Great Books for Eating Healthy to Lose Weight

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A balance of exercise and good nutrition are the building blocks of health and proper, long-lasting weight loss. Do you want to start eating right and losing weight, but aren't sure where to start? Try these excellent books for ways to stop dieting, change your lifestyle and start eating healthfully.

Heart Healthy Foods for Life by Leslie Beck
In this helpful guide, leading Canadian nutritionist Leslie Beck explains which foods to eat, including how often, in what amounts, and how to add them to your diet, to prevent heart disease and maintain a healthy body weight. A great selection of easy-to-make recipes is included.

Women's Health Perfect Body Diet: The Ultimate Weight Loss and Workout Plan to Drop Stubborn Pounds and Get Fit for Life by Cassandra Forsythe
Developed by the editors of Women's Health magazine, the eight-week program consists of two eating plans, based on body shape, with each of the small, frequent daily meals containing a balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates. This is a sensible guide to help women make lasting lifestyle changes.

ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine : A Food Lover's Road Map to Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, and Getting Really Healthy by John La Puma , M.D. and Rebecca Powell Marx
Physician and professionally trained chef Dr. John La Puma introduces new eight-week eating plan in this entertaining tome, where he promises to help you “conquer fatigue, supercharge your immune system, and look and feel younger” and “fall in love with food again with fifty easy ChefMD recipes–and no guilt!” Filled with Hollywood-style gloss, this is nonetheless a good guide for busy folks who do a lot of eating on the run – La Puma offers up many suggestions for quick, easy-to-make meals that are long on taste but short on calories.

Eat This, Not That! : Thousands of Simple Food Swaps That Can Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds – Or More! by David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding
Here is another great guide for busy people who do much of their eating in restaurants and fast-food joints. Editor-in-Chief of Men’s Health magazine David Zinczenko offers up plenty of information about bad and good foods that are served at well known restaurants. Did you know that a Burger King Big Fish® Sandwich and fries have 1000 calories – nearly half your daily caloric intake? Fish is usually healthy, but not BK’s battered, deep-fried kind. Make smarter choices in restaurants and watch the pounds fall off – according to Zinczenko.

Here’s to healthy eating, and healthy weight loss!

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Weight Loss Healthy Snacks

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weight loss healthy snacks

Maintaining a healthy low-fat, low-calorie diet is the best way to achieve weight loss and sustain a target weight. Choosing and eating the right foods along with exercise and proper water intake are all key aspects of shifting those stubborn extra pounds that have been languishing around since the holidays and dieting no doubt tops more than a few be New Years’ Resolution lists.

There are so many tried and tested methods of dieting and while the majority concentrate on preparing nutritious, healthy meals, they often fall down when it comes to advice about that inevitable pitfall – snacking.

Snacking has the ability to make or break a diet. In fast-paced life with work, kids and other commitments making days busy and planning difficult, it is natural to want to grab something quick to nibble on in between meals to stave off hunger. The problem comes because most convenience foods are high in fat and sugar and can slow and even halt the weight loss process and the contraction of waistbands.

That packet of crisps is high in Trans fats; that bar of chocolate contains a lot of sugar and even that seemingly innocent handful of nuts is laden with calories and fat. By cutting out these snacks from an otherwise health-conscious diet and substituting them with some of the following, weight loss goals can be reached quicker and those troublesome inches will be on their way to disappearing.


Of course this is to be eaten without the butter, sugar or salt that is characteristic of cinema popcorn and that is touted on the shelves of the supermarket in quick and easy microwave sachets. Popcorn is one of the best snacks to stock up on when trying to lose weight. It is light, full of fibre and one cup is a mere 31 calories and contains less than half a gram of fat!

Air popping is the healthiest method to use when preparing popcorn but using oils with limited saturated fats means that it can also be prepared on the stove. Should microwaving be the method of choice, the best way to go is to choose low fat versions of this snack; stay away from cheese-flavoured, sweet, buttery of salty varieties.


Mostly made from rye and available in a wide variety of flavours and textures, crispbread is a handy and nutritious snack to have on hand when dieting. Although it can be somewhat unappetising at first, by adding toppings of cottage cheese, hummus, vegetables and the like, it is immediately transformed into a versatile food that makes a perfect in-between nibble. Each slice of regular rye crispbread contains only 32 calories, 0.2g of fat and is packed with wholegrains and fibre.


It is surprising how far a handful of grapes or a few strawberries can go to fighting off hunger pangs until it is time for a main meal. However, they are not the only fruits on offer and when it comes to achieving weight loss, the key is variety! Stock up on bananas, grapes, apples (that can be cut into handy slices), berries (strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are the best) and even oranges, figs and mango. They may contain natural sugars but there is nothing more sinister in fruit than that and they can even be blended into delicious smoothies.


Low fat and non-fat yoghurt is a healthy, nutritious and filling snack that can deal with hunger in a single bowl! Not only that but yoghurt has a number of nutritional benefits including being a good source of calcium, protein and potassium and helping to combat digestive problems by promoting “good” bacteria. It can also be combined with berries or granola to make for a more filling bite. A single cup of non-fat yoghurt has 0g of fat and is just over 100 calories.


Olives are a tasty savoury snack rich in vitamins and antioxidants which makes them fantastic when it comes to fighting diseases such as osteoporosis, cancer and arthritis. Olives can be doused with lemon juice, seasoned with herbs and spices or simply eaten as they are. An ounce of green olives is a surprising 41 calories and has less than 5g of fat whereas an ounce of black olives contains 3.8g of fat and is 47 calories.

Veggies and Dips

Simple, quick and ideal for maintaining weight loss targets, slicing vegetables such as carrots, celery and cucumber and teaming them with dips such as hummus, avocado and artichoke are a great snack to include in a diet repertoire. There are hundreds of dip recipes available to try at home and with small amounts of fat and low calorie contents, this nibble will not throw you off course.
The above are just a few suggestions but there are so many more! Other ideas include:
  • Corn and rice cakes
  • Jerky
  • Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower etc)
  • Sugar-free jello
  • Soy chips
  • Cottage cheese
By limiting between-meal snacks to these, weight loss can remain on track!


Healthy Weight Loss Programs: Success Tips

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Weight loss systems and diet plans number in the hundreds these days. It seems that just about everyone is either pushing a newest and best weight loss product or talking up the next weight loss breakthrough. Sometimes, because there is just so much information out there and only a small portion of all the at information is actually relevant to one's particular situation, it's easy to get confused.

healthy weight loss programs

First, do the research and make sure to completely check out any diet or weight loss systems that claim fast and easy weight loss. What's needed is a healthy weight loss program that places a priority on maintaining wellness and keeping one in tip–top shape. Watch out for that supposed latest and greatest weight loss breakthrough or the next best weight loss product.

Achieving successful weight loss is like achieving anything else in life. It's simply going to require getting educated on how the body works, setting some realistic goals, and sticking with a plan. Simple, yes. Easy, well, that's another story, right? So here are a few successful weight loss tips to get started down that road to losing weight.

Begin Healthy Weight Loss Programs by Writing, Setting Goals

That's right, write it down. Get a pad of paper and a pen, find a quiet place where there will be no interruptions and start writing out the goals of losing weight. First, determine how much weight needs to be lost. Please realize that no matter what the ads, Internet pop-ups, or e–mails say, there is no such thing as fast and easy weight loss.

Be realistic when writing out these goals. Most healthy weight loss programs will usually help folks lose about one or two pounds per week. That's a realistic goal for most people. Realistically, that's a net weight loss of 52 to 104 pounds in a year. It's not fast and easy weight loss, but it's effective and healthy weight loss.

Healthy Weight Loss Programs Include Setting Realistic Goals

One thing that folks don't want to do when starting any weight loss program is to set goals too high. People seem to believe that fast and easy weight loss or crash dieting is going to work for them. The claims and promises of fast and easy weight loss create a sense of false hope for dieters. Those high expectations can increase the chances of failure when expectations aren't met.

It's best to set smaller, more realistic goals when starting a healthy weight loss program. Realize that it took some time to gain the weight, and it's going to take time to lose the weight. Make the first weight loss breakthrough goal at five percent of current body weight. If a person weighs 180 pounds, shoot for losing about 18 pounds over eight or nine weeks.

Healthy weight loss programs include re–training the mind and body to look at food differently, to think about the types and amount of food being consumed, and the effects food will ultimately have on one's body now, and in the long–term. Instant weight loss, fast and easy weight loss, crash diets, and celebrity weight loss systems may or may not work for a particular individual or situation.

The important thing is not falling for some latest and best weight loss product just because someone says it's going to work. Take the time to check out everything, talk with a doctor or nutritionist, or run it by some friends before committing to the next weight loss breakthrough.

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 medical professional.


Hormones and Weight Gain - The Role of Insulin

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hormones weight gain
From the energy balance equation, researchers derive much of the conventional wisdom about obesity. Raise "calories in" by overeating and lower "calories out" by being inactive, we are told, and the right side of the energy balance equation will get bigger. Hence, we will store more energy in our bodies, presumably as fat. Conversely, lower "calories in" by dieting and raise "calories out" by exercising, and we will presumably get rid of fat.

How Do Hormones and Weight Gain Fit in?

As award winning science writer Gary Taubes has pointed out, most obesity researchers make two critical mistakes when thinking about the energy balance equation:
  1. They assume that "calories in" and "calories out" are independent variables. In other words, you can manipulate one without affecting the other. But this assumption clearly does not work. For instance, when you increase "calories out" by exercising a lot, this makes your body crave additional calories to replenish energy lost. You "work up an appetite."
  2. They do not allow for the possibility that the fat tissue itself may play a role in energy balance. In other words, we all assume that changes in caloric balance cause changes in energy balance, but it could be the other way around. Changes in energy balance could cause changes in caloric balance. What this means is that some primary hormonal factor could be to blame; overeating and inactivity would then be consequences of obesity as opposed to causes of it.

Getting Rid of Belly Fat - To Do So, You Must Fix the Primary Defect

If excess calories do not make us fat, what does? According to Taubes, we must look at the relationship between hormones and weight gain. It turns out that when our bodies produce too much insulin, this locks excess fat in our fat tissue. Unless you fix this primary problem - over-secretion of insulin - weight loss will ultimately fail, even if you cut calories and exercise more.
Simplifying the science a bit, the chain of cause and effect that connects hormones and weight gain appears to be along the lines of the following:
  1. Overeat sugar and carbohydrates.
  2. This drives the pancreas to secrete a lot of insulin.
  3. Insulin pulls blood sugar into the cells of the fat tissue.
  4. The sugar is burned for fuel.
  5. A byproduct of this reaction is a molecule called alpha glyercol phosphate.
  6. Alpha glycerol phosphate drives the fat cells to store more triglycerides than they normally would.
  7. Repeat over time.
  8. The result is obesity.

Summary of Relationship Between Energy Balance, Hormones and Weight Gain

Almost all of use were brought up on the idea that calories count more than hormones when it comes to weight regulation. Here is a summary of the key points behind the alternative hypothesis about what causes obesity and how it can be fixed.
  • Energy Stored = Calories In - Calories Out; we get this idea from the 1st Law of Thermodynamics.
  • The Caloric Balance Hypothesis blames obesity on excess calories and reads the equation from right to left: (Energy Stored <= Calories In - Calories Out).
  • The other hypothesis (known as Lipophilia) blames obesity on too much insulin and reads the equation from left to right: (Energy Stored => Calories In - Calories Out).
  • The hormone insulin plays a crucial role in energy balance in the body.
  • Eating too many carbohydrates (and other factors) can make you produce too much insulin.