Catch the Desire to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

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Healthy Lifestyle

Clive Thompson, author of "Is Happiness Catching?" writes about how good habits spread, just like a virus. In his New York Times article, he cites research conducted by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler. Two years ago, Christakis and Fowler analyzed data from the National Heart Institute's Framingham Heart Study. Their analysis indicated that if we keep in contact with people who are fit and want to live a healthy lifestyle, we are likely to be influenced by them, helping us become healthier ourselves.

Contact Your Friend's Friend to be Your Weight Loss Buddy

In the past, we've been told that it is easier to lose weight if we recruit a friend to keep us on track. A workout buddy or a diet buddy can help us feel like we have someone else in the game, that we are not the only ones on the difficult weight loss journey. With the help of a buddy, we can schedule workouts, plan meals, and offer emotional support.

But Christakis and Fowler found that for maximum results, we can't ask just anyone to be a buddy. Surprisingly, that buddy, they said, should not be a close friend. Rather, it should be our close friend's friend. Christakis and Fowler found that if our friend's friends are all losing weight, we will be more heavily influenced to lose weight ourselves. In this case, we are surrounded by people losing weight. It then seems like everyone is losing weight, giving us a greater incentive to join the crowd, lose weight, and keep it off.

Create a Social Network to Help You Lose Weight

So what are the implications? If we know that we need to lose weight, how should we position ourselves within our social networks so that we can be successful not just in losing weight, but in keeping it off? Finding a bunch of our friends' friends probably doesn't seem feasible in real life.
But what about cyber life? Through Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and other social media outlets, we may very well be able to connect with people that can influence us on another level than a single workout or diet buddy could. These sites exist to connect us not just with our friends, but with our friends' friends. They exist to connect us with other like-minded individuals. They may just provide us with the strong, multi-faceted networks that we need in order to truly submerge ourselves in achieving our goals.,, and are all sites that are designed to put us in contact with people that have similar goals as well. The only difference between them and the more traditional social media outlets like Facebook is that they bring people together who are working to lose weight and live healthier lifestyles. Do you have a friend that is using one of these sites? Join. Connect with your friend. Connect with your friend's friends. Create a universe where everyone is working on the same goal that you are.

Achieve Your Goals

If you are fighting the battle of the bulge, you are not in the minority. In fact, there are millions of Americans that are fighting it right now. Befriend them so that you can be successful, they can be successful, and as a country we can triumph over an epidemic that costs too much, compromises too many lives, and leads to too much disease. Certainly, a workout buddy that happens to be your friend is a great first step. Go one step further and connect with others, giving you yet another arsenal of support and advice. The more people that you know who are working to attain similar goals, the more successful you are likely to be.

You may also be interested in Online Diet and Fitness Tools, Smart Approach to Exercise Leads to Weight Loss, and Cooking May Be Your Best Diet Strategy.

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Cardiovascular Exercise Basics

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Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular, or aerobic, exercise is extremely useful to those wishing to increase their overall health. No resistance or weights are typically applied, which means that once the basics are known almost everybody can enjoy its life-promoting benefits.

Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise

Regular aerobic activity helps manage blood-sugar levels by increasing the body's ability to process glucose. This benefit alone makes it a worthy practice for diabetics.

It also has weight-loss benefits; for example, a 200-pound person burns over 100 calories for every 10 minutes of jogging, and 150 calories for 10 minutes of jumping rope. 100 calories doesn't appear at first to be much, but in a month of daily exercise it adds up to the recommended caloric intake of a full day-and-a-half!

The blood is circulated during cardiovascular sessions, which can decrease post-workout soreness and rid muscles of excess lactic acid which builds up during intense training. It also speeds up the overall recovery processes of the body, and unlike weight lifting, the recovery time for aerobic activity is virtually non-existent.

Cardiovascular exercise also improves the body's profile of hormones, chemical messengers responsible for a wide-range of bodily processes. Among of effects are the release of appetite-suppressants and endorphins, the latter producing feelings of well-being and helping damper the intensity of pain.

How to Do Cardio

Cardiovascular exercise, simply defined, is any activity that increases the heart rate to 60-80% of its maximum potential. If done with vigor, having sex is cardio.

Any number of bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups/jumping-jacks/squats, can be combined into circuit training routines. Cardiovascular Circuit Training, CCT, has advantages in that combining exercises works the entire body in a comparatively short period of time.

Cardiovascular Considerations

Always be safe when exercising. This means that if dizziness or nausea occur, stop. If the effects are severe, it may be wise to seek medical advice. As with all exercise routines, if the practitioner is not at peak levels they should consider consulting a physician before beginning.

The muscle which will be worked, and preferably the entire body, should be properly stretched before beginning a cardiovascular routine. Doing so helps to prevent injury and makes the body more limber.

If sweating in excess is an issue, keep water handy. The body uses water in almost every process it undergoes, at the cellular level, and keeping well-hydrated helps the body stay revved up longer.
Once a certain comfort-level has been reached, it is a common practice to add weights to an aerobic routine. This is done by housewives in the way of wrist bands, and bodybuilders by way of kettlebells, alike.

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Symptoms and Tips for Carb Addicts

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Carb Addicts

Have you ever noticed that the more carbs you eat, the more you crave them, especially when it comes to sweets? And why do we eat so many carbs in the first place? A lack of serotonin may be the answer. Simple carbs make up for the missing feel-good chemical in the brain, but they also leave us feeling drained, bloated and fat.

“A large percentage of overweight clients who snacked on refined sugar and complex carbohydrates, such as popcorn, chips and candy, reported relief from depression, anxiety and boredom,” according to Betty Street of the Fairland Institute.

Because carbs and sweets temporarily relieve our emotions, we repeatedly turn to these foods rather than dealing with the issues that cause them.

It was Dr. Richard and Judith Wurtman who originally coined the phrase, “Carbohydrate Craving Syndrome” during their study of overeaters at the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences of Massachusetts Institue of Technology. They found that balancing insulin levels with a chromium supplement was helpful in reducing carb cravings in addicted patients.

Symptoms of Carbohydrate Craving Syndrome

Carb cravings are commonly caused by low levels of serotonin, high levels of insulin resistance and low blood sugar.
Other symptoms include:
  • A family history of obesity
  • Not being able to take your mind off of food
  • Hiding food and eating habits regularly
  • Diets don’t work for you and you end up eating even more than before and gaining weight
  • Using food to satisfy emotional needs
  • Treating food as your friend

Tips for Losing Weight with Carboyhdrate Craving Syndrome

You can’t escape your genes and weight loss is difficult at best when the cards seem stacked against you, but there are some things you can do to make the journey a little easier.
  • Distract yourself when cravings hit.
  • Substitute a lower fat, lower calorie snack for high carb foods.
  • Eat smart carbs throughout the day to feel full and avoid feeling deprived on your diet.
  • Eat a small portion of the food you crave. Some dieters swear by the three-bite rule.
  • Eat all foods in moderation without binging on certain foods or omitting others.
  • Follow a diabetic diet to avoid sugar spikes and feel a sense of balance.
  • Talk to your doctor and have him or her rule out any other medical reasons such as diabetes or thyroid problems that could prevent you from losing weight.
Note: If you are also being treated for depression (due to low serotonin levels) the medicine may worsen your carb cravings. Ask your doctor about side effects and the best option for lifting depression while losing weight.

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Carbohydrate Nutrition for Weight Loss

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Carbohydrate Nutrition

Nutrition as a science has been studied for a relatively short time compared to many other scientific disciplines. Consequently, there are frequent changes to the rules resulting in contradicting information. 'Good Carbs' and 'Bad Carbs' are examples of this. Even though nutritional study is in its infancy, understanding the basics and applying them to weight loss and health is relatively simple. To run efficiently at any time the human body needs three basic nutrients: Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats. Vitamins, minerals and fiber are also essential, and are all present when foods containing the three basic nutrients are consumed.

Simple vs. Complex Carbohydrates

The most important nutrient for weight loss and basic everyday activities is the Carbohydrate, which is the basic required fuel source for the body. In other words, for the body to simply move and the brain to think, a basic form of carbohydrate - sugar in the form of glucose - is the fuel to do the job. Fuel? Yes, fuel. Food is simply a tasty fuel for the body. Everything we eat is broken down by the digestive system to extract these basic nutrients and make the sugar available for fuel, while making the other nutrients available for the parts of the body that need them.

To avoid spikes in fullness and hunger in order to lose weight and maintain optimal health, complex carbohydrates like whole grain breads, cereals and pastas should be consumed most often. When complex carbohydrates are eaten, the body takes longer and uses more energy to digest them in order to get to the basic component, sugar. Eating these carbohydrates will allow the body to feel full longer, and avoid the intense hunger that leads to overeating and poor food choices.

Be sure to read the ingredients list on store bought items to ensure that the first ingredient is "whole wheat" or "whole grain". Unfortunately, "Enriched Wheat Flour" does not contain whole grain. It is simply wheat flour with the whole grain taken out, and the vitamins put back in.

Alternately, when simple carbohydrates like sweetened breakfast cereals or sugary sodas are consumed, the body can use the sugar immediately without much work, and get a big boost in energy, followed by a correspondingly big drop in energy when the sugar is used up. Intense hunger is usually the end result, which is not good for weight loss.

Its all about Healthy Choices

Unless certain diseases are present, the body prefers a mixture of the three main nutrients most closely resembling 60% Carbohydrates, 20% Protein and 20% Fat, with the majority of the carbohydrates being whole grain. This daily mixture of nutrients allows the body to get everything it needs to run efficiently, and run after kids and pets (in other words, exercise).

Eating complex carbohydrates most often throughout the day, especially when combined with some protein and/or fat is the first and biggest step toward a healthy lifestyle. Eating a piece of whole wheat toast with a little natural peanut butter, for example will last the body longer and make it feel more full than consuming a croissant with butter. Substituting half the noodles used in a spaghetti dinner with whole wheat noddles will gradually introduce complex carbohydrates into the daily lifestyle of a family.

These little changes will lead to more healthy changes, and a healthier lifestyle, which in turn will build the foundation for long term weight loss.

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Break Your Food Addiction

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Food Addiction

You may not even realize you have a food addiction. Maybe you consider yourself as someone who has a terrible sweet tooth or who really enjoys food. But if you think about food often throughout the day, experience a physical craving for certain types of foods or spend half the time eating a well-balanced diet and the other half binging on less healthy choices, odds are you are a food addict.

Habits of a Food Addict

1.Soothe Emotions. Typically a food addict will push down unpleasant feelings with food. Not just any food, but comfort foods. Ever have a fight with your mom or spouse and immediately hit the freezer for the container of ice cream? You try to relive the feelings without actually dealing with the problem.

The Problem: Food is a temporary fix. When it wears off you will feel worse and the original problem remains.

The Answer: Tackle problems head-on. Don’t let thoughts fester and eat away at you. Deal with your emotions and your relationship problems as they occur so you won’t feel the need to use food as your faithful friend.

2.Fixation With Food You think about food all the time and you are always planning your next sugar high.

The Problem: You’ve designed your lifestyle around food and make it one of your top priorities.

The Answer: Change your lifestyle to include activities that don’t revolve around food. Exercise, for example, is one way to get a similar high as you would from eating sugar.

3.Secret Binges. Food addicts often hide food or only binge when they are alone.

The Problem: You’re only fooling yourself. You won’t win the weight loss battle if you continually sabotage yourself. It’s faulty thinking.

The Answer: Eat scheduled meals at the dinner table. Don’t keep food in your car, desk or nightstand. Lock your purse in the trunk when you go out so drive-thru restaurants aren’t’ accessible/ Find someone who will hold you accountable.

4.Eat Until the Food is Gone. Some people were raised to clean their plates and they have a hard time breaking the habit. You lack control to stoop eating.

The Problem: Even healthy foods, when consumed in large quantities, pack a lot more calories than your body needs.

The Answer: Put your health first. Prepare meals plans and only eat what is on your plate. Measure foods out ahead of time into single serving packages.

5.Feeling Guilty. Food addicts tend to feel guilty after indulging in too much of the wrong foods.

The Problem: It can turn into a vicious cycle of feeling bad, overeating, feeling guilty and eating some more.

The Answer: Stop the cycle. Don’t allow yourself to get sucked in by the guilt. Forgive yourself, ask for support and get right back on your program.

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Break Bad Habits to Lose Weight

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There certainly can be genetic, medical or other reasons people become overweight or severely obese. The reason for many people, however, is having bad habits that contribute to their weight problem.

Analyze Bad Habits that Contribute to Weight Gain

Closely analyze your lifestyle to determine if your bad habits are the cause of your weight gain. Notice your activity level. Do you purposely avoid exercise because you hate to sweat? Do you have trouble motivating yourself to get to the gym? Do you spend 20 minutes driving up and down parking lot aisles to get the closest spot so you don't have to walk? Start logging your exercise online or in a notebook to see exactly how much exercise you are getting in each week. Aim for at least 30 minutes 3-4 times per week.

Next take a look at your bad food habits. Do you skip meals in an attempt to save calories? Do you binge over large portions of food? Do you eat mindlessly in front of the TV or computer screen? Do you frequently snack before bed? Do you eat out of impulse or for emotional reasons? Track your daily calories long enough to get an average. Look for destructive eating patterns and conscientiously work at eating to fuel your body for energy.

Identify Bad Habits to Lose Weight

If any of these sound familiar there is hope. The good thing about these bad habits is that they are easy to change. Identifying bad habits and owning up to them is the first step towards creating positive change and losing weight. Journal about the bad habits that cause you to gain weight, be unhappy and unhealthy. Then choose a bad habit that you will work on changing. Write out a goal statement of exactly how you will break the habit. It's best to choose a new, healthier habit to replace the old behavior.

If you normally hit the vending machine to cure your mid-afternoon slump, for example, allow yourself a different type of energizer. Take a brisk walk, do some light stretching, have a cup of tea, have a healthy snack on hand, etc. It doesn't important what you choose to do as long as it is a healthy distraction.

Eliminating a bad habit and creating a health new routine takes time, but permanent change can and will take place with diligence and commitment, The final step is to return to your goal bad habit list and write out another goal statement for the next habit you want to change. The more bad habits you can eliminate, the easier it will be to lose weight.

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Increase Exercise to Burn Excess Calories

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The holidays get the best of us. You can be plugging along on your diet and be a steady losing streak, up in the holidays hit and your willpower dissolves. You don't have to give up your favorite party foods if you boost your exercise during the holidays, though.

Counting Calories during the Holidays

The reality is that all of your calories during the holidays count. So it's important to count them in your daily totals. Don't give up tracking your daily calories for fear of seeing an astronomically high daily total. Instead, use it to maintain a little control over your diet and see how much harder you need to work to burn excess calories.

Use a diet diary or an online tracking system, like the one available on Sparkpeople, to track every calorie you put in your mouth during the holidays. Just seeing that daily total can be a huge eye-opener. If the high end of your range is 1,600, then seeing 3500 calories for your daily total shows how off-track you are and puts you back on the right track for losing weight or maintaining during the holidays.

Boost Exercise to Burn Excess Calories

You have attended a few parties and family functions this holiday season and have eaten more than your daily allowance of calories here and there. Now what? Instead of telling yourself that you blew your diet and you will never lose the weight, you need to commit to yourself and your weight loss goals. Make a pact with yourself to boost your exercise program to help burn off the extra calories you've taken in.

You don't have to avoid all of the foods that you love during the holidays. It is important, however, to watch your portion sizes and limit the amount of times you go over your daily calorie goals. A good rule of thumb is to only take a few bites of the things you love and leave the rest, while stocking your plate with healthier choices.

Ways to Boost Exercise during the Holidays

Boost your exercise during the holidays and you may be able to eat a little more of your favorite foods.

You can boost your exercise with:
  • Winter hikes
  • Sledding
  • Ice skating
  • Bowling
  • Swimming
  • Indoor golf
  • Increasing the intensity of your workouts
  • Bonus workouts at the gym
  • After dinner walks
  • Training for a spring marathon
Whatever you do, include exercise as part of your family's holiday traditions and make the New Year about achieving an active lifestyle.

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Eat More Often and Lose Weight

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Eat More Often

While eating three balanced meals is a great way to lose weight, the body sometimes responds better to eating healthy foods more frequently throughout the day. One way to boost metabolism, burn more calories, and decrease hunger is by eating mini-meals.

What Are Mini-Meals
Mini-meals are smaller meals eaten frequently throughout the day. Instead of having three large meals during the day, meals are broken down into five to six smaller meals spaced three to four hours apart throughout the day. If a dieter is one who counts calories, the calorie total for each mini-meal is calculated by taking the total daily allowable calories and dividing by how many mini-meals will be eaten. For example, if a dieter's plan calls for 1800 calories per day, and six mini-meals are eaten per day, the total calories for each mini-meal should be approximately 300 calories.

How Mini-Meals Aid Weight Loss
If too much time goes by between meals or no snacks are eaten, it's easy to overeat at the next meal. Mini-meals keep hunger at bay because meals are eaten every three to four hours, so there's no time to get hungry. Mini-meals boost metabolism by making the body consistently burn calories digesting and absorbing food. Since mini-meals consist of fewer calories than larger meals, eating mini-meals is a great way to control portions.

Example Mini-Meals
Each mini-meal should contain a protein, a healthy carbohydrate, and a small amount of fat. A few examples of balanced mini-meals are:
  • Turkey on whole grain bread
  • Chicken roll-ups with low-fat cheese
  • Mixed green salad with added veggies and water-packed tuna
Tips to Losing Weight with Mini-Meals

  1. Keep track of calories until eating mini-meals becomes second nature. Eating mini-meals makes it easy to eat more total calories throughout the day. Without counting calories at first, overeating could be a problem.
  2. Make sure a mini-meal consists of healthy foods instead of processed foods.
  3. For some, eating mini-meals makes them feel like they're overeating because they're eating so often. Be patient and give the body enough time to get accustomed to a new way of eating.
While eating mini-meals aids weight loss, cardio exercise, strength training, and getting enough sleep are also important when trying to lose weight.

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Boost Metabolism with a Cheat Day

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Boost Metabolism

Cheating on your diet is usually considered a bad thing. Scheduling a cheat day, however, can have a positive effect on your diet. The trick to to stay in control of when and how you cheat.

A Diet Cheat Day Boosts Metabolism and Prevents Plateaus

One reason why a diet cheat day is helpful is that it boosts your metabolism. You body will continually adjust to the amount of calories you consume. So if you cut back 250 calories per day, you will lose weight at first, but then as your body adjusts, it takes more to keep your metabolism fueled. Continuing to cut calories can only work for so long before you reach the lowest amount of calories you should consume for your height and weight and then your weight loss hits a plateau. A diet cheat day works to boost your metabolism and keep your body guessing. Just raising your calorie consumption one day per week can kick your metabolism up and prevent a plateau.

Avoid Feelings of Guilt and Deprivation by Scheduling a Diet Cheat Day

Another reason dieters often fall off the wagon and return to old habits is that they feel deprived when following a restrictive diet. Never being able to eat their favorite comfort foods again is unrealistic. People become obsessed with thoughts of the foods they wish they could eat that are now off limits. A scheduled cheat day removes the feelings of guilt and deprivation though. It allows dieters to follow a healthy meal plan most of the time and take one day a week to relax and eat the high fat, high calorie foods they miss. While most dieters can't stand the thought of never eating junk food again, they can follow a strict diet knowing they can have a treat in a few more days.

The psychological benefit of a diet cheat day is huge and it allows people to stick with their diet much longer than if they never cheated on their diet.

Restore Leptin Levels with a Diet Cheat Day

Keeping your hormones in check is essential for weight loss success. Leptin is the hormone that signals the brain when you are full. Low leptin levels make it difficult to lose weight because you are always hungry and never feel satisfied. Building a cheat day into your diet works to restore leptin levels and improve your weight loss results.

Potential Dangers of a Diet Cheat Day

Dieters tend to get caught up in all-or-nothing thinking. Making poor food choices can tempt people into returning to their old eating habits that led to weight gain in the past. Dieters can also be tempted to skip their workout on their cheat days. Poor habits, such as overdoing it on the calories and skipping exercise, can lead dieters down a slippery slope. Its important to schedule your cheat days and stick to them. Remember to stick with the healthy habits you adopt for a lifestyle that promotes weight loss.

McQuillan, Susan. "It's OK to Cheat on Your Diet," Psychology Today. March 22, 2009.
Zelman, Kathleen. "How to Cheat on Your Diet and Still Lose Weight," WebMD. October 15, 2009.

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Martha Beck’s Book to Find Thinner Peaceand End the Diet War

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Diet War

We are programmed to go on fad diets that don’t work. We lose a few pounds, but then the body starts reserving fat as it enters starvation mode. Long-term weight loss cannot be achieved through this type of dieting. In fact, the opposite ends up happening and we actually gain weight while “dieting.”

Martha Beck describes this as famine brain in her new book, The Four Day Win. The more we tell ourselves we can’t have something, the more desirable it becomes. Extreme calorie reduction often leads to binge eating because we feel so deprived and the food cravings become so strong until we snap and return to our old habits.

Beck also explains how important the 7 steps of change are to losing weight effectively.

7 Steps of change:
  1. Pre-contemplation
  2. Contemplation
  3. Preparation
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance
  6. Relapse
  7. Termination
Beck also says that skipping one or more of these steps of change is common and, therefore, is the reason so many people fail at dieting.

The main premise in Beck’s book, The Four Day Win, is how important four days really are. Four days is the amount of time it takes for a change to become natural. She suggests that we implement change in four-day increments and sting them together until it becomes a lifelong habit. This works especially well with exercise. The first few days you may have trouble getting started and you may have to talk yourself into doing the exercise. But by the end of the forth session, you will start to feel the results and it will become a natural feeling for you to participate in the exercise every day.

Tips from The Four Day Win:
  • Reduce your daily calories by 100 every four days until you see results
  • Connect your mind and body
  • Discover your dieting style
  • Change the way you think to change your body
  • Use past experiences and failures as reasons and motivation to change
  • Link four day patterns together to develop healthy lifelong habits
  • Think yourself thin
  • Find support and define your social structure
  • Stop fad dieting and find “thinner peace”
Beck’s book, The Four Day Win, is a useful tool for anyone struggling with their weight and losing the battle by experimenting with fad diets and calories restrictions. Each chapter ends with a psychological exercise to help you rid your diet thinking and break old habits, while forming new healthy habits. She also teaches you how to get your brain and your body to work together and make weight loss a reality.

The other nice thing about The Four Day Win is the jump start program Beck offers. If you are like most dieters, you want to see results immediately. With this program, you can. She tells you exactly what parts you need to read in advance to get started and see results within four days. She then advises that you return to the beginning of the book and work through the entire program for lasting change and to discover a new, healthier, and thinner you.

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Celebrities Can Flip on Weight Issues

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weight issues

Leading up to the 2004 presidential election, many of Senator John Kerry's detractors accused him of "flip-flopping" on issues including a spending bill, and he ultimately lost the election.

Celebrities may not have to worry about their inconsistencies and turnarounds derailing political careers, so there is less at stake when stars flip-flop on their weight and their opinions of their body image.

In no aspect of a celeb's heavily scrutinized existence is changing the mind on an issue more prevalent, perhaps, than the area of body image.

Entertainment and celebrity gossip magazines constantly feature celebrities who have gained weight, lost weight or simply have toned up an already svelte physique.

The latest issue of V Magazine is its size issue and features plus-size models Candice Huffine, Marquita Pring, Michelle Olson, Tara Lynn, and Kasia P. on its pages wearing enticing outfits and in some photos nothing at all.

Photographer Solve Sundsbo's spread in the magazine is one of the first significant plus-size feature in high fashion, according to The Independent.
If this issue reaches the public in a positive way it could spell the end of women being expected to have no curves and no pounds to spare.

Plenty of "plus-size" actresses and singers become popular, but press coverage typically focuses on their weight, shape and confidence about the two.

Kelly Clarkson Changes Shape

Kelly Clarkson became the first winner of American Idol in 2002 and while she’s had many hit songs and remains one of the most popular pop artists around, she still is plagued by comments about her robust body.

In the September issue of Self, Clarkson said she is content with her body.

"When people talk about my weight, I'm like, 'You seem to have a problem with it; I don't. I'm fine!'"

Clarkson's motivation for exercising isn't to lose weight. "I do it totally for my psyche," she explains. "I'm much better when those endorphins are going. It's a release. And I also love food, so there's a payoff!"

She says she doesn’t spend much time focusing on a diet.

“I'm never trying to lose weight – or gain it. I'm just being," Clarkson said.

Ugly Betty star America Ferrera is another celebrity whose image plays a major aspect in her career. Her breakout role was in the 2002 film Real Women Have Curves, in which she and other women participated in a scene which showed realistic bodies in lingerie.

Redheads Like Christina Hendricks Have More Fun, But Still Are Scrutinized

Even Lindsay Lohan was criticized for her weight, when in 2004 she appeared with a rotund face and fuller thighs. She lost a tremendous amount of weight and in more recent photos her vertebrae are visible.

In the show Mad Men, which features the slim actress January Jones, it is the curvaceous Christina Hendricks who garners more attention. The chesty redhead is given the opportunity to advertise her plush derriere and ample bosom in the many ‘60s-era wardrobe items on the show. She, fortunately for viewers, hasn’t changed her figure into anything less appealing.

Kim Kardashian Didn't Keep Up With Her Original Opinion

Kim Kardashian is famous for, as The Soup’s Joel McHale says, “having a big ass and a sex tape” and her curvy body and fuller, yet fit frame led her onto the pages of many magazines. The stories in these magazines make a point of indicating K-Dash’s full figure and for a while she proudly flaunted it, including on the cover of and inside Playboy in 2007.

After a QuickTrim commercial K-Dash is hearing criticism from fans.

Kim is finally addressing such talk. Appearing on Atlanta’s Q100 yesterday, she insisted she isn't really that thin, saying:

"I don't have a problem telling people, 'Hey, look, I have cellulite!' I do everything I can in my power to fix it. I never said cellulite was cute. But I have it. I embrace it, I'm okay with it!"

K-Dash and sister Klohe appeared in a QuikTrim commercial together in which Kim Kardashian is seen emerging from a swimming pool sporting a midriff which allows people to see her ribs pressing against the skin.

Before, Kardashian claims, "I just wasn't comfortable in a bikini.”

Kate Winslet starred in Titanic and was catapulted to fame … and scrutiny. She got the best of the press when she won a lawsuit against British tabloid publication The Daily Mail which stated she lied about exercising in the days leading up to the 2009 Academy Awards.

Winslet said the story left her feeling “distressed and embarrassed.”

"I strongly believe that women should be encouraged to accept themselves as they are, so to suggest that I was lying was an unacceptable accusation of hypocrisy," she said.

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Change Habits Through Hypnosis

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Using Subconscious Thoughts to Lose Weight


What is Hypnosis?

It is a safe weight loss method that taps into your subconscious thinking, which controls your habits. It is a relaxed state when the hypnotist can suggest positive ideas so you can change your habits and naturally change your mindset.

Can Hypnosis Help Me Lose Weight?

Absolutely! In as little as one session you’ll be able to change your subconscious thoughts about food and exercise. Permanent weight loss is possible through repeat sessions to reinforce these thoughts.

Also, the more you are hypnotized, the easier it will be to reach a deeper, more relaxed state of mind.

What Happens During Hypnosis?

First, you’ll be asked to sit comfortably or lie down. The hypnotist will speak in a steady, controlled tone and walk you through the process of becoming completely relaxed. He may ask you to visualize yourself in a plush green forest, under rays of cleansing bright sunlight or to decent a steep staircase to reach your subconscious mind.

Once you are completely relaxed the hypnotist will spend a few moments telling you powerful, positive statements. At this time he can also plant "anchors." An anchor links a thought to an action. An example is that touching your fingertips together will remind you to make healthy food choices.

After the statements have been made, he will gently bring you out of the hypnosis. If you mentally walked down a long flight of stairs, you’ll be coming back up them. The hypnotist will count: 3, 2, 1 and you’ll open your eyes feeling refreshed and relaxed.

He will tell you about any anchors he planted and how you can retrieve the thought with the trigger action.

What Does Hypnosis Feel Like?

Though it is common to fall asleep while being hypnotized, it is not a trans and you are fully awake and aware of what is going on around you. Your body should feel completely relaxed to the point that it is unmovable, but your mind is sharp and aware. You are able to pull yourself out of the hypnosis at any time and can choose not to accept any of the statements given by the hypnotist.

Does it Work?

Paired with a sensible eating pattern and regular exercise, hypnosis can be an effective weight loss tool.

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Change Your BMI to Tighten Loose Skin

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tighten loose skin

Sometimes losing weight presents new problems for people. Not all of the fat in your body that breaks up is burned off immediately. There can be fatty tissue under your skin that is stubborn and takes extra time and dedication to burn off. Meanwhile, the body appears to be covered in a layer of sagging skin. This loose skin is virtually harmless. However, it can cause hygiene problems because the extra folds of skin rub against other parts of the body. It’s not vision of a healthy body either. Tightening loose skin can become a major issue for people who have lost a significant amount of weight.

The solution to tightening the loose skin is to change your BMI. What does this mean? It means you need to build lean body mass while continuing to lose body fat. While everyone has a unique goal based on their own height and body frame, the general goal is to have a BMI less than 30. Depending on your body frame, it may be necessary to work towards a BMI on the lower end of your healthy range. It isn't easy to change your BMI if you are already in a healthy routine, but it can be done with persistence.
  • Continue with a healthy diet
  • Do cardio exercises most days of the week
  • Perform strength training exercises several times per week
  • Limit sweets and processed foods
  • Include plenty of protein in your diet
Getting your body composition within the normal range is the most natural way of reducing sagging skin after weight loss. Lean body mass is often reduced, along with body fat, when people lose weight. Building your lean body mass gives your skin something to hold it firmly in place.

It’s also important to know the difference between flabby skin and loose skin. Loose skin can be surgically removed. It is the thin layer of skin that hangs off the body when a lot of weight is lost. Flabby skin, on the other hand, cannot be helped by having a body lift. This skin is still filled with pockets of fat. The first step in this case is to burn more fat.

Though it isn’t a quick fit answer to reducing the appearance of sagging skin, it is important to know that your skin can restore itself over time. Dedicate yourself to a healthy lifestyle and keeping physically active to gradually tighten the loose skin. You didn’t gain weight or lose weight overnight and your skin isn’t able to restore itself overnight either.

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Chemicals That Make You Fat

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Even when a dieter is faithfully following a weight loss program, the progress can still be slow. Most dieters know about counting calories and exercise, but not many people realize the effect of chemical compounds known as obesogens that can interrupt metabolism which affects obesity.

What Are Obesogens?

Obesogens are chemical compounds that are foreign to the human body. They’re able to upset homeostasis, which is an equilibrium bodily state where all systems of the body are properly working, as well as interacting so a person’s body has all his needs met. These chemical compounds can cause a person to have more fat cells, besides altering metabolism.

The Top Three Obesogens

According to the Reevolver website there are three main obesogens.
Bisphenol (BPA) is a chemical that’s mainly used in making plastics that have recycling codes 3 and 7, according to Being Healthy It’s also found in liners of food cans.

Organotins are biocides which are chemicals commonly used in medicines and agriculture. They’re usually found in produce that’s conventionally grown.
Phthalates, also called plasticizers, are those chemicals found in personal care products such as shampoos, lotions and perfumes.

Ways to Avoid Obesogens

Although it’s impossible to totally eliminate obesogens, there are steps consumers can take to reduce the amount of exposure to these harmful substances. One way is to eat more organic foods that aren’t treated with pesticides. People living in small towns may find it harder to find organic foods, but they can usually find them at local farmers markets. Non-organic fruits and vegetables should be scrubbed thoroughly before consuming.

  • Buying canned foods in cans that don’t contain BPA is lowers the amount of obsesogens. For example, Eden and Vital Choice are two companies certifying their can liners are safe.
  • Choose only organic personal care products.
  • Avoid using plastic food containers. Rather than storing leftovers in plastic containers, use aluminum or glass containers. Foil and wax paper are also options for storing food.
  • Eliminate “gelled rubber” from the home. Examples are the stretchy rubber items that are bendable such as fishing worms and children’s toys that are made with phthalates.
  • Wrap meat, poultry and fish in paper rather than plastic. When buying from a butcher, request freezing paper.
  • Don’t use plastic cups or Styrofoam. It’s better to take a personal cup or mug when traveling than use plastic or Styrofoam cups.
  • Avoid meat and poultry raised on hormones. Only eat from cows, chickens and other animals that were grass fed. Also, try to find locally grown meat and eat fish grown locally.
  • Grow your own produce.

Finally, although obesogens do affect the body and weight loss, it’s important to not become obsessed with them. In other words, use moderation and common sense, while being aware of how obesogens can affect the body and weight loss. Even though chemicals may be left in clothes that are dry cleaned, if there’s limited time to iron, don’t worry about the effect of obesogens. In other words, use balance and don't become paranoid.

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Childhood Obesity Addressed in Seven Steps

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childhood obesity

Obesity in America is a growing epidemic and cause of grave concern to everyone, including the medical profession, the health care industry and government officials drafting a new health care plan. Childhood obesity can be the start of the lifetime of weight problems and the health problems that accompany too much weight.

Childhood Obesity is Serious

Childhood obesity is of particular concern, because children who are overweight often struggle with their weigh for a lifetime. Obesity is related to serious medical conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Obesity may be caused by hormonal and genetic factors, but is most often caused by the combination of eating too much and not enough activity. A doctor can conduct a health assessment to make sure that the obesity is not due to an underlying medical condition. If medical intervention is needed to help the child to lose weight, the doctor can provide guidance.

Seven Steps to Success

The panel of experts, including physicians and psychologists, has outlined lifestyle changes in an article titled "Seven Steps to Success: A Handout for Parents of Overweight Children and Adolescents." The article defines seven steps that increase in intensity, including medical management, education, environmental changes, support groups, cognitive-behavior therapy and bariatric surgery.

It is important for parents and other family members to support the child's efforts to lose weight. Parents should take the lead in introducing healthy diet and encourage physical activity and exercise. If parents find that they cannot help their children lose weight with a nutritious eating plan and physical activity, it may be time to consult a doctor. Medical intervention is the first step of this seven step plan.

A medical professional can conduct a physical examination to make sure that there is no underlying medical condition that is causing obesity. In the education phase, the doctor can offer guidance about diet and exercise. A nutritionist may be consulted, to help identify dietary missteps and to make nutrition recommendations. The environment in the home and neighborhood can help to identify pitfalls, such as numerous fast food restaurants and no parks and places to exercise in. The seventh step, bariatric surgery, would only be used as a last resort.

The 7 Steps to Success articles outlines the progression of treatment options for children and family members, so that they can work together to treat obesity in children and adolescents.

Information in this article is not intended as medical advice. If you have questions about treatment for overweight or obesity, please consult a physician.

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Childhood Overweight Often Goes Undiagnosed

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childhood overweight

Overweight children can easily progress from being a few pounds too heavy to obesity, which can progress into serious health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Proper diagnoses can alert parents to a developing medical issue that can have a lifelong impact.

Studies have indicated that one-third of American children are overweight, but a new study has shown that only one-third of the overweight children are diagnosed as overweight or obese by a pediatrician.

The study, led by researchers at The MetroHealth System and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, noted that failure to diagnose appears to mostly impact the children who could benefit the most from early intervention. The study is published in the January issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Study Finds Overweight Children Undiagnosed

Researchers reviewed BMI measurements that were recorded for 60,711 children who were between 2-18 years old two had at least one well child visit between the years of 1999 and 2007 at MetroHealth.

According to the BMI Measurements:
  • 19% (11,277) of the children were overweight
  • 23% (14,105) were obese
  • 8% (4,670) severely obese
Researchers found that increasing their BMI percentiles increased the likelihood of diagnosis. Severely obese and obese children were more likely to be diagnosed than overweight children.
  • 76% of severely obese children were diagnosed
  • 54% of obese children were diagnosed
  • 10% of overweight patients received proper diagnosis.

Early Detection of Overweight Can Lead to Intervention

Lead author, David C. Kaelber, MD., PhD, M.P.H., said; "Despite having set pediatric BMI guidelines, this is a bit of a wake-up call to pediatricians that as many as 90% of overweight children are not being properly diagnosed.” Kaelber continued, “Better identification of this group of children who have just crossed into the 'unhealthy' weight category is essential for early intervention which will hopefully prevent not only a childhood of increased health problems, but also what now often becomes an ongoing battle through adulthood with life-long issues.”

The study indicates that children who have crossed into unhealthy weight may not be getting proper diagnoses in time to alert doctors and parents to intervene and improve the child’s health with weight control.

Without intervention, the children who are classed as overweight can cross over into obesity, which can have serious health consequences.

Causes of Childhood Overweight

According to the Mayo Clinic website, childhood overweight is usually caused by a combination of eating too many calories and too little activity. Children need extra nutrition during their important growing years. A nutritionist may recommend a diet that fulfills the need for a nutrition rich diet while reducing empty calories.

Lifestyle issues are usually the cause of weight problems in children, but there may also be genetic diseases and hormonal disorders that can predispose a child to obesity. A doctor can diagnose any medical problems that could cause overweight and make a recommendation to encourage children to reach a healthy weight.

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Choose to Lose Weight

8:38 AM Weight Loss Trainer 0 Comments

So you want to lose weight? Well, the choice is truly yours. To successfully reach your weight loss goals, you must consistently make the right choices to support your goals.

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Though most people don’t consciously make the choice to become or stay overweight, we do certain things to contribute to the problem, either consciously or subconsciously.

Each of the choices we make lead to consequences. Good choices foster positive results and bad choices can cause your progress to come to a grinding halt, or worse yet, create a negative result.

You can make the right choices for your weight loss plan by accepting a positive, can-do attitude. Put a positive spin on everything and look for the silver lining. Often items when we experience difficulty it is because there is a lesson to be learned.

Even for small everyday things like overdoing it on the snacks in the afternoon, it can be a lesson to eat a heartier breakfast so you won’t get the munchies later in the day. If you look at it in this light, learn from the lesson, forgive yourself and move on, you will be successful. But if you dwell on the mistake and stress yourself you are likely to eat more because you are feeling bad and get into a negative spiral that is hard to break free from.

The same is true for exercise. If you choose to walk everyday and build up over time to include other activities and increase the length and intensity of your workouts, you will succeed at losing weight. You will set yourself on the right track for positive results. But if you let things get in the way or procrastinate you are making a less productive choice and will see little or no change in your weight.

It is our collective choices that make our program fail or succeed. What will you choose?

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Choosing a Teen Weight Loss Camp

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teen weight loss camp

Years ago there were only a handful of teen weight loss camps to choose from. With exponentially increasing childhood obesity in rates never before seen in the United States’ history, today there are a myriad of camp options and choices for parents and children. What should one look for in a summer weight loss camp?

Start With Causes of Teen Obesity

Obesity in adolescence results from unhealthy eating habits, lack of physical activity, or both combined, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Parents and teens should take these factors into account and select a weight loss camp that addresses both of the causes. Learning about a summer camp’s specialized nutritional plan and credibility must be a priority. The weight loss camp experience is meant to jumpstart young adults’ change in lifestyle. Finding a camp with a variety of activities will ease the facilitation of the transition as the camper will have more chances of participating in programs they are already interested in and have the opportunity to discover a new recreation. “When anyone, child or adult, has a personal interest in an activity, they are motivated to get involved,” said camp director Ira Green of non-profit Camp Shining Stars in Wilson, North Carolina. “We are the only camp that allows campers to choose from three activity options. It’s a win-win situation, campers work harder in activities they have selected on their own and we love teaching campers who have a real interest in learning.”

Effects of Teen Obesity

Choosing a teen summer weight loss camp is a positive step in preventing dangerous health problems in modern youth’s future. Teen Vogue published a startling health feature in June 2009 that outlined adolescents experiencing high cholesterol, premature heart disease, strokes, fatty livers, high blood pressure and glucose levels associated with a diabetic future. Also, more than three quarters of children with diabetes today have the type 2 version, which used to be known as “adult-onset.” Offering children a nurturing environment where they can learn better food choices, increase their activity and participate in a community with the same exclusive goal is an investment in the comfort, enjoyment and longevity of their life.

Camp Life

“Teenagers have a right to privacy,” writes Mary King, author of “Teenage Weight Loss Tips Reflect Young Lifestyle." Determining which camps offer a discreet, private residence life may increase the productivity of the camper’s time. Ask the weight loss camp many questions about camp life and gather as much information as possible. Open communication between parents and their child is vital. Educating the camper on what his or her options are will allow them to be more involved in the selection and happy with the new choices they will be making toward a healthier future.

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Can a Calorie Calculator Help With Weight Loss?

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Calorie Calculator

Those that are looking to lose weight may find it easy to get started. The change in eating habits this often involves may give many people an immediate weight loss boost. Sustaining this may be harder. Once the body adapts to a change in diet, the individual may need to think more about issues like the calorie, cholesterol and fat content of the food they eat. A calorie calculator may be a useful tool here.

What are Calorie Calculators?

These tools (also often called trackers or counters) are aimed at helping the individual assess the food that they eat. So, for example, they may be able to use a calculator to find out how many calories are in a specific food or portion size. Some counters may also give further information such as typical fat content.

These kinds of calculators are available online and are often free to use. In some cases they may be included in the subscription cost of a broader weight loss program such as a meal planner or online diet journal. It is also possible to buy a hand held calorie counter or to download applications to certain types of phones.

What are Calorie Trackers Used For?

People will use these tools for a variety of reasons. For example, they may want to:
  • Meal plan (on a daily or weekly basis) to make sure that what they eat sticks to their recommended calorie intake each day.
  • Check out the content of a specific food to see how healthy or unhealthy it is.
  • Monitor their fat or cholesterol intake for either medical or dietary reasons. People on the Alli diet, for example, must be careful not to consume too much fat and a tracker could help them keep an eye on their intake.
  • Use a combined calorie checker/burner tool to assess how many calories they have burned off with exercise.
  • Work out what their daily calorie intake should be.

Not all calculators offer the same services and it may be worth checking a few out before choosing one to use.

Why Count Calories?

Everyone has a specific daily calorie intake that will keep them fit and healthy. People with weight problems often consume too many calories for their body shape and size and for the levels of exercise that they take. An individual that eats too many calories will basically see what isn't burned off turned into fat.

On a weight loss plan their intake may be set at a certain level. If they can stick to this (and get their recommended amount of daily exercise) then the individual stands a better chance of losing weight consistently and of keeping it off in the future.

But, those who haven't paid much attention to this in the past may need a helping hand. Working out how to fit foods into a daily calorie intake can be made a lot easier if they can assess the content of what they eat on a numerical basis.

So, for example, if an individual is given a calorie limit of 1600 calories a day, then using this kind of tool can make it much easier to understand both how to eat more healthily and how to build meals that will stick to their limit. They know how many calories they should eat and a calorie tracker can help them plan meals and/or track food content quickly and simply.

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Calculating BMI for Body Fat and Health Risks

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Calculating BMI

Body Mass Index (BMI) is an indicator of relative body fat. The body mass index calculation takes into consideration the ratio of weight to height, and defines what weight category a person falls into. As such, by calculating BMI one can help predict health risks for weight associated diseases, and may want to consider their weight management options.

What is BMI - Body Mass Index?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is an indicator of relative body fat that can be used to predict a person’s risk for weight associated diseases. It is determined using a simple calculation that takes into consideration the ratio of weight to height, and defines what weight category a person falls into. As such, BMI is used to classify whether a person is underweight, of normal weight, overweight or obese.

The Body Mass Index Calculation

BMI is defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in metres (kg/m2).
As such, the body mass index calculation uses the following equation:
BMI = Weight / (Height)2

How Does Calculating BMI Correlate to Normal Weight, Underweight, Overweight or Obese?

According to the WHO, a person is:
  • of normal weight if their BMI lies between 18.5 and 25 kg/m2.
  • underweight if their BMI falls below 18.5 kg/m2
  • overweight if their BMI lies between 25kg/m2 and 30kg/m2
  • obese if their BMI falls above 30kg/m2

Implications of Calculating BMI

By calculating BMI to determine if one is underweight, overweight, obese or of normal weight, a person may realise if they are at risk of weight-related complications and whether they should consider implementing a weight management strategy. Overweight, obese and underweight each pose health risks, and can lead to various complications and diseases, some of which can be life-threatening.

Health Risks When Body Mass Calculation = Overweight or Obesity
It is well known that excess weight is linked with certain diseases. These health risks are especially high for obesity, which is associated with life-threatening conditions including cancer, diabetes, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, heart disease and stroke. Of note is heart disease, which is the number one cause of death for obese people.

Studies have shown that even a small weight loss - as little as 10% - can help lower the health risks for developing weight-associated diseases.

If a person is found to fall in the overweight or obese category, they may want to think about employing some lifestyle changes or investigate other options in order to reach a more healthy weight.

Besides diet and exercise, weight loss options include obesity drug treatments and surgery. Obesity drug treatment is usually only employed when changes in lifestyle measures have failed. In addition, whether one is suitable for weight loss treatment with an obesity drug will depend on various factors, including their BMI status and any other known health risks, such as diabetes or dyslipidaemia. Restrictive weight loss surgery is usually only employed for morbidly obese patients.

Health Risks When Body Mass Index Calculation = Underweight

Of course, being underweight is associated with health problems as well. First, underweight may indicate malnutrition, an eating disorder, or an underlying cause for weight loss that is not as evident. In addition, being underweight increases one’s health risk for osteoporosis, infertility and a weakened immune system.

For anyone concerned about calculating BMI and the resultant health risks, it is suggested that they seek help from a health professional regarding their weight gain or weight loss options.
By simply calculating BMI, one can gain an indication of the amount of relative body fat they have and determine which weight category they fall into. If a person’s BMI falls within the underweight, overweight or obesity ranges, they can then assess their lifestyle and possibly seek professional help in order to determine what changes may be made reach a more healthy weight and prevent future complications and diseases.

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Brown Fat Equals Good Fat

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Brown Fat

Fat, usually associated with white or yellow globules that stick to your body in unwanted areas, may not be as bad as previously thought. Some fat, primarily brown fat, or baby fat, may actually help in the battle of obesity. Unlike its white counterpart that stores energy, brown fat burns calories to generate body heat.

Until recently, brown fat was thought to exist only in infants. But researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, Massachusetts, found that not only do adults have brown fat, but those who are thinner have more than those who are not.

Who has Brown Fat?

Researchers believe that most adults have brown fat located primarily in the neck, above the collarbone and in the upper chest area. But the amount each person has depends on specific factors. Mainly, younger adults have more than older, thinner adults with normal blood glucose levels have more than those who are obese, women are more likely to have it than men, and patients who use heart drugs known as beta blockers have less brown fat deposits.

Help in the Fight Against Obesity and Diabetes
All three studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine on April 8, 2009, examined tissue sample from over 2000 patients. Scientists used a high-tech imaging positron-emission tomography and computed tomography (PET-CT) scan to determine how many calories were used and how much fat was burned.

The results suggest that brown fat plays an important role in regulating blood glucose levels and burning excess calories. It also shows that brown fat is more active in colder weather.
According to the article by Linda A. Johnson, “Watching Your Waistline? Fat May Be Your Friend,” published by the Associated Press on April 9, 2009 scientists are excited about the potential this research has for the ability to control obesity and diabetes treatment as well.

In the CNN article, “Brown Fat Burns Calories—May Lead to New Obesity Treatments, by Anne Harding on April 10, 2009, Dr. Aaron Cypress of the Joslin Diabetes Center suggests that these preliminary results may lead to the creation of drugs that help increase brown fat activity and burn extra calories. As of right now, the drugs on the market to fend obesity primarily try to decrease calorie intake.

Healthy Diet and Exercise Still Important

But Cypress also warns that brown fat alone will not contribute to dramatic weight loss. Even those who had high levels of brown fat only burned an additional 500 calories. Healthy eating habits as well as exercise is still the best way to lose weight.

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Build Muscle to Tighten Loose Skin

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Tighten Loose Skin

Losing weight takes time, dedication, commitment and a lot of effort. Losing a lot of weight and maintaining the weight loss requires a complete lifestyle change. Unfortunately, many people are unhappy with their bodies after they lose a significant amount of weight because they have excess loose skin.

How Loose Skin Develops

Loose skin can occur if you lose weight too quickly, have carried the weight for many years, are getting older and have less elasticity to your skin or if you fail to exercise while you lose the weight. Diet alone isn't enough to reduce hanging skin. Even dieters who feel they have done everything correctly find themselves with excess loose skin.

Building Muscle to Tighten Loose Skin

There are some things you can do to tighten loose skin after losing weight, however. It's not a magic trick or an overnight fix, but it can be done over time with a commitment to exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

Eat the right foods. Eating the right proportion of protein and carbs at every meal helps build muscle that tightens hanging skin. For best results include nuts, lean protein, poultry, oats, eggs, fish, fruits and vegetables in your diet.

The muscle you build under your skin helps to fill out the hanging skin left by fat loss. Your body takes on a tighter, firmer appearance over time with the help of resistance training.
Muscle revs up your metabolism. As a side effect of exercising regularly, building additional muscle mass fires up your body's metabolism. This allows you to burn calories faster, burning off the hidden layers of fat and giving your body a toned look.

Tips for Building Muscle to Reduce Hanging Skin

  • Focus on working the major muscles of the body. Though it may be tempting to spot train certain problems areas, it is less effective overall. Sagging skin under the arm will tighten up over time with a combination of resistance training and cardio. It isn't necessary to do endless repetitions of bicep curls or triceps kickbacks to see results.
  • Take time between workouts to rest your muscles. Your muscles grow when they are resting. The ideal workout schedule is to either do resistance training every other day or divide your upper and lower body workouts and alternate them.
  • Drink extra water and green tea to help kick your metabolism into overdrive.
  • Gradually increase the amount of weights you lift and the number of reps per set. Don't let your body adjust to a workout routine. Switch up your resistance training schedule often to throw your body off guard and allow it to keep burning calories and fat at a higher rate.
  • Use interval training as part of your resistance training. Alternate heavy and light session to produce better fat loss results and tighten loose skin.
  • Change your BMI to tighten loose skin. Changing your body composition can drastically change how your body looks.
Though other options exist, such as body creams and surgery, the best way to remove loose hanging skin is to follow a healthy lifestyle, eat right and commit to weight training in order to build muscle and burn more fat.

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Burn Body Fat with Herbs and Spices

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herbs and spices

Of the many herbs and spices available, the best fat burners include those with high levels of spiciness. Cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne peppers, ginger, cloves and curry spices all boost fat burning and contribute to weight loss.

Cinnamon in the Diet Boosts Fat Burning

Adding cinnamon to food and drinks can give a healthy and festive flavor to meals, but it also may be one of the best spices for everyone from dieters to diabetics. The beneficial properties of cinnamon come from its proven ability to modulate blood sugar and help the body process carbohydrates.

According to a 2004 report from the USDA, as little as a half to one teaspoon a day can affect blood sugar levels, and similar amounts have also been shown to lower LDL, the bad cholesterol, levels. Oatmeal, hot cocoa, tea and fruit can all be flavored with cinnamon. Diet foods have never tasted so good.

Cardamom as a Thermogenic Herb

The Indian spice cardamom is known as a thermogenic herb, one that increases metabolism and helps burn body fat. In Ayurveda, the Indian system of regulating dietary health, cardamom is considered one of the best digestive aids and is believed to soothe the digestive system and help the body process other foods more efficiently. The spice is popular in Indian and Scandinavian food, but can also be added to tea and coffee to add a quick and easy fat burning boost.

Cayenne Pepper Spices Up the Fat Burn

As anyone who has taken a bite of hot pepper can attest, cayenne is a distinctly hot spice. But the heating effect doesn't end at the tongue. Cayenne pepper actually increases body temperature and speeds up metabolism, making it one of the best fat burning spices available. The active ingredient is capsaicin, which is also present in other spicy peppers. Add cayenne to Mexican, Cajun and other foods to spice up weight loss.

Cloves Help Burn Body Fat

Cloves are pungent spices commonly used in baking and to flavor meat dishes, but they also provide the added benefit of boosting metabolism and increasing weight loss. Like cinnamon, this herb lowers blood glucose, improving the body's ability to regulate insulin levels and prevent diabetes, according to Dr. Alam Khan of the Agricultural University in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Curry as the Secret to an Asian Weight Loss Diet

Curry, actually made up of a variety of spices including turmeric and cumin, is a powerful herbal blend that works best when the spices are used in combination with each other. Popular in Asian foods, including Indian and Thai cuisines, curry provides weight loss effects that could be the secret that keeps people in Asian cultures so thin in comparison to people following a typical western diet.

Ginger Boosts Metabolism and Burns Fat

A study by Australian scientists found that ginger increases metabolism, making it one of the best herbs for weight loss around. Ginger is also considered a thermogenic food and is commonly used in Asian cooking. Home cooks can toss some ginger into a soup or stir fry to gain the fat burning boost.

One of the best things about using herbs and spices to help with weight loss is that it takes so little, often no more than a teaspoon a day, to gain the beneficial effects. Using spices to burn body fat may be one of the easiest, and tastiest, ways to lose weight ever discovered. For the best fat burning diet, home cooks can mix spices with other foods that burn fat, increasing the beneficial effects and bringing their weight loss to a new level.

Khan A, Safdar M, Ali Khan MM, Khattak KN, Anderson RA. Cinnamon improves glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2003 Dec;26(12):3215-8. 2003.
Dr. Alam Khan, Presentation: Experimental Biology 2006 conference, San Francisco, CA. April, 2006
Margriet Westerterp-Plantenga , et al. Metabolic effects of spices, teas, and caffeine. Physiology & Behavior Volume 89, Issue 1, 30 August 2006
Bordia A, et al. Effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.) and fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum L.) on blood lipids, blood sugar and platelet aggregation in patients with coronary artery disease. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 1997 May;56(5):379-84.

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