Effectively Reducing your Waistline

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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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Eat Naturally

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eat naturally

It's easy to get sucked in by one of the many fad diets on the market. Everywhere we turn, we see the "success stories" of people who've taken a product and quickly lost 75, 100 pounds or more.

Although there isn't an overweight person who wouldn't love to lose the weight overnight, the reality is that just isn't possible. There isn't a product or routine that can magically wash away the extra weight. But so many people are intrigues by the idea of "what if." What if it really works? What if it can spark my weight loss?

The problem with fad diets is that you become dependent on them. Even those products that do seem to help do not work in the long run and you can't keep the weight often. The minute you stop taking the product or plug back in the "forbidden" foods, you gain back the weight you've have lost, plus some.

A good rule to live by is to only start something you can comfortably continue for the rest of your life. It is important to learn how to eat healthy, natural foods and make it a part of your new lifestyle.

So, how can you create a healthy lifestyle? Forget all of the advertising messages you've seen. In most cases, all it takes is some minor changes for people to see results in their weight loss efforts.

  • Reduce portion sizes
  • Cut out pop
  • Drink plenty of water (8 cups is the bare minimum requirement)
  • Add fruits and veggies to your meal plan every day
  • Make exercise a daily commitment

Use these simple rules as a guide and find balance to create a natural way to lose weight. It won't happen overnight though.

You should expect to see slow and steady progress along with the occasional plateau. Any program that promises you more than that should raise red flags.

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Nutrisystem: A Delicious Diet Program For Weight Loss

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Every day individuals are bombarded by the constant advertisements for diet programs that seem to offer miraculous results. The program can range from taking pills on a regular basis to a total change in eating habits. One of these diet programs that has become a constant is the Nutrisystem program. The Nutrisystem program is the type of diet program that requires a change in eating habits. The most attractive attribute about the Nutrisystem program is the delicious foods advertised. One could agree that for a program to be successful, the food must be appeasing to the palate.

How Does The Nutrisystem Program Work

According to the Nutrisystem website, the program works in a series of steps. The first step is one chooses his or her food plan. The user will create a 28-day food plan in which each day consists of a breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. The second step is to set up delivery to one’s home. The first delivery will also include a Nutrisystems results kit.

The third step is to follow the meal planner provided and combine the Nutrisystem program foods with grocery store items for a diet balanced and healthy. Nutrisystem works by introducing low glycemic or good carbs, protein, fiber, low sodium, and low fat to each entrée item.

Nutrisystem claims that the good carbs and fiber within the system allow complete hunger control, which enables an individual to stick with the program.

The Price of The Nutrisystem Program

The basic Nutrisystem package is $289.95 (plus shipping) for 4 weeks worth of food with auto delivery every four weeks. The Nutrisystem select package is also available. The select package is $398.94 (plus shipping). This package includes chef inspired foods from the gourmet line and auto deliver as well. Other packages are available such as silver, diabetic, and vegetarian. The silver package is geared for the needs of older individuals.

The Downsides of Nutrisystem

Even though Nutrisystem offers many attributes that many dieters would hold dear, there are some areas in which Nutrisystem may fall short. The system ranges from nearly $400 to $300 for only one month and additional groceries may have to be purchased. This may prove to be entirely too expensive for some individuals.

Second, the Nutrisystem program requires individuals to eat many of his or her meals at home. The plan may be hard to follow when one goes out. Last, to receive a considerable discount, users have to choose the auto-ship option. This may be unfavorable to some individuals.

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Weight and Coronary Heart Disease

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coronary heart disease

Coronary heart disease, or CHD, is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that provide blood and oxygen to the heart, which can lead to a heart attack. Diabetes, high blood pressure and high LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels are among the more common risk factors for CHD. You may reduce your chances of developing CHD by not smoking, eating a healthy low-fat diet that includes vegetables and fruits, getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise most days of the week and maintaining a healthy weight.

Obesity, especially abdominal obesity, can also place you at a greater risk of developing CHD, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In fact, obesity is recognized by both the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health as a major modifiable risk factor for CHD.

Obesity is a Widespread Problem

One in three Americans is obese, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Obesity is defined by the American Heart Association as having too much body fat. You become overweight and obese by consuming more calories than you burn. As you get older, weight gain is usually caused by increased fat rather than bigger muscles, notes the Mayo Clinic.

Dangers of Abdominal Fat and CHD

Your body consists of water, protein, carbohydrates, several vitamins, minerals and fat, according to the American Heart Association. When you have a surplus of fat, especially around the midsection, you place yourself at a higher risk for an assortment of medical problems, including heart disease. Carrying around excess abdominal weight increases cholesterol levels, plaque formation, and irritate the arteries, reports the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Determining Your Amount of Body Fat

One method for gauging your percentage of body fat is by measuring your body mass index, or BMI. Your BMI takes into account your height and weight to determine whether your percentage of body fat is healthy or unhealthy, according to the Mayo Clinic. You can calculate your BMI by multiplying your weight in pounds by 703. You divide that number by your height in inches, and then divide the result by height in inches. For example, a man who weighs 205 lbs., and stands 6 feet, or 72 inches, tall would have a BMI of nearly 28.

Interpreting Your BMI Numbers

BMI values from 18.5 to 24.9 are considered to be normal, according to the AHA. A BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 is regarded as overweight. Obesity is defined by the AHA as having a BMI of 30.0 or greater, or being about 30 pounds or more overweight.

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Weight Loss Failure – Three Big Diet Mistakes

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diet mistakes

Weight loss is a huge business in the U.S. and all over the world. It seems that there are more weight loss plans and gimmicks out there every day. Looking through all those weight loss plans takes a lot of work and research. It is tough to sift through all the misinformation, half-truths, and outright lies about successful weight loss.

So, what's a person to do? Well, it's never as easy as some of those ads and diet formulas claim it is. Weight loss is more than just losing weight. Weight loss is about changing a lifestyle, changing patterns and habit, and learning new truths about food and eating. Everyone needs help and it's never too late to learn something new about weight loss. Here are three of the most common diet mistakes that can get in the way of successfully losing weight.

Crash Diets and the Big Weight Loss Promise

The thing about these so-called "crash diets" is right there in the name. A crash diet will cause a diet to crash. The reason the marketing people use those terms is so folks wanting to lose weight quickly will somehow make a connection that the name must mean that the diet will work quickly or crash away from extra pounds, no one is really sure.

But the reality is that while a crash diet like eating only grapefruit or getting on that cabbage soup diet will take pounds off, they will also cause a slowing of the metabolism. The metabolism is the body's natural calorie burning engine and food is the fuel. The engine must run and if it gets less fuel, it's going to run slower and burn fewer calories. When this diet is stopped, the metabolism has been slowed and burns less fuel, even if a person eats more.

Lose Weight by Eating Snacks

Yes, that is correct. But it's a certain type of snacking and a certain type of food to be snacked upon. Eating mindlessly will put pounds on for sure, so it's important to know what and how much is consumed in order to lose weight. Eating several little meals and snacks throughout the day will keep hunger satisfied, causing less food to be consumed over the day, and thereby causing eventual weight loss.

Studies actually show that those folks who snack tend to be slimmer than those who do not. Snacking is what keeps that metabolism motor running and burning more calories. The key here is to make sure the snacks are high in protein. The metabolism motor loves high protein. Nuts are a great choice for snacks.

Drinks That Sabotage Successful Weight Loss

Most folks don't even think twice about the drinks consumed throughout the day. But these drinks can be a source of calories and fat. Next time that fancy coffee drink is ordered at a favorite coffee house, take a closer look at the nutrition information. Get ready for a big surprise, a typical fancy flavored coffee can have as many as 500 calories.

Some alcoholic beverages can contain that much or more, depending on the ingredients in the drink. Sodas and fruit juices are also high in calories. The average 12-ounce soda contains about ten to 12 teaspoons of sugar. The worst part about all these liquid calories is that they don't so anything about getting rid of that hungry feeling.

Losing weight is simple, but it may not be as easy as some would contend. It's simple to stay on top of what one consumes by making a list and keeping a close eye on just what is consumed over the period of and entire day, week, or month. Keeping a food journal is a great first step on the journey to successful weight loss. Stop looking to the hollow promise of the latest crash diet and start that weight loss journey today.

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Weight Loss and Successful Stress Avoidance

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stress avoidance

Many people eat when they’re stressed. They struggle to find a way to stop the tension and control binge-eating. One may need to avoid the pressure, since controlling it may not be possible. Others are successful at talking themselves around stressful situations by reframing their frustrations.

Stressors That Can Be Controlled

There are some stressors that can be controlled. A person who hates details may get sick at their stomach from eating a full box of cookies while doing their taxes. That is short-term stress. They will take off the added cookie-pounds when their usual, more relaxed living returns.

Even serious stress from insufficient income, can be controlled if a second, temporary job is found. By targeting specific bills and eliminating them with the added income, they will be able to quit the second job when their goals are met.

Stressor That Cannot Be Controlled

Some stressors cannot be controlled. A dead-end job in a weak economy may be better than no job at all. However, the futility of working hard and long with no rewards or appreciation may produce a great deal of stress.

Other people can cause stress. A cantankerous boss exhausts an employee. The individual is placed in the fight or flight, acute stress response, with no ability to leave. Consult a physician for medication to relieve stressful symptoms.

A difficult relationship with a family member, can produce stress that may prompt someone to "stuff their feelings" by eating. As stated in Lesson Three, the binge-eater cannot control their eating. Unable to control their own binge response may make dealing with an uncontrollable teen cause someone to overeat. Binge-eating, and the fight or flight response to that stress, can cause more tension and then more eating.

Reactions and Binge-Eating

It may be that other’s don’t actually cause one to binge but their reaction to the difficult person may produce it. That may be a good thing.

Lesson Five discussed that a struggle for power is not necessary since power already belongs to the Positive Loser. Therefore, one way to manage the stress that causes binge-eating is to take control and leave the situation, even when flight isn’t possible.

A mini flight may be helpful, like a vacation. Anticipating a relaxing evening with a spouse or friend can take the mind off negative interactions with co-workers. A break-room visit to listen to a relaxation tape or talk with others around the table can be refreshing. Scheduling time away from the office or job can be the way to successfully stay.

Choose a Different Reaction

If reaction to the difficult person’s behavior prompts someone to binge-eat, then something can be done. Choose to respond differently than a flight or flight response.

Practice relaxed breathing to slow the heart rate and the physiological reaction to stress. Another suggestion is to reframe negative self-statements and perceptions about the difficult individual.

"Oh no, here comes Maud again," automatically places one in a protective stance.

"Why do they do that all the time?" Applying logic to analyze illogical behavior is a waste of time.

A better statement may be, "There she goes being Maud again." Fill in the name with one that applies. Uncle Fred will always act like Uncle Fred and Aunt Maud like Aunt Maud. Why the surprised or stressed reaction? Rehearse, "Their behavior isn’t about me. It’s about them." Learn to observe the other’s behavior not absorb it. Stress-binging can be talked down.

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Finding the Ideal Weight

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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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Four Common Types of Weight Loss Plans

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weight loss plans
According to Harvard Special Health Report, each year millions of people enroll in different types of weight loss plans. There are several different kinds of well-known commercial weight loss plans like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and self-help programs like Overeaters Anonymous. There are also medically supervised programs and increasingly popular Internet weight loss programs. Here is a categorical list of what people can expect from the various types of weight loss programs.

Commercial Weight Loss Plans

Most commercial plans like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig hold regular meetings for support and encouragement. Commercial weight loss programs usually charge fees for people to get food plans, join meetings and get prepared food. There are also fees for diet aids for extra help with weight loss.

Weight Watchers is one of the most popular commercial weight loss programs. Weight Watchers uses a point plan to help dieters with weight loss. Different foods depending on their calories, fat and nutrients equate to a different number of points. Depending a person's weight, height and how much she wants to lose, Weight Watchers calculates a daily limit of points. It is not necessary to buy Weight Watchers food. One of the nice perks about the point system is people can exercise and garner more points for the week. Dieters can go to meetings in person or join Weight Watchers online.

Jenny Craig is another popular commercial weight loss plan. The diet works by calorie control. Daily calorie limits average 1,200 to 1,300 per day, so most people can expect to lose one to two pounds per week. Jenny Craig meals are also portion controlled. While the company encourages people to purchase its own meals, food can also be prepared at home. Three meals and one snack are recommended per day. While membership in Jenny Craig includes meal plan ideas, personalized exercise goals and weight monitoring, the additional cost of food can make the weight loss plan expensive. Attending weekly weigh-in sessions may also be inconvenient.

Self-Help Weight Loss Plans

Non-profit self-help groups are widely available in most areas for help with weight loss. Most of these organizations operate on the premise that people who come together to share their struggles and success stories with each other will have more favorable results with weight loss.

Overeaters Anonymous is a 12-step program based on the same principles as Alcoholics Anonymous. While each member is allowed to work the program in his or her own way, Overeaters Anonymous encourages people to avoid sugar and white flour because these substances tend to be addicting to most people who have issues with weight. Overeaters Anonymous is free; however, most members make a small donation during each meeting for expenses such as rent and coffee. Like Alcoholics Anonymous, people are encouraged to get a sponsor for personal help.

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) is a non-profit weight loss organization that has chapters worldwide. TOPS takes a practical approach to weight loss by encouraging members to follow a diet recommended by their health care practitioners. There are reward incentives as well as weekly meetings where members share their difficulties and successes in reaching their weight loss goals. There are small annual fees to join TOPS.

Clinical Weight Loss Plans

Clinical weight loss plans are operated by health care professionals in private or hospital-based programs. Clinical weight loss plans offer services such as nutrition education, physical exercise therapy, behavioral therapy, weight loss surgery and medical care. Many clinical weight loss plans promote weight loss programs that consist of fewer than 800 calories per day.

People on very low-calorie diets should have close supervision from a health care expert. These types of low-calorie diets can be dangerous to health and are usually only recommended for people who are obese and need to lose weight quickly due to health risks.

Online Weight Loss Plans

Some of the most popular online weight loss plans including Weight Watchers are eDiets, Jillian Michaels and the South Beach Diet. All three online diet plans have fees; however, the prices are comparably cost effective in comparison to traditional weight loss programs.

While there is usually no person-to-person contact and group meetings, dieting with the help of Web sites is very convenient. There are forums where people can connect with others. People can easily track their weight using graphs and charts. Online diet sites have algorithms where people can input their personal preferences and get streamlined food plans. There is also easy access to expert nutritional research and information.

Weight Loss Plans

Commercial weight loss plans, self-help weight loss plans, clinical weight loss plans and online weight loss plans offer dieters many options for weight loss.

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Weight Loss Using Xenical or Alli: A Review of Orlistat

3:35 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

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.


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.


Weight Loss – The Good, Bad, and Ugly Fats

3:41 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

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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Weight Loss Without Diets

2:21 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

weight loss without diets

The term "diet" has two distinct meanings. The dictionary defines "diet" as a mode of living with special reference to food. A second definition defines "diet" as the taking of food according to rule. For the best results with permanent weight loss, abandoning food rules and restrictions can be more effective. Sounds too good to be true? The following explanation is intended to make you a believer of the non-diet club.

Food Restrictions versus Dieting

Indeed, the human body requires a diet in terms of food intake for survival. This corresponds to the dictionary’s first definition of the word. The problems arise when several restrictions are placed in relation to intake. This is not to say that there are cases when certain foods are absolutely off-limits, such as for those with allergies, heart conditions and so forth. Those are situations that demand restrictions. On the other hand, food restrictions or rules related to efforts toward weight loss can cause the yo-yo dieting cycle all too common among those attempting to lose weight.

Restrictions lead to deprivation. Feeling deprived causes yearning for the very thing we are sacrificing. The loss of that item begins to take its toll when life’s stresses surface and comfort is greatly needed at that moment. Want instant comfort? Instant gratification? The number one pick is that all-time favorite mouth-watering food item you have sacrificed during the course of your “diet” be it a single day, a week or a month. The damage far exceeds the few extra calories. The cycle has begun and does not stop as easily the next time around. The chances are slight for a change any time soon because your negative thoughts begin to steer your behaviors and more food finds its way to your mouth…more comfort.

Even the best weight loss programs have restrictions; they are simply hidden well underneath the savvy marketing tools. For example, have you heard that you can have shake for breakfast and lunch and then the best meal ever for dinner and lose the weight? Or, eat your favorite foods, but keep within limits of total calories? These are fine approaches, but certainly not the most effective ones.

How to Lose Weight Without Restrictions

So what is the most effective plan of action for weight loss? Changing thought patterns, ideas and the meaning of food in one's life will help– the rest will follow. Sound simple? Of course not, and it is not an easy task. However, the results can be shocking when the kitchen is not the comfort zone when life stresses are in full force.

Here are a few questions to ponder to get you on your way:
  1. What is food’s role in your life?
  2. What is food fulfilling beside hunger for you?
  3. What else can satisfy that need?
  4. Are you hungry when you eat?
  5. Consider the time, place and people you are eating with most often.

There are many good weight loss plans from which to choose that define healthy eating guidelines. For example, Weight Watchers operates on helping members make healthy food choices, eat appropriate serving sizes, and incorporate exercise into daily habits.

Additionally, while not a weight loss plan, the American Dietitic Association offers a plethora of information regarding the most effective steps toward permanent, safe weight loss. However, for lasting results, it may be necessary to take a look inside one's self to better understand the role food plays in one's life.

Effective Changes for Losing Weight

The following tips will help you on your way to weight loss:
  • View food as food – nothing more, nothing less.
  • Know the basics of good nutrition.
  • Savor every morsel of your new-found relationship with food.
Fear not. You will never waste another moment contemplating the purchase of diet pills, shakes, food, programs if you heed this advice. And please, do not expect overnight changes. Indeed, food has become a love-hate relationship for many of us. The key is to make it neither and breaking up is hard to do.

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Weight Loss Tips for Dining Out

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weight loss tips for dining out

When you are trying to lose weight, you have to make a commitment to yourself to make healthier choices in all areas of your life. Occasionally eating at a restaurant is a part of life for many people. When dining out with your friends and family, it should be part of your weight loss plan to eat healthy at restaurants as well as at home.

Trying to eat healthy at a restaurant doesn’t mean that you have to deprive yourself of your favorite food, but if your favorite meal is high in calories make sure to practice moderation. Eating a smaller portion of your favorite dish can help you cut out some of the calories and still provide you with the satisfaction of enjoying good food.

Make a Calorie-Cutting Plan for Dining Out

Having a plan in place for eating at restaurants can be a tremendous help with staying on track with your weight loss. When you have thought about some of your possible food and beverage choices ahead of time, it may make it easier for you to follow through with selecting healthier menu items when it is time to place your order.
  • Enjoy a Refreshing Glass of Water – Make water your drink of choice when dining out to cut down on calories. Choosing water or other low calorie beverages can help you save 100 or more calories that you may get from drinking soda, juice or other beverages.
  • Hold the Bread - Skip the bread basket or limit yourself to one piece. Save your calories (and carbs) for the main course.
  • Do Your Homework! – Find out if the restaurant you will be eating at has nutrition information available to the public. Taking a few minutes to look for nutritional information on the restaurant’s website can help you be better prepared to make a healthy choice when it is time to order your meal. Be careful though, there have been some recent studies that have shown that some menu items may contain quite a few more calories than the nutrition information shows.
  • Move a Little More – If you are planning on having a big meal or eating higher-calorie menu items, then adding some extra physical activity to your day may be a good idea. Exercising or being more active may help burn extra calories to off-set some of the calories you will be consuming in your meal.
  • Consider Your Options – Some restaurants offer “healthy” menu items for people concerned with their health or watching their weight. So, make sure to scan the menu for “healthy” or “low-calorie” meals. Some places even offer smaller portions of popular items that can help you save money and calories. Ordering your meal from the appetizer section may also be a help in practicing portion control.
  • Eat Less Throughout the Day – If you know ahead of time that you will be dining out, then try to slightly cut calories in your other meals to keep a moderate calorie total for the entire day.
  • Take it Easy on the Alcohol – If you decide to enjoy a beer, mixed drink or wine with your meal, limit your alcohol consumption to one drink. Alcohol generally carries a lot of calories and the calories might add up quickly without you realizing it.
  • Play it Safe - Try to be sensible about your selections. Look for lean cuts of meat that are not fried (preferrably baked or grilled). If your meal comes with sauces, then ask to have them on the side. Order vegetables without added butter, sauces or cheeses. Think about starting your meal with a salad (dressing on the side) and ending it with fresh fruit for dessert.

Making Healthy Restaurant Choices are Just a Piece of the Puzzle

To successfully lose weight and keep it off you need to make changes in your habits. Trying to make healthy choices when you occasionally eat out is just one part of your overall healthy lifestyle. Focus on the big picture when you are trying to lose weight. Remember to exercise regularly, eat moderately and celebrate your accomplishments on your journey to lose weight and improve your health.

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Weight Loss and Calculating Body Mass Index

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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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Weight Loss and Selective Restriction

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selective restriction

Whatever their reasons, people often like to give up something for Lent. They feel like better people if they can cut out all sweets from their diet, cut back to one pack of cigarettes per day or none at all, or give up their spot on the sofa to exercise on a regular basis.

Giving Up Chocolate for Lent

Often, people let go of something they hadn’t really wanted in the first place. Perhaps they choose to forgo all pie or cake for 40 days, when they actually wanted to lose weight in the first place.

Some brave souls will give up chocolate. However, the ambrosia from the cocoa bean has many medicinal benefits. Along with dark chocolate, it lowers LDL ("bad" cholesterol) and raises or elevates the mood, giving one a sense of well being. Maybe that’s not the best one to choose to give up.

Restricted Eating

Taken to an extreme, restricted eating can be part of a serious eating disorder. Some people restrict their intake to minimal calories each day. Their total intake is not even enough to promote health. The excessive food restriction can go along with a distorted body image in which they see themselves as fat when others see them as profoundly thin.

Feelings of control and anger can contribute to eating disorders. Food restriction is not even being suggested here. People can slip into over restriction if they feel a great deal of power from not eating. What one might give up for 40 days is something other than food.

Selective Restriction

The suggestion is to select one of the underlying emotions that contribute to weight gain and restrict it. Anger is the negative emotion that will be select. We know that it is one of the four basic emotions that children from all cultures display. Some people will deny that they get angry. They will admit to frustration but not anger. However, frustration is just a polite form of anger. In order to loss weight and maintain that weight loss, one needs to learn to control their anger.

For 40 days, it is being suggested that one restrict the amount of displayed anger they will permit themselves. Displayed anger is the term used, but internal anger is also visible to others.Overt anger is seen with hair-trigger explosions. Anger that is stuffed inside is made visible in a strained expression, negative outbursts of emotion, and added pounds with increased binge eating.

Relaxation Training for the Release From Anger

Anger can be released by practicing a simple relaxation technique. Look around for things that could distract you and attend to those items first.

The relaxation takes only a moment but concentration is best when focus is clear.
  • Lay or sit comfortably.
  • Imagine all your anger like the dark center of a golf ball.
  • Close your eyes and see the anger ball in your mind.
  • Imagine a blue-white light filling the ball and dissolving it.
  • See the radiance spread farther and farther outward while the anger ball gets smaller and smaller, until the light pops out through your finger tips, your hair, and every pore, filling your whole body and dissolving the ball at the same time.
  • Open your eyes and live the day as if anger were gone.
  • Practice this brief relaxation three times a day.

Before the end of the 40-day time of personal sacrifice, the feeling of anger will gradually grow less intense. Less anger will hep make healthy food choices easier. Healthy food choices will result in lost weight or maintained weight loss. This year, for Lent, try giving up anger.

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Low Carb Diet Problems Can Impact the Most Vigilant Carb Counters

7:28 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

low carb diet problems

Low Carb Diet Problems Do Not Demonstrate That the Diet Itself is Flawed

Health authorities who believe in the low fat diet have argued that any problems people experience while restricting carbohydrates must indicate that the approach itself is fundamentally flawed. But this line of thinking is illogical. In fact, a vast body of evidence suggests that low carb is more effective and healthful than the low fat approach.

What Can Explain Instances of Low Carb Diet Failure?

Carbohydrate restriction works because cutting carbs controls both blood sugar and insulin levels. Without ongoing spikes of insulin and blood sugar, the fat cells in the fat issue cannot store enough triglycerides to lead to obesity, at least in normal people. Carbohydrate restriction drives the body to burn its fat stores for fuel instead of glucose.

Nevertheless, food is not the only factor that can impact hormones and fat tissue metabolism. The following factors may also be able to derail fat tissue metabolism – even in the face of extreme carbohydrate restriction – and thus could lead to weight gain even on a low carb diet:
  • natural hormonal changes (such as puberty, menarche, pregnancy, menopause)
  • genetic changes or abnormalities
  • diseases
  • brain injuries
  • certain medications
  • stress
  • insomnia
  • other as of yet unidentified X factors

All the above factors theoretically can elevate insulin levels and blood sugar levels – independent of diet – and thus can be potentially blamed for weight loss failures.

Carb creep and special food sensitivities

"Carb creep" can stymie low carbohydrate plans. In the earliest phase of the Atkins diet, Induction, dieters are restricted to 20 grams of carbohydrate a day. Considering that the USDA food pyramid permits 375 grams of carbohydrate for people on a 2,500 calorie a day diet, this level of carb restriction is profound. It is all too easy to hit the 20 gram mark and thus get knocked out of fat burning mode. For instance, half a can of Coke can bring the daily carb count up to 20 grams. A full can of Coke has nearly 40 grams of carbs – twice the recommended daily limit for the Induction phase of Atkins.

Sensitivities to certain foods can also be a problem. And while dietary fat generally does not provoke an insulin response, dietary protein does drive a mild insulin response. Theoretically, someone who consumes thousands of excess calories of protein thus could drive a significant insulin response. That said, evidence shows that meat overfeeding is extremely hard to do, absent carbohydrates in the diet.

Multiple Possible Causes of Low Carb Diet Problems

Individuals struggling on low carb diet plans should speak with their physicians (and preferably an endocrinologist) as soon as possible. Hormonal problems driven by dietary and non-dietary factors may indicate a subtle or as-yet-undiagnosed health problem. Dozens and perhaps hundreds of factors in our environments and bodies can influence fat tissue metabolism, so it may take some detailed medical investigative work to determine the ultimate nature of obesity in any one person.

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Lose Weight Without Dieting With the Volumetrics Weight-Loss Plan

7:25 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

volumetrics weight-loss plan

According to Dr. Rolls, this feeling of satiety is the missing factor in weight management. The key to effective weight-management is choosing foods that help you feel full with fewer calories. When people are not satisfied at the end of a meal, they tend to eat more during the next meal. The absence of satiety is the main reason why most diet plans don't work very well or for very long.

Energy Density of Foods - How to Lose Weight With Wise Food Choices

Energy density is the number of calories in a specified amount of food. To calculate energy density from a food label, divide the calories in one serving by its weight in grams and you get the energy density of the food.

Number of calories in one serving divided by weight in grams of the serving equals energy density of that food
For example, if 100 grams of your favorite milk chocolate contains 512 calories, its energy density is 512 ÷ 100 = 5.12 (which is rather high).

High-energy foods contain more fat, sugar and refined carbohydrates. Foods containing fats are very energy dense and have a lot of calories packed into a small size. High-energy foods that have two or more times as many calories as their weight such as beef, bacon, cheese, potato fries, ice cream, cookies, pastries and chocolates should be restricted in the diet.

Most overweight people do not realize that foods filled with air such as breads and pretzels have a high energy density. They are not high in calories but they are not filling either. So, people can eat a lot of bread without feeling full.

Low-energy foods usually have a high content of water, fiber and nutrients. Dr. Rolls recommends that a large portion of the diet should contain low energy-density foods such as fruits, vegetables, soups, legumes, and low-fat dairy products. Also good are foods with moderate energy density such as beans, potatoes, pasta, rice, low-fat salad dressings, fish, and chicken without skin.

How Volumetrics Can Help You to Lose Weight and Avoid Yo-Yo Dieting

Dr. Rolls suggests three steps to lose weight easily and to keep it off permanently.
  • Set your own goals for weight loss. Volumetrics provides an approach for losing one to two pounds each week by reducing your daily food intake by 500 to 1000 calories. For best results, monitor your progress with the help of daily progress charts.
  • Select foods depending on their energy-density: Whenever possible, choose foods that have an energy density of 1.5 or less. Have smaller portions of foods with energy density of 1.5 to 4. Avoid or substitute or minimize intake of foods with energy density of 4 or more.
  • Integrate 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity exercise into your daily life. Use a pedometer to count your steps with an initial goal is at least 6000 steps daily and an ultimate goal of 10,000 steps.

Benefits of Using Volumetrics to Lose Weight

Volumetrics is a unique weight-management plan that focuses on eating right rather than eating less.
  • Volumetrics provides a simple way to manage your weight without having to count calories. Portion size and energy density independently contribute to the total calories of a meal. So, to lose weight, choose bigger portions of low-density foods and smaller portions of high-density foods.
  • The ingredients that make foods less energy-dense are water and fiber. By adding water or water-rich foods like vegetables and minimizing oils, you can lower the energy-density of most dishes, allowing larger portions and increasing satiety.
  • Volumetrics does not forbid your favorite foods such as chocolate cake or potato fries. However, the focus on energy density helps you to see how many calories there are in some of your favorite foods. This may help you to stop after a few bites instead of eating the whole serving.
  • Volumetrics is flexible and allows you to adapt the plan to your likes, dislikes and personal goals. You can also combine its concepts of satiety and energy-density with other diets.
  • It is more effective to emphasize what people can eat rather than what they should not eat. Overweight families lost more weight when they were encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables instead of being told not to eat foods rich in fat and sugar. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans supports this view.
  • The Volumetrics Plan emphasizes the importance and benefits of regular exercise.

The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan is a well-researched practical approach to weight management. It focuses on the feeling of satiety produced by eating nutrient-rich foods with low energy density. With the Volumetrics Plan, you can lose weight without eating monotonous meals, counting calories, and giving up your favourite foods.

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Portion Control for a Healthy Diet

7:23 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

portion control

If your diet consists mostly of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy, and lean protein, good job! Just remember that too much of a good thing is not good. Why sabotage your efforts? Portion control is easy once it becomes a habit.

Does Art Imitate Life - Even on the Portion Control Plate?

A somewhat amusing article in The News-Times, entitled “Last Supper Growing,” demonstrates the point about the trend towards increased portion sizes. According to the article, a medical journal reported research on food in famous paintings; regarding renditions of “The Last Supper,” it was stated: “Using a computer, they compared the size of the food to the size of the heads in 52 paintings of Jesus Christ and his disciples at their final meal before his death…the size of the main dish grew 69 percent; the size of the plate, 66 percent, and the bread, 23 percent, between the years 1000 and 2000.”

How Much Should You Eat?

The USDA food pyramid website has a great interactive tool called “Portion Distortion.” Click on The Food Pyramid and follow the right column down to “Portion Distortion.” Here you can test your visual savvy on portion size perception and learn the amount of activity needed to burn off those extra calories. It’s an eye-opener for those who may not have noticed the increase in portion sizes in restaurants over the years, especially at fast food establishments!

The USDA Dietary Guidelines explains that “a portion is the amount of food you choose to eat” whereas “a serving is a standard amount used to help give advice about how much to eat”. For example, one slice of bread is considered one serving in the grains category. The recommended daily portion will vary with your age, activity level, and special dietary needs and restrictions.

Consider that the 2005 Food Pyramid suggests six ounces of grains (six servings) as the appropriate daily portion, in this food category, for an average adult on a 2000 daily calorie diet. However, the daily portion for an active teenage boy may be 11 servings per day. Something to think about that before you eat off your child’s plate.

How to Control Portions – Weights and Measures

“Just a little,” “small,” and “just a taste” are very subjective terms, relative to each individual’s dietary habits and selective perception. If you really want to know how much you are eating, and want to exercise portion control, size it up!

For eating at home, purchase an inexpensive food scale and extra set of measuring spoons and cups. Keep these portion control tools accessible in the kitchen and use them before your food goes on your plate. If family style eating is the norm in your household, prepare your plate before you sit down, with a glass of water or unsweetened tea. When you get tempted to take a second serving, drink your beverage instead.

When eating out, visualize a deck of cards for your serving of meat, fish, or poultry (about three ounces); four stacked dice for cubes of cheese (about one ounce); tennis ball for a scoop of ice cream (about half a cup), and nuts which fill up no more than your palm (about one ounce).

At the supermarket or deli, read ingredient labels carefully. That bag of chips may seem like a reasonable choice for less than 100 calories but, when the bag holds two or more servings and you consume the whole bag, your total portion just multiplied.

A Healthy Diet Includes Food Portion Control

If your portion control habits fail, try another habit most of us are very good at – procrastination. Wait 20 minutes and get busy with something else before you have the next serving or dessert – you may just find the desire slips away!

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Overcome Bingeing and Obsessions with Food

7:27 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

overcome bingeing

In her book The Appetite Awareness Workbook (New Harbinger Publications, 2006), Linda W. Craighead, PhD has created a plan to “overcome bingeing, overeating, and obsession with food” by teaching individuals how to listen to their body’s needs.

She states that “[f]irst you break down your eating problem into specific problem-eating episodes.” Individuals become more aware of why they start eating as well as why they stop eating. Even making the decision to eat just “because I feel like eating” is a choice.

Craighead’s Eating Paths

Although Craighead says the goal of eating is to follow a normal eating path, the more common paths are more challenging – normalized overeating, binge eating, and restricted eating. The more often a path is followed, the more likely it is the path that will be followed when an individual sits down to eat.

Normal Eating
Normal eating may not be a person’s usual pattern. Normal eating focuses on “regulating amount (not type) of food”. The goal is to avoid getting too hungry before eating so a person doesn’t overeat. It also involves paying attention while eating and stopping when satisfaction is reached.

Normalized Overeating
Normalized overeating is eating past moderate fullness or eating for reasons other than hunger. Although Craighead doesn’t discourage eating for pleasure, she points out that one’s reactions to moments of overeating can cause restrictive eating that then sets one up for later bingeing.

Restrictive Eating
Restrictive eating may seem “normal” for people used to calorie-controlled diets. Willpower replaces biological needs for food. Restriction can lead to a backlash of bingeing or overeating past the point of fullness.

Binge Eating and Getting Stuffed
Binge eating is a problem because it feels “different, not normal, and very distressing.” At some point while eating, the individual feels out of control. Getting stuffed Craighead defines as eating large amounts of food without feeling any loss of control.

Appetite Awareness Training

The goal of appetite awareness training is mindful or normal eating – eating what one most wants to eat when hungry and stopping eating when no longer hungry. While many traditional diets have the individual follow what the diet designer designates, in appetite awareness training an individual doesn’t record what they eat but how they feel physically and emotionally before and after eating.

To monitor your appetite, record the time of eating and define it as a meal or a snack. Then on a scale of one to ten (Craighead uses a scale of one to seven with half steps in between), with one as "too hungry" and ten as "ignored fullness" rate how one feels before eating and then after eating.

The individual then defines the eating experience as positive, neutral, or negative – explaining in a few words any negative feelings. By becoming aware of the physical and emotional sensation associated with eating, Craighead suggests that over months one can learn to make decisions toward normal eating habits.

The goal of appetite awareness training is to eat regular meals and snacks to avoid getting too hungry and triggering overeating. The individual resists eating when not hungry and stops eating when full.

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Quick Tips for Successful Weight Management

7:51 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

To be successful at weight loss and management, one must replace negative habits with positive behaviors. This usually means making basic lifestyle changes. Taking care of oneself means making a healthier lifestyle a lifetime pursuit. By learning the basic tools for long term behavioral changes, one can head down a positive path towards successful weight management. Here are a few tips to aid in this process.

Learn to Exercise

Exercise is a necessity in the battle against weight, and one must learn to accept and embrace this knowledge. Becoming active will help the body utilize fat for energy, make it work more efficiently, and assist individuals in becoming fitter. Though it may initially be difficult to embrace new activities with enthusiasm, over time the routine will become easier and the benefits visually rewarding.

Drink Water

Water is a healthy beverage that doesn't bombard the body with unnecessary calories. The benefits of making water an added fixture in your life are tremendous. In the morning, drinking water is beneficial if you are dehydrated from the previous day. By adding it to all meals, it acts as a filler, thus preventing overeating and simplifying digestion. Adding this beverage as part of the exercise routine helps avoid dehydration, and maintaining a steady supply of water in the body reduces water retention and constipation.

Eat Low Fat Foods and Fiber
Introducing low fat foods in to your meal plan will automatically reduce the total calorie intake. To effectively lose weight, one must burn more energy than the energy that is being taken in from foods. Fat is the most concentrated source of calories. A healthy weight loss will occur if the stored fat is changed and used as fuel for energy needs.

Fiber is important to maintain in your daily intake, and most people don't eat enough. Health experts recommend 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily. Fiber is a great filler and is a great source of a variety of nutrients in foods such as (vegetables, fruit, wholegrain cereals, beans.) By introducing consistent fiber into your daily routine, you will find your food intake decreasing because your stomach feels full.

Learn to Self Regulate

Understanding one's internal clock is an ideal way to unlocking the key to weight loss. By understanding the signals of hunger and satisfaction one can maintain the requirements needed to maintain a comfortable energy level. By failing to intake enough foods to adequately meet energy needs, exercise becomes difficult, thus defeating the purpose of one's initial goal of weight loss.

Make Planning and Organizing a Priority

While making the decision to change previously established life habits, it is important to plan ahead and remain organized to stay on track. The inclusion of exercise is not one hurdle, but rather a series of small steps thus landing at a major spot once the goal has been reached. It is important to plan an activity which is appropriate for one's lifestyle. Know how, when and where the activity will occur. If backsliding happens, recommit to the program. Develop a pattern that covers a consistent schedule and provides the ability to avoid creating times of extreme hunger.

By understanding and implementing the proper steps to weight loss, one can put theirself on the direct path towards success. Remaining consistent will aid in establishing a long term trend of healthy living The benefits will prove to be rewarding.

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Protect Yourself Against Refined Carbohydrates

7:45 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

refined carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates (refined carbs) may be considered a man-made dietary hazard. Numerous chronic diseases are promoted by refined carbohydrates. These include obesity, effort angina, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and others. The incidence of excessive body fat and obesity alone is 61% among the adult population in the U.S. [1,2,3]. This unhealthy statistic is gradually spreading to other countries. In addition, many cases of morbidity and shortened lives are associated with refined carbohydrates. Therefore it is important to learn how to protect oneself against this high energy nutrient.

Dietary fiber is the key element removed from carbohydrates to refine them. Vitamins and minerals are often lost in the refining process. It is easy to discard fiber from grains and other food products on the mistaken assumption that they have no nutritional value. This removal of fiber is a costly mistake and there is a rising support for the contention that dietary fiber is the foundation of a healthy diet.

Mechanisms by which Refined Carbohydrates Produce Chronic Diseases

Refined carbohydrates lay the foundation for chronic diseases by impairment of the body's energy management. This impairment may be reflected by an increase in body fat. Refined carbohydrates generally have high glycemic indices and they can rapidly raise the plasma glucose levels.

Sustained or frequent elevations in the plasma glucose level can lead to sustained elevation of plasma levels of insulin - decrease in insulin sensitivity. and increase in insulin resistance. These changes make insulin ineffective in managing the body's energy needs. Insulin's ineffectiveness in carrying out its responsibilities becomes the prelude to various chronic diseases, ranging from obesity to type 2 diabetes.

Protective Measures Against the Refined Carbohydrates

The most effective defensive measure against the adverse effects of refined carbohydrates is to stop eating refined carbohydrates. One way to accomplish this is to follow a dietary protocol that includes only unrefined organic foods. A second approach is to minimize the adverse effects by eating only small amounts of the refined carbohydrates. A third approach is to add dietary fibers to the food when eating the refined carbohydrates. This will replace the fiber that were removed in the refining process. This third approach is more appealing because one can still enjoy the refined carbohydrates without being fully exposed to the adverse consequences.

Leafy vegetables (kale, collard greens, mustard greens, spinach cabbage, etc.) are excellent sources of dietary fiber. These vegetables also contain vitamins and minerals which are often lost in the refined carbohydrates. One positive side to the fiber replacement is that one has a variety of choices for the source of the dietary fiber.

The primary mechanism by which dietary fiber counteracts the adverse effects of refined carbohydrates is stabilization of plasma glucose at normal or near-normal levels. This keeps plasma insulin level under control. Dietary fiber can also curb the appetite, and this helps to keep excessive body fat at bay. Finally, dietary fiber can increase insulin sensitivity (boost metabolism). This makes it easier for insulin to effectively perform its task of managing the body's energy needs.

Other dietary substances that can help to offset the adverse effects of refined carbohydrates include olive oil (good oil), chromium and spices like cinnamon, curry, cayenne pepper and cumin. Olive oil is a high caloric food with the same properties as dietary fiber. It curbs the appetite, stabilizes plasma glucose and increases insulin sensitivity. Chromium, and the spices will increase insulin sensitivity.

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Vivus Issues Good News on Diet Drug Front

3:07 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

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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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Stop Counting Calories and Start Losing Body Fat

2:56 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

counting calories

One can argue that the consumer of the diet drinks should gain more body fat than the consumer of olive oil because the daily caloric intake is higher in the consumer of the diet drinks. This type of thinking may make sense if one ignores the physiological basis for the increased appetite in the consumer of the diet drinks. On the other hand one can take the two variables (caloric value of the food and body-food interaction) into consideration over a reasonable time-frame to reach a conclusion on which dietary approach is better for body fat reduction.

The latter approach is the proper way for determining the effectiveness of a given food or substance in a dietary protocol for body fat reduction. One more step can be taken, however, to improve this later approach. One may simply ignore the caloric intake since the body-food interaction is the primary determinant of the food's adipogenic effects (fat making effects).

By removing the distractions of calorie-counting, one can focus more attention on foods that would be constructive in body fat reduction.

Removing the Most Adipogenic Substances (Fat-makers) from the Dietary Plan

As far as body fat gain is concerned the two most adipogenic substances are artificial sweeteners (diet drinks) and refined carbohydrates. A dieter for body fat reduction should avoid diet drinks and foods that contain artificial sweeteners. He/she should also avoid refined carbohydrates or learn how to minimize their adipogenic effects.

Most refined carbohydrates are foods with high glycemic index values [6]. Glucose from these refined carbohydrates enters the blood stream very quickly and causes sharp rises in the plasma levels of insulin. An increase in the plasma insulin level facilitates the synthesis of fat. Elevated plasma level of insulin also prevents the release of body fat from storage so that it can be burned. (Insulin facilitates the synthesis of fat and prevents the stored fat from being burned.) This can lead to obesity.

Inclusion of a Few Physiologically-sound Dietary Strategies in the Dietary Plan

Knowing the main foods to avoid is often sufficient to place one on the right path for body fat reduction. Artificial sweeteners and refined carbohydrates are the most adepogenic substances. Bad fats and oils (trans-fats and saturated fats) are also important offenders. The task of body fat reduction can be further facilitated by the addition of a few physiologically-sound dietary strategies. Two strategies presented here would curb the appetite or increase insulin sensitivity (boost metabolism).

Dietary measures that improve insulin sensitivity would help to restore the proper energy management and energy metabolism. Simple things as the addition of spices like cinnamon, curry and cayenne pepper to foods would increase insulin sensitivity. Another dietary measure that is very effective for body fat reduction is to increase the dietary fibers and good oils (e.g., olive oil) in the diet. Dietary fibers and olive oil will curb the appetite, reduce food consumption and increase insulin sensitivity.

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