Lose Weight Without Dieting With the Volumetrics Weight-Loss Plan

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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