Category Archives: weight loss

Top 10 Pitfalls to Weight Loss: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes

By Charles Poliquin


A lack of discipline may be the most harmful trait if you are trying to lose weight. But, even if you are motivated and disciplined, you need to ensure you aren’t getting sidetracked by making common errors that will halt your progress and are easy to avoid.

There are hundreds of lists on the internet of common errors people make when trying to lose weight. They are all similar, most include ten things to avoid, and you might be surprised to find out that they are mostly right on. These lists provide a useful basic guide to use when trying to lose weight, but what they don’t do is get at the harder to solve mistakes that keep you from seeing results in improving your body composition.

For example, did you know that for weight loss and health it’s much better to choose the “whole fat” version of dairy products than the “fat free” option? Almost all foods that have had the fat removed from them and are labeled “fat free” are going to be more contaminated, contain fewer nutrients, and discourage fat loss to a much greater degree than the whole fat option. This is especially true with dairy products because the whole milk version of yogurt or milk will naturally provide conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which protects against prostate and breast cancer. In contrast, fat free dairy products have what I often call a “cancer inducing” effect.

I’ve had many a client with the best of intentions for weight loss make critical but common errors, that when solved, allow them to achieve amazing results. This is my top ten list of things you can do to avoid common pitfalls that get in the way of you achieving a lean body composition. This list assumes that you aren’t doing any of the following things that are obviously going to impede weight loss and cause poor health: smoking, drinking large amounts of alcohol, taking diet pills, drinking your calories (soda, juice, sports drinks), or trying to lose weight without exercising. If you are doing any of these things, stop now, and then start making the changes on this list.

Tip 1:  Don’t Eliminate Fat
Eliminating fat or eating a very low fat diet is a common error that people are encouraged to make by food marketing. Eliminating fat intake to get rid of fat from the body may seem like a good idea at first glance, but when you understand the role of fat in the body, you realize getting too little of it is a bad idea. Of course, removing “very bad” fats, also known as  trans fats, from the diet is essential because they will make you fat and then they will kill you.

You need a decent amount of good fat in the diet because all the cells in the body are made up of two layers of lipids or fats, which will be composed of good fats or bad fats depending on the type you eat. If the cell lipid layers are made up of healthy fats, it will make them more sensitive to insulin and allow the receptors to bind more easily, which is necessary for good metabolism and energy production.

Increasing the sensitivity of your cells to insulin is important because it will allow the glucose to enter the cell and get burned as fuel. But, if you eat large amounts of trans-fats or have a severe imbalance between the omega-6 and -3 fats in your diet, your cell lipid layers will be made up of those fats. Lipid layers made of unhealthy fats lead to unhealthy cells and greater insulin resistance, which produces fat gain and puts you at risk for diabetes.

Tip 2: Do Get A Balanced Fat Intake
To get a balanced fat intake you want to get a large quantity of omega-3 fats that are balanced with omega-6 fats. Ideally, you’ll get a near equal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats. Most people get way to many omega-6 fats because they are abundantly found in our diets in the form of the most commonly used vegetable oils (corn, sesame, safflower, peanut, etc.). Omega-3 fatty acids are those that commonly come from fish oil (often referred to as DHA, EPA and ALA), but they also can be gotten from grass-fed beef and wild meats. This is why I suggest two things you can do for better insulin health and body composition are to take a high dose of omega-3s and eat meats and fish that have a high concentration of these fats.

Tip 3: Get Rid of Stress and Lower Cortisol Levels
To lose fat, it’s essential that you minimize stress to lower your cortisol levels. It is well established that chronically high cortisol results in fat gain, particularly around the middle. This means that no matter how much you exercise or eat healthy, you won’t lose weight if your cortisol is elevated because of how cortisol makes the body insensitive to insulin.

One recent study looked at the relationship between cortisol levels, insulin sensitivity, and visceral belly fat in men. Men with more belly fat produced far more cortisol throughout the day and had decreased insulin sensitivity than those with less belly fat. Interestingly, subcutaneous fat—the jiggly kind that’s right below the skin—was not related to insulin or cortisol levels. Researchers suggest both external stress and internal physiological stress (in the form of chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract) are the cause of the elevated cortisol.

Problems with the gastrointestinal tract result in altered neurotransmitter production, which makes you feel tired, unmotivated, and depressed. It can also elevate anxiety, making you over-responsive to stress. At the same time, poor gut health will produce chronic inflammation in the intestines, putting stress on them and raising cortisol. The combination means chronically high cortisol and persistent strain on the body from multiple sources. If you have any experience with fat loss, you know that the body is most agreeable about giving up its fat stores when it is calm and not stressed or overly stimulated.

Tip 4: Fix Your Gut With a Probiotic 
Fix your gut health and support digestion by taking a probiotic to lose fat, have more energy, and feel better. Probiotics are the tiny bacteria that naturally occur in the gastrointestinal tract and are commonly found in dairy products such as yogurt.

It’s very difficult to lose weight if you don’t have a healthy gut for two interrelated reasons. First, more than half of the neurotransmitters that send messages from the brain to cells and hormone receptors throughout the body are made in the gastrointestinal lining. If your gut is not healthy, it will negatively affect the production of the neurotransmitters, leading to poor cognitive function, low mood, feelings of depression, and low motivation. A bad outlook and lack of drive will make you less motivated to exercise and take the action necessary for you to make progress toward reaching your goals.

The second reason gut health is essential is that it will improve digestion and help you feel better. You will actually feel more energetic because your neurotransmitters will be firing at optimal levels, and your metabolism will be supported so that nutrients and energy sources are getting broken down, absorbed, and used by the body in the most effective manner. Additionally, research shows probiotic supplementation helps lower anxiety and stress levels, which leads to less secretion of cortisol.

Several studies have shown that poor gut health makes the body produce more cortisol, directly affecting insulin health and resulting in visceral belly fat gain. For example, in the study mentioned in Tip #3, the overweight men in the study were put on a high-protein diet with a probiotic supplement for six months, and then had their body fat, cortisol levels, and insulin sensitivity retested. The men significantly lost belly fat, improved insulin sensitivity, and had lower cortisol levels. Researchers suggest that poor gut health had caused chronic inflammation in the intestines, which led to the elevated cortisol and the belly fat gain. The probiotic supplement treated the inflammation in the intestines, helped to lower cortisol, and in conjunction with the high-protein diet, helped induce weight loss.

Tip 5: Support Digestion With HCL: Prevent Nutrient Deficiencies
Another trick for supporting digestion and fat loss is to make sure you have adequate stomach acid to break down food. Take a hydrochloric acid (HCL) supplement to improve acid levels in the stomach and allow your body to completely break down food. The increased acid levels in the stomach will improve the absorption of protein, calcium, vitamin B, magnesium, zinc, iron, and other basic nutrients.

Better digestion and absorption of protein and nutrients will support protein synthesis and the development of lean body mass, while helping you avoid deficiencies that can cause poor health and hinder weight loss attempts. For example, one study in the journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy found that low stomach acid hindered the digestion of codfish protein in mice. Along with less protein absorption, there was evidence of the development of protein allergies in the mice population over time.
Researchers suggest that the Western population’s overuse of antacid medications—to counter acid reflux, which is typically produced by a poor diet—results in chronically low stomach acid, which in turn hampers digestion, and the absorption of protein. They caution against the use of antacids and encourage the population to modify diet and raise stomach acid levels for better protein absorption.

I use an HCL supplement in which the HCL comes from betaine because betaine is  known to stimulate protein synthesis and support athletic performance. Additionally, my DigestForce 2.0 has pancreatic enzymes for elevated nutrient absorption.

Tip 6: Eat Breakfast With Protein In It: No Cereal Allowed
Skipping breakfast and missing meals will set you up to fail to lose weight. Eating breakfast is one of the simplest, healthiest things you can do to feel better and have more energy, but there’s one catch. You have to eat protein at breakfast. Eating cereal for breakfast is a common pitfall that is often not addressed by the media or mainstream health professionals.

Cereal is bad for breakfast because it’s typically packed with sugar and additives. In the rare case that you can find a cereal that doesn’t have added sugar, cereal tends to be low in protein. Even if you find an organic cereal that appears to contain a nice dose of protein, these high-protein cereals contain natural preservatives that wreck havoc on neurotransmitter production.

Remember, in Tip #4, I mentioned the importance of gut health and the neurotransmitters for brain function. Setting the neurotransmitters up for the day is the reason a high-quality protein breakfast is essential. The macronutrient content of the food you eat for breakfast will prime the chemicals that send messages from the brain to all your muscles and tissue throughout the whole day.

If you set your neurotransmitters up with a high-carb cereal, orange juice, and a banana, you’ll trigger a big insulin response, elevate serotonin and end up feeling low energy and foggy in the brain soon after. It’s very difficult to reverse the poor brain function and sluggishness that goes with a high-carb breakfast, and people tend to counter these feelings of tiredness and with caffeine, which raises cortisol and causes a new round of problems such as anxiety, an excited sympathetic nervous system, and poor energy production.

The answer is to get a high-quality protein that is slowly digested. A breakfast that includes meat and nuts is my favorite because it will provide a nice dose of protein and “good” fats to start the engine and keep you going throughout the day. Plus, the nuts contain almost no carbs, meaning that with the meat, you will have a very moderate insulin response, which will allow for a constant blood sugar level.

Tip #7: Take A Very Cautious Approach To The Science and Health Media
Be very cautious about what you learn from the science and health media. Health, fitness, and diet information from the media is commonly misrepresented with the facts being presented in a way that feed on our desire for intrigue and quick, easy solutions. Equally concerning, media is fueled by business interests, meaning that the information presented is influenced by those interests.

If you look back over how a number of important scientific studies were presented by the media in 2011, it becomes apparent that you have to be very cautious about what you believe. For example, in November a study about vitamin D was presented at the annual conference of the American Heart Association that showed that taking too much vitamin D produced risk of atrial fibrillation. The study provided useful information about how to achieve the ideal vitamin D status for health as well as how to avoid overdosing and reaching a possibly toxic level.

For example, you want to ensure your vitamin D levels are between 41 and 80 ng/ml and avoid going over 100 ng/ml. The only cases of individuals achieving levels over 100 ng/ml are when there has been a dispensing error such that they were taking more than ten times the recommended dose of 5,000 IUs a day.

This study was reported by many mainstream news companies including MSN, USA Today, and NBC. In the vast majority of the stories about the study, no context for the information was provided, such as details about what “excess vitamin D” means, or how an individual might achieve such levels. Rather, they tended to alarm readers with insufficient information and suggest that individuals should discontinue vitamin D supplements, or that they should only use a very low dose of vitamin D (a common recommendation is 400 IUs a day).

Another example of media misrepresentation is the issue of whether aerobic or strength training is preferred for fat loss. One study this year compared the effects of aerobic training with strength training on visceral belly fat loss. It was widely reported in the media with headlines such as “Jogging Beats Strength Training for Losing Belly Fat,” or “Aerobic Exercise the Most Effective Way to Lose Belly Fat.”

The problem is that the study design had a major flaw—the amount of volume of exercise was not equivalent or even comparable between the aerobic and strength training programs tested. Not one article that I read reported the fact that the aerobic training was performed at 80 percent of maximal for 45 minutes, while the strength training program consisted of exercises on Cybex machines and did not include a 1RM. This means the study design did not account for the amount of weight lifted in the program—a major error that makes it impossible to compare programs that are not matched for the amount of work performed.

Additionally, the media reports failed to differentiate between visceral fat and subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat is the fat that resides deep inside the body in the abdominal trunk and surrounds the organs. It is a primary indicator of diabetes and heart disease risk. Subcutaneous fat is the jiggly fat that is right below the skin, which you can pinch with your fingers. This difference is an important element that the public should understand if they want to gain information about how to improve their health, fitness, and body composition.

To avoid having the media hamper your weight loss progress, find a source of information that you trust. It’s not that you should ignore science and health reporting, but it’s necessary to be skeptical, and occasionally you will have to do your own research, or find a source you trust that will review the research for you!

Tip 8: Do Not Trust The U.S. RDV or Nutrition Labels
The U.S. Recommended Daily Value, or what is now called Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI), is the amount of a given nutrient that the U.S. Department of Agriculture thinks you need each day. If you want to lose weight, the value is useless.

Even if you don’t want to lose weight, it is not ideal for health, and the new DRI is confusing because it gives no suggestion for fat intake, aside from suggesting that adults consume between 12 and 17 grams of omega-6 fats and 1.1 to 1.6 grams of omega-3s a day. This is an example of the skewed ratio I referred to in Tip #2. A number of research studies have shown that the skewed ratio of omega-6 to omega-3s is linked to higher rates of obesity, cancer, inflammatory and immune disorders, and cardiovascular disease. Apparently the USDA wasn’t aware of this data.

One positive thing about the new U.S. DRI is that it has lowered the carb recommendations from 300 grams per day for adults to 130 grams per day. That’s a vast amount, but it is more in line with what I would suggest for weight loss. The problem is that the DRI only increased protein recommendations by three grams a day from 53 to 56, which will likely leave most people hungry and confused.

Take note that in the U.S., nutrition labels include nutrition suggestions based on old recommendations from the USDA that assume the average American needs either 2,000 or 2,500 calories a day. Within the calorie-based framework, macronutrient suggestions are made such that for the 2,000 calorie diet, you are supposed to get 300 grams of carbs, 53 grams of protein, and 65 grams of fat. This is a whopping amount of carbs for the average person, even if they are doing large amounts of endurance or high-intensity exercise daily. The point is that nutrition labels can tell you the macronutrient content of foods, but don’t become more confused by the dietary suggestions included on the label.

Naturally, you do need a plan for what you are going to eat if you intend to lose weight. The key is to identify the macronutrient content that supports your body and does not include foods that you are intolerant of. An intolerance is a food that you are allergic to and your body is not able to digest completely. There are severe allergic reactions such as in the case of a nut allergy that is very dangerous, and there are less severe allergies that cause fat gain and poor insulin health.

For example, some people are allergic to gluten and need to avoid it, whereas others are intolerant of gluten and will feel much better and have a leaner body composition if they avoid it. Similarly, most people will be healthier and leaner if they limit carbs and avoid all wheat-based carbs, but this does not mean that everyone is intolerant to wheat-based carbs.

The best way I can suggest to identify food intolerances is to get a BioSignature Modulation. This is the method I have developed to identify the best foods for each person and determine individual detoxification and supplement needs. If you are unable to have BioSignature done, the key is to identify a dietary lifestyle that will support your weight loss goals. Research shows that generally, a high-protein, low-carb diet that is gluten and wheat free will produce the best fat loss results.

Tip 9: Focus On Detoxification
Detoxification is critical for weight loss because there are so many pollutants and endocrine-altering substances in our food and water. By detoxifying, I do not mean fasting or doing a onetime detox. Rather, you want to focus on detoxifying your body on a regular basis because you are exposed to dangerous substances daily.

The two simplest things you can do to detoxify the body are to drink a lot water daily (at the very least two liters a day) and to eat an adequate amount of fiber. In addition, there are many nutrients you can take to help the body continually eliminate heavy metals and toxins that cause oxidative stress and alter hormones. For example, green tea can help detoxify liver and it is known for preventing liver damage from alcohol. Carnitine is a powerful brain nutrient that not only supports fat burning by helping fat enter the cell to be burned for energy, but also helps detoxify the brain of heavy metals.
A little gem I’ll throw out there for you is that if you pair carnitine with adequate omega-3 fat intake, you’ll raise levels of the hormone dopamine, which will make you feel more motivated and have more self-initiative—essential for trying to lose weight.

The ginkgo plant is another excellent detoxifier and it has a great track record, having been used in traditional medicine for over 4,000 years. Ginkgo resists pollution, meaning that it will help you to detoxify contaminants from the body and resist the stress that is caused by toxins. Other potent detoxifiers include omega-3 fish oils, probiotics, and performing high levels of physical activity and exercise. The key is to focus on flushing the body regularly by doing the little things such as drinking lots of water, eating fiber and supplementing with nutrients that provide multiple benefits including detoxification. 

Tip #10 Don’t Forget To Strength Train. Be As Active As Possible
There’s no reason you should not be doing some sort of strength training if you are trying to lose weight. In fact, there’s no reason that anyone should not be doing strength training. Even people who are confined to a bed in a nursing home can perform some form of resistance training. There’s nothing bad about training as long as you learn proper form and have a reasonable plan of progression.

Strength training is essential for weight loss because it will burn fat, burn calories, improve insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake, and make you stronger. Strength training is preferred over aerobic training that is done on cardio machines such as a treadmill because it will produce a more favorable muscle building response and burn more fat.

Additionally, there’s evidence that aerobic training done on cardio machines blunts insulin sensitivity and glucose delivery into the cell, meaning that if you perform it, you may actually be putting yourself at greater risk of diabetes and inducing less fat burning. This is because the electromagnetic frequency that is produced by electrical power, as in the case of with an electrical treadmill or bike, has been found to increase plasma glucose and decrease insulin sensitivity, causing fat gain, poor metabolism, and accelerating nerve damage and cellular aging. Actually, any time you are exposed to dirty electricity or the electromagnetic field from electrical power (from TVs, appliances, cell and cordless phones, wireless routers, cell phone towers), you put yourself at risk for decreased insulin health. The point is to minimize exposure, particularly when you are exercising and need to maximize energy production.

Another reason to perform strength training instead of aerobic exercise is that research shows “the effect of regular aerobic exercise on body fat is negligible,” according to one research review. Even though aerobic exercise doesn’t cause much fat loss, anaerobic interval training at a higher intensity than steady-state aerobic training is well proven to induce significant fat loss. Similarly, strength training targets the anaerobic energy system and will help you lose fat. Plus, strength training improves lean mass and builds muscle, which in turn raises your metabolism to support a leaner body composition.

For best results, perform a periodized strength training program that changes regularly so you are not doing the same thing for longer than two months. Include anaerobic intervals and you’ll improve your conditioning, burn fat, lose weight, and improve cardiovascular and pulmonary health. Try to be as active as possible throughout the day because regular physical activity is shown to maintain insulin health, while being sedentary even if you workout once a day, causes “robust negative changes” in post-meal glucose uptake, according to one study. Less glucose uptake means that glucose or sugar that is in your blood is not getting into the cell to be used for energy. Rather, the glucose is hanging out in the blood and will be turned into fat in the body. In the meantime it will cause nerve damage and aging

Consumption of apple cider vinegar may accelerate weight loss


by Josephine Beck 

(NaturalNews) For thousands of years, vinegar has been used for weight loss. It is said that taking a few teaspoons of vinegar before meals can reduce appetite and cravings while stimulating metabolism. What about apple cider vinegar? Without healthy eating and enough physical activity, apple cider vinegar can not perform any miracles. But the consumption of apple cider vinegar may help to reduce body weight and fat mass, while giving lots of other health benefits.

Apple cider vinegar and weight loss: is it a myth?

It is believed that apple cider vinegar accelerates weight loss, because it helps control blood sugar levels and suppress appetite.

In a study conducted in 2009, obese Japanese reported a modest decrease in weight and decrease in appetite with intake of 30 ml of vinegar. This study led to the conclusion that vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass and serum triglyceride levels. Acetic acid (AcOH), a main component of vinegar, might help suppress body fat accumulation. However, there are not many studies done on vinegar and weight loss in humans. More research is needed before we can know for sure whether vinegar has any fat-burning benefits.

The vinegar diet claims apple cider vinegar can boost metabolism and aid in weight loss. But no food can rapidly cause weight loss unless changes are made to dietary habits and lifestyle. It also depends on the cause of weight gain for each individual.

Studies show that apple cider vinegar can help balance blood sugar levels by lowering the glycemic index of a meal. It is true that the prevention of blood sugar spikes can support weight loss. In addition, because of its strong anti-fungal properties, apple cider vinegar can help fight candida. Individuals suffering from candida overgrowth often experience cravings for carbohydrates and sugar, which might contribute to weight gain.

Why is Apple Cider Vinegar better to use?

Apple cider vinegar is often chosen over other vinegars for many reasons. Aside from possible weight loss support, apple cider vinegar contains detoxifying qualities and has strong anti-microbial properties. Apple cider vinegar is a helpful health tonic that has shown promise in helping diabetes, cancer, heart health, high cholesterol, free radical damage, digestion and acid reflux. Indeed, even if the evidence about weight loss is lacking, it can’t hurt to include apple cider vinegar in a diet.

How to use apple cider vinegar for weight loss?

It is recommended to mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Apple cider vinegar is very acidic and may cause irritation to your throat and stomach. Indeed, it should always be diluted with water or juice. It is best to use organic unpasteurized apple cider vinegar containing the “mother” to get all the good nutrients.

Check with your doctor before taking it long-term, especially if you have health problems. That being said, people have used apple cider vinegar for years with no known side effects being reported.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://myhealthbynature.com

http://www.undergroundhealth.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

Juicing for weight loss – Here’s what works


by Willow Tohi 

(NaturalNews) Whether you’re looking to shed a few pounds quickly, or jumpstart a bigger weight loss goal, juicing is a great option. It’s simple math – to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume. It can be a challenge to get all of the nutrients you need to perform your daily tasks while keeping your caloric intake at a deficit. Adding some nutrient-rich juices and smoothies will go a long way in helping with that goal.

There are a lot of reasons we gain weight. The most common is from consuming more calories than we burn. Many of these are usually nutrient-poor calories. The effect of poor diet choices is that it starts a domino effect. It goes something like this: Stress, rushing to eat, grab convenience foods that are non-nutritious, still hungry because body didn’t actually get any nutrients, eat more. Poor digestion, poor elimination, no time for exercise, poor sleep, hormone imbalance, skin problems, medication, side-effects of medication, diminished capacity (both physically and mentally), and so on. Next thing you know you’re getting your gall bladder removed or the lap band procedure or some other extreme management of symptoms, none of which have solved the problem. There is also the possibility of undiagnosed food intolerance, which could be playing a role. Other signs of this would be new allergies and lowered immunity. Hormonal imbalance is a probability in overweight people, again often due to their diet. Toxic buildup from food, the environment, medicines, personal care products, unfiltered water, and bad habits like soda all contribute to an unbalanced and unhealthy body. No matter what your situation is, juicing is likely a great way to start getting back on track.

What works

First you need to decide what your goal for juicing is. That will help you determine how long you need to juice, as well as plan your menu and budget. It is not advisable to go for a juice fast if you are new to detoxing. Cleansing and detoxifying your body is a necessary step in regaining your health and a normal weight. A great documentary to consider watching is Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.Start with small steps such as cleaning up your diet, kicking some bad habits, budgeting in more time and money for fresh, organic vegetables. You can add juicing to these efforts to boost the effect and the results, which will boost your willpower.

By definition, being overweight means your liver is overworked. The liver is where fat is metabolized, but that job gets put on the back burner when it is overworked with more important tasks. So, for any weight loss plan to be successful, you also have to nourish your liver. You do that by 1.) removing toxins it has to process, such as that Sweet’N Low in your iced tea and that aspartame in your diet soda, and 2) eating nutrient dense food and lots of green leafy vegetables. Some of the foods you should eat are obvious, such as the cruciferous vegetables for liver health. Other things are less obvious, such as olive oil and nuts, both of which have more calories, but since many weight problems include an inability to digest fats, that makes up for fat cravings. By supplying your body with healthy fats, your probability of cheating on your diet goes down.

Guidelines for juicing to lose weight

1. Use only raw, organic vegetables. You want to avoid toxins and add enzymes. Superfoods are key to getting as many nutrients as possible. Examples: carrots, kale, cucumbers, acai berries, etc.

2. While juicing, it is important to stay active. As you lose weight – water weight, toxins, fluid retained due to inflammation, etc., you want to keep moving with some light to moderate exercise. You want to lose fat and toxins, not muscle. Also, your lymph system has no pump to save your feet, so get moving.

3. Maximize your budget. Buy local, organic vegetables and fruits that are in season. They are fresher and cheaper, allowing you to extend the amount of time you can juice.

4. Research recipes. Be sure you are getting more vegetables than fruits so that you don’t offset your work by increasing insulin levels. This is where you’ll need to add things like avocado, chia or flax seeds, protein powder, banana, nuts. You want to be sure you’re eating a balanced diet. Branch out. This is a great time to get your digestive tract some new material. Consider juicing veggies you wouldn’t like to eat. Beats, for example, are a powerhouse of nutrition, with lots nutrients you don’t find from many other sources. They are delicious juiced or in a smoothie.

5. Be sure all of your avenues of elimination are working properly – sweat daily, move your bowels, drink plenty of water to urinate frequently and flush out those toxins. It’s not uncommon for women to experience a shorter cycle after juicing. This usually means you have eliminated some of that stored estrogen, another marker your juicing was a success. Consider taking some baseline readings before and after your adventure, such as weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, measurements, etc.

Be sure your diet includes: cruciferous vegetables, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, sulfur rich foods, and fiber. Eliminate sugar and all its relatives (including all artificial sweeteners), bad fats such as fried foods, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, and gluten. There are some links below that lead to some nice recipes, or look online.

Support your efforts. It’s a good time to meditate. Consider trying an emotional detox at the same time. Consider drinking some detox tea, or other herbal tea. Go to a health food store and find some high quality whole food based supplements to support your health. As they say on the airplane – put your own mask on first. You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. Have some fun indulging in better health.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.naturalnews.com/028100_self_healing_fresh_juice.html

www.naturalnews.com/034511_carrots_juicing_health_benefits.html

www.naturalnews.com/026466_juice_juicing_vegetables.html

http://www.healingdaily.com/juicing-for-health.htm

http://www.juicingforweightloss.com/

http://www.wholeliving.com

How to Eat Healthy and Lose Weight: The Simplest Guide Ever

Portion Control
Every day we are bombarded with fad diets and conflicting information on how to eat healthy and lose weight. No wonder people fail to reach their weight-loss or health goals. (Read The 6 Most Promising Weight-Loss Supplements.)
Popular nutrition information and diet strategies are simply too complicated or unrealistic to maintain over the long term. And many nutrition books contain hundreds of pages of difficult-to-understand “sciencey” stuff that only dieticians bother to read or need to understand.
So, I’ve come up with a simple nutrition formula that we use at Performance University. It helps everyone, from average Joes to professional athletes, more effectively burn fat by ensuring that each meal is healthy and well balanced. This isn’t a restrictive diet plan. It’s a healthy and realistic eating strategy for putting together balanced and nutritious meals—a strategy you can use for a lifetime.

The Thermic Effect of Food

The term “thermic effect of food,” or TEF, describes the energy we expend to consume (bite, chew and swallow) and process (digest, transport, metabolize and store) our food. Certain foods require us to burn more calories than others simply by eating them.
Here’s the breakdown:
  • Fat (9 calories/gram) is simple to digest because the body keeps breaking down fat into smaller and smaller molecules. For every 100 calories of fat ingested, you burn approximately 5 calories.
  • Complex carbohydrates (4 calories/gram) take more effort to digest because of the complexity of glucose molecules. For every 100 calories you ingest from complex carbs, you burn approximately 10 calories.
  • Protein (4 calories/gram) requires the most work to digest because it is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of your muscles. For every 100 calories of protein you ingest, you burn approximately 25 calories.
Based on this information, you can form an eating plan that minimizes the amount of calories consumed and naturally increases the amount of calories you burn. No calorie counting required!

Foods to Eat

Do your best to include each of following food categories in your three or four daily meals. It’s unrealistic to expect that every meal will include all four categories, so don’t stress if you occasionally miss a category.
Choose your favorite food from each category to form your meal. Ensure that it’s a whole food and not processed. The food recommendations below are great examples, but they are not comprehensive. If you enjoy a specific food, do the research to see if it falls into one of the categories. (Learn how tobalance your protein intake.)
  • Lean Protein: eggs, chicken, fish, bison, beef, low-fat dairy
  • Fibrous Carbohydrate: fruits and vegetables
  • Starchy Carbohydrate: sweet potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal
  • Healthy Fat (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, Omega-3 fatty acids): avocado, nuts, olive oil

Foods to Avoid

It’s no secret that you should limit your consumption of processed foods, simple sugars, saturated fats and hydrogenated oils. However, limiting consumption doesn’t mean you can never eat it. (See The Unhealthiest “Healthy” Foods.)
I recommend using the 80/20 rule, meaning 80 percent of your meals consist of healthy and whole foods, while the other 20 percent consists of not-so-healthy items. This will keep you on track with your diet by preventing binging and cravings without adverse effects on your health and weight.

Portion Sizes

The amount of food you eat largely depends on how much energy you need. You can get technical and calculate your daily energy demands and count calories to ensure you are meeting your goals, but this is time consuming and difficult to stick to in the long term.
As a general guideline, if you are left feeling hungry within an hour or so after finishing a meal, you probably didn’t eat enough. On the flip side, if you feel full for hours, you likely ate too much. It really comes down to common sense, intuition and simply listening to your body.
As for specific portions of each food category suggested above, I recommend using this formula to fill your plate.
  • Protein & Fibrous Carbs – largest serving on your plate.
  • Starchy Carbs – smaller than the protein and vegetable serving.
  • Healthy Fats – smallest serving on your plate.

Final Thoughts

There are certainly other issues—like thyroid function—that can impact weight loss. And there are instances where counting calories and restricting a diet are necessary. However, these require an individualized approach and are not long-term solutions. The information I provided above is not a diet. It’s a lifestyle change to help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

10 Easy Ways to Lose Weight Without Starving

10 Easy Ways to Lose Weight Without Starving
You can stage a coup on calories without ruining your life or eating a single rice cake: Just follow this simple advice.

The no-diet, no-workout plan that is better than running 5 miles a day! Check out The Lean Belly Prescription.
Way #1
Always Eat a Man’s Breakfast
No more Lucky Charms—you want some protein and fat. Scrambled eggs and a few sausage links will keep you fuller longer than an airy doughnut will.
Way #2
Eat More!
We’re talking three good snacks and three healthful meals. But what do you serve during the bowl game if you can’t have chips and dip? Mixed nuts—especially almonds—will satisfy your craving for something crunchy while helping to build muscle.
Way #3
Just Say No to Starches
Foods like pasta, white bread, and potatoes make you fat. If you must have pasta, make yours whole-wheat. Same goes for bread, and swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes. Just don’t eat too much!

A perfect example of a great swap are these crispy sweet potato fries. You’ll never go back to regular potatoes.
Way #4
Lift Weights
Yes, you have to hit the gym, and no, lifting beer cans during happy hour doesn’t count. The muscles you build will not only improve your performance, they’ll stoke your metabolism so you burn calories long after your workout is over.

Way #5
Think Before You Eat
Don’t just stuff your face with the stale cookies left over from the holidays, eat what tastes good and what’s good for you. Take your time eating; you’ll stay fuller longer.

Here are 7 ways to harness your hunger from a grumbling stomach.
Way #6
But Have Fun Once in a While—or Once a Week
Stifle those cravings for too long, and you’ll be miserable and might fall off your new plan forever. Just splurge reasonably—two slices of pizza, not the whole thing.

Way #7
Go Low-Carb
It’s the easiest way to drop weight fast. The cravings are hard at first, but it gets easier—especially when you see the results.

Way #8
Run Intervals
It’s easier to alternate between hard and easy running instead of going for a long run—especially if you don’t like running. Plus, you’ll be done faster and burn more fat.

Break your speed limits by boosting your speed with intervals. You’ll not only get faster, but your gut with flatten in no-time.
Way #9
Never, Ever Drink Sweetened Soda
But go ahead, have a glass of wine now and then. Low-carb beer is fine, too, in moderation.

Way #10
Don’t Fear Fat
It makes you feel full, helps control your appetite, and your body needs it.

Of course, some fat is good while others are bad. See How Fat Attacks, and how you can make it work for you.

10 health benefits of cucumbers

cucumbers

by Alexandra Du Toit, TRUE Earth Mama 

(NaturalNews) Cucumbers are the fourth most cultivated vegetable in the world and known to be one of the best foods for your body’s overall health, often referred to as a superfood. Cucumbers are often sprayed with pesticides so it is important to buy organic or even better, grow them yourself.

Here are 10 Benefits of cucumbers:

1.Quick pick me-up – Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins. Put down your sodas and coffee and eat a cucumber slice.

2. Rehydrates body and replenishes daily vitamins – Cucumbers are 95 percent water, keeping the body hydrated while helping the body eliminate toxins. Cucumbers have most of the vitamins the body needs in a single day. Don’t forget to leave the skin on because the skin contains a good amount of vitamin C, about 10 percent of the daily-recommended allowance.

3. Skin and hair care – If you don’t like to eat the skin, it can be used for skin irritations and sunburns as aloe would be used. Place a slice over puffy eyes and its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness. The silicon and sulfur in cucumbers help to stimulate hair growth.

4. Fight cancers – Cucumber are known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol. These three lignans have a strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer.

5. Home care – Eliminates a foggy mirror. Before taking a shower, rub a cucumber slice along a mirror and it will eliminate the mirror fogging up. Instead of WD40, take a cucumber slice and rub it along a squeaky hinge and your door will stop squeaking.

6. Relieves bad breath – Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

7. Hangover cure – To avoid a morning hangover or headache; eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish many essential nutrients, reducing the intensity of both hangover and headache.

8. Aids in weight loss and digestion – Due to its low calorie and high water content, cucumber is an ideal diet for people who are looking for weight loss. The high water content and dietary fiber incucumbers are very effective in ridding the body of toxins from the digestive system, aiding digestion. Daily consumption of cucumbers can be regarded as a remedy for chronic constipation.

9. Cures diabetes, reduces cholesterol and controls blood pressure – Cucumber juice contains a hormone which is needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin which has been found to be beneficial to diabetic patients. Researchers found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers may help reduce cholesterol levels. Cucumbers contain a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber. These work effectively for regulating blood pressure. This makes cucumbers good for treating both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.

10. Promotes joint health, relieves gout and arthritis pain -Cucumber is an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promotes joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. They are also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels

Sources for this article:

http://www.gardeningchannel.com/the-health-benefits-of-cucumbers/
http://www.healthonlinezine.info/15-health-benefits-of-cucumber.html
http://www.eatingwell.com
http://www.naturalnews.com/035719_cucumbers_anti-aging_vegetables.html

About the author:
Alex is a TRUE Earth Mama, helping others tune into their most natural state while bringing harmony and balance into all areas of their lives in order to THRIVE.

Change your gut flora and lose weight


by Eric Hunter 

(NaturalNews) Obese and lean individuals have different gut flora composition. The gut microbiota of mice and humans are similar, with Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes dominating. At this point it’s not clear exactly which species are important in weight management. Some studies show reduced numbers of Bacteroidetes in obese subjects, while others point to lower levels of beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus.

Even though diet will affect gut flora composition, most studies conclude that gut flora on it’s own has an effect on weight. Alteration of the gut microbiota can be an important part of a weight loss program.

Several mechanisms have been proposed as to how gut flora regulates weight. Inflammation, energy from polysaccharides, insulin sensitivity and energy expenditure and storage are all affected by gut flora.

What you eat affects the gut flora composition, but it can also be hypothesized that it can happen the other way around; that gut flora partly determines what you eat. People with gut dysbiosis and especially yeast overgrowth often feel sugar cravings. Gut flora can probably influence food cravings and thereby play a part in determining dietary choices.

Obesity is hereditary, and the importance of gut flora shouldn’t be underestimated. Flora is passed on from mother to child during birth, breastfeeding and early years. The child also comes in contact with microorganisms from other family members. “Obese gut flora” is passed on to the child.
Children born via caesarean have double the risk of becoming overweight, according to research by Harvard scientists. The obesity increase has been linked to a lack of exposure to good bacteria which may be found in the vaginal wall.

Differences in intestinal microflora during the first year of life have been associated with higher risk of obesity later in life. Especially low levels of Bifidobacteria make children more susceptible to weight gain.

Obese individuals usually have a dysfunctional gut flora with higher numbers of LPS-containing microbiota and methane-producing bacteria. LPS, Lipopolysaccharide, is linked to obesity, leaky gut and low-level chronic inflammation.

Colonization of germ-free mice with gut flora from either obese or lean mice, leads to significantly greater increase in total body fat in those colonized with “obese microbiota.” Animal studies further show that probiotic supplements with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species help maintain a healthy bodyweight and promote weight-loss. Cattle treated with antibiotics store a lot of fat, and this is one of the reasons why these drugs are used so frequently in feedlots.

How to incorporate this info into your weight loss program

A healthy diet with reduced consumption of sugar, processed carbohydrates, most vegetable oils, anti-nutrients, etc. will on it’s own promote weight loss and a healthier gut flora.

Additional gut flora modifications can also be an important part of a weight-loss plan. Simply eating yoghurt will not make any substantial difference in most people. Minimally washed organic plants and plant products, fermented foods and probiotic supplements are all good sources of beneficial bacteria. Prebiotics, soluble fiber that feed good bacteria, can be found in leeks, onions, apples etc.

Sources for this article include

http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.no

Obesity alters gut microbial ecology.Ley, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2005 Aug 2; 102(31):11070-11075.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Vael C, Verhulst SL, Nelen V, et al. Intestinal microflora and body mass index during the first three years of life: an observational study.
Gut Pathog. 2011 May 23;3(1):8.

Kalliomaki M., Collado M.C, Salminen S., et al. Early differences in fecal microbiota composition in children may predict overweight
Am J Clin Nutr March 2008 vol. 87 no. 3 534-538

Kondo S, Xiao JZ, Satoh T, et al. Antiobesity effects of Bifidobacterium breve strain B-3 supplementation in a mouse model with high-fat diet-induced obesity.
Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2010;74(8):1656-61. Epub 2010 Aug 7.

Takemura N, Okubo T, Sonoyama K. Lactobacillus plantarum strain No. 14 reduces adipocyte size in mice fed high-fat diet.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2010 Jul;235(7):849-56.

Chen JJ, Wang R, Li XF, et al. Bifidobacterium longum supplementation improved high-fat-fed-induced metabolic syndrome and promoted intestinal Reg I gene expression.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2011 Jul 1;236(7):823-31. Epub 2011 Jun 17.

Karlsson CL, Molin G, Fak F, et al. Effects on weight gain and gut microbiota in rats given bacterial supplements and a high-energy-dense diet from fetal life through to 6 months of age.
Br J Nutr. 2011 Sep;106(6):887-95. Epub 2011 Mar 30.

Human originated bacteria, Lactobacillus rhamonosus PL60, produce conjugated linoleic acid and show anti-obesity effects in diet-induced obese mice.Lee, et al. Biochem Biophys Acta. 2006 Jul;1761(7):736-744

Metabolic endotoxemia initiates obesity and insulin resistance.Cani, et al. Diabetes. 2007 Jul;56(7):1761-1772

http://www.cedars-sinai.edu

Tips to Take Control of Your Weight



Anyone who is overweight will testify that losing weight is not as easy as it seems. The people that are lean, or have gone from fat to skinny will say it’s just a matter of motivation and elbow grease. Although it is not as simple as that. Our environments have waged war on us. Their weapons are sedentary lives and trans fats of mass destruction. All is not lost though, here are some quick simple tips to get ahead!

1. Substitute Water. Our bodies are about 65-70% water. It follows that water would be not only essential, but the best possibly choice of liquids to ingest. In fact, our bodies will sometimes simulate a hunger response, when in reality the body is craving hydration. When hungry, drink a glass or two of water to check if it suppresses your hunger.

2. Chew Your Food. Chewing our food very slowly and deliberately has several benefits that are often overlooked. It gives us the ability to relax, and enjoy our meal. Slow chewing is the first, and highly important, step in a complex system of digestion. Besides, if we eat slowly, we might feel full before finishing the whole meal, and can leave the rest for the next meal.

3. Exercise daily. How silly of me to include something as obvious as exercise. I did a 30 day trial with waking up, and walking for 30 minutes first thing in the morning. My journal records that I was feeling amazing during the period of time that I was following this habit.

4. Publicize your intentions. Start a blog, join a forum, and have other people keep you accountable to help. Tell other people your plan, it would help you get the motivation to go with it!

5. Create a food schedule. Plan your day so that you’re eating at approximately the same time each day. This scheduling will incorporate itself into your circadian rhythm, and aid in digestion.

6. Do not over eat. Know your limit and stop eating when you are full. I have often been a victim of wanting to finish a meal so that it doesn’t go to waste. This has left me with many a stomach ache. Next time, doggy bag it for later, and don’t hurt yourself!

7. Choose your snacks wisely. Put down the Lays and cheese puffs. Pick up the apple and baby carrots. Make the right decision, I know you can do it.

8. Lifestyle. Remember, it’s not about special diets, or special exercise programs. The real secret is in turning your health into a lifestyle, and focusing on this healthy lifestyle with every choice you make

10 Strategies for Successful Weight Loss

By: David Schipper

The great ones have great strategies for success—Odysseus hiding in the Trojan horse, Ali using the rope-a-dope, Bugs Bunny dressing in drag.

Your weight-loss strategy should be similarly inspired. Willpower alone won’t shrink your waist—you need facts and wisdom on your side if you’re going to maintain the resolve you showed in January.

There are scientists who study weight loss so the rest of us can keep track of the important stuff, like spring training and Rotisserie drafts. These researchers regularly come up with good advice, the latest and greatest of which we’ve gathered for you. Pick a few tips, put them in your lineup, and get back in the weight-loss game.

Weight-Loss Success Strategy #1
Weigh Yourself Often

Time was, experts said to stay off the scale—it can be discouraging. But after studying 3,500 individuals from the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) who’ve maintained 60 or more pounds of weight loss for at least a year, researchers found that 44 percent weighed themselves daily.

Unhealthy obsession? No, says James Hill, Ph.D., NWCR cofounder and director of the center for human nutrition at the University of Colorado. “They use it as an early warning system for preventing weight regain,” he explains. “If your goal is to keep your weight at a certain level, you have to have feedback to see whether you’re successful.”

Weight-Loss Success Strategy #2
Turn Off the TV

Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York recently determined that simply seeing food can trigger a physiological “feed me” response. In the study, visual food cues caused brain activity to jump by 24 percent—mostly in the orbitofrontal cortex, the area of the brain related to drive and acquisition. So a constant barrage of pizza-delivery ads on TV could test your limits. And don’t get us started on the Food Network.

Weight-Loss Success Strategy #3
Pray the Fat Away

Christian men who report feeling greater intimacy with God through prayer are more likely to be physically active than other men, according to research from Cornell University. “Studies have shown that those who have more social support move more, and being closer to God may give men that support,” says lead researcher Karen Kim.

Another possible reason: “General religion in the United States encompasses theological teachings about the body as a temple, which may also lead to the consumption of a healthier diet and increased physical activity,” she adds. Amen to that.

Weight-Loss Success Strategy #4
Beware Tastebud Betrayal

“Hunger increases healthy men’s taste sensitivity to sweet and salty substances,” says researcher Yuriy Zverev, of the University of Malawi. This means vending-machine snacks (which come in two flavors: sweet or salty—coincidence?) will taste even better when you’re hungry.

You could trust that you’d savor the flavor by eating only a small amount. (Right.) Or you could sidestep this land mine altogether. “Eat offensively,” says Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D., a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. “Eat regularly during the day to stave off cravings and the bingeing that can result.”

Weight-Loss Success Strategy #5
Snack on Almonds

Seventy per day, to be exact. That’s the number that people in a City of Hope National Medical Center experiment ate daily for 6 months, in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet, to drop 18 percent of their body weight.

Study author Michelle Wien partially credits the satiety factor. “Almonds are a nutrient-dense food that provides healthful monounsaturated fat, protein, and fiber, which together contribute to feeling full,” she says.

Go for whole almonds in their unsalted, raw, or dry-roasted state. Fifteen to 20 will do the trick for a quick snack. Try 50 as a meal replacement.

Weight-Loss Success Strategy #6
Grab the Day

Long summer days can help you lose weight. “The best time to start a diet is in May, because the days are very long, which makes your energy levels go up and your food cravings go down,” says Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., a nutrition researcher at MIT. “You’ll eat less and exercise more.” So if you get home and it’s still light, go for that run.

Conversely, resolution-crazed January is the worst time to diet—the short days knock your serotonin levels out of whack, causing cravings. An Apollo Health goLite P1 lamp can help your body adjust to the dark days of winter.

Weight-Loss Success Strategy #7
Pour a Bowl of Cereal for Lunch

A study from Purdue University shows that eating cereal in place of meals helps you lose weight. Participants consumed an average of 640 fewer total daily calories and lost roughly 4 pounds during the 2-week intervention.

According to study author Richard Mattes, M.P.H., Ph.D., R.D., the approach teaches portion control with a convenient, easy-to-use food. Stick to filling, high-fiber cereals, like All-Bran or Fiber One, and eat them with low-fat milk.

Weight-Loss Success Strategy #8
Go Under the Needle

When Polish researchers examined acupuncture as a diet aid, they found that people who got needled lost 10 more pounds and ticked 2 additional points off their BMIs compared with those who merely cut calories.

Marie Cargill, a licensed acupuncturist in the Boston area, explains that pressure points on the body—mostly on the ear—work as a switchboard to the brain, triggering electrical pulses that suppress appetite. “The ear system is very effective for addiction treatment,” she says.

Weight-Loss Success Strategy #9
Eat a Cow’s Worth

Of dairy, that is. Reports of the benefits just keep coming.

Recently, a University of Tennessee study found that people who ate a daily 1,200 milligrams (mg) of calcium from dairy lost an average of 24 pounds, or 11 percent of their total body weight. “When you don’t have enough calcium in your diet, you’re more efficient at making fat and less efficient at breaking down fat, causing a bigger, fatter fat cell,” says lead researcher Michael Zemel, Ph.D.

Get the just-right amount by taking in two 8-ounce glasses of low-fat milk (699 mg), a cup of low-fat yogurt (338 mg), and an ounce and a half of cheese (287 mg).

Weight-Loss Success Strategy #10
Gamble on Yourself

Take a cue from the poker craze and wager against a buddy to see who can shed the most pounds. “Men do really well when they make weight loss a competitive game,” says New York City nutritionist Joy Bauer, M.S., R.D., author of Cooking with Joy. “Have a 6-month and a 1-year check-in—none of that 2-week garbage.”

Or try it in teams, as on NBC’s The Biggest Loser, and you’ll double the incentive—you’ll want to win the bet and avoid letting down your team. “Healthy competition can bring out the absolute best in people,” says the show’s red-team trainer, Jillian Michaels, owner of SkySport and Spa in Beverly Hills.

She recommends that the team take on a swimming relay or a 5-K run. “That way, it’s not a scenario like ‘Who can lift the most?'” she says. “Losing weight is ultimately about better health. For $100, somebody might do a pulldown that’s way too heavy and end up tearing a rotator cuff.” It’d be a shame if, after you’d lost all that weight, you still couldn’t button your pants.

Wikio

Identify What’s Stopping You from Losing Weight

By: Allison Winn Scotch
When your boss says, “We’re not here to assign blame,” duck. When we say you’re not entirely to blame for your paunch, you’re not off the hook. Nobody is the innocent victim of a drive-thru feeding. But there are sneaky factors—your friends, your family, your mindset—that can sabotage the best weight-loss plan. Your strategy: Identify the saboteurs, then adjust.

Your Wife
We do not suggest blaming her for your belly. This would be (a) wrong and (b) a reasonable defense at her trial. But know this: Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that men and women usually gain 6 to 8 pounds in the first 2 years of marriage. “Once you’re married, that need to impress is gone,” says Edward Abramson, Ph.D., author of Marriage Made Me Fat. “You may go to the gym less often, go out for meals or to parties more frequently, and develop new rituals, such as sitting on the couch with your wife and snacking.”

Fix your head: Regain that need to impress. Imagine what that girl at the gym thinks of your gut—or what she’d think if you had abs. (Just don’t hit on her.) As for that bowl of popcorn with your wife, Abramson says, ask yourself, Why am I eating? Boredom? Habit? Better yet, ask her to stop bringing those binge foods into the house.

Fix your routine: Establish healthful rituals. Instead of Access Hollywood after dinner, take regular walks, or play H-O-R-S-E in the driveway. (P-I-G might work better.) Exercise suppresses appetite. Cool down with Italian ice (120 calories per cup) instead of ice cream (290 calories per cup).

Her Belly
Dads-to-be gain almost 5 pounds from the end of their partner’s pregnancy to the baby’s first birthday, Australian researchers report. It’s especially common in young, stressed-out fathers, says Lawrence Schwartz, author of Fat Daddy/Fit Daddy. And the cycle repeats with each kid.

Fix your head: Be a heroic provider, not a sympathetic eater. Prepare as if fatherhood were a sport—because it will be.

Fix your routine: Read her pregnancy books—they’re full of excellent nutritional advice. As for her binge snacking and ice-cream jags, adopt a simple policy, says Schwartz: “She can have it, but you shouldn’t.” Maintain your exercise routine, especially weight lifting. “It’s only going to be that much harder to get back into an exercise routine once the baby’s here,” says Schwartz.

Your Kids
The presence of children in a household sharply increases the likelihood of tempting junk food in the cupboard. Some of it ends up in adult mouths. Same goes for stray nuggets and fries left over by finicky kids. “I call this ‘trolling,’ ” Schwartz says. “If you’re prone to troll, the easiest thing to do is to avoid the Happy Meal altogether.”

Fix your head: Grow up. Think: The sugary snack that a child will burn off with an hour of fidgeting will haunt you as a fat deposit. Read the nutrition label on any snack before unwrapping it. Realize the importance of setting a good food-and-exercise example.

Fix your routine: Make junk food a once-a-week thing. Designate Friday as Twinkie day. And instead of standing on the sidelines to watch your son’s game, volunteer to coach, ump, or ref. Make fitness a family thing.

Craig Ferguson
Not getting enough deep, non-REM sleep inhibits production of growth hormone, which might lead to premature middle-age symptoms—abdominal obesity, reduced muscle mass and strength, and diminished exercise capacity. You become Homer.

Fix your head: “Mentally disengage yourself before you hit the sack,” says Jim Karas, author of The Business Plan for Your Body. Don’t plot a staffing reorg before bed.

Fix your routine: Exercise in the morning or afternoon, says Eric Nofzinger, M.D., director of sleep neuroimaging research at the Western Psychiatric Institute. Evening workouts may leave you too stimulated to sleep. Establish a ritual that signals your body that the day is over 30 minutes before bedtime—turn off the computer, read, stretch, or set the TV volume low, says Karas.

Your Shift
Workers gain 7 pounds on average when they switch from a day to a night shift, according to the New York Obesity Research Center. Men working the graveyard shift tend to eat a big evening meal and go to work, says Jim Waterhouse, Ph.D., author of Keeping in Time with Your Body Clock. “Then they come home to another ‘supper’ in the morning.”

Fix your head: Adjust your concept of mealtime, says Waterhouse.

Fix your routine: Eat your biggest meal when you get home from your shift, Waterhouse says, then relax or exercise in the morning. Get 8 hours of sleep in the afternoon, then wake up and have breakfast. Kicking off your workday (even if it starts in the evening) with a light meal that’s high in protein or fiber is crucial for weight loss.

Your Stress
Stress will spike levels of the hormone cortisol, which tells your body to store fat. “Unfortunately, some people appease their anxiety by reaching for fatty foods,” says Elissa Epel, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco. Eating boosts insulin levels; combining that with cortisol leads to greater fat deposits. More stress, bigger belly.

Fix your head: First, identify the type of stress you’re under, Karas says. “Is it temporary, like a bar exam, or more permanent, like your job?” Short-term stress will pass. Long-term stress may require a permanent solution, like a new job.

Fix your routine: Make healthy eating effortless, Karas says. Buy snacks that won’t send insulin levels soaring: high-fiber energy bars or single-serving bags of almonds or cashews. Fifteen minutes of explosive activity—hitting a speed bag or jumping rope—can alleviate anxieties after work. “It’s about getting the tension out,” Karas says.

Your Friends
Buddies can make or break a diet or workout plan, whether it’s unconscious scarfing of nachos during the game or the lure of pumping beers instead of iron. Worse, some guys will deliberately try to sabotage your diet, just for sport. Want a cookie?

Fix your head: Admit you need support. “Let people know how to help you, and many will,” says Beth Kitchin, an assistant professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Fix your routine: Eat a protein bar before meeting friends, so you?ll feel fuller. Drink a glass of water for every glass of beer. A time-tested strategy: Recruit a friend to diet or work out with you. Having someone to answer to is the best enforcement plan.

Wikio

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