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Nowadays, there are many weight loss programs catering to both men and women, and each has a slightly different approach. There is a general recognition of the fact that weight problems are both physical and psychological in nature. Because of the dual nature of weight problems, the solution is seldom as simple as just eating less. For example, Weight Watchers and several other well-known weight loss programs require you to come in for a weigh-in, often public, and receive various types of counseling. That is in addition to tracking what you eat during the day and adding it up according to a special system.
Other weight loss programs take a pro-active, behavioralist approach by asking you to identify your eating habits and patterns. Under what circumstances do you tend to overeat? Which foods do you eat when you are overeating? By answering these questions, you can identify and anticipate your own weak points and problem areas, and a specialized system is designed for you, taking these into account.
Exercise is probably the single most important factor in weight loss - more important than how much, or how little, you eat. Exercise boosts your body's metabolism rate, so that you burn more of the calories you ingest. Exercise also builds muscle, which continues to burn fat and calories even after you have finished exercising. Finally, exercise just makes you feel better about yourself and the world.
Happy people may eat heartily at times, but they are less likely to binge eat or to eat out of boredom. In short, exercise can help accelerate your weight loss in many different ways. It doesn't really matter what type of exercise you do, as long as you to it regularly. Studies vary regarding this particular subject - some recommend intense exercise a few times a week, while others say just the opposite - that you should exercise every day, but at a lower intensity. The bottom line is that you should do what feels good to you, and what fits into your schedule.
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!
Quick Weight Loss - Not All it's Cracked up to be?
Is quick weight loss a good idea? It all depends what you consider quick. Some people follow what used to be called 'crash' diets, eating next to nothing for a limited period of time in an attempt to lose weight as quickly as possible. This is seldom a good idea, for several reasons. First, super quick weight loss necessitates following such a restrictive diet that the dieter is more than likely to feel deprived - indeed, he or she has an excellent reason for feeling this way! A diet very low in calories is unlikely to provide adequate nutrition, so it leaves you feeling hungry, deprived and resentful. People have different reactions to this; some rebel, while others are convinced that they don't deserve to eat normally and that they'll never be able to, without gainin weight. In other words, crash diets set the stage for future eating disorders.
Prescription Weight Loss - We are growing more and more overweight even as we obsess about our appearance and particularly about staying thin. But this isn't just a matter of appearances: obesity (weight that is 20% above normal for your height) is thought to contribute to a wide range of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
And after you start to eat normally again, your body might still think that it's in a famine and needs to hold on to every bit of energy it can.
Also, very quick weight loss seldom stays off. That's because most people's bodies tend to have two metabolism 'settings', probably left over from those of early humans. When food is plentiful, it is consumed as needed, and the excess is stored in the form of fat. But when food is scarce (like during a restrictive diet) your body is convinced that it's going through a 'famine' time, and metolism slows down to conserve energy. If you're after quick weight loss, that's the last thing that you want, of course. In fact, some chronic dieters succeed in permanently slowing down their metabolism to the point where they end up gaining more weight than they ever lost in the first place. That's because lost muscle weight can sometimes be replaced by an equal volume of fat.
The real key to quick weight loss, therefore, is not cutting calories but increasing activity so that you burn more of them more quickly. Consider the fact that ballet dancers can lose up to five pounds in a single performance - now that's quick weight loss! Of course, most of us will never be active enough to lose weight that quickly, but certainly a daily workout, long or short, can help get you on the road to quick weight loss. An exercise program coupled with watching what you eat is absolutely optimal in allowing you to lose weight fast. Don't be tempted by gimmicks or pills, though; at best, they are likely to be waste of money, and at worst, they can be downright dangerous.
For all too many of us, weight loss is anything but easy. In fact, more people in North America struggle with their weight than with any other problem. Here are some easy weight loss techniques to get you on your way to losing weight - and keeping it off. The best way to lose weight quickly is to exercise more, while at the same time watching what you eat. Of course, this is easier said than done - most people require more specific tips about how to do this. For example, should you exercise three times a week, or every day? And for how long? And are there any specific foods you should eat more of, or avoid altogether?
For many of us, it is a good idea to exercise every day, but at a lower intensity. Of course, if you have a passion for a certain sport that you practice once or twice a week, go for it! You can alternate it with less intense workouts on other days. As a rule of thumb, don't drive when you can walk or bike. Again, there are exceptions - if it's raining hard, or you have to get somewhere quickly - but as a general rule, just try to keep moving. This is one of the most effective easy weight loss suggestions.
As for what you should eat, this is different for every person as well. Just as everyone has different tastes in food, everyone has a different metabolism rate. 'One size fits all' dieting doesn't work, and neither does deprivation. For easy weight loss, start with small changes in how you eat. Make a move toward more natural foods - avoid food that comes in boxes, and shop in the outside aisles of the supermarket. Most experts nowadays acknowledge that 'light' products aren't really effective for easy weight loss - most of us just eat more of them, so there's not real calorie loss! Eating natural foods, however, is easy and satisfying. Be sure to eat enough protein, but don't cut out carbohydrates altogether - just make a point of choosing whole grains rather than refined carbs.
Easy weight loss is possible for most people - and what's more, using these techniques, you will keep the weight off. These simple, easy techniques are more effective in the long term than many weight loss programs.
There are literally thousands of weight loss programs out there today - which shows that losing weight is an almost universal preoccupation! When you examine what many of these programs are all about, though, you can see why people who lose weight typically are not able to keep it off for good. Unlike natural weight loss, many weight loss programs emphasize special products such as meal replacements or supplements. The problem is that no one can stay with this type of program for life - and as soon as you get off the weigh loss program, the weight is likely to creep back on, and you're back where you started.
Natural weight loss is different. With natural weight loss, you use the simplest principle of all - the fact that, in order to lose weight, you must use more calories than you take in. You make this principle work in your favor, and you can do this in one of two ways. You can either eat less - and that doesn't mean cutting out or minimizing entire food groups, but just eating less of whatever you happen to be eating - or you can exercise more. To be really successful, of course, you should do both.
To limit how much you eat, the simplest and most natural technique is this: eat only when you're hungry, and when you're not hungry anymore, stop eating. It sounds simple and logical - but it's amazing how few of us actually do this! This natural weight loss technique has one great advantage - it teaches you to listen to your body. Given the chance, your body will tell you when and how much you need to eat. No book can tell you that. After all, your needs vary from day to day. Some people have a 'hungry day' followed by a 'not hungry' day, and that's waht's natural for them. 'Naturally' thin people are those who habitually listen to their bodies.
The natural way to exercise is to do it often, but at a low intensity. Throughout most of human history, people didn't visit the gym, but they did move around all day, every day - they walked or rode everywhere, for one thing. And most of these people were not overweight. You can do the same. One way to do this is to establish a certain 'minimum distance' for driving, and stick to it. For example, you can decide never to drive if your destination is closer than ten blocks. Of course, there will be exceptions, but just following a policy like this most of the time will inject a lot of extra exercise into your day.
Many believe that eliminating fat and cholesterol from the diet is the answer to weight loss. The key to weight loss is in the moderation of healthy fats. The only thing you should eliminate from your diet is the unhealthy fats. Unhealthy fats such as saturated and trans fats are associated with heart disease, obesity, and in short, a very unhealthy lifestyle. Cholesterol is found in every cell. Cholesterol regulates the cell membranes fluidity. This prevents the cell from becoming too rigid or too fluid. Basically, cholesterol helps keep the cell membranes intact. Cholesterol is the precursor to all steroid hormones produced in the body which includes mineralcorticoids, glucocorticoids, and the sex hormones. Cholesterol helps to build strong bones and muscles, and maintains libido and fertility.
This type of weight loss program is particularly successful because it is realistic, aknowledging that not everyone is alike, and that a 'one size fits all' program may fail to help a certain percentage of the clientele. Also, because a program like this teaches you to avoid pitfalls, it is infomation that can be used throughout your life, not just when you are 'on a diet' or actively following the program.
Cholesterol assists in regulating the blood sugar. Cholesterol helps to protect against infectious disease and repairs damaged tissue. Cholesterol is required to form vitamin D. With this in mind, should cholesterol be eliminated from a diet? There is a difference in blood cholesterol and dietary cholesterol. You can find dietary cholesterol in foods such as eggs, seafood, and meat. The liver also makes about two grams of cholesterol daily. However, under stressful conditions the production of cholesterol increases. Many studies cannot correlate eating foods containing cholesterol with an increase in blood cholesterol.
Eliminating cholesterol from the diet can cause the body to make more, since this compound is of great importance for a healthy body. This in turn can cause unhealthy ratios of low density lipoproteins (LDL's) to high density lipoproteins (HDL's). Lipoproteins are cholesterol carriers. The structure of the lipoprotein is part fat (lipids) and part protein. Proteins are soluble in water whereas fats are insoluble in water, hence the reason for the lipoprotein structure. The protein portion is used to transport the lipids through the blood.
Since blood is comprised mostly of water, the lipid portion would not travel without the protein portion. High density lipoproteins or HDL's consist of about half protein and half lipid; whereas low density lipoproteins or LDL's are about a quarter protein and three quarters lipid. The function of the HDL is to bring cholesterol to the liver for recycling or elimination. HDL's prevent less cholesterol from being deposited in the arteries. Low density lipoproteins transport cholesterol to the rest of the body for building tissues. High levels of LDL's can cause cholesterol to be deposited in the arteries. An abnormally high level of LDL's to low levels of HDL's in the body is believed to be a cause of heart disease.
The levels of lipoproteins (HDL and LDL) are affected by the types of fats we consume. Saturated fats or animal fats are commonly found in meat, egg yolks, coconut oil, palm oil, and whole milk products. Trans fatty acids are chemically unsaturated fats. However, in the body trans fats behave much like saturated fats. Trans fats also lower HDL levels and raise LDL levels, increasing the risk of heart disease.
Trans fats are usually introduced into the diet in ways most consumers are unaware of. During hydrogenation, polyunsaturated oils become exposed to hydrogen at high temperatures. The nature of the polyunsaturated fat becomes transformed into a trans fat. Most margarines and baked goods contain the hydrogenated polyunsaturated oils. Now the FDA requires that trans fats be listed on nutrition labels making the trans fat easier for the consumer to avoid.
The right type of fat can actually help you burn fat and is extremely healthy for the body. Polyunsaturated fats are oils at room temperature such as sunflower, corn, and soybean oil. Polyunsaturated oils contain essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are also associated with a lowered risk of heart disease.
The omega-3 fatty acid is primarily linolenic acid. These fatty acids are found primarily in plants and in fish oils that contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). The omega-3 fatty acid can actually counteract some of the negative effects of insulin resistance. Therefore, a diet plan incorporating significant amounts of omega-3 fats helps to promote weight loss.
The omega-6 fatty acid, primarily linoleic acid obtained from vegetable oils helps to protect against heart disease. Good sources of omega-6 fats are nuts, avocados, olives, soybeans, along with sesame, cottonseed, and corn oil.
Monounsaturated fats are the cornerstone to the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean cultures show that a diet rich in olive oil is correlated with a low incidence of heart disease. Monounsaturated fats can be found in canola, peanut, and olive oil. This type of fat has the ability to favorably modify lipoprotein levels. Weight loss is a combination of diet and exercise planning. Problems most encounter are lack of long term commitment. This weight loss commitment issue has made the quick fix weight loss plan the most popular. Look past the popular weight loss trends. Remember, achieving long term weight loss resides in a lifestyle change you can adapt to.
Kristy Haugen is a mother and an experienced nurse. She also has a bachelor degree in Biology and Chemistry. She writes to inform consumers about nutrition and health topics. Learn more about weight loss supplements at http://weightlosssupplements.vitaminmaniac.com . Learn more about vitamins and your health at http://blog.vitaminmaniac.com .
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