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2014 Diet Plan: 3 Day Diet Plan for Weight Loss

Three Day Diet Plan for Weight Loss

If you are looking for a simple healthy eating diet plan, then this three day plan is ideal. It can easily be incorporated into your week, if you wish to make it a regular event, or you can adopt it for long weekends to help maintain a healthy weight.

Day One

  • Breakfast: 40g muesli with 125ml semi-skimmed milk, topped with seven strawberries.
  • Snack: Three apricots.
  • Lunch: Tuna and cucumber sandwich, 80g raw carrot.
  • Snack: 150g yoghurt.
  • Dinner:  250g Low Carb Chilli con carne and rice with 70g peas. Mango chunks.

Day Two:

  • Breakfast: 40g muesli with 125ml semi-skimmed milk, topped with a small banana.
  • Snack: Two plums.
  • Lunch: Jacket potato with baked beans but no butter. 100g seedless grapes.
  • Snack: One large orange.
  • Dinner: 100g grilled salmon, with 225g of green salad. One apple.

Day Three:

  • Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs, one slice of wholemeal toast, 200ml of unsweetened fresh orange juice.
  • Snack: 50g reduced fat houmous with carrot and celery sticks.
  • Lunch: 235g Sushi. 100g seedless grapes.
  • Snack: 23g blueberry and yoghurt nougat bar.
  • Dinner: 120g grilled pork chop, 120g boiled new potatoes, 110g steamed broccoli. 160g of fresh pineapple.
This short diet limits calories while still providing adequate slow release energy, nutrients and plenty of fiber. The oats in muesli are low GI and release their energy slowly which means you digest the food slowly and this helps to control blood sugar levels, which in turn controls insulin and reduces fat uptake.

The fruits and raw vegetables provide vitamins and also fiber to help you feel full for longer. The main meal is eaten at dinner time (evening) although this is still a low calorie portion.
If some of the foods do not appeal to you try to find suitable alternatives, for example, you could replace the sushi with chicken satay, or the pork chop could be replaced with a lean steak or chicken.
The most important thing is to use the portions and pattern of eating (meals with healthy snacks in between) as a guideline to ensure that you follow a simple but healthy diet plan. For better results you could combine this type of diet plan with a 16:8 diet or a 5:2 intermittent fasting.
If you are determined to lose weight quickly you could just follow a diet plan like this for several weeks, repeating it every 3 days. Although you may start to get bored with the food choices you will at least become more efficient at obtaining and preparing the meals and snacks, which means you are more likely to follow the plan. The best diet plans are often the easiest ones to follow.


Timing of meals influences weight loss as much as total calories consumed

Virtually all western cultures are presently fighting an obesity epidemic, as processed convenience foods dominate total calories consumed. Homemade meals that include fresh vegetables, fruits and lean protein sources have become a rare event over the past half century, placing the health of millions at risk. Most people are aware that the total number of calories eaten and physical activity play an important role in weight management, but new research is beginning to demonstrate that the timing of meals and types of foods consumed may help prompt weight loss as much as the actual calories eaten.

A research team from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston has found that meal timing is a critical factor necessary to shed pounds. Publishing in the International Journal of Obesity, scientists reveal that it's not simply what you eat, but also when you eat, that may help with weight loss regulation. Study author Dr. Frank Sheer noted, "This is the first large-scale prospective study to demonstrate that the timing of meals predicts weight-loss effectiveness."

Meal timing is a critical and independent factor that can help promote weight loss

To conduct the study and determine the importance of food timing with respect to weight loss, researchers studied 420 overweight participants from Spain who followed a 20-week weight loss treatment program. The participants were divided into two groups (early-eaters, main meal before 3 p.m. and late-eaters, main meal after 3 p.m.) based on the self-selected timing of the main meal, which was lunch in this cohort of Mediterranean volunteers. Participants consumed 40 percent of their daily calories at lunchtime, widely considered to be the main meal in Spain.

The team found that late-eaters lost significantly less weight than early-eaters, and displayed a much slower rate of weight loss. Late-eaters also had a lower estimated insulin sensitivity, placing them at significantly higher risk for diabetes. Dr. Sheer concluded, "This is the first large-scale prospective study to demonstrate that the timing of meals predicts weight-loss effectiveness... novel therapeutic strategies should incorporate not only the caloric intake and macronutrient distribution, as it is classically done, but also the timing of food."

Interestingly, the researchers found that late-eaters losing the least amount of weight also consumed fewer calories during breakfast and were more likely to skip the first daily meal altogether, supporting previous studies concluding the importance of eating a high protein breakfast to stimulate weight loss. Scientists also accounted for other traditional factors that play a role in weight loss such as total calorie intake and expenditure, the appetite hormones leptin and ghrelin, and sleep duration, and found no differences between the two groups, indicating that meal timing is a critical and independent risk factor for weight loss.


Home> Health 4 Worst December Diet Mistakes

It's that time of year again when holiday calories lurk around every corner. Family parties, office get-togethers, Saturday night soirees… you get the picture.

But even if you try to be "good" around the holidays and stick to your healthy habits, you could still be committing diet mistakes that leave you a few pounds heavier come New Year's. Avoid these December diet blunders!

Skipping meals to save calories for later

You might think "saving" your calories for a splurge later in the day (a holiday party, for example) is a smart idea, but you might actually be setting yourself up for a diet disaster. If you haven't eaten all day, you're likely to overindulge the second you are faced with a spread of appetizing food. Instead, eat normally and make small calories reductions all day long. For instance, hold the cheese on your breakfast sandwich or skip the dressing from your lunchtime salad. Those little changes add up, so when it's time to splurge later on, you'll have "saved" calories without starving yourself all day, which, of course, makes navigating temping party fare a lot easier.

Thinking "healthy" calories don't count

I always used to think if I was selecting healthy foods (veggie crudites and dip) over not-so-healthy foods (bacon-wrapped scallops) at a holiday party, the calories didn't really count. Sure, veggies and dip and similar healthy appetizers like hummus and crackers or spiced nuts, are generally low-calorie options, but the calories still add up, especially if you munch on them all night long. Instead of overdoing it, try using a small plate to serve yourself. Having a visual representation of what you're eating will help you keep even those healthy calories in check.

Feeling a little too festive with the holiday cocktails

Having a drink or two at a holiday party is a wonderful way to relax, have fun, and join in the merriment of the moment. However, it's easy to feel a little too festive once you've had a few glasses of spiked eggnog. And it's not just about consuming too many calories. If you drink too much, you don't have as much control over what you eat, which can ultimately lead to your pants feeling a little tighter. If you feel out of place without a drink in your hand, you can pace your drinking by alternating seltzer water with a wedge of lime in between alcoholic drinks. And here are some additional ways to enjoy cocktails guilt-free!

Assuming you can just work it off Regular exercise is a great way to manage excess calories during the holiday season, but it can't make up for all of your diet mistakes. For example, a piece of pecan pie will set you back almost 500 calories. If you want to work that off in the gym, you'll be trudging along on the treadmill for close to an hour! Who has time for that? Staying active will help keep those holiday calories in check, but don't rely on your workouts to ultimately keep the pounds off.


Exercise counters effect of Christmas excess on metabolism

A daily bout of exercise can counter the harmful effects that short-term inactivity and overeating have on health, according to a new study published in The Journal of Physiology.
Evidence already exists that even a few days of consuming more calories than you burn can be harmful to health.
The new study, from the University of Bath in the UK, takes a step further and suggests a daily dose of exercise can bring health benefits that go beyond just helping to burn off excess calories.
Speaking about their work, co-author Dr. James Betts says:

"This new research shows that the picture is more sophisticated than 'energy' alone: exercise has positive effects even when we are actively storing energy and gaining weight."
He and his colleagues invited 26 healthy, normally active young male volunteers, aged from late teens to early 30s, to consume more calories than normal for a week.

Researchers found that daily exercise counteracts negative health effects of short-term inactivity and overeating.
Half of the volunteers were asked to restrict their physical activity (to below 4,000 steps per day), in order to generate an energy surplus, and the other half were asked to run for 45 minutes per day on a treadmill (at 70% of maximum oxygen intake).
The inactive group was asked to consume around 50% more calories than normal, while the exercise group was asked to consume 75% more, so that everyone's net daily energy surplus was the same.
At the start and the end of the week, the volunteers gave fasting blood samples, underwent oral glucose tests and also had small samples taken of abdominal fat.

Unhealthy declines in blood sugar control

After just 1 week, the differences between the two groups were striking.
The inactive group showed a significant, unhealthy decline in blood sugar control, and their fat cells were over-expressing genes linked to disrupted nutritional balance and unhealthy metabolism, and under-expressing genes linked to healthy metabolism.
However, these effects were markedly less in the exercise group: their blood sugar levels remained stable, and while their fat cells did show some changes in gene expression, these were significantly less "undesirable."
The researchers conclude:
"Vigorous-intensity exercise counteracted most of the effects of short-term overfeeding and under-activity at the whole-body level and in adipose tissue, even in the face of a standardized energy surplus."

Despite consuming more calories, exercise group was still better off

Senior author Dr. Dylan Thompson says: "A critical feature of our experiment is that we matched the energy surplus between groups - so the exercise group consumed even more energy and were still better off at the end of the week."
He suggests the message from this study for those entering a period of overconsumption and inactivity, such as that faced by Christmas revellers, is that "a daily bout of exercise will prevent many of the negative changes from taking place even though you are gaining weight."
This study shows the effects clearly in a group of young men. However, further research is now needed to find the underlying causes, and also to see if the same happens in other groups, like women and older adults, and whether less training has the same result.
Another study published recently suggests playing exercise video games can help glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes. The researchers compared a group who used the Wii Fit Plus exercise game with a group who received standard care.


€4.9m project to help Europeans manage their weight

Researchers and businesses are joining forces to develop innovative techniques to help people manage their weight and increase their physical fitness with the use of emerging technology and information systems.
A three-year project, dubbed DAPHNE, comes at a time when more than 70% of adults and a third of children in some EU countries are overweight.* The multi-centre collaboration involves ten universities and technology companies, with a total budget of €4.9m.
The project will use a new generation of sensors to detect personal energy expenditure, including how much time a person has been sitting still, how much they have been walking or standing or doing housework, and can monitor their overall fitness. The data will be analysed using information mining and intelligent heuristics to recognise behaviour patterns and see how successfully an individual is making changes to their lifestyle. With mobile phone apps and other devices, individuals can be given guidance on making further changes, improving their levels of physical fitness and preventing weight-related diseases.
The DAPHNE project is being led by the Spanish health technology company Treelogic SL, in partnership with major IT companies IBM, Atos, Nevet, Evalan and SilverCloud. These businesses will work alongside researchers at the University of Leeds, the University of Madrid and the Children's Hospital in Rome, Italy, along with a professional society, the International Association for the Study of Obesity.
Project coordinator, Dr Alberto Olmo of Treelogic SL, said 'We know that thousands of people across Europe want to get fit and stay fit. There are now a number of sophisticated methods for helping them to achieve their goals using new technology. The DAPHNE research project is a unique opportunity to develop industry standardised approaches to personal data collection on health and fitness, and to make sure we work together to develop the services people need.''
The project will undertake three major areas of work. The first is the development of the monitoring sensors which can track individual behaviour and their communication of the data they collect using smartphones and other innovative communications technology. The second is the development of information analysis platforms to receive the data using cloud storage, and to process the data and send it back to the individuals and forward to other end-users, including health services and fitness centres. The third area of work is to consider how the data collected across many individuals can be integrated to provide information for health service managers, health insurers and public health agencies, and how this information should be protected and kept secure to ensure personal data is processed ethically.
'European health services are facing a rising tide of obesity related disease, including diabetes and heart disease,' said Dr Tim Lobstein, Policy Director at the International Association for the Study of Obesity. 'It can be a struggle for individuals to make changes to their lifestyles, so technology that can strengthen motivation and show personal progress could provide a useful tool and needs to be explored. We welcome this opportunity to help people to manage their weight and to improve their fitness, reducing the need for drugs or surgery.'
DAPHNE is an EU-funded study (2013-2016) to develop and test methods for collecting, analysing and exploiting personal activity and fitness information, with a focus on reducing sedentary behaviour. It will develop state-of-the-art data analysis platforms for collecting, analysing and delivering useful information on physical fitness and behaviour. Standardised data platforms will help hardware and software developers to provide personalised health information to individuals and to service providers.
DAPHNE partners: Treelogic SL (Spain), ATOS Spain SA, Evalan BV (Netherlands), SilverCloud Health Ltd (Ireland), Nevet Ltd (Israel), IBM Israel, University of Leeds (UK), Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (Spain), Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu (Italy), International Association for the Study of Obesity.


‘MasterChef’ Judge Graham Elliot Flaunts Weight Loss

Celebrity chef Graham Elliot is showing off his dramatic 100-pound-plus weight loss since undergoing surgery in July with a new picture posted on Twitter.
Posting a before and after photo, the “MasterChef” judge updated his followers. “Now weighing in at 268lbs, down from 396lbs. Thanks everyone for the continued support!” he wrote on his Twitter account Wednesday.
Elliot, 36, also posted photos after completing his first ever 5K run.
Check Out Graham Elliot’s Platelist
The famous chef finished the Ditka Dash, wearing a fake moustache in honor of Mike Ditka, the beloved former coach of the Chicago Bears, in 34:49 alongside his wife Allie.
“I have been jogging and training since the summer, working up to 3 miles,” he told People. “The feeling of crossing the finish line was a great sense of accomplishment.”
Graham Elliot’s Favorite Recipes
Since having a sleeve gastrectomy, in which 80 percent of a patient’s stomach is removed to create a small sleeve-shaped stomach the size of a banana, Elliot has lost about 128 pounds and overhauled his lifestyle.
Next year, he said he’s hoping to run the Chicago marathon with the help of his fellow “MasterChef” judges and avid marathoners Gordon Ramsay and Joe Bastianich.


When weight loss surgery works, it's only because of bacteria changes in the gut

Each year, roughly 200,000 morbidly obese Americans go under the knife for weight loss surgery. Most all doctors perform this surgery to save lives and it seems to be working for many. According to the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, after weight loss surgery, patients lose up to 60 percent of their former weight and up to 77 percent just a year later. They state that these surgeries are "preventing and improving diseases which include heart disease, cancers, and Type II diabetes."

On the surface these surgeries appear to work, but a new study points out that there's more to the story, that the weight loss surgery itself isn't the reason why patients are losing weight and keeping it off. A new study links the success of weight loss after surgery to significant bacteria changes in the gut.

Gastric bypass surgeries succeed because of changes in gut bacteria

The most common bariatric surgery, the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, makes the stomach smaller by rearranging the digestive tract to prevent excess absorption of calories. Sounds simple and effective, but there may be more to it. Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University found out that, during the operation, significant changes in gut bacteria occur. In successful weight loss surgeries, beneficial "slimming" bacteria override the bad, bringing about a new friendly gut flora that encourages better utilization of calories and nutrients.

Changes in gut bacteria may be the weight loss secret

In a detailed experiment with mice, the researchers wanted to find out why gastric bypass surgeries were effective. They wanted to find out if these surgeries were even necessary for weight loss, or if gut bacteria is the answer. Here's what they found:

After performing the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery on one group of mice, the rodents lost and kept off 29 percent of their previous weight. The researchers then transferred this new gut flora to another group of obese mice that hadn't undergone surgery. This group of mice lost weight and fat without the surgery, leading the researchers to believe that gut bacteria is a secret weight loss tool.

Furthermore, the scientists performed "sham" gastric bypass surgeries on another group of mice. They made incisions in the mice, but ultimately stapled their intestinal tract back to its normal state. These mice lost no weight and had no changes in gut bacteria. The researchers transferred their gut flora to another group of obese mice. These mice lost no weight either. This further explained that significant changes in gut bacteria are the reason why weight loss surgeries are successful.

Author of the study, Dr. Lee Kaplan, said, "The effects of gastric bypass are not just anatomical, as we thought. They're also physiological. Now we need to learn more about how the microbiota exert their effects."

Skipping gastric bypass and opting for changes in gut bacteria instead

By narrowing in on gut bacteria composition, further studies showed that the "slimming" bacteria helped raise the body's metabolism, helping patients burn calories faster. The "slimming" bacteria were also found to extract fewer calories from food, whereas fattening bacteria extract as much as possible.

By changing a patient's diet to encourage better "slimming" gut flora, doctors can help patients skip past the pricey and risky gastric bypass surgery to encourage weight loss the physiological way, not the anatomical way. By transferring "slimming" bacteria into obese people, doctors could assist the weight loss process without performing extensive surgery.

Breathing tests can indicate the presence of fattening gut flora

A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, reports that breath tests can help indicate who is harboring fattening gut bacteria and who isn't. Breath that tests for high concentrations of both hydrogen and methane gas is most likely breath of someone who has a higher body mass index. This hydrogen and methane breath is associated with the bacterial strain Methanobrevibacter smithii, which is a fattening bacterium that extracts as many calories from food as possible.

By testing breath and gut bacteria, doctors can help obese patients change their lifestyle to build better "slimming" gut flora. This will promote a better metabolism and help create a natural weight loss environment. The gastric bypass surgery welcomes "slimming" gut bacteria, but this risky procedure can be bypassed altogether, as doctors and patients learn how to modify gut bacteria instead of gut anatomy.


The benefits of going vegetarian: Weight loss, a healthier heart, drastically reduced cancer risk and more

With the proper planning and education, research shows that going vegetarian is an excellent step to improve and protect your health. By minimizing processed foods and emphasizing whole plant foods, vegetarians enjoy a more nutritious and far less toxic way of eating than the average. The bottom line: As a vegetarian, you will be better protected from a range of major diseases, take in more nutrients and potentially lose a lot of weight.

Weight loss

The high water content and fiber in plant foods is probably to thank for the weight loss that occurs when an omnivore becomes vegetarian. Overweight people typically lose 10 percent of their body weight when they switch to a vegetarian diet, and the body-mass index (BMI) of vegetarians is generally lower as well. Vegetarian diets have less saturated fat and are likely to contain less fat overall.

Better digestion

Fiber, the indigestible matter that gives structure to plant foods, is essential for speeding waste out of the body. Virtually all whole plant foods have a positive impact on digestion. Animal foods, on the other hand, contain no fiber and move sluggishly through the digestive system. This results in constipation and putrefaction of meat in the digestive tract, letting harmful bacteria linger.

A healthier heart

Fiber has another health benefit - reducing cholesterol. One type, soluble fiber, actually pulls cholesterol out of the body. Vegetarians also have a head start on healthy cholesterol, since plant foods don't contain any. As a result, cholesterol levels in vegetarians are typically 40 points lower than those of omnivores. Blood pressure is also lower overall, suggesting that vegetarians have a 20-40 percent reduced risk of heart disease and a 30-60 percent reduced risk of stroke. In fact, an analysis of five studies concluded that vegetarians have a 34 percent reduced risk of dying from a heart attack compared to omnivores.

Slowed aging

High antioxidant content in many plant foods like berries and raw chocolate combats the cellular damage caused by unstable oxygen molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals, which are ingested from cooked foods and polluted air (among other sources), are one of the main causes of aging. A diet high in whole and fresh foods can actually turn back the clock by knocking these down.

Reduced risk of cancer

One of the best reasons to go vegetarian is this: Vegetarians have a 40 percent reduced risk of getting cancer. There are several explanations for this statistic. Vegetarians tend to be thinner, and obesity in particular is associated with increased cancer risk. The high fiber content of plant foods speeds waste through your system, which cuts the risk of colon cancer. And diets high in fat and animal foods spike cancer risk, especially that of breast cancer, through their action on hormones.

A less toxic body

Since animals concentrate the toxins they ingest in their tissues, meat and milk is much higher in toxins than plant foods are. Wild fish contain alarming amounts of mercury; the FDA recommends eating fish only 2-3 times per week. And the EPA reports that 95 percent of human exposure to dioxin, a dangerous toxin, comes from consuming meat, fish and dairy. Animal foods are also often high in pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and hormones.


5 New Diets Everyone is Talking About

Are you about ready to give up on weight loss? You're not alone. Whether it's calorie counting that you detest or the constant cravings that nag you, we've finally found the solution: Stop forcing yourself to follow impossible programs that just won't work for you. Instead, look for one that suits your individual style.

"Diets aren't one size fits all," says Joanne Larsen, R.D., a dietitian in Chicago. "When you find a plan that matches your particular food preferences [likes and dislikes] and lifestyle [cooking at home or eating out] it'll be easier to stick with it and lose pounds." We've done the homework and found the five best new diets out there. And we're convinced that one will work for you.

Eat All Day Long: The Abs Diet for Women

Dining six times a day (have a medium-size breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus a small snack two hours after each) means you'll never go hungry on The Abs Diet for Women, by David Zinczenko (Rodale). The catch is each time you eat you need to choose one or two of 12 "power foods," many of which are low in fat and help build calorie-torching muscle. These foods spell out ABS DIET POWER: Almonds (and other nuts), Beans (and legumes), Spinach (and other greens), Dairy, Instant oatmeal, Eggs, Turkey (and other lean cuts), Peanut butter, Olive oil, Whole grains, Extra protein (the whey powder added to shakes) and Raspberries (and other berries). The program also incorporates strength training for 20 minutes, three to four times a week, with an emphasis on tightening your abdominals. The thinking is that getting rid of belly fat can help you not only slim your waistline but also prevent disease. A recent University of Alabama at Birmingham study reveals that "visceral fat" around the middle is the single best predictor of heart-disease risk.

Add Years to Your Life: The Bonus Years Diet

Expect to keep the weight off and increase your longevity on The Bonus Years Diet, coauthored by Ralph Felder, M.D. (G.P. Putnam's Sons), by filling up on the following: red wine (5 ounces daily), dark chocolate (2 ounces daily), raw fruits and vegetables (4 cups daily), fish (three 5-ounce servings weekly), garlic (one clove daily) and nuts (2 ounces daily). "These foods are rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and phytochemicals, all of which can help reduce your risk of heart disease by 76% by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation throughout the body," says Dr. Felder. The rest of the diet? Totally up to you.

Make it a Team Effort: The F.A.S.T. Diet
The Deans (Sheila, Mike and their six kids) were a typical family in Omaha-until they overcame a lifetime of weight problems and lost a total of 500 pounds in one year. It began when Tony, the family's oldest son, was inspired by the camaraderie he witnessed on TV's weight-loss show The Biggest Loser. After doing some online research he had family members calculate their basal metabolic rate (BMR), an estimate of how many calories an individual needs to function for one day. The BMR formula for women: [655 + (4.3 x current weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches)] - (4.7 x age). The Deans then limited their daily calorie intake to 500 below their BMR numbers in order to drop about one pound per week. Tony required them to log everything they ate, meet for weekly weigh-ins, exercise every day and report to one another when they were tempted to binge. The family also encouraged 100 others in Omaha to lose more than 1,400 pounds in five weeks. Their success caught the eye of Good Morning America and then Harmony Books, which published The F.A.S.T. Diet (Families Always Succeed Together), written by Tony.

Squeeze it in to Your Hectic Life: The Busy Person's Guide to Permanent Weight Loss

If you're pressed for time, consider The Busy Person's Guide to Permanent Weight Loss, by Melinda B. Jampolis, M.D. (Thomas Nelson), which offers creative tips on how to order better-for-you menu items at restaurants, pack healthy on-the-go snacks and get more exercise in less time. You'll follow guidelines regarding what kinds of foods to buy and what serving sizes are best, but you choose the foods to eat.

Slim Down Fast: The Fiber 35 Diet

The Fiber 35 Diet, coauthored by Brenda Watson (Free Press), is strict, but if followed correctly, it can help you shed 8 pounds in the first month, and then 1 pound each subsequent week. During phase one, slash a whopping 1,000 calories from your typical daily intake for one month (just don't dip below 1,200). From then on trim just 500 daily calories until you reach your goal weight. The key is to eat a total of 35 grams of fiber daily. "Fiber is a natural appetite suppressant," says Watson, a certified nutrition consultant in Dunedin, Florida. In other words, you'll eat less but feel fuller.


The Really Cool Thing That Weight Loss Can Do

Heart palpitations can be distressing to say the least. They can make you feel like your heart is racing or pounding so hard, that you think it’s about to jump out of your chest. These sensations may be felt in your chest, neck or throat. No one likes to have the unpleasant awareness that their heartbeat is acting a bit crazy. When your heart’s rhythm is abnormal, you may feel anxious and concerned. But what’s actually happening when your heartbeat changes from its normal pattern? Most of the time, your heart keeps a steady pace, beating between 60 and 100 times a minute. When your heart rate speeds up to over 100 beats per minute, you have a condition called tachycardia. If you heart rate is too slow, it is called bradycardia. When you experience an occasional extra heartbeat, doctors call the phenomenon extrasystole.

Most of the time, palpitations are not usually something you need to worry about. Sometimes, however, palpitations do signal a serious problem especially if they represent an abnormal heart rhythm called arrhythmia.

Those at risk for arrhythmia may have one of the following health complications:

    Heart disease
    An abnormal heart valve
    Abnormal blood levels of potassium
    An overactive thyroid
    Low levels of oxygen in the blood

Sometimes, heart palpitations signal trouble with the atria. This condition, called atrial fibrillation, is caused by disorganized electrical signals. These irregular signals cause the two upper chambers of the heart to contract in an abnormal way. Atrial fibrillation can increase the risk for a stroke and other heart problems.

In a recent study, researchers have discovered a potentially simple treatment for atrial fibrillation: lose weight. These researchers recruited 150 people with a BMI greater than 27 (considered overweight). Every time someone’s BMI goes up by one point, medical experts estimate that the risk of atrial fibrillation goes up by five percent.

Seventy-five of the participants were assigned to a weight management program that lasted eight weeks. These participants were only allowed to consume between 800 and 1,200 calories per day. Two meals consisted of a weight loss shake, while the third meal emphasized proteins.

Along with the calorie-restricted diet, these participants were asked to exercise three times per week, for 20 minutes each session. These 20 minute sessions gradually increased to 45 minutes.

The other 75 participants were simply given advice regarding nutrition and exercise.

The research team found that those following the weight loss program lost an average of 33 pounds, compared to 12.5 pounds lost by the advice group. The good news? Both groups saw a reduction in their atrial fibrillation symptoms. However, the weight management group showed a significantly greater reduction in symptoms.

Help your heart out and keep your weight at a healthy level. Get help to formulate a weight loss program and stick with it. Keep active and get some exercise at least three times per week.

If you experience any problems with heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat, get the condition checked out to rule out anything serious.

This article “The Really Cool Thing That Weight Loss Can Do” was originally published on DoctorsHealthPress, visit their site to access their vast database of articles and the latest information in natural health.

Victor Marchione, MD received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and his Medical Degree from the University of Messina in 1981. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years. Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been fea-tured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News and the NBC Today Show and is the editor of the popular The Food Doctor newsletter. Dr. Marchione has also served as Principal Investigator in at least a dozen clinical research projects relating to serious ailments such as bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


Do Weight-Loss Supplements Actually Hurt Your Waistline?

Having trouble losing weight? Taking a diet pill isn't the answer. In fact, it may be part of the problem, reports a new study in Appetite.

Researchers asked 74 participants to take a pill; half were told the pill was a weight-loss supplement, while the other half were told it was a placebo. Turns out, they were actually all placebos. But when each group was given a bowl full of chocolate, the people who thought they'd taken a supplement ate more pieces of candy than the other group.

The likely reason: People taking supplements may feel as if they're already contributing to their weight-loss goals, and, therefore, may not be as strict  with their food choices, says study author Wen-Bin Chiou, a psychology professor at National Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan. It's called the "licensing effect," a psychological phenomenon that allows people to rationalize a bad behavior as long as they do something good first.

The effect happens with more than just weight-loss pills, too. In previous studies, Chiou found that subjects who thought they'd taken a multivitamin consistently acted in less healthy ways—like exercising less or smoking cigarettes more—than participants who knew they took a placebo.  (Find out more about the dark side of the pills and potions you take in this special report on The Dangers of Supplements.)

Besides the chances of increasing your middle, a 2011 review in the Journal of Obesity found that weight-loss supplements might have no benefit at all. That means the best you can do is break even, which begs the question: Why spend money on pills that have no fat-fighting magic? Stick with things that can give you real benefits and set you up for potential success, like hitting the gym or chowing  down on a salad. (Don't take supplements with abandon.

Multiple weight loss episodes associated with metabolic syndrome and diabetes: Here are five solutions to yo-yo dieting

People who repeatedly lose weight and gain it back may be at higher risk for metabolic syndrome and diabetes according to the Oslo Study.

The weight loss roller coaster is more than emotionally frustrating. It appears to set you up for disease and premature death.

A 28-year follow up of participants in the Oslo study revealed the following conclusion: Among elderly men the number of episodes or amount of weight loss after age 50 was associated with the metabolic syndrome and diabetes, but this study cannot establish the causality of the association.

How many times have you lost weight, only to gain it back again? Every time you put your body through that, you potentially weaken its defense against these deadly diseases that shorten your life.

Looking for another reason to lose weight and keep it off for good? Here you go!

Why we can't keep weight off?

Many people approach weight loss efforts severely lacking in the essential ingredients that would ensure their success. Here are some of the issues to resolve.

1. Lack of expertise.

Weight loss is a sophisticated science. So many approach it casually by reading a book or taking advice from a friend. The truth is, unless you are specifically educated in nutrition and exercise science, your knowledge is probably inadequate.

Enlist the help of a holistic-minded nutritionist. You need to identify the custom nutrition plan that gives you the dense nutrients that you need, that fulfills you while economizing calories.

In just a few sessions with a personal trainer, you can learn the correct form that gets the most out of your exercise while reducing the chance of injury. You'll be surprised at how much you don't know about proper exercise after you work out with someone who gets it.

Unless you have the proper expertise on your side, you are at a huge disadvantage from the get-go. Using these resources can dramatically increase your chances of success by as much as 73%.

2. Lack of social support.

Have you ever begun to make positive changes in your life, only to be met with resistance from your friends and family? This is common. One partner starts to lose weight and the other one begins to sabotage the effort.

When you change your life it affects other people. When it makes them uncomfortable, they will push to return to the status quo.

This is something to plan for. Talk with the people in your life. Prepare them. Negotiate with them, but don't let them stop you.

3. Malnutrition.

Dieting may be the greatest source of malnutrition. Many low calorie diets deprive your body of what it needs. Before long, you get the urge to binge because your body is crying out for nutrients. This is why you need a well conceived plan that you absolutely know gives you everything your body needs every single day.

4. Lack of sleep. reveals at least 48 studies related to lack of sleep and obesity. The trend is well established. If you can't sleep, it will be much more difficult to lose weight. Unfortunately, if you are overweight, you are more prone to sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.

This double bind is difficult to escape. However, you can and must escape it. Look into sleep apnea solutions and medicinal herbs that help you sleep.

5. Self-sabotage.

The granddaddy of them all, self-sabotage is a universal pattern that is sure to rear its ugly head during any weight loss effort.

The truth is, if you are overweight, there is part of you that wants to be fat because it feels safer that way, and herein lies the deepest problem. When you feel emotionally safe doing something that is both emotionally frustrating and physically dangerous, you've got some distortion in your perspective.

This doesn't mean you are a bad person. In fact, you may not have consciously chosen this distortion at all. Most likely, it is the result of long-term unconscious programming.


Student shed almost HALF her body weight after getting stuck in chair on first day of university

Humiliation drove the student at UWE Bristol to give up junk food - she has slimmed down from size 24 to size eight and now weighs a healthy 9st 5lb 

A student went on to lose almost half her body weight after getting stuck in a seat on her first day at university.
Shamed Megan Longdon, who was 17st 5lb, told other students to climb over her before she wriggled free.
Megan, 20, from Kingswood, Bristol, said:  “It happened right at the end of the lecture, when I had to get up to leave.
“It made me feel embarrassed, I had to wait for everyone to leave, I even had to have people climb over me to get out.
“These were potential new friends it was so, so embarrassing.
“I had to prise myself out when they had all left, it was about 10 or 15 minutes later. I was just stuck in the arm bits on my hip area, I had the table bit in front of me to lean on, there was not a huge gap.
“People were a bit confused as to what I was doing and the fact I was telling them to climb over me, I didn’t know anyone so it was really embarrassing.
“I stopped going to university for weeks after it happened I was so embarrassed, I missed out on making all my friends and a lot of work, it was awful.
“It stopped me making a lot of friends during my first year, I didn’t socialise at all really.”
The humiliation drove the law student at UWE Bristol to give up junk food . She has slimmed down from size 24 to size eight and now weighs a healthy 9st 5lb.
She added: “It’s so good to finally get back to normal again. I feel a lot better, I can wear dresses and skirts now which is amazing, before I just wore a lot of baggy tops.”


3 Steps to Avoid Gaining Weight this Thanksgiving

It’s just around the corner and you know your mom will be pulling out the stops in the kitchen. It happens every year at Thanksgiving, right?!
Be proud of the steps you’ve already made and take the lead in this battle by trying these three tips to avoid gaining weight this year. Stay focused and hopefully the hecticness of the holiday and the alluring spread of food will be easier to navigate.

Before the Meal

Eat breakfast. Remember, breakfast is the MOST important meal of the day. Start the holiday off right. Plus showing up starving doesn’t usually lead to making smart choices. Be thankful for a brand new day by starting it off with breakfast.

During the Meal

Fill your plate with Full Plate Superfoods. Try for at least 3 or 4 and eat them first. Want to impress your family? Take a tasty dish filled with Superfoods from our Pinterest Board: Holiday Eats & Treats Board.

After the Meal

Get off your rear! Don’t give in to sleepiness. Go for a stroll, play catch with a football, set up horseshoes, pull out an active game like Twister, or play hip charades. You’ll be amazed how much fun the whole family will have instead of sitting around the tube with their eyes half rolled back.


Experts endorse nutrient-packed pine nuts for weight loss, healthy heart

Nutritionists from Washington recently announced the significant role of pine nuts in ensuring health and wellness over and above their value as a flavoring ingredient in Mediterranean and Italian cuisines. Results of a series of independent scientific analyses of its components revealed that the popular spice is packed with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

Among the many health benefits which may be derived from sufficient amounts of pine nuts in the diet are: anti-oxidative properties against aging; more energy for daily activities; enhanced immunity to diseases; good eyesight; strong bones; and as a feel-good food. Additionally, research evidence suggests that its fat content is heart-friendly, and that eating these nuts facilitates weight loss, promotes normal blood circulation, and is good for the nervous system.

Nutritional Highlights of Pine Nuts

Experts in natural medicine, including educators Dr. Michael Murray and Dr. Joseph Pizzorino, maintained that a hundred grams of the European pine nuts called pignoli delivers 24 grams of protein. This amount is by far the highest among nuts and seeds. Pine nuts are also excellent sources of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, D and E, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, and zinc. The European variety also contains less fat in monosaturated form, fiber, and carbohydrates than the American species of pine nuts called pinons. These nuts also contain lutein, pinoleic acid, and free radicals.

Health Effects of Vitamins and Nutrients in Pine Nuts

Proteins help build, repair, and maintain body tissues and are a major component of the brain, hair, nails, nerves, other internal organs, and the skin. About a normal cup of pine nuts serves half of the body's daily requirement for proteins. Meanwhile, vitamin E is an antioxidant which neutralizes free radicals that hasten the aging process. As an anti-oxidant, pine nuts also protect body cells and the cell membrane from lipid peroxidation by the action of reactive oxygen species.

Vitamins A and B1, together with the xanthophyll, lutein, are found in pine nuts and contribute to good eyesight. Vitamin B1 aids in developing stronger nerves and normalizes the heartbeat. It also serves as an energy and memory booster, brain conditioner, stress reliever and infection buster. Vitamins B2 and B3 team up with pinoleic acid in pine nuts which is essential for metabolism and the breakdown of fats for weight loss. Vitamin C is an excellent immunity builder against infections.

The iron in pine nuts works wonders for the circulatory and nervous systems. Additionally, the monosaturated fat in these nuts is good for cardiac health, fights stubborn belly fat, and lowers blood cholesterol levels.

The host of other nutrients present in pine nuts completes a balanced diet for health and wellness. Incidentally, the top producers of pine nuts are Spain and Italy, but the wonder nuts are widely available in the US and Mexico.

In Closing: Pine Nuts - Not Your Typical Edible Nut

On the whole, pine nuts make up a healthy respite from the stereotypical hazard tagged for most edible nuts. They are packed with vitamins and minerals that get your system going. Indeed, pine nuts are one of the few fine nuts you wouldn't want to leave out for a healthy diet!

Weight loss aided by texting

If the idea of keeping a food and exercise diary keeps you from joining a weight-loss program, there may be a better way - texting.
Research shows that when people keep track of their diet and exercise habits, they do better at losing weight. But sticking with detailed monitoring of what you eat and your exercise habits electronically or via traditional pen and paper can prove cumbersome. If people stop doing it, they may stop losing weight.
Tracking this information through text messages could save time and improve the likelihood of people sticking with their get-healthy routine, say researchers at Duke University.
Their study, published in the online edition of the Journal of Medical Internet Research, found that after six months, 26 obese women who used daily texting as part of the Shape Plan weight-loss intervention lost nearly 3 pounds, while another 24 who followed traditional methods gained 2 1/2 pounds. The average age of participants was 38.
The daily text messages focused on tracking tailored behavioral goals (i.e., no sugary drinks, 10,000 steps per day) along with brief feedback and tips.
Every morning, participants got a text from an automated system that said, "Please text yesterday's # of steps you walked, # of sugary drinks, and if you ate fast food." Based on how they responded to the text, the automated system sent another text with personalized feedback and a tip.
"Text messaging has become ubiquitous and may be an effective method to simplify tracking of diet and exercise behaviors," said lead author Dori Steinberg, a post-doctoral obesity researcher in the Duke Obesity Prevention Program.
Text messaging offers several advantages compared to other self-monitoring methods, she said:
  • Unlike Web-based diet and exercise diaries, data in a text message can be entered quickly on nearly all mobile phone platforms. This provides more portability, nearly real-time tracking and more accessibility for receiving tailored feedback.
  • Previous studies show that long-term adherence to traditional monitoring is poor, possibly because they are time- and labor-intensive, require extensive numeracy and literacy skills, and can be perceived as burdensome.
  • Text messaging has been conventionally limited to about 15-20 words per message, thus reducing the detail and cognitive load that is required for documenting diet and exercise behaviors.
The study primarily focused on helping obese black women lose weight (82 percent of participants were black). Researchers said that's because 59 percent of black women are obese, and many use cell phones. This combination makes text messaging a good way to reach this high-risk population.
About half of participants texted every day throughout the six-month program, with 85 percent texting at least two days per week. Most participants reported that texting was easy, and helped them meet their goals.
The key challenge in weight loss is helping people keep weight off for the long-term. So the next step is to see if texting can help people maintain their weight loss.
"Given the increasing utilization of mobile devices, text messaging may be a useful tool for weight loss, particularly among populations most in need of weight-loss treatment," Steinberg said.


How Diet Choices Help Weight Loss and Weight Management

Whether you are an athlete or a couch potato losing body fat and maintaining a weight lose is not an easy thing to do. Anyone wanting to lose weight needs to reduce calorie intake and/or increase energy expenditure. It's simple math. But is there a way to decrease calories without feeling hungry? Barbara Rolls, a food nutrition researcher at Pennsylvania State University, offers the following tips.
Eat Some Protein
Research shows different foods and nutrients affect how full and satisfied people feel. For example, a number of studies indicate that calories-for-calorie, protein makes a person feel more full than carbohydrates or fats. This suggests that eating adequate lean protein can help control hunger and food intake.
Eat More Fiber
Additionally, dietary fiber has been shown to affect the feeling of being full and food intake. Research shows that eating an additional 14 grams of fiber per day is associated with a 10 percent decrease in calorie intake and a loss of body weight of a four pounds in four months. Eating more high-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains is a nutritionally sound way to not feel as hungry when reducing calorie intake. (Note: increase fiber gradually to avoid stomach upset, gas and diarrhea.)
About Energy Density of Food
In addition to nutrients such as protein and fiber, the energy content of food, gram for gram, also affects how full we feel. The term for this is energy density, which is simply the amount of calories in a gram of food. The relationship between the weight of food and its calories content is largely based upon the amount of water in the food. Water adds weight but not calories, so the higher the water content the lower the energy density.
Studies consistently show that over the course of a day or two, a person eats about the same weight of food. On average, the weight of food eaten is more constant than the daily calorie intake. So if you eat the same amount (by weight) of food, but lower the calories in each portion, you will consume fewer calories. Studies also indicate that you don't even miss the calories and feel just as full as the high calorie day.
Low Energy Density Eating Tips
  • Eat more water-rich fruits, vegetables, and soups
  • Add fruit to breakfast cereal
  • Choose fresh fruit for snacks
  • Add more vegetables to pizza, stir-fry, and pasta dishes
  • Include a tossed green salad with lunch and dinner
  • Choose broth-based soups before meals or as a meal
  • Increase fiber intake by eating more high-fiber cereal, whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits.
  • Limit intake of dry foods
  • Limit consumption of dry foods such as pretzels and crackers, as they are dense in calories and are easy to overeat
  • Drink water, low-calorie or calorie-free beverages such as fruit juice diluted with seltzer, diet soft drinks, etc.
  • For snacks, "liquid foods" such as vegetable cocktails and drinks containing protein, such as those based on milk, are good choices to increase the feeling of fullness.
Must Reads

  • Research - How Many Calories are In Foods You Eat?
  • Plan - How Many Calories Does Exercise Burn?
  • Calculate - What is Your Body Mass Index (BMI)?

To learn more check out Volumetrics: Feel Full on Fewer Calories by Barbara Rolls. Volumetrics discusses the science of satiety; what researchers know about food choices that help us feel full. Learn how to eat low-calorie, high-volume foods so you feel full even though you've eaten fewer calories. You'll lose weight without feeling hungry or deprived.


20 Ways to Win at Losing Weight

The pure mathematics of weight loss is simple—eat less, move more—but if knowing that were all it took, everyone would be in great shape. Los Angeles–based personal trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels have been helping to define the bodies of celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Ellen DeGeneres, and Laura Dern, and they've also changed the lives of contestants on NBC's weight loss reality show, The Biggest Loser. Michaels is co-owner of Sky Sport and Spa. Here's what they know about diet and fitness success.

1. There's no one secret to being thin.
Losing weight and keeping it off, says Jillian Michaels, "requires a holistic approach that combines proper diet, good workouts, knowing why you overeat, and understanding how to push yourself toward change." The desire to change, she adds, really has to come from inside. "Sometimes you've got to have hit bottom, like realizing you can't play tag with your kids without getting out of breath," Jillian says. "If you're not ready for something new, no matter what you try, it's not going to work."

2. Don't blame your genes.
Yes, everyone is built differently, and some of us gain weight more easily than others. But "to say, 'I can't make any improvement because I have fat genes' is b.s.," says Jillian. "It's not true, and it's disempowering. No matter what your genes are, you have the ability to make the right choices about eating and exercise."

3. Cut yourself some slack.
The main thing is to make peace with your body before you try to change it, says Bob Harper. "Okay, you're overweight. But how great that you've decided to do something about it! Accepting where you are at the moment takes away the white-knuckle feeling that can sabotage you fast: 'I've got to lose weight! I've got to! Damn, I didn't lose any weight today. I've failed! Forget it, I won't even try anymore.'"

4. Study up.
Before you lift a toe, do some legwork. "You can learn about nutrition and diets on Web sites like or through books like Nutrition for Dummies," says Bob. Preparation helps you train wisely, too. "You can't just jump into an exercise program without knowing what you're doing," says Jillian. "At best you'll waste your time; at worst you could get injured." Find a beginner class or trainer to teach you the nuts and bolts. Or use books, fitness magazines, and videos. "Crunch Fitness puts out some awesome books that show all the basics," she says, "including Beginner's Luck, by Brad Hamler, and Perfect Posture, by Scott G. Duke."

5. Keep an honest food journal.
"It's essential," Jillian insists. "You need to track what you eat in detail. Not 'peanuts,' but how many peanuts. What time of day? And why are you eating just then? Writing it down makes you accountable and aware, and it helps you identify the mistakes you're making. Maybe your blood sugar is fluctuating through the day. Maybe you're skipping meals. Maybe you feel like you're not eating that much but, when you add it up, it comes to 2,500 calories a day."
6. Experiment to find your own diet.
Some foods are obvious no-no's: trans fats, processed food, white sugar, and excessive alcohol. Beyond that, though, everyone's body is different, and just because a diet book is on the best-seller list doesn't mean its program will work for you. "Some people thrive on a strictly high-protein diet, while others do great with fruits, grains, and beans," says Jillian. "You've got to ask yourself questions: When I eat meat, do I feel sluggish or agitated? When I eat fruit, do I feel satiated? Sometimes it takes a lot of trial and error to find the right combination of foods. And as a trainer, I've learned that you also have to take human frailty into account. If you can't bear the idea of giving up bread, choose whole grain and try to eat it with some protein." The protein, she explains, will slow the breakdown of the bread so its carbs won't cause your blood sugar to spike and then—as so often happens—crash, making you hungry again for something starchy.

7. Don't ever starve yourself.
Dieting means cutting calories, but less isn't always more. "One of the biggest misconceptions I've seen—including among the women I'm training on the show—is that the less you eat, the more weight you'll lose," says Jillian. "Maybe at first. But your body will think you're dying from lack of food, and your metabolism will adjust by slowing to a crawl." Most women should never eat less than 1,200 calories a day.

8. Outsmart your exercise excuses.
A routine you'll actually stick to has to have elements that appeal to you. If you love being outdoors, try hiking or walking somewhere inspiring—a beach, a park, a historic neighborhood. You also need to assess what motivates you. If you get competitive and push yourself more when you're around others, join a gym, take a class, or play a sport like tennis or softball. If you're good at finding reasons to skip a session, make a commitment to do something with friends, so you can't back out without letting everyone down.

9. Don't forget the weights.
The best fitness routine includes a combination of heart-rate-boosting exercise like jogging or stair-stepping and resistance training, which means either lifting weights or using gym equipment. Cardio burns the fat; resistance training creates shape and increases muscle mass—and the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism runs, even when you're resting.

10. Start with baby steps.
Working out for 20 minutes a day isn't enough to get you buff, but "even that will start speeding up your metabolism," says Jillian. "Walk to a local restaurant during lunch hour, walk the dog, walk to the convenience store. The idea is to get moving."

Bob couldn't agree more. "Thinking, I can't get in shape because I don't have two hours a day to exercise is just another excuse for doing nothing," he says. "Start small, because small can only get bigger. Starting big means burning out, blowing out, getting hurt—another reason to stop."

11. Tough it out.
Accept that the early days of a fitness program may not be fun. "You've just got to push through," says Jillian. "Your body is an amazing machine. After two weeks, the walk that used to have you sucking wind won't even tire you. It took only that long for the women on The Biggest Loser to discover they could do exercises they initially found impossible. By the end of the first month, you'll see some pretty significant changes. That's when I get calls from my clients: 'Oh my God, I felt my hip bone!'"

12. Don't expect dramatic weight loss to continue.
Depending on where you're starting from, "during the first two weeks of a new diet and fitness routine, you can drop as much as 15 pounds," says Bob. "After that, it tends to be one to two pounds a week. But everyone hits plateaus, which means that you can diet and exercise religiously for weeks without losing any weight at all. You just have to stay strong and ride it out. Life is all about ebbs and flows, and if you stick to your program, the weight will start coming back off."

13. Keep your body guessing.
Constantly surprising your body will help you avoid those weight loss stalls and get you out of them if they do occur. "You want to keep your food intake fluctuating, so your body never quite adjusts," Jillian says. "With women trying to lose weight, I like to vary it by around 400 calories. One day they'll eat 1,700 calories, then drop to 1,300 for two days, then two at 1,500, and one at 1,700 again."

The same principle holds true for exercise. "At first doing the exact same thing over and over is fine," says Bob. "You'll see results, which will keep you motivated. Eventually, though, at around four weeks, you'll need to vary the routine or your body will get used to what it's doing. But the smallest change can make a huge difference. If you've been walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes, slow your pace by half and increase the incline. If you're riding a stationary bike on the manual setting, switch to a program that imitates climbing hills. At one point, the contestants on The Biggest Loser had been doing barbell curls for a few weeks. So I had them change to just holding the barbells for five minutes without letting them drop. They couldn't believe it—it was killing them!"

14. Visualize long-term change, not deprivation.
"My clients, particularly those who have to lose a lot of weight, are often very angst-ridden when they start," says Bob. "They say, 'You're going to take away the food I love! You're going to make me do things I don't want to do, which is why nothing has ever worked for me!' I try to get them to relaaaax. This isn't about beating yourself down but lifting yourself up. It involves realizing why your eating has gotten out of control and starting to think about food differently. In fact, when my clients get close to their goal weights, I often give them one day a week to eat whatever they like—popcorn, M&M's. Losing weight and keeping it off means balance—not going without treats for the rest of your life."

15. Learn to hit the pause button.
Part of changing your eating patterns requires altering your reflexes. "When you find yourself thinking, I'm going to get an ice cream cone because I've had such a bad day, just stop," Bob says. "Take a moment and ask yourself, Am I really hungry? Do I really want this? Why do I want it? The pause gets you thinking instead of simply acting on impulse."

If it turns out that what you're feeling is something other than hunger, Jillian adds, find a nonfood treat. "Instead of eating the ice cream, reward yourself with a manicure, massage, or bubble bath. Do something positive, healthy—something that makes you feel beautiful and is incompatible with breaking yourself down."

16. Just forget about your thighs.
Try viewing exercise as helping you increase what you're able to do, rather than fixing a "flawed" body part. "Whenever I start working with women, I hear complaints like 'My thighs are too big' or 'What can I do about my butt?'" says Bob. "Once you get someone moving, however, that can change to, 'Wow, I never knew how weak I was.' Being aware of a flaw can be good for getting you started, but it's more productive to think about being fit and healthy than about how you look."

When you become aware of how physically strong you can be, adds Jillian, "it translates into all other areas of your life."

14. Don't be afraid to take a break.
"If your legs are feeling heavy and you're constantly sore, you've been overtraining," says Jillian. "Take some time out, up your calories by 10 percent, relax. Let your system recuperate." Otherwise you're at risk of hitting a plateau or burning out and giving up.

18. Consider calling in professional help.
Personal trainers can be invaluable if you're a rank beginner, have hit the doldrums, or worry that you can't stay motivated on your own. Depending on where you live and how long the trainer has been in business, the cost can be as little as $25 an hour or as much as $300. Sometimes one or two sessions are all you need to get on track. When deciding on a trainer, look for certification by organizations like the International Sports Sciences Association, the National Endurance & Sports Trainers Association, the American Council on Exercise, American College of Sports Medicine, the American Fitness Training of Athletics, or the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. Ask the trainer about his or her background. "Is this an actor or someone with other aspirations? If so, move on," says Jillian. "Get references and call them. A trial session can tell you whether your individual needs and goals will be addressed or if you'll just be thrown into a one-size-fits-all routine. Finally, you have to ask yourself, Is this someone I like? Someone who'll inspire me? Someone I'll want to see at 6 in the morning? If you're thinking of joining a gym because it provides personal trainers, "ask for a free week of private training before you sign the contract," says Bob. And make sure that gym trainers, too, have the proper credentials.

19. Don't even think about those gimmicks.
"Any gadget that promises you a rock-hard butt and firm abs in two minutes a day is a waste of money," says Bob. "Fitness doesn't happen overnight."

20. Keep your perspective.
Don't count on getting the spectacular body of a movie star—unless, that is, you were blessed with a naturally great figure. And certainly don't blame yourself for not measuring up (or down, as the case may be). "Celebrities have private chefs; trainers like me working with them 24 hours a day, six days a week; and plastic surgeons to fix whatever problems are left," says Jillian. And then there's good lighting, airbrushing, and all sorts of photographic wizardry. "Hollywood," she adds, "is a very small piece of the world. It is not reality."


Swimming to lose weight

Swimming helps lose weight, burn calories and puts little stress on your body. Swimming works all the major muscles, and will tone you up and slim you down!
You can train to swim at a competitive level or you can enjoy a few healthy lengths at your local pool; you decide how much you want to achieve in swimming and set your own pace.
Whatever level you choose, swimming is good for you and it's never too late to learn or improve your swimming skills. A relaxing form of exercise means weight lost by swimming is fun too!
Many public pools now offer swimming combined with aerobics , (aqua-aerobics), to help lose weight. This is high impact aerobics without the high impact. Aqua-aerobics (or swim-nastics) will help to shed those pounds, and tone you!

What are the benefits of swimming to aid weight loss?

Swimming burns calories, so helps you lose weight and swimming for weight loss has been regularly praised for its cardiovascular health benefits, especially for older people.
As swimming uses so many muscles in your body, your heart and lungs must work hard to supply them all with oxygen. This means that swimming will give your cardiovascular system an excellent workout.
Any exercise that makes you breathe a little heavier is good because it means your body is working hard!  As your heart and lungs get stronger you will be able to go for longer before you get tired, your resting heart rate will decrease and blood pressure will lower.
Regular swimming when losing weight will improve your health and may reduce the risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. The NHS choices website offers more information.

Can swimming improve your figure and muscle tone?

Swimming is known to be one of the best all round aerobic exercises because it works all the major muscle groups so targets every area of your body.
There are 4 main strokes to choose from:
  • Freestyle
  • Breaststroke
  • Backstroke
  • Butterfly
and you can tailor your swimming sessions to exercise specific areas of your body.

Will swimming improve strength?

Swimming provides constant resistance exercise as you are battling against the water to propel your body forward. This makes it excellent for increasing strength especially in the upper body.
As your swimming progresses you will build muscle which in turn burns fat. So calories will be burned as you swim, plus you will burn more calories as your swimming improves.
You will also burn an increased amount of calories even after the exercise is finished as your body uses energy to recover and rebuild muscle tissue.

Will swimming improve flexibility?

Due to the nature of the movement when performing swimming strokes it can aid in improving the flexibility of the muscles and joints.

What are the other benefits of swimming?

  • Top athletes use swimming to aid recovery from injury as it is low impact but still builds excellent muscular and cardiovascular endurance. So if you have had an accident and want to get back into exercising, taking up swimming is an ideal way to do that.
  • It’s fun. You don’t have to just do length after length in the pool. Things like treading water burns calories too. So if you have kids take them down to the pool and enjoy it. It will be excellent for their health too.
  • Swimming can be relaxing and give you a little ‘me’ time away from it all. Burning calories might be the last thing on your mind but what an excellent bonus.
  • You could also join a water aerobics class if lane swimming isn’t your thing. These are held in most pools so check in and ask at your local centre to find out more. Or alternatively maybe you fancy giving water polo a try.

How many Calories will Swimming Burn?

Depending on your weight and exertion level you'll burn between 90-550 extra calories in a half-hour session.

Getting Started with Swimming

If you are unsure of how to start, then our handy tips will get you on your way…
  • Check out your local pool; most public pools have separate times for different groups - adults only / men only / women only / mother and toddlers
  • Try to set aside time at least once a week when you will go swimming.
  • Remember to warm up and stretch before you swim off as the large range of rotation around the joints from swimming means you need your muscles to be long and flexible.
  • Don’t forget your legs, which are often overlooked when swimming.  Stretching them will reduce drag in the water by improving your form and also help prevent cramp.
  • Get a friend to join you if this will help motivate you.
  • Start off by swimming a few lengths of the pool and build up the distance each week.
  • Change your strokes to add interest and exert yourself in different ways.
  • To begin with have breaks every few lengths to get your breath back. Each session decrease the duration of this break until you can cut them out entirely and swim nonstop.
  • Look out at your local pool for news of swimming clubs which normally cater for all age groups.

Swimming Kit Bag

  • Costume/Trunks - There are hundreds available, you decide which you feel most comfortable in.
  • Goggles - Improve vision and prevent chlorine irritating the eyes.
  • Ear plugs- useful if you don’t like to get water in your ears, or if you're susceptible to ear infections.
  • Water Bottle – Remember you are exercising so need to keep your body hydrated.  Keep this at the end of your lane so that you can drink in your breaks.

Safety when Swimming

Even in a pool with lifeguards, there are dangers and more so if you a learner or not a strong swimmer:
  • Do not get out of your depth.
  • Have respect for other swimmers and give them enough space to go by if they are faster.
  • Take extra care when swimming in the sea or lakes / open water.

And Finally, if you can’t swim…

Do not worry as many pools offer adult-only beginner lessons so have a look at your local leisure centre to see what is available; pensioner’s  and children’s rates  will often be heavily discounted.


For Obese Teen Girls, Aerobic Exercise May Trump Resistance Training in Health Benefits

Obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the United States in the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The growing rate of childhood obesity is a major health concern since overweight and obese youth are at increased risk of developing several diseases once considered reserved for adults. These new pediatric diseases include type-2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which fat builds up in the liver, potentially impairing its function over time.

Although both diet and exercise have been considered as first lines to treat childhood obesity, SoJung Lee of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and her colleagues recently showed that when obese adolescent boys increased physical activity alone, they improved several markers of health. These include reducing total fat, fat packed around organs in the abdomen (known as visceral fat, a risk factor for diabetes), and liver fat, and improving fitness of their heart and lungs.
To see if physical activity might work in the same way for obese adolescent girls, Lee and her colleagues performed a new study that compared the health effects of two different types of exercise -- aerobic exercise and weight lifting -- over three months to remaining sedentary. Although their results show beneficial effects for both types of exercise, the researchers found that girls who performed aerobic exercise, but not weight lifting, had significant reductions in visceral fat and liver fat, as well as improvements in insulin sensitivity, another risk factor for diabetes that's linked with obesity.
The article is entitled "Aerobic Exercise But Not Resistance Exercise Reduces Intrahepatic Lipid Content and Visceral Fat and Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Adolescent Girls." It appears in the online edition of the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, published by the American Physiological Society.
The researchers recruited 44 obese girls between 12 and 18 years old. They separated these volunteers into three groups. One group was assigned to perform 60 minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week for three months, either running on a treadmill or using an elliptical trainer. A second group was assigned to perform the same amount of resistance exercise, but instead participated in aerobic exercise program, doing 10 whole body resistance exercises using weight machines over the course of each hour-long session. A third group was asked not to participate in any structured physical activity program over the course of the study. Before the exercise programs began, all the study participants had a detailed physical exam, which included measuring their total fat, visceral fat, liver fat, and fat embedded in their muscles through various noninvasive means. The researchers also measured the volunteers' insulin sensitivity, a risk factor for diabetes, as well as basic health measures including weight and physical fitness.
The researchers found that those in both exercise groups had less total fat and intramuscular fat by the end of the three-month study period compared to the sedentary group. However, the two exercise groups differed significantly in other measures. Overall, those in the aerobic exercise group lost visceral and liver fat and improved their insulin sensitivity, but those in the other groups didn't.
Importance of the Findings
These findings suggest that for teen girls, aerobic exercise might be superior to resistance exercise for cutting health risks associated with obesity. They also note that, anecdotally, girls in the aerobic exercise group seemed to enjoy their workouts more than those in the resistance exercise group, an opposite sentiment from the obese boys in their previous study.
"Therefore, given the superior improvements in metabolic health with aerobic exercise and the enjoyment factor, we propose that aerobic exercise may be a better mode of exercise for adolescent girls of this age group," they write.


Quick Weightloss Tips from Celebrities

#15 Beyonce

The singer believes that abstinence from junk food makes the waistline grow thinnner:

"'I eat a lot of green vegetables. I don't eat red meat or bread, and I don't drink alcohol."

By switching to a healthier eating plan, Beyonce gets the nutrition and energy she needs to stay fit for music tours. 

#14 Jennifer Garner

If carbs are the love of your life, you'll never really let go. Still, you're not alone. Jennifer Garner's diet trick is to satisfy her craving with healthy carbs:

"I can't not have carbs. If I'm going to have potatoes, I'll have sweet potatoes and I won't fry them."

It takes 7 weeks for tastebuds to change. Swap fries for grilled sweet potatoes or other, healthier carbs for that long and you'll never look back.

#13 Mariska Hargitay

Sometimes its all about the snacks. Mariska Hargitay diets her way to a healthier bod by trading junk for healthier options:

"No more chocolate, and I'm finally off the Pringles. Now, I love tropical fruit. My favorites are mango, kiwi, and papaya. They remind me of Hawaii. Fruit in the morning makes me feel light."

A simple snack swap could cut hundreds of calories off of your diet. Give it a week and you'll start to see the pounds come off.

#12 Elizabeth Hurley

Sometimes you have to drop pounds for a movie role in short order.

When the time comes, Elizabeth Hurley turns to the Watercress Soup Diet. She credits the soup-only diet with helping her lose 10 pounds in 7days.

The Watercress Soup Diet may be effective, but inadvisable as a long-term strategy. Living on soup can lead to nutrient deficiency, fatigue and a significant weight rebound once you start eating sensibly again.

#11 Tina Fey

The funny woman's diet tip is to leave it to the pros:

"When I was 29, I lost about 35 pounds. I did it through Weight Watchers. That's when I learned how to eat properly for the first time. Before, I used to be one of those people who wouldn't eat all day, then would eat a piece of cake at 4 p.m., have McDonald's at 10 p.m., and then go to bed."

A little investment now could permanently change your eating habits. And who doesn't want to put a stop to yo-yo dieting?

#10 Angelina Jolie

The action movie star has a special trick to slim down for upcoming roles:

"I eat steamed sea bass or steamed beef and vegetables, and I have no sugar, and only drink soy milk."

It's pretty bland, but the lack of flavor ensures that you only eat when you're hungry.

#9 J-Lo

The latina legend says her biggest secret is simple: moderation.

Jennifer Lopez says she eats what she wants but in diet-friendly portions:

"I'm not obsessive about my diet, but the one thing I don't do is overeat. I can limit the chocolate chip cookies to one or two."

While moderation sounds overly simple, its a great way to monitor your waistline while still enjoying the foods you love.

#8 Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba's diet secret is viewing food as preventative medicine:

"High blood pressure and cholesterol run in my family. From a young age, I knew that most people with problems that go along with these conditions can be fixed through diet and exercise. I altered my diet by eating lean protein, like chicken or fish, and lots of fruits and veggies. During the day I'll have some dried fruit, or a chocolate or strawberry frozen yogurt, but I try to steer clear of desserts and bread."

Sticking to healthy, nutritious option makes it hard to go wrong.

#7 Catherine Zeta-Jones

Catherine's quick weightloss after the birth of her baby had the rumor mill atwitter. But Catherine Zeta-Jones' diet plan was simple.

She modified the popular Atkins diet by banishing carbs after 5pm and drinking skim milk.

Adding your own personal modifications to a diet plan may provide better results and a great likelihood that you'll stick to it.

#6 Brooke Burke

Brooke keeps her body bikini ready by upping her water intake.

It sounds laughably simple, but there's science behind it. A 2010 Virginia Tech study found that participants who drank two cups of water before each meal lost roughly 5 pounds more on average than those who didn't.

#5 Heidi Klum

How does the supermodel celebrity keep thin after three kids?

By outlawing bread. Sticking to friendlier carbs and whole foods helps Heidi look remarkably thin and healthy.

Toss the loaf and focus on veggies, fruit, grains and proteins if you aspire to Heidi's physique.

#4 Kelly Osbourne

Remember Ms. Osbourne's dramatic weightloss. Kelly attributes it to a carb-free diet with a special trick: pickles.

"When you're on a diet and you can't have carbs, what you crave is the texture of bread or the crispiness of a potato chip. What really helps with that is pickles. It stopped me from eating more!"

The next time you're struggling to adjust to diet restrictions, try to find a low-calorie substitute food that satisfies your yen without putting you off course.

#3 Claudia Schiffer

Claudia Schiffer keeps her body in supermodel condition by starting each day with a fruit cleanse.

Says Schiffer, "I eat lots of fruit for breakfast because it's cleansing and quickly digested by the body."

Front loading the first part of your day with fresh fruit is a great way to cut down on calories. Follow with a veggie-heavy lunch and protein rich dinner to balance out the day.

#2 Denise Richards

How do you pull off looking better in a bikini at 40 than you did at 20?

Denise combines exercise with an "80 percent vegetarian diet" dolled out in several small meals a day.

Eating every few hours is a great way to keep your metabolism running at top speed.

I do splurge on ice cream and I love pretzels. My abs get the best workout with my Pilates reformer -- I had two C-sections and it was the only thing I found that got my tummy flat.

#1 Cynthia McFadden

Cynthia McFadden is living proof that sacrifice pays off. The news anchor lost 35 pounds simply by depriving herself of the foods she loved:

"I stopped eating everything that I like. My idea of the perfect meal is pasta with a baked potato and some bread. But instead, I ate a lot of fish and veggies and lost 35 pounds."

Depriving yourself of the foods you crave sounds tough. However, it can help rewire your mind to think about food as fuel, not as a pound-gathering treat.