Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Compare NutriSystem With the South Beach Diet

Nutrisystem is a diet plan that uses a healthy balance of good carbohydrates, proteins and fats so you can eat a variety of foods and lose weight. The South Beach diet, a plan created by cardiologist Arthur Agatston, restricts carbohydrates, bans unhealthy fats and suggests healthy ones. Comparing the two plans can help you to make an informed decision on the best particular plan for your lifestyle.
The NutriSystem Plan
Choose the NutriSystem plan for ease. Meals are prepared for you and shipped to your door, and the plan includes free online or phone counseling to help you reach your goals. There are programs designed for men and women of all ages and for vegetarians and Type II diabetics.
Look at the rules of the plan. With NutriSystem, all prepared meals offer the correct calories and nutrients. You add fresh fruits and vegetables and don't have to think about the rest of the preparation.
Compare the work involved. Everything is already done for you with NutriSystem so there is almost no work involved except making sure you stick with the plan.
Check the cost of the plan. NutriSystem charges for meals and snacks and shipping, but it often offers discounts and free meals for signing up. You can also save by signing up for the Auto Ship plan.
See the results. NutriSystem allows you to follow plans losing less than or more than 10 lb. You can lose a lot initially, but you can expect to lose 1 to 2 lb. per week if you follow the program exactly.
Weigh the risks. Participants may gain weight back after going off this program since they don't learn how to prepare healthy food themselves.
South Beach Diet Plan
Choose the South Beach Diet Plan if you don't want to completely cut out food groups and want a lifestyle change, not just a quick fix.
Look at the rules of the plan. The South Beach Diet plan doesn't count carbs, but looks at how much sugar is in each carb, choosing those with a low glycemic index. The plan works in 3 phases with the first phase being the most restrictive, taking away all carbs. The second phase reintroduces the carbs in moderation and lasts until you hit your target weight. The third phase allows you to continue to eat normal foods in normal portions following the guidelines for life.
Compare the work involved. Instead of counting calories or maintaining strict portion sizes, you eat normal portions and snack strategically throughout the day, using suggested recipes and food combinations for the various phases.
Check the cost of the plan. There is no sign-up fee or meal cost. You buy the book and companion guide and visit the website for information. Then you buy and prepare the food yourself.
See the results. Weight loss may be dramatic in phase I of the South Beach Diet plan, and then continues at 1 to 2 lb. per week until you hit your weight loss goals. Staying on the plan for life means you keep your target weight and adjust as necessary with the tools provided.
Weigh the risks. Much of the weight lost in the induction phase is water weight, which can throw off your balance of electrolytes.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

How to Avoid Emotional Eating

Emotional eating can be on many levels, from eating out of boredom to eating during periods of severe stress, but all situations involve going for food when you're not physically hungry. The following are some tips in helping you address this issue:

With eating out of boredom, you can try replacing food with another habit.

A good hobby can not only keep you busy but could eventually generate you a second income. Do some research of things you might enjoy that have low starting costs that you can build upon if your interest in it grows.
Keep a pitcher of ice water in your refrigerator.

When you feel the urge to eat but don't feel hungry, try a glass of water instead. Studies have shown many Americans are dehydrated on a regular basis, and sometimes drinking water will satisfy what initially feels like a kind of hunger but is actually thirst.
If your job is highly stressful, it can be very easy to internally justify bad eating behaviors such as depending on vending machines and fast food.

This often results in a cycle, and can be very hard on your body if you're sitting a lot as well. Two ways to address this issue are gradually introducing healthy foods into your daily routine (substituting a little at a time until you've completely replaced the habit) and making time for exercise (most likely during short breaks during the day). This will at least help you maintain your current weight, though you'll probably have to do more intense workouts outside of work to lose weight.

Realize that changing this issue is going to be a process and won't happen overnight.

What can be discouraging is taking steps in the right direction only to have a setback. The important thing is to keep moving forward on a daily basis and small choices-over time they do add up to a big impact. Being aware of the issue instead of acting on it on a subconscious level will help a lot.

There are going to be genuinely hard situations you're going to come up against in life. That's inevitable, but if you make the effort to change during a relatively normal point in your life, it will make choices during those times easier.

If possible, find a friend or mentor that will help you stay accountable.

Sharing this issue with someone you trust can give you an alternative to food for stress and emotional issues. This is very important during times you feel like you're not making progress on your own. Prayer about the issue can definitely help as well.

Good luck and best wishes to you!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Under Eye Bags - 5 Tips to Eliminate Them Forever

Do you have unsightly under eye bags? They make you look much older than your years, but you can get rid of them permanently, without surgery. Discover five tips in this article which will help.
In addition to making you look as if you're totally exhausted, dark marks and bags under your eyes are an indication that your health isn't up to par. Yes, you can get rid of your bags temporarily with surgery, but taking care of your health will remove the bags for good.
Here's how to take care of yourself so that your under eye bags gradually disappear.
1. Eat for Your Skin -- B Vitamins Help You Glow
Few people get sufficient B vitamins in their daily diet. One of the most important B vitamins when it comes to your skin is biotin, which is essential for the health of your skin, hair and nails. Eat more bananas and oatmeal to increase the quantity of biotin, so your body can repair skin damage.
Many creams are available which contain B vitamins: they add a glow to your skin, and they're good for you too -- but do remember that the best source of B vitamins is a good diet.
2. Less Alcohol, More Water
Alcohol dries out your skin. A night on the town and not enough water: result, instant under eye bags.
Water is vital to help your body to function efficiently, and it's easy to forget to drink plenty of water when you're out and about. Drink plenty of water so that toxins are flushed from your system: a bruised look under your eyes is a sign that your kidneys and liver need help.
3. Get More Sleep -- There's a Reason They Call It Beauty Sleep
Lack of sleep can also cause discoloring and bags under your eyes. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep a night. Your body conducts needed repairs as you sleep. If you don't get enough rest, more than your appearance will suffer.
4. Miracle Cure -- Green Tea Bags
Good food and plenty of rest will erase your under eye bags. But what if you want an instant fix? Here's one which works: green tea bags.
Save your green tea bags in the fridge. Before a night out, lie down for ten minutes with the cooled tea bags as a compress.
5. Is It Your Cosmetics? Go Fragrance-Free
The labels on many cosmetics read like a chemical factory's inventory. Who knows what those chemicals do to your skin, not to mention your health?
When you have under eye bags, your motto for cosmetics and skin care products should be: chemical and fragrance-free. Use natural skin care products until your bags have vanished!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Is Acai Berry Safe For Teenagers?

If you are a teenager, or a concerned parent, who is considering taking Acai berry, then you might be wondering; "Is Acai berry safe for teenagers?" It is good to ask this question before taking any new type of health supplement, especially when the person taking the supplement is still growing up.
Luckily, you have nothing to fear when it comes to Acai berries. Asking if Acai berries are safe for teenagers is just like asking if apples, bananas, or grapes are safe for teenagers. Acai is a natural fruit, just like those mentioned above, so it is completely safe for anyone to take. It could be possible that someone could have an allergy to Acai, but that is no more likely than someone being allergic to an apple.
Many teens are guzzling sodas, coffee, and energy drinks at an alarming rate. While these drinks can give teens a temporary boost of energy, they are known to stunt growth and promote obesity. Acai berry juice can be a great tasting and healthy replacement for these drinks. In fact, most people report that the energy they get from Acai blows both coffee and Redbull out of the water. There is no better way for a student to start off a day of school than with a glass of Acai juice.
One of the benefits that is most relevant for teens is its high Omega fatty acid content. Teenage years are full of mental ups and downs, and these essential fatty acids help improve mood and fight depression. They also help improve general brain function (they make you smarter) which will help a teen do better in school and get into a better college.
Acai is one of the most powerful antioxidant foods on earth, which will help with many teens' #1 problem: Acne. Antioxidants help repair damaged skin and hair, and are one of the keys to fight off acne.
Acai is an all natural health supplement that can help teens reach their full potential as adults. Since it's a fruit you do not need to worry if the Acai berry is safe for teenagers.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Atkins Vs. Pritikin: The Debate Rages On!

The battle lines have been drawn and everyone has taken sides. This vicious battle has pitted brother against brother and husband against wife. It is by far the most heated subject in nutrition, and self-proclaimed gurus have crawled out of the woodwork to weigh in with their opinions on the high carb diet vs. low carb diet debate.
As a fitness enthusiast, you no doubt have been in a few discussions, some of them probably a little heated, about how much of your daily calories should consist of carbohydrates. Both sides have compelling arguments, so who's right? They both are, to a point.
First, you have to realize that no diet, no matter how compelling the evidence, is going to work for everyone all of the time. In other words, you have to take your individual differences into account when deciding which approach will work best for you. It is not high carb vs. low carb, it is which one will work best for you, based on your metabolism and training goals. This fact has been missed by most, and this has led to a lot of confusion and frustration among fitness enthusiasts.
The low carbs diet work, and work well, but only for some selected purposes. The proponents of the low carb diets claim that by eating less carbs and more fat you switch your body's metabolism from one that favors carbs to one that favors fat for fuel. This has obvious benefits for someone looking to lose fat. In addition, these diets tend to be very low in total calories and help to control hunger with the addition of protein and fat to each meal. That has probably been the number one positive impact of these diets on the fitness community - getting people to eat less calories, and adequate amounts of protein and good fats.
Some of these low carb diets tend to be a little extreme, namely the ketogenic carbs where carbs are virtually eliminated from the diet to force your body into a state of ketosis, where body fat is burned in the form of ketones for fuel. These diets can be very dangerous if not used properly. If you are a bodybuilder who already has low levels of bodyfat and you want to get extremely cut up, then the ketogenic diet - or better yet, its close cousin the cyclical-ketogenic diet - is perfect for you.
However, if you are overweight, and have several pounds of fat to lose to get to a healthy range, then a more moderate approach to the low carb diets, like The Zone Diet, will work best. Ketosis is not a natural state for your body to be in. It lowers the blood pH, leading to a more acidic internal environment, and long-term exposure to such an environment will cause damage to your internal organs.
Pass The Bread
The advantage of a higher carb diet - and disadvantage of the low carb approach - is that you will not get big and strong without eating an adequate amount of carbs and calories. This does not mean an extremely high carb intake, as total carb intake should still be no more than 50- 60% of your total calories. But this extra amount of carbs will go a long way in your strength and muscle-gaining goals.
Carbs fuel the anaerobic (literally meaning "without oxygen") pathways of muscular energetics. These two energetic pathways, named the ATP/ CP and glycolitic pathways, are the major suppliers of energy for activities that take less than 90-120 seconds to complete, depending on your fitness level. As I'm sure most of you have realized, the vast majority of activities in the weight room when pumping iron take less than 2 minutes to complete. In fact, most sets take less than 1 minute to complete, falling well within the anaerobic pathways of muscular energetics.
Main Course
What's my point? Well, if most of your weightlifting activities run off of stored glycogen - i.e. carbs - then why do you want your body to favor fat for energy? You don't. Several studies have shown that carbs increase performance. Cutting carbs from a mass and strength diet program is just as bad as not including protein or creatine. No one in their right mind would try to add strength and mass without those two nutrients. However, most of these same individuals will not hesitate to eat a Meal Replacement - which was designed for fat loss - in water three times a day, obtaining miniscule amounts of carbs in the process.
In addition, since intense weightlifting burns up blood sugar and stored glycogen, you will have to replace them. This can not be done optimally if you are following a carb-restricted diet. This means that you will have to allow longer recovery periods, or suffer a performance decrease, which does not help when trying to add pounds to your squat, or inches to your chest and biceps.
Most fitness enthusiasts get themselves in trouble when they become married to one concept. Frustration is brought on when they get stuck in a rut, afraid to try something radically different. Nutrition and dieting is no exception to this. Instead of debating which diet is the best, we need to look at which diet is the best for what circumstances. Eating for your specific goals, and not someone else's, is the key to figuring out which approach is best suited for you.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

7 Signs You Are Doing Too Much Cardio Exercise

Tis the season for folks to be hitting the cardio confessionals...
But too many folks are doing too much cardio exercise and expecting to lose weight with cardio, even though cardio is over-rated for weight loss. In fact, you might suffer from the Dark Side of Cardio if you do too much cardio exercise.
So today while I did my short, burst exercise style workout, I watched all those folks on the cardio machines and I noticed they go through some interesting rituals during their workouts.
This got me thinking, and I came up with "The 7 Signs You Are Doing Too Much Cardio".
#1 - You have to spend 5 minutes before your workout flipping through all the magazines in the gym to find one you haven't read before.
#2 - You know the other cardio addicts on the machines beside you (that you talk to everyday) better than you know your own friends.
#3 - You know exactly how many calories you burn per minute on every machine in the gym. (And you use that information to justify every calorie you eat.)
#4 - You simply hate doing it and dread your workouts more than a trip to the dentist.
#5 - The only thing you are losing is precious time - and not belly fat.
#6 - You go to the gym to watch your favorite television shows while doing cardio.
#7 - You're getting overuse injuries from repetitive motion because you keep doing the same activity over and over again everyday.
Listen, cardio is not the be all and end all of exercise for fat loss.
Most of your fat burning results are going to come from your nutrition when starting a weight loss program. So focus on whole, natural foods, and avoid foods that come from a bag or a box. If it's been modified in any way, you don't need it.
Once you've taken care of your nutrition, look for workouts that you enjoy that allow you to build strength, mobility, and fitness. Just don't do the same cardio workout over and over again everyday.
Beware the 7 signs you are doing too much cardio!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

3 Biggest Nutritional Mistakes to Lose Body Fat

When it comes to fitness, there are certain things many people just can't seem to get it right, one of it being nutrition. Many people are so obsessed with shedding that extra body fat, they often go too far in their efforts and stall their progress or, worse, start to backslide into the awful realm of being "skinny fat" (the result of lost muscle mass without a marked loss of fat). As hard as you may workout in the gym, you still need to cozy up to the fact that your work in the kitchen and at the dinner table is just as important. The following three are the biggest nutritional mistakes people make when trying to lose their body fat.

1. Aggressively Cutting Calories - You're ready to lose body fat at all costs. No sacrifice is too great. As a result, you decide to slash your caloric intake in half, expecting to transform your body in just a couple of weeks. Big mistake - not only is this completely unhealthy, but your body also isn't likely to reciprocate with the same dramatics. The reality is that aggressive cuts in calories can backfire, causing metabolism, your calorie-burning engine, to downshift into a lower gear. The better approach is to create a mild deficit, eating 15%-20% fewer calories on a daily basis.

2. Completely Eliminating Fat - Remember that moderation is the key to steady gains. Zero anything is dangerous in the nutrition world: Zero-carb, zero-fat, and zero-cholesterol diets are all fads that should be avoided. Controlling calories by slashing bad dietary fats such as butter, gristly meats, chicken skin and fried foods is one option. Taking a good thing too far, however, many eliminate nearly all dietary fat and try to chisel their bodies with fat-free sources of protein such as white fish, egg whites and protein powder. Since there's barely any fat in most carbohydrate foods and vegetables, where you'd pick up the remainder of your calories, these types of diets are essentially "fat-free." The big pitfall is that zero-fat diets compromise testosterone levels, which can disrupt the body's ability to retain metabolic-boosting muscle while dieting. In short, when testosterone levels fall, the metabolism slides right along with it.

3. Abandoning Carbs - While lower-carb diets certainly aid in the shedding of body fat, you don't want to cut out carbs completely. It's better to watch the selection and manipulation of your carbohydrate consumption. One of the best ways to do this is to slash carbs at all meals - outside of breakfast and your post-workout meal, that is. Those are the two times of day when carbs are critical to muscle growth. At breakfast you need carbs to reverse the catabolic state you fall into from fasting while you sleep, and after training you need carbs to spike insulin levels to drive muscle growth and restock muscle glycogen (the storage form of carbs) that was depleted during the workout.

Avoid these 3 biggest nutritional mistakes while continuing with your workout routines and you'll be able to lose your body fat fast and easily.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

How to and Why You should Eat like a Diabetic, when you're Dieting

Dieters take heed! When you're on a diet, the same principle of stable glucose levels apply; eat light and spread your caloric intake over the day. Snacks are important to be able to do this.
Fruit: Berries are sweet, easy to pop into your mouth, Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries are all anti-inflammatory, and offer immune-boosting antioxidant activity.
Fiber: The fiber in raw veggies will help fill you up, and they provide a nice, satisfying crunch. Choose a wide range of colors (broccoli, cauliflower and carrots are good choices).
Nuts: When eaten sparingly, nuts are a terrific snack. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Almonds and roasted soy nuts are also good choices. Nuts can be high in calories, so a few will do you.
Dark Chocolate: An ounce of dark chocolate NOE AND THEN will satisfy a sweet tooth while providing beneficial antioxidant qualities. Choose high quality dark chocolate with at least 70 percent pure cocoa, and enjoy the rich flavor.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

How to (and Should You) Use BMI to Determine Obesity

BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It is a commonly used method of determining whether an individual is underweight, normal, overweight, obese, or extremely obese. It is nothing more than a special number that is calculated based on your height and weight (and nothing else), which you then look up on a chart. Your doctor may refer to it if you discuss your weight with him/her. It is almost certain that your health insurance company uses it. Even the Wii Fit uses it. This article discusses the steps to calculating your BMI, we well as more practical and accurate steps to take to determine if you are overweight or obese.
For those of you who like math, you can compute your BMI by taking your weight(in pounds), and dividing it by the square of your height (in inches). Then take that quotient, multiply it by 703, and note the result. That's your BMI score. Alternatively, you can use a chart like the one pictured above to determine this number.
Some charts are color-coded to immediately show you the category of your weight (overweight, obese, etc). If your chart does not show this then it will likely have the following legend that you can refer to for your BMI score: Underweight (Under 18.5), Normal (18.5-24.99), Overweight (25-29.99), Obese (30 -40), Extremely Obese (40 and higher).
That's it. You now have your BMI score, and what is supposedly means. It is worth noting several things, in an attempt to answer the "and should you" portion of this article's title. First of all, the BMI score is based on nothing other than height and weight. It doesn't take anything else into account, such as age, gender, body frame, body fat percentage, or muscular development. Many gold-medal-winning Olympic athletes are considered obese according to their BMI.
As a more practical step, if you want to categorize your weight, simply take off all your clothes, and look in a full length mirror. Turn all around, look at yourself from any and all angles, and make an assessment. You don't need any charts for this. Unless you are totally delusional, and are totally fooling yourself, you will simply be able to see what the situation is. If you are a professional athlete who is slim and muscular, you will see that. If you have a big beer belly, you will see that as well. If you are underweight, you will see that. Just look, and make a plan of action as need be, working closely with your doctor. Just be honest with yourself. If you see a big belly in the mirror, just accept that it isn't healthy, but you can do something about it, unlike people who have incurable medical conditions.
As the final step, if you are overweight or obese, and feel the need to assign a concrete number to your condition, the best thing to do is have your body fat percentage calculated. You can get a rough idea of this by using a simple, low-cost device that sends a mild current through your body which you do not feel at all. You need to follow the instructions carefully, and use it under appropriate conditions to not get a false reading. It is still not totally accurate. You can have your percentage calculated more accurately by having a professional use skinfold calipers to measure it. Finally, you can have your percentage calculated by doing hydrostatic weighing. This requires a facility that has a special weight tank that you must immerse yourself in.
Keep in mind that if you are overweight, you will know if you are losing weight based on looking in the mirror, and of course by using a simple scale. You will also know it by the way that your clothes feel, or by how many notches on your belt you are using. We do not need to be so dependent upon special methods, especially oversimplified and generic charts, to tell us such obvious things about our health.

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