Sorry that the posts have been few and far between lately! I am working on a new, improved website that will have tons of info and daily updates and lots of information for everyone from starting weight loss to maintenance! Stay tuned!!!!
This could be a month long post!! I will begin with a wonderful piece I found on line that shows the Low-Carb version of why we gain or can’t lose weight! I will come from a bunch of angles for this for a while as I am a believer you can lose weight many different ways. I lost weight by following an adequate protien / lower carb plan with a physician supervised program called Medi-Weightloss. I lost 300 pounds following this plan. I know lots of other people that have lost weight on juicing or low fat or , well, I could name a ton of different ones! Anyway, you will find this piece very informative and kinda funny! Let me know what you think!!
If you’ve never tried a stair stepping machine (StairMaster, stair climber, etc.), you’re missing out on a fantastic cardio exercise that strengthens your legs and lungs at the same time. A stair stepper is a moderate-intensity option that anyone can do.
Not all stair stepping machines are alike, but most offer workout variables based on three things: resistance, pace, and foot position.
Start with a low resistance and ramp up until you have to push in order to move the pedal back down. If the pedal’s doing the work, resistance is too light. Don’t lean on the side rails or handles; these are for balance only.
Most machines allow you to control how fast the pedals move, either manually or in a preprogrammed workout. Go fast enough so that during the peak of your workout, you can answer a question comfortably, but not carry on a conversation.
Most of the time, you should start with your foot flat on the pedal, rising up onto your toes slightly as the pedal raises. But if you’d like to work your hamstrings or calves, you can scoot your feet back so your heels are off the pedal, pushing you up on your toes more fully and frequently.
*Extra Tip: Your body position should be upright at all times. Don’t lean your weight into the handlebars or console. Leaning to the sides or front of the machine actually decreases your workload dramatically and increases your risk of injury due to improper form. Think about standing tall and letting your hands just lightly touch the handlebars for support.
Here is a handout that Medi-Weightloss Clinics® put out about the importance of fiber in your diet! Check it out!
Fiber is classified into two categories; soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber is considered roughage and does not break down easily. This type of fiber passes through the digestive track faster and helps relieve constipation. Soluble fiber is thick and absorbs/retains water. The soluble property forms a gel and slows digestion. Soluble fiber has been known to stabilize blood glucose, allow better nutrient absorption, and increase the feeling of fullness.
Constipation is defined as not producing a bowel movement for three or more days. Your bowel patterns may change while on the Medi-Weightloss Clinics® Program. For example, you may experience less frequent bowel movements due to your decreased food consumption. As long as your stools are soft, you are not constipated. Medi-Weightloss Clinics® Inner Balance is a crucial component of the program designed to promote regular bowel function. Adults, take one to two (1-2) capsules, as a dietary supplement, twice daily with at least 8 oz of water or other fluid. Taking this product without enough liquid may cause choking. See choking warning on supplement label!
Questions to Ask Yourself:
1. Am I drinking enough water?
2. Am I eating green vegetables?
3. Are my stools soft?
Use Medi-Weightloss Clinics® Inner Balance as your first choice to avoid constipation. If unresolved, you may try these over-the-counter fiber supplements: Benefiber®, Unifiber®, or Fibersure®. It is important to read the label on all over-the-counter products as they may contain calories and carbohydrates.
Guidelines for Consuming Fiber
1. Increase consumption of foods high in fiber or supplements gradually to prevent gastrointestinal side effects such as gas and bloating.
2. It is important to increase your fluid intake when you increase the amount of fiber in your diet.
Foods High in Fiber
Collard greens, Raspberries
Avocados without skin, Broccoli,
Fitness Management Magazine conducted a study to determine the role of weight training on body composition changes. In this study, 72 overweight men and women were put into two groups. Both ate the same diets and exercised 30 minutes a day for 8 weeks. But one group followed a typical weight-loss exercise program, spending all 30 minutes on aerobic exercise, while the second group did 15 minutes of aerobic exercise (exercycling) and 15 minutes of weight training (Nautilus machines). Here are the results:
|Exercise Program||Body Weight Changes||Fat Weight Changes||Muscle Weight Changes|
|Endurance exercise only||-3.5 pounds||-3.0 pounds||-0.5 pounds|
|Endurance and strength exercise||-8.0 pounds||-10.0 pounds||+2.0 pounds|
That moment when you decide to just say, “To heck with the diet”, and then you spend 2 or 3 or 7 days reverting to your previous food plan gains you what? WEIGHT! Then you kick yourself again after you step on the scales and they tell you that you have ANOTHER 10 or 20 pounds to lose! Why do we do this? I think there are several reasons!
Stress or Anxiety is a big factor in overeating! It doesn’t matter where the stress or emotional tension comes from (work, family, school, etc.), everyone needs to deal with daily frustrations in some way. So, you’re not a nail-biter. And there’s no way you’re going to pull any hair out of your head after seeing uncle Joe go bald at 22.
So what do you do when you’re stressed? Eat. Emotional eating may sound like a problem more often experienced by women, but some men deal with emotional upheaval by overeating as well. Whether it’s due to stress, courtesy of your unbelievably demanding boss, or anxiety over a breakup, when life becomes stressful, many men overeat to sublimate frustrations.
Eating gives people a feeling of control and power, and the sensory experience of taste and the comfort of a full stomach may act as distractions from the problems you want to avoid.
Boredom eating is the other issue that comes to mind! You may overeat because there’s nothing better to do. Think about it: All of your buddies are busy with their girlfriends and the only thing worth watching on TV is the Discovery Channel special on bats — and you’ve already seen it, twice. But, hey, it’ll be a lot more interesting if you watch it while eating a bag of chips, right?
Many men also eat just for the sake of eating, even when the TV isn’t on. Eating is a visceral, sensory activity, and charges up the senses — which is why eating is often seen as a form of entertainment in and of itself. Sure, it might be fun, but it’s not the kind of hobby that will help your golf game or make you a more engaging conversationalist.
Are you in a rut? Are you having a hard time losing weight or even gaining while you’re actively trying to lose it? There are several things that can contribute to this issue. One of which is lack of sleep! Susan Zafarlotfi, PhD, clinical director of the Institute for Sleep and Wake Disorders at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey states in an article that addresses this issue on Web,MD, “When you have sleep deprivation and are running on low energy, you automatically go for a bag of potato chips or other comfort foods”. This article explains that a large portion of the population goes with less than 6 hours of sleep per night. If the average person who gets 5 hours per night were to get 7 instead, you would be surprised on how well the body will begin to work to get rid of that fat! Dr. Micheal Breus, a sleep specialist, wrote an artcle in the Huffington Post that further points out the importance of sleep! He says that “Low sleep causes your body to produce more of the stress-hormone cortisol, which in turn spurs your appetite. ” The Science Daily reported that when dieters in a study got a full night’s sleep, they lost the same amount of weight as when they slept less. When dieters got adequate sleep, however, more than half of the weight they lost was fat. When they cut back on their sleep, only one-fourth of their weight loss came from fat. They also felt hungrier. When sleep was restricted, dieters produced higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger and reduces energy expenditure. Harvard University even reports that lack of sleep can cause lots of problems! They list 6 things that lack of sleep effect!
- Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
- Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
- Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
- Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
- Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
- Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.
How many people do you know who lost weight simply by switching from Coke to Diet Coke?
Probably not many.
That’s because unless followed by other lifestyle changes, choosing diet drinks is absolutely useless.
Diet Soda – What Exactly is it?
Diet sodas are carbonated beverages.
Instead of sugar, they are sweetened with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, cyclamate, saccharin, acesulfame-k or sucralose.
Almost every popular sugar-sweetened beverage on the market has a “light” or a “diet” version… Diet Coke, Pepsi Max, Sprite Zero, etc.
These drinks are calorie free, which technically should help people lose weight and prevent sugar-related diseases like metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
However, the evidence for these beverages having any use is completely nonexistent
Diet Soda and The Metabolic Syndrome
The metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors for disease that often occur together and raise your risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
It is defined as having at least three of the following:
Abdominal obesity (belly fat)
High fasting glucose
Low HDL cholesterol
Elevated blood pressure
Drinking “calorie free” beverages instead of sugary ones does not appear to be helpful against the metabolic syndrome.
In a study published in the journal Circulation in 2008, which followed 9.514 people for 9 years, drinking artificially sweetened beverages was associated with a 34% greater risk of developing the metabolic syndrome (1).
Another study found a 36% increased risk of metabolic syndrome and a drastically increased risk of diabetes in diet soda drinkers (2).
Bottom Line: Observational studies show a correlation between diet soda and the metabolic syndrome, which can lead to serious diseases.
There is an association between diet soda and depression
In a study of 263.925 adults aged 51-70, individuals who drank soda were 30% more likely to be diagnosed with depression over a period of 10 years.
The link was stronger for diet soda than regular soda (3).
Diet soda is also associated with preterm delivery.
In a study of 59.334 pregnant women in Denmark, 1 serving per day of diet drinks was associated with a 38% increased risk of preterm delivery. 4 servings per day increased the risk by 78% (4).
Type II diabetes has increased at an alarming rate in the past few decades and now afflicts about 300 million people worldwide.
This disease is highly associated with obesity and sugar consumption, so some would argue that replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with calorie-free drinks would help.
However, there is no evidence of these drinks being helpful against diabetes.
A study of 6.814 individuals aged 45-85 years, daily consumption of diet soda was associated with a 67% increased risk of type II diabetes (2).
In another study, 66.118 French women were followed for a total of 14 years. Women who consumed the most diet drinks had a 121% greater risk of developing type II diabetes (5).
Data analysis from two large Harvard studies revealed that diet drinks raised diabetes risk in women, but not men. Each daily serving increased the risk of a diabetes diagnosis by 6% (6).
Bottom Line: The association between diet soda and diabetes is very strong, especially in women. One study showed more than a doubling in risk.
The main reason people switch to diet drinks is to cut back on calories in order to lose weight.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work.
In a study of 3.682 individuals from San Antonio, Texas, consumption of diet soda was associated with double the risk of becoming overweight or obese (7).
Other prospective studies also show an association with artificial sweeteners and weight gain (8, 9).
However, we do have one randomized controlled trial, where 318 individuals were split into 3 groups: A control group, a group that replaced sugary soda with water and a group that replaced sugary soda with diet drinks (10):
At the end of the 6-month study, there was no significant difference between all three groups. In this controlled trial, diet soda didn’t make things worse, but didn’t make them better either. Neither did water.
I’d like to point out that many short-term feeding trials show that artificial sweeteners can increase appetite and food intake in the short-term compared to sugar, but other studies show the opposite effect or no effect at all (11, 12, 13, 14, 15).
Bottom Line: Observational studies show a strong link between diet soda and obesity, while one controlled trial shows no effect at all.
Take Home Message
Many of the studies above are so-called epidemiological studies, which can not prove that diet drinks caused anything. Such studies can only show an association.
Whether diet soda can cause harm or not has yet to be proven in controlled trials, but it is clear that there is a strong statistical association between diet soda and disease.
One possible explanation for the link is the fact that people who are already gaining weight are more likely to turn to diet drinks.
There is of course, no physiological need for these drinks in the diet, although many people tend to enjoy them.
I personally choose to avoid diet soft drinks, mainly because I don’t like the way I feel when I drink them and prefer to keep my body as free of artificial chemicals as possible.