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.

Visualization And Weight Loss – See The Pounds Drop Away!

The surprising fact is that many conditions can be improved by visualization and weight loss is one of them. It works like this: you keep a vision in your mind of how you want your body to look, and subconsciously you will begin acting in a way that will go in that direction. You become much more positive about your body, more accepting of your diet or fitness regime, and you will reach your weight goals more quickly and easily.

Effecting change through visualizing desired outcomes has become more and more acceptable in recent years. Psychologists do not understand exactly how it works but clearly, the mind and body are not as separate as we often believe. It seems that if you truly want something it is more likely to happen – provided of course that it is something that is possible, and within your control. Visualization helps us to truly want to lose weight by creating a clear and happy picture of our fitter bodies. Without this, we can often put psychological traps in our own path.

Many people who are overweight believe they cannot lose weight. Sometimes you may say it out loud, or hear friends say it about themselves. For other people, this belief stays in the subconscious. But it is sure that it influences our behavior. Someone who believes it is impossible for her to lose weight will be constantly battling her own negativity when she is trying to diet. Her mind will be constantly telling her there is no point dieting, she cannot lose weight so she should just go ahead and eat everything she wants. Visualization is the strongest technique that we can use to overcome these negative thoughts and impulses.

If you are plagued by negativity either from your own mind or from the reactions of friends and family to your diet, go ahead and visualize yourself at your desired weight as often as you can. It works on the same level as all those negative voices and can annihilate their influence like nothing else can.

It is important to practice every day – morning and evening if you can. You just need to take a few minutes in a quiet place and keep an image in the mind of your body at its ideal weight. Some people can do this easily, others need some help. If you have a photograph of yourself at your ideal weight in the past, you may find it easier to look at that. Or use a photo from a magazine but cut off the person’s face. You need to visualize your own body, but thinner.

You can also visualize from the inside. Close your eyes and let your awareness focus on a part of your body – for example, your right thigh. Imagine it slowly becoming thinner in your mind’s eye. Then move to the other thigh, and on through the body. It may help to start at the feet and move up towards the head, or vice versa.

As you go about your work or daily chores, think of yourself as already at your ideal weight. Create your own affirmations and repeat them often, always in the present tense (“I am glad to be flexible, fit and slim”, not “I will …”). Enjoy the feeling of having a positive self-image. Over time, this will help you to keep to your weight loss plan. You will find that fatty foods are less attractive and exercise is more enjoyable.

While your weight loss will of course be gradual, the wonderful thing about visualization is that it gives you a new body image right away. Use visualization and weight loss to make you happier right now, today!

Menopause And Weight Gain

Talking to most women over 50 you will quickly find that menopause and weight gain are linked in their experience. It is very common to put on weight at this time and while some of this may be due to lifestyle changes, that does not explain why suddenly we develop a tendency to put on weight at different parts of the body, especially the abdomen, while any weight gained when we were younger tended to be centered on the hips.

The truth is that hormonal changes do have a part to play in this, although the process is not completely understood. At menopause a woman stops ovulating, her monthly menstruation periods end and her body produce much lower levels of the female hormone estrogen which is responsible for the ovulation process. Low estrogen has been shown to cause weight gain in animals and it almost certainly is the reason why our bodies change shape. While women of childbearing age store fat in the lower body, after menopause they store it on the abdomen instead, like men. This leads to a greater risk of heart disease.

At the same time, both men and women tend to find muscle turning to fat as they grow older, and the metabolism slows down. This means that if you do not adjust your eating habits you will probably find that your weight increases. A person of 60 just does not need as many calories as a person of 40.

Hormone therapy with estrogen is sometimes prescribed to control menopausal symptoms. Many women will be surprised to hear that studies have shown that hormone therapy does not cause weight gain. Some women experience bloating and water retention in the early stages of hormone therapy but this is usually temporary and they have not gained any fat. Hormone therapy can reduce the risk of heart disease by preventing the changes in the storage of body fat around the abdomen and lowering cholesterol. However, hormone therapy has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in some studies.

If you find that you are gaining weight around menopause, there are several things you can do.

– Eat a healthy, low-fat diet with plenty of fiber, avoiding sugar.

– Take regular exercise. As people get older their physical activity levels naturally drop. Work often becomes less physically demanding, there are no kids to run around after, we take less active holidays and do things more slowly. 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day will help to balance out the effect of this.

– Maintain your muscle strength and mass. Use weights for arm muscles and walking or cycling for legs.

– Accept the changes to the shape of your body. If you are not overweight, but simply have a thicker waist and slimmer legs, that is fine.

Consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program if you have any medical conditions or your fitness levels are low. Your doctor can also help with symptoms of menopause and weight gain.

Green Tea Weight Loss Plan

Many people are now turning to inexpensive and natural green tea weight loss plans to help them in their weight control efforts. It is simple too. Green tea can be drunk like any other tea, usually without milk or sweeteners, or if you do not like the taste you can purchase green tea extract.

Research has shown that green tea helps to reduce weight by stimulating the body’s thermogenesis process, which increases the expenditure of energy and the oxidization of fat in the body. Many compounds found in plants have this effect. The special thing about green tea is that it does not increase the heart rate, and is therefore believed to be safer than diet pills such as ephedrine which also work by stimulating thermogenesis.

A lot of people who are overweight have or are at risk of developing hypertension and other cardiovascular problems, so the fact that green tea does not put pressure on the heart makes it a good choice. Ephedrine is not usually recommended if you are in this group but green tea is considered a safe option. It means that you can gradually increase your exercise levels without increasing your risk of heart problems.

There are only two ways to lose weight: one way is by eating less (consuming fewer calories) and the other is by increasing expenditure of energy (using up more calories). Green tea works by increasing output and this can be by around 4%. Most scientists believe that this is caused by the high quantity of catechin that is in the tea and its extract.

Green tea has the added benefit of containing powerful antioxidants that may be beneficial to your health in many ways, strengthening the immune system and protecting against disease.

Keep in mind that green tea does contain caffeine so you should cut out coffee and other forms of tea while you are taking it. Decaffeinated green tea is not recommended because the chemical processes that are used to remove the caffeine may destroy the beneficial properties of the plant.

At the same time, you will need to exercise control over what you eat. If you eat more to compensate for the calories that are burnt by the tea, you will not lose any weight. Keeping to the same calorific intake that you have now and taking green tea should result in gradual weight loss and better energy levels over a few weeks. You can of course increase the speed of this by reducing calorie consumption and/or increasing exercise.

Green tea is a simple, easy, and inexpensive weight control aid that can easily be incorporated into any weight loss program. The choice of tea or extract offers something for everybody. Natural and safe, green tea weight loss should feature in your program if you want to keep the weight off permanently.

15 Great Ways To Lose Weight Fast

Want to lose weight fast? It’s easy to say goodbye to 10 pounds of unwanted fat with these easy diet tips. Just pay attention to what you eat and be sure to have good tasting, fresh and healthy food including snacks, fill up on vegetables, and keep your taste buds happy with fruit.

No need to make sacrifices! Just follow these simple guidelines to lose your first 10 pounds, last 10 pounds, or give your weight loss program a boost when it seems to have stuttered to a halt. This is a balanced and flexible plan that you can use for as long as you want.

1. Keep a note of everything that you eat and drink. You do not need to estimate calories. Just write down what it was that you had and the approximate quantity. You will find that being more aware of what you are eating helps you to plan healthy meals and snacks.

2. Halve your intake of all pure or added fats. This means using half as much butter or spread on your bread, toast, muffins, and potatoes; half the usual amount of mayonnaise or sauce on your salad; and half the oil in the frypan every time.

3. Limit treats containing sugar to three times per week. This includes chocolate, ice cream, desserts, cake, pastries, cookies, etc.

4. Include a lower fat source of protein at most meals: chicken, fish, beans, cottage cheese, or low-fat yogurt. Have eggs, nuts, and red meat occasionally but not every day.

5. Plan at least one lunch and dinner every week without meat or cheese. Build those meals around whole grains, vegetables, and beans to increase fiber and reduce fat.

6. Reduce the fat content in your milk products. If you are currently drinking whole milk, reduce it to 2% fat. From 2% reduce to 1%. Choose lower-fat cheese and yogurt. When you buy yogurt, also check that it does not contain sugar.

7. Have at least two servings of fruit every day. This can be for dessert or snacks. Choose fruit that is in season.

8. Drink water instead of sodas, juices, milky drinks, or alcohol. Avoid diet soda – the sweet taste only encourages you to crave sugar. Hot water with a slice of lemon can be very refreshing in the morning.

9. Include at least two servings of vegetables at lunch and dinner. If you are getting hungry, have more.

10. Eat slowly. The body is slow to register when you are full and it is easy to eat too much if you are racing through your meals.

11. Grated carrot makes a great snack. You will find that a grated carrot is much more filling than a whole carrot. Strange but true.

12. Use whole grains wherever possible. The fiber will give you a fuller feeling and also help your digestion.

13. Choose food that you can chew. Again this will increase your fiber intake, and the act of chewing will make you feel more satisfied too. This means eating fruit instead of drinking juice. If you have soup, make sure it is chunky.

14. Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. Plan your shopping too – make a list of what you need and stick to it. If you just grab something when you are feeling hungry, you will probably choose high-calorie food.

15. Always switch off the TV when you eat. That includes snacks as well as meals. Studies have proved that we eat larger portions in front of the TV, probably because we are much less aware of what we are eating. When you eat, only eat if you want to lose weight fast.

 

What are the basic nutrient groups?

What are the basic nutrient groups?

Foods are grouped together when they share nutritional properties. Hinging on the plan you select, you may find the food groups arranged with some slim differences.
Here are a few examples of a regular diet so you might stay healthy.

  • Grain: brown bread and rolls, whole-wheat pasta, English muffin, pocket bread, bagel, cereals, grits, oatmeal, brown rice,
    unseasoned pretzels, and popcorn.
  • Fruit: apricots, apples, bananas, dates, grapes, orange,
    grapefruits, grapefruit juice, mango, melon, peach, pineapple,
    raisins, strawberries, tangerines, and 100 percent fruit juice.
  • Vegetables: carrots, broccoli, collards, green beans, peas, kale,
    limas, potato, spinach, squash, tomato, sweet potatoes.
  • Nonfat or Low Fat Dairy: fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk or buttermilk, fat-free, low-fat, or reduced-fat cheese, fat-free or low-fat regular or frozen yogurt.

Cross – Training for Fitness and Fatloss

The numbers on your scale do not indicate whether you are fit or fat. Far more significant than your total body weight is the composition of your body tissue. If a man’s fatty tissue is bigger than 14% up to 15% of his body mass, or if a woman is more than 20% to 22%, he or she is overweight, or more precisely, overfat.

A small amount of fat is needed for padding the internal organs and as insulation under the skin. Excess fat leads to such diseases as diabetes, gout, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and gallbladder problems. There are very few, very fat persons. The reason is that the fittest, not the fattest survive.

The problem now is focused on how to resolve the problem. The problem with most people who want to lose weight is that they have the propensity to concentrate more on getting those numbers lower than what they are seeing now. What happens next is that they strive harder to achieve a lower weight, according to the “ever reliable” result of the weighing scale.

It would be more important to think of the human body as a heat-exchange engine that works on the basic principles of energy physics. The caloric balance equals the total calorie intake minus the total calorie expenditure.

Some of the calories people ingest are used for basal metabolism. As people get old, their bodies require fewer calories for this basic upkeep. Some calories are excreted as waste products. Some go into “work metabolism,” the energy expenditure required for any physical activity.

Hence, if people take in more calories than are used by these functions, there is a definite caloric excess. By the laws of physics, energy is transformed rather than destroyed. In this case, each excess of 3,500 calories is changed into a pound of fat. If people want to reverse this process, they have to burn up 3,500 calories to lose a single pound.

Winning the War Against Fat

When you think of fighting fat with exercise, you probably think of hours of hard, sweaty exertion. If this is the case, then, you will not get any farther. This is because people who are so much into losing more by exerting more effort tend to get bored easily.

Why? Because experts contend that when people exert more effort than what they are capable of doing creates a tendency to develop weariness and ennui. Hence, they give up, stop doing their routine exercises, and end up sulking in the corner with a bag of chips that seems to have all the bad calories in this world.

Now, you might ask, “What should be done instead?” The answer: cross-training.

After some intensive studies and experimentations, health experts were able to come up with the concept of incorporating cross-training in order to overcome or break the monotony or dullness in an exercise program.

Cross-training refers to the integration of diverse movements or activities into a person’s conventional exercise routine. The main purpose of incorporating cross-training into an exercise program is to avoid overdoing excess muscle damages and to put a stop to imminent boredom.

Three of the most commonly used activities whenever a person decides to engage in cross-training are swimming, running, and cycling.

In cross-training, distance is one way to extend your activity as your condition improves. For this reason, you need to traverse a measured distance.

If possible, swim the course and measure the distance. If you will be using a running track, such courses usually are a quarter-mile per lap for a complete circuit.

Cross-training offers a variety of benefits for fitness and fat loss. It builds up the strength and endurance of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. It has also some tranquilizing effect on the nerves, and it burns up calories as much as it makes your “losing weight” more bearable.

Cross-training has three basic components:

1. Endurance exercises to condition the heart, lungs, and blood vessels and to induce relaxation. These begin with a carefully planned walking and jogging regimen, depending on fitness level.

2. Exercises to strengthen the muscles, particularly those important to good posture. These include some activities that are selected to encourage some people who are already burnt out with a particular routine.

3. Exercises to improve joint mobility and prevent or relieve aches and pains. These consist of a series of static stretching positions that are safe and effective for most people who wish to try to lose some fat.

Indeed, cross-training is a great way to modify the concept of exercising and losing fat without having to endure monotonous activities. In fact, the idea of exercising is to like what you are doing, hence, if you engage in cross-training, you will be aware that you have already achieved your desired weight.

Boiled down, cross-training is, certainly, one way of having fun.

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