You may not realize it, but each of us are already on a diet…
The only difference is that some of us are on health-promoting diets and others eat with little regard for the outcome.
It is also important to note that researchers have discovered that the typical short-term ‘weight loss’ diet that so many people often pursue can actually increase one’s chances of lifestyle disease. This is often called ‘Yo-Yo Dieting’ which results in dramatic weight loss (that is often achieved by aggressive, unhealthy eating habits), which is inevitably replaced by rapid, rebound weight gain.
It’s not hard to see why people opt for the quick and easy way to losing weight. Two out of three adults is overweight. In today’s society there is little time left to really take care of yourself. Everything is fast, easy, and convenient, including the booming diet industry. It is hard to make it through your day without seeing some kind of advertisement claiming the “magic bullet” of weight loss.
The reality is – weight gain occurs when you consume more calories than you burn in a day or week. One of the principal causes of the increase in weight is the way we eat. The typical American diet is ‘high-fat, high-carb, high-calorie’ and this can cause the body to store these extra calories as fat. To compound this problem, most daily activity is limited due to computers. Not only do we work a typical 40-hour work week sitting in front of a computer, we go home and use the computer for email communications or online gaming. This lifestyle limits movement and is considered sedentary. Which is unfortunate since exerting yourself is the only way of burning the fat storage.
Controlling your weight is all about making simple dietary choices… consistently.
1. Before you start to crave a snack, quench your thirst.
Drink plenty of water, throughout the day. When most people start to think they are hungry, they are in fact – thirsty! And, filling that hunger void in the stomach with water is an effective way to stave off food cravings, especially between meals when snacking habits can be the most detrimental to successful weight management.
Hydration Creates Energy
Maintaining good hydration can also benefit one’s energy stores. Water is an essential part of creating energy in the body. If one has suboptimal hydration status, they will have suboptimal energy as well. All we need to do is look to athletes – they never miss an opportunity to hydrate because they know how vital it is to maintain their energy for top performance. And while most of us don’t think of ourselves as athletes, we all share the same basic human metabolism that requires water for healthy metabolism. And, keeping energy levels up through hydration will also keep hunger cravings down – the body will not crave as much energy (i.e. food!) when properly hydrated.
Hydration and Good Digestion
Most adults should be drinking 64 ounces of water per day. The best way to achieve this is to have refillable water bottle within easy reach throughout the day. Next time you think you are hungry between meals; drink a tall glass of water instead. At the outset of each meal, drink a glass of water first as well – and avoid the second helpings and desserts. Try to keep water (and other fluid) consumption to a minimum during meals. Large amounts of fluid will dilute the gastric juices, making digestion less efficient. Less efficient digestion means the body is not absorbing all that it needs from the food, which in turn will lead to more food cravings soon after the incomplete digestive process occurs.
Supplementing with a good digestive enzyme at the outset of each large meal will also ensure that the digestive process is complete, and all essential nutrients are absorbed. When essential nutrients are not absorbed, this sets one up for food cravings until the body’s needs are fully met. Unfortunately this comes with a lot of extra calories.
2. Eat Fiber whenever you consume simple carbohydrates.
It is essential to supplement with fiber whenever eating carbs, whether it is bread, pasta, or other simple carbs such as the 4 C’s (Cookies, Cake, Candy or Cola). Fiber is a plant substance that is difficult for humans to digest. This is actually a good thing, as fiber helps ‘clean’ the digestive tract out, as it has a ‘bulking’ effect on the stool. Fiber also has the tendency to bind up other foods in the intestine, and keeps extra calories from being absorbed.
3. Get to Know the Glycemic Index.
The glycemic index is a scale that tells us how quickly a food becomes sugar in the bloodstream. All foods (especially carbohydrates) become blood glucose after they are digested. Foods that are high on the Glycemic Index scale are typically simple carbohydrates such as the 4 C’s mentioned above. Foods that are low on the Glycemic Index scale are typically complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables and whole grains. High Glycemic Index carbohydrates that are quickly digested raise the blood sugar, and the body will try to store all of that sugar (calories!) as fast as it can. This process leads to wide swings in blood sugar, and elevated levels of the hormone insulin. These two events have one big side effect: weight gain. The message here is to minimize the amount of high-glycemic foods. Finding a list of foods and their Glycemic Index can be quite easy in health and diet related books.
Other foods that are high on the Glycemic Index include white bread, pasta, white rice, muffins and any kind of sugary snack food. Make sure your breads, pastas and grains are whole grain, rather than enriched. Whole grain foods are lower on the Glycemic Index. Of course the 4 C’s are foods that should be minimized altogether for good weight management and general health.
4. Remember 3-2-1 +1 for Successful Eating
Each day the volume of the total food you have consumed should follow this ratio:
3 vegetable portions
+1 lean protein
If you cannot tell which of the above groups your food fits into, chances are it is a processed food. Processed foods in general are calorically dense and nutrient poor – the perfect food for causing weight gain. Stick with foods that have best retained their identity as close to when they were grown. For instance, fresh fruits and vegetables appear exactly the same as when they were grown. Multi- or whole grains have been minimally processed and are sold in a form that closely resembles their growing state (minus inedible parts of the plant). Proteins in the form of animal products should be obtained in the form of fresh lean cuts rather than processed forms like hotdogs or greasy, high fat bacon.
5. Don’t Sleep on a Big Meal
Don’t eat for 3 hours prior to going to bed, no late night snacks or sugar beverages either. Your body will immediately begin to process and utilize the foods you consume soon after ingesting them. This means that those calories will be burned soon after digestion, as long as the body is active. Eating late at night at bedtime will put those foods into storage rather than immediate energy needs, as these are quite low when sleeping. And stored calories go by another name –fat. Only very rarely in certain metabolic disorders will hunger actually awaken a person or keep them from sleep. If you are hungry before bedtime, try another glass of water or tea, then get to sleep – you won’t be aware of food cravings while you are dreaming!
A body in motion stays in motion, a body at rest stays at rest. If you don’t get your body in motion sooner than later, the reality is that progressive de-conditioning will set in and future weight loss goals will begin to become more difficult to achieve.
A consistent exercise program is a vital part of everyone’s weight management plan. Obtaining a check up from your physician is necessary before embarking on an exercise program, and any physical limitations should be taken into account and the exercise plan modified to accommodate these. The bottom line is that nearly everyone can exercise, given the right type of plan.
A solid, moderate exercise plan involves just walking…an extra 10,000 steps per day.
The goal for individuals healthy enough to do this moderate exercise is to take 10,000 extra steps per day. To lose stored calories, a realistic objective is to burn an extra 3,500 calories per week, which is equal to one pound of body weight.
Each 2,000 – 2,500 steps will represent a distance of about a mile, and a 150-pound person will burn about 100 calories in the process… therefore 10,000 extra steps per day will equal burning about 400 – 500 extra calories per day! If you do that each day for a week, that equates to burning an additional 2,800 – 3,500 calories, or about a pound a week. Track your results daily with a Step Counter or a Personal Calorie Tracker on your waist band. Every step you take is a step closer to burning the calories you need to lose weight or stay at your optimal lean weight.
As mentioned earlier, the key to exercise success is consistency. We have also mentioned earlier that yo-yo dieting accompanied by wide swings in weight loss and gain can actually be detrimental to one’s health. Staying consistent with exercise will help you to avoid the ups and downs of weight management. And the great thing about exercise is that it actually gets easier the more you do it. So why not make your life easier by exercising consistently?
And, exercise has multitudes of benefits beyond just burning calories. Exercise (which in general is free!) will help you to build and maintain muscle and creates strong bones. Healthy muscle and bones are less susceptible to disease and painful conditions. Exercise will cause your metabolism to increase. This means that your healthy, strong body will require more energy. This energy requirement will cause your body to burn calories more expediently, giving them less of a chance to be stored into fat. Rather the calories will be used to maintain muscle and bone strength, and for exercise. Yet another benefit is that a higher metabolism burns more calories all of the time…even while one is inactive between exercise bouts. Exercise promotes healthy levels of insulin (which earlier we said that high levels contribute to poor health) and a positive mood. And finally, the American Heart Association reports that for every ONE hour that you exercise you add TWO hours of life!
7. Supplement a Good Diet
A healthy diet and regular exercise is the cornerstone of successful weight management. Additionally, there are many supplemental aids available today that provide additional support, or fine tuning, for optimal health and weight management.
Mind and Body Energy
In addition to increasing your physical energy, Vital XP is a nutrition-based energy drink formula with 17 grams of amino acids, vitamins and minerals which is mixed with 16 oz of water. It is designed to support a healthy metabolism and support brain chemistry pathways that can help you curb your cravings and help properly nourish your body. People report increased mental and physical energy and sense of well being that last for up to six hours per drink mixture.
Exercise Support – Glucosamine Sulfate & Pain and Inflammation Enzyme Blend
Of course a common theme throughout this article has been on the importance of exercise. Keeping the body injury free in order to keep exercising is an important aspect of weight management as well. It would be advised that everyone with sore joints should take glucosamine on a regular basis! Exercise of course stresses the large joints of the body, and glucosamine is the ideal joint protector. In fact, it is the only substance known to prevent joint cartilage degradation, and stimulate cartilage regeneration. Keeping the joint cartilage healthy means years of pain free activity.
After speaking of all the benefits of exercise, for the sake of fairness we must address one little bothersome side effect of exercise. Beginners might find themselves feeling sore and stiff as they begin their program. The Pain and Inflammation Enzyme blend is an ideal way to treat soreness. It can be used prior to exercise in order to prevent muscle and joint soreness, and can also be used to treat any minor aches and pains resulting from exercise. Enzymes assist the body’s healing process and at the same time provide pain relief in a non-toxic way.
Glucosamine and Pain & Inflammation blend is an essential pair for the regular exerciser in order to prevent and deal with injury issues. It is also recommended to use these nutrients rather than drugs like ibuprofen. Ibuprofen and its related drug class (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs) are toxic to the liver, kidney and actually prevent joint cartilage from repairing itself!
L-theanine is an amino acid found in large amounts in green tea and mushrooms. It is also available as a purified supplement. Newer research on theanine shows that it can assist with weight loss by suppressing the way weight is gained. This provides a different approach as many weight loss supplements focus on assisting the body in losing weight, while theanine helps to prevent weight gain in the first place.
Your cardiovascular health is pivotal to your ability to maintain a health promoting exercise program. For your muscles to strengthen and increase their calorie burning capacity, they need optimal oxygen delivery. Therefore, it is essential to support the hardest working muscle in your body, your heart. The average person with a pulse of 72 beats per minute has their heart beat 103,680 per day. Losing weight should be primarily motivated in the pursuit of health and a strong and vital heart is the cornerstone to sustainable wellness program. Vital Cardio and Health Heart Coffee are two supplements formulated to enhance your cardiovascular health.
Thisis often called ‘will-power in a bottle’. Low chromium levels leads to increased carbohydrate cravings. At the same time, the more carbs you eat the more chromium reserves are utilized, therefore low chromium levels leads to more carbohydrate cravings and a slippery slope of out-of-control eating. This trace mineral is also needed to support a healthy metabolism and insulin utilization. Insulin is responsible for transporting blood sugars into the cells of the body, where they can be processed.
Fibers are seriously too low in the typical Western Diet, which can lead to numerous health issues. Low fiber is associated with numerous disease states, it can lead to surges of blood sugars, and also to poor colon health that ultimately sabotages overall health.
Added fiber, like Psyllium Fiber, in your diet helps lower the blood sugar surge from eating carbohydrates, helping to maintain a more even blood sugar and preventing a surge of insulin that otherwise leads to ‘caloric storage mode’.
In addition, fiber acts like a sponge and can actually help prevent and expel some calories from being absorbed and stored by the body.
The NanoPro pillow was designed to cradle your head gently in a neutral position for optimal spinal alignment and incorporates nanotechnology to enhance circulation. Research shows that lacking 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep can alter leptin and grehlin levels, increasing carbohydrate cravings and lowering calorie-burning metabolism.
Emotional stress is not only the ultimate contributing cause of premature death and suffering, it can also cause weight gain, sleep disturbance and robs the body of the peace, harmony and vitality that your body is so desperately seeking.
Evaluating your life for hidden source of stress can ultimately remove obstacles to weight loss and wellness that otherwise can sabotage even the most committed dieter.
Body Composition Analyzer and Calorie Tracker
The BC-1 is a patented body composition analyzer which can serve as your daily measuring stick and person coach to make sure you are staying on track with your personal goals of weight management and the pursuit of vitality.
Too often a person will start to lose stored calories and also start to build muscle tissue. As a result when they jump on a standard scale to measure their overall weight, they see little decline or even an increase, which de-motivates their weight loss activities.
The BC-1 will accurately measure your declining body fat and increasing lean muscle mass to confirm you are on the right path.
The BC-1 will also accurately indicate your overall hydration level. By consuming the right minerals (as provided in VITAL XP) along with sufficient water, and a health promoting diet rich in veggies and fruits you should be able to get your overall hydration level close to the ideal 70% level which will help eliminate false hunger cravings, improve energy levels, decrease headaches and cramps, and improve skin health and appearance too!
Included with the BC-1 is the CT-1 Calorie Tracker that will measure all your daily movement in three directions and compute this against your personal profile to determine just how many calories you are burning on a daily basis. If you are consuming 2,500 calories per day, your objective to lose one pound per week would be to burn an average of 3,000 calories per day.
Today’s society makes it easy for weight gain to occur, and the statistics are showing an increase in overweight and obesity. Many factors contribute to weight gain. Ultimately, it comes down to how many calories you consume compared to how many calories you burn. The calories that are not utilized by the body are stored as fat. Eating healthy foods, staying hydrated, supplementing your diet, and exercising is necessary to your weight management plan. It is important to remember that you and your loved ones can give the ultimate gift to one another by taking care of yourselves. Families that take charge of their health enjoy a much higher quality of life. They will have more years to create and share memories that are more vibrant and colorful because your energy, clarity and desire to devour life will be more bountiful.
Life is what we make of it, yet an unhealthy body is like a burden that can rob you of the quality of life you deserve!
- June 2013
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