Monday, April 04, 2011


Decided to share with you guys a couple of fitness/health tips that I found on the website.
A lot of it will make sense to some of you as it surely does to me.

Secrets to Healthy Weight Loss
Different Problems, Different Solutions

You know how weight lost works: Eat less and move more. But if it were truly that simple, two-thirds of American adults wouldn't be overweight or obese right now, with corresponding health woes ranging from diabetes to heart disease to some forms of cancer.

"The reasons we carry excess weight depend on our culture, our habits, our genese, and our psyches," says John Bagnulo, nutritionist at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. "Only by examining both the physical and psychological reasons can you find what works for you."

We spoke with several weight-loss experts to identify the most common reasons people struggle with their weight. Identify your biggest obstacle (or obstacles) on the following "slides", and use the suggested strategies to start your summer off right.

Problem: Not Enough Exercise
Considering that our bodies are designed to move, most of us spend an awful lot of time sitting -- in the car, behind a desk, on the couch. "If you sit all day and eat too much, you create a calorie surplus, which leads to weight gain," says Jillian Michaels, resident trainer on NBC's "The Biggest Loser" and author of "Master Your Metabolism".

Working exercise into your routine not only burns calories but also improves mood, energy level, and sleep, all of which can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Problem: The Wrong Foods
Don't mistake your afternoon cookie habit as a mere lapse in willpower. "Physiological addiction to comfort foods is very real," says Bagnulo. The key factor involves serotonin, the neurotransmitter that plays a big role in mood.

"Foods with large amounts of refined flour and sugar trigger artificially elevated levels of serotonin," he explains. "We become dependent on these foods to feel okay."

Solution: Check In with Your Body
As you eat, pause every few bites to take a deep breath and ask yourself how the food makes you feel.

"We've become so mental about food -- how many fat grams does it have? -- that we're disconnected from what we're eating," Bagnulo says. "Checking in with how a piece of fruit makes you feel versus a cookie gives you answers about which foods improve your well-being and which detract from it."

Solution: Eat with Others (and Not the TV)
According to a 2008 study, eating quickly and until you're full triples your chances of being overweight. Sharing meals with friends or family is one of the best ways to slow down. You'll chew more slowly, feel fuller, and be less likely to stuff yourself.

To get more mindful about food, eat meals in an environment that promotes calm. Move away from the computer; turn off the TV. "Eating in a relaxed environment allows you to hear your body's cues more clearly," Bagnulo says, which makes you more likely to stop before you reach an uncomfortable fullness.

Problem: Poor Portion Control
Portions have substantially increased over recent decades -- by some estimates, as much as 200 percent -- in both restaurants and at home. While it's fine to eat your fill of nonstarchy veggies, much of what we overindulge in (simple carbs, fats, meat) affects our weight and health.

Problem: Stress and Fatigue
Stress, fatigue, and weight gain are common companions: Stress can lead to poor food choices; this can put your body on a blood-sugar roller coaster, which causes low energy. Sleep deprivation can cue your body to release stress hormones, triggering weight gain. And "the less time you have to devote to self-care," says Loring, "the harder it is to make the changes that lead to weight loss."

Solution: Think Quality, Not Quantity
Now's the time to trim the empty calories from your diet: A 2009 study at Brigham University found that middle-aged women who weren't conscious of eating less as they aged were more likely to gain weight over a three-year period.

"I counsel my patients to think of it not as curbing intake, but as choosing worthy foods with intention," says Beth Reardon, integrative nutritionist at Duke Integrative Medicine. That means less refined flour, sugar, and snacks and more vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Solution: Build More Muscle
Strength training is critical for keeping metabolism humming as you age. Muscle burns more calories than fat does, explains Reardon, and without intervention, women start losing muscle as early as their mid-30s.

To boost your muscle mass, Michaels recommends strength training four times a week. It helps you burn more calories, even at rest.

Solution: Drink More
Green tea contains antioxidants known as polyphenols that have mild metabolism-boosting properties, Reardon says. "Staying hydrated with a combination of green tea and water may counteract some of the metabolic slowdown that occurs with age."

Drink three to five cups of green tea a day for its calorie-burning potential, suggests Reardon, and at least 48 ounces of water to support the body's metabolic processes.

Solution: Set Smart Goals
Michaels uses a pyramid to help the time-strapped make goal-setting as effective as possible. Draw a pyramid on a piece of paper, and at the top, write done your ulitmate goal in as much detail as possible -- total numer of pounds to lose, yes, but also what the number will empower you to do (run a race, embark on a job search). For the next row, break that larger goal into monthly goals. From there, you can set weekly and daily goals.

Solution: Learn from Your Lapses
Michaels says that the biggest obstacle to changing your habits is an all-or-nothing attitude. "It's a foregone conclusion that dietary lapses will happen. The trick is to see them as lessons and not as a confirmation that you're a failure." If you know you tend to eat too much cake at an office birthday party, for example, bring in a healthier snack of your own next time.


{Source: WholeLiving.Com}

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