15 Questions to Ask Choosing Weight Loss Surgery – Step by Step

1) Know your procedures: Bariatric surgery has been around for many years. We are blessed medical research moves quickly. Weight loss surgery is no exception. The bad news is many procedures are still being performed unnecessarily and many countries and facilities are not offering the best procedures, they are the old standbys that create the bad rap and publicity that unfortunately haunts this life saving surgery.

2) Know your facilities: because weight loss surgery is up in the top 5 targeted procedures of medical tourism … Certain designs are awarded to facilities to insure patients of excellent care and standards. Please do not have surgery from a hospital that has not earned the International Center of Excellence (ICE) or more specifically the Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence (BSCOE). The ASMBS (American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery) and SRC (Surgical Review Corporation) has 10 rigid criteria a hospital must meet to earn this design. Right here you can eliminate most facilities … this design is rarely awarded. Please do not make the assumption here these facilities are more expensive.

3) Know your surgeons: please note I say surgeons, plural. An October 2013 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed how bariatric surgeons were peer reviewed directly related to the surgeons success with patients … lowest complications greatest success of surgery. You can have the same procedure, but very different outcomes at the hands of different surgeons.

4) know the emergency capabilities of facility: This is yet another area where many facilities can be eliminated, truth is most do not have critical care diagnostics, equipment or a surgical Intensivist … a surgeon specialized in detecting potential emergency situations and there to take command if necessary.

5) If diabetic what are the chances it will put the diabetes into remission: no offense to aesthetics, these rules. Yes some procedures can put Type 2 diabetes into remission if there is significant, sustained weight loss. I implore you to choose a procedure that the procedure itself has a high potential to put diabetes into remission. This is true metabolic surgery that offers far greater health outlet in the present and future.

6) Fat loss vs weight loss: older procedures such as gastric bypass offered impressed sounding weight loss. However much of that weight is often muscle loss which predisposes patients to many other future illnesses and challenges. You want a procedure that ensures fat loss and cherishes your muscle mass.

7) Is the stomach left in tact? Again older procedures mangled the stomach. Over the last 15 years we have discovered many previously unknown magical mysteries of the stomach, which are obliterated in older unnecessary procedures such as gastric bypass. Beside horrid nutrient absorption, emotional mood disorders including alcoholism are associated with these procedures.

8) Are there any “foreign objects” left in the body? Your body is equipped with incredible sensors to detect and attack foreign objects such as gastric bands, staples … keep the stomach in tact and do not allow any clutter to be left in there !!!

9) What are the complication rates – not just of the procedure but of the particular surgeon, facility as well. Remember stats class? Numbers are fun, but can be dangerous. Marketing pros and PR folks can seriously fool you here. Get the straight answer on numbers of success and complications for surgeon, procedure performed at that facility, and other procedures performed there. Be real careful here.

10) Do they insist on a certain amount of weight loss before procedure? Yes you are there for weight loss surgery, however it is for your utmost protection that a certain amount of fat be lost before surgery for the liver. A good facility will guide you through this, and help you out if there is a problem

11) What pre operative and post operative support do they offer? It should not be take the money and run … this should be a relationship of trust that is built between you and the surgical staff. You are not on a factory conveyor belt. It is inexcusable a full pre and post nutritional, physical activity and lifestyle support program is not implemented with you.

12) What “promises” are they making you? Any great hospital will tell you weight loss surgery is NOT a get out of jail for free card. The realities of the procedure and future lifestyle should be deal with, openly and honestly. Weight loss surgery is a tool for success, not a magic lantern.

13) How accessible is the staff after the procedure? What systems do they have in place for you for questions, cheering you on? Do not settle for a FAQ sheet, you deserve human contact.

14) Quality of life post surgery. Again this is a point that truly saddens me. The older procedures put restrictions and encumbrances on the future joy of life that are just not necessary any more. Really really take a good look at this scientifically, life is to be enjoyed, and. Who are we kidding, we all have an inner foodie.

15) Are you willing to travel? The newest, safest most effective procedures are offered in a few places. The best surgeons … are you willing to travel … medical tourism is NOT popular just for cost savings – it is also the very best way to receive the state of the art care and facilities, cost effective and in a timely manner

Understand from all of these that it is inaccurate to judge a particular procedure when offered by different facilities – they will have different outcomes to many of these questions. It is very intimidating to make a decision on weight loss surgery, especially given all the “bad stories” that make it into the papers.The fact remains that weight loss surgery saves thousands of lives, and obesity is the # 1 killer – being responsible for so many of our chronic illnesses.

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Some Useful Tips For Creating a Healthy Diet Plan

Why should not you design a customized diet plan for you? There are many diet plans available online but they are somehow difficult to follow. You can make your own diet plan according to your taste and the food you like. Doctors recommend that your diet should contain all nutrients but in balanced way. It means that your food should not be high in carbohydrates alone but also balance necessary protein and vitamins.

For the past some years, I have been creating diet plans for myself. These provided me great results and proved very effective for my health. Following are the some useful tips that I picked up. These points should be kept in mind while creating your own diet plan.

  • Avoid eating food having large quantity of fats and oil in them. Such foods contain saturated fats in them which are not considered good for our health. So stop eating cakes, cookies and butter from today.
  • Fruits and vegetables are essential part of our diet. These are the main source of protein and all other essential nutrients required by our body. Avoid peeling the skin or outer covering of fruits and vegetables because they are full of nutrition.
  • Artificial spices are not good for your health. Use vinegar, lemon, and natural herbs in your meal instead of artificial spices because they increase the acidity of stomach and cause diseases.
  • Include dietary fibers in your daily diet. They are very important for us and help in metabolism of our body. Vegetables, fruits, and whole grain are rich in fibers.
  • You must take care of how much you eat and how much you burn. If the calories you burn are more than the calories you consume then, you have less chances of obesity and other heart diseases.

Making a diet plan is not problematic but to follow it is a difficult task. You should also start regular exercise. Exercises not only keep you healthy but also keep you mentally fresh all over the day. You can also make your own home gym. Buy some basic instruments online as there are various platforms which offer best rowing instruments.

These useful tips will enable you to design a healthy diet plan which will keep you from obesity and other diseases. Now, when you know all the essentials of a healthy diet, why not take a pen and make your own diet plan, all by yourself?

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Phlegm – Enemy No. 1

Truly, phlegm is the no. 1 enemy in our system.

Not so long ago, my neighbor in Bangalore died because of a mosquito bite. She caught dengue fever and, in less than three days, she was dead leaving behind two teenage children and a husband. Four months later, her 16-year-old daughter came to me and requested yoga classes to lose weight. She was very overweight.

And my work started.

I taught her no yoga at our first session. Instead, I explained to her the real cause of her mother's death. I told her how it was phlegm and not dengue fever that killed her. The whole family was obese and ate plain rubbish.

Yes, rubbish! Almost every night they eat at fast food joints, indulging in fried chicken, burgers, pastas and what have you. Naturally, such a food can not be digested.

The intestinal tract and the bile in the stomach simply refuse to absorb something that will not nourish the body let alone the mind. The intestinal tract is 8 meters long and has many small buds, which are responsible for the absorption of nutrients in the system. Whatever can not be absorbed is expelled out of the body in the form of stool, sweat, urine and as a coating on the tongue. After that, another item remains that does not leave the body and places in the system for a long time to come.
That is phlegm.

What exactly is phlegm?
According to yoga and Ayurveda, phlegm is a natural component of our body. In Sanskrit, it is called Kapha. Kapha is not just phlegm; it is especially related to oil and the lubrication of our system. Lack of Kapha causes excess dryness, problems with the joints, mental instability, stress, fatigue and sexual weakness. Clearly, well-nourished Kapha is necessary for the body. However, excess Kapha causes symptoms in reverse: obesity, rudeness, greediness, excess mucus, heaviness and pallor, excessive sleep, cold sensations and cough. Therefore, excess phlegm is termed as Kapha disorder and has severe consequences on an organism. In the long run, phlegm, that has no way to leave the body, solidifies and turns into a deep-contained toxic mass, gelling with tissue and becoming almost one with it.

How does that happen?

It happens in six stages:

First is Accumulation, wherein phlegm is accumulated in its home, ie the stomach, resulting in the above-mentioned distortions.

The food that causes excess phlegm is usually yoghurt, milk, cheese, meat, fish, grains, lentils and beans, sweets, fried and baked foods, fruits like bananas, processed food, sugar and fructose; food that is consumed cold will cause excess phlegm too. In addition, unseasonal food, especially summer food consumed in winter will cause mucus. Tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant and other summer vegetables and fruits are meant to cool the body in the summer heat. Consumed in winter, they cool the body excessively; the intestinal tract refuses to work on cooling food that would simply make it sick.
Here, eat seasonal.

Finally, eating at the right time is crucial to maintaining a strong and effective metabolic fire. Meals eaten at night disturb sleep. At night, food needs to be metabolized, so do mental impressions. Stuffing yourself at night will cause pain in the lower back and mental dullness. At night, there is a lack of metabolic fire and thus, the production of mucus will be great. The best time to eat is noon, when the Sun is the strongest and so is digestion.

The second step is Aggravation, where phlegm increases its presence and, with it, the symptoms of disease.

The third stage is Overflow, where phlegm is not any more in its home (stomach) but spreads into the tissue and organs. Here, malfunctions are recorded in the form of coughs, fevers, swollen joints, mucus in the stool, swollen glands and pain in the chest, fatigue, headaches, etc …

The fourth stage is Relocation, where phlegm relocates to the lymphatic system, pancreas, liver and kidneys.

The fifth stage is Manifestation where we call a spade a spade. In this stage, full-blown diseases such as bronchitis, pneumonia, diabetes, etc. are identifiable.

Needles to say, treatment will be more complicated.

The last, sixth, stage is Diversification, where the disease matures and begin to cause multiple problems, most notable amongst them is heavy congestion and swelling that causes intense pain either in the chest, lower back, joints or groin, or in all of them . This is the stage where phlegm, already transformed into a hard, toxic mass, can not be expelled by normal cleansing and healing methods. It is here that the organism becomes addicted to certain kinds of foods. These seem to bring momentary relief but, actually, only push the toxic mass defect in to the tissue often causing cancer tumors or ulcerous growths. The organism stops responding to any normal healing methods and only shows improvement through heavy duty cleaning.

Here we apply the yogic methods of cleaning. The first ones are definitely the Shat Karmas or the six cleansing actions of yoga.

The breathing exercises (Pranayama) follows; This stabilizes and heals the vital airs that govern all movement in the body.

Shatkarmanirgata-sthaucya
Kaphamedho-maladikaha
Pranayamamtataha
Kuryadanayasenasidhyati

“The practice of Pranayama brings about an easy success, after removing impurities such as fat and phlegm, through the practice of Shat Karmas.”
(Hatha Yoga Pradipika 4.2)

It is these Pranayama methods that do most of the healing. Once the airs inside the body are vitalized and balanced, they automatically start purging toxins out. The whole thing is followed by certain asanas, yoga poses, ordained in a specific order to bring prana into a desirable place in the body with the help of heat. Here the work of the revitalization of the inner organs, glands and intestinal tract start full- fledged. In the beginning stages of Yoga Therapy, we actually ignite the metabolic fire in the liver, which in turn carries the Pranas all over the system, thus invigorating the inner organs to their potential. Of course, the feeling is absolutely sublime. How can it not be? Metabolic fire starts melting the hard toxic mass into a more liquid form enabling mucus to be expelled.

Over the prolonged practice of this specific yoga method, the inner organs and glands that define their liveliness and ability to function without hindrance. With it develops a fine tuned taste that abhors and eschews toxic loaded food.

To go back to the above story, excess phlegm in the form of toxic mass in the body provided fatal for my neighbor. Once toxic mass becomes a part of tissue, it offers unconventional support to virus entering the body. Due to its prolific nature, the virus had an easy way to bypass any immunity (which by now is extremely weak) and it grandly enters into the most sensitive parts of our body – the vital organs. Once the vital organs (viz. The kidneys, liver and heart) are weakened, the rest of the system is neutralized with ease.

As mentioned earlier, certain type of foods should not be consumed on a regular basis. In fact, fried and, to a good extent, baked food should be given up.

Every time I do a workshop or course, I recommend reducing the intake of foods like yoghurt, cheese (especially heavy cheeses) as they really tend to clog the system and exacerbate the joint and lower back pains. Always and I mean always, someone asks, “But where will we get our calcium from?” Anticipating the inevitable, I smile inwardly before I answer. “YOU SHOULD ONLY EAT WHAT YOU CAN DIGEST. What is the point of stuffing yourself with food that creates so much phlegm and fails to nourish you?”

Often, food like yoghurt is simply too clogging (especially if ethen cold) as the intestinal tract will not be able to absorb vitamins and minerals out of it. That is wasted Calcium, only resulting in more phlegm. To diminish joint pains, cut yoghurt and heavy cheeses out. In my experience, people suffering from joint and back pains, have been avid yoghurt and cheese eaters. However, I do not say that there should be no yoghurt consumption at all, but one cut down on it carefully, so that during metabolism and vitamins can be extracted in a more efficient way.

Other heavy foods are also the same. For example, grains. It is better to soak them for 15 to 24 hours before steaming them, to extract the mucus out of them. Steaming food is crucial as it helps to, first, expel air and second, to destroy mucus. Contrary to the populist perception, the raw food is not the ultimate answer to our dietary needs. It is steamed food that promotes vitality and longevity. Even cooked food creates a lot of mucus.

A tip: While cooking, add salt at the very end, once the dish is ready. Food cooked with salt increases the formation of Kapha.

A great way to destroy phlegm and phlegmatic disorders is the usage of herbs. In Yogapedia's “Kitchen of Yoga”, I have enumerated various herbs, the best ways of using them and their benefits. Herbs are essential as they help extract nutrients from food and aid their absorption into the system. Indeed, herbs by themselves are a great source of nutrients.

Once food is prepared correctly and ingredients varies carefully, the fever can begin.

For avid yoga practitioners who are inclined to keep their Nadis (pranic paths) clean for spiritual practices, the aforementioned precaptions are essential for them.

Say no to phlegm and begin a transformation that will not only better your health but also increase spiritual and material prosperity in your life as well.

Om Tat Sat

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How to Change Your Eating Habits After a Bariatric Surgery

Limiting your Calorie Intake
Especially after having undergone the surgery, it is important that you are well aware of your calorie intake. As long as you do not stretch your small stomach pouch or graze all day, managing this is not a big worry. By limiting certain types of foods such as fried foods, junk foods, sweets, high calorie drinks and processed carbohydrates, you should be able to maintain a low calorie diet of 1460 calories a day.

Eating Foods that are Nutrient Rich
With a stomach size that has been reduced so significantly, it is possible to only fit in about half a cup of food at a time. So, it is important that you make every bit count. Foods such as lean meats, fish, poultry, fat free dairy products, vegetables, fruits and high fiber carbohydrates are all nutrition rich items you must include in your diet. At the grocery store, look for foods which contain at least 5 grams of fiber per serving and has its first ingredient as whole grain on the nutrition panel.

Ensuring Sufficient Protein Intake
Proteins are important for Bariatric patients. It is important that you consume at least 2 or 3 ounces of high protein foods in every meal. The high protein portion should be consumed before you move on to any other food group. Most medical experts recommend that you set a goal of consuming 60 to 80 grams of protein per day.
It is important to understand that there are two types of proteins that your diet needs to cover.

– Complete proteins, also known as high biological value proteins can be availed through foods that come from other animals. The existence of essential amino acids in these proteins is what makes them “complete”. Low fat foods are also great sources for complete proteins.

– Incomplete protein on the other hand does not consist of all the requisite amino acids and can be sourced through foods that are plant based. This form of protein can be obtained from beans and lentils, vegetables, nuts and whole grains.

A critical change that most people need to make to their eating habits is the inclusion of a wholesome breakfast. It is known that 78% of the successful Bariatric cases eat breakfast 7 days a week. It is important that you eat your breakfast within 1 to 2 hours of waking up. Make it a point to speak with your surgeon recommended dietitian for ideas for a complete and healthy breakfast.

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Go Ahead – Reward Yourself With Food

We are taught that it is bad to use food as a reward or to stop feelings. Food is listed as the bad guy, especially if you are trying to lose weight. It is something to be avoided or to be counted, weighed, dissected and ate at the “correct” time. We have a very difficult and negative relationship with this thing called food, yet this is what we need to keep us alive.

We do not question the need for water or sunlight; these are what we need for life. We are grateful and appreciative that we have easy access. Society is trying to mess these two up as well, telling us to be careful of going out in the sun, put on sunscreen, cover up and as a consequence we have seen a massive increase in vitamin D deficiency. As we are going to discuss with food, enjoy some sun, plan time in the sun and enjoy. It is there for our good.

With water we are told to drink 2 liters per day and we do all sorts of things to make water taste better, mostly by adding other chemicals like sugar and caffeine and tell ourselves that we are drinking water. When you are really thirsty water is such a fantastic drink. If you have ever been bush walking and become hot and tired and come across a lovely bubbling brook you will know the feeling of enjoying water.

Food has been an even more complicated story. For 30 years we were told to go low fat and we did and we all got fatter and sicker. Now we are told to forget that idea .., we now need to give up sugar.

We need to eat more vegetables, but should we be eating more fruit?

What about meat, maybe just chicken and fish. But be careful of the heavy metals in fish

So just vegetables right? Well except for potato, and corn, and peas, and maybe even carrots and pumpkin. They all have lots of sugar in them too.

And bread that's bad too and surely you can not put margarine on it, or was that butter. Well certainly not jam any way and be careful of the peanut butter, it is full of fat and sugar, and vegemite is full of salt.

So why are we messing up the fun and basic things of life?

My story

I love food. I do not like shoes, or clothes, or fancy cars or houses. I like food. When I want to reward myself I chose food. Why would walking around a noisy busy shopping center and spending lots of money be considered a reward. That is my idea of ​​torture. But a delicious creamy chocolate éclair, now that is a reward.

The downside of this love is I put on weight.

As a young child I was well looked after, and feed well. I was plump. Well rounded. My father still looks at the photos of this chubby baby and says how cute. I did not think it was so cute when I was 10 and still chubby. I felt fat and ugly. Lucky for me as I reached my teens the weight just fell off, but I have spent all my life thinking I was fat. I look back on the few teenage photos I have and wonder what mirror was I looking in! I had a beautiful female body of bust, waist and hips. I was very lucky that I enjoyed moving and activity and did not put on weight until my sixth pregnancy at 28. Obviously on many babies for my metabolism. Once she was about 1 year old, I decided the weight had to go. I went to a company that does everything for you. Easy. You buy their food, eat what they give you and within a very short period of time, the weight was gone. I was 30 years old and looked fantastic. I was finally happy in my skin. I liked the look in the mirror. I had grown up. This weight loss stuff is easy.

This happy state lasted for the next 10 years, and then slowly I started gaining weight. At first it was not a problem. I was busy with my teenage family, a new marriage, and business. Lots of stress, but no problem- right? I had two more children at 42 and 45 and thought, that's OK. I put on a small amount of extra weight, but running around after these two will take it off. But it did not. And over the next few years I tried a number of diets and they did not work. I went back to my magic cure ten years ago, and, it did not work. I tried the meal replacement drinks, I counted calories and points. I took tablets and potions and lotions. All it did was put on more weight. Nothing I did worked. I went to the gym, I hired a personal trainer. I studied and became a personal trainer. I was getting fitter, but no skinner.

Then I hit menopause and the weight piled on. 10kgs in just a year. How did that happen? I started trying to find out why women put on weight at menopause and there is not an answer. I read things like, “you might put on a couple of kilos, but do not worry about it.” Do not worry it is natural. I had put on 10kg and that was on top of the 10kgs that I had put on in my 40's. I was now 20kgs overweight and into the obese category. How could this happen to me? I am fit. I'm a personal trainer. I teach other people how to lose weight. (well actually I do not, because how can I)

So now my battle was in ernest. This weight had to go. I tried every diet under the sun. Many of them I did not feel good about – they are full of junk and chemicals – but if they promise to lose my weight then I will do it.

Nothing worked. By 58 I am feeling defeated. Everyone around me is overweight or obese. The cute young gym instructors telling everyone, that losing weight is easy, exercise and eat right. Well I agree at 25 it is that easy. In you late 50's I am not finding it that easy. In fact it is downright depressing.

I decide to start learning more about weight loss and the current research. There is a lot about the roles of hormones, the role of sugar and the non-role of fat. Does exercise make a difference or not. I read books about women taking up marathon running and still not losing weight. It did not seem that exercise was the solution

I then started learning more about the mind body connection. The role stress plays in the balance of hormones and how this causes our body to want to be fat. Our body sees fat as good. It wants us to store up excess energy, as protection against the famine, as reserves for the danger that we face.

The problem is that the danger we face in our society, the excess protection of fat will not help us.

By now I have weird relationship with food. I have read so much, dieted so much, thought about food so much that I no longer know what to eat.

And when stress comes along, as it seems to every day, I want to eat something special. I want a reward for the effort of living.

My reward is food. I love chocolate, I love cream cakes, and I love gooey biscuits. But I love all food. And I will eat whatever is in front of me, even if I do not like it. (I have been known to eat cold chips, chocolate left lying around, or even in someone's pocket when I am doing the washing)

But food is my reward. Advice from all the gurus, find a non-food reward. But there is nothing that is as easy and accessible as food. I love massages, but I need a good hour and $ 60. I can buy a chocolate for $ 2.50 and right now. I love reading a romantic novel, but that is 8 hours by myself. That is rare. I like walking along the beach on a warm afternoon – well I do not even live at the beach.

Food works. And I deserve a reward. Life can have some serious downs. Teenage children, grocery shopping, housework, no one likes the dinner you have made. 10 o'clock at night and you finally get to sit down. You need a reward. What could I have?

Some have a glass of wine or two or three. Some have a smoke break at intervals through the day giving them lots of little rewards. Other recreational drugs can also give you high, but all of these have some big costs associated with them that I am not willing to pay.

Food can give you the same reward sensation and is legal and cheap and I like it.

The downside is the weight

What if we took away the idea that rewarding ourselves with food is bad? What if we planned to have reward food every day, just because we deserve it? What if there was not such thing as good or bad food. What if we started loving ourselves enough to reward ourselves with food in such a way that it did not damage our health?

Do I really need a family bar of chocolate as my going to bed treat, or will a frog be enough. Do I really want to have desert after a meal out, or could I share it, or maybe I can have an entrée and main and not need a desert.

What other foods can I have as treats, feel like it is a treat, but be kind to my body too.

My local café does the best salmon quiche. It is really tasty, and filling. I have it with salad and I have had a great meal, and a lovely treat. Kind to my body, and my reward center.

For a breakfast out I enjoy a FAT – fetta, avocado and tomato on toast. I find my body likes gluten free bread better so I have it on gluten free toast. That is a lovely treat.

I still love chocolate. But I have discovered that a small bar is just as good as a big one.

I tried buying a bag of chocolate frogs and keeping them in the fridge and eating one per day, but I ate them all in two days

It costs more up front, but it is cheaper to buy one when you are supermarket shopping, eat and enjoy.

I say reward yourself with food. It is a great rewarder.

Take away the guilt and plan what you really like

What are your rewards?

Hot chips? Chocolate? Cake? Cream buns?

When do you feel the need to be rewarded?

After shopping, at the end of the day, after a fight with you husband or child, or after a stressful appointment at work.

What if beats were part of the way you ate?

Most you ate, good quality food, lots of vegetables, good quality food that added nutrition to your body, that was good for you and looked after you, but as part of that you planned food that made you feel good. The special treasures that you look for.

By taking the reward foods out of the “bad” category you can now enjoy and plan for them. No need to feel deprived and pig out. As all food becomes allowed, you do not need to feel the stress to eat perfectly. Eat well most of the time. It is what you do because you love and respect your body. This is not saying go and eat junk all day. Respect yourself, love yourself and reward yourself with your special treasures.

When you have just had a fight with someone going to the fridge and eating an apple is just not going to cut it. What would you like?

No more guilty. Have your reward food and enjoy. Plan them as part of your healthy eating day.

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The Secrets to Fat Loss

What's the Secret to Fat Loss?

To many people, fat loss can seem like a magical phenomenon that only occurs when the planets align while you're standing at the end of the leprechaun's rainbow. Other people believe that they just can not achieve the fat loss that other's can because of slow metabolisms, genetics, or a number of other reasons. While fat loss is not magic, there is a certain degree of truth to the second statement. Every person's body is different and responds differently to different dimensions of exercise and nutrition. If there is any secret to fat loss, it's just that. Maximum fat loss stems from finding the right combination of exercise and nutrition that works with your body. With that said, just because some people respond to certain things, does not give you an excuse to say, “Well I just can not lose fat because I have a slow metabolism.” Oftentimes, when I work with clients who tell me that (which is ALWAYS an overweight client), I also find out that their diet is packed with fried foods, lots of starchy carbs, sugary treats or some other substandard diet item. I also find out that when it comes to exercise, oftentimes, they do not want to push themselves or they do not know what it feels like to really work your body. Let's talk about how your diet and how you exercise can effect fat loss.

A Healthy Diet (Not Starvation) Leads to Fat Loss

When I say healthy diet, I do not mean NO diet. Extreme low calorie diets (aka starvation) will lead to temporary, short-term fat loss followed by a regaining of most of the weight, if not MORE. One surefire way to get a slow metabolism is to stop eating or eating very low amounts of calories on a daily basis. This attempt to create a calorie deficiency will work initially, but ever, your body will enter into starvation mode. Your body will recognize that it is in a state of very low calorie intake and will start to actually store MORE fat from less food. Your metabolism will slow down to conserve energy. The reason for this is because your body thinks it is in danger of not having enough nutrients, so it stores excess fat thinking it will not be fed again for a while. In addition to this, your hormones will get all out of whack. Your hunger and cravings for unhealthy foods will sky rocket, your energy and mood will sink to new lows, and, basically, you'll be a giant GRUMP. More importantly, you will not get the desired fat loss you're looking to achieve, because your body will be working against you. This will also affect your ability to work out at a high enough intensity to achieve maximum fat loss.

When it comes to diet, you need to nourish your body with the RIGHT foods, not NO food. Focus on improving your hormonal balance to reduce your hunger and cravings while improving your energy level. Fill your diet with non-starchy vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli, consume protein through beans and leans meats like turkey and fish, and avoid starch like potatoes, white bread and white rice. Obviously, there are many other things you can eat and many other things you should not eat. The key is to consume mostly non-starchy vegetables and low sugar fruits, followed by lean meats and a very small portion of non-starchy carbs like brown rice. Focus on fiber, protein and water. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, starchy carbs and high fat foods. For an exact meal plan, consider consulting a nutritionist or dietician to help you with a full nutritional plan.

How Does Exercise Affect Fat Loss?

I think most people understand that burning calories during exercise helps to lose weight. However, losing weight is not always a good thing. If you're only losing muscle, your weight will decrease, but that is not necessarily a good thing. We want to focus on fat loss, and the only way to measure fat loss is to find your body fat percentage. Consult a trainer at your gym or seek out a way to find an accurate body fat percentage.

Once you've determined your body fat percentage, you now have a good way to track your progress. The easiest way to think about how exercise affects fat loss is to picture a marathon runner and a sprinter. Both athletes have very low body percentages, but their bodies look very different.

The marathon runner trains specifically for cardiovascular endurance by running long distances at a moderate intensity. Think of this as jogging long distances or on the treadmill for an hour. On the other hand, the sprinter trains at absolute maximum intensity for a very short duration, training their bodies to be able to exert maximum effort as efficiently as possible for a short time. This method of training is called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Moderate intensity jogging promotes gains in cardiovascular endurance and some fat loss but does not promote muscle growth. HIIT promotes muscle growth while training cardiovascular endurance and fat loss. This is why sprinter look very toned and muscular, while marathon runners have very low body percentages but do not look sculpted. The way you train should align with your goals. If you're having trouble toning your body and losing fat, ask yourself, are you training like a marathon runner or a sprinter?

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Fat Sick and Poor – Overcoming Barriers to Becoming Healthy and Well-Thy

Social Determinants of Health: Causative Agents that Determine Health Outcomes
In Australia, a social model of health has been developed by health professionals and policy makers, in order to study the effects of the social determinants of health upon given populations. Social policy drives a lot of health funding, in particular statistics indicate that the most socially disadvantaged group within a given population also has the highest rate of chronic health problems, and the highest number of risk factors leading to the development of chronic health problems (including cardiovascular disease disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes). The social determinants of health are the causative agents that are studied within social models of health, and examined by epidemiologists (health professionals who study the effects of various factors that cause disease within a particular population). This paper discusses how people's bad health is not a result of their accumulated poor choices; people's bad health is a result of socially determined agents, including a lack of health education, opportunities and lack of access to health facilities, particularly in rural and remote areas. A person can potentially overcome socially caused disease and illness, through the assistance of a health professional such as a nurse.

The Role of the Nurse As a Helper Towards Health
A nurse can work in partnership with a person in building their levels of health literacy, education, referral and help in building confidence towards making healthy choices, regardless of circumstances. Nurses are in particular well positioned to understand a person's social context, and help a patient to overcome the negative factors within the realm of causative agents. The most critical underlying factor in assisting a person to overcome the social determinants of their health is their level general perceived self-efficacy (their belief in their own ability to make and continue making healthy choices, and engage in health protective behaviors.)

How a Person Interacts Within the Social Health Model
An individual, within the social models of health, has the power of free agency, and can and does interact with the social determinants of health. Typically, the social determinants of health flow from upstream factors to the midstream, and finally to the downstream factors. Upstream factors are the furthest from the individual, and include the broad aspects of a society that a person belongs to. These include the culture of a society and social cohesion, the stability of the government, health policies and language and media. Midstream factors are more direct in their impact on an individual, and these include factors such access to education, where in the social gradient the person is, their access to health care, where the person is employed, their social network (or lack thereof) , the neighborhood they live in and the built environment in which he or she lives.

Health Professionals Seeing an Individual in Social Context
A health professional can not look at a patient's condition in isolation – a health professional should take into account socially determined factors – that contribute to a state of ill health within the person. When determining appropriate treatment and support for a patient, examining the person in their social context will assist in determining valid treatments, and providing education and referral to services that will assist in mitigating the socially determined circumstances that are contributed to the development or disorder of the disease or illness state.

Chronic Stress As a Risk Factor
One of the highest contributing factors to ill health is the effects of chronic stress. In a study by Pyter et al. (2014) the effects of abstract stress and social isolation were studied on mice. Social stressors negatively affected healing, increased bacterial load in the body, and also caused high levels of inflammation in the body of the subjects. Inflammation and impaired healing caused elevated levels of stress, particularly in chronic situations, leads to increased susceptibility to disease.

Examining Socio-Economic Disadvantage
The most disadvantaged parts of society – in Australia – rural and remote areas in particular, have high levels of unemployment and general disadvantageant economically. Statistically in demonstrated in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2012) paper, the most economically disadvantaged groups coincided with both rural and remote communities, and they had the highest incidence of both risk factors for chronic disease, and incidence of chronic disease.

Contributors to Chronic Diseases
With a combination of high stress levels due to social stressors and economic disadvantage and high risk factors, rural and remote areas of Australia are a melting pot for high rates of chronic disease. High levels of stress are specifically noted in rural and remote areas, for example, due to the high number of disparate suicides by men in rural and remote areas compared to men living in urban environments. A paper by Beaton (2012) outlines the statistics demonstrating that men are more likely to commit suicide who are living in rural and remote areas.

Self Medicating to Relieve Stress
When experiencing stress, patients are noted to desire to self-medicate using substances that produce mind-altering effects and moderate anxiety levels, such as alcohol and tobacco. Alcohol and tobacco use, in particular excessive alcohol and daily tobacco use, are two of the focus risk factors that are used in studying the risk of developing chronic diseases. Le, Funk, Lo, and Coen (2014) demonstrated that alcohol and nicotine are often taken together, and a cyclical relationship happens between excess drinking and increased tobacco use. Further evidence indicates that stressed people in a study self-reported functional addiction to alcohol and tobacco use as mood regulation tools (Snel, 1998).

Poorer Leads to Higher Risk Factors
The effects of daily smoking and excessive tobacco use are known high risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and lung disease, and some cancers. Statistically, in the paper by the AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012), the most socially disadvantaged individuals, in rural and remote areas, had the highest number of reported risk factors: daily tobacco use, obesity, poor nutrition, excessive alcohol use, and lack of exercise; and the highest rates of chronic diseases. Comparatively, people in urban and regional areas with higher population density had fewer rates of disease, and also a lower incidence of risk factors for chronic disease.

Contributors to Stressful Environments
A number of determinants are thought to cause higher rates of stress within low socio-economic populations, including social isolation, high rates of stress caused by major life changes (such as family breakup, divorce, unemployment, lack of stability), and these leads to the use of tobacco and alcohol to self-medicate during times of stress (as per Snel, 1998). In rural and remote areas, Australia has traditionally had difficulty placing medical facilities due to isolation and cost of establishing large facilities in rural and remote locations. Generally due to lack of access to cheaper fresh fruit and vegetables, access to primary health care and prevention and health promotion services, inexpensive exercise facilities and incentives, the socially determined elements, among the rural and remote poor lead to high rates of chronic disease when compared to healthier and wealthier urban populations (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012).

Barriers to Experiencing Wellness
In addition to the social determinants of health acting upon an individual, a number of barriers are potentially experienced by people when trying to improve their health status. A study in Sweden by Hammarstrom, Wiklund, Lindahl, Larsson, and Ahlgren (2014) studied a number of barriers to women who were trying to lose weight. They discovered that a number of social stressors, and difficulty with the self (adjustment to diet and self-belief) impaired the ability to lose weight. They conversely discovered that receiving social support, and determining goals and improving self-determination facilitated in weight loss and consequent improvement in health.

Hopping Over the Barriers to Health
In more studies of how improving self-efficiency and working in partnership with health professionals, it was demonstrated that an active improvement of general perceives levels of self-efficiency and motivation led to better health outcomes for the patient. These studies include Wood, Englander-Golden, Golden, and Pillai (2010), where self-empowerment and social support improved health outcomes for people experiencing substance abuse, and Mohebi, Azadbakht, Feizi, Sharifirad, and Hozori (2014) determined that patients 'levels of micronutrient take improved as they had better levels of general perceived self-efficacy.

Compassionate Health Care
Nurses have a vital role in helping a patient: advocating for the patient, using motivational interviewing, developing the therapeutic partnership, educating regarding specific health protecting behaviors, and encouraging the development of social support and increasing levels of self-motivation within the patient. Hybels et al. (2014). Benzo et al. (2013) discusses the importance and success outcomes of motivational interviewing to discuss behavior changes in patients diagnosed with COPD.

Empowerment to Be Healthy Happy and Strong
A nurse has an empowering role, and can point the patient towards developing healthy social networks, and making health protecting choices. The role of social support, such as in the study by Harvey, where it was noted that social support can improve health outcomes can not be understated. For people who are in faith communities, social support is evidenced by improved general biological health marks compared to other populations, this was studied by Hybels et al. (2014).
Nurses also have a unique position as health professionals to use motivational interviewing and therapeutic partnership with patients, in order to empower them and remove barriers to obtaining better health outcomes. Benzo et al. (2013) discusses the importance and success outcomes of motivational interviewing to discuss behavior changes in patients diagnosed with COPD.

Nurses and Advocacy
As members of the community in which they live, nurses have the opportunity not only to act as treating health professionals, and part of medical and allied health teams, but also to act as advocates in the community for the most vulnerable members of the community. Nurses have a role to play in building the ability of individuals in the most disadvantaged areas to build social capital and develop healthy social networks of supportive individuals. Nurses can be community champions, social role models and professionals who educate individuals, groups and communities that they can make changes, both as individuals and groups to improve their capacity to make health decisions, thereby improving the health outcomes for everyone in the community.

REFERENCES
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, AIHW. (2012). Health Determinants, the key to preventing chronic disease. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Beaton, Susan and Forster, Peter. (2012). Insight into Men's Suicide. Retrieved 24th April 2014, from http://www.psychology.org.au/inpsych/2012/august/beaton/
Benzo, R., Vickers, K., Ernst, D., Tucker, S., McEvoy, C., & Lorig, K. (2013). Development and feasibility of a self-management intervention for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease delivered with motivational interviewing strategies. J
Cardiopulm Rehabilitation Prev, 33 (2), 113-123. doi: 10.1097 / HCR.0b013e318284ec67
Hammarstrom, A., Wiklund, AF, Lindahl, B., Larsson, C., & Ahlgren, C. (2014). Experiences of barriers and facilitators to weight-loss in a diet intervention – a qualitative study of women in Northern Sweden. BMC Womens Health, 14 (1), 59. doi: 10.1186 / 1472-6874-14-59
Hybels, CF, George, LK, Blazer, DG, Pieper, CF, Cohen, HJ, & Koenig, HG (2014). Inflammation and Coagulation as Mediators in the Relationships Between Religious Attendance and Functional Limitations in Older Adults. J Aging Health. doi: 10.1177 / 0898264314527479
Le, AD, Funk, D., Lo, S., & Coen, K. (2014). Operant self-administration of alcohol and nicotine in a preclinical model of co-abuse. Psychopharmacology (Berl). doi: 10.1007 / s00213-014-3541-2
Mohebi, S., Azadbakht, L., Feizi, A., Sharifirad, G., & Hozori, M. (2014). Predicting of perceivable self efficiency in the amount of macronutrients intake in women with metabolic syndrome – 2012. J Educ Health Promot, 3, 21. doi: 10.4103 / 2277-9531.127608
Pyter, LM, Yang, L., McKenzie, C., da Rocha, JM, Carter, CS, Cheng, B., & Engeland, CG (2014). Contrasting mechanisms by which social isolation and restraint impair healing in male mice. Stress, 17 (3), 256-265. doi: 10.3109 / 10253890.2014.910761
Snel, J. & Lorist, M .. (1998). Nicotine, Caffeine and Social Drinking. Australia: Harwood Academic Publishers.
Wood, TE, Englander-Golden, P., Golden, DE, & Pillai, VK (2010). Improving addictions treatment outcomes by empowering self and others. Int J Ment Health Nurses, 19 (5), 363-368. doi: 10.1111 / j.1447-0349.2010.00678.x

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The Obesity Rate in London

Like many of the other countries in the world, the United Kingdom is severely affected by obesity. The modern, some say self-induced, illness of the 21st century affects children and adults in equal measure and the medical world points out that there is more danger to obesity than we like to think. More worriedly, the fight against this problem involves many strategies and considerable physical and mental effort. Those who suffer from it have to find gyms, talk to a nutritionist and have regular blood tests to monitor their health. The United Kingdom currently ranks 28th on the list of countries affected by obesity and scientists do not have good news either: in ten years, the rate is expected to grow considerably and a third of the population could be mortally obese. What is worse, children are the most affected by this.

The situation is more serious in London than in the rest of the country and some associate the rise in obesity levels with the huge number of fast food restaurants and the busy, chaotic lifestyle. In London, a fifth of the children are obese and dealing with their health costs the state approximately £ 7m per year. It is not surprising that children who are obese at the age of four or five are also obese at eleven and then they grow up to be obese adults. Statistics show that in London the most affected people are living in the suburbs, mainly Westminster, Newham and Southwark. There is no clear evidence to indicate to show that specific ethnic groups are more prone to obesity than others, but a connection has been made between obesity and poverty rates. The most worrying situation is in Hillingdon, where no less than 67% of adults are obese and suffer from abnormal illnesses, such as type II diabetes or heart disease. The figures are worried, especially considering that 25 years ago they were four times lower.

London can be considered one of Europe's extremes, with an average obesity rate that is much higher than the EU average. As a results, steps are being made to decrease the rates as much as possible. From awareness campaigns to changes in the local legislation, London residents are being publicly encouraged to switch to a healthier lifestyle. The number of London gyms is increasing and there are frequent membership discounts to attract people. In addition, famous chefs such as Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey started campaigns in schools to eliminate unhealthy foods. It is still too early to tell whether or not their efforts actually worked, but one thing is for sure: people now know what dangers obesity marriages and are not as blind as they were about a decade ago. London officials have many ideas as to how obesity can be prevented. According to the official chairman of the Health Committee, James Cleverly, there are several future projects aimed at the British capital and most of them focus on children and the education in schools. Whether they will reach their purpose, it can not be said yet, but one thing is for sure: it is now easier than ever to find gyms in London and get healthy nutritional advice and patients who want to lose weight can find many professionals to help them .

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Preventing and Avoiding Childhood Obesity

One in every three children is either overweight or obese. This figure is astounding when you look at all the countries suffering from childhood obesity (and see their lax methods in dealing with the problem). The Government, health authorities and parents must develop a sustainable solution to help the children.

There is no doubt that a major problem exists and it can be seen everywhere. The damage caused to children is the fault of fast food outlets, television, computers, iPads and video games. While these are all brilliant inventions, they lead to childhood obesity. We must realize the causes in order to develop a genuine solution.

How many parents, who profess to love their children, lead by example? Do you know where and what your children are doing right now? Many parents do not. Often obesity runs in the family. It is often parents that set a bad example by over indulging in unhealthy, fattening food. As such, their children are never given a healthy upbringing. Studies have shown that obesity in children is much more common if they have obese parents.

However, there is a very simple solution to the obesity epidemic. It begins with the parents. It is the parent's responsibility to love and cherish their children and to lead by example. When a child is born, it it best to breast feed the baby before changing to a mix feed. When the child is growing, exercise and an active lifestyle are very important. Simple things make a big difference. For example, families can go to the park or the woods, fields, beaches, sports clubs, and other locations.

Allow time for television and the computer, but limit it. There are so many ways to avoid childhood obesity, but it is a mater of education by the parents (they need to make such things clear for their children). While doctors and the Government can do a lot, it must begin with the parents.

While genes, environmental factors, emotions, depression and age may play a part in childhood obesity, it is down to parents to be loving, kind and understanding towards their children. It is the duty of a parent to do such things for their children.

Do not allow overeating ,activity or fast food to become the norm in your home. It will lead to childhood obesity. Avoid it like the plague. Fast foods outlets are very dangerous to our health, so avoid them as much as possible.

There is no magic pill to losing weight and becoming healthy, but it is possible to change your lifestyle. You also have to change your thinking, as well as that of the obese child. Explanations of the dangers should be given to the child until they understand the issues well enough to change their habits around sugary, salt-laden and processed foods. Begin to make exercise fun instead of making it boring and painful. Children should perform at least 30 minutes of moderate activity each day. For children to get excited about exercising, parents have to be excited first. Parents need to be active with their children. Children copy what they see, so parents must have a positive influence.

Children have a short attention span (about 20 minutes when it comes to fitness) so exercise needs to be fun and interesting, to make physical activity attractive. Children fatigue quickly and become overheated (and dehydrated), so you do not need to make exercise sessions long.

The childhood obesity menace needs to be combatted effectively, and there is a way to do it (as outlined above). To help prevent childhood obesity, please consider printing out a copy of this article and passing it to a friend or relative.

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Has Perception Helped to Cause the Obesity Crisis?

While walking in the local park today with my dogs, I made the following observations while people watching. I find people watching very entertaining!

People come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. They can be smart and sophisticated, not so smart bordering on scruffy, or just getting on with their lives and pleasing themselves how they dress. It's interesting working out which category they might come into. Their shapes vary from thin to fat, tall and short, different hair, skin color and all the variety that goes to make up humankind. Every one of us looks different and except for identical twins there are no two faces alike.

Yet, we spend much time and money trying to fit into a one size fits all frame of mind. Almost to the degree that fashion dictates what shape we should be. Are we chasing to be something we are not?

It starts at school of course; we are usually happy with who we are up until about the age of seven or eight. Then we start to notice the kids who have shiny trainers, or trendy clothes. Many parents find themselves out of pocket trying to keep up with these trends. From a child's perspective and part of its manipulation to the parents, he or she will indicate that they are the only ones in the class who has not gotten the item in question.

As we get older we start to become dissatisfied with our body shapes and so starts the downward road to dieting, and starving and bingeing. There is an awful lot of confusion around for young people. With the abundance of sugary drinks, sodas, junk snacks, chocolate snack bars and to add to the confusion they will see these foods in the form of diet alternatives that they then believe that they can consume safely. Many young people become Vegetarian, and still other's become obsessed with counting calories or eating low fat.

So coming back to the way that people dress and my observations in the park, I surprised if somewhere along the line many people who perceived themselves as fat, are not that fat. But just trying to wear the clothes that are designed for the minority of women in society that are super slim. How many of them would avoid having to worry about their size if they wore clothes that they would look good in today, to suit the shape that they are at present? Would they then avoid becoming a victim of the diet industry, who play on these people's desires?

So although If people did not become unsatisfied with their body and shapes when they were young, sometimes they would not start to diet in the first place. Dieting will bring down their metabolism, and before they know it they have fallen into a diet trap, and there they remain for the rest of their lives. Many of them became Obese and super obese, all because they could not accept a reasonable size, dress appropriatively, and stay that way.

So could our self image and perceptions of people's body image be a major factor in the Obesity Crisis?

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How to Lose Weight and How We Eat

How to lose weight fast

Why is the USA the fattest country on Earth? There are several reasons, first and foremost it is what we eat, and not how much we eat.

Problem number one: The weight loss industry

The weight loss market is a multi-billion dollar business. The objective of this market is not to help you get slimmer but rather to help them get richer and richer.

Every journal, TV show, infomercial and newspaper ad delivers a concept that if you will only buy their book, video or work out system you will look like the attractive, and lose weight fast.

The truth is most of this is completely useless and they know it. So they just keep moving out more and more understanding full well that you will buy the next great guarantee, over and over and over.

It does not matter how many ab workouts, sit-ups or how many of these ab burning tools you use you probably will never get a smooth set of 6 pack abs until you get your body fat down to at least 5%. You can not lose weight fast with workouts that are only targeting one particular area regardless of what the ads say.

Problem number two: the High carbohydrate diet.

Our western high carbohydrate diet. Carbohydrates come mainly from grain. Grains are less expensive to generate, deliver, shop and generate into products in our food.

Grains are mainly starchy foods and starchy foods becomes glucose as it is digested. The glucose peak in turn causes a blood insulin spike. Your muscle tissue can only use and store just enough glucose so the unwanted gets converted into fat. You could call Insulin the invisible fat storage hormone. Hidden because nobody thinks about blood insulin unless they are referring to diabetic issues.

As time goes on, your tissues become insulin resistant which sets you up not only for being overweight but type two diabetes.

Our forefathers were hunter-gatherers. Their diet was loaded with proteins as well as vegetables. Grains are nothing but plant seeds. Take a hand full of rice plant seeds and pop them in your mouth and chew. Not very nice … not very nice at all.

Early people only ate grain in emergencies, various meats, seafood and chicken kept them strong, vital and provided them the power to end almost anything. Modern illnesses like joint illness, diabetic issues and cardiovascular illness were almost unknown.

The main stream wants you to believe that eating less and moving more is the right way to control fat. Trouble is, nobody can stay like that consistently. Reducing calorie consumption and running around like a rabbit gets old real fast. The best way to lose weight fast is to severely restrict carbs, eat a lot of proteins as well as, vegetables and nut products which will help you to lose weight fast, and maintain an overall healthy weight.

Make sure your daily eating plan is loaded with proteins, various meats, seafood and chicken. As well as vegetables, fruits and nut products. Lower carbohydrates foods and you will definitely reduce all your unwanted fat, restore your energy and lose weight faster than you ever thought.

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Is Obesity A Disease?

Did you know obesity is now an actual disease in America?

The American Medical Association voted to classify it as a disease last year. Overnight millions of Americans became officially “diseased”.

Is this a crazy or clever move? I do not really know.

Basically they are saying being fat is the same as being sick. I'm not going to get into the pros and cons too much but you can safely say it has split people's opinions. People have come out and said it's gonna be a license for people NOT to diet and to take pills.

I personally do not agree with it being classified as a disease but think something BIG needs to be done. Something which includes the food producers and the supermarkets, but I'm a realist and that will never happen. My cynical side sees a situation that was CAUSED by big companies and will now be SOLVED by these big companies too. They profit on both sides of the problem, and the masses suffer.

That's the main point here in my eyes living in the UK, is that America has agreed to classify obesity as a disease so they can now TREAT IT WITH DRUGS. On a positive note many obese people have trouble accessing proper healthcare and their ailments are not taken seriously as they are deemed to be all weight related. This will change. Insurance companies in the states can now cover obesity because of this.

Will this ever happen in the UK? I think It will, as we follow the US quite closely in lots of things.

I have worked with lots of obese clients and also some “super size” people during my career, one guy who was nearly 50 stone. The common theme in my experience was – psychological.

I think food addictions are as bad as alcohol or drug addictions, and that's what it is – an ADDICTION. If you HAVE TO EAT sweets, processed carbs, coke, pork scratching, chocolate EVERYDAY
YOU ARE ADDICTED. If you can not stop, you are addedicted.

Your genes, mental health, family and social environment all play a role in addiction:

Risk factors that increase your vulnerability to addiction:
Family history of addiction
Abuse, neglect, or other traumatic experiences in childhood
Mental disorders such as depression and anxiety
Early abuse of bad foods in childhood
Exercise will not solve the problem but can help a bit.

I wonder what you think?

Take care,

Rich

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The Hidden Monsters

There are some scary hidden monsters- not in your kids' closets, or on the television but right in the foods we eat – what makes our food so sweet, flavorful, and tasty? These additives that make food cheaper, also a made in making us sicker, or less healthy. Today we will focus on two major monsters. Let's come together and get rid of these monsters for GOOD!

Sugar

While we all have an idea that sugar is not the best for you, many of us do not know how many items have sugar in them. To sum it up- pretty much EVERYTHING !! Sugar weakens the immune system, it takes oxygen away from the cells promoting disease and sickness, it aides in diabetes, and it causes a rapid rise and fall of energy that is not healthy for us just to name a few.

Fortunately there are some products that do not have sugar in them you just have to know how to look. Here's how- look on the back of any food package and there is a nutrition label. The label gives various percentages of different nutrients. Directly below that are the actual ingredients. Start paying attention to the first five ingredients- that is what is used most in the product. If you see sugar or one of its code names in that first five, the product has an abundance of added sugar. Below are some of the names that sugar has:

Brown rice syrup
Fructose
Sucrose
Corn syrup
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Cane Juice
Evaporated Cane Juice
Dehydrated Cane Juice
Malt Syrup
Glucose
Lactose
Sorbitol

These are just a few sugar code names, there are many more. So how do we avoid or take in less sugar?

Pay attention to the labels and try to by items that do not have added sugar- not sugar free- artificial sugar is worse.

Try to prepare foods at home or use your own sauces. 99.9% of the items you buy to eat out have sugar in them and a lot of it.

Eat more natural sugars and leave the sweet cravings to minimal times throughout the week. Maybe you treat yourself on the weekend to a dessert or something of that nature.

MSG

The second monster is MSG which stands for monosodium glutamate. It is used as a food additive in many food items. The inventor of MSG was Asian which is why it is associated with Asian foods but it is used in so many more items. It enhances flavor, makes salad taste fresher, meat taste more tender, and overall food taste delicious. MSG does this by “fooling” the tongue with an unknown taste that we like called umami. While we may see products that have MSG free on them unfortunately some may still have MSG in them.

Why is MSG so harmful? Let's take a look:

Once ateen, it over excites our cells causing them to damage or kill themselves. It triggers or adds to Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's, and Parkinson's disease just to name a few. Regular consumption of MSG can also lead to:

Obesity
Eye Damage
Headaches
Migraines
Fatigue and disorientation
Depression
Numbness
Burning sensations
Tingling
Facial pressure or tightness
Chest Pain
Difficulty Breathing
Drowsiness
Rapid Heartbeat

If you have experienced one or more of these symptoms they could very well come from the food that you consume with MSG. Now that people are aware of the harm that MSG may cause, companies have come up with other names-let's expose some of them:

Autolyzed yeast
Calcium Caseinate
Gelatin- which is also pork
Hydrolyzed Protein
Monosodium Glutamate
Yeast Extract
Natural Flavorings
Citric Acid
Maltodextrin
Corn Starch
Pectin
Some types of foods that have MSG:
Bouillon
Natural Chicken Flavoring
Flavors and Flavorings
Powdered Milk
Natural Beef and Pork Flavoring

What do I do?
The best way to avoid an abundance of sugar and MSG is by eating whole foods and plant based foods the majority of the time. If you are at a restaurant you can request that no MSG is added to your food but the only way that you will be certain is if you eat less processed foods, more plant based foods, and less eating out at restaurants.

Challenge: Work towards less processed foods and more whole foods one step at a time. Do not be overwhelmed, you can do this!

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Why Is Food Becoming Our Biggest Health Epidemic?

We can link alcohol, smoking, drugs, even some medication to bad health; this may only affect a small minority but nothing is effecting most people as much as certain foods – the wrong foods. There is nothing in nature's environment that causes the type of illness, cancers and diseases that are rampant spreading in our community.

Our generation today is facing one of the largest health epidemics and many of them are unaware or are totally oblivious where it's coming from. The first sign of that is not sickness immediately; it is the change in size and shape of our body, called obesity. Obesity is the beginning of many health issues. It does affect everyone in a different way; most likely suffering from high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and this are just some of the more common ones which develop and become the deadly side effects of obesity. One of the most alarming signs is childhood obesity. The number of children who are overweight or obese is increasing in a frightening rate. Children need food education and it is every parent's responsibility to do so if they want to protect the child's well-being and to continue a healthy life as an adult.

What you eat can hurt you!

We just assume any food we can buy is OK or good for us, as long as it tastes good and fulfills that craving. Eating the food that can hurt becomes an issue that's facing us every day, and avoiding it from our diet is a struggle. The first step is to overhaul the way you think about food, because your health will be all the better for it. Time has become precious for many people; having a busy lifestyle we are looking for easy options. Processed foods and ready-made meals have the advantage of saving time, and for those who do not particularly like to cook this is a bonus. On top of that, most processed and take away foods come with a low price tag which for most is hard to resist. We must look at the full picture and see the hidden cost that processed foods put on our health. It is fact that most of processed foods are not healthy. They are low in nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and high in saturated fats, sugars and preservatives, while simultaneously high in calories. As well they also contain industrially engineered ingredients that are most harmful to our body. When shopping becomes confusing, when reading labels on a variety of juice bottles that say: Pure juice with antioxidants. What it does not say is that it's full of refined sugars, preservatives and who knows what else; so, therefore it's not a beneficial antioxidant. What most do not know is that many artificial sweeteners trick the body into gaining weight and store fat, the exact opposite of what you would expect.

What you do not eat can also hurt you!

Lots of time has gone in to research guiding people how to improve their health with natural remedies, to focus on nutrition, supplements and other none medical avenues to prevent illness. You will not find some of the most powerful obesity revelations in a pharmacy or getting it from a doctor; instead you will find it in the food you eat and the best place to find it at your local farmers market and the small grocery store. This is where the challenges are facing us every day. Be selective in your food choices, replace processed foods with natural ones as much and where possible. Combine a good diet with some form of exercise. Just simply walking has been found to have significant health benefits. Keep a straight post when walking, that way it strengthens muscles as you walk and your whole body will benefit. Walking daily will improve circulation and in general improve body function which will overall help to burn fat and lower calories when chosing the right diet plan. Keep in mind: The most important step to a healthy life is the change to a healthy diet.

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The Solution to Obesity

Eat smaller portions.

Avoid food that contains a lot of fat and carbohydrates (sugar and starch).

Exercise more.

It's as simple as that, so why are more and more people in the developed world becoming obese, with the associated problems with self esteem, mental health, heart disease and diabetes that accompan excess weight. Not to mention increased risk of certain cancers.

The sad truth is that too too many large, powerful companies base their businesses on encouraging us to eat the foods they produce. The simple business model for any company is that they need to get more and more people to buy their products, so if these companies are to continue to grow and pay their shareholders a healthy dividend, they must sell us more of the foods that will ever kill us.

There is substantial scientific evidence that processed food is addictive. Once you are conditioned to eat food high in fat, sugar and salt, it is very hard to stop. As with any addiction, you have to have the strength of will to avoid the object of your addiction completely until you have broken its hold. You have to go cold turkey. But the companies selling us the sugary, fatty salty packaged food we find so hard to resist freely advertise their wares, What chance does the consumer stand?

Ideally I would like to see higher taxation of fatty, sugary processed food, with the funds raised being used to subsidize healthy and fresh food., Making them more affordable. However, this is unfortunately to happen as the companies concerned are so powerful. So what can we do?

Awareness is key. Knowing the odd stacked against us will help us see where the dangers lie. None of the solutions listed below are easy, but all will help in the battle to lose weight.

  • Avoid watching adverts, so you are not tortured by the goodies on offer.
  • Remember that the people selling unhealthy food need to persuade you to buy it. Do not weaker!
  • Plan meals carefully to be as healthy as possible.
  • Do not shop for food when you are hungry.
  • Watch portion size, because too much of any food will make you fat.
  • Do not buy fat, sugary snacks and drinks. If you do not have them in the house, it is easier not to eat them on impulse.
  • Make sure you have a good breakfast and lunch, with a smaller evening meal, and do not snack in between.
  • Keep busy, so you do not think about eating.
  • Exercise more. Walk and use the stairs. Join a class or club.
  • Try to wait until you are hungry before you eat.
  • Drink plenty of water, as water has no calories and fills you up. In addition, there is evidence that our bodies can mistake feelings of thirst for hunger.
  • Try to cook more meals from scratch at home rather than buying processed food.
  • Do not expect to lose weight quickly. Do not weigh yourself too often, and do not be disregarded if results are slow to begin with.
  • Join a club, or work with a friend or your family to support eat other in your campaign to lose weight.

It is possible to break the addiction to unhealthy food, but it will take will-power and determination. Good luck!

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