Category Archives: 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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Never, Ever Drink Sweetened Soda
But go ahead, have a glass of wine now and then. Low-carb beer is fine, too, in moderation.
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.
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:
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.
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
Obesity alters gut microbial ecology.Ley, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2005 Aug 2; 102(31):11070-11075.
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
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 youâ€™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
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.