Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Atkins Declares Low Carb Dead?

Atkins Declares Low Carb Dead?
 by: Dan Robey
As many of you have already heard, Atkins Nutritionals Inc. the company that turned low carb eating into a worldwide diet craze has filed for bankruptcy court protection.
Does this mean that people did not lose weight on the Atkins diet?
Of course not, carbohydrate restriction has been proven to accelerate weight loss in the short term. Notice the last two words...short term. There is a simple reason why Atkins filed bankruptcy, people love to jump on the latest diet craze and then jump off just as quickly as they jumped on. When buyer demand slows, so do revenues.
People did lose weight, and lot's of it on the Atkins diet. The problem is that diets like the Atkins diet are hard to stick with long term. In fact, there has been little solid evidence to show that carbohydrate restriction can lead to permanent weight loss. What then is the key to permanent weight loss?
The key to permanent weight loss is to change your lifestyle. Your lifestyle is made up of the habits and routines that you have made a part of your life.You can achieve permanent weight loss by simply acquiring new "Positive Habits" that provide weight loss as a benefit.
What is a positive habit? A positive habit is simply a habit that produces positive benefits, actions and attitudes you want to acquire and make a part of your lifestyle. Why are positive habits so powerful. Because habits, by their very nature, are automatic. After a period of time they can become permanent.
So how do we go about adding new positive habits to our life? It's really quite easy. You simply begin repeating an action, attitude or thought process every day for at least 21 days. Research has shown that an action that is repeated for a minimum of 21 days is likely to become a permanent habit.
Remember that positive habits have positive benefits and you will reap those benefits for as long as you maintain that habit. So now that we know what positive habits are, and how to acquire them, let's look at some simple positive habits that will help you achieve permanent weight loss.
Habit #1 - When Dining Out, Control Food Preparation and Lose Weight
When you eat out, make it a habit to request how your food is prepared. You should never feel like you have to accept food items exactly as they are described on the menu. Most restaurants will happily prepare your meal in different ways if you just request it. You can ask that they bake or broil items which are usually fried.
Always remember to ask for salad dressing on the side. Salad dressing can be one of the biggest sources of fat in a person's diet. Studies have shown that females gets most of their fat from dairy products, margarine, mayonnaise, and salad dressing. By making it a habit to order salad dressing on the side, you can control the amount and type of dressing your put on your salads and reduce the amount of fat and calories that you consume. Try substituting olive oil or a low fat alternative like balsamic vinegar for bottled dressings. Olive oil contains healthy monosaturated fat and is a key ingredient in the healthy heart Mediterranean diet.
Remember that sometimes, small changes in your lifestyle can result in big changes to your life. According to the Encyclopedia of Foods: A Guide To Healthy Nutrition, simple changes to your food order as described above you can save 10 to 30 grams of fat and 100 to 300 calories per entree!
Think about how this positive habit can help you achieve a trim and fit body automatically! Remember, your new positive habits will result in a change in your lifestyle. The cumulative effects of these lifestyle changes are considerable, they hold the keys to achieving a permanent weight loss and a trim and fit body.
Habit #2 - Drink Green Tea ...Burn Fat! Boost Your Metabolism!
If you want some help achieving that trim and fit body, make it a positive habit to drink green tea daily. Here are just of few of the benefits you will receive from this positive habit: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently published research demonstrating that a substance found in green tea called catechin polyphenols increases your metabolism and also increases the rate at which your body burns calories. Burning more calories is your ticket to a leaner body.
Green tea is also loaded with antioxidants, which have been shown to protect you from cancer and many other diseases. Other studies have shown that green tea may help you control your appetite. Green tea is available in many restaurants and most grocery stores.
Copyright 2005 Dan Robey


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Understanding Your Stress Levels

Understanding Your Stress Levels
 by: Trevor Dumbleton
In order to understand stress better, it is a good idea to understand that there are different stress levels. These levels vary in the form of stress they take and they can often provide an indication of how to treat the stress. Furthermore, there are tests available that can help people understand their own, particular brand of stress and, with this knowledge, they can also understand themselves better. Then, with this information, a complete stress management method can be constructed. So, when you examine your own stress, keep these stress levels in mind so that you can come to grips with yourself and learn the proper methods for keeping your mind balanced.
These stress levels were found and characterized by Dr. Hans Selye and Dr. Richard Earle of the Canadian Institute of Stress. Thus, the names and types are theirs.
Type 1 - The Speed Freak
This stress level is characterized by an incessant need to be giving 110% at all times. They are often perfectionists, they tend to speak quickly, and they are very impatient. Generally, Speed Freaks have learned that it is necessary to work hard in order to succeed, so they figure that, if they are working hard all the time, they are certain to succeed. This, of course, is not necessarily the case, since running full-bore all the time will only lead to stress over minor issues.
Speed Freaks need to learn how to relax and they need to clarify their goals so that they will work hard on things that really matter, while relaxing while they are working on more mundane tasks. By doing this, they can get up to speed when they need to put in the effort and conserve energy the rest of the time.
Type 2 - The Worry Wart
The Worry Wart stress level is characterized by an inability to stop thoughts, but an equal inability to put thoughts into action. They tend to overanalyze things to the point that they paralyze themselves. Thus, they simply end up spinning their wheels as they get nowhere. True to the name, Worry Warts tend to spend a lot of their time worrying and this only leaves them even more incapable of action.
Worry Warts need to think very specifically about the problems they are facing, write down every possible thing that can go wrong, then think about just how likely these events are. Then, once everything is treated with a philosophical distance, the worry will decrease and the Worry Wart can move on toward their goals.
Type 3 - The Drifter
Drifters are people who keep so many options open that they are incapable of actually developing any skills in depth. Instead of focusing their energies on specific life goals, they end up putting effort into a variety of tasks so that none of them every really get done. Thus, their hours are spent productively, but their hours rarely produce anything concrete. In fact, they create a paradox of complete freedom in which they are trapped by their own inability to use that freedom effectively.
Drifters need to clarity their life goals, focus on things that make them feel worthwhile, and try to build up a life that is open to more than just work. Then, once they have a place to direct their efforts, they can shed all the excess nonsense that they surround themselves with.
Type 4 - The Loner
This stress level is recognizable by the fact that Loners are unable to create meaningful relationships with others. This is due to the fact that they generally work alone, so that do not receive much feedback from others. Thus, rather than building relationships that can help support them, they tend to crawl into a shell and keep other people outside of it. Thus, as they avoid shared experiences with others, they become incapable of finding out what they enjoy and who they enjoy doing it with.
Loners should attempt to clarify their own values, then work to build relationships with people who share those values, which in turn gives Loners a way to move toward their goals. This will give them both a purpose and a support structure that can help them succeed in that purpose.
Type 5 - Basket Cases
This stress level is very dangerous, as Basket Cases are creating their own energy crises. Instead of caring for themselves, they tend to be achy, depressed, and they often decide that activities are simply too much effort. They are often in poor health and their own malaise and depression makes it hard to do anything about it.
Basket Cases need to start eating right in order to start the healing process. Then, after a few weeks, they should start exercising. Then, once they have a little more energy, they need to learn how to conserve energy by taking breaks during work and not overextending themselves.
Type 6 - Cliff Walkers
Cliff Walkers are people who are at risk for destroying their health. They tend to look worn, they often smoke, eat badly, drink too much, and rarely exercise. However, they usually figure that nothing bad will ever really come out of their bad habits, so they cause themselves even more damage. Thus, they tend to have problems maintaining their energy.
The treatment for Cliff Walkers is the same as that for Basket Cases. Eat right, then start an exercise program, then learn to conserve energy so that they are not constantly worn out.
By understanding stress levels, people can not only learn more about themselves, they can also learn how to succeed. Then, once a person's particular type of stress is treated correctly, the very portions of the personality that were once a burden can become a boon. Thus, learning about stress levels can actually help people achieve their goals.
Copyright 2005 Trevor Dumbleton


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Alcoholism as a Disease, Not a Weakness

Alcoholism as a Disease, Not a Weakness
 by: David Chandler
Alcoholism is a disease in which drinkers have lost the ability to control their drinking, leading to physical and mental harm and loss of ability to behave in a socially acceptable manner. Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive, pathological condition that affects the nervous and digestive system, caused by the inability to stop drinking despite adverse consequences such as loss of job, family, and health. The disease is potentially fatal, however the most disturbing and debilitating part of alcoholism is the loss of self-respect, the possible job loss, and the toll it takes on the alcoholics family. There is also indication that there may be a genetic component with alcoholism.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence defines alcoholism as characterized by "impaired control over dinking…and distortions in thinking, most notably denial." This means that for many alcoholics, they are unable to make a decision to stop drinking without the help of others.
Symptoms of the disease include but are not limited to sneaking drinks, lying about the amount consumed, irritability when alcohol is not available, mood swings, loss of appetite, a puffiness of the face, job loss and a high number of traffic tickets.
Family members need to develop an awareness of the disease and talk with the alcoholic. Most alcoholics are in denial and talking to the person about their disease can be very difficult. Choose a time when the person is sober. In addition, talking to the person after an alcoholic problem as occurred, such as a family argument, or a drunken driving ticket, for example, may be a good time to talk. Unfortunately waiting for a problem to occur from alcoholic behaviors can have serious consequences.
Family members coping with an alcoholic or addict can cause a great deal of stress in the family life. Therefore, there are support groups for Al-Alteen for children and teenagers. Al-Anon is for the spouse or loved one that has to cope with an alcoholic. These groups teach family members on how to cope with the alcoholic and process their emotions.
There are studies that want you to believe that alcoholism is not a disease. They are wrong. Alcoholism is a disease and while there is no cure, it is treatable. If it were not a disease, insurance companies would not pay for treatment.

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Aging Gracefully with the Aid of Various Nutrients

Aging Gracefully with the Aid of Various Nutrients
 by: Charlene J. Nuble
During the past thirty years there has been a steadily growing amount of scientific evidence linking vitamins and minerals to having a direct effect in protecting one's self from aging. Apart from the usual health benefits that we can receive from having adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in our body, it's also a highly appealing note to include that being healthy inside will actually reflect on how we look like on the outside. This is why a great change in one's lifestyle is highly encouraged, a healthy way of living can still be achieved given that you have the patience and enough self-discipline to actually control yourself from wolfing down hamburgers and steaks as well as chugging bottles of soda each and every day.
And the health benefits don't just stop there, along with the youthful appearance, a healthy lifestyle can actually result to a wonderful effect on your immune system, strengthening it and eventually making you more active and less likely to catch any illness. There are a number of nutrients that have shown to be necessary in improving how our immune system functions. Antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E, beta carotene and selenium have been shown to boost resistance. The minerals zinc and magnesium are also important for immune function. To ensure a good bill of health, it is important that you have to make sure that you're getting the right amount of these antioxidants each and every day, from a variety of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet to nutrition supplements, it really is quite easy to be healthy. However, antioxidants such as zinc and magnesium can be found in dairy products and seafood.
Certain vitamins and minerals have been shown to aid in the prevention of some degenerative diseases and illnesses and peculiarities that are brought about by aging. Antioxidants can actually help lower the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration which are conditions associated with aging. Experts actually suggest that antioxidants can help slow the aging process by reducing the daily cell damage done by environmental pollution and time. Vitamin E has been linked with a lower risk of heart disease. Niacin a B vitamin can help in reducing the level of cholesterol in the body. While some other nutrients that are helpful in protecting against age related disorders are selenium, cartenoids, flavinoids and some Amino acids.
Proper nutrition via the diet can actually be quite a feat for some who have never diet in their entire lives, as hard as it may seem to be at first, a well-balanced diet is definitely achievable. Even though people often work longer and harder while parents tend to both work hard in order to provide for their family, it is not an excuse for people to be neglecting their health by filling their bodies with all sorts of junk Another difficulty comes in being surrounded by a lot of processed food that don't really pack in the nutritional value that a person needs to stay healthy. This problem goes as far as the lack of minerals from the soil, which in turn causes our food to be a lot less healthy that it should be. Even vegetables nowadays cannot be relied on to fill in the necessary nutritional requirements that one needs in order to be healthy.
This is the reason why nutritional supplements greatly abound in check out counters and drugstores nowadays. Not only are they affordable but they can also prove to be a good source of the added vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that a person needs in order to stay healthy and fit. Consult a licensed dietician or your family physician to be able to choose the right kind of nutritional supplement for you.
Note: This article may be freely reproduced as long as the AUTHOR'S resource box at the bottom of this article is included and and all links must be Active/Linkable with no syntax changes.

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