Browsing: Obesity

UK Gov: “Obesity Can Not Be Prevented by Individual Action Alone”

Obesity is no longer a problem that just threatens the future of the US. A research paper published by Foresite of the Government Office for Science warns that 61.3% of adults and a third of children in the UK are now clinically overweight or obese.

Incidents of obesity have increased since 2001 with alarming speed. Figures published by the National Office of Statistics report that 11,736 children and adults were admitted to hospital with a primary diagnosis of obesity in 2011/12 – a ten fold increase in just ten years.

Stomach stapling, gastric bypass and sleeve gastroectomy have seen a year on year increase in the number of procedures recorded. 261 procedures were carried out in 2000/01, and according to the NHS this figure has risen to 6,723 in 20011/12. Gastric bands alone reportedly cost the UK health service £ 85 million a year.

Obesity is life limiting, life threatening and leads to premature death. Obese patients can suffer heart disease, strokes, obesity related cancers, hypertension, arthritis and asthma as well as serious physical injuries resulting from falls. According to the UK Government research, obesity can also cause feelings of low self worth, mental health problems and difficulties in gaining and sustaining employment.

Three major finds of the Foresite report are –

– Modern living ensures every generation is heavier than the last

– The obesity epidemic can not be preceded by individual action alone

– Preventing obesity is a societal challenge, similar to climate change

Costs are high to health and to society. Using Department of Health data, the projected price tag to the NHS could double to £ 10bn a year by 2050. The wider cost to employers and the economy will be much greater – higher rates of obesity are associated with absence from work, early retirement and an increase in disability pensions.

In response to the Foresite report, the government has set out a target for a “downward trend in obese adults and a sustained downward trend in excess weight in children.” Tame rhetoric for a health crisis that is as pressing to health as climate change is to the environment.

The US and the UK are hit with an obesity epidemic which is only set to worsen. Marketing of “junk” – high fat and zero nutrient convenience foods, are a major factor in damaging public health. Yet, despite the role that the food industry plays in the health of future generations the guidelines for business set by the US and the UK are voluntary and self-regulatory.

The US drafted “Voluntary Guidelines for the Marketing of Food to Children” while the UK has simply set out a tentative business 'Pledge' – companies volunteer to commit to a pledge to meet salt and fat targets and remove trans fats. Both are 'opt in' recommendations that businesses are free to adopt, or ignore. According to Small Business only 11% of UK companies have signed up for the scheme.

Critics claim that the Foresite report should push governments to react with more gumption. The British Heart Foundation said in response to the obsession report that if it was setting off alarm bells, the government's response was “met only by repeated pushes of the government's snooze button.”

Professor Rob Moodie of the University of Melbourne recently reviewed multinationals, their impact on health and government policy and expressed similar disappointment. Commenting on the “nudge theory” and reliance on voluntary self-regulation, he told The Independent;

“You can not expect self-regulation to work. It is like having the burglars install your locks.


Foresight Report – Tackling Obesities – Future Choices (2007)

Food Obligations – UK Gov voluntary agreement for food companies

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Dealing With Obesity in Men

The first thing that comes to mind when most people hear about dealing with weight issues is pictures of young women trying to cut down their weight by doing crazy fad diets to look like some film star in Hollywood. Even though it is fact that women are quite concerned about their weight, men also have a serious problem with excess weight and obesity is becoming a serious health issue today. Just like women, most men who get them selves dealing with serious issues of stress and insecurity will almost always find solace in food; the kind of food that is quickly available on such circumstances is fast food which is the main culprit in obesity.

There are different causes of obesity in men but there is no doubt that stress is a major contributor factor. This is especially true during these hard economic times when many men are not able to meet their family obligations. Personal and family financial expectations are not being met and that hurts men seriously. The large amounts of lay offs that are going on leading to financial frustrations as well as the millions others who must wake up every day to a job they do not needlessly enjoy can be quire overwhelming when combined with other pressures in the home.

Any man, especially one who has a family, needs to be sure that he will provide for his family but the current state of affairs where they are not sure they will have a job tomorrow does not make things any better. There is so much tension as a result of not knowing what tomorrow is going to bring. This state of affairs leads men to believe they have lost a significant part of their own worth and it becomes worse for those who lose their source of income. Such men feel like they have lost their source of identity and they sometimes take too long to pick up the pieces; it becomes worse when they do not have the support of their families or loved ones.

Most men who reach this stage will finally give up on everything and turn to food, drugs of abuse and alcohol as their way of dealing with stress. In a little while others will begin caring less what they look like and soon starting getting into food binges every time they feel low. These are the times when fast foods becomes the main source of food comfort and since there are chances they will not do any form of exercise, they soon begin putting on the pounds as obesity sets in with all its side effects that lead to poor health.

Even though not all men deal with their challenges this way ending up with obesity, the truth of the matter is that the numbers of those who do are continuing to rise by the day. Others have taken up the sedentary lifestyle of spending time on the couch with bags of salty, sugary and fatty snacks as they while their time in front of the TV in trying to sink their stressing hopping they will forget their troubles. The end result of this lifestyle is heart diseases, diabetes, stomach problems, loss of libido and other male problems.

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Obesity In America – It’s a Problem, Don’t Go There

As I travel the world, I note how Americans are overweight compared to other cultures, but why? Is it because we have plenty of food to eat? Is it that we sit around too much and do not exercise? Is it because of the types of food we eat; diet? What is going on here? Well, not long ago an acquaintance mentioned to me that she was cutting wheat out of her diet, well, not all wheat, but most of it. Why? Well, some studies circulating suggest that there are enzymes which go to work in the stomach that play hell on the rest of your system, causing you to gain weight. Is all of this true?

According to some of these studies it looks that significantly cutting down on certain types of food we eat will help you drastically ditch the extra unwanted pounds. Personally, I really do not want to give up my occasional Frappachino from Starbucks or my sodas, but I may have to taper off the sodas to 2-3 per day and Starbucks 2-times a week and no more. That, I think would take off another 15 lbs. which would have me able to be a daily runner again (like I was in my youth) without worrying about blowing out my knee someday. If so, I'd probably be at a super great physique place, and they say the camera adds 5-10 lbs.

Indeed, with regards to too much bread and wheat products, I think cutting down on wheat has helped me. In fact, I donated a bunch of XL golf shirts recently to the Goodwill Thrift Store as they no longer fit me – that's a good thing, but probably a small fortune in clothes over the years? I do believe if people change their diets, and those at risk of diabetes would eat more nectarines and such, we would not have this terrible problem in our nation with obesity, it's all diet driven – processed foods, sugary crap, it's what's in ALL the processed foods, I just cringe when I read some of the ingredients some times.

People would have to run a half-marathon a day to use up that amount of carbs and crap we eat and not everyone can eat 6 boxes of pop-tart type pastries a day and look like Michael Phelps. When my acquaintance spoke about the “wheat issues” I was shaking my head in agreement, that's about what I came to realize in my research too. I do not think we are eating the same wheat that our ancestors did, and certainly not in the right ratio compared to all the other crap people eat.

Further, I am pro-American farmer and believe that wheat is and has been part of our human diet for 10s of 1,000s of years, and that's a good thing – what's not is how much we eat, and how much other crap we eat , and how little other important things we eat. Please consider all this and think on it.

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The Importance of Bariatric Eating Post-Surgery

People who undergo gastric bypass surgery must follow a few recommended dietary guidelines following the procedure. Bariatric eating is necessary for all patients who had lap-band or gastric bypass surgery. Eating the right foods in the right amounts is the key to making the surgery a success. Following surgery, patients must follow a special diet and change their eating habits, as both surgical procedures provide a physical limitation to the amount of food they can eat.

Why Is Bariatric Eating Important?

Patients need to evaluate the role food plays in their life and how they use to cope with stress, emotions, anxiety, boredom and other feelings. After surgery, they are no longer able to use food to comfort or cope. The doctor will guide them through each phase of the diet plan. Successful weight loss depends entirely on making good food choices and being as physically active as possible.

Following surgery, most people experience a “honeymoon period” for about four to six months when they have no appetite for food. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and pain. Studies indicate that gastric bypass surgery affects at least eight metabolic pathways, which may reduce cravings and cause the body to burn more fat.

Portion sizes for meals should be no more than eight ounces. Bariatric eating helps patients stay healthy and achieves the desired weight.

Dietary Guidelines after Surgery

People who undergo weight loss surgery advance gradually through four or five diet phases. Dietary recommendations vary dependent on the type of procedure. In general, patients are not allowed to eat for one or two days after surgery. They can only consume clear liquids like broth, strained soup, unsweetened juice, water, tea, soymilk, artificially sweetened non-carbonated beverages and diluted fruit juices. The doctor may also prescribe protein drinks.

Within a week of bariatric surgery, patients can add full liquid to their diet. This category includes skim milk, protein shakes and smoothies, cream soups, yogurt, vegetable juice and sugar-free puddings. Carbonated beverages are not allowed.

In the third phases of the diet, patients may eat foods with pureed consistency. They are allowed to consume oatmeal, applesauce, scrambled eggs, sugar-free popsicles, low-fat cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, egg whites, dried peaches, soft-cooked vegetables and baby food. Six weeks following surgery, dieters can gradually move to solid foods.

It's recommended to drink plenty of liquid to prevent dehydration and replace normal water loss. Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass. Patients are encouraged to drink high-protein drinks. Eating large meals can cause problems. It's advisable to take up to six small meals a day. White bread, rice, sweets, high-fat foods and alcoholic beverages should be avoided.

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Top 8 Common Causes of Obesity

A healthy mind in a healthy body! This is what every person wants to possess; but sometimes, due to negligence or lack of awareness, many people suffer from ailments such as obesity, diabetes, high BP, and so on.

In most of the cases, the process of obesity started a long ago and gradually assumed an ominous form, as seen now. Let us try to evaluate the various causes of obesity and the suitable remedies for the same.

Obesity is known to be caused by genetic factors except in some rare instances; it is triggered more by factors such as:

i. Poor choice of food items

The menu of your food items should have a balanced proportion of greens, sprouts and a little bit of your favorite spicy items if you can not completely remove them from your platter. If you have not paid attention to the calorie aspect of the food items, you consume, then start today. Choose items based on the calories your body needs per meal.

ii. Sluggish lifestyle

If the amount of calories you take in is more than what you spend, then the excess amount is converted into fat and stored in the body. This is further worsened if you lead a dull life, or so to say, your lifestyle is slow and inactive.

iii. Slow metabolism rate

Your body may react slowly to the process of burning enough calories to prevent unnecessary weight gain.

iv. Other medical reasons like arthritis or hypothyroidism

A malfunctioning thyroid gland or an inactive lifestyle due to ailments like arthritis can contribute to weight gain.

v. Depression or a high level of stress

In extreme cases where a person suffers from stress, he / she can succumb to addictions like uncontrolled eating habits, smoking or drugs. These can lead to weight gain.

vi. Insomnia

If you suffer from insomnia and get very little sleep, you can gain weight by partaking food due to the cravings induced by certain hormones.

vii. Some medications

If you are under medication for a different ailment like diabetes or you use contraceptive drugs for a prolonged period of time, then weight gain is very likely to become a headache for you.

viii. Pregnancy

Even though gaining a few pounds seems to be natural during pregnancy and lactation, some women may find it difficult to regain their old shape. The weight gain may stay with them permanently.

Knowing about the causes of obesity is the first step in evaluating your health as on date and alleviating your life in a healthy manner.

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Tax on Calories?

In the mid of an obesity epidemic in this nation, new research poses a question: would obesity outcomes improve if the price of a calorie was raised through a taxation? Prepared by a private, nonprofit bureau, new research was conducted using measures of body fat from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (a program run by the Centers for Prevention and Disease Control), the prices of 21 grocery items, as well as prices for three fast-food items.

Many experts have often noted the low food price of junk food, fast food and sugary drinks, indicating that price is a factor in less healthy diet choices. Fast food is quick and easy, and the low price makes it all the more tempting. The thought was searched to study the idea of ​​how that choice might change if taxes increased the price of unhealthy food. Would it be enough to push people into healthier choices?

This new research indicates that a raise in fast food prices would help in deterring youth. On the whole, younger people who are just starting out have less spending money. The notice that raising the prices of fast food could affect obesity levels is where the drive in these proposals come from. From this, taxing such foods, along with government farm subsidies reductions have been proposed.

Of course, questions still arise. Would a price change be enough to affect the overall diet of people?

Studies, however, also show that differenting groups of people (female and male, white and non-white) react differently to increases of food prices. Males are least affected by the price of fruits and vegetables, as their body fat does not see a significant effect. The study revealed, however, that the percentage of body fat for whites is more responsive to the price of vegetables and fruits than for non-whites.

Additionally, questions come into play about forcing people to pay more for food. Is this fair to those who already tried? How would this new tax affect those already needing tax relief?

Rathermore, some nutritionists suggest a tax on calories is perhaps too broad. Some suggest a tax that distinguishes between “good” and “bad” calories rather than a tax that focuses simply on calorie number. Some healthy, highly nutritious foods are high in calories. Should they be exceptions to the rule? Many experts feel that by taxing caloric numbers the price of many staples could become out of reach for those in lower economic range and could cause issues for those already seeking tax relief from other high taxes.

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Right Now: Why We Need New Solutions to Address Obesity In America

Right now, how worried are you about obesity .. either for yourself, for someone you know, or for your child?

Right now obesity in America is a widespread health problem that has grown rapidly in recent decades. According to research conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2009-2010, over 1/3 of US adults (35.7%) are obese. That's more than one out of three people!

Right now this statistic is troubling when you consider that heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer are directly linked to obesity.

Right now the alarming amount of obese people also costs a great deal. Did you know that in comparison to someone of normal weight, the medical costs for an obese person on average are $ 1,429 higher? And in fact, did you know that in 2008 the total medical costs corresponding to the obesity epidemic in America were estimated to total $ 147 billion (!)?

Right now children in America are also at risk and are experiencing higher obesity rates. Research shows that 17% of children and adolescents aged 2-19 suffer from childhood obesity, a surprisingly high figure despite all the awareness our society has today. Equally troubling is that childhood obesity has been associated with cardiovascular risk factors and premature death. Children who are obese during childhood are also more likely to carry this problem into adulthood, which then leads to more serious health threats, such as an increased risk of stroke and many chronic diseases.

Right now the obsessive epidemic in America has shown no signs that it is going to go way any time soon. Not only does this pose massive health and medical care problems, but it also bodes very darkly for these individuals prospects in the future. For many, obesity is likely (or will) become lifelong ordeals if they do not get help – seriously helping help that allows them to make real impactful life changes. We have not even explored what obesity does to ones self-esteem, their connection to their communities, their future job prospects, their contributions, etc.

Right now we need new solutions to address obesity in America simply because what we're doing as a society just is not enough. Educating people about exercise, nutrition, and healthy living is a great thing … but right now we need to spend equal (if not more) time educating obese people and at risk children about their emotional / human needs, their triggers and patterns, and how to constructively break their debilitating vices.

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Ways to Shed Off 10 Pounds in a Week

Weight is an issue that almost everyone struggles with. Save for the genetically gifted members of the population that can eat what they want and not exercise and yet still stay in shape, everyone else has to practice proper care to maintain a reliably desired shape of their body. The vain nature of people has probably been the main cause for why so many people are so caught up in what the scale says. In a society that greatly values ​​the attractive qualities of people, being out of shape can make one an object of ridicule and disinterest.

As unpleasant a reality as it is that superior qualities are improperly valued, such is the case. It is almost an inevitable aspect of society. The value people put on their weight of course goes beyond just the wonderful fare. It is also a measure of great health to be in the proper range of weight for one's body type. Being in shape not only makes one more attractive but it also enables them to be more active and to partake in many more endeavors. That is the gift of self-discipline but not many have the patience for it.

A week is a short time to accomplish anything of real significance. Seven days are after all not long at all, especially in this new fast paced world. How is one then expected to accomplish something significant such as to lose ten pounds in such a brief period of time. The key then lies in the two most effective ways of losing weight no matter how long a period of time allotted.

Those are course to exercise and to maintain a proper diet. Without one plans on spending an entire week in the gym, it seems to be too short of a time period for one to exercise and still expect a severe dent in their weight figure. Exercise can still help though. It is always wise to spend an amount of time staying active and moving those muscles. At the very least exercising can keep one busy and take their minds off food which is another key element if one is to lose 10 pounds in a week.

The diet is a key element if one wishes to drop those ten pounds quickly. The first step is with breakfast and the food for this time of day includes 2 eggs without salt. Excluding the salt prevents water retention. Lunch will entail the consumption of leaner proteins such as turkey. Turkey served with some vegetables can be a filling option for those looking to drop pounds.

This can also work as a dinner option. The essence of the diet is to limit carbohydrates and consuming lean proteins so that one can feel full without eating as much. It is also recommended to avoid sweet foods during this time and to also drink lots of water. Losing 10 pounds in a week may seem like a very daunting proposition, but it is achievable. The key lies in exercise, a low carbohydrate diet and the right amount of discipline to achieve this goal.

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When Stress Is Hard To Stomach: How It Makes You Fat

The human body is a marvellous organism, and one of the many things that hold me in wonder is its response to stress. A whole chain reaction, commonly known as the 'fight-or-flight-response', is triggered when danger is perceived. There is an issue here though, in that your body does not discriminate between physical threat, and emotional stress: your biochemical response is exactly the same.

The hormones released in the fight-or-flight-response give you almost superhuman powers – think about the stories of otherwise frail people who find a massive physical strength in a crisis, such as the ability to lift a car from an injured child. These are powerful chemicals indeed! The fight-or-flight-response is absolutely vital – it keeps you alive! When that out-of-control bus is hurtling towards you, who you gonna call? That's right, your fight-or-flight hormones! An acute stress response is essential to your survival.

Problems really begin to arise, however, when you are subjected to long-term stress. Of course, this is usually the mental-emotional type, brought on by personal, work-related or lifestyle issues. The fight-or-flight response was never intended to last for more than as few seconds, so when stress becomes long-term or chronic your body moves into something called “adaptive stress”. The hormones associated with chronic stress play havoc with your body chemistry. You may find it hard to lose weight. You may gain weight.

In terms of body fat, the key player you need to know about is one of the stress hormones, cortisol.

Cortisol has a particular job to do: it preserves your resources, just in case you find yourself in a situation in which more resources can not be found. One of the things the human body needs for survival is food. Thus, cortisol affects your metabolism of food, encouraging your body to store fat – which at the end of the day is your energy larder!

Body fat is a warehouse for large quantities of calories – remember dietary fats provide more than twice the amount of calories per. gram than carbohydrates. Burning fat can keep you going for long periods of time. Take the example of a candle – traditionally made from fat. Burning a piece of wick alone takes no time at all, but immersing the same wick in fat, that is to make a candle, means it can burn for hours!

While life events may cause you unavoidable stress at times, there are some key habits you can form to mitigate some of the effects of your cortisol.

Digestion is a beautiful, alchemical, almost magical process in which your body is able to draw strength and resources from your environment. It is also one of the hardest jobs your body has to perform for you. It takes a lot of effort to break, digest and absorb your food. This is why you can become very sleepy after a very heavy meal! So forget comfort foods – eating regular small portions of easily digestible food can help.

Eating in a hurry or on-the-go should be avoided. Your body can not be effective in the task of digesting your food while you rush around or perform other jobs. Rather, this may also engender a stress response. Again, with the help of cortisol, you are illegally to process food properly, and instead find it more likely to be laid down as body fat.

I urge you to make a pledge to really honor the alchemy of food, and begin by creating a proper environment to help your body by eating in a calm and relaxed manner and state. This has been recognized in Chinese culture for millennia. One of the sayings attributed to the Buddha is ” when you eat, just eat .”

In times of stress many will reward them with unhealthy food – starchy, sugary, greasy meals and snacks; maybe fast food or highly processed ready meals. Some may even consider they are indulging in “treats”. Really they are achieving quite the opposite – the effects on the body are very consistent with being treated! So the next time you find yourself experiencing stress be armed with the knowledge of how to really treat your body well. Follow the advice above to protect yourself from biochemical chaos and do not let stress make you fat.

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Top 5 Tips for Creating Your Very Own Diet Plan

There are thousands of diet plans available online but they are somehow difficult to follow, especially if they include those food items which you almost hate. So, instead of following any of those, why should not you design a customized and healthy one for yourself? You can do that according to your taste and the foods you like. Nutritionists recommend that your diet should include all the foods in a balanced way. It means that the food should not only be high in vitamin alone but also balance all the necessary proteins and carbohydrates.

For the past two to three years, I have been creating diet plans for myself. These proved very effective for my body and provided great results. Following are some of the important tips that I picked up. These points need to be considered while creating your own healthy diet plan.

  • It must include different fruit and vegetables. These are the basic source of vitamins, proteins and other essential nutrients required by our body. The skin or outer covering of fruits and vegetables is also full of nutrition, so avoid peeling it.
  • Your diet should be rich in fiber. Whole grain, fruit, and vegetables are all rich in fibers. Dietary fibers are very important and help in metabolism of our body.
  • Prefer using vinegar, lemon juice, and natural herbs instead of artificial spices in your food. Artificial spices are not good for your health because they increase the acidity level of the stomach and cause different diseases.
  • Avoid eating food items having higher proportion of fats or cholesterol in them. Such foods contain saturated fats which are not good for our health. So stop using cookies, cakes, pastries and other related stuff right from today.
  • When it comes to healthy diet, then you must take care of how much you eat and how much you burn. If the calories you consume through food are equivalent to the calories you burn then, you have less chances of obesity and other dangerous diseases.

Making a healthy diet plan is not so problematic but following it punctually and maintaining it is the difficult part. You should also start having exercises. Exercises not only keep you physically fit but also keep you fresh all over the day.

These points will enable you to create a healthy diet plan which will keep you from obesity and other heart diseases. Now, when you know about the essential ingredients of a healthy diet, why not take a paper and a pen and create your diet plan, all by yourself?

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The Best Way to Fight Fat and Get Healthy!

“You are what you eat,” so the saying goes. And whether you love to eat or eat to live food is an important, if not the central part of our lives. Nowadays, more than ever, people have access to every kind of food imaginable from around the globe. The growing popularity of multicuisine restaurants where dishes from different countries can be had under one roof, fast food of every kind and even hamburger and hot-dog stands, it is easier than ever to get hold of food.

However easy availability of food gives rise to problems with health, especially Obesity. The problem begins when we want to continue eating the food that we like to eat, even though it may not be very healthy for us. Fried food, meat (especially red meat) that contain high amounts of trans fats, and food high in starches and sugars, combined with a sedentary lifestyle, are a recipe for disaster. Even more so if you consume alcohol daily and are a smoker.

Obesity is reaching pandemic (worldwide) proportions and is affecting both children as well as adults. It leads to other health problems such as hypertensive, diabetes, and cardiac conditions. In the USA alone eight out of ten people over 25 are overweight, 78% of Americans do not meet the basic activity level recommendations and 25% are completely sedentary. Eighty percent of Type II diabetes, 70% of cardiovascular disease, 42% of breast and colon cancer, 30% of gall bladder and 26% of high blood pressure illnesses are related to Obesity.

Treatments for Obesity often consist of diet and exercise, behavior (lifestyle) therapy, weight loss drug therapy, and bariatric surgery. Many people, especially if they are already living a sedentary lifestyle, find it difficult to follow any sort of diet or lifestyle change. Factors such as unemployment, and an already existing illness may be contributing factors to this. Surgery is also a costly and often risky alternative. The simplest method available for such people is slimming pills.

Slimming pills and products that are manufactured by genuine companies contain ingredients that are very effective for reducing weight. Much research has been done on various ingredients and their effect on our bodies and many have been clinically proven to aid in slimming. These ingredients, when ingested have the effect of releasing stored fats into the bloodstream and increasing the body metabolism rate to burn these fat cells faster, resulting in weight loss.

Just a few examples of these clinically tested ingredients that are proven to reduce weight are bitter orange peel, green tea extract, caffeine, Vitamin B12, and Bioperene, Other ingredients that aid in fat burning (known as Thermogenesis) include Guarana Extract, L- Carnitine L-Tartrate, Ginger Root, Cayenne Extract (Capsaicin), Biotin, and Raspberry Ketones.

Although these products can work on their own, once a person starts seeing results in the form of more energy and feeling and looking healthyier they will feel inspired to do more and lose more weight! So together with a little diet planning and physical exercise a person can achieve phenomenal results and become a new person! (including adding years to your lifespan).

'Health Is Wealth' is another saying. Ask any millionaire who, despite having more than enough money but who is suffering from a serious health condition that greatly reduces the quality of life, and they will tell you that it is very true. Do not put off taking charge of your health. Start today and make a positive impact on your life amid inspiring others to do the same!

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How Dietary Carbohydrates Become Abdominal Fat

Like all animals, we need to have a small amount of glucose available in our bloodstream all the time. Our brains require a small but constant supply of glucose otherwise they can not function. If glucose levels fall too low, we may become unconscious or even die.

Glucose is the basic building block for energy. It fuels every bodily function that we have to perform, from those we control ourselves, such as walking, working, playing sport etc., to those that our own bodies take care of for us without us consciously being involved, for example breathing, making hormones, circulating our blood, maintaining our very ability to live!

We all need glucose, but we can have too much of this good thing! So let's explore a little about exactly what it is, how we get it, use it and store it. By really understanding some basic facts about glucose, you will discover why you could be eating good food but storing body fat.

Glucose is a simple sugar: simple, that is, in respect of its molecular structure, C6H12O6. What makes it simple is that it contains only three common elements – carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. This very simple kind of sugar is called a monosaccharide .

It is one of two fuels that the cells of the body can burn for energy. The other is fat. We all need glucose, but surprisingly most of it does not come from actually eating it. Instead, most of our glucose needs are met by our digestive systems breaking down larger molecules of complex sugars and starch, known as carbohydrates. The time and digestive effort it takes for our bodies to convert other carbohydrates into glucose depends on the size and complexity of these larger molecules.

It will take very little time to convert another simple sugar into glucose. Let's take fructose as our first example. It is another monosaccharide, and it has exactly the same chemical formula as glucose, ie C6H12O6. The only difference is that some of the elements are bonded together in a slightly different configuration. Because all the elements are present, in exactly the same amounts, and in a very similar structure, it takes very little time for the body to break apart the structure of fructose to reconfigure it as glucose. In fact there are several monosaccharides all sharing the same formula, but with slightly different structures: allose, altrose, fructose, galactose, glucose, gulose, idose, mannose, sorbose, talose, tagatose. So many sugars – so little time to turn them into glucose! Fructose is the sugar found naturally in fruit, and as you can now see, the sugars from fruit can be used very quickly to provide glucose to the body. This is how it is possible to revive a diabetic patient quickly with a small drink of orange juice!

Just for completeness I should mention that there are some monosaccharides that do not share their chemical formula with glucose, but which still contain the basic building blocks of carbon, hydrogen and water.

The next most basic sugars are disaccharides . These contain two simple sugar molecules bonded together. Sucrose is one good example for us to use here – because it is basically just two sugar molecules, one fructose and the other glucose. Maltose is even better – it is simply two glucose molecules linked together. To convert maltose into glucose, all the digestive system has to do break one bond from a molecule of maltose, and hey presto it has two molecules of glucose! So again, we can see that digesting disaccharides can generate glucose very quickly and easily.

More complicated carbohydrates complexes contain longer chains of sugar molecules bound together. Where they have between two and ten individual sugar molecules in their structure they are called ogliosaccharides . The most complex, with even longer chains are the polysaccharides . The digestive system has to work harder, and it takes a little longer to break the chains, and reconfigure the elements to create glucose, but it still achieves this reliably quickly.

Complex sugars like those found in honey, syrups, milk etc., and the starch found in grains, potatoes, rice, beans and other carbohydrate-rich foods all contain chains of glucose that are bonded together with other substances. During digestion, enzymes break these bonds and release the glucose molecules which are then absorbed into your bloodstream.

Blood sugar balance, or control, is the process of making sure we have enough, but not too much, glucose floating around in our bloodstreams at any one time. As we have already said, it is really vital that there is always some glucose there in the blood, to ensure our brains are able to function. Yet, the amount of glucose in our blood is never static. Our cells are constantly using up the glucose and burning it for energy. Replacing glucose that has been used up is essential for our brains. If the systems that regulate our blood sugar are healthy, the amount of glucose they provide is just enough to replace the glucose used! In this way, you could say we “balance” our blood sugar.

Blood sugar levels naturally fluctuate through the day. However, there are two basic states that we need to consider. One is the fast state and the other is the postprandial state.

The fast state occurs when digestion has been completed, for example at night, while we sleep. With a reasonably balanced diet we enter the fast state three hours after eating. In the fasting state our liver contains normal blood sugar levels by releasing small amounts of glucose from the glycogen stores, or by converting protein into new glucose.

Our levels of insulin, which is a hormone released by the pancreas, tell our livers when they need to provide more glucose into the blood stream. When there is no new glucose being provided into the blood stream from digestion, little insulin is released and the low level alerts the liver to action.

We remain in the fast state until we eat some food containing carbohydrates. After eating, any pure glucose that was present in the food will be absorbed into our bloodstream usually within fifteen minutes. Just fifteen minutes? In fact if we eat glucose itself, it gets into our bloodstream and begins to feed our brain cells even before it leaves our quickly: a diabetic person can be revived with a glucose drink!

When we are talking about carbohydrates we usually think of two categories: refined and complex. Refined carbohydrates are those that will be converted into glucose within a few minutes, whereas complex carbohydrates will take a little longer.

Simple or refined carbohydrates, such as white flour or sugar, typically take between a half hour and an hour to provide glucose into our bloodstream. More complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains may take between one and three hours to be fully digested. During this so called postprandial state, the concentration of glucose in our blood will begin to rise as the glucose following digestion comes pouring in. For those of us with a healthy body, as soon as the glucose levels begin to rise, our pancreases are stimulated to deliver a large burst of insulin. Insulin's function is to activate receptors on our cell walls which allow these cells to take the circulating glucose molecules from our bloodstreams and either burn them for fuel or store them for future use.

Assuming for now that we indeed have healthy blood sugar systems, let's now look at how the body uses other nutrients, and how they can affect our blood sugar balance too!

With this information, you can begin to see and understand why managing food intake is so vital to controlling energy, weight and shape.

In very simple terms our bodies need two main things from food: they need energy, and they need a tool kit to develop, grow and repair our bodily tissues, and substances. The key to a great body is to balance these needs – and especially to make sure that the energy our bodies derive from food matches the amount of energy we need to fulfill our daily activities: too little energy spells trouble, too much often spells even more !

The Glycaemic Index (GI) is a measure of just how quickly a food will be converted into glucose, compared with glucose itself. The higher the GI, the faster the conversion process. So glucose itself scores a full 100 on the GI scale, with refined carbohydrates, made up of simple chains of sugars, scoring very highly, complex carbohydrates next, and protein and fats moderately or less. Our bodies can actually convert proteins into glucose, as we have seen, though the digestion process takes longer due to the complexity of protein structures.

Different mechanisms begin to kick in when we create more glucose than we need to meet our energetic needs. At first it is not a huge issue. Through a process called glycolysis, the excess glucose is converted to glycogen which is stored in our livers and muscles. This is exactly what anlete aims to do with so-called “carb-loading”: it's to make sure that as much glycogen as possible is stored, so that it can provide a back-up of energy for that long race! Glycogen is reliably quickly converted back into glucose, and subsequently energy, whenever we find ourselves in the situation of needing more energy than we have readily available. However, our glycogen stores are not endless – they do become full. On average we can store about 360 calories worth of energy in our glycogen stores – which means that if we need to draw up our reserves for energy, we have 360 ​​calories worth of activity before our bodies have to find a new source of nutrients to convert into glucose.

In situations where we digest carbohydrates without an immediate energy need and our glycogen stores are full, yet another digestive process occurs. This time the excess glucose is converted into body fat, which is usually stored in close proximate to the liver – giving rise to the “apple” shape or the “muffin top”.

If we engage in physical activity and exhaust our readily available supplies of glucose, AND we empty our glycogen stores THEN our bodies turn to our fat stores for energy. When we develop a situation where our bodies begin to use fat for fuel our livers begin to transform protein into the glucose our brains need to keep going. If there is sufficient available the body will get this directly from the protein foods that we eat, such as meat or cheese. However, where there is insufficient dietary protein, our bodies will digest our own muscle tissues.

Let's think about this really closely for a moment: when our bodies begin to burn off our body fat for energy, our livers also begin to break down our lean tissues? Yes!

Because our body can “eat” our own muscle tissues in this way, inappropriate diets that are too low in protein result in a dangerous loss of them. This is one of the ways that most branded diet plans are fundamentally flawed and will lead to unhealthy consequences!

So called 'healthy' food products tend to be reduced or low in fat. The diet industry has relied on low fat alternatives for many years, and there is no sign that this is about to change any day now! Yet, a close look at the product labels is revealing … take out fat, and something has to replace it. Usually this is sugar! These foods have a manufactured imbalance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, which together are called the “macronutrients”. Low-sugar or sugar-free food products, which essentially seek to eliminate the most highly refined carbohydrates, are no solution either! You can be sure that any dietary rule that requires you to eliminate or seriously reduce any of the macronutrients is fundamentally flawed: for health and well-being you absolutely need all three regularly. Losing weight like this rarely involves losing just fat! Your healthy tissues may well begin to suffer too – and if that damage is not addressed then poor health is a genuine risk.

Proteins and fats are primarily needed to provide the components of the tool kit required for bodily development, growth and repair. They are complex molecules which require a lot of digestive effort, and are converted much more slowly than carbohydrates. When consumed together with carbohydrates they also slow down the rate at which the carbohydrates can be digested – because the digestive system has to work on the meal as a whole. This is the basis of Glycaemic Load (GL). We can even out the rate at which our bodies can convert food into available energy by combining carbohydrates with other nutrients to make a meal that is converted to energy at a rate we can use it, depending on our activities at that time of course. The lower the GL of a meal, the more steadily our digestion will function to derive energy from the food, which means our glycogen stores are not always crammed full, and we will be protected from depositing the abdominal fat that gives us that characteristic apple shape Egypt muffin-top.

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Fat Loss Is NOT The Same As Weight Loss

When you embark on a weight loss diet something strange happens. Your body is not entirely happy to shed its fat. Instead you start to lose lean tissue such as muscle and bone density.

A research study carried out in Denmark, and reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in May 2002 found that when men died less than 60% of the weight lost was fat. The rest was lean tissues. When men regained weight only 24% of the weight they put back on was lean tissue – over 75% of the weight regained after weight loss was more fat. That means for people who yo-yo diet – living in a cycle of losing weight and putting it back on again – the lean tissues in their body are gradually being replaced by fat.

The same research showed that the picture for women is even worse! During the diet 35% of the weight lost was lean tissue – initially less than for men. BUT on regaining weight only 15% was lean tissue. When women lost and then regained weight, lean tissue was not adequately restored – 85% of the weight regained was fat!

Do you find this surprising? I must say that when I first came face to face with this information I was astounded. So much so that I decided to check it out with a man who might be able to tell me just how difficult it is to maintain muscle, and how easily lean tissue can be lost. That man is an accomplished body builder: Stuart Garrington. Mr. World 2012. Current reigning Mr. Britain, and preparing for the Mr. Universe competition in October this year.

Stuart tells me that a top notch body builder will probably be able to gain a maximum of 8lbs of pure muscle in a year – and that's with all the training, extremely high protein diet and creatine supplements that go with the sport. Furthermore, if a body builder takes their eye off the diet, and begins to introduce too many carbohydrates instead of protein, the muscle begins to disappear very quickly – he estimates that it would be easy to drop 2 or 3 stones of muscle mass very easily .

Simply – it's hard work to gain muscle and very easy to lose it if your diet does not positively protect your body composition.

Body composition is intrinsically linked with health. Although research scientists reported this in 2002, it finally hit the mainstream media in 2011, becoming headline news in The Daily Mail. The logical conclusion is that diets that do not protect your body composition do damage your health!

What is incredibly disappointing is that in the past decade (and more) since the facts emerged, the food and diet industries at large have failed to respond, and continue to perpetuate the same erroneous messages and promote the same products. This means that you continue to lose lean tissues instead of fat, and risk your health.

Daily Mail on adverse effects of weight loss diets on health article here:

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Obesity Tied To Having A Disability

Approximately 54 million Americans suffer from at least one disability; that's about 1/6 of the population. People with disabilities face a number of challenges, from everyday activity restrictions to psychological distress. According to new research, people with a disability are at increased risk for additional chronic conditions due to a highivalence of obesity along this demographic.

It's a large known that 1/3 of Americans are obese. Obesity greatly increases your risk of a number of serious conditions, including chronic back pain, arthritis, heart disease, some cancers and type 2 diabetes. These conditions greatly exacerbate the regular challenges of having a disability. A new study out of The University of Texas School of Public Health shows that obesity is more prevalent among Americans with a disability, with approximately 42% affected.

In a sense, this result is not surprising. People with a disability generally have activity restrictions that interfere with exercise. These limits range from being confined to a wheelchair to restricted movement from back pain. The situation is not hopeless; there are steps people with disabilities can take to maintain or achieve a healthy weight even with activity restrictions.

1. Get Creative About Movement

There's no generic prescription for exercise with a disability as there is a broad range of disabilities, each one with a unique set of restrictions. However, there are a few common methods for getting around limitations.

For people with chronic pain or those who have a hard time exercising due to being overweight, water exercise is often ideal. Water takes weight off your joints while providing resistance to give you both a strength-building and cardiovascular workout.

For people with severe movement restrictions, such as those in wheelchairs, the important thing to emphasize is the parts of your body you can still move. Unless you're paralleled from the neck down, there's a way for you to exercise. You may want to pursue upper body workouts from home using ideas from videos like the one at , or you may want to join a closed volleyball or basketball team. Working with a physical therapist can be immensely helpful for people with severe activity limitations; these professionals are trained to help people optimize their functionality, working within whatever restrictions are present.

2. Decrease Caloric Intake

Most of the time, calories are at the heart of obesity. We get these energy units from food and, ideally, burn them with little left over. When caloric intake excludes caloric metabolism on a regular basis, excess weight results.

Even with creative exercising, you may not be burning the same number of calories you would be without your disability. It's a good idea to work with a nutritionist to calculate the number of calories your body needs for its unique activity level. You will not need to starve yourself; you may just need to make a few adjustments to your diet (or a lot, if your diet is very poor) to create a better balance between caloric intake and use.

3. Consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

In some cases, disability can affect a person's activity level on a more psychological than physical level. Fears of worsened pain and exaggerated beliefs about limitations are both common and understandable among those with a disability. Psychological interventions like cognitive behavioral therapy can help patients attain a more accurate conception of their abilities. Seeking psychological treatment does not mean that the pain is “all in your head” or that something is “wrong” with you; it just means that you're willing to cover all your bases.

For more on the obesity study referred above, see .

Having one disability is hard enough. Decrease your chances of developing further health problems by taking steps to manage weight.

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A Syndrome X Paleo Diet Approach To Natural Healing

Many people are held back from purchasing healthy and fresh organic paleo approved food because they think it is too expensive or that living a healthy lifestyle will not really be what it is promised to be. What many such people miss is that diets such as the paleo diet actually do relieve symptoms, cure ailments and prevent chronic disease from developing within the body. Now research is showing that even the negative effects of 'Syndrome X', also known as metabolic syndrome are relieved while on the paleo diet. The symptoms of this syndrome are in fact often caused by this nature based approach. Many of those who suffer from metabolic syndrome X are unaware that they can make a systematic change that will improve their lives, because why it is absolutely the right time for an increase in public awareness.

First and foremost I think it is important to mention that no matter how healthy one eats, exercise is still one of the most important components of any type of healthy lifestyle. Therefore, before you consider living on a paleo diet food list make sure you are ready to make a complete lifestyle change. The majority of people who suffer from Syndrome X and try to make a change to their nutrition usually fail simply because their lifestyle change is not wide ranging enough. Only a drastic change in your overall approach to life will allow the effects of a diet to really strike a chord within your overall immune system. Due to stress being one of the main causes of metabolic syndrome X, a regularly exercised walk goes a long way (no pun intended) in reducing your cortisol levels and getting your body to accept your new lifestyle. Once you have made the choice to become more physically active, the time will be right to consider your options of integrating a paleo diet food list into your life in an effective way.

To get started, make sure you pick a number of low-calorie foods from your personalized paleo diet food list. The way you create such a list is you simply find out which foods you may or may not eat on the paleo diet. Then you do some simple research and figure out the caloric values ​​of each of your favorite foods you have on the list. These values ​​are usually described on the back of products you purchase. If you are looking for vegetarian values ​​you may simply do a basic search online or take a look in a nutrition related book at your local library. If you are unable to get this kind of research done, simply consult a healthcare professional or service staff at your local store. If some of the foods you chose are high in calories, simply try to replace them with another food that is lower in calories which you have not tried or might not like otherwise. Believe me the benefits will far outweigh the disadvantages of this. As an example you will be enjoying greater variety in your diet and you will most likely discover highly beneficial foods that you might otherwise have neglected. I personally recommend focusing on eating a lot of vegetables as they are low in carbohydrates yet contain a high amount of vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fiber helping to speed up your metabolism. In combination with the vegetables I recommend the leanest meat possible such as chicken breast, turkey or potentially some fish such as salmon as long as it is made with only small amounts of healthy fats or no additional fat at all such as in a stew or soup . Try to keep your salt intake low. The majority of the foods on your paleo diet should not contain any added salt.

Unless you are in any way allergic, I recommend you top all of this off with at least a handful of non-processed almonds or other non-processed nuts every single day. Nuts are especially effective before sleep as that is when your metabolism slows down. The nuts are going to ensure that it does not shut down completely, allowing you to process food effectively even during sleep. I would recommend trying to avoid fruit to begin with, because despite the fact that it can be a healthy addition to your diet, it contains the most carbohydrates out of any food on the paleo diet food list and there before the highest amount of sugar. Focusing on eating enough vegetables will make sure that you will not be in need of any additional fruit to compensate for lack of vitamins or minerals. Last but not least consult with your healthcare professional to come up with a personalized variation of the paleo diet, optimized to relieve you from syndrome x. If your healthcare professional is unaware of the paleo diet, I recommend trying to find one who specializes in nutritional sciences.

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