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The Atkins diet is the focus of these comments from the American Heart
"The Atkins diet holds the controversial belief that low fat is not the only way to go for a healthier lifestyle and weight control. Dr. Atkins blamed carbohydrates (grains, pastas, fruits, potatoes) for weight gain. He believed that if you reduced your carbohydrate intake then you would lose weight. Too many carbohydrates in your diet encourage your body to retain fat."
When the body absorbs simple carbohydrates quickly, it causes an insulin
response that speeds the conversion of calories to fat. The plan focuses
on the consumption of nutrient-dense, unprocessed foods and vita-nutrient
supplementation. It also restricts processed and refined carbohydrates
(which make up to approximately more then 50 per cent of people’s
diets). It encourages you to eliminate sugar from your diet as this contributes
to a slower metabolism.
There are four phases to the Atkins diet, they are; 1) Induction, 2) Ongoing Weight Loss, 3) Pre-Maintenance and 4) Lifetime Maintenance.
During Phase 1 (Induction), you restrict carbohydrate consumption to 20 grams each day, obtaining carbohydrate primarily from salad and other non-starchy vegetables.
In Phase 2 (Ongoing Weight Loss), you increase carbohydrate in the form of nutrient-dense and fibre-rich foods by 20 grams daily in the first week and then 30 grams daily in the next week until you gradually lose weight. Then you subtract 5 grams of carbohydrate from your daily intake so that you continue sustained weight loss.
In Phase 3, known as ‘Pre-Maintenance’, you make the transition from weight loss to weight maintenance by increasing the daily carbohydrate intake in 10 gram increments each week.
In the last phase of the Atkins plan (Lifetime Maintenance), you select from a wide variety of foods while controlling carbohydrate intake to ensure weight maintenance.
There are mixed views on the Atkins diet amongst health experts and dieticians. Many experts are critical of low-carb diets but have not totally discounted the Atkins diet as an effective method of losing weight. Although they do assert that it is too early to adopt the low-carb diet, health experts do concede that it is worth exploring. One main criticism of the Atkins diet is that it does entail frequent meat consumption.
However, followers argue that the program can be tailored for different preferences and metabolisms. After the first phase (known as the ‘Induction phase’) the Atkins diet plan can be modified. Despite the immense popularity of the diet, the Atkins diet plan continues to have many skeptics. Another criticism of the diet purports that a person is unlikely to keep the weight off over the long term. However, this claim could just as easily be applied to many low-fat or low-calorie weight loss plans, on which dieters are likely to feel hungry.
We really do care about your health and happiness and are thrilled you are interested in our articles, but please always check with your doctor before trying something new!
Confused by diet plans?
If you are confused by weight loss programs you are not alone. There are so many different types of diets and programs that it is no wonder there is confusion. Some convince you that the answer is low fat, low carb, while others preach the opposite. The important thing to remember is to choose a diet correct for your lifestyle.
a program, such as Jenny Craig or NutriSystem, you are being closely
monitored and are eating specific meals designed for your weight loss.
Each diet or program has it’s advantages and disadvantages.
While if you are on the Zone or Atkins Diets, you must monitor and prepare your own meals. Your choice may also be a financial consideration as well. Most programs such as Jenny Craig or NutriSystem cost significantly more than the Zone or Atkins, as they are preparing your foods for you.
To eliminate the confusion of choosing a tailored program or a specific diet, you may first want to consult your physician to discuss what the best options for you are.
Your physician may ask you to add a fitness program to your diet as well, or may require you to choose a specific diet if you have health issues. Meeting with your physician is especially important before starting a program or diet especially if your goal is significant weight loss.
Once you have decided on either a program or a specific diet, you will then be able to tailor your program or diet to meet your lifestyle and achieve your desired results.
Use effective workout routines
Workout routines that don’t deliver what you expect may be a waste of energy.
Most workout routines designed to improve your aerobic fitness involve exercising for 20 minutes or longer at a percentage of your maximum heart rate — known as your training zone.
In other words, it's possible to raise your heart rate, keep
it there for 20 minutes or more several times each week, and it won't
improve your fitness in the slightest.
Most aerobic workout routines are based on the relative stress they impose on your body. For example, the general rule for establishing a suitable training intensity is to measure your VO2max. To improve your aerobic fitness, you then follow a training program that corresponds to a percentage of this maximum.
However, most people don't have access to the equipment needed to measure their VO2max. Instead, they use their heart rate to establish a suitable training intensity.
This is because during some forms of exercise, there's a link between oxygen consumption and heart rate. During aerobic exercise, such as running or walking for example, oxygen consumption and heart rate tend to rise together. Yet the relationship doesn't hold true for all forms of activity.
Some evidence for this comes from a study carried in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Researchers from Washington University measured the effect of four months of strength training using Nautilus exercise machines.
A group of 13 untrained males aged 40-55 took part in the study. During each workout, which was carried out 3-4 times per week, test subjects performed one set of each of 14 exercises.
• There was no change in body fat levels.
• Upper-body strength increased by an average of 50%.
• Lower-body strength increased by 33%.
During Nautilus exercise, the heart was working at 155 beats per minute, which was approximately 80% of its maximum. However, despite training in this way for up to four times each week, there was no significant change in aerobic fitness.
This is because the large rise in heart rate was partly caused by an increase in the production of hormones known as catecholamines (pronounced cat-a-coal-a-meens). Adrenaline, for example, was roughly 4.5 times higher during Nautilus exercise than treadmill walking at a similar oxygen consumption.
This doesn't mean that training with weights isn't a suitable way to improve your aerobic fitness. After all, compound exercises such as the squat and the deadlift place a large stress on your cardiovascular system. What it does mean is that measuring your heart rate isn't always the best way to gauge the effectiveness of your workout routines.
Fitness weight loss programs follow the principle that exercise is the
primary key to effective weight loss. The infamous “fat camps” are
one example, but the variety available today goes far beyond that. The
one common denominator they all possess is motion.
Exercise raises metabolism over time, and when coupled with a sensible diet, allows the body to consume excess calories stored as fat. Choose your fitness weight loss program with one thing in mind. You need to like it and you need to see yourself involved in such activities for years to come.
Those poor overweight souls who take up running (and hate it) or throw themselves into high stepping aerobics classes (and hate it) won’t do it very long and therefore will not realize any benefits from it whatsoever. They’ll just recall how awful it is. Had those same individuals started with walking short distances or dancing a bit, their perception would have changed. They would have considered their efforts as fun, and fun makes all the difference.
Becoming overweight took time. So will becoming fit. Walking can lead to running or hiking. Performing five pound dumbbell curls can lead to performing full free weight routines one day. Cross-country skiing may be an Olympic event, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a simple shuffle in the snow.
Your fitness weight loss program, then, only requires two things: fun and doability over time. Doesn’t that sound a lot more enjoyable already?
The truth about gastric bypass surgery
Gastric bypass surgery is in the news constantly, it seems, but the facts aren’t always there. WebMD.com offers these comments on this radical procedure.
The diet offers people who
have failed on a low-fat diet a healthy, effective and safe alternative.
Instead of carbs and sugar, eaters are allowed plenty of fat and protein.
Gastric bypass surgery makes the stomach smaller and allows food to bypass part of the small intestine. You will feel full more quickly than when your stomach was its original size, which reduces the amount of food you eat and thus the calories consumed. Bypassing part of the intestine also results in fewer calories being absorbed. This leads to weight loss.
The most common gastric bypass surgery is a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
In normal digestion, food passes through the stomach and enters the small intestine, where most of the nutrients and calories are absorbed. It then passes into the large intestine (colon), and the remaining waste is eventually excreted.
In a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the stomach is made smaller by creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach using surgical staples or a plastic band. The smaller stomach is connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine (jejunum), bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine (duodenum).
This procedure can be done by making a large incision in the abdomen (an open procedure) or by making a small incision and using small instruments and a camera to guide the surgery (laparoscopic approach).
What To Expect After Surgery
This surgery usually involves a 4- to 6-day hospital stay (2 to 3 days for a laparoscopic approach). Most people can return to their normal activities within 3 to 5 weeks.
Gastric bypass surgeries may cause dumping syndrome. This occurs when food moves too quickly through the stomach and intestines. It causes nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness, and possibly diarrhea soon after eating. These symptoms are made worse by eating highly refined, high-calorie foods (like sweets). In some cases you may become so weak that you have to lie down until the symptoms pass.
All surgeries have risk, and it is important for you and your health professional to discuss your treatment options to decide what is best for your situation.
How Well It Works
Most people who have gastric bypass surgery quickly begin to lose weight and continue to lose weight for up to 12 months. One study noted that people lost about one-third of their excess weight (the weight above what is considered healthy) in 1 to 4 years. Some of the lost weight may be regained.
The laparoscopic approach showed similar results, with 69% to 82% of excess weight lost over 12 to 54 months.
Risks common to all surgeries for weight loss include an infection in the incision, a leak from the stomach into the abdominal cavity or where the intestine is connected (resulting in an infection called peritonitis), and a blood clot in the lung (pulmonary embolism). About one-third of all people having surgery for obesity develop gallstones or a nutritional deficiency condition such as anemia or osteoporosis.
Fewer than 3 in 200 (1.5%) people die after surgery for weight loss.
All surgeries have risk, and it is important for you and your health professional to discuss your treatment options to decide what is best for your situation.
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