Does Conjugated Linoleic Acid Work?

Conjugated linoleic acid is a natural substance found in many of our foods that according to many studies can reduce fat and improve muscle mass in the body. Taken as a supplement with no change in eating or exercise habits, it would not make you lose weight but it could help you lose fat. It is often taken by men looking to lose weight and bodybuild at the same time, but it can also be useful for anyone who is overweight and under-exercising, as any increase in muscle will increase the metabolism, burning more calories.

Like many natural weight loss products, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) combined with a flexible healthy eating plan can lead to gradual long-term weight loss and help you get out of the yoyo dieting cycle where you are constantly losing and gaining the same 10, 20 or 50 pounds. Yoyo dieting is very bad for the health. It is better to remain overweight than to keep on losing and gaining, losing and gaining.

weightlosstipsMost experts (unless they are trying to sell you something) agree that the diet that works best in the long term is the non-diet, where instead of eating special foods and banning others, you eat slightly smaller quantities of a normal healthy diet. If you are currently living entirely on pizza, fries, and chocolate, then okay, some changes may be overdue. But you can still have small portions of all of those foods from time to time. If this is the kind of diet that you want, then CLA can help reinforce your plan by boosting your fat loss. Dr. Michael Pariza of the University of Wisconsin-Madison reported to the American Chemical Society that CLA “doesn’t make a big fat cell get little. What it rather does is keep a little fat cell from getting big.”

Many studies have been done on CLA. One study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that people taking CLA lost on average six pounds of body fat more than a group that took a placebo. The researchers discovered that you need around 3.4 grams of CLA per day for it to be effective. CLA is found in food, especially meat and dairy products, but supplementation is necessary for most people to reach that level.

Another study at Purdue University, Indiana, found that CLA improved insulin levels in about two-thirds of diabetics, and slightly decreased their blood glucose levels and triglyceride levels, suggesting that it may help to maintain normal insulin levels. But see your doctor before taking any supplements if you have diabetes.

There are no magic pills for weight loss but if you are willing to commit to reducing y

our body fat permanently, CLA may help you. Keep in mind that its main effect is to convert fat to muscle, which by itself will not weigh any less. But your body will look slimmer and feel healthier if you do this, and combined with a good weight control eating plan conjugated linoleic acid can help you move toward your ideal weight too.

3 Bad Diet Mistakes To Avoid At All Cost

Even though there is so much information available about weight loss, the same diet mistakes are being made over and over every day. We are not talking here about little slipups where you ate a slice of pie that was not on the plan, but big mistakes that lead to failure to lose the weight that you want to lose. Understanding these errors can help you develop the attitude that will lead to permanent weight loss for you.

1. The All Or Nothing Attitude

All or nothing dieters will often pick out a complicated diet that is almost impossible for them to maintain. Before beginning, they will search the kitchen for anything that does not fit the plan and throw it in the garbage. They are planning to be the perfect dieter, and so they will be, for one day, three days, seven days, or even a couple of weeks. Then, inevitably, something happens that means they cannot keep to the diet one time. Immediately the whole thing is ruined in their eyes and the diet is over. They go to the store and buy all the things that went into the garbage last week and proceed to gain back all the weight that they lost, as fast as possible.

If you are this kind of dieter you need to ask yourself some tough questions. Do you really want to lose weight permanently, or just lose a few pounds so that you can enjoy putting them back on again? The way forward is to make small changes to what you eat so that you have a slow but steady weight loss.

2. The Attitude of Sacrifice

Another common mistake is to view your diet as a period of sacrifice. You do not allow yourself the foods that you enjoy most while you are on your way to your target weight. You may have a great diet plan and be very successful in losing weight, but what happens when you reach your goal? You have not learned to eat ‘bad foods’ in moderation so as soon as you start, you are likely to go out of control. It is better to include a little of everything in your diet and learn to enjoy it in small quantities. Yes, even chocolate!

3. Goal Failure

Setting achievable goals is vital in any weight loss plan. Goals should be clear, realistic, and set out in writing. While you probably do have an ideal weight in your mind, unless you are only very slightly overweight it is probably too distant to be useful. A more useful goal would be to lose two pounds per week for the first five weeks and then one pound per week after that. Some weeks you will lose more and some less, some weeks you may even gain, but if you track your progress on a graph you will see that ups and downs are natural and do not stop you from progressing steadily toward your major goal.

If you have been making these mistakes, do not worry. The most important point in dieting as in so many other things is to move on. Learn from your failures as well as your success and do not use a mistake as an excuse for giving up. The only way to achieve your goal permanently is to make a commitment to become a healthier person. Remember that eating normally includes eating more some days and less for others. Learn to enjoy food in moderation and you have every chance of avoiding these bad diet mistakes.

Fad Diets: Why Are They Bad?

It is not surprising that many people wonder why fad diets are bad when they seem to get results. You will find many sites on the internet claiming significant weight loss in just a few days. That type of weight loss is always temporary. It is usually 90% water which will be put straight back on as soon as your body rehydrates, which it must-do if you are not going to suffer severe health problems or die.

Other fad diets are not so obviously crash diets with outrageous claims but they are overhyped diet plans that tend to be fashionable for a while and usually make a lot of money for the inventor in associated product sales. In the best cases, these are good nutrition plans which will help you lose weight, but which you could probably have gotten for free from your doctor. In the worst cases, they will prove so difficult to follow that you will give up after a week.

The bad of fad diets

1. Diets that promise quick and easy weight loss are usually based on eating more of one food type and none of another. These do not give the benefits that you would get from a balanced diet. They may suggest you take supplements but many supplements are not absorbed by the body unless they are taken along with the foods that the diet has banned. After a few weeks, if you stick to it that long, you may begin to develop nutritional deficiencies.

2. Fad diets are often boring and over-restrictive. After the novelty of the first day or two, you will not enjoy your meals. You will then start to crave food constantly and will break the diet. You may even feel guilty, thinking it is your fault that you did not lose weight.

3. Most fad diets do not follow the recommendations of the American Heart Association and similar bodies for fat levels in the diet. Often the diet will recommend high-fat foods and low carbs which if taken long term, could result in heart disease. The promoters may tell you that the diet is only intended to be followed for a short time. But you probably will not reach your goal weight in that time, and then what? You either continue with a plan that is not good for your health or stops and probably gain back what you lost.

4. Many fad diets do not help you to incorporate enough servings of fruits and vegetables in your weight loss program, or give you the variety of foods that your body needs.

5. Quick weight-loss diets are just a temporary solution and do not help you to make permanent changes to your eating habits. Permanent changes are the only way to remain at your target weight once you reach it. Fad diets encourage yo-yo diet-binge cycles of fast weight loss and equally fast weight gain. This is worse for your health and your self-esteem than if you had stayed overweight all the time.

Whatever the publicity materials may say, these diets will not help you in the long term. The best way to sustain weight loss is to eat a varied and healthy diet, do not overeat, exercise regularly, and avoid fad diets.

Winter Weight Gain – Why Does It Happen And What Can We Do?

Winter weight gain is a common complaint of many people. It seems that every winter we add a few pounds, and come summer we don’t lose them all again either. A few of them always stick around, making us a little heavier every year. They seem to be very hard to lose extra pounds! Why does this happen and what can we do?

There are many contributing factors. First, it seems likely that we have a genetic disposition to store more fat as winter approaches. Many animals do this and it was probably vital to survival for our ancestors. Extra layers of fat on the body protect us against the cold and then can be used as fuel in the late winter and early spring when food stocks would historically be very low. We probably have a tendency to eat more in the fall, when food is plentiful after harvest time, to help this process along. We may also unconsciously choose foods that are higher in fat content at this time.

Hormone levels can also influence our weight gain. The interaction of hormones and other chemicals in the brain can bring about variations in appetite and cravings. Some neurotransmitters can also influence the way we eat. People who are overweight often have low levels of these neurotransmitters and the results can include excessive appetite, depression, and sleep disorders. At the same time, the lack of daylight caused by the shortening days during late fall and winter can bring on seasonally affected disorder or winter depression. One of the quickest ways to give a boost to energy levels and emotions is to eat high carbohydrate foods including sugar treats, chips, and cereals that give us a fast blood sugar ‘fix’. So people who feel low in the winter will tend to overeat or eat the wrong foods, leading to weight gain, more depression, and a vicious cycle that is hard to break.

So altogether there are many reasons why we eat more high carbohydrate foods such as cookies, pies, and chocolate in the winter, and of course, most of these foods also contain high levels of fats. The best way to handle this is generally to substitute other foods that are also high in carbohydrates so that we get what our body craves, but which have low-fat content and plenty of fiber. This means potatoes, wholegrain bread without butter, wholegrain rice, cereals, and fresh whole fruit.

It is also important to take more exercise. Often our physical activity levels drop in the winter and we have a tendency to want to stay home and rest. This is natural when it is cold outside. But we are not cavemen! We have heating in our homes and can be sure that there will still be plenty of food in the stores come February. We do not need to stow fat the way that they did. Sign up with a gym or get a stationary bicycle for the den. Transform those carbs into energy now instead of keeping them on the waistline until spring. Winter weight gain is easily avoidable this way.

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