Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weight Loss and Fitness - Facts not Fiction

Weight Loss and Fitness - Facts not Fiction
 by: Martin Harshberger
The world of weight loss and fitness is certainly vast, and the American consumer can absolutely get lost in the thousands of easy effortless and ostly useless ads if not careful. With my books and research I want to clear the air about the various myths and false statements regarding our health and fitness that have clearly muddied the waters for many Americans.
What I want to stress in particular is that there is no magic answer, potion, or diet pill that is going to make everything better. The ad on TV where the pretty lady says "it's easy. you'll love it", is appealing to our need for instant gratification with no effort. We don't want to hear the facts so we continue to look for the instant solution. If there was a magic diet pill, or diet plan, over 60% of Americans wouldn't be overweight, in spite of spending over $35 billion annually on diet products.
Achieving weight loss and fitness requires a commitment on your part to strive for a healthier you. What you will get in return for all of your hard work and dedication is a fit body, a renewed clarity of mind, better quality sleep, and perhaps even a pronounced increase in your libido. I have found that through the positive changes I have made in my own life regarding weight loss and fitness, all areas of my life are exponentially better. I wake up energized, I feel excited about my day and my interactions with people, my body feels strong and capable, and my entire outlook on life has improved significantly.
The Weight Loss and Fitness Commitment show that claims that teach you shortcuts on how to drop 30 pounds in 30 days are improbable at best and unhelathy at worst.
That claim is water loss pure and simple. You do the math: 1 pound of fat = about 3500 calories 30 pounds of fat = 105,000 calories. To lose 30 pounds of fat in 30 days you would need to reduce caloric intake by about 105,000 calories or about 3500 per day. If you are eating 3,000 calories a day now, that might be tough. OK you say I'll exercise it off. 1 hour on a stationary bicycle running at an average over 20 miles an hour burns about 400 calories. Meaning to burn 3,500 calories a day on the bike, you'd need to ride it for about 9 hours.
If you are looking for a quick fix, you will continue to be frustrated about health and fitness.
However, if you are tired of feeling fatigued and know for sure that you are ready to make a solid commitment to your own health and mind, Living to Be Younger can act as a guide. It is my hope that you will read each page with an open mind and a willingness to make some changes that will enable you to break out of your rut.
First, lose the idea that there is a magic diet pill or supplement that will transform your body to a svelte shape. Losing weight requires that you expend more calories than you ingest—plain and simple. This means that you must get up and moving at least three to five days per week, for at least 30 minutes each session. If you were considerably overweight, it would be ideal to aim for at least five workout sessions per week. Always consult with your physician before embarking on any new exercise plan. Second, take a good look at what you are putting in your mouth on a daily basis. Aim for natural foods that are high in vitamins and minerals, fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates. Limit your intake of foods high in saturated fats, sodium, refined sugars, and preservatives. When you take the Living to Be Younger Challenge, you will find that your zest for life isn't gone—it's just been hiding. Congratulations on taking this first step towards a healthier you.


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The 7 Phases of Change

The 7 Phases of Change
 by: Kimberly Fulcher / Shawn Byler
Lose The Weight For Good With The Seven Phases of Change
The process of losing weight requires change; in lifestyle, routines, and habitual choices. One of the primary reasons you've fail when attempting to lose weight is that you haven't planned for the phases of change you will experience as you begin the process of transforming their body. Let's do something about that. Join me in exploring the Seven Phases of Change, and take control of your weight for good!
Phase One: Acknowledgement
Phase one is about honesty. You must clearly define the habits that aren't working for you, and make a commitment to change. (For example, eating a pint of ice cream in front of the television will not help you reach your goal weight. Going for a walk with a friend will).
Phase Two: Excitement and Skepticism
In this phase you begin to believe that you just might be able to do this. You've identified your obstacles, and you've started to make some changes. This will feel great. Inevitably, your feelings of excitement will mingle with skepticism. After all, when you've spent years losing and gaining the same ten pounds, you can start to believe that they're going to be a permanent fixture in your life! Still, in this stage your excitement should outweigh your skepticism, and you will enjoy the process of starting to make changes in your life.
Phase Three: Rebellion
When you are in rebellion you will have a strong desire to break "the rules" of whatever program you've adopted. This could mean that instead of hitting the gym you hit your fridge with a vengeance; eating everything that isn't nailed down (or healthy). Admit it, you've done this before.
The difference between people who succeed in losing weight vs. those who don't lives in this phase. Either you're going to move beyond the fact that you've just eaten 10,000 calories, and get back on the horse, or you're going to wallow in self hatred – while you finish off a bag of chips. Put the chips down, and choose to get back on the horse!
Phase Four: Education
In Phase Four you decide that you will invest your time and energy in learning about why you do what you do, and how you can make permanent changes in your behavior. This requires education and self-inquiry. Find out why you're doing what you're doing, and identify what you need to address in order to make a permanent change.
Phase Five: Anger and Questions
While this phase can be uncomfortable, it is an incredibly important part of your journey. At this point you will connect with feelings of anger and disillusionment as you realize how simple it can be to develop healthy food and exercise habits. When this becomes clear, you're going to realize that you've been sold a bill of goods by the diet industry, and this is going to make you mad.
Go ahead, allow yourself a moment or two to feel frustrated. Then, get over it. Nothing productive will come from you finger pointing, marinating in resentment, or feeling sorry for yourself. You are in charge now, and that means you can begin using your newfound knowledge to create new results in your life. In fact, you can use your anger to spur you on!
Phase Six: I'm Free!
Your feelings of freedom will bring you great joy, as well as some grief, in phase six. When you recognize that you have successfully made a life change, you will feel a sense of freedom unlike anything you have ever experienced before. Your joy will be overwhelming.
At the same time, it's normal for you to experience simultaneous feelings of grief. After all, the changes you've made will materially impact the relationship you have shared with one of your most trusted friends; food. After all, food has been a constant and predictable form of security and sustenance in your life. When you realize that you cannot rely on eating to meet your emotional needs any longer, it is normal for you to feel a bit sad. Allow yourself to process those feelings. Then, refocus on your freedom and joy!
Phase Seven: Conditioning
Finally, your cycle concludes with your commitment to stay on course. Turn your new behaviors into trusted habits, and you will embrace a lifetime of health, fitness, and energy. Enjoy!


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Fuel Your Body...Don't Feed That Craving!

Fuel Your Body...Don't Feed That Craving!
 by: Kristina Haisten
Go ahead and confess: You're completely addicted to potato chips. Your determination weakens every time you think about munching into one, hearing the crunch, and getting that first taste of its salty flavor. If you don't flip over chips, there's probably another food that lures you into the refrigerator or the pantry. According to one study, 97% of women (compared to 68% of men) experience food cravings.
How do you control these urges that send you spiraling away from your diet plan toward an unrestrained binge? I have researched this topic to give you sound advice on how to enjoy eating even a forbidden food without turning it into a feeding frenzy. Read on - and never again feel guilty about eating a piece of chocolate.
Take Charge of Your Eating Habits.
Try to control the number of food cravings you experience. It seems to be impossible, but if you use the power of your mind to psyche yourself and develop fewer cravings, then slowly you'll submit to fewer cravings.
According to one study of nearly 500 women, researchers found that women who received 200 milligrams of calcium daily reduced their number of premenstrual food cravings by 54%. Skim milk and yogurt are good sources that won't add a lot of calories. But what if you're lactose intolerant? Try a calcium-fortified orange juice or cereal with added calcium. If you don't feel you can get sufficient calcium from food, you can use a calcium supplement like Caltrate or a nutritional juice like Fruta Vida that contains calcium.
Find ways to relax and reduce stress. When you're anxious, your body produces more of the hormone cortisol, which may increase your desire for sweets and carbohydrates. Sweets and carbohydrates temporarily increase our levels of serotonin, making us feel calm and relaxed. Try instead to calm down by exercising, meditating, practicing yoga, taking a long walk or better yet, a long bubble bath.
Make sure you can distinguish specific cravings from real hunger. Suppose you're driving by a fast food restaurant and all of a sudden, you have an intense craving for french fries. Rather than turning into the drive thru, reassess your urge. Turn on your favorite music and switch your attention away from the fries. But what if it really is hunger and you don't have time to find anything else? Then go inside, but order a salad and a diet coke.
Don't be afraid to give to your craving every once in a while. Learn how to have a small amount of your favorite treat and watch what happens. When you begin including small amounts of these forbidden foods into your diet, a funny thing happens: You don't crave them anymore. To allow yourself that little luxury, cut hundred's of unnecessary calories from your daily diet.
Cut Those Calories!
Absolutely, you can cut on hundreds of calories on what you eat every day! How? By making appropriate choices and replacing high-calorie foods such as cheese, creams, whole milk and butter with low-calorie alternatives. Here are easy tricks to keep you cooking and eating minus the calories. When cooking, use a nonstick pan to reduce the use of butter and/or oil. Remove the fat from the meat. Remove the skin of chicken before serving. Use butter-flavored seasoning on vegetables instead of real butter. For casseroles, desserts and sauces use evaporated skim milk (12 cal. /tbsp.) instead of heavy cream (51 cal. /tbsp.) Cook stews and other casseroles ahead of time. Refrigerate. Remove congealed fat before serving. Choose a real orange (71 cal.) over orange juice (90 cal./6 oz). Low-calorie vegetables and fruits (cucumbers, asparagus, carrots, apples, and broccoli) are good replacements for crackers and chips. Use two egg whites (34 cal.) for cakes instead of one egg (82 cal.). Choose diet margarine (50 cal.) instead of the regular margarine (100 cal.). Choose cereals with the least sugar and lots of fiber, then add fresh fruit for more flavor. At parties, good substitutes for snacks are carrot sticks, celery sticks, pickle slices, and raw mushroom caps. These are all great with dips. Grill your hamburgers and always choose a lean beef.
Fueling your body with nutritional food and not feeding a craving depends on the right attitude. You have the power to choose.


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