After years of having it drilled into our heads that fat was the culprit in our battle with obesity, we are learning that the culprit is sugar aka carbohydrates. Dr. Eric Westman, co-author of “The New Atkins for the New You” states that the human body is a very efficient machine that will burn either carbs or fats. Carbs are nothing but sugars in the body’s view so if we cut down on the number of carbs we take in and switch that mechanism to fat burning, soon the body will see that it has a storage of fat to burn and bingo, you are never hungry! He says you must eat fat to burn fat as it primers the body to burn it! Fredrick Hahn, who wrote “Serious Strength and Slow Burn Fitness Revolution”, also agrees that fat isn’t the bad guy! ” Fat is good. Sugar is bad. ” is my favorite FB quote from him so far! I used to count fats but not anymore. Something else I learned over the weekend, if you are following a low carb diet and slip up and overdo it, it takes three days of strict diet before you get back into ketosis. So if your slipping up on Wednesdays and Saturdays but the rest of the week you are dead on, well, your not really following the diet are you? Just something to think about! Here is a link to a very informative video about low carb dieting you may like! https://today.duke.edu/2012/01/science-and-practice-low-carb-diets#video
Support is another piece to the puzzle! Having some form of support in your weight loss journey is imperative to a successful program! Without it, it is easy to stray away from your plan and either forget about it or make excuses for your failure! Having some form of support just makes it easier to reach your fitness goals. For me, I found support in numerous areas of my life. The staff at my Medi-Weightloss Clinics office in Andover, Kansas also gave me support during my weekly weigh-ins! The educational and emotional support they offered me at each appointment was priceless! I joined TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly). They have chapters throughout the United States and Canada. Chances are you could find one in your area! I went to weekly meetings where we weighed in and had a program that, usually, had something to do about becoming a healthier person. We were awarded for our weight losses each week and were recognized at a state and national level for great losses and for maintaining our losses (KOPS – Keeping Off Pounds Sensibly) annually. I, also, had a great support system of co-workers at KSNW-TV3 where I worked as the Operations Manager for 28 years. My friends and family also gave me support on a daily basis. I weighed in at TOPS on Tuesdays and at Medi-Weightloss Clinics on Fridays! I had the week surrounded! I even had a group of people I worked out with at my gym that supported me and would cheer me on! See! If you look around yourself, you should be able to find some support, whether it is a neighbor who will walk around the block with you or a best friend who is willing to help you start losing weight!
Numeous studies have demonstrated the many healthy benefits of adding fiber to our diets. These include: preventing constipation, stabilizing blood sugar, promoting weight loss, preventing colon cancer, and improving bowel diseases, such as IBS, colitis, and diverticulitis. FIBER PROMOTES WEIGHT LOSS!!
Current scientific research confirms that fiber aids in weight loss in the following ways:
1) Fiber slows and decreases absorbtion of carbohydrates in the small bowel.
2) Fiber decreases the powerful appetite hormone, ghrelin, in the stomach.
3) Fiber improves brain signals to turn on teptin, a hormone that decreases appetite.
4) Fiber decreases absorption of some fatty acids (fats) in the small bowel, helping to suppress excessive insulin peaks.
5) Fiber causes more fatty acids and carbohydrates to go through to the colon where they cannot absorb and where they ferment and form butyrate.
6) Butyrate is a substance that protects the lining of the colon, prevents colon cancer, and heals the bowel in inflammatory diseases such as IBS, diverticulitis, and colitis.
There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Each has slightly different actions, but both are helpful. Using the proper amount of fiber is critical. You need a minimum of 20-30 grams per day. It is important to know the amounts in different foods, so check the labels! IMPORTANT!! 1) Get adequate fluids – 80 – 100 oz’s per day, 2) If you have not been in the habit of having fiber, gradually increase your usage over a period of 2 – 4 weeks.
Why Drinking Water Is Important for Weight Loss
There are many reasons why it is important to drink water, especially if you are dieting:
•Initial weight loss is largely due to loss of water, and you need to drink an adequate amount of water in order to avoid dehydration.
•The process of burning calories requires an adequate supply of water in order to function efficiently; dehydration slows down the fat-burning process.
•Burning calories creates toxins (think of the exhaust coming out of your car), and water plays a vital role in flushing them out of your body.
•Dehydration causes a reduction in blood volume; a reduction in blood volume causes a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles; and a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles can make you feel tired.
•Water helps maintain muscle tone by assisting muscles in their ability to contract, and it lubricates your joints. Proper hydration can help reduce muscle and joint soreness when exercising.
•A healthy (weight loss) diet includes a good amount of fiber. But while fiber is normally helpful to your digestive system, without adequate fluids it can cause constipation instead of helping to eliminate it.
•Drinking water with a meal may make you feel full sooner and therefore satisfied eating less. Note, however, that drinking water alone may not have this effect. In order to feel satiated (not hungry), our bodies need bulk, calories and nutrients.
Do not worry that drinking water will give your body a bloated look. There are a number of causes of water retention, including consuming too much salt. But drinking water is not one of them.
It is possible to harm yourself by drinking too much water, but it takes quite an effort. Either through obsessive-compulsive behavior or extended athletic activity, drinking large amounts of water can dilute the electrolytes (sodium and potassium) in your blood to the point that it interferes with brain, heart and muscle function. Athletes compound the problem with the loss of sodium (salt) through sweating, but can drink electrolyte replacement drinks like Smart Water and Powerade Zero to help keep things in balance.
Tips on Drinking Water
◦Drinking other liquids also provides your body with a source of water, but note that diuretics cause your body to expel water. Diuretics include caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea and soda) and alcohol. When drinking diuretics, drink more water to compensate.
When drinking alcohol, drinking water along with it as well as before and afterward may eliminate a hangover headache and feeling of tiredness. The water is optional; driving is not.
•When you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Try to avoid this situation by drinking in advance. Be especially careful when participating in activities where you won’t be able to stop to get caught up.
•You’ve heard countless advertisements telling you what product to start your day with. I recommend a couple of glasses of water to rehydrate your body. No charge.
If you’re a fit fiftysomething, there’s no reason why you can’t continue doing any exercise you’ve already developed a passion for. But know your body, ‘If there’s any risk you could be developing osteoporosis (half of us do past this age, when loss of oestrogen makes our bones more vulnerable), be conscious that running can cause hairline fractures,’ says Leon. ‘It’s a good idea to talk to your GP before embarking on a new exercise programme and, if you’ve had your menopause and you have risk factors for osteoporosis, you should be entitled to a bone scan on the NHS, which will reassure you about what you can do. Even if running is unsuitable, it’s important to do some weight-bearing exercise to strengthen bones, so keep up your 10,000 steps a day.
‘You should also ask your doctor to check your blood pressure and cholesterol – if they’re raised and you don’t know it, sudden vigorous exercise could trigger a heart attack. But again it’s about balance – cardio exercise is also crucial for good circulation, and to prevent your risk of a stroke. It will also help regulate your blood sugar if you have diabetes. So make sure you’re walking fast enough to feel out of breath but able to hold a conversation.’
The best and most enjoyable exercises for your sixth decade include walking, swimming, cycling, weight lifting, dancing (ballroom or Irish), and simple stair climbing (to strengthen your knees).
Exercise can also help with problems such as lower-back pain, which are very common if you’ve spent most of your life sitting at a desk. ‘Listen to your body and use exercise to alleviate these issues – and make sure you don’t do anything that will exacerbate them,’ says Anne. ‘There are personal trainers who specialise in treating specific issues like back pain – so ask around. Postural classes that work the core muscles around your tummy (such as Pilates, involving gentle floor exercises that work the deepest muscles) will help your back, too, by giving your spine more support.’
‘If you’re starting to get arthritis, or you’re diagnosed with diabetes, these are big wake-up calls to do more exercise. It’s a myth that you can’t exercise with arthritis – you need to work your muscles to strengthen them and protect your joints. Walking, dancing, swimming, aqua aerobics and cycling suit a lot of people even with arthritis – but if you’re in too much pain to do these, it’s still important to exercise a bit (even from your chair). You can download a booklet on suitable exercises from http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk.’;
Take a Method Putkisto class, which works on body alignment – this uses Pilates-style floor exercises, to improve your posture. It can keep you looking younger and will also help with balance, breathing, and overall energy. Find a class near you at http://www.methodputkisto.com.
Exercise now will enhance your quality of life and stave off ill health. Using a vibrational plate will increase muscle mass and bone density and improve your balance, preventing falls in later life.
A recent study conducted by John Hopkins University has concluded that energy drinks should be labelled with highly visible health warnings aimed at young people.
The study based its recommendations on research that discovered certain drinks contained as much as 14 times more caffeine than the average can of cola. This is the same as drinking seven cups of coffee.
Researchers tested 28 different energy drinks on the market and the conclusion is pretty astonishing.
Energy Drink Effects
Energy drinks seem to be promoted from one of two perspectives. One line of promotion veers towards a sports focus, indicating to the consumer that these drinks might enhance physical stamina. Then there is the ‘morning after’ approach, which offers up energy drinks as a means of coping with the after-effects of a big night out, or a way to give yourself a boost if you’re feeling tired or jaded.
WLR says . . .
Children and young people are extremely susceptible to advertising and peer pressure. A clever marketing campaign can very effectively harness their attention and affection towards a particular product and, subsequently, their cash.
However, whilst the image of an individual drink might captivate, most young people don’t wade their way through the ingredients list on a bottle or can before they buy it. Even if they did, would they be aware of the energy drink caffeine content and what it means?
Energy Drink Facts
An adult who has built up a certain tolerance to caffeine might be able to drink a number of cups of coffee over the course of a day without any ill effects. However, a child or adolescent drinking the equivalent of seven cups in one go is certainly cause for alarm.
Whilst we have become accustomed to hearing about the high amounts of sugar in fizzy drinks and the scary things that certain brands can do to grubby coins, caffeine content has, until now, largely been overlooked.
It is only relatively recently that it has become more of an issue that needs addressing, as an increasing number of energy drinks are released onto the market and their popularity rises.
Are Energy Drinks Bad For You?
The marketing behind many of these drinks has tapped into the adolescent psyche and they are extremely popular with young people. But this sudden rush of caffeine can have detrimental effects on behaviour and concentration and it seems that many schools have already realised the potentially harmful consequences.
So much so, that a number of schools around the country have now banned them, citing bad behaviour and an inability to concentrate after consuming the drinks, amongst the reasons. In some cases, it is individual brands of drink that have been banned.
This is going to make it an ongoing battle between the marketing executives and the schools, as Head Teachers must stay on top of trends and new launches in the energy drink market.
When ever the potential dangers of energy drinks arise in conversation, caffeine content is usually the first and most heated topic of discussion. Is it true that caffeine is the main active ingredient in most popular energy drinks? And if so, what’s so bad about caffeine; what is it about caffeine that has encouraged so many that the general public should be warned about the dangers of energy drinks or at least seek healthier alternatives to energy drinks? Is the content of caffeine in most energy drinks dangerous for the average adult individual to consume in the first place?
These questions certainly should not be overlooked. But neither should we allow the hype of caffeine content to obscure the real question at hand, which of course is whether or not energy drinks are bad for you. Caffeine is not the only consideration to be taken into account when analyzing the costs and benefits of energy drink consumption. To even begin answering the question of if energy drinks are bad for your health, not only must one look into the constituents of the typical “proprietary energy blends” similar to most energy supplements, but also examine the ingredients in energy drinks, those beyond the the advertised energy and mood enhancing agents.
Considering the Ingredients in Energy Drinks
Identifying and discussing the most popular ingredients in energy drinks should provide a solid foothold for our discussion of whether energy drinks are bad for you. Energy drinks contain “energy blends” consisting of energy enhancing ingredients, such as caffeine, B vitamins, ginseng, guarana, and taurine.
The Good Energy Drink Ingredients
Caffeine: Caffeine is the most widely consumed drug on the face of the planet. But how does it affect one’s health? In 1958, the Food and Drug Administration classified caffeine as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). However more recent studies have shown that there is no evidence that demonstrates that the use of caffeine in carbonated beverages yields these products harmful to the health of adults. There’s a general consensus among experts that common-sense and moderation are the keys to consuming caffeinated foods and beverages. Moderate caffeine consumption is around 300 mg a day for adults. However this amount varies greatly depending on the individual, his size, tolerance, sex, etc. While it is recommended that adults consume no more than 300 mg per day, this amount of caffeine would be far from enough to cause any (serious) health problems to an otherwise heathy adult.
Guarana: Native to the Amazon Basin and especially prevalent in Brazil, as a dietary supplement, guarana is an effective energy booster. Guarana is often thought of as a healthier yet more potent form of caffeine than that derived from coffee beans. And Indeed, guarana and caffeine are similar in many respects. In fact, guarana contains guaranine, which is identical to the caffeine derived from other sources, such as tea or coffee. Only the guarana seed contains roughly twice the amount of caffeine than the similar sized coffee bean. In addition to caffeine, guarana seeds contain other energy and metabolism enhancing ingredients. Like most naturally occuring sources of caffeine, for instance, guarana seeds contain a mixture of xanthine alkaloids other than caffeine, such as the cardiac stimulants theophylline and theobromine and other substances such as polyphenols.
Ginseng: Ginseng is a popular herbal supplement that has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine.In numerous studies Ginseng has been shown to: (1) increase energy, (2) increase the body’s ability to maintain its antioxidant status, (3) decrease lipid levels such as LDL cholesterol, (4) improve sexual performance and increase desire, (5) benefit attention, mental arithmetic, logical deduction, and more.
The Bad Energy Drink Ingredients
Besides the highly promoted energy blends, energy drinks contain other ingredients of interest to our discussion. For the most part, these are the ingredients that make some energy drinks bad for your health. Such ingredients include sugar, carbonated water, and certain artificial sweeteners. Here, I shall keep it brief and focus on the pitfalls and adverse affects of carbonation and high sugar content in energy drinks.
Sugar: The, often immensely, high level of sugar found in most energy drinks cannot be overlooked. Many energy drinks contain significantly more sugar than a bottle of Coke or Pepsi. Though sugar is known to provide a quick pick-me-up, the energy boost is short lived and often followed by an unpleasant crash as the energy enhancing affects of the sugar quickly ware off. In addition to the nasty crash brought on by the high levels of sugar in many leading energy drinks, such high sugar contents often correspond to high calories. Moreover, the sugar levels found in many energy drinks can contribute to insulin problems.
A major concern has recently surfaced surrounding the role of sugar-packed energy drinks in the increase of child obesity, since teens and young adults are the primary targets of most energy drink marketing campaigns.
Carbonation is often overlooked with regards to its affects on your health. However, many believe that this is a major mistake and that carbonated beverages can have serious adverse effects on your health. Carbonation reduces the amount of calcium in your bones, which could lead to an earlier onset of osteoporosis.
Located at the Top of the Weight Loss Pyramid, Sugar is the number one ingredient to avoid.
Somewhere in Between Good and Bad
At this point it is unclear whether certain ingredients, when in energy drinks, are healthy, harmful or insignificant. Taurine, for instance, is a highly controversial ingredient in energy drinks. In fact, energy supplements that contain both caffeine and taurine have a long history of being banned in certain countries due to the potential danger and lack of knowledge concerning the mixture of the two ingredients.
Naturally occurring in meats and fish, significantly excess amounts of taurine are found in most energy products featuring the chemical. Because no intensive studies have found conclusive evidence on the combined effect of taurine and caffeine on humans, certain energy drinks such as Red Bull have been banned in Norway, Denmark, Uruguay and France. Mixed with caffeine in energy drinks, taurine has been claimed to cause neurophysiological problems and has been linked to several deaths. The uncertainty of possible health risks surrounding the mixture of caffeine and taurine is why many countries have banned energy drinks containing taurine and why energy drinks in the U.S. and Canada require warning labels.
B vitamins also fall somewhere between good and bad in terms of the health affects of energy drink ingredients. Various B vitamins are now commonly found in many energy drinks. However, addition of B vitamins as an energy enhancing ingredient is more of a marketing tactic than an added benefit to the consumer. The addition of B vitamins to energy drinks is nether good nor bad for your health. Excess B vitamins are simply filtered out of the body through urination. The high content of B vitamins in energy drinks does not correspond to high energy, the excess is simply discarded.
Ok, so you had a light breakfast (a no-no in my book) and it is 9am and you are hungry. You stop by a local convenience store to grab a water and a snack. They have Breakfast burritos and breakfast sandwiches and hot fresh donuts. You also see a small Sausage, egg and cheese wrap….”hmmm, shouldn’t be to bad!” About the size of a slice of cheese and no thicker than a quarter as seen in the picture above! You start to put it in your mouth but something in your brain says, “READ THE LABEL!!!” And this is what it said….
450 calories, 28g fat, 1235 mg sodium, 34 carbs, 1 fiber, 14g protein
How many times have we been caught doing this? Thinking we are making right choices and BOOM….Sometimes we turn a blind eye to it and hope it will be ok but is it? We are accountable to ourselves when it comes to making the right choices and we MUST, if we want to succeed, do whatever it takes to become more healthy even if it means we have to take a few seconds to read labels!
Every year, millions of Americans make the New Years’ resolution that this will be the year that they lose weight…and often, by the end of the month, that resolution has gone out the window. But, why is this so? Why is it so difficult to lose weight, especially in the winter? This article will examine the science behind physical activity, metabolism, and how they relate to weight loss (and gain) in cold weather.
Physical Activity in Winter and Weight Loss
The first concept we must consider before deciding if this is truly a myth is in regards to physical activity. Most of us understand that there are 3500 calories in one pound of fat–and therefore, in order to lose one pound of weight per week, we must cut out or burn an average of 500 calories each day. While it is possible to eliminate 500 calories from your diet, most individuals find it more enjoyable to use a combination of physical activity along with diet restriction in order to cut these calories. As a basic guide, you can assume that by exercising for 60 minutes per day at a moderate to high intensity, you can burn between 300 and 500 calories. That means you only need to cut 200 (and sometimes even fewer) calories from your diet in order to achieve the goal of losing one pound per week.
Obviously, being physically active is an easy way to achieve and maintain weight loss. But, in the winter months, when it is cold, icy and snowy outside, it can be difficult or even impossible to exercise. Shorter days make you feel tired earlier, preventing a trip to the gym. And, it’s just so frigid outside, you can’t bear the idea of heading to your usual yoga class. The lack of regular physical activity in the winter definitely contributes to higher levels of weight gain during the winter months.
Metabolism in Winter and Weight Loss
Now, let’s consider how your metabolism acts in the winter and how this affects weight loss. While most of us understand that the metabolism is the part of the body that burns food; it also is essential to make sure the body is running efficiently. During cold weather, our metabolism is what helps to keep us warm. Without it, our core temperature would drop, and we would begin to suffer from hypothermia! By working harder, the metabolism is burning more calories.
This one is a difficult question to answer. The science behind the question dictates that we should actually lose weight during winter months. Our metabolism is revved, and is burning more calories than in warmer months. However, our inability to maintain our physical activity level results in fewer calories being burned, and more pounds being packed on. Find a way to get yourself to the gym every day, no matter what. It will help you maintain your weight loss goals!