Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Best Weight Loss Nutrients

(Article first published as Nutrients for Weight Loss Success on Technorati.)
New research from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that resveratrol has a powerful effect on our metabolism and our ability to effectively lose weight. This is great news for the millions of Americans who are overweight or obese and need help dropping pounds to reduce their risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many types of cancer.

It’s important to understand that nutrients can assist with healthy weight loss, but are not a substitute for a well balanced, reduced calorie diet and regular exercise. Nutrients such as Resveratrol and Vitamin D work at the cellular level to burn fat by increasing metabolism, preventing new fat cells from forming and reducing body inflammation.

Drink Red Wine, Eat Grapes and Lose Weight
Resveratrol has evolved as a powerful protective mechanism to certain plants, providing them with defenses against natural enemies. Best known as the key ingredient behind the ‘French Paradox’, whereby people eating a relatively unhealthy diet are protected against heart disease and cancer, resveratrol has now been shown to inhibit the production of new fat cells.

This works at the genetic level, as resveratrol triggers a special anti-aging gene known as Sirt1. When Sirt1 is positively expressed by eating a healthy reduced calorie diet, a cascade of survival mechanisms kick in which have evolved to keep up alive in lean times. Research demonstrates that resveratrol can mimic the effect of eating a low calorie diet and spring the Sirt1 gene into action, halting new fat cells from forming. Resveratrol is a powerful tool to compliment your healthy dietary lifestyle. It’s recommended to supplement with 50 to 100 mg daily.

The Sunshine Vitamin is Essential for Weight Loss
Vitamin D is one of the best studied nutrients, shown to reduce the risk of many potentially fatal diseases. Vitamin D is a fat soluble substance, meaning it’s stored in our fat cells for later use. Researchers are still working to determine whether obesity causes Vitamin D deficiency or if Vitamin D deficiency results in obesity, but the results are conclusive. The amount of Vitamin D circulating in your blood is directly related to the amount of weight lost when following a reduced calorie diet.

Vitamin D is actually a hormone which is required by every cell in the body, and scientists believe it holds the key to how our cells replicate. 80% of adults are Vitamin D deficient when tested, which may hold a significant key to our skyrocketing obesity problem. Now we know that it exerts a strong effect on how fat is stored and released. Reduce the risk of serious illness and drive weight loss by having your blood tested and supplement with 4000 to 6000 IU of Vitamin D daily.

Healthy weight loss is difficult for 95% of those who have tried in vain, but failed. Eating a well-balanced, reduced calorie diet and physical activity are prerequisites to lose weight, yet many people need something more. New science is providing an answer. Resveratrol and Vitamin D may be the trigger to stimulate metabolism and reduce inflammation naturally, leading to permanent weight loss and a new lease on life.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Exercises for Fast Weight Loss

(Article first published as Top Weight Loss Exercises to Burn Fat on Technorati.)
Lack of physical activity and poor dietary lifestyle are having a devastating effect on our health and longevity. As the number of Americans falling in the overweight or obese range approaches 3 out of every 4 children and adults, health conscious individuals understand the importance of eating healthy and increasing exercise intensity to lose weight and live a longer life.

While limiting the type and quantity of calories consumed is essential to any weight loss program, the type and duration of exercise performed on a regular basis provides the fuel to burn fat and improve the critical bio-markers of health.

Resistance training and aerobic conditioning are the two key forms of exercise, and both should be combined as part of a routine to improve overall health. To fuel quick weight loss, the following cardio exercises are proven to deliver results.

Running and Jogging
There is no better form of exercise to burn fat than running and jogging. There’s no special equipment required and local roads provide the perfect training environment. Add in hilly terrain or increase speed to have a major impact on fat metabolism. Running can burn 600 to 1000 calories per hour, but may not be for everyone due to the risk of knee injury.

Bicycling is an excellent choice to drop extra pounds, and provides a low impact lower body workout. Depending on the course, biking can burn 500 to 1000 calories in an hour and it requires minimal training. Cycling is a fun form of exercise, and risk of injury can be minimized by wearing a helmet and choosing a route with minimal traffic.

Swimming is a low impact cross-training aerobic exercise which works all major muscle groups. Working against the resistance of the water helps to build endurance which increases metabolism for many hours after the exercise is finished. Swimming for 30 minutes will burn up to 400 calories, has a low risk of injury and is just plain fun.

Step Aerobics
Step aerobics provides a high intensity lower body workout which increases heart rate and lowers blood pressure, both contribute to lowered risk of heart disease. Step equipment is inexpensive and when combined with invigorating dance music, makes an ideal tool in your weight loss arsenal. Try joining a structured class for motivation and to meet new friends with a common interest.

Walking is the most popular form of exercise, as it appeals to all age groups and requires no special equipment. Studies confirm that walking at a moderate to fast pace lowers the risks of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer when done for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Although walking may not burn calories as quickly as other aerobic exercises, it does lead to steady weight loss, burning close to 200 calories in 30 minutes.

Fuel your weight loss regimen by combining a reduced calorie diet with an aerobic conditioning exercise program. For best results, find a family member or friend who can provide the necessary motivation you’ll need to make this a permanent lifestyle change. Exercise is the essential key to a slimmer you, and a healthier life.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Permanent Weight Loss For Life

(Article first published as Lose Weight and Keep it Off on Technorati.)
Many people understand the basic mechanics of weight loss – reduce calories and increase physical activity. If the solution is that simple, why has the number of overweight and obese individuals swollen to nearly three-quarters of the US adult population? The answer is far from simple, but clearly our nutrient poor diet and sedentary lifestyle are having a significant impact on our health and inability to drop weight.

Permanent weight loss is achieved by controlling calories and increasing physical activity. While these steps are proven to work, only a very small percentage of dieters are able to keep the weight off for good. Those who have tried to lose weight and failed can benefit from a multi-step approach which targets the root cause of stubborn fat deposits.

Don’t Drink Your Calories

Sugared drinks are a significant source of empty calories, and many people don’t even realize that as much as 25% of their total calories each day come in liquid form. Diet sodas are not the answer either, as research indicates that artificial sweeteners can alter our metabolism, halting weight loss. The best choice is to drink plenty of water (filtered if from a municipal system) or tea. Drinking 3 to 5 cups of tea each day has been shown to help trigger the release of stored fat, as well as improving chemical biomarkers for heart disease risk.

No Diet Pills: Use Natural Supplements
Diet pills marketers have created a multi-billion dollar industry which rarely produces weight loss results, and can jeopardize your health. These products work by artificially increasing heart rate and metabolism. This can result in a small temporary weight loss which is quickly regained after stopping the program. DHA Omega 3 fats from fish oil have been shown to reduce levels of inflammation in fat cells, meaning digested fat is burned instead of being stored. CLA is another addition to your weight loss arsenal, as it is proven to convert stored fat into lean muscle mass.

Eat Only When Hungry
This may sound like common sense, but we eat huge quantities of food out of boredom and not hunger. Eat 3 to 5 small meals per day, being certain to monitor portion and total calories. You should not become hungry between meals. Frequently we mistake thirst for hunger. When you think you’re receiving a hunger signal outside of meal time, drink an 8 ounce glass of water or tea and wait 10 minutes. More often than not, the hunger sensation was a misinterpreted demand for fluids. Feed your thirst and the sensation will disappear, as you avoid the high calorie snack attack.

There’s no substitute for calorie restriction and regular exercise when trying to lose weight, and any suggestion that a fad diet or pill will cause permanent weight loss is not in your best interest. Compliment your weight loss efforts with the addition of these important steps which will help you to shed those pounds for good. You’ll find you can keep the weight off for good as you improve your overall health and quality of life.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hit Your Weight Loss Goal

(Article first published as Why You Can't Lose Weight on Technorati.)
American’s are waging a losing battle against overweight and obesity, despite the best efforts of many who have tried time and again to lose weight and failed. Two-thirds of those people indicate they’re on some type of weight reduction program, yet 95% will be unable to maintain any type of weight loss for more than a year.

Most people trying to lose weight understand that a healthy diet and exercise are essential to drop pounds, but despite their best efforts, sustainable weight loss is beyond reach. It’s important to understand the reasons which prevent weight loss, as well as the steps which should be followed to help trigger the body’s metabolism into fat burning action.

Underestimating Calories
In a study by the USDA, 80% of participants underestimated the number of calories consumed in a day by 700. The most common miscalculation is in serving size, especially when judging the highest calories items such as desserts, breads and pasta. Always use a dietary scale to weigh food items and keep track of everything you eat using a dietary log.

Balance Fat Intake
Fats have been maligned for the last half century because of a poor understanding of this essential nutrient. The problem is with the type of fats we eat. Highly processed or overcooked trans-fats from frying are typically coupled with refined carbohydrates, leading to a recipe for weight gain. Replace trans-fats with oils in their natural state, especially Omega-3 fats from fish, nuts and seeds. The body will use these fats for cellular construction and not for fat storage.

Eat Protein for Breakfast Everyday
Many people trying to lose weight will cut breakfast, thinking they’ll be better off without the calories. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Studies show that when breakfast is skipped, people will make up the calorie deficit plus an additional 25% in meals later in the day. Additionally, there is a much greater tendency to snack between meals. Eat breakfast every day, and be sure to include a healthy protein source, as this will initiate your fat burning metabolism which remains fueled through the day.

Cut the Carbs
The primary source of excess calories in the typical diet is from refined carbohydrates. Begin by substituting that order of fries for a double serving of vegetables. You’ll get half the calories, twice the nutrition and will feel more satisfied. Most people consume less than half the servings of vegetables and are nutritionally deficient. The body has an amazing ability to gauge the vitamins and minerals we eat, and will alter our metabolism toward fat storage when we’re deficient. Continue to cut servings of breads, fries and sweets in favor of raw leafy vegetables to drop pounds quickly.

Eat Enough, But Not Late at Night
When people begin a weight loss plan, they sometimes reduce calories very quickly and to insufficient levels so the body thinks it’s starving. The body holds onto precious fat reserves by slowing down our metabolism, making it impossible to lose weight. Men and women should eat a well balanced, healthy diet of 1500 and 1200 calories per day respectively to avoid the starvation mode plateau. Also, be certain to avoid eating anything within 3 hours of going to bed, to ensure full digestion and a good night’s sleep.

Make it a Lifestyle!
The only way you will achieve sustained weight loss is to view your new eating and fitness program as a permanent lifestyle change. The top mistake made by 95% of dieters is that they’re making short term modifications to reach a number on the scale, and then will revert back once they hit their goal. This guarantees the weight will return, plus a few pounds for survival insurance. Set in your mind this is how you need to live your life for the rest of your life, and enjoy the happy and healthy benefits of permanent weight loss.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Best Weight Loss Exercises

(Article first published as Weight Loss Exercises That Deliver Results on Technorati.)
There are many ways people can choose to lose weight, including dangerous fad diets and metabolism boosting diet pills. In order to achieve permanent and healthy weight loss, only calorie restriction and exercise  have been proven to deliver sustainable results. Short term weight loss can be more harmful in the long run due to toxins which are released during the yo-yo diet cycle.

Aside from a well balanced calorie restricted diet, several different forms of exercise have been shown to deliver powerful weight loss results. The first step is to center your diet around plenty of nutrient rich raw greens and vegetables, and feel comfortable with your new modified dietary lifestyle.

After two weeks, you won’t miss the refined carbohydrates, sweets and fried foods. Next, take your health to a new level by adding regular exercise to your routine. Combine resistance and cardio exercises from the following categories on alternating days for fun, motivation and maximum weight loss.

Resistance Training Builds Muscle and Burns Fat
Resistance training consists of exercises which use either weight machines or free weights. Research has shown that as little as 20 minutes per day of multi-rep routines which work all major muscle groups has the same weight loss and health benefits as 45 minutes of cardio type activity.

•    Free Weight Exercises: Constant Resistance
Free weight exercises typically use one or two hand held weights or barbells. Free weight routines are popular because they require minimal cost and can be performed in the comfort of your own home. Target the chest, arms, legs and abdomen and be sure to begin with a 5 minute warm up stretch to avoid risk of injury.

•    Resistance Bands: Accommodating Resistance
Resistance bands are another popular form of training which uses elastic bands to flex and build muscle. This type off exercise is ideal as it can be performed anywhere, and provides effective spot toning to all body parts. There are a variety of expensive machines on the market, but the best results are achieved using low cost bands which are available in levels from 5 up to 300 pounds of resistance.

•    Weight Machines: Variable Resistance
Exercise machines are usually high end devices which are found at the gym. Examples are rowing equipment and pulley weight systems. The resistance level changes continually during the exercise motion, building muscle as the rep intensifies. This type of training specifically targets muscle growth, and would be less appropriate for those looking to lose weight.

Melt Fat with Cardio Training
Cardio training is any type of exercise that raises the heart rate over an extended period of time. Cardio benefits include reduced risk of heart attack, stroke and metabolic syndrome which leads to diabetes. While still an important part of any fitness program, studies show that optimal health and weight loss benefits are not realized until you have trained for at least 30 minutes a day, but this can be spread over multiple sessions. The key is to increase exercise intensity until you break a sweat, but can still carry on a normal conversation.

•    Walking, Jogging and Running
Walking and jogging is by far the most common form of cardio exercise. For the average person, walking burns about 100 calories per mile, so it must be done consistently and at a brisk pace to fuel weight loss. Most people should avoid jogging and running due to the risk of knee injury and the potential for overexertion.

•    Aerobics
Step aerobics has become the most popular type of aerobic activity, as it requires minimal investment and can burn up to 800 calories per hour. Find a structured fitness class which provides motivation, high powered dance music and new friends.

•    Cycling
Cycling is another fun exercise which can burn 500 to 1000 calories per hour. Take to the streets on a bicycle, or use a stationary cycle.

The weight loss benefits of a solid exercise program are indisputable. Once you’ve mastered your new dietary lifestyle, begin a fitness routine and choose a variety of different exercises from the resistance training and cardio offerings. Alternate different exercises on different days to keep it fun and be sure to condition all the major muscle groups. While neither diet or exercise alone will lead to permanent, healthy weight loss, combining both is a recipe for your weight loss success.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention Steps

(Article first published as Prevent Alzheimer's Disease on Technorati.)
Alzheimer’s disease now affects more than 5 million Americans, and research projects that number will triple to more than 15 million by 2050. This dreaded memory-robbing disease is feared more than any other disease by most people, as it hits at the core of our being, stealing treasured experiences and our most basic identity.

While there is a genetic link for a small subset of patients who develop Alzheimer’s disease, the vast majority are victims of poor lifestyle choices which are at the root of this condition. As medical science races to find a pharmaceutical cure, experts agree that there are a number of healthy changes which should be adopted to dramatically reduce the risk of falling victim to this insidious affliction.

Controlling the Risk Factors
Four key factors have been identified which directly affect the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease:

•    Chronic stress throughout adult life quadruples incidence in later life.
•    Obesity in midlife increases Alzheimer’s disease by 3 ½ times.
•    Uncontrolled diabetes is related to a twofold increase in disease
•    Smoking ups the risk factor by 79%

Each of these factors can and should be controlled to dramatically reduce or virtually eliminate the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Many of the top diseases which claim the lives of Americans today are caused by poor diet and lifestyle, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke. Prevention is the key, as all of these diseases are much more difficult to treat once they’re diagnosed. Making relatively simple changes earlier in life can have a profound effect on development of Alzheimer’s disease and longevity.

Exercise Your Body and Brain
Physical activity is good for both the muscles and the brain. Exercise helps regulate blood sugar uptake to the cells and insulin sensitivity, and both when poorly controlled contribute to diabetes and Alzheimer’s risk. Moderate cardio and resistance training on most days of the week helps build muscle mass and improves cognitive health. To exercise the brain, pick up a good book or challenge yourself by learning a new skill. Forcing the brain to build new memory pathways will assist short term memory and improve retention.

Adopt a Healthy Diet
Reduce total calories consumed and eliminate refined carbohydrates, sugary drinks and pastries. Many refer to Alzheimer’s disease as “diabetes of the brain”, as it is characterized by inflammation and insulin resistance which affects communications between neurons. Diet is the best way to reduce these risks. Eat a rainbow of different raw vegetables, nuts, seeds and unprocessed or cooked oils. Be sure to include Omega-3 fats from fish or fish oil supplements, as these provide the building blocks for brain cell wall construction.

Relax and Reduce Stress Factors
Lifelong, chronic stress appears to have a significant impact on the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Stress increases cortisol, a powerful hormone which can hamper nerve cell growth and connections, leading to cognitive decline. Learn breathing techniques which increase brain oxygen levels and attenuate your response to stress. Take a 30 minute walk, meditate or learn yoga,as all are proven to reduce the stress factors that lead to disease proliferation.

Shield Your Brain
The brain is an amazing organ which is well protected by the skull and the blood-brain barrier. Still, it is vulnerable to physical injury and toxic assault. Always protect your head when competing in injury prone sporting events or when riding a bike or motorcycle. Research shows that a single traumatic brain injury early in life can double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease as you age. Get rid of synthetic toxic chemicals from around the house, including cleaning supplies, detergents and personal care items in favor of natural, organic substitutes. Over the course of decades, these chemicals build up in your tissues and can lead to dementia.

There are important steps which we all should take to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. It’s now understood that this form of dementia is largely caused by factors which are well within our control, and we can take charge of our diet and lifestyle to prevent our chances of becoming a grim statistic.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Permanent Weight Loss – Lose Weight and Keep It Off

(Article first published as Lose Weight and Keep It Off Permanently on Technorati.)
Over the past half century, Americans have experienced a metabolic pandemic, leading to a nearly 40% obesity rate among adults and risk of a shortened lifespan due to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Researchers believe that the current generation of children and young adults will the first to live shorter lives than their parents, should current levels of obesity and dietary negligence continue.

Many people become desperate to lose weight and try one of the fad diets, pills or starvation. While each may deliver short term results, none will deliver healthy or permanent weight loss. True weight loss is only achieved through a combination of calorie restriction and regular, moderate exercise. In order to keep the weight off permanently, you must develop a new way of thinking to go along with your new body.

Set Attainable Goals
When setting out to begin a weight loss program, set a goal which is realistically within your reach. Many people will target a weight which is 10% lower than is attainable given their age and physical condition. Set the target too low, and you set yourself up for failure. Studies show that the important health benefits from losing weight are realized by losing as little as 5 to 10 pounds. It's not a race, and only you will be the winner when you stabilize at a weight you can maintain.

Get Support from Family Members or Friends
Losing weight is just as much about diet and exercise as it is about emotions. Find a partner with the same mission, and walk together or participate in an exercise class. While it's your responsibility to take control of your weight loss program, the support and encouragement you receive from friends and family is invaluable as you are losing weight, and essential to keeping it off for life.

Commit to It
While starting a weight loss program is essential, you need to become committed to making the necessary changes to maintain your weight once you hit your goal. Yo-yo dieting is very common, and always leads to unsustainable weight loss because the necessary underlying commitment has never been established. Continual fluctuations in weight are also detrimental to long term health, leading to increased risk of heart disease and serious metabolic disorders.

Cut the Junk Food
The main reason most diets fail is excessive calories from junk food. Donuts, fried foods, fast foods sugary soda and refined sweets account for up to 75% of total calories for many people. These types of food are devastating, causing wild swings in blood sugar along with cravings to binge on more junk food. Before beginning your weight loss mission, eliminate these foods from your house to avoid temptation. After two weeks, you won't miss them and your scale will reward your effort.

Make a Permanent Lifestyle Change
This is the key to permanent weight loss. Make your new dietary and exercise habits a way of living. Understand that this is not a temporary change just to drop a few pounds, but a totally new lifestyle which will help you (and your family) to live a much longer and happier life. This is your ticket to avoid the years of unhealthy misery many people endure as they age.

Permanent weight loss is a difficult goal for most people. Less than 95% of those who begin a weight loss program keep it off for more than 5 years. Your body's genetically programmed survival mechanism will push you to eat excessively and store additional fat for lean times. You can overcome these signals by making a commitment to yourself and soliciting a network of family and friends. The end result will be a healthy life and permanent weight loss.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Top 10 Fat Burning Weight Loss Tips

(First Published as Top 10 Weight Loss Tips to Burn Fat on Technorati.)
As the number of overweight and obese Americans approaches three-quarters of all adults, dropping those extra pounds becomes a serious objective of many who are concerned with their long term health. For most, losing weight and keeping it off is a lifelong battle made more difficult with frequent on-the-run meals and failed fad diets.

Abdominal fat can be dangerous to health, as it increases the risk of heart attack, diabetes and certain cancers. Targeting belly fat has been shown to considerably reduce the incidence of health related concerns and provides for an improved level of self-esteem and confidence.

Fortunately there are a variety of steps which can help with overall weight loss and specifically eliminate stomach fat. Create your own weight reduction program by choosing from these fat burning tips.

Tip 1. Eat Smaller Meals Throughout the Day
Eating 2 or 3 larger meals per day causes the body’s metabolism to stall as it’s forced to process a higher number of calories. Eat 4 to 6 smaller meals each day and limit calories to no more than 300 to 400 at each sitting. Eat sensibly and avoid heavily processed foods in favor of natural choices including plenty of raw vegetables. Most important, never eat after 7 PM to allow complete digestion of your last meal before going to sleep.

Tip 2. Develop an Exercise Routine
To be successful in any weight loss plan, it’s essential to incorporate an exercise regimen. It doesn’t need to be strenuous, but must be done regularly on most days of the week. Use a combination of strength training and cardio to make it fun, and be sure to train for 20 to 30 minutes each session.

Tip 3. Eat at Home – Dine Out on Special Occasions
Most dieters have no concept of the excess calories they eat when dining out. Most restaurant meals include twice the number of calories as a home cooked meal. For weight loss to be successful, you must be able to control the healthy ingredients and quantity.

Tip 4. Drink Green Tea
Studies confirm that drinking tea, especially the less processed green tea boosts metabolism when you’re resting and specifically targets the release of stored fat. Brew the tea yourself to avoid the sugar added to prepackaged teas.

Tip 5. Drink More Water
Some dietary advocates promote the idea of drinking as much as 64 oz. of water daily. While the majority of studies don’t confirm this, they do indicate the importance of drinking water through the day. Water reduces fluid retention naturally and promotes the release of toxins from the body.

Tip 6. Eat Slowly and Enjoy Your Food
Slow down when eating to allow your brain to send the satiety signal so you know when to stop eating. You should enjoy your food and chew each bite a minimum of 20 times to aid the beginning of the digestive process.

Tip 7. Cut the Sweets and Refined Carbs
All calories are not created equal. Refined carbohydrates and sweets are broken down immediately upon eating, providing an immediate surge of blood sugar and the desire to eat again in a couple of hours. Slow release calories from vegetable and protein sources require much more energy to metabolize and are less likely to be stored as fat.

Tip 8. Use a Smaller Plate
Most dieters don’t even realize that the average dinner plate has gone from 9” to 12” in size. This means that 40% more food fits on your plate, and studies confirm that if it’s on the plate, it’s in your mouth.

Tip 9. Avoid Sugary Soft Drinks
The best place to begin cutting calories is in soft drinks. Each drink packs 150 to 200 calories, and most people consume several each day. Replacing sugared soft drinks with a no calorie substitute will result in losing 1 pound per week without any other changes.

Tip 10. Make These Changes Your New Lifestyle
Following these tips with the thought of short term weight loss can be beneficial, but it’s important to develop a totally new lifestyle which incorporates most or all of these tips. Start by making these changes for 15 days, and be strict. You’ll find that it becomes much easier as you go on, and the scale will provide encouragement.

All of these tips have been proven to deliver results. Follow as many as possible for maximum results, but don’t let one or two push you away from your ultimate goal of permanent weight loss. Losing fat, especially from the midsection is critically important to living a long and healthy life.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lose Weight with These Top Weight Loss Foods

(Article first published as Lose Weight and Burn Belly Fat with These Foods on Technorati.)
Many Americans are waging a personal war against obesity which continues as a leading threat to the overall health and wellbeing of millions. Obesity contributes to a twofold increase in the risk of heart attack, diabetes and certain cancers by increasing inflammation in the body.

Due largely to an exceedingly high sugar and refined carbohydrate diet, many people store fat in the belly. This is known as visceral fat which releases chemical messengers throughout the body when in excess. In an attempt to gain control, the body fights back by mounting an inflammatory response, increasing disease risk as a consequence.

The best way to lose weight is through a calorie-reduced, healthful diet, stress management and adequate physical activity. Fortunately there are a number of foods which help by increasing metabolism and stimulating the release of stored fat. These are essential ingredients for weight loss by targeting belly fat.

Eat Green to Lose Weight Naturally
The most important category of food for those looking to drop weight quickly is raw, dark green and leafy vegetables. They are extremely low in calories and fill you up quickly. The best part is that they release sugar into the bloodstream very slowly, so excess glucose does not convert to triglycerides and on to fat storage. The core of any weight loss diet should include large helpings of vegetables such as spinach, spring mix, cucumbers, onions, broccoli and cauliflower. Limit tomatoes and fruits as they are high in sugar and can impede the fat release process.

Choose Lean Meats and Unprocessed Fats
Lean meat protein sources such as turkey and chicken require additional energy to be metabolized by the body. When eaten in moderation, they will trigger the full signal meaning you stop eating sooner. For best weight loss results, limit calories from meat sources to no more than 10% of the daily total. Many people consume excessive amounts of protein which can lead to digestive problems and metabolic disorders in later life.

Raw, unprocessed fats are necessary for proper absorption of nutrients and actually can aid in the weight loss process. Fats from avocado, coconut, walnut and extra virgin olive oil slow the digestive process, as well as the rapid release of sugar from carbohydrates. You’ll naturally stop eating sooner and receive maximum benefit from the vitamins and minerals in your food. As fats are high in calories, be careful to keep total calories to less than 15%, and achieve the maximum weight loss boost.

Go Nuts to Lose Weight
Nuts are typically viewed as high in calories and fat, but should be considered as nature’s perfect food source. They provide a perfect balance of complete protein and monounsaturated fats while being very low in carbohydrates. Nuts eaten in moderation (about a handful a day) have been shown to boost metabolism and decrease fat mediated markers in the body. By replacing unhealthy processed fats with those from nuts, studies show that blood lipids are improved and heart healthy markers for systemic inflammation are brought in check.

Poor food choices are the main reason so many people are overweight and obese. Making the correct food selections and combined with a regular exercise program, many people can achieve permanent weight loss. This requires a stringent change to diet and lifestyle. Eat unlimited quantities of raw vegetables and limit certain fruits and all sweets and refined carbohydrates. Incorporate lean protein and unprocessed fats and nuts to create a well balanced and healthy diet which will lead to natural and sustainable weight loss for life.

Friday, June 11, 2010

5 Steps to Prevent Diabetes Naturally

(Article first published as Five Steps to Prevent Diabetes Naturally on Technorati.)
Type 2 diabetes continues to reach epidemic levels in America, doubling the risk of stroke and sudden death from a heart attack. This insidious disease attacks the body’s vascular system, causing metabolic imbalances which reduce quality of life and increase mortality from all causes.

New cases of diabetes are skyrocketing with diagnosis in children becoming all too common, predisposing them to a lifetime of suffering and a shortened lifespan. For the vast majority of people, Type 2 diabetes is a problem caused by poor food choices, and is best prevented and treated through a natural multi-step approach to diet and lifestyle.

Step 1. Monitor Post Meal Blood Sugar Levels
Type 2 diabetes is a disease characterized by excessive sugar circulating in the blood. The cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, and sugar uptake becomes inefficient leading to high blood sugar levels especially after eating. Research indicates that it is the surge of blood sugar after each meal which leads to metabolic dysfunction and ultimately to full blown diabetes. Further, the risk of devastating complications associated with diabetes increases as post meal blood sugar levels rise. Keep blood sugar readings 1 hour after eating below 140 mg/dl and 2 hour readings below 120 mg/dl to reduce disease risk.

Step 2. Eat Healthy – Eliminate Refined Carbs
Poor diet is the primary cause of Type 2 diabetes. Specifically, it’s the excessive amount of refined carbohydrates most people eat throughout the day. All types of breads, pasta and wheat-based starches begin to break down into sugar in the mouth and cause blood sugar levels to spike dangerously. The sugars in most vegetables are closely bound to fiber, and release very slowly, making leafy greens a natural anti-diabetic food. Other good choices include lean cuts of meat (avoid charring or overcooking), nuts and seeds. Be sure to include a raw fat source with each meal, as this will slow the breakdown of sugars and ensure the fat-soluble nutrients in your food are properly absorbed.

Step 3. Lose Weight
Regardless of your starting point, losing as little as 7% of your total body weight can have a dramatic effect on the metabolic factors which drive diabetes. Aiming for a sustainable weight is more important than targeting an unrealistically low weight. Losing weight stimulates a cascade of metabolic functions which exert positive control over blood sugar, insulin resistance and blood lipids. Following a healthy diet will cause natural weight loss with little effort.

Step 4. Begin an Exercise Regimen
Studies show that walking the equivalent of 30 minutes a day reduces the risk of diabetes by half. Exercise allows the cells to naturally accept sugar from the blood as it helps to reverse the effects of insulin resistance. Blood sugar levels are kept at lower levels and are much less likely to lead to diabetes or cause damage to the eyes, kidneys and extremities.

Step 5. Targeted Natural Supplementation
There are a handful of natural supplements which are used by the body to assist blood sugar metabolism. Minerals such as zinc, magnesium and chromium are critical to the proper breakdown of carbohydrates and fat, assisting the body to properly respond to the effects of insulin. Vinegar and cinnamon have been shown to assist the breakdown of carbohydrates to sugar, resulting in improved post meal blood sugar response.

For most people, Type 2 diabetes is a direct result of poor food choices. Many resort to prescription medications which are minimally effective in reducing blood sugar and many have been shown to increase heart disease risk. A growing number of people have been able to prevent and treat diabetes through a natural approach to diet, exercise and lifestyle, leading to dramatically improved health and extended lifespan.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Weight Loss Tips That Really Work

(Article first published as Weight Loss Diet Tricks That Really Work on Technorati.)
Two-thirds of Americans struggle to reach their weight loss goal, seriously jeopardizing long term health and taking precious years off their lifespan. If current trends continue, over the next two decades, experts believe the number of overweight and obese will swell to over 80% of all adults.

Many people have the desire to lose weight and have put forth the effort countless times. The end result is typically a failure as permanent weight loss requires a major shift in lifestyle which is difficult for most. Some people fall for fad diet pills which promise massive weight loss in a short period of time without the need for calorie restriction or exercise. This is not the way to lose weight and can even endanger your health.

The only proven method to achieve permanent weight loss is eating a reduced calorie diet highlighted by plenty of vegetables and a regular exercise routine. Sometimes our metabolism stalls and we hit a diet plateau. Reducing calories or increasing exercise doesn’t make the scale move. This is a survival mechanism we have evolved over the millennia which likely served our ancestors well, but today simply compounds the problem. There are some ‘tricks’ which savvy dieters use to help overcome the inevitable weight plateau and achieve their target goal.

Eat Slowly and Enjoy Your Food
Try chewing each bite of food twice as long as you normally would. Researchers have found that this naturally decreases the amount of calories eaten at a meal by 10%. Another important benefit is that the digestive enzymes which are present in the mouth begin to work much quicker, leading to a more satisfied feeling and less desire to continue eating. Rapid eating triples the risk of being overweight. Avoid eating on the run or while driving. Slow down, enjoy your food and reap the weight loss benefits.

Cook Your Meals from Scratch at Home
Americans spend more than half of their food budget on meals prepared away from home. Even the healthiest restaurant meals are likely to be loaded with calories, excess salt and sugar and are twice the normal serving size. It’s very difficult to lose weight when you have no control over the ingredients used to prepare your food. Typical restaurant meals average between 1,000 and 1,500 calories, making it very difficult to drop weight. Reserve dining out for special occasions and prepare most meals at home where you can control portion size and use healthy ingredients.

Eat a High Protein Breakfast Everyday
Our fast paced lifestyle causes many people to skip breakfast which leads directly to weight gain. The body needs to ramp up metabolism for the day, and breakfast is the trigger for this mechanism. It’s important not to fill up on empty refined carbohydrates which are burned for fuel immediately. Include a healthy protein source which requires more energy to be broken down by the body. This starts the fat burning engine in our cells which continues throughout the day. Further, larger meals eaten earlier in the day are much less likely to be stored as fat compared to a late night feast.

A healthy reduced calorie diet, along with a structured exercise regimen is the core of any weight loss program. Many people find that they reach a metabolic plateau where the body resists further weight loss as a survival mechanism. People become very set in a routine which includes habits that make further weight loss very difficult. Several weight loss ‘tricks’ can provide the necessary stimulus to ensure you achieve your permanent weight goal and reap the benefits of improved spirit and health.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Naturally Reverse Heart Disease

(Article first published as Reverse Heart Disease Naturally on Technorati.)
Heart disease kills more than 700,000 people in America annually, and unfortunately the first symptom for nearly half is death from a massive heart attack. Heart disease has been on the rise since the 1950’s, as processed and fast foods exploded onto the market. $150 billion is spent each year on fast food meals, as half of a typical family’s food budget is spent dining out.

Food eaten at a restaurant is typically loaded with excess calories, sugar, salt and processed meats which lead to the development of heart disease. Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries is the most common form of heart disease and is caused by plaque which narrows the arterial wall and restricts blood flow. Over the past 10 years, much has been learned about the natural methods which can prevent and treat this form of heart disease which could save millions of people from an early demise.

Diet Exerts a Powerful Influence on Coronary Plaque
The primary cause of atherosclerosis is consuming a poor diet for decades. Every time we eat, a surge of post meal byproducts floods the bloodstream with potentially catastrophic consequences, causing calcium, oxidized LDL cholesterol and other materials to fill the small arterial cracks which have formed as a result of high blood pressure and the aging process.

A healthy diet consisting of leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean proteins and natural unprocessed fat sources has a healing effect, as the body demonstrates an amazing ability to naturally reverse years of food abuse. Arterial plaque slowly builds over the course of a lifetime and can be reversed by maintaining a proper diet over time. An important part of a new dietary lifestyle is the elimination of refined wheat-based carbohydrates and processed meats. Both have been shown to increase the risk of death from a heart attack by as much as 50%.

Targeted Supplement Cocktail Reduces Heart Disease Risk
In addition to dietary modification, exercise and stress management, a supplemental nutrient cocktail can reduce arterial plaque volume and heart disease risk. Leading the list is niacin, a member of the B vitamin family. Niacin affects LDL cholesterol particle size, causing large fluffy particles which are less likely to form plaque. Further, niacin promotes higher levels of the protective HDL cholesterol.

Vitamin D is of critical importance in reducing heart disease due to its ability to prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and forming deadly arterial plaque. Vitamin D also works at the genetic level by providing the blueprint for cellular replication and controlling systemic inflammation, a known cause for heart disease.

Ensure that you supplement at the proper dose and have the necessary blood test to confirm appropriate levels. Fish oil is another important component as it reduces the risk of sudden death from a heart attack by a third, primarily by reducing the risk of arrhythmia and lowering triglyceride blood levels.

The natural amino acids lysine and proline, along with Vitamin C have been shown to reduce plaque volume in the arteries. This potent mixture is able to combine with the foamy arterial plaque and usher it safely out of the artery. Vitamin C is necessary to maintain the normally elastic nature of the arterial wall and prevents abnormal bleeding and clot formation.

Prescription medications are not the answer to prevention of heart disease. They merely mask the real cause, allowing the disease to progress unabated. Strict dietary modification is necessary to begin the disease reversal process and should be complimented with physical activity and a specific nutraceutical cocktail which can reduce coronary plaque volume. Many people have prevented and reversed heart disease using this formula, and now lead a risk-free healthy life.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Natural Weight Loss Supplements

(Article First Published as Best Supplements for Natural Weight Loss on Technorati.)
Americans continue to lose the weight loss battle which is placing an ever increasing burden on personal health and our failing health care system. Many people have a strong desire to lose weight but are unable to make the dietary changes which will positively impact their well being and lifespan.

Medical researchers agree that the best way to achieve permanent weight loss is through calorie restriction and physical activity. Many people will turn to diet pills which work by artificially stimulating the body’s metabolism in an effort to trim weight.

Quick weight loss pills are not only dangerous, as they can lead to increased risk of heart disease and diabetes, but ultimately they fail to deliver the promised weight loss goal. In addition to diet and exercise, there are two types of natural supplements which can compliment your healthy lifestyle and deliver weight loss results: carb blockers and metabolism boosters.

Carb Blockers Aid Weight Loss
Refined carbohydrates rapidly turn to glucose immediately after being consumed. This can signal the beginning of metabolic dysfunction which leads to diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers through a process known as insulin resistance. Eventually, excess sugar from carbohydrates leads to weight gain as the body’s cells are unable to take up all the glucose from the blood, and the excess remains as sugar in circulation and eventually is converted to triglycerides and on to storage as fat.

Carbohydrate inhibitors work by blocking enzymes which are necessary to break down sugars during digestion. The sugar molecules remain intact and are less likely to remain in the blood and convert to fat. The two most common natural supplements are l-arabinose and chromium. Both have demonstrated the ability to reduce blood sugar levels by blocking sugar enzyme activity and by pushing glucose out of the blood and into the cells for conversion to energy. These supplements have been shown to be safe and effective and are also credited with controlling insulin spikes and naturally reducing blood pressure.

Another type of natural supplement assists in weight loss due to its effect on blocking the breakdown of starches in the stomach. Since starch is not fully broken down during digestion, calories are not completely extracted from those foods and are less likely to lead to weight gain. White bean extract and irvingia are the best known starch blockers which have powerful anti-diabetic and anti-obesity effects.

Boost Metabolism for Day-Long Fat Burn Effect

Increased metabolism, where the body uses additional calories for energy while at rest and during physical activity is an important mechanism for encouraging weight loss and preventing weight gain. Green Tea Extract is the best known and most powerful supplement to kick-start a sluggish metabolism.

Research indicates that green tea can increase calories burned at rest by 4%. At first this may not seem like a significant amount, but studies confirm that this translates into a 40% increase in thermogenesis, which is a measure of the body’s own energy requirements. Further, green tea extract has been found to boost metabolism by increasing the fat burning capacity of the cells and doesn’t raise blood pressure.

Many people turn to dangerous fad diets and pills in an effort to lose weight. These drastic measures not only lead to increased risks from medical complications, but rarely lead to permanent weight loss. By combining proper diet, exercise and stress management with targeted carb blocker and metabolism boosting supplements, the reality of healthy weight loss is now within the reach of many who need to drop pounds without potential side effects.