost and hunger is interpreted on a subconscious level as a threat to the dieting individual’s very existence. Fast diets cannot address the fundamental issue of hunger and automatic self-sabotage is often the result.

Tips for Successful Weight Loss

The successful dieter plans for success well before starting a weight loss plan. Just as a star student prepares for finals, the dieter who prepares for success before beginning will reap a higher level of achievement. A mind that has been prepared for change is better able to work with that change. Choose a weight loss start date of less than 30 days and begin both physical and mental preparation.

  • Get a complete physical during the pre-diet period. The best diet will be an individualized one recommended by a physician or nutritionist.
  • Eliminate all foods from household cupboards that are not on the recommended diet. (A local homeless shelter will make good use of them). Begin stocking only foods compatible with the recommended diet.
  • Learn to read food labels and double check manufacturers statistics with an unbiased source like The Nutribase Nutritional Facts Desk Reference by Dr. Art Ulene.
  • Since water is a staple for every effective weight loss program, plan for a way to have it nearby at all times.
  • Monitor thoughts for negativity or victim mentality. Such thoughts will sabotage success.
  • Begin thinking of nurturing things that are not food related. Make a list.
  • Pamper the body, mind and spirit with personally meaningful non-food activities or things

Beginning the Weight Loss Diet

Do not confuse preparation with procrastination; set a definite date and prepare for success with both physical and mental housecleaning. Dr. Judith Beck Ph.D., of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research has excellent tips on how to reprogram the mind to prepare for dieting success. Her research, and that of other experts in the field indicate the best diet is unlikely to be the fast diet many dieters wish for. The best diet program will likely be slow, simple, and steady, but it will be sure and lasting if the dieter changes their thinking and coping techniques along with their eating habits.

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basic food pyramid

Everyone knows there are a lot of so–called diet plans and weight loss plans out there that make a lot of very interesting claims about losing weight. A successful weight loss diet begins with self evaluation, a decision to make some changes, and a commitment to implement those changes in everyday life, day after day.

So how does one know which is the best weight loss program? Which weight loss diet will help to reach the ultimate goal weight? How much weight will be lost and over what period of time? These are the questions which must be considered before starting on any weight loss diet. Here are some tips for making a better choice when it comes to food.

Include Variety From All Major Food Groups for Optimal Weight Loss

It's time to learn a few things about food that need to be understood clearly. First, food was meant to be enjoyed, savored, and shared among friends and family. Food is a part of everyday life and is necessary for continuing in that life every day. The problem in this modern society is that there is plenty of food, but little knowledge about food.

A good place to start learning about food and it's effects on the human body is the basic food pyramid (www.mypyramid.gov). This information in this pyramid is based on the latest and best science and not biased by any business or organizations that may have a stake in it's message. That message is to eat a variety of foods from all the major food groups represented in order to lose or maintain a healthy weight level.

My Pyramid is the Basis for Healthy Living

The food pyramid can be a good place to start learning about eating the right foods that will aid in weight loss. The foundation of this pyramid is eating the right foods along with exercising daily and controlling weight. Following this simple plan will help to keep most folks healthy and keep them from developing one or more of the many diseases that may be brought on by excess weight gain.

Think about this because no one wants to go through life hindered or held back by acquiring a disease that could have been prevented by simply eating better. It seems such a simple thing really, but some folks will just continue on as they always have, and end up with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, or any number of maladies that will almost certainly occur unless eating habits are changed, and weight is controlled.

Choose to Eat Healthfully

OK, here's the bottom line. Unless eating habits are changed, disease and possible premature death are almost certain. Sorry to sound so abrupt, but there it is. The choices mad today will affect the choice of which future will be lived. Will it be a future filled with chronic health problems, disease, doctor visits, and hospital stays? Or will the future be full of longer life and health?

So choose today what will be on the plate at the very next meal. Make a decision for healthy living and commit to changing existing eating habits. Instead of chicken–fried steak, have a skinless chicken breast with some flavorful seasoning. Rather than a fatty snack before bed tonight, have a cup of flavored tea or a small bunch of grapes. Big change comes from the many good or bad food choices made daily.

It's going to be a whole lot easier to make these small, minor changes now rather than have no choice regarding future changes in health and well–being. Is it easier to decide to make a change now in the type and amount of foods consumed, or to be limited to certain type and amount of foods in the future? Get started today toward losing weight and head down the road toward a healthier future.

As with any radical changes in diet or exercise, it may be beneficial to consult a health care professional, nutritionist, or doctor before starting any diet, exercise, or weight loss plan. This article is for informational purposes only.

The information provided herein is of a general nature and should not be substituted as advice from a qualified professional.

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If you've ever wondered why you can't lose weight, then wonder no more. Losing weight can be as simple as changing the way you think.

The Positives versus The Negatives

For example, when you sit down to write an essay or report, you might say to yourself, 'I am going to sit here and get this done once and for all.' And so you do, you sit there until the report is finished and you're happy with yourself.

When you start a diet, what do you do?

Do you say to yourself?
  • 'I'll never lose this weight,' or
  • 'this is going to be really hard,' or
  • 'I bet I don't last long on this diet.'

Well, you know what, the exact is true. If you tell yourself you can't do something, then you won't be able to do it, you will automatically set yourself up to fail. The law of attraction sees to it that you do exactly what you tell yourself to do whether it be fail or succeed. Have you ever watched professional sports people and thought they were 'cocky' or overly confident?

There's a reason for the cockiness. They believe in themselves and their ability and they tell themselves day in and day out that they will succeed with their sport, and that is why they are professionals.

  • You are what you think you are.
  • You feel how you want to feel.
  • You look how you want to look.

Losing Weight the Easy Way

  • If you want to be thin, then start thinking and acting like you are thin. Do things that thin people do.
  • If you want to feel happy, then start thinking happy thoughts, smile every chance you can get, don't read bad news and you will be happy.
  • If you want to be successful then tell yourself you are successful, tell everyone that you know you are successful and the success will come.

All of this positivity has everything to do with losing weight. If you want to be thin, then all you have to do is think and act like a thin person. Find a friend that is thin and ask him what his daily thoughts and actions are. You might actually discover that your diet is nutritionally superior to his but the thinner friend thinks differently. He is not afraid of putting on weight because he doesn't think about weight every day like you do. The more you think about weight and fat and cellulite, the more weight , fat and cellulite you will have - You Are What You Think and Feel.

Visualising yourself as thin and beautiful is as equally important. Get a picture in your head of what you want to look like. Visualise as many times as you can in the day. This is letting the body know how it wants to look.

The food you eat is also very important. If you are constantly hungry and never seem full then you are most probably eating the wrong foods. Your body needs nutritious foods to fill its' cells with important vitamins and minerals. If it doesn't get this food then it is going to tell you the only way it knows how...hunger pains.

  • Once you have become positive, think and act positively then you will receive positive outcomes.
  • If you think negative, then all you will receive is negativity.

Have you ever wondered why some people have bad luck after bad luck? Ask yourself this....Do they start their day by wondering what's going to go wrong for them today? Think about it.

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childhood obesity

Childhood obesity is a problem. It is an epidemic with severe consequences and life altering effects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity increased from 5 to 10.4 percent among children ages two to five years between 1980 and 2008. Children ages six to 11 increased even more at a rate of 6.6-19.6 percent and adolescents from 5-18.1 percent during the same period. With more and more schools banning or at least discouraging activities such as tag, football, tetherball, and other activities that can be viewed as being aggressive or dominating, what can parents do to fight the growing obesity problem? Below are some activities and suggestions parents could and should use to get children back on track to living healthy and productive lives.

Promote Healthy Dietary Habits
What does this mean exactly? Encouraging fat free foods, diet drinks, and smaller portions will not help curb childhood obesity. Actually, relying on just these changes in diet can be even more detrimental to the health of children. Providing sugar-free snacks and diet drinks in an effort to avoid sugar or calorie intake can be a sheep in wolf's clothing. Sugar-free foods and diet drinks are high in other unhealthy chemicals such as aspartame, sodium, and phosphorous. Artificial sweeteners can increase appetite and the desire for real sugar, according to new research published in the International Journal of Obesity. This should not be interpreted to encourage sugar or higher fat intake, but rather to use common sense and practice moderation.

Another important aspect when dealing with diet choices is knowing when to eat. An old adage says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day; however, it is still the most neglected. Breakfast is not only meant to be the first meal of the day but should be consumed soon after waking to break the fast from the night before (hence the name "breakfast"). This is very important for the metabolism and how the body stores fat, burns protein, and processes nutrition for the rest of the day.

As daily life gets busier and busier, more families are eating on the go. This means convenience foods, meals out of a box, and frozen dinners are becoming evermore popular. However, these foods are usually made of processed foods and are very high in sodiums and preservatives. Since convenience can be a necessity, take the time one day a week to prepare fresh meals at home with healthy ingredients, then portion and send along with children to school for lunch or snacks.

Encourage Physical Activity to Increase Energy and Metabolism

The popular Wii has its benefits for utilizing more than just a child's thumbs; however, nothing will replace the health benefits of outdoor play. Childhood games such as tag, hide and go seek, foot races, and hopscotch should not only be encouraged but revered. Benefits other than just exercise are recognized with these games. Not only are hand, eye, and foot coordination developed and increased, but social interaction is also practiced and developed from these fun activities.

During the summer it is very easy to encourage outdoor play activities, but what about during the dead of winter? Keep the snow blower in the garage and have children help with shoveling the walk. Put on a coat and take a walk around the block to try and find animal tracks in the snow. If cold weather and outdoor activity just doesn't sound good in the winter, making a family trip to the local community gym can be a healthy bonding experience. Intramural sports are also very beneficial to the physical and social health of a child. Basketball, volleyball, wrestling, dance, and indoor soccer can all be practiced during the colder months for exercise and entertainment.

Be Honest With Children Regarding Their Overall Health

What is more important to the well being of a child, their feelings or their health? Society at times can be so afraid to hurt one's feelings, it will find a way to blame and penalize another entity that does not posess emotion to save the feelings of another. A child that is obese, rather fat, is unhealthy and at risk for serious consequences later in life. A child whose parents continue to ignore their weight problem can live a shorter life, risk being bullied in school, or not have the ability to participate in activities to the level a healthier child can. This can result in decreased confidence and self esteem levels that could affect other areas of their lives such as their academic performance. Rather than protecting a child's feelings due to their obesity, parents should confront the child directly. To help a child conquer his or her obesity and give that child a better chance at a healthier life can provide a much more stable confidence level and higher self esteem than ignoring the obvious problem of obesity.

Most importantly, adults need to lead by example for children to truly become healthier. Simple practices such as taking the stairs instead of an elevator, parking in the back row and walking to the building entrance, or going on family walks, hikes, or bike rides can teach children the benefits of exercise from an early age and discourage laziness with the added benefit of providing quality family time. The human body is a physical organism and needs physical exercise or play to be as efficient as possible in fighting childhood obesity. Get fit and be well. A child's health depends on it.

Tips for Recognizing Dieting Sabotages in Restuarants

Just because you’re eating out doesn’t mean you can’t stay on your diet. You just need to be prepared, even before leaving home.

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Beware of Salad Bars

Many dieters are deceived into believing if they just choose a salad bar, they’re ingesting fewer calories. But, it’s not hard to dish out a salad bar piled with the wrong foods that can actually be twice the calories of a double cheese burger.

No creamy foods – Scoops of chicken, potato, egg, and/or tuna salads are loaded with mayonnaises (and it’s not the low-fat variety.)

No croutons or bacon bits – Because you don’t know the fat and calories count, it’s best to have none.
No Pasta – Although you can measure pasta, it’s probably bathed in fat.

What to Select

Dark greens – The darker green the vegetable, the better. Rather than iceberg lettuce, choose romaine. Load your plate with spinach, collard greens, and any other dark green vegetables. On the other hand, choose a variety of color, too. Instead of just green peppers, include red and yellow ones, as well. Add carrots, onions, and tomatoes. Color your plate with healthy fruits and vegetables, making it not only attractive, but nutritious.

Protein – It’s safer to choose chicken over cheese as you have more control over how much fat you’re adding. Be cautious of cheeses such as blue cheese and feta as they’re higher in fat.

Oil and vinegar – If your salad bar doesn’t have a fat free (or low fat) salad dressing, go for the oil and vinegar bottle. But even then, don’t pour it on, but measure out only about 1-2 teaspoons.

Tips for Managing Main Entrees

  • Research menus online– If you’re doing Weight Watchers, check online to know the points value in an entrée.
  • Be assertive - Before even leaving home, determine you will stand up for yourself and/or not be swayed by others who are dining with you.
  • Pass up bread and rolls – Ask your server not to bring you any bread and rolls. Instead, order coffee or a safe appetizer such as fruit while others in your dinner party munch on their rolls.
  • Ask for alternatives – Instead of fries or a baked potato, ask to switch it for a vegetable.
  • Order low-fat (or fat free) salad dressing on the side – If the restaurant doesn’t offer reduced fat salad dressing, then request oil and vinegar . Again, quickly measure out your 1-2 teaspoons and then have your server whisk it away from you to prevent further damage. Also, ask for your dish to be prepared with olive oil (instead of butter or fat.)
  • Choose grilled, broiled, baked, roasted, or poached – Order anything but fried.
  • Take along a food scale – Don’t be shy about measuring your food. If you can’t judge how much a serving is worth, just measure it on a small scale.
  • Skip dessert – If you must munch on something while others eat dessert, take along a treat (such as a pre-packaged 100 calorie packet) and eat it along with your coffee.

Don’t polish off your plate. Most restaurants serve oversized portions. You can either give away a portion of your meal to others dining with you or take home what you don’t eat. You may have paid for your meal, but that doesn’t mean you have to finish it at the restaurant. Don’t be afraid to ask your server for a doggie bag. Besides saving on calories, you’ll have something for lunch the next day.

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