Does Debt Really Cause Weight Gain?

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debt weight gain

If a popular question has a popular answer waiting, that question is a bad one.

And if an academic article publishes that answer, that means that the article is all the more worse.

Does debt cause weight gain? That's like asking if the Big Bang caused the 2008 market crash. The argument proposes that the elements created in the fractions of seconds that followed the birth of the universe eventually created humans, and since human activity led to the market crash, the zealous debater can square the blame on the Big Bang. But no one - not President Obama and not Joe the Plumber - does. It's irrational logic.

Where's the Beef?

So is the correlation between debt, the recession, and weight gain. The figures cited by the recent German study are not encouraging. Only twenty-five percent of a 9000 study population (2,250 people) demonstrated links between obesity and debt, whereas eleven percent of the study population (990) did not. No correlation is directly measured, and the relatively short fourteen percent difference could easily account for anomalies and statistical noise.

The discussion behind the study isn't as fulfilling as certain readers might hope either. Head of the study Eva M√ľnster (University of Mainz, Germany) attributes potential obesity rises (none are in fact cited) to rising health food prices that are prohibitive to lower socioeconomic populations, who are more susceptible to illness. The latter is generally true, but it is used more often to describe trends in infectious disease in areas where malnutrition is likely to exist - not in private, rich countries, to where the study is directed.


Whether or not obesity is an illness is not questioned here. But does it increase during recessions or booms? Data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests neither. All American states have been getting fatter since 1990, a twenty-nine year span that has seen both up and down economies. The most severe recessions of the last century were more likely to make sufferers malnourished, not fat - iconic photos of Great Depression breadlines are glaring proof. And good times mean more investments in restaurants, especially fast food. If you were to parachute from the sky into any random street in America today, odds are that it would be commercial, and that there would be a Wendy's, McDonald's, a Burger King, and a few smaller, local competitors, and that they would all be doing well. People will gain weight by eating big portions of processed food multiple times a day and not exercising. Any contribution by their credit card bill is purely involuntary (unless, of course, they're spending it on fast food).

This defies the Suite101 author's suggestion that comfort food causes weight gain during a recession. Comfort foods like fried chicken will cause weight gain whenever. And if a food is comforting, then someone would be eating it whenever he feels the urge to - not just when he's stressed. If Popeye's and KFC are open seven days a week, it probably means that plenty of happy people eat fried chicken too.

But can stress lead to obesity? This is certainly believable. But that doesn't naturally infer that a recession that causes stress likewise causes obesity. Some stress is good, but excess stress can lead to poor diet, no exercise, and ill health. It can even, as the author writes, lead to depression. But, just as they eat comfort food in good times and bad, people get stressed and can fall into depression whenever - the economy is unlikely to be the only reason. If anything, it can be a catalyst, but there's no direct way to measure that. A more interesting study would be one that relates depression and economies. After the bankruptcy of Argentina in 2001, psychologists and psychiatrists saw business skyrocket. Another interesting study could examine the effect of a "fat tax" on junk food to reduce the health care costs of treating obese patients for otherwise preventable diseases (currently 10% of all costs in America).

Don't Shoot the Waiter

Staying healthy is hard. And there's a big demand for it - look at all those who turn it into a professional living as fitness trainers. But bad food is easy to buy and easy to eat, mostly because it requires no cooking. When junk food is considered cheap, it's because it saves time, and inflation means food prices are always rising. If someone wants to eat healthy, he could start by learning how to cook. And buying health food in bulk, as the author also suggests, doesn't make sense since the healthiest foods are perishable. The best solution is to eat less. Plenty of rich countries have doing this for centuries; France is the most popular example.

Staying healthy is also hard because it requires indefatigable discipline and self-accountability. In rich countries, obesity is most likely to be a personal struggle, like depression; and depression treated en masse just leads to excess prescriptions of anti-depressants that can soften a patient's malaise but can't find its source. So incomplete studies and articles that suggest the blame for one's weight lies with others don't help in that regard. If you have debt, who can you really blame it on? The economy can't always be the whipping boy. In fact, it probably shouldn't ever be. Business cycles would probably be less extreme if consumers, like investors, regulated themselves. No one wants a fat tax.

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Do Physicians Respect Obese Patients?

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A new study seems to solidify fears that physicians are biased against obese patients. In a survey that examined the clinical interactions of 40 physicians with nearly 240 patients, doctors were far less likely to respect patients with high body mass indices (BMI); after adjustment for age and gender, a higher BMI was independently associated with lower physician respect. (Huizinga M, et al. Physician respect for patients with obesity. J Gen Int Med. 2009;24[11]:1236-39)

Although doctors may contend that their bias is generated by frustration (rather than a lack of respect) derived from poor success in treating overweight individuals, it is fairly clear that obese people are stigmatized by American society in general; since physicians are human, they are subject to the same biases that affect other people – despite their best attempts to remain objective and compassionate.

Indeed, even among healthcare providers who specialize in obesity management, weight bias appears to be a relatively pervasive problem. (Schwartz M, et al. Weight bias among health professionals specializing in obesity. Obes Res. 2003;11:1033-39)

Such stigmatization appears to extend beyond doctors’ vexation with addressing the multitude of health problems that are associated with obesity. Unfortunately, physician biases may simply mirror the same coarse prejudices that are visited upon obese persons in other societal settings, such as hiring practices, salary and promotion decisions, media portrayals, and education or housing opportunities. (Puhl R, Brownell KD. Bias, discrimination, and obesity. Obes Res. 2001;9:788-805)

Physicians May See Obese Patients as Unmotivated or Lazy

Most cases of obesity are due to behavioral problems, rather than specific medical conditions. Simply stated, an imbalance between caloric intake and energy expenditure leads to storage of excess calories as fat. Weight gain can rarely be attributed to Cushing’s syndrome, hypothyroidism, hypogonadism, or other illnesses. (Dickerson L, Carek P. Drug therapy for obesity. Am Fam Phys. 2000;61[7]:2131-38)

Therefore, even when genetic factors play a role in weight gain, physicians often attribute a patient’s persistent obesity to a lack of compliance with recommended lifestyle changes. When doctors spend time educating their overweight patients about the numerous medical issues that accompany obesity (see below), and when those patients not only fail to lose weight but often continue to gain it, doctors may seek explanations for their apparent failure to deal with a significant medical problem.

Sadly, blaming patients for their obesity might be the most convenient means of justifying modern medicine's lack of success at treating a common condition.

Obesity is a Multifactorial Problem

During a busy day, many physicians may not have sufficient time – or, perhaps, adequate desire – to delve into an obese patient’s detailed history. The temptation to deal only with immediate problems is great; time constraints and a reticence generated by unsatisfying outcomes from previous encounters with overweight patients compel a clinician to move on to the next patient.

This can only add to the negative perceptions that both obese patients and their physicians retain from these clinical interactions.

But obesity is born of varied underlying causes. Genetic, social, economic, cultural, behavioral, and situational factors all contribute to inappropriate dietary patterns and poor weight control. And many of these factors are rooted in childhood; only a thorough history, conducted in a nonjudgmental environment, will uncover valuable clues that may be nebulous even to the patient.

The Obese Patient Requires More Attention from Medical Professionals

Because obesity is usually not an isolated condition, the overweight patient typically needs more attention from healthcare workers, not less. When communication barriers – particularly those surrounding issues of respect – interfere with productive interactions between a healthcare professional and a patient, no one is well-served.

Indeed, there is a real danger that those medical conditions that frequently attend obesity will be dealt with in a suboptimal fashion; subsequent encounters may become adversarial as doctors chase more issues that, in their minds, would be controlled if only the obese patient was more compliant.

Medical conditions that are commonly associated with obesity – and that are sometimes a source of confrontation between overweight patients and physicians – include:
  • hypertension
  • hypercholesterolemia
  • hypertriglyceridemia
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • cardiovascular disease
  • large vessel disease (e.g., varicose veins, hemorrhoids, etc.)
  • cancer (breast, uterine, prostate, colon, gallbladder)
  • menstrual irregularities
  • infertility
  • gallbladder dysfunction
  • sleep apnea and restrictive lung disease
  • osteoarthritis
  • gout
  • thromboembolic disease (clots)
Obesity is an increasingly troublesome problem in developed countries. Due to changes in nutritional opportunities and a host of other factors, fully two-thirds of Americans are now overweight, and many suffer from obesity-related medical conditions.

At a time when obese individuals demand more medical care in an atmosphere of potentially shrinking healthcare dollars, a lack of respect and objective compassion for such persons may place many of them at grave risk.

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Dietary Fiber Can Prevent Obesity

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dietary fiber

The Center for Disease Control estimated that two thirds of adults and one fifth of children in the United States are obese. Obesity increases the risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and certain cancers. Diet and levels of exercise have a correlation to the incidence of obesity. Medical research indicates that increasing dietary fiber intake can assist in weight management.

Fiber Fills You Up

More time is required to chew foods which are high in fiber. This sends a signal to your brain that you are no longer hungry, so you will not overeat. High fiber foods have fewer calories per volume and promote satiation or a feeling of being full for a longer time. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are good sources of fiber. The National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine daily recommendations for fiber are:
  • Men: 38 grams for ages 50 and younger, 30 grams for ages 51 and older
  • Women: 25 grams for ages 50 and younger , 21 grams for ages 51 and older
Whole grains, which are a source of insoluble fiber, slow starch absorption in the digestive process and aid in bowel regularity. Soluble fiber, which is found in beans, peas, and apples, slows the absorption of sugar and helps lower total blood cholesterol levels.

Adding Fiber Results in Weight Loss

A new study, which appears in the February 2010 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, evaluated the relationship of cereal, fruit, and vegetable fiber with changes in weight and waist circumferences. The study included 89,432 European participants, ages 20 to 78 years old, who were followed over approximately 6.5 years. It was concluded that for each daily increase of 10 grams of cereal fiber, a participant had a weight change of -77 grams per year and a -0.10 centimeter per year change in waist circumference.

In the November 2003 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there is an article which supports the correlation of dietary fiber intake and weight gain. A 12-year study of 74,091 women, ages 38 to 63 years old, found that women who had the greatest increase in dietary fiber intake gained an average of 1.52 kilograms less than did women who had the smallest increase in dietary fiber intake. Weight gain decreased with the increased intake of whole grains. However, weight gain increased with the increased intake of refined grains.

Balance in Weight Management

There is a balance in weight management. Energy intake needs to be lower than energy expenditure. But intake should never be so low that lean body tissue is sacrificed, hunger increases, the quality of diet declines, and health is compromised. Increasing dietary fiber is a positive strategy in weight management.

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Eat More and Lose Weight

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eat more lose weight

There never seems to be a simple, easy solution that will create ideal weight loss. In fact, finding a program that can suit life’s busy schedule sometimes seems impossible. We tend to trust the tried and true saying that eating less will cause weight gain. However, that may not necessarily be true.

Because we think that losing weight is caused by eating less, we tend to quit eating. Unfortunately, that is one of the biggest mistakes that we can make when it comes to weight loss. Not only are we putting ourselves through torture, our bodies will not respond, and weight loss will not occur.

The Body assumes that it’s Starving

When we don’t eat, our bodies go into a protection mode. Dietician Juliette Kellow calls this process "starvation mode." When we go long periods of time without eating, our bodies naturally assume that no food is available, and thus, we may starve to death. So the body, in a defense mechanism, actually makes sure that stored body fat cannot and will not be burned off by the body until it is absolutely needed (at the point of starvation). In essence, if we do not eat, then our bodies will not allow any body fat to be consumed.

The Metabolic Rate Slows

Similarly, using the same defense mechanism, the body will retard the metabolic rate of consuming energy. This simply means that we won’t have much energy, and we won’t burn many calories.

Again, the body does this in order to try to save any energy in an attempt to prolong our life.

Food is Readily Available

Our bodies start this defense mechanism naturally if we do not consume enough food. However, the opposite is true if we consume enough food. If we eat small meals throughout the day, then our bodies know that food is readily available. Then, the body’s natural trigger will speed up the metabolic rate of energy consumption. In addition, the body will also make body fat available to burn for additional energy since there is no threat of starvation.

Eat throughout the Day

We don’t have to eat large meals throughout the day to keep our bodies on track. A small snack like an apple or a granola bar every few hours is enough to prove that food is not scarce. It is important to consume snacks that are healthy and low in calories, but it is equally important to eat many times a day so that the body will run naturally and efficiently, maintain proper body weight.

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Effective Weight Loss Resolutions

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weight loss resolutions

Losing weight is a common New Year’s resolution. For many people, this resolution is made and broken year after year. Dieting to lose weight, and then gaining it all back again, can easily become a vicious cycle. Make this year different and lose weight permanently.

In the absence of a true medical condition, the concept of weight loss is simple. Consuming fewer calories than are used results in weight loss. Taking in more calories than are used results in weight gain. Although this is an easy concept to grasp, making the necessary behavior changes required to achieve permanent weight loss requires commitment and consistent action.

Resolve to Stop Dieting and Avoid Fads

The first step toward permanent weight loss is to stop dieting. For most dieters, everything is fine while adhering strictly to a given diet plan. As soon as the diet is over, however, the lost weight returns. As seen in weight re-gain statistics cited by the National Eating Disorder Information Centre, diets are notoriously ineffective in achieving long-term weight reduction.

Fad diets and various dieting aids can be especially detrimental. Eliminating entire food groups, or relying on pills or supplements, seeks to manipulate weight through external controls and may even be damaging to health. Successfully losing weight and keeping it off over the long term requires changes in lifestyle and attitude. Stop dieting and resolve to focus on lifestyle and attitude changes instead.

Resolve to Develop a New Relationship with Food

Eating for reasons other than hunger is common. Many people eat due to boredom, unhappiness or stress. Happy occasions often revolve around food as well. Most celebrations include a cake or other dessert and holiday meals usually invite gluttony. This encouragement to overeat must be controlled from within. Eat whatever foods are desired but commit to eating only when hungry and to stopping when comfortably full.

Begin to view food as simply fuel for the body. Just as a car holds only a certain amount of gas, each person’s body needs only a certain amount of fuel to function. Just as you wouldn’t continue to add gas once the tank is full, learn to recognize when your body needs fuel and resolve to stop eating when enough fuel has been added.

Resolve to Change Your Habits

Small diet and lifestyle changes are essential to permanent weight loss. Start by identifying areas where painless changes can be made. For instance, according to the National Dairy Council, whole milk contains almost twice the calories of skim milk. If consuming just one cup of milk per day, simply switching to skim results in calorie savings that add up to the equivalent of about 7 pounds over the course of a year.

When eating out, downsize portions. Request a to-go box when the meal is served and remove half the food before beginning to eat. Fast food restaurants may offer smaller sizes of popular items. For example, the Whopper Jr. at Burger King is simply a smaller version of the regular Whopper but contains 309 fewer calories. Choose to forgo the mayonnaise and significantly reduce the calories and fat even further.

Eat consciously. While eating, focus on the activity at hand. Eat at the table only. Concentrate on the meal and really enjoy the flavor, texture and aroma of each food item. Do not eat while watching TV or reading. Do not eat while standing or talking on the phone. Avoid late night snacking.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps the most important step in achieving permanent weight loss it to learn to love and be at peace with your body. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes and most bear little resemblance to those seen on TV or in magazines. Realistically assess your ideal weight based on factors such as height, age and body type. For the upcoming year, focus New Year's resolutions on fitness and health rather than on a number on the scale.

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Exercise Key to Fighting the Flab

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Dieting is often viewed as the easy option to losing weight, after all, it doesn't take up much more time than your regular daily routine and just involves maybe a little bit more painstaking preparation of your food intake. Exercising, on the other hand, requires valuable time spent involved in raising the heart rate and burning calories, but it's time well spent in the fight to lose weight and generally restore the "feel good factor." However, exercise seems to be the missing link in many diet plans.

Dieters Feel Cheated By Lack of Success

Dieting in all its various forms from the Atkins Diet, through the Cambridge Diet and beyond has its success stories, but for every person who claims that a particular diet worked for them, there are thousands who feel cheated that nothing actually works for them and that their bodies will never lose the excess weight that they so passionately desire.

Truth is, if you burn more calories than you consume, you have to lose some weight. Or course, there are some people who can't take regular exercise due to health problems and dieting is therefore their only refuge in the weight loss stakes. However, for most people, exercise is not only beneficial, it can also be fun.

Don't Run Before You Can Walk

The key to any exercise regime is to start slowly. Don't go out and attempt to run a marathon when you've been sitting on the couch in front of the TV all your life. Start by walking as much as you can. Leave the car at home and walk to the office, or if that's not convenient, park the car a few blocks away from your workplace and walk the rest of the way. Take the stairs rather than the elevator and go for a walk around the block during your lunch break. This may be a small step in the battle to lose weight, but, it's a huge leap in changing your mindset about exercise and weight loss.

Finger on the Pulse is the Key Measurement

Taking a step up from this, keep a finger on your pulse. Take your pulse before you start your walk by holding two fingertips against the underside of your wrist below the thumb. Count for 15 seconds and then multiply the total by four, this will give you your resting pulse per minute. Take your pulse again after you've finished your walk. For a fit person there will not be much discrepancy between the two figures. The unfit will notice a huge difference in the figures, but with time and effort, the difference between those two figures will begin to narrow.

Taking another step further down the road is then simple: start by walking 100m and than jogging the same distance; alternate several times and then up the amount of exercise gradually. Exercise may not be a miracle cure in the fat fighting arena, but it works, it can be enjoyable and all you need is a pair of decent training shoes to start you on the road to a more lithe and fitter you.

Once you achieve a certain level of fitness, don't stop there. Enter a local race over a distance you feel comfortable with. Just jog around the course and enjoy the atmosphere; no one will laugh at you, but you will get plenty of encouragement to go and achieve more goals. Taking the first step is the hard part, but go on, you can do it!

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Ephedrine Fat Burners and Ephedrine-Free Products

1:42 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

ephedrine fat burners
There has been much in the media in recent years about the dangers associated with ephedrine products, which have been banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Since the IOC ban on ephedrine substances, many ephedrine-free alternatives have been created and used by athletes to mimic the effect of the herbal supplement.

Ephedrine Fat Burners - Ephedra Usage and Side-Effects

Fat burners or thermogenic products usually consist mainly of the Chinese herb ma huang, which is more commonly known as ephedrine or ephedra. However, as ephedra is recognised to be an addictive substance it is not recommended unless under a doctor's supervision. The main usage of ephedrine fat burners is to help promote weight loss, although small amounts are typically found within over the counter cold remedies, where the ingredient is listed as 'pseudo-ephedrine.' There are few benefits to taking fat burners, thermogenics or other diet pills containing ephedrine, but plenty of unpleasant and even potentially fatal side-effects.

In Sports Supplements, Bean (2007) highlights that supplements containing ephedrine have significant health risks, including the following:
  • Increased/irregular heartbeat
  • Rise in blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling 'hyper'
There have also been cases recorded where high doses of ephedra or ephedrine based supplements have eventually caused heart attack, stroke and even death. The reason why diet pills containing ephedrine are potentially so dangerous, is due to the way they produce a 'speed-like' effect. Rather than risking one's life taking ephedrine-based products, there are two main alternatives; use ephedrine-free herbal supplements or simply exercise more and eat a healthy diet.

Ephedrine-Free Fat Burners

Alternatives to ephedrine-based fat burners, include weight loss supplements which contain the ingredients citrus aurantium, green tea extract or Coleus forskohlii extract. However, there are still side-effects attached to using citrus aurantium or bitter orange extract, such as increased blood pressure. As identified by Bean (2007), citrus aurantium is identified to reduce appetite, increase metabolic rate and promote fat burning, while green tea extract may increase calorie expenditure and promote weight loss.

In contrast to green tea extract and citrus aurantium, there are currently no published research trials to show that Coleus forskohlii is effective in terms of helping people to lose weight. Aside from drinking copious amounts of green tea each day, there is insufficient evidence that the amounts of extracts used in other diet pills or supplements are genuinely helpful in terms of maintaining weight loss.

As highlighted above, despite the potentially horrendous, even fatal, consequences associated with taking ephedra or ephedrine fat burners, athletes may use such supplements to help increase work-out intensity, as well as lose weight. Alternatives to ephedrine fat-burners or ephedra diet pills, include green tea extract and citrus aurantium. However, the best way to lose weight healthily is to increase exercise levels and eat a nutritious yet low-calorie diet.

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Fast Ways to Lose Tummy Fat

1:44 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

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The ways in which folks lose weight and get in shape are still the same as always. There are really no magic bullets, unless diet and exercise can be considered magic. Okay, so they're not so magical.
Altering eating habits and beginning any new sort of strenuous physical activity are just plain hard. If losing belly fat is the goal, it's time to start these changes today. The sooner a plan of action is started, the sooner that belly will begin to disappear.

The difficulty of starting something new, especially starting a new diet and exercise plan, is the main reason why most folks just keep putting it off. Everyone knows the benefits of exercise and eating right and that if weight loss and optimum health are a goal, diet and exercise are going to be the way to attain that goal. This article deals mainly with starting an exercise program to help lose that tummy fat.

Get Checked Out First

First, realize that it's never too late to start exercising. Make an appointment and go see the doctor before beginning any new exercise program. It just makes sense to have everything checked out first, right? This is especially important for folks over 50 who may be just starting to exercise, or who have not exercised regularly for quite some time. The doctor will help determine what exercises will be best with certain health conditions like asthma, diabetes, weak knees, back or joint pain.

Slowly and carefully develop an exercise plan that increases on a schedule and level that is comfortable. Some activities may need to be changed or stepped up, some will need to be added, some taken away completely. It may not be necessary to join a gym or health club, but a regular program of exercise will have to be started. The important thing here is to set out long-term goals, and then make some smaller, more attainable goals along the way. Soon, adding more and more time or energy to an exercise program will help that tummy go away faster.

Start Out Slowly, Then Build Up

It's wise to start out small and work up rather than try and tackle a huge challenge only to be sidelined for a time with an injury. Don't try an overdo it at first. That goal of 30 minutes of daily exercise doesn't mean one should start by doing 30 minutes right out of the gate. Work up to 30 minutes of exercise per day. It's best not to really push until the second 30 days of an exercise program. The initial month will give the body a chance to get ready, strengthen and prepare for more strenuous exercise in the second month and beyond.

Be especially cautious if starting a new exercise plan from a previously sedentary lifestyle. If long sessions of strenuous activity are just too much, then back off a bit. Ideally, a few words of a sentence should be spoken easily when working at peak levels. Working out gently and slowly during the first month allows the body to attain a more aerobic state which makes workouts easier. If one is barely able to speak, the workout is too strenuous. In time, as workouts become longer, that persistent, annoying belly fat will go away faster.

Lose Weight Faster with a Partner

Going with a friend or workout partner is not going to make the weight loss process happen any faster. However, having to be accountable to another for working out and even showing up on regular basis will help immensely with losing that weight in the long-term. Exercising with someone else means the chances of sticking with the program increase dramatically. Organized group activities offered at the YMCA, local hospitals, or even some gyms and health clubs also provide the motivation to be there for someone else while benefiting from the workout as well.

Working out on a regular basis is one of the magic bullets in attaining long-term, healthy weight loss. Exercise also has the added benefits of toning the body, increasing strength, and increasing overall well-being. Begin an exercise regimen in stages. Start some exercises next week, add more the next, and so on. It's all just a matter of deciding to do it and sticking to the program. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends a weekly exercise regimen of two hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise, one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, along with weight training.

Make the Commitment and Get Going

Losing weight is going to require hard work and commitment. Decide on a course of action, commit to the plan and then set some realistic goals for weight loss and exercise. Begin in stages and start changing the diet this week, while starting some exercises next week, add more the next, and so on.

It's all just a matter of making a commitment and sticking to the program. Soon, the excess weight will start coming off and a flatter tummy will begin to appear.

As with any radical changes in diet or exercise, always 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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Five Tips for Real Weight Loss

10:02 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

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When it comes to the world of dieting and weight-loss, beginners often find that it is a difficult sea to navigate. From celebrity-endorsed weight loss plans to websites saturated with advertisements for various supposed “miracle” supplements, the person who is just stepping his or her foot into the door of fitness has vast amount of superfluous information to sift through. Although every fitness guru has his or her “angle” on what exactly will reduce body weight, there are five healthy things that most fitness professionals and physicians will agree on.

Five Tips for Weight Loss Success

Five tried-and-true tips for success at the weight loss game are as follows:

Use smaller plates for meals.
It’s profoundly simple, and sounds very silly in principle, but in practice, the theory of using a smaller plate works. The author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, Brian Wansink, PhD, says, “When you use large dishes, you will inevitably serve more food because they make the food look so small.” Essentially, a smaller plate creates instant portion control, but knowing exactly what a “serving” of something is helps too. WebMD has a great tool for helping learn about portion sizes in various foods.

Chew gum while cooking.
Using the toothbrush before cooking works well, too. The flavor of mint not only suppresses hunger, but the taste contamination will make one lose the desire to take the food for a while.

Keep track of caloric intake, as well as calories burned from exercise.
What is the most difficult part of tracking calories? Being honest about consumption! A food diary forces one to be mindful of everything eaten, and an exercise diary helps motivation. FatSecret has a fantastic calorie-counter and exercise-tracker for BlackBerry. It includes several popular restaurants, brands, and the calories burned from exercise are based on the users height and weight.

Weigh-in only once per week.
For a dieter, to weigh-in more than once a week can create unnecessary stress from the day-to-day fluctuations from foods, water retention, and clothing. Weekly progress can help show a timely progression of success.

Switch up the work-out routine, but not too often.
Fitness trainer Joe Dowdell writes for That’s Fit, a fitness website that tackles all topics of living healthy. He says that a “normal” (i.e. not Olympic-level) athlete should only change up their workout every “three to four weeks.” He says that, “The nervous system is what actually sends the messages to the muscular system to perform a particular movement pattern. It's also what helps you refine various movement patterns and allows you to get stronger and have more control when performing these patterns.” Thus, allowing a routine to settle in allows the muscles to progress, but changing occasionally keeps tedium from setting in and keeps the athlete from doing routines that he or she has outgrown.

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